BRITISH ARTILLERY IN WORLD WAR 2

 CONTENT OF ORDERS

 

 Updated 22 April 2004

Military Training Pamphlet No 23 detailed the format for orders and instructions.  Artillery orders followed the same sequence. The following table outlines the contents of an artillery operation order issued by an HQRA.

INFORMATION

 

1.  Enemy.

 

2.  Own Troops.

 

i.    Situation

 

ii.   Intentions of the higher commander

 

iii.  Plan of the formation

 

iv.  Boundaries

More conveniently shown on a trace

v.   Action of artillery of flank formations

 

vi.  Additional artillery placed under command of the artillery commander issuing the order

 

INTENTION

 

3.  Short general statement of the artillery plan.

 

METHOD

Use of paragraphs 4 - 10 and their sub-paragraphs depend on circumstances and the type of operation, guidance was given on which elements were required in what circumstances

4.  Allotment and control of the artillery.

 

5.  Preparatory.

 

i.   Reconnaissance including patrols

 

ii.   Preliminary moves and rendezvous, including times, routes, pace

 

iii.  Allotment of O.P. areas or sites

More conveniently shown on a trace

iv. Allotment of air O.Ps.

 

v.  Allotment of gun positions or areas

More conveniently shown on a trace

vi. Methods of occupation

 

vii. Zones

More conveniently shown on a trace

viii.Registration

 

ix.  Alternative, temporary and silent positions

 

x.   Local protection

 

6. Tasks.

Often best shown on traces or task tables 

In attack

 

i.    Artillery preparation, including harassing fire

 

ii.   Method of support, including ammunition to be expended

 

iii.  Counter-battery

 

iv.  Anti-tank

 

v.   Light anti-aircraft

 

In defence

 

vi.  Harassing fire, including ammunition allotment

 

vii. Defensive fire, including method of response and ammunition allotment

 

viii.Anti-tank

 

ix.   Light anti-aircraft

 

x.    Counter-battery

 

xi.   Plan for reinforcing a front attacked by fire from other fronts

 

xii.  Planned support of counter-attacks

 

7. Forward moves in attack.

 

i.    Decentralization of units to lower formations

 

ii.   Method of support after end of timed programme

 

iii.  Forward reconnaissance

How done

iv.  Establishment of O. Ps. forward

 

v.   Forward moves of batteries including routes

 

vi.  Areas allotted

More conveniently shown on a trace

8.  Rearward moves in withdrawal

 

i.    Reconnaissance parties, including place to report, route, time

 

ii.   Decentralization of forward units

 

iii.  Rearward moves of batteries including route, rendezvous, and guides

 

iv. Areas allotted

More conveniently shown on a trace

v.  Re-centralization in rear areas

 

9.  Survey.

 

i.    Tasks in order of priority

 

ii.   Grid to be used, permanent, corps, etc

 

iii.  Allotment of troops

 

iv.  Zones of observation for flash-spotting and sound ranging

 

v.   Time available

 

vi.  Location of report centres

 

vii.  Where R.E. information can be obtained

 

10. RAF

 

i.    Allotment of arty/R and time to begin

 

ii.   Allotment of reconnaissance areas, call signs, and frequencies

 

iii.  Calls to be sent in order of priority. Responsibility for answering air calls

 

v.   Scale of ammunition expenditure

 

vi.  Arrangements for allotted batteries pre-arranges shoots

 

vii. Photographic demands

 

ADMINISTRATION

Paragraphs 11 iv., 13 - 17 may be issued separately

11.  Ammunition

 

i.    Dumping

 

ii.   Supply

 

iii.  Special shell

 

iv.  Location of A.P. or R.A.S.C. sub-unit concerned

 

12. Wagon Lines - Area or location

 

13. Supplies - Supply point and times

 

14. Petrol - Petrol point and times

 

15. Ordnance - Location of workshop and recovery post

 

16.  Medical - Location of D.S. C.Ps, R.A.P.

 

17.  Traffic Control - Routes

 

INTERCOMMUNICATION

 

18.

 

i.   Location of artillery H.Q. issuing the orders and time of opening

 

ii.  Location of H.Q. formation or unit supported

 

iii. Orders for location and moves of subordinate H.Qs.

 

iv. Method of communication to be employed

 

v. Wireless - special orders

 

vi. Communication to cooperating units or formations

 

vii. Liaison - how done

 

viii.Synchronization of watches

 

x.  Code names, call signs, etc

Usually issued separately

19.  RAF

 

i.    Method of communication to aerodrome or advanced landing ground

 

ii.   Allotment of wireless tenders, if any

 

iii.  Location R.A. H.Q. ground set

 

iv.  Orders to pilot to listen to R.A. H.Q. wireless tender when available

 

DISTRIBUTION

Of the orders

There was a standard formats for issuing deployment orders in a regiment and to give orders to FOOs.  They could be used for verbal or written orders, but the former was most common.  The following tables provide details and explanations for that used from 1943.  It follows the same sequence as an artillery operation order, not all items were always necessary.

Information

 

1.  Enemy

 

2.  Own Troops

Including location of HQs of other arms

3.  Outline Plan

 

Intention

 

4.  Role of regiment or battery

 

Method

 

5.  Zones
     (a) Fire
     (b) Observation
     (c) Anti-tank

Normally the bearings of the left and right arcs

6.  OPs to be established

 

7.  Tasks

 

8.  RVs

Rendezvous for 'O', 'G', Bty HQ parties and Gun Groups if not previously ordered.  See detailed establishment tables linked from 'Organisations' for their composition

9.  Regimental/battery areas

 

10. Shoot down to

Minimum range required, determined by local crests at gun positions.

11. Routes

 

12. Track discipline

 

13. Registration

Policy and degree, eg silent only or range and record DF targets.

14. Regiment or battery zero line

 

15. Survey

Tasks, priority, accuracy, timings

16. FOOs

Outline, see separate detailed orders below

17. Air co-operation
      (a)
Arty/R
      (b)
AOP

 

18. Time to be ready

 

19. Time and place of issue of final orders for fire plan

 

Administration

 

20. Ammunition

Including movement of ammunition group

21. Wagon lines

 

22. B Echelon

 

23. Petrol and supplies

 

24. Medical

Location of RAP, MDS, etc

25. EME

Location of LAD, recovery vehicles, etc

Intercommunication

 

26.  RHQ

Location

27. Signal lay-out

 

28. Light signals

 

29. Liaison with other units

 

30. Sychronize

Time, everyone ensures their watches are set to the same time.

Any Questions?

Invited

The next table shows the standard for orders to an FOO.

Tactical Situation

 

1.  Information

Enemy and own troops

2.  General plan of attack

 

3.  Role of unit FOO to support and location of their HQ

 

4.  Zero hour

 

5.  Location of batteries and OPs

 

6.  Zero lines and zones

 

7.  Future moves of artillery

 

8.  Likely forward OPs

 

Task

 

1.  Delegation of control

Batteries available

2.  Restrictions on ammunition expenditure

Scale to be used

Communications

 

1.  Wireless, line and visual

 

2.  Signal personnel available

 

General Arrangements

 

1.  Means of transport

 

2.  Kit and rations

 

3.  Time to stay out

Reliefs, etc.

Any Questions?

 

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Copyright 2004   Nigel F Evans. All Rights Reserved.