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Battle stations!!

A bugle call goes out through the ship. The general alarm rings out warning. Sailors run to their battlestations and prepare to engage the enemy ship that has been spotted coming over the horizon. The battle ensign is hoisted, the ship accelerates, and weapons are loaded for the impending engagement as cries ring throughout the ship -

"General Quarters, General Quarters!! All hands man your battlestations!!

Oregon at speed

Above: The USS Oregon "stripped" for action

The crews of warships must always be prepared to go to into combat. To help train the crew, drills are held to prepare the crewmembers in the event of an emergency or combat. During the Oregon's voyage, Capt. Clark ran his crew through numerous drills so that when the Oregon arrived on station in Cuba, the crew would be ready for action. The efforts of his crew would reward him well.

It must be noted that many of the steps and procedures listed below are not used by the Navy today, as they may affect how the ship can operate i.e. removal of boats and accommodation ladders.

The information outlined below is derived from manual "The Ship and Gun Drills", United States Navy, 1914.

A. Clear Ship - Ships will be cleared for battle in two stages.

1. Strip ship - To be done when war is impending. This equipment and or gear would be disposed of to present a minimal fire and splinter/shrapnel risk to the ship.

2. Clear ship for action - Prepare for immediate action.


Strip ship

Clear Ship for Action

B. General Quarters

Ship's company to stations primarily for manning the main battery, and secondarily for repelling a torpedo boat attack. Action to be taken as follows:

C. Torpedo Defense Quarters

Calls the ship's company to stations primarily for repelling a torpedo boat attack and secondarily for manning the main battery. Action is as follows:



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