Operation Order No 116 R. West Kents 10 October 1917

No 6

SECRET

OPERATION ORDER No 116

By

Lieut.-Colonel W.R.A. DAWSON D.S.O. Commanding 6th (S) Battalion

The Queens Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)

10th October 1917

MONCHY TM 1/10,000

 

INTENTION. 1.        A bombardment combined with a raid will be carried out on ZERO day with a view to:

  1. Killing the enemy.
  2. Obtaining identification.
  3. Destroying dugouts, machine gun emplacements, etc.

 

  1. At ZERO the Battalion will raid the enemy’s front trench system which is composed of two lines of trenches (STRAP TRENCH and BUCKLE TRENCH) from BADGER TRENCH (inclusive) to about O.8.b.6.3 in STRAP TRENCH and O.8.b.80.15 in BUCKLE TRENCH, with the 6th Battalion The Queen’s Regiment on the right flank and the 7th Battalion the Norfolk Regiment on the left flank.

 

ZERO.                        3.         ZERO day and the hour of ZERO will be notified later.

 

ARTILLERY. 4.        (a).  At ZERO minus 6 hours the artillery of the Corps reinforced by other guns will commence a bombardment.

(b). At ZERO an intense barrage will be concentrated on the German Front Line.

(c). At ZERO plus four minutes the barrage will lift from the German Front Line to a point 150 yards East of it.

(d). At ZERO plus six minutes the barrage will lift on to the protective barrage line.

(e). At ZERO plus 30 minutes the time for withdrawal will be notified by the intensification of artillery fire.

(f). At ZERO plus 35 minutes the barrage will come back 100 yards.

(g). At ZERO plus 45 minutes the artillery will cease fire.

 

OBJECTIVES. 5.       The objectives will be:-

First Objective STRAP TRENCH.

Second objective: BUCKLE TRENCH.

 

PLAN OF ATTACK

  1. (a). The Raiding Party will be divided into four parties of one Officer and 50 O.R.’s each numbering from the right: No 5 Party: No 6 Party: No 7 Party: No 8 Party.  In addition one Lewis Gun Section will be attached to No 6 Party.

(b). Parties will file out of their dugouts and form up in their assembly positions, which will be marked by Notice Boards, beginning at ZERO minus 45 minutes as follows:-

No 5 Party via POMMEL ALLEY at ZERO minus 45 minutes.

No 8 Party via New Communication Trench at ZERO minus 45 minutes.

No 7 Party via New Communication Trench at ZERO minus 35 minutes.

No 6 Party via New Communication Trench at ZERO minus 25 minutes.

(c). The boundaries of each party are shown on the attached sketch map, also the positions of the gaps in the German wire through which each party will pass.

(d). Each party will attack in two waves.  The first wave will go through to the second objective, the second wave will go to the first objective.

(e). At ZERO the parties will leave the trenches and form up under the barrage ready to advance as soon as it lifts.  At ZERO plus four minutes the raiding party will follow up the creeping barrage and enter the enemy’s trenches.

(f). On reaching their objectives each party will take steps to establish communication on the flanks.

(g). A block will be placed in Badger Trench about 40 yards East of its junction with BUCKLE TRENCH, and an offensive patrol will push forward as far as our barrage permits.  Precautionary blocks will also be established on the outer flanks of parties 5 and 8 in STRAP TRENCH and BUCKLE TRENCH  until the flanking patrols have established touch with the Battalions on either flank.  These patrols will use bullet and bayonet and not bombs.

(h). At ZERO plus 30 minutes withdrawal will commence.

The order to withdraw must be given by word of command.

The time for withdrawal will be judged:-

(a). By watch

(b). By the intensification of artillery fire.

Communication Trenches between German Support and German Front Line will be used as far as possible. The evacuation of the Support Line will be covered by parties in the German Front Line, and when complete, the withdrawal from the Front Line will commence, evacuation being covered by snipers and Lewis Guns situated in selected shell holes in No-Man’s-Land.

Parties on returning to our Front Line will re-assemble in their respective dugouts and await further orders.

 

COMMUNICATION.

  1. Two Signallers will be detailed to accompany O.C. Raid. They will take a telephone and run a wire across No-Man’s-Land.  This wire will be run direct to relay post which should be established in the dugout in SADDLE SUPPORT about O.8.c.5.9.

 

MISCELLANEOUS.

  1. Parties will occupy dugouts on Y/Z night as follows:-

No 5 Party.  Northern dugout in HOE SUPPORT.

No 6 Party. Dugout South of PICK AVENUE.

No 7 Party. Dugout North of new communication trench.

No 8 Party. Southern dugout in SADDLE SUPPORT.

 

  1. A party of 2 N.C.O.s and 8 Sappers will be placed at the disposal of O.C. Raid for the purposes of demolition.
  2. The Raiders will wear drill order. They will carry two No. 23 Mills Bombs – 50 rounds S.A.A. Nos 5 and 8 parties will carry two sandbags per man.  In addition each ”Blocking Party” will carry two shovels.
  3. All identifications will be removed. A strip of 4 x 2 will be tied on both shoulder straps of the men taking part in the raid.
  4. C. Raid will take special steps to obtain all possible identifications and information about the enemy, e.g. shoulder straps – official documents – letters etc.
  5. Prisoners will be handed over to O.C. Front Battalion at Battalion Headquarters in GORDON AVENUE. Receipts will be obtained.
  6. Signal between units will be a steel helmet raised on a bayonet. Divisional pass word will be ”WHISKEY.”
  7. The position of Advanced Dressing Station will be at (PICK CAVES) O.7.b.80.25.
  8. Time for the synchronisation of watches will be notified later.
  9. Battalion Headquarters will be situated at the Junction of GORDON AVENUE and the CAMBRAI ROAD. (O.7.d.3.0) 7.b.80.25.

 

H.G. Dove

Captain and Adjutant

 

Copy No 1 to War Diary.

  • O.
  • C. No 1 Coy.
  • C. No 2 Coy.
  • C. “X” Coy.
  • Ditto
  • C. 6th Bn. The Queen’s.
  • C. 7th Bn. Norfolk Regt.
  • To 6th The Buffs.
  • 7th E.S. Regt.
  • Medical Officer.
  • 37th Brigade.
  • -Col Tabor.

 

 

 

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