First, I know that the Kaiserliche Marine possessed star shell at least as early as Jutland, while the RN didn't deploy star shell until 1917, apparently. What did the RN use for illum prior to 1917? Searchlights, of course; did they also use rockets for illum, at least in ASW and barrage work?
Coal burning ships were disadvantaged in night operations, as the funnels emitted flames, sparks and glowing cinders at higher speeds. At about what point would this generally occur (ie 12 kts, 2/3 max speed for the class involved, etc)?
i seem to recall occasions in WW2 when surface ships launched torpedoes at night without their targets detecting the launch. Am I in error about this? I would think a torpedo launch would involve flash as the torp left the tube?
How loud would a destroyer in "full cry" be, and from how far away might an observer lying doggo hear it? What would the observer hear -- the crash of sea over the bows, presumably; what about machinery noise, blowers, etc?
Would a small craft be able to detect the otherwise unobserved passage of another, much larger, ship through the turbulence of its wake? If so, from how far might the effect be discernible?
How did ships on night patrol communicate with each other in WW1? Shielded signal lamps, I presume?
Input about any other interesting and significant aspects of night fighting would be appreciated.
Lastly, if anyone could point me to memoirs or accounts of night fighting that provide a good "feel" for the factors involved, I'd be grateful.