Post Boer War British Army Recommendations.

By 1918 half the vets in the UK were serving
More than half I think. And of the 2.5 million animals that went through animal hospitals in WW1, apparently 2 million were returned to service. The quicker you can get that system running the better, I would think. More vets in service to start or brought into service quickly would presumably help avoid the initial losses during the war of maneuver and race to the sea. I don’t know if that would make any difference in the strategic situation at that point. Anyone know if lack of transport or pack animals kept the British from anything important?
 
More than half I think. And of the 2.5 million animals that went through animal hospitals in WW1, apparently 2 million were returned to service. The quicker you can get that system running the better, I would think. More vets in service to start or brought into service quickly would presumably help avoid the initial losses during the war of maneuver and race to the sea. I don’t know if that would make any difference in the strategic situation at that point. Anyone know if lack of transport or pack animals kept the British from anything important?
The Royal Vetinary Corps history says half. In WW1 nothing comes to mind, the issue was more crossing ground tactically and the whole supply chain from factory - ammo dump which is rail except for the very last part. And its the British army not the German, they understand logistics.
 
Expand production capacity for khaki dye, optics and magnetos. Britain had to import most of these things from Germany before ww1.

Adopting American System of Manufacture in large scale in various industries including watches, clocks, locks and small arms, or even optics, so that British small arms production is mechanized, instead of sticking to craft-based production well into the war like IOTL.
 
Expand production capacity for khaki dye, optics and magnetos. Britain had to import most of these things from Germany before ww1.

Adopting American System of Manufacture in large scale in various industries including watches, clocks, locks and small arms, or even optics, so that British small arms production is mechanized, instead of sticking to craft-based production well into the war like IOTL.
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This is Royal Small Arms Factory in 1897. While it is certainly arguable wether they had the best method, I think your definition of craft based and mine might be different.
 
Here’s a question for you all. Vimy Ridge is a big deal here in Canada. Often mentioned is the amount of preparation Arthur Currie put into training his men before the battle and use of Creeping Barrage. Our history books talk about it like it was revolutionary but it seems like this might have been more common by 1917? How much was his assault actually inspired, and how much is us adding glory to an important battle in our history? More to the point of this thread, is it feasible that the kind of artillery/infantry coordination Creeping Barrage represented be trained for in the post Boer War period?
 
Here’s a question for you all. Vimy Ridge is a big deal here in Canada. Often mentioned is the amount of preparation Arthur Currie put into training his men before the battle and use of Creeping Barrage. Our history books talk about it like it was revolutionary but it seems like this might have been more common by 1917? How much was his assault actually inspired, and how much is us adding glory to an important battle in our history? More to the point of this thread, is it feasible that the kind of artillery/infantry coordination Creeping Barrage represented be trained for in the post Boer War period?
Creeping Barrage began to be used in ~early 1917 by the Royal Artillery. It taught that it was better to stick close the shells as they fell and accept a small number of casualties from their own shells that might fall short than allow the Germans on the objective time to recover and reman their parapets. The creeping barrage was used to suppress the defences and cover the advancing troops and once the objective had been secured to protect against counter-attacks by becoming a box barrage. The creeping barrage came about because of the conditions on the front.
 
, I think your definition of craft based and mine might be different.
Without knowing it he’s talking about smashing the non-political “New Unions” which is dumb unless you want an early Labour Britain or a revolution. See Australia 1916 for the tight rope when you smash craft unions.
 
Here’s a question for you all. Vimy Ridge is a big deal here in Canada. Often mentioned is the amount of preparation Arthur Currie put into training his men before the battle and use of Creeping Barrage. Our history books talk about it like it was revolutionary but it seems like this might have been more common by 1917? How much was his assault actually inspired, and how much is us adding glory to an important battle in our history? More to the point of this thread, is it feasible that the kind of artillery/infantry coordination Creeping Barrage represented be trained for in the post Boer War period?
Creeping Barrages are used by the French in 16 and I think 1915. Horne, the Army Commander at Vimy Ridge uses a creeper at the Somme - and the Corps Commander is Byng, both Brits, Currie who is very capable ( but don't let him near the mess funds) is 1st Div commander, but he is tasked with doing the lessons learned both of earlier Canadian fighting and the French at Verdun for the Corps ( or Army). So while he may not have controlled the preparation and training outside 1 div he did heavily influence the need for thorough preparation and staff work. And probably set the agenda as to what the preparation would be.

That's not too different from the rest of BEF at the time it is however entirely new and revolutionary to all of them and coincides with the Canadian Corps first Corps attack. The Wiki articles on the battle of Arras 1917 give a good summary and sources for what was going on but basically a new manual was introduced in late 16 and was uniformly implemented across the Commonwealth armies in early 17, Currie I think was one of the people contributing to the implementation if not the writing.


The actual artillery planner was a Major Brooke, bright future I suspect.
 
Creeping Barrages are used by the French in 16 and I think 1915. Horne, the Army Commander at Vimy Ridge uses a creeper at the Somme - and the Corps Commander is Byng, both Brits, Currie who is very capable ( but don't let him near the mess funds) is 1st Div commander, but he is tasked with doing the lessons learned both of earlier Canadian fighting and the French at Verdun for the Corps ( or Army). So while he may not have controlled the preparation and training outside 1 div he did heavily influence the need for thorough preparation and staff work. And probably set the agenda as to what the preparation would be.

That's not too different from the rest of BEF at the time it is however entirely new and revolutionary to all of them and coincides with the Canadian Corps first Corps attack. The Wiki articles on the battle of Arras 1917 give a good summary and sources for what was going on but basically a new manual was introduced in late 16 and was uniformly implemented across the Commonwealth armies in early 17, Currie I think was one of the people contributing to the implementation if not the writing.


The actual artillery planner was a Major Brooke, bright future I suspect.
Great summary, Thanks!
So probably no chance of having it be standard pre-war without lessons of 1914-1916? Didn’t they use creeping barrage on forts in the Boer War?
 
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Great summary, Thanks!
So probably no chance of having it be standard pre-war without lessons of 1914-1916? Didn’t they use creeping barrage on forts in the Boer War?
It really needs WW1 the earliest I have heard of is the Bulgarians in 1913 so its possible but the Boer war the lesson is QF artillery firing direct. As is the Russo Japanese war. Until you have the maps, comms and a static target as well as lots of guns well supplied and a broad target there is not that much point.
 
I suggested better boots earlier. Are there any folk knowledgable on period footwear construction who can offer more detail on better boots? British troops were still stealing enemy prisoner's boots in the 1980s. Not a high bar but the Argentinian boots were much better than the British ones.
 

Ian_W

Banned
Great summary, Thanks!
So probably no chance of having it be standard pre-war without lessons of 1914-1916? Didn’t they use creeping barrage on forts in the Boer War?
Everyone did three years of hard learning in WW1.

It's part of why the Americans in WW1 were so bad - they had a 1914 army in 1917, and a 1915 army in 1918.
 
It really needs WW1 the earliest I have heard of is the Bulgarians in 1913 so its possible but the Boer war the lesson is QF artillery firing direct. As is the Russo Japanese war. Until you have the maps, comms and a static target as well as lots of guns well supplied and a broad target there is not that much point.
Comms weren't usually used in creeping barrages, they just had timetables and soldiers used their watches to adjust their advance (they had to keep up). In Bruchmüller's system used by Germany the barrage would reach a point and stay there until the soldiers fired a flare which would cause it to advance further, but this (like radios) gives the soldiers' position away, so the timed system was better.
 
2nd Lt John Kipling. Rejected as unfit for service due to atrocious eyesight multiple times but his father pulled a few strings. Last seen in no mans land with his face blown off. In my timeline Oh God Hood's gone I had him end up as an officer in a rocket battery.
Hence the nickname "Kipling's Organ" (fnar, fnar) for the early modern rocket launcher
 
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If as seems likely the horse is going to play a significant role for both transport and cavalry.
The Boer war highlighted the shortcomings of the Army remount service.
How feas / cost effective would An army stud have been?
a series of Army run farms producing horses of the type and quality needed for the army.
unneeded horses could be sold, the system wouldn't cope with WW1 but might help the peacetime army reduce costs and in any case ensure a consistent quality..
long term the smart money is in development of the mechanical horse but in 1903 is this so clear?
A good source of quality horse flesh is going to be key and so why risk being gouged by the market and getting second rate steeds?

As an idea does it have any merit, or would it's suggestion consign me to extended stable duty shovelling the horse manure that has more value than this idea?

thanks Dave
 
If as seems likely the horse is going to play a significant role for both transport and cavalry.
The Boer war highlighted the shortcomings of the Army remount service.
How feas / cost effective would An army stud have been?
a series of Army run farms producing horses of the type and quality needed for the army.
unneeded horses could be sold, the system wouldn't cope with WW1 but might help the peacetime army reduce costs and in any case ensure a consistent quality..
long term the smart money is in development of the mechanical horse but in 1903 is this so clear?
A good source of quality horse flesh is going to be key and so why risk being gouged by the market and getting second rate steeds?

As an idea does it have any merit, or would it's suggestion consign me to extended stable duty shovelling the horse manure that has more value than this idea?

thanks Dave
It would be possible, I think, but It takes time to build up a large scale breeding program. It might be possible to get a subsidy for already established breeders to breed animals to army specifications. AIUI, by the end of WW1 they had decided that american quaterhorses and mustangs were the most suitable animals for mounts, as they were hardier and lower maintenance. Setting up a program in Canada and buying studs to crossbreed in Britain could be feasible. Not sure of what kind of volumes you would end up with though. They would still likely need to requisition carriage and draft animals in the event of a large scale war.
 
The Germans had a subsidised stud system in place before the war.

The big question is if British army wants to have a stud service that's efficient it will probably crowd out civilian horse breeders. Yes the horses may be a little more appropriate for army use but the total capacity will be similar.

It's my understanding that the reason behind the level of strain on the horses was due to railway failures.

I wonder if stockpiles of light rail for the army engineeers would be a more efficient way to do stuff.
 
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