Black Tom Island, German forces, World War II, Allied Forces


In the early morning hours of 31 July 1916, German agents successfully detonated a storage facility on an island in New York Harbor named Black Tom. The facility was filled with munitions meant for the Allied powers fighting against Germany in World War I. It was at that time the single most destructive subversive act ever perpetrated on U.S. soil. But it is not surprising that such an act occurred: the United States had no specialized counter-espionage agency and the area had relatively little protection. The remarkable thing is the miniscule amount of attention Black Tom, along with other instances of sabotage, receives in the long catalogue of German affronts which led to the United States' participation in World War I on the side of the Allied powers.