XV Corps H.A. Instruction 14 June 1916

XV Corps H.A. Instruction 14 June 1916

Copy No 5 15/CA 10/32
SECRET

INSTRUCTIONS FOR A CONCENTRATED BOMBARDMENT, BARRAGES
AND FURTHER SPECIAL OPERATION BY THE XVTH CORPS
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1. On “Z” day:-
(a) A concentrated bombardment will be carried out starting 65 min before zero.
Zero will be the hour at which the assault commences.
(b) This will be followed by further bombardments on objectives to be taken successively until the furthest is reached.
(c) After this last has been reached there will be a bombardment on the FIRCOURT Area. The bombardment will commence at 30 min before zero, which hour will be fixed during the course of operations.
Lines for artillery barrages and times of lifts are shewn in Appendix I.
The different phases of the special bombardment and times are shewn in Appendix II.

2. The general principles to be followed in arranging the barrages are:-
(a) To bring a very heavy fire to bear on the part to be attacked immediately.
(b) To bring a lighter, but fairly heavy fire on the next objective.
(c) To keep the remaining objectives under a still lighter fire.
(d) To prevent the enemy bringing up reinforcements from the rear or attacking our exposed flanks.
(e) To keep down the fire of hostile batteries.
(f) To keep the ground not immediately to be attacked under fire, i.e. the FRICOURT Area.
The whole of the guns and howitzers of the Corps and Divisional Artilleries (including trench mortars) will be employed for the above purposes.

3. The fire will be as heavy as the amount of ammunition and consideration for the detachments allows.
Care must be taken to ensure that a sufficient amount remains in hand for further operations during the day.
The G.Os.C. R.A. of Divisions and G.O.C. H.A. will fix the amount required for each task.

4. When lifting, 18 prs. should search back by increasing their range, but Howitzers and Heavy Guns must lift directly on to their next objectives.

5. When barraging open ground fire should be in bursts, searching back as far as necessary, and not a continuous rate.
Wood and hollows beyond the actual line laid down for the barrage should be searched periodically.

6. G.Os.C. R.A. of Divisions will allot the tasks for their own batteries, but they will arrange to carry out the special bombardments laid down for the 4.5” Howitzers in the tracings.
They must arrange to keep sufficient guns ready to join in the special operation (attack on FRICOURT).

7. The G.O.C. H.A. will arrange to carry out the tasks for the Heavy Artillery which are shewn on attached tracings.
They consist of:-
Concentrated bombardment:- Tracing E.
Barrages:- Tracings M to Q.
Special Operation:- Tracings R to T.

8. When and after the final barrage is established the G.O.C. H.A. will arrange for some of his batteries to search more distant routes, billets and likely places of hostile concentration for a counter-attack.

9. Arrangements must be made for a night barrage and by the use of frequent bursts of fire on known positions to prevent the enemy removing his guns.
The G.O.C. H.A. will arrange to deal with the more distant points.

10. If a re-bombardment of any point is ordered, a time for starting will be fixed and the bombardment will always last for half an hour from that time.
The last five minutes should be intense so that the Infantry may have warning.
This would also apply to small places beyond the present objective which it might be considered advisable to take.
If a battery should receive its orders too late to fire for the full 30 min it should commence as soon as possible but it must only fire for the shortened period ending 30 minutes after zero.
Fire during last five minutes to be intensive.

11. Watches must be carefully set to Signal time and the times laid down for the lifts strictly adhered to.

12. One Siege Artillery Group and one Heavy Artillery Group H.Qs will be in direct telephonic communication with the 7th and 21st Divisional Artillery H.Qs.
This is to enable Divisions to obtain the assistance of H.A. quickly if necessity arises and to prevent the necessity of applying to the B.G.H.A. when the fire of one or two batteries only is required.

13. The pre-arranged table of lifts must however be strictly adhered to up to the hour fixed for reaching the second objective (first day’s operations), without reference to Corps H.Q. During this period (0.00 to 3 hr 05) the Heavy Artillery must not be diverted from the targets allotted to them. Batteries which are not firing can, however, be utilised for special purposes during this period if required so to do.

14. The Scheme for the Divisional Artilleries and Heavy Artillery will be sent in by 9 a.m. on the 19th instant.

15. In order that fire may be continued without interruption in case of a break down in the Signal communications, a programme and time table of the tasks allotted to each battery will be kept at the battery and in each O.P. allotted to the battery.
The programmes and time tables will not be taken forward beyond the O.P’s.

E.W. Alexander
Brigadier-General, R.A.,
XV Corps H.Q.
14/6/1916

Distribution:-
7th Division 2
17th Division 1
21st Division 2 Copies 4 & 5.
Corps H.A. 1
“G” XV Corps 1
War Diary 1
File 4

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9 Infantry Brigade Operation Order 14 June 1915

SECRET. Copy No…..

OPERATION ORDER NO: 2
by
BRIGADIER-GENERAL W. DOUGLAS-SMITH.
COMMANDING 9INF. BDE.

Reference Special Map 1/10,000. 14th June, 1915.

1. The 3rd Division will attack the BELLEWADE FM Ridge on the 16th instant. The task of the Division is to seize and hold the line – S.W. corner of BELLEWADE LAKE (I.12.d.3.2.) – Y.18 – Y.7.
This task will be carried out by the 9th Inf Bde, supported by the 7th Bde, and if necessary the 8th Bde.

2. March Table for 9th Bde to places of assembly has already been issued. Two Sections Cheshire Fd Co R.E. will march immediately in front of behind Liverpool Scottish will occupy a position in assembly trenches just behind between Liverpool Scottish and Lincolns.

3. The attack will be divided into three phases as follows:-

FIRST PHASE. Objective – to seize the east edge of Wood (Y.16 – Y.15) and the front line of trenches as far as the N.E. corner of RAILWAY WOOD.
The artillery will bombard the front to be attacked from 2-50 am. to 4-15 am. with 3 pauses at 3-10 am., 3-40 & 4 am.
At 4-15 am. exactly the 4th Royal Fusiliers, 1st Royal Scots Fusiliers and 5th Fusiliers will assault the front from the south corner of the Wood Y.16 to the north edge of the RAILWAY WOOD.
The right of the R.F. will be on the stream running west from the south corner of Wood Y16, the left of the R.S.F. on the hedge running east and west from I.11.d.4.8. to I.11.d.8.8. The division of front between these two battalions has already been fixed on the ground.
The right of the 5th Fusiliers will be on above hedge and left on north edge of RAILWAY WOOD.
This attack will be supported:-
(a) On the right, one battalion 7th Bde (WILTS) from the MENIN Road about I.18.a.2.6. who will seize the west end of the trench running from Y.16 to Y.20, and also by covering rifle and Machine Gun fire from the MENIN Road and south of it.
(b) On the left by covering fire of the 6th Division and by rifle and Machine Gun fire from the Railway.

As soon as the front line is gained, the Royal Fusiliers will push strong bombing parties down the trench from Y.16 to Y.17, the R.S.F. in conjunction with 5th Fusiliers will seize the hostile trench from I.12.c.1.5. to I.12.a.2.1., lying between Y.13 – Y.15. and the second objective, and the 5th Fusiliers will work out towards Y.7 with bombing parties.

Second Phase. Objective – to gain and secure the line of the road from the house 100 yards south of Y.17 through Y.17 to BELLEWADE FM and thence through Y.14 and Y.11 to Y.7.
The artillery will, as soon as the infantry have secured the line mentioned in first phase, bombard the second objective.
The Lincolns and Liverpool Scottish, who during the first phase will move up to the front line of the trenches vacated by the three leading battalions, will, as soon as it seen that the first objective has been gained, advance and assault on front House 100 yards south of Y.17 to Y.11. The dividing line between these two battalions will be the hedge running east and west from I.11.d.4.8. to I.11.d.8.8. and thence the track leading to BELLEWADE FM. Having gained this line they will consolidate it, assisted by two sections Cheshire Fd Co R.E., one of which will follow each of these battalions.
The flanks of this attack will be secured on the right by the battalion of the 7th Bde, which will work up towards Y.20 and the trench leading from that point towards the bridge at I.12.c.9.4., and on the left by the 5th Fusiliers, who will work towards Y.7 and Y.8 with bombing parties.
The R.F. and R.S.F. will during this phase re-organise and be prepared to support the attack of the Lincolns and Liverpool Scottish, if necessary, and to push on to the third objective when the second has been made good.

Third Phase. Objective – S.W. Corner of BELLEWADE LAKE (I.12.d.3.2.) – Y.18 – Y.12 – Y.7.
This objective will be bombarded by the artillery as soon as the second objective is secured.
This line will be assaulted by the R.F., R.S.F., and the 5th Fusiliers, who will attack as soon as it is seen that the second line has been secured.
The R.F. will attack from S.W. corner of LAKE to corner of hedge I.12.d.0.8., R.S.F. from this point to road junction I.12.a.7.4. (inclusive), 5th Fusiliers from road junction to Y8.

4. 7th Bde will support 9th Bde closely, moving forward as the 9th Bde does. They will detail two battalions to occupy and consolidate the line from south corner of Wood Y.16 to Y.7 as soon as units of 9th Bde move forward from this line or any part of it. Parties from these two battalions will be detailed to join up above line with our original front line, immediately this line had been gained.
As soon as third objective is reached, 7th Bde will be prepared to push forward troops to consolidate the line gained.

5. No: 3 Motor Machine Gun Battery will assist the attack by fire from positions south of MENIN Road according to separate instructions issued.

6. R.F., R.S.F., and 5th Fusiliers will establish advanced Medical Aid posts in or near present front line of trenches. Liverpool Scottish and Lincolns will establish similar posts in houses on MENIN Road in I.9.d.
Divisional Collecting Station will be at ECOLE east of YPRES. Advanced Dressing Station will be at ASYLUM I.12.d.

7. Separate instructions regarding communications during the attack have been issued.
8. Brigade Headquarters will be in I.10.d.6.4.

Captain,
Bde Major, 9th Infantry Brigade.

Copies to:-
Units 9th Bde.
7th Bde.
8th Bde.
18th Bde.
50th Div.
Cheshire Fd Co R.E.
No: 3 Motor Machine Gun Bty.
3rd Div.
C.R.A. 3rd Div.
6th Div.