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Fire Control

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual

We have just described what the captain directs. Now we must put his

directions (orders) into effect. This is done through his platoon

leaders, assisted by the platoon guides and the corporals. 1st, The

platoon leaders point out and describe their part of the objective

(target) to the corporals. 2d, They assign a particular part of the

objective to each corporal with the view of covering equally with the

fire the entir
objective. 3d, They announce the range (distance to the

objective) to their platoons. 4th, If any part of the line cannot see

the objective, the platoon leaders must make the changes so that it can

see, or so that its fire will be effective. 5th, They order their

platoons to open fire at the proper time. Thereafter they observe the

target and make any necessary changes to keep the fire effective, i.e.,

fire fast or slow, according to the necessity, and are on the alert for

any commands or signals from the captain.

The platoon guides do one thing only: they watch the firing line and

check every breach of fire discipline. (See Fire Discipline, below.)

The corporals have four distinct duties. 1st, They transmit the commands

and signals to their squads when necessary. 2d, They observe the conduct

of their squads and abate excitement. 3d, They do all in their power to

enforce discipline. 4th, They participate in the firing.