Archive for the 'Animals' Category

May 5

The Elephant in the Archive

Thursday, May 5, 2016 12:01 AM


Naval Institute Photo Archive.

It was in 218 B.C. that the Carthaginian commander Hannibal famously marched some 30 elephants across the Alps and over the Rhône River by boat to attack Rome during the 2nd Punic War. In the millennia that have followed, the use of elephants in naval warfare has not accounted to much — certain films, of course, excepted. But that has not stopped pachydermous photographs from appearing in the Naval Institute’s Photo Archive for one reason or another. The selection that follows shows some of the interactions naval personnel have had over the years with the elephants they’ve encountered in their… Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 14

Howell Torpedo

Friday, June 14, 2013 11:11 AM


In 1883 the United States Navy held a public contest to find new design concepts for torpedoes. After reviewing several proposals, the Navy Torpedo Board selected a design submitted by the head of the Department of Astronomy and Navigation for the U.S. Naval Academy, Lieutenant Commander John A. Howell. The Howell torpedo was initially conceived in 1870 and was an improvement to older torpedo models. A key enhancement to the weapon was the addition of a flywheel, which acted as both a means of propulsion and provided additional stability to the torpedo. The Howell torpedo was 11 feet long with… Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 15

Lieutenant Porter’s Camel Expedition

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:00 AM


February 15th, 1856 LT David Dixon Porter leaves Smyrna, Syria for Indianola, Texas with 21 camels on board   Just five years before the outbreak of the Civil War, Lieutenant David Dixon Porter received unusual orders from the Secretary of War at the time, Jefferson Davis, to travel to the Mediterranean on the USS Supply. There, he was required to join Major Henry C. Wayne, then the Quartermaster of the Army, and aid him in finding and purchasing camels for experimental use in the American desert. The Supply had already traveled to the Mediterranean before, on Lieutenant William Lynch’s expedition to the Dead Sea, where… Read the rest of this entry »