The concept of sinking ships by damaging them below the waterline has been a naval strategy since ancient times. The ancient navies of the Mediterranean used large metal rams attached to the bows of their ships to punch holes into enemy vessels. Eventually stationary mines (then called torpedoes) came into use as a defensive weapon. During the nineteenth century, mobile torpedoes such as the spar torpedo, turned the device into an offensive weapon. In the late 1860s, Austria developed the first automobile torpedo based on the invention of Robert Whitehead. The so-called Whitehead Torpedo, driven by a compressed-air engine, was offered to the world's navies in 1868.
|Fish Torpedo Cutaway Diagram|
|Undated Full Length Photograph of the Fish Torpedo|