Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen 24 May 1918

Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen

PoW

MAINZ Germany

 

Friday May 24th.  Quite a cold morning & did some good walking.  Shorthand in morning.  German General from Frankfurt inspected Camp in the afternoon.  Everyone fussing around, & jam issue held up.  Quite a good tea in consequence. Copenhagen bread brushed & baked & then toasted, but portions remain mildew, fear it isn’t much good in mouldy condition, better to have biscuit.  Rain 4 p.m.  Walked during day for nearly 2 hours altogether.  Dentist gave more disinfectant.  Go for stopping on Wednesday.

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Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen 23 May 1918

Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen

PoW

MAINZ Germany

 

Thursday May 23rd.  Block II went for walk at 8 a.m.  Roll Call 11 a.m. from today.  Inspected bread from Copenhagen which was very mildew, Germans thought it would be better if handed over to them & made into Pudding! But when cleaned & baked everyone says it is all right.  Block III got issue in afternoon.  Worked shorthand morning.  Class 4-5 p.m.  Gen Committee Meeting 5-6.15 p.m. fear I got very angry with Block officers on question of payment of Orderlies which was settled at Meeting before – It appears some officers think they have a right to dispute our decisions, & shall have to take some drastic measures shortly.  Some officers have no idea of Military Discipline, how they ever became officers is a wonder.  Walked for ½ hour after supper, much cooler & some clouds.  Look like rain.

NOTES ON RECENT FIGHTING – No. 12 23 May 1918

K.J. Bunting Capt.
Issued down to Divisions
(for distribution down to Battalions)
T/9
NOTES ON RECENT FIGHTING – No. 12
(Issued by the General Staff)
The following points were brought out during the recent operations on the front of a Corps in the First Army:-
1. Rapid rifle fire was the decisive factor in these operations. The men had confidence in their rifles and knew how to use them. The personnel of Trench Mortar and Field Batteries used their rifles freely. One Field Battery when the enemy had got round its flank, beat off the attack at a range of under 200 yards, and a forward section of artillery successfully engaged the enemy with rifle fire at short range while he was working round the rear of our infantry.
2. Concreted elephant shelters, although subjected to a very heavy bombardment proved invaluable as battalion H.Q. and as shelters for assembling troops. They were placed inside ruined houses and were protected by 3 ft of reinforced concrete. In making these shelters, care should be taken that the elephant shelter actually rests on a bed of concrete. The walls, roof and floor should form a box of concrete round the steel of the elephant shelter.
3. The main principle to be remembered in any system of wiring is to organize the defended area into a series of compartments in order to hold up the enemy if he succeeds in penetrating the line and prevent him from obtaining anything but a local and limited success.
4. It is most important that the exits from tunnels should be within works arranged for all-round defence. This enables the garrison to deal quickly and effectively with parties of the enemy working round their flanks or rear.
5. The value of trench mortars during a hostile attack was amply proved. If they are distributed so as to cover communication trenches leading from the front, the enemy, if he succeeds in penetrating our lines, will be obliged to advance over the open and will be exposed to our rifle fire.
Trench mortars also proved useful in support of immediate counter-attack. If a close liaison is maintained between the infantry and the Trench Mortar Batteries, it should generally be possible to arrange fore the co-operation of the Stokes and 6” Trench Mortars in this form of counter-attack.

23rd of May, 1918.

Printed in France by Army Printing and Stationary Services. PRESS A-5/18.

Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen 22 May 1918

Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen

PoW

MAINZ Germany

 

Wednesday May 22nd. Dentist 8 a.m. he appears to be trying to kill the nerve & I am to go back on Friday if any more pain, otherwise wait till Monday.

Small walk to gardens 10 a.m. & had a good rest there. Very hot again.  Bembe sent for me about forbidding Continental Times & Gazette des Ardennes; German General wanted to know if true, so stated my reasons for doing so.  Lecture on Salt Trade by Capt Brown, unable to attend.  Too hot & depressing to walk after dinner, result I did not get to sleep till after 1 a.m.  Must keep up evening walk, think it helps sleep.

Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen 21 May 1918

Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen

PoW

MAINZ Germany

 

Tuesday May 21st.  Got up early to see Dentist but he did not come.  Letter from old Bouverie Clark dated London May 2nd.  Had long interview with German General 10-11.30 a.m. on various points.  Number now in Camp 1 Br Gen., 8 Lt. Cols., 7 Majors, 121 Captains, 125 Lieuts., 341 2/Lieuts, R.N.V.R. 2 Lieuts, 8 Sub Lts 1 Mercantile Marine Capt.  Total 614.  Had good walk with B.M. after supper for 5o minutes.

NOTES ON RECENT FIGHTING – No. 11. 21 May 1918

K.J. Bunting Capt.

Issued down to Divisions

(for distribution down to Battalions)

 

NOTES ON RECENT FIGHTING – No. 11.

(Issued by the General Staff)

 

Attention is called to the following points with regard to the employment of mounted troops :-

  1. Whether in attack or defence cavalry and cyclists, if they are to be used to the best advantage, must work in the closest co-operation with the other arms and the fullest use must be made of their mobility.
  2. In mobile warfare one mounted man who knows how to use his rifle is, owing to his mobility, of more than three equally well trained men on foot. One bullet from the flank has more effect than three bullets from the front. Recent operations have emphasised the fact that a sudden burst of fire from a comparatively few rifles coming from a flank can disorganize a hostile attack far more effectually than a much larger body of fire coming from the front. Cavalry, owing to its power of combining fire action with mobility, can, if properly used, always delay the advance of the enemy’s infantry. Cavalry, therefore, even when employed as infantry in the line, should never be far from its horses.
  3. Dismounted cavalry cannot be used to the best advantage if brigades and regiments are broken up and sent in small detachments to reinforce infantry units. Every effort, therefore, should be made when cavalry is put into the line to keep brigades and divisions intact with their machine guns, R.H.A. and R.E. It will then be possible for the cavalry commander to maintain a mobile reserve to be employed wherever the tactical situation may require. The value of such a reserve was brought out on several occasions during the recent operations. In the fighting between the Somme and Marcelcave from the 27th of March to the 3rd of April, a mounted force varying from one regiment to one brigade was retained as a mobile reserve by the cavalry divisional commander. The situation on our right was always uncertain and sometimes critical. This mounted force supported the infantry as far south as Aubercourt and Hangard and the reconnoitring detachments which it provided did valuable work south and south-east of Villers-Bretonneux.
  4. The cavalry, R.H.A. batteries and M.G. squadrons found it surprisingly easy to break off an engagement. This was largely due to the maintenance of the mobility of these units and to the training in open warfare which they had received. A cavalry division was holding the line north of the Somme from Sailly Laurette to the west of Morlancourt on the 26th and 27th of March. Although hotly engaged with the enemy in front of Sailly Laurette on the evening of the 27th the division was able, upon receiving orders to do so, to break off the engagement at 4.35 p.m., and at 10.30 p.m. was assisting in the defence of the line from Warfusee Abancourt to the Somme at Bouzencourt.
  5. Throughout the recent operations invaluable work was done by small officers’ patrols. Experience has proved that reconnaissance by mounted patrols is probably the best means of obtaining the necessary information with regard to the enemy’s movements and the position of our own troops. It is impossible to attach too much importance to the training of officers and men in this work.
  6. The following points with regard to the work of mounted troops in action were noticed during the recent operations:-
  1. There was a tendency when coming into action to dismount too soon. When galloping up to a position units should remain mounted up to the last possible moment.
  2. A senior officer should always be left in charge of the led horses, and he should have a few spare mounted men to act as messengers. The position of the led horses has frequently to be changed owing to shell fire, and, unless the closest liaison is maintained with the fighting troops, there is a danger of losing touch.
  3. The Hotchkiss gun proved a most useful weapon. Its fire was invaluable in covering the withdrawal in rearguard actions. All reports shew that pack horses must always accompany troops when dismounted. The Hotchkiss gun and ammunition must be brought up on pack as near to the firing line as possible. Casualties among the Hotchkiss gunners were heavy. It is necessary, therefore, that a large reserve of these gunners should be trained.   Printed in France by Army Printing and Stationary Services.                                                                                          PRESS A-5/18.
  4. 21st of May, 1918.

Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen 20 May 1918

Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen

PoW

MAINZ Germany

 

Monday May 20th.  Whit Monday.  General Holiday.  Very hot.  Worked at Shorthand morning.  At lunch Lycett brought me 2 letters both from Daisy dated April 28th & May 1st.  Such joy to get first news of home & my wire reached her on the 28th. Our lucky number again.

Wrote & posted post card in the afternoon.

Had good walk after supper.