Pirate Subs

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 22, 2004

    The plot of Porky the Gob (Hardaway/Dalton, 1938) involves a hunt for a pirate sub, staffed by some outlandish characters, one of which has an outlandish uniform and an even more outlandish mustachio. Porky, left alone to guard his ship, manages to fend off an attack by the sub, capture it, and claim the reward.

    It is interesting to note that so-called pirate subs were very much an issue at the time this cartoon was made. The Spanish Civil War was still raging at this point. The forces of General Francisco Franco were supported by Fascist Italy and Germany and were fighting the Loyalists, who were partly supported by the Soviet Union. Italian submarines operating without identification -- in the words of one historian, as pirates -- sank several Soviet and other merchant ships attempting to bring weapons to the Loyalist side.

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