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operation, he will be obliged to receive the whole broadside fire of B, with nothing but his bow guns to respond with ; and being next assailed vigorously by B, whose plan of attack has been deliberately conceived and determined upon, while he himself, in doubt and perplexity, is obliged to change his order of battle* at the very commencement of the conflict, A has nothing to expect but defeat.

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As the operation of concentrating on A's van would be similar to the above in every respect, except that in this case the feint would be towards

* A, being here attacked at the head (for, having reversed, his rear is now leading) by B's reserve, must inevitably be thrown into some confusion taking advantage of which, B's rear division, forming column of vessels from the right, should endeavor to break through A's column, as shown by the dotted line, and move up on the port side of his centre and van, already engaged on the starboard side by B's centre and van. (Fig. 2.)

his rear, we may now proceed to consider the attack on the centre. (Fig. 3.)

In this case B, closing up his right wing to within a half cable's length,* fleets his reserve to the left and moves down in line until at the

proper distance from the enemy, when he throws his right wing and reserve into echelon by signaling 61 (from the left, form echelon of vessels), leaving his left wing in line as at first; and when all his dispositions are made he signals both to the fleet and reserve, N.W. full speed, and sweeps to the attack as shown by the diagram.

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Here, as the right wing breaks through A's column, each vessel of it, manning both sides,

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Moving first in line, and afterward in echelon, he can do this in any ordinary weather without danger of collision. His object is, that his vessels may be well closed up when he signals N.W.

pours a raking broadside into his number twelve and number thirteen, and then following her next ahead comes sharp round the stern of number twelve, and moves up on the starboard side of A's centre and van, already engaged on the port side with B's left wing and attacked at the head by B’s reserve.* I would remark here that the column designed to pierce the enemy's centre should always be led by a vessel of great artillery and ramming power, and should have abreast of it (a little in advance) the most formidable ram, or torpedo vessel, in the fleet, which should strike at full speed one of the enemy's vessels, thereby sinking or disabling it, and opening a passage ahead of the engaged vessel for the attacking column. The vessel marked R, in Figs. 2 and 3, is designed to represent this ram or torpedo vessel.

If the fleet were composed partly of vessels whose strength was in their broadside batteries, and in part of those whose fighting power was in their bows, the former, led as we have suggested, should form the column of penetration, while the latter, ranged in line, make the direct attack,

* This is a spirited, dashing attack, and properly conducted must succeed.

and the objective aimed at should always be, that wing of the enemy which appears to be composed of his weakest vessels.

Having explained above, wherein the order of battle in column of vessels is defective, it now remains to show how the attack of B Figs. 1 and 2) could have been frustrated by A, had the latter assumed an echelon formation. Let us suppose, then, A to be formed in column of vessels as before, and B bearing down in line to attack him. Now, when A observes that B is approaching, let him fleet his reserve abreast of his van division, and then signal to it and the rear division 78 (forward into line, right oblique), and afterwards 64 (from the left, form echelon of vessels); when the fleets will be in the position shown by Fig. 4.

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And so soon as B has approached so near that he (B) cannot decline an engagement, let A signal both to the fleet and reserve S. W. full speed, and attack at once, as shown by Fig. 5.


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