Gunfire at Sea

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Gunfire at sea

1. Summary events and developments:
Before 1898: the gun pointer estimated the range of the target and elevated the gun barrel (loop) to a height so that the shell could reach the target at the estimated range, done by a small wheel on the gun mount (bevestiging). When the pointer wanted to fire, he had to wait until the right moment of the roll and fire a bit earlier to compensate for his firing interval.

In 1898 Admiral Sir Percy Scott introduced continuous firing, after seeing a man of his gun crew unconsciously working his elevating gear back and forth. The elevating gear and sighting were improved what meant a huge increase in accuracy and productivity.

He shared his findings with Sims, an American junior officer. Sims tried the system out on his own ship and starts looking for a way to expand this method to the whole Navy. After being ignored by the Washington Office, he sends a letter to president Roosevelt himself explaining his finding, documented with proof from exercises. Roosevelt was intrigued and Sims was installed as Inspector of Target Practice. After this he was universally acclaimed as “the man who taught us how to shoot” by the US navy.

The lessons
I think there are three lessons here. First is that innovation does not necessarily come from the great inventors but from the people who have the energy and skills to convince all the others of the greatness of the innovation. It is more important to be an entrepreneur than an inventor. Secondly, recognition and acknowledgment of the idea are necessary to spread it. Finally one should remember that people in higher ranks might refuse to accept that a lower ranked person can have greater ideas than them.

2. What is continuous firing and how does it differ from the past Continuous-aim firing enables the gun pointer to keep his sight and gun barrel (loop) on the target throughout the roll of the ship. The gear ration in the elevating gear was altered so a pointer...
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