For clarity and to avoid potential confusion letters of the alphabet were represented by words that were less likely to be understood. ("Did he say B or D?") This was especially important on the radio particularly in the heat of incoming fire or during the oft time difficult circumstances surrounding combat (sleep deprivation, stress, fast paced decision making, multi task conditions in a command center)
Even today a phonetic alphabet is used and some words are the same but many have been changed since WW2. Here are the phonetic designations for our alphabet as used in WW2 (Note there are some options)
Able or Afirm, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox, George, How, Item, Jig, King, Love, Mike, Negat or Nan, Option or Oboe, Prep or Peter, Queen, Roger, Sugar, Tare, Uncle, Victor, William, X-Ray, Yoke, and Zebra
Some of the words that have been changed were changed because the words themselves are no longer common (Yoke, Jig, Tare, negat, Afirm) Some had potential for confusion for example, Roger which also meant, "I understand". Still others were discovered to still be too easily confused with some other designation.
The current phonetic alphabet is what I served with and it is a hard habit to break when in role for WW2 but doing so lends something to the event and should be encouraged.
Stalin should have known communism wouldn't work. There were red flags everywhere!"
Post by spitfire740 on Aug 5, 2006 20:47:04 GMT -5
Do you know about the numbers that soldiers would say, but wouldn't be cought by officers and be charged with insabordination? I had a list of the number's and their meanings, I'll try to find it. Like 10-4 is "Copy." Would that be classified as Phonetic alphabet, or just codes for soldiers?
EDIT: I found some "pro-signs" allied soldiers would use (I think you say the pro-sign by calling the first number, then the second number). They are all kinda vulgar, but you get the point:
27: "I didn't design this f---ing thing, I just installed the motherf---er." (Used when someone complains that a piece of equipment doesn't function properly).
36: "Oh joy, oh f---ing rapture." (Used when some idiot comes to you in a state of brainless enthusiam over something).
29: "I hope that son-of-a-b--ch dies of the drizzling applesauce s." (Used when someone asks your opinion about an officer whom you don't like).
18: "F--k you; a strong letter follows." (Used to show utter contempt for someone or something).
49: "Where the f--k is my drink?" (Used in military clubs when you don't get served quickly).
46: "This war is over--who can we advise next?" (Used in the years 1974-76 when Vietnam was falling to the Communists; it was the professional soldier's way of expressing contempt for the poor way in which the war was run).
Sorry for the necropost, though I think this deserves some clearing up.
Special versions of the phonetic alphabet (such as baseball team names) could be used when operating on various missions, as to try to confuse the Germans just a tad, though the Krauts were usually able to succeed after a bit of time. Basically, you used what you and others were comfortable with. And really, it's only a template. It you're using the alphabet and don't remember the word, substitute it. The reciever probably isn't braindead.
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