Larkhill, January 2, 1917

Tuesday      Fired 46 rounds today observed in ordinary fashion Weather was good

Percy’s battery was training in indirect fire, that is, at targets they could not see. The accuracy or inaccuracy of their fire was judged by observers, and corrections ordered.


Field Artillery Training explains what Percy means by ordinary observation:

  1. To derive full benefit from the accuracy and rapid fire of modern equipment and to ensure effective support to the other arms, correct observation with reference to the objective is most important.
  2. To enable a battery to engage an objective, a position must be selected from which to observe and control the fire of the battery. This is called the ‘observing station.’
    The position of this station should be as close to the battery as possible, provided a good view of the field of fire is obtainable. With this object use should be made of any means such as a tree, house, haystack, limber, ladder, &c. …
    Observation should be made with glasses having as large a field of view as is compatible with good power of magnification, and graticules (1) will be found of the greatest assistance. The telescope, on account of the smallness of its field, is unsuited for the observation of fire when ranging, but is very useful for watching the effect of fire when ranging has been completed.(2)

(1) “A transparent plate or cell bearing a grid, cross-wire, or scale, designed to be used with an optical instrument or cathode-ray oscilloscope for the purpose of positioning, measuring, or counting objects in the field of view; the scale, grid, etc., on such a plate.” Oxford English Dictionary.
(2) Field Artillery Training. 1914. 316-317.

The image is from the Canadian War Museum, which describes is as a painting of an “Observation Post, Petawawa Camp, 1918.” The observers are using binoculars (field glasses) and a reporting by telephone. They have chosen their position purely for its “good view of the field of fire,” and with no concern, it being purely a training exercise, for its concealment.

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”

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