“Washington did not place his hopes on the negotiations as he focused on strengthening the defenses around New York. He even tried his hand at irregular warfare by ordering an attempt to destroy the British flagship, HMS Eagle, using the first documented case of submarine warfare. The ship, the Turtle¸ was to sail undetected under the British fleet and attach a mine to the bottom of the Eagle. The attempt failed, as did a second attempt, and so the Turtle was deemed a failure. Washington wrote to Congress,
“Our situation is truly distressing…Till of late I had no doubt in my own mind of defending this place, nor should I have yet if the men would do their duty, but this I despair of.””
This episode was written by long-time contributor Michael Gabbe-Gross.
Michael received his Masters Degree in History from the California State University, Sacramento. His thesis project analyzed the Phoenix Program, a CIA counterinsurgency operation during the Vietnam War.