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.



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




3.  Short general statement of the artillery plan.



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



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




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



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






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



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.



1.  Enemy


2.  Own Troops

Including location of HQs of other arms

3.  Outline Plan




4.  Role of regiment or battery




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


18. Time to be ready


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




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



26.  RHQ


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?


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




1.  Delegation of control

Batteries available

2.  Restrictions on ammunition expenditure

Scale to be used



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?




Copyright 2004   Nigel F Evans. All Rights Reserved.