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"dogs off chains".

Posted by Mike on January 31, 2007

In Reply to: "Dogs off chains". posted by Feargal Kinsella on January 11, 2007

: In sailing circles, when the wind is very strong it is sometimes said to be blowing "dogs off chains". Possibly this means that it is strong enough to, literally, pull a dog from its tether chain, but is there another explanation or origin for this phrase?

Comes from a British Navy command "Havoc"

"Cry havoc and unleash the dogs of war" - Shakespeare.

Dogs of war are unruly rable of the lowest kind of soldiery (marines historically), they were unleashed from the battle by the order "Havoc" to rape, pillage, and loot.

A wind strong enough to cause havoc.