Rifle School

The following is taken from the Manuel du Chef de Section d'Infanterie ("The Manual of the Infantry Section Leader") dated January 1918. However, the commands covered in this section remained essentially unchanged from those practiced in 1914.


INSTRUCTIONS FOR FIRING

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FIRING COMMANDS



CHARGER ET DÉCHARGER

("Loading and Unloading")

CHARGEZ.
If armed with the Lebel rifle, load the magazine until it is full (8 rounds) and place one final round in the breech and close it. If armed with the Berthier rifle, place one full stripper clip into the breech and close it.


DÉCHARGEZ.
If armed with the Lebel rifle, remove the round that is in the chamber and unload the magazine completely until it is empty. Close the breech. If armed with the Berthier rifle, extract the clip and eject the round that is in the chamber. Place the loose rounds that are available in the incomplete clips.



FEUX

("Firing")

Fire At Will
FEU À VOLONTÉ.
À (xx) MÈTRES,
SUR (xx):
COMMENCEZ LE FEU.

("Fire at will.
At [xx] meters,
On [a certain point]:
Commence firing.")

On the first command, load the weapon if necessary. On the second command, set the sight according to the distance prescribed. On the third command, look at the point indicated, keeping the eyes fixed on it. On the last command, open fire until instructed to stop.


Fire (xx) Rounds/Clips
FEU DE (xx) CARTOUCHES/CHARGEURS.
À (xx) MÈTRES,
SUR (xx):
COMMENCEZ LE FEU.

("Fire [xx] rounds/clips.
At [xx] meters,
On [a certain point]:
Commence firing.")

The soldier fires a prescribed number of rounds or clips (depending on the type of rifle being used).On the first command, load the weapon if necessary. On the second command, set the sight according to the distance prescribed. On the third command, look at the point indicated, keeping the eyes fixed on it. On the last command, open fire and continue doing so until the prescribed number of rounds or clips have been fired. Once the prescribed number has been fired, continuing to fire, loading one shot at a time until ordered to cease fire.



Fire By Repetition
FEU À RÉPÉTITION.
À (xx) MÈTRES,
SUR (xx):
COMMENCEZ LE FEU.

("Fire by repetition.
At [xx] meters,
On [a certain point]:
Commence firing.")

The soldier fires a prescribed number of rounds or clips (depending on the type of rifle being used).On the first command, quickly bring back the "squared" button to its back position, then close it again, pushing up the lever completely to the right. On the second command, set the sight according to the distance prescribed. On the third command, look at the point indicated, keeping the eyes fixed on it. On the last command, open fire and continue doing so without cease until the magazine is empty. Once the magazine has been emptied, bring back the "squared" button to its forward position, continuing to fire, loading one shot at a time until ordered to cease fire.



Fire By Salvoes
FEU PAR SALVES.
À (xx) MÈTRES,
SUR (xx),
JOUE,
COMMENCEZ LE FEU.

("Fire by vollies.
At [xx] meters,
On [a certain point],
Aim,
Commence firing.")

On the first three commands, load, set the sight and look at the point indicated. On the command of JOUE, aim the weapon. On the last command, fire the weapon once, reload and then wait for the new command of JOUE. The command to fire again will be FEU.



CESSER ET REPRENDRE LE FEU

("Ceasing and Restarting Fire")

CESSEZ LE FEU.
When the command is give, the soldier repeats the command to his neighbors and then ceases fire. If armed with the Lebel rifle, unload if necessary without disarming. If armed with the Berthier rifle, reload if necessary and put the weapon on safety by moving the safety lever into its correct position.



Restarting fire is done by the following commands:

À VOLONTÉ, À RÉPÉTITION, (xx) CARTOUCHES/CHARGEURS, PAR SALVES.
COMMENCEZ LE FEU.

The relative commands regarding the adjustment of the sight and taking note of the indicated point are only done upon restarting fire if it is necessary to change the sight or the point being aimed at. If armed with the Lebel rifle, when the command to "Cease Fire" is given during a "fire by repetition," refill the magazine and, before loading, set the "squared" button back to its forward position. If armed with the Berthier rifle, and if the command to "Cease Fire" is followed by that of DÉCHARGEZ, extract the clip and eject the round that is in the chamber. Place the loose rounds that are available in the incomplete clips.

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