The Ypres Salient - CWGC

As part of the many necessary preparations for the coming battle the infantry were drilled in the requirements of dealing with undestroyed German machine-gun posts and close co-operation and co-ordination A British machine gun crew ready for action during the Battle of the Menin Road Ridgewith the artillery schedule. Once again large-scale models were created to familiarise assault troops with the specific topography of their attack sectors.

But it was the newly acquired expertise of the infantry in small-unit tactics that was to prove a key factor in the fighting: 'The assault would be led by lines of skirmishers, with the following infantry deployed in small groups to outflank pillboxes and strongpoints. Each group was trained as a self-contained unit, having its own rifle grenade teams, Mills bombers and Lewis gunners. Mopping-up parties, likewise in small groups, brought up the rear. Fresh infantry reserves were to be close at hand to deal with the anticipated German counter-attack which would also be hammered by well-placed artillery and machine-gun barrages.' (‘Chronicles of the Great War. The Western Front 1914-1918’, Peter Simkins, Bramley Books, 1997, p.166-167).


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