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February 22, 2004

Make a signal

For a little lighthearted fun, here are some more of my favourite signals from the Royal Navy. They come from a book entitled "Make a signal" by Commander Jack Broome and there is a second, expanded edition, entitled "Make another signal".

From the completion signal after an operation to supply Malta by sea in July 1941.
CinC Force H to CinC Mediteranean

"I have restored good conduct badge to Force H guardian angel, deprived for offences committed on Day 1 and Day 3."

Said offences being the loss of several convoy ships and escorts to the Luftwaffe, and damage to several of the major units of Force H.

Staying with a religious theme:

An Admiral remowned for his imperious nature and haughty mein, suffered the complete loss of dignity of falling from his barge while attempting to board his flagship. A friend and fellow admiral signalled ...

"I am surprised that a man of your experience should attempt to do what only one man has done before - walk ashore."

Signal from an USN destroyer to the RN Flag Officer Escorts based in Western Approaches:

"Have attacked and sunk one enemy submarine. Where am I?"

FO Western Approaches

"Top of the class."

And from the CinC Mediteranean Fleet to a Sunderland Flyingboat which has just shot down a small shadowing Italian aircraft.

"You great big bully!"

One more on the list of facetious responses

Admiral to out of station cruiser:

"What are you doing?"


"Twenty knots."

Or the destroyer making a hash of picking up a mooring ...

SNO Port to destroyer,

"How long do you intend to be?"


"About three hundred and sixty feet as usual."

Or the congratulatory signal from one light cruiser to another after fighting off a bomber squadron in the Mediteranean

Captain HMS Penelope to Captain HMS Aurora

"Congratulations to Aurora on her magnificent borealis."

And finally for today

From HMS Renown after beating off a determined attack from dive bombers: (An earlier signal had identified that they were under attack from 11 aircraft.)

"Seven dive bombers will not bat in second innings."

Posted by The Gray Monk at February 22, 2004 06:09 PM

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Courtesy of the Gray Monk, as usual: An Admiral remowned for his imperious nature and haughty mein, suffered the complete [Read More]

Tracked on February 23, 2004 10:19 PM


You are enjoying that book, for what it's worth so am I, vicariously.

Posted by: Gawain at February 23, 2004 10:49 AM

True! Watch this space for some more gems from the signal log.

Posted by: The Gray Monk at February 23, 2004 02:40 PM