The brigade commander rides over the ground, considers the available space, and with due re gard to the targets to be taken under fire, de cides what front will be occupied. The regi mental and battalion commanders are then given their orders, and the latter indicate to the batteries their respective positions. The bat teries then enter their position, keeping the roads as long as possible, and after that utiliz ing cover when practicable. On a line of heights the guns are placed in position close behind the crest, then moved up so that a man standing can just see the target. No battery opens fire until its guns are ready. In large masses it may be necessary to take up first a preparatory position under cover, so that, moved to the front, the batteries may open fire simultaneously. but this is rarely practicable. The direction of the fire is so arranged that brigade and regimental commanders merely indicate the target in gen eral, while battalion commanders designate the special target for each battery and also decide on a change of targets; the ranging, selection of kind of firing, and the actual firing is left to the battery commanders. Changes of position are, in general, ordered only by the commander in-chief, but in special cases the artillery must act on its own responsibility. In large masses this change of position takes place by echelons, portions of the line remaining in position and continuink the fire while others advance to the new position.
The attack of the infantry must be supported by the artillery in such wise that the former may overcome the enemy's infantry, consequently the artillery of the attack should be superior to the enemy's from the very first. This does not mean necessarily in numbers, because a smaller force by greater rapidity of movement into position and subsequent ranging may gain the upper hand of a large force. If a weaker artillery fears being overpowered it can await it a prepar atory position the arrival of reinforcements, but this will not always be possible, because the cir cumstances may demand its coming into action at once. In this case the artillery endeavors to utilize the ground to the best advantage. In the attack on a prepared defensive front the entire artillery must be in position before open ing fire. By superiority of fire is not meant the complete silencing of the enemy's artillery, but such an effect that, after the artillery duel, which first takes place, the enemy's artillery is no longer able to direct a destructive fire on the attacking infantry. As soon as the attacking infantry approaches too near the enemy the ar tillery must direct its fire on the ground beyond the objective, to prevent the advance of sub divisions from the rear. The principal duty of
the artillery of the defense is to take the at tacking infantry, even though it may have over come by its fire the infantry of the defense, under such a hail of shrapnel as to cause its attack to break down. But in the beginning it. will have to take up the artillery duel, and here it has the advantage of selecting and strengthen ing its positions. It will not do, however, to occupy its positions at the beginning, because if it should be forced to change it will lose all its advantages. Consequently, it takes up at first a preparatory position, until the direction of the attack becomes known, and this has the additional advantage of preventing the attacker from getting an insight into the defender's plans before the battle opens. The artillery of the defense, however, cannot devote all its attention to the attacker's artillery. Wherever the in fantry of the attacker gains a strong foothold it must be taken under fire. As soon as the at tacking infantry prepares for the final assault the entire situation changes, and the defender's artillery takes up its true role. The main effort is directed against the enemy's infantry, and his artillery is only kept occupied by a few guns. During the artillery duel the guns of the defense were kept under cover; now they must come out for their proper work. If the artillery of the defense is overpowered it may retire to be placed in position again during the infantry assault, but this will rarely be possible or ef fective. It is better to keep it in position, the men lying down for better protection, entering into action again at the decisive moment. Should the enemy's attack be successful, the batteries of the defense remain in position firing to the last, for the loss of the guns is no longer a dis grace on the battlefield, provided the situation demands it.
Every army will hereafter take into the field batteries of position, heavy batteries, for break ing .down obstacles which the ordinary field ar tillery cannot deal with, and for which the ar rival of the siege artillery material cannot be awaited. It must combine great power with a inability sufficient to enable it to keep up with the troops. Since they are necessarily some dis tance behind the other troops on the road, the arrival of these batteries must be awaited. They are used very much like the field batteries, hut in the selection of the positions there will usually be more freedom, and their duties and changes of position are ordered only by the commander-in chief.