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1/12 David Bushnell's Turtle Submarine Paper Model
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1/12 David Bushnell's Turtle Submarine Paper Model

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Build a paper model of David Bushnell's Turtle, the world's first combat submersible!


During the American Revolution in 1775, David Bushell, while studying at Yale University in Connecticut, devised a means for exploding a gunpowder charge via a clockwork mechanism in a waterproof container. He combined several other innovative ideas into a small, self-propelled underwater vessel which could be floated under an anchored ship, attach a delay-detonated mine to it, and retreat to a safe distance. The Turtle was the culmination of these ideas; a human-powered submarine that used screw propulsion (via hand-cranks), water ballast, and a detachable mine.


Attempts to employ Turtle against British warships on blockade duty in New York harbor were larely ineffective, except perhaps in frayed nerves on the part of the warship's watch-standers. This was mainly due to the fact the most Royal Navy vessels of the time employed copper sheathing on their lowers hulls, to combat ship-worms. The auger used on Turtle to attach the mine to the target vessel was unable to penetrate this layer of sheathing.


Bushell went on to serve the Contintal Army as a Captain in the Corps of Sappers and Miners, and practiced medicine after the American Revolution.


Paper Model Details: approximately 422 parts with formers and joining strips. 19 construction diagrams. Alternate parts provided for two different methods of layering the outer hull. Optional 3-D rivets and boltheads; optional parts for clear viewports. Display stand. Degree of Difficulty: 5/5.

Text written by Bart Wheeler, copyright 2011, Bart Wheeler and Used by permission.







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File Last Updated:
March 09, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on March 16, 2011.