OPERATION ORDER NO 1 18 DA 19 June 1916

COPY NO. 37

 

OPERATION ORDER NO 1

– by –

Brigadier General S.F. Metcalfe D.S.O.

Comdg, Arty 18th Divn.

 

TASKS ALLOTTED TO DIVISION.

 

(1) The tasks allotted to the 18th Division in the forthcoming operations are:-

(1) To secure and consolidate the line running from the Railway at A.3.c.8.6. to the junction of DUGOUT trench and BRESLAU ALLEY, thence North East up BRESLAU ALLEY to the junction of trenches at A.3.c.15.72., thence along the trench joining BRESLAU ALLEY with MINE ALLEY, thence by points 2258, 6159, POMMIERS LANE, POMMIERS REDOUBT to the junction of trenches F.6.a.70.10. and to hold them at any cost for a prolonged period against counter attack.

 

(2) To consolidate the trench from MONTAUBAN through S.26.d and c (MONTAUBAN ALLEY) and BEETLE TRENCH.

 

(3) To secure and consolidate the line running from the Western corner of MONTAUBAN as far E as Divisional Boundary, thence westwards to trench junction at S.27.c.1.7. and along trench to junction of trenches at S.26.d.7.6., thence Northwards along trench to about S.26.B.5.4. thence Westwards along the spur through S.26.a.8.3. and S.26.a.2.2. thence to join up with the right of 7th Division near S.25.b.3.0.

At latter point a strong point is to be constructed immediately it is gained; the 7th Division will construct 4 strong points to the west of this and to the south of the crest of the ridge, roughly along the line S.25.b.3.0. to about X.29.d.9.10. (between S.25.b. and d. and between X.30.a and c.)

 

(2) DIVIDING LINES.

 

The 30th Division will be on our right the 7th Division of XVth Corps on our left.  The 9th Division XIII Corps in Corps Reserve.

Dividing Lines between 18th & 30th Division are shown in Map 1.

 

(3) DIVISION FRONT.

 

The front allotted to the 18th Division extends from the junction of the trench at A.9.a.6.5. to a point 70yards due east of point where CARNOY-MAMETZ road cuts trench F13/3.

Total frontage 2,200 yards.

 

(4) OBJECTIVES.

 

The objectives to be attained by the 18th Division are:-

First.    (a) From Railway at A.3.c.8.6. to the trench connecting A.3.c.10.75. with A.2.d.75.90. – Point 6159 – POMMIERS REDOUBT – Junction of trenches at F.6.c.70.10.

(b) As a support to the above and subsidiary to it, the consolidation of the following strong points:-

(1) Junction of trenches at A.9.a.30.95.

(2) Junction of trenches at A.2.d.05.25.

(3)Junction of trenches at A.1.d.8.3.

(4) Junction of trenches at F.6.c.85.45.

(5) Junction of trenches at F.6.c.68.07.

 

Second. The triangle formed by the trenches at S.27.a.7.0. along MONTAUBAN ALLEY to the junction of trenches at S.26.d.6.7., along this trench to its northern extremity at S.26.b.46.40., thence to the western extremity of the trench at S.26.a.5.6. and thence to a point on the track about S.25.b.5.2.

 

(5) GENERAL PLAN.

 

The Infantry assault will take place on ”Z” day, the days previous to this being known as ”Y” ,”X”, “W”, “V”, “U”, ”T” “S” &c &c days. The Division will attack with its three Infantry Brigades abreast.  Each  Brigade will place two Battalions in front line and one in support, retaining its fourth battalion in Brigade Reserve.  No Divisional Reserve is kept back.

 

Each Brigade has one group of Field and Howitzer Batteries affiliated to it in the closest possible co-operation.

 

The plan adopted aims at simplifying the work of subordinate units; it is based on the idea of launching six battalions to gain the furthest objective; it provides three more battalions to fortify and garrison the nearer objective; it places in suitable localities three more battalions close up for the unexpected eventualities which every battle discloses. The whole Division will be used up unhesitatingly to gain the objectives allotted to it by superior authority, but the mere crowding of Infantry on the POMMIERS plateau will be avoided.

 

(6) FRONTAGES & OBJECTIVES.

 

Frontages and objectives allotted to Infantry Brigades (and affiliated R.F.A. Groups) are as follows:-

  • RIGHT BRIGADE (55th ).

Frontage. Junction of trench A9/5 with BERKELEY STREET to junction of BATTY ROAD with front trench (inclu.) – 900 yards.

 

First Objective. From Railway at A.3.c.8.6. (exclu) – Junction of DUGOUT trench and BRESLAU Alley – point A.2.d.8.9. to point 2250 (exclu) – 900 yards.

 

Second Objective.  From the road junction at the west end of MONTAUBAN (S.27.c.7.4.) along the most southerly trench running through S.27.c. thence by MONTAUBAN ALLEY to the junction of the trenches at S.26.d.6.7.

 

Third Objective. From the triangle formed by the trenches in the South East corner of S.27.a. (inclusive), along MONTAUBAN ALLEY as far as the trench running North at S.26d.6.7. thence along this latter trench to its northern extremity at S.26.b.46.40.

 

  • CENTRE BRIGADE (53rd).

 

Frontage.  Junction of BATTY ROAD and front trench (exclu) to junction of YORK Road and trench A7/2 (inclu) – 650 yards.

 

First Objective Point 2258 (inclusive) – POMMIERS TRENCH – to its junction with POPOFF Lane (inclu) – 650 yards.

 

Second Objective.  From the junction of trenches at S.26.d.6.7., along MONTAUBAN ALLEY as far as its junction with the MONTAUBAN-MAMETZ Road (inclu).

 

Third Objective.  From the northern end of the trench running from N.W. to S.E. through S.26.b. (S.26.b.46.40.) (exclusive) to the western extremity of the trench running from S.26.a.88.45. to S.26.a.50.60. (inclu).

 

  • LEFT BRIGADE (54th).

Frontage.  Junction of YORK ROAD and trench A.7/2 (exclu) to a point 70 yards due east of point where MAMETZ-CARNOY Road cuts through trench F.12/3 – 700 yards.

 

First Objective.  Junction of POMMIERS Trench and POPOFF Lane (exclu) – POMMIERS TRENCH to its junction with BLACK ALLEY (inclu).

 

Second Objective.  POMMIERS REDOUBT and the trench to the west of it as far as its junction with BEETLE ALLEY.

 

Third Objective.  From the western extremity of the trench running from S.26.a.88.45. to S.26.a.50.60. (exclu) to the junction between the XIIIth and XVth Corps about S.26.b.5.2.

 

(7) TASKS.

 

The main tasks of the Infantry will be:-

(a)    RIGHT BRIGADE.

  1. To secure and consolidate the trench given as its nearer objective in para. 6 (a) and assist by flanking fire from Machine Guns the attack on GLATZ Redoubt by the 30th
  2. Two platoons, under a selected officer will be detailed by the Brigade Commander to deal with the craters and the maze of small trenches immediately north of them, in order that the general advance of the Brigade may not be delayed.
  3. On reaching its second objective to establish a strong point in the houses near the road junction at the West end of MONTAUBAN and consolidate that part of MONTAUBAN ALLEY allotted to it on para. 6 (a).
  4. On reaching its third objective to –
  1. consolidate the trenches existing on it.
  2. place machine guns in the trench running N.W. to S.E. through S.26.b. in such positions as will enable them to deal with any threatened counter-attack from the direction of the valley N. & N.E. of MONTAUBAN.

 

(b)   CENTRE BRIGADE.

  1. To consolidate and hold the trench allotted to it as its first objective in para. 6 (b).
  2. To assist the Left Brigade in its attack on the POMMIERS REDOUBT; mutual arrangements for this to be made beforehand between Brigadiers CENTRE and LEFT Brigade.
  3. To consolidate that portion of MONTAUBAN ALLEY from the junction of trenches S.26.d.6.7. to S.26.c.33.45. and to join up from this point with the right of the 54th Brigade in BEETLE Alley.
  4. On reaching its third objective, firstly to construct strong points making use of the existing trenches and secondly to dig new trenches where necessary to make the line continuous.
  5. To prevent enemy removing guns from CATTERPILLAR VALLEY.

 

(c)    LEFT BRIGADE.

  1. To secure BLACK ALLEY and the part of POMMIERS Trench allotted to it.
  2. From these positions to organise and carry out an attack on the POMMIERS REDOUBT.
  3. To secure and consolidate that portion of BEETLE TRENCH between S.25.d.98.27. and its junction with the MONTAUBAN-MAMETZ Road.
  4. On reaching its third objective to dig new fire trenches where necessary to join the left of the Centre Brigade and the right of the XVth Corps.
  5. To send forward LEWIS Guns to overlook the CATERPILLAR Valley and the valley East of MAMETZ WOOD and prevent guns being removed.

 

(d). Leading troops of all three Brigades on reaching their third objective will send forward detachments with machine guns to cover the work of consolidation, establish observation posts overlooking CATERPILLAR WOOD Valley and prevent guns being removed.

(e) The line Railway at A.3.c.8.6. – trench junction at A.2.d.8.9. – Point 2258 – POMMIERS Trench to its junction with BLACK ALLEY, will be held at all costs against counter attacks, even if MONTAUBAN and MAMETZ should not be captured.

(f) Troops will be specially told off by each Brigade to “clean up” hostile trenches and deal with any of the enemy remaining there after the leading troops have passed over them.

 

  • STRONG POINTS.

 

To carry out the above tasks definite infantry units will be detailed to occupy and prepare for “all round defence” certain specified localities in the hostile lines as strong points. These points are shown in Map I.

 

  • ARTILLERY SUPPORT.

 

The Infantry attack will be supported by 18th Divisional Artillery.  Two Brigades of 9th Div. Arty. (less one 4.5” How. Batt.) XIIIth Corps H.A. Trench Mortar Batteries of 18th Division & 9th Div.

 

  • GROUPING OF ARTILLERY.

 

The batteries of Divisional Artillery (and attached batteries) will form three Groups. Each Group will support the attack of one Infantry Brigade as under:-

Right Group – O.C. Lt.-Col Blois D.S.O. 55th Inf Bde.

Centre Group – O.C. Lt.-Col Seagram 53rd Inf Bde.

Left Group – O.C. Lt.-Col Thorp 54th Inf Bde.

 

Each Group will be responsible for the ground to be covered by its affiliated Inf. Bde., and will be capable of reinforcing neighbouring groups should occasion arise.

 

The 2” Medium Trench Mortar Batteries (and one 240 mm Trench Mortar, if available) will be grouped under the Divisional Trench Mortar Officer, who will be situated in CARNOY, and in communication with 18th Divisional Artillery, through Left Group forward exchanges.

 

  • ARTILLERY BOMBARDMENT.

 

Will consist of:-

  1. A five days (“U” to “Y” day) preliminary bombardment of german defences, with a concentrated bombardment of 65 minutes previous to the assault on the 6th day (“Z” day).
  2. An Artillery bombardment, carried out in a succession of lifts to support the assault.
  3. An Artillery barrage against all counter attacks during consolidation of positions gained.

 

  • PRELIMINARY BOMBARDMENT.

 

During preliminary bombardment the following tasks will be undertaken:-

  1. Destruction of enemy’s wire by 18-pr & 2” trench mortars.
  2. Destruction of observation stations, communication trenches, machine gun emplacements, etc., by 4.5” Hows., assisted by 2” Trench Mortars on front system of trenches.
  3. Destruction of hostile system of trenches by XIII Corps H.A.
  4. Bombardment of billets by XIII Corps H.A.
  5. Counter Battery work by XIII Corps H.A.
  6. Shelling of all approaches and communications by day and night with a view of preventing replenishing of ammunition, food, water etc., by XIII Corps H.A. 18-prs & 4.5” Howrs.
  7. Preventing repair of wire and trenches by night, by 18-prs & 4.5” Howrs., assisted by machine guns and rifle fire.
  8. Concentration of fire on portions of the defences.
  9. Shrapnel barrage in support of gas discharge.

 

Appendix ‘A’ “Programme of Preliminary Bombardment” forwarded herewith indicates tasks to be undertaken on each day and night respectively.

 

This programme is intended as a general guide to Group Commanders, circumstances may necessitate the hours and tasks being somewhat changed, these should however be adhered to as far as is possible.

 

  • DESTRUCTION OF ENEMY’S WIRE.

 

Five batteries per group have been detailed for wire cutting. Each of these batteries has been assigned a definite strip of german defences, and is responsible for cutting all wire within this strip, and preventing repair at night.

(N.B. These strips are identical with the strips allotted to these same batteries during the bombardment to support the assault and are shown on diagram in Appendix ‘B’).

 

The wire on the succeeding lines of trenches will be engaged in accordance with “Preliminary instructions in wire cutting issued to all concerned.

 

The wire on the front line (and support line, where it is sufficiently close) will be engaged by the 2” Medium Trench Mortar Batteries as shown in Appendix ”E”.

 

The wire in front of POMMIERS REDOUBT and on the western side of LOOP TRENCH will be engaged by the forward batteries in CARNOY valley on ‘Z’ day in accordance with Appendix ’B’, as well as by the Left Group wire cutting batteries during previous bombardment.

 

Group Commanders, and the Divisional Trench Mortar Officer will keep in constant touch with Infantry Brigade Commanders to obtain all possible information from reports of Infantry Patrols sent forward to ascertain damage to wire.

 

  • BOMBARDMENT TO SUPPORT ASSAULT.

 

The bombardment to support the assault will consist of a concentrated bombardment from -65 to zero hour, followed by a succession of lifts timed to conform with Corps Artillery lifts and the forward movement of the attacking infantry.

The Corps Artillery and Divisional Artillery lifts are shown on Map 1. the times shown at right end of lines refer to Corps Artillery, those at the left end of the lines refer to Divisional Artillery.  These lines indicate that at the hours stipulated no Corps Artillery or Divnl. Artillery respectively will be firing South of these lines.

As an indication to the attacking infantry that a lift is about to occur all 18-pr. Batteries will fire H.E. exclusively for 30 seconds before each lift, namely about 5 rounds per gun.

Group Commanders will impress on all battery commanders that it is essential that there should be no pause or cessation of fire as each lift occurs; batteries will continue firing at the same rate of fire; the “lift” being effected by the necessary increase of range only.

 

Five 18-pr. Batteries per group will be detailed to cover the assault, each battery being allotted a strip of german defences as shown in Appendix ’B’.

 

The batteries of the 51st Brigade, R.F.A., situated in CARNOY valley are allotted special tasks and will be employed for meeting any unforeseen eventualities.

 

The three 4.5” Howr. Batteries of 18th Divisional Arty. When not employed for counter battery work with gas shell by XIII Corps H.A., will engage portions of german trenches in rear of 18-pr. Barrage from which fire might be brought to bear on assaulting infantry.

 

During the assault concentration of fire will be carried out on the POMMIERS Redoubt, and on western portion of MONTAUBAN village.

 

Full particulars and time table for ”Bombardment to Support Assault” are contained in Appendix ’B’.

 

  • ARTILLERY BARRAGE DURING CONSOLIDATION OF POSITION.

 

Should it be necessary at any time to establish a barrage to repel a counter attack or assist our infantry in consolidating a position gained, the barrage front of each wire cutting battery will be represented by the width of the strip allotted to it as this point.

 

  • DEFENCE OF THE FRONT.

 

During the whole period of the Preliminary Bombardment Group Commanders will be responsible for the defence of the front allotted to them, the 5 wire cutting batteries being employed to establish any necessary barrage to check an attack or prevent a raid.

 

  • TRENCH MORTARS.

 

Instructions and tasks for Medium and Heavy Trench Mortars are contained in Appendix ‘E’. A copy of these instructions has been issued to the Officer Commanding each trench mortar battery.

 

  • COMMUNICATIONS.

 

  1. Telephone. These have been duplicated, and triplicated wherever possible, and buried at the bottom of communication trenches or else placed in separate trenches 6 feet deep.

On each Brigade front 4 pairs of wires have been run forward from Observation Stations to points close to the front line. These lines will be used in the first place for forward observation during wire cutting, and secondly to form advanced terminals for any forward wires required by Liaison Officers and Observation Officers detailed to proceed beyond German front line trench.

 

  1. Wireless. An advanced wireless station will be established by the Divisional Signal Company at A.19.a.5.8.  This station will be in communication with the main wireless station at Divisional Headquarters.

Trench Sets.  There will be one wireless set which will move forward with the attacking troops.  Its position will be determined by the Divisional Signal Company.

  1. VISUAL. Divisional Signal Company will establish signalling stations at 3 Brigade Headquarters and at A.13.d.1.1.

In addition to the above Group Commanders will establish every possible means of visual signalling between Observing Stations and batteries, and will select certain Observation Stations to act as receiving stations for signals sent back by F.O.O.s or Liaison Officer after the advance. Suitable sites within the german defences will be selected previously for signalling back from.

All F.O.O.s and Liaison Officers sent forward will be instructed as to which Observation Stations have been selected for receiving messages and should make certain that they know the exact position of these stations, and can identify them by looking back from our forward trenches.

 

  • DISTINGUISHING MARKS.

 

The following distinguishing marks will be employed to enable the Artillery to follow the movements of the Infantry in the attack:-

  • Flags, red and yellow halved diagonally. 1 per platoon and 1 per Company Headquarters.
  • Tin discs, painted white. They will be carried in the centre of the back suspended by a string round the neck with another string tied to the belt to keep them in place when the men lie down.

 

  • GAS.

 

Arrangements have been made for a limited instalment of gas in suitable places along the front.

The discharge of the gas will be supported by heavy shrapnel fire, as shown in Appendix ‘A’.

 

  • AMMUNITION.

 

Appendix ‘C’ forwarded herewith gives “Approximate Allotment of Ammunition for various tasks per gun”.

This table has been worked out on the basis of a wire cutting battery, consequently the expenditure shown is greater than the average expenditure per gun including forward batteries.

This table is intended as a guide to Group Commanders in allotting number of rounds to various tasks, and in ensuring that sufficient ammunition is brought up to the guns to allow of subsequent tasks being carried out.

No gas shells will be fired by 4.5” Howrs. previous to -65 time on zero day.

 

  • RATE OF FIRE.

 

18-pr          Normal rate for ordinary bombardment will be 1 round per gun per minute.

Intense fire – 3 rounds per gun per minute.

 

4.5” How. Normal 1 round per gun per 2 minutes.

Intense 2 rounds per gun per minute.

 

For special cases such as counter attack by the enemy the rate of fire is left to the discretion of the Artillery Commander on the spot who must be the best judge of the situation.

 

  • COMMUNICATION WITH AEROPLANES.

 

XIIIth Corps Contact Patrol Aeroplanes will be distinguished by a broad black band under both lower planes and by streamers from the ends of both planes.

The firing of a white VERY light by the aeroplane will mean “I am ready to receive a message”.

The attacking infantry will signal to aeroplane by means of

Flares and mirror will mean “I am here and, so far as I know, within 50 yards of the actual firing line”.

These flares and mirrors will only be used when the leading infantry have either

  • reached their first, second or third objective
  • have been prevented from reaching any of their objectives.

Messages to aeroplanes from Battalion and Brigade Headquarters will be sent by means of either lamps or panel shutters.

 

  • FORWARD OBSERVING OFFICERS & LIAISON OFFICERS.

 

Each Group will detail 2 officers to act as Liaison Officers with two battalions of the Brigade they support.

In addition 2 Forward Observing Officers will be detailed by each Group to follow the infantry advance, and endeavour to establish forward observation stations.

The party and equipment to accompany these officers will be in accordance with instructions previously issued.

 

  • COOLING OF GUNS DURING BOMBARDMENT.

 

Attention is drawn to “Notes on Care of Guns during prolonged Bombardments” O.B./1717.

 

  • SPARE PARTS.

 

Spare parts for guns will be disposed of in accordance with previous instructions issued.

 

  • PREPARATION FOR FORWARD MOVE.

 

Certain batteries and guns will be held in readiness to move to forward positions in accordance with instructions contained in Appendix ‘D’.

 

  • THIS Operation Order is on no account to be taken further forward than Battery Positions.

 

  • APPENDICES & MAPS.

 

The following Appendices and Maps are forwarded herewith:-

Appendix ‘A’  Time Table of Preliminary Bombardment.

Appendix ‘B’ Time Table of Bombardment to Support Assault.

Appendix ‘C’ Time Table of Approximate allotment of Ammunition to various tasks.

Appendix ‘D’  Time Table of Preparation for Forward Advance.

Appendix ‘E’  Time Table of Trench Mortar Batteries.

Map I.       Indicating Divisional Boundaries, Group Boundaries, and Artillery Lifts.

 

  • PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE.

A.F. Brooke

Captain R.A.

Brigade Major, R.A. 18th Division.

H.Q. R.A. 18/Div.

19th June 1916.

 

Copies to:-

XIII Corps R.A.               No. 1.

18th Division                      No. 2.

7th Division                        No 3.

30th Division                      No. 4.

9th Divisional Arty.           No. 5.

53rd Infantry Bde.             No. 6.

54th Infantry Bde.             No. 7.

55th Infantry Bde.             No. 8.

9th Squadron R.F.C.          No. 9.

Right Group R.A.             Nos. 10-18.

Centre Group R.A.           Nos.19-26.

Left Group R.A.               Nos. 27-35.

XIII Corps H.A.               No. 36.

18 DA Proposals for Medium and Heavy TMs 19 June 1916

PROPOSALS FOR EMPLOYMENT OF MEDIUM AND HEAVY TRENCH MORTARS.

 

  1. The attached diagram shows sites selected for Medium and Heavy Trench Mortars.

 

  1. The sites selected for Heavy Trench Mortars are shown in white. The arcs of fire of these mortars at 1000 yards range are also shown.

 

  1. The tasks of the Heavy Trench Mortars will roughly be as under:- (a) No 1 Mortar. Destruction of trenches, trench junctions and dugouts in DUGOUT TRENCH, BACH LANE, BACH TRENCH and BRESLAU SUPPORT.       (b) No 2 Mortar. Destruction of network trenches and dugouts in rear of CRATERS. (c) No 3 Mortar. Enfilade BAY LANE and BAY TRENCH to KASINO POINT, trench junctions in MINE SUPPORT and BUND TRENCH. (d) No 4 Mortar. Enfilade BAY TRENCH from BAY POINT and destruction of dugouts and trench junctions in BLACK ALLEY and the TRIANGLE. Enfilade KASINO POINT.

 

  1. Sites selected for Medium Trench Mortars are shown in red. At present 17 sites are being prepared, 6 of which have double emplacements, allowing for 23 mortars in all. Of those shown, 14 emplacements with dugouts are now complete.

 

  1. The task of the Medium Trench Mortars will consist in destruction of front and support trench and the wire in front of these trenches.

The proportion of wire to trenches engaged will depend on the proportion of NEWTON fuzes available.

Tasks will be allotted to mortars so as to distribute the front evenly between number of mortars available, and with a view to taking full advantage of enfilade fire.

A proportion of mortars will be kept in reserve.

 

  1. Dugouts are also being prepared to accommodate 100 rounds per medium Trench Mortar at each gun. The remainder of the ammunition being distributed in 4 advanced reserve ammunition dugouts and one central dugout situated in CARNOY.

 

  1. During the bombardment and up to actual assault, all Medium and Heavy Trench Mortars will be controlled by the Div. Trench Mortar Officer who will be situated in CARNOY.

 

  1. After the assault the Medium Trench Mortars will come under control of Infantry Brigade Commanders.

18 DA Appendix E to OO 1 19 June 1916

APPENDIX “E”

 

TRENCH MORTARS

 

  • NUMBERS AVAILABLE.

 

  • Medium Batteries. The following batteries will be employed:- U/18, X/18, Y/18, Z/18, X/9, Y/9 and Z/9. Six of these batteries will be distributed on the Divisional Front, the seventh battery being kept in reserve.
  • HEAVY BATTERIES. One 240 mm battery of V/18, if available in time, will be placed in a position to cover the crater area.

 

  • DISTRIBUTION OF 2” MEDIUM BATTERIES.

 

The German defences opposite 18th Division front have been distributed amongst medium batteries so as to bring a preponderance of fire where it is required.

Batteries will be responsible for engaging of front line trenches and wire as under:-

Z/9 from A.9.a.70.99. to A.8.b.9.7.

Z/18 from A.8.b.9.7. to A.8.b.1.5.

X/18 from A.8.a.8.2. to A.7.b.95.28.

X/9 from A.7.b.95.28. to A.7.b.62.60.

U/18 from A.7.b.62.60. to A.7.b.2.4.

Y/18 from A.7.b.62.60. to A.7.b.2.4. to F.12.a.20.12.

X/9 in reserve.

 

  • TASKS OF MEDIUM BATTERIES.

 

The tasks of the medium batteries will consist of:-

  • The destruction of the wire on the front and support trench in the sector allotted to them.
  • The destruction of german front and support trenches in the sector allotted to them, special attention being paid to saps, loopholes and machine gun emplacements.

 

  • PROGRAMME OF BOMBARDMENT.

 

Each battery will be provided with a tracing indicating the exact area allotted to the battery.

“U” Day.  All batteries remain silent to avoid detection.

“V” Day.  From 5 A.M. to 7A.M. and from 5 P.M. to 8P.M. wire cutting on front line.  One hundred rounds per gun with Newton fuzes are allotted for this task.

”W” Day.  From 5 A.M. to 7 A.M. and from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. wire cutting on front and support line.  One hundred rounds with Newton Fuze per gun.

”X” Day.  From 6 A.M. to 10 A.M. wire cutting front and support trenches.  From 6 P.M. to 8 P.M. destruction of trenches.  80 rounds per gun.

”Y” Day. From 6 A.M. to 9 A.M. and from 1 P.M. to 3 P.M. destruction of trenches – 80 60 rounds per gun.  At night, irregular intervals, 30rounds per gun to prevent repair of wire and trenches.

”Z” Day. For 65 minutes previous to zero hour rapid fire from mortars on german front and support trenches.  30 rounds per gun.

 

  • DIVISIONAL TRENCH MORTAR OFFICER.

 

The Divisional Trench Mortar Officer, 18th Division, will control the Group of Medium Batteries throughout the operation, and will be assisted in this task by the D.T.M.O. of the 9th Division.

 

He will be situated close to Forward Artillery Exchange in CARNOY.

He will be responsible that all batteries carry out their tasks according to time table, and that all batteries are ready to commence fire punctually at the hour stipulated daily.

 

He will supervise the supply of ammunition from the Ammunition Reserve in CARNOY to batteries, and apply to the nearest Infantry formation for any assistance that may be required in the carriage of this ammunition.

 

Batteries will make render a report every evening to the D.T.M.O. on work accomplished, a consolidated report will be forwarded every evening from D.T.M.O to Divisional Artillery Headquarters.

 

  • HEAVY TRENCH MORTAR BATTERIES.

 

In the event of one 240 mm Mortar being available in sufficient time it will be brought into action in the position prepared by V/18 and will engage system of trenches in rear of CRATERS in accordance with instructions to be issued later.

In the event of the mortar not being available V/18 will be used in forming fatigue parties to assist in the supply of ammunition to medium batteries.

O.C. V/18 will keep in constant communication with D.M.T.O., and assist in controlling the supply of ammunition in every possible way.

The personnel of W/18 battery will remain in their present billets and keep in constant communication with Right Artillery Group H.Q. – This battery will hold itself in readiness to provide working parties to assist in the supply of ammunition or in forward movement of 18-pr batteries.

 

  • FORWARD MOVEMENT OF BATTERIES.

 

From zero hour onwards, X/18, Y/18 & Z/18 will hold themselves in readiness to move forward if required, and will come under the control of their respective Infantry Brigades.

Should the assistance of a 2” Trench Mortar Battery be required by any Infantry formation, the following procedure should be adopted:-

  • The commander of the formation requiring the battery sends a message to that effect to the battery of its Brigade or direct to the Divisional Trench Mortar Officer, stating where battery is required. A site for the battery should then be selected and prepared if possible.

 

  • The battery ordered to move forward will immediately send one officer and orderly forward to examine site selected and superintend construction of position. The orderly will be sent back to lead battery to the new position.

 

  • The Divisional Trench Mortar Officer will detail the personnel of one Trench Mortar Battery of 9th Division to assist the battery ordered forward and will form a fatigue party from V/18 to assist in the supply of ammunition. Any further personnel required for the supply of ammunition will be applied for from the Infantry Brigade concerned.

18 DA Appendix D to OO 1 19 June 1916

APPENDIX “D”

 

PREPARATIONS FOR FORWARD MOVE

 

  • GENERAL PRINCIPLES GOVERNING DISPOSITIONS FOR FORWARD MOVE.

 

The general principle on which the forward move of batteries will be carried out is briefly as under:-

  • The Three Group System, with each Group supporting its own Infantry Brigade, will be adhered to throughout.
  • Certain batteries from each Group have been placed in forward positions to form an advanced basis, to be reinforced by batteries of the same Group as occasion arises.
  • The 18-pr batteries of the 50th Brigade R.F.A. have been distributed amongst the three Groups in such a manner as to be available to move forward or be detached as a complete Brigade, at short notice, without seriously affecting the efficiency of the Groups supporting the Infantry Brigades.
  • Certain single guns have been so placed as to be able to bring close range and enfilade fire in the initial stages, and to be available for a very early move forward in close support of the infantry.

 

  • DISPOSITIONS FOR FORWARD MOVE.

 

The following batteries of each Group will hold themselves in readiness for a probable early move during the operations:-

Left Group     B/82 & A/85.

Centre Group A/83 & B/85.

Right Group   B/84 & C/84.

 

The positions to be occupied by these batteries, and routes to them, are shown in attached diagram.

 

Group Commanders will ensure that bridges are prepared where necessary, the forward positions thoroughly reconnoitered, and every possible preliminary preparation made to enable these positions to be occupied without delay where when required.

 

  • ORDER OF ADVANCE.

 

The order of advance will necessarily depend on circumstances. In all probability one battery per group will first be moved forward.

 

  • SINGLE GUNS FOR CLOSE SUPPORT OF INFANTRY.

 

The two single guns at F.17.b.2.2. and F.12.c.7.3. will hold themselves in readiness to be moved forward at an early hour during the proceedings.

It may not be possible to bring limbers and teams up in sufficient time to move these guns, every preparation should consequently be made to man handle these guns forward if necessary. Sufficient drag ropes, picks and shovels will be kept in these emplacements for this purpose.  In addition to the above 6 iron girders per gun will be held ready to form trough bridges for the wheels of guns to assist in crossing trenches.

Line of Advance “A” shown on attached diagram will probably afford the best route for a forward move leading to positions in the vicinity of POMMIERS TRENCH.

In the event of it being necessary to man handle guns forward, a fatigue party from W/18 will be provided to assist in moving the guns forward, and in the supply of ammunition.

 

  • LINES OF ADVANCE BEYOND OUR FORWARD TRENCH.

 

The attached diagram indicates roughly the forward lines of advance which it is hoped to open up shortly after the assault.

 

  • ADVANCED SITES FOR WAGON LINES.

 

Advanced sites for wagon lines of batteries detailed to hold themselves in readiness are being reconnoitered at present. They will probably be sited in GROVETOWN VALLEY or in BILLON WOOD Valley.

18 DA Appendix C to OO 1 19 June 1916

APPENDIX “C”

 

APPROXIMATE allotment of ammunition for various tasks.

 

N.B. This table is worked out for one gun of a wire cutting battery.

——————————————————————————————————-

DAY            TASK                                              18-prs         4.5”             T.M.

Hows             2”   240 mm

——————————————————————————————————

 

“U” day     Wire cutting 18-prs at rate                200

Of 200 rounds per gun.

&

U/V Night   Approaches & Communications

at night, about 2 Batts: per

Group, to consist of about               100              50

12 salvoes per hour.

N.B. Night from 8 PM to 5 AM.

 

18-prs preventing repair of wire.        20

——————————————————————————————————-

TOTAL          320           50

——————————————————————————————————-

Wire cutting.                                    200                                  100

 

O.Ps, Machine Gun

emplacements,                                                  100

Communication trenches.

“V” Day

&          Concentration of fire,

V/W Night   Right Group                                    10                10

 

Approaches & communications

at night.                                            100               50

 

Gas barrage if required.                      50              30

 

Preventing repair of wire

and trenches.                                      20

——————————————————————————————————-

TOTAL                380             190               100

——————————————————————————————————-

 

 

——————————————————————————————————-

DAY           TASK                                              18-prs         4.5”                T.M.

Hows             2”   240 mm

——————————————————————————————————

 

Wire cutting.                                   200                                  100

 

O.Ps, Machine Guns

Communication trenches.                                100                              30

“W” Day

&          Concentration of fire,

W/X Night   Left Group                                         10                10

 

Approaches & communications

at night.                                            100               50

 

Preventing repair of wire

and trenches.                                       30                10

 

Gas barrage if not fired on

Previous night.

——————————————————————————————————-

TOTAL                340             170               100           30

——————————————————————————————————-

 

 

Wire cutting.                                     200                                  40

 

O.Ps, Machine guns,

Trenches, etc.                                                    100                 40           30

“X” Day

&          Concentration of fire,

X/Y Night   one battery per Group                        10                10

 

Approaches & communications

at night.                                             100               50

 

Preventing repair of wire

and trenches.                                       30                10

 

Gas barrage if not fired on

Previous night.

——————————————————————————————————-

TOTAL                340             170               80           30

——————————————————————————————————-

 

——————————————————————————————————-

DAY           TASK                                              18-prs        4.5”                T.M.

Hows            2”   240 mm

——————————————————————————————————

Wire cutting.                                     200                                30

 

O.Ps, Machine Guns

trenches etc.                                                    100               30           30

“Y” Day

&          Concentration of fire,

Y/Z Night   Centre Group                                    10                10

 

Approaches & communications

at night.                                            100               50

 

Preventing repair of wire

and trenches.                                       40                20              30

 

——————————————————————————————————-

TOTAL                350             180               90           30

——————————————————————————————————-

 

 

“Z” Day       65 minute bombardment

up to             (at about 3 rounds per

assault           gun per minute (18-pr))                  200             125               30          10

——————————————————————————————————-

TOTAL                200             125                30           10

 

 

TOTALS per Gun previous to Assault.

 

 

18-prs         4.5”                T.M.

Hows                2”   240 mm

——————————————————————————————————

 

“U” Day &U /V Night                                          320                 50

“V” Day & V/W Night                                         380                190            100

”W” Day & W/X Night                                        340                170            100         30

”X” Day & X/Y Night                                          340                170              80         30

”Y” Day & Y/Z Night                                          350                180              90         30

”Z” up to assault                                                  200              125              30         10

——————————————————————————————————-

TOTAL               1930                 885           400       100

 

Rough estimate of expenditure from 0.00 to 2.30 and remainder of “Z” day and night.

 

During assault at rate of approximately

3 rounds per gun per minute 18-pr and                 500                  250

2 rounds per gun in minute for 4.5”

How:

 

For barrages, special undertakings etc.                 500                 250

——————————————————————————————————-

TOTAL                                                                 1000               500

Total up to 0.00 time.                                            2000             1000             430      100

——————————————————————————————————-

GRAND TOTAL                                                 3000              1500            430      100

=============================================================

 

(8) The above alterations will affect Appendix “C” slightly, Group Commanders should consequently consider these slight alterations:-

“V”. Concentration of Right Group should now be considered under “X” day expenditure, whereas the expenditure allowed for concentration on “X” day may now be cancelled.

 

An additional expenditure of 15 rounds of 18-pr and 10 rounds of 4.5” per gun should be added to “W”, “X” and “Y” days for intense bombardment in support of discharge of gas.

18 DA Appendix B to OO 1 19 June 1916

APPENDIX “B”

 

BOMBARDMENT TO SUPPORT ASSAULT.

 

(1) PHASES.

 

The bombardment to support the assault will be divided into distinctive phases, as under.

 

Phase I.          From 65 minutes previous to zero time up to zero time.  Intense final bombardment preparatory to assault.

 

Phase II.          From 0.00 to 0.04 minutes.  Bombardment of line “B” for 4 minutes.

 

Phase III.        From 0.04 to 0.09 minutes.  Bombardment of line “C” for 5 minutes.

 

Phase IV.        From 0.09 to 0.19 minutes.  Bombardment of line “D” for 10 minutes.

 

Phase V.          From 0.19 to 0.58 minutes.  Bombardment of line “E” by Left Group and one battery of Centre Group.

LOOP TRENCH, BLIND ALLEY by Centre Group.

Concentration on MONTAUBAN, THE TWINS, THE MILL and communication trenches by Right Group.

 

Phase VI.        From 0.58 to 2.00 minutes.  Two minute test barrage on line “H”.  Concentration of Right Group batteries and forward batteries on MONTAUBAN.

Shelling of BEETLE ALLEY, MONTAUBAN ALLEY, THE TWINS, BLIND ALLEY, THE LOOP etc.

 

Phase VII.       2.00 to 2.30 minutes.  Shrapnel barrage starting from ”F” line and moving in front of infantry by increments of range, until final barrage is established on line ”H”.

 

Phase VIII.     2.30 onwards protection of infantry during consolidation of position gained.

 

  • TIME TABLE.

 

Time Table of bombardment with actual tasks allotted to each battery in the various phases is attached.

 

  • CHART.

 

The attached chart indicates trenches to be engaged by each of the 5 wire cutting batteries per group during the advance.

The lines have been lettered in accordance with preliminary instructions already issued.

 

 

  • 5” Howitzer BATTERIES.

 

When not engaged in Counter Battery work with gas shell these batteries will engage trenches somewhat in rear of front barrage in accordance with time table, and on special points to be selected by Group Commanders.

 

  • FORWARD BATTERIES.

 

These will be employed for dealing with any unforeseen contingencies, and will be allotted certain tasks for which they are well suited owing to their close range.

 

  • SHRAPNEL & H.E.

 

During the bombardment 18-pr batteries will fire shrapnel with a mixture of 20% H.E.

As an indication to the infantry that a lift is about to occur, all 18-pr batteries will fire exclusively H.E. ammunition for 30 seconds at an increased pace previous to each lift, namely about 5 rounds per gun.

All concentrations on MONTAUBAN should consist mostly of H.E. ammunition, a proportion of this class of ammunition should be consequently reserved for these tasks.

 

  • FLANK BARRAGES

 

Throughout the advance Group Commanders will hold themselves in readiness for the possibility of having to establish a flank barrage to protect a salient that may be formed found owing to some portion of the advance being temporarily checked.

 

 

 

PHASE I.

 

65 minutes previous to zero time up to zero time.

 

 

BATTERY           OBJECTIVE                          REMARKS

 

 

15 wire cutting     Line “A”                                 Intense fire.

batteries

 

D/82, D/83,D/84   Communication trenches      Under instructions to be

& trench junctions on            issued by Group Commanders

respective fronts, up to          Counter battery work under

5 minutes before zero.            XIII Corps H.A. for 5

Minutes previous to zero time

 

Forward

Batteries:-            Remain silent.

A/51                       Wire in front of

B/51                      POMMIERS REDOUBT.     During last 15 minutes.

 

 

A.15.d.7.9.   Enfilade BAY TRENCH.       During last 15 minutes

C/51 F.17.b.2.2.   Enfilade BLACK ALLEY.    During last 15 minutes

F.12.c.7.3.    Enfilade MONTAUBAN.       During last 15 minutes

D/51                     BUND TRENCH from BAY  During last 15 minutes

LANE to TRIANGLE

 

2” T.M.                 Front & Support trench

 

Heavy T.M.s         Trench junction in rear

of CRATERS.

 

 

PHASE II 0.00 to 0.04

 

 

BATTERY           OBJECTIVE                          REMARKS

 

 

15 wire cutting         Line “B”                                 Intense fire.

Batteries

 

D/82, D/83, D.84.    Counter battery work             Under orders of XIII Corps                         H.A. with gas shell.

 

Forward

Batteries:-

A/51                       Enfilade MINE ALLEY & BRESLAU ALLEY

B/51                       Same as Phase I.

 

 

A.15.d.       Enfilade BUND TRENCH.

C/51 F.17.b.        Enfilade BLACK ALLEY.

F.12.c.        Same as Phase I.

D/51                     POMMIERS TRENCH           100 yards either side of   junction with POMMIERS LANE.

 

 

PHASE III 0.04 to 0.09.

 

 

BATTERY           OBJECTIVE                          REMARKS

 

 

15 wire cutting         Line “C”

Batteries

 

D/82, D/83, D.84.   Same as Phase II.

 

Forward

Batteries:-

A/51                       Same as Phase II.

B/51                       Same as Phase II.

 

 

A.15.d.         Enfilade BUND SUPPORT.

C/51 F.17.b.         Enfilade BLACK ALLEY.      Only North of Line “C”

F.12.c.          Same as Phase I.

D/51                     Same as Phase II.

 

 

PHASE IV 0.09 to 0.19.

 

 

BATTERY           OBJECTIVE                          REMARKS

 

 

15 wire cutting         Line “D”

Batteries

 

D/82, D/83, D.84.   BEETLE ALLEY &              On their respective Group MONTAUBAN ALLEY.       fronts, as soon as Counter

Battery Work is finished.

 

 

 

Forward

Batteries:-

A/51                       Same as Phase II.

B/51                       Enfilade LOOP Trench.

 

 

A.15.d.         Enfilade POMMIERS LANE

C/51 F.17.b.         Enfilade BLACK ALLEY .       Only North of Line “D”

F.12.c.         Remain silent.

D/51                     POMMIERS Redoubt.

 

 

PHASE V 0.19 to 0.58.

 

 

BATTERY           OBJECTIVE                          REMARKS

 

Left Group Wire

Cutting Batteries       Line “E”             Normal rate of fire intense fire at last and B/83                                                10 minutes.

 

Centre Group       LOOP TRENCH,.    Normal rate of fire intense fire at last

Wire Cutting         BLIND ALLEY,      10 minutes.

Batteries               ETC

 

Right Group Wire   Concentration on Western.       Normal rate of fire, bursts Cutting Batteries     extremity of MONTAUBAN    of intense fire, mostly H.E.

 

D/82                     POMMIERS REDOUBT  Steady rate of fire.

D/83                     THE TWINS.                  Steady rate of fire.

D/84                     MONTAUBAN MILL.     Steady rate of fire.

 

Forward

Batteries:-

A/51                       Same as Phase II.           Only North of Line “D”

B/51                       Western extremity of

MONTAUBAN.

 

A.15.d.         Bursts of fire at S.20.c.2.8.    On tracks at junction of

C/51 F.17.b.         Bursts of fire at S.20.c.2.8. .  valleys

 

F.12.c.          Same as Phase I.

D/51                     POMMIERS REDOUBT.

 

 

 

PHASE VI 0.58 to 2.00

 

 

BATTERY           OBJECTIVE                          REMARKS

 

 

15 Wire Cutting 2 minutes test barrage”     From 1.00 to 1.02. Intense fire.  .

Batteries.           on Line “H                      Barrage will be observed by aeroplane and corrections dropped by message at Divnl. Arty. H.Q. and passed to Groups.

 

Left Group wire   BEETLE TRENCH       Steady rate of fire.

Cutting batteries

 

Centre Group         MONTAUBAN ALLEY,

wire cutting           BLIND ALLEY &         Steady rate of fire.

Batteries.               LOOP TRENCH

 

Right Group           Concentration on

Wire cutting           Western portion of         Bursts of fire.

Batteries.               MONTAUBAN.

 

D/82                      MONTAUBAN.            Bursts of fire

D/83                       MONTAUBAN.            Bursts of fire

D/84                       THE TWINS.                 Bursts of fire

 

Forward Batteries:-

A/51                       Same as Phase II.           Steady rate of fire.

B/51                       Western extremity of      Bursts of fire.

MONTAUBAN.

A.15.d.         Same as Phase V.

C/51 F.17.b.         MONTAUBAN.             Steady rate of fire.

F.12.c.          MONTAUBAN.              Steady rate of fire.

D/51                   MONTAUBAN.              Steady rate of fire.

 

 

 

 

PHASE VII 200 to 2.30.

 

 

BATTERY           OBJECTIVE                          REMARKS

 

 

15 wire cutting   Barrage to be on line                The distance from line “F” to batteries.             “F” for 5 minutes previous       line “H” is approximately

                          to 2.00.  At 2.00 the                  1000 yards for all batteries. 

                           barrage will lift by                    Batteries will consequently   

                           increments of range                  open the barrage at a range

                           of 50 yards until line                of 1000 yards short of the

                          “H” is reached at 2.30               the range required for

                                                                             barrage “H” & will increase

                                                                            their range at the rate of

                                                                             50 yards every 1 ½ minutes

        

D/82,

D/83,

D/84. CATERPILLAR WOOD   On their respective Group fronts       

 

Forward batteries:-              

A/51                 CATERPILLAR WOOD   On Centre Group front, sweeping.

B/51                 CATERPILLAR WOOD   Moderate rate of fire.           

C/51                 CATERPILLAR WOOD   On Right Group front, Moderate rate of

fire.

D/51                CATERPILLAR WOOD   On Left group front, all four guns.  moderate rate of fire.

 

 

PHASE VIII 2.30 onwards.

 

 

BATTERY           OBJECTIVE                         REMARKS

 

 

Wire cutting         Barrage “H”                 Steady rate of fire, periodic bursts

Batteries.                                                               and ready to turn on intense bombardment if required.

 

Remainder.         Same as Phase VII.

 

 

AMENDMENTS TO 18TH DIVNL. ARTY. OPERATION ORDER NO 1

 

Appendix ”B”, Phase VII & VIII should be amended as under.

 

 

PHASE VII 2.00 to 2.30.

 

 

BATTERY           OBJECTIVE                          REMARKS

 

 

15 Wire Cutting Barrage to be on             The distance from line “F” to line

Batteries.             line “F” for 5                  “H” is approximately 1000 yards for

minutes previous             all batteries.  Batteries will cones-

to 2.00.                           quently open the barrage at a range

At 2.00 the barrage         1000 yards short of range required

will lift by increments     for barrage “H” and will increase

of range of 50 yards        their range by increments of 80 yds.

until line “H” is reached  The four right batteries of Right

at 2.30.                              Group (C/85, A/50, C/84, A/84) will increase their range at a slower rate, 50 yds every 2 ½ minutes until line “H” is reached.

 

D/82,D/83,               Western houses of                 Bursts of fire up to 2.15, intense

D/84.                         MONTAUBAN.                    from 2.15 onwards.  Lift off MONTAUBAN at2.25.

 

A/51                         MARLBRO WOOD

 

B/51                         Western corner of           Orchards & houses just east of Right

MONTAUBAN.            Group boundary.

 

C/51                         CATTERPILLAR WOOD     MARICOURT Section to enfilade western portion of wood

D/51                         CATERPILLAR WOOD.      On Centre Group front.

 

PHASE VIII 2.30. onwards

 

 

BATTERY           OBJECTIVE                          REMARKS

 

 

Wire Cutting     Barrage “H”                         Steady rate of fire, periodic bursts of fire,

Batteries                                                          and ready to turn on intense fire if necessary.

 

 

D/82, D/83,   CATERPILLAR WOOD on   During this phase forward observation

D/84.               respective Group fronts.         must be obtained as soon as possible, and barrage regulated by actual observation and reports from Liaison Officers.

 

A/51                               -do-

B/51                               -do-

C/51                              -do-

D/51             MARLBRO WOOD

 

 

 

A.F. Brooke

Captain R.A.,

Brigade Major R.A. 18th Division

 

H.Q. R.A. 18/Div

27 June 1916

 

Copies to all concerned.

18 DA Appendix A 19 June 1916

APPENDIX “A”

 

PROGRAMME OF PRELIMINARY BOMBARDMENT.

 

(1).       The attached programme is worked out with a view to conforming with the instructions issued as regards sequence of the bombardment, and to minimise the difficulties of observation caused by smoke and dust of one battery interfering with another.

 

(2).      SPECIAL HOURS ALLOTTED TO BATTERIES.

 

Special hours have been allotted to the various batteries concerned for engaging the front system of trenches, this does not preclude other batteries from engaging trenches further to the rear at these times provided the targets engaged are not obscured by the guns firing on trenches in advance.

 

(3).       WIRE CUTTING.

 

Wire cutting will be carried out in accordance with previous instructions issued.  Group Commanders will issue necessary instructions within their Group to prevent the wire cutting batteries interfering with each other.

 

(4). PREVENTING REPAIR OF WIRE & TRENCHES.

 

Each 18-pr battery will be responsible for the front allotted to it for wire cutting, as regards prevention of repairs at night.  Table ‘C’ indicates approximate allowance of ammunition for this task, this ammunition should be expended in irregular bursts of fire throughout the night under instructions to be issued by Group Commanders.

 

(5). SHELLING OF APPROACHES & COMMUNICATIONS.

 

The shelling of approaches and communications will be allotted to Groups as under:-

{18- prs. Western exits of MONTAUBAN. Tracks from CATERPILLAR WOOD to MONTAUBAN.

Right Group   {4.5” How. Communication trenches & Trench junctions in A.3.a.

 

 

{18-prs. CATERPILLAR WOOD Valley, and MONTAUBAN-MAMETZ Road.

Centre Group

{4.5” How. LOOP TRENCH, MINE ALLEY & POPOFF LANE.

 

 

{18-prs. Junction of valleys and trenches in S.20.c.

Left Group

{4.5” How: BLACK ALLEY and MONTAUBAN ALLEY.

Group Commanders will detail at least two 18-pr batteries and one 4.5” howitzer per night for the shelling of approaches. These batteries will have to carry out this task in addition to preventing repair of wire on the portion of front allotted to them.

The shelling of approaches by 18-prs will consist of approximately 12 salvoes per hour fired at irregular intervals and changed localities throughout the night.

The night should be considered as lasting from 8 P.M. to 5 A.M.

4.5” Hows will fire approximately 6 rounds per hour at the communication trenches.

The shelling of Communications and Approaches in rear will be carried out at irregular intervals throughout the day.

 

(6). TEST CONCENTRATION OF FIRE.

 

Tests of concentration of fire will be carried out by Groups in accordance with attached Programme.  These concentrations will consist of a test carried out by Groups on various portions of the front.

Batteries will fire consecutively at 10 minutes interval, and effect of fire will be observed.

Forward batteries will remain silent during these concentrations.

 

(7). SHRAPNEL BARRAGE IN SUPPORT OF DISCHARGE OF GAS.

 

Should the wind be favourable it is intended on one of the nights previous to assault to discharge a gas cloud with a view to inflicting loss on the enemy by taking them by surprise.

Notification of such a discharge will be forwarded to Groups previously. –the five wire cutting batteries per Group will support the discharge of gas by establishing a heavy shrapnel barrage, at the rate of 3 rounds per 18-pr per minute for two periods of 8 minutes.

This barrage will be carried out with the following lifts:-

Gas discharge begins:-            0.00 time

Barrage front trench:-                         0.30 to 0.32 and 1.15 to 1.20.

Lift to second line:-                0.32 to 0.37 and 1.20 to 1.23.

Return to front line:-               0.37 to 0.40 and 1.23 to 1.25.

 

(8). TIMES RESERVED FOR CORPS ARTILLERY.

 

Certain periods daily have been reserved for Corps Artillery for bombardment of front trenches, this is to ensure the Divisional Artillery and Corps Artillery not interfering with each others’ tasks.

Copies of diagram indication wire to be engaged daily by 18-prs have been forwarded to XIII Corps H.A. who will refrain from firing on these trenches at the hours detailed for 18-pr wire cutting.

 

(9). TRENCH MORTARS.

 

Special hours have been allotted to Medium Trench Mortar batteries for wire cutting.  These batteries will refrain from firing at the front trench during the other hours of the day.

(10). DESTRUCTION OF OBSERVATION STATIONS, MACHINE GUNS, COMMUNICATION TRENCHES, ETC., BY 4.5” HOWS.

 

Special hours have not been allotted for 4.5” How: firing on front trenches – Group Commanders will allot tasks to their 4.5” How batteries within their own fronts, and regulate their fire so as not to interfere with wire cutting operations.

 

(11). GAS SHELLS.

 

The use of the Divisional 4.5” How: batteries will be required by XIII Corps H.A. for 65 minutes previous to zero hour for counter battering work with gas shells – It is not certain yet how long these guns will be required for this task.

 

(12). FORWARD BATTERIES.

 

The forward batteries (51st Brigade R.F.A.) in the CARNOY valley will not take part in the preliminary bombardment, and will be kept as silent as possible.

Group Commanders should however endeavour to carry out any possible registration of these batteries which they consider could be done without disclosing their positions.

The objectives requiring special registration may be obtained from the tasks allotted to these batteries in Appendix ”B”.

 

(13). TESTS OF FORWARD BARRAGE NEAR CATERPILLAR WOOD.

 

It is hoped to carry out two tests during the preliminary bombardment of the final barrage required after the assault.

This test will be carried out by all 15 wire cutting batteries firing salvoes at 4 minutes interval commencing with the most easterly barrage battery of the Right Group. full particulars of the test will be forwarded to Group Commanders and to O.C. 9th Squadron R.F.C.

 

(14). DISCHARGE OF SMOKE.

 

In order to lead the enemy to believe that an assault is about to be made, and induce him to man his front trenches, smoke will be discharged for the last 5 to 10 minutes of the times laid down for concentrated bombardments on “W”, “X” and “Y” days.

The discharge of smoke will be accompanied by a heavy shrapnel barrage on front line and support trenches by all wire cutting batteries and searching of communication trenches by 4.5” howitzers for 5minutes as under:-

Front trench,                           2minutes.

Lift to support line,                 2minutes.

Return to support line,                        1minute.

 

 

“U” DAY

 

 

TIME.                         NATURE                    TASK.

OF GUN.

 

All day             18-prs.            Wire cutting in Second Line in accordance with Wire Cutting Programme.  Registration if required.

 

All day             4.5” Hows      Complete Registration.

All day            2” T.M.           Remain silent

All day             240 mm T.M. Remain silent.

U/V Night       18-prs             Communications, approaches and preventing repair of   wire.

U/V Night       4.5” Hows       Communication trenches.

 

 

“V” DAY

 

 

6 AM to 9AM     18-prs                     Wire cutting on Third line in accordance with wire cutting instructions.  Batteries may continue

12.30 to 3 PM                         firing up to 11 AM provided observation is not obscured by 2” T.Ms.

 

4 P.M.                 18-prs         Test forward barrage near CATERPILLAR WOOD with aeroplane observation.

All day                 4.5” Hows  O.Ps, Machine gun emplacements and communication trenches.

 

9 AM to 11 AM} 2” T.Ms     Wire cutting front and support trenches.

5 PM to 8 PM}

 

11 AM to 12.30 PM} XIII Corps H.A. Reserved for Corps H.A. on front trenches.

3 PM to 5 PM}

 

4 PM to 4.20 PM 18-prs         Concentration of Right Group wire cutting batteries on MONTAUBAN.

 

V/W Night 18-prs &               Same as U/V Night.

4.5” Hows           18-prs ready to support gas barrage if necessary.

 

(4) “V” DAY

XIII Corps H.A. will not require any time reserved for front trenches, the times allotted for this purpose are consequently re-alloted as under:-

11 A.M. to 12.30 P.M. for 18-prs wire cutting.

3 P.M. to 5.00 P.M. for 2” T.M.s wire cutting.

in addition to times already allotted.

The concentration of Right Group on MONTAUBAN between 4 P.M. and 4.20 P.M. is cancelled.

 

 

“W” DAY

 

 

TIME.                         NATURE                    TASK.

OF GUN.

 

10 AM to 1 PM 18-prs            Wire cutting on POMMIERS TRENCH line in accordance with Programme.

4 PM to 8 PM                         Batteries may continue from 1  to 3 PM provided observation is not obscured by 2” T.M.

 

3 PM                 18-prs           Test forward barrage near CATERPILLAR WOOD with aeroplane observation.

 

Irregular 18-prs & 4.5”Hows  Approaches and communications.

intervals

 

All day             4.5” Hows      Same as “V” day.

5 AM to 7 AM} 2” T.M.        Wire cutting front and support trenches.

1 PM to 4 PM }

 

9 AM to10 AM 18-prs            Concentration of Left Group wire cutting batteries on

& 4.5” Hows  POMMIERS Redoubt.

 

7 AM to 10 AM. XIII Corps H.A.     Reserved for Corps Artillery on front trenches.

 

W/X Night   18-prs & 4.5” Hows      Same as V/W Night.

 

 

(5) “W” DAY.

18-pr wire cutting batteries from 10.30 A.M. to 1 P.M. and 4 P.M. to 8 P.M. instead of 10 A.M. to 1 P.M. etc.

 

Add:-

10.15 A.M. to 10.20 A.M., 18-prs intense bombardment of front and support trenches, and 4.5” howitzer batteries on communications in support of smoke discharge.

 

 

“X” DAY

 

 

10 AM to 4 PM   18-prs          Wire cutting on front and supporttrenches in accordance with wire cutting instructions.

Irregular               18-prs: & } Approaches and communications.

intervals               4.5” Hows}

All day             4.5” Hows:     Same as “W” day.

 

6 AM to 10 AM} 2” T.Ms      Destruction of trenches and wire cutting.

6 PM to 8 PM}

 

6 PM to7 PM     18-prs &      Concentration of centre Right Group wire cutting battery

4.5”Hows     from each group on MONTAUBAN commencing with Right Group battery, 10 minutes interval between batteries.

9 AM to 10 AM   XIII           Reserved for Corps H.A. on front trenches.

4 PM to 6 PM                         Corps H.A.

 

X/Y Night 18-prs &                Same as W/X night.

4.5” Hows

 

(6) “X”DAY

Cancel concentration detailed for 6 P.M. to 7 P.M. and substitute :-

4.30 A.M. to 5.30 A.M., 18-prs and 4.5” howitzers concentration of Right Group wire cutting batteries on MONTAUBAN.

 

5.45 A.M. to 5.50 A.M., 18-prs & 4.5” howitzers intense fire in support of smoke discharge, similar to “W” day.

 

Y DAY

 

 

TIME.                         NATURE                    TASK.

OF GUN.

 

 

11 AM to 1 PM 18-prs            Wire cutting on any portion of wire left uncut.  Batteries may continue from 1 PM to 3 PM provided 2” T.M. do not interfere.

 

4.30 PM to 8 PM                    Approaches and communications at irregular intervals.

 

All day             4.5” Hows      Same as X day.

 

6 AM to 9 AM}   2” T.M.     Destruction of trenches and wire.

1 PM to 3 PM.}

 

9 AM to 11 AM XIII Corps H.A. Reserved for Corps Artillery on front trenches.

3 PM to 4.20 PM

 

6 AM to 7.20 AM 18-prs Concentration of Centre Group batteries on the LOOP

& 4.5” Hows.

 

Y/Z Night 18-prs & 4.5” Hows Same as X/Y Night.

 

“Y” DAY.

Times for concentration of Centre Group are altered to read from 6 A.M. to 7 A.M. instead of 6.0 to 7.20 A.M.

 

Add:-

7.15 A.M. to 7.20 A.M., 18-prs & 4.5” howitzers, intense fire in support of smoke discharge similar to ”W” day.

 

 

“Z” DAY

 

In accordance with Bombardment to Support Assault Appendix ”B”.

 

 

 

FURLOUGH & LEAVE. 19 June 1916

FURLOUGH & LEAVE.

No. 4748 Medical

Headquarters, 6th Divisional Area,

Poona 19th June 1916

 

From The Assistant Director Medical Services

6th (Poona) Divisional Area.

 

To Flight Sub Lieut. L.E.R. Murray

                                    R.N.A.S. ‘Throu’ Stn Hosp Poona

 

MEMORANDUM

 

Please note that at a Medical Board which assembled at Poona on the 19th June 1916, the Board recommended that you be granted leave to proceed to Poona for 2 months & 21 days months, and that you be allowed to proceed in anticipation of sanction.  Leave to date from 29-4-16.

 

  1. Please submit your application for leave to the General Officer Commanding 6th (Poona) Divisional Area.

 

  1. Grant

Colonel. I.M.S.

A.D.M.S. 6th (Poona) Divisional Area.

 

Copy to:-

The General Officer Commanding

6th Poona Divisional Area.

 

For information

Copy of Proceedings of Medical Board on this officer is attached.

 

Colonel, I.M.S.

A.D.M.S. 6th (Poona) Divisional Area.

Pte. A.A. Smith 19 June 1916

Y.M.C.A headed notepaper

Pte. A.A. Smith

No 27521

Reply to “C” Company 12th Bat. Essex Regt

Stationed at Dovercourt

June 19th 1916

 

Dear Father,

I expect you received my letter I sent to Southend did not have time to write more then.

I have settled down to camp again now, but it took a little time after the enjoyable holiday I had.  When we got back on Monday we had no blankets only our mattresses; so I used my overcoat as a cover & was soon asleep; have had a bad cold since but am alright again now.  It is much better now we are having fine weather the ground is dry again.

I had a nice job on Sunday 24 hours guard.  It was jolly fine had nothing to do but lie on the sands all day watching the girls bathing; we only had to keep guard for two hours each after dark; it was like having a days holiday by the sea but very different to last Sunday.

Would you mind sending a card before you post another parcel please, & I will answer it.  There is a rumour we are moving to Romford next week; I do not believe anything until we really start there are so many tales about but this one seems to be very general.  I hope it is true I shall not be so far from home then.

I believe you said you were going to Farnham next Saturday, I hope you will have a good time remember me to all of them. I wrote to Ciss this week.

Cannot think of any more news to tell you.

 

Hope you are all well

With much love

Your devoted

Son

Alf

Letter to Rev. R.M. Laporte Payne 19 April 1916

Letter to Rev. R.M. Laporte Payne 19 April 1916

 

Pte H. Harnett

No 10668 M.G. Corps

  1. 18 Army P.O.

B.E. Force

France

 

Rev Sir,

 

Your letter to hand today. I must say that I am most thankful for your thoughts about me also for the Testament also Easter Card which I prize very much.  Am so sorry that I have not corresponded more to you than I have as neglect of mine.  I thoughtlessly left your card behind in Herne Bay whilst on my last visit to Dear Mother so hoping you will pardon me for same.  You ask me about adding my name to your Prayer List.  I should be so thankful & also Mother to if you would do so as you know – or  can realise Sir that we most of us should be nearer to know God our Father than we do and I must admit it is a harder task than lots of us think.  So you also remarks as to your eldest son.  Kindly remember me to him & I hope & is my wish that he & all of us be brought back to our dear Ones.  But we will leave it entirely in God’s Power.  As I do know that for want of Prayers for us Boys it will not be our Parents fault if such is not answered.  I know it would be far better for all if we were more united that is I mean abroad and home.  I never regret the day sir that I left to learn the world as I will truthfully say that amongst strangers that is I mean foreigners I could never have been used better.  Although I will admit I lost a home that could not be better or at least there is none better than I have had but I must say he or her is no man or woman that has arrived home to be kept by their parents which I must say for twenty years I have been away I have been entirely on my own but as I say I know Mother’s Prayers have been answered that’s why I have been so fortunate in my absence from England.  Well Sir I hope you will excuse such a short address as time out here is pretty well occupied.  So I will close with thanks & best wishes.  I still remain yours Obedient

 

H.L. Harnett

 

P.S. Sir,  I am enclosing card in return wishing you & the congregation a Prosperous Easter-Tide.