Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Vice Admiral Henry T. Mayo, Commander, Atlantic Fleet, to Commanders of Battleships Participating in Upcoming Tactical Exercises

SECRET            UNITED STATES ATLANTIC FLEET.

U. S. S. PENNSYLVANIA, Flagship,

24 April 1918.     

Routine Order No. 3.

From: Commander in Chief.

To:   BATTLESHIPS FORCES taking part in Tactical Exercises1

                    29 April – 3 May 1918.

Subject: Battle and Fire Distribution Exercises.

     1.  Battle Exercises will be carried out on the afternoon of 29 April and forenoons of 30 April and 2 May.

     2.  On 29 April the Target Squadron will represent an enemy fleet of equal strength but of inferior speed. After having been engaged about one-half hour, the Target Squadron will turn away indicating the manner in which retiring tactics may be used to gain the advantage of torpedo fire.

     3.  On 30 April the Target Squadron will represent a slightly superior force of inferior speed. After having been engaged about one-half hour, the Commander in Chief will turn the Battle Fleet away from the enemy. The Target Squadron will follow in pursuit. All ships of the Battle Fleet will exercise their torpedo control parties actually simulating torpedo fire. Records will be kept of the torpedoes constructively fired with the following data for each shot:

          (a) Gyro-angle setting.

          (b) Range, bearing, and name of target ship.

          (c) Estimated course and speed of target.

     Reports to accompany report on cruise.

     4.  On 2 May the Target Squadron will represent an inferior force of inferior speed. Target Squadron will maneuver to avoid being capped by fast wings, and will turn away to obtain torpedo advantage.

     5.  In order that fire control parties may obtain greater benefit from the Battle Exercises, the maximum range for all guns during these exercises shall be considered as 15000 yards.

     6.  During each Battle Exercise the following data will be taken:

     By leading, center and rear ships of each force, on five minute intervals clock time (i.e. 2:05 – 2:10 – etc.) after contact is made:

(a) Bearing and range of enemy leading ship and rear ship.

(b) Own course and speed and own force formation. Reports to be submitted direct to Commander in Chief upon arrival in port.

     7.  During Fire Distribution Exercises the following data shall be taken:

     By Division Commanders:

(a) Time and meaning of Fire Distribution signals received and made.

(b) The name of ship of Target Squadron considered as Fleet Flagship’s target as indicated by each General

     Bearing Line signal.

     By each ship:

(a) Time and meaning of each Fire Distributionssignal received.

(b) Name of own target ship, as indicated by each such signal.

     Division Commanders reports shall be sent direct to the Commander in Chief. Ships reports shall be sent to Division Commanders (temporary organization).

     8. A list of errors in fire distribution by ships as determined by Division Commanders shall be forwarded to the Commander in Chief.

     9. Special instructions for each exercise are contained in following tables. –

INSTRUCTIONS TO BATTLESHIP DIVISION – BATTLE EXERCISE

<29> APRIL 1918.

          Time of Oh OOm shall be the time of execution of the first General Bearing Line signal.

   Time                  Evolution

Oh OOm               All divisions.

                    Designate targets

                    Open fire when range is reached.

Oh OO10                     Division Six and Five.

Third ship in Division perform evolution as if dodging torpedo.

-   - -       Divisions Eight and Four.

When attacked take formations

for avoiding torpedoes from

destroyers.

-   - -       All Divisions.

Upon signal from Fleet Flagship “Engage the enemy more closely” Divisions shall be turned to course indicated by compass signal as directed in Standing Order No. 2 Par. 18 a. <Section IV>

INSTRUCTIONS TO BATTLESHIP DIVISIONS—BATTLE EXERCISE

30 APRIL 1918.

          Time of Oh  OOm shall be the time of execution of the first General Bearing Line signal.

     Time                Evolution

    Oh OOm           All divisions.

                    Designate targets

                    Open fire at maximum range

    Oh 1Om           Divisions Two and Three

Third ship in division perform evolution as if dodging a torpedo.

  Upon Signal       All divisions.

Turn away from enemy course opposite to general bearing of enemy. Simulate torpedo firing when enemy follows.

INSTRUCTIONS TO BATTLESHIP DIVISIONS — BATTLE EXERCISE

2 MAY 1918.

          Time of Oh  OOm shall be the time of execution of the first General Bearing Line signal.

     Time                     Evolution

Upon signal         Divisions Eight and Four.

Attack Van and rear of enemy formation. Endeavor to reach maximum range at the same time as the main battle line. CinC will send range by radio each five minutes. Divisions Eight and Four report by radio their respective ranges immediately upon receipt of a range from the CinC

When enemy turns away         Fast wings endeavor to envelop enemy flanks. Main Battle Line will follow enemy movements.

Source Note: D, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 415. Identifier at top right-hand corner of first page: “5/Bk (0).”

Related Content