Hunley 4Some called it a murdering machine. But the question was: Who faced the greatest risk from this machine—the enemy or the men operating it?

Eight men were jammed side by side in this cramped Civil War submarine, with walls 3½ feet apart and the ceiling about 4 feet high. It was hot inside the vessel, as the men pulled on a crank that moved the propeller.

What’s worse, these daredevils knew that many men before them had died in this very submarine. The risks of this line of work were extreme, but the men who operated the H.L. Hunley had a chance to be part of something never done before: sink an enemy ship with a submarine.

Were these men crazy? Were they incredibly brave? Or were they a little of both?

Check out our latest “History By the Slice” video, and you can decide for yourself.

Infernal Machines, Part 3

Also, check out parts 1 and 2 while you’re at it:

Infernal Machines, Part 1

Infernal Machines, Part 2

By Jason and Doug Peterson

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History by the Slice