March's item of the month: Signal books: How to avoid a traffic jam at sea


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March's item of the month is finally upon us. Alison takes a look at the complicated subject of how the eighteenth century navy avoided colliding with each other. Just think how you might go about coordinating a fleet of 30 large sailing ships, each crammed full of hundreds of men, or how an admiral might get them to act all together or some to act independently, all at the same time.... and that's just in day time in good visibility...! The eighteenth century saw the slow but methodical development of signalling at sea, using flags, lights and signal guns, spurred on by defeat in America and the knowledge that the French navy had a standardised system of signalling for almost twenty years... read more with March's item of the month: