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Geoff White

Officer Establishment BEF Infantry Division1914

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Geoff White

I am a new member and by way of introduction I am on the final (dissertation) stage of an MA in WW1 Studies at Wolverhampton University. My dissertation is on a study of the combat effectiveness of II Corps BEF in 1914. One particular aspect is assessing the impact of officer casualties, especially so in in the infantry brigades. The Official History and other works give the establishment in 'all  ranks' numbers. I have found one article on the internet which gives the divisional establishment as 585 officers and 17,488 other ranks but unfortunately it does not provide the reference source and a firewall prevents me from chasing the originator further. Can anyone help me please by pointing me to a primary or even secondary source?

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Geoff White

So many thanks for this. I should be able to track this down from here - whether it was FSR Part 1 or 2.

With Kind Regards

GW

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David Filsell

The two volumes of FSRs are don't go out  without if you are writing a dissertation and much else - has not the University War Studies Department not got copies?

Regards

David

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ss002d6252
8 minutes ago, Geoff White said:

So many thanks for this. I should be able to track this down from here - whether it was FSR Part 1 or 2.

With Kind Regards

GW

Not in FSR Part 2 that I can see or the 1914 mobilization regs(I have a copy of them in front of me now).

 

Craig

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Geoff White

I know - just skimmed through a digital copy and couldn't find it! I have a hard copy of FSR Part 1 and can't see it there yet either. 

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Heid the Ba

I must admit I didn't check, I took Chris's word for it!

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Geoff White

Sorted - brilliant - just what I was looking for. Many thanks!!

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Muerrisch

WARNING: NOT SORTED. The Field Service book is expressly labelled as not authoritative and not to be quoted.

You need War Establishments 1914. PM member Ron Clifton who is the Forum expert.

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Geoff White

Many thanks - a real series of Russian dolls!!

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David Filsell

Good stuff. But the FSRs are vital reference, particularly if you are writing about 1914.

As an instance, during Ypres was critical of 7th Infantry Division and 4  Corps habit of deploying on forward slopes. The criticism has been regularly repeated, often with the comment that "Wellington New that.

Fact is that FSRs noted that such were permissible in the event that they were placed in an expectation of an advance. And that is precisely what Cappers's 7th Division. Although the division's first offensive advance on the oncoming German advancing troops -demanded by French - was a failure, the following offensive (highly) German action made it virtually impossible to build deep and safe defensive positions. Although plans were made to build a second line in better positions, the manpower to do so simply did not exist.

regards

David

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Muerrisch

David, the subject was the Field Service Pocket Book, in which there is nothing original as far as I can tell ................. uses material from the various manuals including Field Service Regs Ops, and FSR Admin, Infantry Training, Cavalry, Engineering, Signalling etc etc.

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David Filsell

Mr M

Noted, and no wish to appear confrontational.

As in my first post I was making the point that the FSRs are totally invaluable in understanding the BEF in 1914 which would, obviously, be absolutely vital if writing a dissertation on II Corps - as would understanding of the number of reservists- officers and men - and a host of other background information still often overlooked or ignored. (In my humble etc).

Regards

David

 

 

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JMB1943

Geoff,

 

Reading from the hard-copy, in front of me,

Page header is [Issued with Army Orders, dated 1st August, 1915]

 

WAR ESTABLISHMENTS

             Part VII

       NEW ARMIES

              1915

 

A pull-out sheet (p.233-234) at end of booklet gives a summary, Officers = 650; O.R’s = 19,122; Total = 19,772.

 

If you need a breakdown of these numbers, I can trawl through the individual listings (HQ’s; Arty Bdes; Field Ambulance; DAC etc)

 

Good Luck with the dissertation.

Regards,

JMB

[edit: this may not be the same as the original 1914 BEF establishments.]

Edited by JMB1943
Add info

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Muerrisch

The New Armies' War Establishments were different from the ones that the OP needs re. 1914. How different, I do not know, but they are not a good source for someone looking at combat effectiveness 1914 wishing academic correctness.

 

I need to repeat: Ron Clifton has what is needed at his fingertips. Neither the FSRs nor the FSB are needed to answer the OP, merely War Establishments 1914.

 

Anyone wishing to do serious study of 1914 needs to search "GUEST", an ex member who did magnificent in depth studies.

 

PM me if you want any help.

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Muerrisch

Here is the Masterclass, with massive contributions by GUEST 

 

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Ron Clifton

Hello all

 

Here are the figures from WE 1914:

 

Unit Maj-Gens Br-Gens Colonels Lt-Cols Majors Captains Subaltns Totals
HQ Infantry Brigade 0 1 0 0 1 2 0 4
4 Infantry Battalions 0 0 0 4 12 32 72 120
Total Infantry Brigade 0 1 0 4 13 34 72 124
                 
HQ Division 1 0 0 4 5 3 2 15
3 Infantry Brigades 0 3 0 12 39 102 216 372
Cavalry Squadron 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 6
HQ Div Artillery 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 4
3 Field Art Brigades 0 0 0 3 9 21 36 69
Fd Art (How) Brigade 0 0 0 1 3 7 11 22
Heavy Battery & AC 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 6
Div Amm Column 0 0 0 1 1 6 7 15
HQ Div Engineers 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 3
2 Field Companies RE 0 0 0 0 2 2 8 12
Signal Company 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 5
Div Train ASC 0 0 0 1 2 13 10 26
3 Field Ambulances 0 0 0 3 6 9 12 30
Total Division 1 4 0 26 71 168 315 585

 

The figures for 1915 (New Armies) are slightly different, largely because of the addition of a Pioneer Battalion and the doubling in size of the infantry machine-gun sections.

 

I must add a couple of small caveats: in some cases, ranks attributable to certain appointments are not always constant (an infantry company commander could be a major or a captain, for example) and I have done my best to even these out. Similarly, "Subalterns" does not differentiate between lieutenants and second-lieutenants so I have left these undivided.

 

Ron

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Heid the Ba

Apologies if I sent anyone off on a wild goose chase.

Edited by Heid the Ba

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Geoff White

Dear All - I've been absent over the last couple of days having been to Lord's for a washed out day of cricket. Many thanks for all contributions and encouragement with my dissertation. I believe I can get hold of a copy of War Establishment 1914 at the Imperial War Museum.

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