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flanks on the centre, the vessels on the extreme right and left would be the first to slow to steerage-way, and the line would be formed on them, as is evident.
To form the line to the right or left, the fleet should be broken into echelon of vessels and afterward thrown into line, as in maneuvre 99.
To form it to the rear in this case, the commander-in-chief would first signal S., and afterward, when the fleet was heading S., Forward into line.
101. The fleet being in line, to form it in two lines
in the order of battle.
The commander-in-chief signals :
From the right of fleet-in two lines-form order of battle.
Divisional commanders signal: Divisionfrom the right—in two lines-form order of battle.
The even-numbered vessels slow to steerageway until the odd-numbered vessels bear from them at an angle of 450 with the course, when
they resume their speed. For instance, two resumes full speed when one bears N.E. from her (supposing the fleet to be steering N.), four when she brings three on this bearing, etc., etc., etc.
If the signal were: From the left of fleet—in tuo lines-form order of battle, the even-numbered vessels would maintain their speed and the others slow to steerage-way.
Should the commander-in-chief desire to form from two lines into one again, he has simply to signal, Forward into line, when the vessels of the rear line will move up and fill the gaps in the front line.
102. The fleet being in double column, to form it into
order of battle in two columns.
The commander-in-chief makes signal :
From the right-in two columns--form order of battle.
Divisional commanders signal: Division-from the right-in two columns form order of battle.
The port column slows to steerage-way, each vessel of it resuming her speed when her consort has changed her bearing from abeam to an angle of 450 with the course.
If the signal were: From the left-in two columns -form order of battle, the port column would maintain its speed, and the starboard one slow to steerage-way.
Should the commander-in-chief desire to reform into double column, he has simply to make signal, Form double column, when the vessels of the advance column will slow until their consorts have got abreast of them.
An inspection of diagrams 128 and 129 will show that by signalling a course at right angles to the one steered by the fleet, the commanderin-chief can form it from the order of battle in two lines to the order of battle in two columns, or from the latter disposition to the former.
Upon assembling a fleet the commanding officer should select the three longest vessels as regulators for its three divisions, and detail a competent oficer to experiment with them, thus : First, on a calm day, form them into column of vessels in “close order,” heading N., and signal a speed of eight knots an hour. So soon as this speed has become uniform, watch a time when they are on the exact line of bearing N. and S., and signal E. All now put their helms hard a-port and find themselves abreast, heading E, without having changed their line of bearing, provided all have described equal arcs in turning. If they have not, the experiment must be repeated until they do, the vessel which at first described the longest arc, now alone putting her helm hard over, and the other vessels so graduating their helms as to make their arcs of manoeuvre correspond with hers. In the same manner,
each division is exercised with its “regulator," and much valuable information is gained thereby by each commanding officer, as to the absolute and relative turning power of his vessel. This, however, is simply to be regarded as an exercise for the instruction of the officers, as before stated, and by no means to be established as a rule of mancuvre : for the circles described by two ves