John Philip Holland was born in Ireland on February 29th, 1841. By 1859, at the age of 18, he had already completed his first submarine design.
This design, with only a few changes, would be commissioned in 1900 as USS Holland
, the first successful modern submarine. His design was also used to build the first British submarine, HMS Holland 1
, and was the basis of Japan's first submarine, No. 1
John Holland was convinced that the submarine would be the future of naval warfare, as the submarine's stealth would eliminate the advantages of the big-guns aboard the battleship. His vision was ultimately realized, as today's submarines are the most powerful ships in the world, and the last battleships have been turned into floating museums.
(Photographs courtesy of the U.S. Navy History and Heritage Command, Washington, DC)