Manual of Field Range-Finding

Manual of Field Range-Finding

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Excerpt from Manual of Field Range-Finding: For Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of Horse and Field Artillery, 1890

When a new position, not in prolongation of the line of tire has been decided on, the distance of this from the objective should be found (see Part II. Chap. Ix), before the battery is required to move.

As ranges to moving objects cannot be taken except under special circumstances (see Part II, Chapter X), points in their probable path sufficiently advanced to allow time for the operation must be selected. If, it is impossible to take the range of the actual object required (such as troops or guns under cover), and a tree or any other conspicuous adjacent object has been taken instead, this should be distinctly notified to the officer in command, as observations of this nature cannot be implicitly relied upon, on account of the difficulty of correctly estimating by eye the comparative ranges of objects, though apparently equally distant.

Range-finding should be invariably conducted under the immediate supervision of an officer, who should see that it is carried out as much as possible under cover (see Part II, Chapter XIII), and that there is no mistake made in the identification of the object.

When observation of effect of fire is likely to be difficult, or the target is badly defined, it is often advisable to find the ranges of objects short of and beyond it; this will give limits between which the true range must lie on the principle of the brackets recommended in ranging by common shell.

The Range-finders in the Service for Horse and Field Artillery are: -

1. The Watkin Field Range-finder, see Part II.

2. The Watkin Field Telemeter, see Part III.

Their application is at present restricted to objects seen by daylight, and as already stated, except under special circumstances, to the observation of stationary objects.

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