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The New Company Drill Simplified 1915

Organisation and Definitions

          A battalion consists of headquarters, machine gun section, and 4 companies.

For purposes of administration the details of battalion headquarters (other than the battalion commander, senior major, adjutant, and quarter-master) and the machine gun section are posted to companies as supernumerary to the establishment of platoons. Their distribution among the companies is at the discretion of the battalion commander but should be so arranged that the number of supernumeraries in each company is approximately equal.
 
A company consists of 4 platoons, and is commanded by a major or mounted captain, with a captain as second in command.

A platoon consists of 4 sections, and is commanded by a subaltern, with a sergeant as second in command (platoon sergeant). Platoons are numbered consecutively throughout the battalion from 1 to 16.

When a subaltern is not available to command, the platoon sergeant will take his place, but in this case a section commander will not be taken from his command to act as platoon sergeant. The transfer of a platoon sergeant to another platoon should be as infrequent as possible.
So far as the exigencies of peace conditions will admit, this organization will be maintained both in barracks and in the field for all duties, including the detailing of fatigues. The men will thus acquire the spirit of comradeship, and learn to repose confidence in each other, while the section commanders will be accustomed to command, and to act when necessary on their own judgment.
 
. A section is commanded by a non-commissioned officer, and is the normal fire-unit. Sections are numbered consecutively throughout the company from 1 to 16, and the men of each section should be kept together in barracks as well as in the field. The post of section commander is a definite appointment, and transfers should be as infrequent as possible

 Definitions

Alignment. --Any straight line on which a body of troops is formed, or is to form.

 
Column. --Bodies of troops on parallel and successive alignments, at a distance front one another equal to their own frontage, e.g., column of companies or column of platoons.
 
Column of masses. --See under masses.
 
Column of route. --A column of fours with not more than four men abreast in any part of the column, including officers and supernumeraries. The normal formation for troops marching on a road.
 
Close column. --A column with distances reduced to suit requirements. If no specific orders art Oven, the distance between units will be seven paces.
 
Double column. --Two parallel columns, with any named interval between them.
 
Deploy, to. --To change formation from column or close column into line on the same alignment.
 
Depth. --The space occupied by a body of troops from front to rear.
 
Direction (battalion, company, platoon, section, or file of).-- The battalion, company, platoon. section, or file responsible for keeping the direction in a drill movement.
 
Distance. --The space between units in column or close column, measured from the heels of the front rank of one unit to the heels of the front rank of the next.
 
Dress, to. --To take up the alignment correctly.
 
Drill. --The training of a soldier to execute certain movements as a second nature.
 
Echelon. --A formation of successive and parallel units facing in the same direction, each on a flank and to the rear of the unit in front of it.
 
File. --A front rank man and his rear rank man.
 
Fire unit. --Any number of men firing by the executive command of one. The section is the normal fire unit.
 
Flank, directing. --The flank by which units march or dress.
 
Flank, inner. --That nearer to the directing flank.
 
Flank, outer. --That opposite to the inner or directing flank.
 
Formation (battalion, company, platoon, section, or file of).--The battalion, company, platoon, section, or file on which a change of formation is based.
 
Frontage. --The extent of ground covered laterally by troops.
 
In action (of a machine gun).--A machine gun is said to be in action when it is mounted, loaded, and laid, but not necessarily firing.
 
Incline. --The movement by which ground is gained to the front and flank simultaneously.
 
Interval. --The lateral space between units on the same alignment.
 
Interval, deploying. --The lateral space between units in close column or in column, on the same alignment, the space being equal to the frontage of a unit in line.
 
Line. --Troops formed on the same alignment.
 
Mass. --A battalion with its companies in line of close columns of platoons, with five paces interval between companies and seven paces distance between platoons.
 
Mass, open. --A battalion with its companies in line of columns of Platoons, with five paces interval between companies.
 
Masses, column of. --Battalions in mass, on parallel and successive alignments, with any named distance between battalions.
 
Masses, line of. --A line of battalions in mass, with 10 paces interval between the battalions.
 
Patrol. --A body of men sent out to reconnoitre or to guard against surprise.
 
Pivot flank. --The flank on which a unit pivots when changing front.
 
Pivot guide. --A guide on the pivot flank of a unit.
 
Position, change of. --A movement by which a body of troops takes up a new alignment.
 
Ranges, terms applied to. --
Table 1-1. RANGES AND TERMS
Terms applied  
to ranges
Rifle. Field Art. Heavy  
Batteries.

 
Yards. Yards. Yards.
Distant 2,800 to 2,000 6,500 to 5,000 10,000 to 6,500
Long 2,000 to 1,400 5,000 to 4,000 6,500 to 5,000
Effective 1,400 to 600 4,000 to 2,500 5,000 to 2,500
Close 600 and under 2,500 and under 2,500 and under

 

Rank. --A line of men, side by side.
 
Squad. --A small body of men formed for recruits' drill.
 
Supernumeraries. --The non-commissioned officers, &c., forming the third rank.
 
Wheeling. --A movement by which a body of troops brings forward a flank on a fixed or moving pivot.

Changes of Formation

Changes of formation can usually be carried out:
a.
From the halt, halting on completion of the movement. --The company or platoon is halted before a movement is commenced, and is halted on completion of it.
b.
On the move, halting on completion of the movement. --The company or platoon is moving before a movement is commenced, and halts on completion of it.
c.
From the halt, moving forward on completion of the movement. --The company or platoon is halted before a movement is commenced, and moves forward on completion of it.
d.
On the move, moving forward on completion of the movement. --A company or platoon is moving before a movement is commenced, and continues to move after completing it.
 
The principles are the same in all cases, but the words of command differ slightly.
 
When the movements are to be performed as in subpara a and subpara b, the command should be preceded by the caution At the Halt.
 
As soon as movements as in subpara c and subpara d are completed the command Forward should be given.
 
In the following pages the cautions and commands are given, as a rule, only in the form in which they are generally used. This does not, however, preclude the use of the other forms detailed in subpara a,b,c and d when applicable.
 
Movements can be made in quick or double time; if they are to be made at the double, the command Double March will be used instead of Quick March.

 

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This page was last updated 5th Feb 2005

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