View Full Version : Captain's Watch
One of the nice things I like about SH-4 is the watch system and how it removes the micromanagement aspect of crew rotation.
It leads me to think though-how did skippers organise their watches themselves?? I suppose they would want to supervise all the watches at some point-just to see how things are being run. Plus he was the only guy who could be woken up at any time in an emergency. Were their rules about this and did they vary from navy to navy?
Extra question, did crew transfer from watch to watch?
11-28-2010, 08:21 AM
A sub was full of officers. You had to qualify to be on watch and there was always a watch officer in charge on deck that could be any officer qualified.
The Executive Officer is second in command. His chief duties involve being the "go-to", the officer who is charge of running everything, including consulting with other officers and making up the watch bills.
I know you know this, but it's important to point out that there are two "hats" (at least) for every officer and crewman. They have a division/admin role and they have a watchstanding or battlestations role.
The XO is 2nd in command, does all the admin, etc., but he seldom if ever stood watches and his battlestation can vary. In some boats, like Wahoo, the XO was the Approach Officer. That's a role, not a fixed title by rank or position.
The XO normally just signs off on watch bills the COB draws up. It's a perq of being COB and the source of a lot of his leverage with the crew. A wise XO knows this.
The officer on deck at the time made the first calls so to speak if something was sighted. Skippers had to sleep, so the XO and other Lt's. and officers ran the boat. If something was spotted, they would start plotting, ect., then wake up the skipper.
The watch changed probably around every 4 hours or dogged, cut in half to two hours or so in real life. The Dog Watch , normally the 1600 to 1800 and 1800 to 2000 watches, although any four hour watch may be halved or "dogged". Men had to stay so focused it would've been danagerous to go hours. Each watch group was based on rank, skill, ect., you had to qualify first to go on watch. Obvious during a attacks the Skipper would call out the very best and would sometimes change watch every 30 minutes.
Some subs like the Tang had double the watchmen, as OKane preferred to stay surfaced. I'm sure rules varied some from navy to navy, but the Skipper made the rules on his boat.
Others will know more,
Thanks for the info-another question-when did the skipper himself "stand watch"? Or did he shift watches? In the game the captain never "sleeps" you can pop in any hour, any watch.
11-28-2010, 09:50 AM
The Captain and XO didn't stand watch detail. Not that they didn't watch when on the bridge, but that wasn't their primary role. Each watch stander watched their sector. Again, all had duel roles, the skippers primary role is to run the ship, not stand watch. Simply, he wasn't on a rotating watch schedule, he came and went as he pleased.
Technically in the game you're the skipper. When you sleep is up to you.
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