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Orders of Battle Orders-of-battle, TO&E's, and related information on who fought where and what they brought to the battle.

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  #16  
Old 22 Nov 04, 15:04
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French Heavy Artillery- WW1

G'day Nemo,

Finally, do you have any info at all on French heavy arty? I've found some on the field artillery, mainly in 1914, and some on the heavies at the start of the war, but nothing dealing with French big guns as the war developed. And as heavy artillery achieved some small measure of importance during the war, I'd like to look into it some more.

'1914-1918.net' has excellent info on British units and the Royal Garrison Artillery. I was wondering if anything similar was available online for the French.

Cheers.

Felix.
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  #17  
Old 23 Nov 04, 06:05
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Hi Felix,

There are few sites that I know of that deal with French heavy artillery and its evolution during the war. Net4war has a 20-page article on French artillery during the Great War (in French) with some useful information on heavy guns and their regiments, but nothing systematic or organised.

I have access to the massive French official WW1 history (Les armées françaises dans la Grande Guerre) which holds a whole lot of statistical data on the topic, as well as the evolution of French OOBs for corps level and above throughout the war, including heavy artillery regiments attachments.

If you're interested (and have some patience ) I might put some of this in a spreadsheet or something.

Cheers
Marc
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  #18  
Old 23 Nov 04, 08:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Case
When war was declared in 1914 lots of Australians went 'home' to enlist in the British Armed forces in preference to joining the Australian forces. Many (probably the majority) of these men had been born in Britain, and prefered to fight in their country of birth's forces rather then their adopted country's forces, especially as it was unclear whether the Australian forces, which were being raised from almost nothing, would ever reach Europe in time to see action.
Thanks for the info Case.
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  #19  
Old 23 Nov 04, 08:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemo
Hi Felix,

There are few sites that I know of that deal with French heavy artillery and its evolution during the war. Net4war has a 20-page article on French artillery during the Great War (in French) with some useful information on heavy guns and their regiments, but nothing systematic or organised.

I have access to the massive French official WW1 history (Les armées françaises dans la Grande Guerre) which holds a whole lot of statistical data on the topic, as well as the evolution of French OOBs for corps level and above throughout the war, including heavy artillery regiments attachments.

If you're interested (and have some patience ) I might put some of this in a spreadsheet or something.

Cheers
Marc
I would kill to know the organisation of the RGA on 21st March 1918 and thereafter.
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  #20  
Old 23 Nov 04, 09:11
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Originally Posted by JMS
I would kill to know the organisation of the RGA on 21st March 1918 and thereafter.
I'll see what I can dig out but you'll have to swear not to kill anyone in the meantime...
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Old 23 Nov 04, 10:10
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I'll be good then.
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Old 23 Nov 04, 15:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMS
I would kill to know the organisation of the RGA on 21st March 1918 and thereafter.
G'day JMS,

If by RGA you mean Royal Garrison Artillery, a good place to start is;

http://www.1914-1918.net/cra.htm

This is a truly awesome website on the Brit Army during WW1. I don't think it will tell you the organisation on 21 Mar 18 though (I think it has it for 11 Nov 18). Theres more on;

http://www.warpath.orbat.com/artille...arty_index.htm

though this the RGA info appears to be more for the start of the war, not the end.

Hope this helps.
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  #23  
Old 23 Nov 04, 15:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemo

If you're interested (and have some patience ) I might put some of this in a spreadsheet or something.

Cheers
Marc
Thanks again Marc. I'll have a look at that document, and see if I can make heads or tails of it; my French is non-existant, but there is still some legacy in English remaining from the time when William of Normandy toured the British Isles.

Don't worry about the spreadsheet; while I would like it, I don't need it, and it's a fair bit of work just for someone to have a gander at but not use. Well, not anytime in the next couple of years.

Cheers.
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  #24  
Old 23 Nov 04, 15:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix
G'day JMS,

If by RGA you mean Royal Garrison Artillery, a good place to start is;

http://www.1914-1918.net/cra.htm

This is a truly awesome website on the Brit Army during WW1. I don't think it will tell you the organisation on 21 Mar 18 though (I think it has it for 11 Nov 18). Theres more on;

http://www.warpath.orbat.com/artille...arty_index.htm

though this the RGA info appears to be more for the start of the war, not the end.

Hope this helps.
Indeed, the Long, Long Trail is an awesome site when it comes to British troops.
RGA could also mean (and in this context probably means) Réserve Générale d'Artillerie (Artillery General Reserve), created by the French GQG on January 18th, 1918 with four divisions of heavy, rail and motorized (portée) artillery. I've found some data about it, stocked it in my USB key and left the whole thing in my office's safe...
More tomorrow!
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Old 24 Nov 04, 11:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemo
Indeed, the Long, Long Trail is an awesome site when it comes to British troops.
RGA could also mean (and in this context probably means) Réserve Générale d'Artillerie (Artillery General Reserve), created by the French GQG on January 18th, 1918 with four divisions of heavy, rail and motorized (portée) artillery. I've found some data about it, stocked it in my USB key and left the whole thing in my office's safe...
More tomorrow!

That's right, I was referring to the Réserve Générale d'Artillerie, but the site posted is a must too.
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  #26  
Old 24 Nov 04, 17:22
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Réserve Générale d'Artillerie (R.G.A.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les armées françaises dans la Grande Guerre - Tome VI, 1er volume - Annexes, 1er volume - Annexe n° 296 (pp. 583 à 586)
26 janvier 1918
Grand Quartier Général des armées du nord et du nord-est
Etat-major
3e Bureau

Annexe à l'instruction n° 30.008 du 26 janvier 1918 relative à l'organisation de l'inspection générale de l'instruction de l'artillerie et du commandement de la réserve générale d'artillerie.

Note de détail concernant l'organisation de la réserve générale d'artillerie (R.G.A.)

I - Constitution de la R.G.A.
La R.G.A. comprend 4 divisions ayant chacune à leur tête, en principe, un colonel ou exceptionnellement un officier général.

A. - 1ère Division. Ancienne artillerie lourde à grande puissance (A.L.G.P.) dont une partie se meut sur voie ferrée (A.L.V.F.). Les régiments sont numérotés de 70 à 80

B. - 2e Division. Artillerie lourde, comprenant :


  1. Les régiments de tracteurs subdivisés en :
    • - régiments longs (n° 81 à 90);
    • - régiments courts (n°281 à 290) et
    • - groupements de caterpillars porteurs et tracteurs.
  2. Des régiments hippomobiles (n° 101 à 118 inclus, 120 et 121, 130 à 138 inclus, 141 et 142).
C. - 3e Division. - Cannoniers marins servant des batteries à tracteurs et une flotille armée.

D. - 4e Division subdivisée en :


  1. Régiments d'artillerie à pied (régiments n°1, 3, 5 à 11 inclus et batteries à pied des 1er, 2e et 3e régiments d'artillerie coloniale)
  2. Régiments d'artillerie de tranchée (n°175 à 178 inclus)
Les E.-M. particuliers de la R.G.A.L. sont en outre incorporés dans les E.-M. d'artillerie d'armée et dans les E.-M. de G.A.
Quoted above is the text dealing with the organisation of the R.G.A. at the beginning of 1918. From what I gather so far, its components were attached to armies and army groups on an ad hoc basis and never got mixed with corps or divisional artilleries.
It was originally made of four divisions, each usually commanded by a colonel.


  • 1st Division regrouped the heavy and super heavy artillery regiments, including those of rail artillery.
  • 2nd Division regrouped the motorized and horse-drawn heavy artillery regiments.
  • 3rd division regrouped navy crews serving self-propelled and riverine artillery.
  • 4th Division regrouped foot and trench artillery.
  • A fifth division was added shortly after the beginning of the 'Michel' offensive in march 1918. It regrouped the motorized batteries of 75mm guns - I've found the official reference to this fifth division in the second volumes of annexes but didn't have the time to scan it yet (I'll throw it in tomorrow probably).
While the note doesn't give the composition of each regiment as far as guns and howitzers models are concerned, it does provide the number of each heavy artillery regiment composing the R.G.A., which should ease the search for precise TOEs.
Hope it helps you out JMS.
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  #27  
Old 25 Nov 04, 06:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemo
Quoted above is the text dealing with the organisation of the R.G.A. at the beginning of 1918. From what I gather so far, its components were attached to armies and army groups on an ad hoc basis and never got mixed with corps or divisional artilleries.
It was originally made of four divisions, each usually commanded by a colonel.


  • 1st Division regrouped the heavy and super heavy artillery regiments, including those of rail artillery.
  • 2nd Division regrouped the motorized and horse-drawn heavy artillery regiments.
  • 3rd division regrouped navy crews serving self-propelled and riverine artillery.
  • 4th Division regrouped foot and trench artillery.
  • A fifth division was added shortly after the beginning of the 'Michel' offensive in march 1918. It regrouped the motorized batteries of 75mm guns - I've found the official reference to this fifth division in the second volumes of annexes but didn't have the time to scan it yet (I'll throw it in tomorrow probably).
While the note doesn't give the composition of each regiment as far as guns and howitzers models are concerned, it does provide the number of each heavy artillery regiment composing the R.G.A., which should ease the search for precise TOEs.
Hope it helps you out JMS.
It does help a lot. Here's what I had


RAC: 105 Rgts
RACP: 33
GAaCh: 6
RAM: 3
RALH: 64
RALT: 20
RALGP: 3
RALVF: 5
RATr: 5
RAaP: 13
RAA: 6

I am particularly interested in the RALVF and the RALGPs as I have very little info in the more powerful guns.

Last edited by JMS; 25 Nov 04 at 06:19..
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  #28  
Old 26 Nov 04, 16:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMS
I am particularly interested in the RALVF and the RALGPs as I have very little info in the more powerful guns.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Note from the G.Q.G., december 8th, 1917 about the organisation of the artillery in La Grande Guerre. - VI, 1er vol. - Annexes, 1er vol. Annexe n°195

[...]

IV. Artillerie lourde à grande puissance

L'organisation définitive prévoit :
1° 1 régiment de 240 à tracteurs, comprenant 3 groupes de 3 batteries de 3 pièces (sauf un groupe à 2 batteries seulement). Ce régiment est entièrement constitué.
2° 1 régiment de mortiers comprenant 10 groupes de 2 batteries de 4 pièces de 270; 5 batteries de 2 pièces de mortiers de 370, réparties en deux groupes; 1 groupe de 2 batteries de 3 pièces de 293;
Ce régiment est également constitué.
3° 1 régiment comportant du matériel sur voie ferrée; susceptible de tirer dans tous les azimuts, soit :
3 groupes de 2 batteries de 4 pièces de 19-70/93; 1 groupe de 2 batteries de 4 pièces de 240-84, existants;
1 groupe de 2 batteries de 4 pièces de 24-93-96 à très grande portée, - à constituer;
1 batterie de 2 obusiers de 200, existants.
4° 5 régiments complets en cours de constitution comportant du matériel sur voie ferrée, et composés de :
a. 6 groupes : chaque groupe comprenant en principe 2 batteries à 4 pièces de 19 G ou de 24 G et 1 batterie à 4 pièces de 32, 240 ou de 27-70.
b. 2 groupes d'artillerie à très longue portée et comprenant des batteries à 2 ou 3 pièces, 19 (93/96), 24 (1902), 24 (93/96), 274, 285, 305 et 340.
c. 1 groupe de 2 batteries de 2 pièces de 340 81-84, 370, 400 ou 520.
L'armement de ces régiments a fait l'objet pour chaque matériel de commandes particulières et les étapes successives de l'organisation dépendent uniquement des dates de sortie des matériels.
Above is an excerpt of a memo from Pétain to the Minister of Armaments and War Industries, detailing the planned situation for artillery in 1918. This fourth part of the memo deals with rail and super heavy artillery (A.L.V.F. and A.L.G.P.), mentioning guns both already existing and still to be commissioned. I'm still trying to extract some data on the status of theses A.L.V.F. and A.L.G.P. units during 1918, maybe sometime next week...

If you're interested, I can send you the actual scan of the memo, i.e. 3 images around 400 Kb each.
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Old 28 Nov 04, 07:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemo
Above is an excerpt of a memo from Pétain to the Minister of Armaments and War Industries, detailing the planned situation for artillery in 1918. This fourth part of the memo deals with rail and super heavy artillery (A.L.V.F. and A.L.G.P.), mentioning guns both already existing and still to be commissioned. I'm still trying to extract some data on the status of theses A.L.V.F. and A.L.G.P. units during 1918, maybe sometime next week...

If you're interested, I can send you the actual scan of the memo, i.e. 3 images around 400 Kb each.
I´ll appreciate that. Send it to josemserrano@mailpersonal.com

Thanks
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Old 28 Nov 04, 15:21
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