WELL BEFORE WW1 IN 1914 THE BRITISH HAD WIRELESSLY REMOTE CONTROLLED A FULLY OPERATIONAL SUBMARINE AT SEA, AND THE AMERICANS HAD FORESAKEN THE WORD "WIRELESS" IN FAVOUR OF THE WORD "RADIOGRAM" !

I have several websites, and one I thoroughly enjoyed writing was that for the Royal Naval Museum of Radar and Communications http://www.rnmuseumradarandcommunications2006.org.uk/ . There are many stories on that site about the slow progress of wireless telegraphy from the late 19th century until  approximately 1910 when fleet communications were proved and tested with a few reservations, largely put right in a spurt made in response to an inevitable war two years later.

My story stays with "wireless" but not necessarily with "wireless telegraphy" [at least for the British] because at the time of the spurt [1912], we had mastered the use of wireless for other uses, which the world at large marveled at, and the Americans, who were dying to know how and what we had achieved, simply stated that the British were keeping things secret!  In a moment, you will see that what we did involved a real life operational submarine at sea with and without its full crew, but back in 2006 I wrote this story about a battleship to which we had fitted a wireless remote control system which was revolutionary and undoubtedly considered to be amazing. Have a look here http://www.rnmuseumradarandcommunications2006.org.uk/HMS_AGAMEMNON.html  - you may recall that Nelson was once the captain of a ship called Agamemnon. The USN eventually got around to doing their own wireless/radiogram trails as shown in this file: but in the submarine world they were streets and miles ahead of the RN in dived transmission and reception of radiograms. See 1920-07-10 usn also experiments with radio controlled ships and others.jpg

This then is the script of an article published on the 14th August 1912, which will give you a good idea of how advanced we were at the start [more or less] of the second decade of the 20th century, in wireless technology. It also shows how the American's dropped the word "wireless" in favour of the word "radiogram" five years before they entered the war in 1917. A wireless message became a "radiogram"; a telegraphist became a "radiographer" sending messages by "radiograph".

14.8.1912  WORLD WIDE WIRELESS.pdf

Mention is made in the pdf file above of a fully operational sea-going submarine being used as a wireless remote controlled boat, either fully manned or devoid of any crew.  Ordinarily, an older boat would have been selected but older boats were petrol driven: C class.   The chances of a wireless transmission being received causing a spark or electromagnetic disturbance could not be risked, so, they chose the D class, diesel boats, and specifically the boat D1 for the trial.