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Remembered Today:

Infantry battalions in the attack - Somme 1916


delta
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Grateful if someone could point me at a document which indicates the frontage an infantry battalion would be assigned in a deliberate attack. 

I am particularly interest in the actions on the Somme after  the first day.

On 15 Sep, this frontage appears to vary between 200=400 yards; was there a planning guide ?

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On 13 November 1916 the Royal Naval Division attacked toawrds Beaucourt-sur-L'Ancre on a divisional front (with four battalions abreast) of about 1135 yards. Battalion frontage was, therefore, about 280 yards initially, widening to about 380 yards at the final objective because the River Ancre, forming the right boundary of the line, curved away from the divisional front.

Clearly the lie of the land was a determining factor.

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Also depends how each battalion was disposed. Not uncommon to see two companies forming the first wave with one mopping up behind. Or you could have a whole battalion in first wave and another (or parts of) mopping up..

Two companies would have to be a narrower wave than all four.

TEW 

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There is some useful information in The First Day of the Somme by Michael Middlebrook.

Ron

 

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Many thanks -Don

Although I don't have access to Ancestry, Trevor Pidgeon's map shows their frontage was about 600 yards with 4 companies up.  

The Bde was not allocated any tanks - they may have helped on 15 Sep as they did not make as much progress as 150th Bde who had two in support. 

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