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Training Day - Skirmishing

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Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Guest on Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:59 am

[General Training Day thread, and access to other events here]

Harris looked across at young Carty, and tried to grin. His head ached, but this was just a demonstration. Nothing would go wrong, and their rifle fire would not have to be accurate, provided they did not shoot a spectator.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Guest on Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:10 pm

Carty grinned back, beaming happily. He'd returned safely to their billet with Mister Sharpe, and slept all the way through the night, curled up in his blanket and warm hay, and awoke feeling refreshed and cheerful, the memories of the night before merely distant shadows. Harris had quickly put a stop to his high-pitched chattering for some reason, but he still couldn't help grinning like an idiot as he looked around, excited by the fair-like atmosphere of the day.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:13 am

2nd Lt Jaeger cast a last glance at the short line of riflemen. They were fielding only as many men as their cousins of the 95th, about 30 men each. He would do his utmost to work seamlessly with the 95th officer, who already had an intimidating reputation. His men would do him proud, he had no doubt about that, and they would show all those red rags what the greenjackets could do! He snorted derisively. One of the Army's most experienced generals had ridiculed them as 'a very amusing plaything'. Hah. They would show them!

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:36 am

The target for both groups of riflemen was the same - the French flag in the corner of the large paddock. They were not, they had been assured, in competition with the men of the 60th - it would be an exhibition not merely of a Rifleman's skills in the field, but also of co-operation between them, and potentially, with the Line Infantry. But the mood of Mr Sharpe's men was that they were going to do their best to see that it was their rifles, not the 60th's, that made the first hole in the tricolor. Harris glanced down at Carty, and nodded. They would work as a team, just as they had earlier, since he had first been told to look after the youngster.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:56 am

Cotton checked his rifle again. Personally, he thought that capturing the flag would be a more certain end to the exercise, but it would probably stir up competition between the two groups of Riflemen, which was not, so he was given to understand, what Captain Vickery had in mind. And, competition or not, the 60th were determined that they were going to put the first bullet through the tricolour in the corner of the paddock.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Ben Perkins on Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:19 pm

"Just look at everyone," Perkins exclaimed, grinning at Carty. "Look at all them pretty girls, eh?" Many inhabitants of the town had come to watch, including, of course, many women.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Richard Sharpe on Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:51 pm

"All right, you two," Sharpe said, coming over. "Stop gawpin' at the girls and get your rifles loaded. We ain't goin' to wait for you, you know!"

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Ben Perkins on Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:58 pm

"Sir," Perkins answered with a nod and embarrassed smile.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Richard Sharpe on Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:01 pm

"They'll still be there afterwards," Sharpe said, relenting a little.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:56 pm

[I know it's god-modding, but our commanding officer has to give the signal to start, doesn't he]

At Captain Vickery's signal, their bugler blew 'Advance in skirmish order' and 'Fire at will' (at your own pace?), the riflemen split into their skirmishing pairs and swiftly disappeared into any cover they found. As Jaeger hurried to keep up with the bugler, the first shots rang out, but he could not tell if any hit their target. The wind kept the flag flapping, and he was blinded by the smoke of a nearby shot.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:57 pm

Lossow watched the skirmishing demonstration get underway. At the signal, the men deployed from the line at one end of their training field into the pairs they fought in. They displayed the run-shoot-run tactic that was so different form the line soldiers way of fighting. One of a pair would cover the advance of the other, shoot at the flag, and then dart into the next position while being covered by his partner.

In Lossows opinion, the english riflemen did as well as any KGL Scharfschützen, and he smiled at the thought that part of his friends troops would proove the misers wrong, proove that british could be taught to skirmish well indeed.


Last edited by von Lossow on Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:57 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  John Vickery on Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:02 pm

(Oops. Embarassed I forgive - seeing as it's my fault!)

Vickery watched as his men split u into their pairs, one man loading while the other kept watching for danger. Of course, this was only an exercise and there were no voltigeurs or tiralleurs firing back at them. Each pair fired independently of the others, with each man choosing the best position to fire from - some fired kneeling, others prone. One or two managed to find trees to cover them and fired standing.

The air was loud with rifle shots and calls of "Fertig!" from his German men and "Ready!" from the English soldiers as they reloaded, allowing their partner to fire, before running forward - up to six paces in front, though sometimes more to use available cover - and prepared to fire again.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:30 am

Observing the men in the skirmish felt rather thrilling and exciting. Their technique was anything but the kind that the foot regiments usually deployed. Two a pair, one shooting, the other loading. Smoke rising from every post that the men had been at. The girls who had been drawn by their curiosity , were standing on their tiptoes, chattering excitedly among themselves. One pointed here, the other pointed there. Some of the girls had gone to sell the little trinkets that they had ready, to the other spectators, finding good profit from the day.

The Hussar had his eyes trained every so often at the banner, swooping back down to observe the advancing men. Even the redcoats looked on with some interest. To some it was greater, to the others, less.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:15 am

Harris fired, kneeling, aware of the difference with no one firing back. But the thump on his shoulder, the prickle on his cheek from still burning specks of powder and the pervading smell of the smoke drifting over the field was the same. He started to reload immediately, before gesturing Carty to pass him and fire. The boy should be in a position to hit the flag with his next shot, he thought.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:23 am

Carty was glad to be paired with Harris for the exercise - he felt more nervous about this than an actual battle, knowing the officers and the men and the girls were watching and judging. In a battle, you might be shot, or stabbed, or beaten, or die - all nasty fates to be sure, but it was letting down the Rifles that Carty was most afraid of. He ran forward when he saw Harris' signal and dropped to the ground as soon as he found some suitable cover, and peering through the green he aimed, steadied the rifle, and fired.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:01 am

Harris watched Carty run forward - in battle, he would be watching anything but his partner, aware of him only out of the corner of his eye, his attention being directed to anything that might conceal a voltigueur or tirailleur, or anyone or -thing else that might pose a threat to them or their comrades. But today there was no threat, except possibly if one of the spectators got in the way of the real rifle balls flying across the paddock to strike the tricolor. Carty, as always, did well. He could concentrate like no one else, his whole being, mind and body (and probably soul) focussed on the target, on his partner, and on the surrounding, dangerous territory. Seeing him at other times he was shy and speechless almost to the point of appearing stupid, easily amused, and gawky. With a rifle, he was already a Rifleman.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:10 am

A miss - the loose flag fluttering in the breeze was a difficult target - but a close one, and theirs was the closest pair. Carty flashed a grin at Harris as he ducked down and began reloading; he knew that Harris would be able to hit the flag on his next shot, and was determined to gift him with a clear, guarded one. He let the ramrod slide back into its place and squeaked "Ready!" as he tapped the butt of the rifle on the ground. He brought it to his shoulder again to cover Harris as he moved, allowing himself to glance at a red-collared man of the sixtieth for an instant as he made his own attempt.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:13 am

Lt. Jaeger took cover behind a convenient tree and cast a critical eye over the advancing riflemen. What he saw filled him with professional pride. The two groups were evenly matched, all skirmishing pairs working smoothly together, efficiently working their way forward, just as they had been taught. Just by looking at this display an observer would never be able to distinguish between germans, americans and brits. They were all Riflemen.


Last edited by Lt. Jaeger on Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:14 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : grammar. and spelling)

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:44 am

Harris kept low as he ran forward on Carty's word - as if each bush did hide a Frenchman. The bush he stopped beside being remarkably free of all enemies he took up a firing position, drew back the cock, and took aim on the flag. The wind was fluttering it at a slight angle, but his movement had improved the shot, and he waited as the breeze steadied, and fired. He thought he might have hit it, and another shot, from his left, almost certainly had. He glanced round - one of the 60th, but he was already reloading. Carty would join him here, until all the skirmishers had completed this phase. Advancing to claim the flag would be unnecessarily dangerous while the other riflemen were still targetting it.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:57 am

Edrington was very satisfied with the display the Riflemen were putting on. He would have to express that to Sharpe and Vickery as soon as he was able. He had walked round the paddock to see the final stages, as each pair of Riflemen fired on the French flag, before what could become a fairly chaotic race to claim it. He glanced across at the General and his staff. He must also thank Hunter, who ought to get some of the credit for this. If the rest of the afternoon went as well, there would be enough to share between his Riflemen and the Captain.

Some of the Riflemen he already knew - the Irish boy, Carty, paired with the red-head who was teaching him English; Cotton, who would be shooting in the Target competition; and Sharpe's big Sergeant, who made surprisingly good use of cover for a man of his size. And there was Vickery's other lieutenant - American by birth, if Hannoverian by heritage, and, one hoped, by allegiance...

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:52 am

The Staff seemed pleased with the show. George was interested to see a skirmish so close up, though he was sure it would not be quite as neat or bloodless in reality.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:45 am

Cotton knelt and aimed at the blue stripe of the flag. He thought he saw the tricolour twitch but was uncertain whether it was his shot or one from the young Irish lad in the 95th that had hit it. The Irish boy and his red-headed partner - Carty and Harris - were the closest pair, but not by much.

Cotton had forgotten all about the spectators by now. As far as he was concerned, it was just another one of Captain Vickery's training days that the officer had organised every so often throughout the 60th's long winter in Lisbon.

He had the rifle down and primed even before Roper darted past him to drop to the ground to take his own shot at the flag.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:26 am

It looked as if it won't last too long before one or the other riflemen would have gotten the flag down. It did speak some for efficiency as time sometimes was of great importance. The faster they came, the harder it might have been for the enemy to either to regroup, get back up or even just reload.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:48 am

The crow circled over the crowd non-chalantly. There was a pressing need to relieve herself, which she promtly did. Right onto the blue-uniformed hussar. Not that she knew or cared.

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Re: Training Day - Skirmishing

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:53 am

Back luck always came with company. A lost purse, an earlier terrible headache, having been lost before, dead horse, stumbled across the French,...and so forth and so back..and now this.

With a stifled curse under his breath, he knelt down, picked a small stone and promptly threw it at the crow. Damned bird. And then, with a deep frown on his face he left the skirmishing presentation to wipe his uniform clean.

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