SECRET. Copy No. 1
20TH (LIGHT) DIVISION ORDER NO. 218
18th November 1917.
Ref. Map: 1/20,000, Sheets 57.c. S.E. & N.E.,
57 B. S.W. & N.W.
1. The 20th Div., in conjunction with other Divisions, as already notified in Instructions No. 1, will, on a date and at an hour to be communicated later, attack the enemy on our front.
Subsidiary attacks and feints are being carried out along the remainder of the Army Front.
2. The 12th Div. will be on the right, and the 6th Div. on the left of the 20th Div.
The 29th Div. will be in Corps Reserve, and will pass through the 20th and 6th Divns. In order to capture the heights S.W. of RUMILLY, NINE WOOD, PREMY CHAPEL.
The objectives and boundaries of the Div. are shown on the map issued with Instructions No. 1.
3. The attack will be carried out under the protection of waves of Tanks, as already detailed in Instructions No. 1 and amendments thereto.
The attack will also be supported by
(a) Standing Artillery and Smoke barrages which will open on the enemy’s front line and lift from trench to trench as the advance progresses (see Artillery barrage map issued on the 15th instant).
(b) Back and flank barrages of smoke and heavy artillery.
(c) Machine-gun barrages.
The first wave of Tanks will advance from their assembly positions 1,000 yards distance from the enemy’s front line at Zero minus 10 minutes, followed by infantry; succeeding waves are timed to advance so that they may reach their objectives without checking on intermediate objectives.
The Artillery and Machine-gun barrages will open at ZERO.
The final protective barrage beyond the second objective (BROWN line), will lift at times varying from Zero plus 210 minutes, to ZERO plus 240 minutes, to enable the Tanks to push on ands exploit the success.
4. After the capture of the BROWN Line, the Tanks will immediately exploit any success obtained as follows:-
(a) The Tanks from a Coy of ‘A’ Bn. allotted to the 60th Inf. Bde. will advance immediately to the Canal and seize the Lock and bridges at L.24.c.8.5., L.24.c.5.3., L.23.d.9.3., and L.23.d.25.05., and clear the area adjacent to the Canal Bank from G.25.b. (exclusive) to the RIBECOURT – MARCOING Railway line (exclusive).
(b) The Tanks from a Coy. allotted to the 12th Div. will proceed immediately from BONAVIS to MASNIERES, seize the bridges at G.27.a.2.0., G.26.b.4.4. and G.26.a.8.7., and form bridgeheads there.
(c) The above Tanks will maintain their positions on their objectives until relieved by the 29th Div., or in the case of (a), until the 29th Div. has passed through.
(d) Simultaneously with the action to be taken in (a), the 59th Inf. Bde. will advance and form a defensive flank from about M.2.d.9.7. to the road junction at G.26.b.3.0., obtaining touch at the first named point with the 12th Div.: and supporting, until relieved by the 29th Div., at the latter point, certain Tanks which are being pushed forward from BONAVIS to form a bridgehead about MASNIERES.
To assist the 59th Inf. Bde. in forming this defensive flank, the Tanks of one Coy. of ‘I’ Bn., hitherto covering the advance of the 61st Inf. Bde., will be attached to the 59th Inf. Bde. These Tanks will advance and clear the BONAVIS – CREVECOEUR ridge, supported on the right by the 12th Div. and in the centre and on the left by 2 Troops of the III Corps Cavalry, 1/1 Northumberland Yeomanry.
(e) The 2 Troops of Corps Cavalry above mentioned will rendezvous at Zero hour on the open ground immediately E. of FOX HILL (R.19.d.), at which hour they will come under the orders of the B.G.C. 59th Inf. Bde.
The role of the 2 Troops Corps Cavalry will be to establish posts along the BONAVIS – CREVECOEUR spur so as to deny it to the enemy, and to prevent his observation from this spur of the passage of the 29th Div. and Cavalry across the Canal at MASNIERES.
The Cavalry will be closely supported with strong detachments of infantry by the B.G.C. 59th Inf. Bde. It is intended eventually, when the Cavalry has pushed through, to establish a front facing E. along the line BONAVIS – CREVECOEUR – LA BELLE ETOILE.
(f) The 59th Inf. Bde. will support the Tanks mentioned in (a) with strong patrols followed by a company. These patrols will obtain touch with the 6th Div. at L.22.d.3.5.
5. Instructions for consolidation and for liaison posts on the flanks with neighbouring Divisions have been already issued.
6. After the capture of the heights above MASNIERES and MARCOING by the 29th Div., the 5th and 2nd Cavalry Divisions cross the Canal at the above two villages, and operate in a North-easterly direction.
7. A contact aeroplane will fly over the Corps front at
Zero plus 45 minutes,
Zero plus 2 hrs. 15 mins.,
Zero plus 3 hrs.,
Zero plus 3 hrs 30 mins.,
and subsequently as ordered.
8. Watches will be synchronised by a Staff Officer from Div. H.Q. at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Y day at the H.Q of the 61st Inf. Bde. Representatives of the 60th and 59th Inf. Bdes. will be present. Tank Bn. Commanders will synchronize their watches at the Bde. H.Q. to which they are being attached.
9. Divl. H.Q. will be at W.9.d.7.3. If operations are successful, the first move of the Divl. H.Q. will be to VILLERS PLOUICH, R.13.d.8.6., taking over the 60th Inf. Bde. H.Q.
10. All other details connected with the operations have already been issued in Instructions 1 to 6. (Instructions No. 7 is being issued to Inf. Brigadiers and B.G., R.A. only)
General Staff, 20th Division.
Issued to Signals at 7 a.m.
Copies to :-
No. 1. G.O.C.
4. 59th Inf. Bde.
5. 60th Inf. Bde.
6. 61st Inf. Bde.
7. B.G., R.A.
9. Div. Signal Coy.
10. Div. Pioneers.
13.) 3rd Bde. Tank Corps.
15. III Corps.
16. G.O.C., R.A. III Corps.
17. 6th Div.
18. 12th Div.
19. 29th Div.
20. 59th Sqdn. R.F.C.
23. Div. M.G. Coy.
24. III Corps Cavalry.
25. Lieut. The Hon. C.F.N. Ramsay, 1/1 Northumberland Fus.
26. War Diary.