Thursday, October 26, 2017

Signals I.

This is coolhert:

    "doth doth shote of a pece of Ordnance, and set up his Banner of Council on Starrborde bottocke of his Shippe, everie shipps capten shall with spede go aborde the Admyrall to know his will"

From a book review as seen at the Strategy Page Internet web site some interesting commentary and perspective regarding the Battle of Jutland, the Great War.

"The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command" by Andrew Gordon

Reviewer: Robert P. Largess

As extracted and specifically the topic communications of the Grand Fleet [English] during the battle poor.

"Communications in the Grand Fleet were appallingly fallible. Morse radio was very cumbersome, requiring time for encoding and transmission messages; too slow for giving maneuvering orders to ships in company. Doctrine and discipline for its use were in their infancy, and full of holes. Gordon notes the failures of wireless throughout the battle in thorough detail: Jellicoe received much false information, and never received much that was true. Some ships failed to report crucial sightings of the enemy, others filled the airwaves with pointless chatter. Some broke radio silence unnecessarily, others clung to it long after the need had passed. Gordon’s analysis of these problems is quite good, but radio takes second place for him to problems with visual signaling, which remained the primary means of communication during Jutland."

Those primary means of communication at Jutland continuing in the ancient and venerable method. Signal flags, flag semaphores and signal lamps. Results using alternative and usually reliable means of communication however not so great as was desired. VISIBILITY DURING THE ENCOUNTER POOR!

Devoted readers to the blog any of you have an idea if the British naval signalers at Jutland had tube [valve] radio sets or were they relegated to the continued use of spark-gap transmitters?


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