The Turtle, the first American submarine, was invented in 1776 by David Bushnell to deploy an underwater bomb without detection. A single individual moved it through the water by cranking a hand-operated propeller. It could remain submerged for only about thirty minutes.
In September, the Turtle was deployed against a British warship in New York Harbor. The submarine operator failed to attach the bomb -- which exploded after it was released -- but succeeded in terrorizing the British, who repositioned their fleet.