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Signal Lanterns Seized in the Mizzen Shrouds?

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Found the link to this print on reddit.com  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/Regulus_under_attack_by_British_fireships_August_11_1809.jpg


Its an image from the Battle of Basque Rodes of April 11th 1809 ( Its the anniversary!)  and it depicts Cochrane's fireships attacking anchored French ships in the Basque Roads.





Of interest to me was the appearance of what appear to be signal lanterns seized into the mizzen shrouds in triangular patterns port and starboard on the anchored French shippost-3035-0-90147400-1397226261_thumb.jpg. I have never seen this practice demonstrated anywhere else, its new to me and I figured it could be of interest to others as well.

There is a lot of great rigging detail in this print.




 Niagara USS Constitution 


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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Frankie,


those were night signals, sometimes supported with false fires (flares).


Adkin´s Trafalgar Companion describes those and the different variations of three to four lanterns.


The lantern shown would have meant signal 22 for the british, no idea what it meant nor the significance for the french ;-)


Hope this helps, Daniel

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