An Illustrated History of Their Impact

by Paul E. Fontenoy


Seemingly invisible submarines have exerted enormous influence on naval warfare since the early 1900s. Today, they are a mainstay of world navies large and small, an economically efficient weapon system whose threat no fleet commander can ignore—and whose presence has sparked a continuing evolution in naval defenses and tactics.

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Cover image for Submarines

March 2007


Pages 447
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Military History/Military Technology and Weapons

From the steam-powered models introduced in World War I to today's nuclear-powered, multiweaponed technological wonders, submarines have revolutionized warfare on the world's seas. This volume follows the extraordinary development of this key component of the world's navies.

Submarines: An Illustrated History of Their Impact reveals how underwater warships evolved to become major threats to battle fleets and merchant shipping, as well as primary platforms for deterrent forces and crucial symbols of military power.

In a series of chronological chapters, Submarines describes key developments in diving ability, underwater endurance, and weapons capabilities in specific periods, while highlighting strategic and operational innovations; the role of technological research; famous submarine events, battles, and commanders; and the impact of submarine services on naval society. The book also includes an illustrated reference section covering every submarine class worldwide since 1900. This coverage plus additional reference features make Submarines an essential introduction to a weapons system that has long held the public's imagination.


  • Approximately 80 vivid photos and technical illustrations of the most significant submarine models over the past century, from the steam-driven models used in World War I to today's nuclear-powered classes
  • A reference section provides a comprehensive and concise summary of the designs of every significant submarine class that has operated worldwide since 1900, plus summaries of their service


  • Covers the design history of submarines within the context of contemporary technology, tactical and strategic doctrine, and national and international politics
  • Analyzes the influence of submarines on naval command and organizational structures, strategy and tactics, personnel policies and training
  • Emphasizes the influence of submarines on almost every aspect of naval warfare during the 20th century
Author Info

Paul E. Fontenoy, PhD, is curator of maritime research and technology at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, NC, and a visiting assistant professor in the maritime studies program at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Aircraft Carriers: An Illustrated History of Their Impact, The Sloops of the Hudson River, and more than 100 articles on naval and maritime history topics.



"Recommended. Reference collections or those concerned with military technology and its impact upon society; upper-level undergraduates and above."Choice

"Best suited for specialized history collections at special and large academic and public libraries."Library Journal

"This work is highly recommended for those libraries with large military affairs collections."ARBA

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