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"Equal Speed, Charlie, London"

 
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gmeugens



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:45 am    Post subject: "Equal Speed, Charlie, London" Reply with quote

Hello All

I was recently reading some material in Jutland which refered to Jellicoe's deployment signal to the GF, "Equal Speed, Charlie, London"

This has led to an interest in the mechanics of signalling and I am wondering what the best resource is on that subject.

The internet site made reference to a book titled, "Signal!" by a Captain Kent. Finding a copy of this book seems to be beyond me.

My questions are; Is this the best resource and if so does anyone know where I might get a copy and if not what is the best resouce and where might I locate such a thing.

Any help appreciated.

Thanks Gord
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mccormackpj



Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gord -

ABE can find you this title: http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchResults?tn=signal&sortby=3&sts=t&an=captain+kent&y=0&x=0

But I can make no recommendations as to the book itself ..

Patrick
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tone
Site Admin


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 479
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The book IS hard to find, and while not a TERRIFIC source on the mechanics of flag signaling, it is not bad. It's best strength is in tracking the development of signaling and some colorful anecdotes of its use.

The Rules of the Game is actually pretty good for this. At any rate, everyone should own that book!

Signal Books are essential for seeing the structure and depth of the signaling "vocabulary" available, and they convey a lot of the thinking of how a fleet was to maneuver and be handled in battle. For instance, the German "battle turn to starboard" at Jutland was effected by a single flag -- a clear sign that this stunt might be viewed as an emergency measure.

Signal Books are impossible to find, generally, and got for thousands when they appear (I saw one a few years ago from the 1870s or so... very nice!). However, signal books are themselves not terribly complete at describing the mechanics of signaling. Pretty darn good, however.

It is well worth your time, if possible, to arrange a visit to a national archive to see signal books. Image them if possible (with a camera)! However, if you go to the UK's National Archives in Kew, don't repeat my mistake of referring to the 1913 signal books -- they were never put into service. Indeed, Equal Speed Charlie London would have produced a different heading than it did at Jutland using that book, as the compass table would have assigned a different heading to CL. The signal books I think that apply are from 1908. I sat down with a 500 page 1908 signal book last time I was in the UK, and my body said, "NO WAY!". I left it untouched (photographing books is back-breaking work)

tone
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gmeugens



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick;

Thanks for steering me to Abebooks. I ordered a copy this morning.

Tone;

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'll look at my copy of, 'Rules of The Game" a little more closely.

Gord
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