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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Composition of the Fifth Army


Matthew

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I was recently reading Gough's 'The Fifth Army' and in particular the events surrounding the Spring Offensive. I had always assumed that the 37th Division was always part of that army until I realised it didn't appear in the book for that period.

I've always tended to focus at Brigade and Battalion level so hadn't concerned myself with Army and Corps changes. Can anyone point me at a good source for changes at that level.

TIA

M

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M

My Kew notebook tells me that there is a book by BECKE "Order of Battle" in their Library,and that there is a series of War Diaries WO95/5467 to 5493 showing Orders of Battle and where units served. My note suggests that Becke got his info from these Diaries.

Probably teaching G/M to suck eggs but I say it anyway.

Sotonmate

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Looking at the 'Battles and engagements' it looks as though they were in 5th Army, V Corps in November 1916. Battle of Vimy shows them as Third Army, VI Corps. Battles of Ypres 1917 - Second Army, IX Corps. Spring Offensive 1918 - Third Army, IV Corps and they seem to have finished the war with those two.

Steve m

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Hello Matthew

Towards the end of the War Diaries class at Kew, WO95, there are three files, WO95/5467 to 5469, which contain ORBATs for France at roughly monthly intervals. These confirm that 37 Div does not appear to have served with Fifth Army at all, except for a short period around Dec 1916. As Steve indicates, it served with Third Army in 1918, having joined it from Fourth Army (then in the Salient) at some point between 14 March and 1 May. During Third Ypres it was with Second Army.

The "book" by Becke referred to by sotonmate is in fact a set of six volumes, which are part of the British Official History.

Ron

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Thanks chaps,

Something to work on there. Just shows how you can get focussed at one level and miss whole aspects!

M

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