The World According To Damien
in a World gone mad – one sane voice emerges…

Damien on… One The Americans LOST

Elsewhere in these ramblings, I have ruminated on how America has attempted to RE-INVENT everything, to convince themselves (and any other gullible people) that it was THEY who invented language, dates, measures, standards, etc.

You can find the piece HERE…

But there is ONE thing they FELL DOWN on – “Alfa-Bravo-Charlie”.

In 1927, the International Telecommunication Union had formally adopted the Alfa-Bravo-Charlie phonetic alphabet. Its history went back even further, it having been jointly developed by the British and French. However, there were others (during WW1, the British Navy had gone with Apples-Butter-Charlie) – so the ITU decided that to avoid confusion, standardisation was required. Fine.

But in WW2, along came America, with their “Able-Baker-Charlie” – and for a while, the RAF used it.

However, THIS time, their attempt to impress their system on the World FAILED. NATO adopted Alfa-Bravo-Charlie; thus it became the official International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet – and is now the WORLD STANDARD.

Outside of the USA, Able-Baker-Charlie is DEAD.



2 Responses to “Damien on… One The Americans LOST”

  1. I became a UK General-Post-Office Telephone-Service operator in the early 1960s. (I quit after 2 years but re-joined in the early 1970s but then quit again after a year). Nervous breakdowns, long story… We learned:

    Apple, Butter, Charlie, Donald, Edward, Freddy, George, Harold, Ink, Jupiter, King, London, Mother, Nellie, Orange, Peter, Queeny, Robert, Sugar, Tommy, Uncle, Victor, William, Xray, Yellow, Zebra.

    I believe these are correct. These days I use a mixture which is mostly from the police force I think.

  2. The official International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet is as follows: Alfa, (not Alpha) Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliett, (with two “t”s) Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, (with or without a “-“) Yankee and Zulu. It is recognised by NATO and the British Police, amongst most others.

    It’s the one I use. I learned it as a boy, from listening to cops’ radio TXs in the Sixties.

    However, there are a NUMBER of others: your Apples, (plural) Butter, Charlie is pre-WW1 British Navy – Ack, Beer, Charlie hails from the same era – the RAF used Ace/Apple, Beer, Charlie (then the American Able, Baker, Charlie for a while – before reverting to Alfa, Bravo, Charlie) – the LAPD (whose system was adopted by others) have used Adam, Baker/Boy, Charlie/Charles – and there are WAY too many foreign and regional varients for me to list here! Anna, Bernhard, Caesar (all names) – Ancona, Bologna, Como (mostly cities – not Ronni, the sausage and Perry)…

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