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Frenchie
08-06-2007, 09:17 PM
You infantry grunts will remember the silent hand signals for use in combat. Here's a new version of them. Rated PG-13.

http://www.petebevin.com/archives/signals.html

Rob Weaver
08-07-2007, 04:00 AM
That's great! Hand signals were less than useful to those of us who preferred to ride to war wrapped in 52 tons of rolled steel.

tompritchett
08-07-2007, 07:42 AM
Hand signals were less than useful to those of us who preferred to ride to war wrapped in 52 tons of rolled steel.

Unless you were slowly driving that puppy in confined areas that required the use of ground guides. :) My favorite though was the brand new LT in my company who wanted to get his bearings by back triangulating from observable landmarks. In itself it was not a bad idea; the only problem was that he was taking his compass readings from the top of all that 52 tons of rolled steel.

Rob Weaver
08-07-2007, 07:23 PM
Unless you were slowly driving that puppy in confined areas that required the use of ground guides. :) My favorite though was the brand new LT in my company who wanted to get his bearings by back triangulating from observable landmarks. In itself it was not a bad idea; the only problem was that he was taking his compass readings from the top of all that 52 tons of rolled steel.

I did that once just for fun - the compas just goes around... Army doctrine in the early 80s mandated that unless under artillery fire or NBC conditions, tanks operated unbuttoned, and in order to maintain radio listening silence, to use hand and arm signals. There are few that resemble the infantry signals. I am significantly shorter than average and all my TCs could see of my hand and arm signals were the tips of my fingers; the rest of me was covered by the hatch. In response, we developed a series of flag signals inspired by the signals we saw in photographs of Soviet tank formations and what I knew from the history of tanks in WWI. Using the gunnery flags
I could clearly direct my vehicles on the move.

tompritchett
08-07-2007, 10:20 PM
Army doctrine in the early 80s mandated that unless under artillery fire or NBC conditions, tanks operated unbuttoned, and in order to maintain radio listening silence, to use hand and arm signals. There are few that resemble the infantry signals. I am significantly shorter than average and all my TCs could see of my hand and arm signals were the tips of my fingers; the rest of me was covered by the hatch. In response, we developed a series of flag signals inspired by the signals we saw in photographs of Soviet tank formations and what I knew from the history of tanks in WWI.

I remember seeing them in older manuals when I went in the late 70's when tanks moved in fixed formations. Then when we went to the bounding over-watch formations, they went out of fashion. Sounds like they came back in fashion after I got out.

Rob Weaver
08-08-2007, 05:43 AM
The prevailing thought was that Soviet jamming would be so successful, that radio trasmition would be next to impossible. Visual communication was the big thing. We had to keep radio traffic down to a couple seconds each, and a lot of it was encoded words or numbers. Then along came secure communications and eveyone with a handset became chatty Kathy.

7thNJcoA
08-09-2007, 02:08 PM
That was great frenchie! we used to have a signal in the marines for the officers they would give the signal for "cover me" folled by the middle finger it meant cover me in F'ed we then replied with the middle fnger and the sign for cover which meant F..... U im covered

Frenchie
08-09-2007, 07:59 PM
Drew, ROTFL! http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m274/Darkfold_2006/rotf.gif

My brother wants to know, what's the signal for "I gotta go potty"?

Ocaliman
08-09-2007, 08:17 PM
Drew, ROTFL! http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m274/Darkfold_2006/rotf.gif

My brother wants to know, what's the signal for "I gotta go potty"?

Ask any preschooler.. Usually signalled by a tugging at the back of the pants and repeated hopping movements.

Rob
08-09-2007, 10:14 PM
Number 3 looks like an Al Jolson impression, complete with blackface...

"Swanee, how I love ya, how I love ya, my dear old Swanee..."

IsleGuy57
08-11-2007, 09:41 AM
We always used one that I haven't seen mentioned. In addition to all the other section formations: arrowhead, diamond, etc, we used both hands waved aimlessly over the head. This was known as the "gaggle f***", meaning "wander over here, any old way". I've seen it used effectively when the section was separated and conventional hand signals weren't working to call a reorg.......go figure. :p

Radar
08-13-2007, 08:57 AM
This was known as the "gaggle f***", meaning "wander over here, any old way". I've seen it used effectively when the section was separated and conventional hand signals weren't working to call a reorg.......go figure. :p[/QUOTE]
Also heard it called a cluster ****.

tompritchett
08-13-2007, 10:12 AM
Also heard it called a cluster ****.

Or using the military phonetic alphabet, a Charlie Foxtrot. I still use this term regularly.

Rob
08-13-2007, 11:31 AM
Or using the military phonetic alphabet, a Charlie Foxtrot. I still use this term regularly.

Better than "Lima Delta"... I don't suppose that there is a hand signal for that. :D

Lightningslinger
02-07-2008, 01:19 AM
This is my first post to this list .... so here goes -

Although both the US and CS armies used flags, torches, rockets, roman candles and much more to communicate, they also employed special short-range day signals which, became known, at least in the US Army's first signal manual (1864), as the Homographic Code.

These hand signals were placed into motion by first gaining the attention of the receiver. Once acknowledged, the message was commenced, either in plain text (each letter having its own individual number designation) or as a pre-concerted signal, e.g. "211" = enemy sighted, or "12" = barges in position - combinations. Such pre-concerts or pre-arranged signals were most often made up on-the-spot prior to a specific action.

Messages were commenced by extending an arm (or both arms if required for distance viewing) out from both hands being placed on the sender's chest, to a position up on the diagonal to represent the numeral "one", straight out to either side to show a "two" and down on the diagonal to indicate the numeral "three". After each thrust of the arm to any of the three positions, the hand would be brought back to the sender's chest before making the next numeral in the combination. Each signal would be called out and executed without pausing until all of the digits representing a given combination were completed. Once completed, a brief pause of about a second and a half would be made between each combination until the message was finished.

Other combinations of numbers could be used up to ten elements similar to what is depicted in Henry Scott's "Military Dictionary" and elsewhere.

All of the alphabet letters, or many special pre-concerted terms, could be designated just by using the two element code. A downward thrust of the arm once, twice or thrice would indicate the numeral "three" or "End of word", "end of sentence", "end of message" "3", "33", or "333".

Walt Mathers

tompritchett
02-07-2008, 09:31 AM
Walt, since you are a very new member, I think you will find that there are several very knowledgable members here who have adopted a Signal Corps impression. I hope that you will find their contributions helpful for your impression and that you and they will develop a lasting on-line friendship and mutual respect.

I also took the liberty of doing a search for threads concerning the use of the Signal Corps and found the following:

Question regarding signal code books and signal corps
http://www.cwreenactors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=937&highlight=signal+corps

Tactical Use of Signal Corps?
http://www.cwreenactors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3151&highlight=signal+corps

Signal Corps Flags
http://www.cwreenactors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4835&highlight=signal+corps

Lightningslinger
02-07-2008, 12:16 PM
Tom,

Tks for the heads-up pertaining to the period known to many as the birth of modern military telecommunication and the emulating thereof.

I have read a few of the related posts here (including yours on the topic) and appreciate the help (and links) so as to manoeuvre amongst the various entires.

Your search engine has been invaluable as my interests not only lie with researching and emulating signal and telegraphic communications of the period, but also how employing such methods and principles can/could/has assist'd script writers, over-all event commanders and site organizers with scenario sequencing.

I've been keen on following re-curring threads pertaining to event command, control and accountability. By identifying and documenting and sharing trends in the first two areas, accountability will stare us in the face. The resultant question which follows will no doubt be the hardest... What is to be done about it? Shoot the messenger?

Hoped-for evolutions have always been within the grasp of event organizers and the re-enacting organizations assigned to execute them. The ruby slippers have, and can continue to be clicked, but seldom does this ever occur by those with adding-machine eyes.

Functional re-enactment field communicators have the ability to produce written and timed to-and-from accounts out of their event message traffic that will show trends.

During scripted scenarios, functional field communicators possess the ability to act as stage directors in-the-round. How many functional signal emulators are actually invited to walk-throughs these days is not known to me. How many 'functional field communicators' are even published as serving on the various general staffs?

Functionals are few and far between. However, as an example, a truly proficient field communicator (there are various levels), once removed from his postage-stamped re-enactment, and landed at a juried tactical, with leather haversack of tricks and a magnetic compass, can provide his command with the eyes, ears and the tongue such as was (not) seen and/or spoken of at (and after) Recon III.

If ever there will be a reprize of Land-Between-the-Lakes, I'd be interested in play'g too.

Walt Mathers

Lightningslinger
02-07-2008, 12:17 PM
Tom,

Tks for the heads-up pertaining to the period known to many as the birth of modern military telecommunication and the emulating thereof.

I have read a few of the related posts here (including yours on the topic) and appreciate the help (and links) so as to manoeuvre amongst the various entires.

Your search engine has been invaluable as my interests not only lie with researching and emulating signal and telegraphic communications of the period, but also how employing such methods and principles can/could/has assist'd script writers, over-all event commanders and site organizers with scenario sequencing.

I've been keen on following re-curring threads pertaining to event command, control and accountability. By identifying and documenting and sharing trends in the first two areas, accountability will stare us in the face. The resultant question which follows will no doubt be the hardest... What is to be done about it? Shoot the messenger?

Hoped-for evolutions have always been within the grasp of event organizers and the re-enacting organizations assigned to execute them. The ruby slippers have, and can continue to be clicked, but seldom does this ever occur by those with adding-machine eyes.

Functional re-enactment field communicators have the ability to produce written and timed to-and-from accounts out of their event message traffic that will show trends.

During scripted scenarios, functional field communicators possess the ability to act as stage directors in-the-round. How many functional signal emulators are actually invited to walk-throughs these days is not known to me. How many 'functional field communicators' are even published as serving on the various general staffs?

Functionals are few and far between. However, as an example, a truly proficient field communicator (there are various levels), once removed from his postage-stamped re-enactment, and landed at a juried tactical, with leather haversack of tricks and a magnetic compass, can provide his command with the eyes, ears and the tongue such as was (not) seen and/or spoken of at (and after) Recon III.

If ever there will be a reprize of Land-Between-the-Lakes, I'd be interested in play'g too.

Walt Mathers