false fire

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One of the signals at sea used at night time during the days of sailing navies. A composition which burned with a blue flame was packed into a wooden tube and when ignited would burn for several minutes. As well as being used for night signals, false fires were sometimes employed to deceive an enemy, either by setting one alight in a drifting boat for the enemy to follow, or by burning one on board a fast frigate to draw the enemy away on a false course.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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