Abdül Hamid (1880)

Abdül Hamid after arriving in Turkey, c.1886. Original photo believed to be public domain.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Launched
1880
Commissioned
1886
Decommissioned
1910
AD/BC
AD
History

Abdül Hamid was the first submarine of the Ottoman Navy. Built by Barrow in England, she was purchased by the Ottomans, dismantled, and brought home on a cargo ship. Launched into Ottoman waters 1886, Abdül Hamid conducted a series of rather successful tests, before she was commissioned 24 March, 1888. Abdül Hamid was powered by a coal-fed steam engine, and had a very short operating range underwater. Stability was also poor, but she had multiple torpedo tubes, which was a first for submarines. Abdül Hamid was also the first submarine to fire a live torpedo while submerged. Testing continued until 1909, by which time she was in very poor condition. She was briefly considered for use in harbor defense during World War I, but this was impractical due to her condition, and the sub was sold for scrapping.