Working around aircraft/spacecraft mishaps I know without recreating what happened, assumptions do not answer the how’s and whys. When the shuttle Columbia burned up on reentry, nobody believed a chunk of foam material would go through the leading edge of its wing until the launch sequence, with the foam, was recreated. This also goes for naval mishaps. There are many environmental and physical variables associated with the Hunley case, that when combined together, under different scenarios will give you different results. Finding these results and getting a known percentage of like results will give a better picture too. Witness accounts, in this case, are not complete. We do not have survivors from the Hunley; the numbers of witness accounts are limited to a few people...not the entire crew of the Housatonic or even all the builders and mechanics of the vessel. Today's condition of the Hunley's structure, without further testing, does not tell us the condition of the Hunley prior to the attack; we did not know the Hunley's construction until it was pulled from the ocean, so how can we know exactly was complete damage was done to it? Without testing, what effects to any part of the vessel, or the crew in it, would happen IF that spar was fixed with a 135 pound explosive torpedo was slammed into a large wooden vessel? Would the explosion push the Hunley backwards, capsized it or make it flounder in any way or how did it floundered? Would the spar, holding the torpedo, be bent? We will never know until we recreate it.
I'm not agreeing with ANYONES assumptions without recreation testing data- even testing that includes the original assumptions of the 100 foot distance- 65lb torpedo scenerio.