Regulations for horse training with the artillery division
To complete the indications contained in the Instruction for the employment of the artillery divisions, in 1897 the Inspection of the Artillery published a Устав за конно учение и маневрирване съ артилерийското отделение (Regulations for horse training and manoeuvring with the artillery division), which was adopted in its definitive form the following year. The text, written by col. Panteley Tzenov, expressly refers to divisions made up of 3 batteries, specifying that it can also be applied to larger artillery units, however not exceeding a regiment with 9 batteries.
Orders. During manoeuvres, orders are given by the division head and repeated first by the battery commanders and then by the platoon commanders. If one or more batteries have to perform a different manoeuvre from those of the others, after having communicated the general orders of the division head, the battery commanders give the specific orders to the various units. If the batteries are to execute the order simultaneously, the head of the division should read the orders relating to their units to the battery commanders, then give the order March either by voice or by a signal with his sabre.
Formations. In position and during the movement the artillery division can be arranged :
– in column by gun (колона въ едно оръдие) or marching column (походна колона) : the batteries go one after other according to their number, the distance between the guns is 3 paces, between the batteries 40 paces;
– in open formation (разгънат строй) in a single line or by level : the batteries move side by side in the order of their number with an interval between them of 30 paces; it is used to move the unit into position, to fire, and to move the unit back and forth within the effective enemy fire range if terrain permits;
– in column by battery (колона по батарейно) in a single line at full interval : the batteries are in column by gun or by platoon to the right or to the left, but always in close order, with the heads of the batteries in one line, the intervals between the batteries should be such that for a four guns battery the front is 100 paces long, for a six guns battery is 150 paces, the interval between the batteries should be such as with the division deployed there are 30 paces between them; this formation is very convenient for manoeuvring and it allows the division to quickly switch to the open formation;
– in column by battery in a single line at narrow interval : as above but the guns are a narrow interval, the interval between the batteries should be such as with the division in open formation there are 20 paces between them; it is used mainly to move in a narrow area, but if the terrain does not allow the intervals between the guns to be narrow, close intervals should be used;
– in joint battery column (обща батарейна колона) on the right or on the left and from the middle : the batteries move one behind the other, in an open front, in column by platoon or by gun. The intervals between the guns in the first two cases are various, but always they are in close order; the distance between the four guns batteries is 20 paces, between six guns batteries 30 paces.
Distances are estimated from the rearmost line of the forward battery to the horse’s head of the rear feyerwerker. The ammunition wagons follow their batteries according to the Instructions for driving ammunition wagons.
Columns by gun are used when driving on rough roads and terrain. Columns by platoon at full interval are convenient to deploy the front sideways, for this they should be used especially in flanking movements. Dense columns by platoon should be used only as marching formation, or at most in open formation, when the batteries are in a row. Dense battery columns are the best and most suited for movement and for deployment on the front, in fact it is possible to remove some of the middle batteries without difficulty, because the general order of the column can still be restored by condensing it. In addition, their direction is simple, because they are grouped.
Place of the head of the division. In open formation, the place of the head of the division is 50 paces in front of the centre of the front, if advancing and behind it, if retreating. In joint battery column, he is 50 paces to the side, with a column to the right, on the left, and on a column to the left, on the right, and in line with the feyerwerker of the battery. These places are obligatory for him, only in presence of the senior head and after the command Attention. In all other cases, the head of the division is in the place he deems appropriate to issue orders and supervise their execution. Therefore, he must be at such a distance that his orders can be heard clearly.
When manoeuvring, battery commanders can leave their assigned post and take positions where they can more easily hear the commander’s orders and direct their batteries. They must lead their batteries autonomously at all times, by the shortest route, taking into account the terrain and the purpose for which formation is conducted.
Manoeuvring. The regulations state the procedures and orders about lining up and moving the various formations, as well as switching from one formation to another, according with the Regulations for the battery training.
Open formation. The division, resting or advancing and retreating in a straight line, is centre aligned : with two batteries, the alignment takes place on the basis of the first battery, with three batteries – of the second one, with four – of the third one, with six – on the fourth one. If the head of the division chooses another battery for alignment, he orders : align left or right. If the division has to advance, before starting the movement, he indicates to the battery commander in charge of the alignment, some local object on which to keep the direction.
The successful exit of the entire division to the battlefield depends on its quick and orderly execution. The order of the movement and the correct alignment depend entirely on the exact direction of all guns, and especially those in charge of the alignment. It is difficult to restore the correct direction especially in front of the enemy.
The longer the front, the more it is necessary to be completely calm and maintain a regular and moderate allure. Mistakes should always be corrected gradually, not all at once. The most essential condition for the movement of the division in open formation is to keep correct intervals between the batteries and the guns. Depending on the area, they may be increased or decreased, but, after passing the obstacle, the normal interval should be restored.
If the division has to stop to occupy a position, its head gives in advance all the necessary orders for the choice, reconnaissance and marking of the position. The arrest of the batteries in combat position occurs at an order of the head of the division, and the unlimbering of the guns at an order of the battery commanders.
Moving obliquely is very difficult, so it should only be done over short distances. For flanking it is better to turn the division turning entire batteries than to turn directly to the right or left, which takes up a lot of space and time.
Column by battery. The division in open formation with columns by battery on the same line, is aligned to the right if it advances, to the left if it retreats. Movement and other operations occur as above.
The line of columns by battery at full intervals can be narrowed both in place and on move. In place, all batteries start at the same time: the alignment battery advances the length of three teamed guns and stops. The other batteries, after turning towards the alignment battery, take the necessary interval and turn to the opposite side, come out in line with the alignment battery and halt. On the move, the alignment battery does not stop, but keeps going, and the other batteries double the pace, and after taking the appropriate interval, pass to the pace of the alignment battery. The line can also be widened by operating in the same way but in reverse order.
The open formation is formed from the line of columns by battery always on the fronts of the batteries and mostly on the move. If the line of the columns by battery is at narrowed intervals, after deployment, the head of the division orders the intervals between the batteries and between the guns to be widened.
Joint battery column. Joint columns are formed from open formation and line of columns by battery at full and narrowed intervals. From an open formation, they can be formed starting from one of the central batteries or with the simultaneous advance of the batteries to one of the flanks. At the order of the head of the division, the batteries turn towards the battery on which the formation takes place and place themselves behind it, first the closest battery on the right side, then the closest battery on the left side, etc. From a line of columns by battery, the only difference is that the joint column becomes the same as the battery on which the formation takes place.
The movement of the joint column takes place according to the same rules as that of the column by battery. While moving, the front battery must correctly observe the direction indicated by the head of the division and keep the correct intervals between the guns, and the rear batteries must go behind it. The alignment in the joint column in place and moving in a straight direction is to the right, and when the division turn around – to the left.
To change the direction of the movement of the joint column, if the column is thin, the following batteries turn in sequence, in the same place where the front battery turned. If the column is dense, they simultaneously with the beginning of the turn of the front battery half-rotate towards the opposite side; and after they reach the point where the front battery has turned they too turn and go in file. In this case, it is necessary that the front battery quickly and correctly takes the indicated direction, maintaining the correct intervals, the other batteries increase and decrease the pace accordingly, and the turn takes place easily and without stopping part of the column.
Switching from joint column to open formation, the head of the division does not have to complicate the formation to follow the numbering of the batteries; in fact, they may not be in the order of their numbers, provided that the deployment is rapid and the guns and platoons of one battery are not confused with those of the other.
The joint column must always be ready to deploy both in the direction of movement, and to right and to left, therefore the head of the division shall, in advance, deploy the division in the column, from which the deployment can be effected by the batteries easily and with the greatest rapidity. When deploying in front, the batteries coming from behind, having to travel a greater distance to exit on the same line as the battery on which the deployment takes place, will have more tired horses, so at each deployment, the reference battery, at an order of its commander, must reduce the pace. Once the deployment is complete, the head of the division restores the original pace with a command or a signal.
The deployment of the front takes place :
a) from a column by gun according with the Regulations for the battery training;
b) from columns by platoons or by battery either with the temporary departure of the units with shoulders forward or with turns;
c) from a joint column both at thin and close distances in the direction of movement, the batteries half turn to the side where the deployment takes place and go at a double pace (if the movement is a walk – at a trot, and if trot – at gallop) until they take proper intervals, then they half-turn to the reverse side and going out in line with the battery, according to which the deployment takes place, they switch to the right pace.
By carrying out any type of deployment, if an obstacle is noticed on the road where the battery will have to pass, the battery can autonomously place itself in another column, move at a different pace, go around the obstacle, in order to return without delay to its original formation and pace, taking its rightful place.
To switch a division in open formation on a single line to a formation by level, the battery on which the formation takes place continues to go straight ahead and with the same pace, while the other batteries go with a double pace and, when they have taken the right distance and the right interval from each other, they pass in the pace with which the reference battery goes.