Solve This Pzzlr: Ready, Aim, Fire!

Neatorama is happy to announce a new collaboration with Pzzlr, a site where you can always find a riddle to exercise your brain. Can you solve this one?

In 1815 John Smith, a notorious Australian bushranger/outlaw, was captured by members of the 75th Highland Regiment and sentenced to death by firing squad. Unfortunately, the members of this Regiment were renowned for being terrible shots with previous prisoners dying slow painful deaths as a result. Knowing this John Smith begged for mercy.

“I’ll tell you what I’ll do”, said the Captain, “as I’m nothing if not a reasonable man. I will allow you to choose where the men stand and will even add another 50 men to the firing squad for a total of 100 men so that at least one of them is sure to kill you. But don’t get any funny ideas. The men cannot stand more than 20 metres away from you and must all be facing you while you must remain tied to the post in the middle of the yard. It’s my knock-off time now and you’re due to be shot later today at 6pm. In the unlikely event that you are not killed outright but only terribly wounded I will, tomorrow, release you from the post so that you can die peacefully.”

To the Captain’s surprise and outrage when he returned in the morning he discovered that John had been set free alive and well. The men explained that it was because of where John had made them stand.

Where did John tell the men to stand? Find the solution at Pzzlr!


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I would have them stand single file so only the guy at the front could take a shot. And then I would be tied on the opposite side of the pole, so that if the shooter DID manage to hit me, the bullet would graze one of my shoulders. Then I could go free with my flesh wound.
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Yeah, the logical thing for the soldiers to do would be to lock him back up until the Captain could drag himself out of bed to deal with it himself. But the result is the same -he wasn't shot.
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I'm not great at puzzles, but this was too easy.
SEMI SPOILER ALERT
Besides, why did the soldiers just let him go? He was promised freedom if he was wounded, not if he escaped injury. They could have left him tied up. Since they disobeyed a direct order, they would have all been executed. Their chances would have been better shooting at the prisoner.
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Check out Twaggies' very funny clip:

Give a Man a Fish - Twaggies by Twaggies
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