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Mr. Santiago

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Jan 22, 2011
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I see the Muse has been kind with you these days, please relay her my gratitude.

I am all for pop-relocation... In my god old days with Vicky I did it a lot, that was my first encounter with programing. I would advise moving them from Patagonia (sans the upper tier of provinces, since you can grow fruit with irrigation there) to the RL provinces of Mendoza, Cordoba and La Pampa... In your game they all have 1 congressman (except for Cordoba proper) and they would atract a lot more labour than southern Patagonia, I mean, agriculture in the western end of the Pampas and at the artificial oasis of Mendoza and San Juan surely beats shep-herding.

That's my $0.02 on the matter.

Also, the writer Jose Hernandez would make a nice candidate for the Feds, IMHO; by that moment he'd be in his mid-thirties


Count of Cayenne
Apr 10, 2007
Submarine Special

Death from the Depth​
Pt. I - Emerge​

During the American Civil War the ironclad warships became prominent and were unanimously seen as the future of naval warfare. But in the shadow of the ironclads and monitors another idea, far from the public eye, almost exclusively recognized by a few engineers and naval officers saw a revival. The idea of submerged vessels.
In 1862 bot sides were eager to develop new methods to run the naval blockade or strengthen it. While the confederates were looking for new ways to protect their harbours against naval raids the unionists were looking for a device to break the confederate blockade of the Mississippi River (and due to the course of war many rivers could be added that later were almost entirely controlled by confederate gunboats). Thus the Union build the USS Alligator by french engineer Brutus de Villeroi at Philadelphia while the confederate independent gentleman [1] Horace Lawson Hunley financed the construction of the 'Pioneer'[2] in New Orleans. It seems to be irony of history that both vessels were tested in areas were the opposite one should be deployed. The Pioneer was tested at the Mississippi River while the Alligator was tested in coastal areas.


The union submarine "Alligator"​

Then in 1863 while the USS Alligator sunk in a storm while towed to its first combat deployment, almost marking the end of military submersibles in the Union, the confederate engineers where on their peak. After extended testing with the Pioneer, the consortium around Mr. Hunley developed a second submersible called 'American Diver'. Which was launched in January of that year and attempted an unsuccessful attack on the Union blockade of Mobile in February. This submersible too, was lost in a storm in that same month. While all these vessels were powered by hand-cranked propellers (or similar devices based on muscular strengt) the confederate engineers already were trying to outfit the 'American Diver' with an electric motor or a steam engine. The next vessel from the ''Hunley-Consortium'' was named after the man himself, the H.L. Hunley was Launched in July. During tests that autumn the Hunley sank twice in the bay of Baton Rouge, 13 men were killed along with its namesake. Both times the Hunley was raised and returned to service. Meanwhile the Union blockade was lifted along the gulf coast and the Hunley was transported by rail to Norfolk to break the blockade of the naval yard. On February 17th the Hunley left Norfolk harbour and successfully attacked and sank the screw sloop USS Housatonic on Union blockade duty near east of Norfolk, known as 'First Landing'. While this first successful attack of a submerged vessel[3] created some headlines and remarks among the populace the mission was not seen as successful, as the Hunley never made it back to harbour and presumably sunk east of Norfolk. [4]


The third Hunley submarine, the H.L. Hunley was put into service by the confederate navy during the civil war.​

But already before the Hunley sank the Housatonic naval engineers in europe had renewed their interest in submergibles, too. Already back in 1859 a spaniard by the name of Narcís Monturiol launched his submersible the 'Ictineo I' in Barcelona harbour. Monturiol developed the Ictineo to simplify the dangerous task of coral harvesting. Unfortunately the design of the 'Ictineo I' proved to be unable to withstand the currents of the water, but it sparked the development of another submersible the 'Plongeur' in France which started only a few weeks after the 'Ictineo I' made its maiden voyage. But it was a long and rocky road for the 'Plongeur' which only was launched in October 1863. The most outstanding innovation of the 'Plongeur' was its propulsion system. The vessel used a compressed-air engine, propelled by stored compressed air powering a reciprocating engine. The air was contained in 23 tanks holding air at 12.5 bar (1.25 MPa, 180 psi), taking up a huge amount of space (153 m³/5,403 ft³), and requiring the submarine to be of unprecedented size. But due to its length the vessel faced severe stability problems limiting it to a maximum depth of 10m. In Spain Narcís Monturiol was working on the 'Ictineo II' which finally could be launched in October 1864, almost precisely a year after the 'Plongeur' took to the sea for the first time.[5]


Monturiol's Ictineo​

Fostered by the government's interest in reforming the navy and by the large sums that were spent for developing new warships several platinean engineers and financiers tried their luck by building submersibles. At the Valparaíso naval base two men Gustavo Heyermann and Carlos Flach[6], both of german origin, were working on two different designs since 1864. On April 17th 1865 the Flach submersible was launched and completed a successful testrun including diving to a depth of 10 meters.[7] Heyermann launched his submersibles five days later on the 22nd in order to beat Flachs design. But Heyermann's vessel sunk during its initial testrun but its five crewmen and Gustavo Heyermann managed to escape, after flooding the vessel, which allowed the inside pressure to equalize.[8] This beeing only the second submarine escape to be witnessed and reported. After the loss of the 'Heyermann' the harbour master of the Valparaíso naval base ordered that further test runs had to be announced to and approved by him. When the Flach went out into Valparaíso bay on the morning of May 2nd it was accompagnied by the steam frigate „Celia“ of the royal platinean navy. And fortunately the harbour master insisted that the Flach had to be tied to the „Celia“ during the test run, as it was not able to emerge again out of its own power but had to be drawn to the surface by the crew of the „Celia“.[9] The Flach was towed to Valparaíso naval base again and completed several testruns through the summer of 1866. Despite the loss of the Heyermann and the near loss of the Flach the secretary of the navy paid both men for their efforts, as they initially financed the vessels themselves, and ordered Carlos Flach to build a second vessel for further testing.


The 'Flach I' constructed by Carlos Flach was the first genuine platinean submarine.​

The testruns and the sinking of the Heyermann found great remark in the platinean newspapers and showed the submersibles, and the support of the navy ministry therefore, to a broader audience. One man who find out about the governmental support by newspaper was an engineer by the name of Otto Blume who worked in the peruvian andes for the royal railroad company. Enthralled by the task of constructing a submersible ship he went to the drawing board. By August he applied for financial support by the ministry and therefore travelled to Valparaíso to present his design studies.
By this time two more men, from abroad, had made contact with the platinean government on the same behalf. One was the german american Julius Kröhl who had developed submersibles for the United States Navy during the civil war and the other one was the aforementioned Narcíso Monturiol. By the time of autumn 1866 both had run into great financial troubles.
Julius Kröhl had developed a submersible named 'Sub Marine Explorer' in 1863 which was only build by a private company in 1865 in order to harvest oysters and pearls, but in the aftermath of the civil war the company went bankrupt and Kröhl was desperately searching for new investors.[10]
Narcíso Monturiol faced similar problems as both the spanish and the US-american government turned down his design. Learning from the successful test runs of the Flach in July 1866 he went to Madrid again heading for the platinean embassy and convinced the platinean navy attaché to witness another test run of the 'Ictineo II'. The attaché, sceptical at first, was amazed and Monturiol and the 'Ictineo II' began their voyage to Platinea.


The 'Sub Marine Explorer' engineered by Julius Kröhl a german born american.​

In October both Kröhl and Monturiol had arrived at La Plata naval base and on October 25th both demonstrated their vessels in front of several officers of the navy and the Secretary of the Navy in person. Convinced that the platinean navy could use any bit of technological innovation and that those technologies might better not be accessible for other powers the secretary offered both inventors a deal. The secretary would cover all the inventors debts and pay them the salary of a professor if they move all their assets (?) to Platinea. Both Kröhl and Monturiol were quite reluctant, as both weren't too happy about leaving their countries and rather work for a government instead of being unaffilated inventors and engineers. But in the end the dire financial situation forced both to accept the terms.
While the secretary was unsatisfied with Kröhls design as it was dependent on a surface ship to supply it with compressed air, Monturiols design was seen to have great potential despite being yet unarmed. Thus Monturiol received a steam engine which he divided in half; one half was to be powered by a coal-burning boiler for surface propulsion, while the other half was driven by a separate boiler fueled by his chemical mixture (53% zinc, 16% magnese dioxide, 31% potassium chlorate). Making the 'Ictineo II' only the second submersible propelled by an engine. A rather useful sideeffect of this chemical-combustion-engine was that oxygen was produced as a by-product, which would be gathered in tanks to provide breathable air for the crew. In December 1866 the 'Ictineo II' made its first voyage under the 'chemical-combustion-engine'. A few days later the royal family witnessed the second powered testrun of the submersible, which by then made it on the frontpage of all platinean newspapers. Afterwards King Juan I. even visited the submersible and congratulated the inventor for his achievement. The king was enthused by the ship and asked for an additional vessel to show at the next years World Fair in Paris.
Baffled by this royal suggestion the secretary of the navy realigned ressources to the development and construction of the 'Ictineo III' which soon was renamed 'La Foca' (engl. Seal). By February of 1867 Monturiol and Kröhl had finished the construction. And after several testruns in the La Plata River the 'Foca' was shipped to Paris. There it was exhibited in the Platinean pavillion[11] at the '67 World Fair from April to November. The white painted and brassen ornated 'Foca' was a beautiful and enthralling sight. The 'Foca' was an elongated version of the 'Ictineo II' and therefore had more internal space which was used to transport up to six passengers besides the crew. But despite causing much admiration by its fancy exterieur only view visitors were keen enough to see it from the inside on one of the demonstration trials. On one of these occassions the renowned french author Jules Verne stepped aboard and was amazed by the underwater view as well as by the technology inside the vessel.[12]


The 'Ictineo III' or more commonly called 'La Foca'. Which was presented at the World Fair in Paris in 1867 by their constructors Monturiol and Kröhl.
OOC: It shows the Nautilus from the 1954 motion picture "20.000 leagues beneath the sea". But as it looks close enough to the 'Ictineo III' which is this timelines main inspiration for Verne I chose it to display the 'Ictineo III'.

But while the 'Foca' became a major attraction at the world fair and its display was a huge success, completely overshadowing the display of the 'Plongeur', further research by Monturiol and Kröhl halted while the vessel was exhibited.
In Valparaíso on the other hand Carlos Flach now accompagnied by Gustavo Heyermann developed the 'Flach II'. The new vessel proved a better seaworthyness than its predecessor and was powered by a steam engine while surfaced but still relying on muscular strength while submerged. The 'Flach II' made its first successful testruns in August 1867. Several more followed, proving the 'Flach II' capability to dive at least to 25 meters below sea level.

To be continued in „Death from the Depth – Pt. II – Constructors Championship“
Read how Kröhl and Monturiols come back from the World Fair
Observe the progresses of the 'Flach II'
Witness Blume's submersible to go on it's first dive

[2] There is another known submersible from this the 'Bayou St. John Confederate Submarine'. Unfortunately no documentation exists and very little is known, not even its real name. Therefore I'm not mentioning it in the main text.
[3] If this was the first „successful“ attack by a submerged vessel is debatable. Not only was the Hunley lost during this operation but it was furthermore not fully submerged when the attack occurred. Running with its decks awash instead of diving. Thus it might be counted as the first successful attack of a vessel able to submerge but not as the first successful attack of a vessel that actually was submerged.
[4]These probably are not the only submarines that saw use in the American Civil War, accounting to this website http://www.navyandmarine.org/ondeck/1862submarines.htm, around twenty submersible were constructed, tested and partially deployed during the war.
[5]The vessel was launched in October 1864, but it was not until May 1865 that it underwent its maiden voyage. At first the 'Ictineo II' was powered by muscular strength but Monturiol was experimenting with several propulsion types (steam engine, combsution engine). He purchased a six-cylinder steam engine and divided it in half; one half was to be powered by a coal-burning boiler for surface propulsion, while the other half was driven by a separate boiler fueled by his chemical mixture (53% zinc, 16 magnese dioxide, 31% potassium chlorate). A rather useful sideeffect of this chemical-combustion-engine that oxygen was produced as a by-product, which would be gathered in tanks to provide breathable air for the crew.
But IOTL (in our timeline, meaning real history) the spanish navy was not interested in the vessel and unfortunately for Mr. Monturiol the Amercian Civil War was already coming to its close when the financially-desperate Monturiol wrote to the US Secretary of the Navy. It took him until October 1867 to prove the functionability of his combustion engine, only to see his company going bankrupt in December of that year.
[6] Gustav Heyermann (* +) and Karl Flach (), really build two submersibles for the chilean navy in the year of 1866 in order to fight the spanish fleet.
[7] There is no account (which I found on the internet) when the Flach made its first testrun or to which depth it dived.
[8] There is no account (which I found on the internet) when the Heyermann sunk or if Gustav Heyermann survived the sinking of the submersible. It is only known that the Heyermann vessel sunk on its maiden voyage.
[9] In reality the Flach vessel sunk on its second and unaccounted testrun on the 2nd of May. Taking the eleven crewmen including Karl Flach and his sixteen year old sun into a watery grave.
[10] In OTL the 'Sub Marine Explorer' was launched in 1865 and acquired by the Pacific Pearl Company. It was disassembled and transported to Panama where it was reassembled in order to harvest oysters and pearls. It performed this task from 1866 until 1869. But Kröhl and many crewmen died of decompression sickness which was then unknown and mistaken for fever.
[11] If I remember correctly there were no separate pavillions for the different countries but it all was gathered at the exposition hall at the Champ de Mars.
[12] It is said, that Jules Verne was truly fascinated by the french submersible 'Plongeur' which was put on display at the World Fair in 1867 and that this was his main inspiration for writing „20000 leagues unter the sea“.


Kurt's Best AAR Reader
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Great as always. Only one thing: Narciso is Spanish while Narcís is Catalan. Narcíso is a weird mix of both. :laugh:

I have seen both Ictineos in my childhood. They are fucking awesome. :)