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In the dark.

Brian James, describing the indeed memorable action at Quiberon Bay ('The Battle that Gave Birth to an Empire', December 2009), says: 'The British kept up the fight until, as dark had fallen, Hawke ordered two guns to be fired as the signal to anchor.' How on earth were two signal guns from the flagship to be distinguished from two guns directed at the enemy when gun crews were firing as fast as possible and at night when even the signal midshipmen might have lost sight of the exact direction of the admiral? It seems much more likely that a pre-arranged system of coloured lights at the masthead was in force.

Tim Weakley


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Title Annotation:Letters
Author:Weakley, Tim
Publication:History Today
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jan 1, 2010
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