Within the last few years a general opinion has gradually crystallized in the service that the conventional " column " is the best fighting formation, and that upon battle becoming imminent our fleet should form column and retain the same throughout the fight, following the leader closely on the same courses and at the same speeds.
Uniformity of course and speed being favorable to good shooting, such tactical conceptions are the natural outcome of a period of tremendous gunnery development, and of an intense and almost exclusive interest in that branch of the profession. Surely it is a reason for gratification that the primary weapon should receive such attention. It is far from the writer's intention to decry an advance so imperatively necessary to war preparation. Needless to say he is emphatically in sympathy with every effort to increase our skill in the delivery of hard blows in action. All the preliminary strategy and tactics of a campaign will count for little unless they can be crowned by many hits rapidly delivered.