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done without retarding the rate of advance. It consequently appears fairly definite that an increase in the proportion of the heavier calibers over what was formerly considered necessary will be generally adopted.
The construction of mounts for guns, both seacoast and field, a few years ago involved no necessity for serious consideration of long ranges because of the inability to determine the striking point of the projectiles and consequent impracticability of correction of fire. The ranges gradually increased, however, with the introduction of powerful optical instruments, but at the beginning of the war it was generally held that the limit of effective fire was certainly not greater than the distance at which these instruments were useful, and that in general even at such ranges the probability of hitting, due to inaccuracy of observation, atmospheric changes, unavoidable variations in powder and material, etc., was so small as not to justify the expenditure of ammunition. The development of the aeroplane and its use in directing fire has further extended the limits at which observation may be had, so that the problem of effective firing at great distances is now reduced to a question as to whether the matériel will respond sufficiently to the corrections given by the observer, and whether the percentage of hits which may be expected under favorable conditions at the extreme ranges justifies the expenditure of ammunition. The evidence so far obtained indicates that both of these questions are believed by the powers at war to have been answered in the affirmative. It is known that the belligerents are firing at greater ranges than have heretofore been considered practicable, and that in some cases effective results have been obtained. As á result, older designs of matériel are being modified for increased range so far as practicable, and new designs are being laid down for both field and seacoast carriages, to give a greater range than considered necessary in the past, and also for larger calibers with heavier projectiles.
It has heretofore been generally considered that machine guns were mainly valuable on the defensive and that the number required was consequently not very great. At least one of the belligerents has used these guns on the offensive as flank supports for advancing troops, in addition to employing them extensively on the defensive, and has supplied them in quantities much greater than any heretofore held to be called for. This use has been so effective as to point strongly to the necessity for these guns in very much larger quantity than previously considered advisable, and to a revision of views as to the method in which they should be employed.
An absolute necessity is that they should be sufficiently light so that they can be carried considerable distances by hand, and this condition is being met in recent manufacture of all guns of this type, so far as known.
The issue of seacoast guns and carriages to the insular possessions has been continued during the year. Of those for which funds have been appropriated but very few remain to be shipped. The 14-inch turrets for Manila Bay are in the final stages of test and should be forwarded within a short time. The matériel for the fortification of
San Pedro will shortly be completed. The armament for the fortifications of the Canal Zone, for which appropriations have been made, is approaching completion, the greater part having been installed. The test of the 16-inch disappearing gun carriage is still to be had.
EMERY DISAPPEARING CARRIAGE.
In February, 1873, an appropriation was made for the construction and test of a disappearing carriage in accordance with the design of Mr. A. H. Emery. This action was taken after the unfavorable consideration of the design by the War Department. The amount was increased by various subsequent appropriations until, in 1908, it reached the sum of $250,000, and the carriage directed to be constructed was, during the course of this action, changed from one for a 12-inch to one for an 8-inch or 10-inch gun; $236,468.49 have been paid Mr. Emery, in installments, in accordance with the terms of the various acts, but the carriage has never been completed. The fortifications act of March 3, 1915, provided that the unexpended balance of $13,531.51 be turned back into the Treasury of the United States, and this has been done, presumably ending the transaction.
MAINTENANCE OF ARMAMENT OF FORTIFICATIONS.
This work has proceeded satisfactorily during the year and service guns, mortars, and carriages have been maintained in a good state of efficiency.
IMPROVEMENTS IN INSTALLED SEACOAST GUNS AND CARRIAGES.
Modification of seacoast matériel of the older types has proceeded as far as funds have permitted. The modernization of the 15pounder balanced pillar carriages, model of 1898, is in progress, and sufficient funds have been provided for its completion. The application of more satisfactory sights and firing circuits to 12-inch barbette, and altered gun-lift carriages has been completed, and lighting circuits with storage batteries have been installed. The firing magnetos referred to in my last annual report have been issued to the batteries conducting target practice, and have been found satisfactory. Procurement for all carriages of 6-inch caliber and over is in progress.
At the last session of Congress $200,000 were appropriated for the alteration of 12-inch disappearing carriages mounted in the United States to increase the maximum elevation obtainable; and $20,000 were appropriated for making similar alterations in carriages mounted in the insular possessions. The changes in design have been completed and tests are in progress.
Recent changes in practical ranging, combined with other knowledge derived from the European war, render necessary many new designs of guns and carriages, also extensive changes in ammunition. The commissioned personnel of this department, which has for some time been insufficient for the work of the department, is entirely inadequate to meet this increased demand. While some designing
work is done at the arsenals, the time of the officers stationed at these establishments is so fully taken up with other important duties that they are unable to give any considerable attention to this class of work; in addition there are many advantages in having the designing department under the immediate direction of the head of the corps and at the seat of Government.
Besides the limitation placed by the lack of commissioned personnel, a further handicap exists in the lack of room for the civilian drafting force connected with this office. Other divisions have been crowded to give more room for the drafting force. The drafting room has been cleared of files, etc., by the installation of overhead galleries, but the men are still crowded much too closely together for efficient work, Under these conditions it is not practicable to employ and utilize the number of draftsmen required for the very large output which should be had. The space should be doubled at least-preferably tripledbut action to that end is not now practicable, due to the fact that there is no available room in a Government building and, under the law, quarters outside may not be rented without a specific appropriation for the payment of the rent.
WILLIAM CROZIER, Brigadier General, Chief of Ordnance.
The SECRETARY OF WAR.
REPORT OF THE CHIEF SIGNAL OFFICER.
Washington, September 10, 1915. Sir: I have the honor to submit my annual report of the operations of the Signal Corps of the Army for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1915.
Before proceeding to report upon the operations of the Signal Corps during the year, however, I desire to invite attention to the conditions affecting the work imposed upon it at the present time when the importance of its service in military affairs, its necessity in the control of armies in the field, and its paramount value in the conduct of war have been proven beyond a doubt by events abroad.
In the United States Army the conduct of lines of intelligence communication, that is, of the nerves which connect the fighting arm with the directing brain, are wisely placed in charge of one corps—the Signal Corps—and not scattered among several branches of service varying in intelligence, instruction, and experience as is the case generally abroad. The advantage of this concentration has been proved; and I am not perhaps saying too much in claiming for the men of the corps as high a standard of faithfulness, industry, intelligence, and efficiency as does or can exist among any body of soldiers the world over. The enlisted men, recruited from intelligent men in civil life, are given severe training and practical
1 In the British Army our methods largely, and, indeed, our apparatus, to some extent, have been adopted.
instruction in telegraphy, telephony, and radiotelegraphy; as automobile and aero motor drivers; in telegraph construction and maintenance; in cable laying and testing; in the use of scientific electrical and photographic apparatus; in the service of automobiles; in the inflation and handling of balloons; in scouting and reconnoissance work of aeroplanes; in visual signaling; in riding and the care of horses and the use of pack animals with field and telegraph companies; in fact, in the almost innumerable duties which fall to their lot in service with their corps; and I am glad to be able to say of the signal troops, in general, that their work, which covers many fields of endeavor, is almost invariably so well performed as to commend them to officers of the line or staff with whom they may be serving and to make them welcome additions to any command.
In the ordinary times of peace the duties of the Signal Corps are important and widespread; the great field of its operations is constantly broadening and the advance of military science is rapidly progressing; so rapidly, indeed, that constant effort is needed to keep up with the march of events. Science and the mechanical arts have changed the very nature of war and every technical corps must use its utmost endeavor to keep up with the advances made. It follows that to progress and to properly perform the duties imposed upon it in peace as well as in war the Signal Corps must be provided with a personnel of trained men sufficient in number and skill to carry on its work in widely scattered regions—in the Philippines, in Hawaii, in Alaska, in Panama, and in many other fields in which this corps is called upon to furnish the means of transmission of intelligence for the 90,000 men of the Army.
Should war threaten, the Signal Corps must make provision for the equipment, organization, and training of many thousands of men needed for the service of the intelligence lines of communication of an army presumably large but at present of indeterminate size. In addition, this corps is charged with the building up of an efficient aeronautical service, and is slowly, laboriously, but, I believe, effectively performing this work.
The duties of the Signal Corps are therefore many and varied. They are far too onerous and dillicult to be performed in their full requirement by the men and oflicers now allowed. Much work has been done satisfactorily, it is believed, but at the cost of increased expense in time and money and of lack of completeness, for it is certain that the great field of usefulness lying before the corps can not for lack of men and for lack of means be developed to its fullest extent by the present organization. Still, this corps can and does hold what it has gained of usefulness to the Army, but it is not empowered to push on along that road of progress which the steady advance in electricity, in the mechanical arts, and in the navigation of the air marks out. On the contrary, it is compelled to creep slowly forward, working with imperfect means and a too small personnel in the great field of usefulness which is exploited in civil life by myriads of men and millions of money.
Within the year the first duty of the Signal Corps—that is, the service of the lines of intelligence—has become a major factor in military affairs, if it is not now, indeed, the paramount element in the conduct of modern wars. Without information and knowledge of events and conditions as they arise, all else must fail.
It is probably true, as has been said, that the art of war has not been changed with the passage of years, but it is also true that the science of war has changed enormously since the days of muzzleloading guns and captive balloons and the Civil War. Omitting the advance in weapons of war, the difference between the military science of then and now is, however, largely to be found in the application of the mechanical arts, of chemistry, and especially of electricity to war. Perhaps no element has contributed more to the development of the science of war than the latter, which permits the instantaneous transmission of information regarding events as they occur and has replaced the slow groping in the dark of contending forces of former years.
To keep abreast of the times, therefore, and to utilize that progress made possible by the applications of electricity to war, an increase in the personnel of the Signal Corps, especially of its enlisted force, is recommended. The character of this increase and other recommendations for betterment are submitted further on in this report, and are respectfully but earnestly urged for adoption.
The Signal Corps is intrusted with the air service of the Armyundoubtedly the most important, as it is the most recent, auxiliary in the collection and transmission of military intelligence. Air craft are now employed for strategical and tactical reconnoissance and the prevention of reconnoissance by the enemy's air craft, for the direction and control of fire of the field artillery, for the destruction of the enemy's personnel and matériel by explosives and incendiary missiles and other means, and for the rapid transportation of superior commanding officers. The value of air craft, and especially of the aeroplane, in the field of reconnoissance has been proved beyond the shadow of a doubt. Whatever may be the opinions of military men as regards the offensive importance of air craft and the present standing of the dirigible, there is no longer a question as to the value of the aeroplane in rapid and long-range reconnoissance work, and of its power to secure and transmit by radio, visual signal, or direct flight information of the utmost importance to armies in the field. So true is this that it seems probable the aeroplane and, to some smaller degree, all air craft have altered not the principles of strategy, which are immutable, but the theory and application of tactics. It now appears that the actual game of war is played openly with cards laid on the table, and opportunity no longer is given for inference as to concealed movements or for surprises, perhaps not even for the exercise of the high military quality of anticipation of the unseen movements of the adversary. It is now recognized that the possibility of brilliant and unexpected blows and surprises by enterprising commanders has been largely eliminated from modern operations of war by the information supplied by the aviators. It is proved that the modern air craft lays open to the field of mental view the whole visible area of the immediate theater of war, and that the commander's vision reaches far beyond the limits of the actual sight of his marching troops. The air craft sees and indicates the larger operations of war and points out to the slowly moving men on the ground not only the points to be attacked or defended, but to