20 Light Division Instructions No 15 25 February 1917

SECRET.                                                                                            Copy No. —-

25th Feby 1917

 

20TH (LIGHT) DIVISION OPERATIONS.

 

INSTRUCTINS NO. 15.

 

The action of the Artillery on Zero Day will be as follows:-

  1. (a) Vigorous counter-battery work by specially detailed Groups of Heavy and Siege Artillery.

(b) Bombardment of selected points.

(c) Barrages.

As regards (a) and (b), their action requires no explanation, but as regards   Barrages all ranks must be fully cognisant of the methods which will be   employed.

 

  1. CREEPING BARRAGE.

This will operate according to the Barrage Map Attached.  Should our troops have pushed forward at such a distance beyond the STEENBEEK as to render it unsafe to open on first barrage line, then this will be omitted, and the barrage will open on the second line, remaining on this line until Zero plus 10 minutes.

Any line on which the barrage “piles up” so as to conform to its shape is called the “Piling up Line”.

The BROWN Line as shown on map, 200 yards from, and parallel to, each objective, are called the “Protective Barrage Lines”, as these are the lines on which the creeping barrage remains during the consolidation of the objective.

 

  1. Before the lifting of a “Protective Barrage”, the rate of fire increases from half a round per gun per minute to three rounds per gun per minute for 5 minutes immediately prior to the lift.       This would be an indication to the Infantry that it is time to advance close to the barrage for the next forward bound.

 

  1. STANDING BARRAGE.

The role of the Standing Barrage is to engage more definite objectives        than the Creeping Barrage, and to catch any of the enemy that may be retiring.       This barrage moves on in front of the Creeping Barrage from target to target,     and is never overtaken by it.  In this case it consists of five 18-pounder       batteries and probably two 4.5 How, batteries.  Certain 4.5 Hows. will be      employed to block the roads by advancing along them 200 yards in front of the      first wave.

The 18-pounder Standing Barrage will search 150yards in front and in rear of        the RED Line, whilst the Infantry occupy the GREEN Line.

 

  1. BACK BARRAGE.

This consists of two 6” Howitzer batteries and probably two 4.5 How.        batteries.  These guns search the area from 300 yards to 1,200 yards in front of     the advancing Infantry to keep down enemy long-range machine gun fire.

 

  1. SMOKE BARRAGE.

Should the wind be favourable, the Artillery has been ordered to form the following smoke screens:-

  1. Along the GREEN Line at Zero plus 40 minutes to Zero plus 50 minutes. In this barrage no smoke will be fired South of LANGEMARK-WHITE HOUSE Road.
  2. From Zero plus 1 hour and 30 minutes to Zero plus 1 hour and 50 minutes, on the RED Line from the Right Divisional Boundary to a point outside the Left Divl. Boundary.
  3.       The smoke barrage on the GREEN Line is to cover the consolidation of the            BLUE Line, and on the RED Line to cover the consolidation of the GREEN      Line.
  1. In the event of our Infantry being seriously held up in the advance, the creeping barrage will be stopped in order to recommence under orders of the Divisional Commander.

Every 18 Pdr. creeping barrage which is stopped and brought back will       invariably fire 4 rounds per gun per minute for the four minutes immediately       prior to the recommencement of the creep forward.  This will give the Infantry   the necessary warning that the advance is to be resumed.

When the barrage starts again after being brought back there will be no fire            within 100 yards of the flank of any Infantry who have got forward.

 

  1. Troops detailed for any particular objective are not to be engaged in the capture of a previous objective without orders from Divisional Headquarters.

The B.G.C. concerned can, however, order up, on his own responsibility, one         Company (but not more) to reinforce any line held up, but this will only be done in case of urgent necessity.

 

ACKNOWLEDGE.

 

  1. McD Haskard

Lieut. Colonel,

General Staff, 20th Division.

11th Aug 1917.

Issued to Signals at

 

Copies to –

No 1. 59th Inf Bde.                           14. XIV Corps.

  1. 60th Inf. Bde.                          15. 11th Division.
  2. 61st Inf. Bde.                           16. 29th Division.
  3. B.G. R.A.                                17. 38th Division.
  4. C.R.E.                                     18. XIV Corps R.A.
  5. Div. Signals.                            19. XIV Corps H.A.
  6. Div. Pioneers.                          20. No. 8 Heavy Arty. Group.
  7. Div. M.G. Coy.                       21. No 9 Sqdn. R.F.C.
  8. A.D.M.S.                                22. G.O.C.
  9. A.P.M.                                                23. G.S.O.1.
  10. A.A. & Q.M.G..                      24. G.S.O. 2.
  11. D.M.G.O., 20th Div.                25. War Diary
  12. D.M.G.O., 38th Div.                26. File.
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