Albatros fighters by Ray Rimell

By Ray Rimell

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In the spring of 1916, this change was institutionalized by an order that transformed all 'brigades, Royal Garrison Artillery' then serving with the Expeditionary Force into 'heavy artillery groups'. Field artillery brigades A field artillery brigade of late 1915 or early 1916 could have had eight, 12, 16 or 18 field pieces assigned to it. These field pieces could have been organized into two, three or four batteries. The eight-piece, two-battery field artillery brigades might have been equipped with either Sin.

7in. guns as a sort of consolation prize. ) By the middle of 1915, a combined total of 30 siege and heavy brigades were serving with British Empire forces in France and Flanders. The small number of siege and heavy brigades that served with the Expeditionary Force in the autumn of 1914 was, for the most part, employed as 'GHQ Artillery'. That is, they were permanently assigned to the General Headquarters of the Expeditionary Force itself and lent to various army corps and divisions for specific operations.

The many weapons employed by the units of the Heavy Artillery Reserve - the smallest of which was the 6in. gun were either pulled by mechanical tractors or mounted on railway carriages. At the end of May 1915, a modification of this arrangement maintained the distinction between the Heavy Artillery Reserve and Army Artillery. The Army Artillery, however, was redefined as a collection of horse-drawn siege and heavy brigades that would 'normally be allotted to corps'. At the same time, two new groups were added to the Heavy Artillery Reserve.

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