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Posted By: Joe Martin on: 06/05/2009 01:27:17 EDT
Subject: RE: Making Sense of Re-created Events With Compasses

Message Detail:
Much obliged, Dave. I missed that one in the OR completely.

Exactly when the use of "compass rose" type references ceased in favor of just a single azimuth, I have no clue. However, a couple of artillery-related examples from the OR (siege of Yorktown) may help explain CW-era usage. From Battery No. 4 to Gloucester Point was given as N. 28 degrees W., 4,100 yards; to Yorktown wharf, N. 43 degrees W., 3,500 yards, etc.

Considering that something over a century elapsed between this entry and my dealings with “arty” nets during my sojourn in Southeast Asia, the methodology remained remarkably similar. (“Ah, roger, this is Tay Ninh. I have Katum firing to the north on a heading of three-five-five tango oscar three-six-zero, with a max ord of one-one thousand, impacting x-ray tango blah, blah, blah.”) Also, I haven’t looked at a surveyor’s written description in many a year, but I seem to recall those documents using phraseology much like that of the CW artillerist.

As for our man in particular, I can only presume he simply left out the “north”, just as you indicate. However, my calculus would make that 340 degrees—or were you just giving an example?

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