The Minute Book
Monday, 8 May 2017

Artillery Horses (1939)
Topic: Militaria

Artillery Horses (1939)

FM 6-5; [US Army] Field Artillery Field Manual, Organization and Drill, Washington, 1939

The two horses assigned to a single driver are called a "pair"; the horse on the left side is called the "near" horse, and the horse on the right, the "off" horse. The driver rides the near horse. The pairs assigned to draw a carriage are termed collectively a "team." A team usually consists of three pairs, designated in the order from front to rear as "lead," "swing," and "wheel" pair. When a team consists of four pairs, they are designated from front to rear as "lead," "lead swing," "wheel swing," and "wheel." The middle pair of a team of five pairs is called the "middle swing" pair. The driver stands to horse on the near side of his near horse, and when necessary to control the off horse also holds the coupling rein, detached from the saddle, in his right hand.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 7 May 2017

The Sap and the Mine (1915)
Topic: CEF

The Sap and the Mine (1915)

The Illustrated War News, 24 March 1915

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

When the enemy's trenches are only at a distance of a hundred yards or so, real trench-warfare may be said to begin. It is characterised by the making of saps which permit of an advance under cover towards the enemy's lines; and it is then that the sappers play their great part. Every thirty or forty yards the sap-heads are joined by parallels. When the saps are near enough to the enemy to enable him to stop the advance by throwing grenades and bombs on the workers, the sappers start an entrance to a mine-gallery to lead to a mine-chamber for explosives the power of whose charge varies with the depth of the chamber beneath the ground. These chambers are generally placed under a salient, or under points particularly guarded (a fortified house, machine-gun shelter, fortlet, castle, etc.) of the enemy's line. Their number depends on the results to be obtained, and the importance of the action. The explosion of the mine-chambers gives the signal of attack, at the same time as producing craters in the ground, destroying the flanking adjustments of the enemy, and making a breach in the wire-entanglements which protect his front, These craters are immediately occupied and organised, thanks to the surprise-attack, and one or several lines of trenches are sometimes taken.

(Click to expand.)

The method of driving a mine-gallery employed by the Royal Engineers is, briefly, as follows. First, a steel shield is placed over the head of the sap, from beneath which the sapper cuts the earth, inclining his trench downwards. When he has sloped it down to about eight feet, he prepares for mining. He begins by placing a stout timber framework, consisting of a top sill, two side-pieces, and a ground sill, against the face of the earth (now widened to about six feet) and drives heavy sheeting-planks with a maul, to support the earth over his head as he works beneath them, propping them with uprights as he moves forward. The process is repeated as often as necessary. Having thus made a kind of ante-chamber for the collection of gear, pumps, trucks, and so on, he begins to drive the ordinary mining-gallery, either by means of frames and sheeting-planks, as before, or by placing a series of cases like the four sides of a stout box framed together at the angles. The task is extremely trying, as the space within which the miner works measures only four feet in height and two feet in breadth, the light is only that of candles, and the air soon becomes very foul, in spite of fans and bellows. The man at the face, therefore, only works for a short spell. The earth dug out is removed in little handtrucks, and has to be carefully disposed of so as, not to let the enemy get wind that. a mine is in progress. When the gallery has reached the point required near the enemy s trench, a small mine-chamber is driven from it sideways just big enough to contain the charge, the laying of which is always done by an officer. When the box is packed, the electrical fuse is inserted and the insulated cable laid. Then comes the work of "tamping"…i.e., filling up the gallery for some distance with sand-bags, to prevent the explosion from breaking back towards the sappers and to force it to tear its way out through the enemy's trench. If the distance from the mine-chamber to the trench is 15 ft., with 20 ft. of earth overhead, the tamping has to extend for about 30 ft. along the gallery. When all is ready, the mine is fired, and the infantry, with fixed bayonets, dash forward to occupy the crater which the explosion forms.

(Click to expand.)

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 6 May 2017

Keep Your Mission in Mind!
Topic: Leadership

Keep Your Mission in Mind!

Combat Lessons, Number 1, Rank and file in combat: What they're doing, How the do it. (US Army, 1944)

Greater emphasis must be placed on inculcating in junior officers and NCO's the will to accomplish assigned missions despite opposition.

Lieutenant Colonel E. B. Thayer, Field Artillery, Observer With Fifth Army, Italy:

"Difficulty was experienced in making patrol leaders realize the importance of bringing back information by a specified hour, in time to be of value. Patrols often returned, after encountering resistance, without accomplishing their mission. Sending them back to accomplish their mission, despite their fatigue, seemed to be the most effective solution to the training problem involved, although the information required often arrived too late."

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Lieutenant Colonel T. F. Bogart, Infantry, Observer With Fifth Army, Italy:

"Greater emphasis must be placed on inculcating in junior officers and NCO's the will to accomplish assigned missions despite opposition. A few accounts of patrol actions illustrate this point:

"(1)     A reconnaissance patrol consisting of a platoon was sent out, at about 1900 one evening to determine the strength of a of any of the Germans in two small towns, the first about two miles away and the second about three miles farther on. The patrol reached the outskirts of the first t,own and met an Italian who told them there were no Germans in the town and then started to lead the patrol into town. A few hundred yards farther a German machine gun opened up, the Italian disappeared, three of the patrol were killed, and the others dispersed. They drifted back to our battalion during the night, and it was not until nearly daylight that the practically valueless report of the action was received. Not the slightest conception of the strength in the first town was obtained and no information of the second town. It was necessary to send out another patrol with the same mission.

"(2)     A patrol was sent out with the mission of determining the condition of a road, especially bridges, over a three-mile stretch to the front. When this patrol had covered about a mile it ran into a motorized German patrol. Two of the Americans were killed, and the platoon leader claimed six Germans. The patrol leader forgot his mission, returned to the battalion CP with the remainder of his patrol, and had to be sent out again with a great loss in time in getting the information desired.

"(3)     On several occasions patrols were sent out on ‘reconnaissance missions with instructions to get certain information by a specific time. The hour would pass and sometimes several others without a word from the patrol. Sometimes it was due to difficulties encountered, sometimes to mistakes in computation of time and space factors, but in all cases there was no good reason why some information did not get back by the specified time."

COMMENT: The failure of patrols in these instances stems from a lack of appreciation on the part of NCO's and junior officers of their missions. In patrol actions, as in the operations of larger units, the mission must be kept uppermost in the minds of all ranks, and no action should be undertaken which does not contribute directly to the accomplishment of that mission. Conversely, no incidental or inadvertent contact with the enemy should deter or divert patrols from the complete accomplishment of their missions, to include compliance with all instructions given, where humanly possible.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 5 May 2017

The Militia; Active Force (1859)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Adjutant General's Office, Toronto, 5th May, 1859

Militia General Orders – Active Force

The several Corps of the Active Force of the Province will assemble at noon on the 24th instant, Her Majesty's Birthday, and fire a Feu de Joie.

1.     With reference to section Four of the new Militia Act, intituled, An Act to amend and make permanent the Laws relating to the Militia of this Province, Hi Excellency the Right Honorable the Governor General and Commander in Chief, requests Officers commanding Corps of the Active Force, class A, to go through the Drill therein authorized for the present year at such time as may be most convenient to the several Corps.

The number of days drill for which payment is allowed for the present year, under the provisions of said Act, are detailed in section Four aforesaid, which is herewith subjoined for general information, viz.:

"The Volunteer Militia Companies shall be drilled and exercised at such time in each year and at such places as the Commander in Chief may from time to time appoint; the Volunteer Field Batteries being so drilled and exercised during twelve days in each year, of which at least six days shall be consecutive, and the other Volunteer Corps once in each year during six consecutive days, (Sundays not reckoned in either case,) and the Companies under drill being encamped during the whole or any part of the period for drill, if the Commander in Chief sees fit; provided that, inclusive of the pay for the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine, and annually hereafter, the money to be paid for pay for each day on which Companies shall be so drilled, shall be paid only in the month of December of each year, and upon the Pay List and affidavit thereto being duly furnished to the Adjutant General as hereinafter required."

The Second clause of section Seven of the Act aforesaid, relating to the pay of the Volunteer Force for the present year, is also herewith subjoined for general information, viz.:

"For the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine, the non-commissioned officers and men of Class A shall be paid for each days actual and bonâ fide drill the sum of one dollar, and for each horse actually and necessarily present and used for such drill, and belong to or used by such non-commissioned officers or men, the further sum of one dollar per diem."

The numbers of men and horses included in the Pay List for the present year, are not to exceed those previously authorized for the several Corps, exclusive of the Drill Instructors.

2.     It must be distinctly understood that those Volunteer Corps who may have already performed their Drill for 1859, subject to the vote of Parliament for the payment thereof, can only receive the amount voted by Parliament, viz, six days pay under the provisions of section Four as aforesaid.

3.     A copy of the new Law will be forwarded to all Commanding Officers for their information and guidance as soon as possible, and duplicate Pay Lists will also be sent as soon as they are printed.

4.     The several Corps of the Active Force of the Province will assemble at noon on the 24th instant, Her Majesty's Birthday, and fire a Feu de Joie in the manner prescribed by the General Order of the 5th May, 1857.

At the Garrisons of Montreal, Quebec, and Kingston, the Corps of the Active Force will act in conjunction with Her Majesty's Troops in case the Officers commanding the Garrisons at those stations should desire such co-operation; and the Officers in command of Corps of the Volunteer Force will place themselves in communication with the Officers commanding Her Majesty's Troops for that purpose.

5.     It having been brought to the notice of the Commander in Chief that the Muzzles of some of the Rifled Muskets belonging to certain Volunteer Corps have coarsely filed on the outside to enable the bayonets to slip on more easily, and that the Nipples of some of the said Muskets have also been filed and altered, His Excellency hereby expressly forbids such practices and will hold Commanding Officers of Corps responsible for the due observance of this order; and in the event of the Arms of Accoutrements requiring to be repaired at any time, such repairs must be effected by a competent Tradesman.

By Command of His Excellency the Right Honourable the Governor General and Commander in Chief.
D. Macdonnell,
A. de Salaberry, Lt. Col.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 4 May 2017

The Iron Cross Business (Germany, 1919)
Topic: Medals

The Iron Cross Business (Germany, 1919)

Candid Comment, on the American Soldier of 1917-1918 and Kindred Topics, by the Germans, prepared by the Intelligence Section, GHQ, AEF, Chaumont, France, 1919

Interrogation of Fianale Fappen, of NEUENAHR.

Frau Farpen is the owner of a novelty shop in Neuenahr. Having been in the novelty business for years, she gives some interesting facts concerning her business. She cannot understand the general desire of the American soldier for the “Gott mit uns” belt buckles and the German Iron Crosses, as these seem to be the only souvenirs they care to buy. She states that she alone has sold more Iron Crosses to American soldiers than the Kaiser ever awarded to his subjects. Another strange thing in her line of business is the fact that it was absolutely impossible to buy leather pocketbooks or waist belts until the Americans came to this area. Now she can buy any amount of leather waist belts she desires.

Summary of Intelligence, #260.
42nd Div. Feb. 25th, 1919.

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The feeling against the sale of Iron Crosses to Americans has grown so strong that some stores which formerly sold large numbers of them, now not only have ceased to sell the Iron Crosses themselves, but decline to sell articles decorated with an Iron Cross design.

Intercourse between, our soldiers and the German civilians continues normal and without friction. The Germans still make a point of dealing fairly and try to retain our good will by courtesy and unchanged prices.

Summary of Intelligence, #260.
Feb. 25th, 1919.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 3 May 2017

5-in-1 Ration
Topic: Army Rations

The ration is not palatable when eaten cold.

5-in-1 Ration

Command Report - HQ 8th US Army (EUSAK); Sec II: Supporting Documents; Book 21: Quartermaster, April 1951

The 5-in-1 ration is generally unacceptable for the following reasons:

1.     Because of their tactical deployment, troops cannot assemble to eat.

2.     Equal distribution of the ration is quite difficult under combat conditions.

3.     Food must frequently be prepared in the mess gear, which is undesirable because washing facilities are not available to the individual soldier in contact with the enemy.

4.     Transportation of the 5-in-1 presents a problem since the individual must carry his own food in combat.

5.     There is a large percentage of waste because of the size of the food containers.

6.     The ration is not palatable when eaten cold.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Multiple Sons in the CEF
Topic: CEF

Multiple Sons in the CEF

The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs, 1917; by J. Castell Hopkins, FSS, FRGS, pub. Toronto, 1918.

A feature of the military life of Canada in this war was the number of families who contributed all their eligible sons three, four and upwards to the Army, with very often the Father also. Reference has been made in preceding volumes to some of the better- known cases; a few more instances may be given here. The six sons of H. O. Bell-Irving of Vancouver all distinguished themselves in different branches of the Service: Lieut. Henry B. Bell-Irving, D.S.C., Dover Patrol; Major Richard Bell-Irving, R.F.C.; Major Fred. Bell-Irving, M.C., 14th Battalion; Capt. M. Bell-Irving, M.C., D.S.O., Royal Flying Corps; Fl. Comm. Duncan Bell-Irving, M.C., and Bar and Croix de Guerre; Lieut. A. Bell-Irving, R.A. The Lieut.-Governor of Nova Scotia, MacCallum Grant, had 5 sons on active service: Lieut. Eric M. Grant, 13th Batt., Capt. Gerald W. Grant, C.A.M.C., Lieut. J.M. Grant, R.C.N., Lieut. G. Grant, V. Battery, Mid'n H. S. W. Grant, R.C.N. The Stair family of Halifax grandsons of Hon. W.J. Stair—included Gavin and George, who were killed, and Herbert and Denis fighting in Flanders during 1917. Major- Gen. S.C. Mewburn, C.M.G., M.P., Minister of Militia, had a son killed in action, 8 nephews and 14 cousins on active service. The family of the late Thomas Brown, Toronto, had 24 members in the Army, of whom one was the late Lieut. G.A. Ewens and another Major Howard Jeffs, M.C. Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Sullivan of Winnipeg boasted 3 sons and 4 sons-in-law on active service; J.G. Cosgrove of Winnipeg had 3 sons at the Front and with them were 9 cousins— all of Manitoba; Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Glenday of Toronto had 12 sons or nephews on service.

The following statement compiled from all parts of Canada further illustrates this point

ParentResidenceNo. of Sons on Service
Eustace CollinsMontreal8
Thomas O'Shaughnessy 5
Mr. Mawhinney 8
James Barnard (Father and 3 Sons)
Mrs. M. Morrison 4
Corp. James Murdock (Father and 3 Sons)
Charles CushingWestmount5
Donald McDonaldToronto7
J.E. Boswell 4
Mrs. Priscilla Hay 4
Philip W. Moore 4
William Cooper 4
Pte. H. Marshall (Father and 3 Sons)
Pte. John Parm (Father and 3 Sons)
John Daly 4
Mrs. David AshdownEast Toronto7
John A. LongOttawa6
Mrs. McColl 4
A. DobbieVictoria4
Sergt. F.J. Barker (Father and 3 Sons)
Sergt. J.A. Kenning (Father and 6 Sons)
Mrs. N. Pellow 4
S. N. Reid 4
Capt. A. G. Sargison (Father and 3 Sons)
Mrs. Malcolm 4
J. K. NichollHalifax4
J.W. Nicoll 4
Mrs. Annie Ambrose 4
John SimpsonWinnipeg5
G. H. Heath 5
Arthur J. HebbLunenburg5
Mrs. Letitia Meister 5
Mrs. L. KendallVancouver4
William Tough (Father and 3 Sons)
Thomas Campbell 5
S. G. Ball 10
Mr. WattsSouth Vancouver(Father and 7 Sons)
L. G. DoidgeNorth Vancouver4
Pte. Charles E.G. AdamsKelowna, B.C.(Father and 4 Sons)
Pte. M. A. Berard (Father and 3 Sons)
Thomas HillColdwater5
John EnnisAyr, Ont4
John McLeanSydney, C.B4
Mrs. Solomon MatthewsSt. John's4
James W. MacintoshNew Glasgow5
Robert MathersClaburn, B.C(Father and 8 Sons)
Miles SimpsonShoal Lake4
Ernest GrattoTruro, N.S6
Hugh RobertsonVerdun, Que5
Lieut. Seymour GreeneDuncan, B.C(Father and 5 Sons)
Mr. SleightTisdale, Sask4
Pte. George P. KennedyPilot Mound(Father and 3 Sons)
J. B. CarruthersKingston4
Mrs. A. ColburneCumberland, N.S6
Thomas BoveyGananoque5
M. ThorsteinsonSturgeon Creek, Man.4
Mrs. J. LeavittVerdun. Que4
Mrs. A. D. TelferEdmonton4
J.W. MacDonaldPortage la Prairie4
Mrs. J. F. RichardsonMaitland, Ont4
H. RathboneGrand Mere, Que5
G. D. CampbellWeymouth, N.S.6

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 15 April 2017 10:05 AM EDT
Monday, 1 May 2017

Discipline; The Key to Success in Combat
Topic: Discipline


The Key to Success in Combat

Combat Lessons, Number 2, September 1946

Commanding General XIV Corps, in a personal letter to Lieutenant General McNair:

"I would like to mention a few things I consider important in getting any prospective units ready for duty in the Southwest Pacific. The first of all requisites is discipline, with a capital 'D.' I refer to discipline in all its phases—water discipline, malaria discipline, personal appearance, military courtesy, the wearing of the uniform, personal and collective sanitation, carrying out orders in general, assumption and proper discharge of responsibility throughout the chain of command, etc. there is an inclination for men as well as for come officers to 'go native' in the tropics, to let down mentally on material and spiritual values, so discipline is especially needed here. Needless to say I consider an aggressive spirit always goes hand in hand with good discipline."

Lieutenant Colonel Clifton F. von Kann, 77th Field Artillery, Italy:

"The great stress placed on discipline and the chain of command is not an overemphasis and never can be. We have found again and again that the highest standards of discipline are absolutely necessary in and out of combat. In no other way can you be assured that the individual soldier will carry out orders without supervision, and in combat this is essential."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 30 April 2017

Travel by Railway and Steamboat, Canadian Militia (1868)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Travel by Railway and Steamboat, Canadian Militia (1868)

Canadian Volunteer's Hand Book for Field Service, compiled by Major T.C. Scoble, 37th Battalion (Haldimand Rifles), C. V. M., 1868

Any spirituous liquors in possession of the men to be taken away and destroyed. The men should have been forbidden to take any liquor with them before starting.

When travelling by Railroad.

Battalions embarking on the railroad should form line fronting towards the train, each company being immediately opposite the car which they are intended to occupy, and on the command being given, should file in from both flanks; advancing arms if infantry, shouldering if rifles. The flank men should proceed to the middle of the car and take their seats in an orderly manner. In disembarking the men nearest the door, will be the first to leave, and will be instructed to take their proper places on the platform at once. A non-commissioned officer should be stationed at each door, who will prevent any man standing on the platform of the car, or leaving it at any stopping-places.

Officers should always be in the car containing their companies.

No men are to be allowed to get out of the carriages during a railroad journey except by special permission; or to get off a steamer at intermediate landing places.

The officer commanding is to see that the railroad cars are provided with ample supply of drinking water.

When travelling by Steamboat

The men should embark or disembark in a systematic and orderly manner. The men going on board should be at once marched away from the gangways and form up on deck, no man being allowed to leave the ranks until all are on board. They may then be permitted to pile arms, or place them in some safe place with their accoutrements, where all can be kept together, and a guard mounted over them, care must be taken that ammunition is placed in safety, with a sentinel mounted over it.

Any spirituous liquors in possession of the men to be taken away and destroyed. The men should have been forbidden to take any liquor with them before starting.

In steamers, no man should be allowed to tipple at the bar and a non-commissioned officer should be placed over the bar to prevent it.

The officers should constantly go among the men during a railway or steamboat journey, to attend to their wants, and to enforce orderly behaviour ; and during night journeys at least one officer per company should always be up, in addition to the officer detailed for duty, and visit the men frequently.

Complaints have been frequent that volunteers travelling by railway have committed wanton damages to the cars. It is certainly in the power of an attentive officer to prevent this. The commanding officer should observe the condition of the cars before entering, and again immediately before leaving. If auy damage has been committed, the station master should be requested to assess it, and if the individuals who have committed are not known: it must be charged against the pay of the company occupying the car. Before entering the car, men should be warned of this regulation.

If the officer commanding troops moved by railway or steamboat is not provided with a regular transport requisition, be will give the conductor, or purser, a voucher for the service performed, specifying the place and hour of departure, and stating the number of officers and men conveyed." — Regulations respecting Volunteer Militia.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 29 April 2017

Canadian Initiatives in the First World War
Topic: CEF

Canadian Initiatives in the First World War

The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs, 1918; by J. Castell Hopkins, FSS, FRGS, pub. Toronto, 1919.

As a Corps the Canadians were very seldom defeated or held up—at Passchendaele they had to make three attempts and success came in the third attack but this was a rare exception. As to initiative, F. D. L. Smith of the Toronto News, recorded (Sept. 10th, 1918) a series of incidents showing Canadian adaptability in various important matters:

(1)     They were the first to construct light railways behind the firing line, to use this means of transportation in conveying troops, munitions and supplies to the trenches, as well as in carrying wounded to the rear.

(2)     They were the first to lay down plank roads in order to carry heavy trucks and guns through the quagmires of Flanders and France.

(3)     They were the first to substitute temporary, lightly constructed waggon roads in place of the permanent highways in favour with the other Allies.

(4)     They were the first to originate trench raids for the purpose of breaking the enemy's morale, and obtaining necessary information regarding his forces.

(5)     They were the first to organize machine-gun batteries and to use machine-guns in indirect fire that is to say against invisible objects.

(6)     They were the first to combat the disease known as trench-feet with any considerable success and they invented the alkali bath to neutralize the poisonous effects of mustard gas.

(7)     They were the first of all the Allied armies to establish a Dental Corps, and as a result of this the dental health of the Canadian Army was of the highest character.

(8)     They were the first to introduce a de-lousing plant to rid soldiers' clothing of insects.

(9)     The Canadian Army Intelligence Department proved a model for others, and Canadian intelligence officers were called to reorganize departments of some of the armies on the Western and Italian fronts.

(10)     Canadians introduced a watch repair department, so that the tens of thousands of wrist watches worn by officers and men did not have to go to England for repair.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 28 April 2017

Sniper Badge Shooting Test (1951)
Topic: Drill and Training

Sniper Badge Shooting Test (1951)

Infantry Training; Vol. I, Infantry Platoon Weapons, Pamphlet No. 10; Sniping, 1951 (W.O. Code No. 8697)

Introduction, General, Para. 1

Between the wars, sniping has in many cases been overlooked and by some has become almost a forgotten art. When hostilities begin there is a frantic rush to get snipers trained, and because of this, full value is not always obtained from them. These circumstances are sometimes occasioned by lack of knowledge on the subject; there is, however, no excuse for allowing sniper training to lapse.

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The Sniper's Task

The sniper's task is to kill individual enemy with single shots very quickly aimed if necessary; he will never fire a rapid succession of shots except in self defence. As a guide, the standard of shooting to be demanded of a sniper is that he should be able to hit a man's head regularly at 200 yards and a man's trunk up to 400 yards rage; this standard may well be improved upon. Extreme accuracy can be obtained in target shooting at 1000 yards with the sniper but shooting at anything approaching this range should be discouraged in the field unless there is some very special reason for so doing.

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Sniper Badge Shooting Test

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The Hawkins Position

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 27 April 2017

School of Military Instruction, 1865
Topic: Canadian Militia

Militia General Orders

His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief has made arrangements with His Excellency the Lieutenant General Commanding Her Majesty's Forces in British North America, for the establishment of a School of Military Instruction at London.

Quebec, 27th April, 1865

Service Militia, Canada

General Orders, No. 1

His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief has made arrangements with His Excellency the Lieutenant General Commanding Her Majesty's Forces in British North America, for the establishment of a School of Military Instruction at London, in connection with the 1st Battalion of the 16th Regiment of Her Majesty's Forces.

This school will be opened for the reception of candidates, on Tuesday, the 16th day of May proximo, and His Excellency is pleased to order the following Rules and Regulations for the guidance of all concerned, viz.:

1.     All Candidates for Commissions in the "Service" Militia, will be required before appointment, to obtain a certificate, as hereinafter mentioned, from the Commandant of one of the Schools of Military Instruction; and no person shall be appointed or promoted to the rank of Field Officer in the "Service" Militia who shall not have obtained a "First class" certificate.

2.      A "First class" certificate shall be given to those candidates who shall have proved themselves, to the satisfaction of the Commandant of the School of Military Instruction, able to drill and handle a Battalion in the field, and who shall have acquired a competent acquaintance with the internal economy of a Battalion.

3.     A "Second class" certificate shall be given to those candidates who shall have proved themselves able to command a Company at Battalion drill, and to drill Company at "Company drill," and who shall have acquired a competent acquaintance with the internal economy of a Company and the duties of a Company officer.

4.     All candidates for admission to the Schools of Military Instruction will be required, before admission, to satisfy a Board of officers of their competence for the position of commissioned officers of the Militia.

5.     No candidate shall be permitted to remain at any of the Schools of Military Instruction after he shall have obtained a second class certificate, without the special permission of the Commander in Chief.

6.     No certificate of either class shall be given to any candidate who is not himself perfectly drilled as a private soldier.

7.     No candidate shall be permitted to remain at any of the schools for a longer period than three calendar months from the date of his entry.

8.     The traveling expenses of all candidates in coming to, and returning to their homes from the school shall be paid.

9.     All candidates on obtaining a "Second Class" Certificate, shall be paid the sum of Fifty dollars, and on obtaining a "First Class" certificate, the further sum of Fifty dollars in addition.

10.     All Candidates for Commissions, while attending the school, shall be considered for all purposes of drill and discipline to be attached to the Regiment which shall constitute the School of Instruction; and it shall be competent to the Commander-in-Chief, on a representation from the Commandant, to dismiss any candidate from the school, for misconduct or other sufficient cause.

11.     Candidates for Commissions, while attending the school, shall not be Members of the Mess of the Regiment which constitutes the school.

No. 2.

The following officers are appointed as a Board of Examiners of candidates for admission to the School of Military Instruction at London:—

  • The Commandant of the School,
  • Lieut.-Colonel Shanly, Commanding Volunteers,
  • Major Moffat, Brigade Major.

By Command of His Excellency the Right Honorable the Governor General and Commander-in-Chief.
Walker Powell, Lt.-Colonel, Deputy Adjutant General of Militia, Upper Canada

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Respecting Orders Given on Parade (1880)
Topic: Discipline

Militia General Orders

Headquarters, Ottawa, 8th October, 1880

General Orders (19), No. 1

Respecting Orders Given on Parade

The following is published for general information and warning:—

In one of the Corps of the Militia of the Dominion, a Lieutenant commanding a company had occasion, on parade, to find fault with the drill of one of his men, a Private. The Private not only answered him while in the ranks, but afterwards, off parade, went to the officer and argued with him as to the correctness of the order he had received. This provoked the Officer to such an extent that he so far forgot himself as to use personal violence towards the Private Soldier, and to subsequently exceed his authority by striking the name of the Private off the Roll of his Corps.

To mark his disapprobation of conduct so subversive of all military discipline, the Minister of Militia and Defence has approved of the removal from the Service of both the Officer and private, and their names will therefore be erased from the Roll of their Corps. The Major General hopes that what has unfortunately occurred may act as a warning to the Militia Service generally so that it may be thoroughly understood that an order given to Soldiers on parade must not be answered or abjected to, but obeyed; that a Soldier who feels himself aggrieved must not go to his Officer unless accompanied by a non-commissioned Officer who has been previously informed of the man's object in wishing to speak to his Officer; and that Officers must on no account use violence, or take the law into their own hands.

It is with extreme regret that the Major General finds it necessary to publish this order.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 23 January 2017 9:41 PM EST
Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Believe the War Will Be Humane (1914)
Topic: Military Medical

Believe the War Will Be Humane (1914)

US Army Surgeons Point to Advances in Surgery
Methods Bar Cripples—Amputations Fewer Than before but Instant Death Common

Kentucky New Age, Hopkinsville, Kentucky, 24 August 1914

The prevention methods and improved sanitation arrangements which have developed within the last generation in the armies of the world are generally regarded as even more important than the treatment of the wounded.

United States Army surgeons and New York stations agree that the impending European war will be settled in much shorter order than most persons believe possible, and that it will be the most humane ever waged. There will be no lengthy mortality list from disease, and no army of cripples will result, they are convinced.

Recent advances in surgery and sanitation will be the cause. The high power quick firing military rifle and the development in artillery will however tend to make the mortality list greater than in any previous war. Those who die will die quickly. Deaths will be due to accuracy, long range and rapid firing, and not to disease or infected wounds.

"Gangrene and infection," declared an army surgeon who is recognized as an authority, "will be practically unknown qualities in the wars of the future."

Until the Russo-Japanese war black powder and a large calibre bullet comprised the ammunition of the armies of the world. The bullets were of unsheathed lead, greased to overcome friction in the barrel. Their muzzle velocity was less than one half that of the missiles in arms now employed.

Up to that time bayonet and sabre charges, prolific of hideous and dangerous wounds, were common. Such charges are now considered medieval. The bullets now used are of less diameter than the ordinary lead pencil and are jacketed with steel, nickel or lead. They have a tremendous velocity and low trajectory.

Wounds from the old time muskets and military rifle, with their soft, mushrooming bullet, resulted in shattered bones and crushed flesh. Infection of gunshot wounds was almost inevitable. A wound in the abdomen was necessarily fatal. The death rate from wounds was enormous.

Nowadays, with military rifles such as all the great powers use and the degree to which surgery has advanced, a soldier may be shot through what once was regarded as a vital spot and walk unsupported to the field hospital at the rear. Such cases are on record.

Great Britain uses the Lee-Enfield rifle, caliber 7.7 mm., the bullet coated with cupro-nickel. French soldiers are equipped with the Lebel rifle, caliber 8 mm., with bullets coated with nickel. Germany employs the Mauser rifle, caliber 8 mm., with bullets steel and copper coated. Russia uses Mosin-Nagant rifles, caliber 7.62 mm., with bullets cupro-nickel coated. Austria's small arm is the Mannlicher, caliber 8 mm., with a steel sheet coat over the bullet.

Beyond 350 yards the wounds inflicted by such bullets are clean cut frequently passing through bone tissue without splintering. The arteries are seldom injured by such wounds which were formerly fatal, or at least necessitated amputation, are now healed without such an operation. Formerly a bullet wound through a joint such as the knee or elbow, necessitated the amputation of the limb. Now such a wound is opened and dressed and healed without amputation.

Russia, which once lagged behind the other great powers in medical and sanitary efficiency, learned a lesson in her war with Japan.

Russia, France, Great Britain, Germany and Austria now use vaccine to combat typhoid, once the fatal scourge of every campaign.

All these nations have been busy in the last twenty years building up a fine medical corps. Their hospital services employ the latest ideas in army sanitation, many of them copied from the hospital service of the United States army. The hospital corps are composed of especially selected men trained in caring for the sick and wounded, as well as in preventive work.

Every army division is supplied with four field hospitals, each capable of caring for 108 patients. There are also two evacuation hospitals with a capacity for 700 each, for each division. These may be from twenty-five to fifty miles in the rear of the army and it is from them that the more seriously wounded are shipped back to the hospitals at home.

Besides the hospital corps, which has bearers on the field of battle ready to rush the wounded back to the field hospitals, each officer in the American and European armies is instructed in first aid treatment, so that there need be no delay in caring for the wounded and no excuse for allowing infection to set in, even in the heat of battle.

The prevention methods and improved sanitation arrangements which have developed within the last generation in the armies of the world are generally regarded as even more important than the treatment of the wounded. In the Civil War eight soldiers died of disease to everyone who succumbed to wounds. Experts have figured that in the European war not more than three will die of disease to one killed in battle.

The camp pestilences have always been typhoid and dysentery. Until about fifteen years ago the causes of these diseases and the prevention were not known. Now both have been ascertained and are effectively fought. The typhoid germ is attacked by vaccination and the dysentery parasite by sterilizing drinking water.

During the Spanish war there were 20,000 cases of typhoid among the American soldiers in less than three months. About 1,600 deaths resulted. Now, with an army of 80,000 about half that number in the field during the Spanish war, one case of typhoid is not reported in a year.

Neglect of proper sanitation precautions is now regarded by every world power as suicidal. History shows that the fate of nations and dynasties may hang upon sanitation. In 1792, when the disciplined Prussian troops marched to the relief of Louis XVI, they were met and repulsed by the raw levies of the young republic. The report of Gen. Du Mouriez, the commander of the French troops shows beyond a doubt owing to neglect of ordinary sanitary precautions pestilential dysentery had attacked the Prussian army and rendered it unfit for service.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 24 April 2017

Canadian Defence Budget Costs Mounting Steadily (1968)
Topic: Canadian Armed Forces

Canadian Defence Budget Costs Mounting Steadily (1968)

Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, Quebec City, 29 November 1968

Washington (CP)—The standard American army rifle in 1946 cost $31. Its modern equivalent costs $150.

That five-fold increase in buying today's simple bread and butter military equipment holds generally true through the vastly more complicated and expensive items in modern arsenals.

It helps explain, officials say here, the protracted nature of Canada's review of military commitments for NATO, for North American defence and elsewhere—as reconciled with other priorities.

Canada has become only a moderate military spender. The Institute of Strategic Studies in London, for example, rates the over-all Canadian defence budget sixth among the 15-country NATO alliance and Canada 12th in the slice of its gross domestic product allocated to defence.

It says nine other NATO countries maintain larger defence establishments.

But the simple maintenance of that status with new weapons to replace those now nearing their useful life will cost Canada tens of millions for aircraft alone at today's steadily-rising prices.

Newer Voodoos Needed

Three squadrons of Voodoo interceptor aircraft, acquired off the shelf from the U.S. for North American defence purposes, will be obsolete in 1973. They could be "stretched out" by swaps for some slightly newer American Voodoos. The U.S. price tag for each plane was $1,800,000.

Canada has six squadrons of CF-104 Starfighters with NATO, manufactured in Canada and also due to be retired in 1973. That price was about $2,000,000 a plane.

The Canadian defence department, mindful perhaps of the ill-fated Avro Arrow abandoned in 1959, recently decided against entering a consortium with European allies to build an all-purpose fighter interceptor aircraft.

Defence Minister Cadieux said 250 planes might have cost Canada as much as $2,000,000,000 over seven to eight years.

The alternative is to buy another off the shelf aircraft from the U.S., or some other supplier, unless the defence review leads to some other solution.

Canada also has 11 Canada-built Yukon and 24 Hercules transport aircraft to replace, not to mention that Canada-built Argus for anti-sub marine work.

Consider Giant Craft

Some consideration has been given to the world's largest aircraft being built by the U.S., the C5A, designed to carry about 700 troops each, or tanks or helicopters.

The U.S. defence department has just announced that the estimated price for each plane has gone up by $10,000,000—to about $35,000,000. It could be higher if labor and material costs, and technical bugs, continue their impact.

A strictly Canadian example of inflation is the four helicopter-carrying destroyers first planned in 1966 and perhaps earmarked for NATO use as Canada's contribution to the NATO response to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

The original cost estimate for all four was about $160,000,000 and it now exceeds $220,000,000.

A lengthy list of then and now arms prices was read into one congressional record in October, based on official U.S. list prices, as a warning not to expect any reduction in military spending in the future.

The old B-17 of Second World War fame cost $218,000 and the controversial F-111 fighter-bomber costs $7,000,000. The F-86 Sabre jet fighter used in Korea cost a little less than $300,000—Canada built about 1,800 at an average cost of $355,000—and the F-4 Phantom, the best U.S. plane in Vietnam, costs $2,100,000.

A Second World War submarine came at $4,700,000 and a modern nuclear attack sub costs $77,000,000. The battleship New Jersey cost $108,000,000 to build between 1940 and 1943. To get it out of mothballs, for a belated appearance off Vietnam recently, cost $20,000,000.

An 81 millimetre mortar cost $669 in 1946 and costs $2,430 this year.

Even the cost of a cot, canvas, folding, is up. It cost $6.00 eight years ago and now it costs $15.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 23 April 2017

England's Indian Army of 238,000 (1914)
Topic: British Army

England's Indian Army of 238,000 Is Available for Service in Europe

Forces Include the Ghurkas, Who Fight Like Wildcats, and the Gigantic Sikhs and Pathans—Several Crack Regiments of British Are Also There

Meriden Morning Record, Meriden, Connecticut, 31 August 1914
(New York Herald.)

England if necessary can pour into France from India 238,000 trained men, of which 75,000 are British troops, including some of the crack regiments of the royal army, and the 163,000 remaining are the fighting native troops of the Indian army, fit comrades on the firing line of France's Turcos and Spahis.

According to official figures the Indian army's strength in round numbers, is as follows: Infantry, 122,000; cavalry, 25,000; artillery, 10,000; engineers, etc., 6,000; total 163,000. Of this number 3,000 are English officers and non-commissioned officers; the rest are natives.

Thirty-nine regiments of cavalry, fifteen of them Lancers regiments, besides the bodyguard troops of the governor general and of the governors, and several independent troops, make up the mounted arm.

The main strength of the Indian army is in its infantry. Brahmans, Rajputs, Jats, Sikhs, Punjabis, Dogras, Mahrattas and Ghurkhas, of all castes and of several religions—Mohammedan, Hindoo, Buddhists—are all warriors who will lay down their lives in eagerness for the British Raj, and the dark skinned regiments of the Indian army form a fighting force hard to stop.

Ghurkas Natural Fighters

Among the most interesting as well as the most formidable fighting outfits in the Indian army are the Ghurkas. There are ten regiments of Ghurka rifles. These little fighters, who come from the region of Nepal, and who trace their descent from the Rajputs, would rather fight than eat. In appearance the Ghurkas are deceiving. They are short, stocky little men, of somewhat the appearance of the Japanese, although a little heavier. And they wear perpetual grins on their faces. The grin does not come off when they go into a fight.

The Ghurkas were conquered by the British in 1814 after years of fighting, and have become loyal subjects of England. When the Ghurka regiments were first made part of the Indian army they did not seem to take well to organized methods of warfare. It was not until the army authorities allowed them to make their national weapon, the kukri, part of their equipment that they regained their fame as fighters. The instructors could never make them use the bayonet. The kukri is a long, heavy curved knife.

Fight With Long Knives

In close quarters the Ghurka throws away his rifle and takes to the kukri, which he uses with telling effect. When charged by cavalry the Ghurkas stand up and fire at the horsemen until they are within sabering distance, when the natives fall. As the charging horsemen pass over them the little warriors are up and hamstringing the horses or clinging to the saddles and stabbing the riders.

This method of fighting is not unlike that of the Turcos of the French army, who also "play ‘possum" when charged by a heavier enemy, only to rise and take the attackers from the rear as soon as they have passed over them. Neither Ghurkas nor Turcos, however, do much defensive fighting except against cavalry, for they are usually leading any charge that may be taking place in their vicinity.

There seems to be a natural affinity between the Ghurka and the Scotch Highlander regiments. Like the Scotchmen, the Ghurkas use bagpipes, and their pipes accompany them on the firing line. Time and time again in Great Britain's campaigns overseas have the big Highlanders and little brown skinned Ghurkas charged side by side. The Ghurkas look down upon other colonial troops, but fraternize with white soldiers.

Would Surprise Germans

If the German infantrymen come face to face with a wave of charging Gurkas gone "musth" with the lust of battle and using their knives the Kaiser's troops will receive the surprise of their lives. The Ghurkas will not stop when once launched in a charge until, like the wildcats that they are, they come to grips with their opponents.

In direct contrast to the Ghurkas are the big Sikhs. Six footers all, slow, methodical, steady under fire, the Sikhs when once on the firing line will rather die in their tracks than retreat. The Sikhs have been loyal soldiers ever since the British took India. During the Indian mutiny the Sikhs fought and died beside their white officers, always faithful to their trust.

The Pathans are also big men. They are on the same order as the Sikhs, only quick thinkers and livelier on their feet. Sikh and Pathan both are fond of cold steel and always give good account of themselves in bayonet charges.

The artillery of the Indian army proper consists of eleven mountain batteries and one horse battery, beside garrison artillery.

There are three regiments of sappers and miners, and seven signal companies in the engineers corps.

Crack Regiments There

The British troops in India consist of 54,000 infantry, 5,000 cavalry and 16,000 artillery. The famous cavalry regiments of England at present serving in India are the First and Seventh Dragoon Guards, the Inniskilling Dragoons, the Queen's Own, Royal Irish, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Hussars and the Seventeenth and Twenty-first Lancers. The last named regiment, sometimes known as the Bengal Lancers, is now called the Empress of India's.

Eleven batteries of the Royal Horse artillery and forty-five batteries of the Royal Field Artillery are in India, besides twenty-six batteries of garrison artillery. It is improbable that these last would be moved unless to reinforce Great Britain's own coast defences.

Many of England's crack infantry regiments have battalions in India. Among them are the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Berkshire, Border, Cameron Highlanders, Cheshire, Connaught Rangers, Dorsetshire, Dublin Fusiliers, Durham Light Infantry, Hampshire, Highland Light Infantry, Inniskilling Fusiliers, Irish Fusiliers, Royal Irish, Irish Rifles, Kent East (The Buffs), Kent West (Queen's Own), King's, King's own Scottish Borderers, King's Royal Rifles, Lancashire Fusiliers, Loyal North, Prince of Wales Volunteers, Leistershire, Leinster, Middlesex, Munster Fusiliers, Norfolk, Northumberland, Rifle Brigade, Royal Fusiliers, Royal Scots, Black Watch, Seaforth Highlanders, Somerset Light Infantry, Staffordshire, Surrey, Sussex, Welsh, West Riding, York and Lancaster, and Yorkshire Light Infantry regiments.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 2 April 2017 9:10 PM EDT
Saturday, 22 April 2017

Militia Notes; Sherbrooke, Quebec (1899)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Militia Notes; Sherbrooke, Quebec (1899)

Drill Season Opens—The Drill Shed—Band Will Be Under Regimental Control

The Examiner, Sherbrooke, Quebec, 13 March 1899

The 53rd Regiment in Sherbrooke would become The Sherbrooke Hussars.
The Regiment would not get a new Armoury until 1909, the structure is listed on Canada's Historic Places: Sherbrooke Armoury.

The drill season has opened, but up to the present there has not been the interest manifested either by the men or non-coms. that should be apparent at the opening of the season's work. Owing to the unsuitable condition of the Drill Shed the Battalion has been compelled to rent the hall in Griffith's Block for drill purposes. The room is a very comfortable one and much of the inconvenience that was sometimes felt in the old quarters is done away with.

Recruiting is very slow. This should not be the case. There are a large number of the young men of the city who would find it very profitable from a recreation point of view to enrol themselves in the Canadian Militia. Apart from that it should be the desire of every eligible young man to know something of drill and fire arms. The non-coms., therefore, should be alive to their duty and keep out 53rd Battalion up to the high state of proficiency which has characterized it in the past.

There is every prospect of the Battalion spending a few days under canvas this year at some central point. That is if the mobilization scheme, which is reported from headquarters will take place this year, matures. This would be of lasting benefit to the militia. There is too much ceremonial drill now gone through by the militia, and it is to be hoped that they will now get down and learn something more of the work of a soldier than that of marching past and trooping the colours.

Speaking of a new drill shed it is earnestly hoped that when the deputation from City Hall and Board of Trade interview the Government that they will receive some definite line of action. Certainly there is more than need for a drill shed. It is in a most deplorable condition, and is certainly not at all adequate for the use of the battalion. The Government cannot be ignorant of the state of affairs for an officer was here last fall and inspected the building. It is practically no use to the Battalion, for as above stated drill goes on in a hired hall and the armouries are in the post office building, in two rooms on the top story, alongside the dwelling rooms of the caretaker of the building. Certainly not at all a desirable place for either the caretaker or the Battalion.

Classes have been formed for the purpose of taking part in the proposed tournament which will be held shortly in this city in aid of the Battalion fund.

The 53rd Batt. Band will in future be under the control of the regiment. This was decided at a joint meeting of the Regimental Committee and band on Friday night. This is a step in the right direction, and will have the effect of placing the band on a much better footing. Negotiations are now going on for the purpose of securing a first class leader. The prospects are bright for the band this season, as it is the intention to considerably augment it.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 21 April 2017

Speed Marching
Topic: Marching

Speed Marching

Combat Lessons, Number 2, September 1946

Report of Commanding General, 3d Division, on its landing in SICILY:

"The importance of physical condition cannot be over-emphasized. Speed-marching proved of great value in developing physical condition, eliminating the unfit, and instilling confidence and pride in the individual. Asa general training objective, all units prepared for a landing on defended beaches and an advance inland of about 5 miles. Speed-marching continued, each unit being required to complete 5 miles in 1 hour, 8 miles in 2 hours, and 20 miles in 5 hours once a week. This training was largely responsible for the speed with which the assault of this Division was executed."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 5 May 2017 7:19 PM EDT
Thursday, 20 April 2017

A Modern Brutus (1864)
Topic: Discipline

A Modern Brutus

The Evening News, Providence, Rhode Island, 20 April 1864

In Toronto there lives a retired colonel of the British army, staunch and loyal, who allowed a private soldier of good character, in the 30th Regiment, to marry his daughter. His regiment, soon after he marriage, was ordered to Montreal, and he took his wife with him, where he deserted both her and the Queen's service, and came across the lines to the protection of the stars and stripes. The colonel indignantly sent for his daughter, and she has continued to live with him, hearing occasionally from her husband, but refusing, or rather permitting her father to do it for her, to go to him as requested. Last week they were suddenly surprised by the appearance of the deserter, who entered the house without ceremony. His wife flew to him and her father at him, the latter arresting him as a deserter from Her majesty's service. In vain did the son-in-law argue and the daughter weepingly plead. With Roman firmness the British colonel insisting upon handing him over to the authorities, assuring him that thus he should treat his son or his brother, had either been a traitor. With an unyielding conviction of duty, the colonel dragged his erring relative to the barracks, and gave him up to the penalties of the law.

elipsis graphic

The 30th (Cambridgeshire) Regiment of Foot was in Canada from 1861 to 1869 and during this period defended the border with the United States during the Trent Affair (1861) and the Fenian Raids (1866). 

elipsis graphic

Historical Records of the XXX. Regiment

"The regiment landed at Toronto on 12th July [1861], and were quartered, three companies at the New Barracks, and three at the Old Fort; the remaining companies under canvas, half at each barracks." (p. 210)

"On the 23rd September [1863], in accordance with instructions, the regiment proceeded from Toronto to Montreal. The regiment relieved the 1st Battalion 16th Regiment, and was quartered in the Molson College Barracks, and formed part of the 2nd Military Division, under the command of Major-General the Hon. James Lindsay." (p. 211)

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Cavalry Horses Supplanted by Armored Cars
Topic: British Army

British Army Cavalry Horses Supplanted by Armored Cars

The Southeast Missourian, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, 10 March 1936

Many army officers thought the mechanization would stop there, but it was only the start of what one veteran warrior with military indignation described in a letter to The Times as "downright horse stealing."

London, March 10.—(UP)—Old army men are grumbling over their whiskies-and-sodas in the officers' clubs these days because the machine age has robbed the cavalry of its horses.

"Egad, sir!" they sputter, "What good is a soldier without a horse. Remember The King's Own Hussars at Khyber Pass, and the Ninth Royal Lancers in the siege of Delhi."

The government's decision to mechanize the cavalry, substituting armored cars and light tanks for steeds, has brought loud wails from old army men who assert that many of the most glorious fighting traditions of Britain's fighting forces will be shattered.

Cars Steel Plated

Eight of the nation's famous cavalry regiments will disappear and in their places will be units of steel-plated, fast-traveling cars carrying fighting men who once rode proudly into battle on horseback, lances tilted and swords flashing.

The revolutionary change did not come easily. The War Office argued for several years against the die-hards of the military service before winning them over to the idea that modern means of warfare have out-moded the cavalry.

Nowadays an army in the field moves rapidly, with 70-mile-an-hour tanks in advance. Fast protective reconnaissance is necessary—faster than horse cavalry.

Substitution of gasoline for hay and oats as the mobile fuel of Britain's lancers actually began two years ago when two cavalry regiments were converted into armored car regiments. They were the 11th Hussars, known as "Prince Albert's own" with the Duke of York as colonel-in-chief, and the 12th Royal Lancers whose colonel-in-chief was the Prince of Wales, now King Edward VIII.

Many army officers thought the mechanization would stop there, but it was only the start of what one veteran warrior with military indignation described in a letter to The Times as "downright horse stealing."

The change-over from horse to motor strips romantic color from several cavalry regiments whose rich tradition extends back 250 years and through a dozen or more bitter campaigns.

Guards Date to 1685

One of these is the First King's Dragoon Guards, commonly known as the "K.D.G's." who date back to 1685 and the days of the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion. Every British schoolboy has read and recited of its valor in the battle of Sedgemoor and in Flanders under King William. It also served in the battle of Minden and in the Crimea before Sevastopol.

The Queen's Bays or Second Dragoon Guards also organized in 1685 to fight under King William in the Irish and Flanders campaigns. A hundred years later the regiment gained the honor of "The Queen's Bays" and every man was mounted on a long-tailed bay. It participated in the relief and capture of Lucknow.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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