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Submarines and Submariners

Construction of Laubeuf type SC submarines for Peru

Catalogue number 121043

The construction of SC-2, July 1910


At the end of the 19th century, the government of Peru turned to France and Great Britain when it began a modest naval rearmament programme in an attempt to counter the rising hostility of its neighbours. France was particularly active with, in 1904, a Naval Mission under Lieutenant de Marguerye helping to organising the Peruvian Navy and its naval college. Following this, Peru ordered two Laubeuf type SC submarines - Ferré and Palacios. This series of photographs shows the construction of these submarines at the Schneider shipyard, Chalon-sur-Saône. Here the keel has be laid down and the ribs are being put into place.

Recto: “SC2 26 July1910” in French and in black ink



17.2cm x 12cm Gelatin silver print

 

Catalogue number 121044

The construction of SC-2, bow view, August 1910


Most of the inner hull plates are fixed and the outer hull is being plated over.

Verso: “SC2 (bow view) end of August 1910” in French and in pencil



16.9cm x 11.9cm Gelatin silver print

 

Catalogue number 121045

The construction of SC-2, stern view, August 1910


Plating has reached the stern but special ribs for propellor shafts and rudder need to be fitted before the hull can be finished.

Verso: “SC2 (stern view) end of August 1910” in French and in pencil



17.5cm x 11.9cm Gelatin silver print

 

Catalogue number 121046

The construction of SC-2, bow view, November 1910


Construction of the deck has started. Formed up plating lies around center left. A second SC submarine under construction can be seen in the left background.

Verso: “Submersible SC2 12 November 1910” in French and in black ink



16.8cm x 11.8cm Gelatin silver print

 

Catalogue number 121047

The construction of SC-2, stern view, December 1910


The stern hull plating is in place, note the difficult shapes that had to be formed from the flat plate. The two propellor shaft tunnels are in place. Hull plating is around the scafolding, some bored and ready to be riveted into place, other plates are yet to be drilled.

Verso: “SC2 10 December 1910” in French and in black ink



16.8cm x 11.7cm Gelatin silver print

 

Catalogue number 121048

The construction of SC-2, stern view, January 1911


The outer hull plating has advanced as has the deck construction. The A-frames for the propellor shafts are in place..

Verso: “SC2 21 January 1911” in French and in pencil



17.2cm x 12.3cm Gelatin silver print

 

Catalogue number 121049

The construction of SC-2, bow view, January, 1911


Both SC submarines can be seen in this photograph, the foremost being the most advanced. Is it caulking showing through the hull plates just right of center? Plating of the free-flooding deck structure has started.

Verso: “21 January 11 C2” in French and in pencil and black ink



17.1cm x 12cm Gelatin silver print

 

Catalogue number 121050

The construction of SC-2, bow view, February, 1911


It is interesting to note the two rows of what look like bolts on the upper part of the bow. These disapear in the following photographs and may be to hold some structure on the inside of the hull.

Verso: “Submersible SC2 22 February 11” in French and in pencil



17.5cm x 12.3cm Gelatin silver print

 

Catalogue number 121051

The construction of SC-2, bow view, March, 1911


Construction is well advanced and the hull appears to be complete. There is no trace of the two rows of "bolts". A shelter has been put up to enable work on the conning tower.

Verso: “SC2 31 March 1911” in French and in black ink



17.3cm x 12.3cm Gelatin silver print

 

Catalogue number 121052

The construction of SC-2, stern view, April, 1911


This view shows the starboard hydroplanes fore and aft.

Verso: “Submersible SC2 29 April 1911



17cm x 11.8cm Gelatin silver print

 
Catalogue number 121053

The construction of SC-2, June, 1911


Construction is finished and the boat is ready to be launched sideways into the river. The Peruvian and French flags are flying and a small crowd has gathered to watch the event.

Verso: “SC2 - Launch 24 June 1911” in French and in black ink



17cm x 12.3cm Gelatin silver print

 

S.S. Kanguroo, submarine transporter

Catalogue number 105056

Le Porteur


The Schneider shipyard at Chalon-sur-Saône was over 500 km from the sea and the torpedo boats and submarines that were built there were carried down via the rivers Saone and Rhone to Port Saint-Louis. A specially adapted barge named Le Porteur was flooded down and the vessel entered by a stern opening. The barge was then pumped out with the vessel resting on its cradle.

Verso: Text in French from a wounded soldier in Chalon, dated 1914



14cm x 9cm Printed image

 

Catalogue number 46298

Le Porteur


The barge Le Porteur is shown here loaded with a Schneider-built torpedo boat ready to be towed down to the sea.

Verso: Text in French from a soldier cook, dated 1914 and sent from Montchanin, near Chalon-sur-Saöne



14cm x 9cm Printed image

 

Catalogue number

Le Kanguroo


The cargo ship Kanguroo was specially built to transport the submarines Ferre and Palacios from the Mediterranean Sea to Peru. At 33.5m in length/300t displacement, it was considered that the vessels themselves were not suitable to do the crossing under their own power or under tow.

Credit: Taken from the Wikipedia article on SS Kanguroo





 

Catalogue number 41069

Le Kanguroo


The vessel has been ballasted down by the stern and the bow rises above sea level. The bow plates can now be removed then the hull frames.





14.8cm x 9.2cm Printed image

 

Catalogue number 36032

Le Kanguroo


The bow plates and frames have been removed and appear to be loaded on the barge alongside. Note the spare propeller on the deck just forward of the bridge.

Verso: “Le Kangurou (sic)”

Credit: M. Rol

16.1cm x 10.4cm Gelatin silver print

 

Catalogue number 27045

Le Kanguroo


Young visitors have been rowed out to have a closer look at the Kanguroo. Note the rivet holes and the remains of caulking on the hull plates.





8.7cm x 12.8cm Modern copy print courtesy of P-A. Dollé

 

Catalogue number 46298

Le Kanguroo


Here we can see the cradles that will support a submarine.





7cm x 10cm Printed image

 

Catalogue number 26032

Le Kanguroo


The vessel has been ballasted so that the sea can flood into the well deck. Once the submarine is loaded, a water-tight bulkhead (see arch a few meters back from the bow) seals off the well deck from the forepeak

Verso: “8.7.13 Marseille. Inside of the transport ship “Kangouroo” flooded, ready to load the submarine “Palacios” in French



11.8cm x 16.7cm Matt gelatin silver print

 

Catalogue number 27044

Le Kanguroo


Kanguroo ready for the Palacios to be floated into the well deck, 8th or 28th July 1913.





9.8cm x 14.2cm Modern copy print courtesy of P-A. Dollé

 

Catalogue number 41072

Le Kanguroo


This may be Ferre moving into the well deck of Kanguroo.





10.5cm x 8cm Printed image

 

Catalogue number 121042

Le Kanguroo


Ferre is being manoeuvred into the well deck amid a host of crew and interested visitors.





16.8cm x 12.5cm Gelatin silver print

 

Catalogue number 41067

Le Kanguroo


This photograph is taken looking towards the stern of the ship and the bow plates can be seen stored on a barge to port.

Verso: “The Kanguroo, vessel used to transport submarines, sunk in the bay of Funchal (Madeira). The bow of this ship can be removed and opens up a kind of tunnel into which the submarine enters.” in French

Credit: Rol

11.9cm x 16.5cm Gelatin silver print

 

Catalogue number 27045

Le Kanguroo


View looking forward with the submarine ready to ballast down onto the support cradles. It looks like the water-tight bulkhead has been put in place.





9.7cm x 14.1cm Modern copy print courtesy of P-A. Dollé

 

Catalogue number 41075

Le Kanguroo


This view shows the submarine floating in the water-filled hold.





10.5cm x 8cm Printed image

 

Catalogue number 41073

Le Kanguroo


The submarine is positioned so that as it fills its ballasts and sinks down, it will rest on the cradles fixed in the well deck.





10.8cm x 6.9cm Printed image

 

Catalogue number 46298

Le Kanguroo


The submarine, here the Ferre, has descended onto the cradles and both submarine and well deck have been pumped out. The submarine is ready for its long voyage to Peru. We can clearly see the water-tight bulkhead forward.

Verso: “SC2 (stern view) end of August 1910” in French and in pencil



10.5cm x 13.7cm Printed image

 

Catalogue number 105049

Laubeuf submarines for Japan


Following the order from Peru, the Schneider shipyard at Chalon received orders to build Laubeuf type submarines for Japan (SD1 and SD2), Greece (SD3 and SD4) and Romania (SD5, SD6 and SD7). However, war broke out during the construction and several submarines were requisitioned by the French Navy. SD1 shown here at its launching went to Japan but its sister SD2 was requisitioned in 1916 and became Armide.

Verso: “Launch SD1 Japan 11 Nov 1913” in French and in pencil



14cm x 6cm Matt gelatin silver print

 

Catalogue number 121041

Laubeuf submarines for other navies


This would appear to be a photograph of the Greek submarine Delphin, we can see on the conning tower that the last letters of the name are“IN”. Delphin was launched in 1911. However, the boat is flying the French flag. Delphin was requisitioned by the French Navy.

Verso: “SC3 March 1912” in French and in pencil



16.9cm x 11.9cm Gelatin silver print

 

Catalogue number 22005

The Peruvian submarine Aguirre


The Peruvian submarine Aguirre (Laubeuf type SC1) is seen here at Saint Mandrier across the bay from the naval base of Toulon, 1912. The oiler Rhone can be seen in the background. SC1 was launched as Aguirre but was renamed Ferre in 1912.





14cm x 9cm Gelatin silver print

 

Catalogue number 27006

Antigone or Armide


From the text, it is not clear whether this submarine is Armide (built as SD2 for Japan) or Antigone (built as SD3 for Greece). However, the former was completed in 1916 and the later in 1917 whilst the photograph is dated 1915 so it may be one of the other Laubeuf type SD submarines.

Verso: “French submercible” in red crayon, “Armide"in pencil then "(1915)” in red crayon, “Antigone” in pencil, text in French.



32cm x 18.3cm Matt gelatin silver print

 
Catalogue number 118112

Possibly Greek Laubeuf type submarines, 1913


The two submarines shown here at the Schneider shipyard have been described as the two Laubeuf type submarines Delphin and Xiphias, built for the Greek Navy but requisitioned by the French Navy.





9cm x 14cm Printed image