18 DA NOTES ON CONFERENCE ON COMMUNICATIONS 12 June 1916

NOTES ON CONFERENCE ON COMMUNICATIONS

 

  1. RIGHT GROUP. Main Battery “command lines” to run due North from Right Group Battalion Battle H.Q. (A.25.d.65) in 55th Brigade trench – branch off near Copse H in Artillery trench to be constructed to about A.26.a.43 – thence to A.26.b.3.5. – thence to Copse C.

Branch trenches to batteries.

Branch up to Copse B to be cut about 150 yds. S.W. from A/85.

 

O.P. Lines.  (a) for A/85 and B/84 forward via Copse B to U Work, thence to O.P. along PERONNE Avenue.  At same time to be laid back from Oxford Copse through U Work and Copse B back along “Battery command line trench” to Group H.Q.  From Copse B forward these lines to be laid in communication trenches 2 feet underground.  O.C. 18th Div Signal Coy. will arrange this with 30th Division.

(b) For C/84 and D/84 up to No 1 trench to PERONNE AVENUE.

(c) For A/84 up SHEFFIELD AVENUE.

 

Lines forward from O.P.s

At least two pairs up (a) No 1 trench & COKE AVENUE to Bn. H.Q.

two pairs up (b) SHEFFIELD & MERCHISTON AV. To Bn. H.Q.

 

O.C. Signal Coy will raise question of metallic circuits from O.Ps onwards. Advantage of single line —-Cable saved.

Advantage of double lines—–Eight lines ready laid to carry on into German trenches.

30th Division to lay line from Copse B in Battery command trench as lateral line from their Left Group to our Right Group.

 

  1. CENTRE GROUP. Lines from Group H.Q. to batteries in trench round front edge of BILLON WOOD – under construction at present. Complete circuit of BILLON WOOD to be made.

 

Lines to O.P.

  • A/83, C/83, and D/83 up SHEFFIELD AVENUE to PERRONE AVE.
  • D/83 and Reserve Howitzer Battery up No 4 Trench (or special cable trench to be made for 53rd Brigade).
  • B/83 – with Left Group lines.

With regard to (a), SHEFFIELD AVENUE belongs to 55th Bde. but O.C. Signal Coy to arrange for this.

 

Lines from O.P. forward.

(a) 3 pairs of lines up SHEFFIELD AVENUE & BERWICK AVENUE to Battn H.Q…

(b) 2 pairs of lines up No 4 trench and MONTAUBAN Avenue to Battn H.Q.

(c) Pair of lines for B/83 with Left Group lines.

Lines to”Mystery” Trench (F.17.c).

5 lines from BILLON WOOD in lateral trench from Centre Group to Left Group H.Q., and thence via CONTOUR WOOD &DURHAM Trench.

 

  1. LEFT GROUP. As at present. NORFOLK AVENUE probably available in addition.

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES.

 

  1. LAMPS – DAYLIGHT SIGNALLING

5 for Division – to be given to Battn H.Q. for use with aeroplanes only. Rather cumbersome for trench work and wasted.  For signalling back to O.P. suggested.

 

  1. ISSUE OF ”SIGNALLING SHUTTERS “18” x 12”

Already issued to Infantry Brigades.

O.C. Signal Coy will enquire about their issue to Artillery.

Suggested scale – 2 per battery & Bde H.Q.

O.C. Signal Coy will send one to H.Q.R.A. for inspection.

 

  1. Central Visual Signalling Station for Division will be established near O.P. locality on PERONE ROAD West of U Work.

 

  1. Where cables are put in communication trenches, they will be buried 2 feet deep.

18 D.A Scheme 12 June 1916

SECRET

 

The following is the Scheme for the employment of the Divisional Artillery in the forthcoming operations.

 

  1. Divisional Artillery, plus approximately half the Artillery of 9th Division will be divided into 2 Groups.       H.Q. Right Group will be S of MARICOURT with H.Q. 89th Brigade. H.Q. Left Group at Copse B with H.Q. 21st Brigade.

 

  1. Group H.Q. will not accompany Brigade H.Q. when the latter advance, but will send forward liaison officers and signallers. On the morning of the assault a liaison officer and signallers from Right Group will be attached to H.Q. 21st Infantry Brigade (see para. 11 16).

 

  1. During the preliminary bombardment the Artillery will be placed as follows:- 30th Divisional Artillery (12 – 18 pr. Batteries and 3 – 4.5” How batteries) plus 1 – 4.5” How battery and 1 – 18 pr battery of 9th Division S of PERONNE Road. 5 batteries of 9th Division N of PERRONE Road. (N.B. These 5 batteries will be referred to as “forward batteries”).

The batteries will be grouped as under:-

RIGHT GROUP                     A/149

(Lt-Col Hon G.F                     B/149

Stanley,                                   C/149

C.M.G. R.F.A.                                    B/151

C/150

A }

B } forward batteries (9th Divn.)

C }

D/150

D/148

D/149

LEFTGROUP                         C/148   A/150

(under Lt-Col                          B/148   A/151

G.M. Ormerod,                       A/148       D }

R.F.A.)                                    B/150       E }  forward batteries (9th Div)

C/151       F }

Reserve How Battery (9th Div.)

 

  1. The 9th Siege Battery will be grouped under the XIII Corps during the bombardment, but from the moment of the assault will be in Divisional Reserve to be used as required.

 

  1. Medium Trench Mortars will be grouped –

1 battery in rear of front line trench from BRIQUETERIE Road to A.16.a.7.7.

1 battery in rear of front line trench from TALUS BOISE to A.9.d.0.9.

1 battery in rear of new trench in front of MACHINE GUN Wood, in emplacements dug out of communication trenches.

These batteries will assist in cutting wire and bombarding enemy’s front line trenches.

  1. 1 Heavy T.M. battery will be in action at A.16.a.3.0 and will bombard 1st 2nd and 3rd Line trenches on 89th Brigade Front.

 

  1. 9 batteries will be employed in wire-cutting on 3 front lines, each being allotted a front of about 200 yards.

The 4 remaining 18 pr batteries S of PERONNE Road will cut wire in GLATZ REDOUBT and DUBLIN trench.

 

  1. 4.5” Howitzers will bombard front and support line systems as laid down in attached Tables.

 

  1. The forward batteries will not open fire until the last day of the bombardment when they will register on support line trenches, GLATZ REDOUBT and DUBLIN Trench.

 

  1. On the afternoon of the last ”Y” day (or as required) the 4 batteries referred to in para 4 7 will shell O.P’s previously located.

 

  1. 15 65 minutes before the assault forward batteries will bring intense fire to bear on enemy’s Support Line, wire-cutting batteries continuing on front line.

 

  1. 30 minutes before the assault At “O” on “Z” day all 4.5” How. batteries will shell BERNAFAY Wood, TRONES Wood, and CATERPILLAR Wood Valley with tear shell.

 

  1. At the moment of the assault batteries will lift their fire as under:-

Forward batteries (less E battery) to cut wire on GLATZ REDOUBT and DUBLIN Trench.

E Battery to search the gully running N.E. from Train Alley,

C/150, A/150, A/151, and F battery (9th Divn.) will resume wire cutting of GLATZ REDOUBT and DUBLIN Trench.

Remaining 18 pr batteries on enemy’s 3rd Line trenches (including GLATZ ALLEY).

4.5” Hows will turn on to following points –

1 battery on BRIQUETERIE 1 battery on junction of SILESIA ALLEY and ALT Trench (A.3.d.7.2)

1 battery on TRAIN ALLEY

1 battery on DUBLIN Trench and CASEMENT Trench.

All these 4 4.5 How batteries except the last one named to turn on to the GLATZ REDOUBT & Dublin trench as the Infantry advance.

 

  1. On the day of the Assault the following batteries will, while carrying out the tasks allotted to them, be ready at any moment to deal with an unexpected situation or with any strong points which may be holding up our attack.

A/150 L

C/150 R

A/151 L

F Battery (9th Div,) L

D/150 R.

 

  1. When GLATZ REDOUBT is taken and 90th Brigade are advancing a barrage will be formed by all 18 pr batteries along 8, 18 pr Batteries as detailed, along the S. & E. faces of MONTAUBAN and BERNAFAY Wood, lifting as Infantry approach on to W face of the Wood, and along the CATERPILLAR Valley. 7 Batteries will shell MONTAUBAN with H.E. F.O.O.s will be advanced to MONTAUBAN as soon as Infantry have occupied the village.
  2. The following will now be the arrangements for the support of the Infantry. The 90th Brigade will be supported by the Left Group, and a liaison officer and signallers will be sent forward with G.O.C. 90th Brigade by 150th Brigade R.F.A. The Right Group will support both 89th and 21st Bde and its Commander will have previously made arrangements for communication with 21st Brigade (para.2).

 

  1. The following batteries will be prepared to advance into positions N. of PERONNE Road ready to aid in resisting counter attacks:-

 

Position.

A/150                                                  A.16. central

C/150                                                  A.16.c.0.9.

F (9th Div)                                           A.15.b.3.3.

How Battery (9th Div)                         A.15.a.2.0.

C/148                                                  A.16.a3.1.

B/148                                                  A.14.d.9.8.

These positions will be previously reconnoitered and prepared as far as possible, and the batteries concerned should have teams up handy by 0 + 1 hour.

 

  1. As soon as the GLATZ REDOUBT is taken the 151st Brigade will be prepared to send batteries or Sections in support of Infantry advanced parties sent forward to make good certain commanding points. Their teams should be up handy by 0 + 1 hour.
  2. As soon as MONTAUBAN is taken the whole or remainder of the 151st Brigade will be prepared to advance to positions near that village to give closer support.
  3. B/150 and A/148 will each have 4 teams and limbers ready to remove German guns should any be captured. These teams should be brought up to a handy position by 0 + 3 hours.
  4. During the period of wire-cutting and bombardment Group Commanders will detail batteries for night firing. These batteries will (1) Shell enemy’s communications to prevent him bringing up ammunition and supplies (2) By bursts of fire prevent the enemy from repairing his wire. Wire cutting batteries will by bursts of fire keep the enemy from repairing their wire at night, this will be done under group arrangements.       Remaining batteries as detailed will shell enemy’s communications to prevent him bringing up ammunition & supplies. The arrangements for night-firing will be made in consultation with Infantry Commanders.

 

  1. During period preceding bombardment certain batteries will as far as possible be registered by aeroplane on various points N and E of MONTAUBAN.

 

  • On X day there will be a discharge of Gas from midnight till 12-20 a.m. and again from 12-40 a.m. till 1.10 a.m. Each of these discharges will be accompanied by a heavy shrapnel barrage on 1st and 2nd line and communication trenches – the discharge to be preceded by 1 hour’s bombardment. On Y day there will be a discharge of Smoke from 3 to 3-30 a.m.       When similar arrangements for a barrage and bombardment will be made. On certain days there will be discharges of gas & smoke, which will be accompanied by a heavy shrapnel barrage.

 

 

  1. Tables of tasks, times, and ammunition are attached. The times given for various ‘lifts’ are meant to indicate the times at which the Infantry willhave reached the lines or objectives in question. To ensure safety the lifts will be made 3 minutes before these times, e.g. the first lift will take place at 0.4 instead of 0.7. The times given for the various lifts, are the actual times at which batteries will lift their fire. When however observation is easy, and it can be plainly seen that Infantry are not within measurable distance of their objective it is open to Battery Commanders to postpone their lifts as long as they consider safe.

 

 

 

** White

Brigadier General

1916                                                             Commanding 30th Divisional Artillery.

A.B. 19/32 12 June 1916

SECRET                                                                                                         A.B. 19/32

To

Officer Commanding

82nd Bde.

83rd Bde.

84th Bde.

 

  1. According to instructions received from XII CORPS R.A., the positions for batteries of Reserve Division attached to 18th Division should be proceeded with at once. The time available for the construction of these positions is very limited, no more than a fortnight can be relied on.       Assistance from batteries of Reserve Division is not to be counted on.

 

  1. The Reserve Div. Artillery applied for a supply of elements for the construction of their emplacements, being apparently in favour of the arch shelters for gun pits. A supply of these elements is being dumped at BRONFAY farm, under the charge of O.C. 82nd Bde. Any requirements of these elements should be submitted to O.C., 82nd Bde.

 

  1. For offensive purposes and when time is not available it may be necessary to limit construction to deep pits for detachments, the gun itself being hidden by canvas. By the use of elements it should be possible to erect an arch shelter for each gun covered with sandbags, and an arch shelter for each section dug-out, a layer of “burster bags” being added to pits if time is available. The small fittings required for erecting arches have up to the present not been provided by XIII Corps, these have been asked for.

 

  1. In continuation of my No A.B. 183 the construction of new positions is allotted as under:-

(a) Position at A.14.c.1.9. to be constructed by D/82 under supervision of O.C. Left Group.

(b) Position at A.14.a.5.2. to be constructed by B/85 under supervision of O.C. Left Group.

(c) Position at F.23.d.2.5. to be constructed by A/82 under supervision of O.C. Left Group.

(d) Siege gun Position to be constructed by 82 Bde under supervision of O.C. Left Group.

(e) Position for Section at A.15.d.7.9. to be constructed by C/83 under supervision of O.C. Centre Group, D/84 to provide working party of 10 men. The arc of fire of this section should cover ground from KASINO POINT to CATERPILLAR WOOD.

(f) Position at A.20.d.4.9. to be constructed by A/83 under supervision of O.C. Right Group.

(g) Position at A.15.c.3.9. to be constructed by B/84 under supervision of O.C. Right Group, D/83 Battery to provide working party of 15 men daily.

 

  1. Observation Stations for Reserve batteries should be selected and constructed.

 

  1. The C.R.A. wishes to call the attention of Group Commanders to the fact that in addition to these extra positions, the positions and observation stations of 18th Div. Art. Are far from completed. He consequently looks to the Group Commanders to do their utmost to ensure that every available man is employed in the work on hand.

 

 

A.F. Brooke

Captain R.A.

Brigade Major R.A. 18th Division.

12/6/16

8th Divisional Artillery 8th Divisional Artillery 12 June 1916

APPENDIX OO/9

 

SECRET.                                                                                                   Copy No 14

 

8th Divisional Artillery

OPERATION ORDER No. 9.

—————————————

12th June 1916

 

  1. The remaining sections of batteries Left Group ”D” Battery (Hows) 5th Brigade R.H.A. will move into action between 13th and 15th June, 1916, both days inclusive, in accordance with TABLE “A” attached.

 

  1. Wagon lines will remain at HENENCOURT WOOD.

 

  1. No move will take place between the hours of 3.0 a.m. and 8.0 p.m.

 

  1. Route:- MILLENCOURT – ALBERT – AVELUY.

 

  1. Completion of moves to be reported to this office.

 

 

 

 

 

C.R. Gover Major R.A.

Brigade Major 8th Divnl. Arty.

Issued at 11.0 a.m.

 

Copies to:-

1 Right Group.

2 Left Group.

3 5th Bde R.H.A.

4 45th Bde R.F.A.

5 8th Divn.

6 32nd Div Arty.

7 A.D.V.S.

8 Signal Coy.

9 A.D.M.S.

10 Div. Train.

11 S.S.O.

12 III Corps R.A.

13 War Diary.