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A warning shot is a military and/or police term describing an intentionally harmless artillery shot or gunshot with intent to enact direct compliance and order to a hostile perpetrator or enemy forces. It is recognized as signalling intended confrontations on land, sea, and air.
A military is a heavily-armed, highly-organised force primarily intended for warfare, also known collectively as armed forces. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct military uniform. It may consist of one or more military branches such as an Army, Navy, Air Force and in certain countries, Marines and Coast Guard. The main task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state and its interests against external armed threats. Beyond warfare, the military may be employed in additional sanctioned and non-sanctioned functions within the state, including internal security threats, population control, the promotion of a political agenda, emergency services and reconstruction, protecting corporate economic interests, social ceremonies and national honor guards.
The police are a constituted body of persons empowered by a state to enforce the law, to protect the lives, liberty and possessions of citizens, and to prevent crime and civil disorder. Their powers include the power of arrest and the legitimized use of force. The term is most commonly associated with the police forces of a sovereign state that are authorized to exercise the police power of that state within a defined legal or territorial area of responsibility. Police forces are often defined as being separate from the military and other organizations involved in the defense of the state against foreign aggressors; however, gendarmerie are military units charged with civil policing. Police forces are usually public sector services, funded through taxes.
Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry's small arms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fortifications during sieges, and led to heavy, fairly immobile siege engines. As technology improved, lighter, more mobile field artillery cannons developed for battlefield use. This development continues today; modern self-propelled artillery vehicles are highly mobile weapons of great versatility providing the large share of an army's total firepower.
As an analogy, "warning shot" can be said of any action of declaration, especially a demonstration of power, intended or perceived as a last warning before hostile measures.
During the 18th century, a warning shot (in nautical terms, often called a shot across the bow) could be fired towards any ship whose "colours" (nationality) had to be ascertained. According to the law of the sea, a ship thus hailed had to fly her flag and confirm it with a gunshot. Warning shots may still be used in modern times to signal a vessel to stop or keep off and may be fired from other ships, boats, or aircraft.
An ensign is the national flag flown on a vessel to indicate citizenry. The ensign is the largest flag, generally flown at the stern (rear) of the ship while in port. The naval ensign, used on warships, may be different from the civil ensign or the yacht ensign. Large versions of naval ensigns called battle ensigns are used when a warship goes into battle. The ensign differs from the jack which is flown from a jackstaff at the bow of a vessel.
Admiralty law or maritime law is a body of law that governs nautical issues and private maritime disputes. Admiralty law consists of both domestic law on maritime activities, and private international law governing the relationships between private parties operating or using ocean-going ships. While each legal jurisdiction usually has its own legislation governing maritime matters, the international nature of the topic and the need for uniformity has, since 1900, led to considerable international maritime law developments, including numerous multilateral treaties.
Warning shots are also used in military aviation, to demand some action of an unresponsive and presumed hostile aircraft; the most common demand would be for the aircraft to change course. The ostensible justification for firing shots is that tracer rounds are very bright and would immediately gain the attention of a crew whose radio is non-functioning, or who might not have noticed radio transmissions. The objective of warning shots is to demonstrate the ability to shoot, and threaten the crew of the unresponsive aircraft that they will be shot down if they do not comply.
Military aviation is the use of military aircraft and other flying machines for the purposes of conducting or enabling aerial warfare, including national airlift capacity to provide logistical supply to forces stationed in a theater or along a front. Airpower includes the national means of conducting such warfare, including the intersection of transport and war craft. Military aircraft include bombers, fighters, transports, trainer aircraft, and reconnaissance aircraft.
Tracer ammunition (tracers) are bullets or cannon caliber projectiles that are built with a small pyrotechnic charge in their base. Ignited by the burning powder, the pyrotechnic composition burns very brightly, making the projectile trajectory visible to the naked eye during daylight, and very bright during nighttime firing. This enables the shooter to make aiming corrections without observing the impact of the rounds fired and without using the sights of the weapon. Tracer fire can also be used to signal to other shooters where to concentrate their fire during battle.
The Battle of Jutland was a naval battle fought between Britain's Royal Navy Grand Fleet, under Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, and the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet, under Vice-Admiral Reinhard Scheer, during the First World War. The battle unfolded in extensive manoeuvring and three main engagements, from 31 May to 1 June 1916, off the North Sea coast of Denmark's Jutland Peninsula. It was the largest naval battle and the only full-scale clash of battleships in that war. Jutland was the third fleet action between steel battleships, following the long range gunnery duel at the Yellow Sea (1904) and the decisive Battle of Tsushima in 1905, during the Russo-Japanese War. Jutland was the last major battle in world history fought primarily by battleships.
The Gulf of Tonkin incident, also known as the USS Maddox incident, was an international confrontation that led to the United States engaging more directly in the Vietnam War. It involved either one or two separate confrontations between North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. The original American report blamed North Vietnam for both incidents, but the Pentagon Papers, the memoirs of Robert McNamara, and NSA publications from 2005 proved material misrepresentation by the US government to justify a war against Vietnam. On August 2, 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox, while performing a signals intelligence patrol as part of DESOTO operations, was pursued by three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats of the 135th Torpedo Squadron. Maddox fired three warning shots and the North Vietnamese boats then attacked with torpedoes and machine gun fire. Maddox expended over 280 3-inch (76.2 mm) and 5-inch (127 mm) shells in a sea battle. One U.S. aircraft was damaged, three North Vietnamese torpedo boats were damaged, and four North Vietnamese sailors were killed, with six more wounded. There were no U.S. casualties. Maddox "was unscathed except for a single bullet hole from a Vietnamese machine gun round."
The Mayaguez incident took place between Kampuchea and the United States from May 12–15, 1975, less than a month after the Khmer Rouge took control of the capital Phnom Penh ousting the U.S.-backed Khmer Republic. It was the last official battle of the Vietnam War. The names of the Americans killed, as well as those of three U.S. Marines who were left behind on the island of Koh Tang after the battle and were subsequently executed by the Khmer Rouge, are the last names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The merchant ship's crew, whose seizure at sea had prompted the U.S. attack, had been released in good health, unknown to the U.S. Marines or the U.S. command of the operation before they attacked. Nevertheless, the Marines boarded and recaptured the ship anchored offshore a Cambodian island, finding it empty.
Iran Air Flight 655 was a scheduled passenger flight from Tehran to Dubai via Bandar Abbas, that was shot down on 3 July 1988 by an SM-2MR surface-to-air missile fired from USS Vincennes, a guided missile cruiser of the United States Navy. The aircraft, an Airbus A300, was destroyed and all 290 people on board, including 66 children, were killed. The jet was hit while flying over Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, along the flight's usual route, shortly after departing Bandar Abbas International Airport, the flight's stopover location. Vincennes had entered Iranian territory after one of its helicopters drew warning fire from Iranian speedboats operating within Iranian territorial limits.
The radiotelephony message PAN-PAN is the international standard urgency signal that someone aboard a boat, ship, aircraft, or other vehicle uses to declare that they have a situation that is urgent, but for the time being, does not pose an immediate danger to anyone's life or to the vessel itself. This is referred to as a state of urgency. This is distinct from a mayday call, which means that there is imminent danger to life or to the continued viability of the vessel itself. Radioing pan-pan informs potential rescuers that an urgent problem exists, whereas mayday calls on them to drop all other activities and immediately begin a rescue.
German submarine U-47 was a Type VIIB U-boat of Nazi Germany's navy (Kriegsmarine) during World War II. She was laid down on 25 February 1937 at Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft in Kiel as yard number 582 and went into service on 17 December 1938 under the command of Günther Prien.
USS Borie (DD-215) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was the first ship named for Ulysses S. Grant's Secretary of the Navy, Adolph E. Borie. She served in the Black Sea, the Asiatic Fleet and the Caribbean between the wars, and in the Battle of the Atlantic, the long campaign to protect Allied shipping from German U-boats during World War II. As part of the antisubmarine Hunter-killer Group unit Task Group 21.14, the crew earned a Presidential Unit Citation for its "extraordinary performance." Borie also earned distinction in her final battle with U-405 in November 1943, and was sunk by friendly forces due to damage sustained by ramming the surfaced U-boat and engaging her crew with small arms fire.
Pinguin was a German auxiliary cruiser (Hilfskreuzer) which served as a commerce raider in World War II. Pinguin was known to the Kriegsmarine as Schiff 33, and designated HSK 5. The most successful commerce raider of the war, she was known to the British Royal Navy as Raider F.
HMS Nairana was the lead ship of the Royal Navy's Nairana-class escort carriers that saw service in the Second World War. She was built at John Brown & Company shipyards in Clydebank, Scotland. When construction started in 1941 she was intended as a merchant ship, but was completed and launched as an escort carrier, entering service at the end of 1943.
The RMS Rangitane was a passenger liner owned by the New Zealand Shipping Company. She was one of three sister ships delivered to the company in 1929 for the All-Red Route between Britain and New Zealand. Rangitane was built by John Brown & Company and launched on 27 May 1929.
HNoMS Nordkapp was the lead ship of the Nordkapp class of fishery protection vessels. She was launched 18 August 1937 at Horten naval shipyard, with yard number 123. She had one sister ship, HNoMS Senja. Nordkapp was named after the North Cape in Finnmark. As was typical of her class, Nordkapp was very unstable in rough seas and was viewed from the beginning as a second-rate vessel. Nordkapp sailed throughout the Second World War and saw service in several theatres.
The Battle of Flamborough Head was a naval battle that took place on 23 September 1779 in the North Sea off the coast of Yorkshire between a combined Franco-American squadron, led by Continental Navy officer John Paul Jones, and two British escort vessels protecting a large merchant convoy. It became one of the most celebrated naval actions of the war, despite its relatively small size and considerable dispute over what had actually occurred.
A lifeboat or life raft is a small, rigid or inflatable boat carried for emergency evacuation in the event of a disaster aboard a ship. Lifeboat drills are required by law on larger commercial ships. Rafts (liferafts) are also used. In the military, a lifeboat may double as a whaleboat, dinghy, or gig. The ship's tenders of cruise ships often double as lifeboats. Recreational sailors usually carry inflatable life rafts, though a few prefer small proactive lifeboats that are harder to sink and can be sailed to safety.
In the Action in the Gulf of Sidra, the United States Navy deployed aircraft carrier groups in the disputed Gulf of Sidra in the Mediterranean Sea. Libya claimed that the entire Gulf was their territory, at 32° 30' N, with an exclusive 62 nautical miles fishing zone. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi asserted this in 1973, and dubbed it "The Line of Death". The United States claimed its rights to conduct naval operations in international waters, a standard of 12-nautical-mile territorial limit from a country's shore.
SS Cantabria was a Spanish cargo ship which was sunk in a military action of the Spanish Civil War, off the coast of Norfolk 12 miles ENE of Cromer on 2 November 1938. The ship was shelled by the Spanish Nationalist auxiliary cruiser Nadir, which was part of General Franco's navy.
The Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) is an armed United States Coast Guard helicopter squadron specializing in Airborne Use of Force (AUF) and drug-interdiction missions. It is based at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida.
The Israeli naval campaign in Operation Yoav refers to the operations of the Israeli naval service during Operation Yoav in the final stage of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. The main objective of the naval service was to disrupt the supply lines from Egypt to Palestine, completing the Egyptian expeditionary force's encirclement, and force Egypt to allocate large forces to fight against targets at sea instead of on the ground, where Operation Yoav was conducted.
On 5–6 May 2010 Somali pirates hijacked MV Moscow University, a Liberian-flagged Russian tanker, in the Gulf of Aden. Her crew was freed by the Russian Navy destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov the following day.
The Action of 7 July 1799 was a minor naval engagement of the Napoleonic Wars in which the Spanish 34-gun frigate Nuestra Señora del Carmen captured the Royal Navy's 18-gun Hired armed cutter Penelope, which was under the command of Sir Frederick Maitland.