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fours, etc., etc., in close order, it would be formed in open order, according to the same principles.
It is evident that a fleet in double column, at half distance, may be formed in close or open order, in a similar manner.
64. The fleet being in double column, in open order, to form it in close order, upon any vessel that may be designated.
To form it on the leading vessels.
Divisional commanders signal: On the van vessel, form in close order.
The leading vessels slow to steerage-way; the others continue onward at full speed, three and four slowing to steerage-way, and hoisting the position pennant when they have closed up, etc., etc., etc.
The even-numbered vessels now keep two points to starboard, at such speed as will enable them to keep their consorts on a line of bearing perpendicular to the course, until they have closed to a cable's distance from them; when they resume their original direction, and the fleet resumes its speed.
It is evident that the column may be formed on the rear or centre vessels, inversely, as explained in manœuvre 60.
If the fleet were in triple column, column of fours, etc., etc., in open order, it would be formed in close order, according to the same principles.
The fleet would also be formed at half-distance from open or close order, according to the same principles.
65. The fleet being in columns of vessels abreast, by divisions, in close order, to form it in open order.
The commander-in-chief makes signal:
On the van vessels, form in open order; or, On the rear vessels, form in open order.
Which signal is repeated by the divisional commanders.
Performed by each division as explained in 61,
the vessels upon which the formation is made being careful to preserve their line of bearing abreast during the manœuvre.
Should the commander-in-chief not make further signal, the divisions will now proceed onward at a uniform rate of speed, the vessels of each division being in open order, while the divisions ȧre with respect to each other in close order.
Suppose, however, he desires to form the divisions in open order on the centre division. The signal will be, On the centre division, form in open order.
The centre division slows to steerage-way; the van and rear divisions keep two points to starboard and port, respectively,* at such speed as will enable them to keep on a line of bearing, abreast of the centre division. So soon as one and seventeen find they have gained the proper distance from nine, they hoist the position pennant and come to the course, followed by all the vessels of their divisions. The centre division now resumes its speed.
To form on the van division, the centre and
*If the commanding officers of the van and rear divisions think proper, they may signal, Head of division N. N. E.— head of division N. N. W. (supposing the fleet to be heading N.), and gain distance as shown by a a.
rear divisions keep two points to port, while the maintains its course.
To form on the rear division, the van and centre divisions keep two points to starboard, and the rear division preserves its course.
It is evident that the fleet may be formed in close order from open order, or at half distance from close or open order, according to the same principles, inversely.