100th Anniversary of Canadian Subs
The Royal Canadian Navy’s first two submarines were purchased by the Premier of British Columbia as a result of the recent German announcement.
The Chilean government had ordered them from the Electric Boat Company in Seattle, Washington. When the deal fell apart the two boats became available. The first Canadian submarines were purchased in haste, on the morning of Aug. 5, 1914, in the middle of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Secretively and under the darkness of night, the company undertook delivery of the submarines on August 5, 1914, to a rendezvous point five miles south of Trial Island, just outside Canadian territorial waters. Precautions were taken to prevent news of the event leaking out to American officials, the local Germans, and certain Chileans in Seattle waiting for the release of the submarines to them.
Two days after their arrival, the submarines were purchased from the B.C. government by Ottawa and duly commissioned HMCS CC.1 and CC.2. That transaction marked the birth of the Canadian submarine service.
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