Moving 17th Century Soldiers

Half Files, Doubling the Front Inward Intire

"Half Files, double your front inward intire!"

That command reads and sounds complicated.  But it's not when you break down the command into its components:

  1. Half Files (contrast with full files or individuals)
  2. double your front (with those Half Files, double the number of soldiers in the ranks in front)
  3. inward intire (those Half Files move up to go between those in front and they stay together as a division)

That's not so hard!  The procedure is essentially in two parts as illustrated above:

  1. Front ranks (consisting of the front Half Files) split apart at their midline and then-
  2. Rear ranks (consisting of the rear Half Files) step in to fill that just-created opening.

As the illustration suggests, this may work well with a small number of soldiers to convert a column into a battle position with the musketeers placed at the sides (a.k.a., sleeves or wings).  Hint: think small re-enactment event with few re-enactors.

Colonel Barriffe mentions this maneuver may also be applied to very large units, such as whole regiments.  Consider a battle situation in which one regiment is already bloodied and weary.  The commander brings forth from the reserves a fresh regiment which he situates right behind the center of the embattled regiment.  The embattled regiment is then ordered to split and shift to each side (where there may be less fighting) and the fresh regiment surges into action.  (Chapt 22, pg 28, Military Discipline...)

The reduction of this is: "Rear Half Files face about and march. Front Half Files, close your division.  Face all to your leader."

Sergeant Subtlelus says:
The context of "Intire" is to maintain intact a file, rank or division with no forfeit of its sense of being.  To quote Colonel Barriffe: "...[They] doe martch forth joyntly together, without division or dissipation ..."