Starting next week Harvard's artillery men may be seen crouched over strange looking flame-vomiting instruments and bowling over toy houses hundreds of feet away.
The guns were the invention of General Harry G. Bishop, former Chief of Field Artillery, and consist of four pieces mounted on an iron base. Each gun has a regulation panoramic sight and worm gear arrangements for elevation and angle of site.
One-inch steel bearings loaded into the muzzle of each piece are fired by 22 calibre blank cartridges which load at the breech. Cylindrical lengths of steel fit inside the muzzle to regulate the muzzle velocity and ensure uniformity of range with all four guns.
Each piece is capable of receiving regulation settings such as would be sent down from the observation post to any real battery of 75mm. guns.
Lieutenant Bixby has constructed miniature houses, churches, barns, silos, and backhouses to a scale of one-100th regular size. Placed at a distance of 50 to 90 yards from the pieces, these targets will look the same as their actual counter-parts at ten thousand yards' distance.
It is the object of the Department of Military Science and Tactics to give ROTC students practice with this set of guns, in order that they may become acquainted with the use of the panoramic sight and gun squad work under almost actual conditions. While the pieces have a wide range of dispersion, due to the cylindrical contour of the projectile, it is nevertheless possible to hit a "house" three inches high at a distance of 75 yards.
It is possible to set up this battery and lay out the "village," establish an observation post and telephonic communications between the observation post and the battery, and conduct the fire by telephone in the same manner as would be done under actual firing conditions.