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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Orders for Somme


SimPar

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Hi folks,

As I understand it, orders for the Somme were distributed in written form to the Battalions on/about the 25th June. Would there also have been verbal briefings by the Brigadiers to their Battalion commanders?

I have seen references to Brigade conferences in war diaries with regard to other matters but not specifically about the Somme offensive. I would hope that Brigadiers did take the time to explain the plans properly to their subordinates but then again 1916 was a world away from where we are today.....

I look forward to your replies.

Simon

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I think it would be difficult to give a generally applicable answer to the question. The Somme offensive was to a large extent the first operation by the new army. Of course there were many exceptions, but I suggest that there was considerable variation within the Army Corps and Divisions and no doubt the Brigades. Some would have made representations of the ground that they were to attack and would have briefed in detail possibly to NCO level. Certainly as far as artillery was concerned different Corps used very different orders.

Old Tom

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Thanks Old Tom,

I have no doubt that you're right. I am working on some fiction around the Somme battle and was hoping for confirmation that a verbal briefing was at least plausible. The more I study the battle the more aware I become that the Somme operation was not of a uniform nature from North to South! I guess that's part of the battle's attraction from a research/historical perspective.

Regards

Simon

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Tom's reply, which I would agree with, gives you the leeway to put what you like within reason.

Different battle I know, but for the battle of Loos 141 Brigade gave to each battalion written orders and maps; sketch maps further down the ranks, pertinent to their particular role, to all Officers and to NCO's down to Sergeant who gave verbal instructions to section leaders. I am sure that these would have been passed on to the section members.

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