Open order/Close order in two ranks?

So my squadron has always taught that transitioning between the formations of open and close order is two spaces, regardless of how many ranks you have (2 or 3). The AP states that the distance between 2 ranks in close order is 2 spaces, with open order being 3 spaces. Surely that would mean that when the command is called for a 2 rank squad to open/close order, the rear rank should only move a single pace right? I have had a few debates with other NCOs at my squadron on the matter and I am now here wondering if I am just being silly or not

I know people love drill questions, but in other news, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Anyway, AP818 page 1-2-82 does have the answer - by omission, as it doesn’t say it’s different from three. See the note on the right.

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PS also page 1-2-93 says

  1. If there is less than nine
    persons to form a squad,
    they are to be formed up
    in two ranks with the
    same intervals between
    individuals as described.

In other words, whoever told you that in two ranks, personnel should be spaced differently was wrong.

(I should submit a change request, as clearly they mean if there are fewer)

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It should be fewer than 10 as well, should it not, as we never form a square (except when preparing to receive cavalry)?

So AP818 contradicting itself?



I remember a time when this became a thing where I am - form up in 2 ranks, prior to standing at ease the rear rank taking a step back.

Something that was forgotten about much like ironing the top flat on a 2C shirt.

Reading through, seems the book both does and doesn’t contradict itself - when you form up you still initially form up with the same spacings - it’s an extra step (literally) that simply isn’t described that gets you to the version described earlier in the book.

I read that as the intervals within the rank are the same, and that the interval between Front and Rear Ranks is the same.