Torpedoes, torpedoes, torpedoes, the Confederate Navy's contribution to modern harbor defense.

ebg12

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#1
**** the torpedoes, full speed ahead" Union Admiral Farragut famously said during the naval battle of Mobile Bay.
If the Union had the ships to blockade the sea entrances to southern harbors, then it was the confederate torpedo (a mine) that mainly prevented those Union ships from entering the harbors themselves. Confederate torpedoes were a deadly weapon, and the Union ship captain's feared them.

http://civilwarhome.com/torpedoes.htm
 

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USS ALASKA

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#2
If the Union had the ships to blockade the sea entrances to southern harbors, then it was the confederate torpedo (a mine) that mainly prevented those Union ships from entering the harbors themselves. Confederate torpedoes were a deadly weapon, and the Union ship captain's feared them.
Sir, as far as that goes, I agree. However, the Union didn't have to enter Confederate ports to shut them down. Savannah comes to mind.

To address your post directly, in places like Charleston, Mobile, and Wilmington...maybe the forts guarding those entrances had a little to do with the reluctance of Union assault? (And lack of Union ground troops). And in the case of Charleston and Mobile, the whole Ironclad thingy...not that mines (torpedoes) weren't a threat but that 'combined arms' defensive effort was daunting in some cases.
14

Anywho - good topic!
USS ALASKA
 
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#3
**** the torpedoes, full speed ahead" Union Admiral Farragut famously said during the naval battle of Mobile Bay.
If the Union had the ships to blockade the sea entrances to southern harbors, then it was the confederate torpedo (a mine) that mainly prevented those Union ships from entering the harbors themselves. Confederate torpedoes were a deadly weapon, and the Union ship captain's feared them.

http://civilwarhome.com/torpedoes.htm
The fundamental problem of mines is that both sides can use them. If the Confederacy can mine their harbors and rivers to prevent Union incursions then the Union could use mine fields to sink blockade. who have the disadvantage that they can only enter a Confederate harbor at night.
Mines proved not to be a silver bullet for the Confederacy since in the long run the Union Army captured all the important Confederate ports save for Galveston. In latter wars mines do not determine who the winner of the Naval battle is. Mines can be swept away by the stronger navy.
Leftyhunter
 

ebg12

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#4
The fundamental problem of mines is that both sides can use them. If the Confederacy can mine their harbors and rivers to prevent Union incursions then the Union could use mine fields to sink blockade. who have the disadvantage that they can only enter a Confederate harbor at night.
Mines proved not to be a silver bullet for the Confederacy since in the long run the Union Army captured all the important Confederate ports save for Galveston. In latter wars mines do not determine who the winner of the Naval battle is. Mines can be swept away by the stronger navy.
Leftyhunter
But what resources the weaker navy has except torpedoes? That is the contribution of the confederate navy...how to fight a superior surface force. How about "Remember the Maine!" during the American-Spanish War?
 
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ebg12

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#5
The fundamental problem of mines is that both sides can use them. If the Confederacy can mine their harbors and rivers to prevent Union incursions then the Union could use mine fields to sink blockade. who have the disadvantage that they can only enter a Confederate harbor at night.
Mines proved not to be a silver bullet for the Confederacy since in the long run the Union Army captured all the important Confederate ports save for Galveston. In latter wars mines do not determine who the winner of the Naval battle is. Mines can be swept away by the stronger navy.
Leftyhunter
But what is the strategic of the weaker navy? In ww2 a germen submarine planted mines in the Potomac River in Washington D.C. (one was found in the 70's). How about "Remember the Maine!" during the American-Spanish War? (sorry about the two post...clicked wrong, and don't know how to erase the duplicate.)
 
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ebg12

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#6
Sir, as far as that goes, I agree. However, the Union didn't have to enter Confederate ports to shut them down. Savannah comes to mind.

To address your post directly, in places like Charleston, Mobile, and Wilmington...maybe the forts guarding those entrances had a little to do with the reluctance of Union assault? (And lack of Union ground troops). And in the case of Charleston and Mobile, the whole Ironclad thingy...not that mines (torpedoes) weren't a threat but that 'combined arms' defensive effort was daunting in some cases.
14

Anywho - good topic!
USS ALASKA
yes, but do you rule out the effectiveness of mines in the civil war, ww1, and ww2? How about the American-Spanish war and "Remember the Maine!" Then why did Admiral Farragut say "**** the torpedoes, full speed ahead" during the fight for Mobile Bay, if the sailors were not afraid of their ships hitting a mine?
 
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O' Be Joyful

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#7
How about "Remember the Maine!" during the American-Spanish War?
IIR correctly, Adm. Rickover headed a re-investigation of the U.S.S. Maine explosion in the 1970's, and determined the actual and most likely cause of the explosion was internal, and due to over-heating in a boiler space that was adjacent to an aux. ammunition room.

(sorry about the two post...clicked wrong, and don't know how to erase the duplicate.)
Just go back to the post, click "edit" then delete what is necessary. The standard practice is the insert: "Double-Post". Sometimes the site or your computer will hiccup. Happens to all of us at one time or the other, @ebg12 .
 
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#8
But what is the strategic of the weaker navy? In ww2 a germen submarine planted mines in the Potomac River in Washington D.C. (one was found in the 70's). How about "Remember the Maine!" during the American-Spanish War? (sorry about the two post...clicked wrong, and don't know how to erase the duplicate.)
That's a good question. Unfortunately size truly matters in naval warfare. If a navy is incapable of securing it's own ports from a blockade and securing it's trade routes then said country is going to loose the war. Of course we are speaking of the pre air warfare era but even then navies matter. Nothing wrong with commerce raiders but in the long run the larger navy will nullify that threat.
The article you cited appears to be written more then a hundred years ago and history has certainly proved that while mines have a role to play in naval warfare they are far from the most critical component if naval warfare.
Leftyhunter
 
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#9
But what is the strategic of the weaker navy? In ww2 a germen submarine planted mines in the Potomac River in Washington D.C. (one was found in the 70's). How about "Remember the Maine!" during the American-Spanish War? (sorry about the two post...clicked wrong, and don't know how to erase the duplicate.)
I didn't know a U boat planted mines in the Potomac River. That's certainly interesting . Special bonus points awarded if anyone can answer the question "What Caribbean nations navy sank a U-boat"?
Leftyhunter
 

ebg12

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#10
That's a good question. Unfortunately size truly matters in naval warfare. If a navy is incapable of securing it's own ports from a blockade and securing it's trade routes then said country is going to loose the war. Of course we are speaking of the pre air warfare era but even then navies matter. Nothing wrong with commerce raiders but in the long run the larger navy will nullify that threat.
The article you cited appears to be written more then a hundred years ago and history has certainly proved that while mines have a role to play in naval warfare they are far from the most critical component if naval warfare.
Leftyhunter
You can't have a defeatism attitude as a navy officer if your on a weaker side. The confederate navy was none exsistant, but the confederate navy still had to fight. Mines in the civil war we're vital to the defence of southern ports. The utility of sea mines is to channel the enemy into killer zones. Any mine field can be passed, but mines are deterants. To say sea mines are of no use is to say land mines are of no use either
 
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#11
I didn't know a U boat planted mines in the Potomac River. That's certainly interesting . Special bonus points awarded if anyone can answer the question "What Caribbean nations navy sank a U-boat"?
Leftyhunter

It's a guess, as my source is difficult to specifically spell out. My best interpretation is Cuba, Lesser Antilles, and Aruba.

www.wikipedia.Battle of the Caribbean.
 

ebg12

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#13
It's a guess, as my source is difficult to specifically spell out. My best interpretation is Cuba, Lesser Antilles, and Aruba.

www.wikipedia.Battle of the Caribbean.
A fisherman in the 70s found the german mine in the potomac river underbrush. It shocked people because no one thought the Germans could get so close to Washington dc. But historian found the account in german ww2 naval records...how a u-boat had entered the tidal basin and the account of the u-boat captain looking through the periscope at the capital and other Washington dc landmarks.
 
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#14
I read that paragraph as well, it does make you proud to be American, especially with all the snowflakes out there these days. Young boys, becoming men very quickly because WWII was serious stuff, and the entire county came together as one.

Sad we don't have the unification today. I can hardly stand to watch the news anymore, on any channel, even Fox.
 
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#16
You can't have a defeatism attitude as a navy officer if your on a weaker side. The confederate navy was none exsistant, but the confederate navy still had to fight. Mines in the civil war we're vital to the defence of southern ports. The utility of sea mines is to channel the enemy into killer zones. Any mine field can be passed, but mines are deterants. To say sea mines are of no use is to say land mines are of no use either
I didn't say mines were of no use but mines are not the most important part of naval warfare. True the Confederate Navy did the best it could with the resources it had but unfortunately especially during the ACW size matters.
Leftyhunter
 

USS ALASKA

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#17
yes, but do you rule out the effectiveness of mines in the civil war, ww1, and ww2? How about the American-Spanish war and "Remember the Maine!" Then why did Admiral Farragut say "**** the torpedoes, full speed ahead" during the fight for Mobile Bay, if the sailors were not afraid of their ships hitting a mine?
Sir, I'm not disagreeing with you. Mines were, (and are) a danger. Just the threat of their employment changes an adversaries disposition. (like snipers) My point was that 'torpedoes' weren't stand alone items that were the only cause for concern when the question of water borne assault of a defensive came up. They were part of a larger overall defensive strategy.

Mines have value in both offensive and defensive applications. For the non-peer or non-near-peer competitor, they are an excellent cost-effective, asymmetric option. For the stronger adversary, they can wreak havoc on the enemy - please see 'Operation Starvation'

Mining has a long history. Their first recorded use was by the Chinese in the 14th century.
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USS ALASKA
 

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