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Difference Between General Quarters and Battle Stations

General Quarters vs Battle Stations

“General Quarters” and “Battle Stations” are two different United States Navy announcements aboard a United States naval warship. These announcements prepare the crew for imminent danger or for battle. “General Quarters” is an announcement which is used to signal the crew to leave whatever they are doing and report to or reach their stations, and “Battle Stations” involves locking down the ship and getting ready for battle and any other danger.

General Quarters
All the announcements on the ships are made through the intercom these days. When a crew member is accepted aboard, he is assigned his general quarters. When “General Quarters” is called, all the crew members are supposed to drop whatever they were doing and report to their stations. At the station, all the crew members are assigned duties as required. In the case of battle, the crew members start preparing for battle. The off-duty crew members or the ones sleeping also report to their stations. Security is increased, the watertight doors are shut, the engineering rooms and the bridge are guarded. It is basically the lockdown; it could be for facing combat causalities or for reacting and getting alert for combat. Every crew member has a GQ where he reports when the GQ is called. It is also called “Beating to quarters.” Other than during a battle, GQ is also called during heavy fog, storms, and in general any unexpected danger. GQ is a state of being alert and prepared for any challenges.

In these modern times, the GQ is a high-pitched whistle over the intercom. Originally, a bell signaled GQ. The bell was rung five times with a five-second repeat.

Battle Stations
“Battle Stations” is the announcement which is made to ready the crew members for battle. The PA system announces it in modern times. It is a loud gong which is followed by the announcement, “General quarters. General quarters. All hands man your battle stations.” Everybody reports to his station and gets ready for combat. Crew members wear their battle gear, ready the guns, and are ready to engage in combat. There are different variations of the “Battle Stations” command, and the crew member has to get ready accordingly. For example, there is “Battle Stations Torpedo” or “Battle Stations Missile” where the torpedo teams and missile teams get ready to fire torpedoes and missiles respectively, but the other crew members stay on watch for damage control.

Summary:

1.When “General Quarters” is called, all the crew members are supposed to drop whatever they were doing and report to their stations. It is a state of being on alert and prepared for any challenges; “Battle Stations” is the announcement which is made to ready the crew members for battle.
2.GQ is sounded for other purposes than battle also like fog, combating causalities, and storms, etc.; “Battle Stations” is sounded to get ready to combat and fire torpedoes or missiles, etc.


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