Skip to main content

Adjusted Fire

May 2024
1min read

As a sometime reporter and former redleg myself, I must aver that the caption for the photo of a fire direction center in Hughes Rudd’s “When I Landed, the War Was Over” (October/ November 1981) is dead wrong. There could have been no “security reasons” for using the firing chart that obviously appears under the range/deflection fan on the table.

In the absence of a map, American artillerymen were trained to “make their own” by a technique of observed fire on targets and topographic features using a grid sheet.

There were obvious limitations on this technique—weather, visibility, tube wear, and others—when compared with the accuracy obtained from maps, but it worked beautifully as long as there were people like Rudd in the “Maytags” or forward observers with the advanced infantry elements.

As one who once employed more than a hundred artillery tubes against targets in the Remagen bridgehead, I can say that Rudd deserves for his fine article a belated oak-leaf cluster to the Air Medal he is shown receiving from General Keyes. It brought back many memories which are tending too rapidly to disappear into the mists.

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this magazine of trusted historical writing, now in its 75th year, and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.

Donate