Return to initial page of Cruisers and Destroyers

[page 1 of the transcript is missing- this section is entitled Outline of Discussion]

restricted sphere of cruisers and destroyers alone, but concentration in coordination with and for the battle line, or for the fleet as a whole.

Concentration, either within the sphere of cruisers and destroyers in action against similar types, or in action against other types of ships, involves consideration of how to provide adequate forces for offensive action at the point of contact. Application of the factor of concentration in coordination with and for the fleet as a whole may, however, lead correctly to cruiser and destroyer actions against superior forces. For example, the stopping of a torpedo attack, the clearing away of light forces from the battle line's path, the maintenance of freedom of maneuver for own battle line, the covering of a retreat, may require the expenditure of cruisers and destroyers against superior forces. The factor of concentration may not be violated thereby, but may be applied in the interests of the fleet as a whole.

3. Specific Scope of Treatment.

To recognize such situations as have been noted in the preceding paragraph, and to act on them, requires not only a thorough understanding of the general plan of the O. T. C., but also nicety of judgment on the part of commanders of cruisers and destroyers.

The discussion which follows is concerned with action with regard to time and relative position which may be taken by commanders of cruisers and destroyers in certain situations of a fleet or major engagement, in order to carry out their task in conformity with the general plan of the O. T. C.

Certain features of the discussion will be illustrated by utilization of values contained in the Naval War College Fire Effect System. The limitations of these values are recognized. Many of the computations incorporated in the System are based upon assumptions admittedly little more than estimates, especially where foreign ships are concerned, and many of the values assigned are arbitrary, either because of requirements for simplicity in scoring gunfire at the War College, or as a consequence of inability to reduce the values to a single, mathematical basis. As a means of measurement, therefore, for actual conditions, these values cannot be regarded as factual. It is believed, however, that they may serve, not as a basis of proof, but as an approximate means of illustration for some of the problems in which application of factors of time and relative position is of tactical importance.

Next Section
Return to initial page of Cruisers and Destroyers

Last Updated: 30 October, 2000.

 Return to WWI The Maritime War

 Return to WWI Archive main page.