Confederate 'Torpedo Bureau' and 'Submarine Battery' agencies

USS ALASKA

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
Messages
3,833
#1
Both the Confederate Navy and Army had departments focused upon the development and employment of explosive mines. The Army's was the 'Torpedo Bureau' run by Brigadier General Gabriel Rains and the Navy's was the 'Submarine Battery Service' lead by Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury, then, Lt. Hunter Davidson.

Ma'ams / Sirs, did these two organizations have any interactions and / or exchanges with each other? Was one considered 'senior' to the other? Which one had final authority when it came to employing these weapons systems in rivers and harbors? Did they work in a rivalry or cooperative environment? Reason I ask is because of the issues I have been recently reading about with the Japanese atomic efforts by her Navy and Army.

Thank for the help,
USS ALASKA
 

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Messages
796
Location
Charlestonian displaced to Bodrum,Turkey
#2
The idea, I believe, was to legitimize the torpedo as a weapon of defense, so each had to have a governing head, and they appear to be completely independent of each other on paper, but I have often wondered if the torpedo supplies were not shared between the Army and Navy. In Charleston that does seem to be the case since Beauregard was very hands-on with all torpedo operations and there were vessels (naval and civilian) utilizing both Army and Navy personnel. There just doesn't seem to be a clear line between the two branches.For example, Francis Lee (Provisional Engineer working under Beauregard) and Gabriel Rains (Brig Gen in charge of torpedos in Charleston) were each making torpedos, and there was a torpedo depot, yet there were also small stashes of torpedos in various locations around the city after evacuation, which suggests to me that those were also smaller depots.
Great question, BTW. I am following to see what others may contribute.
 

USS ALASKA

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
Messages
3,833
#3
Reviewing 'The Confederate Navy: A Study in Organization' by Tom H. Wells, he writes that in '64, the Navy laid mines at Savannah at the behest of the local Army commander. And that Navy launches used Army 'torpedoes' at the business ends of their spars.

I could envision a situation where if close coordination wasn't respected, a Confederate Army mined defensive position takes out an unknowing Confederate Navy vessel. Grey-on-Grey kills, bad for morale. Very counter-productive and cross-purpose.
66

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 



(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top