A submarine is a vehicle that travels under water (i.e. an underwater boat). The submarine was invented in the 17th century. Though it was originally designed for the purpose of exploration, its military benefits soon became clear. The first military submarine was the Turtle used by the Colonists during the American Revolution. Submarines have been used in many other wars since, most notably World Wars I and II, and are still used for their original purpose of exploration to this day.
The first submarine to sink a ship was the CSS Hunley which sank the USS Housatonic during the American Civil War on 17 February 1864 in Charleston Harbour. The Hunley never returned from the mission, sinking with the loss of all crew.
The first submarine commissioned into the United States Navy was the USS Holland. She was commissioned on Columbus Day in 1900 and was subsequently designated SS 1. Today, the United States Navy operates 14 Ohio class SSBN's, 4 Ohio class SSGN's, 3 Seawolf class SSN's, approximately 40 Los Angeles Class SSN's, and 2 commissioned Virginia class SSN's.
- SSN is Submersible Ship Nuclear(powered)
- SSBN is Submersible Ship Ballistic Nuclear (ballistic missles)
- SSGN is Submersible Ship Guided Nuclear (guided cruise missles)
Although all US Navy submarines are capable of launching tomahawk missile's, the SSGN's are given there designation of SSGN because they are capable of carrying 154+ tomahawk cruise missiles, a massive loadout compared to that of a standard SSN. Currently, the United States Navy maintains submarines bases in Groton, CT Norfolk, VA Kingsbay, GA Banger, WA
San Diego, CA Pearl Harbor, HA Guam, Guam and at least for the meantime there is a submarine tender at the NSA(naval support activity) located in LaMadalena, Italy. An island off the coast of Sardinia.