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Remembered Today:

General Haig's Raid Map of the British Sector, 1916


Howard
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The document linked below lists 225 raids on the British sector in 1916 and was re-typed from one of General Haig's maps, numbered H44. This bizarre map shows the front from Ypres down to the Somme with details of trench raids North of the main attack area. It consists of 3 sheets, 1:100,000 from the GSGS 2364 series glued together, the Amiens sheet is dated War Office October 1915 and Ordnance Survey 1916. The exact date of the map or its updates is not clear but is thought to be August or September 1916. The main attack area centres approximatly on Courcelette.

Glued onto the map are details of the results of 225 raids, both Allied and German. Each raid is described on a strip of paper glued to the map as per the example below. Underneath the strips, the map shows the front line and a series of annotations and arrows showing individual raids. Some have a capital letter linking it to information glued to the map. Also shown are army and corps areas, and the numbers of gas bottles and cylinders along the front. The way that some of the strips are glued to the map makes reading these annotations very difficult or impossible without strong backlighting.

Many of the strips are glued onto top of others, so a photograph or scan of the assembly does not show most of the information. To make all of the information available, the details have been retyped and are listed as linked below.

Abbreviations have been kept as per the original. Dates are often given as 1st/2nd without the month, some are in brackets, some not, these differences in presentation have been preserved in this document as have the inconsistent month abbreviations, spellings etc.

I hope it is of interest.

Howard

post-991-0-07665500-1440192984_thumb.jpg

Example of raid details

post-991-0-82105000-1440193006_thumb.jpg

Example of raid locations

Links to full files

Low res version of the map

Med res version of the map

List of raids in a Word document

Map showing front line and raid locations. This is necessary as the raid strips cover the map so it was assembled from a set of photographs with the strips held back.

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What an interesting find! Thank you for posting. I will check it properly when I can get off the tablet and onto a PC. It keeps pestering me to download an app on this thing and I would probably benefit from the bigger screen.

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Many Thanks, Howard for this

A lot of work, but I can visualise many Pals comparing this with casualty events for units and soldiers involved.

Much appreciated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Howard,

Thank you very much for the thread and the amount of time you have taken to copy it and present it.

Rather than being a bizarre map I find it very interesting. It shows me the amount of continual effort that Haig was attempting across the whole front during the Battle of the Somme and that this had begun before Z-Day, the day the battle started. I would suspect, but may well be wrong, that those raids where only the day is recorded happened in July and that accounts for the month not being included.

Recording the information for Haig, in a way that he could very quickly understand it and discuss it, without recourse to ledgers and the maintaining officer and clerks would have meant either presenting it as preserved, or having a list of events continually redone next to the map. As a person who used to maintain battle maps at various levels of command in the days of OHP pens and NATO map symbols, the way it has been done would have been the quickest and simplest. It is a historical equivalent of moving a cursor over Google Maps and having a balloon pop-up with a description of the location and event.

Cheers,

Hendo

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What is the source of this map please?

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Howard

I would like to add my thanks. My grandfather was involved in one of these raids with the 41st Division and it certainly puts everything into perspective.

Stuart

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