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Talk about "bang for your buck..."

While poking around a Naval Matters discussion board this weekend, I learned of a truly incredible story from the Civil War. It's the story of how a single Union warship, the USS Black Terror, and its very brief career.

A brief recap: the Confederacy had captured two Union warships, the Queen Of The West and the Indianola. The Queen was put back into service on their side, and they were repairing the Indianola, when the Black Terror arrived on the scene, driving the Queen to retreat and the Confederates to stop trying to recover the Indianola and instead destroy her.

That's a very impressive feat for one ship. Especially one ship that was built in a single night for a grand total of less than nine dollars...

Comments (10)

FWIW, that's about $133 in ... (Below threshold)

FWIW, that's about $133 in today's dollars.


Hmmm.It is rather ... (Below threshold)


It is rather astonishing just how badly organized the Civil War was. My favorite Civil War Twit is General Ambrose Burnside.

One old teacher of mine oft... (Below threshold)

One old teacher of mine often referred to the Buster Keaton comedy "The General" as a documentary with stunts, because it caught the overall chaos of that war.

Sometimes slow and steady g... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Sometimes slow and steady gets through against all odds. The USS Black Terror floated past Vicksburg untouched by blistering fire from the shore batteries. Similarly, the German battleship Bismarck's fate was sealed by a torpedo attack launched by fourteen Fairey Swordfish biplanes, none of which were lost in the attack. These biplanes were just too slow for the German anti-aircraft guns to track. One of the two torpedoes that struck the Bismarck jammed her rudder preventing her escape.

Jay if you are not familir ... (Below threshold)

Jay if you are not familir with the story, google "english turn" -- a guy in a canoe turned back the British Armada.

Oh heck I just realized all you'd get is golf info....


I'm starting to question my... (Below threshold)

I'm starting to question my sanity. Was this story posted this morning for a very short time? I seem to remember clicking on the link and reading the story - but it was very early...

Yeah, it was, Sputnick. I t... (Below threshold)

Yeah, it was, Sputnick. I timed it for 2:00, then forgot to change it from "published" to "scheduled." Once I realized my mistake, I unpublished it.

You're quick. I don't think it was up for more than five minutes.


Good! One less reason to do... (Below threshold)

Good! One less reason to doubt my sanity...but so many more...

Nowadays, such a ruse would... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

Nowadays, such a ruse would cost millions of dollars and take at least three years of R&D before it could be used. OF course, the media would then scream about how we "tricked" the enemy and how we should be better than that. "Experts" would then talk about how we should have built the mock ironclad but put big signs on it that said, "This isn't areal ship. Don't be afraid."

In defense of the South, I ... (Below threshold)

In defense of the South, I will draw your attention to the battle of Sabine pass. Where 44 confederates defeated over 4,000 union soldiers.

The defenders of Vicksburg "honored the threat". The union attackers in the Sabine battle apparently could not understand the concept of turning the flank of the confederates.






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