¿Qué barcos se utilizaron para correr ron?

¿Qué barcos se utilizaron para correr ron?

Así que estoy escribiendo una novela que tiene lugar durante la Era de la Prohibición, y aunque tengo los conceptos básicos, tengo curiosidad por saber si alguien sabe algo específico sobre cómo funcionaba el funcionamiento del ron.

¿Qué tipo de barcos se usaban comúnmente para transportar alcohol? Además, ¿cuánto tiempo tomaría un viaje?

Cualquier información ayudaría, ¡gracias!


Contrabando marítimo de drogas y venta de ron

Un ligero golpe sacude el P.V. Ferguson mientras el bote patrullero RCMP sale del puerto de Pugwash. Más adelante, algunas boyas trampa para langostas, la gaviota ocasional y algunos marcadores de navegación son todo lo que se balancea en el mar de color aluminio.

Contrabando marítimo de drogas y venta de ron

Un ligero golpe sacude el P.V. Ferguson mientras el bote patrullero RCMP sale del puerto de Pugwash. Más adelante, algunas boyas trampa para langostas, la gaviota ocasional y algunos marcadores de navegación son todo lo que se balancea en el mar de color aluminio. Pero John Trickett, el capitán de 43 años, observa atentamente el horizonte. Sabe que las cosas raras suelen aparecer a lo largo de los rincones y recovecos de la costa de 4.000 km de Nueva Escocia. En agosto pasado, por ejemplo, un par de oficiales de la RCMP se detuvieron en una cala aislada en la remota comunidad costera de Tánger y encontraron a seis hombres transfiriendo $ 25 millones en hachís desde su velero a vehículos que esperaban. Hoy, Trickett y su tripulación de dos hombres están de vuelta recorriendo la costa en busca de su propio gran busto. "Dios", dice Trickett, "si mi suegro pudiera verme ahora".

Sin duda, John Bernard MacIsaac, cuya casa fue una vez un refugio seguro para los contrabandistas, apreciaría la ironía si todavía estuviera vivo. Su yerno, después de todo, pasa sus horas de trabajo tratando de evitar que los cárteles internacionales de la droga conviertan tramos aislados de la costa de Nueva Escocia en un oleoducto para trasladar narcóticos a América del Norte. El trabajo tiene sus frustraciones: a pesar de 17 redadas importantes durante los últimos 11 años, los oficiales de control de narcóticos no se hacen ilusiones de que están derrotando a los capos de la droga. "Es como un globo", reconoce Fred Gallop, coordinador de Nueva Escocia para el Programa de Vigilancia Costera y Aeroportuaria de la RCMP. "Lo ahogas en un lugar y simplemente aparece en otro lugar".

Que es más o menos lo que era hace 80 años cuando los corredores de ron descargaban bebidas alcohólicas, no narcóticos ni otros productos ilícitos populares de la actualidad, los extranjeros ilegales, en las aisladas costas del Atlántico al amparo de la noche. En ese entonces, el desafío de la aplicación de la ley era aún mayor: en lugar de rastrear a un capitán sudamericano que no conocía a Saint John de St. John's, como fue el caso en un arresto por drogas el año pasado, las autoridades persiguieron a los lugareños inteligentes que sabían cada centímetro de la costa accidentada. Y buena gente como los MacIsaacs, cuya casa en la costa norte de la Isla del Príncipe Eduardo era conocida como un lugar para esconder licor, veía a los corredores de ron como personas que intentaban brindar un servicio esencial. "Hoy, nadie quiere ayudar a un traficante de drogas", dice Ralph Getson, curador de educación en el Museo de Pesca del Atlántico en Lunenburg, N.S., "pero en ese entonces la simpatía de la gente estaba definitivamente con los corredores de ron".

Por un lado, amplios sectores de la opinión pública se opusieron a la prohibición del día. Y hacer cumplir la prohibición era casi imposible con las islas de St-Pierre y Miquelon, al sur de Terranova, inundadas de alcohol. Parte del licor de estas islas de propiedad francesa terminó en los bares clandestinos de Canadá. Pero la mayor parte del ron de las Indias Occidentales, la ginebra británica, el champán francés y el whisky canadiense apilados en los almacenes tenía como destino "Rum Row" frente a la costa este de Estados Unidos, donde los emisarios de gánsteres como Al Capone esperaban la entrega.

El comercio del ron llegó en el momento perfecto para las pequeñas aldeas del Atlántico canadiense, que estaban sufriendo una recesión cíclica en la pesquería. Clement Hiltz, como muchos otros hombres jóvenes y aventureros de Lunenburg, encontró fácil elegir entre un acto que era ilegal, pero muy lucrativo, y otra temporada de recolección de bacalao en las gélidas orillas de Terranova. Recuerda el hombre de 90 años, que todavía vive en Lunenburg: "Podría ganar más dinero con una carga de alcohol que en un año en los barcos de pesca".

Entonces, a los 15, Hiltz se unió a otros siete a bordo del Silver Arrow y se dirigió a St-Pierre. Allí habría tenido mucha compañía: unos 40 barcos abarrotaban los muelles de la isla cada mes para llenar sus cascos de licor. En poco tiempo, algunos de los patrones más capaces de la región estaban bebiendo alcohol. Ellos eligieron a los mejores equipos, incluido, en un caso, un adolescente de Lunenburg llamado Hugh Corkum que se convirtió en el jefe de policía de la ciudad durante mucho tiempo antes de morir en 1989. "Estos no eran réprobos", dice el curador Getson . "Simplemente estaban haciendo lo que todos los demás hacían".

Al principio, las goletas de pesca de todos los días recorrían la peligrosa ruta hacia el sur desde St-Pierre y Miquelon. Más tarde, las embarcaciones de contrabando se adaptaron para el trabajo en cuestión: se pintaron en tonos apagados, se hundieron en el agua y proporcionaron espacio de almacenamiento adicional. Valió la pena ser cauteloso. Estados Unidos y Canadá declararon por separado la guerra a los corredores de ron del Atlántico durante los años veinte, y los corredores de ron no pudieron igualar la potencia de fuego de los cortadores rápidos y fuertemente armados. Pero tenían mucha astucia. Los sobornos convencieron a los inspectores de hacer la vista gorda. Cuando los cortadores los persiguieron, los esquivos barcos colocaron cortinas de humo y desaparecieron en las calas y bahías que salpicaban las costas. No estaba de más que los corredores de ron tuvieran innumerables aliados en la costa, como los MacIsaacs, dispuestos a guardar el contrabando en graneros, sótanos, campos y otras "pieles".

Los contrabandistas arriesgaron no solo el arresto sino también sus propias vidas. El 21 de marzo de 1929, un barco de la Guardia Costera de los Estados Unidos desató una disputa transfronteriza al disparar y hundir el I'm Alone registrado en Lunenburg, que transportaba 2.800 cajas de licor mientras se encontraba en aguas internacionales. Uno de los contrabandistas se ahogó. Dos años más tarde, las autoridades estadounidenses dispararon contra un capitán de Lunenburg, William Cluett, que murió más tarde, mientras capturaban a la corredora de ron de Nueva Escocia Josephine K. en la entrada del puerto de Nueva York. Y, en 1933, un agente canadiense llamado John "Machine Gun" Kelly mató a un hombre de Lunenburg cuando abrió fuego en un pequeño bote que descargaba alcohol en las afueras del puerto de esa ciudad. "Daba miedo allá afuera", dice Hiltz, quien participó en seis viajes diferentes de ron antes de abandonar para regresar a los barcos de pesca. "No sé por quién estábamos más preocupados: los guardacostas o los gánsteres de Rum Row que querían secuestrar nuestra carga".

Esos días salvajes parecen historia antigua cuando el Ferguson atraviesa el estrecho de Northumberland hacia P.E.I. La última corredora de ron del Atlántico, la célebre Nellie J. Banks, inmortalizada en una canción de la década de 1980 con el mismo nombre, fue finalmente capturada en 1938. Pero, en algunos aspectos, poco ha cambiado. Hoy en día, la RCMP y la Agencia de Impuestos y Aduanas de Canadá todavía luchan por cerrar el flujo de licor de contrabando St-Pierre hacia Terranova. Y los infractores siguen trabajando en la costa atlántica con sus drogas e inmigrantes ilegales.

Nueva Escocia sigue siendo el destino elegido. Pero en la última década ha habido una redada importante de cocaína en New Brunswick y cinco incautaciones importantes de drogas en Terranova. Y las autoridades creen que los cárteles de la droga están extendiendo su red de distribución a Labrador lejano ahora que la Carretera Trans-Labrador atraviesa Quebec. "El contrabando es una especie de tradición en la costa este", dice Trickett, él mismo un Terranova. "Quizás eso nunca va a cambiar". No mientras existan esos miles de kilómetros de costa irregular y alguien feliz de intentar ganar un dólar deshonesto.


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El corredor de ron Linwood en llamas. Con la captura y el arresto inminentes, el fuego fue provocado por la tripulación de contrabandistas que intentaban destruir las pruebas y hundir el barco. (Foto de la Guardia Costera de EE. UU.)

El 17 de enero de 1920, la 18ª Enmienda a la Constitución, que prohíbe la fabricación, venta y transporte de bebidas alcohólicas, se hizo exigible por ley, lo que provocó el extraño contratiempo de 13 años en la historia de Estados Unidos conocido como Prohibición.

La Ley Volstead, la ley que puso en práctica la Prohibición, asignó la autoridad de aplicación al Departamento del Tesoro, específicamente a su nueva Oficina de Prohibición. Anticipándose a que unos pocos contrabandistas intentarían introducir alcohol ilegal en el país por mar, la nueva oficina estableció una división marina con una pequeña flota de barcos interceptores. Dadas las severas sanciones impuestas por la ley, la oficina esperaba pocas violaciones.

Un "barco nodriza" que maneja ron y anclado en aguas internacionales, lleno de alcohol que sería introducido de contrabando por "botes de contacto" más pequeños y rápidos, el equivalente de la Prohibición a los "ayunos" de hoy. (Foto de la Guardia Costera de EE. UU.)

La oficina estaba equivocada. El contrabando de alcohol demostró ser rentable y prevaleciente de inmediato a lo largo de las costas estadounidenses, particularmente frente a la costa este. Un contrabandista pionero en estos primeros días fue el constructor de yates Bill McCoy, quien ayudó a establecer la práctica de llevar carga en goletas en puertos de Nassau, Bahamas. , o Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, las islas francesas frente a la costa de Terranova, y luego fondear en aguas internacionales para operar una licorería flotante que vendía a lanchas más pequeñas y rápidas conocidas como "botes de contacto". Una línea regular de barcos de ron se reunieron a perpetuidad frente a las costas del área metropolitana de Nueva York, conocida como "Rum Row", con varias otras áreas, incluidas Virginia Capes, Nueva Orleans, San Francisco y Houston / Galveston, servidas por su propio ron. filas.

El corredor de ron William S. “Bill” McCoy y otros corredores de ron de poca monta pronto fueron reemplazados por poderosos sindicatos criminales. (Wikimedia Commons)

Los agentes de aduanas y prohibiciones se vieron abrumados por la flota de ron. En su lucha contra el contrabando marítimo, se centraron en incautar el contrabando cuando aterrizaba en los muelles y, en algunos casos, en interceptar pequeñas embarcaciones costeras. Fue una batalla perdida, y el Departamento del Tesoro recurrió a la agencia responsable de proteger los ingresos y prevenir el contrabando en el mar: la Guardia Costera.

Jugando ofensa

Al comienzo de la Prohibición, la Guardia Costera moderna tenía solo 5 años, y la Marina de los EE. UU. Había trasladado recientemente a su hogar en tiempos de paz en el Departamento del Tesoro, donde más de 9,000 miembros de la Guardia Costera habían servido durante la Primera Guerra Mundial. El servicio reconstituido no tenía la mano de obra, la capacitación ni los recursos para llevar a cabo un vasto programa de interdicción costera. Para 1924 estaba claro para el almirante William Reynolds, comandante de la Guardia Costera, que el servicio estaba superado por más de 150 embarcaciones de la flota de ron y un enjambre costero de embarcaciones de contacto, muchas de ellas equipadas con motores de avión de 400 caballos de fuerza por los que el gobierno de EE. UU. Vendió. $ 100 cada uno después de la guerra.

Lo que siguió en los años siguientes fue una expansión sin precedentes de la Guardia Costera: el servicio creció de 4,000 a 10,000 empleados, y una flota de nuevos cortadores, especialmente diseñados para interceptar y atrapar rumrunners, se implementó durante los próximos años, para ser ayudado en sus esfuerzos por 25 destructores de la Armada reacondicionados que habían sido suspendidos después de la guerra.

Unos 203 cascos de madera de 75 pies, también conocidos como "six-bitters", con una velocidad máxima de 15 nudos y cañones de 1 libra montados en la cubierta, entraron en servicio entre 1924 y 1925. A partir de 1927, se les unió el Primero de 33 125 pies, el bien armado diesel "Buckand-a-Quarters & # 8221" diseñado para seguir a las naves nodrizas a lo largo de la línea exterior de defensa.

Una flotilla de "seis amargos". Más de 200 de los 75 pies de casco de madera, capaces de 15 nudos y armados con un cañón de 1 libra hacia adelante y varias armas pequeñas, fueron construidos entre 1924 y 1925. (Foto del Comando de Historia y Patrimonio Naval).

Los barcos más rápidos de la flota de la Guardia Costera eran ahora los destructores, que tenían una limitación obvia: eran demasiado grandes para ser de mucha utilidad en la costa. La flota de pequeñas embarcaciones del servicio experimentó una rápida expansión. Se construyeron más de 100 embarcaciones de piquete de 36 pies, con una velocidad máxima de alrededor de 22 nudos. Una nueva ronda de patrulleros rápidos de 78 pies comenzó a entrar en servicio en 1931, y entre 1931 y 1932, se construyeron más de 500 nuevos botes de piquete de 38 pies, más rápidos y capaces de patrullas más largas que los de 36 pies.

USCGC Portero (CG 7) circa 1924-30, anteriormente el destructor de la Marina de los EE. UU. USS Portero (DD 59), uno de los 25 ex destructores de la Armada entregado a la Guardia Costera para hacer cumplir la Prohibición y luchar contra los corredores de ron. (Foto del Comando de Historia y Patrimonio Naval)

En 1925, un grupo de oficiales de la Guardia Costera con visión de futuro había convencido a sus superiores de que las patrullas aéreas proporcionarían una conciencia mucho más amplia que los barcos de superficie, y se estableció un aeródromo temporal de la Guardia Costera en Massachusetts. La primera interdicción aérea del servicio fue en junio de ese año, y el Congreso respondió autorizando la compra de cinco aviones anfibios, que se basarían en una pequeña estación aérea en el puerto de Gloucester.

Teniente comodoro. Carl Christian von Paulsen (izquierda) frente a un hidroavión UO-1 excedente de la Marina de los EE. UU. Presionado en el servicio de la Guardia Costera. Como comandante de la Base # 7 de la Sección de la Guardia Costera, von Paulsen demostró el valor de los aviones para interceptar a los contrabandistas durante la Prohibición y restableció extraoficialmente la aviación de la Guardia Costera. (Fotografía de la Guardia Costera de EE. UU. Cortesía de la familia Von Paulsen)

Esta revisión de la Guardia Costera creó un servicio que no se parecía ni funcionaba como lo había hecho unos años antes: era una fuerza de combate grande, bien equipada y bien entrenada, preparada para la batalla en la Guerra del Ron. Sin embargo, sus adversarios también se habían adaptado: los valientes Bill McCoys y los piratas de bajo costo que intentaron estafarlos fueron rápidamente absorbidos o expulsados ​​del negocio por sofisticadas organizaciones criminales. Finalmente, cinco sindicatos se encargaron de todo el negocio del licor de Nueva York. Esta fue una de las grandes ironías de la Prohibición: creó un vasto inframundo criminal y desató una ola de crímenes sin paralelo en la historia de Estados Unidos.

La estrategia contra estos sindicatos era simple: con cortadores y destructores regulares, la Guardia Costera intentaría romper el vínculo entre los barcos nodriza y los barcos de contacto, a menudo rodeando los barcos más grandes para dar a conocer su presencia y disuadir las transacciones. Una segunda línea de defensa, encabezada por barcos de piquete y seis amargos, estaba dirigida hacia la costa, a las idas y venidas de los barcos de contacto.

Dentro de esta esfera estratégica, las tácticas y las contramedidas se volvieron cada vez más complejas. Para evitar ser detectados, los contrabandistas a veces intentaban cebar a un barco de la Guardia Costera para que persiguiera a un barco señuelo más lento, mientras que otros barcos de contacto cargaban sus envíos, a veces simplemente enviaban una señal de socorro por radio para atraer al cúter en otra dirección. A veces, se remolcaban cargas sumergidas de contrabando detrás del rumrunner, para soltarlas si la captura parecía inminente. El licor estaba escondido debajo de fondos falsos, detrás de mamparos falsos o debajo de capas de carga legal. En lugar de intentar descargar licor de contrabando en los desembarques, algunos "negros" (el término de la Guardia Costera para muchos buques de contrabandistas, que a menudo estaban pintados de colores oscuros y corrían sin luces para evitar la detección nocturna) los hundían en las gotas asignadas, atados a barcos sumergidos. boyas.

El corredor del ron Linwood un incendio. Con la captura y el arresto inminentes, el fuego fue provocado por la tripulación de contrabandistas que intentaban destruir las pruebas y hundir el barco. (Foto de la Guardia Costera de EE. UU.)

Si fueron detectados a pesar de estas medidas, los contrabandistas practicaron varias maniobras evasivas: si un destructor los atrapaba, un bote de contacto podría encender un rastro de diesel o aceite a su paso, creando una cortina de humo para ocultar su escape, el bote podría entonces. retroceda a gran velocidad, sabiendo que el destructor nunca podría girar a tiempo para atraparlo. Algunos contrabandistas simplemente se apresuraron hacia los bancos de arena donde los destructores o cortadores de tiro más profundo no podían seguirlos. Si son perseguidos por lanchas patrulleras más veloces, los contrabandistas pueden arrojar cajas de licor a su paso, con la esperanza de dañar el casco del perseguidor. Algunos contrabandistas intentaron dar media vuelta y embestir a sus perseguidores, pero este fue un acto de desesperación que tuvo resultados mixtos en varias ocasiones, los corredores de ron se hundieron en estas colisiones.

Uno de los factores que actúan a favor de los contrabandistas, el límite de 3 millas a las aguas territoriales, un estándar internacional establecido por el alcance de un disparo de cañón del siglo XVIII, fue eliminado en 1924, cuando Estados Unidos y Gran Bretaña acordaron un nuevo estándar. : la distancia que puede viajar un barco en una hora, que promedia 12 millas náuticas. Esto hizo más difícil para los barcos de ron conectarse con sus barcos de contacto, pero el hecho de que el nuevo límite fuera movible, dependiendo de la velocidad de un barco, también enturbió los casos judiciales subsiguientes.

CG-8031, un antiguo barco de ron convertido, uno de los muchos incorporados al servicio de la Guardia Costera. (Foto de la Guardia Costera de EE. UU.)

Las tácticas de los corredores de ron exigían creatividad de los capitanes de la Guardia Costera. Guerra del ron en el mar, La historia definitiva de Malcolm Willoughby del servicio de Prohibición de la Guardia Costera, relata las hazañas de Cmdr. Philip H. Scott, quien comandó el cortador Seminole en los primeros días de la Guerra del Ron. A Scott le gustaba apoderarse de las embarcaciones que transportaban ron y convertirlas en botes patrulleros. En una ocasión, vestido de civil, se paseó en un remolcador incautado, conversó con corredores de ron y, cuando determinó que eran de contrabando, izó la bandera de la Guardia Costera y se apoderó de sus embarcaciones. Scott hizo muchas incautaciones de esta manera y, de hecho, la Guardia Costera hizo un uso liberal de las embarcaciones incautadas en su flota de patrulla / persecución a lo largo de la Prohibición. Según Willoughby, 649 de estos barcos fueron transferidos a la Guardia Costera durante el período que el Dr. William H. Thiesen, historiador del Área Atlántica de la Guardia Costera, ha calculado que más de 450 de estos fueron reutilizados por el servicio.

ENTRA ELIZEBETH FRIEDMAN

El surgimiento de nuevos recursos de la Guardia Costera en el mar y en el aire, junto con las más variadas contramedidas del servicio, desequilibró temporalmente a los corredores de ron, pero los sindicatos habían comenzado a perfeccionar el uso de las comunicaciones por radio. Una de las primeras y más simples tácticas fue que los barcos de ron transmitieran a través de frecuencias comerciales: mensajes codificados, generalmente grupos de letras de apariencia aleatoria, que comunicaban las ventas de un día, las solicitudes de provisiones, la ubicación del barco y otra información se enviaban a la gerencia en tierra . En tierra, las nuevas tecnologías permitieron que las estaciones emergentes ocultas enviaran ubicaciones encriptadas e instrucciones para transacciones en altas frecuencias que a menudo no se detectaban.

Obviamente, la Guardia Costera necesitaba la capacidad de recopilar inteligencia de señales. En 1924, se estableció la Oficina de Inteligencia de la Guardia Costera, dirigida por el entonces teniente. Cmdr. Charles Root. Esta nueva oficina lanzó un ataque de dos frentes contra los corredores de ron: primero, estableció su propio sistema sofisticado de comunicaciones por radio bajo la dirección del teniente Frank Meals, un consumado operador de telégrafos y comandante del CG-210 de seis amargos. Meals capacitó a la generación entrante de operadores de radio de la Guardia Costera y se aseguró de que la tecnología de comunicaciones del servicio, incluida una nueva generación de equipos de radiogoniometría que ayudaba a las tripulaciones de los cúter a localizar los barcos de ron, permaneciera a la vanguardia.

La experta criptoanalista Elizebeth Friedman, cuya ruptura de códigos hizo posible las condenas de unas tres docenas de contrabandistas y cabecillas. (Foto de la NSA)

En segundo lugar, Root entendió que interceptar transmisiones ilegales era de poca utilidad si estaban cifradas. Para 1927, cientos de mensajes se habían acumulado en los archivos de la nueva oficina, pero gracias a la incorporación de una criptoanalista experta, Elizebeth Friedman, la Guardia Costera comenzó a avanzar dos meses después de su contratación, la nueva Unidad Criptoanalítica de la división, que consta de Friedman. y un asistente, había despejado la acumulación de mensajes. De 1928 a 1930, la unidad descifró unos 12.000 mensajes para la Guardia Costera y otras agencias de aplicación de la ley. Los mensajes contenían información sobre actividades ilegales a lo largo de todas las costas del país, y su descifrado significó, en muchos casos, que los códigos de los principales sindicatos se habían roto, lo que permitió a la Guardia Costera interceptar y decodificar mensajes en tiempo real, lo que permitió incautaciones o operaciones de prevención en el mar.

A principios de la década de 1930, una Unidad Criptoanalítica más grande, supervisada por Friedman, apoyaba un nuevo servicio de inteligencia de radio en el Cuartel General de la Guardia Costera. En el área de Nueva York, Meals tomó el mando de una unidad especializada: cinco lanchas patrulleras de 75 pies, equipadas con equipos de radiogoniometría, para interceptar señales de radio que pudieran decodificarse y difundirse para la acción. En los últimos años de la Prohibición, la información recopilada por esta unidad reveló que los sindicatos estaban contrabando más que licor, su contrabando, según Willoughby, incluía "relojes suizos, perfumes franceses, anticonceptivos, armas de fuego y municiones para revolucionarios cubanos y extranjeros".

En 1933, el trabajo de Friedman para la Guardia Costera y su testimonio en la corte culminaron con la condena de 35 contrabandistas y cabecillas por violaciones de la Ley Volstead. El undécimo cortador de seguridad nacional del servicio llevará su nombre.

UNA GUERRA CALIENTE VIENTOS ABAJO

Aunque a menudo tenía una sensación de gato y ratón, la Guerra del Ron fue una guerra de disparos contra adversarios que no dudarían en disparar: a un cúter, a su reflector, o al miembro de la tripulación que apuntaba con el reflector. El método más comúnmente utilizado por la Guardia Costera para persuadir a un barco obstinado que manejaba el ron para que se lanzara para abordarlo era disparar un disparo de advertencia con una ametralladora o un cañón, o ambos, a través de la proa del barco.

La gente murió en ambos lados de la Guerra del Ron en el mar. Justo después de la medianoche del 2 de abril de 1925, cuando el CG-237 de seis amargos se encontró con un presunto corredor de ron en Block Island Sound, el otro barco abrió fuego sin previo aviso, golpeando al suboficial Karl Gustafson, que estaba en la cabina del piloto. en el abdomen. Gustafson murió pocas horas después en un hospital.

El encuentro más mortífero de la Prohibición para la Guardia Costera ocurrió el 7 de agosto de 1927, cuando el CG-249 de seis amargos, que patrullaba entre Fort Lauderdale, Florida y las Bahamas, interceptó una lancha a motor que corría ron. Uno de los dos ocupantes del barco, Horace Alderman, de alguna manera se las arregló para traer un arma con él cuando lo llevaron a bordo del cúter, y abrió fuego, matando al contramaestre Sidney Sanderlin, el ayudante del maquinista de motor Victor Lamby y un agente del Servicio Secreto, Robert Webster. . Alderman fue sometido por el resto de la tripulación, juzgado, condenado por tres cargos de asesinato y piratería en alta mar y condenado a muerte. Fue ahorcado en un hangar de hidroaviones en la Base 6 de la Guardia Costera en Fort Lauderdale dos años después, la única persona ejecutada en propiedad de la Guardia Costera y la única persona ejecutada por el gobierno federal por un delito relacionado con la Prohibición.

En el juicio, Alderman intentó argumentar - contra el testimonio de todos los testigos, incluido su cómplice - que actuó en defensa propia. Fue un argumento que probablemente significó más para el público que para el juez: las tensiones aumentaban en el sur de Florida, donde los tiroteos salvajes habían estado iluminando la vía fluvial del río Miami durante años y habían resultado en la muerte de varios contrabandistas.

Muchos relatos del servicio de Prohibición de la Guardia Costera, incluido el de Willoughby, sugieren que la batalla por la opinión pública pudo haberse perdido irremediablemente en 1929, cuando los contrabandistas murieron en dos interdicciones separadas de la Guardia Costera: en marzo, la goleta Halifax Estoy solo fue perseguido por el cortador Wolcott y hundido tras ser bombardeado por el cortador Dexter. Estoy soloEl contramaestre franco-canadiense se ahogó y el incidente provocó una pelea internacional. En diciembre, el ron-rummer Pato negro, una lancha rápida y de bajo perfil que había eludido la captura en varias ocasiones, fue interceptada por CG-290 en Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. El comandante del CG-290, Contramaestre Alexander Cornell, testificó más tarde que el Pato negro había ignorado la señal para lanzarse y se desvió repentinamente hacia los disparos de advertencia del CG-290, matando a tres de los hombres a bordo e hiriendo a un cuarto.

En estos y otros casos, las versiones de los agentes del orden y los corredores de ron diferían. Cornell y su tripulación fueron absueltos de irregularidades, pero el Pato negro El incidente provocó una amargura persistente, expresada en protestas, ataques a las instalaciones de la Guardia Costera, demandas de un comité imparcial para reabrir la investigación y una ventilación muy pública de las quejas, a menudo por parte de figuras públicas respetadas. John F. Fitzgerald, ex alcalde de Boston y congresista estadounidense, señaló que el Pato negroLa carga ilegal habría sido consumida por funcionarios públicos de toda Nueva Inglaterra. La congresista de Nueva York y futura alcaldesa de la ciudad de Nueva York, Fiorella LaGuardia, declaró que la Prohibición no se podía hacer cumplir.

EL FIN DE LA PROHIBICIÓN Y EL NACIMIENTO DE LA GUARDIA COSTERA MODERNA

El 5 de diciembre de 1933, se ratificó la 21ª Enmienda, que derogó la 18ª Enmienda y puso fin a la prohibición nacional de la venta de alcohol. La Guardia Costera nunca volvería a ser la misma. Podría decirse que había comenzado en la década de 1920 como un servicio que salva vidas con una autoridad de aplicación de la ley que era principalmente de naturaleza regulatoria, que realizaba inspecciones y garantizaba el cumplimiento. Después de que se le asignara la mayor tarea de aplicación de la ley en su historia, la Guardia Costera se convirtió en una agencia paramilitar de aplicación de la ley con un papel crucial en la seguridad nacional y experiencia en la interdicción de embarcaciones infractoras de la ley. También estaba equipado con los recursos necesarios para hacer estas cosas, incluida una rama de aviación, una gran flota de cortadores diseñados para una variedad de tareas en alta mar, costas y vías navegables, sofisticada inteligencia y personal de descifrado de códigos y tripulaciones bien capacitadas que manejan buques de guerra de la Armada. Muchos miembros de la tripulación que sirvieron con la Fuerza Destructora de la Guardia Costera más tarde se convirtieron en comandantes o suboficiales de alto nivel en cortadores y barcos de la Armada de los Estados Unidos tripulados por la Guardia Costera en la Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Solo entre 1923 y 1927, el presupuesto y los niveles de personal de la Guardia Costera se duplicaron con creces, e incluso después de la inevitable reducción posterior a la derogación, el servicio siguió siendo más grande y más significativo de lo que había sido antes de la Ley Seca. Ahora era una organización de aplicación de la ley reconocida internacionalmente, y su servicio de inteligencia era uno de los más respetados en el gobierno federal. La Guardia Costera sirve hoy como un miembro central de la comunidad de inteligencia nacional. Sus descifradores de códigos fueron inmediatamente útiles contra los adversarios de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Los procedimientos y redes de comunicaciones de la Guardia Costera, estandarizados para estar en línea con los de la Marina de los EE. UU., Fueron inmediatamente útiles cuando los dos servicios se combinaron una vez más para servir en la Segunda Guerra Mundial, y la integración conjunta de comandos, control y comunicaciones mucho más sofisticados. , las plataformas y capacidades de computadoras, inteligencia, vigilancia y reconocimiento (C4ISR) continúan hasta el día de hoy.

El enfoque de la Guardia Costera hacia la Prohibición, una colaboración entre agencias, que ataca un problema desde todos los ángulos y abarca el espectro completo de las capacidades del servicio, aplicó una presión constante sobre los sindicatos que manejan el ron. La Guardia Costera claramente redujo el volumen de alcohol ilegal que ingresa al país y obligó a los infractores a adoptar varios cambios de táctica. Con esa medida, y en la forma en que su servicio de Prohibición ayudó a cimentar su reputación como el protector del dominio marítimo de la nación, sus 13 años de aplicación de la Prohibición fueron un éxito rotundo que dejó un sello indeleble en la Guardia Costera moderna.


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Eric S. Ensign, "La inteligencia en la guerra del ron en el mar, 1920-1933" (Washington, DC: Servicio conjunto de inteligencia militar, 2001).

Van R. Field y John J. Galluzzo, Imágenes de América: Estaciones de la Guardia Costera de Nueva Jersey y Rumrunners (Mt. Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2004).

Henry Lee, Cuán secos estábamos: revisión de la prohibición (Englewood Cliffs, Nueva Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1963).

Matthew R. Linderoth, Prohibición en la costa norte de Jersey: gánsteres de vacaciones (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2010).

Joan Lowell, Gal reportero (Nueva York: Farrar & amp Rinehart Inc., 1933).

Gertrude Lythgoe, La reina de las Bahamas, la belleza atrevida de la prohibición: la autobiografía de Gertrude "Cleo" Lythgoe (Nueva York: Exposition Press, 1964 Mystic, CT: Flat Hammock Press, 2007, reimpresión).

Philip P. Mason, Rumrunning y los locos años veinte: prohibición de la vía fluvial Michigan-Ontario (Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1995).

Eric Mills, Chesapeake Rumrunners de los locos años veinte (Centerville, MD: Tidewater Publishers, 2000).

Alastair Moray, El diario de un corredor de ron: el relato simple, sin adornos, día a día de once meses en Nueva York con un barco loco, una tripulación amotinada, secuestradores al acecho y las autoridades federales inquisitivas (Nueva York: P. Allan & amp Co., 1929).

Bruce Norman, Guerra secreta: la batalla de códigos y cifrados (Nueva York: Dorset Press, 1973).

Janice Patton, Hundimiento del Estoy solo (Nueva York: McClelland & amp Stewart, 1973).

Jack Randell, como le dijo a Meigs O. Frost, Estoy solo (Indianápolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company 1930).

Geoff y Dorothy Robinson, Vino por la carga del barco: Ensayos sobre el funcionamiento del ron (Canadá: Alfa-Graphics Ltd., 1984).

Nora K. Smiley y Louise V. White, Historia de Key West (San Petersburgo: Buenas vistas Editorial, 1959).

Frederic F. Van de Water, El verdadero McCoy: el corredor de ron convertido en héroe nacional [William F. McCoy] cuyo licor de calidad y trato justo perpetuaron la frase "Es el verdadero McCoy" (Garden City, Nueva Jersey: Doubleday, Doran & amp Company, 1931).

A. Hyatt Verrill, Contrabandistas y contrabando (Nueva York: Duffield and Company, 1924).

Harold Waters, Adventure Unlimited: mis veinte años de experiencia en la Guardia Costera de los Estados Unidos (Nueva York: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1955).

Harold Waters, "Five Flashes East: Acción emocionante de los días de correr ron en Florida", en 80 años navegando, ed. Bill Robinson (Nueva York: Dodd, Mead & amp Company 1961), 77–85.

Harold Waters, Contrabandistas de bebidas espirituosas: prohibición y la patrulla de la Guardia Costera (Nueva York: Hastings House 1971).

Harold Waters y Aubrey Wisberg, Barco Patrulla 999 (Nueva York: Chilton Company, Book Division, 1959).

Mabel W. Willebrandt, El interior de la prohibición (Indianápolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1929).

Malcolm F. Willoughby, Guerra del ron en el mar (Washington, DC: Imprenta del Gobierno, 1964).


Evidencia y restos de los corredores de ron.

Uno de los corredores de ron más famosos fue un capitán llamado Bill McCoy que comenzó a contrabandear ron desde las Bahamas y especialmente desde Bimini hacia el sur de Florida. It didn’t take long for the US Coast Guard to realize what he was doing so he would meet smaller boats about 3 miles offshore in order to transfer the rum. This 3 mile limit was based on the US jurisdiction over foreign waters and was soon called the “Rum Line” while the vessels lined up to take the product from McCoy were referred to as “Rum Row.”

One of the most notable pieces of evidence of the rum running era is a ship called the Sapona. It had a concrete hull and ran around during a 1926 hurricane near Bimini, and the remnants of the ship are still visible today above the water line. It is a popular scuba diving site as well as a navigational landmark for numerous boating enthusiasts. Additionally, the US Army used it as a bombing target practice site during the Second World War and most of the original concrete hull is no longer visible as a result. Scuba divers have oftentimes found empty rum bottles at the dive site as well.


Contenido

It was not long after the first taxes on alcoholic beverages that someone began to smuggle them. The British government had "revenue cutters" in place to stop smugglers as early as the 16th century. Pirates often made extra money running rum to heavily taxed colonies. There were times when the sale of alcohol was limited for other purposes, such as laws against sales to American Indians in the Old West, Canada West, or local prohibitions like the one on Prince Edward Island between 1901 and 1948.

An irony of the history of prohibition in North America is that industrial-scale smuggling flowed both ways across the Canada-U.S.A. border at different points in the early twentieth century. Though Canada never had true nationwide prohibition, the federal government gave the provinces an easy means to ban alcohol under the War Measures Act (1914) and most provinces and the Yukon Territory already had enacted prohibition locally by 1918 when a regulation issued by the federal cabinet banned the interprovincial trade and importation of liquor. National prohibition in the United States did not begin until 1920 (though many states had statewide prohibition before that). For the two year interval, enough American liquor entered Canada illegally to help undermine support for prohibition in Canada such that it was slowly lifted, beginning with Quebec and Yukon in 1919, and including all of the provinces but Prince Edward Island by 1930. As well, Canada's version of prohibition had never included a ban on the manufacture of liquor for export. Soon the black-market trade was reversed with Canadian whisky and beer flowing in large quantities to the United States. Again, this illegal international trade undermined the support for prohibition in the receiving country, and the American version ended (at the national level) in 1933.

One of the most famous periods of rum-running began in the United States with the Prohibition began on January 16, 1920, when the Eighteenth Amendment went into effect. This period lasted until the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed with ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment, on December 5, 1933.

At first, there was much action on the seas, but after several months the Coast Guard began reporting decreasing smuggling activity. This was the start of the Bimini–Bahamas rum trade and the introduction of Bill McCoy.

With the start of Prohibition Captain McCoy began bringing rum from Bimini and the rest of the Bahamas into south Florida through Government Cut. The Coast Guard soon caught up with him, so he began to bring the illegal goods to just outside U.S. territorial waters and let smaller boats and other captains such as Habana Joe take the risk of bringing it into shore.

The rum-running business was very good, and McCoy soon bought a Gloucester knockabout schooner named Arethusa at auction and renamed her Tomoka. He installed a larger auxiliary, mounted a concealed machine gun on her deck and refitted the fish pens below to accommodate as much contraband as she could hold. She became one of the most famous of the rum-runners, along with his two other ships hauling mostly Irish and Canadian whiskey, as well as other fine liquors and wines, to ports from Maine to Florida.

In the days of rum running, it was common for captains to add water to the bottles to stretch their profits, or to re-label it as better goods. Any cheap sparkling wine became French champagne or Italian Spumante unbranded liquor became top-of-the-line name brands. McCoy became famous for never watering his booze, and selling only top brands. Although the phrase appears in print in 1882, this is one of several folk etymologies for the origin of the term "The real McCoy."

On November 15, 1923, McCoy and Tomoka encountered the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Séneca, just outside U.S. territorial waters. A boarding party attempted to board, but McCoy chased them off with the machine gun. Tomoka tried to run, but the Séneca placed a shell just off her hull, and Bill McCoy's days as a rum-runner were over.

The Rum Row

McCoy is credited with the idea of bringing large boats just to the edge of the three-mile (4.8 km) limit of U.S. jurisdiction, and there selling his wares to "contact boats", local fishermen and small boat captains. The small, quick boats could more easily outrun Coast Guard ships and could dock in any small river or eddy and transfer their cargo to a waiting truck. They were also known to load float planes and flying boats. Soon others were following suit the three-mile (4.8 km) limit became known as "Rum Line" and the ships waiting were called "Rum row". The Rum Line was extended to a 12-mile (19.3 km) limit by an act of the United States Congress on April 21, 1924, which made it harder for the smaller and less seaworthy craft to make the trip.

Rum Row wasn't the only front for the Coast Guard. Rum-runners often made the trip through Canada via the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence Seaway, and down the west coast to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Rum-running from Canada was also an issue, especially throughout prohibition in the early 1900s. There was a high amount of distilleries in Canada, one of the most famous being Hiram Walker who developed Canadian Club Whisky. The French islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, located south of Newfoundland, were an important base used by well-known smugglers including Al Capone, Savannah Unknown, and Bill McCoy. The Gulf of Mexico also teemed with ships running from Mexico and the Bahamas to Galveston, Texas, the Louisiana swamps and Alabama coast. By far the biggest Rum Row was in the New York/Philadelphia area off the New Jersey coast, where as many as 60 ships were seen at one time. One of the most notable New Jersey rum runners was Habana Joe, [ cita necesaria ] who could be seen at night running into remote areas in Raritan Bay with his flat-bottom skiff for running up on the beach, making his delivery, and speeding away.

With that much competition, the suppliers often flew large banners advertising their wares and threw parties with prostitutes on board their ships to draw customers. Rum Row was completely lawless, and many crews armed themselves not against government ships but against the other rum-runners, who would sometimes sink a ship and hijack its cargo rather than make the run to Canada or the Caribbean for fresh supplies. [ cita necesaria ]

Los barcos

At the start, the rum-runner fleet consisted of a ragtag flotilla of fishing boats such as the schooner Nellie J. Banks, excursion boats, and small merchant craft. But as prohibition wore on, the stakes got higher and the ships became larger and more specialized. Converted fishing ships like McCoy's Tomoka waited on Rum Row and were soon joined by small motor freighters custom-built in Nova Scotia for rumrunning, with low, grey hulls, hidden compartments and powerful wireless equipment. Examples include the Reo II. Specialized high-speed craft were built for the ship-to-shore runs. These high-speed boats were often luxury yachts and speedboats fitted with powerful aircraft engines, machine guns, and armor plating. Often, builders of rum-runners' ships also supplied Coast Guard vessels (such as Fred and Mirto Scopinich's Freeport Point Shipyard). [3] Rum-runners often kept cans of used engine oil handy to pour on hot exhaust manifolds, in case a smoke screen was needed to escape the revenue ships.

On the government's side the rum chasers were an assortment of patrol boats, inshore patrol and harbor cutters. Most of the patrol boats were of the "six-bit" variety: 75-foot craft with a top speed of about 12 knots. There were also an assortment of launches, harbor tugs and miscellaneous small craft.

The rum-runners were definitely faster and more maneuverable. [ cita necesaria ] Add to that the fact that a rum-running captain could make several hundred thousand dollars a year. In comparison, the Commandant of the Coast Guard made just $6,000 annually, and seamen made $30/week. [ cita necesaria ] These huge rewards meant the rum-runners were willing to take big risks. They ran without lights at night and in fog, risking life and limb. Often, the shores were littered with bottles from a rum-runner who had hit a sandbar or a reef in the dark at high speed and sunk.

The Coast Guard relied on hard work, excellent reconnaissance and big guns to get their job done. It was not uncommon for rum-runners' ships to be sold at auction shortly after a trial — often right back to the original owners. Some ships were captured three or four times before they were finally sunk or retired. In addition, the Coast Guard had other duties, and often had to let a rum-runner go in order to assist a sinking vessel or other emergency. [4]


Prohibition & Rum Running in Sea View & Humarock

Illegal contraband liquor was a profitable enterprise for the water people. Boat motors were quickly converted over to more powerful and faster ones, and the insides of vessels were gutted for more space. A schoolmate, Alfred A., told me that his stepfather’s lobster boat was a “rum runner.” It had a big motor in it, and was quite narrow & very fast.

Safe unloading areas were located. Bays, harbors, rivers, creeks, and other landing spots were found. Humarock was one of these safe places — or at least more safe than other harbors. Federal funding was weak and the revenuers had to spread themselves thin.

Looking N.E. from Ferry Hill with Fourth Cliff in the background.

The North River mouth was the water highway out to the mother ships that were waiting three miles out to unload their contraband into smaller boats and dories. A very reliable source told me that most of the dories came from Hatch’s Boat Yard and gunning stand. Others came from the North River. Most of the dories were powered by two rowers.

On a good night, a row out to the “Mother Ship” and back, took most of the darkened hours, depending on the weather. On occasion, unfavorable weather would delay the boat-men’s return. Daylight would give them away, so they would row up into a remote creek, cover their dory with marsh grass, and hunker down for the day with nothing to eat or drink ! Up to 20 cases could be safely stacked in the dories, however greed and poor judgment sent many boats floundering and losing their contraband. Some of this contraband would find its way to shore, where scavengers would find liquid gold!

Lookouts were needed to warn the boatmen of any danger that may come about. Lookout posts were stationed from the Sea Street Bridge to Fourth Cliff.

The lookout on the bridge was a well known local that had a non-drinking reputation, and liked to fish. His gear was a tin bucket, bait, a sharp knife, a hand line, a flashlight and cigarettes. Time on was 9 or 10 pm off was daylight, rain or not. If the boats were out, you were on. Over would go the line, baited or not. Sometimes this lookout was joined by a friend — his line would go over with a bottle of hooch tied on the end. This was to be retrieved periodically.

The hooch was unloaded at various locations. The cases were picked up by Chevy 6-cylinder panel trucks. Chevys were quieter than the Ford Model A’s. Canvas snap-on signs were attached to each side with a local milk company logo.

I was told, by the same reliable source, that only once, during this guard’s time on the bridge, did he have to call off a landing.

One night, just before midnight, a big black Packard with four men inside, strangers, stopped on the bridge and asked where so-and-so’s cottage was. The fisherman gave them directions, and off they went. The fisherman/guard flashed a signal to the lookout on the point down river, and the signal was passed on to the cliff.

Packard Autos were one of the finest cars.

That night’s truck was turned around and disappeared . No one else ever reported seeing the car or the men. No one saw them leave no one reported using so-and-so’s cottage. However, this was a subject not discussed, and questions were unthinkable.

My late friend Phil, a Seaview native, told me the following. It seems that Charlie, Phil’s father, took a walk to Pine Island. While coming back, just off the walkway, he saw a newly tracked path in the marsh grass. Off he went to investigate. He found something that was covered over with marsh grass. A case of 11 bottles of hooch!

Even though Charlie was a teetotaler, he was not going to leave this find. He covered it back up and waited until dark. Charlie made his way back through the cedar grove to the edge of the marsh, found the case of hooch, then made it home without being seen, he hoped! He stashed the case in the cellar, where his wife would not find it, as she was death against alcohol.

Within a few days, word reached Charlie, that Wally, a heavy drinker, was on a killing rage. It seems that someone stole his property from the Island. He was telling everyone in Seaview that if he found out who stole his property, he was going to kill them!

You see, the property was never Wally’s. He probably found it stashed in one of the creeks by a boatman. Charlie never uttered a word. Some of Charlie’s friends enjoyed a holiday gift!

This Chevrolet panel truck is much like the ones used to deliver illegalliquor ”Hooch” to the speakeasies.

”Prohibition makes you want to cry into your beer and denies you the beer to cry into.”


Post-Prohibition Rum Running

In the course of this chase, Captain Charles Root founded US Coast Guard Intelligence, established HUMINT networks in Canada, Cuba, and a score of other rum ports, hired the legendary codebreaker Elisebeth Friedman, designed and fielded the first American SIGINT trawler. The Coast Guard chief engineer Hunnewell filled the coasts with two hundred patrol ships within less than a year, and then proceeded to reverse engineer the fastest of the rum-runners and field them too. Commandant Billard founded interagency and international task forces, which ultimately resulted in full tactical integration with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including positive hand-offs and radio intelligence cross-cue. By the end of the case, the Coast Guard could fix a rum-runner by their radio transmission, send a patrol aircraft along the bearing line, visually acquire the craft and orbit overhead until the a boarding ship could make the intercept.

The Rum War built the Coast Guard, founded only a few years prior from the Revenue Cutter Service and the Lifesaving Service. It also advanced technologies critical to the Second World War – small craft (PT Boats – basically rum-runners with torpedoes, Higgins Boats – crewed by both Coastguardsmen and ex-rumrunners), codebreaking (Friedman’s USCG cell broke the Japanese merchant codes prior to the war) and radio direction finding. This case deserves more study, both as a maritime border control campaign, but also as a contest between two highly adaptive flat network. The Coast Guard achieved an enviable victory over bureaucracy at the outset, which allowed them to keep pace with their well-funded adversaries.

As a teaser, I submit the following account of the post-repeal suppression campaign, excerpted from my forthcoming dissertation.
I also include two animated infographics of capture records and intel reports, respectively. I hope that it will challenge standard conceptions of the Rum War, and entice the reader to read further. For further reading, I recommend the standard Coast Guard account, Rum War at Sea, by CDR Malcolm Willoughby.

Repeal, 1933.Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected on a platform that included the repeal of that act. He delivered on this promise in the early part of 1933 – the 18 th Amendment prohibited ‘intoxicating liquors,’ while the Volstead Act defined ‘intoxicating liquors’ as anything 0.5% Alcohol by Volume. As the 21 st Amendment worked its way through the system, the Cullen-Harrison Act reset the Volstead definition to 3.2% ABV and thereby legalized light beers. This saw a brief drop in liquor traffic, though the trade rebounded quickly. Rum-running had almost returned to 1932 levels, at least off of New York, when the 21 st Amendment drove rum-running to an absolute low during the case. This lasted for about six months.

An period newspaper article entitled “Rum Runners Want Repeal, U.S. Informed,”[2] explains the rumrunners’ optimism toward their post-repeal prospects. Both Canada and Finland attempted their own forms of Prohibition, and both experienced major smuggling problems following repeal. Rumrunners expected the same to be true of the United States, due to a combination of high expected liquor taxes, reduced enforcement expenditures and diminished legal leverage following repeal.

The country would want a ‘peace dividend,’ which meant less money going to the Coast Guard. Additionally, the Coast Guard would now need to establish the origin of alcohol, rather than just its presence, in order to arrest a rumrunner in US waters. Once the liquor was ashore, it now became far easier to transport. Therefore, that rum-runners no longer needed to concentrate at urban centers close to the point of demand, and the Coast Guard would need a “less concentrated and more wide-flung patrol of the coasts.”[3] These reduced the opportunity cost of smuggling, and so long as there was enough of a margin in the liquor taxes to make money, there was no reason to stop running.

The Coast Guard attempted to calculate this margin. Shortly following repeal, Gorman estimated that imported liquor in the New England area cost $9.90/gal, $9.30 of which was composed of State, Internal Revenue and Customs taxes.[4] The smuggler, paying the same price for liquor, could land liquor for $1.10/gal. The price they would expect to receive on the beach was $1.90/gal in Maine, $2.50/gal in Massachusetts, and $3.25/gal in New York. This yields a margin of more than two dollars per gallon. A September 1934 calculation found legal liquor selling for $8/gal, with bootleg at $6/gal. Even with this premium for licit drink, the rumrunner still had margin of about one and a half dollars per gallon.[5]

Profits were lower than during Prohibition, but the risk was lower as well due to diminished enforcement leverage. Making matters worse, Americans thirsted for aged whiskey, and none would be available domestically for quite some time. Since the rumrunner bases at St. Pierre had a great deal of capital tied up in smuggling, there was no sense in dismantling the industry quite yet.

‘Peace Dividend.’ Even before repeal, the Intelligence Office noted in 1933 that:

Vessels formerly in the rum running traffic, which had been laid up for months and in some cases years, are now being outfitted and rushed back into the illicit traffic. Recent official reports from Canadian sources indicate during the past month a resumption of activity comparable only to the situation which existed several years ago before the Coast Guard was organized to effectively combat smuggling. International rum syndicates are quite evidently under the impression that law enforcement will be more lax than formerly that penalties meted out for violations of the Customs laws will be much lighter and that in general there will be less risk and more profit in liquor running…

It therefore appears to this office from a study of smuggling conditions in foreign countries and from knowledge of the present activities of the rum-smuggling rings, that there can be no curtailment of Coast Guard anti-smuggling operations until the international smuggling organizations now operating are put out of existence, and it can be said almost with certainty that this will not occur within the next two years.[6]

Institutional militaries try to minimize the inevitable drawdown that follows the end of a war, and these gloomy predictions must have sounded like that familiar chord. Policy analysts from early think tanks broadly agreed, estimating $50 Million per year lost per year to liquor smuggling.[7] This was more than 10% of the expected alcohol excise tax income. Still, increasing enforcement of liquor laws during the Depression in the immediate wake of Prohibition was too politically difficult. From a 1934 account, “repeated requests of the Coast Guard for funds, necessary to carry out its duties, particularly to control smuggling, and to protect the revenue of the Government, have been denied.”[8] The Coast Guard would draw down.

Destroyers departed the force entirely, with the last of them returned to the Navy by 1934. The ‘six-bitters’ took a major hit, dropping from 58 in 1934 from 203 in 1931.[9] The cruising cutters, and larger patrol boats retained most of their force. Picket boats were halved from 195 to 109. The number of lifesaving stations remained stable, but the suppression-oriented section bases fell from nineteen to three. Aircraft inventory and the number of 165-foot patrol boats continued to grow through July 1934. These two types of craft partially offset the patrolling vacuum left by the destroyers. The patrol craft and bases were not offset at all.

The manning situation was worse. According to a 1934 memo, “Not only has the Coast Guard felt these losses of men and units, but the drastic, quick retrenchment occasioned thereby, has been a serious blow to the morale and, therefore, the efficiency of the remaining force… funds for the payment of enlisted personnel for the current year are inadequate, and unless the situation is relieved, it will be necessary to discharge or disrate, or furlough without pay, additional men.”[10] The memo’s author, likely the Commandant, asserts “such a step would be a serious reflection upon the Federal Government in breaking faith with men of long and faithful service to their country… a breach of implied contract on the part of the Government.”[11] This was a disheartening time for the service.

In some cold solace, the dour predictions of resurgent smuggling proved correct. By the summer of 1934, there were as many boats hovering off of New York as in 1928 and climbing fast. An estimated $30 Million of revenue was lost in 1934, and if unchecked, 1935 promised to double that number at least. Since the Canadians had been losing something in the range of $30-45 Million per year under similar conditions, this should not have been a surprise.[12] The form of this smuggling was familiar – the trade picked up where it left off with the same radio-linked swift stealth ships.

Rebuilding. Given that the Coast Guard ‘peace dividend’ was only $10 Million per year, the government began to see the reduction in forces as a bad investment. The half-sized, demoralized force could be swarmed and defeated, especially without its scouting destroyers or an adequate number of replacements. The second half of 1934 saw a reversal of the decline and a re-capitalization of Coast Guard forces. This buildup registered primarily in the new large patrol boats and in Aviation, and it allowed the Coast Guard to complete a restructuring it began in 1930.

Admiral Billard launched a service reorganization project during his last year as Commandant.[13] Admiral Hamlet carried it through to completion as the drawdown set in, doing away with the various overlapping lifesaving, patrol and cruising forces and consolidating regional divisions under single commanders. Henry Morgenthau, the new Secretary of the Treasury, asked Coast Guard to take the lead of all Treasury organizations in these districts – having one clear commander who curated diverse capabilities aided interagency coordination.

The divisional structure also worked well with the growing intelligence and aviation capacities, provided the relationships within these divisions were as flat as the Commandant’s guidance intended. Notably, when these organizations were run hierarchically, these special units did not do as well. Commanders that directed actions from the top, yet lacked the technical knowledge to grasp these capabilities, failed to make effective use of these cells. Case in point – Wheeler and the aforementioned breakdown with his Intelligence Lieutenant in the California Division.[14] In general, though, this structure allowed the diverse technical capabilities developed over the course of the campaign to be smoothly brought to bear at the front lines.

The return of funding put substance on the divisional framework. By the beginning of 1935, 18 Thetis-class 165’ patrol ships were operational. This was up from nine half a year prior, and six as of 1932. These were Wheeler’s replacement for the Destroyers – six knots faster than the ‘buck-and-a-quarters’ and designed with a tight turning radius, they could stay with the new generation of fast rum ships at a fraction the cost of a Destroyer. They performed this task well, and along with the still-new Lake-class fast cutters, the remaining half of the patrol fleet, and the still-rapidly-advancing SIGINT capabilities.

The Secretary of the Treasury built a seven-fold plan for the renewed campaign. From a 1935 memo recounting the strategy, “the measures undertaken included:

a) Provision of funds to permit of increased activity by the Coast Guard and stimulation of effort on its part as the marine patrol agency. [NB: Support.]

b) Determination of the sources of supply of contraband and negotiations to obtain the assistance of other governments in checking the illicit traffic. [Diplomacy.]

c) Coordination of the efforts of all Treasury Department law-enforcement agencies having any connection with the problem by means of regional coordinators and the establishment of a ‘law-enforcement’ council or committee at Washington, composed of representatives of the various agencies. Frequent conferences at Washington and in the field contributed to this coordination. [Interagency Fusion.]

d) A study of the legal deficiencies hampering effective efforts against the smugglers and the drafting of a bill strengthening enforcement powers, for presentation to Congress. [Legal, Anti-Smuggling Act of 1935.]

e) Stimulation of sources of information to permit of intelligent action being taken. [Intelligence.]

F) Vigorous prosecutions where cases could be made. [Courts, a major prior deficiency.]

g) Close cooperation with agencies of the Canadian Government, which has a problem of like character. [NB: International Fusion.]”[15]

These were all the result of costly lessons learned. With this strategy in place, the last major campaign began.

The combination of a recapitalized patrol fleet, robust intelligence capabilities, and a burgeoning air fleet formed the final model of the rum war. The Commandant explained this fusion of sea, air and intelligence in a 1934 tactics bulletin:

The Intelligence boat (or any unit suitably equipped) detects black radio traffic and obtains a radio bearing. The air station of plane (standing by) is notified of the bearing of the “black.” The plane takes the air and flies to the position of the patrol boat and passes over her on the course (corrected navigationally) corresponding to the bearing. Upon reaching the black the radio-equipped plane circles overhead and calls for radio bearings from all direction-finder units… The bearings are transmitted by units taking them together with the latter’s positions to a designated patrol unit, and the plot places of the position of the “black” which can then be sought and trailed.

If the rumrunners abandoned their radios, the aircraft could still search for them. There was no way to outrun or hide from an aircraft, other than inclement weather. And the circling aircraft could call a cutter at its convenience. This rumrunner-hunting model offered no ready counter.

Remarkably, this model parallels the “Find-Fix-Finish” approach of counter-terror fame.[1] In order to beat this approach, the rumrunners would have had to re-boot their entire business model. This would have been costly. Social support had begun to turn against them following repeal – no longer romantic outlaws, legal alcohol had made the rumrunners just outlaws. From an intelligence memo in 1935:

Unmentioned previously herein is the effect of a changed public attitude following Repeal. This has been very helpful in contributing to control. Many who were hostile to enforcement efforts during Prohibition are today either indifferent or openly favorable.[2]

Therefore, they could no longer recoup losses or recapitalize the way they once had. A reboot was impossible, and the end of the large-scale illicit liquor trade was just a matter of time.

Only $6.5 Million was lost from the treasury due to liquor smuggling in 1935, around 20% of the 1934 number. The last spike of the rum trade was in the early summer of 1935, and it fell precipitously from there. From the same 1935 report:

As a result of the cumulative effect of the efforts expended by the Government the organizations and individuals promoting smuggling have suffered a severe blow. Efforts are being exerted by them to develop new methods of supply such as chartering vessels to transport cargoes from Europe for delivery on the high seas to smaller vessels or to run directly into large ports where maritime traffic is great and there is the possibility of slipping in as a legitimate vessel not subject to routine inspection. This is an effort on the part of those to whom ‘easy money’ has been the fondest recollection of the heyday of the smuggling traffic. There will always be smuggling in some form and amount but liquor and alcohol smuggling as evidenced during the last fiscal year is declining as a major problem under the pressure exerted by the Government.[3]

What little of the trade remained had fizzled out by 1936, with the liquor ships melting back into the Nova Scotia fishing fleet, or in a few cases, hardening into opium or migrant smugglers. Coast Guard Intelligence ceased tracking suspected Rumrunners entirely on account of irrelevance by 1939. Operational life returned to traditional lifesaving missions and routine law-enforcement by 1936 with the end of organized rum-running.

[1] Charles Faint and Michael Harris, “F3EAD: Ops/Intel Fusion ‘Feeds’ The SOF Targeting Process,” Small Wars Journal, 2012, http://smallwarsjournal.com/author/charles-faint-and-michael-harris.

[1] Bruce Yandle, “Bootleggers and Baptists-The Education of a Regulatory Economists,” Regulation 7 (1983): 12.

[2] Unidentified Clipping. RG 26, NARA.

[4] Cost Calculation Memo. RG 26, NARA.

[6] Intelligence Memo. RG 26, NARA.

[7] Newspaper Clippings. RG 26, NARA.

[12] Lawlor, Rum-Running. 93. ‘The customs revenue went down between $70 and $90M in two years’ – it is unclear whether this is per year or total, but I assumed the former. Since the 1930 US Dollar was 2.07 Canadian dollars, dividing by two accounts for the currency conversion. Depending on the estimate, this could be cut in half once more if the $75-90M was an aggregate number. Either way, there was some non-trivial sum of smuggling losses.

[14] Wheeler CA memo, 1934 (?). RG 26, NARA.

[15] Parker(?) 1935 Memo. Reflected verbatim in Waesche 1938 Memo. RG 26, NARA.


The Great Depression Hits

Work begins on the new Southampton dry dock, to be known as the King George V Graving Dock.

December 11

Work halts on Job #534 because of the Great Depression and an inability to secure further bank loans. The hull plating is 80% completed and the ship stands nine stories high.

July 26

The King George V Graving Dock is officially opened with King George V and Queen Mary steaming into the dry dock aboard the Royal Yacht, Victoria and Albert. The dock is the largest in the world at the time. It is 1,200 feet long, 135 feet wide at its entrance, 59 feet deep, holds 58 million gallons of water, and can hold any ship up to 100,000 tons.

January 1


What ships were used for rum-running? - Historia

Wood tar has been used by mariners as a preservative for wood and rigging for at least the past six centuries. In the northern parts of Scandinavia, small land owners produced wood tar as a cash crop. This tar was traded for staples and made its way to larger towns and cities for further distribution. In Sweden, it was called "Peasant Tar" or was named for the district from which it came, for example, Lukea Tar or Umea Tar.

At first barrels were exported directly from the regions in which they were produced with the region's name burned into the barrel. These regional tars varied in quality and in the type of barrel used to transport it to market. Wood tars from Finland and Russia were seen as inferior to even the lowest grade of Swedish tar which was Haparanda tar.

In 1648, the newly formed NorrlSndska TjSrkompaniet (The Wood Tar Company of North Sweden) was granted sole export privileges for the country by the King of Sweden. As Stockholm grew in importance, pine tar trading concentrated at this port and all the barrels were marked "Stockholm Tar". By 1900, NorrlSndska TjSrkompaniet had lost its control of the pine tar export business, and other exporters were again working out of other ports and marking their product accordingly. Nevertheless, over the centuries "Stockholm Tar" has come to mean a high quality light colored wood tar.

Gamble 1 describes one of the earliest Swedish methods of making tar in Norrland (Northern Sweden). The peasants dug up and cleaned the roots of Swedish pine trees (Pinus silvestris) in the late summer. They then transported the roots to the burn site where they were split and stacked to weather during the winter.

" The 'dale' or burning ground, was built of logs in a scientific manner. It was built on a slope which sometimes forms one side, in the shape of a funnel, with a spout at the lower end of the slope. The outer walls of the 'dale' were built with logs split in two, and a layer of earth was then placed thereon before the interior was lined, either with clay, iron sheet, or thick cardboard." 2

In the summer, the split roots or fatwood were stacked in the kiln and covered with peat and turf. Brush wood was used to provide heat, but the heat was controlled so that the remaining fibers were not burned and the roots give up their liquid. This tar was high in turpentine and was in great demand. 3 By the turn of the 20th century , this traditional way competed with more modern methods of production. Although it produced higher quality tar, it was labor intensive and could not be competitive in the world market.

From the beginning, Britain's colonies in North American were encouraged to produce pine tar and pitch, and to collect gum from pine trees for later shipment to England. These fledgling industries in New England and the Carolinas were encouraged by the Bounty Act of 1705. At that time England had been cut off from its Scandinavian supplies by Russia's invasion of Sweden-Finland. " By 1725 four fifths of the tar and pitch used in England came from the American colonies. " 4 This supply remained constant until the American Revolution in 1776, when England was again forced to trade with the Dutch for Scandinavian products. As the population of the United States grew and moved west, forests were cleared. The southern states began to monopolize the production, because of the type of trees in this reagon. By 1850 most of the U.S. production of tar and pitch was in North and South Carolina. As the 19th Century progressed the tar, pitch, and turpentine manufacturing spread south and west into the states of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida. By 1900, rosin and turpentine were the dominant products, and the states of Georgia, Florida, and Alabama were the three major producers. 5

As the maritime uses of pine tar deminished over the latter half of the 19th century so did its production in the U.S. During this time technological advances had taken place which made it possible to produce tar, but as a by product. The process of destructive distillation was incorporated to manufacture soft wood charcoal and the by products of pine tar in kilns using Long-leaf or Cuban pine. 6 These kilns or retorts ". varied in capacity from one to ten cords. They were usually horizontal, cylindrical, steel vessels set in brickwork, with the fire box at one or both ends, and are charged and discharged at one or both ends. . By this plan fat wood is piled in a pit or brick kiln, so arranged that the tar, when formed, runs to a point where it may be collected, and dipped into barrels." 7 The term " fat wood" or "light wood" 8 refers to yellow pine that is devoid of its bark and growth wood. Prior to the mid-twentieth century, stumps and blow downs were used to make this type of product because of their relative low cost. "If a pit is used, the wood is covered with earth, and if a brick kiln this is closed nearly air tight and the wood burned very slowly until charred. In this process nothing is recovered but tar and charcoal." 9

Many different heat sources were used to produce distillation. At some works gasses and oils were collected from the top of the kiln and run through a condenser to produce "wood turpentine" and "pine oil". The average yield for one cord (4,000 lb.) of "light wood" might be:

Wood turpentine 8 to 15 gal.
Total oils including tar 65 to 100 gal
Alquitrán 40 to 60 gal.
Carbón 25 to 35 bushels or 403 to 564 lbs. 10
Because of its strong odor, wood turpentine was used as a substitute for second grade gum turpentine in exterior paints and varnishes. Tar and tar oils were added to paints, stains, disinfectants, soaps, and floating oils. The oakum and cordage industry used the majority of the pine tar produced.

At Mystic Seaport Museum pine tar is used for protective coatings on both cordage, oakum, and wood. Standing rigging is inspected regularly and replaced when necessary. When it is wormed, parceled, and server a mixture of pine tar and varnish 11 is used between the layers to protect the natural fibers, and a final coating is applied which will become hard and shiny when dry. We have also had success re-tarring oakum which has partially dried out.

"Our intent was to create a solution that would be absorbed into the fibers of the oakum in order to preserve the fibers. The mixture also had to be able to dry out sufficiently in the open air and not be "sticky" to the touch.

To a quart of pine tar, add approximately one gallon of paint thinner (we used 'Thin-X' by SCL Sterling Corp. '100% mineral spirits') or more, and thoroughly mix until the tar is good and thin. Into a 5 gallon metal pail, the thinned pine tar was mixed with turpentine - enough added to fill the pail. 12 "

The Museum's use of pine tar as a wood preservative is limited. A soaking oil of turpentine, 13 boiled linseed oil, pine tar, and Japan dryer 14 is used on some work boats and collection vessels. This mixture has been called "Old Down East Deck Coating" by some people. A variation of this coating for a wood preservative below ground eliminates the Japan dryer, and the other three ingredients are of equal measure by volume.

For at least the past decade, we have been purchasing pine tar from Natrochem in Savannah, Georgia. Natrochem's supplier is Auson Chemical Industry, Gsteborg, Sweden. We learned from Auson that they make many grades of pine tar for many different uses, but the product exported to the U.S. is EU-588 15 (Natrotar 588), and is a "so-called old fashioned type of tar", and is a byproduct of soft wood charcoal production. 16 Today, Auson makes tar mostly from ordinary pine wood, and controls the amount of phenolic substances (pitch, water, acetic acid, and impurities such as soot and cellulose) by using vacuum distillation which operates at a temperature range of 175-2800 C. Soft wood tars contain resinous, fatty, terpenic ingredients which, when applied on wood, allow the wood to breathe and not rot from within. 17 Auson also receives every year limited quantities of "peasant tar" 18 produced in old fashioned dales. In Sweden, this tar is twice the price of the next lower grade, and it is not usually exported due to the domestic demand.

The continuation of pine tar in the American market place is not dependent on its maritime uses. If it were not for soaps, shampoos, veterinary medicines, and tree limb treatments there would not be enough of a demand for Natrochem to import pine tar in bulk just for maritime uses. Many products which were used only for the repair and maintenance of vessels have been lost forever because the demand for them is not sufficient to keep them in the marketplace. We can only try to support , through use, products that we feel are essential to our field.

NOTAS AL PIE

APPENDIX

Wood Tar - Pine Tar General

Wood Tar is a viscous, blackish brown liquid, translucent in thin layers. It has an empyreumatic odor and sharp taste. The chief constituents are volatile terpene oils, neutral oils of high boiling point and high solvency, resin and fatty acids. The proportion of these vary in the different grades of tar, also according to tree species and the part of the tree used, type of carbonization oven ect. Fat wood tar made from stumps of the pine tree has always been recognized as the best tar, since it contains much of the ingredients which protect the living tree. However, stumps are hard to find and expensive, so ordinary pine wood is mostly used nowadays.

General: A dark colored, old fashion type of pine tar obtained as a byproduct through destructive distillation of pine wood in the manufacture of charcoal. Thinned with turpentine to a standard viscosity.


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