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 Manual of Field Artillery Exercises 1877

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rusteze

rusteze

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PostSubject: Manual of Field Artillery Exercises 1877   Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:21 am

First acquisition for 2019. Short section on firing rockets - not sure the RB had the time to do this according to the manual though.
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Section 5 - Rockets.

The troughs from which rockets are fired are usually carried on wagons.

The detachment consists of one NCO and four gunners.

The detachment is told off as for RML field guns.

No. 1 points and commands.

No. 2 and 3 dismount the trough from the wagon and place it in position, they also replace it on the wagon.

No. 3 facing towards the rear, fires by inserting a friction tube in the vent through the slot in the trough, bringing the lanyard up under the hollow of the left foot, which should be placed close to the hind rest of the trough, and pulling upwards with his right hand with a steady pull.

No. 4 supplies 2 with rockets.

No.5 supplies 4  with rockets from the wagon.

In placing the trough, care must be taken that the feet rest firmly in the ground, so as to prevent the possibility of it being pulled over in firing.

In firing rockets from the ground, the required elevation is given by raising the head.

Steve
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Manual of Field Artillery Exercises 1877   Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:50 am

Strengthens the argument there were only two Tubes at the RB demise, not three.
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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Manual of Field Artillery Exercises 1877   Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:26 am

Bonjour,
According to Ian Knight ("British Forces in Zululand", p. 31), "The Manual of Field Artillery Exercices specified that 'the (crew) detachment consists of one non-commissioned officer and for gunners'. In fact Maj. Russel's rocket battery attached to Durnford's N°2 Column, consisted of one R.A. bombardier and eight members of the 24th to man three trouughs, which were carried on mules".
Same analysis about the number of throughs by Julian Whybra in his "Taylor's essay" ("Studies in the Zulu War", Vol. IV).
Fred
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rusteze

rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Manual of Field Artillery Exercises 1877   Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:54 am

Morning all.

I take Frank's point - the Manual specifies 5 men per trough, including an NCO (Bombardier). On that basis they would have needed 15 men for three troughs. It is also reasonable to assume that the members of the 24th manning the troughs at Isandhlwana would not have been as efficient at the task as Gunners. I would also guess that unloading ammunition from a wagon was easier than from a mule.

Steve
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SRB1965

SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Manual of Field Artillery Exercises 1877   Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:15 am

Hi Frank/Steve,

I can appreciate the argument for only having two troughs due to reduced gunners/rocketeers.

Based on that theory I submit a proposal that because they only had one Bombardier, they therefore should only have had one trough.....

Going by the book there seems a lot of extra stages not adding value - ie the Number 1 'point and commands'.....could the bombardier point or command for two troughs, in a battery? If the rocket battery was a factory, Time and Motion/Cost Savings would soon cut the numbers down

Also on Steve's point the rockets seemed fairly easy to fire, no range fuses etc (not like laying a gun), I feel that once the 24th had gone through some training (I believe they had been together since November 78?), they would have been at least 'good enough' at lighting the blue touchpaper and retiring......I spose there must have been some markings on the rocket troughs legs to equate to elevation.

Cheers

Sime
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Manual of Field Artillery Exercises 1877   Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:48 pm

When you look at the specifics of Rusteze's initial post it can be seen that it actually requires just 2 men to fire each trough - one to load and one to fire, possibly with a third to fetch rockets from the waggon (or mule-pack) and it does seem as though Russell acted the part of no. 1. The RB detachment was Russell plus 9 men and Taylor. Firing three troughs was perfectly possible. And according to Rothwell, Russell's RB had three troughs.
Taylor does not say how many troughs came into action but does say that three rockets were fired (as does Cochrane and Symons). Since Trainer refers to what happened after firing the FIRST rocket it may be assumed that more than one were fired. Whether this was from 3 or 2 troughs cannot be determined. In the end it is irrelevant. The best one might say is that two (possibly three) troughs came into action and that three rockets in total were fired.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Manual of Field Artillery Exercises 1877   Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:29 am

In Chelmsfords list of losses doesnt it mention 2 x Rocket Tubes?.
Last from me for a few days, off to RD for the commemoration and meet up with a couple of Forum members.
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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Manual of Field Artillery Exercises 1877   Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:27 am

Bonjour Frank,
From memory, LC's quote has a link with the RB which belonged to Glyn's column (but my memory is maybe faulty!).
Fred
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