Instructions for all Units, 3rd D.A.
The following points need attention at all times, and particularly before an operation:-
1.1IN WIRE CUTTING OPERATIONS-
(a) Definite points to be selected in consultation between Infantry and the Battery commanders.
(b) Careful registration gun by gun.
(c) Sorting and arranging of fuses so as to allow each battery the same lot as far as possible, and it should be the best lot.
(d) Guns should be anchored and platforms well laid. A bed of sandbags for the trail is recommended for the trail to thrust against.
(e) Observation must generally be from the trenches, and efforts should be made to do it where the least noise will be made; otherwise the telephone operators cannot hear one another.
(f) Very accurate laying and fuze setting, and probably 30% of grazed necessary. No shell bursting more than about 4 feet from the wire is of any use.
Must be arranged for between O.P.s and batteries at all times and frequently tested. The “Lamps, signalling, electric” have been found particularly effective for this purpose.
Flag signalling is sometimes possible, and , where trees, building, etc, allowed, was found very useful during the recent fighting down South.
During the progress of an organised attack, each F.O.O. in the trenches should be accompanied by-
(a) His ordinary telephone operator.
(b) A reliable N.C.O. with periscope who could carry on if the officer becomes a casualty.
(c) Another operator to assist in original trench when the officer goes forward.
(d) Spare telephone instrument and reel of D.1 wire, 1 signalling flag, 1 strong electric torch of the long government pattern.
When the officers and operators go forward with the infantry, the N.C.O. watches him, and is to be prepared to take his place should the officer fall. If the officer reaches the enemy trench the N.C.O., having T.d in his instrument to the telephone line, listens for calls from the officer, and, if none are heard, he watches for signals by electric torch, and passes them on to his battery.
Should the N.C.O. have gone forward to take the officer’s place, the remaining operator must be prepared to carry on in his place.
Answers to flash signals can be given over the parapet by small flag.
As occasions may arise when it may be necessary to have at the guns more ammunition than can be carried in one wagon and limber, it is desirable that all Batteries should prepare at once places close to the guns where extra ammunition can be stored. These should be protected from the weather as much as possible, and care taken that the ammunition is not laid on the mud, or that mud can be showered down on to it by concussion of the guns firing
A careful study of maps and photo’s showing enemy trenches etc, is essential for all officers, and consultation with Infantry officers as to where and how best to engage them is to be encouraged.
The attack should take place without the battery commanders examining their objectives in company with the Infantry they are to support.
5.5COMMUNICATIONS BY TELEPHONE.
(a) Cables are to be triplicated every where at once.
(b) If D.5. can be prepared and is not required for permanent use, it is safest when laid in water along the bottom of ditches etc, where infantry wont walk.
(c) If cables and long intermediate testing stations are to be arranged for - Each station should be provided with some spare cable and two linesmen or a linesman and assistant. As telephone instrument must of course be provided for the linesman, and must be occupied previous to an engagement.
(d) When Infantry are to dig communication and assembling trenches, the R.A. will find it very necessary to see that their wires are not dug through.
(e) All cables of D.5. when passing beaten zones should be dug in to a depth of 8 inches at least, and any air lines must be poled up at least six feet high. To put wire anywhere above ground at a less height is to court trouble.
(f) As the progress of the Infantry or the repulse of the enemy depends almost entirely in the first case and very largely in the second case on the support of the Artillery, every possible means of establishing communication must be thought out and acted upon, and any good suggestions forwarded to this H.Q. for circulation.
(g) During an attack, an Artillery officer should be with each Infantry Bde. H.Q., and connected by telephone to his Artillery Bde. This officer is an extra means of keeping the R.A. informed of the progress of the Infantry, and can also ask for the fire of his Bde. Or a portion of it to be turned on to any given spot to assist his Infantry out of a momentary difficulty.
12th June 1915 Major R.A.
B.M. 3rd. Div Arty.