World War 1914 - 1918 A Pictured History Part 26

iM M w m iniw iim iiniiw im iiH tM iim im iM iiiH iw iiiH iiw im m m iH iH iim iiH iiw iiviiniii miniiaiiiniiwiiwiiniiwiiwiiwiiniiwiiwiiaiiwiiiwiwiiiwiiaiimiiwi The Editor Chats With His Readers John Carpenter House, London, .CE .4. iiwiiBiiniiwnniiniiBi iiiinnw iii iiiiwiianiwiaiiMii iiiwiinimiii IIIIW IIKIII imniiniii liiiunaiini: my readers know, World War has blazed a trail in the matter of Part publications, and this has had more than one repercussion. One of these concerns the binding. The method of carrying many of the illustrations out into the margins renders it necessary to stain in colour all the trimmed edges of the bound volume in order to secure a really pleasing effect. The expensive process of gilding the tops proves impracticable, while to leave the tops and edges untouched would not be satisfactory. The publishers have therefore decided to offer only one kind of binding to subscribers to World War ,this being the less costly of the two originally advertised. Particularly suitable for a volume such as the 28 Parts of World War will form, this will stand wear and tear unusually welland, moreover, will make a pleasing addition to the bookshelf. The binding case is in rich red rexine cloth, with gold lettering on the back. I N glancing over a caption 514, which describes some French soldiers being decorated for gallantry when they were actually in the trenches, I noticed a reference to the German Ordre pour le Merite, the nearest equivalent to our own Victoria Cross and to the French Medaille Militairc. 1 asked myself the question, which doubtless many of my readers will also ask :why this German order bore a French name. I consulted a number of reference books, including the famous German Encyclopedia published by Meyer, but could not find exactly the information that I wanted however, I came across some interesting facts about this particular order. the Ordre de Gcnerosite it was founded in 1667 by Frederick, the electoral prince of Brandenburg, who afterwards became, as Frederick I, the first king of Prussia. In 1740 Frederick the Great, who ascended the throne in that same year, gave it the name which it has since borne, and in 1810 it was made a decoration for service against the enemy in the field only. Before this time it had been given to soldiers and civilians, foreigners and nationals alike, and Voltaire had been one of those to receive it. In 1840 a second division of the order was established, and this was given to men distinguished in science and art. With its two divisions the order continued to exist until 1918, when, presumably because of its connexion with the king of Prussia, it fell into disuse. This explanation, however, does not answer my query. I can only surmise that the order was given a French name because at that time (1667) the influence of France, then ruled by Louis XIV ,was dominant in Europe, especially in court circles. ^POINT that sometimes arises in writing and reading chapters describing military operations in the field is the difference between a battalion and a regiment. In the British army, at least as far as the infantry arc concerned, the unit for adminis­tration is the regiment, but the unit for active service is the battalion, roughly speaking about 1,000 strong. With the cavalry the regiment is both the administrative unit and the unit of service, and thus in descriptions of fighting it is correct to speak of a cavalry regiment, but not of an infantry regiment. eACH infantry regiment is divided into a number of battalions, a scheme that was part of the important reforms intro­duced by Lord Cardwell when he was Secretary of State for War under Gladstone between 1868 and 1874, and com­pleted in 1881. He fathered the idea of linked battalions, two battalions of regulars being linked together to form a regiment, with the intent that while one of them was abroad, the other should stay at home and act as a reserve. Thus we have the Black Watch, which consists of the old 42nd and 73rd of the line, and the Oxfordshire Light Infantry, the old 43rd and 52nd, these being the numbers which distinguished these regiments when they were separate units. The Royal Scots (1st), theN orthum berland Fusiliers (5th),and other of the older regiments, having already two battalions, did not unite with another regiment and so have only a single number in the army list today. In one or two cases, notably the Royal Fusiliers and the Worcestershire Regiment, there were four battalions of regulars but this in noway affects the principle. %"^\hen, in 1907, Lord Haldane, then Mr. R.B. Haldane, carried through his great scheme of military re-organization, he attached to each regiment one or more special reserve, or militia, and territorial battalions, these being numbered after the regular ones, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and soon. When the Great War broke out, and the size of the army was enormously increased, the same principle was applied to the battalions raised by Lord Kitchener and known asK itchener’s Army. These service battalions, as they were called, were attached to the various regiments and given numbers follow­ing those given to the territorials. In some cases a regiment, theN orthum berland Fusiliers, for instance, had as many as fifty battalions in existence, the first four being regulars, then several special reserve and territorial battalions, with forty or more service battalions to conclude the tale. FURTHER innovation was necessary when fresh Territorial 1*1 battalions were raised. These were not given a separate number, but, attached to one of the existing units, were known as the 1st or 2nd of that unit. This accounts for the 1 /5th Hampshires and the 2/9th M anchesters, and means that to the 5th Ham pshires and the 9th M anchesters one or more extra battalions were added. In the British army, therefore, the infantry regiment is never a unit on the battlefield. It is an administrative unit with a varying number of battalions, each fed from the same central depot and each sharing in the honours that are blazoned on the regimental colours. I theN French and German armies a different system prevails, or did prevail. A regiment of French or German soldiers is sent on active service and as a unit its various battalions serve together. Thus it would be quite correct to say of a French attack that the regiment advanced with the fourth battalion leading but such a statement would be incorrect if it were made about a British movement. We should then have to say something as follows :The fourth brigade advanced with naming a particular battalion—leading the way. mu Part 2 7 o f WORLD WAR on Sale Everywhere, Thursday, May 9 th
Add Names


We have sought to ensure that the content of this website complies with UK copyright law. Please note however, that we may have been unable to ascertain the rights holders of some items. Where we have digitised items, we have done so with items that to the best of our knowledge, following due investigations, are in the public domain. While the original works are in the public domain we reserve all rights to the usage of the digital works.

The document titled World War 1914 - 1918 A Pictured History Part 26 is beneath this layer.

To view this document now, please sign up as a full access member.

Free Account Registration

Please enter your first name
Please enter your surname
Please enter a valid email address
Please enter your password
By creating an account you agree to us emailing you with newsletters and discounts, which you can switch off in your account at any time

Already a member? Log in now
Small Medium Large Landscape Portrait