In 480BC two divers assisted the Greek forces by diving beneath the enemy fleet to cut the anchor ropes. The resultant damage to the vessels was such that the Greek navy had time to prepare for battle and ultimately defeat their enemy, the Persians, at the Battle of Salamis. The success of the Greek effort depended on the divers remaining undetected.
What distinguishes military diving from other kinds of diving is the need for secrecy. Covert operations require equipment that makes the diver undetectable. Early military diving required silence and the cover of night. Modern military diving equipment uses sophisticated computer-controlled rebreathers that are quiet, non-magnetic and release no tell-tale bubbles into the water.
In addition to the wide selection of military diving equipment, the museum tells the stories of some famous wartime military divers including ‘Buster’ Crabb and ‘Bill’ Bailey. Their impressive collection of medals are on display in the museum.