BATTLEAXE Maj-Gen Gott Report on 7 Armd Div

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ClintHardware
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BATTLEAXE Maj-Gen Gott Report on 7 Armd Div

Postby ClintHardware » 02 Dec 2017 10:37

Dear All

I thought this analysis might be of interest and discussion - there are a lot of pages with totals on the very last page.

Major-General GOTT Battleaxe Report 7AD.pdf


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Re: BATTLEAXE Maj-Gen Gott Report on 7 Armd Div

Postby Dili » 03 Dec 2017 10:58

Was an interesting read, a side question, the terminology "AFV" was already employed by WW2?

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Re: BATTLEAXE Maj-Gen Gott Report on 7 Armd Div

Postby ClintHardware » 03 Dec 2017 12:57

Dili wrote:Was an interesting read, a side question, the terminology "AFV" was already employed by WW2?


Yes I am finding it in 1941 documents and usually where a distinction between armoured cars and tanks is not certain or it is intended to cover both. I think I have also seen it used where the context indicates it was used to cover lightly armoured personnel carriers such a Universal/Bren and Sd.Kfz 251s etc but can't immediately remember where I last saw that.

What interested me most was the impression made on Gott by what they thought was achieved in the operation and what he thought of German actions and his perception of an apparent lack of flexibility.
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Re: BATTLEAXE Maj-Gen Gott Report on 7 Armd Div

Postby Dili » 04 Dec 2017 18:47

Thanks. I was expecting much later by 60's or so.

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Re: BATTLEAXE Maj-Gen Gott Report on 7 Armd Div

Postby Sheldrake » 04 Dec 2017 20:25

Dili wrote:Was an interesting read, a side question, the terminology "AFV" was already employed by WW2?


The term armoured fighting vehicles predates WW2. Its in Field Service Regulations 1935. Chapter 1 section 2 "Armoured Troops" starts "The armoured fighting vehicles in service are tanks and armoured cars...."

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Re: BATTLEAXE Maj-Gen Gott Report on 7 Armd Div

Postby ClintHardware » 04 Dec 2017 20:37

Sheldrake wrote:
The term armoured fighting vehicles predates WW2. Its in Field Service Regulations 1935. Chapter 1 section 2 "Armoured Troops" starts "The armoured fighting vehicles in service are tanks and armoured cars...."


That's good to know. Does it show the names of the officers who wrote/compiled the FSR 1935?
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Re: BATTLEAXE Maj-Gen Gott Report on 7 Armd Div

Postby Sheldrake » 04 Dec 2017 23:21

ClintHardware wrote:
Sheldrake wrote:
The term armoured fighting vehicles predates WW2. Its in Field Service Regulations 1935. Chapter 1 section 2 "Armoured Troops" starts "The armoured fighting vehicles in service are tanks and armoured cars...."


That's good to know. Does it show the names of the officers who wrote/compiled the FSR 1935?


No they are faceless staff officers. ;) It was published under the signature of sir H. J. Creedy, K.C.B., K.C.V.O., Permanent Under Secretary of State for War, in 1935. So the Army council signed up to it. The copy I downloaded here is annotated "by AP Wavell" https://archive.org/details/FieldServic ... ionsV21935

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Re: BATTLEAXE Maj-Gen Gott Report on 7 Armd Div

Postby ClintHardware » 06 Dec 2017 10:33

Sheldrake wrote:No they are faceless staff officers. ;) It was published under the signature of sir H. J. Creedy, K.C.B., K.C.V.O., Permanent Under Secretary of State for War, in 1935. So the Army council signed up to it. The copy I downloaded here is annotated "by AP Wavell" https://archive.org/details/FieldServic ... ionsV21935


In Liddell-Hart's Memoirs he mentions (IIRC) assisting with a version of the FSR and at that time he was often meeting with Wavell and Hore-Belisha - but I may have got the years wrong. I wonder if this was LH's copy annotated by Wavell.

In Ironside's Diaries he makes no mention of LH he may have thought of him as a nuisance being an influence beyond control - that is only a guess on my part.

And thanks for the link !
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Re: BATTLEAXE Maj-Gen Gott Report on 7 Armd Div

Postby MarkN » 06 Dec 2017 15:39

ClintHardware wrote:
Sheldrake wrote: No they are faceless staff officers. ;) It was published under the signature of sir H. J. Creedy, K.C.B., K.C.V.O., Permanent Under Secretary of State for War, in 1935. So the Army council signed up to it. The copy I downloaded here is annotated "by AP Wavell" https://archive.org/details/FieldServic ... ionsV21935


In Liddell-Hart's Memoirs he mentions (IIRC) assisting with a version of the FSR and at that time he was often meeting with Wavell and Hore-Belisha - but I may have got the years wrong. I wonder if this was LH's copy annotated by Wavell.

Oh dear!!!!

FSR Vol II, 1935 does not come printed with the words "annotated by AP Wavell"; the copy digitalised and available online at the link provided by Sheldrake has a handwritten note "by AP Wavell".

In otherwords, it was NOT Liddel-Hart's copy annotated by Wavell; the 'principle' author of the first draft was Wavell.

Here is an extract from David French's excellent article, Doctrine and Organization in the British Army 1919-1932, which appeared in The Historical Journal, 2001. It explains how doctrinal documents (eg FSRs) were written and approved before going to print. There is no reason to assume anything changed between 1932 and 1935. You will see Liddell-Hart gets a mention.

Nor was the preparation of doctrinal manuals left in the hands of inexperienced junior officers. Manuals had multiple authors. The ultimate responsibility for preparing them lay with the DSD at the war office. Each of the DSDs who supervised the preparation of the three editions of FSR that appeared between 1920 and 1929, Maj.-Gens. Sir A. Lynden-Bell, C. F. Romer, and C. Bonham-Carter, were staff college graduates and had extensive experience of operations on the Western front. Romer, for example, had commanded a division and Bonham-Carter had served as a brigadier on the general staff at GHQ. They allocated the day-to-day management of the project to one of their senior subordinates, who in turn either commissioned an officer from outside the war office to prepare the first draft, delegated the task to the relevant arm-of-service school, or perhaps did the job himself. The initial draft of the first post-war edition of Infantry training was, for example, prepared by brigadier Winston Dugan, who had formerly been the assistant inspector-general of training in France. Liddell Hart acted as his assistant. Lt.-Col. Lord Gort prepared the first draft of the revised edition that appeared in 1926, and Lt.-Col. B. L. Montgomery followed suit in 1931. Brig.-Gen. Aspinall, another of Hamilton's former chiefs of staff, prepared the initial draft of the first post-war edition of FSR, which appeared in 1920, and nine years later Maj.-Gen. C. P. Deedes, then commanding a territorial army infantry division, prepared the first draft of the 1929 edition.

The first draft of each manual was circulated widely. Each relevant branch of the war office, the general officers commanding-in- chief (GOC-in-Cs) of all of the home commands, the commandant and staff of the staff college and, if it was an arm-of-service manual, the relevant army school, were invited to comment and suggest amendments. In 1921, for example, a special committee under Maj.-Gen. G. P. Dawnay, who had served on Hamilton's staff at Gallipoli, decided that a chapter on combined operations prepared by Sir Hastings Anderson, the commandant of the staff college, should not be inserted into FSR but should be sent to the admiralty for inclusion in a new manual on combined operations. Gort's edition of Infantry training was vetted by the director of military training at the war office, the senior officers school, the staff college and all of the home commands, and he was made to change at least one section at the insistence of the CIGS and the DSD. Only after all such comments and suggestions had been considered, incorporated, or rejected was a manual published. The end product often bore little relationship to the first draft for 'by the time the draft had passed through the barrage of multifarious hands, or rather blue pencils, at the War Office, the Staff College, and the Commands, the author is fortunate if he can recognise his own handiwork'.

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Re: BATTLEAXE Maj-Gen Gott Report on 7 Armd Div

Postby ClintHardware » 06 Dec 2017 21:57

MarkN wrote:Oh dear!!!!


No worries.
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