A.C.W.S.
Ltd (UK)
ACWS Ltd

SKIRMISH DRILL

All movements are carried out at Quick or Double Quick Time, except rallies which are at the Run. Skirmishers carry their piece at will when deployed. They may load on the move, prone or kneeling, taking advantage of any cover and may change their position to load.

The basic unit is the four man group of Comrades in Battles, comprising a Front Rank Number One and Two and a Rear Rank Number One and Two. Each pair of Ones and Twos should ensure that one of them is loaded at all times. When deployed in Skirmish Order, they should maintain a distance of five paces between each man, although this distance may be varied to take advantage of cover. However, each man should be able to see his three comrades.

1. TO DEPLOY FORWARD

FIRST PLATOON - AS SKIRMISHERS - ON THE LEFT FILE - TAKE INTERVAL - MARCH

On MARCH, the left Four continue forwards, all others march diagonally to the right until they are twenty paces from their neighbour when they too advance. On HALT, each Four deploys as follows: the Front Rank Number Two stands fast while the Rear Rank Number Two moves diagonally to the left to stand five paces from him. The Front Rank Number One moves ten paces to his right while the Rear Rank Number One moves diagonally to the right to stand between his partner and the Front Rank Number Two. All four comrades form one rank.

TO DEPLOY BY THE FLANK

FIRST PLATOON - AS SKIRMISHERS - BY THE RIGHT FLANK - TAKE INTERVALS - MARCH

On MARCH, the Platoon faces right. The left hand Four stands fast and deploys as soon as it has space. The next Four halt twenty paces from the Four on its left and deploys, and so on. This deployment may be made on the Left Flank or BY THE RIGHT AND LEFT FLANK. In this case, a designated Four stands fast and the others face left or right as appropriate.

TO EXTEND INTERVALS

BY THE LEFT FLANK - 'xx' PACES - EXTEND INTERVALS - MARCH

On MARCH, the right hand Four stands fast, all others face left and extend their intervals by the required ('xx') number of paces, facing the enemy as soon as they are in position.

N.B. All extensions of intervals are between groups of four. Each Four maintains its five pace intervals between individuals. The extensions may be made BY THE RIGHT FLANK or BY THE RIGHT AND LEFT FLANK. In this case a designated Four stands fast and the others face left or right as appropriate.

TO EXTEND INTERVALS ON THE MARCH

ON THE LEFT GROUP - 'xx' PACES - EXTEND INTERVALS MARCH

On MARCH, the left Four continues to advance, the others move diagonally to the right until the extension is made. Extensions made be made on the Right Group or on the Centre.

TO CLOSE INTERVALS AT THE HALT

BY THE LEFT FLANK - 'xx' PACES - CLOSE INTERVALS - MARCH

On MARCH, the left Four stands fast, others face to the left and close up to the prescribed distance, each group facing the enemy as it reaches its position. Intervals may be closed BY THE RIGHT FLANK or BY THE RIGHT AND LEFT FLANK.

TO CLOSE INTERVALS ON THE MARCH

ON THE LEFT GROUP - 'xx' PACES - CLOSE INTERVALS MARCH

On MARCH, the left group advances, the others move up diagonally to the left until the intervals are reduced to the correct distance.

TO RELIEVE A PLATOON DEPLOYED AS SKIRMISHERS

The relieving Platoon advances and deploys twenty paces to the rear, then advances briskly through the Platoon in front, halting a few paces beyond it. The relieved Platoon retires to the rear or assembles on the reserve.

2. TO MARCH IN ADVANCE

FORWARD - MARCH

Orders are as normal.

TO MARCH IN RETREAT

IN RETREAT - MARCH

On MARCH, all About Face and retire. On HALT, all face the enemy.

TO MARCH BY THE FLANK

BY THE RIGHT FLANK - MARCH

On MARCH, all face right and move off, keeping their intervals. On HALT, all face the enemy. Moves may also be made BY THE LEFT FLANK.

3. THE FIRINGS

TO FIRE AT THE HALT - COMMENCE FIRING

On FIRING, the Front Rank Numbers fire and reload. The Rear Rank Numbers come to the Ready and fire when their partners have reloaded.

TO FIRE MARCHING IN ADVANCE - COMMENCE FIRING

On FIRING, the Front Rank Numbers halt, fire and reload before moving forward. Rear Rank Numbers advance 10-12 paces, halt and fire when their partner has reloaded. In this way, a forward movement is kept up.

TO FIRE MARCHING IN RETREAT - COMMENCE FIRING

On FIRING, the Front Rank Numbers face about, fire and reload while moving to the rear. Rear Rank Numbers continue to march for 10-12 paces, face about, come to the Ready and fires when his partner has passed him. In this way, the retreat is continued.

TO FIRE BY THE FLANK - BY THE RIGHT FLANK - COMMENCE FIRING

On FIRING, Front Rank Numbers face the enemy, take one step forward, halt and fire before reloading on the march. Rear Rank Numbers continue forward until their partner is loaded before firing in their turn. This is continued until the HALT, when all ranks ensure they are in their correct positions. In FIRING BY THE LEFT FLANK, the Rear Rank Numbers fire first.

IF FIRING AT THE HALT, or BY THE FLANK

At the command FORWARD - MARCH, the men with loaded weapons move to the front.

At the command IN RETREAT - MARCH, the men with loaded weapons remain facing the enemy and fire before retiring.

At the command CEASE - FIRE, all men reload.

If the skirmish line is advancing, at the HALT the line reforms on the skirmishers in front; if the line is in retreat, it reforms upon the skirmishers in the rear.

4. RALLIES

RALLY BY FOURS

Each Four closes on the Front Rank Number Two who stands fast. The Rear Rank Number One stands back to back with him while the Rear Rank Number Two and the Front Rank Number One also stand back to back to form a compact group. All Charge Bayonet and may fire in their pairs as opportunity arises.

RALLY BY SECTIONS OR PLATOON

Each group of four rallies on a designated group forming a circle.

RALLY ON THE RESERVE

Each group of four rallies on the Reserve.

5. ASSEMBLIES

ASSEMBLE ON THE RESERVE

Each Four reassembles in Close Order, Front Rank men behind the Rear Rank men, and marches back to the Reserve where they take their correct places.

ASSEMBLE ON THE CENTRE

Each Four marches individually, diagonally left or right as appropriate, until the Section or Platoon is assembled on the centre. Once in line they will halt at the Right Shoulder Shift. This Assembly may be made on the Right or Left File. It may also be made at the Halt on the line already occupied. Skirmishers face left or right as appropriate, and march into position halting at Support Arms.