Artillery Forward Observers in Trees in 1939-1940

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Hoplophile
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Artillery Forward Observers in Trees in 1939-1940

Post by Hoplophile » 15 Jun 2022 13:58

I have been reading, with great pleasure, the memoirs of Jacques Riboud, Souvenirs d'une Bataille Perdue (Memories of a Lost Battle), who served in the 237th Field Artillery Regiment (237 RALH) as a forward observer between September 1939 and June 1940.

The seventh chapter of this splendid book begins with the following passage:

“An artillery forward observer is not satisfied with a single observation post. He needs others, of types that can be built quickly. He only occupies them occasionally. The locations of these secondary observation posts are selected in ways that offer a broader view of the sector and also, if necessary, a position to which one can withdraw. There is no better observation post than a tree: the taller, the better.”

Try as I might, I have yet to come across a photograph of an arboreal observatory of the type described. Has anyone here enjoyed better luck?

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Sheldrake
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Re: Artillery Forward Observers in Trees in 1939-1940

Post by Sheldrake » 15 Jun 2022 18:09

OPs in trees were quite common on the Western Front in the First World War:-

Image

This is one of many used in the opening bombardment Battle of the Somme
OP Hebuterne.jpg
Fake trees containing Observation Posts

Image

I suspect this subject illustrates the pace at which the French expected to wage war.
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Last edited by Sheldrake on 15 Jun 2022 22:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Hoplophile
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Re: Artillery Forward Observers in Trees in 1939-1940

Post by Hoplophile » 15 Jun 2022 19:20

Thank you, Sheldrake. These are splendid.

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