By Tory Shepherd

Down periscope! How well do you know submarines?

Quiz

It’s hard to fathom how far we’ve come since the first submarine, with greasy leather flaps, was rowed – yes, rowed! – under the murky water of the Thames.

Now, hundreds of boats creep about in the ocean, armed with cruise missiles and nuclear warheads.

Now, hundreds of boats creep about in the ocean, armed with cruise missiles and nuclear warheads.

Whether you’ve been adrift in Vigil or submersed in Australia’s political woes, it’s time to find out how much you know about these undersea boats.

British submarines carry a “letter of last resort”, penned by the prime minister of the time, to be opened in the case of the total and utter devastation of Britain.

French submariners tell the story of a member of a Pacific royal family getting firmly stuck in the manhole (not a euphemism) of one of their submarines. It would be unseemly for them to prod her from below or pull her from above so they came up with the ingenious idea to increase the pressure inside the boat. Out she popped like a champagne cork!