Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, September 03, 2019

With China and Russia threatening to remove competitive advantages the U.S. military is used to having on the battlefield, the Navy is resurrecting tricks sailors used almost 80 years ago to outsmart their enemies.




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My dad worked on the Boxer when it was in construction.

#1 | Posted by lfthndthrds at 2019-09-03 12:39 PM | Reply

Signalling with an Aldis lamp is also a good ship to ship communication that can't be intercepted unless the interceptor is in a direct alignment with the ships. Even then, they catch only one side of the "conversation". Gotta know morse code though!

I've heard of laser signalling and even modulated laser which would be impossible to intercept. Problem is that it's only line of sight, same with the Aldis lamp, of course. Still, that's several miles (or to the edge of the earth if you are a flat earther. LOL)

#2 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-03 04:25 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Admiral Nimitz took advantage of his rank and used a similar drop system to get letters to his family in Fredricksburg, Texas. It wasn't so much for security as it was convenience. RHIP.

#3 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-03 04:28 PM | Reply

"One word, Ben: pigeons. Are you listening, Benjamin?"

#4 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-09-04 12:45 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

The commo on fleet ships is considerable. They use a full spectrum system IR from microwave to satcom. Still a courier is the most secure.

#5 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-09-04 07:56 AM | Reply

Latest message drop: We know who took the strawberries...

#6 | Posted by catdog at 2019-09-04 09:36 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

Refd' 1954's "The Caine Mutiny" - Great Movie by the way.

#7 | Posted by Pegasus at 2019-09-04 02:37 PM | Reply

FYI - Both Flag Semaphore and Morse Code is still taught and used in the Navy.

...and yes... even with GPS - Officers still shoot the sun with a sextant as backup to double check their position.

#8 | Posted by Pegasus at 2019-09-04 02:54 PM | Reply

"...and yes... even with GPS - Officers still shoot the sun with a sextant as backup to double check their position.


All the officers on my Navy ship had to "shoot the stars" every so often when at sea. Being an amateur astronomer, I was quite intrigued with the sextant. My division officer taught me how to use it. I'm pretty sure I still could use it if I had to. (like that's likely. LOL)

But of course the sextant is useless for longitude location without an accurate time piece. Without knowing the time, one can only get latitude. This was one of the biggest problems the British Navy had during their emperial expansion. They offered a 10,000 pound sterling prize to anyone who could solve the "longitude problem".

Most people assumed an accurate clock would never work at sea (pendulums, and all that) until John Harrison built a series of five clocks, each more accurate than the previous and won the prize. (he had to fight to get it, but that's another story.

#9 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-04 03:01 PM | Reply

Better quartz watches loose only a few seconds a year which is good enough to be used for navigation.

Just using pencil and paper you can get within 20-30 miles rounding decimals up. If you have a calculator, you can get within 7-10 miles which is good enough for a sailboat just cruising at 8 knots an hour.

Made a couple trips to Hawaii from San Diego. It's about 2500 mi away and take about 16 days on a typical sailboat.

My last trip was on a Mirage 20 I was sailing for a friend. No GPS, not enough room on a 20 foot sailboat with no generator or batteries.(No Nav lights!) Just a compass and a sextant.

It's was small... but folks have crossed the Atlantic in much smaller boats. I believe the record is 5 feet.

#10 | Posted by Pegasus at 2019-09-05 12:26 PM | Reply

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