In this day and age, cruise missiles are the weapons of choice. A target 500 miles or greater can be destroyed with good planning. In 1898, engaging a target was just a little bit different. Radar and sophisticated computer systems that calculate all necessary information to hit the target did not exist when the USS Oregon was in service. To effectively engage a target, the ship had to maneuver into an advantageous firing position and then sight the gun which required the seaman's eye. The gunner had to compensate for the roll and speed of the ship and make a judgment call as to the speed of the target he wanted to hit.
Gun Commands- A series of commands were required to ensure that the crew members had no question as to there actions. Many of these commands are still used today.
Stations! - Crew goes to stations preparatory to loading and firing the gun.
Load! - Crews load the guns.
Commence Firing! - Command may be given either before or after the gun is loaded. If given before, the gun will be loaded immediately. The gun is reloaded as soon as fired, and firing continues until ammunition is exhausted, or until the command "Cease Firing".
Cease Firing! - The service of the gun is stopped. Steps are taken to so the gun cannot fire.
Silence! - Given when, for any reason, it is necessary to temporarily stop the firing of the gun. Something may require immediate attention. May be given by any member of the crew. Crew ceases operation and stands in his tracks.
Carry On! - Given after the command of "Silence!", the casualty having been corrected, the crew resumes gun operations at which they were engaged in when the command "Silence!" was given.
Unload! - Gun is unloaded of all ammunition and rendered safe.
Secure! - Crewmembers, under the supervision of the gun captain return the gun to the pre-action condition. Crew assists the gunner's mate in cleaning the gun. Crew to fall in for muster.
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