A sentence supposedly uttered by Union
Rear Admiral David Farragut
during the Battle of Mobile Bay
(of the American Civil War
). He had been watching the battle from a perch high in the rigging
of his flagship
; the remark came after seeing another one of his ships sink in about two minutes from a Confederate torpedo
, and the captain of a third Union ship tried to back off from the minefield
area. The flagship drew up alongside and its captain
, Percival Drayton, asked what the problem was. When the answer was "Torpedos," Farragut overheard and was supposed to have said, "Damn
the torpedoes! Full speed
ahead! Drayton, hard a-starboard
! Ring four bells!"
No more torpedoes went off as the fleet entered the bay, and they were eventually able to win the battle over the Confederate force. The remarks probably garnered as much reputation for Farragut as the victory did, and he was promoted to Vice Admiral, the first person to hold that position in the U.S. Navy.
1010011010 was kind enough to point out that it needed to be emphasized that these "torpedoes were what we would call mines today."