Royal Artillery 18th Division 18 APR 1916

Stamp of Commanding Royal Artillery 18th Division 18 APR 1916

 

NOTES FOR C.R.A’s DIVISIONS

NOTES FOR G.O.C., H.A. XIII CORPS

 

1 PREPARATION FOR THE ATTACK.

Gun emplacements strong.

Their visibility from the air to be tested by Corps Squadrons.

All dugouts to have two exits. Is this necessary for Arty?

Arrangements to be made for the storage of large quantities of ammunition.

Special arrangements for heavy artillery ammunition in order to save labour.

 

2 CABLE COMMUNICATIONS.

Special trenches desirable for artillery wires: several cables in each.

Value of multi-core cable.

O.P. telephone exchanges.

 

3 COUNTER-BATTERY WORK.

Importance of studying positions of hostile batteries.

The undulating nature of the country must often force the enemy to place his 77 m.m. in forward positions, or else to put them further back to avoid dead ground, unless he makes up his mind to rely entirely on machine gun defence in certain localities.

It should be considered whether it is better to leave certain marked-down batteries alone until the day of attack. Noted.

Certain Heavy Howitzers to be earmarked for counter-battery work with aeroplanes.

Heavy guns to be used for bombardment if not doing counter-battery work.

 

4 RECONNAISSANCE OF THE ENEMY’S LINE.

Care must be taken that observers are not deceived by dummy Maxim emplacements and observing stations. Almost impossible to say which are dummy & which are real. Emplacements which remain undiscovered & are consequently not dealt with are the trouble.

 

5 AIRCRAFT.

Wireless stations for the various Headquarters to be as little exposed as possible.

Spare wireless sets?

Dropping stations for aeroplane messages necessary in case wireless instruments get jammed.

The possibility of infantry laying out ground signals during the advance.   Consider

Wireless stations to accompany field artillery in the advance.

12”, 15” How and 12” gun personnel to be attached to 8” and 9.2” Batteries for practice in aeroplane work.

Field Artillery to be practiced in aeroplane work.

 

6 THE ARTILLERY FRAMEWORK OF THE BATTLE.

Distribution of heavy guns and howitzers: some well forward to deal with the hostile artillery and balloons.

The bottoms of valleys unsound for gun positions on account of gas shells?   Yes

Arrangements to be made to deal with hostile batteries wide on the flanks of the attack.                                                                                                                               Yes

Value of the use of single forward guns in the preparation of the infantry attack.

Value of enfilade fire.                                                                                                 Yes

Emplacements in or near our front line system to be prepared where hidden from view. The question of the occupation of these positions by guns to be used immediately after the assault to be borne in mind. ?                                                       Yes

Positions beyond our front line to be generally selected and allotted beforehand. To be done.

Observing stations in the enemy’s lines useful to us with a view to destroying the enemy’s second line, to be listed and roughly allotted.                                                   ? To be done.

Sections to be made on the map from the proposed observing stations to points in the enemy’s second line to test visibility.

Forward platforms to be prepared for heavy howitzers and 60-pdrs in our own line. Great care must be taken that the platforms are correctly sited.

 

7 THE BOMBARDMENT.

Value of simplicity of tasks.                                                                           Yes

? The lane system.

Resting detachments.

Arrangements for plenty of food and water, etc.

The affect of the wind on the dust caused by the bombardment.

Arrangement for dumping.

 

8 DAY AND NIGHT BARRAGES – DISTANT AND CLOSE.

Careful selection needed of barrage points.

The value of photographs.

Points of barrage may have to be changed on the second night from photographs taken on the preceding day.

The value of uncertain times of firing.                                                            Yes

The value of bursts of fire.                                                                              Yes

The intervals between fire should be irregular.                                               Yes

Guns should search and sweep.                                                                      Yes

 

9 THE ARTILLERY IN THE ADVANCE.

Probable order of advance of batteries to be made out.                                 Yes

Exits from positions to be made.

Routes and roads to be reconnoitered, allotted and improved.

6” howitzers, horse-drawn, and 60-pdrs, to take part in the early advance.

Roads for heavy howitzers to be allotted.

Portable bridges for field artillery.

Record of bridges fit to carry heavy howitzers.

 

10 GENERAL.

Care should be taken that all ranks are well instructed in the use of masks and goggles.

Oiling and watering front of emplacements to keep down dust.

Composition to cover fuses to prevent deterioration.

 

11 STAFF CASUALTIES.

Officers to be earmarked to replace casualties.                                  To be done

 

12 SOME MISTAKES MADE BY THE FRENCH IN SEPTEMBER:-

(i) Fairly advanced positions abandoned too early in the advance.

(ii) Objectives chosen to suit battery positions instead of vice versa.

 

13 The new 6” How (26 cwt) can fire up to 4 rounds a minute.

14 Enemy’s reserve &c billets not to be shelled prior to operations.

15 Calibration of guns necessary, if properly carried out registration can be reduced to a minimum, above procedure necessary to keep the enemy in ignorance as far as possible of any increase of guns on our front.

16 Artillery Boards for all natures of Artillery to be provided.

17 Quicken up drill with all natures of Artillery and especially the loading of Siege and Heavy Artillery.

18 See necessary spare parts are to hand and available.

19 Angle of sight on registration cards.

20 Every precaution to be taken to ensure accurate shooting such as the best possible platforms to be provided.

21 Detachments to be kept fit and hard so as to be able to serve their guns to full advantage during a long bombardment.

22 All kinds of signalling Daylight and Visual to be established and practiced.

23 Maps with names of German Trenches to be taken into use by F.O. O’s.

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