18 DA instructions 24 June 1916

INSTRUCTIONS FOR OFFICERS IN OBSERVATION STATIONS DURING BOMBARDMENT TO SUPPORT ASSAULT.

 

 

  • During the bombardment to support the assault a copy of the Time Table of Phases should be available both at the Observation Station and at the Battery, in as fer as it concerns the battery itself and the neighbouring batteries.
  • Spare diagrams of the Phase chart are forwarded herewith for this purpose. These charts are amended to show new trenches near CATERPILLAR WOOD.
  • The duties of the officers posted on Observation Stations up to 2.30 after zero time will mainly consist in supervising the bombardment, and in furnishing all available information as to progress of the battle.
  • These officers should not interfere or alter the timings or tasks of the bombardment except in special and urgent circumstances.
  • In the event of a counter attack being clearly visible, or it being obvious that the fire of their own battery is being misdirected or causing casualties to our own troops, it may be admissible for officers in observation stations to issue orders departing from the prepared programme.
  • Reports as to progress of the battle should be continually transmitted from observation station to Group Headquarters, where the information will be consolidated and forwarded to Divisional Artillery Headquarters without delay.
  • The following information will be urgently required throughout the operation:-
  • Times of arrival of our infantry at the various trenches.
  • Any signs of the assault being held up by unexpected resistance.
  • Any display of flags as signals by the infantry, stating times.
  • Any signs of the enemy massing for counter attacks.
  • Forward hostile guns suddenly disclosed.
  • General observation as to the effect or defects of our artillery fire.
    • The importance of exercising scrupulous care in stating exact times of all observations should be impressed on all officers. A message stating arrival of our infantry in a given line without stating the time, owing to delays in transmission loses nearly all its value; in fact such a message may give false information.
    • Similarly the greatest care should be exercised in sending all names of places and trenches in block letters, and in ensuring that map coordinates are given accurately. Any slight error may lead to serious consequences.
    • It should also be remembered that negative information may often be of the greatest importance.

 

A.F. Brooke

Captain R.A.,

Brigade Major, R.A. 18th Division.

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

24th June 1916

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