Friday, September 21, 2007

New in the Museum Store - Submarine Models

The AIMM Store is carrying two new 1/700 scale models:

This model could be used to represent any early SSN-688 class submarine, simply by turning the base around to the blank side and adding your own label. There are no numbers on the sail.

Likewise, this model could be used to represent any of the later, SSN-688-I class submarines. The vertical-launch Tomahawk missile tube hatches are visible at the bow.

These pre-built models are produced by MRC and are available at most hobby shops.

The AIMM Store carries these and many other fine gifts.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Special Preview of Upcoming PBS Series About WWII - Thursday, 20 September - MacArthur Museum

"The War" is a seven-part series about World War II which will air on PBS.

Produced by Ken Burns, the Academy Award nominated and three-time Emmy Award winning director, this show will air on your local PBS station starting on September 23rd.

However, the MacArthur Museum in Little Rock will host a special Free public screening of this series from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 20th at the MacArthur Museum in Little Rock.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Legendary Russian Submarine to Become Museum in Moscow

A reconstruction of K-19, the first Russian nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, is scheduled to become a museum in Moscow.

K-19 was a Hotel-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, the first in the Soviet Navy. She was involved in several serious accidents during her career. The most notible accident was on 04 July 1961, when her reactor suffered a serious accident. Eight officers and crewmen died of radiation poisoning while making repairs.

The accident was the basis for the movie, "K-19: The Widowmaker" in 2002. In the movie, the museum submarine K-77, a Juliett-class diesel-powered cruise missile submarine was used to portray K-19. A Canadian submarine was also used in the movie to play the role of a second Russian submarine.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The SubCommittee Report - September 2007

The September 2007 issue of The SubCommittee Report recently arrived in the library.

Although primarily focused on the hobby of building and operating radio-controlled submarines, this issue has several interesting articles, including a "Tales from the Torpedo Room" about what happens when a human body interacts with a submarine's ventilation system; "It's a Boomer Life" which describes life aboard a modern nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine and several book reviews, including a review of USSVI member (and USS Razorback supporter) Ron Martini's book, The Submariner's Dictionary.

Check it out in the AIMM/USSVI Research Library soon.

For more information about the SubCommittee, check out their website.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Turkish Submarine Accidents


Turkey has a long naval and maritime heritage, stretching back nearly 1,000 years and the Turkish Navy has operated submarines for nearly 70 years,

In fact, the Ottoman Empire purchased two early “Nordenfelt” submersibles in 1886. While neither performed up to the promises of the builder (promises that were probably beyond the capability of the technology of the day), they were able to fire torpedoes at target ships before being discarded as unsuitable.

The Ottoman Navy ordered its first submarines from France in 1914, but they were not delivered before World War I started and were pressed into French service. The only submarine to serve in the Ottoman Navy was TCG Mustecip Onbasi, a French submarine, captured in 1917 after running aground in the Dardanelles Straits.

Shortly after the founding of the modern Turkish Republic, the Turkish Navy sent officers across Europe to examine the state of art in submarine development. Submarines were ordered from a Dutch company and were commissioned on 09 June 1928. Additional submarines were order from the Dutch, Germans, and British during the 1930s.

At the start of World War II, a submarine that had been built for Turkey in Germany was seized by the German government and pressed into German service. Likewise, two submarines being built in Great Britain actually served as British submarines and one was sunk.

In 1948, as part of the Cold War, the United States became the sole supplier of submarines to the Turkish Navy, a position America would hold for 22 years. Four submarines, all World War II veterans, were transferred on 23 May 1948. In all, 23 American submarines saw service under the Turkish flag. The last former American submarine, TCG Pirireis (ex USS Tang (SS-563)) was decommissioned in 2004.

In the 1970s, Turkey began purchasing submarines from Germany, starting with the Type 209. In 1976, the keel for the first Turkish built submarine was laid in Golcuk, a German-designed Type 209. The most recent submarine, TCG Burakreis was commissioned on 15 February, 2006.


Over the last 90 years, the Turkish Navy has operated 48 submarines with only one wartime loss and two peacetime accidents. The wartime loss occurred when TCG Atilay struck a mine and sank during World War II.

Ironically, the only two peacetime accidents in the Turkish submarine fleet involved two different submarines with the same name.

On 04 April 1953, while on the surface, TCG Dumlupinar (ex USS Blower (SS-325)) was rammed on her starboard bow by the Swedish freighter M/V Naboland in the Dardanelles Straits and sank. 22 men survived the initial accident, but were unable to be rescued due to the heavy seas and swift currents. Only four of the five men on the bridge survived. The master of the Swedish ship was seized by Turkish authorities. 04 April is celebrated as Naval Martyrs day each year in Turkey.

In September, 1976 the new TCG Dumlupinar (S-339) (ex USS Caiman (SS-323) was struck on the starboard side, just abaft the sail by the Russian freighter Szik Vovilov. The collision also occurred in the Dardanelles Straits while the submarine was surfaced and the location of the collision was less than 30 miles from where the first accident occurred. Fortunately, the crew was able to run the submarine aground before she sank and remarkably, no one was injured. Despite the damage, the submarine was repaired and served for another 11 years.

Friday, September 07, 2007

American Civil War Material on CD at AIMM

AIMM recently acquired a set of CDs with a great deal of American Civil War material, including material on Naval operations.

Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion was orginally published in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This set of 30 volumes covers all aspects of naval operations during the American Civil War.

The companion set, Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies in the War of the Rebellion was published during the same period and consisted of 69 volumes.

To purchase these two sets of books would be prohibitively expensive. While this information is also available online, having these CDs will improve access to this important historical data for both museum staff and patrons.

Confederate Military History, orignally published in 1899, was a twelve volume set written by many of the Confederate officers and officials who were also historians. Many held positions in the federal government before and after the Civil War. The volume on the war in Arkansas was written by Colonel John M. Harrell of Hot Springs, who served as a staff officer for Generals Holmes and Breckinridge and commanded a cavalry unit, participating in much of the history that he wrote about.

The volume on Confederate Naval History was written by CAPT William Parker, who commanded CSS Beaufort, a gunboat, in battles on the James River.

Personal Accounts of the Civil War is a collection of material written by people on both sides of the conflict, some famous, such as Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, who wrote The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government but many just ordinary people caught up in extraordinary times.

In addition, there are five CDs of photographs and six CDs of maps, as well as other Civil War-related material.

These unique resources, along with many other books on submarine, naval and maritime history, are available at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.