Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Recommended Posts

AOK4

Hello,

 

I am looking for the Second Army artillery orders and guidances during the Final Advance in Flanders (28 September - 11 November 1918). I have been looking in the WO 95 Series for the Second Army, but can't really find what I'm looking for (I think the old paper inventory was way easier to browse and gave a lot more information about the individual files. I believe there was a commander of the Royal Artillery on Army level? Does anyone know which file number I need?

 

Regards,

Jan

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stiletto_33853
Posted (edited)

Jan,

 

September/October is WO95/277-4_2 & WO95/277-4_3

November is WO95/277-5

 

There is a file following WO95/277-6 which gives details of operations from April 18 to the end of the war.

 

Andy

Screen Shot 2019-05-15 at 07.00.26.png

Edited by stiletto_33853

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AOK4

Thanks Andy,

 

The file in question gives a summary of the operations. What I am looking for, are the artillery orders and guidances. Top explain a bit more: were gas shells allowed and when? were Belgian cities, especially when they were still inhabited, to be bombarded? I would like to learn how much the civilians were taken into consideration during the final offensive.

 

Jan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeMeech
On 15/05/2019 at 07:29, AOK4 said:

Thanks Andy,

 

The file in question gives a summary of the operations. What I am looking for, are the artillery orders and guidances. Top explain a bit more: were gas shells allowed and when? were Belgian cities, especially when they were still inhabited, to be bombarded? I would like to learn how much the civilians were taken into consideration during the final offensive.

 

Jan

Hi

 

Have you looked at 'Pouring with Rain - Troops Fed Up, British Second Army and the Liberation Offensive in Flanders 1918' by Dennis Williams?  This contains many references of files that may be of use.  For example on page 256 it has the following:

 

"Where possible, forward areas were to be evacuated, to reduce the risk of civilian casualties and prevent the troops' concern for civilians from impeding military operations.  93 Brigade noted on 22 October that:

Our artillery was quiet owing to civilians moving about the enemy's forward areas. (TNA WO95/2360, War Diary of 93 Infantry Brigade)."

 

It appears British artillery did not fire on the German positions because civilians were in the area.

 

The Germans appear not to have discriminated, page 260:

 

"At Wattrelos, there was street fighting before the town was cleared of enemy rear guards, and casualties were inflicted on advancing troops and civilians from the heavy bombardments of gas and high-explosive shells to which the town was subjected."

 

Also page 262: 'Earlier, on the 17 October, following its capture that day by British forces, the Germans had used gas at the village of Cuerne' The quote from WO95/1771/4/5, War Diary of 27 Infantry Brigade, Narrative of Operations 28 September-28 October 1918, is that:

 

"The enemy gassed CUERNE that night.  The town was full of civilians who had no masks.  The gas had no effect on operations as we had our masks and it is one more instance of the kind of enemy we have to deal with."

 

The War Diaries appear to include the mention of civilian casualties,  who also had to be fed by the allied forces.  As the British Second Army came under the control of 'Groupe d'Armees des Flandres' 'commanded' by King Albert, it appears a lot of effort was being undertaken to avoid civilian casualties, at least in this latter stage of the fighting, which was relatively more 'open'.

 

A reading of this book may be quite useful, if you have not seen it already. 

 

Mike

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ron Clifton

You could try looking at the GHQ Papers relating to Second Army's operations in 1918. They are in class WO158, files 211, 212 and 218. They are not available online, though.

 

Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AOK4

Hello Mike,

Thanks. I have heard about this book but haven't read it. I've put it on my to read list.

Jan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...