Skip to content

Holland 1 Project – Part 1 Torpedo (work in progress)

Please read these notes.
This is Part 1 of my project to model and animate the British Holland 1 submarine. It is a work-in-progress animation, and will probably be updated after further research.

In 1900 the British shipbuilder, Vickers, purchased a licence from the Electric Boat Company of the United States to build 5 Holland design submarines for the Royal Navy. These became Holland numbers 1 to 5. They were very similar to the US Adder class submarines. They were 64 ft in length, nearly 12 ft in diameter and displaced 110 tons. Propulsion was provided by a 160 HP petrol (gasoline) engine giving 8 knots when surfaced, and a 70 HP electric motor giving 7 knots when dived. Each submarine had a single tube to launch an 18 inch torpedo, with up to 2 reloads. The Holland submarines were used to assess the capabilities of submarines for attacking and also to work out anti-submarine tactics.

The Hollands were very limited in their capabilities and soon were superseded by larger Vickers designs.

Holland 5 was lost at sea in 1912. Holland 4 was used as a gunnery target while the other three were sold for scrap in 1913.

In November 1913, the obsolete submarine Holland 1 was being towed to a scrapyard when it foundered off the Eddystone lighthouse in the English Channel. She was salvaged in 1982 and underwent several years of treatment to counteract corrosion. She is now housed at the Royal Naval Submarine Museum at Gosport, England.

This work-in-progress video is the first stage of my plan to create an animated model of how the boat worked. Much of it will be speculative or based on drawings and descriptions taken from contemporary drawings.

The actual mechanism for discharging the torpedo is, I feel, controversial. One well respected source states that the torpedo was flushed by water from a large pressurised tank above the tube. On the other hand, Vickers had been building underwater torpedo tubes for some 20 years, and they all used compressed air. There are arguments either way, so further research is needed.

Leave a Reply