What Is a Torpedo and Why Did Admiral David G. Farragut Say “Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead!”?

A torpedo can be a number of things, but it’s best known as a self-propelled armed tube fired from a submarine.

The word was first recorded as an explosive device for blowing up ships in 1776.

The word torpedo derives from the Latin torpere, which means “to numb.”

what is a torpedo and why did admiral david g farragut say damn the torpedoes full speed ahead

During the American Civil War, while he was attacking the Confederates at Mobile Bay, Alabama, in 1864, Admiral David G. Farragut (1801-1879) had his lead ship sunk by a floating mine.

In the ensuing confusion, he uttered the famous words: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

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Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.