XV Corps Heavy Artillery Instruction 21 June 1916

XV Corps Heavy Artillery Instruction 21 June 1916

B.G.R.A. 21st Division.

M. le Comdt. Le 6e Groupe de 75.
XV Corps H.A.
Operation Order No 7.

1. The XVth Corps are taking part in an offensive operation which is being carried out by the 4th Army in conjunction with other Armies.

2. The objectives of the Corps are as follows:-
(1) A line running along the spur in S.25.b., X.30.a., and the line of the spur running South from CONTALMAISON to BOTTOM WOOD.
(2) BAZENTIN LE GRAND and the defences between that village and MONTAUBAN.

3. The assault of the enemy positions will be preceded by a bombardment lasting four days designated V. W. X. & Y. days, the day of attack being Z day.

4. The time of assault on Z day will be zero hour, which will be notified; this will be preceded by an intense bombardment lasting 65 minutes.

5. The Corps Artillery under the orders of the Heavy Artillery Commander during the period of bombardment, and at the commencement of the further operations, will consist of:-
2 12” Howitzers.
4 9.2” How. Batteries.
4 8” How. Batteries.
2 6” How. Batteries. 30 cwt.
2 6” How. Batteries. 26 cwt.
4 6” Mk. VII Guns.
5 60 Pdr. Batteries.
3 4.7” Batteries.
1 4.5” Battery.
assisted by 3 75 mm Batteries of the French Army.
Time tables in which definite tasks have been allotted to every battery have been issued as follows:-
x x x
Special Schedule for 75 mm Battery Group.

6. It is of the utmost importance that the counter battery work should be carried on during the preliminary bombardment and also particularly during the assault.
It is of little avail destroying the enemy trenches and defences if he is still able to put up such a heavy barrage on our front line, that our troops cannot advance.

7. Certain batteries are therefore told off to keep all known battery positions under constant fire during the whole of this period, and the Group of French Batteries has been detailed to assist in this.

8. Other batteries are available and at the disposal of the Aeroplanes to engage any new battery positions that may be disclosed.

9. A map of all known battery positions has been issued.

10. In addition to the day work on the hostile battery positions on V, W, & X days, the French Group will please assist with bursts of fire at night at varying intervals on MAMETZ and FRICOURT, but the front trenches at FRICOURT must be avoided on account of observation parties going out at night.
Occasional bursts of fire will also be directed against the battery positions to prevent the hostile guns being moved.

11. On Z day gas shell will be used by the French Batteries during the period of the preliminary bombardment and afterwards, but no gas shell must at any time be directed W. of a N. & S. line passing between Squares X.22.28 and Squares X.23.29., and after 30 mins. before zero none must be directed on this side of the green line on the map.

On this day care must be exercised that no fire of any kind is directed outside the area comprised between the yellow lines on the map.

12. On Z day during the advance, flares will be lit by the infantry at specified hours as follows:-
9 a.m. 1 p.m. 5 p.m. 9 p.m.
They will also be lit when they reach the 1st objective.

13. Ammunition can only be replenished at night and the route to be followed by the lorries will be notified.

14. Reports will be forwarded frequently to H.A. Hd. Qrs.
15. Headquarters of the Heavy Artillery will remain at their present position until further orders.

William Napier
Brig. General, R.A.
Comdg. H.A. XV Corps.

Copies to S.O.R.A. XV Corps – 1
B.G.R.A. 7th Div – 1
“ 21st “ 1
“ 17th “ 1
No 3 Squadron R.F.C. 1
File – 1

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