Sir John Monash, Personal Files Book 6, 10 June - 12 July 1915, Part 8

Conflict:
First World War, 1914–18
Subject:
  • Documents and letters
Status:
Open to contributions
Accession number:
RCDIG0000590
Difficulty:
3

Page 1 / 10

Keaaquariers, Fourth Australian Inf. Bde. Reserve Cully June asnd. 1815. New Zealand & Australian Mvision, ORGANTLATION OF BOHS OFTENSIVE. with reference to N.2.0. 18s of 20/6/15, alrecting report on a series ofs questions set out, on above subject, 1 beg to sumit the felleting renares It would, in ay opinion, be as undesireble to lay dow in this watter, any rigid or stereotyped procedure, as it has been found undesirable to do in other forms of offensive or defensive Dction. The influences upon this question of the surrounding conditions of time, place, nature of ground or ailitary situation, sise and soope of the operation, and nunerous other facters, ore just is retent as in the case of the enploysent of fire action, and blanchier other forms of offence and defence. The wain consideration is to train a good number of expart boab-tnrovers and to lay down s a suggested and cuitebtentative orcanisation for their enployment and for a systes of supply to then neasure of the requisite bonbs, but to leave to exch consender & of latitude in their expleyment. the fundsnental question upon which the whole subject turns is the number of bonbethrewers required for any eiven frentage, in the absence of practical experience, and without a definite know- -ledge of the conditions, 1t is inrossible to lay cown any reliable rule, but having regard to the range (within linits of reasonable accuracy) of an expert bonbethrewer - and alloving for the losses in an assault, a useful basis would be to allow each bombatnrower a frontage of, say, 9 parus, this being the frentage which he should be able to comsand readily, from any position, wnether lying or running, or from a trench with a range in depth of from 15 to 80, yards,MthIEnarparty. such a besis would previde 14 or 13 expert beab-throwers 1f each thrower be served by two for each 100 yards frontage. trained boab-carriers, this will require a personnel of three trained men per & yaras frontage, or ary 40 pon per 100 yards of frontage- being the number now in rctual training per bettalion of this Brigade, on this basis, a battalion will have sufficient trained personnel to cover a frent of 100 yards. 1f the battalion has to attack (as is probable poooblo) on a breader frent than this, the apacins of the boat-throw- -ing parties vill have to be correspondingly enlarged. Jonmat DOF an attack across the open - as in an assault upon the 5. enenys trenches - the Hirst line would consist of a thin line of acoutsn’ to discover the lecation of the trenches and the dansity The scouts would be fellowed by the ca dispositions. the ong, bombing parties distributed at the outset at the selected intervals along the frent, but alert to concentrate upon the points where the onenys trenches are most densely held. For following up the attack - after the enerys front trenches have been gained i the best procedure would ebviously be to work along the enenys connunication trenches and so into his accond and later his tmird line. The number of such conmunication trenches and their spacing would determine the number of boabing parties that could be eaployed, as ebviously only one party could work along any siven treach at one and the sane time.
The Mornal ereanisation of a bonbing perty suggested 2 One expert bombethrewer, two Dombeearriers, three non with bayenets, all in charge of a N.C.C., but the particular order forwation in which they would neve andwerk should be left to be decided in accordance with the nature of the ground and of the task. The boab-thrower (with rifle slung) can carry 15 boabs in special haverasek made for the purrose, each tonbeearmer (with rifle alung) can earry so banbs in two such hovervacks. This would sive 78 bonbs with the party. As soon as the Hirst boabetarover had delivered hie two haverascks of bonbs to the threwer, he would return to a battalien depot for a further surply. This bettalion denot nust be pushed forward as close as pobsible to the frent, as the acties proceeds. The boaps sould be praked in cases of my 100, rried by two nex, othervise lightly burdened. As to the trpe of boab, 1 is of epinion that for general 0 Robile offensive suchge is contenplated in F.E.G.1ss, the creinary Kind crenade (jan tixNwith fuse, 1s. upon the whole, the rest ad- 14 is handy, easily thrown with accurncy, -vantageous to expley. and nore certain in its offects than the Martin-hale type. of the Letbiniere bomb, I have ne practieal experience, but it seens heavier and clunsier than the hand grenade. The best nothod of ienition of the hand erenade is by 10. means of a tinder lighter. failing this, by means of a lighted eis of course lights are objectionable at nicht, and in -arette. by striking natches in successian. case there would be ne time to isnit wile I consider that there should be a Brigade 11. instructer in bonb throsing, I de not think that any eireunstrnees would arise in such close country as we have here requiring al beabing detachments to be brissded under one officer. assault by bonb-throwing is. in by opinien, ealculated 13. to be vary successful ever a comaritively linited frentage, as a concentrated loeal offort, but only if the flanks of the assault are pretected from onfilade rifle and nachine gun fire. I as not senguim of its success if enployed sipultanceusly ever a broad frent, because there would be little emportunity for covering fire, and no chance of protecting the flanks of the advancing lines of throwers. Colonel Conmanding Fourth Auatralian Inf. Bde.
m mi Arny Forn C. 213. C. Form. (Original). MESSACES AND SICNALS. No. of Message Recd M 50 p ro Sent, or sent out Onpogamg e 22) Collected 88 84 t Distance Paid out 2361 Service instruct Returned Handed in at the Office al 134 Receved nee at 15 5/. th 70 Aust Enfade r AA4 Sestro is will hell ol no o2t am in at prently when front excied me e celled Inem er bnto rear vienche ad Bestr is wyld increase rarge 1 2 please arrovg Lack from TALKER ridll pear trench had n ser X El trenss to mach Ar dect 4 44 FROM PLACE FTIME All Porterage, Redirection aed on Cclivery are to be bor term, and the particulars of suc Charges for Delivery paid our are to be set ie lace of the adoDemew me Thl We sould vea iiast routed
1 nfet A OR AM WNE SRISADE CADE aerkuun mecei Fonc E3SUWIS
w3 NN28 C RCO MATEAY Ou Lr C D e HIDGE Rec? 24/6/15
Sappe who Lent 6/15 N 5. Allen H 12 Signal op birdy Capt, Lawtrell from Alexandrra stores brought n Spie fpee Wits C 2 N
38 Killed J Fromeg 54 Houhed 5 dpoatiti et
per Lient Socke 25/6/15 tifted to citch, rible and naited f 21 to take recat dn chest.
D D Forn Army Form C. 2121. MESSAGES AND SIGNALS. No. of Message PCL Code m/ Word] CharSe This message in on a/c of. Oe ACMENASMMEHAE Sent. Datcf am slend service From WOTRALAI ERIAL FORCE C 18 ro 3x4 Sept CRH 4 Just Juf B04 A SMeTT SYAMon Lws to M AAA 24S96 25 soeothedy ooiacon fele in te sourter sone ver cav sworder of prvert the transfer of tro ha the swpe sone e cb ae bice Taat sebo Divescon puste out a foree the excivat of four coneped n the doutie the BCACLON TREACHESand shadcRo didge fas dy Dir autar asstt ove u eoighgeatren st pus o L00ar Diws foa Fendeeas segeyuna wher otion of dus Dir ling myge te t mih hicle and bobattach want esd seie and eeguge the tuning with comb sight and machinge fire as apputunity befi the officer commandeng From Place Time The chove may be forwarded as now carrected CMTTFrd IH MMIM SIS SAL s For Army Form C. 2121. 10. Of MCAARE MESSAGES AND SIGNALS. PCR Code m/ Words] CharS Recd. at This message in on alc of: OAce ASAANHSENIEEHAME 44 Date- soric From CAA PIOD T0 2 Lorest to te OY AMont Si AAA noa Sichns ind our particular of Ater Tor to the funches ficing i 4115 RA visd devisincd ate tley mie ast the whole operated as oppotunt, of fer raying particular attentios of the Frendy opposte i 8115 R Fo0 and of PoDETprice & the bivonage in rec MORTHR RiOgE and the operation will comence from the right at a time to be note fied by the au Di fte N2&A Dir Nh wle punit on to there canied achon rr (Bong Bn 310 Mucg 1 DoN14S S 110 Place 14 The above may be forwarded as now corrected. 11Ar 1 e a Comn
A Fulyingn euet Oc 6thon Treturn Onote JrcAr Ptt SRIADE MATOR, ST INE, ARENE AAA AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORTE. 28JUN1915 Bde HO. 4 I roted w cot &tope Edg. 19t orr A1t 28. 6.15 1225 26 SAKI

Headquarters,
Fourth Australian Inf. Bde.
Reserve Gully,
June 22nd. 1915.

New Zealand & Australian Division,

 

ORGANISATION OF BOMB OFFENSIVE.

----------------------------

With reference to N.Z.G. 193 of 20/6/15, directing a
report of a series of 8 questions set out, on above subject, I beg to submit the following remarks:

 

1.  It would, in my opinion, be as undesirable to lay down
in this matter, any rigid or stereotyped procedure, as it has been found undesirable to do in other forms of offensive or defensive action. The influences upon this question of the surrounding conditions of time, place, nature of ground or military situation, size and scope of the operation and numerous other factors, are just as potent as in the case of the employment of fire action, {{arc
blance?}} or other forms of offence and defence. 

 

2.  The main consideration is to train a good number of expert bomb-throwers and to lay down a a suggested and quite tentative organization for their employment and for a system of supply to them of the requisite bombs, but to leave to each commander a great measure of latitude in their employment. 

 

3.  The fundamental question upon which the whole subject turns is the number of bomb-throwers required for any given frontage.
In the absence of practical experience, and without a definite knowledge of the conditions, it is impossible to lay down any reliable rule,but having regard to the range (within limits of reasonable accuracy) of an expert bomb-thrower - and allowing for the losses in an assault,
a useful basis would be to allow each bomb-thrower a frontage of, say, 8 yards, this being the frontage which he should be able to command
readily, from any position, whether lying or running, or from a trench with a range in depth of from 15 to 20 yards.with the party

 

4.  Such a basis would provide 12 or 13 expert bomb-throwers for each 100 yards frontage. If each thrower be served by two-trained bomb-carriers, this will require a personnel of three trained men per 8 yards frontage, or say 40 men per 100 yards of frontage - being the number now in actual training per battalion of this Brigade.
On this basis, a battalion will have sufficient trained personnel to cover a front of 100 yards. If the battalion has to attack (as is possibleprobable on a broader front than this, the spacing of the bomb throwing parties will have to be correspondingly enlarged.

 

5.  For an attack across the open - as in an assault upon the enemy's ^foremost trenches - the first line would consist of a thin line of 

{{scoutam?}}  to discover the location of the trenches and the density of the enemy's dispositions.  The scouts would be followed by the bombing parties distributed at the outset at the selected intervals along the front, but alert to concentrate upon the points where the enemy's trenches are most densely held. 

 

6.  For following up the attack - after the enemy's front
trenches have been gained x the best procedure would obviously be to work along the enemy's communication trenches and so into his second and later his third line. The number of such communication trenches and their spacing would determine the number of bombing parties that could be employed, as obviously only one party could work along any given trench at one and the same time. 

 

 

7.  The normal organization of a bombing party suggested
is: -

One expert bomb-thrower, two bomb-carriers, three men
with bayonets, all in charge of a N.C.O., but the particular order or
formation in which they would move or work should be left to be decided in accordance with the nature of the ground and of the task.

 

8.  The bomb-thrower (with rifle slung) can carry 15 bombs
in special haversack made for the purpose, each bomb-carrier (with rifle slung) can carry 30 bombs in two such haversacks. This would give 75 bombs with the party. As soon as the first bomb-thrower had delivered his two haversacks of bombs to the thrower, he would return to a battalion depot for a further supply. This battalion depot must be pushed forward as close as possible to the front, as the action proceeds. The bombs could be packed in cases of say 100, carried by two men, otherwise lightly burdened. 

 

9.  As to the type of bomb, I am of opinion that for general mobile offensive such as is contemplated in [[N.Z.G.193?]], the ordinary hand grenade (jam tin), [[?]] with fuse, is, upon the whole, the most advantageous to employ. It is handy, easily thrown with accuracy, and more certain in its effects than the Martin-Hale type. Of the Letbiniere bomb, I have no practical experience, but it seems heavier and clumsier than the hand grenade.

 

10.  The best method of ignition of the hand grenade is by
means of a tinder lighter. Failing this, by means of a lighted cigarette. Of course lights are objectionable at night, and in any case there would be no time to ignite by striking matches in succession.

 

11.  While I consider that there should be a Brigade instructor in bomb throwing, I do not think that any circumstances would arise in such close country as we have here requiring all bombing detachments to be brigaded under one officer. 

 

12.  Assault by bomb-throwing is, in my opinion, calculated to be very successful over a comparatively limited frontage, as a concentrated local effort, but only if the flanks of the assault are protected from enfilade rifle and machine gun fire. I am not sanguine of its success if employed simultaneously over a broad front, because there would be little opportunity for covering fire, and no chance of protecting the flanks of the advancing lines of throwers.
 

Colonel 
Commanding Fourth Australian Inf. Bde.

 

 

                                                   Army Form C. 2123.
C. Form. (Original).
MESSAGES AND SIGNALS.   No. of Message...


Recd from QHA    Prefix SM Code 3.50p 

 By                ES        Words 80

 

                                                      Office Stamp

                                                         BQ  (*12 in circle*)                                                            23.6.15

 

Handed in at the N.Z. Office at 15.50 Received here at 15.56pm

 

TO             4th  Aust  Inf  Bde

 

Sender's       Day of        In reply 

Number        Month       to Number

NZG 216           23rd                                         AAA

 

Destroyers  will  shell  old  no3  post at  2 am  24 june  apparently
when  front  trenches  are  shelled enemy  crowd  into  rear  trenches
AAA  Destroyers  will  increase  range to  get  {{there/these?}}  but  please  arrange
machine  gun  fire  from  WALKERS ridge  to  enfilade  rear  trench
AAA  Officers  in  no 1  post can  point out  exact  trench to machine  guns  addressed  no 4
Section  repeated  no 3  Section  &
4th  Aust  Inf  Bde

 

FROM         NZA Divn

PLACE

TIME            1350 

 

PTO/

 

 

OC Inlying Piquet 

(15th Bn)
To note return please
JP McGlinn Lieut, Colonel,
BRIGADE MAJOR, 4TH INF BRIGADE
AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE
23 JUN 1915

( Note written in pencil almost impossible to decipher?)

 

Rio?
24/6/15

 

{{Insert handdrawn map sketches marked with names and numbers listed below?}}

No3
No2P.
NPI.P
WALKER'S RIDGE
PLUGGE PLATEAU
BRAUND HILL
WALKER ROAD

 

 

25/6/15

Sapper W. J. Allen
3rd L.H. Signal Troop
(under Capt, Sawtrell)
Who brought stores from Alexandria

Lieut. Wilson (Sapi office)
2-F.Co
N.Z.S

 

 

38 Killed
2 Prisoners
54 Wounded
5 Invalided 

99

 

 

For Lieut Socke
25/6/15
 

 

{{insert sketch which has areas identified with the words below}}

 

 

Fitted to clutch rifle and nailed
Nails
Nails
Wire Pulled by hand
To take recoil on chest.
 

 

"A" Form                                Army Form C 2121.
MESSAGES AND SIGNALS.    No. of Message...


This message in an a/c of    

       {{  Recd. ?}}       Service           

                 for 

                              

Recd. at   {{?}}   (*15 in circle*)

Date         11.45 am 

From        BRIGADE MAJOR 4TH INF BRIGADE
                   AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE.
                   28 JUN 1915

 

TO           No 3  &  4 Sect
                 CRA  4  Aust  Inf  Bde

 

Sender's          Day of       In reply to 

Number           Month      to Number
N2G 246              28                                       AAA    

 

SECRET  The  8th  Army  Corps  attack  today in
the  Southern  Zone at  11am.  In  order  to prevent
the  transfer  of  Troops  from  the  ANZAC Zone
the  following  action  is  being  taken  AAA
Australian's  Division  pushes  out  a  force  the
equivalent  of  four companies  in  the  direction
of  the  ECHELON TRENCHES  and  SNIPERS
RIDGE  AAA   Aust Div  [[Battalion assists?]]  this
move  and  engages  {{the?}}  slopes of LONELY
PINE and JOHNSTONS JOLLY AAA. Other 
[[portions?]] of 1  Aust Div line engage the [[enemy?]]
with rifle and bomb attack AAA.
(2) The NZ & A Divisions will engage the enemy
with bombs & rifle and machine gun fire
as opportunity offers. The officer commanding

 

From
Place
Time

The above may be forwarded as now corrected. (Z)

Censor. Signature of person authorized to telegraph in his name.

 


"A" Form                                    Army Form C 2121
MESSAGES AND SIGNALS.  No. of Message... 
                                                           (*14  in circle*)

 

                                    (* 2 in circle*)

No 4  Sections  will pay  particular attention
to  the  trenches {{following/focussing/facing?}} 

WALKERS TOP.
NZ & A Divisional Artillery will assist the
whole operation as opportunity offers
paying particular attention to the 
trenches opposite WALKERS TOP and
POPES HILL & the bivouacs in each of
MORTAR RIDGE  area
The operations will commence from the 
right at a time to be notified by the
1 Aust Div to the NZ & A Div  who will
pass it onto those concerned.

A [[?]]


*(Done Bn 310 [[?]] 1155 28 6 15)

 

From NZ & A Div
Place
Time 1105  PT0

The above may be forwarded as now corrected. (Z) [[M Purul R?]]

Censor. Signature of person authorized to telegraph in his name.

 

 

OC Inlying [[Piquet?]]
(16th Bn)
To note return
[[?]]
BRIGADE MAJOR 4TH INF. BRIGADE.
AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE.
28 JUN 1915

1158

HQ. 4th Inf. Bde
Noted
[[HCops?]] W.Col
Cdg 16th Bn AIF.

28.6.15
1225

 

 

 

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