Simon Lake built a total of 11 submarines for the Russian government, 6 Protector-type submarines and 5 additional large ocean cruisers. Russia provided Simon Lake the use of an enormous building in St. Petersburg, erected by Peter the Great over 300 years ago, in which several submarines could be built to completion at once and launched directly into the Neva river. From the success of the Lake boats in Russia, Simon Lake was able to build up a European organization during the 6 or 7 years on the continent, and was pretty well established Russia, Germany, Italy, Austria, and England. By the conclusion of the Russo-Japanese war, Russia offered Simon Lake their new shipbuilding plant at Reval, 50 million rubles, and a guarantee of handsome profit on a royalty basis. The Russian people were not warlike people, but wanted to establish themselves with an impregnable defense. The submarine, as a weapon, was in its infancy and the Lake boats were years in advance of the rest of the world. With the new building plant, freedom to experiment at will and near “all the money in the world” to work with, it became evident to Simon Lake that the Russian Navy could be made into an unbeatable force before any other nation had even awakened to the awesome force of the modern submarine. Even though Simon and his wife enjoyed the luxurious palaces, fine caviar and exquisite champagnes of the Czar Nicolas, Simon was appalled by the irresponsibility of Russian sailors and workers, and the general overall immorality of the Russians and the affect it could have on their 3 children living with them. Simon Lake refused the offer, but Russia continued to build several additional submarines of the Lake design.
By this time, the Krupps of Germany had taken much interest in the Lake Boats and according to numerous documents in the Simon Lake Archives, had offered Simon Lake a contract to be “master submarine builder of the world”. “A contract was drawn with their directors for the construction of the Lake-type of boat, which they accepted by wire.” In the meantime, Simon had submitted to them various plans of submarines, copies of his patents, and even his secret data, in order that they could move ahead, as Simon Lake considered the agreement settled by their wire of acceptance. Before the power of attorney arrived from the Lake Company directors in America to complete the contract, Simon was confronted with a Krupp attorney who claimed that there was insufficient Lake patents in Germany, and withdrew from the agreement, but continued to use Lake designs in their submarine development and construction. As Simon said, “So much for Germany!”
Prior the Germany affair, he had also built the first 2 submarines Austria ever owned, which included a royalty contract for additional submarines of the Lake-type built at their national shipyard. Simon Lake continued working as a consulting engineer about Europe until he was finally requested by the United Sates government to return home, about 1908-9. The Seal or G-1, was the first of 33 submarines that the Lake Company built for the United States.