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FIG. 1.

The order of battle for iron-clads, rams, and torpedo vessels:

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The order of battle for vessels whose fighting power is in their broadside batteries:

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Orders offensive and defensive for vessels of all descriptions:





Vessels are said to be in direct echelon when, steering the same course, each bears from its next

astern,* at an angle of 45° (4 points) from the -course; consequently, the wings of a fleet, in double echelon, form a right angle (Fig. 3); and this is always to be understood as the bearing upon the signal: Form echelon or double echelon, unless the commander-in-chief signals the bearing.

By moving a number of vessels (1, 2, 3) in line (Fig. 4) or in column (Fig. 5), through the arcs of circles of equal radii, or upon their centres as axes, it will be observed that, when steering a course at right angles to their original one, they are in column if moved from line, or in line if moved from column, while at sixteen points they resume their original formation (reversed), and at 4, 12, 20, and 28 points are in echelon. In all these formations the line of bearing remains unaltered.

FIG. 4.

Fig. 4 represents the vessels (1, 2, 3) in line at the commencement of their manoeuvres :


* The reciprocal bearing of two vessels in direct echelon will of course be 45° and 135° from the course.

FIG. 5,

representing the three vessels (1, 2, 3) in column, at the commencement of their manœuvres :

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Close order for vessels is one cable's length, or one hundred and twenty fathoms, from mainmast to mainmast; open order is two cables' length; half distance is sixty fathoms. The distances of vessels from each other, in every formation, are as follows:




Later- Longi-Later- Longi


Later- Longi

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1 cable


1 cable.

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2 cables

2 cables.

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Column of vessels
Double column .. cable 1 cable... 1 cable 2 cables.. 2 cables 4

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By moving a number of vessels, in any order, from line into column to the right or left, the above will be made apparent. Figs. 6, 7, 8, and 9.

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FIG. 9.

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The distances from each other of the divisions or squadrons of a fleet, steaming in order abreast, depend on their formation, as shown by Figs. 19, 23, 27, etc.; the object being, in all formations, to enable the fleet to deploy into line to the front, rear, right, or left, with its vessels in their proper positions. Figs. 100, 102, 105, 106, 108, 109, etc.

The commander-in-chief may signal the fleet to close up or close in, however, as his judgment dictates.

When vessels are thrown into echelon from line or column, by turning to the right or left, 4, 12, 20, or 28 points, their distances remain the same, provided they have described equal arcs. (Figs. 4 and 5.) When they move forward into echelon, however, upon the signal, Form “echelon!" (as in Figs. 10 and 11) their distances are

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