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B-class (USA)


Gas-Electric Attack Submarine


United States | 1907



"The American B-class of military submarines consisted of three boats - the Viper, Cuttlefish and Tarantula."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/15/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
If the A-class of submarines were the beginnings of the submariner program for the United States Navy then the B-class could serve as the turning point in USN submarine design. Appearing more akin to the serviceable submarines of World War 1 and World War 2 (as opposed to the early awkward appearances of some submarines), the B-class fit the bill with its smooth dolphin-like profile. The B-class stemmed form the original Holland-class that, itself, began with the Holland design appearing at the turn of the century - this leading directly to the preceding A-class of underwater warships.

The B-class was made up of the three submarines, each designated "USS Viper", "USS Cuttlefish" and "USS Tarantula". All three set about to open sea as a crew trainers and patrol craft in both local and international waters, eventually being put to rest as target vessels by the end of their useful operational lives. Power for the class was derived from a single gasoline engine developing 250 horsepower. An electric motor of 50 horsepower serviced the vessel when submerged, requiring surface air to charge. Surfaced and submarged speeds were quite similar across all three vessels and primary armament consisted of 2 x 457mm forward-facing torpedo tubes with four reloads. Crew accommodation for the series amounted to 10 personnel (the A-class fitted nine). As can be expected on these ealry submarines, conditions aboard the B-class were decidedly cramped though relatively improved over that as on the smaller Holland and A-class submarines. To go along with its identifiable shape, the B-class also sported a periscope in its conning tower. A second one was to be added later in its life but the stage was set for submarine design in the United States for years to come.

The definitive B-class designs went on to offer much of what was to come in terms of USN submarine design for the next few decades. By this time, the submarine would now come into its own in the inventory of the USN and other navies worldwide. The USN eventually set the vessel class apart from its "Torpedo Fleet" and formed its submarines into a new "Submarine Flotilla" group.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one sea-going vessel design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for B-class (USA).
1 x Gasoline-fueled engine developing 250 horsepower; 1 x electric engine generating 50 horsepower.
Propulsion
9.0 kts
10.4 mph
Surface Speed
8.0 kts
9.2 mph
Submerged Speed
Structure
The bow-to-stern, port-to-starboard physical qualities of B-class (USA).
10
Personnel
Complement
25.0 ft
7.62 meters
O/A Length
4.0 ft
1.22 meters
Beam
140
tons
Displacement
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of B-class (USA).
2 x 457mm Torpedo Tubes with four torpedo reloads.
Ships-in-Class (3)
Notable series variants as part of the B-class (USA) family line as relating to the B-class group.
USS Viper (B-1 / SS-10); USS Cuttlefish (B-2 / SS-11); USS Tarantula (B-3 / SS-12)
Operators
Global operator(s) of the B-class (USA). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national naval warfare listing.
National flag of the United States

[ United States ]
1 / 1
Image of the B-class (USA)
The USS Tarantula - later renamed to B-3 - was a B-class submarine of the USN

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to seaborne requirements.
BROWN WATER SERVICE
CLOSE-TO-SHORE
SUBMERGED ATTACK
MARITIME PATROL
FLEET SUPPORT
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
B-class (USA) Gas-Electric Attack Submarine appears in the following collections:
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