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Flach (submarine)

Flach was the first submarine designed and built in Chile in 1866. It is currently missing.


The Flach was built in 1866 at the request of the Chilean government, by Karl Flach, a German engineer and immigrant. It was the fifth submarine built in the world and, along with a second submarine, was intended to defend the port of Valparaiso against attack by the Spanish navy during the Chincha Islands War.


On 3 May 1866, after several days of successful testing, Karl Flach, his son, and nine other Chilean and German crewmen boarded the submarine for another test run. During the test, the submarine sank for reasons unknown; it is now thought to lie at a depth of about 50 meters within the bay of Valparaiso. The Flach was located two days after the sinking by seamen from the English frigate HMS Leander, and a diver named John Wallace was able to see and draw the wreck, which was buried nose-down in the bay's sediment. According to some contemporary sources, an attempt to raise the submarine failed because of its burial.

Present location

The Chilean Navy, with support from others, has searched for the submarine and intends to raise it after finding it, even though there is as yet no agreement on what to do with the remains of the eleven bodies thought to be inside. A finding of an object that appears to be the Flach was reported in El Mercurio de Valparaiso [*] on 25 April 2007. However, the finding has not been confirmed, because, as of August 2007, sediment still has to be cleared away from the object.

Additional information


Related Links

H.L. Hunley (United States' submarine)

Plongeur (French submarine)

Toro Submarino (Peruvian submarine)

External links

Hunt for Chile's first submarine

Chile to resume search for old sub (Reuters)

To the Rescue of Flach ( by El Mercurio)

Submarine History: Age of Sail

Presentation and video: Submarino Flach (Emol)

Armada de Chile

Bentos, Servicios y Equipos Marinos

Universidad Internacional SEK

"Rescate del primer submarino chileno"

"La tragedia del primer submarino chileno"

History of submarines

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Flach (submarine)

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