REFERENCE DOCUMENTS & RESOURCES - OFFICIAL ADMIRALTY DOCUMENTS
ADM 239/261: THE FIGHTING INSTRUCTIONS, 1939 (C.B.04027)
Updated 31-Mar-2007

This document is a modern transcription of a portion of Admiralty record ADM 239/261. This lengthy document contains the Admiralty's official fighting instructions. The original file is held at the The National Archives at Kew, London. This Crown Copyrighted material is reproduced here by kind permission of The National Archives.

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- Pages 89-90 -

MINOR OPERATIONS
SECTION XII.-PARTICULAR OPERATIONS (2)
CHASING

CONTENTS

Clause Subject

520
521
522-523
524
525
526-529

General.
Employment of catapult aircraft.
Closing to effective range.
Co-operation with other ships.
Action when the enemy makes smoke.


SECTION XII.-PARTICULAR OPERATIONS (3)
CHASING

GENERAL
520.
In most minor operations, one force will be stronger than the other. The weaker force will probably try to escape and the action then becomes a chase. The one factor indispensable to a successful chasing action is that the enemy is pursued relentlessly. War experience has shown that there is never too much time in which to destroy an escaping enemy.

EMPLOYMENT OF CATAPULT AIRCRAFT
521.
If aircraft are armed with weapons suitable for reducing the enemy's speed, they should be flown off and instructed to make a co-ordinated attack as soon as possible. Attacks by individual aircraft will be less effective than spotting the fall of shot for the chasing cruisers.

CLOSING TO EFFECTIVE RANGE
522.
The destruction of the enemy can only be brought about by gunfire, and to obtain hits, effective gun range must be reached. To attempt to destroy the enemy at long range for the sake of remaining immune from damage by the enemy is unsound and may well lead to the latter's escape.

523. Effective range may be reached by reducing the enemy's speed by air attack or a lucky shot ; deliberate fire should therefore be opened at long range. It will usually be best, however, for the pursuer to steer the fastest closing course irrespective of maintaining "A" arcs until effective range is reached.

COOPERATION WITH OTHER SHIPS
524.
In this type of operation, friendly ships, although a long way off when the chase starts, may be able to cut off the enemy. These ships should be given full information during the chase to enable them to assist in the action.

ACTION WHEN THE ENEMY MAKES SMOKE
525.
If the enemy makes smoke, the pursuer should not be deterred from continuing the chase.

526. (Blank)

527. (Blank)

528. (Blank)

529. (Blank)

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