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The Resurgam Submarine
‘A Project for Annoying the Enemy’ by Peter Holt. xiv+118 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 327 2017. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784915827. Epublication ISBN 9781784915834.
Book contents page
For centuries inventors have been dreaming up schemes to allow people to submerge beneath the waves, stay a while then return again unharmed. The Resurgam was designed for this purpose, as a stealthy underwater weapon which was the brainchild of an eccentric inventor realised in iron, timber, coal and steam. The inventor was George William Garrett, a curate from Manchester who designed and built the Resurgam submarine in 1879 using the limited technology available to a Victorian engineer on a small budget. This is not the story of Garrett himself as this story has already been told, instead this book tells the story how the Resurgam was built, how she may have worked and what happened to her. The book introduces Garrett the inventor then puts the creation of Resurgam in context by considering similar submarines being developed at the end of the 19th century. Garrett’s relationship with the Royal Navy is related here as they were his intended client and the tale continues with a description of how the submarine was built and how it may have worked. The end of the story relates how the Resurgam came to be lost in 1880 pieced together from documents and newspaper reports. Curiously, aspects of the tale do not fit with what was found by underwater archaeologists recording the wreck so other ideas are explored about how and why the submarine was lost.



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