What does firing for effect mean?

Updated: 4/28/2022
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15y ago

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The term "fire for effect" is a military term used by spotters for indirect fire weapons. Examples of indirect fire weapons include cannons and mortars which are usually fired from a position from which the gunners cannot see the target because of terrain [hills or small mountains, etc.]. This affords them some protection by being out of sight of the enemy target. To determine the proper aiming of the weapon, a spotter who can see the target relays basic coordinates to the gunners who then fire a few ranging rounds, allowing the spotter to see how far off target the guns are aimed. The spotter will report where each ranging shot lands with respect to the target. For example, if the shot landed between the target and the gun, it is called "short;" if it falls behind the target it is said to be "long;' and if to one side it will be called "left," or "right" from the standpoint of the gun location. This process is sometimes refered to a "zeroing in." When, by this trial and error procedure, a shot lands on the target, the instruction will be "fire for effect" telling the gun crew that they are on the target, and to fire one or more salvos of several rounds rapidly to blanket the target with the explosive projectiles, hopefully totally destroying the target. In short, fire for effect means that one is on target, and to cut loose and "pour it on."

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Q: What does firing for effect mean?
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