I thought I posted this last night, but it doesn't seem to have gone through, & doesn't show up in my posts. So, 2nd try, & hope it's not a duplicate...
Can someone settle this question?
At what point did ships clear for action? I've assumed it's when an enemy was
sighted & they knew they were going to do battle. Someone else argues that RN ships cleared for action routinely at daybreak, because what if there was an
enemy ship nearby as soon as it was light? He's suggesting they cleared for action as a matter of daily routine.
Which is correct?
Given what was involved in clearing for action, all the dismantling of bulkheads etc., I'm pretty sure my friend is wrong. He is very knowledgeable about nautical things but has been wrong on a couple of other points he's argued. Given his experience, I have to investigate the questions he raises. It just messes with my head
(And, for that matter, what exactly is the difference between 'beat to quarters'
& 'clear for action'? I was under the impression the former was done when battle was a possiblilty, to get everyone ready & standing by; then the latter was done to prepare when battle was a certainty.)
I think I knew this at some point in the past; it seems pretty basic, but I've
been stalled on my project for some time & trying to pick it up again I've
forgotten where I read a lot of things.