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  U.S. Navy Museum Cold War Gallery Technology for the Nuclear Age

The Navy's experiments in 1946 with sophisticated German World War II U-boats underscored the need to increase the underwater speed of existing fleet submarines by streamlining the topside superstructure and doubling battery capacity. The advent of nuclear power in the mid-1950s freed U.S. submarines from having to surface to recharge batteries, potentially exposing the ships to enemy eyes.

Quote from Eisenhower
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Submarine Models

Submarine Models

The Navy developed two major types of nuclear powered submarine: fast attacks (SSN) and ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), often called "boomers." The main task of the smaller attack submarines was to track and if need be sink enemy submarines. The larger boomers were designed to deter or retaliate for a Soviet nuclear attack on the United States and its allies.

click image below to see models of submarine types.
Submarine Models
Submarine Cut-away Diagrams

Submarine Cut-away Diagrams


Forty-One for Freedom

Forty-One for Freedom

These forty-one nuclear-powered fleet ballistic missile submarines were named after great men in history. This mighty force for peace was dedicated to the preservation of the ideals and institutions fostered by their namesakes. The original oil portraits were painted by Mr. Audobon Tyler and presented to each submarine.

click the images below to see each submarine namesake.
Forty-One for Freedom
  Cold War Gallery Interactive Floorplan     
  Interactive Floorplan  

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