Photo via Military Sealift Command

When the Revolutionary War came to a close, the United States spent nearly a decade without a regular navy. With the war against Great Britain won, the reasoning went, why would it need one? The simple answer is: pirates.

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U.S. Navy/Lt. Cmdr. Michael Smith

What’s in the news? Oh, nothing special, just “America’s most secret attack sub ever” heading for her homeport on Sept. 11, flying pirate colors beside the national ensign. And everybody’s got theories on why this secret-squirrel submarine has gone all Captain Jack Sparrow.

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