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 91-92 -

MINOR OPERATIONS
SECTION XIII.-PARTICULAR OPERATIONS (3)
ESCAPING (as opposed to a retirement)

CONTENTS

Clause Subject

530
531
532
533
534
535-539

General.
Scattering.
Employment of catapult aircraft.
Speed and course.
Smoke.


SECTION XIII.-PARTICULAR OPERATIONS (3)
ESCAPING (as opposed to a retirement)

GENERAL
530.
When a greatly superior enemy is met and no supports are at hand, the object of the weaker force is, in most circumstances, to escape unharmed.

SCATTERING
531.
When the weaker force contains more than one ship, the Senior Officer should at once order all units to scatter, ships should then disperse in different directions at full speed ; to remain concentrated in the hope of doing some damage to the enemy will be playing into his hands.

EMPLOYMENT OF CATAPULT AIRCRAFT
532.
In the first instance, aircraft, which carry a suitable armament, should be employed offensively against the fastest pursuing ships, subsequently they should report the enemy's movements and spot the fall of shot.

SPEED AND COURSE
533.
The range may be opened by developing the utmost speed and making small alterations of course, which may often be unnoticed by the enemy ; a large alteration of course, preferably under cover of smoke, may also achieve this. These alterations may be of particular use at dusk or when made towards areas where the visibility is poor.

SMOKE
534.
Smoke may be invaluable when being chased. Should the chance of escaping appear to be hopeless, the enemy should be closed and attacked through a smoke screen if possible ; such resolute action may surprise and defeat the enemy.

535. (Blank)

536. (Blank)

537. (Blank)

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