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Appendix

Structure of the First AIF in 1916

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2015

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Summary

Not everyone who reads this book would be familiar with the structure of the First AIF in 1916, when the Battle of Pozières commenced. These notes are intended to provide a basic understanding of that military structure.

The main component of any army is the infantryman, the soldier who, with rifle and bayonet, or, in some cases, with a machine gun or grenade, has the task of seeking out and killing the enemy. Without the infantryman wars cannot be fought. But to carry out his role the infantryman needs support from other arms: artillery, engineers, armoured units (although these were not engaged during the Australian attacks at Pozières), field ambulance and the ordinance units that ensured food, ammunition and supplies reached the front. Specialised units of machine-gunners and mortar crews also provided the infantry with support in the front line while intelligence units and cartographers assessed information in order to understand what was happening on the battle front.

By the time the Battle of Pozi`eres commenced, on 23 July 1916, the AIF consisted of five infantry divisions, together with supporting units. Three of those divisions, the 1st, 2nd and 4th, took part in the fighting at Pozières. The 3rd Division under Major-General John Monash was undergoing training in Britain, and the 5th Division, commanded by Major-General James Whiteside McCay, had been devastated by the fighting at Fromelles on the night of 19/20 July and took no part in the action at Pozi`eres.

Type
Chapter
Information
Pozières
Echoes of a Distant Battle
, pp. 211 - 212
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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  • Appendix
  • Christopher Wray
  • Book: Pozières
  • Online publication: 05 January 2015
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781316145142.013
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  • Appendix
  • Christopher Wray
  • Book: Pozières
  • Online publication: 05 January 2015
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781316145142.013
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Appendix
  • Christopher Wray
  • Book: Pozières
  • Online publication: 05 January 2015
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781316145142.013
Available formats
×