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Online Library of Selected Images -- Picture Data

Photo #: NH 100348 (extended caption)

USS K-8 (Submarine # 39), in center

With two other submarines, at San Diego, California, circa 1915. Two destroyers and two cruisers are visible in the distance.
Photo printed on a stereograph card, published by the Keystone View Company.

Donation of Louis Smaus, 1985

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 122KB; 625 x 675 pixels

A stereo pair version of this image is available as Photo # NH 100348-A

Online Image of stereo pair: 84KB; 675 x 365 pixels

See below for the text printed on the reverse of the original stereo card, giving an immediate post-World War I popular evaluation of submarine warfare..


Text printed on the reverse of the original stereo card, probably written in about 1919.

"Submarines, Battleships and Torpedo Boats in San Diego Bay"

"Among the many terrible things used for the first time in the great World War, the airplanes and submarines attracted the most notice. On February 4, 1915, the German government proclaimed a war zone about the British Isles and declared its intention of sinking without warning any enemy merchant ships found within this zone. On May 1, 1915, the Lusitania was sunk. On February 1, 1917, Germany began her 'ruthless submarine warfare'. Immediately, friendly relations were broken off and on April 6, 1917, the United States declared war. At first it seemed as if the Germans would win. Then it was found that the submarines could be seen from airplanes directly above; also very swift torpedo boats, destroyers, were able to drive them away. As a matter of fact, not one U.S. transport was lost on its way to Europe, and but three on the way home."

"The submarine is the weakest, most helpless of fighting craft. It cannot fight under the rules of warfare laid down by international law. Its only safety lies in swiftness and surprise. All the great nations now have submarines. They are here to stay."

"A submarine may travel on the surface or under the water. It has a system of engines for surface running and for charging storage batteries. These storage batteries are the motive power when submerged. Notice the tall periscopes. In each one is a vertical system of lenses and prisms by which the observer down below is able to see on every side. There is also a sound detector which indicates the approach and motion of a ship."

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If you want higher resolution reproductions than this digital image, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

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22 November 2004