A state of high alert, often used in a comical context, but in reality was far from comical when first cited during the First World War. The first citation involves what were known as Q ships, armed merchant vessels with carefully hidden guns. The idea was to lure unsuspecting German U Boats to the surface then sink them with the hidden weaponry. During the war, The Times carried a story that one such Q ship issued the command ‘panics stations’ followed by the order to abandon ship. Thus, panic stations appears to have originated as a genuine naval order.