Scheme and Detail of Attack

Extract from Operation Order No. 1 by Brigadier General Hughes VD 5 August 1915 (AWM4 10/3/7)

  1. This will be carried out by the troops in occupation of RUSSELLS TOP, and in four separate and successive lines, each comprised of (approx) 150 bayonets. Preparatory to the attack of which one hours [sic] notice may be given, troops will be disposed as per attached diagram (X) 1st and second lines in position (CBA) 3rd & 4th in rear to file in immediately room permits.

  2. First line will consist of troops already in fire trenches and saps. On a given signal, silently and without rifle fire, it will rush the NEK (A.1) and with bayonet and bomb engage the enemy, taking possession of the flank, communicating and advanced trenches (A9, A5, A8, A11) paying special attention to the Machine Guns, which must be sought for and rushed and to the trenches overlooking the cliff NORTH of the NEK and to those on the SOUTHERN FLANK of same so as to prevent flank interposition by the enemy - mine fuses and phone wires to be sought for and cut.

  3. Second line (already on banquet) will immediately follow, jumping advanced trenches (already engaged by first line) it will sweep on and attack supporting and subsidiary trenches (A12, C2, C4): its action will be forward ignoring trenches behind but accounting for those to right and left (C 6A, B1, B2, B3) Bayonet and bomb without fire.

    NOTE – As soon as first line has moved from trenches second line will take the position vacated in order to make room for third line. In passing over intervening space Officers [sic] will take post in ranks so as not to make themselves a conspicuous target.

  4. Having moved up communicating trenches, 3rd line will in like manner be prepared and follow on at once. It’s objective will be the next line of trenches (C2, C3, C5, C7, C8) and if possible ZY, C10, C11, to C12-13; with bomb and bayonet only, the enemy will be driven back and out without turning back and avenues blocked.

    Once in the trenches, the enemy will not be able to make effective use of his machine guns. When the extreme limit of advance has been reached the gain must be made good and safe against machine gun fire and against counter attack.

    Here the 4th line plays its part.

  5. 4th line will, in like manner follow and act in concert with 2 & 3. It must endeavour to join up with the latter. Every second man will carry digging tools, in the proportion of 1 pick to 2 shovels. It is impossible to define precisely what this line might be called upon to do. This must of necessity depend upon the progress of its predecessors. It may have to down tools and assist. But it must every effort to join up with 3rd line and block the approaches. This is its role.

  6. Waiting in BROADWAY and TODD Road the Reserve Regt [sic] will occupy our FIRE TRENCHES and Saps and with our Machine Guns assist the assault, giving special attention to SNIPER’S RIDGE and where opportunity presents itself.