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.