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Author Topic: Chatham Lines - Siege Operations, Reviews, Trials etc.  (Read 32405 times)

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Offline kyn

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Re: Chatham Lines - Siege Operations, Reviews, Trials etc.
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2009, 12:48:54 »
06 June 1870

During the past week sheerness has been visited by a party comprising Captain Tisdall, R. E.; Lieutenant Barrow, 19th Hussars; two sergeants 19th Hussars, and one sapper, for the purpose of army signal practice by day and night.  The lime light was used after sunset, and the reflecting glass, with flags, during the day, the answering point being the Spur Battery at Chatham, distant from sheerness, as the crow flies, 3 1/2 miles.  The experiments were very successful.

Offline kyn

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Re: Chatham Lines - Siege Operations, Reviews, Trials etc.
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2009, 12:39:33 »
05 September 1867

On Monday, the 2d of September, some further night siege operations were carried on at Chatham.  The whole of the officers and men of the Royal Engineers paraded at 8 pm, and were told off into two working parties - one to continue the construction of the battery commenced on the previous Wednesday, the other to trace out a first parallel and three batteries in connexion therewith, that is to say, to perform the very first operation of breaking ground before a besieged fortress.  This latter was carried out in the great lines in the direction of and facing Fort Amherst.  On reaching the ground the construction of the three-gun sunken battery was proceeded with by the first party.  The lines of fire of the several batteries, proposed to be traced on the great lines, having been laid down before dark by the officers in charge, the actual tracing was commenced as soon as it had become sufficiently dusk to prevent danger of discovery from the fortress.  The batteries and parallel were so arranged that the latter might serve as a screen to the former.  Communications from the rear to the right and left of the parallel were also traced.  On arrival on the ground, about 9pm, the men detailed for that duty were extended along the lines traced out, as a working party.  The electric light was used both by besieged and besiegers - by the former, as before, by the latter from the trenches near the sunken battery.  The attacking force had, on this occasion, arranged their light to act through an opening - a kind of tunnel, so to speak - through the parapet of their works, so as to give protection as far as possible to the lamp and to the men employed in working it from the fire of the defenders.  This opening was one foot square on the inside, where the light was placed, with a lateral splay towards the outside, where its dimensions were 1 foot high and 3 feet wide, forming a kind of fan-shaped embrasure, the central line of which was directed towards the position of the defenders' light.   The result thus obtained was very similar to that on the previous Friday night.  Some of the outer rays were, of course, obstructed by the sides of the opening, but the central focus still remained sufficiently brilliant to counteract the opposing light as before.
An attempt was made by the defenders to discover, by means of their electric light, the working party extended along the parallel and batteries in the great lines, but without success.  The distance to the nearest point of their line was about 800 and to their furthest point about 1,500 yards.  The only object made out was a bell tent, about 1,000 yards distant, which was very indistinctly visible with a glass, figures moving across its white surface being also just perceptible; people moving along the road to New Brompton, about 500 yards distant, were, however, clearly distinguishable.
The night was extremely hazy, and consequently unfavourable to the lights, but it seems doubtful whether men in dark clothing and against a moderately dark background existing could have been made out, even under favourable circumstances, at this distance (800 yards and upwards).
The working parties of the attacking force were, as before, under the superintendence of Colonel Lennox, C. B., V. C., Instructor of Fieldworks, and the electric lights and signalling under the personal supervision of Lieutenant Anderson, R. E., Assistant-Instructor in Telegraphy at the Royal Engineers' Establishment, the whole being under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Fitzroy Somerset, R. E.
Major-General Freeman Murray, Commandant of the garrison, accompanied by his staff, was on the ground and expressed himself highly pleased with the steady, quiet, and orderly manner in which the men wee extended, as a working party, along the parallel and batteries traced on the great lines, as well as with the general arrangements of the whole of the operations.
There were numerous spectators present, including several officers of the garrison.

Offline kyn

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Re: Chatham Lines - Siege Operations, Reviews, Trials etc.
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2009, 19:37:26 »
03 March 1862

Some further trials were made at Chatham on Friday night with Capt. Bolton's newly invented telegraphic lime light signals, in order to put the invention to a more extended test than on the occasion of the previous trial.  On this occasion three parties of telegraphists were engaged, each provided with the lime light together with the small portable apparatus invented by Capt. Bolton for generating the oxygen and hydrogen gases which produce the light.  One party was stationed on the commanding elevation known as Blue Bell Hill, near Maidstone; the second being placed on the banks of the Thames, nearly opposite Southend, at a distance of 12 miles in a straight line from the first party; Capt. Bolton again occupied the Spur Battery, from which, with a party of Royal Engineers, he superintended the signals.  The night was clear.  Not-withstanding brilliancy, enabled the three parties to keep p a uninterrupted communication with each other.  The most valuable pat of Capt. Bolton's invention is that a hazy or thick atmosphere does not interfere with the working of the signals, as, by a modification of the lenses used, a light sufficiently powerful to pierce through thick fog can be produced.  During the present week the invention will be tested at still greater distances, the parties being stationed 20 miles from each other.

Offline kyn

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Re: Chatham Lines - Siege Operations, Reviews, Trials etc.
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2009, 11:04:14 »
1st March 1862 Military and Naval Intelligence - The Times

By direction of the Duke of Cambridge an experimental trial was made at Chatham on Thursday night to test the merits of the new description of telegraphic night signals, the invention of Capt. F. J. Bolton (12th Regiment), which are about to be introduced for general adoption throughout the service.  The invention has been subjected to repeated trials by the Ordnance Select Committee, with, it is understood, the most satisfactory results, a highly favourable report on the system having been made to the Secretary of State for war.  By special direction of the Duke of Cambridge several of the most intelligent non-commissioned officers, selected from the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, the infantry and Royal Marines, at Chatham, have been placed under the direction of Capt. Bolton for the purpose if being instructed in the working of the code of signals.  Although they had only received eight lessons, so simple is the system used that the men have become thoroughly conversant with the working of the apparatus and the method of despatching and receiving messages.  Thursday night being exceedingly favourable for the preliminary trial to be made, an apparatus for producing signals was placed in the elevation known as the Spur Battery, adjoining the Chatham Lines, a party of Engineers and Artillery being stationed on one of the hills about midday between Chatham and Gravesend, with a second apparatus.  The distance in a straight line was between four and five miles.  Capt. Bolton, who superintended the arrangements at the Spur Battery, despatched a number of messages, some of them a very intricate and lengthened description, all of which were recorded, and promptly relied to by the signals placed on the second eminence, the beautiful lime-light shining out with astonishing brilliancy.  It is intended shortly to put the invention to a further test b assembling the troops of the garrison at night, when the signals will be despatched and received in all respects similar to those which would be used in active operations in the field.

Offline kyn

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Re: Chatham Lines - Siege Operations, Reviews, Trials etc.
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2009, 21:06:30 »
Sorry it is so small  :-[

merc

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Chatham Lines - Siege Operations, Reviews, Trials etc.
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2008, 19:59:09 »
Here's a few illustrations i have of the Siege Operations they practised on the Cumberland Lines (Chatham/Gillingham)during the 19th century.


Mine breach,North of the Redan


Attack by the flying bridge on the Redan


Assault on Prince Henry's Bastion.

 

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