Fact or urban legend?
The United States, not to be outdone by the British have this true story:
During the USS Constitution's famous cruise during the War of 1813, she set sail in August with a complement of 475 officers and men and the following supplies:
* 48,000 gallons of fresh water
* 7,400 cannon shots
*11,000 lbs. of black powder and--
*79,400 gallons of rum
Upon arriving in Jamaica on October 6th, she took on additionally:
* 826 pounds of flour and--
* 69,300 gallons of rum
Then she headed for the Azores where she took on:
* 550 tons of beef and--
* 64,000 gallons of Portuguese wines
On November 13th she set sail for England. In the ensuing days, she defeated 5 British men-of-war and sank 12 British merchant ships, salvaging only their rum.
By January 27th, her powder and shot were exhausted. Nonetheless, she made a raid on the Firth of Clyde. Her landing party captured a whisky distillery and brought about 40,000 gallons of whiskey back to the ship.
Then she headed home.
She made port in Boston on February 23rd with no cannon shot, no powder, no food, no rum, no whiskey, and no wine -- but with 48,000 gallons of stagnant water!