In the age of sail, naval combat was “muzzle to muzzle”. Before 1800 most such actions took place at ranges between 60 and 150 feet (18 – 46 m).
The Civil War Battle of Cherbourg in 1864 pitting the Mohican-class sloop-of-war USS Kearsarge against the Confederate commerce raider CSS Alabama, opened at 3,000 feet (910m).
In 1884 the invention of the steam turbine produced speeds in naval vessels, never before dreamed of. By the turn of the 20th century, rifled guns of vastly larger size hurled explosive ammunition over the horizon. Enormously complex fire control solutions had to be calculated for range, movement of both vessels, elevation, the yaw of the firing ship, meteorological conditions, even the ambient temperature in powder magazines.
The projectile in flight is subject to forces such as gravity, drag, wind and air…
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