Fifty years ago today, the Willie D as the Porter was nicknamed,
accidentally fired a live torpedo at the battleship Iowa during a
practice exercise. As if this wern't bad enough, the Iowa was
carrying President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the time, along with
Secretary of State, Cordell Hull and all of the country's WWII military brass. They were headed
for the Big Three Conference in Tehran, where Roosevelt was to meet
Stalin and Churchill. Had the Porter's torpedo struck the Iowa at
the aiming pointy, the last 50 years of world history might have
been quite different.
Via Jerry Pournelle,
Nothing much to add here, other than it's an amusing story and I'm
finding it fun to think about what would have happened had the torpedo
actually struck the Iowa. I don't think much would have happened
in the long run—FDR would
have most likely survived, been transported to another ship and still made
Tehran, but still, there was that slight chance he would have been
Even so, I don't think the outcome of the war would have been that much
different; Truman still had to take over from FDR before the war was over.
You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go
ahead, I won't bite. I promise.
The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or
entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent
links to that entry only. The format for the links are
simple: Start with the base link for this site: http://boston.conman.org/, then add the date you are
interested in, say 2000/08/01,
so that would make the final URL:
You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day
portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.
You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's
intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the
page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in
using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If
you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that
It is assumed that every brand name, slogan, corporate name,
symbol, design element, et cetera mentioned in these pages is a
protected and/or trademarked entity, the sole property of its
owner(s), and acknowledgement of this status is implied.