THE EASTER MANOEUVRES.
PREPARATIONS AT MORRINSVILLE. A FAVOURABLE PROSPECT. On Thursday evening next the volunteers of New Zealand will once again commence their annual Easter encampment in each of the respective military districts of New Zealand, and, so far as can yet be foreseen, that which will he attended by the defence forces of the Auckland district, bids fair to be one of the most successful which has yet been held in this province. The arrangements, in view of the distance of the encampment from the city and most of the volunteer force centres, have been of an unusually extensive nature, and the whole staff 0 f the district defence office has been working strenuously to keep up with the immense amount of business involved. The completeness of the preparations, and the fact that everything is so satisfactorily arranged to date, reflects the highest credit on the officers and clerical staff concerned.
_ This year's camp is to be held in entirely new country. The selection of Morrinsville as the scene of the manoeuvres was a particularly happy choice, as the ground affords ideal physical contour for the exercise of a whole army in every possible direction. The Tahuroa property, situated a few miles to the south of Morrinsville township, comprises every variety of topographical feature — hill and mountain, gully and valley, swamp, plain, and creek. As a result of the recent staff ride, superintended by the 0.C.D., all this country has been admirably sketched and mapped out by the officers, and this information should be of great value. The advantages gained by the experience of new conditions cannot be too highly estimated, for it is undoubtedly a fact that our defenders should, in time of actual warfare bo conversant with the best possible means and schemes for repelling an attack from the landward side of Auckland, or an invasion of the Southern districts, which, once fairly occupied, would then form a strong basis for directing operations against the various cities. | THE INSTRUCTIONAL SIDE. As already explained, this year's camp will partake much more of an instructional nature than has been the case on the last few occasions. While there will be plenty of tactical exercise, the general scheme does not provide so much for an idea of attack and defence as for one which will be best calculated to impart as much possible information of value to officers and men alike. Marksmanship is an all-important feature, and the attack on the enemy's position, first with blank cartridge and afterwards with ball and shell, will provide one of the nearest approaches to actual warfare conditions that our volunteer soldiers have yet experienced. This should be a splendid spectacle, and great value attaches to it, not from the mere standpoint of marksmanship, but from the element of responsibility which it will entail on eacu man paticipating. No company or squadron is without the "funny" individual, whose partiality towards practical joking occasionally involves, some luckless member of his corps in accident o J : some- degree. The sense of bearing such a large share of responsibility in this work should afford to our soldiers a clear idea of the immense risks of war, and of the necessity for preserving the strictest discipline under fire. SCHEME OF OPERATIONS. The forces arc to concentrate at Morrinsville. on Thursday night, and, news having then been received of the enemy, will move out as a column on the Friday in order to engage the invaders, taking with them all the requisite camp equipment. A camp ground will then be chosen and outposts thrown out, the latter to be in position a couple of hours before dark.
On Saturday morning, the attack will be conducted on tlie enemy's position with blank cartridge, and, in the afternoon, with ball.
On Sunday, the whole force will move out by 6.30 a.m. for tactical work, retiring about 2.30 p.m. Divine service will then be held, and a couple of hours' rest allowed to all. Further tactical work will take place in the evening. Outposts will be stationed by nifjlit.
The Monday will, it is expected, be fully occupied in striking en nip, transporting baggage and equipment to the railway, and retiming home. On one or two nights duiHng the camp, the outposts will be .attacked, and the men for outpost duty will bivouac and live on the line of observation. Outposts will be relieved every twelve hours. EN ROUTE TO CAMP. The horses from Auckland are to be transported from Remuera by a train leaving that station at fi.4o p.m. on Thursday, and picking up additional complements at Papnkura and Pukekohe. The bulk of the troops l leave Auckland at 7.25 p.m. by a train which reaches Morrinsville at 12.45 a.m. The King Country sections join this train at Frankton, while the men from the Thames districts arrive at Morrinsville by another train at 10.15 p.m.
The first camp (on the Thursday night, or rather Friday morning) will be on the Morrini'ville racpcourse, a quarter of a mile from the station. On the Friday, the forces proceed about five miles further to tho big encampment.
The return journey on the Monday, will, if possible, be so arranged that all men may reach town before the cars stop running on that date.
A squad of men from the Permanent forces is at present at Morrins'ville pitching camp, and any further work which the limited time at their disposal will not allow of prior completion, can be done on the Friday by the volunteers themselves. The Seddon Horee is also at present in camp at Morrinsville, and is doing good work.
Colonel Wolfe, 0.C.D., has for some
time past been endeavouring to arrange for the rifle clubs to concentrate at certain approved centres for Easter, but his ofTorta have been rendered fruitless by tho rogrottablo paucity of saipport proffered, -Some ten mon offered themselves from one cantro and four mon from another, riurely our rlfio clubs are capable of a better effort than this at a time when, according to our exports, tho world's affairs, both military and naval, have reached such a critical juncture,
Twelve medical officers have nlffnified their intention of going to canni, and will accordingly take turns on duty, Lieut.rcelonel Wolfe, 0.0.D., proceeds by to-morrow's express to Morrinsville to superintend all further arrangements. Colonel Tuson, of the Defence Council, who is attending the manoeuvres, arrives at Morrinsville on the Thursday about midday. A number of the officers will also proceed thither from Auckland on the same date. OTHER ENCAMPMENTS. Owing to circumstances, it will be necessary to hold several additional encampments at different points. Thus the Auckland Garrison Artillery will go under
canvas at the forts—No. 1 at the Bastion, No. 2 Company at Fort Cautley',. and No. 3 Company at Fort Takapuna. These companies will engage in practical work; and also in night firing at towed targets. The men encamp on the Thursday evening, and return home on Monday night. The Third Regiment Auckland Mounted Rifles will camp at Paparoa for 14 days from April 24 under Lieut.-colonel H. D. Eceles. The squadrons ordered into camp are the Marsden Mounted Rifles, Otamatea Mounted Rifles, Scottish Horse Mounted Rifles, Bay of Islands Mounted Rifles, and the Mangakahia Mounted Rifles. The work will extend over seven days' annual training—three days for dismounted parades, and four days for field manoeuvres. The camp will be pitched in the Drill Hall paddock at Paparoa.
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