K.J. Bunting Capt.
Issued down to Divisions
(for distribution down to Battalions)
NOTES ON RECENT FIGHTING – No. 12
(Issued by the General Staff)
The following points were brought out during the recent operations on the front of a Corps in the First Army:-
1. Rapid rifle fire was the decisive factor in these operations. The men had confidence in their rifles and knew how to use them. The personnel of Trench Mortar and Field Batteries used their rifles freely. One Field Battery when the enemy had got round its flank, beat off the attack at a range of under 200 yards, and a forward section of artillery successfully engaged the enemy with rifle fire at short range while he was working round the rear of our infantry.
2. Concreted elephant shelters, although subjected to a very heavy bombardment proved invaluable as battalion H.Q. and as shelters for assembling troops. They were placed inside ruined houses and were protected by 3 ft of reinforced concrete. In making these shelters, care should be taken that the elephant shelter actually rests on a bed of concrete. The walls, roof and floor should form a box of concrete round the steel of the elephant shelter.
3. The main principle to be remembered in any system of wiring is to organize the defended area into a series of compartments in order to hold up the enemy if he succeeds in penetrating the line and prevent him from obtaining anything but a local and limited success.
4. It is most important that the exits from tunnels should be within works arranged for all-round defence. This enables the garrison to deal quickly and effectively with parties of the enemy working round their flanks or rear.
5. The value of trench mortars during a hostile attack was amply proved. If they are distributed so as to cover communication trenches leading from the front, the enemy, if he succeeds in penetrating our lines, will be obliged to advance over the open and will be exposed to our rifle fire.
Trench mortars also proved useful in support of immediate counter-attack. If a close liaison is maintained between the infantry and the Trench Mortar Batteries, it should generally be possible to arrange fore the co-operation of the Stokes and 6” Trench Mortars in this form of counter-attack.
23rd of May, 1918.
Printed in France by Army Printing and Stationary Services. PRESS A-5/18.