Download Aisne 1914 The Dawn of Trench Warfare by Paul Kendall PDF

By Paul Kendall

The conflict of the Aisne fought in the course of September 1914 was once a savage engagement and a whole surprise for the warriors of the British Expeditionary strength who have been proficient to struggle cellular wars. after they reached the north financial institution of the Aisne the «Old Contemptibles» will be stopped by means of the Germans entrenched on excessive floor armed with desktop weapons, supported through heavy artillery. The allied commanders could naively ship their troops into futile attacks up uncovered slopes, with out hide to assault the German traces dug into positions at the ridges alongside the Chemin des Dames and hid through wooded area.

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Each division contained 18,000 men, which included 12,000 infantrymen with only 24 machine guns. 5-inch howitzers and 4 6-pounder artillery pieces. A division was formed of three brigades that contained four battalions. A cavalry division consisted of 9000 men, 10,000 horses with 24 machine guns and 24 13-pounder artillery pieces. Assembling such a force and deploying them to France within nine days was a challenging logistical task. Each train would carry complete units so that they would sail to France on the same ship and would be disembarked ready to be transported.

Unbeknownst to Field Marshal French, he was sending his exhausted troops into a battle where the enemy were entrenched on the high ground, supported by heavy howitzers. The calibres of these guns ranged from 15cm to 21cm (6 to 8 inches). German 8-inch howitzers were deployed to the Aisne sector and were concealed along the Chemin des Dames or behind its northern ridge. Fired at a high angle, the projectiles could reach targets behind crests and drop into trenches or enemy positions behind a hill or ridge, causing craters 20 feet wide and 10 feet deep.

The War Illustrated, 26 September 1914) Those soldiers who had retired from the British Army and who were on the reserve list were summoned to return to military life for the duration of the crisis. Sixty per cent of the 1st Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, for example, were reservists. Reservists were recalled to the colours and reported to post offices across Britain to claim their travel allowance to enable them to report to their allocated depots. They returned to their old battalions. The 2nd Welsh Regiment, for one, was under-manned.

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