The Minute Book
Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Of Military Discipline (Saxe)
Topic: Discipline

Of Military Discipline

Reveries, or Memoirs, Concerning the Art of War, by Maurice Count de Saxe, Marshal-General of the Armies of France (Translated from the French, MDCCLIX)

Next to the forming of troops, military discipline is the first object that presents itself to our notice. It is the soul of all armies; and unless it be established amongst them with great prudence, and supported with unshaken resolution, they are no better than so many contemptible heaps of rabble, which are more dangerous to the very state that maintains them, than even its declared enemies.

It is a false notion, that subordination, and a passive obedience to superiors, is any debasement of a man's courage; so far from it, that it is a general remark, that those armies which have been subject to the several: discipline, have always performed the greatest things.

Many general officers imagine, that in giving out orders they do ail that is expected from them; and therefore, as they are sure to find great abuses, enlarge their instructions accordingly; in which they proceed upon a very erroneous principle, and take such measures as can never be effectual in restoring discipline in an army wherein it has been lost or neglected.

Few orders are best; but they are to be executed with attention, and offences to be punished without respect of either rank or extraction. All partiality and distinction must be utterly abolished, otherwise you expose yourself to hate and resentment. By enforcing your authority with judgment, and setting a proper example, you may render yourself at once both beloved and seared. Severity must be accompanied with great tenderness and moderation; so displayed upon every occasion as to appear void of all manner of design, and totally the effect of a natural disposition.

Great punishments are only to be inflicted for great crimes: but the more moderate they are in general, the more easy it will be to reform abuses, because all the world, concurring in the necessity of them, will cheerfully promote their effect.

We have, for example, one very pernicious custom; which is, that of punishing marauders with certain death, so that a man is frequently hanged for a single offence; in consequence of which they are rarely discovered; because every one is unwilling to occasion the death of a poor wretch, for only having been seeking perhaps to gratify his hunger.

If, instead of this method, we did but send them to the provosts, there to be chained like galley-slaves; and condemned to subsist upon bread and water for one, two, or three months; or to be employed upon some of those works which are always carrying on in an army; and not to be restored to their regiments, till the night before an engagement, or till the commander in chief shall think proper: then all the world would join their endeavours to bring such delinquents to punishment: the officers upon grand guards and out-posts would not suffer one to escape; by whose vigilance and activity the mischief would thus be soon put an entire stop to. Such as fall at present into the hands justice, are very unfortunate indeed; for the provost and his party, when they discover any marauders, immediately turn their eyes another way, in order to give them an opportunity to escape: but as the commander in chief is perpetually complaining of the outrages which are committed, they are obliged to apprehend one now and then, who falls a sacrifice for the rest. Thus the examples that are made have no tendency towards removing the evil, or restoring discipline; and hardly answer any other purpose, than to justify the common saying amongst the soldiers, "That none but the unfortunate are hanged." Perhaps it may be observed, that the officers likewise suffer marauders to pass by their posts unnoticed. But that is an abuse which may be easily remedied, by discovering from the prisoners what particular posts they passed by, and imprisoning the officers who commanded them, during the remainder of the campaign. This will render them vigilant, careful, and severe: nevertheless, when a man is to be punished with certain death for the offence, there are but few of them who would not risk two or three months imprisonment, rather than be instrumental to it.

All other military punishments, when carried to extremes of severity, will be attended with the same consequences. It is also very necessary to prevent those from being branded with the name of infamy, which should be regarded in a milder light; as the gantlope [sic, i.e., the gauntlet], for instance, which in France is reputed ignominious; but which, in the case of the soldier, deserves a different imputation, because it is a punishment which he receives from the hands of his comrades. The reason of its being thus extravagantly vilified, proceeds from the custom of inflicting it in common upon whores, rogues, and such offenders as fall within the province of the hangman ; the consequence of which is, that one is obliged to pass the colours over a soldier's head, aster he has received this punishment, in order, by such an act of ceremony, to take off that idea of ignominy which is attached to it: A remedy worse than the evil, and which is also productive of a much greater: for after a man has run the gantlope, his captain immediately strips him, for fear he should desert, and then turns him out of the service; by which means this punishment, how much soever necessary, is never inflicted but for capital crimes ; for when a soldier is confined for the commission of any trivial offence, the commanding officer always releases him, upon the application of his captain, because, forsooth, the loss of the man would be some deduction from his perquisites.

There are some things of great importance towards the promotion of discipline, that are, notwithstanding, altogether unattended to ; which, as well as the persons who practise them, are frequently laughed at and despised. The French, for example, ridicule that law amongst the Germans, of not touching a dead horse: which is, nevertheless, a very sensible and good institution, is not carried too far. Pestilential diseases are, in a great measure, prevented by it; for the soldiers frequently plunder dead carcases for their skins, and thereby expose themselves to infection. It does not prevent the killing and eating of horses during sieges, a scarcity of provisions, or other exigencies. Let us from hence, therefore, judge, whether it is not rather useful than otherwise.

The French also reproach the Germans for the bastinade, which is a military punishment established amongst them. If a German officer strikes, or otherwise abuses a private soldier, he is cashiered, upon complaint made by the party injured; and is also compelled, on pain of forfeiting his honour, to give him satisfaction, if he demands it, when he is no longer under his command. This obligation prevails alike through all ranks; and there are frequently instances of general officers giving satisfaction, at the point of the sword, to subalterns who have quitted the service ; for there is no refusing to accept their challenge, without incurring ignominy.

The French do not at all scruple to strike a soldier with their hands; but they are hardly ever tempted to apply the stick, because that is a kind of chastisement which has been exploded, as inconsistent with that notion of liberty which prevails amongst them. Nevertheless prompt punishments are certainly necessary, provided they be such as are not accounted dishonourable.

Let us compare these different customs of the two nations together, and judge which contributes most to the good of the service, and the proper support of the point of honour. The punishments for their officers are likewise of distinct kinds. The French upbraid the Germans with their provosts and their chains; the latter retort the reproach, by exclaiming against the prisons and ropes of the French; for the German officers are never confined in the public prisons. They have a provost to every regiment; which post is always given to an old serjeant, in recompense for his service; but I have never heard of their officers being put in irons, unless for great crimes, and after they had been first degraded.

These observations which I have been making, serve to demonstrate the absurdity of condemning particular customs or prejudices, before one has examined their original causes. After having thus explained my ideas concerning the forming of troops, the manner in which they ought to engage, and lastly, concerning discipline, which, is I may use the expression, is the basis and foundation of the art of war.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 12 January 2016

On the Psychology of Military Incompetence
Topic: Leadership

A Review
'On the Psychology of Military Incompetence'

A Sandhurst Guide, Pilot version, Easter 2012

Norman Dixon's book looks at incompetence in military leaders throughout history and considers whether, rather than being random occurrences, they are, in fact, a result of the military system. In particular he considers whether people with certain psychological characteristics are drawn to a military career, and whether the military insulates and exacerbates these characteristics in them.

Some might feel that Dixon's study has little relevance to the British military of today, with much of his evidence drawn from the characters and experience of the late-Victorian and Edwardian army. He bases many of his hypotheses on the mostly public school background of military offi cers, theories that perhaps require revision in an age when the demographic of offi cer candidates is considerably broader. Modern military readers might also struggle to relate to Dixon's fascination with the issue of toilet-training and its infl uence on character, as well as his perception of military men inevitably being the progeny of distant, disciplinarian parents and affection-starved childhoods.

If one persists, there is much in Dixon's book that remains applicable to the British military today. Most military readers are likely to fi nd something of themselves in his examples. His assertion that the institutional culture of the military breeds an intellectual conservatism, resulting in dangerous 'group-think', should serve as a warning to all military leaders. He also cautions against military leaders becoming so invested in their own plan that their mind fi lters information, accepting that which reinforces their perception of a situation, but discarding that which doesn't. Dixon draws attention to the military need for order and discipline, suggesting that this conditions military minds to comfortable certainties, despite disorder and uncertainty being the prevailing characteristics of the battlefi eld. He also argues that most military failures result not from being too bold, but from not being bold enough, and that the higher a military leader rises in rank the more they are motivated by fear of failure, rather than hope of success, resulting in a reduced willingness to take risks.

Dixon's book is also very useful in helping to understand how the culture, values, and ethos of British military leadership have emerged from a largely amateur tradition. He divides leaders into two broad types, task-specialists, concerned principally with output, and social specialists concerned principally with the maintenance of harmony and cohesion in a group. Dixon considers the phenomenon of how some of Britain's most incompetent military leaders were still loved by their men, despite leading them to slaughter. He concludes that, although poor task specialists, they were excellent social specialists, with reputations, often made as junior leaders, for being brave and caring. Principally, their incompetence resulted from being promoted beyond their capability.

Obviously, the ideal military leader is both a task and social specialist, and reading Dixon's book, the reader will no doubt see how much more output-related modern military leadership has become. Never-the-less the book challenges the reader to look at some of the cultural attitudes that do persist in our military today and ask if they are still relevant. Is it still important that our leaders are gentlemen, or have a 'sense of otherness'? Given the much improved educational standard of our soldiers, can we still assume that the leader is more knowledgeable than those he leads, and if not should this result in a less autocratic, and more cooperative style of leadership?

This is a challenging and informative book that should be read with an open mind. It highlights some uncomfortable truths about the military psychology and the dangers inherent in the military culture for decision-making and leadership, and provides useful warnings to be heeded from its negative historical examples.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 11 January 2016

Tommy's Rum
Topic: CEF

Tommy's Rum

The Journal of Commerce (Montreal), 24 October 1914

Whatever may be said of the "dry canteen" in the military camps of Canada—a country in which "dry" regulations, of not actually "dry" conditions, prevail—one need not be surprised to learn that the British military authorities have set aside the prohibition as applied for a few days in the camps of the Canadian forces now on Salisbury Plain. While in Canada and on the voyage across the Atlantic the troops were under the control of the Canadian Militia Department. When they were settled on their training grounds on Salisbury Plain, they ceased to be technically a Canadian force; they became part of the Imperial army organization, and subject in all things to the British Army regulations. Tommy Atkins, as the British soldier is commonly called, possesses certain rights and privileges, including the privilege of obtaining beer and spirits in moderate quantities, if he desires them. The wisdom of allowing these privileges to the soldiers has sometimes been called into question, but the result of every discussion has been that the army authorities have decided against prohibition. The British officials permit the use of spirits and beer, but they endeavor to prevent the abuse of them, and they take much pains to see that the articles supplied for the troops are pure and unadulterated. A recent issue of an English paper gives an account if the War Office arrangements for the supply of rum for the soldiers, which is of particular interest at this moment:

"Now that the nights are beginning to be cold, Tommy Atkins in the trenches in France is beginning to feel the need of "something to keep out the cold." With timely forethought for the welfare of the British soldier during a prospective winter campaign, the War Office is sending to the front a consignment of 150,000 gallons of rum. The bottling of this quantity which in normal circumstances would probably represent an excise duty of something like £60,000, is being undertaken by the Port of London Authority, and the Rum Quay at the West India Docks offers a scene of exceptional activity even for a department which is accustomed to dealing with thousands of puncheons in the course of a year. The huge vats at the West India Docks, which have an aggregate capacity of 58,500 gallons, are of course available for the blending of of this Army rum. All of it is genuine sugar cane product, requiring no addition of spirit, since it is already much over proof. Some of it was imported in 1911, and some in succeeding years, but the age is not necessarily indicated by the date of importations. Emerging from the vats 4.5 per cent. (sic), under proof, the rum is measured by the gallon and passed through funnels into stoneware jars of the customary type, and each of one gallon capacity. The jars are then corked and sealed with the seal of the Port Authority. The next stage is the packing of the rum. For convenient handling it is placed in wooden cases, which accommodate a couple of jars. The case us kept to a size which can easily be lifted by one man, so as to give as little trouble as possible in distributing the rum among widely scattered troops. Each case bears an intimation that it forms part of army supplies. About 3,000 jars of the rum are sent away each day. The destination is Newhaven via Willow Walk Railway Station. From the Sussex port the consignments go to the most convenient Continental port, thereafter to be forwarded to the base of operations. Large supplies of jars, of which a total of 150,000 will of course be required, arrive daily at the West India Docks. With the active co=operation of the Customs, the work of bottling proceeds until 6 p.m., instead of 4 p.m., as is usual in the case of bonded warehouses. In this way, and with the employment of a large staff of men, this big War Office order is in process of careful execution."

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 10 January 2016

Hard-Hitting Army Now Nations' Need
Topic: Canadian Army

Hard-Hitting Army Now Nations' Need

Major-General A.G.L. McNaughton Traces Evolution of Weapons of War
Speed, Range Factors
Old Linear Battle is Thing of Past, Chief of General Staff Declares

The Montreal Gazette, 1 February 1934

Modern weapons of war, as applicable in particular to the protection and support of infantry on the offensive, were discussed last night by Major-General A.G.L. McNaughton, C.M.G., D.S.O., Chief of the General Staff, before a large and distinguished group of officers in the Mess of the Canadian Grenadier Guards. His address, which was profusely illustrated, traced the development and evolution of bellicose equipment from the crude club and wooden shield, through the phase of Assyrian, Egyptian and other Asiatic chariots, spears and javelins of the pre-Christian era, to the bow and arrow, crossbow, catapult, mangon, Saracenic trebuchets, the beffrot and the battering ram in use before the advent of cannon in the middle of the fourteenth century.

Continuing, General McNaughton showed a picture of "Mons Meg," a cannon now at Edinburgh Castle that was constructed about the middle of the 15th century, with a bore of 20 inches and capable of projecting a stone of 350 pounds. In 1453, at the siege of Constantinople, Mahomet II is reported to have had weapons with a bore of 48 inches and capable of throwing projectiles of some 2,200 pounds.

For six hundred years preceding the Great War, the history of combative machines is that of guns and hand firearms, the Chief of Staff explained. Since the close of hostilities, he revealed that the range has been increased at least two fold in all natures; new propellants have been introduced that are more uniform and simpler to manufacture; shell design has been improved to increase the ballistic coefficient and to decrease the effect of wind and weather conditions on accuracy; the weight of explosive in shells and its available energy per pound on detonation have been improved substantially; while highly perfected gas and smoke shells have been made available. Furthermore, the effect of very high velocity light bullets on armour fives some suggestion that a special cartridge for the modern rifle might be developed for use against tank armour at short ranges.

Harder Hitting Armies

"I am more convinced than ever that we must move forward in our war organization to smaller, faster, harder-hitting armies of great range or action and long endurance, commanded and staffed by officers who can think in terms of combination of units and concentration of forces in areas measured in hundreds of square miles. The new mobility has certainly established the fact that the old linear battle is a thing of the past," General McNaughton continued, "Today a marching column is just as likely to be struck in rear or on its inner flank as it is to be attacked in front."

"With the intense development in weapons and warlike stores, proceeding with unrestricted attention in all the principal countries of the world, we must seriously consider the question as to whether we can properly rest our national security on the type of organization suitable to conditions of twenty years ago. That question cannot be answered until a definite and general trend of opinion finds expression. Our militia has not only the duty of bearing arms in defence of Canada, but as a citizen force it largely rests with its members to form opinion in these matters," the Chief of the General Staff declared.

Of special interest to the infantry, General McNaughton mentioned the new rifle, which has better shooting qualities, a more efficient "spike" bayonet, which will penetrate winter clothing and web equipment, a simple and sure method of of attaching the bayonet and grenade discharger, and general simplification of manufacture. Attention was also directed to the latest anti-aircraft funs, which can project 15-pound shells to an altitude of 30,300 feet, and with the aid of a predictor have a high degree of accuracy. Reference was made to the "Paris Guns," eight of which were built. Only 367 rounds were actually fired into the French capital. Pictures of the latest 18-pounder field guns, tanks, tractors, armored cars and Carden Loyd carriers were also shown.

"On history, we are not long concerned with nations unable or unwilling to keep pace with armament development," General McNaughton concluded. "However notable their civilization, however brave their warriors, and however adept their statesmen in the art of treaty-drafting, they soon pass from the stage before the onward march of those well able to forge and wield the newer weapons."

Lieut.-Col. F.R. Phalen, D.S.O., M.C., V.D., commanding the Canadian Grenadier Guards, introduced the Chief of the General Staff and expressed appreciation of all present for the honour conferred upon them by General McNaughton in consenting to deliver the address. Others present included: Brigadier W.W.P. Gibsone, district officer commanding at Montreal; Brigadier F.S. Meighen, honorary colonel of the "Guards"; Col. W.L. Gear, Col. W.S.M. MacTier, Col. J.D. Macperson, Col. R.P. Wright, and Lieut.-Colonels E.L. Caldwell, B.W. Browne, R.M. Gorssline, G.S. Stairs, A. Fleming, A.T. Howard, G.V. Whitehead, H.L. Trotter, S.A. Rolland, A.H. Cowie, F.J.B. Stephenson, A. Hay, K.M. Perry, H. Wyatt Johnston and P. Abbey.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 9 January 2016

Played in His Uniform
Topic: Canadian Militia

Played in His Uniform

An Interesting Conflict Between Militia Act and Trade Unionism

The Montreal Gazette, 19 December 1900

Toronto, December 18.—A case in which the Militia Act comes into conflict with trade unionism and the military is triumphant over the civil association is that of Parker against the Toronto Musical Protective Association, in which judgment was rendered today by Mr. Justice MacMahon. The plaintiff is a musician residing in Toronto, and an active militiaman, duly enrolled as a member of the 48th Highlanders, and also a member of defendant association, which is a body incorporated under the friendly societies' and insurance corporations acts. The plaintiff played in uniform with this regimental band by permission of the officers of the regiment at a concert given at Massey Hall, Toronto. He was charged with playing contrary to the by-laws of the association, with musicians who were not members, and was fined $2, and then dismissed from it for non-payment of the fine. The judge held that the amendment to the by-laws of the association, under which the plaintiff was fined, was invalid, because reasonable and in restrain of trade; that the amending by-law is also contrary to the Queen's regulations, to the Militia Act, and to the Canadian militia regulations and orders. The plaintiff, being a bandsman, is obliged to play at a duly sanctioned engagement will his band, no matter how many of the other bandsmen are not members of the association. Judgment for plaintiff with damages assessed at $20 for alleging that he was a deserter, $20 damages for wrongful dismissal and the costs of the action and also declaring that article (1), amending the by-law, and under which attempted dismissal rook place, is void; that the plaintiff's expulsion was illegal and granting injunction restraining defendants from interfering with plaintiff's privileges as a member. The judgment in effect means that the Militia Act overrides trade union obligations when they come into conflict.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 8 January 2016

A Taste of Old Times
Topic: CEF

A Taste of Old Times

Buried on a World War I battlefield, Tiny's crock is full of liquid history.

By Stephen Franklin, Weekend Staff Writer
Weened Magazine, Vol. 10, No. 45, 1960
Ottawa Citizen, 5 November 1960

For a fortunate bunch of Old Sweats in Vancouver, the night of Saturday, Nov. 12, 1960, will be one to remember. On that night they will be swigging liquid history—the contents of a gallon crock that is, in a manner of speaking, a gift from King George V brought to them through the courtesy and artfulness of an under-age infantryman, 429278 Pte. Dudley Seymour. Yessir!

The occasion is the annual reunion of the survivors of the 7th Battalion, B.C. Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force, and the very special tot they will be drinking is army-issue rum buried beneath a Flanders hedgerow at 7:30 A.M. June 3, 1916, and unearthed on a summer evening last year, if anyone can lay his hands on the nose of a German shell, he will drink the rum from it in true trench style. The toast will be a war that none can ever forget, to absent friends and, no doubt, to the man who hid the rum, dug it up and is pouring it, Tiny Seymour.

Today Tiny is a ham-fisted giant of a Vancouver Island logger, a yarn-spinning whisky-loving, plain-spoken man who lives on the shores of Georgia Strait in the village of Royston with his wife, his old war wounds and a case of diabetes. His life as a rum-runner, a timber cruiser and a successful small logging operator has given him the flavor and something of the appearance of a cross between Wallace Beery and W.C. Fields.

Oddly enough, it was an officer nicknamed Charlie Chaplin who set the whole chain of events in motion. Tiny was in No. 3 Company. "We were dug in behind the front line at Sanctuary Wood a mile down the Menin road from Ypres," (Seymour recalls), "and we were going up at 8 o'clock that morning (it was June 3) to try to hold where the Germans had broken through the Third Division.

"I was 17 then but I liked my rum and I fell in three different times that morning for my issue. Then Capt. Fielding called me over )I can't remember his first name, but we called him Charlie Chaplin. He was from down east and the son of a Chief Justice or something, I think, and he had a brother killed over there.)

'Anyway, Capt. Fielding said, "Private Seymour, take these two jugs of rum over to Major Ford.' 'But sir …' 'No buts, Seymour. We're in a hurry. On the double.' "

Tiny shrugged and did as he was told. Capt. Fielding apparently did not know what he did—that Maj. Ford ("He died in Montreal about four years ago.") was already a casualty, wounded by a german shell.

"I took the two crock of rum and headed down the communications trench to my own funk hole behind this hedge, dug quickly into the dirt, buried the crocks and hurried on back. I thought we could use it later that day."

At 8 A.M. 500 of them went in. Tiny came back with only 28 other men and three officers, but not to the same place. They re-grouped the remnants elsewhere, clear of the German bombardment.

Before long Tiny, who had enlisted when he was only 15 ½ and been shipped overseas as a replacement in 1915, moved on to the Somme and a third wound. Then, with his guardian angel working overtime, he was attached to the Royal Engineers engaged in countermining the Vimy tunnel. The Boches blew it up and of 49 men he was the only survivor, escaping with a stomach wound which sent him to hospital and home for good.

After his discharge in 1919 came roisterous years in the woods of Vancouver Island and aboard boats running rum down the Pacific coast to the U.S. in prohibition days. Gradually the two buried crocks of rum became more than the subject of just another yarn for the boys. They became an obsession. By last year Tiny could well afford a long trip to Europe. He and his wife took ship for Europe, hired an old poilu, René Coudray, and his seven-passenger Cadillac to drive them from Paris to the old battlefields and the unforgotten rum.

Tiny knew that Sanctuary Wood had been preserved as a memorial, helmets, rifles, unopened cans of bully beef strewn still where they lay, trenches, wire and no-man's land starkly reminiscent of the past. The Belgian caretaker told him he must have permission from the Canadian government to dig for his rum. "But," he shrugged, "I go off duty at 7 this evening."

That night 4 ½ feet down, Tiny's shovel scraped something solid. Up came the two crocks, strung together with the wooden tag on them marked "No. 3 Coy, 7th Battn."

Tiny and eight old comrades polished off the first gallon of rum at a truly memorable party in the Piccadilly Hotel in London a few weeks later. The rum was tangy but still good an potent.

Getting the other gallon crock into Canada was the hardest part of the entire 44-year saga. It took months of finagling, the assistance of a lawyer from his old regiment, an importer's license, $11.10 federal duty, $11.75 B.C. Liquor Board fees and $1.14 provincial sales tax. There was also the strong suspicion that somewhere along the line some so-and-sos had been checking the contents with their gullets instead of their noses, before Tiny finally took possession. He took a test swig there and then, under the disapproving eye of officialdom, pronounced the contents smoother than the first crock and stashed the rum determinedly away for Nov. 12, and the reunion.

Usually about 100 officers and men turn up at the Hotel Georgia for the affair. "I guarantee there'll be a lot more who'll turn up this year," grunts Tiny Seymour, "and every one of them ready to swear blind they were at Sanctuary Wood when I buried the rum."

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 7 January 2016

"Esprit de Corps"
Topic: The RCR

"Esprit de Corps"

From the Orders-in-Council documents archived on line by Library and Archives Canada, we find this memorandum on the change of title of the Permanent Corps units of infantry and cavalry addressed to the Minister of Militia and Defence:

Headquarters, Ottawa, 27th April, 1892


In view of measures which I propose to take for increasing the efficiency of the Permanent Corps of Active Militia, as indicated in my report for the year 1891-92 I have the honor to bring to your notice the desirability of conferring, on the corps now known as the "Cavalry School Corps" and "Infantry School Corps", titles more in accordance with their actual organization, and more calculated to maintain the feeling of "Esprit de corps" so necessary for the maintenance of efficiency.

The title I propose to substitute for the above designations are "Canadian Dragoons" and "Canadian Regiment of Infantry."

I have the honour to request that you will authorize the preparation of a recommendation to Council to the above effect.

I have &c. (sd) Ivor Herbert, M/Genl. Comdg. Canadian Militia

elipsis graphic

The Minister's memorandum, dates 12 May 1892, was submitted for approval as requested by Major-General Herbert, and it was subsequently submitted for the approval of the Governor General.

On 14 May 1892, approval was granted by the Governor General, Lord Stanley.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Soldiers' Load - US Army - 1916
Topic: Soldiers' Load

Soldiers' Load – US Army – 1916

Regulars and the Militia Uniformed, Equipped Alike

Toledo Blade, 6 July 1916

The United States soldier, regular or militiaman, on dress parade looks natty. In actual service much of this jauntiness vanishes and you think of a pack mule when you see him on the march. He carries his bed and dining room outfit with him, and his entire wardrobe as well. The soldier on the march is a concrete example of preparedness.

What Each Soldier Carries

All enlisted men of companies or battalions, except first sergeants and musicians, and all dismounted men of mounted orderly sections of headquarters companies, dismounted men of supply companies except drivers, and every member of the militia will be fitted out with a full complement of these articles as they are accepted for federal service and each individual will be held responsible for them:

  • 1 United States rifle, calibre .30
  • 1 front sight cover
  • 1 brush and thong
  • 1 oiler and thong case
  • 1 gun sling
  • 1 bayonet
  • 1 bayonet scabbard
  • 1 cartridge belt, calibre .30, infantry
  • 1 pair cartridge belt suspenders
  • 1 first aid package
  • 90 ball cartridges, calibre .30
  • 1 canteen, infantry
  • 1 haversack
  • 1 meat can
  • 1 cup
  • 1 knife
  • 1 fork
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 shelter tent, half
  • 5 shelter tent pins
  • 1 poncho
  • 1 blanket
  • 1 cake of soap (furnished by man)
  • 1 toothbrush (furnished by man)
  • 1 pair of socks (furnished by man)
  • 1 comb (furnished by man)
  • 1 towel (furnished by man)
  • 1 whistle (for quartermaster-sergeants and sergeants only)
  • 1 identification tag with tape

Pack Weighs Twenty Pounds

Officers and non-commissioned officers, in addition, carry pistols, sabres and other implements, the average weight of a full infantry equipment being about 20 pounds.

The horse equipment for each enlisted man consists of one feed and grain bag, one halter headstall, one halter strap, one horse brush, one lariat, one lariat strap, one link, one picket pin, one cavalry saddle, one pair saddlebags, one saddle blanket, one surcingle, two horseshoes—one fore and one hind, twelve horseshoe nails.

The field uniform of an enlisted man consists of the following articles:

  • 1 waist belt
  • 1 pair of woolen breeches and 1 pair of khaki breeches
  • 1 woolen and 1 khaki service coat
  • 1 hat cord
  • 1 tying cord for service hat
  • 1 service hat
  • 1 pair of leather riding gloves (for mounted men only)
  • 1 pair of canvas leggings
  • 2 flannel shirts
  • 1 pair of marching shoes

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 5 January 2016

More and Better Food for Army Overseas
Topic: Army Rations

Private Maurice Richard (right), Canadian Provost Corps, talking with students of the Khaki University of Canada, who ride in a jeep driven by Lance-Bombardier R.S. Hughes, Leavesden, England, 15 April 1946. Photographer: Sgt. Karen M. Hermiston. Location: Leavesden, England. Date: April 15, 1946. MIKAN Number: 3518851. (Faces of the Second World War, Library and Archives Canada)

More and Better Food for Army Overseas

Ottawa Citizen, 24 November 1946

After six long years of unimaginative army rations, Canadian troops overseas are going to get more and better food.

Major-General Hugh Young, quartermaster-general of the Canadian Army, said today that shipments of special food have already been arranged and very soon troops in Europe will have added to their menus food which they have long dreamed about and longed for.

Fruit Juices

Included in the new rations will be fruit juices, orange, tomato, and apple. There will be a completely new assortment of vegetables, never present in wartime messes, including tinned corn, corn on the cob, peas, beans, and also tinned fruit, peaches, pears, and apples.

General Young said that all through the active fighting the Canadian Army followed along on the British ration system, but now for reasons of morale it was deemed essential that Canadian troops get food with more of a Canadian character to it.

With all the new trimmings that will make meal time overseas more Canadian than it ever has been during the war, the army will still get its never-ending supply of bully beef, however. Only change so far made in the meat supply for the Canadian troops is that a large shipment of first class Canadian tinned salmon has been obtained. Canadian and British troops alike do receive a fresh meat ration overseas.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 4 January 2016

SAF Core Values
Topic: Discipline

SAF Core Values

Singapore Armed Forces: "Our Army; Customs and Traditions, Understanding Why We Do What We Do," 2006

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) core values define the character of the SAF. They bind our people together. They are the inner voices, the sources of strength, and the derivations of self-control, which are seen as the basis for today's military.

The SAF core values are the inner voices, the sources of strength, and the derivations of self-control.

In September 1986 under the Institute of Excellence (i.e. SAFTI) concept, the idea of a common value system was mooted and the SAF seven core values were formulated. The orginal implementation strategy was to introduce it to the Officer Corps and allow the natural cascading effect to influence the rank and file. In July 1996 the SAF core values were established as the common core values for all Services in the SAF, regardless of rank, vocation or service status.

The seven core values are:

  1. Loyalty to Country
  2. Leadership
  3. Discipline
  4. Professionalism
  5. Fighting Spirit
  6. Ethics
  7. Care for Soldiers

Loyalty to Country is what commits us as citizens to protect and defend our nation. The nation represents our homeland; all that is cherished by us, our family and our way of life. We have a responsibility to protect the nation. Loyalty is vital for the SAF because its mission is to defend the nation and, if need be for us to sacrifice our lives for Singapore.

Leadership is being able to influence and motivate one's followers, to imbue them with trust and confidence in us so that they will carry out a mission confidently and to their best ability. Leaders achieve this by demonstrating sound knowledge, as well as abilities such as being able to communicate with their followers. Good leaders lead by example, exude personal presence and display active involvement. The defence of the nation can only be assured by commanders who are competent to lead, excel and inspire others to give their best to the nation.

Discipline in the SAF is obedience of orders, and the timely and accurate execution of assigned tasks. This is achieved through tough training geared towards operational readiness and combat effectiveness. The essence of discipline is doing what we have to, even when it is difficult and painful, and doing it the best we can. Discipline means inner strength, control, mental stamina, physical toughness and perseverance. A high standard of discipline must be maintained to train soldiers to withstand fear and tension. Disciplined soldiers can be depended on.

Professionalism in the SAF is proficiency, competency and reliability in all we do. This would involve having a sound knowledge of what we have to do and doing it well. We know our roles and carry them out well. It is a continual strive for excellence which rejects complacency. In the SAF, it also incorporates and emphasises a sense of duty and service, which compels everyone to train hard and give their best. It is this sense of professionalism which bonds the SAF together in teamwork to excel in all we do, to serve with pride, honour and integrity.

Fighting spirit is the tenacity to succeed in whatever we do. In the SAF particularly, it is marked by determination, aggressiveness and perseverance, the spirit of a fighting fit defence force. Fighting spirit makes us courageous, bold and decisive, with the necessary aggression to engage decisively in a battle and quickly put an end to it. Fighting spirit is also the dedication,stamina and endurance which enable us to overcome obstacles and achieve our mission with continued will and motivation despite all odds.

Ethics is exemplary conduct and moral strength. It enables us to know what is right from wrong and keep to it. It wil help us handle ethical problems which arise out of a war and in peacetime. For example, we must be honest and accurate in our report writing, have integrity in our dealing with others, and not misuse our position against anyone. Ethics will also ensure we do not act against our country and are loyal to its law and constitution. Such thrustwortiness and uprightness of character must be unshakable for the SAF.

Care for soldiers is the genuine concern that we have for the well- being of those in our command. It is training soliders so well that they can protect themselves and survive in battle. This is the philosophy of more sweat in peacetime and less blood in war. At the same time it is also ensuring the provision of service support so that soliders are propely equipped, trained and fit to fit a battle. Care is absolutely essential for cohesion, team spirit and ultimately combat effectiveness. Commanders who care for the training, morale and discipline of their troops can be sure they have a fighting fit force at their hands. They can also be sure of their loyalty. Care for soliders should also extend to the families of the soldiers.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 3 January 2016

1907 Hague Convention (Prohibitions)
Topic: Military Theory

1907 Hague Convention (Prohibitions)

Section II - Hostilities

Chapter I - Means of Injuring the Enemy, Sieges, and Bombardments

Hague Convention (IV) Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, 1907

Article 23

In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden:---

(a)     To employ poison or poisoned weapons;

(b)     To kill or wound treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army;

(c)     To kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion;

(d)     To declare that no quarter will be given;

(e)     To employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering;

(f)     To make improper use of a flag of truce, of the national flag or of the military insignia and uniform of the enemy, as well as the distinctive badges of the Geneva Convention;

(g)     To destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;

(h)     To declare abolished, suspended, or inadmissible in a court of law the rights and actions of the nationals of the hostile party.

A belligerent is likewise forbidden to compel the nationals of the hostile party to take part in the operations of war directed against their own country, even if they were in the belligerent's service before the commencement of the war.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 2 January 2016

Proud of Canadian Outfit
Topic: CEF

Proud of Canadian Outfit

Best Equipped Soldier in the World, Friends Claim
Complete Outfit Shown in Store Window Attracts Attention of Crowds

The [Spokane, Washington] Spokesman-Review, 3 October 1917

In proof of their contention that the Canadian soldier is the best equipped in the world, officials of the British and Canadian recruiting mission, W603 Sprague Avenue, yesterday placed the entire paraphernalia of a Canuck infantryman in the Riverside avenue window of the Owl drug store. With the figure of a soldier as the centerpiece the outfit fills virtually an entire window.

The soldier wears a complete uniform with puttees, army boots, Oliver belt equipment, knapsack, water bottle, ball pouches, haversack, cap and regimental insignia, and carries a Ross rifle with fixed bayonet. The rest of the equipment is displayed around him.

It includes a pair of canvas shoes and an extra pair of army boots, winter cap, overcoat, jacket sweater, overshoes, cap comforter, knitted, winter mitts, boot dressing, extra bootlaces, cloth, hair, shaving and tooth brushes, hair comb, two sets woolen underwear, knife fork and spoon, holdalls, housewife, clasp knife, service shirt and trousers, razor with case, two flannel shirts, two winter shirts, two pairs woolen socks, two hand towels, first field dressing, bottle water enamel, infantry whistle, mess tins ans trays, kit bag, bottle of oil, pull-through and lanyard clasp knife.

The complete outfit costs the Canadian government $95.31, and every soldier is given it the moment he enlists and reports for duty. The various pieces are replenished at the captain's order when one is worn out.

When the soldier lands in England his Ross rifle is supplanted by a Lee-Enfield, the official British arm, and his leather equipment is replaced by a web outfit. There he gets his entrenching tool. The Canadian soldier does not buy any part of his equipment except soap, and in the trenches he is furnished with soap, cigarettes, chewing and smoking tobacco and a dram of rum, which is issued daily. His entire equipment is kept up by the government.

Crowds of people were around the window all day yesterday and studied the outfit carefully. The most interested were the American soldiers.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 1 January 2016

Canada Will Have Own Flying Corps
Topic: RCAF

Canada Will Have Own Flying Corps

Borden Completes Arrangements to Maintain Two Squadrons
Large Force Engaged
Over Thirteen Thousand men From Dominion in Air Service

The Toronto World, 15 August 1918

Ottawa, Aug. 14.—The total number of Canadians of the strength of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service now amalgamated into the Royal Air Force stands at 13,495. This total comprises 1,008 officers seconded from the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1,640 other ranks discharged from the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 10,603 enlisted in Canada for R.F.C. and R.N.A.S.; 94 loaned to the R.A.F. for airplane construction and 150 civilians who came to England at their own expense and enlisted in the air service.

On account of their special adaptability and initiative Canadians proved to be excellent as flying officers. It is understood that no less than 35 per cent. Of the actual flying officers in France are Canadians.

Sir Edward Kemp on his arrival in England as minister of overseas military forces instituted plans which would ensure Canada receiving both now and after the war her due measure of credit for what her airmen were actually accomplishing.

What has not been obtained will provide for a Canadian Flying Corps trained in all branches including organization, administration, and technical. Further, every officer to be connected with the administration of the Canadian Air Force, from the senior to the most junior rank, has had active service flying experience at the front.

To Keep Records

The preliminary step in the early discussions related to the establishment of a separate Canadian air force resulted in the decision of the imperial air ministry to maintain up-to-date records of the Canadians in the royal air force, their names to be grouped in a special Canadian section to include not only Canadian officers seconded from the Canadian overseas forces, but also those Canadian who joined the air service direct, either in England or Canada. The idea of Canadians in the Royal Air Force having a special Canadian distinguishing mark or badge on their uniform was also assented to, and it was agreed that the Canadian overseas ministry would be furnished with regular reports by the air ministry, giving full information of the exploits of Canadian airmen from month to month.

On the arrival in England of Sir Robert Borden, Sir Edward Kemp laid before him the agreement with the air ministry, embodying what had been accomplished, and the further consent of the air ministry that as soon as possible the Canadian air force should be formed, to be manned and officered exclusively by Canadians drawn from Canadians now in the R.A.F., reinforcements for the Canadian air force to be supplied wholly by Canadians who would be trained in the R.A.F. schools and under their instructors.

Entire acceptance was expressed by Air Edward Kemp to the scheme by his colleagues and the agreement approved.

As a preliminary step in the organization, the service of the distinguished flying officer, Major W.A. Bishop, was applied for to work in close conjunction with the air ministry and the Canadian overseas ministry.

It was decided to proceed immediately with the organization of the two Canadian squadrons, which would form part of the overseas military forces of Canada and be subject to the provisions of the Militia Act of Canada.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 31 December 2015

New Year, a German Soldier's View
Topic: The Field of Battle

New Year, a German Soldier's View

Werner Liebert, German Army, quoted in Jon E. Lewis, The Mammoth Book of War Diaries and Letters; Life on the battlefield in the words of the ordinary soldier, 1775-1991, 1998

January 3rd, 1915

I have lit a pipe and settled myself at the table in our cow-house in order to write home, where they are certainly looking for news again. The pipe tastes good and the old soldier is also otherwise all right.

New Year's Eve was very queer here. An English officer came across with a white flag and asked for a truce from 11 o'clock till 3 to bury the dead (just before Christmas there were some fearful enemy attacks here in which the English lost many in killed and prisoners). The truce was granted. It is good not to see the corpses lying out in front of us any more. The truce was moreover extended. The English came out of their trenches into no-man's-land and exchanged cigarettes, tinned-meat and photographs with our men, and said they didn't want to shoot any more. So there is an extraordinary hush, which seems quite uncanny. Our men and theirs are standing up on the parapet above the trenches …

That couldn't go on indefinitely, so we sent across to say that they must get back into their trenches as we were going to start firing. The officers answered that they were sorry, but their men wouldn't obey orders. They didn't want to go on. The soldiers said they had had enough of lying in wet trenches, and that France was done for.

They really are much dirtier than we are, have more water in their trenches and more sick. Of course they are only mercenaries, and so they are simply going on strike. Naturally we didn't shoot either, for our communication trench leading from the village to the firing-line is always full of water, so we are very glad to be able to walk on the top without any risk. Suppose the whole English army strikes, and forces the gentlemen in London to chuck the whole business! Our lieutenants went over and wrote their names in an album belonging to the English officers.

Then one day an English officer came across and said that the Higher Command had given orders to fire on our trench and that our men must take cover, and the (French) artillery began to fire, certainly with great violence but without inflicting any casualties.

On New Year's Eve we called across to tell each other the time and agreed to fire a salvo at 12. It was a cold night. We sang songs, and they clapped (we were only 60-70 yards apart); we played the mouth-organ and they sang and we clapped. Then I asked if they hadn't got any musical instruments, and they produced some bagpipes (they are the Scots Guards, with the short petticoats and bare legs) and they played some of their beautiful elegies on them, and sang, too. Then at 12 we all fired salvos into the air! Then there were a few shots from our guns (I don't know what they were firing at) and the usually so dangerous Verey lights crackled like fireworks, and we waved torches and cheered. We had brewed some grog and drank the toast of the Kaiser and the New Year. It was a real good "Silvester", just like peace-time!

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Gets a Fortune
Topic: Wolseley Barracks

Gets a Fortune

Private in London, Ont., a Joint Heir to $145,000

Ottawa Citizen, 9 March 1908

London, Ont., March 5.—Unless by some vagary of disposition to remain in his present quarters, the dull routine and everyday discipline of the life of a regular in Wolseley Barracks will speedily come to a close for private Patrick Kirby.

$145000 Cdn in 1908 would be worth over $3 million in 2015

For a year Kirby, who is a young Englishman about 27 years of age, tall, muscular and well put up, with a clean open face, surmounted by a closely cropped head of brown hair, has drilled and dressed and marched and performed the ordinary duties of a common everyday soldier in the piping times of peace, and if he ever had any expectation that his father, a wealthy stationer in Warwick, by his death was to leave him co-heir to $145,000 he never mentioned it to his fellow red-coats, but immediately on receipt of the information that he had fallen into a fortune he made preparations to give the entire regiment a glorious blow out.

J.E. Lowe, a teller in the Dominion bank here, while looking over an old country paper yesterday noticed that owing to the death of their father in Warwick, England, two young brothers, Patrick and Albert Kirby, were the direct heirs to an approximate fortune of $145,000. The thought struck him that as the despatch stated that Patrick Kirby, the younger brother, was missing for over a year he might possibly be at Wolseley Barracks. Consequently, he communicated with Col. McDougall and upon looking up the rolls it was found that a private named Patrick Kirby had been enlisted for nearly a year. He was called into the colonel's office and speedily identified himself as the Patrick Kirby who was heir to a fortune. The news was noised about the barracks, and as Kirby is very popular among his fellow soldiers he was the object of much felicitation, and has made arrangement to entertain the entire regiment to a supper as soon as the first installment comes.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Topic: Militaria


"Blasts from the Trumpet," Quebec Daily Telegraph, 21 Aug 1900

Speaking of khaki, Ella Hepworth Dixon says, "There is something at once modest and business-like about khaki. It is the least arrogant, the least pretentious of colours. Like the violet, it challenges your notice not at all. It says alike to the Mauser bullet, the Vickers-Maxim machine gun and the eye of the casual spectator; I entreat you not to notice me. I am out on my own affairs—a mere little business of my own. But in all probability I shall succeed. The gay pomp and circumstance of war have gone, it would seem, for good. No more fighting in waving plumes, bearskins, plaid kilts, hussar jackets and glittering gold lace. These fineries may hearten the wearer, but they are also admirable objects at which the enemy may shoot, and bring down his man. Depend upon it, before this South African war is over, every continental army will be thinking of the necessity for clothing its troops in khaki, which will be good for Manchester." Even field glasses in South Africa are considered fire magnets, as are blue shirts in China.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 28 December 2015

Royal Canadian Navy Knows How to Cook!
Topic: Army Rations

Royal Canadian Navy Knows How to Cook!

Ottawa Citizen, 21 May 1955

A request from a woman in North Rugby, England, proves that navy food is very definitely not forgotten. The memory, apparently pleasant, still lingers after 11 years.

Recently in the mail of the commanding officer, HMCS Niobe, Canadian naval headquarters in the United Kingdom, was a request for the recipe of "a type of flapjack and sauce" served in a wartime ship of the RCN.

The writer of the letter, Mrs. D. Emmony, stated that her husband, a Royal Marine, served in the Canadian auxiliary cruiser Prince David during 1944 and was served with the pancakes ‘and sauce" every morning for breakfast.

Tracing Begins

Tracing action began with the forwarding of Mrs. Emmony's request to the officer-in-charge, HMC Supply School, on the West Coast, with a copy to the Naval Secretary, Ottawa. An accompanying comment explained that the recipe for pancakes contained in the RCN Recipe Manual had not been sent "since undoubtedly Mrs. Emmony desires to provide for the needs on an ordinary household rather than a hundred hungry sailors."

By coincidence, the man who was the senior cook in the Prince David in 1944, CPO William Allan Stockley, of Esquimalt, B.C., was senior cookery instructor and divisional chief petty officer in the cookery school on the West Coast when her letter arrived. His recipe for griddle cakes was sent to Mrs. Emmony, along with that of an alternative sauce in the evnt that Canadian maple syrup is not obtainable in the United Kingdom.

CPO Stockley hopes his private formula will fulfil the request of the Englishwoman and satisfy the appetite of her ex-Royal Marine husband. His batter will make 16 four-inch hot cakes.

Superlative Hot Cakes

Flour, 2 egg whites, 2 egg yolks, 1 ½ cups fresh milk, 2 tablespoons melted butter or shortening, 3 teaspoons salt, 1 tablespoon sugar.

Sift flour, then measure 2 cups. Combine all dry ingredients, blend well. Separate eggs, add yolks only to milk and beat lightly. In a separate bowl beat egg whites until they form peaks but still maintain moist appearance.

Now add milk and egg yolk mixture to dry ingredients, when thoroughly blended add melted shortening or butter. Last fold in, do not beat, the egg whites. Hot cakes should not be tirned on the griddle until holes appear and remain on the uncooked side.

Maple Syrup

Probably the "sauce" referred to in Mrs. Emmony's letter.

The best syrup to use would be a Canadian Maple Syrup, in the event that this is unobtainable in the U.K. the following recipes are enclosed.

Heat 1 cup of golden syrup and add Maple flavoring to taste or boil together for 2 minutes; 1 cup water, 2 cups brown sugar. Add a few drops of maple flavouring to taste. Servce hot.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 27 December 2015

Militia Estimates 1903
Topic: Canadian Militia

Militia Estimates 1903

"Blasts from the Trumpet," The Quebec Daily Telegraph, 28 February 1902

The following are the estimates required for the militia of Canada for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1903.

  • Headquarters and district staff; $43,100.
  • Pay of permanent corps, including allowances for lodging, winter kits, fitting clothing, officers' messes, mens' reading rooms, etc.; $225,000.
  • Pay of active militia attending schools of instruction; $45,000.
  • Allowances for drill instruction, care of arms, postage, stationary to the active militia; $75,000.
  • Guards of honour, escorts, salutes and pay of active militia on special duty; $4,000.
  • Annual drill of the militia and musketry, including stores and all expenses in connection therewith; $520,000.
  • For salaries and wages of superintendents of stores, inspectors of clothing, and miscellaneous employees; $90,000.
  • For maintenance of military properties; $25,000.
  • For construction and repairs; $155,000.
  • For rations, forage, fuel, light and supplies, generally for permanent corps and schools of instruction, including remounts; $130,000.
  • For transport and cartage of military stores; $20,000.
  • Grants in aid of Dominion, provincial, and battalion, artillery and rifle associations, military corps, bands and military institutes; $38,000.
  • For miscellaneous and unforeseen expenses; $22,000.
  • Royal Military College, for all expenses in connection, except repairs to buildings; $75,000.
  • Dominion Arsenal, for all expenses except repairs to buildings; $150,000.
  • For contribution to His Majesty's Government and maintenance of local force at Esquimalt; $114,703.
  • For purchase of land for rifle ranges; $75,000.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 26 December 2015

Topic: Discipline


Instructions to the Third United States Army, General George S. Patton, Jr., 3 April 1944

1.     There is only one sort of discipline—PERFECT DISCIPLINE . Men cannot have good battle discipline and poor administrative discipline.

2.     Discipline is based on pride in the profession of arms, on meticulous attention to details, and on mutual respect and confidence. Discipline must be a habit so engrained that it is stronger than the excitement of battle or the fear of death.

3.     The history of our invariably victorious armies demonstrates that we are the best soldiers in the world. This should make your men proud. This should make you proud. This should imbue your units with unconquerable self-confidence and pride in demonstrated ability.

4.     Discipline can only be obtained when all officers are so imbued with the sense of their awful obligation to their men and to their country that they cannot tolerate negligence. Officers who fail to correct errors or to praise excellence are valueless in peace and dangerous misfits in war.

5.     Officers must assert themselves by example and by voice. They must be pre-eminent in courage, deportment, and dress.

6.     One of the primary purposes of discipline is to produce alertness. A man who is so lethargic that he fails to salute will fall an easy victim to the enemy.

7.     Combat experience has proven that ceremonies, such as formal guard mounts, formal retreat formations, and regular and supervised reveille formations, are a great help, and, in some cases, essential, to prepare men and officers for battle, to give them that perfect discipline, that smartness of appearance, that alertness without which battles cannot be won.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 25 December 2015

Topic: Army Rations


"Blasts from the Trumpet," The Quebec Saturday Budget, 13 September 1902

As all who have anything to do with the British army are aware, Tommy Atkins is very fond of sweets, and it is not surprising to learn, therefore, from Mr. Brodrick, that no less a quantity than 34,582,762 lbs, of jam were consumed by the army during the recent war in South Africa. The bulk of this jam was manufactured in the United Kingdom, the rest going from the Colonies. Some one with a taste for figures has computed that in the year 1900 alone thirty train loads of jam, and 300 tins to a load, were sent to the front, and that the army in South Africa consumed more than half its own weight of jam in that time. Despite this enormous consumption of jam in the time of war, it is learned from Mr. Brodrick that it is not to be issued as a ration in peace. One cannot help thinking that this is a mistake. After all is said and done, jam is not an expensive luxury, and it is an indulgence that might well be granted the private soldier at a time when there is so much talk about the best method of inducing men to join the army.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST

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