The Minute Book
Friday, 9 June 2017

Order of Precedence; Canadian Militia (1910)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Order of Precedence; Canadian Militia (1910)

The King’s Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Militia, 1910

The following is the order of precedence in the Canadian Militia:—

Order.Regiment, unit, or corps.Order of precedence.
1The Gentlemen Cadets of the Royal Military College. 
2The Royal Canadian Horse Artillery. 
3The Royal Canadian Dragoons. 
4Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians). 
5The Governor-General's Body Guards. 
6Regiments and Squadrons of Cavalry and Mounted Rifles.As laid down in Militia List.
7Canadian Field Artillery.
8The Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery.
9Canadian Garrison Artillery.
10The Royal Canadian Engineers.
11Canadian Engineers.
12The Corps of Guides.
13The Royal Canadian Regiment.
14The Governor-General's Foot Guards.
15Regiments of Infantry and Rifles.
16Provisional regiments and independent companies of Infantry and Rifles.
17Signalling Corps.
18The Canadian Permanent Army Service Corps.
19The Canadian Army Service Corps.
20The Canadian Permanent Army Medical Corps.
21The Canadian Army Medical Corps.
22Canadian Ordnance Corps.
23Canadian Army Pay Corps.
24Other Departmental Corps.
25Corps of Military Staff Clerks.
26Cadet Corps.

Different units of the same arm take precedence in accordance with their numerical succession, except that a unit of the Permanent Force shall always take precedence of a unit of the same arm not forming a part of the Permanent Force.

On parade, other than ceremonial, and for the purpose of manoeuvre, units will be distributed and drawn up in the mode which the officer in command of such parade of manoeuvres may deem most convenient.

Gentlemen Cadets of the Royal Military College, when on parade with other troops, if mounted, take the right of all troops; if dismounted, the right of all dismounted troops.

Heavy batteries, when on parade with their guns, take the left of the field artillery.

In brigade, rifle regiments should be on a flank—usually the left—of the line of infantry.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 1 June 2017 10:59 PM EDT
Thursday, 8 June 2017

Duties of Officers in Action (1870)
Topic: Officers

Duties of Officers in Action (1870)

Regulations and Orders for the Active Militia of the Dominion of Canada, 1870

… the leader who cries forward may see his men fly disgracefully, but he who, sword in hand, rushes on the enemy will generally be followed.

When in action, almost everything depends on the example shown to the men by their Officers, the latter should bear this constantly in mind and endeavour to exhibit the greatest cheerfulness, courage and determination, under all circumstances; in battle neither the hope of reward nor the fear of punishment has so much effect as the power of example; the leader who cries forward may see his men fly disgracefully, but he who, sword in hand, rushes on the enemy will generally be followed.

When a battalion is fighting in line in close order, it is the duty of the Officers and N.C. Officers in the Supernumerary Rank to prevent any break occurring in the rear rank, and they are not to allow any man to leave the ranks without orders under any pretext whatever.

Officers must aid in controlling and directing the fire of the men, in checking any waste or unnecessary expenditure of ammunition, and in distributing fresh supplies of the same. No one fighting in the ranks should be permitted to fall out to assist the wounded, but men should be specially appointed to this duty. If in a serious engagement this cannot be observed, the wounded men must remain where they lie until the conclusion of the action.

When a battalion is fighting in extended order, the officers must be on the alert to pass the word of command along the line, as the use of bugles on such occasions is objectionable.

When a Battalion or Corps has become broken or disordered, the consequence either of a successful advance or sudden reverse, it is the duty of all Officers to exert themselves to the utmost to rally and reform the men as rapidly as possible, and when directed, to lead them on again to the attack.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 1 June 2017 10:57 PM EDT
Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Royal Military College of Canada; Course of Instruction (1875)
Topic: Officers

Royal Military College of Canada; Course of Instruction (1875)

Government Notices; Regulations Respecting the Military College at Kingston, Militia General Orders; Canada Gazette, 18 December 1875

1.     The length of the course will be four years. If any Cadet fail to come up to the required standard at any two periodical examinations or be found unable to qualify in his studies, or to acquire sufficient proficiency in military exercises, he will be removed. No extension of the above period on account of absence from any cause except illness, will be granted. Cases of protracted absence on account of illness will be specifically referred to the General Officer commanding.

2.     The following subjects will form the course of obligatory studies.

(1)     Mathematics, including Plane Trigonometry, practical mechanics with application of Mathematics to machinery.

(2)     Fortification, Field and Permanent, Geometrical Drawing.

(3)     Artillery.

(4)     Military drawing, Reconnaissance, surveying.

(5)     Military History, Administration, Law, Strategy and Tactics.

(6)     French or German at the student's choice.

(7)     Elementary chemistry, Geology, &c.

(8)     Drawing, Free hand figure and landscape.

(9)     Drills and exercises:

  • Infantry,
  • Artillery,
  • Engineer,
  • Riding, sword exercise, &c.,
  • Gymnastics,
  • Swimming.

(10)     Discipline.

3.     In addition to the obligatory course every cadet will be allowed at his option to take up certain voluntary subjects, viz.:

(1)     Higher Mathematics,

(2)     Higher Fortification,

(3)     Higher Chemistry, Physics,

(4)     French or German (other than the language taken up in obligatory examination),

(5)     Architecture, construction, estimating, &c.,

(6)     Hydraulic engineering &c., &c.

4.     No obligatory subject shall obtain a Cadet any marks unless he obtains a minimum of one half marks in it.

5.     No Cadet will be considered qualified unless he obtain at least one half marks in the obligatory course in mathematics, Fortification, Artillery, Military History, Administration, &c., &c., and one half the total aggregated of the marks allotted to all the obligatory subjects.

6.     No voluntary subject shall gain a cadet any marks unless he obtain a minimum of at least one third of the marks assigned to that portion of it in which he is examined. The marks gained in the voluntary subjects will be added to those obtained in the obligatory subjects and to these gained during the College Course, the whole to make a second total, according to which cadets shall be finally placed.

7.     The final examination will be conducted by examiners independent of the College.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Subsistence; Canadian Militia (1904)
Topic: Army Rations

Subsistence; Canadian Militia (1904)

Regulations and Orders for the Militia of Canada, 1904

When on active service or in camps of instruction, officers and men will receive the following rations daily:—

  • 1 ¼ lb. bread or 1 lb. biscuit.
  • 1 lb. meat.
  • 3 oz. bacon.
  • 1 lb. potatoes.
  • 2 oz. flour or 2 oz. beans.
  • 3 oz. jam or 3 oz. dried apples.
  • 2 oz. butter or 2 oz. cheese.
  • 1 oz. split peas.
  • 2 oz. white sugar.
  • ½ oz. salt.
  • ½ oz. coffee.
  • ¼ oz. tea.
  • 1/36 oz. pepper.
  • ½ oz. vegetables, evaporated.
  • ½ oz. onions.
  • Forage for horses.
  • Fuel—wood.

The daily ration of meat is to be increased to one pound and a half, for such days as the men are marching or doing hard work.

When fresh meat is not available, salted or dried meat as can best be obtained will be issued instead.

If bread or biscuit is not available, an equivalent in weight of wheat flour or oat or corn meal, may be issued instead of the ration of bread or biscuit.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 5 June 2017

German March Discipline (1942)
Topic: Marching

German March Discipline (1942)

German Tactical Doctrine, Special Series No. 8, Prepared by [the US] Military Intelligence Section, 20 December 1942

Rates of March

Since it is important to provide conditions which permit an even rate of march, the mixing of different sorts of troops should be avoided as much as possible.* On good roads and under favorable conditions the following average speeds can be accomplished:**

 Per hour
Foot troops5 km (3 mi)
Foot troops (small units)6 km (3 ½ mi)
Mounted troops (trot and walk) 7 km (4 mi)
Mounted troops (trot)10 km (6 mi)
Bicyclists12 km (7 ½ mi)
Motorcyclists40 km (25 mi)
Large organizations with all weapons: 
(1) Including rest periods km (2 ½ mi)
(2) Under stress, without rest periods5 km (3 mi)
Motorized units30 km (18 mi)

* Pack animals are one disturbing factor in maintaining an even rate of march.

** For foot troops under ordinary conditions the distance prescribed as a "buffer" between companies, or similar units, is 10 paces; for mounted troops and trains, 15 paces. Such distances do not apply, of course, when air defense depth has been ordered.

Intense heat, poor roads, snow, ice, absence of bridges, and other local conditions greatly influence the march rate and the travel distance accomplished. The rate for foot troops on a cross-country or mountainous march decreases from the normal hourly rate by as much as 2 or 3 kilometers.

When great distances must be covered rapidly, motor and rail transportation can be used to expedite marches; for distances under 150 kilometers (93 miles) the use of motor transportation is recommended. When circumstances require foot or mounted troops to make forced marches, every effort is made to assist the accomplishment. Strict march discipline is preserved, and severe measures are meted out against malingerers. The men are told why the particular march is being made, and arrangements are made for rests where refreshments such as hot coffee or tea will be served. Their packs are carried, if possible, in trains.

March Rests

The commander should indicate in the march order all the necessary information concerning the duration and other conditions of the march. An officer should be sent forward to reconnoiter suitable areas for rests. Arrangements should be made for a short halt, not longer than 15 minutes, to begin after the troops have marched about 2 kilometers (1 ¼ miles) so that equipment and clothing may be comfortably readjusted on the men and animals. The troops remain near the road during such short periods, spreading out only a sufficient distance to secure cover from hostile air observation. When a long march is made, halts are ordered about every 2 hours. Rest periods are utilized for eating, drinking, feeding animals, and checking vehicles. The stopping places should be near water and not too restricted. In summer a rest should be prescribed during the hottest time of the day. During long rest periods the troops are arranged in groups; and when hostile airplanes approach, the air guards sound the warning and the troops take cover, remaining motionless.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 5 May 2017 7:20 PM EDT
Friday, 2 June 2017

Why old soldiers live
Topic: The Field of Battle

Why old soldiers live

They keep doing something all the time in combat—they don't just do nothing.

Army Talks, Vol. II, No. 27, 5 July 1944, United States Army

Sgt. Infantry:

"Want to know why old soldiers live—and the replacements need to be replaced and replaced? I'll tell you. Old soldiers know what enemy weapons can do. They have plenty of respect for them. They don't expose themselves needlessly. They aren't afraid to be afraid —they don't act brave—they duck and run for cover when their eyes and ears give the warning. They know when to be alert—and when to relax. They travel light and fight light. They hit the dirt and don't run wild or freeze so they're helpless. They let the enemy get close so they can hit him. They aren't trigger happy. They don't bunch up. They look where they're going—up, down and around, not just at their feet like rookies. They keep doing something all the time in combat—they don't just do nothing."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 5 May 2017 5:04 PM EDT
Thursday, 1 June 2017

Forfeiture and Restoration of Medals (1902)
Topic: Medals

Forfeiture and Restoration of Medals (1902)

General Order 104, Canada Gazette, volume 36, number 17, 25 October 1902

Every soldier who is found guilty of desertion, fraudulent enlistment, or any offence under section 17 or 18 of The Army Act, and every soldier who is sentenced to penal servitude, or to be discharge with ignominy, shall forfeit all medals and decorations (other than the Victoria Cross, which is dealt with under special regulations) of which he may be in possession, or to which he may be entitled.

Every soldier who—

(a) Is liable on confession of desertion of fraudulent enlistment, but whose trial has been dispensed with;

(b) Is discharged in consequence of incorrigible or worthless character, or expressly on account of misconduct, or on conviction by the civil power, or on being sentenced to penal servitude, or for giving a false answer on attestation;

(c) Is found guilty by a civil court of an office which if tried by court martial would be cognizable under section 17 or section 18 of The Army Act, or is sentenced by a civil court to a punishment exceeding six months imprisonment,

shall forfeit all medals (other than the Victoria Cross which is dealt with under special regulations).

A court martial may, in addition to, or without any other punishment, sentence an offender to forfeit any medal (other than the Victoria Cross which is dealt with under special regulations) which may have been granted to him; but no such forfeiture shall be awarded by the court martial when the offence such that the conviction does of itself entail a forfeiture under the articles above referred to.

When the conduct of a soldier who has earned the medal for long service and good conduct has, after the award of the medal, been such as to disqualify him from wearing the medal, he may on the recommendation of the Officer Commanding the Militia be deprived of the medal.

Any medal or decoration forfeited by a soldier under the provisions of these articles may be restored to him under regulations approved by the Governor General.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 31 May 2017

No. 1. -- Review at Montreal (1878)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Militia General Orders

Headquarters, Ottawa, 31st May, 1878

General Orders (13.)

No. 1. – Review at Montreal

I take the earliest opportunity to express to the officers of the general and personal staff and to the regimental officers and men of the various Corps assembled at Montreal on the 24th May, my extreme approbation of their soldierlike appearance, their steadiness under arms and the discipline so manifest throughout. They did full credit to the loyal celebration of her majesty's birthday and the honor of being permitted to pass in review before the Representative of Our Most Gracious Sovereign the Queen.

The long line covering three-quarters of a mile was taken up by the corps with a precision that might do credit to regular troops.

The Royal salute was fired by the Artillery without a fault.

The feu de joie was admirably fired along the whole line, with one exception the result of insufficient practice.

The march past both in column and quarter column was remarkable for solidity and steadiness. Wach Battery, Corps and Battalion evinced the strongest effort to appear to the best advantage, in which they completely succeeded.

Some loss of distance between Brigades and battalions occurred in the march in column, but it was almost unavoidable owing to the broken nature of much of the ground and the dense mass of people by whom they were impeded.

The order of battle was taken up rapidly and accurately by both attacking and opposing forces, as had been previously directed.

In the various attacks in front and on both flanks, the troops told off for that service behaved with coolness most remarkable. Each attack was delivered at the proper time and in the method indicated, and for young troops who had but little practice in the new formation of attack, I am happt to state that their conduct quite surpassed my expectations.

The field batteries were posted by Lieut.-Col. Strange, Royal Artillery, at salient points to command the enemy's position and to concentrate their fire upon his men. One of these batteries, however, owing to a judicious movement of the enemy's guns became exposed to a destructive plunging fire from the heights.

In the dense and surging crowd of some 40,000 people who covered the field in every direction, it became very difficult for the brigades of infantry to observe the cohesion and unity of action that is necessary. So impervious was this assemblage that it was with difficulty some of the Rifle Regiments could be distinguished, therefore I am afraid disappointment may have been experienced by some of the corps not being engaged as actively as I had intended."

The promptness with which the Batteries and battalions ceased action and assembled in line of contiguous columns for the last general advance in review order, struck me with admiration. Old troops could hardly have reformed and marched into line from distant, diverging points with more rapidity, steadiness and precision.

The troops representing the enemy were disposed with judgment, taking advantage of the commanding ground on which they were posted. The guns were placed and admirably served by Capt Short, "B" Battery.

I had desired that when the enemy were resolutely pushed home in front and both flanks in the final attack, they should have accepted defeat from an overwhelming force and retired by the Mountain Road. This, however, in the heat of the moment was only partially carried out, and so as I had ordered the contending forces not to approach nearer than 100 yards, I was constrained to cease fire and to terminate the field day sooner than I intended.

As it was, I regret that some of the "Queen's own" and the Montreal Artillery became engaged too closely in an orchard, resulting in the only accident of the day, which is due to non observance of orders.

The Cavalry, I am sorry to say, could not be employed in the operations of the day, their services were so useful in keeping the crowd from about the flag staff and fore-ground that they could not be spared.

They were admirably turned out and equipped, and their fine horses attracted special remark.

The Cavalry, Field and Garrison Artillery, Engineers and Infantry of Montreal Brigade were in their usual soldierlike order.

The demi battery of guns and the foot detachment of "B" Battery, could not be surpassed, they presented a model of thorough training and discipline.

They, together with the 8th Rifle Battalion, landed that morning from Quebec, and this latter corps also paraded most creditably and looked extremely well.

The Ottawa Field Battery and the Governor General's Foot Guards also arrived during the course of the previous night. They came on the ground in admirable order and as well turned out as from comfortable quarters, though their journey by the North Shore Railway was one of great discomfort and bad accommodation for both men and horses.

The Queen's Own had perhaps more special difficulty to contend against than even other corps from a distance. They traveled from Toronto 333 miles, during the night, reached Montreal at 10 a.m. and were in line 430 strong, two miles from the station, at 11:30, looking smart, fresh, clean and soldierlike, not a belt or buckle deranged. I expressed my regret at having to assign the left of the line to this battalion owing to the unavoidable lateness of its

The Queen's Own travelled 700 miles, and took part in a long and fatiguing field day all within 44 hours.

This corps and the 8th afterwards formed the right attack. I should have gladly, had it been possible, given them a more conspicuous position, but they must be contented to know that the turning movement they performed would probably in an actual engagement have mainly decided the fate of the day.

I must express likewise the pleasure it gave the whole force to be associated with a contingent of American Militia from St. Albans. They marched into the general line carrying the Stars and Stripes aloft, looking the picture of soldiers with cross-belts similar to the British Infantry before the days of rifled weapons. We received them among us as brothers in arms and we offered them a cordial and a hospitable welcome.

On the whole it is my pleasing duty to offer my hearty congratulations to the force employed on this occasion which I have every reason to hope will be useful to them as encouraging to the Militia of the Dominion in general, and that it will be long remembered as an interesting and instructive event.

I cannot conclude more appropriately than by repeating the emphatic words of the Governor General in His Excellency's speech at the Brigade dinner the same evening.

"The spectacle, however, I have witnessed this morning, the scene which now meets my view, more than repay me for my previous deprivations and disappointments. Anything more admirably arranged, more gratifying to the pride of Canadians, to all friends of Canada, than the performance this morning, cannot well be conceived. From first to last everything has passed off to my entire satisfaction, and I now beg to tender my best thanks, and to render this acknowledgement not only on my own behalf, but on behalf of my fellow spectators and of the country at large, to the Lieut.-General who planned, to the Militia authorities who have organized, and to the officers and men who at great personal inconvenience have executed and carried out the triumphant celebration with which we have this morning saluted the Birthday of our Most Gracious Sovereign."

ED. Selby Smyth,

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 30 May 2017

German and Russian Combat Tricks (1941-42)
Topic: The Field of Battle

German and Russian Combat Tricks (1941-42)

Small Unit Actions During the German Campaign in Russia, Department of the Army Pamphlet No. 20-269; Washington, 1953

A German Decoy Diverts Russian Aircraft (Winter 1941-42)

During the desperate struggle in the Rzhev area in the winter of 1941-42, the Russians employed several outdated biplanes to conduct night raids against German installations, to drop propaganda leaflets, and to supply encircled Russian units. Since the nightly harassing raids robbed the German defenders of their much-needed rest, the commander of a German infantry regiment decided to trick the enemy into dropping his bombs where they could cause no damage. He ordered his engineers to hang several lanterns on 6-foot poles set up in an isolated area. A wire connected the lanterns, and a man about 800 yards away manipulated the wire in such a way that the lanterns swayed back and forth. From the air this motion produced the effect of a number of men walking on the ground and carrying lanterns in their hands. On the following night the Russian air craft appeared as usual. Upon spotting what appeared to be a rewarding target, they immediately released their bombs which exploded without causing any damage except for the destruction of a number of lanterns. After this ruse had been successfully employed for a number of nights, higher headquarters refused to supply any more lanterns because of excessive expenditure. However, when a bomb landed squarely on the billets of the division commander two nights later, the order was rescinded, and lanterns were again available in unlimited quantities.

The Dummy Drop Zone (January 1943)

During the fighting near Demyansk in January 1943 a German infantry regiment succeeded in encircling elements of several Russian divisions in its rear area. Within a short time the Russians began to airdrop supplies to their encircled forces. A German radio intelligence detachment intercepted a Russian message transmitted to the units in the pocket, ordering them to lay out a drop zone with four fires. During the following night the fires should form the letter T; letters were to be changed every night.

The German regimental commander decided to take advantage of this information and prevent the Russian units in the pocket from receiving badly needed supplies. To this end he established a dummy drop zone outside the pocket. Russian prisoners of war who served the division as laborers were ordered to fill four shell craters forming the letter T with dry wood, which was then soaked in gaso line. The laborers had scarcely completed the task when the noise of approaching aircraft became audible. The piles of wood in the pits were quickly set afire. Upon noticing the fires on the ground, Russian aircraft dumped their cargo of ammunition and rations over the German drop zone. This deception was successfully repeated on three successive nights, and the encircled forces were thus deprived of supplies. They were forced to surrender a few days later.

On other occasions the Germans were equally successful in de ceiving Russian aircraft, provided that they observed the correct pro cedure. First, the number of fires and the letters they formed in the drop zone had to correspond to the prearranged signal. If the fires on the ground were not correctly laid out, the Russian pilots became suspicious and were likely to drop a few bombs instead of the desired supplies. Second, the fires had to be built in shell craters or pits according to Russian methods and not on flat ground.

The slow-flying Russian cargo planes were vulnerable to small-arms fire while making their approach run to the lighted drop zone. No tracer ammunition was to be used for this purpose. In their eagerness to recover the airdropped supplies, the German soldiers often did not wait until all Russian aircraft had departed. In one instance, a noncommissioned officer was severely injured when he was hit by frozen sides of bacon.

Russian Traps (February 1943)

Near Demyansk in February 1943 the German forces in the MLR were greatly understrength, and Russian reconnaissance patrols were often able to infiltrate. They would cut a wire line connecting outposts with the rear and prepare an ambush for the German troubleshooters, who usually arrived within a short time. As a rule, the wire repair team consisted of two men, whose attention was concentrated on the task at hand. While the two were engaged in repairing the damaged wire, the Russians would catch them off guard, overpower them silently, and take them away. At that time the German manpower shortage was so pronounced that usually no infantry detachments were available to protect the troubleshooters.

Another incident occurred on a particularly dark night, when one of two German infantrymen manning a machine gun momentarily left his post to investigate a suspicious noise. Five Russians belonging to a reconnaissance patrol jumped at the soldier who had remained at the machine gun, threw ground pepper into his face, pulled a bag over his head, and disappeared with him into the night. When he heard the noise, the other man ran back to the machine gun and fired several bursts in the direction in which the Russian patrol had vanished. On the following morning the bodies of a Russian officer and two Russian enlisted men were found in the immediate vicinity of the outpost, as was the body of the abducted German machine gunner. Two severely wounded Russians were discovered a few yards away. Among the Russian officer's papers the Germans found an elaborate plan of attack based on preliminary reconnaissance information, indicating that during the four preceding nights the officer had observed the German outpost area from behind a disabled tank at only 30 yards distance from the German machine gun crew.

German Sound Deception (November 1944)

During the fight ing along the Narev River in November 1944 the commander of a German infantry regiment requested from higher headquarters the dispatch of a sound truck equipped with recordings simulating the approach, assembly, and the attack of an armored division. Each record ran for 12 minutes. As soon as the requested equipment arrived, a shelter was constructed on a reverse slope so that the sound truck would be protected from enemy view and fire. Observers, equipped with telescopes, were to scrutinize the Russian positions to determine the emplacements of their heavy weapons and artillery. A fire plan was prepared according to which the heavy weapons of the three German battalions in that sector were to alternately fire at specified targets in order to confuse the Russians. Division and corps intercept units were alerted. The time for the deceptive attack was set for the late afternoon of a hazy November day, when visibility was at a minimum.

Soon after the start of the German fire, which was perfectly coordinated with the sounds of approaching armor, the Russian heavy weapons began to reply. A little later the artillery went into action. As the noise of the approaching German tanks grew louder, the Russian unit commanders became more and more alarmed and sent out frantic calls for help. This radio traffic was observed by the German intercept detachments, which were thus able to plot the location of the enemy command posts.

Thirty-seven minutes later a Russian artillery shell scored a direct hit on the cable which linked the loudspeaker to the sound truck, thus putting a sudden end to the performance. However, by this time the deception had achieved its purpose. The Russian forward positions had been identified, 11 mortar and 7 antitank gun emplacements had been determined, and a great number of artillery pieces had been located by flash and sound ranging. On the following day the identified Russian weapons were taken under fire and destroyed.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 29 May 2017

Things Necessary for a Gentleman
Topic: Officers

Things Necessary for a Gentleman to be furnished with, upon obtaining his first Commission in the Infantry (1776)

The Military Guide for Young Officers, Thomas Simes, Esq., 1776

A full suit of cloths; 2 frock suits; 2 hats; 2 cockades; 1 pair of leather gloves; sash, and gorget; fuzee, or espontoon; sword; sword-knot and belt; 2 pair of white spatterdashes (if in the foot guards); 1 pair of black, and tops; 1 pair of short; 1 pair of garters; 1 pair of boots, all regimentals); a case of pistols; a blue surtout coat; a Portugal cloak; 6 white waistcoats; 12 white, and 2 black stocks; 18 pair of stockings; 10 handkerchiefs; 1 pair of leather breeches; 6 pair of shoes; 24 shirts; 8 towels; 3 pair of sheets; 3 pillow cases; 6 linen night caps, and 2 yarn; a field bedstead, and a painted canvas bag to hold it; bed-curtains, quilt, three blankets, bolster, pillow, 1 mattress, and a pailace. Those articles should be carried in a leather valise; a travelling letter-case, to contain pens, ink, paper, wax, and wafers; a case of instruments for drawing, and Muller's Works on Fortification, &c. It is also essential that he should have a watch, that he may mark the hour exactly when he sends any report, or what he may have discovered that is of consequence.

If he is to provide a tent, the ornaments must be uniform, according to the facing of his corps.

Common Dimensions of the tent, for a Captain or Subaltern.

  • Length of the ridge pole – 7 ft. 0 ins.
  • Height of the standard pole – 8 ft. 0 ins.
  • Length from the front to rear of the marquee between half walls – 14 ft. 0 ins.
  • Breadth of the marquee between half walls – 10 ft. 6 ins.
  • Height of the half-walls of the marquee – 4 ft. 0 ins.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 28 May 2017

Conduct and Character of Soldiers of Permanent Force (1910)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Regarding Conduct and Character of Soldiers of Permanent Force (1910)

The King’s Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Militia, 1910

The main object of giving a soldier a certificate of character is to assist him in obtaining employment in civil life, and the certificate should be so worded that employers of labour can readily estimate the true worth of the man.

332.     The guiding principle in examining a soldier's conduct sheets with a view to assessing his character, is to differentiate between a man's character as a soldier and his character as a man.

The main object of giving a soldier a certificate of character is to assist him in obtaining employment in civil life, and the certificate should be so worded that employers of labour can readily estimate the true worth of the man. In addition to recording his character, the certificate should contain any information which would show what qualification a man possesses as regards civilian employment, e.g., "thoroughly sober and reliable"; "accustomed to the care of horses and a good groom"; "a good clerk, painstaking and industrious"; also, if desired by the soldier, "wife (washerwoman, needlewoman, &c.)," or any other special qualifications which a woman may possess.

333.     The success of arrangements for providing civil employment for a discharged soldier must, in a great measure, depend upon the manner in which the character of a man is estimated. If men recommended as of "good" character are found to be untrustworthy or unsteady, the confidence of employers of labour will not be gained. On the other hand, if, on account of comparatively trifling irregularities of a purely military nature, a man is refused a good character, his subsequent career in civil life may be injuriously affected. The responsibility, therefore, of a C.O. in this respect is very great, and his special attention is directed to the subject.

334.     To ensure uniformity in estimating and recording a man's character while serving, or on discharge, the following terms will be strictly adhered to:—

(i.)     Exemplary.
(ii.)     Very good.
(iii.)     Good.
(iv.)     Fair.
(v.)     Indifferent.
(vi.)     Bad.
(vii.)     Very bad.

335.     In estimating the character of a soldier, a C.O. will take into consideration any entries in a man's medical history sheet for admission into hospital on account of alcoholism. In cases where the character recorded is "indifferent," "bad," or "very bad," the reason for recording which a character will be briefly stated in the "Proceedings on Discharge," the man's conduct as a soldier being separated as much as possible from his character as a man, for example— (i) "conduct indifferent, has been guilty of frequent acts of absence, but is smart, willing and hardworking;" (ii) "conduct indifferent, has been addicted to drink, but is a smart soldier and respectful to his officers," (iii) "conduct bad, has been guilty of desertion, but has proved a gallant soldier in the field." In cases where the character is recorded as fair, or upwards, the C.O. will supplement it (when in the soldier's interest) by the words:—

(a)     No offence in whole service of ____ years; or
(b)     No offence during the lat _____ years and (where applicable);

No instance of drunkenness in whole service of _____ years.

Any such particulars that can be truthfully recorded in favour of the soldier should also be inserted in his certificate of character, but the reason for assessing the character as indifferent, bad, &c., is not to be inserted in the certificate.

336.     An "exemplary" character is the highest that can be given to any soldier, and is to be given only to a man whose period of service has enable his conduct to be thoroughly tested. It is to be reserved, therefore, for a man who has served for at least six years, who has not incurred more than the following number of entries in the regimental conduct sheet, and has been clear of an entry in the regimental conduct sheets for the periods stated in the subjoined table:—

Length of Service—No. of entries allowed in.Years clear of entry in.
 Regimental Conduct Sheet.
6 and under 9 years.25
9 and under 12 years.46
12 and under 15 years.57
15 and under 18 years.68
18 and upwards.79

The C.O. is the sole judge of whether an "exemplary" character should be granted. Though the soldiers fulfills the above conditions, the grant of an "exemplary" character is discretionary and not obligatory.

337.     In cases where a more favourable character than "fair" cannot be given to an N.C.O., the reasons will be briefly recorded in the proceedings on discharge, but not in the parchment certificate of discharge.

338.     A bad character is not to be given to a N.C.O.

339.     When a recruit is discharged before he has completed one month's service, and receives a good character, the words "during his _____ days' service" should be added after the word "good" in the proceedings on discharge and in the parchment certificate of discharge.

340.     A duplicate or copy of the discharge, or extract from official records, will not be issued to a discharged soldier. A certified copy of the record of a man's service will be supplied to the officer charged with his payment, if asked for.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 27 May 2017

Rates of Pay on Active Service (1870)
Topic: Pay; the Queen's shilling

Rates of Pay on Active Service (1870)

Regulations and Orders for the Active Militia of the Dominion of Canada, 1870

The following are the rates of pay an allowances of officers when on active service.

Rate per day.Daily rate in lieu of all allowances.
Lt.-Colonel in Command of a Battalion.$4.87$1.00Pay and Allowances for these appointments can only be granted when the Officers are serving with their own Battalion or with a Provisional Battalion, and should be included at the end of such of the Company pay lists as the Commanding Officer directs.
Adjt. with Rank of Lt.2.440.90
Do. with Rank of Ensign.2.130.90
Asst. Surgeon2.430.72
Captain2.820.76These Officers are to be included for pay an allowances with their Men.
Ensign, 2nd Lieut. or Cornet1.280.69

No Regimental Staff Officer is to receive pay unless he has neen regularly appointed to the battalion of provisional battalion, nor is pay to be granted for Brevet rank of any kind, nor on account of half or unattached pay. Officers are not entitled to rations of any kind at the Government expense, the rate of "allowances" above fixed being intended to cover their Lodging, Rations, Forage (mounted corps excepted), Fuel and Light.

The rates of pay for each non-commissioned officer and man shall be as follows for their respective grades:

RankRate of pay per day. (cents)
Quartermaster Sergeant90
Paymaster's Clerk90
Orderly Room Clerk90
Hospital Sergeant90
Pay Sergeants80

The N.C.O. and privates shall receive, in addition to their pay, free lodgings and rations, and officers and men of mounted corps shall receive forage in addition for their horses, or a daily allowance of 25 cents in lieu thereof for each horse.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 26 May 2017

Honours and Awards for Rescue of Wounded (1918)
Topic: Medals

Honours and Awards for Rescue of Wounded (1918)

Instructions Regarding Recommendations for Honours and Awards, Military Secretary's Branch, General Headquarters, 1918

47.     (i.)     No one other than those whose duty it is to care for the wounded will be rewarded for their rescue.

(ii.)     Cases of the nature of the following may, however, be submitted for immediate reward:—

(a)     Rescuing men buried in trenches.

(b)     Bringing wounded men back from a raid, thus preventing the enemy from obtaining information.

(c)     Any act specially ordered by an officer to help stretcher bearers in their duties.

(iii.)     The objects in view in thus restricting recommendations are:—

(a)     To ensure that the rescue of the wounded shall not be allowed to interfere with the employment of every available man for the operations in course of execution.

(b)     To avoid unnecessary loss of life.

(c)     To discourage attempts to win honours for the sake of the honours themselves.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 25 May 2017

Feu de Joie—1857
Topic: Canadian Militia

Feu de Joie—1857

Adjutant General's Office Toronto, 5th May, 1857

Militia General Order

The several Corps of the Active Militia Force of the Province will fire a feu de joie on Monday, the 25th instant, in honor of Her Majesty's Birth-day, in the manner laid down in page 58 of the Instructions for Drill of the Volunteer Militia, compiled by the Adjutant general as regards the Infantry.

At stations where either Field Batteries of Foot Companies of Artillery are organized, in addition to Cavalry and Infantry, the mode to be adopted will be as follows, viz.:

Each of the three rounds of blank ammunition to be fired by the Infantry, will be preceded by seven rounds from the Artillery, the Artillery thus firing in all twenty-one rounds and the Infantry three rounds of blank cartridge. Officers Commanding will cause the feu de joie to be fired either at 12 o'clock or at 1 o'clock as may be most convenient to the men.

When the time arrives for giving three cheers, the Officer Commanding will direct the men to take off their shakos or forage caps, as the case may be, and taking the cue from the Officer Commanding, give three cheers for her majesty the Queen.

By command of His Excellency the Governor General and Commander in Chief

de Rottenburg, Colonel
Adjt. General, Militia

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Roll Call, Coal Fatigues, et al. (1902)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Roll Call, Coal Fatigues, et al. (1902)

General Orders, 1902; Canada Gazette, volume 36, number 17, 25 October 1902

Subject to the requirements of training, which must be paramount, the soldier's time will be so apportioned that he has at his disposal on each day a certain definite period of leisure.

G.O. 103—Imperial Army Orders

The following extracts from Imperial Army Orders of 1st September, 1902, are published for the information and guidance of the Militia:—

Duties and Administration.— All roll calls will be discontinued, except those held—

(a)     At reveille,

(b)     For recruits, boys, defaulters, and for such other individual soldiers, and on such occasions as may be ordered by officers commanding stations and units.

2.     Soldiers will be warned for all duties, &c., by means of daily orders posted in a suitable place in each squadron, battery, or company's quarters. The soldier will himself be held personally responsible that he makes himself acquainted with all orders.

3.     Soldiers are permitted to smoke when walking in the streets, except when employed on any duty.

4.     Coal fatigues will be performed by defaulters. If none are available, the fatigues will be performed as follows:—

(a)     For non-regimental quarters, offices, schools, gymnasia, and other similar establishments and buildings—by the soldiers and civilian subordinates employed at such quarters, etc., or by arrangement with the contractor, provided no extra public expense is incurred thereby.

(b)     For officers' mess and quarters, and sergeants' mess—by servants or waiters.

(c)     For regimental institutes and offices—by men employed thereat.

(d)     For married quarters and barrack room—by the occupants of the quarters or room.

Light carts or trucks should be utilized wherever available.

5.     Kit inspection for trained men and recruits will be held only at such times as officers commanding corps, squadrons, etc., may consider necessary.

6.     The visiting or inspection of barracks, stables, &c., will not, except in cases of necessity, be performed on Sunday. The holding of parades will, as far as possible, be avoided on Sundays.

7.     A system of police will, wherever possible, replace garrison and regimental guards, which will only be mounted in special cases to be decided by the officer commanding the station of camp.

8.     No soldier will be employed in any capacity whatever in canteens of institutes conducted on the tenant system, except for disciplinary purposes.

9.     Subject to the requirements of training, which must be paramount, the soldier's time will be so apportioned that he has at his disposal on each day a certain definite period of leisure. This period will not be broken into for fatigue and working parties, except in circumstances of exceptional urgency.

The necessary amendments will be made to the King's Regulations. (Army Order No. 211 of 1902).

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Military Discipline (1776)
Topic: Discipline

Military Discipline (1776)

The Military Guide for Young Officers, Thomas Simes, Esq., 1776

Few orders are best; but they are to be executed with attention, and offences to be punished without respect of either rank or extraction.

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 among them with great prudence, and supported by unshaken resolution, they are no better than so many contemptible heaps of rabble, which are more dangerous to the very state that maintains them, then 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 severest discipline, have always performed the greatest things.

Many general officers imagine, that in giving out orders they do all 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 feared. 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 offense; in consequence of which they are rarely discovered; because everyone 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 provost's, there to be chained like galley-slaves; and condemned to subsist on bread and water for one, two, or three months; or to be employed on some of those works which are always carrying on in an army; and not to be restored to their regiments, till the night before the 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 of 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 at 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 eveil, or restoring discipline; and hardly answer any other purpose, then to justify the common saying among 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 careful, vigilant, and severe; nevertheless, when a man is to be punished wioth 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, 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 at 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, after he had 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 had 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 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 altogether unattended to; which, as well as the persons who practice 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 a good institution, if not carried too far. Pestilential diseases are, in a great measure, prevented by it; for the soldiers frequently plunder dead carcasses for their skins, and thereby expose themselves to infection. It does not prevent the killing and eating of horses during seiges, 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 amongst them. If a german officer strikes, or otherwise abuses a private soldier, he is cashiered, upon compliant made by the party injured; and 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 flick, because that is a kind of chastisement which has been exploded, as inconsistent with that notion of liberty which prevails among them. Punishments are certainly necessary, provided they are not dishonourable.

Let us compare these different customs of these two nations, 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 the officers being put in irons, unless for great crimes, and after they had been first degraded.

These observations demonstrate the absurdity of condemning particular costums or prejudices, before one has examined their original causes.

Nothing can be so necessary to the soldier as discipline; without it, troops may become more dangerous than useful, more hurtful to ourselves, than to our enemies. The means of discipline are regulated by our military laws, and by the articles of war; which command obedience to superiors; and courage against an enemy; in regard to private conversation, politeness should exceed authority, and the Officer subside in the gentleman.

The nature of service is such, that in actions, errors cannot be committed with impunity. The particulars necessary to be observed are many and various; but none more essential to victory, than a strict obedience to orders, and a just observation of signals; on this depends success and safety of the troops.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 22 May 2017

Mines and Boobytraps: Enemy Sources of Supply
Topic: Militaria

Mines and Boobytraps: Enemy Sources of Supply

FMFRP 12-43; Professional Knowledge Gained from Operational Experience in Vietnam, 1969, Special Issue, Mines and Boobytraps, U.S. Marine Corps, July 1989

Mortar rounds, rockets, LAAW'S, grenades, and small arms ammunition abandoned to lighten the load (or improperly secured and lost by fast-moving Marines) have value as the explosive element in boobytraps.

The enemy uses a very limited number of modern machine-produced mines. The majority of enemy mines are handmade by the VC using U.S. duds, discarded ammunition and equipment, and materials thrown away by U.S. forces as trash. Ninety percent of all the material in enemy mines and booby-traps is of U.S. origin. Of all the explosive devices produced locally in VC mine factories, 95 percent are anti-personnel boobytraps.

All dud ammunition is a source of enemy supply . After airstrikes and artillery and mortar missions, enemy salvage teams make sweeps to collect duds. Lighter ordnance is carried away to preparation areas; large bombs and projectiles are broken down and stripped on the spot. In some cases the larger duds are rigged as boobytraps where they have fallen. This is especially true when the enemy feels the strike or fire mission was a preparation for an infantry attack.

However, dud ammunition is not the only source of enemy supply. Carelessly discarded ordnance of all sizes and in any quantity is collected by enemy salvage teams. Mortar rounds, rockets, LAAW'S, grenades, and small arms ammunition abandoned to lighten the load (or improperly secured and lost by fast-moving Marines) have value as the explosive element in boobytraps. Even a single M16 round ejected to clear a stoppage can be used by the enemy.

Additionally, materials discarded as trash and improperly destroyed such as ration, ammunition, beer and soda cans, batteries, waterproof packaging materials, bandoleers, etc., provide the enemy a valuable source of supply to support his mine warfare operations. These items have, on numerous instances, been employed successfully against Marines and their equipment. Thorough police of friendly positions upon departure and complete destruction of trash are mandatory to deny the enemy this source of supply.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 21 May 2017

Field Fortification (1868)
Topic: Militaria

Field Fortification (1868)

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

The Nomenclature, and uses, of the different parts of a field work and obstacles (see fig 1), are as follows: —

a.b. The Banquette is the platform on which the defenders of the work stand. It is level, or slightly inclined to the rear, to carry off the water; three feet wide, or four feet six inches when destined for two files of men, and stands 4 feet three inches below the crest of the parapet. To ascend from the interior of the work, or Terreplein, up to the Banquette, the slope of banquette is constructed.

The parapet is the covering mass behind which the defenders are sheltered; it is connected with the banquette by the interior slope, b.c. The line c.d. is called the superior slope, and slants towards the outside of the works, so as to enable the defenders to cover the ditch with their fire. The parapet should be at least eight feet in height; d.e. is the exterior slope and the ledge, e.f., is called the Berm. This is left to prevent the earth from the exterior slope falling into and filling up the ditch. The slope of the ditch, f.g., is called the Escarp, and h.i. the Counterscarp. The ditch should be from 8 to 12 feet in depth, and from 12 to 20 feet in width. The slope j.k. is called the Glacis. It is raised in order to bring the assailant within the direct line of fire from the parapet. The pitfalls, l.l., are called Trous-de-loups, and are used as an obstacle to the advance of an enemy. They are round holes, about six feet wide and deep, with a sharpened picket set in the bottom, m. is a Fougasse, or small mine, to be fired from the interior of the work. The explosion breaks the ground and throws the assailing column into confusion. The obstruction at n. is called an Abattis, and is a formidable obstacle. It is made of small or trees, stout branches, stripped of leaves and sharpened, and their trunks well fixed in the ground by a few pickets, the branches being interwoven.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 20 May 2017

Changes Leading to Existing Militia System (1908)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Changes Leading to Existing Militia System (1908)

The Old Militia Law of Canada, The New Militia Laws of Australia and New Zealand, and Lord Kitcheners Report; Extracts from a Paper by Lieut. -Col. Wm. Hamilton Merritt, R.O.. President Canadian Military Institute. (Read before the Canadian Military Institute at Toronto, Monday Events in evening, 21st Nov., 1910.)

…respect for superiors had almost vanished, when men would give such answers to their names as "Sitting on the fence," or "Chewing a quid of tobacco!"

The weakness of the old Militia System was in its rendering. In some Provinces the militia-man eventually was only taught to bear arms in one muster day a year, and there was no other training even in the matter of rifle-shooting. In other Provinces, such as Nova Scotia, a better state of things prevailed, but the general weak rendering of an otherwise perfect and necessary system for Canada caused efforts to be made to create an active militia which should have more training. This appears to have been the object of the partial change effected by the Act of 1846, and of the epoch-making Act of 1855. The Act of 1846 was the thin edge of the wedge. Its most noticeable features are the introduction of the classification of the old "universal service" militia and the authorization of "volunteer" companies. While the universal annual enrollment was retained, the men of 40 and over were formed into a second class, which was to be drawn upon only in war- time. The first class were to be drawn upon for a military force raised for "active" service, not more than 30,000 strong, the "period of service" to be two years. Only one day's training was still the extent of the service required. The Act of 1855 brought about a departure from the old "Patriotic Service" form of military organization in Canada, and contemplated the raising of some 5,000 men to form "corps d'elite" among the militia and the retention of the old "universal service." Two "divisions" of militia were now recognized, the "sedentary" and the "active" or "volunteer." The former was to be enrolled annually. The members of the active or volunteer force were to provide their uniforms and clothing free, but they were to receive pay for a specified number of days' drill in the year. In 1859 the volunteer militia were ordered to drill for 6 consecutive days in each year, with pay of a dollar a day. In the early sixties schools of military instruction in connection with the regulars, then in Canada, were established with $50 allowance to those who obtained certificates of qualification in a 56 days' course. In all, more than 6,000 certificates were thus obtained. In 1865 the volunteer militia was ordered 16 days' drill at 50c a day. In 1868, after Confederation, a Militia Act for the whole Dominion was passed, which is virtually the system at present existing, with an active militia and a dormant, or sedentary, militia as a reserve. The Militia Act of 1901 is, however, a more decided step in the direction of a standing army in that it provides for a permanent force of 2,000, increased in 1905 to 5,000.

The annual muster day was evidently kept up until Confederation, for Lt. -Col. James Walker of Calgary, commanding officer of the 15th Alberta Light Horse, informs me that he enrolled a company at Ancaster Village in 1867, on May 24th, Capt. Snider being then the commanding officer of the company. It seems amazing to realize, through Col'n. Walker, who is still a most active and efficient officer, what a short time has elapsed since the falling-away took place from the principle of "patriotic" or "universal" service, and the adoption of our present "mercenary or dollar” system. Col. Walker bears testimony to the disrepute into which the one muster-day had fallen, how the fine alone forced out the militia-man, where, indeed, he may not have been attracted by the Captain's customary "treat" at the nearest tavern, and how respect for superiors had almost vanished, when men would give such answers to their names as "Sitting on the fence," or "Chewing a quid of tobacco!"

It might be of interest to quote the opinion of one who fought through 1812-13 and 14, and who lived to see and lament the retrogade steps of new militia enactments. In the biography of the Hon. William Hamilton Merritt, who was Lieut, in the "Niagara Light Dragoons," 1812, and Capt. commanding a troop of "Provincial Dragoons" ("Niagara Frontier Guides") in 1813-14 until taken prisoner at the battle of Lundy's Lane, we find his biographer (J. P. Merritt, his son) states:—"1846.—A new militia bill was brought in, on which he expressed a preference for the old law of 1808, inaugurated under the immortal Brock, whereby flank companies were always kept enrolled and trained for an emergency, thereby forming an active force, ready at any time to take the field, and form a rallying body for the rest. The wisdom of this scheme was well tried in 1812, when nearly the entire militia force was ready to take the field in defence of their country in from 12 to 24 hours after the declaration of war." And again:

"1854.—In March of this year we find the first movement towards establishing a volunteer organization, which afterwards entirely supplanted the old militia, although we doubt if the results of the movements has paid us good interest on the money spent over its institution, as we are still without the efficient home army of 1794, 1812 or even 1837."

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 19 May 2017

Commando Arms and Equipment
Topic: Soldiers' Load

Commando Arms and Equipment

British Commandos; Special Series No. 1, Prepared by the Military Intelligence Service, War Department, Washington, August 1942

Every man who joins the commandos brings his own rifle or pistol, and he is also provided with a fighting knife, which is used by the commandos with particular effectiveness.

In choosing the kinds of arms and equipment suitable for commandos, the determining factor was the type of operations in which they would engage. In the summer of 1940 the Germans were in positions along the coast line of Europe, from Narvik in northern Norway to Biarritz in southwestern France. Any part of this coast was within reasonable striking distance from the British Isles. In view of the Royal Navy's superiority at sea, the raiding opportunities for commando units seemed unlimited. The task was essentially one for an amphibious force…a sort of super-marines…who would fight only with equipment which could be carried on their backs from a boat to the beach. They would also need the guerrilla's traditional mobility on any terrain, which meant that vehicles larger than bicycles, and perhaps than a handcart, were not practicable. Any better means of transport would have to be captured at the scene of operations.

Consequently, regulation requirements for the number an allocation of weapons are not prescribed, but in every case distribution is made according to the tactical requirements of the particular mission to be performed. Every man who joins the commandos brings his own rifle or pistol, and he is also provided with a fighting knife, which is used by the commandos with particular effectiveness. Each commando headquarters has a separate store of extra weapons so that extreme flexibility in armament is assured. A typical store contains: Bren guns; Thompson submachine guns; calibre .50 antitank rifles; 2-inch and 3-inch mortars with a supply of both smoke and high-explosive shells; defensive (fragmentation) Mills hand grenades; offensive (plastic body, concussion type) hand grenades; smoke pots; Very pistols; "knuckle dusters"; (brass knuckles); "Limpets" (magnetic, acid, high-explosive mines), one type suitable for use against ships and another for use against tanks; and demolitions of all types. Each troops is equipped with Bren guns, Thompson submachine guns, an anti-tank rifle, and a 2-inch mortar; normally each sub-section is allocated one Bren gun and a submachine gun, the allocation of the anti-tank rifle and the mortar being left to the discretion of the troops commander.

The clothing and equipment furnished commandos includes a variety of types. Normal clothing is "battle dress," a two-piece woolen garment, stout shoes, and leggings. In colder weather a sleeveless button-up leather jacket which reaches the hips is worn over or under battle dress; a two-piece denim dungaree is also provided for wear over battle dress in damp or rainy weather. The men are further equipped with cliff-climbing and with hauling materials, such as rubber soled shoes and toggle-and-eye ropes. A wool undervest and a heavy-ribbed wool cardigan with long sleeves and turtle neck are also available for cold-weather wear. All clothing is designed and worn solely with a view to comfort and utility under actual operating conditions. No leather belts are worn either by officers or enlisted men; a fabric waist-belt is provided. In addition to his weapons, the individual soldier generally receives such items as these: Tommy (individual) cooker; lensatic compass; skis and poles; individual waist life-bet ("Mae West"); Primus stove; 1-gallon thermal food-container; gas cape; wristlets. Troops are equipped with two-man rubber boats; plywood (sectionalized) canoes; collapsible canvas canoes; bamboo and canvas stretchers; 2-inch scaling ropes; 1-inch-mesh heavy wire in rolls for crossing entanglements; and toggle ropes. Transportation equipment for each commando includes Hillman pick-up 1,500-pound trucks, motorcycles, and one 3-ton truck. Communication equipment for each troops includes a number of portable radio sets, voice-and-key type, weighing 36 pounds with a voice range of 5 miles; semaphore flags; blinker guns; Very pistols and flares.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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British Army
Canadian Armed Forces
Canadian Army
Canadian Militia
Cold Steel
Cold War
Drill and Training
European Armies
Forays in Fiction
Martial Music
Military Medical
Military Theory
Pay; the Queen's shilling
Sam Hughes
Soldier Slang
Soldiers' Load
Staff Duties
Stolen Valour
Taking Advantage
The Field of Battle
The RCR Museum
US Armed Forces
Vimy Pilgrimage
Wolseley Barracks

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