Object.The object of an offensive action is not merely to gain possession of a line of enemy trenches but actually to drive the enemy from his entire position and to defeat him, without giving him time to reorganize.
Preparation.An operation of this nature cannot be improvised off-hand. The test of repeated experiments has proved that elaborate organization and preparation are indispensable condi-tions for success. This preparation must leave nothing to chance and must bring about, before launching the attack, all the condi-tions favourable to its execution.
This does not absolve the higher command from the obligation of guaranteeing by every possible precaution the secrecy of the operations in view and of securing for the attack the advantage of surprise.
Officers commanding the higher formations, commanders of infantry units detailed for an attack, and battery commanders whose function it is to support it, must have made themselves familiar with the ground to be attacked not only by means of "plans directeurs" and photographs, but also by personal re-connaissance on the spot, in order to ascertain the nature of the obstacles which must successively be surmounted, arrange for their destruction, and determine the role of each body of troops concerned.
In the distribution of units special attention will be paid to the degree in which each of them may have familiarised itself with the ground.
The ground must be prepared in such a manner as to enable the attack to be launched in close proximity to the enemy, and to secure an uninterrupted supply of men, rations and ammunition, the rapid evacuation of casualties to the rear, and to facilitate the movement of artillery.
The whole attack must be carried out on a broad front in order to secure results of sufficient importance and to obviate the possi-bility of flank attacks on the part of the enemy.
The large formations which are to be first engaged (i.e., Army Corps, Divisions) will be aligned in depth with a narrow front allotted to each, in order to secure for the operation both con-tinuity and weight.
It will have been the role of the artillery, by systematically directing its fire on the successive lines of the enemy's positions, to destroy his defences, and to break up his dug-outs, communication trenches and flanking works. It will have lowered the moral of the defenders by repeated shock and will be in readiness to afford effective support to the infantry attacks, throughout their duration, not only on their original but also on their ulterior objectives.
Up to the moment of the attack, the infantry will be held under cover at points of assembly prepared in echelon behind the firing line and affording an easy egress to the front. The troops will be provided with all the necessary material for surmounting and destroying obstacles and for action at close quarters.
The assaulting troops, at all distances, will be imbued with the idea of breaking through, of going beyond the first line of captured trenches, and of continuing the attack without inter-mission till the final result is obtained.
Execution.The complete preparation of the attack being an indispensable condition for success, it follows that its execution must be regulated by the completion of this preparation, and must especially depend upon the securing of the results aimed at in the artillery preparation.
Higher commanders must satisfy themselves, either personally or through their liaison officers that all the precautions laid down have been complied with, and the necessary results obtained. The responsibility is theirs.*
The infantry will rush forward to the assault under the protection of walls of fire created by the artillery, with the object of paralysing the enemy's counter-attacks, and assisted by counter-batteries, whose role is to silence the enemy's artillery.
This attack must take a sharp and violent form, and will be driven home without intermission, or any loss of continuity, till the final result is obtained by means of the unceasing entry into action of fresh units on the front.
It will require a vigorous command, determined to push on to the end, and keeping in close and uninterrupted communication with the combatants, so as to be in possession of an exact idea of the situation at any moment, and to control the combat throughout.
Finally, it demands in all subordinates the conviction that trench warfare can and must cease, and that this result depends on their vigour, their tenacity, and their belief in their own physical and moral superiority.
The notes appended demonstrate the conditions governing the application of these principles.
They also set forth certain means of execution which have successfully passed the test of recent attacks, and the use of which, with suitable modifications, according to the ground and local conditions of each individual attack, is to be recommended.
Objectives.In a concerted offensive action, it is important that it should not be considered sufficient to assign to the infantry as objective the first line of enemy trenches.
There obviously exists a risk of seeing the whole line of attack halt to reorganize in the captured trench, and subsequently await the enemy's counter offensive, and by so doing leave him complete freedom either to prepare his counter-attacks or to re-establish himself in rear.
The only result obtained by such a procedure, consisting of a series of successive attacks separated by intervals of inaction, is gradually to force the enemy back, without however making him the object of the uninterrupted pressure which will render it possible to defeat him.
In order to secure the requisite continuity of action, it appears advisable to give the attacking units as their objective points in rear of the enemy's fortified position, the possession of which will be a guarantee that the preliminary result to be obtained, i.e., the piercing of the enemy's linehas been secured.
In aiming at the possession of these points, the attacking units must regard the enemy's trenches not as an end in themselves, but as a series of barriers which must be penetrated before reaching the objective laid down.
Strengths.Having regard to the efforts which must be devel-oped in order to carry a fortified position, the infantry must more than ever be organized in a manner calculated to assure its staying power.
The higher formations will therefore be disposed in depth and engaged on a narrow front, (1,000 to 1,200 yards per division) at that part of the line where the decisive effort is to make itself felt.
In the new form which it has assumed, the infantry combat opens with an assault. The phase consisting of a progressive advance towards the enemy of a firing line of increasing density no longer exists.
It follows that as a general rule, and at all events in the principal sectors of the attack, the firing-line must develop from the outset the maximum density compatible with effective use of the arm, roughly one man per yard, or one company on a front of 200 yards.
The whole effective of each company in the firing-line will enter into action simultaneously.
Reinforcements will be brought up in successive lines, the strength and intervals of which will depend upon the situation of the moment, without, however, departing from the principle that, once launched, the attack must be carried out with the greatest possible rapidity, without intermission, and with the utmost determination. Local reinforcements below the strength of a company are to be avoided.
Formation.The best formation in which to approach the enemy is usually open order one rank deep, which alone allows of immediate and simultaneous action by all the units co-operating in the attack. This formation will be adopted in the parallel from which the attack starts; by these means the individual soldier will merely have to advance straight to his front on the order to attack being given.*
On reaching the enemy's first line defences, the portions of the attack immediately in front of the breaches will be the first to enter the enemy's trench; those on either side of them will be able to follow through the same opening. The others will lie down for the time being behind the wire entanglement, making the utmost use of the available cover, and will endeavour to take advantage of every circumstance enabling them in their turn to pass the obstacle.
Acting in a similar manner as the first line troops, the reinforce-ments will usually debouch in open order one file deep. Brought forward in good time to the trench from which the attack is launched, they will deploy there in the same manner as the troops which have preceded them, at distances varying according to their strength.
Later, when the progress of the attack has rendered possible the construction of further communication trenches extending to the captured trenches, they will be able to extend the covered line of approach as far as the latter and to use them as their deploying-points.
This is an undesirable formation, in open country, at all events. It is vulnerable; it approaches the objective on a narrow front, and finally there is the risk of defective cohesion during the advance, and consequent loss to the soldier of the feeling of mutual support at the moment of impact.
The considerations which have led to the occasional adoption of this formation have been either the inadequate provision of outlets from the trenches whence the attack starts or the desire to take advantage of breaches created in the enemy's defences.
The first difficulty may easily be avoided by suitable preparation of the trench. As for the second, the intention of immediately making for the breaches cannot justify an advance in column under fire across a space of from 150 to 200 yards.
Progress of the attack.The preliminary dispositions preparatory to the assault will be made immediately before the attack, in order that the troops may enjoy as long as possible the protection afforded by the dug-outs. The signal for the attack will be given either by bugle-call or by means of rockets.
As a rule, the first line will advance for the attack during the last stage of the final bombardment.
When the artillery fire is well controlled, the infantry can leave the trenches as soon as the final bombardment commences; it then advances under cover of the salvos in order to assault the enemy's trench the moment the artillery ceases to fire on the garrison.
Each unit will march straight to its front, on points previously detailed, with fixed bayonets, and as a rule without firing.
If the artillery preparation has been thorough, the entire line can advance as one man, at the walk. This is by far the best method.
In other cases, the line must advance by a series of bounds, a portion at a time. In these circumstances care will be taken that no advance is attempted by any fraction less than a company.
The attacking line will advance as far as the first enemy trench, will throw grenades into it, and will then cross it and vigorously continue its forward movement, under the protection of the wall of fire provided by the artillery, leaving the groups of bomb throwers, supported by certain bodies of troops previously detailed for the purpose, the task of getting down into the trench, clearing it, and establishing themselves therein.
Immediately following the departure of the first line of the attack, a line of reinforcements will have come up to man the trench from which the attack started. It will debouch at a short distance behind the first line (from 50 to 100 yards) taking advan-tage, like the latter, of the period of effective fire of the artillery.
These reinforcements must not halt when they reach the captured trench, but will join the most advanced troops in order to assist their progress. The subsequent lines of reinforcements will come up in succes-sion in the same manner.
Engineer detachments will accompany the first reinforcements and will be employed in organizing the captured trench.
Machine-guns will be brought up into this trench immediately it has been occupied with a view to checking counter-attacks and assuring possession of the ground captured.
At the earliest possible moment, trench mortars will also be brought up.
After this first assault, it will be absolutely essential to establish communication trenches between the original trench and that captured, in order to avoid the wall of fire created by the enemy's artillery.
Pending the establishment of regular means of communication, and to supplement them when established, arrangements will be made for the use of pre-arranged signals, made by means of flags or other signalling apparatus, which will enable the units in action to give a summary account of their situation.
The attack will continue without interruption or respite, day and night, until the final result; regimental officers in front making every effort to push on, while the higher command in rear concentrates on the task of feeding the combat as it progresses, or organizing fresh efforts against the points which offer a prolonged resistance.
It will be incumbent on those in every sphere, from the firing line backwards, to exploit immediately any local success, either directly or for the benefit of neighbouring bodies which have been less successful, assisting their advance by flank movements issuing from the captured positions.
Advantage will be taken of night to relieve exhausted units; after being passed by fresh bodies of troops, which will immediately take up the task of pursuing the attack, the former will rally on the spot under the nearest cover with a view to re-forming and subsequent employment.
As a rule, this relief does not imply the return of the troops previously engaged to the rear. This procedure, though obligatory in the case of troops occupying trenches, is justified in the course of an attack only when the lengthy duration of the attack renders it indispensable.
It may be considered that a division can maintain a continuous and violent effort for a matter of several days, in the course of which its reserves will enable it constantly to feed the firing line with fresh troops.
Position of commanders.The commanders of an attack must place themselves near the front in a position permitting them to see the field of battle, and enabling them to exercise a constant and immediate action on the conduct of events.
The report-centre of a battalion commander or regimental commander should be situated in the trench from which the action starts, that of a brigadier-general on a level with the dug-outs of the first or second lines, that of a divisional commander near the first reserves of the division.
(These posts will be constructed according to the instructions in the note on the preparation of the ground for an attack.)
They must not remain invariably fixed in their original position. The common tendency to adhere to a particular point in order to enjoy the advantage of the communications which have been arranged and of existing telephones is wrong. A report-centre should be shifted every time that the progress of the attack renders such a move necessary, in order to continue to overlook the scene of the attack, and to assure the direct action of the commander on the troops. The pushing forward of report-centres will further be attended by the happiest moral effect on the troops in action.
Material organization.The infantry must develop in the minutest details the material preparation for the attack.
Each man will be provided, as a rule, with 250 rounds, 2 days' rations, and a few grenades. The entrenching-tool will be fixed on the belt before the start, and water-bottles will be filled.
Grenade throwers will be equipped with firing wristlets.
Units detailed for clearing the trenches will be provided with special arms (revolvers, clasp-knives); parties provided with wire-cutters, charges, and the Filloux wire-cutting apparatus* will be distributed along the front.
Special reserves of small-arm ammunition and grenades will be arranged in the starting parallel for each company.
Sufficient provision will also be placed there of wire, stakes, sand-bags, tools, flags, telephone apparatus, &c. A portion of these stores will be distributed to each unit before the start.
The bodies whose duty it will be to keep the units in the firing-line supplied with ammunition and materials will be detailed in advance and organized with a view to their employment.
Posts for cleaning rifles will be provided, and so forth.
All units which are to accompany the first line of the attack or to follow it will receive special instructions, clearly defining the duties allocated to them and enabling them to make suitable preparations (i.e., parties of telephone operators, signalling parties, grenade throwers, bomb throwers, machine gunners, detachments of ration carriers, detachments of workers to be employed in making communication trenches, &c.).
The means of bringing up rations, and especially of assuring a supply of water, no less in the firing line than in the existing works, will be studied and arranged for before the attack.
It is vital that every detail should be foreseen and minutely provided for so that it shall be impossible for the carrying out of the attack to be hampered or delayed, in any circumstances, by details of this nature.
The determination always to push further forward by means of a continuous action demands in the case of the artillery an extremely perfect preliminary organization and a minute study of its eventual movement.
The artillery opens the path for the infantry. Its objects are :
The selection of objectives and their distribution among the different batteries involves
Since the artillery has to fire not only on the first line but also on the whole of the enemy's position and must be able to silence the enemy's batteries, frequently at a considerable range, it is absolutely essential, from the outset, to open with the artillery well forward in order to avoid changes of position which would either be impossible under fire or would delay its action.
A. Preparation of the Attack.
Destruction to be effected in the course of preparation.The artillery fire must
Registration.Artillery fire is effective only when it has been possible to register with extreme precision.
In many cases, this accurate registration requires the assistance of air-craft or balloons.
It is often advisable that it should be carried out by each gun in succession. For specially accurate fire, or when dealing with material whose elevating gear is worn out, spirit-levels of the 1886 pattern may frequently be used with advantage.
Fire control during the preparation.The duration and control of the preliminary bombardment are not the same in the case of heavy artillery and of field artillery.
The following results of experience are laid down for the guidance of commanders :
In the case of the heavy artillery, after preliminary registration and control of fire, a period of from 3 to 4 hours may be given as the limit of effective preparation. This period is calculated on a basis of the number of rounds to be fired on each definite target, in the course of a regular bombardment, in order to produce a satisfactory result. Except where the target offers an exceptional resistance or covers an unusually large area, this figure may be estimated at from 40 to 50 rounds per gun for the 220 m., 50 to 60 for the 155 m., 60 to 80 for the 120 m.**
In the case of the field artillery, it is often advisable to divide the preliminary bombardment by a pause for the purpose of verifying its results. In all, from 80 to 100 rounds per gun should suffice (registration having previously been effected).** The use of prolonged and rapid fire, which results in accidents of every description, is absolutely forbidden.*
In certain circumstances, it will be necessary to resort to con-tinuous bombardment, day and night.
In any case, the artillery preparation must cease only when the necessary results have been secured.
Destruction of defences.For this purpose, the 155 howitzer may be used in conjunction with the 75. The number of batteries to be employed depends on the number of breaches to be opened. Experience has established as a minimum the use of one 75 battery to every 200 yards of front.
It will be desirable to destroy simultaneously the defences of the first and second lines. Should the number of batteries at the disposition of a commander not admit of this, the second line defences will be destroyed first, followed by those of the first line.
Bombardment and destruction of trenches, dug-outs, and com-munication trenches.These operations will be carried out by the whole of the available artillery simultaneously with the destruction of the accessory defences. As soon as the latter has been effected, the 155's and 75's, which were detailed for that purpose, will in their turn take part in the bombardment. (It is advisable to allocate one 75 battery to every 100 yards of front.) Bombardment immediately preceding the attack, and comple-mentary action against the garrison of the enemy trenches.The attack must only be launched after it has been established that the accessory defences have been destroyed. It will be preceded, as a rule, by a bombardment by the whole of the artillery. The bombardment takes the form of "rafales" broken by periods of silence of unequal duration.
The last part of several of these "rafales" can be marked by a series of salvoes so as to make the enemy imagine that an infantry attack is imminent.
The all-important factor is to keep the enemy in a state of uncertainty as to the actual moment of the assault, so that he may man his trenches prematurely and so be exposed to the fire of the last "rafales."
If the enemy commences to form walls of fire prematurely, advantage must be taken of it by trying to mark down his batteries and silence them. Preparation by trench mortars, &c.When circumstances do not permit of artillery preparation being carried out with sufficient certainty, especially where this is due to the lie of the ground, the preparation will be secured or completed by trench howitzers (80 and 65 mm. pieces, &c., and especially the 58 and trench mortars.)
These will be advanced as near as possible to the enemy's line, in sufficient numbers (one 58 to every 30 yards, roughly, of front to be attacked) with an adequate supply of ammunition, for which covered magazines will have been arranged. The preparation by this means will only commence at the desired moment, in time to produce the effect aimed at, and will consist of systematic and continuous fire.
B. Development of the Attack.
At a pre-arranged signal, or, in certain circumstances, at the moment fixed for the infantry attack, the artillery increases its range progressively*, in order to create in advance and on the flanks of the attack a longitudinal and transverse wall of fire, under cover of which the infantry can advance.
As soon as the infantry has reached the enemy's first line, the artillery carries out its role of preparation on the communication trenches and on the second and third lines, and also details batteries to move forward with the infantry in the same manner as was previously done against the first line: it fires on any machine guns whose positions happen to be revealed; it opposes all counter-attacks, making use, within reasonable limits, of rapid fire. Batteries detailed to move forward with the infantry.In order that the action of the artillery may be assured, and in order that it may act uninterruptedly and in close co-operation with the attacking infantry, it will be necessary to arrange for a number of 75 batteries and even of heavy batteries to move forward.
For this purpose, emplacements will be prepared, routes under cover will be reconnoitred, appliances for crossing obstacles will be provided and teams will be kept close to the guns.
It will have been possible, during the period of preparation, to push forward certain batteries or sections whose role is to open fire only when the action develops.
It is also indispensable to arrange for trench mortars and similar material to be moved forward at short notice. Counter-batteries.One of the first duties of our artillery is to engage and silence at all costs the enemy's batteries, whose positions must have been located in advance or are to be searched for throughout the course of the engagement by every possible means (observing stations, balloons, aeroplanes, &c.).
It will often be advisable to use 75 mm. batteries as counter-batteries, when distance permits; where this is not the case, the heavy artillery will be employed for this purpose, every effort being made to develop the utmost possible rapidity of fire.
C. Position of Report-Centres and Organization of Communications.
The primary condition of effective artillery action is the organization of forward observation and of close touch with the infantry.
The position of artillery report-centres, as a rule, will be identical with those of the infantry commanders.
The artillery, however, must always have at its disposal a system of telephonic communication of its own, linking up the report-centres, observing stations, and batteries.
Observing stations are of two kinds
It is advisable to multiply these observing stations, without necessarily occupying them all simultaneously. They usually consist of shell-proof shelters. Use may be made, especially in wooded country, of ladder observing stations.
Observers are detailed from personnel carefully selected and trained for this purpose. Observers whose duty is to observe fire must be placed as near as possible to the targets, almost invariably among the first lines of the infantry.
In addition to fixed observers, arrangements may be made, in the case of certain batteries intended to come into action during the development of the engagement, for mobile observers, officers and non-commissioned officers, who will march with the infantry commanders and will be accompanied by the personnel required to carry the appliances necessary for rapidly establishing communication.
Moreover, steps must be taken to provide for the progressive advance of observers throughout the development of the action.
Co-operation between the artillery and the infantry is secured by the mutual proximity of artillery and infantry commanders, and by placing artillery observers near the commanders of the lower infantry formations.
As a rule, it devolves upon the artillery officers in the trenches to convey the requirements of the infantry to the batteries, according to the information given by the infantry officers (battalion commander, captain, &c.).
The telephone lines required for the operations of the artillery during the preliminary bombardment and the attack (three sets of independent lines wherever possible) should be laid either in the communication trenches, or better still, along the drainage channels (from 10 to 18 inches deep) running along the edge of the communication trenches. This method not only facilitates repairs but also lessens the risk of the wires being cut by the enemy's shells, or by the movement of troops.
The telephonic communications must be supplemented by visual communication arranged for by special methods.
It will also be necessary to make use of prearranged signals between the infantry and the artillery, such as red or white rockets, to ask for the cessation of fire, increase of range, or a renewal of activity by the artillery.
Wherever there is danger of ambiguity arising, our infantry line, or our first-line trenches, will be marked by a series of flags or white and red discs, hidden as far as possible from the view of the enemy.
In order that the infantry may attack under favourable con-ditions, and be capable of a continuous effort, it must
The ground must be prepared in such a manner as to comply with these conditions, which require a starting trench from which the troops will debouch for the attack, fortified points designed to provide cover for reinforcements within a short distance of the firing line, communication trenches guaranteeing, in spite of the enemy's artillery, the continuous feeding of the attacking troops, and the evacuation of casualties.
The details of the organization will vary according to the dispositions adopted for the attack. In any case, this organization is secondary to those dispositions, and the latter must be decided upon sufficiently in advance to allow of the execution of the necessary works.
Parallel from which the attack starts.This will consist of the fire trench, or better still a "starting parallel" in advance of it, and sited in front of our own defences.
Carried out along the whole extent of the attacking front, and parallel to the enemy line, it will be occupied in succession by the first line of the attack followed by their reinforcements for the purpose of their initial deployment.
The distance between this parallel and the enemy's first line will be as a rule from 150 to 200 yards, in order to be as near as possible to the first objective of the attack without giving ground for apprehension of the effect of one's own artillery during the period of immediate preparation.
It must be easy to debouch from, for which purpose steps will be arranged throughout its length. In all cases where the starting trench should happen to be the first-line trench, the complete removal of the obstacles protecting it should be provided for during the night preceding the attack.*
Both these methods are, however, merely adventitious.]
The "starting parallel" will be arranged in such a manner as to be capable of containing every description of stores intended for the assaulting troops (ammunition, grenades, wire, sandbags, &c).
All arrangements will be made (in the form of special detachments, tools, and dug-outs) to facilitate repairs under fire of the enemy's artillery.
Numerous communication trenches will be provided between this parallel and the rear, in order to allow of its immediate occupation on the order being given.
To the front, a few "Russian saps" will indicate the line of the new communication trenches which are to join up with the enemy's first-line trench, and are to be constructed after the latter has been taken.
First-line trench.This will serve as cover for the first units which are to come into action until they enter the "starting parallel." It will be arranged accordingly (with rails, traverses, and dug-outs).
It will therefore have to be evacuated in good time by the garrison, which must be withdrawn to the portions of the trench not required by the attacking troops, in order to avoid confusion.
Points of Assembly.These will form immediate points of assembly close to the front for successive reinforcements as they come up to support the troops already engaged.
There must be enough of these to provide cover for the whole of the troops liable to be engaged in the course of one day.
They may consist of lengths of trenches capable of containing a platoon or half-platoon, parallel to the front line (see Figs. 2 and 3). They will be covered over or dug underground, and must be proof against the smaller type of shell; they must be arranged so as to allow sufficient rest for the troops; their organization will be completed by the provision of a water supply and latrines.
The average distance separating them from the starting parallel will be short, as the zone behind the first line usually suffers more from the enemy's artillery than the first line itself; at the same time it is advisable to reduce the distance by which they are separated from the front in order to ensure the rapid entry of the reinforcements into the line.
Communication trenches.The communication trenches will provide artificial routes under cover by means of which the firing line can be supplied with men, ammunition and rations, and the evacuation of casualties can be secured throughout.
Towards the front they will be narrow but numerous. To the rear, where they must be of a width allowing the passage of two men abreast, their number will be reduced; it must, however, provide liberal means for supplying fortified points with fresh troops.
All movements in the communication trenches will be carefully organized and controlled. Movement will be allowed in one direction only, some of them being reserved for the evacuation of casualties; moreover, their width will be enlarged at certain points, in order to provide for unexpected complications. No halts will be allowed; on the same principle, the rule that all casualties are to be immediately evacuated to the rear of the scene of the attack must be strictly applied.
The communication trenches will be provided with sign-boards and guide posts; care will be taken, in their construction, to avoid crossings which may hamper the movement of troops and lead to loss of direction.
The upkeep of communication trenches will be the subject of special arrangements; it may devolve on working parties (Territorial Reservists), whose duty it will also be to enforce the orders issued with regard to their use.
The communication trenches will be extended as the attack progresses. Those intended to link up the enemy's first-line trenches will be commenced before the attack, continued during the action, and must be completed as quickly as possible on account of the walls of fire created by the enemy's artillery.
Observing stations and telephonic communication.
The preparation of the ground will include observing stations for the commanders directing the attack as well as for the artillery observers. These observing stations, whether above or below the surface, must be proof against bombardments; if underground, they must be provided with suitable periscopes.
It is desirable that they should be close to the communication trenches with a view to assisting the work of liaison officers.
The system of telephone lines which radiate therefrom should be laid along the drainage-channels, which run along the side of the communication trenches, so as to be under cover and easily repaired under fire; it will be advisable to double and even treble them. They must also be supplemented by means of visual communication (signalling apparatus).
The works required for producing on the area of the attack an organization fulfilling the conditions examined above are of the highest importance.
They must be carried out at leisure, well in advance of the attack.
Those works, however, which are nearest to the front (starting parallel, advanced communication trenches) will only be executed immediately previous to the assault and by night in order to avoid prematurely drawing the enemy's attention to the scene of the attack.
Example of the preparation of ground to be attacked.For the sake of example, the preparation of ground on a front of 1,200 yards, selected for attack by a division, will be studied (Fig. 3).
The starting parallel, 1 yard in width, will be occupied at the moment of the attack by the 6 leading companies of the leading regiment.
The first-line trench, which must serve as cover for these companies, will be linked up with the starting parallel by 24 communication trenches (1 per section) 1 yard in width.
The points of assembly in the first line, situated 50 yards in rear of the first-line trench, will be arranged for occupation by the 6 remaining companies of the leading regiment, and will be linked up with the first-line trench by means of 12 communication trenches (2 per company), 1 yard in width.
100 yards further to the rear will be found the assembly points of the second line, capable of containing 6 companies of the second regiment: they will be joined to the former assembly points by 6 communication trenches 2 yards in width, debouching both in front and to the rear into lateral communication trenches parallel to the front.
Four communication trenches will lead up to the edge of the area of the attack.
At the same time, two communication trenches reserved solely for the evacuation of casualties will run from one end to the other, terminating in dressing stations situated on the outskirts of the area of the attack.
The remainder of the division (two and a half regiments) will be formed up at the entrance of the communication trenches, in shelters or in bivouac, ready to move up along the communication trenches or across country.
To sum up
One brigade, with greater part of its effectives (18 companies), in immediate proximity to the attacking front is ready to come into action.
The other brigade is immediately in rear of the first, ready to follow it.