Turtle was created for the sole mission of sinking British ships in New York Harbor during the Revolutionary War. On September 7, 1776, Turtle’s first mission was to attach a bomb to the hull of Eagle, a British flagship. The mission was a failure.
Turtle was not the first submarine made. Inventor Cornelius van Drebel built the first in the 17th century. Fast forward 150 years and Turtle would become the first submarine used during war.
The operator of Turtle never successfully attached a bomb to any ship. Doing so proved to be trickier than expected. The inventor, David Bushnell nonetheless was given commission as an Army engineer by General George Washington. His creation of drifting mines proved successful in the sinking of one British ship and proved problematic for others. Turtle was lost forever when British destroyed and sunk American sloop transporting it.
Bushnell’s Turtle was the first submersible to use water for submerging and rising the submarine. It was the first time a propeller was used as well as a breathing apparatus. None of the missions were successful but Turtle was seen as revolutionary. It was a first step for our military to build upon in the future. Which in that right made it a success.