tricks of the trade back then and a riddle me this

Subjects about any topic that comes to mind are welcome here.
User avatar
Niner Alpha
Site Admin
Posts: 3760
Joined: Sun May 05, 2002 7:48 pm
Location: Alabama

tricks of the trade back then and a riddle me this

Postby Niner Alpha » Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:03 pm

At the Branson Reunion my old FO ..a West Pointer... asked a question of a couple of us chatting. He said he was addressing an officer FO class at Sill one time as a guest and asked them if they could explain an experience that he had one time when he was the FO of Alpha. The question went like this.

I had marked the company night locations on my map with my grease pencil. I had a black, and and red and a green in my pocket. Later when it got dark I had to consult my map for some defensive targets. When I looked at it under a poncho with my flashlight... all of the locations had vanished. What happened?


The answer was that he had marked the locations with the red grease pencil and had a red filter on the flashlight which made them seem to disappear. It was easy for me... I think I remembered the occasion.

I was sitting in the back yard swing tonight as the BBQ was doing the cooking and I was sucking on a beer and smoking a cigar and remembered a like quiz I could have told him about ...but didn't because I wasn't thinking of it at the time.

Once, when I was the acting FO the CO came into the company TOC at Ben luc. He said to me.. I've got to insert a platoon by air this afternoon for a night ambush and I don't know if the arty here can support them. I asked him where. He gave me a grid and I went to the map on the wall and made a grease pencil mark. Then I went to the table and tore off a sheet of legal pad and went over to the map and made a few notations on the paper and told him... that's exactly 7200 meters from the battery here so no problem. The CO..being infantry thought I was pretty smart. It was pretty simple for an arty 13E20 to do. So how did I figure it out that quickly?
User avatar
Niner Delta
Global Moderator Sponsor 2011-2017
Posts: 394
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2002 12:54 pm
Location: Sequim, WA

Re: tricks of the trade back then and a riddle me this

Postby Niner Delta » Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:51 pm

I never worked in FDC, but maybe marking the exact distance between his location and the battery, on the
edge of the sheet of paper and then laying it on the grid lines of the map to see the distance??
Of course, it would depend on the size of the wall map.



.
Vern

Any restaurant's a drive-thru if you go fast enough.
User avatar
Niner Alpha
Site Admin
Posts: 3760
Joined: Sun May 05, 2002 7:48 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: tricks of the trade back then and a riddle me this

Postby Niner Alpha » Sat Jul 02, 2016 2:02 pm

That's what I did. Actually I took the legal sheet and aligned the bottom edge on a map grid line and then marked the edge of the paper at each 1000 meter grid going up tracing from the wall map. Then I put the bottom edge at the battery location and swung the paper around like a range deflection protractor in an FDC to the point marked on the map. Then I just counted the tick marks and ...with each grid being a square of a thousand meters I just estimated the extra hundreds of meters by where the mark was in the remaining space between tick marks.

The scale of the map didn't matter. As long as the map was in a military meter configuration.

You were an FO too, Vern. I'm not surprised that you knew the answer right away.

The infantry CO thought that was amazing. Somehow it was something that had never occurred to him but what is one of the main common sense reasons for military maps.

Return to “Shooting the Breeze”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests