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Sebastian Wilhelm Valentin Bauer
(* December 23, 1822 in Dillingen an der Donau; † June 20, 1875 in Munich) is the namesake of the submarine in Bremerhaven.

In the service of the Danish army, the turner, professional soldier and inventor Wilhelm Bauer was concerned with how a bridge could be blown up from the water despite being guarded. His designs for the "Submarine Apparatus Fire Diver" were first realized in a miniature model and put into practice in 1850 with severely limited financial resources.

The first test dive took place on February 1, 1851; the boat probably took on a little too much ballast water, became stern-heavy and sank to the bottom of the fjord. Saving on materials and the resulting deviation from the actual design sketches had had a fatal effect, even though the crew managed to save themselves after 6.5 hours thanks to pressure equalization.

Despite this failure, the "Brandtaucher" (salvaged in 1887 and now on display in the Army Museum in Dresden) is considered a milestone on the way to submersible boats, also because Wilhelm Bauer designed numerous other models (including the "Seeteufel") and was one of the first to recognize that propulsion by human power was not sufficient and that one would have to look into the possibilities of the diesel engine, which was just emerging.


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