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 Marksmen ?

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PostSubject: Marksmen ?   Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:47 am

Hi all

It would be interesting to know the % of "marksmen" in a British Imperial infantry company in Zululand in 1879 and know if these "marksmen" had a particulary tactical combat role ,if they were deployed​​ apart from their comrades combat ect ...

Cheers

Rascal
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:23 pm

British used traditional military values of command, discipline, formation and synchronised firepower. The average British soldier was not trained to be a marksman and got little or no target practice. What practice the British soldiers had, was normally as a unit firing in volleys on command. The Zulu's possibly had more marksman than the British. Some what simular to the Boerwar.
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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:20 pm

Congratulations but how they received the Marksman badge?

After firing exercises scratch 
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:23 pm

Can you show me this badge. Possibly for firing at a target. But in action they fired as LH describes.
There was no doub't a few good shots when ordered to fire at will.
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PostSubject: Markmen ?    Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:25 am

Dave .
There were marksmen as there were inter regimental shooting competitions from memory , I would also imagine you could be trained or become a marksmen , there is a badge , but I've no idea where to find one , I think JY may have posted a photo of a soldier , possibly a clr Sgt from the 91 st , who I think has the marksman badge on his sleeve ? . If not I'm sure JY or Isandula will have a picture of one in their collections .
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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:43 am

Hi great Marsupial

Mr JY posted a photo with a soldier wearing this badge at the end of the topic "Unknowingly and several years in advance," there are two crossed rifles on the left sleeve.

Rascal
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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:33 am

Rascal wrote:
Hi all

It would be interesting to know the % of "marksmen" in a British Imperial infantry company in Zululand in 1879 and know if these "marksmen" had a particulary tactical combat role ,if they were deployed​​ apart from their comrades combat ect ...

Cheers

Rascal
I was merely pointing out that there wasn't a particular tactical roll for "Marksmen" the badge just signified they passed a shooting course scoring above the average requirement.
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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:10 am

Yes littlehand , now it is registered, now it would be interesting to know what kind of results they had to get in shooting competitions, to receive this badge ..
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:59 pm

I'm sure Neil Aspenshaw would know that.
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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:11 pm

Of the hundreds of members of the forum, there must be another who knows it ...
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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:25 pm

Rascal,

My understanding - and I am willing to be corrected - that the cross rifles badge was awarded for a pass at the School of Musketry at Hythe not a marksman's badge.
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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:05 pm

Ah Kenny, if you say so, but in this case it can not be had sniper at that time (as there were in Crimea with rifles with glasses or sniper rifles), given the tactics used, and therefore no badges for them ...Just good shooters called Marksmen and distinguished by the badge of two crossed rifles ...

But be careful, we need to know if the whole of the British infantry passed at the School of Musketry of Hythe...

Rascal
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:21 pm

Let's see you get a Marksman badge with this.

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"It appears to be a Martini Henry Rifle that has converted to a handgun. It has an octagon barrel, and decorated with stamped triangles all over the metal surfaces. It is difficult to speculate whether this gun was fabricated in Nepal, the Congo, or Afghanistan. The triangular stamps were a tantalizing clue. The action still worked, even though it was horribly grungy."
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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:45 pm

Kenny,

The skill badge of the crossed rifles was first introduced in 1856.

Musketry Regulations of 1869 deemed that it was to awarded in gold For the best shot in each company of a regiment or depot of infantry and in worsted for each qualified marksman.

Source: British Army Proficiency Badges by Edwards & Langley, 1984.

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In Gold - Sgt. 13th Light Infantry
John Young Collection

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In Worsted - Private 4th Regiment.
John Young Collection

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Sergeant-Instructor of Musketry, 13th Light Infantry, circa 1874 note the variation.
John Young Collection


John Y.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:03 pm

Little hand quote "little or no practice" does not stack up with the 1879 Musketry regulations, The annual stipulation required for each soldier to shoot was minimum 90 rounds of Martini Henry ball and 40 rounds of blank ammunition. The blank firing was carried out in individual and volley firing drills, However, the accuracy and range of the Martini Henry, required the average private soldier to become far more adept in the deployment of his rifle, and the engagement of NCO’s and officers at Hythe increased the capability and accuracy of the individual soldiers’ marksmanship. Soldiers attaining a Marksman badge would be expected to attain a score of over 50

Rifle shooting was carried out at three targets for range practice, first, second and third class. Third class targets were six feet high and four wide, with a black painted bulls eye, 1 foot (300mm) in diameter with an outer circle three feet (900mm) in diameter, Second class targets were six feet square, the bulls eye being two feet (600mm) in diameter and the outer circle at four feet. (1200mm) First class targets had a three feet wide bulls eye, a five foot centre (1525mm) and were six feet high by eight feet wide, the targets were arranged as such it allowed assessment of the effect of individuals’ aimed shooting and volley firing against a horseman, massed infantry or infantry in skirmish order at various ranges.
Trained soldiers were put through the following evaluation:
Target class Range (yards) Shots Position
3rd 200 10 Standing
3rd 300 10 Kneeling
2nd 500 10 Any military position
2nd 500 10 Any
1st 700 10 Any military
1st 800 10 Any military
Trained soldiers also fired 5 rounds volley at 400yds, 5 rounds independent at 400yds and 20 rounds skirmishing between 600 and 200yds. This gave an annual total of 90 rounds ball.
FOR RECRUITS
Target Class Range (yards) Rounds Position
3rd 100 10 Standing
3rd 200 10 Standing
2nd 300 10 Kneeling
2nd 400 10 Kneeling
1st 500 10 Lying
1st 600 10 Lying
Recruits also shot 10 rounds volley at 300yds, 10 rounds independent at 300yds and 10 round skirmishing between 400 and 200yds.

Even on foreign service, practice was still maintained, and the supply of ammunition was regulated by the Director of Artillery and stores, such that supply to foreign stations were to be kept at a level of 560 rounds per soldier, on a basis of 60 rounds per man, 200 rounds for two years practice and 300 rounds reserve.
(I am endebted to Adrian Whiting for some of the Hythe figures)
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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:48 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:00 pm

good post Ulundi, a picture
is worth... Salute 
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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:33 am

Congratulations John, Neil and Ulundi ...

The instructor wears a crown above his badges and as it is light infantry, they are on each sleeve ...

But this is valid only for Sergeant-Instructor of Musketry or the marksmen badges were also modified for the NCOs of the companies ?

A score of over 50 hits by man on this amount of rounds fired by each man, it gave good shots, shame that there have not statistics or testimonials from instructors who certainly has routinely had to know the advance, on average, the number of soldiers who obtain their badges in a company ...

In addition they could lose their badges to each new firing exercise...

And there are not sniper rifles in 1879 as in Crimea...?

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:57 pm

Neil Aspinshaw wrote:
Little hand quote "little or no practice" does not stack up with the 1879 Musketry regulations, The annual stipulation required for each soldier to shoot was minimum 90 rounds of Martini Henry ball and 40 rounds of blank ammunition. The blank firing was carried out in individual and volley firing drills, However, the accuracy and range of the Martini Henry, required the average private soldier to become far more adept in the deployment of his rifle, and the engagement of NCO’s and officers at Hythe increased the capability and accuracy of the individual soldiers’ marksmanship. Soldiers attaining a Marksman badge would be expected to attain a score of over 50

Rifle shooting was carried out at three targets for range practice, first, second and third class. Third class targets were six feet high and four wide, with a black painted bulls eye, 1 foot (300mm) in diameter with an outer circle three feet (900mm) in diameter,  Second class targets were six feet square, the bulls eye being two feet (600mm) in diameter and the outer circle at four feet. (1200mm) First class targets had a three feet wide bulls eye, a five foot centre (1525mm) and were six feet high by eight feet wide, the targets were arranged as such it allowed assessment of the effect of individuals’ aimed shooting and volley firing against a horseman, massed infantry or infantry in skirmish order at various ranges.
Trained soldiers were put through the following evaluation:
Target class Range (yards) Shots Position
3rd 200 10 Standing
3rd 300 10 Kneeling
2nd 500 10 Any  military position
2nd 500 10 Any
1st 700 10 Any military
1st 800 10 Any military
Trained soldiers also fired 5 rounds volley at 400yds, 5 rounds independent at 400yds and 20 rounds skirmishing between 600 and 200yds.  This gave an annual total of 90 rounds ball.
FOR RECRUITS
Target Class Range (yards) Rounds Position
3rd 100 10 Standing
3rd 200 10 Standing
2nd 300 10 Kneeling
2nd 400 10 Kneeling
1st 500 10 Lying
1st 600 10 Lying
Recruits also shot 10 rounds volley at 300yds, 10 rounds independent at 300yds and 10 round skirmishing between 400 and 200yds.  

Even on foreign service, practice was still maintained, and the supply of ammunition was regulated by the Director of Artillery and stores, such that supply to foreign stations were to be kept at a level of 560 rounds per soldier, on a basis of 60 rounds per man, 200 rounds for two years practice and 300 rounds reserve.
(I am endebted to Adrian Whiting for some of the Hythe figures)


great info sir. thanks for posting
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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:54 pm

Not just a Skill Badge but a financial inducement as well, see the attached form:

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From Rifle Exercises & Musketry Instruction 1879
John Young Collection.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Marksmen ?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:20 am

Excellent JY , Thanks .
90th agree 
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PostSubject: Sniper standards   Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:29 am

Hi All,
The crossed rifle  badges issued by the BA worn seem to indicate that the trooper knew how to use the weapon and could actually hit large targets at fairly close range.  Hardly sniper quality by todays standards where sub caliber groupings at 200 metres are the order of the day.
However, to be fair, those pre 1880 results were obtained over crude open iron sights,  without any optical assistance and with equipment  which had very questionable ballistic efficiency.
So, in 1879 there were "marksmen" around who were detailed to do the difficult and longer range shooting . This was evident at RD where the "marksmen" were detailed to the mielie bag tower built in the middle of the laager and who were  reportedly taking down the enemy at +400 metres thus causing much  consternation in the enemy ranks behind the lines.

regards,

barry
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PostSubject: Re: Marksmen ?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:18 am

In addition they were paid! Good idea to motivate shooters, they would have done that in the modern armies of XX th century ...
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