United States L-class submarine
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USS L-1 (SS-40) lead ship of her class during running trials.
|Builders:||Fore River Shipbuilding Company, Quincy, Massachusetts (L-1 to L-4, L-9 to L-11)
Lake Torpedo Boat Company, Bridgeport, Connecticut (L-5)
Craig Shipbuilding Company, Long Beach, California (L-6 & L-7)
Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine (L-8)
|Operators:||United States Navy|
|Preceded by:||K-class submarine|
|Succeeded by:||USS M-1 (SS-47)|
|Displacement:||Group 1 :
450 long tons (457 t) surfaced
548 long tons (557 t) submerged
Group 2 :
456 long tons (463 t) surfaced
524 long tons (532 t) submerged
|Length:||Group 1 : 167 ft 5 in (51.03 m)
Group 2 : 165 ft (50 m)
|Beam:||Group 1 : 17 ft 5 in (5.31 m)
Group 2 : 14 ft 9 in (4.50 m)
|Draft:||Group 1 : 13 ft 7 in (4.14 m)
Group 2 : 13 ft 3 in (4.04 m)
Group 1 :
2 × 650 hp Niseco, Diesel?
600 hp electric
Group 2 :
2 × 600 hp Busch Sulzer, Diesel?
600 hp electric
|Speed:||14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) surfaced
10.5 knots (19.4 km/h; 12.1 mph) submerged
|Range:||4,500 nmi (8,300 km) at 7 kn (13 km/h; 8.1 mph)
150 nmi (280 km) at 5 kn (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph)
|Complement:||28 officers and men|
|Armament:||• 4 × 18 in (457 mm) torpedo tubes, 8 torpedoes
• 1 × 3"/23 caliber deck gun
The United States L class submarine was the United States Navy's first attempt at designing and building ocean-going submarines, which at the time was a yawning gap in capability compared with other major navies. The first hulls were laid down in 1914, six months before the European hostilities, but they were not commissioned until two years later because of long fitting-out periods.
The Group 2 L-boats designed by Lake Torpedo Boat (L-5 through L-8) were built to slightly different specifications from the other Group 1 L-boats, which were designed by Electric Boat, and are sometimes considered a separate L-5 class.
After service in the Atlantic Flotilla by the Group 1 boats, most required extensive refits at Philadelphia after the USA's entry into the First World War which reflected the US Navy's then limited experience in ocean operations.
The class was generally under-powered, but they enjoyed good endurance for patrols in the North Atlantic and in British waters.
After the war, the L class were involved in trials of new torpedoes and hydrophone equipment on both the east and west coasts before decommissioning in 1922 and 1923 and were used in the US scrapping quota in 1933 under the London Naval Treaty limiting naval armament.
- USS L-1 (SS-40)
- USS L-2 (SS-41)
- USS L-3 (SS-42)
- USS L-4 (SS-43)
- USS L-9 (SS-49)
- USS L-10 (SS-50)
- USS L-11 (SS-51)
Media related to L class submarines of the United States at Wikimedia Commons
Hutchinson, Robert, Submarines, War Beneath The Waves, From 1776 To The Present Day