Tuesday, November 27, 2012
“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” Union Navy Admiral Farragut
Southern Ingenuity…the first WMDs
November 27 1864 Virginia…The US Transport ship Greyhound is sunk by a Confederate torpedo in the James River…
Photo: Confederate Navy 'torpedo' (that's what they called mines, during the period). The one in this picture is located in the Civil War Navy Museum in Columbus, Georgia.
The torpedoes were constructed from available wooden barrels, then filled with gun powder and fitted with a contact detonator. Streamlines ends were added to lessen the effects of tides and currents. They were then anchored in the James River, Charleston Harbor and the mouth of the Mississippi River etc. to keep out Union ships. The Union Navy lost more than 40 ships to these torpedoes.