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Buckled externally ring-stiffened, hydrostatically compressed cylindrical shell

Photo 16-1: View of Model No. 107 after hydrostatic test at U.S. Navy Experimental Model Basin [David Taylor Model Basin in Maryland]. Note typical example of bulge formation in shell and failure of frame having insufficient rigidity. The need for wider frame flanges is clearly indicated, such as provided in the H-frame sections used on SS285 Class submarines.

Anonymous, War Damage Report No. 58, "Submarine report: depth charge, bomb, mine, torpedo and gunfire damage including losses in action, 7 December, 1941 - 15 August, 1945"

16-1. A thorough search of available records indicates that throughout the entire war there were but fifteen reported cases excluding losses, in which permanent deformation of the pressure hull was sustained by U.S. submarines as the result of non-contact underwater explosions of bombs and/or depth charges. In none of these fifteen cases was the pressure hull ruptured or torn nor is there any instance on record where a U.S. submarine has survived pressure hull rupture which occurred through war damage while the vessel was submerged. This is to be expected since rupture of the pressure hull of a submerged submarine should normally be lethal inasmuch as the flooding of one or more main compartments will render submerged control impossible, and the boat must then either surface, where it probably would be destroyed by enemy action, or must proceed to the bottom. Even assuming the bottom to be at a depth less than the collapse depth of the pressure hull and compartment bulkheads, experience shows that, under war conditions, self-salvage of the boat or ultimate escape and survival of personnel is quite unlikely.

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