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qprdave
13-06-2009, 03:17
Can anyone tell me why BZ is used for "Well Done". Why wasn't WD used?

Jan Steer
13-06-2009, 07:41
Flag signals were invariably made with individual flags or groups of flags that would convey a word or sentence. This meant that messages could be sent and read relatively quickly provided you had the correct books to decypher the hoist. It was ever thus. Even Nelson's famous signal wasn't spelt out. The RN had/has it's own code which in my time was mostly different from the International Code of Signals . If we hoisted a signal that came from that code it would be preceeded by the Code pennant. Then everyone would know which book to look in to find the meaning. Why BZ? I'm not sure that there is a reason other than whoever was compiling the list of meanings just took the next available set of letters. The International Code changes periodically; I'm not sure why and the RN code would alter the odd meaning from time to time, all promulgated by changes to the books. One of our resident bunting tossers will be able to give you more info I'm sure.

best wishes
Jan

Derek Dicker
13-06-2009, 08:32
Hi Jan, I agree with you the ANSB (alliednavalsignalbook) contained signals for all purposes, from single flag meaning to two flag groups, the meanings were not relevent to the actual signal.

Derek (Bunts)

vivian
14-06-2009, 17:14
Cheers , I see there's a lot more to it than I thought. Also understand now what "BZ" is in the posts.

thanks and regards
Vivian

Dreadnought
03-08-2011, 08:30
The question as to the meaning of BZ, used in many threads has come up again. So to prevent having to keep answering the question, and for the benefit of our non-naval members, I have just bought this thread to the surface, and supplemented it with further information.

Extract forn the RN Signal Flags, Pendants, Pennants thread (http://www.worldnavalships.com/forums/showthread.php?p=74538#post74538)


So far as 'Bravo Zulu' is concerned, and as rightly pointed out by Derek, it comes from the Allied Naval Signal Book (ACP 175 series), an international naval signal code adopted after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was created in 1949.

There are some myths attached to this signal. The one most frequently documented around the internet has Admiral Halsey sending it to ships of Task Force 38 during World War II. He could not have done this, since the signal did not exist at that time.

Until 1949, each Navy had used its own signal codes and operational manuals. World War II experience had shown that it was difficult, or even impossible, for ships of different navies to operate together unless they could readily communicate, and ACP 175 was designed to remedy this.

Bravo Zero has also passed into the spoken and written vocabulary. It can be combined with the "negative" signal, spoken or written NEGAT, to say 'NEGAT Bravo Zulu,' or 'not well done.' The Airforce adopted some of the naval terms in phonetic speech, with pilots using letters BZ (Bravo Zulu). There are also some slang phonetics such as 'Sierra Hotel' (for **** Hot - excellent flying), and 'Tango Uniform' (Tits Up) landing means you've crashed and died.

Clive


Signal hoist for Bravo Zulu

Dreadnought
03-08-2011, 08:49
Dave ... alll explained in the Signal Flags thread ... go to the same link given above.

Would like to keep this thread specific to Bravo Zulu .... just so that our non-naval members can quickly become familiarised with the meaning.

Cheers

jainso31
03-08-2011, 09:35
A big thank you from us civvies-I for one did not have a clue what BZ meant-I do now:)

jainso31

Egypt
03-08-2011, 09:49
BZ is actually one of the Governing Groups – i.e. two-letter signals preceding flag hoists, and followed by a tack-line, used to amplify the meaning of the main part of the signal. Governing groups may of course be used alone provided that no ambiguity will result.

Here is the full list of governing groups:


BA Action is being carried out (or I am)

BB Action completed (or I have)

BC I recommend

BD Report time you will be ready (to )

BE Report wen ready (to )

BF Am ready (to )(at )

BG My present intention is to

BH Request permission to

BI Action is not being carried out (or I am not)

BJ If you desire

BK When you desire

BL When ready

BM Enemy/opponent is, or I am being

BT For use see ATP 1, volume II (articles 164e and 164g)

BU Unable to ______

BV Take action from appropriate supplementary table (ATP 1, vol. II)

BX Indicates end of series of groups governed by governing groups

BZ Well done

eskimosailor
03-08-2011, 10:02
A big thank you from us civvies-I for one did not have a clue what BZ meant-I do now:)

jainso31

Also from us WAFUs, who are (at least in my case) equally ignorant
Steve.

Destroyerman
03-08-2011, 10:25
And there was this Chief Stoker believing for many years that the explanation was thus:

BRAVO = well.

ZULU = done (as in the last letter of the alphabet).

Nevertheless, this explanation has always worked for me, as a mere engineer simple reasoning hits home.:rolleyes::D

Sandy.

Derek Dicker
03-08-2011, 14:50
BZ is actually one of the Governing Groups i.e. two-letter signals preceding flag hoists, and followed by a tack-line, used to amplify the meaning of the main part of the signal. Governing groups may of course be used alone provided that no ambiguity will result.

Here is the full list of governing groups:


BA Action is being carried out (or I am)

BB Action completed (or I have)

BC I recommend

BD Report time you will be ready (to )

BE Report wen ready (to )

BF Am ready (to )(at )

BG My present intention is to

BH Request permission to

BI Action is not being carried out (or I am not)

BJ If you desire

BK When you desire

BL When ready

BM Enemy/opponent is, or I am being

BT For use see ATP 1, volume II (articles 164e and 164g)

BU Unable to ______

BV Take action from appropriate supplementary table (ATP 1, vol. II)

BX Indicates end of series of groups governed by governing groups

BZ Well done

How times have changed, during my time in the navy (bunting)1957-1969 governing groups went from AA to AF.

Egypt
03-08-2011, 16:33
How times have changed, during my time in the navy (bunting)1957-1969 governing groups went from AA to AF.

Surely you are referring to Prosigs?
AA "ALL AFTER" (or by flashing light only 'unknown station')
AB "ALL BEFORE"
AR "END OF TRANSMISSION"
AS "WAIT

As far as I'm aware, after WW2 the Royal Navy ceased using it's own signal book and instead 'Nato Standard' was universally adopted.

When I joined as a bunting in 1979 ATP 1(B) was the signalman's 'Bible' then around 1983 there were some revisions made and ATP 1(C) came into existence.



mb

Derek Dicker
03-08-2011, 20:03
beg to differ definately governing groups.

Derek (Bunts)

tim lewin
03-08-2011, 20:06
for what its worth; after the battle of North Cape and the elimination of Scharnhorst as a surface threat to Arctic convoys Adm Frazer signalled London
"scharnhorst sunk"
Admiralty signalled back...
"Grand, well done"


We understand how Admiralty might have said the well done bit (did they abbreviate it to BZ??) and how might they have said "grand"?? or is this all a myth?

Frazer then signalled Uncle Bob Burnett...
"I'm off to Russia Bob, follow me when you can"
How might he have said this?

I grew up with my far-flung father and near-flung mum sending each other endless telegrams via lands end C&W office with bible or shakespearean references; jackie broome was very good at documenting this era, does anyone have any insight into these and the wider use of abbreviated reference-based signals which i beleive was standard practice to their generation?

I remember coming back (1961/2) with my father in Urchin after the "Great Storm" see posts in the right place, and being sent some humerous signal by Leopard, duty frigate who had spent the entire time behind Plymouth Sound breakwater with 4 hooks in the bottom, about our appearance after the storm lashing; immediately without thinking GOD (Good Old Dad) flashed back the bible ref for "Yeah, Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these" (Urchins accepted), it was second nature. I think this persisted into the early seventies but then comms were less demanding of economy of expression? C'mon you old salts, tell me otherwise.
tim

Egypt
03-08-2011, 21:14
Tim,
Most likely the signal to Adm. Frazer would simply have been drafted in plain language before being coded up (encrypted)into groups and transmitted in morse code via HF radio.
Inter-ship banter (and friendly insults) were usually exchanged via flashing light. Bible references and Shakespear quotes were common, these were usually sent in uncoded signal-speak e.g. Desig First Corinthians 16 tack 13. And there were also widely used (unofficial) codes containing the more common-place gibes (such as The Lion Code, or The Dolphin Code).
Rgds,
Michael

tim lewin
04-08-2011, 04:48
Thanks for that; i beieve Gilbert & Sullivan was quite popular as well but not so easy to refer to as copies were less comonplace.

Dreadnought
05-08-2011, 10:10
Really wanted to keep this thread on topioc, so have moved what were the ensuing posts here:

http://www.worldnavalships.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10722