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AB

Overview page. Subjects: Maritime History — Warfare and Defence.

The abbreviated title for the rating of able seaman, indicating someone able to perform all the duties of a seaman on board ship. In the days of sail it was someone who could hand, reef,...

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abaft

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Maritime History.

Towards the stern of a ship, relative to some other object or position. Abaft the beam is any bearing or direction between the beam of a ship and its stern. See also aft; but ‘abaft’ is...

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acting

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Maritime History.

A prefix used in most navies and merchant marine, and in similar services, to denote that a higher rank is being temporarily held. Payment is usually at the full rate for the acting rank or...

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active list

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Maritime History.

The list of officers of a navy or a merchant marine who, as in all similar services, are actually serving or are liable to be called upon for active service at any time. Officers on the...

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admiral

Overview page. Subjects: Maritime History — Warfare and Defence.

In all maritime nations the title of the commander of a fleet or of a subdivision of it. The word comes from the Arabic word amir, prince or leader, and in the Mediterranean, as early as...

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aft

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Maritime History.

At or towards the stern or after part of a ship, as a word describing either position or motion. A gun may be mounted aft (an expression of position), and seamen sent aft to man it (an...

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Alabama

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Maritime History.

A cruiser of the American Confederate States Navy built by the Laird Company of Birkenhead in 1862 under a contract with Commander James Bulloch of the Confederate Navy. She was a...

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alee

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Maritime History.

The position of the helm of a vessel when it has been pushed down to leeward. ‘Helm's a-lee’ is the response of the helmsman of a sailing vessel after putting the helm down on the order to...

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Alfred Thayer Mahan

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Maritime History.

(1840–1914),

US naval officer and strategist, born at West Point. He graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1859, and during the American Civil War (1861–5) served in...

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all hands

Overview page. Subjects: Maritime History — Warfare and Defence.

An order on board ship for the seamen of every watch to muster on deck immediately. It is an order usually given either in an emergency or for performing an evolution requiring the use of...

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