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Re: They had to see one another
The systems the Royal Navy (and others) used during WWI required that the ships see each other at all times. A haze, smoke-bank etc intervening would mean that you could no longer shoot.
The systems developed interwar improved on this. You still had to see the target to set up the firing solution, once it was set ("target is moving in direction X degrees at Y knots") the system would automatically calculate present and future target position relative to the own ship based on the last input. This meant that you could keep firing even if you lost line of sight. ASSUMING, of course, that the target kept moving as it did and that your estimate of its movement vector was correct. Even so it was a great improvement.
The Rangekeeper's great advance was that it tracked the target independently from the ship. If the ship changed course or speed it did not affect the calculation. It came into being in time for WWI. The Admiralty firing table could do the same but missed the war.
Later Rangekeepers (and computers) transmitted orders to the directors to keep them on target in case of obstruction. However, by that time, they had radar too.
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