7th Divisional Artillery Operation Order 18 June 1916

7th Divisional Artillery Operation Order 18 June 1916

Headquarters Divisional Artillery 7th Division stamp.

SECRET
*=*=*=*
Copy No 10
OPERATION ORDER No 11.

by

Brigadier-General J.G. ROTTON C.M.G.

Commanding R.A., Seventh Division.

Headquarters R.A.
18th June 1916
Issued at 9 p.m.,

Copy No 1. B.G., R.A. XVth Corps.
2. 7th Division “G”
3. 14th Brigade R.H.A. (4 copies)
4. 22nd Brigade R.F.A. (5 copies)
5. 35th Brigade R.F.A. (5 copies)
6. 80th Brigade R.F.A. (4 copies)
7. 81st Brigade R.F.A. (4 copies)
8. XV Corps H.A.
9. R.A. 18th Division.
10. R.A. 21st Division.
11. 20th Infantry Brigade.
12. 22nd Infantry Brigade.
13. 91st Infantry Brigade.
14. 50th Infantry Brigade.
15. C.R.A.
16. War Diary.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BOMBARDMENT AND BARRAGES

Instructions and explanatory notes.

Table “I” 4.5” Howitzer bombardment “Z” day.
Table “I” (2) 4.5” Howitzer barrages “Z” day. (Tracings to units concerned)
Table “J” 18 pr. Bombardment and barrages. (Tracings to units concerned)
Table “K” Concentrated bombardments.
Table “L” Ammunition 4.5” Howitzers.
Table “L” (1) Ammunition 18-pounders.
Table “M” 9.45” Heavy Trench Mortal Bombardment “Z” day.
Table “N” 2” Trench Mortar Bombardment “Z” day.

S.G. Boddam-Whetham
Captain R.A.
Brigade Major R.A. 7th Division.

SECRET
*=*=*=*=
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FORTHCOMING OPERATIONS
-and-
EXPLANATORY NOTES

NOTE: – THE DATE OF THE ASSAULT IS REFERRED TO AS “Z” DAY. DAYS PRECEEDING “Z” DAY WILL TAKE THE LETTERS IN REVERSED ALPHABETICAL ORDER e.g. “Y” “X” “W” etc. THIS WILL APPLY IN ALL FUTURE OPERATION INSTRUCTIONS.

1. INTENTION.
(a) In conjunction with the French, who are operating from MARICOUT southwards, the Fourth Army will assume the offensive on “Z” day, and will establish as a primary objective a line from MONTAUBAN through POZIERES and northwards passing to the south of MAMETZ WOOD.
(b) The portion of this line south and south-west of MAMETZ WOOD is allotted as the objective of the XVth Corps.
The attack will be developed to the north and south of FRICOURT VILLAGE and FRICOURT WOOD by the 21st and 7th Divisions respectively, with the object of isolating the triangle formed by these localities, which will be afterwards dealt with in a subsidiary operation.
(c) The task of the 7th Division is to clear the trenches in front and seize and occupy the spur from the track at S.25.b.58.32. to WILLOW AVENUE at X.29.b.5.6.
(d) Immediately on the right of the 7th Division the left Brigade of the 18th Division will advance simultaneously and prolong the above-mentioned line towards MONTAUBAN. The left of the 18th Division will be in the trench running from S.25.b.36.90. to S.25.b.90.45.
(e) On the left the 21st Division advancing on the north side and clear of FRICOURT VILLAGE and WOOD, will join hands with the 7th Division at WILLOW AVENUE, X.29.b.5.6. and prolong the line northwards through the QUADRANGLE towards CONTALMAISON.

Boundaries – The boundary between our right and the 18th Division will be from F.12.c.3.9. to F.6.a.75.15., track at F.6.a.8.9., thence along track running north north-east to S.25.b.58.32.
The dividing line between the 7th and 21st Division will be WILLOW AVENUE STREAM.

2. 7th DIVISION PLAN.
(a) Distribution. The 7th Division will be distributed as follows:-
On the right – the 91st Infantry Brigade from F.12.c.3.9. to F.11.d.2.7. In the centre – the 20th Infantry Brigade from F.11.d.2.7. to F.10.c.65.35 (east end of BOIS FRANCAIS craters)
On the left – the 22nd Infantry Brigade, less 2 battalions and two sections Machine Gun Company, F.10.c.65.35 to F.9.a.62.58.
(b) Main Attack. The main attack will be carried out by 91st and 20th Infantry Brigades.
(1) The dividing line between the 91st and 20th Infantry Brigades will be – from our trenches at point F.11.d.2.7. to the road junction F.5.c.45.35. in MAMETZ immediately south of the church, thence along the road running north past the Church to the northern outskirts of the village, thence to the eastern edge of BUNNY WOOD.
(2) The attack of the 91st Infantry Brigade will be divided into three phases, the completion of each phase being marked by the capture and consolidation of a definite objective.
The first objective will be the seizure of BUCKET trench, BULGAR ALLEY to DANZIG ALLEY, DANZIG ALLEY and the northern and north-eastern edge of MAMETZ.
The second objective will be FRITZ trench, VALLEY trench, and BUNNEY ALLEY.
The third objective will be the whole of the final objective allotted to the Division.
(3) The 20th Infantry Brigade will form a defensive flank facing north-westwards to cover the advance of the 91st Infantry Brigade and will seize the north-eastern outskirts of MAMETZ, ORCHARD ALLEY to its junction with Apple ALLEY, APPLE ALLEY to our front trenches.
(c) Subsidiary attack. The 22nd Infantry Brigade will clear the German trenches north of BOIS FRANCAIS at an hour to be decided later when the main attack has reached its final objective. This operation will take place in conjunction with 2 battalions of the 50th Infantry Brigade who will clear FRICOURT VILLAGE and WOOD.

ACTION OF ARTILLERY and “CO-OPERATION”
—————–

3. Artillery.
(a) A preliminary bombardment will be carried out on “U”, “V”, “W”, “X” and “Y” days. Wire will be cut during all five days.
From the night U/V, to the night Y/Z a continuous bombardment will be carried out.
2” Trench Mortars will be used for wire cutting on “U” day and afterwards as required.
240 m.m. Trench Mortars and 3” Stokes Mortars will be used as required from “V” day onwards.
(b) During the advance of the Infantry a barrage of Artillery fire will be formed in front of the infantry according to the timings shewn on the tracings issued to those concerned.
The lines shewn on the tracings indicate the nearest points on which guns will fire up to the hour indicated. At the times shewn heavy guns will lift their fire direct to the next barrage line. The Divisional Artillery will move their fire progressively at the rate of 50 yards a minute.
Should the infantry arrive at any point before the time fixed for the barrage to lift, they will wait under the best cover available and be prepared to assault directly the lift takes place.
(c) The Divisional Artillery will be grouped as follows after the completion of the preliminary bombardment:-
“A” Group. 14th Brigade R.H.A.
H.Qrs with 20th Infantry Brigade Hd.Qrs.
“F” Battery R.H.A.
“T” Battery R.H.A.
B/81 Battery (81st Brigade, 17th Division) attached
C/81 Battery (81st Brigade, 17th Division) attached
D/14 Battery R.H.A.

(20 – 18-prs. 4 – 4.5” Howitzers)

“B” Group 22nd Brigade R.F.A.
H.Qrs with 91st Infantry Brigade H.Qrs.
104th Battery R.F.A.
105th Battery R.F.A.
106th Battery R.F.A.
A/81 Battery R.F.A. (17th Division) attached.
35th Battery R.F.A. (Howitzer)

(22 – 18-prs. 4 – 4.5” Howitzers)

”C” Group 35th Brigade R.F.A.
H.Qrs with 22nd Infantry Brigade H.Qrs.
12th Battery R.F.A.
25th Battery R.F.A.
58th Battery R.F.A.
31st Battery R.F.A. (4.5” howitzers)

(18 – 18-prs. 4 – 4.5” howitzers)

Reserve Group. Headquarters GIBRALTAR.
A/80 Battery R.F.A. (17th Division) attached
B/80 Battery R.F.A. –do- attached
C/80 Battery R.F.A. –do- attached.
D/80 Battery R.F.A. (hows) –do- attached.

(12 – 18- prs. 4 – 4.5” Howitzers)

4. Instructions as to Re-bombardment.
(a) If any point or part of the enemy’s lines holds up our Infantry advance to such an extent that it is necessary to bombard again that portion of the enemy’s defence, application for re-bombardment will be made to Divisional Headquarters.
(b) The Divisional Commander will fix the zero hour at which the re-bombardment will commence. The normal re-bombardment will last 30 minutes, of which the last five minutes will be intensive. The bombardment will lift at 0-30, at which hour the infantry will assault. It is to be thoroughly understood by all ranks that the only orders regarding re-bombardment that will be issued will be a message naming the hour fixed for zero (i.e. the hour at which the re-bombardment will commence)
(c) In the event of it being found impossible by the Artillery to begin the re-bombardment at the hour fixed as zero, either the re-bombardment will begin as early as possible after zero hour and cease at 30 minutes after zero, the last five minutes being intensive, or a fresh zero hour will be fixed.

NOTES
It is essential that all concerned make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the various objectives allotted to the attacking infantry and the successive barrages which are required. There must be no pause in the fire when lifting from one barrage line to another. Batteries firing frontally will lift 50 yards a minute, commencing at the time stated in the programme, until reaching the next barrage. Batteries firing in enfilade will move their fire gradually to the next barrage by a switch equivalent to 50 yards a minute, or, if necessary, a combination of switch and range.

It must be impressed on all ranks that a sudden cessation of fire on any trench gives warning of the attack, and that too great stress cannot be laid on the importance of keeping up a steady pace of fire which will move forward ahead of, and at the same rate as, our infantry.

As regards the ring round battery barrage areas, it will be understood that the colour of the ring denotes the time at which the battery must lift off that area. Some batteries e.g. the 12th Battery, fire on the same area during two periods, and therefore the ring round its area is the colour given to all batteries which lift at the end of the second period.

Similarly, the second lift of B/80 takes it on to the area upon which it remains for the last lift.

————————————–

Machine gun emplacements, O.P’s, Trench Mortars and strong points in the enemy’s lines will be attacked by 4.5” Howitzers and 18-prs using H.E. at such times as they are not engaged on other work. Table “F” of the scheme, issued on the 14th, shewed the division of the whole area between 18-pr batteries for this purpose.
As regards Howitzers.
The 35th Battery will engage (a) of table “F”
The 31st and D/80 “ “ (b) of table “F”
And D/14 Battery “ “ (c) of table “F”

Table I
-1 hour 5 mins to 0.0

4.5” Howitzer bombardments “Z” day.

D/14 Battery SUNKEN ROAD TRENCH F.9.b.35.70 – F.9.d.8.8.
SUNKEN ROAD from front line to F.4.c.2.2.
KITCHEN TRENCH F.9.b.6.8. – F.9.b.2.2.
COPPER TRENCH F.9.b.73.98. – F.9.b.8.6.
THORN LANE F.4.c.2.2. – front line F.9.b.50.35.
THE RECTANGLE
RECTANGLE SUPPORT.

31st Battery BOIS FRANCAIS TRENCH F.9.d.8.8. – F.10.c.95.65.
BOIS FRANCAIS SUPPORT F.9.b.85.10. – F.10.d.10.90.
LIME TRENCH F.9.b.85.18. – F.10.a.34.37.
ORCHARD ALLEY from front line to its junction with PAPEN TRENCH at F.10.a.60.65.
KIEL TRENCH from junction with BOIS FRANCAIS TRENCH at F.10.c.67.52. to F.10.d.00.60.

35th Battery HIDDEN LANE from F.10.c.67.52. to F.10.b.07.20.
HELIGO LAND from F.10.d.0.6. to F.10.b.07.20. and trenches F.10.c.9.8. to F.10.d.08.80.
F.10.c.88.92. to F.10.d.10.92.
F.10.c.9.8. to F.10.a.95.10.

Mark trench F.10.a.65.17. to F.10.a.95.10.
LUKE trench F.10.a.60.05. to F.10.a.95.10.
JOHN trench F.10.a.60.01 to F.10.c.88.99

D/80 Battery SUNKEN ROAD from F.4.c.2.2. to F.10.b.2.7.
ORCHARD ALLEY from junction with PAPEN trench at F.10.a.60.65. to F.10.a.9.9.
PLUM LANE from F.10.a.99.82. to F.10.b.07.20.
DANTZIG trench from F.10.b.12.35. to F.10.b.50.46.
APPLE ALLEY from F.10.a.68.78. through F.10.a.6.2. to F.10.c.67.52.
Traversed trench from F.10.a.60.15. to F.10.a.42.39.

–oOo—

Table “I” (2)
4.5” Howitzer barrages “Z” day.
“B”
Red Ring Lift 0-15 minutes
Battery Target.

D/14 Area enclosed by F.9.b.35.60. – F.3.d.8.1. – F.4.c.7.3. –F.10.a.2.8.
D/80 Area enclosed by F.9.b.6.2. – F.10.c.0.5. – F.10.a.5.2. – F.10.a.0.6.
31st F.5.c.0.4. – F.5.c.6.4.
35th F.5.c.6.4. – F.5.d.2.7.

“C”
Green Ring Lift 0-55 minutes

D/14 F9.b.3.8. – F.9.b.8.1.
D/80 F.3.d.7.1. – F.9.b.99.45.
31st F.5.b.1.1. – F5.b.4.4.
35th X.29.b.5.5. – X.29.d.1.8.

“D”
Brown Ring Lift 2-25 minutes

D/14 F.9.b.3.8. – F.9.b.8.1.
D/80 F.3.d.7.1. – F.9.b.99.45.
31st X.29.c.9.9. – X.29.c.0.6.
35th X.29.b.5.5. – X.29.d.1.8.

“E”
Black Ring Until further orders.

D/14 F.9.b.3.8. – F9.b.8.1.
D/80 F.3.d.7.1. – F.9.b.99.45.
31st F.4.a,1.6. – F.4.a.8.8.
35th X.23.d.3.7. – X.24.c.0.7.

18-pr Bombardment and Barrage on “Z” day.

Table “J”

“A” “B”
Start -1 hour 5 mins.

Battery Blue Ring Lift 0.0 mins Red Ring. Lift 0.15.

25th F.12.a.9.4. – F.12.a.25.14. F.6.c.85.76. – F.6.c.1.6.
104th F12.a.53.73. – F.11.b.9.5. F.6.c.1.5. – F5.d.65.08.
105th F.12.a.2.2. – F.11.b.53.21. F.6.c.25.45. – F5.d.60.50.
106th F.11.b.53.21. – F11.c.96.98. F.5.d.65.08. – F.11.b.05.85.
58th F.11.c.96.98. – F.11.c.24.99. F.11.b.05.85. – F.11.a.22.70.
“F” F.11.a.46.22. – F.11.c.0.9. F.11.a.22.70. – F10.b.67.43.
C/80 F.11.c.2.9. – F.10.d.65.30. F.10.b.2.4. – F.10.c.7.6.
B/80 F.10.d.99.99. – F.10.d.70.46. F.10.b.67.43. – F.10.a.95.02.
“T” F.10.d.45.50 – F.10.c.82.80. F.10.c.43.85. – F.9.b.82.12.
A/80 F.5.c.8.1. – F.5.d.0.9. F.5.c.8.1. – F.5.d.0.9.
12th F.5.c.05.05 – F.5.c.36.95. F.5.c.05.05 – F.5.c.36.95.
B/81 X.29.d.4.2. – F.5.b.10.16. X.29.d.4.2. – F5.b.10.16.
A/81 X.29.b.5.5. – X.29.d.6.4. X.25.b.5.5. – X.29.d.6.4.
C/81 X.29.a.6.4. – X.29.d.0.3. X.29.a.6.4. – X.29.d.0.3.

Table “J” (continued)
“C” “D”

Battery Green Ring Lift 55 mins Brown Ring. Lift 2 hrs 25 mins

25th F.6.a.95.15. – F.6.a.32.20. S.25.d.6.7. – X.30.c.7.7.
104th F.5.b.88.85. – F.5.b.44.83. X.29.d.5.6. – X.30.c.15.80.
105th X.29.d.4.2. – F.5.b.10.16. X.29.d.5.6. – X.29.c.50.40.
12th F.4.b.74.32. – F.4.d.16.92. F.4.a.3.1. – F.4.b.10.60.
106th F.6.a.32.20. – F.5.b.85.60. X.30.c.7.7. – X.30.c.15.80.
58th F.5.a.42.45. – F.4.b.74.32. X.28.d.7.1. – F.4.b.05.85.
“F” F.4.c.6.4. – F4.d.2.9. F.4.a.0.0. – F.4.c.55.45.
C/80 F.10.a.2.7. – F.10.a.2.0. F.10.a.2.7. – F.10.a.2.0.
B/80 F.4.c.6.4. – F10.a.2.7. F.4.c.6.4. – F.10.a.2.7.
“T” F.10.c.43.85. – F.9.b.82.12. F.9.b.82.12. – F.9.b.35.75.
A/80 F.5.b.18.15. –F.5.a.5.4. Ceases firing.
B/81 X.29.c.5.5. – X.28.d.5.5. X.28.d.7.1. – X.29.c.45.30.
A/81 X.29.b.5.5. – X.29.d.6.4. X.29.b.5.5. – X.29.d.6.4.
C/81 X.29.a.6.4. – X.29.d.0.5. X.29.a.6.4. – X.29.d.0.5.
“E”
Black Ring. Until further orders.
25th X.29.b.7.4. – X.23.d.4.3.
104th X.23.d.4.3. – X.23.b.2.2.
105th X.30.a.3.9. – X.29.b.8.5.
12th F.4.b.1.6. – F.4.a.3.1.
106th Ceases firing.
58th Ceases firing.
“F” F.4.a.0.0. – F.4.c.55.45.
C/80 F.10.a.2.7. – F.10.a.2.0.
B/80 F.4.c.6.4. – F.10.a.2.7.
“T” F.9.b.82.12. – F.9.b.35.75.
A/80 Ceases firing.
B/81 Ceases firing.
A/81 S.25.b.6.5. – X.30.a.8.6.
C/81 X.30.a.6.9. – X.30.a.5.5.

Table “K”
Concentrated bombardments during “V” “W” “X” and “Y” days

Concentrated bombardments will take place at the following times. For description see below:-

“V” day 3-00 p.m. – 4.20 p.m. No 1 bombardment.
“W” day 8-00 a.m. – 9-20 a.m. No 2 bombardment.
“X” day 3-30 a.m. – 4-50 a.m. No 2 bombardment.
“X” day 5-30 p.m. – 6.00 p.m. No 3 bombardment.
“Y” day 5-00 a.m. – 6.20 a.m. No 3 bombardment.
”Y” day 3-00 p.m. – 4-20 p.m. No 1 bombardment.

No 1 Bombardment.
Battery. Target.

A/80 F.10.d.8.5. – F.11.c.2.8.
C/80 F.11.c.2.8. – F.11.b.0.0.
31st F.10.d.6.5. – F.10.d.9.8.
58th F.10.b.8.7. – F.11.a.2.7.
35th F.11.a.2.7. – F.11.b.15.93.
C/81 F.10.d.7.6. – F.11.a.1.0.
B/80 F.10.d.4.5. – F.10.b.90.25.
D/14 THE HALT – F.11.b.42.68.

No 2 Bombardment.
Battery. Target.

C/80 F.10.c.9.8. – F.10.d.6.5.
B/80 F.10.b.67.42. – F.10.b.82.73.
31st F.10.b.07.20. – F.10.b.15.65.
C/81 F.10.d.5.8. – F.10.d.90.95.
58th F.10.b.82.73. – F.11.b.15.93.
35th F.10.c.8.6. – F.10.d.2.4.
A/80 F.10.c.9.8. – F.10.d.6.5.
D/14 F.10.b.3.4. – F.10.b.9.3.

No 3 Bombardment.
Battery. Target.

58th F.10.b.2.4. – F.10.b.9.3.
D/14 F.11.b.42.68. – F.12.a.13.58.
B/80 F.11.b.42.68. – F.12.a.13.58.
C/80 F.4.d.35.31. – F.4.d.95.00.
A/80 F.10.b.82.73. – F.11.b.15.93.
31st F.10.a.6.2. – F.10.c.70.65.
C/81 F.11.b.0.0. – F.11.b.9.3. (DANTZIG TRENCH)
35th F.11.a.9.5. – F.11.b.42.68.

Table “L”
AMMUNITION.
4.5” Howitzers.

For the bombardment on “V”, “X”, “W” and “Y” days the rate of fire will be governed roughly by the amount of ammunition allotted in “Notes on calculation for ammunition” in Scheme issued June 14th 1916.
For intense bombardments, batteries will fire at the rate of one round per gun per minute for 10 minutes, afterwards decreasing to ½ round per gun per minute.
Ammunition for “Concentrated Bombardments” (See Table “K”) is not included in estimate of ammunition required for each days bombardment.
Rate of fire for concentrated bombardment will be half the rate for intense bombardment.
In addition to tasks enumerated, the 35th Howitzer Battery will be given 750 rounds S.K. ammunition for special purposes. Instructions as to objectives will be forwarded later to the 22nd Brigade R.F.A.
————————-

Table “L” (1) 18-pounders

During intense bombardments Batteries will fire at the rate of 1 round per gun per minute for five minutes, afterwards decreasing to half a round per gun per minute, and increasing again to 1 round per gun per minute for the last five minutes.
Instructions regarding the action of 18-prs during discharges of gas and smoke will be issued separately, but rate of fire will be governed by the rules here laid down.

Table “M”
9.45” Heavy Trench Mortar Bombardment ”Z” day.
-1 hour 5 minutes to zero.
——————————–

Battery
V.7. DANUBE TRENCH from F.10.d.65.30. to F.11.a.35.00.
DANUBE SUPPORT from F.10.d.65.55. to F.11.a.15.07.
TIRPITZ TRENCH from F.10.d.65.85. to F.11.a.05.20.

V.17 (Right section)
SHRINE ALLEY from F.10.d.40.85. to F.10.b.85.25.
HIDDEN WOOD.
V.17 (Left section)
AEROPLANE TRENCH.
RECTANGLE.
ORCHARD ALLEY from F.10.c.15.95. to F.10.a.45.40.

AMMUNITION 10 rounds per gun.
-*-
9.45” Heavy Trench Mortar Barrage “Z” day.
Zero to 0.10 1 round per gun.

V.7. HIDDEN LANE.

V.17. (Right section) HIDDEN WOOD.
(Left section) As for bombardment.
0.10 to 2.25 10 rounds per gun

V.7. Does not fire after 0.10

V.17. SUNKEN ROAD TRENCH.
AEROPLANE TRENCH.
RECTANGLE.
COPPER TRENCH.

Table “N”
“2” Trench Mortar Bombardment “Z” day.
-1 hour 5 minutes to zero.

Battery

X.17 Front line F.9.b.6.2. to F.9.d.95.70.
Y.17 F.9.d.95.70 to F.10.d.75.55.
Z.7 Left section KIEL TRENCH.
Y.7 F.10.d.20.40 to F.10.d.65.30.
Z.7 Right section F.10.d.95.65.
F.11.c.14.68.
X.7 Area as for preliminary bombardment.

AMMUNITION 30 rounds per gun if possible.
– * –
“2” Trench Mortar Barrage “Z” day.
Zero to 0.15
——————
Z.7., Y.7 and X.7. do not fire after zero.
X.17. From F.9.b.6.2. to F.9.d.95.70.
Y.17. From F.9.d.95.70. to F.10.d.45.65.

0.15 to 2.25.
——————
Y.17. Does not fire after 0.15.
X.17. From F.9.b.60.20. to F.9.d.95.70.

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