Why don't we teach more hand signals?

#1
I'm aware that the Septics have all manner of hand / field signals that we simply don't.

If you watch Saving Private Ryan / Band of Brothers / Blackhawk Down etc, you'll see they appear to be able to give tons of tactical info by non verbal means.

We can say "enemy over there" etc but they can say "enemy tank over there accompanied by nine dismounts one of whom has specs and a bit of a limp probably caused by a blister"

Why do we stick to such a basic level of hand signals? PRR is fab but doesn't always work and you still need to speak to convey information.

Whaddyafink?
 
#2
I'm aware that the Septics have all manner of hand / field signals that we simply don't.

If you watch Saving Private Ryan / Band of Brothers / Blackhawk Down etc, you'll see they appear to be able to give tons of tactical info by non verbal means.

We can say "enemy over there" etc but they can say "enemy tank over there accompanied by nine dismounts one of whom has specs and a bit of a limp probably caused by a blister"

Why do we stick to such a basic level of hand signals? PRR is fab but doesn't always work and you still need to speak to convey information.

Whaddyafink?
I think your post either is or should be a WAH!
 
#4
Like what, specifically?
 
#5
Who has time to learn all these?


 
#6
it makes life so much easier

 
#7
As the OP says, they have those little individual personal radios these days which means a Lot can be conveyed without waving your hands around.

Back in the day and I imagine this still happens, what was generally required was taught. Hand on your head, on me, go left, go right, go forward etc. Formations for advance to contact, including V formation, diamond formation, straight line and gun group on the left or right indicated by what hand the commanders weapons is in etc. Then there are the helicopter drills which we had to know and I'm pretty sure they must still be a requirement.

Much more and it would end up being confusing or misunderstood what was being required plus a well trained group can to a degree almost second guess what each other is doing and what someone wants to achieve and thus act accordingly.

Has that changed at all?
 
#9
Such signals can often just exacerbate the situation.

There was an incident in North Africa early in the last war. A British piquet rumbled a lone wandering Italian soldier across a wadi, and speaking no Italian, decided to try and garner some intel by way of unit i.d.
So having gained the attention of the Italian, he made the 'walking fingers' gesture and pointed at the Italian, meaning 'Infantry?'. The Italian looked nonplussed. So next he tried raising a fist and thumping his elbow, meaning 'Artillery'? The Italian just looked perturbed, so the Brit figured he had nothing to lose by trying one more time.

Circling thumb and forefingers and raising to his eyes (meaning 'Intelligence/Recon?') he saw the Italian give a shout of alarm and scramble away to re-join his colleagues.

What Tommy didn't know is that on arriving at their bivouac the breathless Italian informed his comrades, (in voluble Italian, of course) "There some Inglesi over the wadi, an' he say they gonna walk over here and they gonna pump our arses 'til our eyes pop out!!!!"

I'll just get my coat.

"
 
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#10
It's all done with an app these days
 
#14
As the OP says, they have those little individual personal radios these days which means a Lot can be conveyed without waving your hands around.

Back in the day and I imagine this still happens, what was generally required was taught. Hand on your head, on me, go left, go right, go forward etc. Formations for advance to contact, including V formation, diamond formation, straight line and gun group on the left or right indicated by what hand the commanders weapons is in etc. Then there are the helicopter drills which we had to know and I'm pretty sure they must still be a requirement.

Much more and it would end up being confusing or misunderstood what was being required plus a well trained group can to a degree almost second guess what each other is doing and what someone wants to achieve and thus act accordingly.

Has that changed at all?
All of the above, plus signals for rank and other weapons such as anti tank etc.
There were more than enough.
I suspect the modern use of the PRR makes communicating in the dark or out of line of slight ever so slightly more effective :)
 
#16
If you are that close to the enemy that speaking even in a whisper is out, is there really any need for anything more than Ambush right! Complex signals in the heat of battle, really, looks good in film. but when you have a well drilled section in the British Regimental system, ie, men that serve together for the length of their service, Lessons learnt in Korea and Big two, keep it simple, and effective.
 
#17
All of the above, plus signals for rank and other weapons such as anti tank etc.
There were more than enough.
I suspect the modern use of the PRR makes communicating in the dark or out of line of slight ever so slightly more effective :)
PRR doesn't always work and isn't as quiet as hand signals.

As I said in my OP.
 
#18
PRR doesn't always work and isn't as quiet as hand signals.

As I said in my OP.
Yes I saw. Hand signals don't work in the dark, never work out of line of sight, don't work well while running (complex orders) or in the prone position unless the ground is dead flat, they arent great when actually firing and also require the 'followers' to be looking at the person making the hand signal rather than to the front.
They are ok for basic things, but having a radio that works most of the time is far better.
 
#19
glowsticks will solve the darkness issue.

[thread drift} - but communication related
At 3 AFA someone came up with the cunning plan of issuing the NBC sentry with a whistle to indicate a chemical attack. Of course I questioned just how we were supposed to operate it and carry out the NBC drills correctly...

I think it was "SAS" S******n who got most upset about that and made me run around camp a bit for my query.
 
#20
glowsticks will solve the darkness issue.

[thread drift} - but communication related
At 3 AFA someone came up with the cunning plan of issuing the NBC sentry with a whistle to indicate a chemical attack. Of course I questioned just how we were supposed to operate it and carry out the NBC drills correctly...

I think it was "SAS" S******n who got most upset about that and made me run around camp a bit for my query.
I feel for you.
I remember someone on a ferry asking if the keys needed to be left in the vehicles in case there was a fire on the ship!
The very dry reply of 'and where would you drive them' gave away the flaw in the idea.
 

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