Confederate Underwater Warfare

An Illustrated History


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SKU: 9780786473885 Categories: ,

About the Book

Though the Union Navy held a numerical advantage over its Confederate counterpart, the South’s forces had one weapon that was not readily available to the North—underwater mines, known at the time as torpedoes. More Union ships were destroyed by torpedoes than by all other means combined.
The South’s superiority in underwater weaponry can be directly traced to an oceanographer named Matthew Fontaine Murray. Recognizing the South’s limited capabilities, Murray persuaded its leaders to develop underwater weapons. This is the first detailed history ever of the South’s development of both offensive and defensive underwater weaponry. Many photographs of salvaged Confederate mines are included.

About the Author(s)

Louis S. Schafer lives in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Bibliographic Details

Louis S. Schafer
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 212
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [1996]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7388-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction: Beginnings of Underwater Explosives      7

1. Maury, at Your Service      11
2. The Anaconda and the Rabbit      23
3. With Patience Comes Success      34
4. Supply and Demand      42
5. Torpedoes on the Yazoo      51
6. Birth of the Spar Torpedo      63
7. The Rains Torpedo      73
8. Captain Lee’s Torpedo Ram      82
9. The Little David      93
10. A Pioneer in Southern Waters      104
11. The H.L. Hunley Submarine      113
12. A Flurry in Northern Florida      126
13. Attack of the Squib      134
14. Damn the Torpedoes      143
15. The Trout Boat St. Patrick      152
16. Justice in North Carolina Waters      159
17. A Valiant Effort in South Carolina      168
18. Closing Operations in Mobile      175

Notes      181
Bibliography      191
Index      195

Book Reviews & Awards

“provid[es] a concise account of Confederate underwater warfare activities”—The Civil War News; “covers a great deal of ground…a fascinating narrative of the South’s driven desire to perfect an underwater weapon…quite detailed”—The Civil War Courier; “a wealth of information…impressive bibliography”—The Mariners’ Museum Journal; “[a] well-written account of this extraordinary period of military history”—The Reviewers Consortium; “fascinating…[a] compelling history…[a] worthy addition…excellent”—The Skirmish Line.