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The Manchu Dynasty used flags to coordinate their massive Armies which conquered all of China in and around 1600. Since the Portuguese had already sailed as far by then it is interesting to speculate that Europe had developed an advanced system of "flagging techniques" prior to the Manchu...and perhaps used in this engagement which lasted for some time. (...


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There's very little concrete evidence about how command and control of the Spanish Armada worked, or indeed, how naval tactical control was exerted during that period, which pre-dates what we now call the Age of Sail. Most of the documentation that has survived from the Armada is correspondence that is essentially at the political level, i.e. between the ...


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For battle plans and such, they used dispatch boats (which they then called "Aviso" or "Adviso", as in advice boat). These would carry orders from shore to ship and from ship to ship. For maneuvers, like Pieter said: flags and horns. Lanterns at night for guiding purposes - as seen here, resulting in a scattered English fleet when Drake snuffed it for more ...



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