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CorvusBB39

Signals nomenclature

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This is a pretty minor rant in the overall scheme of things but it's always bugged me with the references to signals being the relatively new NATO phonetic alphabet.  Since the game covers (roughly) the beginning of the Dreadnaught-era to the end of the battleship-era wouldn't it better to use the alphabets actually in use (at least in part) from that time period?

 

As an example, our beloved detonation-preventing signal would be better called Jig Cast instead of Juliet Charlie and I'd be hoisting Sugar Mike to make my Smith a little more destroyer-like in speed.

 

And while I'm at it, the numeric signals' nomenclature (Unaone, Bissotwo etc.) were used only by the telephone industry.  Even with the NATO alphabet, numbers are much more number-like (wun, too, tree, FO-wer, fife, siks, SEV-un,ate, NINE-er, ZEE-row was the way I was taught to pronounce them).

 

is a 1943 training film showing signalmen how to do their stuff.  Flags are covered in the first ten minutes; the rest is for semaphores and blinker lamps.

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I was on the Intrepid a few weeks and saw this:

 

 h8uSyJW.jpg

 

Kinda cool, they got the letters/numbers right at least I think. Intrepid is an Essex-class which served well into the usage of the NATO phonetic alphabet, same with many other high tier ships. This is not a huge deal. But still cool to know. Thanks for sharing the knowledge!

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Because the signal names are representative of the time period in which they represent.

 

Also the new NATO alphabet is a fail. The whole reason for it is so that it's very hard to mishear a word over comms. In your very brief example, "jig" sounds too much like "pig". Are you communicating J or P, it's hard to hear you in this battle stations emergency.

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Why not use the British system instead which would follow the "Equal Speed Charlie London" signal?

 

I'm perfectly willing to do that, especially since it's an RN code.  As the film in the link showed, signal flags only rarely spell anything out but generally use two or three letter codes to convey a longer message.  We'd have to work something up to involve the other three navies involved with the game

 

Because the signal names are representative of the time period in which they represent.

 

Also the new NATO alphabet is a fail. The whole reason for it is so that it's very hard to mishear a word over comms. In your very brief example, "jig" sounds too much like "pig". Are you communicating J or P, it's hard to hear you in this battle stations emergency.

 

I think you misinterpreted my OP.  The system in use now (Juliet Charlie) is the NATO phonetic code established around 1957, rather outside the period of the game.  The one I was talking about (Jig Cast) is the one used by the USN during WWII -- I have not tried looking up what it might have used during WWI.

 

And as far as "fail" goes, The words in the NATO code (and I assume the earlier one) were chosen to sound distinct from each other, not to be unique from any other word in the English language.  Take "Mike" for example.  There are any number of words that sound like it, especially if it is noisy (Bike, [edited], Hike, Like, Pike, Tyke, Yike) but if you're using the phonetic code, you wouldn't be using any of them.  Ditto for the old code.  If all you get is --ig, you're going to assume Jig, not Pig unless you were poorly trained.

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Ditto for the old code.  If all you get is --ig, you're going to assume Jig, not Pig unless you were poorly trained.

 

I always assume "Pig" :trollface:

 

 

 

 

 

But then again I was poorly trained ...

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