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Title: Tactics and Duties for Trench Fighting
Author: Solbert, Oscar N., Bertrand, Georges
Language: English
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Capitaine, Chasseurs Alpins, de l’Armée de France



Major, Corps of Engineers, U.S.A.

With Diagrams

G. P. Putnam’S Sons
New York and London
The Knickerbocker Press

Copyright, 1918
Oscar N. Solbert

The Knickerbocker Press, New York



It must be borne in mind that this book deals with principles and
examples of methods of warfare, and not fixed rules. There are no fixed
methods in warfare. Development in warfare means change of methods or
the invention of new ones to overcome military difficulties. However,
one must have knowledge of past and present methods to be ready for the
next logical step of development.


                                                       October 26, 1917.

 From: MAJOR O. N. SOLBERT, C. of E.

 To the Adjutant General, U. S. Army, through official channels.

 Subject: Publication of Lectures.

I. Request authority to publish in pamphlet form lectures given at this
camp on Trench Fighting.


  Major, C. of E.]

                           _1st Indorsement_

    OCTOBER 26, 1917.


Earnestly recommending that the lectures referred to above be published
in pamphlet form. I consider it most desirable that every graduate of
this camp take these lectures with him, upon being commissioned. I do
not believe that the best interests of the service will suffer, in any
way by publishing these lectures.


  Lt. Colonel, Infantry,
          Senior Instructor.]

                           _2nd Indorsement_



I. Approved.


  Colonel of Cavalry,




I. Approved.

                   By order of the Secretary of War:


  Adjutant General.]


                                Chapter I

            Organization of the Company for Battle Formations


 =Specialists=—Organization of a Typical Company—=Use of
   Specialists=—In the Defensive—In the Offensive—=Formations=—
   Initial Formation—Close Order and March Formation—Approach
   March—Skirmisher Line—Assaulting Formations—Composition of
   Lines—=Drill Regulations=                                           1

                               Chapter II

          Development of a Position from an Open Warfare Battle

 =General Use of Fortifications=—Change from Battle Lines to
   Trenches of a Position—=Division of a Position=—Different Lines
   of a Sector—=Principles of Organization=—Flanking Fire—Field of
   Fire—Location of Trenches—Compartments—Concealment—=Elements of
   Organization=—Plan—Outline of First Line—Cover Trench—Advance
   Posts—Loopholes—Traverses—Transversals—Support Trenches and
   Redoubts—Boyaux and Communication Ditches—Accessory Defenses—
   Command Posts                                                      34

                               Chapter III

                        Sector and Trench Duties

 =Plan of Defense=—Definition—Principles—Form of—=Details of Trench
   Duty=—Guard Duties—Sentinels—Reconnoitering Patrols—Observers—
   Attrition—Fighting Patrols and Raids—Arms, Equipment, and
   Ammunition—Activities of the Troops—Reports—=Use of Infantry and
   Artillery Weapons, and Liaison=—Machine Guns—Trench Mortars—
   =Artillery Support=—Use—Barrage—Liaison—Instructions for
   Sentinels—Watchers—Observers                                       62

                               Chapter IV

                               The Relief

 =Definitions and Principles=—Kinds—=Preliminary Dispositions for
   the Relief=—Time to Prepare—Preparation—Reconnaissance—=Relief
   Orders=—General—Battalion—=Movement of the Relief=—Departure—
   March to Rendezvous of Guides—Guides—March in the Boyaux—
   =Occupation of the Position=—Duties after                         104

                                Chapter V

                          Defense of a Position

 =Hostile Attacks=—Kinds—=Surprise=—Precautions against—Maintenance
   of Barbed Wire Entanglements—Service of Guard and Observation—
   “Stand To” Exercises—=Attack in Force=—Revealing Symptoms—
   Preventive Measures before—Perfecting Organization of Position—
   Increase of Control and Discipline of Defense—Moral Preparation
   of the Troops—Maintenance of the Garrison during the
   Bombardment—Reply with Artillery Fire—=Defense of First Line
   during Assault=—Duties of Watchers—Defenders of the First Line—
   =Fighting in the Interior of the Position=—Defense of an Area—
   The =Counterattack=—Troops Detailed for—Routes or Directions—
   Form of—=Repair of Position=                                      123

                               Chapter VI

                          Attack of a Position

 =Phases=—Preparation—Assault against First Hostile Line—
   Exploitation of Success—=Preparation=—Front of Attack—
   =Conditions of Assault=—Distance of—Trace of Lines of Departure—
   Ground Preparation—=Organization of Assault=—=Execution of the
   Works=—=Artillery Preparation=—Counter-Battery Fire—Fire on
   Communication Routes, etc.—Destructive Fire—=Plan of Action=—
   Observation—Control—=Plan of Battle=—Strength of Enemy—
   Preparation of Men for Attack—Mission of Attack—=The Assault=—
   Disposition in Depth—Waves—Assaulting Companies—Supporting
   Companies—Disposition of Assaulting Battalion in the Departure
   Trenches—Order of Attack—Departure of Assault—Support Artillery—
   Departure of First Echelon—Departure of Second Echelon—Advance
   of Reserves—=Fighting in the Interior of a Position=—Principle
   of—Details of—Assaulting Companies—Reinforcing Companies—=Rôle
   of the Artillery during the Attack=—Principle of Accompaniment
   Fire—Means of Controlling Barrage—=Liaisons during Attack=—
   =Aviation=                                                        152

                               Chapter VII

                         Model of Trench Orders

 =Plan of Defense=—Order for Relief—=Plan of Attack=—Order for
   Attack—Order for a Raid                                           196

                              Chapter VIII

                           Special Operations

 =Raids=—Preparation—Purpose of—Troops Employed—Objective of—
   Execution of—Infantry Support—Artillery Support—=Gas Warfare=—
   Kinds—Protections against—Special Precautionary Measures—=Liquid
   Fire=—=Mines=                                                     216

                 Tactics and Duties for Trench Fighting

                               CHAPTER I

                             I. Specialists

The exigencies of modern warfare, especially of trench warfare, have
developed new infantry weapons. As there are several kinds of these
weapons to each infantry company, the men detailed to handle them must
be trained as specialists. The weapons are:

 Hand grenades
 Rifle grenades
 Automatic-machine rifles

The men who use these weapons are respectively known as:

 Hand grenadiers
 Rifle grenadiers
 A. M. R. crews

As a consequence of the new weapons, a company is now organized on a
basis of these specialists. A typical company is patterned like that of
the French, the only difference being in the number of specialists. Each
of the four platoons of a company contains the same number of
specialists and each platoon is divided into four sections of

                   Organization of a Typical Company

One lieutenant (1st and 4th platoons under 1st lieutenants; 2nd and 3rd
platoons under 2nd lieutenants).

One sergeant (second in command, assistant to platoon commander).

                1st Section,        22               men
                2nd Section,        12               men
                3rd Section,        12               men
                4th Section,        11               men
                Total               57 men × 4 = 228 men
                224 rifles
                64 pistols
                16 automatic rifles

             Platoon—1st Section—Hand and Rifle Grenadiers

  1 Sergeant, pistol and rifle.

  3 Corporals, pistol and rifle.

  6 Privates, 1st class, all with rifles, two of them with pistols.

 12 Privates.


 22 men.

                     2nd and 3rd Sections—Riflemen

  2 Corporals, rifle and pistol.

  3 Privates, 1st class, rifle.

  7 Privates, rifle.



                     4th Section—Automatic Riflemen

  1 Sergeant, pistol and rifle.

  1 Corporal, pistol and rifle.

  3 Privates, 1st class (automatic rifle gunners, including 1 extra).

  6 Privates, rifle.




  1 Captain.

  3 First Lieutenants.

  2 Second Lieutenants.



The platoon is the self-contained unit with the proper proportion of all
the different kinds of specialists for the assault. The reason for this
is that the platoon is the largest unit that one leader can control in
combat. The four platoons are alike and therefore interchangeable.

Although it is true that the specialists are particularly trained with
their own weapons, all men of the company are first trained as riflemen.
All specialists carry rifles, and if for any reason they cannot use
their special weapon they immediately become riflemen. Also every man is
trained in hand grenade throwing. This makes it possible to fill gaps in
the specialists’ ranks from the riflemen. Some men also, usually
to the number of the A. M. R. crews, must be trained to operate the
automatic-machine rifles.

The remaining supernumeraries of the company, such as mess and supply
sergeants, mechanics, cooks, buglers, etc., do not march with the
company in maneuver or combat formations. Some of the above
supernumeraries will be found in the captain’s headquarters, or tactical
group, such as the liaison agents from the platoons, orderlies, buglers,
and observers. Mess and supply sergeants, cooks, etc., remain with the
regimental train in rear, with the kitchen behind the artillery
positions. The tactical group of the captain lives in an adjoining
dugout to that of their chief in the sector. In the fight these latter
are used as messengers or observers.

                         II. Use of Specialists

The following table shows the evolution of infantry armament since the
beginning of the war:

                          At Beginning of War

            Rifle and bayonet        Nearly total personnel
            Hand grenades                     Nil
            Rifle grenade guns                Nil
            Automatic rifles                  Nil

                             Present Time

            Hand grenadiers per Co.            48
            Rifle grenadiers per Co.           24
            Automatic rifles per Co.           16

Outside the company is the 37 mm. gun in the battalion and trench
mortars and engines, permanent equipment of the trenches.

                            In the Defensive

=Hand Grenades.= Hand grenades are used to produce a short-range
defensive barrage at a distance of about 30 yards in front of the
trenches. For this purpose one grenade thrower is required for from 10
to 16 yards of frontage.

They are also used to establish centers of resistance; to protect
important features of the lines, such as salients, machine gun or
automatic rifle posts, command posts, listening posts, etc.

They are used to defend a barricade in a communicating trench. In this
latter case the grenades may be thrown from a special bombing post
established for that purpose or from an adjoining trench.

=Rifle Grenades.= Rifle grenades are employed to establish a barrage at
a greater range than that of the hand grenade, being used up to as great
a distance as 300 yards. The great advantage of the rifle grenade
barrage is that it is under the control of the platoon leader and can be
called into service immediately, which is not always true of the
artillery barrage.

Several grenade rifles concentrated on a trench will stop hand grenade
throwing from the same. Rifle grenades are usually shot from the cover
trench immediately in rear of the fire trench.

=Automatic-Machine Rifles.= In the defensive the A.M.R’s are usually
employed to obtain flanking fire from the firing line, but may be used
in the cover trench and sometimes in shallow holes out in front. In
interior fighting they are used to cover stretches of communicating
trenches against an enemy that has penetrated the first line.

=Riflemen.= The riflemen are placed in the intervals between the
specialists in the firing line. They are also used as snipers and as
sentinels. These sentinels are not to be confused with watchers, who may
or may not carry rifles.

                            In the Offensive

=Hand Grenades.= In the offensive, hand grenades are used to reach the
enemy under cover in trenches, etc., by high-angle throwing. It is an
excellent weapon to clear out the trenches that the assaulting columns
are advancing against. The H. G. and the R. G. break the resistance, so
to speak, of the line that the attack is to capture and the assaulting
troops are to occupy and hold. The places of the hand grenadiers in the
assaulting column are seen in the diagram.

The hand grenade is the principal weapon in trench combat—that is, to
obtain progress laterally and in depth in the trenches after a breach
has been made at one point, as every foot of trench has to be fought
for. Each section of trench, between traverses, is cleared of the enemy
by throwing H. G’s into it. It is then occupied and the next section
cleared and occupied in a similar manner.

In a raid on the enemy’s trenches hand grenades are used to clear up the
particular stretch of trenches before the raiding party jumps into them.
This will be taken up in detail later.

=Rifle Grenades.= The rifle grenade in the offensive is employed
similarly to the hand grenade, to reach an enemy under cover, but at a
greater distance.

It is used to help reduce all nests of resistance that the assaulting
infantry runs up against, and when the artillery barrage is not
obtainable for that purpose.

They may be used as a barrage to cut off the retreat of a small group of
the enemy that is being attacked in front.

Rifle grenades are very useful against counterattacks, especially before
machine guns can be brought up and the defensive artillery barrage

=The A. M. R.= The A. M. R., with its great mobility and ease of
control, makes it possible to carry this weapon in the assault and to be
used immediately the wave is halted for any reason. In this connection,
it can be instantly employed against a nest of resistance.

It is used in the assault to protect the flanks of the assaulting waves,
especially when stopped.

As the A. M. R’s are brought up in the first wave, they are immediately
available against counterattacks upon the captured position. In a
similar manner they are employed to hold ground gained until an
artillery barrage can be obtained to support it and before the machine
guns come up.

=The Riflemen.= The riflemen, with bayonets fixed, do the necessary
fighting in the interior of the enemy’s position. As was stated before,
the H. G. and the R. G. break the enemy’s resistance and the rifleman
does the hand-to-hand fighting required to occupy the objective lines of

To make a little résumé, we may say that the best results will be
obtained by the proper combination of all of these weapons. The low
trajectory weapons (rifle, A. M. R., H. G., and the 37 mm. gun)
concentrate on everything that shows itself above the trenches; while
the high-angle missiles (H. G. and R. G.) seek out the enemy under
cover. The riflemen complete the success of the specialists by rushing
forward and occupying the enemy’s position and fighting hand to hand for
it if necessary.

 III. Formations for Maneuvering this Resultant Company of Specialists

                       (Formation of the Platoon)

=Initial Formation.= The initial formation of the platoon in sections of
specialists as per diagram is almost self-explanatory. Each group of
specialists is in this formation under the control of its leader ready
for any maneuver.

The platoon is the attacking unit because it contains all the
specialists required for the assault. The frontage of an offensive is
composed of a series of platoons, each with a definite objective, and
each with reinforcing platoons in depth following.


All other formations, whether for combat or ordinary march maneuvers,
are based upon this initial formation.

=Close Order and March Formations.= From the initial formation, we pass
to the close order formations, used for parade, roll call, or the march.

(_a_) First we have the company in line, which is the habitual formation
for assembly.

(_b_) From the company in line is formed a column of fours, for
marching. The squads that are complete execute “squads right or left,”
while the remaining odd number of specialists in any section execute the
easiest movement to bring them into column of fours, sometimes with
blank files behind the rest of their section.

=Approach March.= The approach march is a name given to the formations
that the platoon in section columns takes up to minimize casualties
while crossing the zone of artillery fire.

These formations are taken up under the conditions of open warfare, or,
in the case of reinforcements, following up an attack.

The formations may be in “Line of Section Columns” or “Double Line of
Section Columns.” In the first case, each section may be in single file
or in double column; or again the first and fourth platoon section may
be in double column and the second and third sections in single file: In
the “Double Line of Section Columns” any of the formations in the
diagrams may be taken up, depending upon circumstances.


The interval between sections is variable, but usually the interval is
such as to give room for the proper development into line of

=Skirmishers.= This formation of skirmishers is not taken up for the
assault, but under similar conditions as that of the approach march—that
is, for open warfare and for the advance of the reinforcing platoons
behind an attack.

To form the skirmish line, each section column simply deploys into line,
each man going either right or left front into line from the regular
formation of double line of section column.

If you inspect the figure, you will see that this deployment into
skirmish line gives practically the type formation of the first
reinforcing platoon in the assaulting column.

=Assaulting Formations.= In the attack the platoon forms and goes
forward in waves. A wave is not one line of men, but is composed usually
of two or three lines.


The composition of the lines of the wave depends upon the duties and
functions of the different specialists during the attack.

Let us recapitulate the functions of the specialists in order to show
the reasons for their positions in the assaulting wave.

=The First Line of the Assaulting Wave.= In this line are the
grenadiers, whose duty it is to clear the enemy out of the objective
trenches. Here also are the A. M. R’s, employed to protect the flanks of
the wave. When the wave is halted, the A. M. R’s must be available for
instant use against any nest of resistance and must therefore be in the
first line. They are also used in the captured trench to withstand an
enemy’s counterattack, which may develop within five minutes after its

=The Second Line of the First Wave.= We have here the rifle grenadiers
who help the hand grenadiers break up the enemy’s resistance and clear
the trenches of the enemy. This is done by fire of rifle grenades from
the second line. Here, also, we have all the riflemen of the platoon,
whose function it is to follow up the success of the specialists and
drive the surviving hostile men out of the trenches with the bayonet.


=Third Line of the First Wave.= In this line we have the “trench
cleaners” or “moppers-up.” These are hand grenadiers furnished by the
reinforcing platoon and their function is to clear the enemy out of the
trenches, both laterally and in depth of the position. The assaulting
column remains above ground and continues across the position to the
objective line of trenches, which is usually the limiting objective of
the attack. The “trench cleaners” picket all entrances and exits of
dugouts to allow none of the enemy to come out after the waves have
passed and fire into the backs of the assaulting troops.

These three lines compose the first wave, and we see that the
specialists are placed in the lines in the order of their duties.

Company Drill Regulations Adopted at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, R.O.T.C.,
              in Lieu of No Existing Official Regulations

                          Company Organization

1. For the purposes of drill and maneuver, the regiment will be
organized as follows:

(_a_) One training company, as at present constituted, will form two

(_b_) The new organization contemplates four platoons to the company.
When, for training purposes, a complete company is necessary or
desirable, companies will be combined.


2. For a training company of two platoons, the 2nd in command (sergeant)
of the first platoon is the right guide; the 2nd in command of the 2nd
platoon is the left guide.

3. The platoons, in line or column, are arranged as at present.

4. The usual arrangement of a company for attack is to place two
platoons in the 1st wave and two in the 2nd wave. The two platoons in
the 1st wave are known as the assaulting platoons; the two in the 2nd
wave, as the reinforcing platoons. The normal distance between the
assaulting and reinforcing platoon is about 65 yards. Sometimes three
platoons are placed in the 1st wave and one in the 2nd wave.

5. The first wave is followed, at a distance of 15 yards, by the hand
grenadiers of the reinforcing platoon, who are sent forward by the
commander of the reinforcing platoon to act as trench cleaners or
moppers-up for the first wave. Fifty yards behind these is the remainder
of the reinforcing platoon. There are no “moppers-up” for the
reinforcing platoon.

6. The captain of a company has four liaison agents constantly with him,
one being furnished from and for each platoon. They march immediately in
rear of the captain.

7. The post of the captain is between the 1st and 2nd waves.

                          Platoon Organization

1. The composition of a platoon is as follows:

 1 Lieutenant (1st and 4th platoons under 1st Lieutenants).
              (2nd and 3rd platoons under 2nd Lieutenants).
 1 Sergeant (2nd in command, assistant to platoon leader).
 =First Section=—(Grenadiers).
     1  Sergeant—Section Sergeant.
     2 Corporals and 12 Privates—Hand Grenadiers.
     1 Corporal and 6 Privates—Rifle Grenadiers.
 =Second Section=—(Riflemen).
     2 Corporals and 10 Privates—Riflemen.
 =Third Section=—(Riflemen).
     2 Corporals and 10 Privates—Riflemen.
 =Fourth Section=—(Automatic Rifle).
     1 Sergeant—Charge of 1 gun crew.
     1 Corporal—Charge of 1 gun crew.
 3 Privates, 1st Class—Gunners—1 in charge of each gun and 1 in reserve.
 6 Privates—Ammunition Carriers.

2. All platoons are alike in numbers, organization, and armament.

3. When the platoon is in column of squads or in line, the post of the
platoon leader is as at present. When in line of section columns he is
normally in front of the right center section, although he may be in
front of some other section if he sees fit. In attack formation he is in
the center of his platoon between his first and second lines.

4. When the platoon is in line, the post of the 2nd in command is in
rear of the center of his platoon. In line of section columns he is in
front of the 3rd section. In attack formation he is in rear of the fight
center of the second line.

                           Platoon Movements


1. The 1st Section (Grenadier Section) contains 15 rifle grenadiers
(including the section sergeant) and 7 hand grenadiers. When in column
of squads, the rifle grenadiers march as a squad, in rear of the hand
grenadiers. The 1st Section constitutes 3 squads, each having the No. 3
in the rear rank as a blank file. The Section Sergeant marches abreast
of the rear rank of the 2nd squad of his section. Line is formed by
executing squads right or left.

2. The 2nd Section (Riflemen Section) contains 10 privates and 2
corporals. One corporal has charge of 7 men, the other of 3 men. When in
column of squads, the section forms one complete squad and the front
rank of another. Corporals are number four. To form line at the command
“Squads left (right),” the complete squad executes “Squad left”; of the
half squad the Nos. 3 and 4 execute “Twos left”; the Nos. 1 and 2
likewise execute “Twos left,” thus placing themselves in rear of Nos. 3
and 4. To form column from line at the command “Squads right,” the Nos.
3 and 4 of the incomplete squad move forward two paces, execute “Twos
right,” and place themselves in rear of Nos. 3 and 4 of the preceding
squad; Nos. 1 and 2 move forward two paces, execute “Twos right,” and
place themselves in rear of Nos. 1 and 2 of the preceding squad.

3. The personnel, numbers and movements of the 3rd Section are identical
with those of the 2nd.

4. The 4th Section (Automatic Rifle Section) contains 1 sergeant, 1
corporal, and 9 privates (total of 11). One complete squad is formed and
2 privates are left over who march in rear of Nos. 1 and 4 of the squad.
The corporal is No. 4 of the front rank. No. 3, front and rear rank, are
the gunners. The sergeant marches abreast of the rear rank of the squad
in the line of file-closers; when line is formed, the two men left over
form one additional file on the left (right) of their sections. In
forming for attack formation, the No. 4 of the two men left over
attaches himself to the front rank gun crew and goes with them; the No.
1, to the rear rank gun crew. The sergeant remains with his gun crew if
the guns are separated, or assumes charge of both when together.

5. If the training company contains more men than are necessary to fill
the platoons as indicated above, such additional men will be carried as
riflemen and attached to the second and third sections of the platoons.


1. To form line of section columns from line.

The left file of each section moves straight to the front, followed by
the file next on its right, and this in turn by the other files of the
section. The section sergeants of the 1st and 4th sections place
themselves at the head of their respective sections.

2. To form line of section columns in columns of twos or fours.

“Half-squads (squads) right front into line.”

3. To form line from line of section columns.

“Sections, right front into line.”

4. To form column of squads from line of section columns.

First form line of section columns in column of squads—then “Column of
squads—1st (4th) section forward (column right or left).”

5. To form line of section columns from column of squads.

The left file of the leading section moves straight to the front,
followed by the remaining files of the squad, then by the left file of
the second squad, etc. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th sections oblique to the
right (left) in column of squads to section interval and, when in rear
of their place, form column of files. The section may thus be marched in
echelon, or line may be formed by halting the leading section, or the
sections in rear may be double-timed to the line established by the
leading section.

6. To form line of section columns to the flank, command:

“Sections, column left (right).”

“Line of section columns.”

7. Frequently, for convenience in maneuvering, the platoon leader may,
when in line of section columns, wish to form only two columns from his
four columns. In such event he will command:

“Double sections, 1st and 4th sections forward.”

One rifle section will follow the first section. The other rifle
section, the 4th section. The rifle sections in such formation are
always in rear of the specialist sections.

8. Intervals between sections or double sections are opened and closed
by the command:

“To —— spaces extend (close).”


1. Attack formation is taken up from line of section columns _only_.

2. The attack formation is always in two lines. The two lines constitute
a wave.

3. Hand grenadiers and automatic riflemen are always in the first line.
The riflemen and rifle grenadiers are always in the second line in the
assaulting platoon. Rifle grenadiers may be posted in the center of the
second line, or on either flank, as the platoon leader directs.
Similarly the automatic riflemen may be in the center, on either flank,
or divided between center and flank of the first line, as the platoon
leader may direct.

4. The 1st and 2nd lines are separated by a distance of 20 paces.

5. To pass from line of section columns to attack formation, the platoon
leader commands:

“Form for attack at (_place_). Automatic rifles to center (left flank)
(right flank) (both flanks) (left and center). Rifle grenadiers to
center (left) (right).”

Only the automatic riflemen and grenadiers need be designated. The
remaining men accommodate themselves to their movements.

At the above command the 2nd and 3rd sections stand fast until the 1st
and 4th sections have cleared their front. They then move to their
places led by the corporal at the head of their respective sections.

This movement will be executed at first in quick time; as men become
more proficient, in double time and at a run.


1. The arrangement of specialists in the reinforcing platoon differs
somewhat from the assaulting platoon. The hand grenadiers of the
reinforcing platoon are sent forward in two squads to follow in rear of
the 2nd line of the first wave at a distance of about 15 yards. The two
squads are abreast of each other, the section sergeant between them.

2. The rifle grenadiers of the reinforcing platoon are then moved up
into the 1st line.

3. The riflemen of the reinforcing platoon remain in the 2nd line.

4. The position of the platoon leader of the reinforcing platoon is in
front of the center of the 1st line. The position of the 2nd in command
is the same as in the assaulting platoon.






                               CHAPTER II

=General Use of Fortifications.= The first use of fortifications,
whether hasty or permanent, is to give shelter against hostile fire. The
more deliberate use of fortifications is to increase the holding or
fighting power of troops by the proper employment of the natural
defensive features of the ground and by artificial devices.

                 Successive Phases of the Organization

=Change from Battle Lines to Trenches of a Position.= During a battle,
as we understand it in open warfare, as soon as the fighting lines are
halted for any reason, every man immediately begins to dig in for
shelter against the enemy’s fire. If the halting of these fighting lines
is more or less permanent these “skirmish holes” are connected, and we
have the beginning of a rude trench. We must remember that in a battle
troops are disposed in depth in a series of lines. All these lines dig
for protection in a similar manner, giving the beginning of several
lines of trenches. If the troops remain for any time in this position,
it is necessary to have routes from the rear to the front to carry up
ammunition and supplies to the different lines. These communication
routes are also dug in, and we have the beginning of communicating
trenches. Soon the men will begin to seek better protection against
rain, cold, and overhead fire, and build themselves some kind of
shelters. In a similar manner command posts and supply depots are

In time there is a complete skeleton of a series of lines of trenches
outlining a position. If the mission of the troops is to remain and hold
the ground, the necessary plan of organization for the final position
will have to be based upon this skeleton. The purpose of this new
organization, as we have noted, is to establish the position so that the
ground can be held by fewer troops.

=Active and Passive Elements of a Position, Especially Support Points.=
The first fire trench of a position is continuous, but it is not good
practice to man the whole of this line, because this would take too many
men and defeat the purpose of the fortifications. Secondly, a better
defense can be established by garrisoning a series of strong points, or
salients, from which can be obtained flanking fire. In the first line
these are called support points. The trenches connecting these support
points are retained as such, but are not usually manned. This curtain
trench, so to speak, is retained for communicating purposes, and to
deceive the enemy as to the real points of defense. A few watchers are
left in it.

The first line, then, is a series of support points, well defended by
men and special weapons, and at such distances apart as to support each

=Division of Position.= The garrison of such a support point in the
first line is a company, and the captain is responsible for the holding
of this ground. (The platoon, we must remember, is a tactical unit.) In
dividing the first line into these active elements the size of each
support point depends upon the importance of the ground or of the
tactical situation.


Similar natural strong points are also located in the second line. They
will be fewer and farther apart in this line than in the first line,
which is exposed to hostile attacks. These points in the second line are
connected with the support points and together the group is called a
center of resistance. The command of such a center of resistance,
including one or two support points in the front line, falls to a
battalion commander with his unit. For example, the area of a center of
resistance under the command of a Bn. C. O. will include, say, two
support points in the first line with a company in each, and the strong
point in the second line with two companies.

In the third line, also, natural strong points are located and organized
for defense. The command of this strong point, including, let us say,
two centers of resistance, falls to a colonel with his regiment. Such an
area is called a sector, or a sub-sector. If it is a sub-sector two such
constitute a sector in command of a brigadier-general.

=Different Lines of a Sector.= We have now arrived automatically at the
fact that each sector is composed of a series of lines in depth, each
defended in strong points.

The first line is termed the line of resistance, as the first defense is
made against the enemy’s attacks in the support points of this line.


The second, or main line of resistance, is called the support line. In
the strong points of the centers of resistance are the reserves and the
headquarters of the battalion commanders.

The third line is called the covering line of the artillery, because it
defends the batteries distributed behind it. It also contains the
reserve troops of the sector, a battalion usually holding each strong
point. Here are established the headquarters of the colonel and the
different central depots of the sector.

The above three lines constitute one position. There may be several
positions in depth at distances of three miles or more apart. Usually
there are two positions and sometimes three. It is said that the Germans
have as many as six positions in depth in places. The first position
only, of course, is permanently occupied.

                     Principles of the Organization

=Advantages of the Continuous Trench.= The continuous or curtain trench
between support points must not be eliminated for several reasons. The
trench will deceive the enemy as to the location of the elements of
support points. If this trench were absent the enemy could easily locate
these, and subject them to concentrated artillery fire. The position
cannot be hidden from airplane observation but the essential elements,
such as emplacements, dugouts, etc., must be concealed.

[Illustration: Traces of Trenches Used to obtain Flanking Fire Types of
Communicating Trenches.]

The curtain trench serves for communicating purposes for lateral
movements of troops and for liaison between neighboring units.

The absence of the curtain trench would leave breaches in the line where
in a general attack units could concentrate and break through. In such a
general attack the curtain trench is occupied and defended by the
reserves. Barbed wire, of course, protects the entire front.

These trenches also serve, if necessary, as cover for reserves acting as
reinforcements to the adjacent support points, as there is only
sufficient shelter in a support point for its own permanent garrison.

Lastly they may serve as trenches of departure in the offensive.

=Importance of Flanking Fire.= It is possible to have the support points
at intervals because flanking fire from these will command all ground in
front. The importance of flanking fire cannot be overestimated.
Everything must be done to obtain it.

[Illustration: Type of a Good Entanglement in front of a Firing Line
Without Salients To Obtain Flanking Fire]

Sometimes it is impossible to obtain flanking fire because of lack of
salients. If this is true the trace of the first line trench must be
rectified to give flanking fire along the line as per diagram.

When neither of these two methods is possible small combat posts with
machine guns are located in advance of the line to obtain flanking fire.

The machine gun is the best weapon for flanking fire. Several
emplacements are constructed for each machine gun, but during the
bombardment it is kept under cover in a dugout. When the attack develops
the machine gun is quickly set up in the proper emplacement. If kept in
a permanent emplacement the enemy will soon locate it and put it out of
business by artillery fire.

If no emplacements are possible or if they are destroyed machine guns
are operated on open ground or in shell holes.

=Field of Fire.= With proper flanking fire a line can be defended with a
shorter field of fire than otherwise. A hundred yards of field of fire
is sufficient with good flanking fire and accessory defenses, such as
barbed wire, etc.


=Location of Trenches.= Lines of trenches which are the result of a
battle are not always located in the most logical positions. They are
the results of the exigencies of the battle. However, it is well to know
the best locations for the trenches of a position under different
conditions in order to place them there when possible.

In flat country, of course, it makes no difference where the trenches
are located. On the profile of a hill, however, the question is where to
locate the first and where to locate the second line. Let us consider
Figure 15. Point A is out of the question as you have no view of the
enemy. At B you can observe the enemy’s line and he can observe yours.
However, the enemy can shell you at this point and observe the results.
At C the same conditions obtain as at B, except there is a dead angle
directly in front. At D you cannot observe the enemy nor can the enemy
observe your line. From these considerations we see that the proper
location for the first line will be at B as you must be able to observe
the enemy and all the ground in front. Your second line should be
located at D where the enemy cannot observe and bombard your position.
At D the line can be made as elaborate as you have time, men, and
material, because you are more or less unmolested by the enemy’s fire
and observation.

The reverse slope is of the very greatest importance in organizing a
position. Movements of troops and supplies can be easily accomplished
here under cover. Deep dugouts can be constructed with the least work.
But the greatest advantage lies during the bombardment. The enemy is not
able to observe the accuracy of his fire on the reverse slope so that
the elements in this line are left more or less intact. For this reason
the line on the reverse slope becomes the most important line of
resistance against the enemy’s attacks. The Germans habitually organize
their reverse slopes very strongly.

=Division of the Position into Defensive Compartments.= We have already
spoken of the sector in depth by successive lines. In the same way it is
necessary to organize the positions for lateral defense. A support point
may be captured by the enemy and from this ground he can launch a
flanking attack on the adjacent part of the position. It is necessary
that there should be an established defense against such an attack, and
for this purpose each sector is divided into compartments, so to speak,
with all-around defense.

Boyaux or communicating trenches on the flanks of these compartments are
organized as firing lines with barbed wire belts running parallel and
with machine guns disposed for flanking fire. We have then each sector
cut up into compartments capable of independent resistance in all
directions, if the surrounding compartments are captured by the enemy.
Such a compartment also has the advantage of serving as a base for a
counterattack against an adjoining one that has fallen into the hands of
the enemy.

In a sector the responsibility of such lateral defenses falls especially
upon the colonel.

=Concealment.= All of the essential elements of a position,
emplacements, dugouts, etc., are more or less without value if they can
be seen by the enemy and subjected to heavy artillery fire. Everything
that is possible must be constructed without the observation of the

It is important to hide your works by making them fit in with the color
scheme and shape of the surrounding ground. False or dummy trenches,
emplacements, shelters, etc., are constructed to cause the enemy to
waste his ammunition. The art of camouflage is also extensively employed
for this purpose against both ground and aërial observation.

                      Elements of the Organization

=Plan of Organization.= We have seen that the first outline of the
trenches left as a consequence of the battle must be modified in detail
to obtain better protection and organization. The complete plan of
reorganization is laid down by the commander of the sector and is called
the Plan of Organization.

This plan is drawn up as soon as the position has a permanent garrison.
The Plan of Organization must be faithfully followed by all the
successive garrisons of the sector. After its adoption, even the
commander of the sector himself cannot modify the plan without the
consent of the general in charge.

The real value of the position depends upon the amount of continuous
work that has been done in carrying out the original plan.

=Outline of the First Line.= As was seen before, the original trace of
the first line was established as a consequence of the needs of the
battle. In the organization plan, it is necessary to introduce several
modifications in this trace. The commander responsible for this change
should place himself in the situation of the enemy and consider an
attack upon his own lines. From this consideration he will introduce
such modifications as will make this task as difficult as possible.

The responsibility of making this modification in the trace of the first
line does not devolve upon the captain in the first line. As a rule if
it were left to him few changes would be made because of lack of
initiative on his part, or because of fear that if the line were
captured he would be blamed for having changed it. This task falls upon
the battalion commander who is responsible for the center of resistance,
with the consent of the sector commander. The reason for this is that
the sector commander is the only one of these officers who knows the
subsequent use of this particular sector, whether for defensive or
offensive purposes. If for defensive purposes the line may be carried as
close to the enemy’s line as possible. If the sector is being organized
for an offensive there must be enough distance between to keep his own
line out of the zone of artillery dispersion when the target is the
enemy’s line.

=Cover Trench.= In general all fire trenches have a second trench
behind, called the doubling or cover trench. The use of the cover trench
is not primarily for defensive purposes. It has special uses.


The majority of the troops in the first line are kept in the cover
trench in shelters located there. The first line is habitually manned by
only a sufficient number of men to assure observation and security. The
rest of the garrison remains in the shelters of the cover trench to get
as much rest as possible. It is very important that comfortable shelters
be located in the doubling trench. If troops are exposed to the elements
and bombardment their value decreases very rapidly. If the shelling
becomes too severe the men in the first line retire to the shelters of
the cover trench until the attack develops.

Another use of the cover trench in the defensive is to keep here a
necessary number of troops for reinforcing the first line when necessary
and for counterattack against the same if it is taken. This latter use
establishes the distance between the two lines, which is from thirty to
forty yards, so that hand grenades can be thrown from the cover trench
into the first line.

Behind each support point there is usually a lateral communicating ditch
called the circulating ditch which should not be confused with the cover

=Advance Posts.= In front of the firing line certain advance posts are
established. There are three kinds of these: listening, observation, and
combat posts.

The _listening post_ is not under the control of the commander of the
support point but is in the service of the Intelligence Officer. It is
furnished with a microphone for the purpose of picking up enemy’s
telephone messages in the hostile line.

The _observation post_ belongs to the sector and is used for purposes of
observation and security.

[Illustration: OBSERVATION POST]

The _combat post_ is established to obtain flanking fire along the
barbed wire entanglements or it is used as a bombing post when in close
proximity to the enemy’s trenches.

Sometimes a series of combat posts are connected and a new trench
established in front of the firing line. This is called the observation
line. It is best to avoid this practice as there is always the question
whether to hold or abandon this line when the enemy’s attack develops.
In either case there are grave disadvantages. If it is held you have a
weak line. If you abandon it the enemy can use it for shelter.

Advance posts give excellent service if not too numerous. If there are
many of them they are a temptation for hostile raids.

=Dimensions of Trenches.= These can be found in text-books on the
subject. The general idea is that they are to be narrow and deep to
prevent observation and to present a small target for high-angle fire.

=Loopholes.= Loopholes are used in the ordinary life of the trenches for
observation and sniping purposes; but against the real attack of the
enemy the firing is done over the parapet. If it is necessary to meet
the enemy in hand to hand combat the men climb up on the parapet.

=Traverses.= Traverses are used to localize the effect of shell or
grenade explosions, and to prevent enfilade fire.

They are sometimes used in long stretches of boyaux or communicating
ditches as emplacements for A. M. R. to enfilade the same if the enemy
penetrates the position.

=Transversal Lines.= Transversal lines are usually constructed between
the first and the second lines and between the second and the third
lines. They are short stretches of trenches parallel to the front for
special purposes: such as disposing of machine guns and trench mortars
in depth; bombing posts for rifle and hand grenadiers; depots and
observation posts.

Command posts are usually located in such small transversal trenches, a
little in rear of the lines they are in command of. For instance, the
captain in charge of a support point might be located in a transversal
just in rear of the cover trench.

=Support Trenches.= The second or support line is established at such a
distance that the first line is covered by its fire if the latter is

Also the second line should be placed so that it will be out of the zone
of dispersion if the first line is the artillery target either of your
own or of hostile fire. This places the distance between the two lines
at from 150 to 400 yards. At this distance also rifle grenade fire can
be used in conjunction with an artillery preparation for a counterattack
against the first line.

The organization of the second line is the same as that of the first; in
other words, the same principles and elements of defense are used:
making employment of barbed wire, flanking fire, cover trenches, etc.

The second line is the main line of resistance and must be made as
nearly impregnable as possible. For this purpose it must be thoroughly
and completely organized.

In the support line are the reserves of the C. of R. and for their
proper shelter they should have very deep dugouts, and all the
requisites for the comfort and rest of the troops.

=Redoubts.= Behind the support line is a redoubt containing the command
post of the battalion commander. It is the last strong point of the
center of resistance and is organized for an all-around defense.

The line of redoubts is the last line of serious resistance. If the
enemy penetrates this line a breach has been made in the position at
this point.

=Boyaux and Communicating Ditches.= As we have said before trenches for
communicating purposes must be dug both in depth and laterally. We shall
call those from front to rear boyaux, and those running laterally
communicating ditches.

The number of boyaux is not fixed as that of the different lines. There
must be at least one between each support point and its center of

Usually boyaux are used for movements in both directions. Often certain
boyaux are designated for entrance only and others for evacuation. The
numbers of the latter are usually less than the former.

In an attack all boyaux are used for movements from rear to front.

All movements to the rear while reinforcements are being brought up must
be executed in the open ground, exceptions being made in the case of

Boyaux are important for the movement of supplies and ammunition, but
above all they are essential for reinforcements during battle. The
greater part of the troops in a sector is held in reserve in the second
and third lines. This disposition is only possible if you have good
boyaux to the front lines.

All boyaux and communicating ditches are narrow and deep. Boyaux are
wider between the second and third line than they are between the first
and second. Evacuation boyaux are usually wider than others. The trace
of a boyau must be such as to prevent enfilade fire.

At intervals of about ten yards turnouts large enough for a stretcher
are constructed in the side of the boyaux for passage of troops in
different directions. Boyaux are named and signs are put up similar to
those for streets in a city. The same name of a boyau must be kept from
the third lines to the first.

At branches of the main boyaux they are dug a little deeper to avoid
mistakes of identification.

As was said before certain boyaux are organized for defense.

It may be said here that supplies carried up at night are usually
brought along on top of the ground close to the boyaux. This gives freer
movement and the carriers are close to the cover of the trench if

=Accessory Defense.= Of all the accessory defenses such as barricades,
abatis, trous-de-loup, etc., the most important by far is barbed wire,
which is almost exclusively used for obstacles.

Barbed wire should be placed from twenty to fifty yards in front of the
first line. At this distance shelling of the barbed wire belts will do
very little damage to the first line.

The wire entanglements must be under fire of the first line.

[Illustration: Command Post for Center of Resistance]

The trace of the wire belt is not necessarily parallel to that of the
firing line, but should be so placed as to obtain flanking fire along
the wire belts. Good entanglements are constructed in double belts, the
distance between the two belts being from ten to twenty yards, the
farthest belt, of course, being constructed first.

Breaches must be left through the wire entanglements for the passage of
patrols, friendly raiding parties, etc. Portable sections of barbed wire
are used to close these passages when necessary.

All accessory defenses must be concealed so they cannot be easily
observed and destroyed by the enemy.

=Command Post.= A command post, in the full sense of the word, contains
the headquarters of the leader of a division of a sector.

The command post must first of all be a good observation post, after
which the other requisites are installed. When the observation post has
been constructed the following are built: a room for the headquarters
staff to work and to sleep in, a telephone central, dugout for liaison
group, and a depot.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The preceding discussion is a development of a position from battle
conditions. On the other hand if you are unmolested by the enemy the
order of organizing a position would be as follows:

(1) Construct the emplacement to obtain flanking fire.

(2) Construct barbed wire entanglements.

(3) Observatory and dugouts.

(4) Trenches.

                              CHAPTER III
                        SECTOR AND TRENCH DUTIES

                           I. Plan of Defense

=Definition.= The Plan of Defense contains all the different duties
necessary to make a proper defense of the position. The execution of
these duties is the execution of the Plan of Defense, which follows
logically and depends directly upon the Plan of Organization.

=Principles of the Plan of Defense.= (_a_) The most important principle
of organization of a position is the =disposition of troops in depth=.
It is necessary to have plenty of support and reserve units disposed one
behind the other. Only one-sixth to one-third of a garrison in the
support point of the first line remains in the trenches for the purpose
of observation and security. The rest remain in the rear as a reserve
for reinforcements or counterattacks.

(_b_) Each trench, each nest of resistance, each area of the ground,
must have a responsible leader. =The garrison of any such area must
never leave the ground allotted to its defense under any conditions of
battle.= The defense must be carried out by this garrison on the lines
originally laid out. A leader is not allowed to fall back on troops in
his rear or to take up a better position. The troops in depth are placed
there for the purpose of reinforcements for the lines in front.

(_c_) =Each part of a position that is lost to the enemy must be
immediately retaken by a counterattack= carried out by troops held in
reserve. The first line is retaken by reserve troops in the support
line, and similarly, if the support line is lost, it must be retaken by
reserve troops held in the third line. If all three lines are captured,
an attempt must be made to retake the third line by the reserve troops
of the sector.

=Form of Plan of Defense.= In each division of the position from front
to rear there must be a Plan of Defense. This plan always contains the
five following elements:

 1. Directions of the probable attacks.

 2. Defense of the first line, or line of resistance.

    The outline of the first line.

    Location and mission of the troops in the first line.

    Employment of machine guns.

 3. Counterattacks.

    Units which are used for the purpose.

    Directions or trenches to be used in the counterattack.

    Depots of grenades and sandbags for the counterattack.

 4. Artillery support.

    Composition of this artillery.

    Establishing of the front of barrage.

    Infantry-artillery liaison.

 5. Liaisons and supply during the hostile attack.

                         Details of Trench Duty

=Guard Duties (Security).= Security is obtained by the use of sentinels
and patrols.

=Sentinels= must not be confused with observers, watchers, or snipers.
Observers belong to the information service of the sector and are not on
duty at night. Snipers operate only in the daytime. The watchers of the
different lines give the alarm in case of an attack, and are on duty
both day and night. Sentinels are posted in the first line or in
advanced posts. Their work and number will depend upon the proximity of
the enemy, the tactical situation, and above all upon the conditions of
the wire entanglements out in front.

At night, one sentinel is posted, say, for example, every 10 yards in
the fire trench of the first line. During the day, only enough sentinels
are posted so that all parts of “No Man’s Land” can be observed. This
will allow a maximum number of men to rest.

In the firing line, the sentinels work in three reliefs. When not on
guard duty, they sleep. The remainder of the garrison in the cover
trench, however, are available for work, for patrols, and to furnish
supply parties. Sentinels should have their rifles resting on the
parapet close at hand, ready to fire at a moment’s notice.

By day, the sentinels use a periscope or observe through a loophole.
This practice is, however, strictly prohibited at night, when a,
sentinel must observe over the parapet. As little challenging as
possible is done, and then only in a very low tone.

=Reconnoitering Patrols= are the best means for security against attack.
Every night the commanders of the support points or the centers of
resistance send out patrols in front of the firing line. The strength of
a patrol must be sufficient to carry back a wounded man, _i. e._, the
number should be five, six, or more. The success of a patrol depends
entirely upon the leader. He must be clever, daring, and observant, and
the rest of the patrol is simply his bodyguard. He himself must observe
the objective of the mission of the patrol.

Patrols should never be sent out without definite orders as to their
mission. Such may be, for example, a reconnaissance of the enemy’s
lines, to discover if the enemy has cut passages in his wire belt
preparatory to an attack, to examine their own wire entanglements, etc.

The route of the patrol must be exactly determined; also the hour of
departure and return designated. Word is passed along the line of
sentinels that a patrol is out in front with the necessary information
about the same. The preparation for a night patrol must be made during

=Officer of the Watch.= In the firing line the company commander
arranges a roster of his officers for duty as officer of the watch. Also
in each platoon the platoon commander will detail a N. C. O. of the
watch. The officer of the watch is responsible for the duties of
observation and security, and is especially responsible for the giving
of the alarm in case of an attack and consequently for the calling of
the artillery barrage by use of rockets, signals, etc.

=Standing to Arms.= It is of the greatest importance that the troops in
the first line are thoroughly trained in taking their positions when the
alarm is given as quickly as possible, without confusion. The alarm is
often given for practice in order to ascertain the amount of time it
will take the men to reach their places in the firing line.

The command “Stand to” is usually given one hour before daylight and one
hour before dark. At this time the company commanders arrange for
inspection of arms, ammunition, and equipment by the platoon commanders.

=Observers’ Duties.= Every effort should be made to obtain information
of the enemy, his trenches, and his wire entanglements. Any alteration
in the enemy’s lines must immediately be reported. The importance of
forwarding such information must be impressed upon all ranks. This duty
is carried out by observers.

All men of the company are used as sentinels in the first line or as
watchers in other lines, but not all are observers. Men who are to act
as observers receive special training. A man to become an observer must
have a special capacity for this task.

Each platoon should have at least six such observers, enough for proper

The observers are placed:

1. In each company the observers are distributed in a number of
observation posts properly camouflaged so as not to be discovered by the
enemy. These posts may be in advance of the firing line, in the firing
line, or at any point within the position that has a wide view of the
front. The observers employ periscopes or field glasses. Everything of
note that is observed is recorded and from these data the captain makes
out his daily observation report.

2. Also in the sector there are 2 or 3 observatories from which the
information is turned in directly to the colonel. These posts must be
properly concealed and protected. In each one of these we find the

(_a_) Regulations posted that give the personnel, tour of duty, sector
of observation, direction to special points of interest, and certain
precautionary measures.

(_b_) Specially prepared blank forms upon which to record information
gained by observation.

(_c_) Field glasses, maps and sketches, and panoramic views of the
ground in front, both visible and invisible from the observation posts.

(_d_) A telephone connecting the post with the nearest command post
(center of resistance or sector).

The observers in these posts are directly under command of the
intelligence officers of the regiment and are of a special personnel.
They must be thoroughly familiar with the regulations of the posts,
maps, panorama, etc.

The intelligence officer collects and coordinates all information
gathered in the sector. Every morning he turns in a consolidated report
made up from the information in the captains’ daily reports and from the
records of the sector observatories. (In order to avoid confusion of the
different daily reports these information records are kept on two
different colored blanks, red and blue alternating each day.)

The report of the intelligence officer is signed by the colonel and sent
on to the brigade headquarters. From the data of his complete report the
intelligence officer very often must verify certain information by the
use of patrols. For this purpose he makes a request upon the colonel for
special patrols.

Information is gathered from both airplanes and ground observatories.
From ground observatories it is attempted to obtain the following data;

1. To ascertain the intentions of the enemy.

2. To properly prosecute attrition of the enemy’s works.

=Attrition.= By the word attrition in fighting is meant the gradual
destruction of the enemy’s morale and strength, and demolition, little
by little, of the enemy’s position. Trench warfare is not a rest or
simply a time for guard duty. It is a phase of the battle in which you
must do as much damage to the enemy as possible.

This work will also keep up the offensive spirit. For this purpose
different means are used:

(_a_) Sniping: Each company in the first line uses its best shots as
snipers. A sniper must be a good observer and he must depend upon his
keen eye for evidences of the enemy, such as smoke of cigarette or the
glint of a bayonet, giving proof of the presence of an enemy. Especially
during hostile shelling will a too curious enemy come to his loopholes
to observe the effect of the same. This is the sniper’s chance.

In each center of resistance the snipers are placed under the command of
a sniping officer. He makes the rounds of the snipers’ posts once or
twice a day, and submits a daily report containing known casualties of
the enemy, location of the number of snipers’ posts, telescope rifles,
fixed rifles, and rifle batteries.

(_b_) Infantry Weapons: Besides sniping, all the other infantry weapons
are used to assist attrition of the enemy. Hand and rifle grenades are
thrown on special points of the hostile line. A battery of hand or rifle
grenadiers properly disposed can very often carry out a concentrated
surprise fire on an enemy’s salient or advanced post. Automatic and
machine guns are always used for this purpose and especially at night.
They are trained on supply routes, road junctions, etc., and by use of
sudden bursts of fire at irregular intervals they will compel the
enemy’s supply parties to continue their transportation in the boyaux
instead of on the open ground.

The use of indirect machine gun fire is very depressing to the enemy.
Such judicious employment of machine guns is sometimes more effective
than severe artillery shelling.

The 37 mm. gun, which is also an infantry weapon, is used principally
against hostile machine gun emplacements. The location of this gun must
be constantly changed.

(_c_) Use of Artillery Weapons: Besides furnishing barrage fire against
hostile attacks, the artillery can be called upon for surprise fire on
working parties, harassing fire during the night against supply parties
and their routes, and also for reply fire against hostile shelling.

Trench mortars and other engines keep the enemy as uncomfortable as
possible at all times.

(_d_) Fighting Patrols and Raids: Fighting patrols and raids are used
with the express purpose of causing loss and damage to the enemy. This
is accomplished by engaging the enemy’s patrol and working parties or by
raiding his saps, listening posts, or trenches. Such operations must
not, however, degenerate into frivolous local fighting, causing loss of
men and waste of artillery ammunition.

=Work.= Daily trench work consists of (1) maintenance and (2) new

(_a_) Maintenance: The daily work of maintaining the elements of the
position is considerable, and its importance often escapes those
responsible for the same. They are:

Repair of parapets, boyaux, and shelters damaged by bombardment, water,
or frost.

Replacing or completing accessory defenses, revetments, ammunition
recesses, emplacement of machine guns, observation posts, depots, etc.

Cleaning and Draining of Trenches and Boyaux: The garrison of each area
is responsible for their own maintenance work, which is done usually
during daylight hours. Sometimes during severe bombardments this repair
and maintenance work becomes too great for the garrison and workmen have
to be called in to help.

(_b_) New Construction: New elements of the position are constructed in
carrying out the Plan of Organization. These are usually carried out at
night. This work is carried out by troops in the doubling trench, the
support line, or detachments of workmen from the reserve of the sector.
There may also be special parties from the headquarters detachment of
pioneers or of the engineer battalion of the brigade.

For all these special works the personnel for whom they are built must
be present during the construction to furnish necessary information and
for inspection. A machine gun crew helps in building its emplacement;
the intelligence officer directs the construction of his observatories.
The medical officer present during the work on the medical aid station;
the telephone officer superintends the establishment of his telephone
exchange, etc.

The battalion commander is responsible for all the work done in his
center of resistance, and in conjunction with the sector leader draws up
a time-table for the work.

All this work must be continued by each succeeding relief. When a new
unit takes its turn in the trenches the orders and plans of new works
are turned over to its commander.

=Arms, Equipment, and Ammunition.= Full equipment will always be worn in
the firing trench, except the haversack, water bottle, and entrenching
tool. In the support and reserve trenches the equipment to be worn is
subject to the will of the sector commander. Every man will always carry
a gas mask in any part of the position and even as far to the rear as
ten miles.

The men in the firing line and in the doubling trenches will at all
times be in possession of their rifles and bayonets. The rifles of men
in the support and reserve trenches may be kept in protected racks in
the same shelter as the men.

All rifles must be kept scrupulously clean at all times.

Ammunition is protected from bad weather by being placed in boxes
located in the sides of the trenches.

Ten to twenty hand grenades are placed in a sandbag. These are usually
kept at the depot and carried in these quantities for the supply of the
fire trench in combat. One or two of such sandbags are kept at a bombing

Special care must be taken to keep rockets in good condition. Supplies
are kept in the fire line (platoon leaders’ posts, observations) and at
points in the rear (in the observatories or different command posts or
in the observation posts of the information service).

=Depots and Supply.= (_a_) Depots:—There should be one general depot in
each area located near the command post of the chief of area. However,
in order to facilitate work in the first line the platoon leaders may
establish near their post a small depot of tools and material being used
for the time being. The importance of the depot depends upon the area it
is to supply. For example, the depot of the garrison of a support point
in the first line would contain:

 20,000 cartridges

  1,000 hand grenades

    400 rifle grenades

    100 each—signal and illuminating rockets

     60 to 70 gas masks

    100 shovels

    100 picks

        Sandbags, planks, barbed wire, etc.

The depot at the center of resistance contains the same articles but in
greater number, also telephone wire, blankets, and three days’ rations
of food.

The main depot of the position, however, is the one near the command
post of the leader of the sector. It is divided into three parts:

1. Ammunition and rocket signals (Ordnance Service).

2. Material of every sort (Engineer Service).

3. Food and clothing (Quartermaster Service).

The different services in the rear of the position maintain the supplies
of the sector depot. The amount of ammunition to be carried is fixed by
orders from the general and this amount must be strictly maintained.

[Illustration: _Organization of Supply System._]

(_b_) Requests for Supplies: Each morning the chiefs of areas send in a
request for material required for the next night’s work. All these
requests in a sector are grouped by a staff officer under the heads of
the three different services. Along with each request must go the
information showing necessity for same. Emergency requests are made by
telephone. The officer making request for material must be on hand to
receive and check the same upon delivery.

(_c_) Supply Parties: The supply of the depot is usually made with
special detachments taken from the support or reserve companies. If it
is necessary to take men from the front trenches for this purpose, no
more than 10% can be taken away from these trenches at the same time.
Complete units will be used as supply parties with their leader if
possible. Upon each battalion in a C. of R. and upon each regimental
reserve falls part of the responsibility of distributing supplies in the
rear of the sector. The unloading or rendezvous points are disposed
along what is called the supply line, usually on a road, path, ravine,
behind a hill, etc. Supply parties sent out at night to these points
make as little noise as possible. They return along a well-picketed
path, usually running along one of the central boyaux. Transportation is
thus carried in the open ground as far as possible, usually to the
support line.

When proper protection is possible, pack trains are used to carry
supplies right through the distributing point and up to the depots of
the sector.

(_d_) Cooking: The battalion kitchens are located behind the sector in a
protected emplacement. Steps must be taken to ensure as little smoke as
possible being seen from them. At night each platoon sends a ration
party to the kitchen.

When the regiment has rolling kitchens, these are brought up part of the
way towards the sector where they meet the ration party. Arrangements
should be made to always have, if possible, some hot soup or drink
available for the men between midnight and 4 a. m.

(_a_) Activities of the Troops: Sector duties include a considerable
amount of work, and are not only useful from a tactical point of view,
but are also indispensable for the moral and physical welfare of the
troops. Men without occupation in the trenches stagnate, grow slack, and
think only of the time when their relief will arrive. Such troops lose
their aggressiveness, so that when the time for the offensive arrives
they have no confidence and cannot deliver the proper blow.

Good practice to obtain fruitful results is the employment of time as
follows: In each company the captain prepares a daily schedule of duties
in which he allots the different services of the strong point: hours of
“standing to” and inspection, of sending ration and supply parties, time
of rest, of cleaning arms, equipment, and clothing, time of trench work,
etc. This schedule is communicated daily to each platoon at a regular

(_b_) Discipline in the Trenches:—Life in the trenches is not especially
dangerous when all precautions are observed. In the presence of an alert
enemy, every faulty move of disposition receives its punishment, such as
the improper concealment of a movement, poorly hidden trench work, or
useless noise in the firing line. Silence is one of the essential rules
of the trench. Silence in a sector in which troops are properly
disciplined enables the chief to rapidly transmit his orders and the men
to accomplish same without delay.

Daily Reports:—In each sector, from the captain up, the different
commanders must furnish a daily report. These are co-ordinated in the
headquarters of the sector commander, and afterwards sent to the
division headquarters.

(_a_) Telephone Reports:—

                    Night report. 5 a. m. to 7 a. m.
                    Day report.   3 p. m. to 5 p. m.

These reports contain the main events of the time covered. Similar
messages are sent at any time important events occur, such as heavy
shelling, important information of the enemy, activities in the air,

(_b_) Written Reports:—The daily morning written reports contain the
following paragraphs.

1. General aspect of the sector.

2. Important events of the day.

(The events must be reported in detail, for example: A report of
shelling must contain the details as to the area bombarded, the caliber
of the gun used, and the time and direction of same, etc.)

3. Casualties (wounded, killed, and missing).

4. Consumption of ammunition.

5. Requests for miscellaneous equipment and material.

This report is signed by the chiefs of the area responsible for the
information in the report. Along with this official report is added a
second written report with the following paragraphs:

1. Request for materials for the night.

2. Observation and information reports (to the Intelligence Officer).

3. Report of all the work done in the sector, including time schedule of
the center of resistance.

           Use of Infantry and Artillery Weapons, and Liaison

=Machine Guns.= The tactical use and location of machine guns in the
sector depends upon the following two points:

(_a_) Machine gun emplacements must be thoroughly concealed and during
the bombardment the M. G. itself is kept under cover in a dugout.
Previous to an attack of the enemy, his artillery searches the position
for the destruction of the machine guns and their emplacements, because
they are the most powerful weapons of the defense.

If invisible casemates can be constructed this practice is good. The
best method is, however, to prepare several emplacements, properly
camouflaged, with a deep dugout near at hand for the protection of the
M. G. and its crew. This shelter must be located at such a point that
the M. G. can be quickly brought out to any one of its emplacements when
the attack develops. These emplacements usually are simple pits located
in front of the trench and connected with the dugout by a gallery. When
emplacements are destroyed by hostile artillery fire, or when they are
not possible, machine guns are pushed into shell holes or operated on
the open ground. Shell holes out in front give the best service as
emplacements for a daring M. G. crew. The French success at Verdun
depended to a great extent upon the judicious use of shell holes for M.
G. flanking fire.

(_b_) Machine guns are not only located in the first line, but are
disposed throughout the interior of the position. The hostile artillery
may entirely destroy the first line of defenses, but the proper
disposition of machine guns for flanking fire in the interior lines will
prevent the enemy’s progress after penetrating the position. Machine
guns are so located in the position as to cover all the space between
the different lines with flanking fire. Usually three pickets define the
sector to be covered by any one M. G., one at the M. G. and two limiting
its sector of fire.

In a sector, ⅓ of the machine guns are located in, or near the first
line, ⅓ is disposed of in the support line or in the redoubt. The last ⅓
is assigned to the third line. In each line machine guns are under the
command of the chief of the area.

As a general rule, in the first line, automatic-machine rifles, because
of their mobility, are used instead of machine guns.

Standing orders are, that M. G. crews will never surrender, but fight to
the last man. Often the tenacity of a M. G. crew has permitted the
retaking of an area otherwise lost.

=Trench Mortars.= In each sector there are located a certain number of
trench mortars. These are efficient weapons, but must be used with care,
because they will nearly always draw concentrated artillery fire.

They are used for the destruction of special points in the enemy’s lines
that the artillery cannot reach.

They are employed in the preparation for an offensive against the
enemy’s first line, either for an attack or for a raid. They are used
for reply fire against enemy’s trench mortars.

They participate in establishing barrages.

The efficiency of trench mortars cannot be overestimated, but at the
same time, great precaution must be taken in their use and concealment.
The personnel required to serve the light trench mortars are taken from
the garrison of the sector and belong to a special headquarters unit, a
platoon of bombardiers.

The large trench mortars are commanded by an artillery officer who keeps
himself constantly in liaison with the commander of the center of
resistance. He consults the latter on the location of his mortars and
especially upon their use. He also reports to the commander of the
center of resistance all orders he receives from his artillery chief.
This artillery officer always works in co-operation with the chief of
his area, who in turn gives him all necessary information and help.
Especially does the mortar commander require help for the supply of

                     Artillery Support in a Sector

=Composition of the Artillery Support.= The light artillery of this
sector is not directly under the command of the Division Commander.
The Commanding Officer of the light artillery, usually a Colonel, in
cooperation with the chief of the sector, divides it into different
parts, assigning one to each of the centers of resistance. This
artillery is called support artillery. As we shall see later this
practice is usually the same in the offensive.

The amount of artillery allotted as support depends upon the tactical
situation, in other words, the activity of the enemy.

In the Verdun and Champagne offensives the disposition of light
artillery was the same in principle as that for the defensive, that is
to say, one troop of artillery consisting of 3 batteries was assigned to
each infantry battalion.

The general use of this artillery, is:

(_a_) To protect the infantry with barrage fire.

(_b_) Prosecution of destruction of the enemy’s personnel and works.

=Tactical Liaison between Infantry and Orderly.= To carry out its
functions, the artillery support must be in perfect liaison with the
infantry, and only when this is done is co-operation of the two arms
possible. This liaison is obtained by the following five means:

(_a_) Organization of Leadership:—For the full co-operation of the
infantry and artillery, the latter is not kept entirely independent, but
is divided and assigned to infantry unit. Each chief of sector and each
chief of center of resistance knows what artillery must support him if
he needs it. The commander of the artillery support is not exactly under
the command of the infantry chief of area, but he is at the latter’s
disposal for certain calls for support fire. The proper co-operation of
these two officers will give efficient results.

(_b_) Relation between Artillery and Infantry Commanders:—The best of
relations must be established between the artillery and infantry
commanders. Usually, it is not possible to locate the commanding posts
of the two officers close together. Each has his area or unit to command
and for that purpose must be located for the proper control of the same.
The support artillery commander, however, should make frequent visits to
the infantry leader and his area. He should also send his subordinate
artillery officers into the infantry area to become acquainted with the
first line, the conditions in “No Man’s Land,” the enemy’s lines, and to
gather all the information possible from the infantry officers in the
trenches. Everything should be done to foster good relations between the
infantry and their support artillery and this is best done by frequent
visits of the artillery officers to the infantry trenches to gather
information for artillery data.

(_c_) Communication of Orders:—It is necessary that the orders received
by the infantry commander be communicated in whole or in part to the
artillery commander, and vice versa. For instance, if the chief of area
receives orders to send out a fighting patrol or a raid, this
information is sent to the artillery commander, who, in turn, sends back
his plan of action. Similarly, when the artillery commander expects to
carry out special fires not called for by the infantry, such as
destructive shelling, harassing fires, etc., he should first notify his
infantry chief of area.

Similarly, any useful information picked up, either by the infantry or
artillery, must be communicated to the other. The daily report of the
chief of sector and the observation report of the Intelligence Officer
are sent direct to the commander of the artillery support. Valuable
information obtained at the artillery observation posts is sent to the

(_d_) Means of Communication:—The principal of the organization of the
different means of communication is such as to assure the best liaison
between the two arms. Telephone lines, searchlight signals, runners,
etc., are established directly between a unit of infantry and its
artillery support. This is to avoid loss of time and useless
interruption between leaders.


(_e_) Detachments for Liaison and Observation:—For more efficient
liaison between the artillery and the infantry, usually a certain number
of artillerymen are sent from the group of the artillery Support to the
infantry in their area. Usually a special detachment of artillerymen is
sent. This detachment is made up of one officer, chief of the
detachment, who is sent to the chief of sector, one N. C. O. to each
chief of a center of resistance, the rest as telephone operators and
artillery orderlies. This disposition of artillerymen in the infantry
area is obligatory for an attack, but it is so practical that it is now
employed in the sector organization.

The task of these artillery officers or N. C. O. is:—

(1) To control all means of communication with the batteries of the
artillery support.

(2) To transmit to the artillery the different calls for fire, and in
technical terms to give the proper data for the laying of the pieces on
the target, and the kind of fire required.

=Use of Artillery Support.= Different kinds of fire are executed by the
artillery support. The most important is the barrage.

=Barrage.= Purpose:—The purpose of a barrage is to stop a hostile attack
before it can get started, or to hinder enemies’ reinforcements or
reserve troops from coming forward.

Form:—The barrage is a curtain of fire let down in “No Man’s Land” as
close in front of your first line as possible without loss to your own
garrison. This will be about 150 or 200 yards to the front, between the
two lines of trenches.


Front of the Barrage:—The barrage has real value only if it is
impassible. This will be if the density of the fire is so great that the
danger zones of the explosions of the individual shells overlap each
other. The allotting of one troop of artillery, 12 guns, for an infantry
battalion is quite sufficient for this purpose if the front of the
battalion does not exceed the average length of from 400 to 600 yards.

Duration:—The barrage is a burst of fire which lasts from six to ten
minutes. At the beginning the fire is very rapid and towards the end
becomes slower. For instance, for the first six minutes the fire may be
six rounds per gun and in the last four minutes, say, four rounds per
gun. Successive barrages can be carried out depending upon the needs of
the infantry.

Calling for the Barrage:—Barrage fire, for the best results, must open
up at the moment the hostile attack begins. To accomplish this the call
for the barrage must be made by an observer in the first line. For this
reason every officer in the first line has the authority to call for the
barrage. The barrage is the only fire that can be called for
automatically by signal.

The kind and color of the rocket signifies the type of barrage required
and the front it is to cover. In order to avoid mistakes this rocket
signal is repeated from some point farther to the rear, usually at the
observatories of the command post of the center of resistance, or of the
sector. Rocket signals are repeated until the barrage fire opens.

Confirmation of the barrage is given by telephone, if possible. However,
at the first signal rocket the artillery is required to open up the
barrage fire as quickly as possible without waiting for confirmation.
Barrage fire is at the disposal of the infantry and cannot be refused by
the commander of the artillery, whether it is justified or not.

=Other Kinds of Artillery Fires.= The commanders of the center of
resistance or of the sector may call on the artillery support for other
fires besides the barrage, such as:

Reprisal fire on the enemy’s lines.

Reply fire to hostile shelling.

Surprise fire on supply attachments or working parties.

Destruction fire on special points.

All these fires are called for by telephone, but do not follow
automatically like the barrage fire. The artillery commander, in such
case, can use a certain amount of discretion whether these fires should
be carried out or not. Last of all there is the counter-preparation
fire, which is a strong shelling of the enemy’s position. It is carried
out as a reply to a methodical bombardment of the enemy preliminary to
his offensive. It is the best means to prevent a hostile attack. If this
fire is well executed the enemy’s assault is “killed in the egg” as the
French expression has it.

=Liaison in the Sector.=

(_a_) Telephone: There are two different systems of telephones.

First, there is the system connecting the infantry command posts,
support points, centers of resistance, sector, and division
headquarters, with the command posts of the artillery protecting the
different infantry areas. These are direct lines between the command
posts and the groups of support artillery. Also, this system connects
the command post with observatories, depots, medical aid stations,
kitchens, etc.

Secondly, there is the system connecting the chief of artillery with his
subordinate commanders, the artillery observation posts, and the
artillery dumps. In this same system the artillery command posts are
again connected with the infantry units which they are to support.
Special lines are run by the artillery to the officer and N. C. O. of
the artillery attachment of liaison in the infantry areas.

[Illustration: _Telephone Liaison._]

Consequently, the liaison between the artillery and the infantry is
doubly provided for in these two systems.

The lines of connection between the infantry and the artillery must be
separate from those within the infantry area and those between the
artillery commander and his subordinate units.

Confidential information should never be telephoned except in cipher.
Conventional designations are employed to call the different posts.
Strict regulations are maintained as to who should use the telephone and
for what purposes.

The weak point of a telephone system is that it is often broken by
bombardment or earth-slides. This can be partially remedied by
constructing as few direct lines as possible, by burying the wires in
the bottom of the boyaux, and by executing repairs as quickly as

(_b_) Wireless and Ground Telegraphy: The battalions in the first line
have ground telegraph apparatus connecting them with the regimental
headquarters, and these, in turn, can communicate with the general
headquarters by wireless. This means of communication is only employed
when the telephone cannot be used.

(_c_) Signalling: It is difficult to establish signal communication
within the sector without being seen by the enemy. However, at night
with flashlights it is possible, especially in hilly country, to
communicate from front to rear within the position. The receiving post
should be able to certify received messages. When practicable,
communications should be established between the command post of the
center of resistance and the sector command posts, and from the latter
post to the artillery. This method of liaison is organized as a
duplicating means or as a temporary substitute for the telephone.

(_d_) Rockets: Signal rockets are used to communicate with the rear.
Different forms and colors of rockets are used to signify different
things. As we have seen, the most important use of the rocket is to
signal for barrage fire. It is often necessary to relay a rocket signal
from a second position in the rear to make absolutely sure that it
reaches the artillery support.

Signal rockets are also used to communicate with aëroplanes, but this
means is usually only employed during an attack.

(_e_) Runners: The liaison established with runners is best of all, from
the point of view that it usually never fails. During heavy shelling it
is the only sure means of communication.

[Illustration: _Example of a Chain of Runners._]

The ordinary messengers or orderlies are not used as runners. A chain of
trained runners is used, located in a little post, shelters, or shell
holes; Each post contains three runners, their distance being from 150
to 300 yards apart. Each runner is selected from the unit located near
the next post in the chain, that is, the one to which he is to run.
Often the divisional cavalry furnish these runners.

The chain of runners is under the command of a N. C. O. who is
responsible for its efficiency. He has an important task on his hands.
He must assure himself that every runner knows, not only his two
neighboring posts, but also the general direction of the chain. He must
change disabled runners and fill gaps in his chain. It becomes his duty
to instill into the runners the importance of their duty.

(_f_) Carrier Pigeons: Carrier pigeons are the last means of
communication. They have been found to give excellent service during
heavy shelling or gas attacks. They do not fly very easily at night.

Each command post of a center of resistance in the first line has a
pigeon post. These consist of two reliefs of men, four pigeons, and the
necessary equipment and food. The pigeons themselves have to be relieved
every few days. The care given to the birds at the command posts must
not be as good as that at the dovecot in the rear, so that when they are
released they will return immediately to the latter place, from where
the message is delivered to its proper destination.

            Instructions for Sentinel, Watcher, and Observer

=Sentinel.= A sentinel is a soldier placed in the first line or in an
advanced post for the purpose of security.

The duty of the sentinel is to watch and guard against hostile attack
and to warn the chief of the platoon of every action of the enemy in “No
Man’s Land.”

At night, one sentinel is posted about every ten yards in the firing
trench. During the day, only a sufficient number are posted to assure
that all parts of the enemy’s line and “No Man’s Land” are observed.

Sentinels are relieved every two hours except under bad weather
conditions when the length of the tour of duty is reduced. Every
sentinel is regularly posted by a non-commissioned officer who explains
to him his duties and ascertains that both the sentinel and his relief
are aware of the position of the platoon commanders and of the
sentinels, on either side.

At night, the sentinels must observe over the parapet. As little
challenging as possible is done and then only in a very low voice. If
the sentinel receives no answer to his challenge, he shoots, thus giving
the alarm. During the day, the sentinel uses a periscope or observes
through a loophole.

The sentinel always has the bayonet fixed on his rifle, which is loaded
and ready for use. He must be on the alert for every noise, and for this
reason he is not allowed to wear any ear covering.

Sentinels must be informed of the sending out of patrols, the
approximate hour of departure and return, and the general direction that
the patrol is to follow.

=Watcher.= Each platoon in the trenches, from the first line to the
rear, must have some watchers, whose duty it is to give the alarm both
day and night against attack. These watchers do not observe the enemy as
do the sentinels. They walk in the trench in which the platoon is
placed, especially at the entrance of the dugouts or shelters occupied
by this platoon. When they hear a signal of alarm given by a sentinel or
by a messenger, they wake the platoon as quickly as possible. In
general, they give to the chief of the platoon all the information that
they have obtained during the time of their duty. When an officer or
private from another sector enters the trench, it is the duty of the
watchers to ascertain the purpose of his visit. Watchers receive special
orders to give the alarm against a gas attack, and must sound the alarm
gongs and bells for this purpose.

The watcher may have his rifle, without bayonet, resting on the side of
the trench at the entrance of a dugout.

=Observer.= The observers are specially trained men whose duty is to
observe the hostile position and to gain all the information that they
can obtain of the enemy’s activities.

Each man in the company can be used as a sentinel or as a watcher, but
not all as observers. To become an observer, a man must have a special
capacity for this task. Each platoon should have at least six such
observers of proper qualification; good eyesight and hearing, patient,
and a good shot. They are relieved every two hours. Observation duty is
carried out in daylight.

The observers are of two kinds:

(1) In each company the platoon observers are distributed in a number of
observation posts especially chosen for this purpose. These posts are
located in the support point of the company which may be in advance of
the firing line, in the firing line, or in any point within the position
that has a wide view of the front. These observers employ periscopes or
field glasses. Everything of note that is observed is recorded and from
this data the captain makes out his daily observation report.

(2) Also, in the sector, there are special observatories belonging to
the headquarters of the regiment, under the command of the intelligence
officer of the sector. There are usually two or three observatories,
from which the information is transmitted directly to the colonel. These
observatories are furnished with field glasses, maps, and telephones.

In general, all observers are required to obtain all possible
information of the enemy, to record all modifications of the hostile
position in its works and wire entanglements, all the movements that
they can observe, all working parties that they can discover. Also, they
receive special orders for the cases they must report to the commander,
as for instance: shelling of the position by artillery or trench
mortars, gas attacks, signal rockets fired in the front line, activities
of the aviation services, whether of friend or enemy.

                               CHAPTER IV
                               THE RELIEF

                     I. Definitions and Principles

There are two kinds of reliefs, General and Interior reliefs.

A =General Relief= is one where a large unit, such as a division or an
army corps, is relieved from its position on the front.

An =Interior Relief= is one where a small unit, such as a company,
battalion, or regiment, is relieved from its area by another unit of the
same division within the position.

A general relief takes place for the following reasons:

In order to send a unit far to the rear to good billets for complete
rest and perhaps for recruiting.

To withdraw and gather together the units of a corps, for the purpose of
training for an offensive.

To permit the strategical movement of large units along the entire

[Illustration: _Interior Relief in the Division_]

General reliefs should not be made any oftener than necessary as they
hinder methodical and continuous organization of the defense,
observation of the enemy, and the preparation of contemplated
offensives. It is for the express purpose of decreasing the number of
general reliefs that troops are disposed in depth in a position so that
continuous defense of the sector will be assured by means of successive
interior reliefs. As an example of interior reliefs, we will consider a
division holding a part of the front with two regiments disposed in the
first position, one regiment near the second position in billets, and
the fourth still farther to the rear in complete rest. These regiments,
by a system of interior reliefs, will rotate to equalize the tours of
duty in the first position. Similarly the battalions of the regiments in
the first position will rotate to give equal divisions of time to each
in the first lines. Assuming that a period of six to eight days spent in
the front line is a fair average, and considering the fact that troops
are disposed in depth throughout the three lines, different combinations
of reliefs are possible. The work of making out the schedule of reliefs
falls upon a division of the general headquarters.

The sector period is variable with the activity of the enemy and
conditions of life in the trenches. During the German offensive at
Verdun the sector period was four days, while in Lorraine during that
time the same size unit could remain in the trenches for three months
without necessity of relief.

              II. Preliminary Dispositions for the Relief

=Time to Prepare the Relief.= Usually the order for the relief is issued
from the general headquarters to the regiment forty-eight hours previous
to its execution. Sometimes, however, for tactical reasons, such time
cannot be allowed and the regiment may have to go immediately into the
trenches. In such case, the different operations of the relief, which
are taken up in this chapter, are shortened but must not be carelessly
executed. In the present condition of trench warfare the proper
execution of a relief is of the greatest importance.

=Preparation.= A relief is executed at night. Thirty-six hours before
the relief is made the men of the relieving units proceed to clean and
get in shape their arms, equipment, and clothing. When the relief is not
for a special offensive operation, the troops go into the trenches with
full equipment. All non-regulation articles are left behind with the
regimental train, in care of the non-commissioned officer left with it.
Also, the files, books, and official papers of the unit are left here.
The regimental train establishes itself in rear of the sector of its

Besides this material preparation, the officers of the relieving
companies are responsible for the morale of their troops. Before going
into the trenches there may be some apprehension on the part of the
troops, which must be dispelled by the officers. The great factor of
depression is the mystery of what is not known of the sector about to be
entered. Platoon leaders and company officers try to clear up this
difficulty by telling their men what is known of the sector they are
going to hold, and otherwise speaking words of encouragement.

=Reconnaissance.= Prior to taking over a sector, a preliminary
reconnaissance is made by a certain number of officers and orderlies.
They are:

For the Regiment—The colonel and part of his headquarters staff
(adjutant, intelligence officer, telephone officer, engineer officer,
medical officer, supply officer).

For the Battalion—The battalion commander and his adjutant.

For the Companies—The company commander and one officer for each
company. Machine gun company commander and one machine gun officer. The
commander of the 37 mm. gun platoon.

Messengers and telephone men at the discretion of the adjutant and the
company commanders.

The above reconnaissance parties will go into the trenches on the
morning of the day preceding the night relief. They must start early
enough to permit a certain number of officers of these parties to return
to the billets with all details and information necessary for the
movement of the relief into the sector. The adjutant and the lieutenants
of each company remain in the trenches until the relief arrives. During
the intervening time they must acquaint themselves with all details of
the sector necessary for the execution of its defense.

This preliminary reconnaissance affords an opportunity to the different
leaders and chiefs of services to note the particular things of interest
to each.

For the Colonel or Battalion Commander—The general organization and
defense of their area.

For the Adjutants—The works under construction, precautions against gas
attacks, etc.

For Officers of the Regimental Headquarters Co.—Information as follows:

Information Service—Activity of the enemy, microphones, observation
posts and observatories, carrier pigeon posts, signal rockets.

Telegraph Service—Telephone systems, flashlight posts, wireless or
ground telegraphy installations.

Engineer and Ordnance Service—Depots and supply (material and
ammunition), special engineer works, trench mortar emplacements.

Medical Service—Dressing stations, evacuation of the wounded, hygiene
(latrines, etc.).

Supply Officer—Emplacements of the kitchens, food supply.

For the Company Commander—Location of the platoons (number of men
holding the first line and distribution of same; platoons in the cover
trench and support line). Shelter accommodations, alarm signals,
artillery support (limits of barrage fronts and barrage calls). Counter
attacks (troops and directions for counter attacks). Information of the
enemy (observation posts of the support point). Supply (engineer dumps,
kitchens, ration supply parties, water).

For the Machine Gun Company Commander—Distribution of machine guns and
emplacements, limits of machine gun fire sectors, emergency and special
uses of M. G.

When such a complete reconnaissance cannot be made, only commanders of
units precede their troops and make a short reconnaissance of one or two

                             Relief Orders

(1) =Regimental Orders.= Usually the general order for the relief of a
sector is settled on in conference by the colonels of the relieving and
relieved regiments. This order is sent to the battalion commanders, if
possible, before the reconnaissance.

The order of relief contains the following paragraphs:

Day and hour of the relief, designating the relieving and relieved

The name, limits, and division of the sector with designations of the
neighboring units.

Information of the artillery support, its composition and emplacements.

Orders for the reconnaissance, its composition, and the hour when it
must be finished.

Orders for the movement of the relief; march of the regiment from the
initial point to the point of dispersion where the battalions branch off
to their particular areas. If the regiment is transported in motor
trucks, points and orders for entraining and detraining. Hours of
departure of each battalion from the dispersion point and special
itineraries for each.

Movement of the relieved troops. Assembly points of these battalions.

Movement of the regimental trains, relief of the kitchens, supply
measures for furnishing of provisions, orders for the sanitary

Hour at which the new colonel takes command of the sector.

(2) =Battalion Orders.= All details for the relief are fixed in the
battalion relief order issued by the battalion commander. This order is
sent out immediately upon his return from the preliminary reconnaissance
and in accordance with the regimental order.

The battalion relief order contains the following points:

Hour of leaving the dispersion point.

[Illustration: _March of a Regiment to the Relief_]

Order of march of the units (the companies march in the order in which
they are to relieve the units in the sector, from right to left in the
first line, and similarly in the support line).

Itinerary to the entrance of the trenches.

Meeting of the guides, hour and point of rendezvous, function of the
guides of the relieved battalions.

Movement of headquarters, and rendezvous of the messengers that each
company sends to headquarters to establish liaison.

Order of supply.

Additional details (result of the reconnaissance).

=Departure.= Before departure, each company is inspected by its company
commander, who must see that each man has his canteen full, his rations
for the day, a full supply of cartridges, the magazine of his rifle
loaded (no cartridges in the chamber), and his gas mask in good
condition. In winter the relieving troops will find a supply of blankets
and trench boots in the sector. Usually each man should carry an extra
supply of cartridges above that laid down by regulation, and two
sandbags. There should be a certain number of flashlights and candles to
the company (each corporal carrying a minimum of two candles). Just
previous to departure or entraining the battalion commander himself
makes a general inspection of his unit.

                      III. Movement of the Relief

=March to the Rendezvous Point of the Guides.= Usually the regiment
marches, but it is sometimes transported in motor trucks, up to a point
in the rear of the sector, called the point of dispersion, from which
the different battalions branch off successively to go to their
respective areas. This practice avoids the crossing of units. A short
meal may be had by the regiment at the point of dispersion. The distance
of this point behind the sector and the time of arrival of the relieving
unit must be carefully calculated so that the relief may be finished
early enough to permit the unit relieved to get out of sight of the
enemy before daylight.

When the battalions leave the rendezvous point, each company sends to
the battalion headquarters two messengers for the purpose of liaison.
The units now follow the prescribed itineraries up to the rendezvous
point where the guides are met.

=Guides.= During the reconnaissance, the company to be relieved details
certain men to act as guides for the incoming company. An average of two
guides is furnished for each platoon, one for each company headquarters,
and one for each battalion headquarters. These guides await the arrival
of the different units at a certain point called the rendezvous point of
the guides. Usually this point is at the entrance of the boyau. As
several guides are usually grouped at the same rendezvous point,
they must be alert to meet the unit to which they are assigned. A
non-commissioned officer of the retiring battalion is in charge of this
group and he is responsible that each guide finds his unit. Each guide,
of course, must know the best and safest route by which to conduct the
unit to the position it must occupy.

=March in the Boyaux.= From the rendezvous point, the companies continue
their march in the boyaux which are assigned to them. One guide leads
each platoon while the second guide brings up its rear. The leading
guide must inform the platoon commander of the different points of
interest that are passed, such as each line of the sector, regimental or
battalion command posts, depots, water points, etc.

The march in the narrow boyau of an unknown sector, in the darkness, and
with full equipment, is difficult and depressing. Consequently, the rate
of march must be slow. When the head of the column meets an obstacle, a
warning word is passed to the rear along the single file. This rule is
above all useful to prevent accident to telephone wires.

The march must be executed without noise. Orders are given in low tones.
Smoking or the use of flashlights is prohibited. No disciplinary measure
is too severe that will prevent the enemy from discovering the relief.
It is absolutely prohibited to talk over the telephone concerning a
relief otherwise than in cipher.

                     IV. Occupation of the Position

=Details of the Relief.= If the two units have the same number of men,
the relieving of one unit by the other is simple enough. But often the
relief is complicated by the fact that either the extent of front or the
number of effectives is different. In such a case, the officers of the
two units must settle, during the reconnaissance, upon the necessary
modifications for an effective and expeditious relief.

When the company arrives at the command post of the captain, the
platoons are relieved from right to left in the first line, then in the
cover trench in the same order. If there is a platoon in the support
line this is next relieved.

In the first line, the relief of the platoons is executed in two parts.
First of all, the sentinels, observers, watchers, men in the listening
posts, and the N. C. O. of the watch are relieved. When this is done,
the remaining men of the platoon are relieved. The men of the old
platoon occupy their places at “Stand To.” The relieving platoon files
in and steps up on the firing step. At the command “Pass” which is given
quietly, the old and new platoons change places.

Each retiring leader, of whatever command he may be, hands over his
orders and information to the corresponding leader who relieves him. For
example, one platoon leader will turn over to the other all information
concerning guard duty, defense of the line, condition of the barbed wire
entanglements, patrolling, and shelter accommodations. This must be
executed rapidly but with precision.

The platoon relieved assembles at the entrance to the boyau, and leaves
the trenches under the chief of platoon. This is not done, however,
until the platoon leader has reported to his captain, by means of his
guides, the execution of the relief. The old captain fixes a point for
the assembling of his platoons, but this point must be far enough to the
rear to avoid blocking of the boyaux and out of reach of hostile grenade
and trench mortar fire.

In the meantime, at the command post of the support point, the new
captain acquaints himself with all information and orders pertaining to
the support point from the old captain. When this is finished he
telephones the command post of the center of resistance the completion
of the relief, and asks if his predecessor may retire. The relieved
company then takes up the march, following the prescribed route up to
the assembly point of the battalion.

It may be stated here that the relieved units must leave their trenches
in as clean and sanitary a condition as possible. The work of clearing
up the shelters and latrines must be thoroughly done before the arrival
of the new units. Depots must be left in good condition and contain the
amount of supplies called for by regulations. The platoon commander is
responsible that his men do not forget, tools and cooking utensils in
the trenches.

=Duties after the Relief.= In each support point, the new captain
immediately establishes liaison with the command posts of the
neighboring units to right and left. Communication between the captain
and his battalion commander is obtained by means of the two messengers
detailed to the battalion for that purpose and who now return to their

When the battalion commander has received the information from all his
captains that the relief of his area is finished, he reports the same by
telephone to his colonel. A confirmation of this report will be made the
next morning in his daily written report which will cover the following

  The general condition of the relief.

  Hour of completion of the relief.

  Casualties during the relief.

  Living conditions in the trenches.

  Requests for tactical modifications (new dispositions of the

The relief finished, the battalion commander must also establish his
liaison laterally and to the front and rear, but especially with his
artillery support, by means of the artillery N. C. O. detailed to his
area for that purpose.

Finally, the battalion commander investigates and perfects the
organization of the food supply.

In the sector headquarters, the new sector commander will find on file
all records, reports, orders, and detailed information concerning all
the elements of defense of the sector. The sector file will contain the
following documents:

  Plan of organization.

  Plan of defense.

  Files of information concerning:

  Machine guns.

  Trench mortars.

  Artillery support (table of barrages and other fires).

  Liaison (telephones, runners, signalling, etc.).

  Supply and evacuation.

  Measures to combat gas attacks.

Besides these are the files of the different reports:

  Sector daily reports (kept by the adjutant).

  Intelligence reports (kept by the intelligence officer).

  Construction reports (kept by the engineer officer).

  Maps, sketches, and aëroplane photographs (kept by int. officer).

  Inventory of the sector depot (kept by engineer officer).

Any officer of the sector, as for example a machine gun officer, has
access to this file to more thoroughly acquaint himself for the
execution of his duties.

                               CHAPTER V
                         DEFENSE OF A POSITION

                   Different Kinds of Hostile Attacks

=Surprise Attacks.= These may be raids or local attacks. A raid is
usually for the purpose of taking prisoners; and a local attack, to
capture a part of the line. These operations may be carried out without
a preliminary bombardment, but are usually preceded by a short intense
bombardment to destroy wire entanglements.

=Attacks in Force.= Such an attack may be made on a larger part of the
line, as a particular sector, or on a considerable length of front in a
general offensive. This kind of attack is, of course, preceded by a

=Special Attacks.= Special attacks are made with gas, liquid fire, and
mine methods. These will be taken up in detail in a later chapter.

                            Surprise Attacks

=Precautions Against Surprise.= In considering precautions against
surprise attacks, it is not a question of combating patrols or enemy’s
reconnaissance parties whose missions are to search out information of
your intentions and situation. It is a question of raids and little
attacks on your lines. Against such hostile operations the defense of
the sector depends upon the following precautions.

=Maintenance of the Barbed Wire Entanglements.= A surprise attack, to be
successful, must have besides surprise the element of swiftness. The
enemy must make a dash across “No Man’s Land” up to your first line.
This, however, is impossible, if your barbed wire entanglements are
intact. Consequently each captain is responsible for the maintenance of
the wire belt in front of his line.

It is the duty of the observation service to discover breaches or
defects in your wire. To this end, the captain sends out at night
patrols to ascertain the condition of his entanglements. If necessary,
small detachments are sent out at night to make repairs. If this work is
considerable, he calls upon the battalion commander for special working
parties to assist. The captain, in his daily requisitions for material,
provides for the supply of wire, chevaux-de-frise, etc., that he may

=Service of Guard and Observation.= One of the most important duties of
the observers in the first line, and of the sentinels and patrols, is to
locate breaches that the enemy has made in your wire, or to discover
hostile parties in the act of tampering with the same.

Breaches or passages in your wire may be made by such means as
bangalores and petards and detonators. The explosion of such an
arrangement is a sufficient signal of alarm. These are usually poor

Passages may be made by special hostile patrols using wire cutters.
These wire cutting patrols may precede the attack. Alert sentinels or
your own hourly patrols, that crawl along your wire belt, should
discover such operations.

The usual method, however, is to destroy barbed wire by artillery fire.
The object of hostile shelling of your position is not always easily
detected. The enemy may carry out a general artillery fire on your
position during the day, for example, just before dusk. At the same time
he will concentrate certain batteries for a methodical destruction of
parts of your entanglement. For this reason it is the mission of the
first patrol, sent out at dusk, to ascertain the condition of the barbed
wire belt. The report of this patrol may carry important indications of
the intentions of the enemy.

Sometimes a hostile surprise attack is preceded only by a short and
unexpected bombardment. Registering shots for this artillery fire are
made during the day. These registering shots, however, are fired short
of the wire in “No Man’s Land” to deceive the observers that they are
for the purpose of barrage control. In this case, the only means to
baffle the attack is to have diligent sentinels to give immediate alarm,
and a well-trained garrison to take its place in the fire trenches

=“Stand To” Exercises.= A well-trained garrison, accustomed to “stand
to” quickly, without noise and confusion, cannot be easily surprised.
When the call to arms is given by a sentinel, this call is repeated by
all watchers in the successive lines of the support point. The officer
of the watch runs immediately to the place of call. All the men of the
garrison spring out of their niches and shelters, and proceed quickly,
without orders, to their appointed places of combat. This execution must
be automatic, and only a frequent repetition of the “stand to” exercise
can give a unit this result. Besides these exercises, as we know, the
garrison executes “stand to” one hour before dusk and one hour before
daylight. Deep dugouts are prohibited in the first line because they may
become traps in which the defenders are taken prisoners, and they
materially lengthen the time for the garrison to take its place for


Only in case of an expected attack and when the garrison is ready for
it, is the alarm signal given by such special means as bells, whistles,
or rockets. This is exceptional. The only practical alarm signal that
will awaken the garrison any time during the night is the cry “to arms”
passed along and taken up by everyone.

Rifle, A. M. R., and grenade fire from the first line will usually stop
a surprise attack. But since it is impossible to ascertain the strength
of the attacking troops, the defensive artillery barrage is called for.
Similarly, the reserve troops located in the cover and support trenches
may be used for the purposes of reinforcement and counterattacks,
depending upon the success of the enemy’s attack.

The captain of a support point must not only keep up the offensive
spirit of his garrison by all the means of trench fighting, but he must
organize and maintain a vigilant guard and patrol service for security.

                            Attack in Force

Attacks in force are carried out to capture an important position, or
there may be a series of such objectives along a front in a general
offensive. On the other hand, the object of the defense is not only to
repulse the enemy but also to inflict upon him as great a loss as

The phases of a great attack are: the preparation, of which the final
and most important element is the bombardment; the assault of the first
line; and the exploitation of success by fighting in the interior of the
position. The defending troops must combat each one of these phases by
the most adequate measures. We shall take up these measures in detail.

            I. During the Preparation of the Hostile Attack

=Revealing Symptoms of the Attack.= The preparation of the hostile
attack reveals itself by different preparations:

(1) The activity of the enemy:

His infantry will send out more numerous and aggressive patrols and
reconnaissance parties.

His artillery will increase its daily destructive fire.

It will multiply its number of registering shots, establish barrage
fires in the interior of your position, and begin to concentrate on
communication routes.

His air service will take on unusual activities.

(2) Vigilant observation of roads and territory behind the enemy’s lines
may reveal convoys carrying troops and supplies, the assembling of
troops in woods, etc. (smoke from their kitchens), accumulation of
materials in depots (often accompanied by explosions in artillery

(3) The observation service may discover new hostile works, such as the
contraction of parallels of departure out in front of his first line.
There may be also successive parallels behind the nearest jumping-off

(4) Prisoners and deserters, who become more numerous because of the
approaching offensive, may give valuable information concerning the
coming attack.

The task of discovering the enemy’s preparation for an attack is
incumbent upon all ranks, but above all, this duty devolves particularly
upon the information service, balloon and air service, and artillery
observers. In the sector, the intelligence officer must perfect his
system of observation to the highest degree. The information in the
daily reports is carefully sorted and tested.

=Preventive Measures before the Attack.= During this time, each chief of
area takes all preventive measures possible against the coming attack.
The attack is an expected event for which all must be prepared. The
preparation simply consists in perfecting and carrying out of the
original plan of defense.

=Perfecting the Organization of the Position.= New lines are created.
The number of continuous lines between strong points and successive
lines for defense in depth are increased.

Old lines, which are enfiladed by the enemy or which do not give
flanking fire, are rectified or abandoned for new ones. The number of
boyaux and communicating ditches are multiplied to facilitate the
bringing up of reinforcements.

New accessories of defense are constructed and the old ones
strengthened. This is especially done in the interior of the position
with respect to parallel and perpendicular barbed wire belts to divide
the position into compartments capable of all-round defense.

Additional false works are created, to waste the enemy’s artillery fire,
The art of camouflage is extensively used during this phase. New shelter
accommodations and dugouts are constructed for the better protection of
the garrison during the preliminary bombardment.

=Increase of the Control and Discipline of the Defense.= The guard and
observation services are reinforced. Sentinels, observers, and patrols
are held to a stricter account of their duties.

Machine gun leaders are particular to perfect the disposition of their
guns in depth of the position for interior fighting. The sector for each
gun emplacement is carefully verified. Dugouts serving as shelters for
guns during the bombardment are strengthened.

The support artillery must constantly verify the settings of their
barrages. Numerous exercises are carried out for the call of the barrage
with rockets, so as to keep the artillery constantly on the alert.

Liaison must be assured by other means than the telephone as this latter
system usually breaks down under severe and continuous shelling. When
the telephone is out of order, chains of runners must be resorted to. In
the ordinary life of the trenches runners are not used. For this reason,
when an attack is expected, new chains of runners must be established.

[Illustration: _Type of Shelter off Cover Trench_]

Supplies in the depots must be kept up to contemplated requirements.
Besides the regular depots of the sector, numerous small ones are now
established for the better distribution of extra ammunition and for the
supply of reinforcing and counterattack troops. Supply parties are
detailed to carry up ammunition during the battle.

=Moral Preparation of the Troops.= When an attack is expected, this fact
must be told the garrison of each area, so that it can better prepare
for it. The troops must not be left in ignorance, and upon the officers
informing them devolves the responsibility of performing this task in
such a manner as to raise the morale of their troops. The men must be
maintained in the best of physical condition. Their food supply must be
regular, of good quality, and sufficient. The tour of duty of the
interior relief of the first line is shortened.

=Duties during the Preliminary Bombardment.= The most important and
final act in preparation for the attack is a heavy and unusual
bombardment of the position. Concentrated fire is brought to bear upon
all visible points of the sector to demolish trenches, emplacements,
dugouts, routes, and ammunition dumps, and to destroy the barbed wire
entanglements. Certain batteries are detailed for counter-battery work.
Barrages are established to prevent reinforcements from coming up and to
cut communications with the rear. Against this bombardment, the defense
has both a passive and an active rôle to play.

[Illustration: _Deep Dug-out, 2nd Line_]

=Maintenance of the Garrison during the Bombardment.= The violence of
preliminary bombardments is ever increasing and there seems to be no
limit. High explosive shells of every caliber are used against the
position. Any element of your system that is not properly concealed and
can be located by the enemy is subjected to concentrated artillery fire
until it is blown out of existence. Casualties inflicted upon the
garrison are severe—in fact, it would seem from the violence of the
artillery fire that few of the garrison could escape. However, when the
assault develops, a machine gun may be found intact here and there in
the position. One or two of these powerful weapons, by the use of
flanking fire, may be enough to cause the failure of the enemy’s attack.
It is possible to say that upon the use of M. G.’s depends the whole
interior defense of the sector.

The maintenance of the garrison during the bombardment depends, of
course, upon the number and depth of dugouts. The service of defense,
however, requires many of the troops to execute their duties in the open
trenches. The leaders must set the example in this respect by making
their rounds, and taking their posts to observe the area from the
observation posts. In other words, they must not stay in their dugouts.

The bombardment naturally causes a great deal of repair work to be done.
This is executed at night or during lulls in the shelling. Only
emergency works, however, are executed, such as repairing of accessory
defenses, cleaning of trenches and rebuilding of shelters. When this
work becomes too heavy for the garrison, reserve troops are brought up
to assist.

=Reply with Artillery Fire.= The only means to decrease the
effectiveness of the hostile bombardment is to reply with your own
artillery. For this purpose, a certain part of your artillery is
detailed for counter-battery work. The emplacements or approximate
locations of the hostile guns are set down on maps. These are divided
amongst the counter-battery artillery who attempt to silence or
neutralize the same.

In a sector, the commander may ask for what is known as
counter-preparation fire. This fire is similar to the preliminary
bombardment of the enemy. It covers the entire position of the enemy
and is just as methodical in its scope. All the artillery that
is at the disposal of the general is used for this purpose, and
consequently the call for this fire must be through the general.

Similar to the counter-preparation fire, but on a smaller scale, is what
is known as preventive fire which may be called for from the support
artillery. This fire covers the first and second lines and is used to
prevent the enemy from assembling his troops in the first line for the
assault. This fire has been found very efficient. It is called for by
telephone and not automatically by rocket.

         II. Defense of the First Line during a Hostile Attack

=Duties of Watchers.= At the moment the assault is launched, part of the
enemy’s artillery establishes a barrage on your first line. The rest of
the artillery, however, continues the regular bombardment to deceive the
defenders as to the exact time of launching the attack. Therefore, the
exact moment that the enemy comes over the top can only be determined by
the watchers in your first line. It is their duty to give the alarm so
that the garrison can reach its place in the firing line before the
enemy reaches the same. This is a matter of seconds and not of minutes.
Consequently, each dugout has a watcher located at its entrance and
machine gun dugouts maintain special watchers. For each watcher at an
entrance there is a second watcher within sight and calling distance
ready to receive the alarm from the firing trench. If the second watcher
is killed, the watcher at the entrance moves up and takes his place
while another man from the dugout goes on watch there. These men are on
duty only from fifteen to thirty minutes at a time. By a system of
relief each occupant of a dugout serves a tour of duty as a watcher. The
post of the watcher is protected as far as possible.


=The Officer and N. C. O. of the Watch.= During this time, the officer
and the N. C. O. of the watch constantly make their rounds to see if the
watchers are performing their duty efficiently. Instantly the alarm is
given, the first duty of the officer of the watch is to set off the
rockets calling for the barrage. At the same time, the orderly that
accompanies him runs to the command post of the captain where the
barrage call is confirmed by telephone and by rocket. Rocket signals are
repeated and relayed from the same area until the barrage is obtained.

=Defenders of the First Line.= Immediately the call to arms is given,
the troops of the first line spring out of their shelters and take their
places at the parapet of the firing trench. If these parapets and fire
trenches have been destroyed, the troops are not in immediate grave
danger, because at this moment the enemy’s barrage on your first line
has lifted and is progressing toward the second line. Besides this, the
assaulting troops can not subject the defenders to fire during the
advance. Also, the assaulting column is subjected to the defensive
barrage and is more or less in confusion, due to this fire and having to
cross the shell-torn area of “No Man’s Land.” Then, too, what is left of
your barbed wire entanglements will hold up the enemy’s troops. In
short, the advantage at this particular point lies entirely with the
defenders if they can occupy the first line in time.

Among all the weapons of defense, the most powerful is the machine gun.
The successful repulse of the hostile attack depends to the greatest
extent upon the ability to use machine guns after the attack is under
way. The opportune fire of one machine gun on the flank of an assaulting
column may disorganize it and drive back its troops.

=The Captain.= As soon as the alarm is given or it is known that the
enemy’s attack has started, the captain throws his reinforcing platoons
into the first line. These troops, in going forward, employ the boyaux
laid down in the plan of defense. The hand grenades that they carry are
stored in their dugouts. The chiefs of the reinforcing platoons do not
necessarily wait for this order of the captain, but act upon their own
initiative in sending forward their units. If, however, the first line
has already been taken, the reinforcing platoons automatically carry out
the functions of a counterattack by leaving their boyaux and going over
the top to retake the captured trench. This last movement of over the
top by the counterattacking troops is facilitated by the fact that the
hostile artillery barrage has by this time passed to the rear of the
first line.

The next duty of the captain is to report to his chief of battalion the
alarm, which is done by means of a chain of runners, by signaling, or by
use of carrier pigeons, because usually by this time the telephone
system has broken down under the artillery bombardment.

             III. Fighting in the Interior of the Position

If the hostile assault on the first line is successful, the fight for
the occupation of the position, which takes place in the interior, has
only begun. Opposing his frontal progression through the position, the
enemy will encounter, as we know, a series of defensive lines disposed
in depth. Also, for instance, if a nest of resistance holds up the
progress of a part of the assaulting troops, the successive overlapping
waves will carry on along the flanks of this stronghold. If, then, the
position is strongly divided into compartments, the fire of such
defenses will take these overlapping troops in the flank and rout them.
The defenders may also play an active rôle and the enemy is likely to
encounter new troops sent up for the purpose of counterattack.

The division of the ground in support points, centers of resistance and
sectors, has precisely for its object the localization of the enemy’s
attacks. Each area must be organized to defend itself, independently of
any other part of the position. Consequently, the officers must explain
this condition to their men, so that they will have no concern if they
see that the enemy has penetrated and is attacking them on the flank or
rear. On the other hand, if several of these compartments hold their
ground, the enemy may find himself surrounded in a certain area and cut
off from the rear by barrage fire. Thus abandoned in a part of the
position that he has momentarily taken, a vigorous counterattack will
drive him out.

=Defense of an Area.= The defense of each area is made similarly to that
of the first line, as these areas embrace the successive lines of the
position. The areas range in importance from front to rear, the support
point embracing the first line, the center of resistance the first two
lines, and the sector all three lines of the position. The alarm of an
attack is relayed by the area commanders, the captain to the battalion
commander, who in turn communicates it to the colonel of the sector. Not
only the attacked portion of the sector is affected by this alarm, but
the whole sector, so to speak, takes up arms. Let us see what happens as
a result of this.

All defenders of the area who have a special duty, immediately occupy
their posts and remain there awaiting developments of the attack. For
example, telephone men will remain at their instruments, runners will
repair to their relay posts, observers occupy their observatories, and
chiefs and headquarters officers remain at their command posts. And
above all, the machine gun crews will man the guns disposed for interior


At the same time, the different troops held in reserve in the successive
lines are used to hold their own line, to reinforce the line in front,
or to make counterattacks. When the alarm is given, all supporting
reserve troops take their places in their own lines. In each support
point, the platoons held in reserve are sent forward as reinforcements
to, or to make counterattacks against, the firing line. Similarly, in
each center of resistance the companies held in reserve are employed as
reinforcements or to recapture the first line. If, upon arriving at the
first line, these troops receive no orders for particular duty, they
replace the reserve platoons of the support point. Likewise, the sector
reserve of the third line is sent forward to or, in case the enemy has
taken it, against the second line. The static or passive organization of
the defense lies in the series of lines of trenches disposed in depth,
but the active rôle of the defender is carried out in these successive
waves of defense moving forward in definite limits to meet the attack,
not only to repulse it but to inflict as much loss as possible to the
enemy. This transforms the defensive combat into more nearly a fight in
the open ground, with the spirit of the offensive.

=The Counterattack.= It follows that the last and, very often, the most
decisive means of defense of the sector is the counterattack. In each
center of resistance, a counterattack has for its purpose the retaking
of the first line when this is captured by the enemy. It is made by the
battalion reserves located in the reserve line.

The sooner the counterattack is made after its necessity, the more
effective it will be. It should arrive at the first line almost, one
might say, at the same time that the enemy does. At any rate, the
counterattack should strike the enemy by surprise while he is still in a
state of disorganization. Consequently, in the plan of defense of the
battalion, the counterattack must be foreseen and all its details must
be laid down. All these details must be known and practiced by the
troops who are to execute the counterattack, so that when the alarm is
given the counterattack will start automatically without orders and be
carried to a finish like a good piece of team-work.

The counterattack is launched on the initiative of the leader of these
troops, without waiting for the orders of the battalion commander. The
latter may not know the exact situation nor be so located in the area as
to appreciate the opportunity of the counterattack.

=Troops Detailed for the Counterattack.= The company, or companies, held
as reserve of the center of resistance, are divided into half-companies
or platoons under the command of a single leader. Each one of these
detachments is assigned to a support point and is put at the disposal of
the captain commanding the same, to counterattack on his first line if
captured by the enemy. In order to secure the proper liaison between
these two units, the counterattack troops send a messenger to the
command post of the support point which they are assigned to. When the
hostile attack is executed and counterattack troops are needed, the
captain sends this messenger back to call them up.

=Routes or Directions for Counterattacks.= Each detachment of
counterattack troops has a fixed route for its attack laid down in the
plan of defense. Usually a boyau that it employs or along which it
travels, fixes the direction. For this reason, in the interior of the
position gaps are left in the barbed wire entanglements to permit the
passage of these troops in the counterattack. Portable chevaux-de-frise
are employed to fill up these gaps when necessary.

=Form of the Counterattack.= The counterattack may be executed as a
frontal or a flank attack. Frontal counterattacks are, perhaps, not as
effective as the latter, but they are more easily executed, especially
in the case where exact knowledge of the situation in the line in front
is not known. This is the form of advance employed in the support point
where the reinforcing platoons, starting forward to strengthen the line
and finding it captured, change their tactics by leaping over the top
and charging the line with grenades and bayonets.


A counterattack to the flank usually involves a little maneuvering. The
most successful of these attacks are those executed in two detachments—
for example, a party of grenadiers may attack the enemy occupying a part
of the area either on one or both flanks. Its approach is usually
through a trench or boyau. A second party of riflemen, at the same time,
will make a frontal attack on the enemy over the top with bayonets. To
completely surround the enemy, an artillery barrage is sometimes
established to cut him off from the rear.

The battalion commander works out the plan of counterattack down to the
most minute detail. But when the hostile attack is carried out, he is no
longer the master of it. All the foreseen movements start at the proper
time and are carried out in their workings like a piece of mechanism.
The time of the start of the counterattack is in reality given by the
enemy himself.

=Repair of the Position.= After a hostile attack has been repulsed, the
chief of area must realize that similar attempts may be made without
delay. The first and most important repair work that must be done is to
construct a parapet along the firing line. There may be no trench left
along this line, but a fire parapet of sandbags must be constructed
immediately. At night reserve troops are brought up with tools and
sandbags to put the line in the best state of defense possible.

                               CHAPTER VI
                          ATTACK OF A POSITION

=Phases of the Attack.= As we have already learned, the attack of a
position by a unit comprises three phases:

The preparation of the attack.

The assault against the first hostile line.

The exploitation of the success by fighting in the interior of the
position for its occupation.

These phases are the same as those in open ground warfare, but their
importance, aspect, and order are not the same. Especially the
preparation of a trench attack is such a preponderant phase of the
attack that upon the manner of its execution depends the success of the
attack. The exploitation of the success is a long and decisive
operation. In trench warfare, the assault is only the beginning of the
fighting for a position, and its purpose is to make a breach in the
enemy’s first line. Through this breach, the reinforcing and reserve
troops are pushed in behind the assaulting columns to deliver the real
combat for the capture and occupation of the position.

Thus we see that the assault, which in open ground warfare is the final
phase of the battle, is, on the contrary, in trench warfare the first
move of the fight. In open warfare, the order of the battle is: the
preparation, the approach march and infantry combat, and finally, the
assault. An offensive in trench fighting consists of, first, the
preparation; next, the assault against the first line; and last of all,
the interior fighting for the position.

The cause of this reversion of the rôles of the attacking troops in a
trench offensive operation lies in the strength and stability of the
fortified front. It is impossible to maneuver against a continuous line
which extends without a single breach. It is only possible to maneuver
behind the first line or within the position after a breach has been
made. If a part of the first line gives way before the pressure of the
assailants, the leader of the attacking units pushes forward his troops
through this breach without consideration of the strategical value of
the part of the line broken.

                      I. Preparation of the Attack

=Front of Attack.= The tactical unit for an attack is a division. A
division that is placed in the front line for this purpose is called an
attacking division. To such a division is assigned the task of attacking
and capturing a definite length of front of the hostile position. All
the necessary means to carry out this mission are in the hands of the
division commander.

The tactical unit for an _assault_, in this division, is the battalion.
Each assaulting battalion is placed in front of that part of the hostile
line against which it is to operate, which is called its front of
attack. The length of this front is variable with the tactical
situation. Also, this length in no way indicates to the enemy the
strength of the attacking troops because they are disposed for the
attack in depth. According to the size of the front of attack, the
battalion commander will place two or three companies in the assaulting
column, and two or one company as reinforcing support.

=Conditions of the Assault.= An assaulting battalion must be disposed in
a certain manner, which is called the assaulting disposition. In
establishing this disposition, we must consider the distance of the
assault and the outline of the assaulting lines.

=Distance of the Assault.= The distance over which the troops make their
assault across “No Man’s Land” must not be too great. This is to avoid
as much as possible the enemy’s barrage and machine gun fire. For this
reason, parallels of departure or jumping-off trenches, if necessary,
may be constructed out in front of the first line for the assembling of
the assaulting troops. On the other hand, your own first line should not
be so near to the enemy’s position as to be in the zone of artillery
dispersion when your own batteries are firing at the enemy’s first line.
However, one is not always master of this distance, as it is a result of
long fighting and occupation of the two positions. The proper
concealment of these attack works, such as the parallels of departure,
is an essential condition of success.

=The Trace of the Lines of Departure.= The trace of the lines of
departure must be parallel to the first line of the enemy, not to your
own, so that the assaulting troops will simply have to start in a
perpendicular direction from the lines of departure to reach their
objective. In other words, the assault is a simple frontal attack
without maneuvers.

=Ground Preparation for the Assault.= It follows from the statements of
the conditions of the assault and also of the tactical and material
preparation of the attack, that the terrain from which these troops will
start must be specially organized for this purpose. We have discussed
the principles and details of the organization of the position for the
defense, and it is clear that these must differ materially from those
for the attack. An attack, like a defense, is made with the units
disposed in depth. To launch an attack, certain of the defensive works
that play but a passive rôle in the resistance, such as barbed wire
entanglements, must be rearranged, modified, or partially eliminated.
Other elements, such as routes, boyaux, and supply depots that
facilitate the forward movement of reinforcements, are multiplied.

=Details of the Preparation of the Ground for the Attack.= All the
details of the preparation of the ground for the attack are laid down in
an order called the “Plan of Ground Disposition” issued by the general
of the attacking division. This order is divided into two parts: the
organization of the works, and their execution.

=Organization.= We know that the disposition of an assaulting unit is in
the form of successive echelons, called waves. In order to protect these
waves before the assault, it is necessary to construct for them trenches
parallel to the enemy’s first line; and for this reason these are called
parallels of departure. The trace of the first parallel fixes the
directions of the others behind. For example, an assaulting battalion
which is going to advance in four waves, might have two parallels of
departure with two waves in each parallel. These parallels are narrow
trenches like the defensive lines, but with a series of steps in the
front side so that the men can go over the top easily. If there are no
steps, trench ladders or footholds must be used.

Theoretically, one might think that the distance between these
successive parallels should be the same as that between the attacking
lines. But this is not practicable. Such practice would mark out boldly
on the ground, for the enemy’s air observation, your intentions and your
dispositions for the attack. Therefore, this method is strictly
prohibited. Besides, it is not necessary, since the regulation distances
between the lines and waves are not realized from the point of departure
of the assault. The object of the assaulting companies is to cross “No
Man’s Land” as quickly as possible to avoid the enemy’s defensive
barrage and machine gun fire. Consequently, when the different lines of
the first wave jump out of the same parallel of departure, they will
dash across to the enemy’s first line with little regard to distances
but with a fixed idea of reaching their first objective before the
hostile garrison, and before the enemy’s barrage intervenes. They attain
their regulation distance as soon as the zone of barrage is passed and
when they have arrived at and crossed the first hostile line.

In order not to print the attack on the ground, so to speak, these
different parallels of departure are not constructed in front of your
position unless absolutely necessary. They are constructed when the
distance across “No Man’s Land” is more than five hundred yards, when
there is natural cover, such as woods to conceal them, and sometimes on
reverse slopes. The different defensive lines of the sector make very
convenient parallels of departure. The first waves of the assaulting
company are placed in the firing and cover trenches of the first line.
The reinforcing platoons are disposed in the transversal and
intermediate and support lines. Behind these lines are constructed
_places d’armes_ or assembling places for the reserve troops. These
_places d’armes_ consist of a series of short transversal trenches
leading off both sides of a central boyau.

If the first hostile line is too far from our own first line, on the
night previous to the attack, hasty parallels of departure are
constructed out in “No Man’s Land” for the leading wave of the assault.
This is to give this leading element the best possible chance to arrive
at the enemy’s first line uninterrupted by artillery fire and before the
hostile garrison.

The work of preparing the ground for the disposition of the attacking
troops also comprehends the following:

Several boyaux.

Command posts and observatories in advance of those of the defensive
sector. Each chief must now be in the middle of his unit and not behind

Depots and medical aid stations. Each company has its own little
ammunition depot near the post of the captain.

Ditches for telephone wires. Each battalion has telephone wires brought
up in its main boyau as far as the first parallel. At this point,
telephone material is stored so that the system can be carried into the
enemy’s position with the least delay.

Small bridges are constructed for the passage of the parallels by the

It is not necessary that the shelter accommodations be numerous,
especially in the first line, because the assaulting troops are brought
in only a few days before the attack.

=The Execution of the Works.= The second part of the plan of ground
disposition contains the details of the execution of the works for the
preparation of the ground previous to the attack. This part consists of;

1. Emergency works (necessary to the assault).

  Observatories and command posts.

  The first two parallels of departure for each battalion. If none need
  be constructed, the defensive lines used for this purpose are

  Secondary boyaux between parallels, one for each company.

  Entrance and evacuation boyaux.

  Ammunition depots and water points.

  Dressing stations.

  If there is more time, the following are constructed:

  The third and fourth parallels.

  Telephone wires and material brought up.

  Bridges for crossing the parallels.

2. Time of duration of the execution of the works.

  This may vary from three to twelve days, or even more, depending upon

3. Division of labor.

  This depends upon the number of special working parties at your
  disposal. A whole division may be assigned for this work, but it is
  not the division that will make the attack.

4. Tools.

  The tools required for this work are requisitioned from the
  headquarters of the attacking army.

5. Ammunition depots.

  Cartridges, hand grenades, and signal rockets.

6. Ammunition depots.

  Sandbags and logs.

7. Transportation of supplies.

  Special means of transportation besides the usual ones, railroads,
  motor trucks, mules, horses, etc.

                         Artillery Preparation

During the time employed in preparing the ground for the attack, the
artillery executes the preliminary bombardment. This comprehends three
kinds of fire.

1. =Counter-Battery Fire.= A certain part of the artillery is detailed
to destroy the hostile batteries or, if this is not possible, to
neutralize them. This result is obtained by methodical fire on precise
targets. Each battery or group of batteries is assigned certain
emplacements to destroy. Counter-battery fire is long-winded work and is
begun several days or even weeks before the attack. If the hostile
batteries are not destroyed before the time of attack, they must be
neutralized at this moment by violent shelling by all the batteries
disposed for this purpose, with shrapnel and other special shells. This
counter-battery action will hinder the hostile artillery from executing
defensive fire, barrage, preventive fire, counter-preparation fire. It
is carried out by special groups of heavy and light artillery under
control of the general.

2. =Fire on Communication Routes, Depots, etc.= This fire, besides its
destructive effect upon the enemy’s position, hinders the arrival of
reinforcing troops, material, ammunition, and food. The shelling of
distant roads, depots, and bivouacs is carried out by batteries of
long-range guns. The fire on the nearest communications, such as
interior supply routes, entrances of boyaux, kitchen emplacements,
etc., is executed by light batteries of the divisional artillery.

3. =Destructive Fire.= Before the attack, the whole of the enemy’s
position is submitted to methodical and violent artillery fire for the
purpose of destroying:

  Obstacles which may hinder the advance of the assaulting column:
  accessory defenses, such as barbed wire entanglements.

  Elements of the defense, such as strong points, machine gun
  emplacements, observatories, depots, shelters, and dugouts.

Each different kind of target calls for a certain number of rounds of a
particular caliber. These calculations of the different numbers of
rounds are the results of experience and are set down in tables for the
information of the sector commander. The time, therefore, necessary for
a proper preparation for the attack is a function of the number and
strength of targets. The artillery preparation may last from one to
twenty days, but it must continue until the elements of the hostile
position are sufficiently destroyed to assure a successful attack.

Before an offensive, there is placed at the disposal of the attacking
divisions, besides their regular divisional artillery, a special
allotment of batteries. The different calibers of guns are used
according to the nature of the target. The largest calibers are employed
against the strongest elements of the organization: nests of resistance,
strong points, and deep dugouts. Light artillery is used to obliterate
trenches and boyaux and interior barbed wire entanglements. Trench
mortars serve to destroy the elements of the first line and its
accessory defenses.

=Plan of Artillery Action.= The details for the execution of these
different artillery fires are laid down in the plan of action of the
artillery of the army corps or of the division. This plan is a part of
the plan of battle of the division. These details must be carried out
punctually and with precision. The sector commanders are not interested
directly in the execution of these fires, but they are in their results.

=Duties of the Infantry during the Artillery Preparation.= In connection
with the artillery fire, the infantry in the position must observe the
results of the bombardment and the leaders report their opinion upon its

=Observation.= The observation of the counter-battery fire, long-range
fire on communication routes, and destructive fire on the interior of
the position, falls upon the artillery’s ground observers and the
aviation service. But the duty of observing the results of destructive
fire on the enemy’s first line is carried out with the help of the
infantry observers. Each regiment must observe the front upon which it
is to make the attack. Special attention is paid to the destruction of
barbed wire entanglements and machine gun emplacements. The interested
infantry does not content itself with a passive observation, but must
send out at night, or even in daylight, offensive reconnaissance
parties. Their mission is to actually go into the enemy’s first line, to
ascertain its condition, and to investigate the breaches in the hostile
entanglements. The tactics of such a reconnaissance are the same as for
a raid. The information gathered is sent to the division headquarters in
the daily report of the intelligence officer or in special information

=Control.= It is both the privilege and the duty of the infantry
commanders to state in their daily reports their opinion on the
artillery preparation. If they do not express their exact opinion on the
progress of the bombardment, they are liable to pay for their
carelessness at the time of the assault.

=Destruction of the Enemy’s Position.= The experiences of three years of
trench warfare have given bitter proof that an attack against an
insufficiently destroyed position will not only fail but will result in
great losses. It is sheer folly to attempt an assault against
undestroyed entanglements, or against a line in which the machine gun
posts have not been demolished. One does not oppose materiel with men.
In trench warfare, the conquest of the ground is made by the artillery;
the infantry follow up this conquest to occupy and to hold the ground.
The essential condition for the success of an attack depends upon the
proper destruction of the elements of a position by the artillery.

=Plan of Battle.= The plan of battle depends upon, first, the strength
of the enemy, obstacles to the attacking troops, lines of defense, nests
of resistances, barbed wire, etc.; and secondly, the mission of the
attacking unit and the means at its disposal.

=Strength of the Enemy.= The Information Service of a division has so
many different methods of obtaining information and data of the enemy
and his defenses that the assaulting troops can be constantly kept
advised of the state of the hostile position. The regiment receives
daily from the division headquarters an information bulletin, aëroplane
pictures, and precise maps of the hostile lines. Upon these data the
regimental commander bases his plan of battle. Comparisons of aëroplane
pictures and maps are particularly useful. From all these data, the
regimental intelligence officer makes pertinent extracts for the
information of the battalion commander. Copies of the different maps are
distributed by the battalion and company commanders to their officers
and non-commissioned officers in order that they may have a better
knowledge of the hostile position for the attack.


=Mission.= The general plan of battle is issued by the division
commander. Based upon the terms of this order, the Colonel, Battalion
Commander, and Captain issue detailed orders of their own plan of
battle. The plan of battle of a small unit usually comprehends the
following points:

  Mission of the unit in the attack.

  Front to be attacked, with definite limits.

  Objectives, different lines to be taken, the last objective.

  Disposition of the unit for the attack; formation, intervals.

  Disposition of the unit in the parallels of departure before the

  The day (D) and hour (H) of attack.

  Direction of the attack; compass angle.

  Position of the leader.

  Tactical relation with the neighboring units during the advance.

  Use of specialists; machine guns, trench cleaners, etc.

  Support of artillery during the attack.

Unit liaison during the attack:

  With neighboring units and leaders (runners, telephone, signaling,
  carrier pigeons).

  With the support artillery (detachment of liaison, observatories, and

  With air service (rockets, signaling, Bengal fires).

  With balloon service (searchlights).

  Equipment for the attack.

  Supply of ammunition and water; advanced supply points.

Evacuation of the wounded; dressing stations, routes of evacuation, auto
ambulance points. Also, routes of evacuation for prisoners and
assembling points for same.

This plan of battle is so drawn up that it may be executed any later day
that may be designated in the order for the attack.

=Preparation of the Men for the Attack.= The work of fitting their men
physically, professionally, and morally for the task before them
devolves upon the leaders of all ranks. By a system of relief, the men
of the garrison get short periods of rest behind the sector to shake off
the atmosphere of the trenches. Continuous instruction of both men and
officers in the basic principles of fighting should be carried on at all
times. The moral training of the men depends to a great extent upon the
officers. The leaders, by example and encouraging words, should instill
into their soldiers that fighting spirit which makes for success in

                            II. The Assault

                       Formations for the Assault

=Disposition in Depth.= The assault has for its purpose the capture of
the first hostile line, that is to say, the crossing of “No Man’s Land”
and penetrating the enemy’s position. The assault is only the beginning
of the combat. When the breach has been made in the enemy’s first line,
the assaulting and reinforcing troops must continue the fighting in the
interior for the conquest of the position. The direct object of the
assault is to open the way for the attacking troops into the position.
The attacking troops are disposed in depth in a series of echelons, so
that during the advance each echelon is brought into the battle at the
proper moment. This rule of formation in depth is followed without
exception by every unit of whatever size.

[Illustration: _A Battalion Attack Formation (Distances in Yds.)_]

The regiment forms with one or two assaulting battalions, and two or one
battalion behind in reserve. The battalion has three or, better, only
two assaulting companies and one or two companies with machine guns, in
the second echelon as support. The company may have three, but more
usually two, assaulting platoons with one or more reinforcing platoons
in the second line.

=Waves.= The successive echelons have received the name “waves.” This
designation is expressive but not clear, and causes mistakes.

First, waves may be formed by different dispositions: in deployed line
or in line of small columns.

Secondly, the waves are not always composed of the same strength of
troops or units, and consequently are not of the same disposition. The
battalion commander will designate his first assaulting company as his
first assaulting wave. Similarly, the company commander designates his
assaulting platoons as the first wave; and the platoon leader, his first
skirmish line as the first wave of the platoon.


Lastly, the real significance of the term “wave” lies in its application
to the formation of the departure of the attack and during the first
part of its advance into the interior of the hostile position. As soon
as the assaulting echelons are held up by nests of resistance, they are
obliged to halt while neighboring echelons on both flanks continue the
advance. Also, reinforcing units will come up from behind to outflank
such a nest. As soon as such a condition arises within the enemy’s
position, the disposition of the troops in waves is lost and the fight
is continued in the best formation possible under the circumstances.

                  Formation of an Assaulting Battalion

=Assaulting Companies.= In an assaulting company, a certain number of
platoons are placed in the first or assaulting line, and the rest in the
second line as reinforcing platoons.

The assaulting platoons deploy usually in two lines of skirmishers, the
different specialists being assigned to places in these lines depending
upon their functions in the attack. The line of assaulting platoons is
known as the line of combat. A third line of grenadiers follows closely
behind the assaulting platoon, and may be called a part of it. These
grenadiers are furnished by the reinforcing platoons and are known as
trench cleaners. Their function does not begin until the hostile line is
reached, and it is to clear out the trenches of the first line of the
enemy while the assaulting troops continue their advance in the open


The reinforcing platoons are either deployed in lines of skirmishers or
lines of small columns. These platoons constitute the line of
reinforcement and follow the advance of the assaulting platoons at a
distance of about forty to sixty yards. The machine guns detailed to the
assaulting companies by the chief of battalion are placed with the
reinforcing platoons and are usually carried on the flanks.

Considering the battalion as the assaulting unit and adopting the term
“wave” to designate each platoon, we may say that the company of the
first echelon of the assault is disposed in two waves. The position of
the captain is in front of the second wave between the two reinforcing
platoons. His liaison group remains with him.

=Supporting Companies.= The supporting companies of an assaulting
battalion constitute the second echelon. These companies, also, are
formed in two waves. These waves are formed like those of the
reinforcing platoons of the assaulting company, either in deployed lines
or in lines of small columns. Usually the battalion has two companies in
the first line and two in the second line. In other words, the battalion
carries out the assault in two echelons of two waves each, the distance
between the two echelons being from 200 to 300 yards.

In rear of the support companies and following their advance, are the
remaining machine guns of the battalion and the 37 mm. platoon.

The position of the battalion commander with his liaison group is
directly in front of the second echelon and between his support

=Disposition of Assaulting Battalion in the Departure Trenches.= We have
seen that for an attack the ground is specially organized for this
purpose and the attacking troops are disposed in _successive parallels_
or _places d’armes_. Usually this disposition is as follows:

The _two waves_ of the assaulting companies are placed in the first and
second parallels which under ordinary circumstances will be the fire
trench and cover trench of the first defensive line. _Consequently_, the
different lines of each wave will occupy the same parallel, but at the
moment of the assault the successive departures of the lines will permit
them to automatically gain the necessary distances to separate them in
the advance across “No Man’s Land.” _For example_, let us assume that
there are four lines (this is the maximum) placed in one parallel. The
men are numbered from 1 to 4 in successive groups of four each. Each No.
1 man belongs to the first line; each No, 2, to the second line, and so
on. The distance between similar numbers in the parallels is about four
paces, giving the proper skirmish intervals to the line. At the given
signal of the leader of the line, the No. 1’s go over the top. The No.
2’s follow at the prescribed distance ordered or at another signal given
by their leader. The other lines follow similarly, so that the
assaulting troops have the regulation interval in line and a prescribed
(not always regulation) distance in depth.

The two waves of the support companies are placed in a third parallel or
_place d’armes_. This third parallel is usually an intermediate trench,
or special work, executed for this purpose, located between the first
and second defensive lines.

Machine guns and 37 mm. guns are located on the ground in relation to
their places in the advance during the attack.

The battalions which are kept as reserves according to the plan of
battle of the sector commander, are disposed in _places d’armes_
organized behind the parallels of departure. The colonel and his
headquarters occupy a command post directly behind the assaulting
battalion from where he can witness the launching of the assault and the
crossing of “No Man’s Land.”

=Order of the Attack.= The attacking troops take the disposition that
has just been explained some days before the attack. This disposition is
laid down in a paragraph of the Plan of Battle. Each leader of an
attacking unit, with a map of the ground on which his area is specially
outlined, must study his disposition on the ground previous to the
arrival of his troops. Besides this, the leaders must pay special
attention to the hostile position, verifying the direction of the
attack, and identifying the successive objectives and the nests of
resistance that will be encountered.

When the general who is in charge of the attack judges that the
artillery preparation is sufficient, that the supply systems for the
attack are properly organized, that all is ready and, in short, that the
psychological moment has arrived, he gives his order for the attack.

Based upon the divisional order for the attack, the colonels, battalion
commanders, and captains issue their own orders. The difference between
the plan of battle and the order for the attack lies in the fact that
the latter fixes all the details of execution of the general operations
laid down in the former. But also, the order for the attack contemplates
the first measures to be taken as soon as the assault is carried out,
especially the extension of the liaisons (telephone lines) and
communications (boyaux) from the first parallel of departure up to the
enemy’s position.

The order for the attack contains precise details of the following

  Exact hour of the attack; or signal rocket for the same.

  Details of the successive objectives; different resistances that will
  probably be encountered.

  Time-table of the moving barrage and the rate of its advance.

  Prolongation of the telephone lines; particular wires to be extended.

  Prolongation of communications; boyaux to be built at night across “No
  Man’s Land”; units detailed for this purpose.

  Supply of ammunition and water in the captured position; points of

=Departure of the Assault= [The hour (H)]. We have now arrived at the
most important and critical moment of the battle, the hour (H) of
launching of the assault. A few minutes before the hour (H) the men take
the places assigned them in the parallels with strict orders to remain
there. Bayonets are fixed on the rifles. Useless movements and noise of
any kind are prohibited. Each man holds himself in readiness awaiting
the signal of his immediate chief. Each chief of unit himself ascertains
that his men are in readiness and in good condition for the assault. He
sends all wounded back to shelter. The leader must impress his men with
the confidence that he knows his duty, that he has foreseen and is
prepared to meet all circumstances of the coming battle; The value of
troops at this moment depends upon their leaders.

=Support Artillery.= During the time just preceding the hour (H) all the
artillery which does not execute counter-battery fire is employed to
protect the assault. A part of this artillery is given to each of the
assaulting battalions as support artillery. Liaison and observation
detachments are sent by this artillery to the infantry battalions to
which they are attached. These detachments have the same composition and
rôle as explained in the defense of a position.

The artillery support holds under its fire that part of the hostile line
assigned to its infantry battalion. A violent fire is especially
directed against the enemy’s first line, the objective of the assault.
Protected by this fire, the assaulting battalion moves forward. For a
few moments after the launching of the first waves over the top, this
fire remains on the enemy’s first line. The protective barrage is then
lifted and is established on the hostile second line, where it also
remains for a certain time, according to the barrage time-table, and so

=Departure of the First Echelon= (Assaulting Companies). At the precise
moment or signal the first wave of an assaulting company jumps out of
its parallel of departure, the different lines of which it is composed
being formed as previously explained. In a similar manner, as soon as
the first wave is launched, the second wave goes over the top of its
parallel. All the different lines of the different assaulting companies
advance straight to the front towards their first objective. The rate of
advance, although not a run, is as rapid as the circumstances of the
torn up ground of “No Man’s Land” will permit, at the same time
maintenance of the formations being paramount. Success depends upon the
proper location of the specialists in the formations of the waves, and
this order must not be lost in the confusion that results from too much

The result is that all the lines of the assaulting companies start
almost at the same time from the two parallels of departure, and with
shorter distances between the lines than that called for by regulation.
This formation is not a drawback, but, on the contrary, works to better
advantage. The first and most important thing to avoid at this time is
the defensive barrage of the watchful enemy. This is established as soon
as he is aware of the assault. If the reinforcing line follows closely
behind the line of combat, it has a better chance of passing the danger
zone before the enemy’s barrage is established. A company caught under
the enemy’s barrage will lose, on an average, fifty per cent. of its
effectives. Also, the assaulting companies must arrive in the first
hostile line as quickly as possible behind their own barrage. The
assaulting platoons, who set the pace, should arrive there almost “as
soon as the barrage lifts.” Troops that arrive at this opportune moment
will surprise the enemy in his shelters or in the act of taking his
place on the firing line. It is better to risk losing a few lives by
your own barrage than to give the enemy time to man his first line.

Finally, the regulation distances between the different lines and waves
will be attained during the progress after passing the enemy’s first

=Departure of the Second Echelon= (Supporting Companies). When the first
echelon, or assaulting companies, have crossed “No Man’s Land,” the
battalion commander usually launches the second echelon, or supporting
companies. By this time, the battalion commander will have an impression
of the assault, and the distance which separates the two echelons is at
this moment the one usually required (200 to 300 yards). In order to
avoid the enemy’s barrage and to profit by any lull in his fire, the
battalion commander chooses the exact moment for the departure of the
second echelon.

=Advance of the Reserves.= As soon as all the waves of the assaulting
battalion have penetrated the enemy’s position, the reserve battalions
of the regiment leave their _places d’armes_ and move forward through
boyaux to the first parallels of departure. In this position they await
the order of the colonel to advance into the enemy’s position to join
the combat for its conquest. The colonel awaits the first report from
his assaulting battalion before giving the order for the advance of the

                  III. Fighting in the Interior of the

Position and Exploitation

=Principle of the Fighting.= The fundamental principle of the fighting
in the interior of the position is that each attacking unit from the
division down to the battalion receives a definite objective. This
objective is usually an area containing the lines of the hostile
position with precise flanking limits. The farthest line in the
objective area must be gained by the units at all costs. Beyond this
last objective, strong reconnaissance parties and patrols are sent to
keep contact with the enemy.

Usually the attacking regiments, which carry out the struggle in the
interior of the position, are assigned the mission to capture the third
or covering line of the artillery. The continuation of the struggle
beyond this line and the capturing of the enemy’s guns is what is called
“the tactical exploitation of the success.” The troops that carry out
this operation are the reserves of the division held out for this
particular purpose. The plan of battle does not include orders for this

=Details of the Interior Fighting.= Let us follow an attacking regiment
in its progress in the interior of a hostile position, and consider the
use of the different echelons of which it is composed: assaulting
companies, reinforcing companies, and reserves.

=Assaulting Companies.= The advance of the assaulting platoons regulates
the advance of all the successive elements. These platoons, after
crossing the first hostile line, continue their movement without
hesitation. The rate of advance is, of course, variable with the
difficulties of the ground and the strength of the hostile organization.
For this reason it cannot be very rapid. The pace of the leading
elements of the assaulting column is foreseen in the plan of battle
(depends upon the strength of the enemy’s position), and this becomes
the rate of advance of the moving barrage. If no unforeseen and serious
resistance is encountered, the assaulting platoons will be able to keep
up with their protective barrage. Sometimes, however, they may halt for
a moment in their progress under cover of some shelter to regain their

As a part of the assaulting platoon comes the trench-cleaner detachment.
The trench cleaners are armed with hand grenades and trench knives.
Their function is to enter the hostile trenches taken and, profiting by
the surprise effect of the attack, to vanquish the last resistance and
to make prisoners of the defenders still in the dugouts. They pay
special attention to picketing all entrances, exits, and shafts of
dugouts so that detachments of the enemy cannot come out and fire into
the rear of the waves that have already crossed. If the different lines
of the hostile platoon are very far apart, the number of trench cleaners
is increased, a detachment dropping off in each line.

As long as the assaulting platoons do not meet resistance, the
reinforcing platoons follow the former at the regulation distance to
avoid mixing of the different waves of the attack. If, however, the
assaulting platoons suffer severe losses, and are unable to continue the
progress, the reinforcing platoon, either by order of the captain or
upon the initiative of its leader, moves up and reinforces the combat
line. Its function then becomes the same as that of the assaulting

Again, if a gap should occur in the combat line, due to losses or
extension of the front, the reinforcing platoon moves in that direction
and fills the gap. In general, the tactics of the reinforcing platoon
are always to assure continuity of progress by outflanking resistances
that have stopped the advance of the platoon in front.

The machine guns attached to an assaulting unit follow and protect the
flanks. When halted they fire on retreating hostile troops and on
special points of resistance. Their special use, however, is against

=Reinforcing Companies.= The reinforcing companies, with the machine gun
reserve and 37 mm. gun of the assaulting battalion, after they have
penetrated the hostile position, follow the progress of the assaulting
waves at the prescribed distance. They advance in line of small columns
but make use of any cover that the ground affords to minimize losses
from hostile fire. During this advance, their mission is to rally all
the elements of the assaulting companies and push them forward; and also
to watch out for the flanks, pushing out to protect them on their own
initiative if necessary. But when the line of combat is held up by
resistance the supporting companies are maneuvered by order of the
battalion commander. Naturally, the whole line of combat will not
progress uniformly. Certain assaulting platoons will be held up by nests
of resistance, while others in the intervals will carry on with less
interruption. Reinforcing platoons and support companies are maneuvered
to outflank such nests of resistance and to fill the resulting gaps in
the combat line.


Let us take a concrete example of an assaulting company followed by a
supporting company held up by a nest of resistance (a ravine, reverse
slope, or woods strongly organized with machine guns) and follow the
movements of the reinforcing platoons and supporting company. (Examine
the diagram showing maneuvers against a nest of resistance in connection
with the following explanation.) The first figure shows the formation of
the four platoons of an assaulting company advancing in the interior of
a position followed by a supporting company. The 1st and 2nd are the
assaulting platoons, and the 3rd and 4th the reinforcing platoons. The
supporting company follows in double column of platoons. The second
figure shows the 1st assaulting platoon held up by a nest of resistance
with the 3rd or reinforcing platoon moved up on the right flank.
Platoons =2= and =4= of the same company carry on, and this movement
results in a gap in the line of combat between the 2nd and 3rd platoons.
The third figure shows the 1st and 2nd platoons of the supporting
company moved up in this gap, and the 3rd and 4th platoons acting as
reserves. The nest of resistance is thus attacked from the front and
flank and the continuity of the combat line maintained. When a nest of
resistance is encountered the attacking troops must not accumulate in
front, as this will multiply the losses. The line of combat will attack
the front of a nest of resistance while the successive reinforcing and
supporting waves maneuver against its flanks. The battalion commander
will use all the weapons at his disposal as machine guns, 37 mm. guns,
and rifle grenades to reduce the nest of resistance. If this method
fails he will have to call on the artillery for help, but this
necessitates a modification of the artillery barrage time-table.

=Rôle of the Artillery during the Attack.= During the attack the
artillery carries out the following different fires:

  Counter-battery fire.

  Protective fire on the flanks of the attack.

  Accompaniment or barrage fire.

The first two fires are executed by a part of the artillery directly
under the chief of artillery of the division, who in turn is under the
control of the general.

The third kind of fire is executed by the support artillery, detailed to
the different assaulting battalions as in the defensive organization.
The action of this artillery directly interests each infantry chief of
area, to whom are sent liaison detachments and observers (an officer, N.
C. O.’s, and artillery orderlies). This third kind of fire is the only
one that we will consider in detail.

=Principle of the Accompaniment Fire.= During the progress of the attack
the support artillery establishes a moving barrage in front of the
advancing infantry. This barrage travels by bounds. It remains for a
certain time on each defensive line and at intervals between them so as
to thoroughly sweep the intervening ground. The time-table, or rate of
this moving barrage, is laid down in the plan of action of the
artillery. The infantry leaders of course are acquainted with this

=Other Means of Controlling the Barrage.= The moving barrage may also be
advanced successively by order of the commanding general according to
information received from the leading elements of the assaulting
battalion, from the artillery or aëroplane observers.

Calls may be made directly from the line of combat by rockets, or other
means of liaison. With reference to the barrage there are two uses of
rockets; one is for calling the barrage in the defensive, and the other
is calling for an advance of the barrage during the attack. It may be
remarked that it is impossible to call for a decrease in range of the
barrage as this, of course, would be dangerous to your own troops. It is
better to decrease the rate of advance of the barrage rather than to
have it move too quickly and risk abandoning the infantry.

Lastly, the preceding means for controlling the barrage can be employed
in conjunction. That is to say, a time-table for the barrage is adhered
to during the first part of the advance when the positions of the
hostile lines are well known, while during the last part, when the
infantry’s progress is not so regular and the ground is not so well
known, each advance of the barrage may be called for by rocket, as each
resistance met with is disposed of. If an assaulting battalion meets a
resistance which it cannot reduce by its own means, it must call upon
the support artillery for help. To do this, the artillery must halt its
barrage and for an interval the time-table is not in effect. Such an
emergency calls for a special action on the part of the support
artillery, and also for the intervention of any other artillery at the
disposal of the general. This particular action of the artillery may be
called for automatically by rocket or by the other means of liaison. The
rôle of the officer and N. C. O. of the artillery liaison detachment is
to give the artillery the precise technical information necessary in
such a case to establish its fire on a nest of resistance. This action
of halting the barrage and giving the artillery a new objective is
exceptional and delicate to execute. As soon as the resistance is
reduced, the time-table is resumed.

=Liaisons During the Attack.= The proper co-ordination of all the
foreseen developments of the attack lies in a good system of liaison.
There must be leadership liaison for the transmission of orders and
reports, and infantry-artillery liaison for the proper co-operation of
the two arms. The means of liaison in the offensive are the same as
those considered in the defensive organization. The principle of their
use is the same but made more difficult by the progress of the different
attacking echelons. It is the duty of all leaders to foresee the
establishment of liaison for the engagement in their plan of battle, and
also for the prolongation of these means with the advance of the
attacking troops.

The means of liaison are:

Telephone lines (for leadership in artillery. They are lengthened from
the parallel of departure to the interior of the enemy’s position.)

Signal communication (established from the enemy’s position to a central
point in the rear).

Rockets (precise signification of each kind laid down in orders).

Carried pigeons (headquarters that are to carry these laid down in

Detachment of special runners (essential to be established between all

=Aviation.= During the advance, a particular system of liaison is
established with the air service. Each division has at its disposal a
certain number of accompanying planes that fly low and follow the
assaulting battalions. Their duty is to establish communication between
the leading elements of the advancing infantry, and the artillery, and
the commanding general. The infantry signal to these airplanes by means
of rockets and Bengal fires, and the planes in turn communicate with the
artillery and the commanding general by means of wireless.

                              CHAPTER VII
                             TRENCH ORDERS

The following outline gives a synopsis of information required in
various paragraphs for Battalion Orders in Trench Warfare, followed by
models of each.

Six orders are given in these models, viz.:

   I. Plan of Attack.

  II. Order for the Attack.

 III. Preliminary Order for a Relief.

  IV. March Order for Relief.

   V. Plan of Advance.

  VI. A Raid.

                           I. Plan of Attack

                  (Issued several days before attack)

1. =Rôle of Battalion=, _i. e._, general description of offensive and
whether battalion is in first line or reserve.

2. =Zone of Attack.= Accurate description of boundaries of hostile
position to be attacked.

3. =Objectives.= Number of trenches to be assaulted and trench at which
offensive will halt.

4. =Disposition for the Attack.= Companies in assaulting line—companies
in support—apportionment of objectives to companies—distance between
assaulting and supporting companies—disposition of M. G. Co. and 37 mm.
gun—location of battalion C. O. during assault.

5. =Disposition of Units in Parallels of Departure.= Describe accurately
trenches each unit will start from: _e. g._ Assaulting Cos.—first line
and cover trenches. Supporting Cos.—intermediate trenches or _places
d’armes_ nearby starting points of battalion C. O., M. G. Co. and 37 mm.

6. =Direction of the Attack.= Landmark to guide on, also compass

7. =Tactical Relation with Neighboring Units.= Troops on flanks of
battalion and responsibility for liaison therewith. Patrolling to
establish connection if necessary.

8. =Artillery Support during Attack.= Barrage to start at hour H. Where
and how long it will halt beyond the last objective.

9. =Liaison during Attack.= Usual liaison with artillery and aëroplanes—
telephone lines to be established during attack—signals such as Bengal
lights to show progress of assaulting companies.

10. =Supply.= Detachments (usually from supporting companies) to carry
ammunition. Hour at which and points from which they will start.

11. =Evacuation.= Evacuation point for wounded and assembly point for

                  *       *       *       *       *

Details =not= stated in this order. Time of attack—detailed instructions
for barrage. Liaison to be established after attack—equipment to be
taken. Information of the enemy not given as all officers have maps of
enemy’s trenches as well as of their own trench system.

                        II. Order for the Attack

               (Issued night before attack is to be made)

1. Time; _i. e._, hour H.

2. Further details of assault than given in previous order.

3. Further details concerning barrage, _i. e._, Halts to be made by
barrage—rate of travel.

4. Liaison to be established =after= attack.

5. Supplies to be carried.

                  III. Preliminary Order for a Relief

   (Issued night before reconnaissance; _i. e._ 24 to 36 hours before

1. (Based on regimental order.) Battalion to be relieved—Sector.

General Description of Sector: Centers of resistance—troops in each—
troops on right and left of sector—reserve-command post of Colonel,
Command Post of artillery support Commander.

Note: Battalion needs know no more about artillery support than location
of command post. Details as to location of guns are not given out.

2. =Disposition of Battalion in Center.= Accurate description of: First
line and units occupying it—intermediate line and units occupying it—
support line and units occupying it—Battalion Command post—stations of
machine gun company—dressing station.

3. Hour at which usual reconnaissance will be completed—each officer to
reconnoiter area assigned him in 2.

4. Hour at which Major will assume command of center of resistance.

                 IV. Order for the March of the Relief

  (Issued after reconnaissance and several hours before relief starts)

1. Dispersion point fixed by Colonel—Battalion’s place in regiment—hour
at which battalion clears dispersion point.

2. Relief to be made as per preceding order. Order of march of units in
battalion. Routes to be followed and formation taken from dispersion
point to point of rendezvous of guides.

3. Hour at which the guides will be at rendezvous. Location of
rendezvous. Routes by which guides will conduct various units to their

4. Hour and place ration details will report to N. C. O. from battalion
headquarters to go to kitchens for rations. Hour at which daily requests
for material and ammunition will reach Major. Whether Major has depot to
fill emergency requests.

5. Reports to be submitted by Captains. Usually written report upon
occupation of area and daily reports submitted at same time as requests
for material.

                           V. Plan of Defense

1. Direction and nature of probable attacks.

2. Plan of Defense of center. Duties of first line Companies. Orders for
machine guns. Platoons to support machine guns.

3. Counterattack. Platoons for counterattack—their routes—reinforcing
platoons to replace them.

4. Artillery Support. To establish barrage in “No Man’s Land” at usual
(rocket) call.

5. Supply. Extra grenades or ammunition to be carried by counterattack
or reinforcing platoons.

                               VI. A Raid

1. Date, hour, objective, and purpose of raid.

2. Composition of and company furnishing raiding party.

3. =Assistance to Raiders—Details of Execution of Raid=: _e. g._,
Grenadiers to protect flanks. Objective. Direction of attack.
Preparation of explosives to destroy enemy’s wire. Rocket signal for
blowing up wire, rush of raiders and start of artillery or rifle grenade
barrage. Duration of raid. Direction and return of raiders.

4. Duration and location of barrage.

5. Supplies. Raid is generally made by men from an organization in rear
(support or reserve). Captain of first line company provides the
material: Grenades, tools, explosives, rockets, etc.

                           I. Plan of Attack

                                             1st Bn. 3rd Inf. 47th Div.,
                                               Bn. Command Post,
                                                 1 Nov. 17, 2 p. m.

 Field Orders
   No. 7

1. =Rôle.= In the attack this Bn. will be in the first line. It will
attack the west slope of the ENCLUME WOOD in a general offensive in
conjunction with the Bns. on both flanks.

2. =Zone of Attack.= The zone of attack will be limited as follows: On
the left by the road from TEMPLE FARM to CORBENY (exclusive), on the
right by the imaginary line marked by the points, boyau ST. POL, point
6909 (first German line), point 7109 (cover trench, first line) hill
69.2 point 7216 (German support line) and topographical point 78.8, all
these points inclusive.

3. =Objectives.= 1st. First German line, Plaine trench. 2nd. Cover
trench, ENVER PASHA trench. 3rd. Support trenches, L’ENCLUME trench on
the east and MARTEAU trench on the west.

On this last objective the assaulting companies will halt, maintaining
contact with the enemy by means of contact patrols, especially on the
right front towards the FORGERON WOOD and the west edge of the L’ENCLUME

4. =Disposition for the Attack.= The Bn. will attack with two Cos. in
the assaulting line and two Cos. in support. Assaulting Cos. (A and B)
will take the usual assaulting disposition. Each Co. will be reinforced
by a M. G. platoon.

The zones of action of the assaulting Cos. will be divided by the line:
Point 6502 (ANSPACH trench), point 6606 (in the BONNET PERSAN WOOD), and
the boyau PARSEVAL from point 6712 to point 6919. All these points to be
included by the left Co.

The distance between assaulting Cos. (A & B), and supporting Cos. (C &
D) will be 300 yards.

The remaining sections of M. G. Co. and the 37 mm. gun will follow the
left supporting Co. (C) at 100 yards.

The Bn. C. O. will be located in front of the reinforcing companies to
the left of the center, on the general axis of march, the boyau

5. =Disposition of Units in Parallel of Departure.= The assaulting Cos.
will use for their parallels of departure the fire and cover line
trenches between the boyau ST. POL and LIEVIN (inc.).

The supporting Cos. will use for their parallels of departure the
ANSPACH trench, and the _places d’armes_ built in rear of this trench
and on each side of the boyau ST. OMER and ST. POL.

The Bn. C. O. with his headquarters, will start from the point of
intersection of the ANSPACH trench and the ST. OMER boyau.

The M. G. reserve and 37 mm. gun are located in the 520 M. trench.

6. =Direction of the Attack.= The general direction of the attack is on
the R. R. station at south edge of CORBENY, compass direction N. 10° E.

7. =Tactical Relation with Neighboring Units.= Left: connecting with 2nd
Bn. 3rd Inf. on the road. Permanent liaison will be assured by the
assaulting Cos.

Right: connection with 2nd Inf. at the points 6909 and 7216.

The right supporting Co. will take a formation in echelon with the right
element refused, this latter element establishing connection with the
troops to the right during the advance.

Reconnoitering patrols will also establish connection with the troops on
the right in the L’ENCLUME WOOD.

8. =Artillery Support during Attack.= The assaulting waves will be
protected by a moving barrage which will start at the hour (H). The
moving barrage will halt and remain on the line 200 yards beyond the
last objective at the hour (H plus 50 minutes).

9. =Liaison during Attack.= Usual liaison with the artillery and
airplanes (rockets and flags).

As soon as the assaulting Cos. arrive in or halt before the third
objective, a telephone liaison will be established between the Co.
commanders and the Bn. commander.

A Bengal line of fire will be lighted by the assaulting Cos. when they
reach the 2nd and the 3rd objectives.

10. =Supply.= Each supporting Co. will send a party often men to the
TEMPLE FARM as supply detachments. These detachments will start with
ammunition supply at the hour (H plus 1 hour) for the command posts of
the assaulting Cos. in the captured position.

11. =Evacuation.= Evacuation point for wounded will be at RIVOLI CENTER
(northeast edge of DE BEAU MARAIS WOOD). Assembly point for prisoners
will be at TEMPLE FARM.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                                                        Major, 3rd Inf.,
                                                            Bn. Comdr.

                        II. Order for the Attack

 1st. Bn. 3rd Inf. 47th Div.,
     Bn. Command Post,
         4 Nov. 17.  7 p. m.

 Field Orders
   No. 8

1. In accordance with Field Orders #7, these headquarters, the attack
will be made at the hour (H).

                            H = 10:30 A. M.

2. The three objectives of the attack are: 1st, PLAINE trench; 2nd,
ENVER PASHA trench; 3rd, L’ENCLUME and MARTEAU trenches.

For the capture of these three objectives the plan of the Bn. commander
is as follows:

The assaulting Cos., after taking the 1st and 2nd objectives will
proceed to the attack of the 3rd objective, while the mopping up parties
clean up the captured trenches. As the assaulting Cos. leave the 2nd
objective, the Bn. commander will give the order for the supporting Cos.
to start, in order that they will reach the 2nd objective at the same
time the assaulting Cos. reach the 3rd. In case the assaulting Cos. are
compelled to stop before reaching the 3rd objective, the Bn. commander
will use the supporting Cos. to outflank the nest of resistance expected
to be encountered in L’ENCLUME wood.

3. The moving barrage will halt 10 minutes immediately in rear of the
2nd objective and 10 minutes on the 3rd objective. With the exception of
these halts the barrage will move at a uniform rate of 20 yards per

4. As soon as the Bn. commander reaches the point 6919 a telephone
liaison will be established from the starting point in the ANSPACH
trench to point 6919.

From point 6919 a signal liaison will be established with the artillery
observation post in the EDMOND BUTTE.

5. The supply detachments will carry 400 hand grenades, 50 illuminating
and 50 signal rockets.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                                                      Major 3rd Inf.,
                                                              Bn. Comdr.

                  III. Preliminary Order for a Relief

           Order for the Occupation of a Center of Resistance

 Field Orders
   No. 5.

                                                  3rd Bn. 80th Inf.
                                                      1 Nov. 17. 6 p. m.

1. In accordance with orders of the regimental commander, the 80th Inf.
will relieve the 132nd Inf. in the TEMPLE sector during the night 2–3
Nov. 17.

In this sector two Bns. are in the first line in the centers of

The 3rd Bn. 80th Inf. will occupy the BONNET PERSAN WOOD center, which
is limited on the east by the ST. POL boyau (inclusive) and on the west
by the TEMPLE FARM-CORBENY road (exclusive) which road is the dividing
line between the two centers.

Adjoining units:

On the right the 45th Inf., occupying EPINAL sector.

On the left the 1st Bn., 80th Inf., occupying PINS BUTTE center.

In reserve, 2nd Bn., 80th Inf., in the BEAU MARAIS WOOD.

Command post of the regimental commander (sector commander), TEMPLE

Command post of the artillery support commander (72nd A. C.), EDMOND

2. Disposition of the Bn. in the BONNET PERSAN WOOD center.

In the first line: Co. A in the firing and doubling trench (Baden
trench) between the ST. POL and BONNET PERSAN boyaux (both inclusive),
Co. C in the same firing and doubling trench between the BONNET PERSAN
boyau (exclusive) and the LIEVIN boyau (inclusive).

In the intermediate line (ANSPACH trench): Co. B and the detachment of

In the support line (520 M trench): Co. D and Bn. Hq.

Command post of the Bn. Cmdr. (Commander of the center), Command post of
ST. OMER (in the ST. OMER boyau).

Three sections of the M. G. Co. will relieve same numbered sections of
the relieved Co. in the different lines of the center. The remainder of
the M. G. Co. with the 37 mm. gun will be kept as Bn. reserve in the 520
M trench.

Dressing station: in the 520 M trench at the intersection with ST. OMER

3. The reconnaissance for the relief will be made early in the morning
of 2 Nov. 17 (usual composition) and will be completed at 10 a. m. Each
officer will reconnoiter the area assigned to him in this order.

4. After the relief the Bn. Cmdr. will assume command of the center at 6
a. m. 3 Nov. 17.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                                                       Major 80th Inf.,
                                                               Bn. Cmdr.

                 IV. Order for the March of the Relief

 Field Orders
   No. 6.

                                             3rd Bn., 80th Inf.,
                                             2 Nov. 17.—12 o’clock noon.

1. In accordance with orders of Regimental Commander, the dispersion
point of the regiment for entering the TEMPLE FARM sector will be
PONTAVERS. This Bn. will be the first Bn. to leave. It will clear
PONTAVERS at 5 p. m.

2. The occupation of the BONNET PERSAN WOOD center will be made in
accordance with Field Orders No. 5, these headquarters. The order of
march of the Bn. will be: Co. A, Co. C, Bn. Hq., C. B., Dtch. Pioneers,
Co. D, Mach. Gun Co., and 37 mm. gun.

The march from PONTAVERS to HALTE will be via the CORBENY road in column
of squads with 200 yards distance between cos. From HALTE to point of
rendezvous of the guides the Bn. will march along the right of R. R.
track in column of twos with 200 yards distance between cos.

3. The usual guides will be sent from the relieved Bn. to be at the
point of rendezvous by 6 o’clock p. m. The point of rendezvous of the
guides will be south of EDMOND BUTTE at the intersection of the CORBENY
road and the R. R. track.

From this point the cos. will be conducted by the guides to their
respective positions in the trenches. Cos. A, B, and Pioneer Dtch. will
use for their route the ST. POL boyau. Cos. C, D, Bn. Hq., M. G. Co. and
37 mm. gun will use for their route the ST. OMER boyau.

4. At 7 o’clock p. m. each night on and after 3 Nov. 17, the ration
details from each organization will report at the point of rendezvous of
the guides to a N. C. O. from Bn. Hq. who will conduct them to the
kitchens at PONTAVERS for rations. Requests for material and ammunition
will be sent to the Bn. Cmdr. every morning to reach him before 6:30
o’clock a. m. Emergency requests made at other times will be filled as
far as possible from the Bn. Cmdr’s depot.

5. Company commanders will make a written report to Bn. Cmdr. as soon as
they have occupied their areas, and thereafter will make daily reports
to be submitted with their requests of material.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                                                        Major 80th Inf.,
                                                              Bn. Cmdr.

                           V. Plan of Defense

                                          1st Bn., 20th Inf., 43rd Div.,
                                              Bn. Command Post,
                                            29 Nov. 17, 2 o’clock p. m.

 Field Orders
   No. 10

1. =Direction of Probable Attack.= The enemy may possibly make a frontal
attack starting from PLAINE and ENVER PASHA trenches and supporting it
on the left from L’ENCLUME WOOD, or a flank attack starting from PLAINE
redoubt for the purpose of striking our first line and ANSPACH trench
from the rear by first penetrating the sector on our right.

2. =Defense of the Center of Resistance.= When the assault develops Cos.
A. and C. in the first line, will maintain the defense of their own line
by their own means. The two machine guns located at 6501 ANSPACH trench
will be taken immediately to the right flank of Co. A, near POSTE DE
NEMOURS and take up a position to fire to the north toward L’ENCLUME
WOOD and to the east toward PLAINE redoubt. The C. O., Co. B, will place
a platoon permanently in the ST. POL boyau at the junction of the
ANSPACH trench, and, when the alarm is given will send it forward to
occupy and hold the POSTE DE NEMOURS salient in support of the M. G.
Platoon. When this platoon has moved forward, its place will be taken by
1 Platoon of Co. B, (located in ANSPACH trench between the ST. POL and
BONNET PERSAN boyaux) which will protect the right flank.

3. =Counterattack.= The two remaining Platoons of Co. B are assigned to
the commanders of Cos. A and C respectively for use in counterattack.
One Platoon will employ the BONNET PERSAN boyau, the other the LIEVIN
boyau. The Bn. Cmdg. will replace these two Platoons by two Platoons of
Co. D, in the 520 M. trench.

4. =Artillery Support.= The supporting artillery will establish a
barrage in No Man’s Land in front of the first line. The barrage will be
called by the usual signal.

5. =Supply.= The counterattack and reinforcing Platoons will carry 5
grenades per man in addition to their regular equipment.

                  *       *       *       *       *

 Major 20th Inf.,
       Bn. Cmdg.

                          VI. Order for a Raid

 Field Orders
   No. 12

                                               1st Bn., 80th Inf.,
                                                 Bn. Command Post,
                                                   10 Nov., ’17, 2 p. m.

1. At 3 o’clock a. m., 20 Nov., ’17, a raid will be carried out against
the western salient of PLAINE TRENCH for the purpose of capturing

2. The raiding party will consist of a lieutenant, 10 hand grenadiers,
and 20 riflemen from Co. D, 80th Inf.

3. Two parties of grenadiers each will be furnished from the same Co. to
protect the flanks of the raiding party on each side of the salient. The
raiding party will penetrate the enemy’s first line by a frontal attack,
capture the defenders of the salient and return directly by the same
route. The raiding party will crawl into “No Man’s Land” in front of the
PLAINE salient until it reaches the enemy’s barbed wire and will prepare
detonators for the necessary breaches. The signal to explode the
detonators and rush into the salient will be given by the leader of the
raid by rocket. The raid will last ten minutes.

4. For ten minutes after the rocket signal the artillery will maintain a
barrage on the flanks and in the rear of the PLAINE salient to protect
the raiding party.

5. Co. C, which occupies the first line in front of the PLAINE salient,
will provide a supply of 60 detonators, 200 hand grenades, and 3 signal
rockets for use of the raiding party.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                                                       Major 80th Inf.,
                                                               Bn. Cmdr.

                              CHAPTER VIII
                           SPECIAL OPERATIONS

                                I. Raids

The object of a raid is to attack a special point in the hostile lines,
destroy it, and return with prisoners or information. Such a point may
be a salient, blockhouse, observation or listening post, etc. The
purpose of the raid is both to prosecute the attrition of the enemy and
to gather information. A raid is made with or without a previous
artillery preparation. Usually, however, the barbed wire entanglements
of the enemy are subjected to a short and intense artillery shelling.
Whether or not an artillery bombardment is carried out, the tactics of
the raid are the same. Success of a raid depends entirely on its
preparation, which must be thorough and complete in every detail so that
every man in the raid knows his part.


=Preparation.= The troops employed for a raid are a specially chosen
unit, a platoon or half-company. Better still, a regiment may have a
detachment specially trained in this work. When a raid has been decided
upon against a particular point in the hostile line, the leader of the
raid has the following duties to perform:

1. He goes to the command post of the center of resistance opposite to
the point in the enemy’s line against which the raid is to be made. Here
he gathers all necessary information concerning the enemy by studying
maps and sketches, and comparing them with the ground. He also speaks
with occupants of the first line for the purpose of getting information;
and calls upon the commander of the center of resistance to send special
listening parties, if necessary, to the enemy’s line, observing
necessary precautions to prevent the enemy from becoming suspicious of a
contemplated raid.

From the detailed information, maps and sketches that the leader of the
raid has obtained from the headquarters of the center of resistance and
from his own reconnaissance, he lays out a model of the hostile point to
be attacked. This he does in the rear of his own sector. The model is
partially dug in so that the raiding detachment will have an exact
duplicate of the enemy’s lines to be raided to practice upon.

He now prepares the order for the execution of the raid, which contains
the following points:

1. =Purpose of the Raid.= To destroy such and such a dugout, machine gun
emplacement, etc., to make prisoners, to gather information, or to
prevent a contemplated gas attack on the part of the enemy.

2. =Troops Employed.= Number and designation of the different groups of
grenadiers and trench cleaners to be used, equipment of same, and
ammunition carried.

3. =Objective of the Raid.= The particular part of a trench, post,
blockhouse, etc.

4. =Precise Rôle of Each Group.= Disposition of the groups before the
raid in their own lines. This may be in the firing line or in “No Man’s
Land” in a shell hole reached by crawling at night.

Time and signal of departure.

Means of crossing the enemy’s barbed wire entanglements.

Points of the hostile line upon which each group is to make its attack.

Rôle of each group during the raid. Protection of the flank,
establishing barricades, proper execution of the raid.

Time or signal to return.

5. Co-operation of the infantry and artillery supporting the raid.

6. Supply of the attacking troops—grenade depots in the firing line.

In practicing the raid in the rear, on the model, the detachment must
repeat the execution of the raid at least five times. All the details of
the raid are foreseen and provided for. Each man is made thoroughly
proficient in his particular part in the raid, so that, in the confusion
and darkness, they will be able to reach their objective and carry out
their particular function. Each chief of group must be thoroughly
conversant with his duties. The leader of the raid personally conducts
the most important of these groups.

=Execution of the Raid.= The most important element of the execution of
a raid is speed, its time of duration being only from five to ten

=Time.= If all the points in the enemy’s line to be attacked are
thoroughly known and located, the raid can be carried out during the
night. But if there is some lack of knowledge of the above mentioned
points, the raid must be carried out at dusk or dawn, so that the
objectives can be at least partly seen.

=Disposition of the Groups to Cross the Barbed Wire; Disposition of the
Troops before the Raid.= The distance of a raid should not be more than
fifty yards. For this purpose, the different groups must get into
position such a distance from the enemy’s lines either by silently
crawling across “No Man’s Land” or by profiting by a short preliminary
bombardment of a few minutes which will prevent the enemy’s sentinels
and watchers from perceiving them. Their disposition is usually made by
hiding or crouching in shell holes.

=Destruction of the Barbed Wire.= The different ways of destroying
barbed wire have been spoken of under Surprise Attacks in the chapter on
Defense of a Position.

=Signal of Departure.= Three methods can be used; previous designation
of the hour, use of a whistle, or by means of a rocket. Of these, the
last named is probably the best.

There are two different kinds of groups in the raiding party.

The flank groups, armed with hand grenades, protect the groups executing
the raid proper by shutting off all avenues of approach of the enemy.
Barricades are established by these groups by throwing grenades into the
trenches leading to the attacked area.

Between the flank groups, are the groups that carry out the proper
mission of the raid. They are armed with incendiary grenades, pistols,
and trench knives. Their function is to accomplish any particular
destruction of their mission and to capture prisoners.

=Infantry Supporting the Raid.= The riflemen of the garrison of the
center of resistance stand ready at the firing parapets to receive the
groups returning from the raid. The machine guns carry out an intense
fire on the flanks of the point raided to prevent the approach of
hostile reinforcements. The rifle grenadiers of the garrison execute
fire upon special points on the flanks or on the rear of the raided
area, such as machine gun emplacements, junction of boyaux, etc.

=Support of the Artillery.= If artillery is used in conjunction with the
raid, it may be employed before, during, or after the raid, or in any
combination of these periods.

During the raid, two kinds of fire are carried out, that of demolishing
the barbed wire entanglements, and special elements of the hostile
position that will hinder the raid. This is carried out by the light
artillery and trench mortars, principally the latter.

During the raid, the support artillery establishes protective curtains
of fire on both flanks and on the rear of the raided portion of the
enemy’s line. This is to neutralize the enemy’s defenses and to cut the
area off from communications or reinforcements. In other words, the
artillery will isolate by its fire the point of attack of the raid.

At the designated time for the return of the raid or at the signal of a
rocket sent up by the raiding party on reaching their own first line,
the support artillery establishes its usual defensive barrage in “No
Man’s Land.” It may also fire on the enemy’s position with shrapnel,
because at this time reinforcements are usually coming up into the
raided area. This latter fire may be repeated two or three times during
the ensuing hour.

                            II. Gas Warfare

Gas attacks may be carried out in two ways, by asphyxiating shells or by
waves of gas.

The shelling of a position with asphyxiating shells is made to
neutralize the action of its defenders and, if possible, to kill and
wound some of them. Asphyxiating shells are used in counter-battery fire
against the enemy’s artillery emplacements. They are also used for
shelling a woods in which troops are located and against strong points
of the hostile position, either during an offensive period or to carry
out attrition of the enemy. Such shelling is also carried out for an
offensive, either in the preparation or for the protection of the flanks
during the attack. Asphyxiating shells may be thrown on a village or
strong point in rear or on the flank of the enemy’s position where he
may organize a counterattack.

Gas waves are used against the enemy’s position with or without
following up with the infantry for a raid or an attack. Usually the
liquified gas is brought to the first lines in cylinders under heavy
pressure. These cylinders must be properly protected from hostile fire
until the time that they are to be used. With a favorable wind, the gas
is carried across “No Man’s Land” and into the enemy’s position. Gas
waves, of course, are more efficient than asphyxiating shells, but the
use of the former method is more difficult as it takes special apparatus
and a trained personnel, and can be used only under favorable
atmospheric conditions.

=Protections against Gas.= In general, protective measures against gas
waves are the same as against asphyxiating shells. The individual
protective apparatus is the gas mask. The essential part of a mask is
composed of several layers of porous material containing a chemical that
will neutralize the poisonous gas. The gas mask has an efficiency of
several hours. Each man carries a gas mask and there are also a certain
number kept in reserve in the different depots of the sector. Each gas
mask must be properly adjusted and it is the duty of each officer and
non-commissioned officer to ascertain that each man in the company has a
gas mask in good condition. He must always carry the same.

Each man is trained to put on his mask rapidly. Standing orders compel
the man to put on his gas mask immediately the alarm is given or upon
his detection of gas by color or odor. Frequent exercises are held to
perfect the men in putting on their gas masks rapidly. This drill may be
held at the same time as the “stand to” exercises are carried out. The
men must have confidence in their gas masks. For this purpose, each man
is sent through a “chlorine chamber” several times to give him
confidence that, although the gas may be of great density, it has no
disagreeable effects.

There are also collective protective apparatuses used in dugouts. Each
large shelter possesses such apparatus. Besides this, the entrances and
openings of each dugout will be closed by a double canvas impregnated
with a special chemical solution to neutralize the gas.

=Special Precautionary Measures.= First, there is established a system
of bells, sirens, and klaxons which are used by the watchers to give the
signal of alarm. This signal is taken up and repeated in all parts of
the position and to the rear. Careful observation on the part of a
garrison may detect signs of a coming gas attack. Metallic noises in the
hostile line may indicate the transportation of gas cylinders. Very
often the enemy will use little balloons to ascertain the velocity and
direction of the wind. Foggy weather is a special time of danger.

In each sector or regiment, an officer is in charge of the maintenance
of protective gas apparatus and all the measures against gas attack.
With the proper precautionary measures and application of the protective
measures, the gas attack is not very dangerous.

                            III. Liquid Fire

=Protection against Liquid Fire.= The enemy may make an assault with a
special detachment of liquid fire operators in the first line. The
object of these operators is to throw jets of liquid fire on the
occupants of the first line to allow the assaulting columns to penetrate
into the position without losses. The only means of combating such an
attack is to evacuate the part of the trenches against which the liquid
fire is directed, and move by the flanks. Machine guns and automatic
rifles should be established to bring flanking fire to bear against the
detachment of liquid fire operators. It is impossible to withstand a
liquid fire attack if the operators succeed in coming within sixty yards
before the garrison can man its parapets.


                               IV. Mines

We will consider mines only from the point of view of defense by
infantry against them. This consideration will therefore have no
relation to mine warfare or the construction of countermines by

Let us consider a concrete example where the enemy is about to explode a
mine under your first line of trenches (examine accompanying diagram,
Precautions against a Mine). When it has been definitely discovered that
the enemy has a mine gallery under your first line and there is no means
of combating it by countermining, etc., the infantry in the position
must take certain precautions. By listening devices the powder chamber
is located. The extent of the crater is also calculated. A new first
line is constructed behind, excluding the mine crater and at a distance
of about 30 yards from its lip. This re-entrant angle of the first line
is made by using boyaux on the flank if they exist. A cover trench is
also constructed behind this first line. The infantry moves back to this
new line behind the threatened area of explosion. Every other defensive
precaution is taken against the explosion and the accompanying assault
of the enemy.

Heavy bombing posts are located on the flanks of the crater. The
position of these posts is usually at the point of change of direction
of the old firing line with the new one of the re-entrant angle. Dugouts
may be constructed close to these bombing posts for the protection of
the grenadiers during the explosion. Immediately the explosion is over,
these grenadiers man their posts and establish a heavy barricade between
the posts and the crater by using hand grenades. If the enemy attempts
to enter the crater, these grenadiers can make it untenable by throwing
hand grenades into it.

Automatic rifle or machine gun emplacements are also located on both
flanks of the crater. Their function is to establish flanking fire on
hostile troops attempting to approach the crater.

Rifle grenadiers are stationed in the line of trenches to establish a
defensive rifle barrage out in front of the crater.

The riflemen will usually occupy the near and flank lips of the crater.
They will not occupy the lip of the crater nearest the enemy until it is
ascertained that the enemy has no more galleries.

A rocket post is located in the first line on the flanks of the crater.
As soon as the crater is exploded, a rocket is sent up from this post
calling upon the artillery for a defensive barrage. Usually, special
artillery is detailed for this extra fire. It is a reinforced fire, or a
combination of preventive fire and protective barrage. It is established
on the enemy’s first line rather than in “No Man’s Land” as a purely
defensive barrage.

With all these precautions taken, the infantry await the explosion of
the mine.

                  _A Selection from the Catalogue of_

                          G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS


                 Complete Catalogue sent on application

                          IT IS THE REAL STUFF

                              OVER THE TOP


                            ARTHUR GUY EMPEY


                              _AUTHOR OF_

                             “_FIRST CALL_”

For a year and a half, until he fell wounded in No Man’s Land, this
American soldier saw more actual fighting and real warfare than any war
correspondent who has written about the war. His experiences are grim,
but they are thrilling and lightened by a touch of humor as original as
the Soldiers Three. And they are true.

            _12º, 16 Illustrations and Diagrams, $1.50 net,
                            By mail, $1.60_


                   “_Over The Top with the Best of
                           Luck and Give Them Hell!_”

 _The British Soldier’s War Cry, as he goes over the top of the trench
    to the charge_


                               FIRST CALL

                            ARTHUR GUY EMPEY

                        Author of “OVER THE TOP”

              _12º. Illustrated. $1.50_ (_By mail, $1.65_)

In the amazingly vivid and simple way that has made _=Over the Top=_ the
most widely read and talked of book in America, and the most successful
war book in all history, Empey tells the new soldiers

                       What they want to know
                       What they ought to know
                       What they’ll have to know

and what their parents, sweethearts, wives, and all Americans, will want
to know, and can do to help.

A practical book by an American who has been through it all.

The chapters headed “Smokes” and “Thank God the Stretcher Bearers” will
stand among the war classics.

Here is advice, here are suggestions, overlooked in other books, that
will safeguard our boys in France.

                      The Making of a Modern Army
                    And Its Operations in the Field

                   A Study Based on the Experience of
                    Three Years on the French Front


                             René Radiguet
                  Général de Division, Army of France

                             Translated by

                           Henry P. du Bellet
                   Formerly American Consul at Rheims


The younger Americans who are now in training for active service in the
field, and particularly those who have secured commissions as officers
or who are preparing to compete for such commissions, will have a very
direct interest in the instructions and suggestions presented by General
Radiguet in regard to the organization of an army and the method of its
operations in the field. General Radiguet’s treatise is based upon a
varied experience in the campaigns of the present war.

The old text-books must be put to one side. The methods of organization
and the methods of fighting have alike changed. It is only those who
have had responsibilities as leaders in the present war whose
instructions can be accepted as authoritative.

                           G. P. Putnam’s Sons
 New York                                                         London


Transcriber’s note:

 1. Silently corrected typographical errors and variations in spelling.

 2. Retained anachronistic, non-standard, and uncertain spellings as

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