German Navy Tactical Orders

(source: Public Record Office ADM 186/55: CB1548 German Navy Tactical Orders)

Commander-in-Chief High Sea Fleet

21st November 1915

Gg. 5093 F. 1.

Most Secret

Tactical Order No. 15.

Signals When Attacking Enemy Submarines with Depth Charges

A destroyer, on sighting a submarine, periscope or torpedo track, will make the prescribed signals with sirens, stars and flags; and if she intends to drop a depth charge she will hoist flag "W" from the fore and mainmast.

Signification: "Am about to drop a depth charge."

The destroyer drops a charge in the position where it is presumed that the submarine will be at the moment of explosion; she then blows a long blast on the siren, and dips flag "W".

Signification: "Depth charge has been dropped, but has not yet exploded."

As soon as the explosion takes place the flag "W" is hauled down.

At night time, or in any other circumstances when flag "W" might not be recognised with certainty, a destroyer which is about to attack a submarine with depth charges makes the following signal repeatedly with steam whistle or sired: . -- . -- [ie dot, dash, dash, dot, dash, dash] ("W"), and subsequently blows a long blast on the siren in the position where the depth charge has been dropped.

Last Updated: 26 August, 1999.

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