(source: Public Record Office ADM 186/55: CB1548 German Navy Tactical Orders)
Jade, October 19th 1915
Gg. 4571.F. !.
Alterations and Additions No. 250.
In a night action the utmost importance must be attached, firstly to distinguishing between
friend and foe, and secondly to the ascertaining of ships' names. In the light of previous experience
it must be remembered that challenges made by a force/ship approaching a force/ship already in
action, may remain unanswered. The following orders for night engagements are therefore issued:-
(1) At the discretion of the Commanding Officer, every ship or destroyer will, without
waiting to be challenged, show the new challenge continually as long as he is
burning his searchlights or firing.
The "challenge number" is to be shown under similar circumstances with the
foremost N. S. A. (Night Signal Apparatus), or if this is out of action, with the after
N. S. A.
(2) Should an approaching force be unable to make out the N. S. A. before joining the
action, or should the former desire for any special reason to learn the name of the
forces or a part of the forces engaged, he may make by W/T or searchlight, according
to circumstances, the signal "F S L - Make Recognition signal by searchlight or
Morse lamp." In this case it is left to the discretion of the individual Commanding
Officer, or the Senior Officer, to reply to the challenge or not as circumstances
require. For all cases the following signals are now introduced:-
F T B - show continuously the "New Challenge" for night action.
F T C - show continuously the "New Challenge" for night action until further
(3) Should any ship think she is being fired at by one of her own ships, she is to make
into the sky by searchlight "- - - - -" [ie 4 dashes], followed by her distinguishing
signal repeated several times.
(4) For enemy night recognition signals, see Tactical Order No. 4, para 1.
Return to German Navy Tactical Orders
to WWI The Maritime War Return
to WWI Archive main page.
Return to WWI The Maritime War
Return to WWI Archive main page.