Toren, Kevin, and Joe once again welcome Chris Woods for a look at submarines, from the early days of the man-powered Turtle to the nuclear powered Nautilus. German wolf-packs, blue-on-blue engagement, emergency blows, and — we kid you not — submarine-launched bombers carrying medieval biological warfare!

Music: “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin

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Showing 29 comments
  • Wirrrn

    In your Pop Culture bit, you forgot the 1996 Kelsey Grammer comedy vehicle (literally) DOWN PERISCOPE, in which Grammer’s unconventional captain must take charge of a submarine full of whackoes, including Rob Schneider, Bradford Tatum, Lauren Holly and Harry Dean Stanton. The poster was banned here in Australia due to the tagline: “It’s long. It’s hard. It’s full of seamen.”

    There’s also the Penguin’s penguin-pimped submarine in the 1966 BATMAN movie

    • Joe

      We actually did mention it, but it got cut for time. I think this is already our longest episode yet. Good catch though!

      • Jay

        This is an interesting and engaging episode: a few more minutes would be appreciated 🙂

  • SewDotCoe

    I ADORED the Penguin’s submarine. That Batman movie is continually amazing.

  • SewDotCoe

    I ADORED the Penguin’s submarine. That Batman movie is continually amazing.

  • banks!

    No mention of the Submariner! FOR SHAME!

    I recall reading about the I-400 Japanese sub that launched planes. It launched a plane that was the only enemy plane to bomb the continental US. The plane got lost and dropped it’s bomb in the Oregon woods.

    Speaking of sub accidents, early Soviet sub models K-19 were known as the “Widowmaker” because they were so problematic which of course resulted in several fatal accidents.

  • Nick Curnow

    Dark Horse Comics had “Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain”,written by Mike Mignola(!) in which a World War 2 era Russian sub, carrying a helmet which makes the wearer almost invincible (and guarded by zombies nonetheless), plays an important role in the story.

  • Nick Curnow

    Dark Horse Comics had “Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain”,written by Mike Mignola(!) in which a World War 2 era Russian sub, carrying a helmet which makes the wearer almost invincible (and guarded by zombies nonetheless), plays an important role in the story.

  • Nick Curnow

    And before I forget, In the game Supreme Commander, the UEF have an experimental unit, called “The Atlantis” is a submersible aircraft-carrier. The Aeon faction also has an experimental submarine, called “The Tempest”, which has a giant cannon on top, which acts as aquatic artillery.

  • cr0m

    Guys, this was one of my favorite episodes yet. Chris Woods is a great guest and the rest of you were on fire!

  • cr0m

    Guys, this was one of my favorite episodes yet. Chris Woods is a great guest and the rest of you were on fire!

  • Derek

    Great ep guys!
    Toren’s desire to have his head replaced with a meteorite comment during the Lesser of Two Evils segment made me think of that episode in Northern Exposure when one of Maggie’s boyfriends is killed by a low-flying satellite. Due to the impact they couldn’t remove all of the satellite from his body, so at the funeral his coffin was bizarrely shaped.
    Keep up the great work. 🙂

  • Ernie

    As for “The Lesser of Two Evils”; I think the ultimate way to go out would be: an emergency blow due to the plague infected rats/insects getting loose and attacking everyone, and just as you hit the surface a comet strikes the submarine causing it to sink.

  • Ernie

    As for “The Lesser of Two Evils”; I think the ultimate way to go out would be: an emergency blow due to the plague infected rats/insects getting loose and attacking everyone, and just as you hit the surface a comet strikes the submarine causing it to sink.

    • Derek

      +1

  • Derek

    Season 2, ep 17 of the X-Files (Endgame) features a submarine – he finds an abandoned submarine up in the Arctic that is near an alien bounty hunter’s crashed ship. He nearly gets cut in half by the sail when the alien manages to submerge the submarine, and he ends up with an alien retrovirus of some sort.

    Also of note, especially with regard to non-military subs, is a 2010 British mini-series called The Deep (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1525182/) with James Nesbitt and Minnie Driver. It’s about researchers searching for some sort of amazing new biofuel under the Arctic ice, following in the steps of a unsuccessful expedition and with the fear that the Russians are already mining stuff under the ice. A bit of suspense and cool scifi ideas (like the size of the Russian sub), but a bit mediocre overall. Like The Abyss but without aliens. Hey, that’s another sub movie that wasn’t related to the military.

  • Derek

    Season 2, ep 17 of the X-Files (Endgame) features a submarine – he finds an abandoned submarine up in the Arctic that is near an alien bounty hunter’s crashed ship. He nearly gets cut in half by the sail when the alien manages to submerge the submarine, and he ends up with an alien retrovirus of some sort.

    Also of note, especially with regard to non-military subs, is a 2010 British mini-series called The Deep (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1525182/) with James Nesbitt and Minnie Driver. It’s about researchers searching for some sort of amazing new biofuel under the Arctic ice, following in the steps of a unsuccessful expedition and with the fear that the Russians are already mining stuff under the ice. A bit of suspense and cool scifi ideas (like the size of the Russian sub), but a bit mediocre overall. Like The Abyss but without aliens. Hey, that’s another sub movie that wasn’t related to the military.

  • castewar

    Excellent show, as always! I could listen to Chris talk about subs/art/nukes for hours, and have on occasion.

    Submarine fun fact! In 1914, for 48 hours, British Columbia had a two-sub navy!

    Premier McBride bought them off a Seattle shipyard who had made them for Chile, but Chile couldn’t pay up. The US was neutral at that point, so they couldn’t technically sell to Canada (part of the dominion), so they were snuck out at night. Canada tends to frown on Provinces maintaining their own navies, so within two days they were transferred to the control of the Royal Canadian Navy. There was a whole investigation, etc. etc. – cost a crapload of money, for the time. Then they were scrapped after the war.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_CC-1
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_CC-2

    And in more recent news, there’s the Narco Sub!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narco_submarine

    And NASA has a sub tooling around Kelly Lake. Not a military sub, mind you…
    http://www.pavilionlake.com/blog/science-reports/moving-to-kelly-lake-%E2%80%93-and-putting-our-knowledge-to-the-test/

  • Dark Canary

    There was an appalling lack of gruesome marine engineers in this episode!

    The reason submarines are boats instead of ships is because ships carry boats (lifeboats, rescue boats, etc.). Submarines do not carry boats, ergo they are boats.
    (I suspect this definition was created by sailors and not submariners.)

    Your terminology section was conspicuously missing “hot-bunking”.

    Great show, as always.

  • Dark Canary

    There was an appalling lack of gruesome marine engineers in this episode!

    The reason submarines are boats instead of ships is because ships carry boats (lifeboats, rescue boats, etc.). Submarines do not carry boats, ergo they are boats.
    (I suspect this definition was created by sailors and not submariners.)

    Your terminology section was conspicuously missing “hot-bunking”.

    Great show, as always.

    • Michael

      The engineers of the Hunley did know enough about science to understand underwater concussion damage. IT was more than just an explosive held close to the opposing ship. The explosive device was intended to stick to the side of the vessel, but be remotely detonated.

      from wikipedia ” The spar torpedo had a barbed point, and would be stuck in the target vessel’s side by ramming. The spar torpedo as originally designed used a mechanical trigger attached to the attacking vessel by a cord, so that as the attacker backed away from her victim, the torpedo would explode. However, archaeologists working on Hunley have discovered evidence, including a spool of copper wire and components of a battery, that it may have been electrically detonated. “

  • Michael

    oh and great episode btw. I know I’m only working with two data points here but this is the second great episode with Chris as guest host. I’d like to ‘see’ more of Chris if this is the kind of quality material I can expect. Its made me want to go listen to the “art” episode again.

    Once again, a great episode guys.

  • Chew

    The Scorpion did not sink because of faulty welds. It was most likely sunk by one of her torpedoes activating and detonating.

  • Chew

    The Scorpion did not sink because of faulty welds. It was most likely sunk by one of her torpedoes activating and detonating.

  • Chris

    Been re-listening to some old episodes and I figured this one needs an update (that no one will read) courtesy of our favorite cracked.com: In Feb. 2009, two submarines collided in the Atlantic. One French one British to make for some hot NATO blue-on-blue action, both were new hunter-killer class subs designed specifically for detecting enemy subs while avoiding detection. Apparently, these new subs are too damn good at the second part.

    http://www.cracked.com/article_20000_the-5-most-hilarious-ways-anyone-ever-failed-at-their-job_p2.html

  • Derek Weber

    Just watched the Director’s Cut of Das Boot, coming in at 3 hours 19 minutes (not quite five hours, but I can understand why people might baulk at the length). My recommendation? Don’t baulk, get on a watch it. It’s fantastic. 10/10. (Have you watched it yet, Joe?)