distant signals

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Objects, such as balls, cones, etc., which, before the days of modern communications, were hoisted instead of flags, when the distance at which they were read was too great to distinguish the colours of the flags. Before the battle of Trafalgar in 1805, information of the sailing of the Franco-Spanish fleet from Cadiz was transmitted to Lord Nelson some 65 kilometres (40 mls.) away below the horizon by distant signals which were relayed by three ships. The information reached him in less than ten minutes.

See also storm signals; signals at sea.

See also storm signals; signals at sea.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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