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.
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