The Minute Book
Friday, 16 October 2015

Wife's Consent Not Needed
Topic: CEF

CNE Military Camp, 1915. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 3588

Wife's Consent Not Needed

Militia Department Abolishes Bar to Enlistment—Niagara Camp Notified
Seven Thousand Men
Recruits Have Joined at the Rate of One Entire Battalion a Week

The Toronto World, 21 August 1915

The consent of wives of married men who enlist, or the parents of young men over 18 years of age, is not needed, according to the text of an official message received from the divisional headquarters at Niagara camp yesterday. This regulation is already in force at the recruiting depot. No one under 18 years of age will be allowed to join the Canadian Expeditionary Force in any capacity, and those who say they are 18 when they have not reached that age are liable to be charged with perjury.

Only single men will be accepted for service with the permanent forces of Canada.

Official orders are expected within a couple of days authorizing a new system of recruiting, where by each unit will have four recruiting sergeants, who will be paid by the recruiting depots.

In the last seven weeks Toronto has recruited no less than 7000, making the enlistment at the rate of one entire battalion per week. The number of men passing through the recruiting depot Thursday was 196, making the high water mark for the week, and insuring that a complete battalion will be secured this week.

The supply of uniforms for recent recruits has been delayed because they are all being made in Canada, according to a statement made by Major-General Lessard yesterday. He said that the Canadian manufacturers had been doing very well, considering the heavy demand they had been asked to meet. Everything possible was being done to expediete the manufacture of uniforms.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 15 October 2015

Feeding an Army When in Field
Topic: Army Rations

Feeding an Army When in Field

Emergency Ration Carried into Action by Every English Soldier

The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash., 8 November, 1914

The Manchester (Eng.) Guardian says: The English Soldier, when he goes into action, carries with him an emergency ration (known in the service as the 'iron' ration). Which is securely packed in a canvas receptacle on the man's equipment.

elipsis graphic

The new chain of supply gives between one and two days 'iron' rations in the haversack, half a day's ration in the cook's wagon, and one ration and grocery in the train or supply column, making a total of two and a half to three and a half days' rations with the field units, as against five and a half days' supply under the old system.

elipsis graphic

Opened Only in Emergency

The present 'emergency ration' for use on active service consists of chocolate, with added plasmon or other suitable milk proteid. The food is wrapped in vegetable parchment paper, and packed in tins, each containing sic and a half ounces. This ration is not to be opened except by order of an officer or in extremity. It is calculated to maintain strength for 36 hours, if eaten or drunk in small quantities at a time. To prepare the beverage the scrapings of a ration are boiled in a half pint of water. The 'iron' ration is made up of one pound of preserved meat, 12 ounces of biscuit, five-eights ounce of tea, two ounces of sugar, one-half ounce of salt, three ounces of cheese and two cubes (one ounce) of meat extract.

The traveling kitchen has for years been tried and approved in the French, Russian and German armies, and is now being used by each of these armies in the field. The English field kitchen is a two-horse limbered vehicle. It cooks for 250 men, allowing 10 quarts of hot food for every 12 men. The rear part of the wagon contains a fire and four cooking pots in addition to a hot water boiler. Groceries, too, are carried. The only drawback to these cooking carts is that they materially increase the length of the baggage columns, and as an army corps with its baggage takes up 17 miles of road this is a serious objection. But the traveling kitchens have proved their value. They enable a soldier to have a hot meal on reaching his bivouac.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Colours for the RCN
Topic: RCN

George VI presents the King's Colours to the Royal Canadian Navy at a ceremony in Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, in 1939. (Source)

Colours for the RCN

Exploring the files available on line from the Library and Archives Canada can produce some interesting historical trivia. From the records of the office of the Governor General we can discover correspondence related to the approval and acquisition of Colours for the Royal Canadian Navy.

The Governor General of Canada, His Excellency, General, The Right Honourable Lord Byng of Vimy approached the Secretary of State for the Colonies on 11 July 1924 regarding Colours for the Royal Canadian Navy:

"With reference to your despatch, Miscellaneous, of the 21st May, on the subject of the use by the Royal Navy of Colours corresponding to those of the King's Colours as carried by Military Forces, I have the honour to request that His Majesty the King may be graciously pleased to approve the use of Colours by the Royal Canadian Navy under similar conditions to those approved for the Royal Navy, the Colours to be kept at the Royal Canadian Naval Barracks at Halifax and Esquimalt, the home bases of the Royal Canadian Navy."

In a letter from the office of the Secretary of State to Lord Byng, it was confirmed that His Majesty the King had approved of a proposal for RCN Colours. These Colours were to be of the same pattern and usage as those authorized for the Royal Navy. The letter, dated 31 March 1925, closed with the following paragraph:

"The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty could, if desired, supply a colour complete with staff, cord, tassels, badges and colour belt, and I should be glad to learn whether your Ministers wish to have a colour sent out accordingly."

Fleet Order 12057/1924

Orders regarding the use of RN Colours; Fleet Order 12057/1924. Following instructions clarified that "The Colours are never to be landed on territory outside the British Empire."

The Lord Commissioners' kind offer led to an assumption, an attempt to double the offer, and a glimpse at the paucity of the Militia and Defence budget.

On 22 April, 1925, the Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs signed off a letter to the Governor General's Secretary which stated: "I have the honour to represent that the Department of National Defence accepts with thanks the kind offer of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to supply a colour complete with staff, cord, tassels, badge and colour belt for the use of the Royal Canadian Navy." The letter went on to reiterate the necessity for two colours, one to place located at Halifax and the second at Esquimalt. The Governor General forwarded the acceptance and requirement for two colours to the Secretary of State for the Colonies the same date.

Five weeks later, on 29 May, 1925, a reply came:

"Your telegram of April 22nd. It seems possible that paragraph 3 of my despatch of March 31st No. 156, may have been read as meaning that the Admiralty would supply the Colours free of charge. Intention was that they should be supplied on repayment basis and I regret this was not more clearly stated."

"Admiralty cannot at present give exact estimate of cost but anticipate cost of each set will run into three figures. In these circumstances will await further telegram from you before taking action on your telegram of April 22nd."

£70 sterling in 1925 would be worth approximately £3800 ($7700 Cdn) in today's money.

Historical value converter

Currency Converter

Later correspondence, dated 12 June, 1925, confirmed that the cost of a set of colours (excluding delivery costs) would be £70, 10 s.

On 17 June, a letter from the Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to the Governor General's Secretary stated that the purchase of Colours would have to wait:

"I have the honour to request that His Excellency may be humbly moved to inform the Colonial Secretary, by telegraph, my Ministers state that no provision has been made in the appropriation for the Royal Canadian Navy 1925-26 for the provision of a Service Colour for the Royal Canadian Navy, and it is not possible therefore to purchase the Colour at present."

"The question of purchasing Colours will be considered in 1926 when the Naval Estimates for 1926-1927 are being prepared, and a further communication on the subject will be forwarded in due course."

The Governor General, as requested, informed the Secretary of State for the Colonies of the delay.

It was in October, 1926, that the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs sent a message to the Governor General asking if a decision had been reached. And it was on 4th December, 1926 that confirmation of the readiness to purchase two Service Colours for the Royal Canadian Navy was sent to Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs and preparations for a formal requisition were placed into motion.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 14 October 2015 12:07 AM EDT
Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Army Offenders
Topic: Discipline

Army Offenders

Punishments They Underwent in England in Olden Days
Brutality Was the Rule
One of the Mildest of the Inflictions Was Drumming the Culprit Out of Camp and This Was Awarded With Branding and Humiliation

The Lewiston Daily Sun, Lewiston, Maine, 4 August 1915
(From Chambers' Journal)

In times happily gone by discipline in the British army was maintained by methods the majority of which can only be described as vindictive, tyrannical and even brutal in severity. It is doubtful if the savages of the dark ages could have conceived more revolting penalties than some which were inflicted by courts martial, and even by commanding officers on their own responsibility, in former times.

The voluntary sufferings of the saints, the tortures of the religious orders of the olden days, pale before the cruelty involved in the various forms of death penalty, the riding of the wooden horse, picketing, running the gauntlet, branding and flogging. It is comforting that these punishments have gradually succumbed to the force of public opinion and the progress of civilization.

Drumming out of the army—or trumpeting, as it was called in the cavalry and artillery—was of a different character. It was vindictive, unnecessarily so, but not brutal or even painful. It was quaint and at the present day might almost have been considered theatrical. The prisoner, handcuffed, was brought from the guardroom to the parade ground under escort. The crime of which he had been found guilty and the sentence of the court martial, were read aloud by the adjutant, he was to be degraded, branded as a bad character, discharged from the service with ignominy and to suffer a term of imprisonment with hard labor.

In the process of degradation the buttons, braid, badges, facings and even the medal which he had earned were stripped from his tunic. Then came the branding. There is nothing necessarily degrading in branding. All recruits in the Roman army, for instance, were branded on final approval, but its infliction as a punishment is another matter altogether and not so easily defended. It was apparently a custom peculiar to the British army. During the reign of George I, deserters were "stigmatized on the forehead." At a later period in history they were branded on the left side two inches below the armpit, and later generally on the arm.

The tattooing was applied with a brass instrument containing a series of needles points, the punctures made by which were rubbed with a composition of pulverized indigo, India ink and water. It was administered by the drum major under the supervision of the medical officer in the presence of the regiment on parade, and in justice to the authorities, it must be admitted that it was accomplished with as little pain as possible.

Further than that there is little that can be urged in its justification. Branding was a relic of bad times, and carried something revolting to humanity along with it. Any indelible stigma or brand of infamy is a fearful punishment. For one thing, the infliction was completely irremissible. It could be removed neither by repentance nor by any subsequent period of good conduct. The brand a soldier and then discharge him from the service, as in this case, was to turn him adrift in the world with greatly impaired means of earning an honest livelihood.

Hunger frequently urges its victims to follow dishonest courses, and what else could be expected from a branded and discharged soldier, precluded from all honest means of future support? It was a cowardly and vindictive form of punishment, since its infliction could neither promote the amendment of the offender nor render him more subordinate.

The last scene in the drama of drumming out of the army was perhaps the quaintest. The regiment being formed in line, with a sufficient interval between the front and rear ranks, the prisoner was escorted down the ranks, following by the band playing what was known as the "Rogue's March." In this manner he was practically turned out of barracks, the escort finally marching him to the military prison to undergo his sentence of hard labor. In cases where a man was discharged with ignominy without imprisonment, his exit from barracks was not infrequently accompanied by a kick from the youngest drummer. Formerly he was conducted by the drummers of the regiment through the streets of the camp or garrison, with a halter around his neck and a written label containing the particulars of his crime.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 12 October 2015

Recon Patrol Tips, Vietnam, 1970
Topic: Drill and Training

Recon Patrol Tips

Combat Recon Manual, Republic of Vietnam; 1970
Prepared by Project (B-52) Delta, H.Q. NhaTrang
Detachment B-52; 5th Special Forces Group (Abn), 1st Special Forces

1.     When making VRs always mark every LZ within your AO and near it, on your map. Plan the route of march so that you will always know how far and on what azimuth the nearest LZ is located.

2.     Don't cut off too much of the map showing your recon zone (RZ). Always designate at least 5-10 kilometers surrounding your RZ as running room.

3.     Base the number of canteens per man upon the weather end availability of water in the AO. Select water points when planning your route of march.

4.     Check all team members' pockets prior to departing home base for passes, ID cards, lighters with insignias, rings with insignias, etc. Personnel should only carry dog tags while on patrol.

5.     If the team uses a grenadier armed with rifle grenades, hare him place a crimped cartridge as the first round in each magazine carried. After firing the grenade, he can use the rifle normally. When the magazine is empty and a new one inserted the grenadier can then quickly fire another grenade.

6.     Always carry maps and notebooks in waterproof containers.

7.     Use a pencil to make notes during an operation. Ink smears when it becomes wet whereas lead does not.

8.     Inspect each team member's uniform and equipment, especially radios and strobe lights prior to departure on a mission

9.     If you use the Hanson Rig, adjust your harness and webbing before leaving on patrol.

10.     During the rainy season take extra cough medicine and codeine on patrol.

11.     The location and proper use of morphine should be known by all team members.

12.     All survival equipment should be tied or secured to the uniform or harness to prevent loss if pockets become torn, etc.

13.     Each US or key team member should carry maps, notebooks, and SOI in the same pocket of each uniform, for hasty removal by other team members if one becomes a casualty.

14.     Take paper matches to the field in waterproof container. DO not take cigarette lighters as they make too much noise when opening and closing.

15.     Tie panel and mirror to pocket flap to prevent losing.

16.     Always carry rifle cleaning equipment on operations, i.e., brush, oil and at least one cleaning rod.

17.     Each team should have designated primary and alternate rally points at all times. The team leader is responsible for ensuring that each team member knows the azimuth and approximate distance to each rally point / LZ.

18.     Never take pictures of team members while on patrol. If the enemy captures the camera, they will have gained invaluable intelligence.

19.     At least two penlights should be taken by each team.

20.     While on patrol, move 20 minutes and halt and listen for 10 minutes. Listen half the amount of time you move. Move and halt at irregular intervals.

21.     Stay alert at all times. You ore never 100% safe until you are back home.

22.     Never break limbs or branches on trees, bushes, or palms, or you will leave a very clear trail for the enemy to follow.

23.     Put insect / leech repellent around tops of boots, on pants fly, belt, and cuffs to stop leeches and insects.

24.     Do most of your moving during the morning hours to conserve water, however never be afraid to move at night, especially if you think your RON has been discovered.

25.     Continually check your point man to ensure that he is on the correct azimuth. Do not run a compass course on patrol, change direction regularly.

26.     If followed by trackers, change direction of movement often and attempt to evade or ambush your trackers, they make good Pws.

27.     Do not ask for a "fix" from FAC unless absolutely necessary. This will aid in the prevention of compromise.

28.     Force yourself to cough whenever a high performance aircraft posses over. It will clear your throat, ease tension and cannot be heard. If you must cough, cough in your hat or neckerchief to smother the noise.

29.     Never take your web gear off, day or night. In an area where it is necessary to put the jungle sweater on at night, no more than two patrol members at a time should do so. Take the sweaters off the next morning to prevent cold and overheating.

30.     If you change socks, especially in the rainy season, try to wait until RON and have no more than two patrol members change socks at one time. Never take off both boots at the same time.

31.     When a team member starts to come down with immersion foot, stop In a secure position, remove injured persons boot, dry off his feet, put foot powder on his feet and place a ground sheet or poncho over his feet so that they can dry out, Continued walking will make matters worse, ensuring that the man will become a casualty, thereby halting the further progress of the team.

32.     Desenex or Vaseline rubbed on the feet during the rainy season or in wet weather will aid in the prevention of immersion foot. It will also help avoid chapping if put on the hands.

33.     Gloves will protect hands from thorns and aid in holding a weapon when it heats up from firing.

34.     Place a plastic cover on your PRC-25 to keep it dry in the rainy season.

35.     When using a wiretap device, never place the batteries in the set until needed. If the batteries are carried in the device they will lose power even though the switches are in the off position.

36.     If batteries go dead or weak do not throw them away while on patrol. Small batteries can be recharged by placing them in armpits or between the legs of the body. A larger battery can gain added life by sleeping with the battery next to the body. Additional life can also be gained by placing batteries in the sun.

37.     If possible, carry an extra hand set for the PRC-25 and ensure that it is wrapped in a waterproof container.

38.     Always carry a spare PRC-25 battery, but do not remove the spare from its plastic container prior to use or it may lose power.

39.     Do not send "same" or "no charge" when reporting team location. Always send your coordinates. Keep radio traffic at a minimum.

40.     Avoid over confidence, it leads to carelessness. Just because you have seen no sign of the enemy for 3 or 4 days does not mean that he isn't there or hasn't seen you.

41.     A large percentage of patrols have been compromised due to poor noise discipline.

42.     Correct all team and / or individual errors as they occur or happen.

43.     All personnel should camouflage faces and bocks of hands in the morning, at noon and at RON or ambush positions.

44.     Never cook or build heating fires on patrol. No more than two persons should eat chow at any one time. The rest of the team should be on security.

45.     When team stops, always check out to 40-60 meters from the perimeter.

46.     All team members should take notes while on an operation and compare them nightly. Each man should keep a list of tips and lessons learned and add to them after each operation.

47.     Each man on a team must continually observe the man in front of him and the men behind him, in addition to watching for other team members' arm and hand signals.

48.     A recon team should never place more than one mine. AP, or AT, in one small section of o road or trail at a time. If more than one is set out the team is just resupplying the enemy, because when a mine goes off, a search will be made of the immediate area for others and they will surely be found.

49.     During the dry season, do not urinate on rocks or leaves but rather in a hole or small crevice. The wet spot may be seen, and the odor will carry further.

50.     When carrying the M79 on patrol, use a retainer band around the stock to hold the safety on safe while moving.

51.     When crossing streams, observe first for activity, then send a point man across to check the area. Then cross the rest of the patrol, with each taking water as he crosses. If in a danger area, have all personnel cross prior to getting water. Treat all trails (old and new), streams, and open areas as danger areas.

52.     Carry one extra pair of socks, plus foot powder, on patrol, especially during the rainy season. In addition, each team member should carry a large sized pair of socks to place over his boots when walking or crossing a trail or stream.

53.     During rest halts don't take your pack off or leave your weapon alone. During long breaks, such as for noon chow, don't take your pack off until your perimeter has been checked for at least 40 to 60 meters out for 360 degrees. During breaks throw nothing on the ground. Either put trash in your pocket or spray it with CS powder and bury it.

54.     In most areas, the enemy will send patrols along roads and major trails between the hours of 0700-1000 and from 1500- 1900. Since most of the enemy's vehicular movement is at night, a team that has a road watch mission should stay no less than 200 meters from the rood during the day and move up to the road just prior to last light. When the enemy makes a security sweep along a road, usually twice a week, he normally does not check further than 200 meters to each flank.

55.     If you hear people speaking, move close enough to hear what they are saying. The reason is obvious. The VN team leader should make notes.

56.     While on patrol, don't take the obvious course of action and don't set a pattern in your activities, such as, always turning to the left when "button hooking to ambush your own back trail.

57.     A dead enemy's shirt and contents in pockets, plus pock, if he has one, are normally more valuable than his weapon.

58.     If the enemy is pursuing you, you should deploy delay grenades and/or delay claymores of 60-I20 seconds. In addition, throw CS grenades to your rear and flanks. Give he enemy a reason and or excuse to quit.

59.     Do not fire weapons or use claymores or grenades if the enemy is searching for you at night. Use CS grenades instead. This will cause him to panic and will not give your position away, you can move out In relative safety while they may end up shooting each other. If claymores become necessary, use time delayed claymores or time delayed WP.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 11 October 2015

Australian Army "Body Heat" Rations (1979)
Topic: Army Rations

Australian Army "Body Heat" Rations (1979)

Body heat 'cooks' latest Army rations.
When Australia's Army is on the move, and a man wants a meal, all he has to do is stick it up his jumper — literally.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 July 1979
By Tony Blackie

It's the Army's revolutionary new way of dealing with rations.

The soldiers draws out of his ration pack a foil container of freeze-dried food, adds water and puts the container next to his skin.

The meal is cooked by his body warmth, and the soldier is soon dining on steak and onions, lamb and vegetable curry, roast sliced pork or savoury steak.

The freeze-dried haute cuisine was developed by the Armed Forces Food Science Establishment in Tasmania.

The establishment has perfected methods of keeping processed foods fresh for up to two years. Although this has obvious commercial applications, manufacturers have steered away from the idea.

At present, commercially produced foods have a life of about nine months or less.

The director of the research establishment, Dr. Ross Richards, says the foods produced by his staff have many advantages over the consumer products — for example taste, quick preparation, weight and increased nutritional value.

Last week, the Sun-Herald joined the chow queue to taste some of the delights which keep our ever-vigilant protectors strong and alert.

After opening a pack of dehydrated beef and beans we sat with several officers. Although it was two and a half years old, the meal was a resounding success.

The ration pack also contains a pack of freeze-dried rice, which when constituted was enough to feed several people; several packs of tea and coffee; a pack of sweet and sour pork; shortbread biscuits; chocolate; instant milk; chewing gum and a range of other goodies all designed for one day's survival.

An old digger who saw the pack was horrified.

"They've got to pot those blokes have," he sneered, "We used to get a tin of bully beef and a few biscuits and that's all. The army is spoilt these days."

Dr. Richards says the food provided in the ration packs is carefully weighted to ensure each soldier on patrol carries enough food to last the manoeuvre.

"We have a semi commercial freeze-drying operation and the freeze-dried food is packed into aluminium containers," Dr. Richards said.

In the past, the Australian armed forces imported all ration pack water from England in tins, but the establishment has now produced a throw-away plastic water container which the British are now interested in.

But what about the taste of all these foods?

"We have rigorous tests on the food. We go out with army manoeuvres and eat with the soldiers and question them on the food," Dr. Richards said.

"All the staff at Scotsdale eat the food we produce. No one can point the bone at us."

The establishment is now working on other projects including miniature tubes of butter concentrate and specially reduced and dehydrated meals which can be packed in tiny containers.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 10 October 2015

US Army Principles of War
Topic: Military Theory

US Army Principles of War

FM 100-1, The Army; Washington, June 1994

The Army formally adopted a set of Principles of War in 1921 that endure today. Briefly stated they are:

Objective. Direct every military operation toward a clearly defined, decisive, and attainable objective.

Offensive. Seize, retain, and exploit the initiative.

Mass. Mass the effects of overwhelming combat power at the decisive place and time.

Economy of Force. Employ all combat power available in the most effective way possible; allocate minimum essential combat power to secondary efforts.

Maneuver. Place the enemy in a position of disadvantage through the flexible application of combat power.

Unity of Command. For every objective, seek unity of command and unity of effort.

Security. Never permit the enemy to gain an unexpected advantage.

Surprise. Strike the enemy at a time or place or in a manner for which he is unprepared.

Simplicity. Prepare clear, uncomplicated plans and concise orders to ensure thorough understanding.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 11 September 2015 11:40 AM EDT
Friday, 9 October 2015

The Royal Canadian Artillery and "Ubique"
Topic: Battle Honours

The Royal Canadian Artillery and "Ubique" (1926)

The following letter was sent from the Governor General's office to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs:

Government House,
27 April, 1926


I have the honour to inform you that in considering the historical significance of the cap badge of the Canadian Artillery (Permanent and Non-Permanent), it is found that this would be greatly enhanced if this arm of the service could be granted the honour of bearing the motto "Ubique" in addition to the motto "Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt".

It appears that the distinction of bearing these mottoes was bestowed upon the Artillery in June 1833, by King William IV, to take place of all past or future battle honours and distinctions gained in the field.

The cap badge of the Canadian Artillery (Permanent and Non-Permanent), consists of a gun with a scroll above inscribed "Canada", surmounted by a crown, and a scroll below the gun inscribed "Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt". The Canadian Artillery (Permanent and Non-Permanent) would greatly appreciate the honour of being permitted the distinction of bearing the motto "Ubique", in addition to the motto "Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt".

The above is concurred in by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Government will be grateful; if it may be brought to the attention of His Majesty's Government, having due regard to the services rendered by the Canadian Artillery in the Great War, 1914-18.

On the 5th of August, 1926, the reply came to the Governor General:

My Lord,

I have the honour … to request Your Excellency to inform your Ministers that His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve the proposal that the cap badge of the Canadian Artillery (Permanent and Non-Permanent) should in future bear the motto "Ubique" in addition to the motto "Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt".

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 8 October 2015

Annual Training of the Permanent Force (1912)
Topic: Canadian Army

Annual Training of the Permanent Force (1912)

From the archived correspondence of the Governor General at Library and Archives Canada

The annual training of the Permanent Force took place at Petawawa camp from August the 17th to September the 14th. In all, a force of 1,250 was assembled under the command of Major-General Colin Mackenzie, Chief of the General Staff. The units present were:—

Regimental training was carried out for the first two weeks under Commanding Officers, the remainder of the period being devoted to combined training including field firing and night operations. At the conclusion of the training, September 10th, 11th & 12th, continuous manoeuvres took place in the country-side lying southeast of the Military Reserve, in the vicinity of Pembroke.

On the first day of these operations which were directed against a flagged enemy, all arms worked in combination, and after a stiff fight in the neighbourhood of Stafford the Infantry bivouacked near the ground they had won, whilst the Cavalry pressed on in pursuit of the beaten enemy, chased him across the Indian River and finally went into bivouac at Locksley Station, eighteen miles South of Petawawa, whilst the Horse Artillery which had supported the pursuit, rejoined the Infantry at Stafford. A severe electric storm and torrential rain, which lasted all night, rendered the bivouac an uncomfortable one for the troops.

On the second day, and in continuation of the same scheme of operations, the Cavalry carried out an extended reconnaissance from Locksley to the line of the Bonnechere River, during then course of which some of the patrols covered nearly fifty miles.

Information concerning the enemy, such as would have been obtainable from a friendly population in actual warfare, had been previously mailed by the directing staff to post-offices throughout the Area, and patrols were instructed to collect this information and transit it to the Commanders of their supporting squadrons by the quickest available method, viz. Either by telephone, visual signalling or despatch riders. On receipt of the various messages, Squadron Commanders were requited to make dispositions to meet the various situations as stated in the messages and had to communicate their intentions or orders to other bodies of troops acting on their flanks. The last message received was from one of the most distant points and contained instructions for the Cavalry to return to their bivouac of the previous night at Locksley Station. On arrival here at about 9 p.m. the Cavalry found the Artillery and Infantry snugly bivouacked beside blazing camp fires and engaged in drying out the blankets which had been soaked by the previous night's downpour. In the course of their march from Stafford, the Artillery and Infantry has encountered considerable opposition at the Indian River, from a detached force of the enemy which had been marching to effect a junction with their forces already broken up by our Cavalry on the previous day.

The operations provided useful information in the choice of positions from which to cover the passage of a river in the face of the enemy, and emphasized the importance of seizing tactical points, mutual co-operation and covering fire.

On the last day the troops, all arms being again reunited, were exercised in a fresh scheme which brought the manoeuvres to a close, about 12. noon and the units then marched back to camp independently, the total distance covered by the Infantry, in marching order, on this day being 18 miles.

On the following day, September 13th, there was a meeting of all the officers who had taken part in the manoeuvres, upon which occasion Major-General Mackenzie, having then had time to consider the reports of the umpires, gave a narrative of the events as they occurred during the operations, and called attention to the lessons which were to be learnt and the points to which special attention should be directed upon future occasions.

In connection with the training of the Permanent Force, mention must be made of the work of the Corps of Guides detachment belonging to the 3rd & 4th Divisions, which underwent their annual training during the last 16 days of the camp. The first part of their training consisted of a hurried reconnaissance of the area, some 360 square miles, in which the operations referred to above, took place. A skeleton map was corrected and supplements so far as time would permit and the Guides were subsequently attached to the various units of the Permanent Force, in the final manoeuvres, as intelligence officers and as such gave a good account of themselves.

Two special features, aside from the practical nature of the training, characterized the combines manoeuvres, one was the cheery spirit of the men, who enjoyed the training and showed great willing ness; the other was the excellent relations between the troops and the farmers over whose ground they worked. On being sounded in advance as to whether they would object to having troops work over their firlds after the harvest was got in, the inhabitants unanimously agreed. They turned out in considerable numbers to see th operations, and they showed good will in every particular, and asked them to come again next year. The troops on their side behaved well, and no claim for compensation was made. The General Staff take the view that the operations go far to prove that manoeuvres cam be held over any part of the country without annoyance to or objection from the landowners when once the crops are off the ground.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 8 October 2015 12:04 AM EDT
Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Supplying an Army When in Field
Topic: CEF

Supplying an Army When in Field

Whole System Changed

The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash., 8 November, 1914

Although this article isn't specifically about the CEF, it has been tagged as such to keep it with other First World War material.

The Manchester (Eng.) Guardian says: The English Soldier, when he goes into action, carries with him … 250 rounds of ammunition. The ammunition is carried in the bandolier or pouch, with the exception of 10 rounds which are stored away in the magazine of the rifle, and to be used in an emergency. The men, with ammunition, carry a total weight of about 60 pounds each. The whole system of the English army supply has been greatly changed since the South African war.

The new chain of supply gives between one and two days 'iron' rations in the haversack, half a day's ration in the cook's wagon, and one ration and grocery in the train or supply column, making a total of two and a half to three and a half days' rations with the field units, as against five and a half days' supply under the old system. The quantity of supplies provided now is actually less. The new system is now on its trial, and it is believed that it will be found an improvement on the old, because, through the use of motor-lorries in the supply column, the radius of action has been increased and the delivery of supplies accelerated.

It has been proved in practice that the three-ton lorries, over average roads, can deliver their loads 47 miles away and return empty the same day. Their speed has worked out at 12 to 14 miles an hour and that of the 30-hundredweight vans used for the cavalry supplies at 16 to 20 miles.

elipsis graphic

In order to safely send reinforcements to the firing line to meet the wastage of war, to convoy food to the troops, to transport small-arms ammunition and shells for the guns and generally to provide for the requirements of an army in battle, a 'line of communications' from the base of operations to the firing line must be established. The wastage of war is calculated differently in the various armies. The average is fixed at 70 per cent of the army in the field during the first year of the campaign. In this period and on this rough basis the number of men passed along the lines of communication for a single division will be, roughly, 14,000 to maintain the formation at field strength. To feed this force the weight of supplies and forage which would have to pass along the line daily is represented by 110 tons, and requires for its transport 85 general service wagons, or 39 lorries. A further calculation of road space shows that the convoy would occupy over three-quarters of a mile of road, or half a mile if mechanical transport is employed. The gun ammunition to be maintained on the lines of communication as a reserve for a single division of troops weighs 376 tons, the rifle ammunition 173 tons, and machine gun ammunition nine tons, making a grand total of 538 tons which has to be kept always available to pass to the front. There is also the transport of the sick and wounded to be passed from the front to the hospital at the base.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 6 October 2015

What is Guerrilla Warfare?
Topic: Military Theory

What is Guerrilla Warfare?

Yu Chi Can (Guerilla Warfare), by Mao Tse-Tung, translated by Brigadier General Samuel B. Griffith, USMC (retired), from the United States Marine Corps FRFRP 12-18, Mao Tse-Tung on Guerrilla Warfare, 1989.

In a war of revolutionary character, guerrilla operations are a necessary part. This is particularly true in a war waged for the emancipation who inhabit a vast nation. China is such a nation, a nation whose techniques are undeveloped and whose communications are poor. She finds herself confronted with a strong and victorious Japanese imperialism. Under these circumstances, he development of the type of guerrilla warfare characterized by the quality of mass is both necessary and natural. This warfare must be developed to an unprecedented degree and it must coordinate with the operations of our regular armies. If we fail to do this, we will find it difficult to defeat the enemy.

These guerrilla operations must not be considered as an independent form of warfare. They are but one step in the total war, one aspect of the revolutionary struggle. They are the inevitable result of the clash between oppressor and oppressed when the latter reach the limits of their endurance. In our case, these hostilities began at a time when the people were unable to endure any more from the Japanese imperialists. Lenin, in People and Revolution, said: "A people's insurrection and a people's revolution are not only natural but inevitable." We consider guerrilla operations as but one aspect of our total or mass war be cause they, lacking the quality of independence, are of themselves incapable of providing solution to the struggle.

Guerrilla warfare has qualities and objectives peculiar to itself. It is a weapon that a nation inferior in arms and military equipment may employ against a more powerful aggressor nation. When the invader pierces deep into the heart of the weaker country and occupies her territory in a cruel and oppressive manner, there is no doubt that conditions of terrain, climate, and society in general offer obstacles to his progress and may be used to advantage by those who oppose him. In guerrilla warfare, we turn these advantages to the purpose of resisting and defeating the enemy.

During the progress of hostilities, guerrillas gradually develop into orthodox forces that operate in conjunction with other units of the regular army. Thus the regularly organized troops, those guerrillas who have attained that status, and those who have not reached that level of development combine to form the military power of a national revolutionary war. There can be no doubt that the ultimate result of this will be victory.

Both in its development and in its method of application, guerrilla warfare has certain distinctive characteristics. We first discuss the relationship of guerrilla warfare to national policy. Because ours is the resistance of a semicolonial country against an imperialism, our hostilities must have a clearly defined political goal and firmly established political responsibilities. Our basic policy is the creation of a national united anti-Japanese front. This policy we pursue in order to gain our political goal, which is the complete emancipation of the Chinese people. There are certain fundamental steps necessary in the realization of this policy, to wit:

1. Arousing and organizing the people.

2. Achieving internal unification politically.

3. Establishing bases.

4. Equipping forces.

5. Recovering national strength.

6. Destroying enemy's national strength.

7. Regaining lost territories.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 5 October 2015

Authority for the Saskatchewan Battle Honour
Topic: Battle Honours

Authority for the Saskatchewan Battle Honour

Exploring the files available on line from the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) can produce some interesting historical trivia. From the records of the office of the Governor General we can discover correspondence related to the criteria for and award of Battle Honours to Canadian regiments. Buried in the exchanges between Ottawa and London, England, is the matter of eligibility for the Battle Honour "Saskatchewan" awarded to The Royal Canadian Regiment.

In reply to a 1905 request for the design of Colours for The Royal Canadian Regiment (to be prepared before the Regiment concentrated its Headquarters and six new companies at Halifax), came this coded telegram:

Luckily for us, the decoded version, dated 3 May 1905, is also found in the LAC files:

In reference to earlier correspondence on preparation of the Royal Canadian Dragoons guidon and The Royal Canadian Regiment's regimental colour, clarification was being sought on whether the "headquarters and half the strength of unit [were] present in cases [of identified battle honours] other than South Africa."

This led to an admission of a serious oversight.

But first, the bureaucratic reply admitted nothing. On 15 May 1905, the Governor General replied. Based on a letter received from the Deputy Minister of Militia and Defence, which was enclosed, the reply stated that "in no case were less than two-thirds of the total strength of the units present in cases other than South Africa."

This prompted, as might be expected, the demand for further clarification (and the completion of the requested information). The next decoded telegram, dated 1 June 1905, read: "Referring to your despatch … whether headquarters were present in each case."

This time, the full text of the Deputy Minister's reply, dated 9 June 1905, and forwarded under the Governor General's signature to London on the 12th, provides the critical admission:

"I have the honour, by direction of the Minister in Militia Council, to request that His Excellency the Governor General may be moved to inform the Right Hon. The Secretary of State for the Colonies, in reply of his cable of the 1st instant, that the headquarters of the Royal Canadian Dragoons (Cavalry School Corps) were present in cases other than South Africa, but that the headquarters of the Royal Canadian Regiment were not present, only one company ("C") of the Infantry School Corps being engaged during the North West, Canada, 1885, Rebellion. Attention is, however, called to the fact that His Excellency the Governor General in Council was pleased, by General Order 49 of 1899, to authorize the word "Saskatchewan" being borne by the Royal Canadian Regiment."

Lyttleton's response exposes the error committed:

"Referring to your telegram of 12 June please report under what authority Governor General sanctioned word "Saskatchewan" in General Order No. 49 of 1899. No trace of correspondence with War Office bearing on the subject can be found."

We can only imagine the reactions throughout the establishment from the Governor General's office to the Militia Department and downward within regimental circles. The 20 June reply from the Department, again signed by the Deputy Minister, is a masterful piece of staff work which admits no overt intention to circumvent due process.

"In reference to the cable from the Right Honourable the Secretary of State for the Colonies, dated 20th instant, inquiring upon what authority His Excellency sanctioned the word "Saskatchewan" in General Order 49 of 1899, which has been referred to this department for report, I have the honour, by direction of the Minister in Militia Council, to say that upon the application of the Officer Commanding the Royal Canadian Regiment, the then General Officer Commanding Major-General E.T.H. Hutton, C.B., A,D,C., recommended that the distinction of "Saskatchewan" be given to the Royal Canadian Regiment in consideration of services rendered during the North-West 1885 Rebellion, and that the same was submitted by the Minister of Militia and Defence for the approval of His Excellency the Governor-General in Council, with other General Orders, bearing date 1st May, 1899, and received His Excellency's approval. His Majesty's sanction does not appear to have been obtained."

"The distinction applied for was granted to the Royal Canadian Regiment for service rendered to the Canadian Government within the Dominion of Canada, and the necessity for obtaining His Majesty's approval appears to have been overlooked."

"I am further directed to request that instructions may be obtained for the further guidance of this department in the matter of granting distinctions of this kind."

This reply was forwarded by the Governor General on 28 June 1905. In August the Militia Department pressed the Governor General to obtain an answer on the provision of Guidon and Colours, declaring there to be an "unreasonable delay" for which there was certainly no admission that the provenance of the "Saskatchewan" battle honour may be factor. This element of the matter was identified in detail by Lyttleton's reply of 27 October, 1905.

"With reference to your despatch No, 274 of 23rd August, I have the honour to inform you that His Majesty has signified his approval of the grant to the Royal Canadian Dragoons of the distinctions "North West Canada 1885" and "South Africa 1900", and to the Royal Canadian Regiment of the distinctions "North West Canada 1885 Saskatchewan" (sic), "South Africa 1899-1900" and "Paardeberg" but with regard to the Royal Canadian Dragoons I have to explain that they are entitled only to the distinction "South Africa 1900" and not to "South Africa 1900-1901", since the records at the War Office show that the headquarters of the regiment left South Africa in the "Roslin Castle" on 13th December 1900."

"Instructions are being given that the inscription of these honours on the guidon and colours of the corps and the addition of the Royal Cypher to the King's Colour of the Royal Canadian Regiment may be put in hand immediately."

"I observe the expressions "unreasonable delay" in the letter from the Deputy Minister of Militia and Defence to your Military Secretary of the 22nd August but I would point out that it was impossible to proceed with the matter until your despatch No. 233 of the 3rd July was received, and the further delay which has since arisen is due to the fact that the Royal Canadian Regiment are entitled strictly to neither "Saskatchewan" nor "North West Canada 1885". I would add that the waiving of the requirement for the presence of headquarters in this case must not be regarded as a precedent. I will forward to you later a complete statement of the conditions which must be fulfilled before recommendations for the grant of military distinctions can be submitted to His Majesty."

Through this series of exchanges we discover that the granting of battle honours to the Royal Canadian Dragoons and The Royal Canadian Regiment in 1899 for the North West Rebellion had not followed proper protocols. Discovered during the process to acquire new guidon and colours in 1905, this resulted in the Secretary of State for the Colonies coordinating the necessary Royal assent for these awards including the grace of approving the award of "Saskatchewan" and "North West Canada 1885" to The Royal Canadian Regiment when they did not meet the established criteria.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 4 October 2015

Reduced Drill During War
Topic: Drill and Training

Reduced Drill During War

The Glasgow Herald, 1 April 1942

Complicated drill movements preformed with grace and precision are a delight to the eye of the onlooker at ceremonial parades. They may also inspire pride in the performer. Beyond that, however, their usefulness does not extend very far, and there will therefore be widespread approval of the decision that certain Army drill movements are to disappear for the duration of the war. Some movements must, of course, be retained. They are an essential part of any recruit's training. They accustom him to the handling of weapons, to obey orders instinctively, and to maintain his physical standards. They also encourage the growth of team spirit. But drill movements, especially those of a ceremonial character, are of negligible value in training a soldier to fight in jungles, in deserts, or in the streets and houses of shattered towns. A bayonet charge will be no less effective or demoralizing to the enemy if the attackers fail to carry their rifles at the "high port."

It is perhaps not sufficiently realized that many of the modern drill movements were evolved from old-time battle formations, which bore no more relation to present-day battle formations than the firepower of Wellington's regiments bore to the firepower of a tank regiment today. Yet the old formations have been retained on the barrack-square long after the mode of fighting that produced them has disappeared. Today we cannot afford to waste time over pattern-making by numbers. Without sacrificing discipline or the other virtues of drill movements, these must give way to the kind of special training which is needed to wage modern war.

The effect on the Army of the new order will be stimulating. It will be equally encouraged to the Home Guard, many of whom have felt a sense of frustration through their eagerness being side-tracked in dull drill. It is a welcome sign of grace, however belated, that the Army Council should have instituted the change; it is no less encouraging that, having made their decision, they should give it full publicity.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 3 October 2015

Punishment of Soldiers (1892)
Topic: Discipline

Punishment of Soldiers (1892)

How the Rank and File of the British Army Are Corrected
Three Varieties of Tribunal—Penalties for Minor Offences—Regimental, District and General Courts Martial—Military Prisons

The Day, New London, Conn., 11 January 1892

Like every other mortal, Tommy Atkins has his failings, and, as a natural consequence, he has now and then to answer to the powers that be for some infringement of rules. When a soldier is brought before his superior officer—the captain of his company, according to the gravity of the offence—it nearly always happens that some punishment is meted out to him; and as military punishment is a feature of the service which is not paraded before the general public, a few facts there anent may be of interest. There are three distinct varieties of military tribunal, viz.: the company officer, the commanding officer, and a court martial. Courts martial are of three degrees of importance, and the maximum sentence which a court martial may impose varies according as the court is a regimental, district or general one.

To begin with, what is known as "minor" offence, i.e., those which the captain of a company has power to dispose of summarily, we will suppose that No. 1716 Private Thomas Atkins, has been guilty of remaining out of barracks for ten minutes after "last post," ten p.m., the previous evening, without being possessed of a "pass" enabling him to do so. Some time during the following day the orderly sergeant of his company brings him up—"wheels him up," as it is called—before his captain, states his offence and produces his "defaulter sheets," or record of past misdemeanors. Should the sheets be clear or nearly so, considering the length of the man's service, the captain will probably admonish him; but should the unlucky wight have been in any scrape lately, or should he be an old offender, he will be sentenced to be confined to barracks for any number of days up to seven, that being the limit of power to punish of a company officer.

Let us suppose that our friend has been sentenced to three days confinement to the barracks. One might imagine this to be no great punishment. Before jumping to conclusions, however, let us see what "C.B." actually means. Besides being forbidden to leave barracks, the culprit must turn out in full marching order, i.e., with pack, helmet and full equipment on, at least four times a day, and oftener in many corps, and each time he undergoes and hour's "defaulters drill," which consists of a monotonous march up and down the barrack square under the eye of a non-commissioned officer, usually the sergeant of the regimental police,

Of course, this drill has to be performed over and above the usual day's drill of the regiment; nor is this all, for the victim has to keep his ear open when off drill to answer the bugle sounds for "defaulters," as it does with extreme frequency, the unhappy transgressors against military law being always eligible for whatever fatigue duty may be going.

"The unkindest cut of all," however, to the average private is the stern decree that defaulter may not go into the canteen during their days of durance; so that after day's drill, etc., have been got through, there is no solacing beer allowed.

Then indeed doth Tommy vow never to offend again; but, sad to say, on the completion of his time and the regaining of his freedom, he is apt to indulge in a small spree which lands him in durance vile once more.

To come to the next grade of military punishment, let us suppose that Thomas has just got a drop too much, and finds himself high and dry in the guardroom, from which he is marched next morning, under an armed escort, into the dread presence of the "chief" himself.

Should this be his first, second, or even third appearance on such a charge, he will receive no further penalty than a fresh—and longer—term of days "C.B." Should he, however, have been up three times previously for indulging, he will be sentenced to a fine in addition to being confined to barracks. Fines range from two shillings and six pence (sixty-two cents) to ten shillings (two dollars and a half) according to the length of time which has elapsed since his last appearance, and they are kept off his pay, a system which has been found most effectual in lessening drunkenness in the service.

For a graver offence, such as impertinence to a superior, or refusing or neglecting to obey an order, a soldier is usually sentenced by his commanding officer to undergo a number—from twenty-four up to one hundred and sixty-eight—of hours of imprisonment with hard labor. A man so sentenced is conveyed to the regimental cells, where he exchanges hi uniform for a gray suit of unbecoming cut, and undergoes an operation at the hands of the prison barber, which is a disfigurement for weeks after he is liberated, viz.: his hair is cropped as close as it can be all over his head.

This is done even if the man's sentence was twenty-four hours in cells, and is looked upon as the worst part of the punishment. While in cells a man has to pick oakum, which is a tarry abomination ruinous to the fingers, and to perform a certain number of hours of "shot drill." This is a monotonous process, consisting of taking up a fourteen or twenty pound shot in the two hands, walking with it for a few paces, laying it down and picking up another and carrying it for a few yards, only to lay it down and exchange it for a third, and so on in a circle. This process sounds simple; let anyone try it for an hour and then pronounce as to its enjoyable simplicity!

The food given to a prisoner in cells is neither over palatable nor over plentiful; it consists chiefly of a sort of oatmeal gruel, known as "skilly," and not much of that.

Such work, combined with such fare, makes a few days "with hard work" by no means a treat; in fact, many old hands would far sooner undergo a month in the regular military prison than a week in cells. Terms of confinement in a military prison can only be ordered by a court martial, and the several courts martial mentioned before have different limits of power, viz: A regimental court martial, which is composed of officers of one regiment cannot order more than forty-two days imprisonment, while a district court martial, consisting of different corps for the trial of any soldier, may sentence up to eighty-four days. Greater still is the power of the highest military tribunal in times of peace, the general court martial, which has for its president a general officer, hence its name. This court may order a man to be imprisoned for any term up to five years, which is the longest term in time of peace. Should a soldier commit—at home—a very serious crime, say murder, he is handed over to the civil authorities to be dealt with.

The usual sentence of a general court martial is "imprisonment with hard labor for five years, thereafter to be discharged from her majesty's service as an incorrigible and worthless character." Flogging, which used to be a common form of punishment, is now abolished, at least it is never employed save on rare occasions of disobedience or insubordination in the military prisons. In such cases the governor of the prison may order the delinquent to receive a number of lashes, not more than thirty-six, except that the governor has power to deal at his own discretion with lazy or insubordinate prisoners. This he generally does by ordering then to solitary confinement, which is a terrible form of punishment , the prisoner being kept in a cell with absolutely nothing to do and no one to see for a certain number of hours; moreover, twice in twenty-four hours a small piece of bread and a basin on water— his only food while in solitary confinement—make their appearance at a small trap door in the wall of his cell; he does not even see the warden that feeds him.

A few hours of this generally suffices to bring a man to his senses; on active service of course punishments are more sever, as discipline has to be much more strongly enforced than at home, and if necessary a summary court martial known as a "drum head" one, may sentence a man to be shot. This extreme course is only employed, however, in a case of desertion from the field, desertion during times of peace being visited—whether the deter returns voluntarily, as nine out of ten do, or he is captured—by a longer or shorter term of imprisonment. Life in a military prison is almost identical with that of a civil one, Should he be proof against this treatment and remain insubordinate, the "cat" may be ordered, and it has never been known to fail in convincing a man of the error of resisting the authorities.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 2 October 2015

Rations at Kiska; 1943
Topic: Army Rations

Rations at Kiska; 1943

Canadian Army HQ Report; The Canadian Participation in the Kiska Operations

U.S. rations used by the Canadian troops during the Kiska expedition were of the following types, "D", "K", "C", "5 in 1", "B" and "A". Listed in their order of degree from emergency to normal issue their respective composition is shown below.

"D" Ration

3 bars concentrated sweetened chocolate (600 cal. each).

"K" Ration


  • 4 oz. potted ham and egg
  • 1 pkg. 3 K-l biscuits
  • 1 pkg. 4 K-2 biscuits (sweetened)
  • 1 pkg. coffee
  • 3 cubes sugar
  • 1 pkg. "Charm" candies
  • 1 fruit bar


  • 4 oz. cheese
  • 1 pkg. 1 K-l biscuits
  • 1 pkg. 4 K-2 biscuits
  • 1 pkg. lemonade powder
  • 3 cubes sugar
  • 2 oz. dextrose tablets
  • 1 stick chewing gum
  • 4 cigarettes


  • 3 3/4 oz. pork and veal loaf
  • 10 gm. bouillon powder
  • 1 pkg. 3 K-1 biscuits
  • 1 pkg. 4 K-2 biscuits
  • 2 oz. "D" Ration chocolate
  • 1 stick chewing gum
  • 4 cigarettes

Each meal packed in flat cardboard box in waterproof paper.

"C" Ration

A day's ration consisted of 3 tins of "B"-unit and 3 tins of "M"-unit. A meal consisted of one tin of each unit. Sterno heaters or heat tabs were issued for use with "C" rations.


  • Bread ration (biscuits)
  • Beverage - cocoa, coffee or lemonade
  • 3 pieces of sugar
  • candy or chocolate


Meat and vegetable stew
Meat and vegetable hash
Meat and vegetable with beans

"5 in 1" Ration

A cardboard carton containing 28 lbs. of prepared "B" ration, issued to feed five men for one day, (not one man for five days). Strictly an emergency ration, all food being packed in cans. This ration was used to a limited extent towards the end of the first week on Kiska as a welcome relief from "C" rations.

"B" Ration

A complete bulk ration consisting solely of dried, dehydrated or canned foods. Menu No. 2 intended for Frigid or Cold areas, contained some 125 articles of diet. The "B" Ration was the standard issue during the stay at Kiska, except when it was supplemented from time to time by the arrival of a ship with "A" rations of fresh meat, vegetables and eggs. The full list of "B" ration items is given in "U.S. Issue Chart based on No.2 Expeditionary Force Menu showing quantities required of each component for 10,000 rations. Revised 9/28/42."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 1 October 2015

State of the Militia; 1888
Topic: Canadian Militia

State of the Militia; 1888

The Toronto Daily Mail, 15 December, 1888

To the Editor of The Mail

Sir,—The attempts made in certain quarters to defend the Minister of Militia only brings into greater prominence the general mismanagement of the whole department. If the militia is a necessity for the country, the Government is just as responsible for its condition as Sir Adolphe Caron. Assuming the policy of each department to be regulated upon some well understood basis or plan, submitted to and endorsed by Cabinet, and having certain definite aims and objects in view, then the present state of the militia goes to show that either the Government knows nothing and cares less about the militia, of that Sir Adolphe Caron is a wholly irresponsible minister. His policy, and therefore the policy of the Government, for the last five years has been to starve the militia, but stuff the schools. Those school of instruction or permanent corps (two batteries of artillery excepted) had no existence until 1883. All this time the cry for help and means to make the militia effective was raised in and presented to the Government from all quarters in Canada, and received the stereotyped reply:—"The Government would be delighted to do anything for the militia; but there was no money, and the spirit of the 'House' was against military appropriations, etc." But when Sir Adolphe discovered it was necessary to care for barracks and public buildings turned over by the Ordnance Department to Canada, and which for ten years and more had been allowed to lie in ruin and decay—lo! A change came over the spirit of the dream, and any amount was forthcoming. Sixty thousand dollars was expended at Toronto to make the New Fort fit for occupation; as much more at St. John's, Quebec; as much or more at Fredericton, New Brunswick; a school for cavalry at Quebec; another one for mounted infantry at Winnipeg, though what is it there for, with a thousand Mounted Police in the North-West, nobody knows but the Minister of Militia. London is the last example of Sir Adolphe's power, the Government's indifference, and of Mr. Carling's political necessities. There, too, a permanent corps has been established for the care of barracks and buildings which didn't exist at all, but whose example as a school hasn't saved the 7th Fusiliers from extinction. Money scarce! "There's millions in it" for the schools. Anything and everything for them. What is left for the other fellows? For the schools there is extra pay for extra duty, good conduct pay, increased in proportion to length of service; uniform, and pay for fitting it; boots, socks, shirts, underclothing, library, recreation-room, canteen, with beer, tobacco and necessaries at nearly cost price. All very good and very proper. No one grudges what they get, but why only for the schools? Are the men any better than the average militiaman, drill excepted; and Cut Knife Creek for example? They are too many for School purposes, but too few for fighting. Why then should the schools get all the favours and all the care and the real fighting force of the country get nothing? And how does it come that not a military man in Parliament, Colonel Denison excepted, ever raised his voice against the unfair discrimination? The painful contrast between the care bestowed upon the permanent corps and the shameful treatment received by the active militia is known to everyone inside and outside the service who takes any interest in the question, and may be briefly summarized by these two hard but undeniable facts:—First. That there is not a militia battalion in Canada ready or fit for active service. The city corps are drilled, but not equipped; the country corps are neither drilled nor equipped. Nor if wanted near home would they have a week, as at Fort Qu'Appelle, to learn how to load and fire their rifles. Second, That the Militia Department exists, not for the benefit of the country, not for the welfare and efficiency of the militia, but wholly and solely for the advantage of a politician and his personal and political gfriends.

Yours, etc.,

Western Ontario,
Dec. 10.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Russian Military Principles
Topic: Military Theory

Russian Military Principles

FM 100-2-1—The Soviet Army; Troops, Operations and Tactics, July 1984

Classic Russian Military Principles

  • Extreme exertion of force at the very beginning of a war.
  • Simultaneity of actions.
  • Economy of forces.
  • Concentration.
  • Chief objective - the enemy's army.
  • Surprise.
  • Unity of action.
  • Preparation.
  • Energetic pursuit.
  • Security.
  • Initiative and dominance over the enemy's will.
  • Strength where the enemy is weak.

The most significant points of this list are:

  • He who gets to the initial battle with the "most" wins.
  • The enemy must be confronted with more than one situation to deal with.
  • One should not be diverted by geographical objectives, but should concentrate on the destruction of the enemy's military forces.
  • Detailed, exacting preparation must precede an attack.
  • Design actions to preempt the opponent and keep him reacting to situations that you control.
  • Concentrate on the enemy's weak points rather than his strengths.

Contemporary Soviet military theorists hold that nuclear weaponry and other means of modem warfare have modified the basic principles. By the early 1970's, the following principles dominated Soviet operational art and tactics:

Russian Military Principles of the 1970s

  • Mobility and high rates of combat operations.
  • Concentration of main efforts and creation of superiority in forces and means over the enemy at the decisive place and at the decisive time.
  • Surprise and security.
  • Combat activeness.
  • Preservation of the combat effectiveness of friendly forces.
  • Conformity of the goal to the actual situation.
  • Coordination.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Japanese Army Rations, 1944
Topic: Army Rations

Japanese Army Rations, 1944

Soldier's Guide to the Japanese Army, Military Intelligence Service, November 1944

…when the Japanese soldier gets nothing to eat he becomes just as hungry and dejected as any other soldier.

There has been much misunderstanding of the food situation in the Japanese Army. Myths have sprung up concerning the ability of the Japanese soldier to subsist on extremely small quantities of food, and it has been popularly believed that he eats little save rice while in the field.

As a matter of fact, when the Japanese soldier gets nothing to eat he becomes just as hungry and dejected as any other soldier. He likes adequate meals at regular times and appreciates variety. Inadequate rations bring their full quota of complaints and exercise a depressing influence on individual and unit morale in the Japanese Army. One Japanese soldier plaintively records in his diary, "If I eat tonight, I may not be able to eat tomorrow. It is indeed a painful experience to be hungry. At the present time all officers, even though there is such a scarcity of food, eat relatively well. The condition is one in which the majority starves." Another complains about the monotony of the rations: "The never-changing soup for the morning meal. Only two meals today—army biscuits to gnaw at in the morning and miso soup with watermelon in the evening. Also had some salt beef."

The Japanese field ration is adequate and reasonably tasty; most of its components, after proper inspection, can be eaten by Allied troops. Rice is the stable part of the ration, comparable with bread or biscuit in other armies. Naturally, the Japanese soldier would no more be satisfied with a ration consisting exclusively of rice than an Allied soldier would with bread alone.

The rice, which is cooked dry to the consistency of a sticky mass to facilitate eating with chopsticks, may be either the polished or unpolished variety.

Ordinarily the polished type is used, since it can be kept in the cooked state longer. To ward off beri beri some barley may be mixed with the rice, but this mixture is not overly popular. Instead, the rice usually is cooked with a few pickled plums which not only afford protection against beri beri but also act as a laxative to counteract the constipating effect of rice. To make the rice more palatable, it prdinarily is seasoned with soy-bean sauce or the equivalent powder known as miso. Both the sauce (shoyu) and the miso are prepared from soy-bean seeds, to which malt and salt are added. The resultant products have a flavor similar to Worcestershire sauce and are much like the soy sauce found in all U.S. Chinese restaurants.

Other favored foods are pickled radishes; dried, tinned, or pickled octopus, which would be roughly comparable.with canned-salmon or herring in other armies; dried bread (hard-baked wheaten cakes), and vegetables. Preserved foods include dried and compressed fish—salmon or bonito which must be soaked and salted to make it palatable; pickled plums, compressed barley or rice- cakes, canned oranges and tangerines, and powdered tea leaves. Dehydrated vegetables, especially beans, peas, cabbage, horse-radish; slices of ginger; salted plum cake; canned beef; canned cooked whale meat; confections, and vitamin tablets often are included in ration issues. The ration is not standardized and ordinarily varies from 2 1/2 to 4 pounds per day for the standard field ration. The ration is calculated in two forms, the normal (fresh) and the special (preserved), depending upon the availability of fresh foods. Quantities also are graduated according to three categories of issues: the basic or full issue distributed when transport is adequate; the issue when transport is difficult; and the third and least quantity, issued when transport is very difficult.

There are two emergency rations. The "A" ration consists of about 1 pound 13 ounces of rice, 5 ounces of canned fish or meat, and a little miso and sugar. The "B" ration consists of "hard tack". This comprises three muslin bags of small oval biscuits; each bag contains a half-pound biscuit for one meal. This ration may only be eaten on orders of an officer. A compressed ration is also available for emergency use. It is made up of a cellophane packet containing cooked rice, pickled plums, dried fish, salt, and sugar.

An iron ration is issued only to parachutists. Weighing half a pound, this ration consists of wafer-like biscuits made of ground rice and flavored with sesame seed, and an extract made from mussel flesh, dried plums, preserved ginger, crushed soy beans, and mori (a form of dried seaweed).

An emergency air-crew ration found in New Guinea contained 20 ounces of unpolished rice, puffed wheat; biscuits, dried fish, two small bottles of concentrated wine (35 percent alcohol), candy, large salt tablets, and a water-purifier kit. The entire kit was packed in five transparent water-proof bags. On Bougainville a "Polished Rice Combination Case" was found which contained 40 portions, mostly rice, loose-packed in an air-tight tin case enclosed in a wooden crate. This, in addition to the rice, contained miso paste, vitamin-B concentrate, vitamin A and D tablets, powdered tea (vitamin C), fuel, and matches. These ingredients were packed in 3-ounce cans, with one can intended apparently for every two portions of rice.

Every opportunity is utilized to augment the normal ration issue. Fishing, gardening, and purchases from natives frequently afford welcome additions to the daily diet as well as variety. Foraging, both organized and unorganized, also is resorted to if the country is sufficiently well stocked to make such enterprise profitable. The Japanese soldier is very fond of confections, and these he may secure in the "Comfort Bags" sent by relatives and friends at home.

The transport of rations naturally varies with the terrain, the nature of the military operations, the availability of local food sources, and other factors. In New Guinea emergency rations sufficient for 12 days were carried by a battalion of 700. Each man carried a three-day supply of "fresh" food and a four-day supply of "preserved", with the reminder, aggregating 2.98 tons, carried in the battalion train. In another instance an infantry regiment carried rations for ten days, with four days calculated on an emergency basis. But the Japanese have made matches with only a five-day supply. Packaging was quite inferior in the early days of the war, and much canned and dehydrated food was lost as a result of this deficiency. Considerable improvement has been noted, however, in recent operations.

Army Ration Scales

Ration ItemNormal or Fresh ScaleSpecial or Preserved Scale
[Figures are ounces except where otherwise indicated]
Rice, or rice and barley28 
Compressed rice 20
Fresh meat or fish7.4 
Canned meat or fish 5.3
vegetables 4.2
plum 1.6
Shoyu (saure)1.7 
Powdered miso 1.1
Bean paste2.6 
Total4 lb.2 lb. 2 oz.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 28 September 2015

Dark Leadership
Topic: Leadership

Dark Leadership

Dark Leadership in the Ranks: How the U.S. Armed Forces Can Address Narcissism and Toxic Leadership, by David J. Boisselle and Jeanne McDonnell, 2014

"At one point or another in your career, you will work for a jackass, because we all have. People who are terrible to their subordinates may be perfectly civil and respectful up the chain of command." – Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates [speaking to] West Point cadets.

Retired Army Lt. General Walter Ulmer served as the chief executive officer for the Center for Creative Leadership and has written about the problem of toxic leadership in the Army. Additionally, he compiled the following observations which toxic leaders frequently display:

  • They rarely take blame or share glory.
  • They are not toxic all the time, or to all people.
  • They are rarely if ever toxic when in the company of "the boss."
  • They sometimes have good ideas and accomplish good things.
  • They can be charming when the occasion fits.
  • They are frequently described as extremely bright and hard-working.
  • They often have a coterie of devoted "fans" who keep appearing on their staffs.
  • Most have been seen as toxic by subordinates since early in their career.
  • Their boss either does not know or pretends not to know, and almost never records, their abuse of subordinates.

Through interviews, surveys, literature, as well as reviews of numerous real-life cases, General Ulmer summarized that "Toxic leaders are individuals whose behavior appears driven by self-centered careerism at the expense of their subordinates and unit, and whose style is characterized by abusive and dictatorial behavior that promotes an unhealthy organizational climate." It is interesting to note that the first part of General Ulmer's definition noted toxic leaders are "driven by self-centered careerism." This supports studies of toxic leadership completed by retired Army veterans Joe Doty and Jeff Fenlason which found most, if not all, toxic leaders suffer from narcissism.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Court Martial of Thomas Tole
Topic: Discipline

The Court Martial of Thomas Tole

Extraordinary and Disgraceful Treachery

The Glasgow Herald, 24 September 1958

London, Sep. 22.—A worthless scoundrel, who deserted to the enemy from the English ranks when before Sebastopol, and by his treachery caused the slaughter of a number of his comrades, has just been captured, and awaits sentence of a court-martial. On the 22d of March, 1855, the 7th Regiment of Fusiliers were performing trench duty, when two of the men, Private Thomas Tole, and a companion named Moore, left the lines under pretence of searching for fuel, and instead of returning, went over to the enemy. The treacherous information they gave of the position of the company they had deserted from, proved a guide to the Russians, who, making a determined attack upon them the same night, killed Captain the Hon. Cavendish Brown and thirty men. Tole was not given up with the exchange of prisoners at the end of the war, but went to St. Petersburg. Desiring, subsequently, to return to England, he contrived to obtain a passport, and has been for some time in York. More recently he took up his quarters in old Mount Street, Manchester. Several months ago, Mr. Leary, superintendent of the B division, had him taken into custody on suspicion of being guilty of this heinous and disgraceful offence, but the evidence failed to prove his desertion. Later correspondence with the commanding officer, however, led to the production of witnesses who could speak more positively; and on Monday Tole was again placed before the city magistrate, when two of his former comrades in the same company, to whom he was personally known, gave evidence regarding his going over to the enemy, and he was ordered to be delivered over to the military authorities. Tole is a native of Ireland, and 24 years of age. A man of the same regiment, named Dennis Cleary, who was wounded, and has since received his discharge, is now a police officer in the B division. Tole states that his companions, Moore, died in two days after they joined the Russians. (Manchester Examiner)

elipsis graphic

General Court Martial on the Deserter to the Russians

The Glasgow Herald, 29 November 1958

Chatham, Nov. 26.—This morning, at eleven o'clock, a general court martial assembled at this garrison, by command of the Duke of Cambridge, for the trial of Private Thomas Tole, of the 1st battalion 7th Royal Fusiliers, who, when stationed in the Crimea with his regiment, in the early part of 1855, deserted to the Russian army. Lieutenant-Colonel Charles E. Fairtlough, commanding the 3d battalion, was president.

The prisoner on being brought into the room appeared very pale, but this, perhaps, arose from the lengthened period he has been in confinement, He appears to be about 26 years of age.

The Deputy Judge-Advocate read over the charge to the prisoner as follows:—"For having, in the month of January, 1855, when in the service of her Majesty, and with the army in the field in the Crimea, deserted and gone over to the enemy."

The prisoner, on being called upon, pleaded "Not Guilty."

All the witnesses were then ordered out of court, and the following evidence was afterward taken:—

Sergeant James Osmotherly, 7th Royal Fusiliers, said he belonged to the same company as the prisoner, and was in the same tent with him during the time the 7th Fusiliers were in the Crimea. In the month of January, 1855, the prisoner was one day warned for fatigue duty of Sergeant Ball, and was ordered, with another man, to go out and search for fuel. Prisoner was away between two and three hours when he was reported absent. The colonel ordered witness, Sergeant Ball, and another man to go out and see if they could find him. They first went over to Inkermann, and then passed round to the White House ravine, where the British picket was stationed. They inquired of the picket if they had seen any man go down after fuel, when they received the answer that they had, but that they did not know whether he came back again. Witness never saw prisoner again until he saw him a prisoner at Chatham.

By the Prosecutor—The men at that time were allowed to go for fuel in advance of the White House picket. Witness should say the White House picket was about 100 yards from the Russian picket, but he was not confident as to the distance, as advanced pickets were thrown out at night.

The prisoner declined asking this witness any questions.

Private George Hines, 7th Fusiliers, and other witnesses gave similar testimony.

Joseph Hurst, a police constable, of the Manchester police force, said he apprehended the prisoner in a beerhouse in that city of the 18th of September, on suspicion of being a deserter from the 7th Fusiliers.

The President (to the prisoner)—Have you any statement you wish to address to the Court?

Prisoner said he had, and proceeded to address the court as follows:—On the 17th of January, 1855, my company was warned for night duty, and on the morning of the 18th the picket came and relieved us, and we were marched to our tent. I had not time to file my firelock when another man and myself were ordered on wood fatigue. We went to try and get a few roots to boil our breakfast with, when two Russian officers came up to us and asked us what we were doing. We told them we were on fatigue, gathering wood. They asked us if we would go with them to take a wounded man in, and we consented to accompany them. They took us down into Inkermann, when, as we were going along, I told my comrade that we had better make a stand, as we were going too far, and try and get home. The officers then drew their swords, on which we wrestled with them, but having no arms, we were obliged to give in. I was wounded in the left arm. I was then marched into Sebastopol a prisoner.

The finding will not be known until it has been forwarded, together with all the evidence and the prisoner's defence, to the Duke of Cambridge for the approval of his Royal Highness.

elipsis graphic

The Annals of Our Time: A Diurnal of Events, Social and Political, Home and Foreign, from the Accession of Queen Victoria

June 20, 1837, Volume 1, By Joseph Irving, Macmillan and Company, 1871

26 November 1858.—At a court martial at Chatham, Private Thomas Tole, late of the 1st battalion 7th Royal Fusiliers, was found guilty of deserting to the Russians from the army before Sebastopol. He was sentenced to penal servitude for life.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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