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One professor, charged with instruction in the branch which is the subject of exami
ation. One other professor, named by the superior council.
The boards receive from the commandants of the two schools a report on the ability, application, and conduct of the students during the past year, which is read aloud as each candidate comes up. The examination is chiefly oral, and may therefore be materially different for different students.
Two subjects selected from the programme in each branch of study are given to each student, and he is allowed to take his choice. Any one of the examiners may add such questions as he sees fit on any part of the established programme. After the examination of each candidate, the board decides by ballot whether he can pass or not, and he is then marked; 60 per cent. being fixed as the passing standard for the general result.
The order of the subjects for examination is, first, scientific or professional subjects; second, literary; and, third, practical subjects. If the candidate gets below 60 per cent. in any one of the scientific subjects, or if his average in literary subjects is below 60 per cent., his examination is closed and he has failed to pass. If he receives less than 60 per cent. as his average in the practical subjects, he fails likewise. As in the German system, the only coefficients for different subjects are 3, 2, and 1. In general the scientific subjects have the largest coefficient, the professional and literary the next, while the smallest coefficient is given to drawing and certain practical exercises ; but, in any case, the differences in relative weight are not excessive.
Deficient students may be turned back once, but never twice. A second failure inevitably results in dismissal. Bad conduct is also a cause of dismissal. If a student develops, during his stay at the school, some physical defect which unfits him for active service, but otherwise makes satisfactory progress, he may at the end of the third year be appointed to some other branch of the naval service.
On passing the final examination at the close of the complementary course, students are admitted to the Navy with the rank of midshipman guardia marina). Further examinations are held for promotion from the grade of midshipman to that of sub-lieutenant, and from sub-lieutenant to lieutenant. Candidates for promotion to sub-lieutenant (sotto tenente di vascello) are examined in practical navigation, seamanship, naral tactics, official duties, including regulations, correspondence, reports, charge of men, &c., ordnance and gunnery, and steam-engineering; the latter only a general examination. The last examination, for promotion to lieutenant (luogo tenente di vascello), includes seamanship, naval tactics, steam-engineering, ship-building, ordnance, and gunnery. These examinations are progressive in character; the last being exceedingly searching in its requirements of the prescribed subjects. Students of high merit at the schools are selected as chiefs of divisions (contro-maestri) and chiefs of classes (quartier-maestri), each class being composed of students of a given year. There are, therefore, in all, two chiefs of divisions and five chiefs of classes. They have some slight privileges and wear distinctive badges. At all formations, by class or division, they give orders, call the roll, and report absentees to the ad. jutant on duty. They have military authority over their respective divisions and classes, and they are responsible for orde: at studies, exercises, and recreation. Every morning they make a report of offenses coming under their cognizance during the last twenty-four hours. The senior chief of division, in the absence of superior officers, has authority to order the arrest of a student; chiefs of division are in charge at • breakfast and dinner, superintend the distribution of provisions, and instruct the steward as to withholding certain dishes from students un. der punishment.
There are play-rooms and a billiard ball, the last only for the upper division. The students are divided into five or six parties, and use the billiard hall on alternate evenings.
Students are allowed to receive visitors only on certain days of the week in the reception-room. The only visitors they are allowed to see are their parents, or near relatives, or a designated agent of the parents. Permission to leave the school inclosure is only granted to the higher classes every Sunday, and to the three lower classes on alternate Sundays. The leave extends from 1.30 to 8 p. m. in the fall and winter, and to 9 p. m. in the spring and summer. There are seven holidays during the year, chiefly religious festivals, upon which days the leave begins at 10 a. m. This permission is only given for the purpose of visiting the parents or guardians of the students; if they do not reside in the city, they designate a suitable person, who must be the head of a family, to take their place. In either case, the person whom the student is authorized to visit must accompany him to and from the school; the students are under no circumstances allowed to go alone through the streets. If parents living at a distance come to town for a short time, in which no liberty-day happens to fall, their son may take one day's liberty during their visit, but he makes up for it at the next regular holiday. Leave of absence to visit their families is given to meritorious students during the short period intervening between the annual examination and the practice-cruise.
The restraints imposed in general by discipline are more severe at the Italian Naval School than at similar institutions in most other states. As in France, the students have no standing as officers; they are designated simply pupils (allievi); and the regulations for their government are based on an extreme form of this theory. This must be kept in mind, as the only explanation of a system which subjects a body of lads, whose average age at the start is fifteen or sixteen years, not only to extreme care and minute attention, but to discipline and restrictions that seem only suitable for young children. The scale of punishments, however, does not wholly bear out this view; it ranges from the extreme of pettiness to the extreme of severity; from deprivation of dessert at dinner to thirty days' solitary confinement on bread and water, In regard to the latter penalty, it is to be presumed that it is rarely inflicted; but eren so, a young man whose offenses were such as to warrant this pun. ishment could hardly be fit to continue at the school or in the service.
It is probable that in the near future considerable modifications may be made in the system of naval education in Italy. The national navy is yet in its infancy, having been less than twenty years in existence. During this time it has made immense progress, and there are growing signs of a spirit of reform, which must soon be felt in naval education.*
* Since the above was written, information has been received of an important change in the organization of the Naval School by the addition of a fifth year to the course. As it now stands, the first three years of the course are passed at Naples, and the last two at Genoa. The number of pupils is as follows: Naples :
38 16 11
First year.. Second year.. Third year.
A parliamentary commission has also recently made a report, recommending the union of the schools, and the establishment of the new school at Leghorn, the selection being partly based on the fact that Leghorn is not one of the great naval ports. CHAPTER XXXI.
THE GUNNERY SCHOOL (Regia nave-scuola di artigleria navale).
The gunnery school was established by a royal decree of April 2, 1873. It is placed on board the screw frigate Maria Adelaide, permanently stationed at Spezia. Attached to the school are a gun-boat for target practice in motion, and a small steamer for auxiliary purposes. The establishment is under the immediate control of the Ministry of Marine in all matters relating to instruction, exercises, and the special gunnery service; in other respects it is subject to the authority of the Commander-in-Chief of the first maritime department.
The personnel of the school includes the following officers, instructors, students, &c. :. Captain
8 Midshipmen (the number regulated each year by the Ministry). Commissaries and surgeons. Seamen (12 as servants).
60 Seamen as gunnery pupils .
360 Petty officers, pilotage class..
13 Gunnery corporals.
24 Seamen gunners.
12 Draughtsmen as required from time to time.
The captain and commander of the ship, with one of the lieutenants as recorder, form a board (consiglio), which regulates the course, and introduces all the necessary modifications.
The ordinary executive duty of the ship is performed by the senior lieutenant, acting under the commander, while the latter gives his personal attention to the school instruction and to the school exercises. The lieutenant who acts as recorder of the board has special charge of the instruction of the officers' class. The work of the other lieu. tenants is divided between routine duties and duties of instruction, in the first as officers of the watch, and in the second as officers of divisions. The whole personnel of the ship, exclusive of commissioned officers, is arranged in six divisions, with a lieutenant in charge of each. Of the eight sub-lieutenants, four assist in instruction and four in routine duties.
The gunners and gunnery corporals are selected as the best in their grade in the final course of each year; they act as instructors and subinstructors of the class of seamen. The seamen gunners are also picked men, the best in the ordinary course, and during their stay at the school they act as assistant instructors. All of these commissioned, warrant, and petty officers who serve as instructors at the school have special advantages in the way of promotion and of detail for duty.
Two courses of instruction are carried out on board the Maria Adelaide; the ordinary course, and the final course of application. The first is for the purpose of obtaining a certain number of men eligible as-seamen gunners. The second course is to perfect the practical training in naval gunnery of officers, midshipmen, and seamen gunners, not only to enable them to pass the required examination for promotion, but to fit them for duty as instructors at the school itself.
1.—THE ORDINARY COURSE.
Men pursuing the ordinary course are known as gunnery pupils. They are selected from among the seamen of the three divisions of the fleet, those being preferred who apply voluntarily, and who can read and write. They must be active men, of quick intelligence, and robust constitution, with unimpaired eyesight, and not less than 4 feet 9 inches in height. They are also required to have completed three years of active service. If any men admitted as gunnery pupils appear to the captain of the ship unfit for gunners, he has authority to send them back to their divisions; with this view, 10 per cent. more than the required number are attached to the ship at the beginning of the course.
The course of instruction lasts eight months, and is both practical and theoretical. The first embraces those parts of the 1st and 2d volumes of the “ Military Instructions for the Royal Navy” included in their programme, and also target practice with great guns, rifles, and revolvers. The second embraces the programme contained in the 3d volume of the Military Instructions, and is limited to general descriptions and informa
The course comprises three periods, as follows:
Practice. -School of the soldier without arms; manual of the rifle, loading and firing;
school of the company and of the battalion ; great-gun drill; sabre exercise. Theory.—Nomenclature and general descriptions of guns, carriages, equipments, and small-arms.
Practice.—Exercise at will with great guns, sponging and loading; school of the battery; target practice at anchor; school of the platoon and company; skirmish drills; small-arm target practice.