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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Battalion Headquarters


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I have read many times about Battalion Headquarters being moved forward to 'x' point during an offensive. Does anyone know if there were any general rules about where the HQ would be situated in an offensive, and also how many officers it would contain?

Many thanks

Bob Findley

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During an attack, only a small proportion of a battalion HQ would move forward - provided the advance succeeded. The 'fighting portion', as opposed to the 'administrative portion', consisted of the commanding officer, second-in-command, adjutant, and various specialist officers (such as Lewis gun, signalling or bombing officer). Other ranks included signallers and runners. An advance HQ would include at least one of the 'fighting' officers. At least one of these officers would remain back at the main HQ to ensure continuity if the battle HQ was overrun or wiped out. Some signallers and runners would accompany the battle HQ. The enemy looked for evidence of these men coming and going to identify where battle HQs were located. The administrative portion, including the assistant adjutant, quartermaster, transport officer, and myriad of other rank functions remained back at the main battalion HQ until it was formally closed down.


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