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Remembered Today:

What was a carrying party?


jemm
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I have downloaded the 31st Diviison war diary. One entry reads: 2 platoons detached at Coigneux for the purpose of acting as carrying parties in conjuction with the attack.

What was a carrying party?

Thanks.

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Hi jemm,

My understanding, would be any number of men detailed to bring supplies forward, eg ammunition,wire,screw pickets, from the rear area to the front lines.

khaki

ps or maybe bodies to the rear.

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Providing carrying parties does seem to have been a fate often allotted to new battalions arriving in France and at the front for the first time. It was part of the process of getting them used to the front lines.

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Apart from the routine delivery of rations, supplies, defence stores and ammunition to the front line in defence and in the build-up to an attack (carrying duties often carried out by 'resting' troops) , 'carrying parties' could also be detailed as an integral part of attacking waves to bring up stores and ammunition, further defence stores for holding newly won ground or trenches (wire, pickets, sandbags, revetting material, duckboards and A-Frames) and assist with carriage of machine guns and trench mortars. I think this begins to show in the official publication SS 135 Training and Employment of Divisions appearing at the beginning of 1917 as well as in orders for attacks in 1916.

I agree with Centurion that the use of recently arrived battalions to provide 'carrying parties' was a method of acclimatising soldiers to the front line. I have seen evidence that they were also used within established battalions as a way introducing drafts to the fromt line.

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Thanks once again :)

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Apart from the routine delivery of rations, supplies, defence stores and ammunition to the front line in defence and in the build-up to an attack (carrying duties often carried out by 'resting' troops) , 'carrying parties' could also be detailed as an integral part of attacking waves to bring up stores and ammunition, further defence stores for holding newly won ground or trenches (wire, pickets, sandbags, revetting material, duckboards and A-Frames) and assist with carriage of machine guns and trench mortars. I think this begins to show in the official publication SS 135 Training and Employment of Divisions appearing at the beginning of 1917 as well as in orders for attacks in 1916.

This began to decline in late 1917 and in 1918 as the use of tanks to carry forward supplies became more widespread. A report of an action in 1918 reported that 16 Mk IV supply tanks with 64 crewmen carried forward 120,184 lbs of supplies. If carrying parties had been used this would have required 2,146 men (a man load being 56 lbs).

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