The study of naval tactics has for its object the employment of ships in battle. This does not mean that the field of such inquiry is limited simply to that in which the weapons are in action (offensive contact); indeed it is well understood that, directly in relation to the battle, the movements of the two adversaries from the time of their sighting each other are to be considered; further more, on the information obtained from the units that keep the enemy in sight, the remainder of the forces can be arranged in the most opportune way for its tactical employment. Therefore, under the head of tactical contact, besides the above-mentioned form (offensive contact), it is well to include also that of contact out of range.
To proceed from the simple to the complex, let us examine successively:
I. The elements of maneuvering; seeking to establish the importance of the various elements (angles and distances) by means of the examination of the momentary tactical situations; considering the mobility of the adversaries only in so far as it affects the probability of hitting with the weapons.