Isaac Peral
Person - Peral Caballero, Isaac (1851-1895)

Peral Caballero, Isaac (1851-1895)




Preferred form:

Peral Caballero, Isaac (1851-1895)Other forms

Dates of existence/Biographical dates:

Cartagena (Murcia, España)  1851-06-01 - Berlín (Alemania)  1895-05-22


Isaac Peral was born in Cartagena and died in Berlin. He was a Spanish scientist and naval officer, inventor of the submarine Peral (1885). It was the first submarine specially designed for military use, developing previous submarines such as Ictineo (1859) Ictineo II (1864) of Narcís Monturiol (Figueres, 1819 - Barcelona, 1885). After a brief but intense career as a mariner at the Spanish Navy, Isaac Peral intervened in the Cuban war and in the third Carlist war, crediting expertise and courage, for which he was congratulated and awarded. He also excelled in scientific works and missions: he wrote a "theoretical treatise on hurricanes" and worked on the layout of the Simanalés Channel (Philippines). In 1883 he took over the chair of Physics-Mathematics School of Advanced Studies of the Navy. In 1885 after the denominated Carolines Question, in which Germany tried to snatch this archipelago to Spain, Isaac Peral communicated to his superiors that he had definitively solved the challenge of the submarine navigation. After a rigorous analysis of his project by the most qualified scientists of the aforementioned School of Advanced Studies, they gave their approval for him to be transferred to the Marine Minister, Admiral Pezuela, who received the project with warm enthusiasm. Unfortunately, the ministers who succeeded him showed indifference or open hostility (Admirals Rodríguez de Arias and Beranger). Despite everything and thanks to the support of Queen Regent Maria Cristina, the submarine was finally launched on September 8, 1888. The ship was 22 m in length, 2.76 m in depth, 2.87 m in beam and displaced 77 tons in surface and 85 tons in immersion. The propulsion was obtained from two electric motors of 30 horsepower each and the energy was supplied by a battery of 613 elements. It incorporated, in addition to a torpedo tube, three torpedoes, periscope and a sophisticated "depth device", which allowed the submarine to navigate in immersion to the level of depth desired by its commander, as well as all the necessary mechanisms to navigate in immersion towards the predetermined course. The official tests were developed throughout 1890. It should be noted that he was denied permission to hold to carry out the key and most eloquent test, which had been requested by the inventor himself: to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, from Algeciras to Ceuta, submerged. In spite of that, he demonstrated in the verified tests that it could sail in immersion to the will of its commander, with the predefined destiny, course and level and in the open sea. In addition, he showed that it could attack, without being seen, any surface vessel. The Technical Commission, designated for that purpose, endorsed the success of the first submarine tests in history. However, obscure and never clarified interests motivated the authorities to discard the invention and encourage a smear and vilification campaign against the inventor, who had no choice but to request the withdrawal in the Navy and try to enlighten public opinion on the question of the truth of what happened. On January 5, 1891, he was granted a license. Nevertheless, he was prevented from publishing his "Manifesto" in any printed medium. Finally, he managed to publish it, paying from his pocket, in a satirical newspaper called "El Matute". Dedicated to civil life, he was able to found several successful companies related to his specialty, the use of electric power. Unfortunately, he died prematurely a short time later at the age of 43.

Guerra hispano-estadounidense, 1898

Date of the event: 1898



Lugar de Nacimiento:

Cartagena (Murcia, España) in 1851-06-01

Lugar de Defunción:

Berlín (Alemania) in 1895-05-22


(Function) He/She carries out/ perform:




Related Authorities

Real Armada Española

Associative relations :

External Links

Biografía virtual:

Diccionario biográfico RAH

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Fichero de Autoridades:

Biblioteca Nacional de España