Raiding on the Western Front

Overview

The trench raid came to typify the aggression and close-combat of trench warfare on the Western Front. Inevitably, raiding by aggressively minded units had a psychological effect on the enemy. Dominance over the enemy could be established by aggressive raiding. Equally, raiding had an effect on the morale of friendly troops but not always a positive one. Successful raids buoyed spirits but unsuccessful raids could be detrimental because of the casualties sustained for no gain and raiding provoked retaliation from...
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Raiding on the Western Front

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Overview

The trench raid came to typify the aggression and close-combat of trench warfare on the Western Front. Inevitably, raiding by aggressively minded units had a psychological effect on the enemy. Dominance over the enemy could be established by aggressive raiding. Equally, raiding had an effect on the morale of friendly troops but not always a positive one. Successful raids buoyed spirits but unsuccessful raids could be detrimental because of the casualties sustained for no gain and raiding provoked retaliation from enemy artillery or mortars or a tit-for-tat return raid.

Raids came to be the epitome of all-arms operations, combining individual weapons skills with tactical sense and requiring cooperation with artillery and mortar batteries for success. Yet, a raiding party was an ad hoc all-arms combat team put together and trained for a specific operation. In the early days of raiding, the raiders were always volunteers but the steady toll of experienced soldiers led to raiders being told off for the first task like any other.

This is the first book to look at how raids were carried out, the successes, the failures, the consequences of raiding, and their effect on morale and their contribution to military operations on the Western Front.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848844858
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
  • Publication date: 8/19/2012
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction viii

Chapter 1 Genesis and Evolution of Raiding 1

Chapter 2 1915, the Rise of Raiding 16

Chapter 3 1916 up to the Somme 30

Chapter 4 Two Raids 45

Chapter 5 The Australians: June and July 1916 56

Chapter 6 Wearing Down and Deception 68

Chapter 7 The Kensingtons - A Farce in Diverse Acts 80

Chapter 8 Operation Wilhelm - A German Raid, July 1916 89

Chapter 9 July-October 1916 101

Chapter 10 Bomb, Bayonet and Pistol 117

Chapter 11 Weather, Moonlight and the Hindenburgh Line 129

Chapter 12 Canada and South Africa 142

Chapter 13 How not to Raid - Celtic Wood 154

Chapter 14 1917 161

Chapter 15 1918 before the German Spring Offensives 174

Chapter 16 End Game 186

Notes 195

Bibliography 198

Index 201

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