Damn the Torpedoes

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"DAMN THE TORPEDOES," a reply by Union Adm. David Glasgow Farragut to a warning of the dangerous proximity of submerged torpedoes (now called mines) at the critical juncture of the Battle of Mobile Bay (5 August 1864). As the Union fleet approached the harbor entrance, which was known to be nearly closed by mines, the monitor Tecumseh struck a mine and immediately sank. The following ships closed into a disordered group while heavy cross fire from the Confederate fleet and forts threatened them with early defeat. Farragut, in the flagship Hartford, took the lead, signaling the fleet to follow, and steamed safely through the mine fields into the harbor.


Knox, Dudley W. A History of the United States Navy. New York: Putnam, 1948.

Dudley W.Knox/c. w.

See alsoArmored Ships ; Ironclad Warships ; Mobile Bay, Battle of .