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Oeatonal Research In
Work of No. 2 Operational Research Section with
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IS- SUPPLEMENTARY MOTES4
IS. KEY WORDS (Centimue on roetse
id.. It necesary &W identity by block timber)
Operational effective~ness; operational research, research management, warfaral,
-Tework of ;;o. 2 Operational 16.search Section, 21st Arn7 Group, Great Britain,
during the latter stages of Vw*II 50. the pattern for all. subseqment historical
r"search involving the study (7t military strategy and its *ft'ectivoss in war.
The section served. with the 21st -Arm Group from !)-Day, 1944 to the Gertan sur-render the followig year. The report it arrangod by subjects and is drawn
-from records, interro .ations, and battlefield research. Miaps illustrate the
military Attchl Report is appended asa n aer LNle)
SECU~StITY CLASSIFICATIOM OF Y~EPAGE (10"
THIS DOCUMENT IS BEST QUALITY
PRACTICABLE. THE COPY FURNISHED
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AT 9 WPAR IA RSEARC
DLCLASSIFIED ArmLI juvjA
KJITVLL: , OKLAiAI,
. . .
. . . ..
. .. . " - .ll . . . J . .I
- ,* "
OPERATIONAL MESEARCH IH P.W. EUROPE
?lareword by the Scientific Adviser to the LM Council
Documents and Reods used by No. 2 0.B.S.
Votes on the Eximination of a Battlefield.
Intcrrdgation of lalitary and Civilian Personnel.
0perational Research Section.
List if Ropw.t ofand
Heavy Bombing of Enoem Foward Positions.
Hcavy Bombing behin the Lines for Interdiction.
lighter and Fighter-bombor ataoks on Tanks and :1.T.
Fighter and Fightcr-bober att-Aks on Forward Troops.
Llisoollous ir Matters.
.ccuracy of Predicted Piro
Lrtillery in the '.ssault n VA 5wachc4.
Organisation and. Tactics.
Lt.' Col.. P. Johnson R.A.
major J.P. Painls
(left in Sept.-i9.Ji)
Major DH.aonraaoy R. SU . (left i'Sept. 1944)
Maio J.G. tualoe L.A.
Major D.P.B. Pike Gan. List.
CaUpt. D.N. Royce nt. Corps.
Capt. C.H. OakleyD..R.
Atached (from X.R.C.)
Capt. H.B. -right R.A.M.C.
Capt. R.D. Harkness RA.M.C.
SOCIPIC ADVISE TO DM AMMa
No 2 Operational Rlesearch Section took part in the oaqvai~n with
21 srmiy Group from D day tothe German surrender. Wlhen the7v returned to
this Country on 20 July 194g5, 1 directed them to collect and arrange in a
yerimanent fain, the records of their work.
This involved mainly collating
Sseries of written reports, but it was &A3~o a matter of great interest to
:~and zV department to consider to what exxcent ral progress had been a
in this entirely now scientific subject, that of attempting to aLpply our"MQ~ hods to the study of now aspects of warfare.
I thcrafore asked for a history of the work or the section, and
for anty ideas on the methodology of the rcsosrch.
This was writt-nin t~e
first instance, entirely for internal use in my dcparbnmnt, but on reading
it I fclt that it provided a background for the riort3, gave a cohorboe t6
the work is a. ,ihAwe that vim vory valuzable, and mer.tod a widor circulation.I hav4 therefore decided to add -this account as an introductiofl
TO the reports.
I have not ,edited it in any way, and it remains as it was
written - a record of the vigs and reactions of a group of young soldierscientists, intended for the eyes of other scientists.
In giving it a widur circulation I rmast emphasise that in no sense
is it an official document, and this is tndood obvious from its informal
style, but I hope it will help to convey the atmsphere, in which. the work,
describcd in the reports, was carried out.
I feel that this account of the work of No. 2 Operational Research
S~.ction in North West Europe goes so=e considerable way to answering the
-laostions 'What is Operational Research?*.
W~hat does it do? How does
it do it?m 1koh of what is recorded here is pioneer work, in the sense*
that nothing quite like it had previously been attempted. I believe that
nobody, reading these reports, can tai4. to agree that they represent a great
stride forward in the objective study!of war, and the factual recording of
what takes place in battle.
contribute to the development of military equipment, aid it was no
sur'prise that research found such wide applications to the tedudn~ely
&Vficult but fwdamentaly amnble problems of Radar, hti-aircrsft
cr 1-tapntation, to name only a few. These problems offered gpeat
possibilities to the wonl-established mothods of the physical sciences.
By contrast, the ocupxities of military tr-cts proved for a long
time intractable, since even the smllt battle is a bewildering
could be a emdhope
In spite of
each of the six Operation :Zosearch Sections sot up at.one
time or v ther vith the riold 'xmica achieved a considerable wa
i future is concerte it is not so muchtb
they achieved, however valuabl,
the methods they us", that.
the upeopical dotails as
of battle may b alterei
apint by the introea tion
a n w weapon, whslo the e ohini
scarcely chenge fromro ontu'r, to the next.
al neosrh Section, that with tho.,rT Group in nth-"iat irope,
in a s
iforty-o d reert
cottondby the Sction between Juno
and Juno 194t, bwod
in s uot.
oherene they do not oftemsel
we hawcutef aed
a short history oftho Seotaon,
tiestio as wetl a
endve es on the iourest @
drew in our w by a
eoro i rds, interrocation
, as the
boome sa in time
but wheth r out of date or not, there
can bo disrno in them the moans
usnd w the outl
boor in o
ohnsone rlans on
from tho dte og its
tracd olsowhoro. Though
Fot ssy on Signals,
it was menly a
aoquastirm s helto o me,
fol had t b oquired,
oheo os" es o
hai toom dri.
i , hon t
rcst o thi setion a
bty with ast
nl toe a
theonp in r
, Lt.-Col. Joh te,
wns ocrn tho Notbm
sa in tcast
rada at ior to the
ha spent tt'ook
of the mutplcity of apparat
that had boon sque.esothe norrow 2into
batmn or drirsi
diggin their ovn.alit-tronobes wnd eating
rration Waks, durn which timne they examnedL in detail an the1+
in the British o tor.
the atfenoes were
aps hd not been ifted,
elaborate. Some inration
on the acuaoy o
emnrte from tho investigton, and the effect
&:feret int p-t
dostrution of tho
The Special Observer Party vis the outoome of earlier stuies ot
the attack on fortifications, suh as Pantellaria; but li
invatigations, the work was conoerned only with physica eff. ..
*athousi the far girater importanos of morale effects had Ung betwe
been realised in theory, this aspct was not within the terms of
of the SM, nor did we ourselves soriously attempt suoh iwk until warly
two months later. To assess the morale effect of a bombar6int was, O e
all, to attempt an utterly amw analysis;
sU40sted aoing it,
though there wore esay who hAl
there was no one who hod eve tried.
The arrival at the advsnce Party.
The section began to take shape n D + 17, a week later than was
originally intended, mhen the advance party laded in Hierimy.
consited oaj Swam aid Wor Sargeaunt, with a 15-ewt truck, a jeep,
na t o drivrs.awrossing as ah unusual one; for the%
T, that was c
g us and a nuber a other small units, Tost itI
oonvoy, wondered far off its coorse, vas saved from g.ing right into the
.tlantic by takig, a line on a passing Vi, and finally maae landf3al s2
the'oxtrem 'estern edge of the Zmerican sector.
Together with the
tcap*w Techniaa Staff .Avanoe Party, we- drove to Main HQ 2nd Zro
Creully, when we wre to live until the arrival of HQ 21 43W Group.
The first night was spent, as far as :we were conoerned, in a furiouis
thunderstorm and with no awe shelter than a looking- tarpoulin. Tents
The next day Io fetwl Lt.-Col. Johnson, who had to leave
for ZngLcnd 58aiately to attnd conforoncos, ana Majer Pairlio, who
continued to v t with.tho Special Observr Pcrt until he also returned
to nland to write his reports (N1bers i an
The arrival of the neotion in Normaa.Ay by snoil inatalsents, vas
not Of our choosing. But as a part of LM Group leadquarters, we woull
not normally have crossed until nmarly two months of ter D day, so that
we were l
of the varous, other opportunities that were offerd to us
Of gatting over-eazaier. 41though, if the section had com over as a
Ythele in the first few days, we should have got goi.ng oorrespondigly
earlier, the loss was not so serious as might aeon. Each arrival passid.
on his expri." to the next, so that we wasted little time on the
olemnts of finding cur way around.
now, and for the next six .aaks, with the
Staf, feeding in their mass and enoying all the advantages
larger organisation. But it our do ostic arrangments were settled, cur
plans for the future were far from clor. Our* small oncIqmnt wi
underneath an avenue of firs,'which lad down to the Chateau on thp edg
Crouly, 'round which the Main Headquarters of Sooon& Azr was scattered,
The obvious start. thorefore seemed to be in the Heqdquartrs itself, but
a little investigation, though it met vith every courtesy, gave us no
more idea of what we might do n where we night start. The next sowthon-was to the forward aregs, to gain if possible m idea of hat
fighting noko4 like and to find out for ourolvals v
way of doing Wigs oculd fit in.
First visits arn first ideas.
Tefirst visit to the battle-front-ws Ma-jor sarieaUntre, to an
. ,murod rlgirnt on a fairly quiet socted" near Tilly-sur-Seulles;
ended in a reconnadisnc in an Lrmourod Car wed a narrowly evad
afbush. The second visit was Mjor Swann's, to n infantry battalion
which hoA just captured the villap of C1wux; tliiq visit too was an
one, in which a owll German ooitor-at
e in inspiration, but both gave a first glimpse,
oven though it vs only a shadowyne; of hat is a battle. These two
were only the first of many visits to fowd troops, in ft ema'se of
a ass of nw experiences. In those days the
odawas so small and second .j.zuyHSadquutnz so nowr the fot
that so could easily drive dMn to the battie area in half-an-mu- ,
to batih in the
aPene a day Utmre, and ome back in the evndni,
wnandering river Seulls, search for Calvados liqusur in Crommly Sid
discuss at length tm peat pblm
By depoes our ideas crysta14sed, and a rmber at Wojot stood
ou. as being vorth som conoentrated effort. Of tho mazw that w
tinimd over, the chief Pors; the location at anmy mortars, ubh
were caosing appailing casualties and preving almost impossible to
deal vith; the distribution.of hits and penetration in om* own sad
the enom s tan* casualties, ard the influenoo of this on tAo6ios
te prfma ioe and the bost method of use at the PIA; the Pvaoob
of dust cm th roads, and particularly on airstrips (the dust in
.c=ndy was extraordinary, and was veering out certain typos at
or'iwa at an alarming rate); end lastly im prblem at mud, diidi In
the rainy splls was causing seat dLfficulties in the lttle larns
ArA tracks that had to bo used as supply routes. The blessing at
Second rWy on those grandiose schems was obtained, but in the oAd
only the first two preojots were ever competedL. Dust was tahan &ma'
by the r Fmrs; mud, oafer looking hopeful, foll thmqugh became
bocame apparent that the ways of tho
rWy were too rough and ready
orA liable to chnn~ in those bootie early days, Ibkl vwat any
intfricate planniz,; oftAae roads should go; ant the perfoane Ceti
th-e PZ:., which .hough it "~ often firmd, soldom actually hit an canny
tenk, turnd into a series. o planndo. twrals which ware run by the
reapons; TaiuguOl Staff~.
Two jroJects hawevir remainedC".Uaty suweys.
the Mortar location and the Tank
is sigificant that neither
prorblem; nor on the' other hand weret y analyses of the whbl or a
large prt at a battle. They Twe indeed idway between the technical
ar. the operational; it was possible to isolate them, although the
ocMditibus of the battle were al-important. Both srewys noessitated
-chcollection ot inforation, and they were not finally publishD.
ntil the begiming at 4ugust.
The mortar looation report (lmW
served as a factual basis for the planning. of a Couna
Organisation wthin 21 Am G Ip,whilo the Tank Casualty epot
close coutry. The two reports, thmog h tbey wore not finsh.t Ata
after some of our me ambitious efforts had been started., reesent a
significant phase In fbo Soction's development.
of much ao
aauhlo, al mt by ch me, the pattern was au fCc many
the ibsquent investigations of the section. On the night at
7th, 3Obor Command Attacked tho northern outsk[Irts at Omen, Of
tto pelude: to tho first of atseries of peat battles ifi
bcming was used in olodo suppeet of the Lrny, in an attempt to apeed
u the io and bitter fighting to expa
Atre=of&At ug black air-craft flying over woro ortainlV ew-insiring
and, Visibl as -they w6re ti almost everyone in tbe boach-boad, t~aiy
create&. a hma improssion. Btvt the battle that subscOMORUY aielopsi
was as toqft a hrd as Any, and it ocared to us to w uwht
thi-s Ismmnse effort had in-fact chiovod. Corficotins *tUiAs Abouded,
.. . ..
nn&'neither the UPF nor the Army seemd to have any clear iden-
wV directive from rbove and, with the object more than arnthing else
of satisfying our otm curiosity, w set to work to find out what hod
over the ruins
g to troops spent
pert and to Prench-en
vf hvA been in
-Caen at the time, examining air photographs and defence overprints,
ani attiupting to recoerstrut an& eaess the'battle.
it at thewith
oven Srmater interest by Brigoater Sobonland, Scientific Uviser to
21 4xW Group. But to our minds it was not satisfaotorj,. SLMo its
conolusions were, probably of necessity, indefinite and negative. Zn
it w had made no serious attempt to study morale effets, ve had hot "iz
considered the possibilities of prisono-of-war intr rogation a w
our own troops. The reort was,
laUboious and sead survey into the uins of a frnch town
hdpiqutinufcetatninto its effec on h rors o.
apparent later, whey we realUsed how m ch incidental oxperiozi
This r Iort wbl
direct result of this wok, man
in truth the oundatin fo
thevroatost part of the se tion's
e2 mt a fcrtnigt after )we mat battle for the northern hal fC
ona of the
21 x "Gand
ery day of the operation, an urgint
the Ue of our first
onrall subsequent Ho y bte copr o
o defects of our firs
effTort nt Ccn. The sport (Numfr 6) hd tert
a number of wha
mai ; . the
bas too big for the smal numbers of the section,
the en. In Out
ptes we reelisoa
s subsequently, we stated in good time, stmliep th
oder,watched the course of the bttle nndsered no effort
the ros" foo
The lack of knooledip of what had really happened in battlev ta
out to ..
of Coon, turned
of the bombing
we suboquant dit o3atohicl
be theroot ce
reslt prompt tt 4L
sort that ght, fo instance,
inr no w not of wthe
quoston a: how ocan factoy bhiem ys be knocke down by a en o
artan y? u d wenre somftim s hven such pro oms, they
r wcaexorts in t
uuaoly eforrdoto toe
ndwssin oleot Q0s
tRther ws it i-noanc o a lps ticr bal e
Aih aroso from th; vastness !u i-porson-. tr of modern wfodr
the on-rosults ofs a
cn an oemoy pisition amn only be judged by whether the subsequent pvmU=
It u4*t be argued th-t a set of highly-ttrained sientiess veon
hardly neeessary or such a dob; eertmny it must be aditte that
techrical scientific knowledse was seldom i em needed. But of t
=y reports on battles, wo.d by military observers, there were few At
uy, thit by the careful collection of facts, and by reazoan4 frome
them, tttempted to fill in the vital gaps in our understanding at
art .. fhe truth is iobably that Operational Research does not
aem=! scientists, but that it is greatly helped by scientific troi*in
no oubt this is vhy few but scientists have ever succeeded. In its
patcular analytictl approrch. For Operational Research is mao* moreJ
ofacts aM the writing o
than the straight-forward collection
histcries; it mast continually seek out all the soe wroes at Inforstiosn,
es pcilly the least obvious, and, by sound reasofing from the facts,
now understanding of its particularproblem.,
Arrival of UaJow.Pike:
Soon ofter operation Goodweod, )iajor Pike arrived with a fartUher
Jeep trd driver to Join the advance party -at Creufly. He cm in
;wrAv-o of the rest of the Section, as a result of. arran
nts me by
Brigtior Schoulami with the lr hrach of 21 Araw Group and with 2n
TAP, to ,stuythe effects of fighter and fightor-bober support againi
Sure again it wts lack of knowledge which prompted the work,
and. indeed, so poat was tho lack at knowlege of the offsets oe air
attac, that u wry Uri proportion of the Sootionls efforts, possibly
an -wu proortion, was devoted to this one subjoct.
•ajo Pi e' a first roport, (Number 3) conoorno an air attack on a
Qcrr-n coluamn. It ras only a s=.3.1 incident, but typical at many, azd
am of its kind over to be fully excminedaMn
Q=,:&paexoys be com.pred vith the bombing report ork Caen, as a thccu
invostigation of the physical aspects of an action. His net report
(Ptr or 4)-went oonsiderbly further; it concerned the offect t rocket- firi - Typhoons in breaking up the German ammrod aountor-attack, at
Hort%4in, shortly after the Aemrican break-mut from the bridphead at
Avr--rcho. The report caused much controversy, conflicting as it di1
with other raperts m&e by the PLP, and arguient over it ontinud for.
LI after. The contlict with the actual dborve faots of the
RV reports is howver not geat, and as the only full and detailed
surrey sede on the ground, this rexort should stand as the autharitativ"
The truth of the tatter is that rockoto knocked out
a nuber at tanks, caused.grot confusion amongst the enOy and, without
any a t, speeded the collapse of the counter-attaok. Most of the
d tanks hoever, which wore somewhat arbitrarily ascribed to tha,^
wore knoked out by Lmerican artillery and by infantry-mn with
It was at lortain, it
the battle field from an aerplan
was not howver a peat soess.
may be noted, that we tried exu
for knocked out twnks;
the experim t
Se-orgeisction. at the Section
Towards the Ad of July, Main Hleadqarters 21 Uw~a Group ame to
Nc-aiy , rid set up nar TroWrtay, wst of Dayoux. The Section moved.
at tbe am time to an orchard in the nearby village of Non 3A Potorie.
Up till now wo ha4boon livingon the .'apons Technical Staff, but it
was q%-nt that ve cou1 not do so much lo r, portieully as the
leer party was oxpeete& at any time. L ro-organisatioe had boom'
foes D day the Section had consisted ce fiva offlors, tUrea
drivers, a servoant clerk, n jeep and tow-fiftem-cwt trucks. T
ostbllshent of an O...S. was howver in tbo "raobs of being onlargo.
+ + +_ + .+++++
to embrace three amofficers, an extra Jeep arA staff row, aria
I icorresponding increase in other ranks, it was soon eviaent that MAn thb"
Would be insufficient for the section to !e fully mobile aM .0Wftuppretin, and for t oficerp to travel enoevr they wanted to ferwrd
bsarer.Inthe rtfew days21 lernt that only ina Jeepiwas o type
all for the immeely
mat Imo tant
e ein stn
n extra Jeep wasobtained fet
Observe Paty, an the 21Wuha roup aron
a st lihan nt Cowttee daw
oup ent, to the .nd.athinblg olent and .o08,livin tho Section a
troo-ton lorry,e ro dtverr
d nral duty
o n a cookusd
o ana the
f an indepen nt unit. The hw oanwAsotiohWe.
atgquat, though net lavsh, as
but th t
two jeepg in ptlle o
owt trcks vo
boon an atevantae. Tho
umixoom and, hae
on~y two-wheo2 drive, quite
later oxoh&Wd fatoto Jeep trailors. The othe,, after a colo o
histior in roaN jstfinally ooll andin the Ru xw was loft there
Tha-sor osation,though soon agrof on po., T e not ompletied
T e butc was
middl of Augst,
no o]ar that
but n cffloors
f r wore ienot
if the scientifi
, such a post ws
dust bo fre
Oaey joino the fv
and from that
looking after Other '
ont took on the
, aoeso aton, stoes
anoffice work. The
Looston 1 a im qua non asan be pendnt mofile S
the a or eaply u
on Heavy bombif brst into floor quie son
aogrwar . etwlne
sthand 20th LtSat
eno lo thanr fie
(unHlihney) towel a Caxth,
h dij, oacmre
oe, lo the reor t Ron oti
g Typhoons attHortan,
ds put the
anishin touch*&to the ecrti
on Shar n tak casuaes A Merta
of fewrish actih e,
it reeltdoe perups the srwin
speen of the rd
xroar party consitingl of Majors8 Failie and Honnossy as well as Captain
bOaley, the ea rnsteales
hat ariived, a the rerganis.tion.
l l, G.S.0.2 to Brigadiler Schon)lan, vho worked with the Section
to's46 an extent an amost to be a mbor t.
oft an haI..on of heat, d t, ihit o, a
W.. ceaseless activis,
an attook botmen Cauont end Villers Booop, supporte by
ocam the Vn~ith UiS. 4i Fo, an time to coincideo with the
e .m'modiLa aom or or eartlier"ndssiono.
cf the battle in detail, analysed the casualties suffered by
•a3w nt uigpr.
sowthin ver much beto
we studied the p nnn O"
. . . . .
quite early too, the value of the bombing. The report .(ioaI
still however, lacked mny oa-roboative evidence from prisners of war.
'Bluacoatl was quickly follwe by another Operation, 'Totalise,
betveen Caen and Weise, supported again by Bombr Com andand the
Vl'Ith U.S. Air Force. The report (kaber 8) followed the enm lines
of Blueooat, though it was rather less omplete. In the course of
Totalise, the VInlth U.S. Air Force dropped a nmbor of bombs on ame
the point at view
own troops; this incident we also investitdfro
only at the destruction caused (Report Mob" 9).
Ieports on Heavy Bombing
Studying these Heavy Bombing attacks was a laborious and depressing
affair, and at the time we prayeod that we should never have to do any
mor of it.
The dust and the appalling quantities of traffic, which
still seeed to outdo the heart of London, mae travelling to and fro an
Having arrived at the front, we had to probe sbabt.
in the desolation of one French village after another, ofton uncoeortably
loso to mortaring, shelling, and the front line, and search out fr-m
thir hiding plaes units who had taken part in the battle. When we
roturnerd there wre air photographs to be pore-l over, and a thuatnd vj
one fragments of informawtion to be assumb2od. It has been suggested
that once froshkgroun has been broken by the Operational Roseir6h
Section, and a now method evolved, the work should then be carried on by
others. Certainly in the case of those operations, much an arranipmont
us to do far more, and more important perhaps, Liven
us time an oneorg to develop new ideas.
Satiated as we now -felt by field wok, we sat down to think, and
to write a report (wmbor 1%) on Heavy bombing in Support of the ,,Wwhich, thought it never went farther than 21 Army Group HeAquarters,
did much to clear our ideas. It had been intendo as a simplo guide,
but was vetoed as being too contentious and outspoken. Lastly, as an
application of what we had laid down in our report on Heavy B3bingo we.
started one evening and worked furiously into the night, making out a
plan based on bombing river lines, for blocking the German retreat fromn
the W isn trap, then fast assuming the shape of a pocket. The plan
* was nover adopted for various reasons, but some weeks Inter we had the
molancholy satisfaction of showing how many Gormans escaped from the
pocket and proving that a very belated attempt to block on river lines
had been quite inadequate. It ma ouw belief at the time that had the
4ir Forces been employed differently far fewer Germans would have got
back acroes the Seine, &A the course of the war might have been gr tly
changod. But it remoins only a speculation, where each must Jude for
Iil. Rtamning veicles from the Pockt
to the olna.
fw days after our attempts to fram
a plan kar blocking the
retreat, fthe entire Soetion was ordered down to the "Podkot* to
find out what the Ur Forcos had boon able to do to the Goromns in tun
samo retreat. That day en advance party wont down to find aowhen to
live, and the next day every officer, and all but one or two Other Ranks,
went down to Flors, a imll town placed fairly centrally in what had boon
the eastern ond of the pocket.
For the first time the notion was fully
mobile and fully independent, and it was an enjoyable sensation. The
countryside, te libortion spirit of the French, and the absence of
dosbiaetion all o./bimnd to make the change from the sffooating cloe.
noness c tho bridphcnA not meroly n chango, but a transformation. For
t first tim ve fot that .tho socti:n h.d grrn up wd suceede ;
from that moment though we had failwes end setbacr, it never oobu od
to us thnt we were nat a useful, if unusual, poxc, of to £rV Group' a
After six days spent at Flars examining ever aestroy d SM
abandoned vehicle, during whioh time the pocket finally closed betwemn
Falaise end Argentan, we moved on to the area which, ftr a good rason,
ve called the "The Shamble#". %veryswhre it was lttered with destroyed
whiolas and equipoent, an& with dead and decaying corpses of hornes
n. The stench, bore n 0a hot wnd of late Augut, was nowhere
absont for mil upon mile. .c lived onoe again at a farm, in the
viao of Montabard, north of Argontan. And bore, thanks to the
oxtraordinary kindness of . Picard, and his wife and children, we
lived dolightfully for six dUp amidst the desolation of deoath.
M. ricard and all the farmers workad incessantly to burn up the hsaem
and bury the dead, wo oxamned, although in loss detail than before,
thousands of vehicles.
now our only thought haA boon to osespe, ovon fora few
aye, from tho appalling task of oxaminIn vohicles in such on atmesphaor
for twelvo hours a day. Visits to Mont St. Michol, Chartres and Otlaz"
Wore ofton proposed, but nver carried out. Atfter six days we wont on,
tuis time to a chatoau in Boray,.whero we were royally looked after
for the next ton ays by a Trench girl, Mle. Lillianom LallomaM. fbm
Bornay we examined all the vehiclos between the Shaables and the Seine,
visitcd the crosasin placos on the Seine, and tried to find out frd the
local inhabitants what had 4ot across, and lastly, examined all the
crossings of the rivers Touquee SM Riule, whore a belated attempt had
made to block
at a by
for a holiday gradually
on the aolightftl
it the Chat.eau,
&an ce country,
fe in the town.
The Army, however,
seloiam permits a good time to last, and the party -. •
strtea to break up. Major Sarpaunt was sent off to study the aro
usuit on the far side of the Seine, then in full swing towards 3rusisls;
Majr Hennssy was c~alled eay to go to Burma; soon afterwards 21 Army
Group moved to Jiaens. Captain Oakley brought up the remains of the
ianereasing difficulty. Eventually the dwindling party m
much to their regret, through damaged Rouen, to the unpleasing town at
Anmiens, though not idthout a detour to the home of Benediotine at
Sicamp. In Linens the section had sow sort of existenoe for about 10
s, although it consisted during that period of little more than Pike
labouring at the maom of resultz from the Palaise pocket, and Oakley*
striving to complete the re-organizsation of the section.
to thoe .n
The aao.ult on Boulogie and the anoureda rive
hile Major Suariaunt was still liberating Brussels aM Antwp
with the Guards Armoured Division, an lator dashing with thu up the
thin stalk rf territory to Nijmcgen, Lt. Col. Johnson, Major Swam,
Major Fairli. and Captain Royce went to Boulogno, the secoor of the big
fortresses loft high and dry on the Chojml coast by the tide of the
advance into Belgium and Hollnd.
Royce should purhap
havc, entorta this
narrative earlier, but until Aouloie, he was an olusive figure, scarcely
belonging to the Section. Ho had boon working as an intorrogator CU a brief
Hcavy botbing for the Scientific Adviser aM ourso:vs, vhon It was
sugipsted that he might join.tho Section pormnently.
portod of the Palaiso, poxkot - Seine invstigatin, he interrogated a
us at prisoner of war capls on a
o mutter ownoto wth then
wink, lut it was not till
interrogator, general advisor on Intolligonco mattors, intorptr
Amions tht. he actually joined the Soction
and it was at Boulogno that ho becm a vital member cf it, s
all o.casons, and neptiatoa for ine ani food. dAthort him we culd
nv hv b dened our mthod&as we die a&t our day to day living
would have been inesti mly poorer.
The party arrived at Boulope som days before the assault# so that
it was possible to prepare in detail with aps arnpans, and even to
look c'er the ouni. Boulogne was surrounded with hills, and while the
battle was actually going on, we sucdad in doing what we had seldom
dame before - watching from a series of close vantage points. Le seon
a ll srts
on the we
interrogatod continuously as the rimoner wero hrout in. T7hn the
battle was finally over, we discussed it in detail with the battaliemn
and-units taking part. So by degrees, we built up a factual and, to a
considerable extent, numrical estimate of the operation, more allembracing then our earlier efforts at Heavy bombing analyses, though
essentially similar. If anything, we tried to do too much, with the result that the sections on artillery azd tanks we= skimped. 'everb,,
troubled too with tbe loss of Major Paii, who foll suddenly sick a
had to return to U.K. Though the loss of his knowlede of artillery was
later me& good, nothing every replaced his unparalleed Canadian gey
aoon after- the assalt on Boulogne had euded, that on Calais bepa.
76e found it quite impossibln, as we had originally intended, to do b th- "
so after a cpiac visit to Brussels to replanish,.w returned to Olais
as the battle ended, to examine a few points of irtorest: chief at
theme were the attacks onn batteries and the fragpontation bombiri..
Sargeaunt'a work with the ar rod pursuit was the direct
outm of a request frm the Majcr-eral R.4.C. and the Brigadier Staff
Duties of 21 Lrmy Group. Both felt that there wero probloms in an
armoured drive that would be worth studying, but could not state
positively ".nat they were; accordingly it was loft to Major Sarge ant to
do what ho could. It was obvious from the spoed at which the armour Woo
movingand tho sm1 mount of oposition it was moting, that the limit
to the rain of advance was being set by the ropair of mdhanical breakdowns. M were being left unmonled or, if F
(id stay to mend them,
then the wrkshops Sot loft a hundred miles or more behind the tanks. To.
chock on all the broakdoms moant travelling over 3000 miles in four
weeks, often on roads not fully clanrd of onomy; it proved a
oonsiders"l phrsical strain wa emphasisod the importance of a reliable
vobiolo an" an oxollnet driver. Petrol was often a difficulty, and food
as welln, thou6h it was possiblo up to a point tol ivo fftho count&*.
The drink was the reverse at the ptrol problem; in Brussels and Lntw r.
it was d-ffioult not to take too much aboaid.
11.Report-'iting in kaausol
oi a month or me aftor the reunion of the Soctien in Brussels, W
undertook little or nothing new. It was a poriod mwrdc by the
pumli.tion of four of our best reports- oah, in a difforont way, Was
a fair exampl of the use of mothods we had al ady tried in Normandy'.
Prom the historioal point of view, leport 15 "ZmW Casualtios in Vehicls
a". squipmnt during $he retreat from Ncmaniy to the Seim"
be considered as our best work. Into the making of it
weoks, and of one or two for mn woksmoar.
examine vehioles individually, we count d them in bulk, w interrogated
the local Nrnch population, we iritrrcgatod prisoners of war, so usod
tho reports of aIreraft reeommissano ard w examined air photoraphs.
4ecopIng tft limitations Of time, ther WAS pobably little more w
oldMha dono in assessing physical dostruction; but we ofton wished
on the effot cd" the ,;r"'oroos .in causing panio
that we had do
and cinfusion Dsospt the eney. to Could onyhv cioe hsb
errogation, &Ml at the tka e had not the facilities.
~l 16, an "The effects of VrouM and ai sqppot :In
the asault on Boulagm" no the most complete attempt v evmade
assessnU a battle, altionh in tho eial it was complete onr as
air effort. The report employed all the metho s w hat,
tried in Normmndy, s m . as, for the first
time, making extonsiw
atiob and intoel imoeinformation. 11oport Nmber 17,
o ta casualties
w.as the logical expansion a earlier
. work &M a
Sodoxcapla of thei .aoation of a particular subject while pot
opiag.it in its oz ar t relation to the battle as a wholo.
amt 4C iiormation that it was possible to do&aco from the caaUai~r
dto. is remarkable. Lastly atm Report ItMber 18, a new dopartmu'C
opxo to u8m
neve explo fu thi a p
matters oforganisation. Mxcpt
reserch n th
Schubelther wan muhtil
'told to :look into tham, wvoloft than alm.
in its *W onts,
ejoying l that-a
to Brussels c d ofers a now awe lcbwor1"
was being forood upon the Britsh arios a a reset of the
riuoto hold theobici
at rnhem. It omisted for tie British
in'" " ing, on.oithor aide up te the Has, -,;ih narrow corrior leading
n zad far the Cwaaians In o-.'Ang the ba m of the SchelAt
ain&tboislndsto the north, so froeipg Antwerp as a port fr the
d poditioncry Porco. 'The British task wa a slow and
todious Oae, that involved ountloss small battlos among the fi2d&
anAd ykes of Holland, hainpseo4 saoetimes by floods, and, always by soft
ground and inadequate supply romtos. The fighiting wan mara or l0es
incessant, with fe. larip battles, and porhaps for this reason, tb
Section did little work there. Thera wore in fact only two report
of any note (Huskicas 19 wan 22) that came from this part of Via
ownpign: the first was a- study o? Ioantry Officer casualtics (and
some of this dated back to Wrmandy, while much of it consisted of.
statistics frm 2nd Schelon), and the soomA An investigationi at a
sm*33 attak wll to the south, nor Goilnkirchen. This was a irst
ateptt elate weight of artillery bacdeemnt with the effects
obtained, using -as yardsticks the casualties suffered by our own troops
and our own,admitbodly subjoctivo estimates of the ractiom f
pisoners ef .war.' The reselts wore quite cosistent and the Invostigation, which had mver boon intnded as more than a reonmssawm•
the subject, ancouragod us to tUy again. Ono incident in tbe
takad widogroa interest:. the exceptionally heavy bomber&mont on the small village of Bauchom, which resulted in aost
c0 ot poralyiis of aour~ resistance.
Zzcept for ciuslative work'an tank casualties or Typhoon rocet
the8 ction ordtind itself fr tho rost of the aw to f
PA: o. InS
rior a lo0g tb*past the ftocwracy of prqc4io-wti22ftzy
~idcaused som concern: barreps and aeneentratih Wabecomfire
enormous, arA beonso of mind asmaition lots, unalibated
o other defects, it
wsuspect& that they von 17
inacoueate. 1l4a1e' a first work, therefore, was a stralghtforwa d
analysis o the actroWa
of a large padicted shoot in the operatia toJ
clear up the Dreskena pocket on the south bank of the Scheldt. Choosing
the operation was not easy, for it wa nooessary to fin a situation whom
little if any firing had taken placo beftrehand, and where the
distribution of shells could be exmined soon after f iring, without aby
danger of its being uortusea by subsequent fighting.
Such a 4ituation
was in the end found, A the subsequent work developod
means of determining the distribution of shlls on the Vrou.",' and then
carying out lon calculations in an attompt to analyso out the many
variables. Air photogaphs only shmd a proportion of snoll craters
in the met flolds of the Broekons, pocket, so that a lot ot walking ow-t
th,, boom necessary. In the courso of writirg the report (Number 2.), *""..
tho need at assistants and calculators was folt koonly; but it was
th. poasost inacciuracis in many of the oon
for Weater than•
a p As roaesutth
OCnadi an AM , was awousoc end *very attmpt was made to imrv tho
situation. The report.also arousod the interat of the Acoracy at
Pr-dietod Piro Comitteo in Rngland, as boimg on of the first oosehorivo roords from the field. 1. smaller an. puroly technical rOpy4t
on Co us of GV 111 for calculating artillery wntoor tologroi was also
ritton about this time, using soe o the data collotto1 incidontally
in the mainw k
Som weks lat;
oame the assault on Valohoroh Island; though it,
was succeseful, it was costly, since'very few of the coastal Vns had
been silenced beforohand, orloven offootivoly noutra2lsd during the
landings. The Section was ordarod to investigate this falure. It was
air and artillery; the weights of bobaerdment had boon inadequate, and
the possibility that all the coastal guns might be intact and resist
f ircely, was not sufficiently consideroed
Lt.-Col. Johnson an several
otatrs of the section oxami ed many of the batteries and produced a report•
(:.Wber 25) which was, in affect, only a confirmation of this view.
Little omerged that was now, but the work served to emphasis*o the quantity
of bombs noeded to achieve destruction or even nutralisation of such
formidable gun positions as those on Valnheren.
2he Section's mode of working; relations
with 21 Ary Group Hoadquarters.
Now +hat our permanent home was in Brussols we wore ocatronted with
a difficulty we had not oxporionood befcre. In the early days of Normandy
th &distanmes were so small, that we could always travel to tho front And
raturn in a day. Towards tho ond it was boooming dtficult, butwe loft
tha bridgehead for our big survey of the German retreat to the S es
before it became impossible. From now onvrds AM Group -'o&"aXortei'
vwns never less than tare or four hours drive from the front line, to
that day visits ware-out of the question. Between the Palsis pocket
and the Sein we had always taken over houses for the Section to live in,
tw.hver we wore am then one or two on a job; this now became OW
stwWad practice. These "Tao HQs" had many advantages: we ccu
-%-or. ao2 where we likod, untroublod by the frequent mavs ct on Cr&a7
unit; we did not have to wait rount for a particular event lptting in
tho way of fighting trocps; we could have room to work; an weocoUM
have as ftV Other Ranks with us as we wanted, -to mafitin eo vhicles
ana act as clerks. Living with a unit, the other moans of existono,'
had oru c these a&ntaes, though it did have an important one of its
cwn: in no other way oculd contact be quite so close with staffs or
tighting units; a. for som investigations ti#
all the objections.
Living in Brussels also brcught us into closer touch with2i JaW
than at mi tix since we left inglana. Our
wa an unusul ans- in the ely day in Znglan we had been
enctly a a staff b
a a result largly throuh the
efforts at Lt. Col. Johnson, had been able to build up excellent and
But we wore in fact a sparat
friendly relations with the sa.
entity an, ohen the tge eam to go abroad, it was mae clear that vo
must function as such. The high-up view, as it was put to us much later
by Brigadier Herbert Bos(SD) had been at that time one at tolerant
indifference: we might be of ahi use in the field, or we m4oht not;
like most hangrs-on ve were mge likely to tall into the seond categary.
-lready in Normandy this view was changing, ard by the end it had ohanid
to such an extent that Brigadier Herbert, a regular off ior,
said that it vas only the O.R.8. that told him what really want on and .
in a house a mile or so from £ W Group Headquartors. This moan that
ve were to a considerable extant cat of from the day to day happenings
there, howvor good our liaion with individuals on the staff. Sn e
however our Jb was not eonoerned with day to day events, but with lon
term investigations, this was not a rious disavantap, and the
compensating advantas of being separate were very great.
a conploto freedom fr
office hours ard normal routim, ws could
and go as we wintad and vmild
say what we liked.
The gradual strongthaninc&' the Section's position was duo as
to the efforts ot Brigadier Sohonland, the Scientific A'viser, as to cur
own. Zs wll as being a personal friend of everyone and always wilein .to make time for any of us, he beosm a friend of all the senior officers
of the Ary Group staff and by degreos he familiar iond aW of them with
what we were doing am& how we could help. It was a heavy blow far the
Section heni he finaly laft, at the end of October, to go to a higa pest
In South Lfrioa: but the blow was saftered when we realised the extent
to which he had made uur position secure. Prom that tim on we enjoyed
the porsonal attention of Brigadier Herbert in everything to do with.
otw work, Lt.-Col. Johnson was asked to attend the Chief af Staff' a
morning coformne and, from time to time, we were consulted about
Our relations with Brigaier Sohonland were cordial and poductive
in the oxtrme; but, true to British tradition, they were neer
rogplarisod. The section ao under the Brigadier Staff Duties, and
not the Soientifio Aviaor. Only om conocsion was made; that the
Soientifio Aviser should control us in Lir matters; in everything
else his influence was .r4diret and unofficial. Throughout, indeed,
wo benefited from a mootoo precise definition of our funotioms. aNd
rights. As a result, we were allowed o
to freandm in .where we went,
what units we visited, how we
and how we finally presontod our
freedom was the autoo
of an inteln4ant
appreciation from above, that a set of indepondontly-indedm n woud
only wk welk in such an atmosphere, or whether -it was merely an oversight ot the military maehine, w never know; our froodom at any ntes
was not shared by various 9ther 'odd units appended to the 4m Group.
The German Countor-attack in the 4rdonvms.
.bout the middlo of Decembor, %hon21 Jxy Group was preparing a
hupo attack southwards from
jijmogon and the Lmnrieans an attack nozrhwards to moot us on tho Rhine, the Gormana launchod thoir bold ator-
stoi in the 144ennes. Lt.-Col. Johnson and Major saripcent wore
visiting 1st U.S. army, Headquarters in Spa at the'te aW cautit..
quite unawares, ware all but out off by tho emy. "A the s
and Christms approached, the situation becme graver. British
pulled out from the North and placed to oovbr Nami
Army Group Headquarters itself was ready to'man the barricaes.
But the tf ensive slowed, halted, and then gradually the Germans
retreated, fighting hard all the way. F r the first 6 day there had
boon little or no air support because of tog and mist. Then on
Chrisas d the weather
chage, and all
aircraft in thefar
wre turned an to the salient. Heavies
Ocrumny as well as towns in the salient;
)ediums bomed roads and
bridies; Fighters and Fighter-Bombers attacked transport and tanks.
At the time there was considerable a±scussion on hew the air offort
should be arranpd, andio clear up certain points on blocking roads
we pit togother sa of our obsorvations in a Memorandu (Ptsiber 3),
on the Interdiction of road oemunications by bombing. Extraordinary
ctlais a destrton
being made by the A
Forces, we since at.
the tim 1st U.S. mad 9th U.S. Aarmy woro under 21 Army Group and
akingpart we wora tol
British ivisions and British aircraft
at the highest priority to find out what was reolly happonig,
The work in the Ardennes arose from a typically vae insarucion"
Praticoy never were ve given precise directives for our wk;
we were given no directive at all. *Soo what you on make at air attack.
in the Plaise poker', Haw a look at the Assault on Boulogne or
'Follow the armoared drive" were an the diroction we over roeoiwd for som of th'most successful of our reports. Thir freedom allod us to
davolop long the lines foar which we were best suited, ad
instructions could only hve boon doadning.
Bcase we had had difficulties and differences of opinion vit,h
the R.4. in the past, ihen witing on air matters, we were toll to
co-rqerato with the O.R.S. of 2nd T.A.F. on this Job ant on all
subsequent ones that wore concerned with the air. Joint efforts ae
usually difficult, and ours wero no exception. But by having vmebers
of the Air Force 0.R.S. to*live with us, and by thrashing cut the
reports together, we always reached apeereent in the end. The joint
reports that we produei were doubly valuable because they coamiaud
the attention ct both
y amy Air Force.
Same days before we were told to look into air claims, Major
-allaoe, Major SargeMaunt, ana Captain Mathieson had gone down to the
Ardonnas, first to Lelgon at the tip of the salient, and later to
Dahlom near Liep, to- study anti-tvnik actions. At Dablem Major Pik"
joined them and the search over the anow-clad countryside for knockedout tanks and vehicles startod. Later when the priority of the whole
investigation was raised from merely "rodhct" to "whitohot", Majwor Swan,
Captain Oakley, and Captain Royce, as veil as I;ing Comander Graham And
S/iAr. .ael of O.R.S. T.A.F., joined them, and the whole party set -up a
* oadqrters in Lywai29. Fron here the oountryaide was scoured in real
earnest. The difficulties were immense for it was oxooption3AY cold,
often blissarding. Tanks were so covered with snow they c6 All scarcel .
be soon froa mo than a few yards away, and the cause of destruction
was almost impossible to-dotoreine. Jeeps bellied in the snow and
skidded into ditches, obains broko, fingors froso. Slowly and paiofulV
a limited aroea was covered. with a speed and thorou$ness that necessarily
compared poorly with' earlior days in Norezrd.
Joint Report Number i was then written. Untortunatoly there had
boon enough anti-tnk activity by the R.A.F. to form an real
conclusions on their p iftrmanoe. But .erican fightor-ombe rs were
shown, beyond an doubt, to be indifforent at tank destruction. For
evoz7 hundrod claims, we could fin& only one tank inubit&bly destroyo
by oAr: and, though a fo" cases turned up uho~oirhaps tanks had boon
abandonod'because of ar atttck, they wore doubtful OA went only a verY
little way to making gonl the disertpancy.
2mnost tho only claim we did
substantiate was that of a Royal Tiger well and truly domoished by a
direct hit from a 5W0 lb bomb.
wed for the
of the. effect
few, daysot 34%t
qdn with a member of O.R.S. 2n& T.AF., arid st"dt for a wek in
seftral of what had been the big caaunicatior oentres of the sallent.
By extensive interrogation of local ivili as, they accumulated uch
intasatin on. the extent of the dislocation A the delay inpowd by
the Li.r ?caces.
The results rr incorporated into a large 0...
T,.'..P. reprt, part at
15bincluded as MefornAu abor.po
The report on Jziti-tank actions (NUuber 27), since it conerned
only",4ri-c units, was nevr widely circulated, but it deor
n"vartbeoese to be regarded as a classic of Operationa.l Rosarch. by
analysing a larue wbeor of smal ta./anti-ta*c actions fros the
Lrdnnes salient, in terms of the nniuers of anti-tak ga
the ==ber of tanks ttacking, and the losses on both sides, it was
possible to establish a clear numerical suporicrity for self-popl3d
over tond guns, ad for anti-tank layouts vith intantry over these
The report is
a good cmple of how a consenso, imaice
approach to warfare an sametimso settle points that have always boon
regarded as the preservo o oxporionce and intuition.
T7The' ideal aorvnisation for Operational
-orking with O.L.S. 2nd rA .P. brought out clearly the diffrojnoos
botmen our two o aniiationd, and the merits and defects of both
systems. .hroeas they wore largoly decontralimed, with officers
soattarod throughout the Groups, and with only the o6mm
and a staff of omputers va clerks at their Headquarters, we was
entirely oentralised, though with a much smeller clerical staff. The
chief sart Of the .ir Ptoe system was the close contact it praoted
with .Tngs nd Group:; its grave defect, to our minds, was itsi
inility to oaentrat* a number of officers ona single bigpeblm.
The rdennes awy would not for instance hive been possible without
our centralised orisation. "though this is no place to speulate
on the ideal organistition :or an O.R.S. with Zrmies in the field, it.
can at leant be sid that a oentrased section, equipped such an we
wore, but better pweeided with ciorioal and cmting staff, is
dosirablo. But additional or.ioers, attached to smller formations, to
| 3ll-.et information and arrango for the keeping of record, woul be
a great assistace.
often felt that we were too fo: to fulil
over by a mwe orthodox body. Up to a point, t
be indroasoa, but a. section of mora than a doscasin
officers would toni to lose the sense of unity ad canon interest
that ve found so valuable. Sinco two irIdependent O.R.S's in the somai
field formation are scarcely feasible, a possible solution is perhaps
to divide broadlythe functions of the O.R.S. into breaking zw pround
arid carrying on with methocls already atablishod.
This night resolvo
itself into a main 0.R.8., on the lnos of our own, wA a adsialwy
and sub&4dinto one, to, do the, more routiro jobs. The distinction
midght be invidious, war tba system uanorkable; but sme solution mupt
be found for the difficulties of the oxiating cirgminiation, where we
had too mich wo., and especially too vm that was merely repetitive,
and yet whor we found the small, compact a& contralisod unit to bo
afficiont, and most important of ol, pleasant to vork in ed stiul'atis
to thought. 'jWsystom which doatroyod tho intolloctual stimuilis vould
bc fatal to this sort of work, and it was our boof at the t*
of the section .oul
,-_ . .
"l*ieipn until ' l1 into ='obruory, so that ther. :;:.s t -~forz us to
~fini£sh off ot . rdroto 'ioxk an got ready well in ak'. .,.
sIal ]pointd of't.ho planin of this oprtion, 'Vcrttablc', uc were
to he : at wasaquestion ofwhether thoxonivc useo
both. in close sitport, would so orator tho et
rou nd :in that
arof thworld, as tomak itinpsblc
at lcast ditfiult for
taes. The question ws a more difficult ono than mitit be tse
for on oxultion
it boeeV evident that thu iformat-ion on
sf ds was scanty
r d onrlioting
In n Cndoawet to vn
bomibe iat a1w tocould
a )moran cusion,
(Nivborw5) s on or
tn o iaothk. It
cameents wht the ormainy m
the spheree of Sciontific
is to be reo eted
nmr gots beyond such details.
vioe to a Pize
On the other hand thero are.
in going iurtor.
nu the Operational
hae for 0w reason r"
arrive at a y
an tho bodes t
sense, and then writng reports contairnn,
ox~ott~y or implicitly,
bScet se i
vic'. The invostti
t aise es,
lcent; the rop ts
the othor hand
a ds forhc
hi est lvel.
Often our own reports ;nt frentif
rcup to arFios,
Cps n evo
but equally often w felt ir
iant e am.
find ct ies
h ptoror h iltuitthe
circa a , or breri s syter
th y hada e.tithben read..
of the trouble
Sci stficrm tion there is ostlatgly tibo the ti anetcmleownt t
apprciate O.R.S. repots, the opprtunity to ct on
m i fin fayt
lethu h the lst
ans ofen iisi
buless i t- o
uith the top, a regardt
ote think, so that O.Sr. '-
Tes e anr tine agcin w caem up against the inescapable fact that
introduction of new
solely with a coth ander,
g as the only ready mans at c
r nd, ho could have fulfiled
function for us, left just at the point when we had suoficiontly
developed our technique to be able to give him valualo infr ation.
it must be stated one and for all btat
amptot-writing is a ery
r subtikte f r a senor oier
the idea iw ith
by si equals in
etwe , Corps and D iv tons, Many
o€ the idea that emergea from our reports were never adopted,
thver even cion
the y were only idea buried in
at were never read. The"
tonclusion that must follow from this, is that
ar inostigating bowy, the O, .S., cn be lowly-ranked, but that it
nep&s a highly-iavkeroffiuer, a Scienti
to see that its
ides are ias that e
fooread.Muof he toe ek
trated aoraiogy. et
hs bon geld that Scntifie
Avi ocan be o
er" by the poeatouch; up to a p.int thi is
laepteda a woykble systhm. To spras
only ef ig by ogal
ntac between r
s nd Captins, woutld
teisposal of codingly
The atte* souathwards from YNi5wgR.
For operation orLae*wt-an amjreft:
Johnso, Mao allaoe andCpaiLtMeovt
Instructors were to envy out another Predicted Fi
Su-vy (this at
the requast at S.R. A* CaneaianAry;MjrSa
morale apects of the artillery bombardmnt; Major Pike An o
of 0.R.S.T.,.P. were to investigate air support; Captain Roye was to
initerrogate; Major Sargeaunt was to follow the armcw ant thes Neaica
Officers iho ad just joined us from the Medical Reseawh COUndl, Wre
to survey casualties to tank personnel.
The wholo party, at time
opn in a *21toove or fifteen strong, lived for ton aays in Ni
domaged house, and wnt out every day own the wxdy congestd roads,
through the floods ot Xraenberg and on to Clove, or through Groesbeek
and the Reichswald, or down by the Masa to look nd Gennep. The aftack
was a very larg one, heavily supported by an arms, but the defe se
were strong and well-prepared, wa ineluled in the ReidwalAd a part
of the S1e.riet lire, so that it went slowly. The artillery party, by
sourA exmination wa a s y of air photoraphs gradully extraed
details of the Coter-battery wA pedicted fire acuracy (Reports 29
an 31). Maor Swann, from casualty fi zes sA from battalions themsolvos, got an estimate of morale effects (Roport 26), while Maim1.Pike
produced a report on the Mobile Radar Control Post as a means at blindbombing for w im bookero, (Report 28, Joint Report No. 2). The three
artillery reports followed fairly closely th lines
- of earlier reports, while the Mobile Radar Control Post report wa-a straight investigation
of boubing accuracies. Though, as regards methods, none of then
contained. smh that was w, the actual rosults wore important. The
accuracy of paeicted
report showed onoe apin very seriAue
ine*--acies,.whi2l the orale effects report oxpanded the earlier results
from Goilenkirehen and gave a strong indication that the immensely-heavy
boebadenta usod in the operation were dfeating their own enAs. The
Mobile Rodar Control Post report piblicisefthatwo regarded as a
valuebo an all too little aoknowloapd mearia of impeoviqg air support.
Though we only studied, the first stems of the "Voritablc" battle,
it waont on for som. weeks yet, with our armies slowly fighting don
towards the Ancrinans, clearing up to tho Mans on the right and the
on tho loft. Then followed a long period of superficial quiet, in ii
:lthough Lt.-Col. Johnson vas
the Rhino crossings were plazmo.
occsionally eohoultod on tho planning, there was little for the section
to do; for the most part it was dotailad a4dmnistration that countod,
and tbe we hal no part. During this poriod Major Piko's report on the,
military value or Rockt firing Typhoons was finally publiuhed (Joint
No. 3). It ws ba
on A sorios of invostigations of Typhoon attacks
on ?oard troops And ostablishod th, oparational accuracy and the offso t
on a variety of military targets. Most intoresting porhap it attempted
an assesament ot the morale eff ots of Attacks with this wapon, ban"
on observation Anid prisoner interrogation.
30.The assault aeo
Then ow the Assmalt on the Reine. Te planned hat we rightly
a last A
study of the Flk
(which included air and
artillery); Major Swarm and Lt.-Col. Johnson to staly the bui -u ofa
vehicesAand, units'Over the river; Major Sargeaunt to follUw the
and the Modical tom to stly again asualtios to tank personnel. Tot
Too H.Q. was set up in a roasonbly intact house in XRm r
somn days before the assault And the party set to work.
TM' arrival of the airborzw uWa was one of the dramatic moments
or the war. r% watched from a•ilby Xanten the seemingly ur
of planes and gliders sailirzg Upetubably over the Rhin
and disaLearing into the fog of war fant forsing ever the battlefield.
The same afternoon we went wn to the Rhine and watched the Buffaloes,
assault boats and rafts fast foeying over veh.clos and troops. To
the scuth, after a little shelling, the crossing went easily, and by
ads woro 2iL~nass
and bore brip
perspiring figures sitting in the pin waiting to crons. Though there
was shelling on the far 1 0, and ovon a few landing 4n the water,
But further north,
to distur tho party on tho n
r op itt, Rees, tho fight had boon har-or- and the
and in pm~uti
bud-up badly dolayed. Although by tho time we arived t h
sie, tho gim ovidono'of what had gone boforo was all too eident.
it wax Oplosite Does that almost t only Gormn ot-plano,o indood
sng, shrieked don at
laneo any sort to *Mar in t Rhino
Us# soundng like
later the hol party cosed the Rhine and act up a
A few i
Q next to Main 42 Corps. A tow days lator still, so fast was
the battle now moving, we moved forward again to Dingdon, text to
2nd r Heaquadrtors. al this time the Plak and Counto-Plak
toured the countryside enmining gun positions, whilo others followd
the amour. But as time went on, it became increasingly difficult to
roach the front from Dingdon, and so Major Sargoxmt and the Medical
Officers lft to live"with Tank units. Soon after, our Tao H.Q. oae
to an end and we returned tp 21 AM Group, which had now mowed to
Suchteln Just inside Germa:*. The inevitable report writing followed;
Nwuer 30, about the Build-up, and Joint Mw 4, about lk Wa .
Counter-Flak. The first of these two reresented our second and list
into matters of organisation and inlicated, if
more, the mayw problems of traffic control demanding investigation.
The second report contained
sae interesting and unusual statistics on
the airbdre operation, but was mainly concerned with a study of the
inune noutralisation ompazzime. All the methods we had evolved for
this .ort of study in the post were brought topthor in this veWy
021. Thc*netof the Seetion
Noaz whil the armmod divisions racord h towards the north Gorman
coast, Bromen, Hamburg, Lfbock. It was ovideont that wo should do little
of any idiate
valnac, and it bocm increasingly doubtful if we
should evcr do arq moro at all. As a last goaturv,
than anything olse, Majo Swam and Captain Royce went to a Carps
Headqartera, preparing to attack nown of the northern fortresses,
lived with them, and tried to find out whether aftor all thoy could not
give somo direct end imnediate "Scientific Avice". Uefortetly, or
perhaps fortunately, surrander intervened before the tatter was put to
.If the Phin mrossint was a olimax, the cionts that folloved w re
anti-climax. Tho'rosult was only a matter of time, end When sutron er
finally cam, it was no suryrise. 1s an O.R.S. our work was aone, en
in the months that followed, bofcw*3w finally broke up, we only
finishod off reports: i'Nier 32, the Armorod'pursuit beyond the Wtine,.
3o-y,The Pans"eaust and Mmorandua Iubor 2, Bombing bohind the
Rhino. The first of thosereports was more of a moris of obeervations
on tactics than a repott. The second was a thorough and suceassful
study of the tactics and effects of this unusual Gorman weapon. It was
Prhaps afitting last report for the Section, i9ammuh.as it as a
culminating dvoelopment of the type of'work with:whiohiw started in
Normandy, Mortar location and Sherman tank casualties.
The other activities of the Ssntion in this period, visits to newly~
liberated Demark and Holland, to Brussels, and to the wine oducing
reaes at the.Rhine, hardly f SM a place here. Th were a p
ending to oi- efforts in the great caa.iaign, but they bore little
relation to =w work. On July 20th, the section which had alnady
* dispersed, was fcomally disabanded.
The reasons, the means ra the results
of Operational Psseareh.
Botwsen Jura 6th 194.4 and July 20th 1945, the Section wrot about
forty reports, all but a few of which are included in this volme. So
varied aW the subjects they deal with that
hav had to divide the
book into four ports ad fourteen chapters;
but the reasons fo
the reports, the methods of work involved, and the results we h6pod to
aehowvo by tem wore much the same throughout. '7 have touched on them
already; rather than discuss them again in abstract term, lot us m
dora to the perticular and discus tho against the badtpourA cf sa"e
did on artillery fire support..
The enomus artillery support programms of the operations of
North That Zuropo wero oe of the most notable fieatures of the filhting.
they involved sch a large effort and wro in theoslves so
complicated, they woro much studied. Fighting soldiors and Obser ars
|roto about thorn from many aspects, drawing on their am experience, on
their obearyations, on discussion with the units involw4d, and on the'
Operation Orders and plans& Is a rocult of anl this study, artillery
|rograins grow in elaboratiobn and efficiency. Hundreds of ms could
fired on a perfectly timed sohodule or directed at a momnt' a notice
on to a particular target. But in the struggle to got the bost
artillery support, the armies had onoontrated on the means of bringing
down the high explosive rather than on the moans of overpowering the
enemy with that high explosive. In consequence, though the mohani
of laying a concntration were fully understood, there was nothing to
indlicate whether the concentrations of Operation A or of Operation 2
wore the mao effoctive, ant there was practically no infowation on,
rat the stupendous qiantities of artillery aetuaifly did. Sm favowm
qiek heavy concentrations, ethers preferred prolongod light ones-, an
e thing however all wire agreed, that the more shelas w=r fired offL
the roatoer was the chkno of success. In consequence barrages got - *
bigger and big1gr, Wns wore out faster ant more transport was moodod,
for carrying amunition. rhereas in the last wtar battles tended to wait
on the accumation of aitfficient expendable manpower, now they tended
to vait on the building up of vat stocks of ammunition. -Those than
r norlying reasons for attempting to invostioate fire support.,
Our mans of investigation included these of the military Observr 7watching the battle, discussing with units, and studying the orders aid
plans - but they vent further; to these throe w added the interrogation of prisoners, the detailed examination of the batt2fial and th
study of records such as medical casualty returns, aonunit,n ozponditire shoots and counter-.'eattory lops. If an enemy positiona held out
or at bost have boon given a brief mention;
whereas we should have
loaemont.d it to the oo nt o interrogating the 1risonars fron tho
partiola position to determine why they resisted, vwrking out the
duration and intensity of fire on the position in guestion, and dotarnTdnng
mbor -and. tpo cf. casualties suffered in attacking it.
The more foot
that, in ovary piece of work vo undrotook, we oxemined to the full
many aspects af ovory incident, pvo us not only ful3r diroot Infor-
but onBle4i us to reason from our facts on no lins. It was
this re.sning onnw Unes that led to the unusual conclusions wV vor
- " -
-- .-.- ,-*.
ethe a caw dofquit
Lo loar; firo
to be oundi T
I Chavpor 8. The rosults of acting on those conclusions e" net
difficult to forosoo. The more eeonecnoal use of fie pOcr must moan
either more offot'tor the some weight,
ich in turn means lose
resist no, tower casualties. ean faster advaneos, or else it moet Man
the sao offoet for loss oight which in turn means mwo shonl fc,
olsewhre on the front, or loss traniport, a smaler L ot C and loss
-mar on the rocdft. Mhadvantaes, wAnthe economics natiV3,
outwards in eVery direction.
Thewed for Operational Research.
Modeni warfare in vast, complitoted mid impersonal; most of it
fnouht at a distance. 4 complicated sorios of vorpons wre being
used in a complicated way; initdbly the inter-ro ltions andoffeots
tso woeponm will be complicated and Imporfoct2y understood. to
ani of tcday is morecver a hugo society and, as with any groat
uncrtainty at the top e to *at plans
soit , there
o ut at thobottom.,,pLy
n l wen they
Opormtione oerch. ruith olso.that
uetuaintiay es =aninot
d c now ad
only one cprton
a sults o shrtion o
lastly", enough ihs boon doeV6o3lossrh a n vspuft
hbg P can a si
~Our'own aountz7'isa n alJ one; the armies wo ca put into the
atic ro to be strong they must excel in these three vary points;
exruthe hope that, s ould this country over agi bo faced with thoe
disaster of wor, Operational Reseoarch will contribute to that superabundance at skill' ad excellence of equipmennt which will be so vital
to offset our lack of mmbwa.2
AND XCOMS U= BY1NO. 2 O...
Defence Ovrprints are 4:25,000 and 1:02,500 aps overzpIztoA
with the latest Interligence information on the location ant nate
ot the eneal's aofonoe installations, based on the intorpretation of .
aerial photographs and various form of reonnaissanco.
They torn a
useful guide to the battlefield afterwards.
Operation Instruetions arc detailod plans for the oondit o
the battle, issued by Corps and iv H.Q. For socurity rosas thoi r
distribution in strietly lmited beforo D day.
Air Plan. This is drawn up by the appropriate R.A.. H.Q. af•
shows targets and times of attacks before the battle as well as the
rrponsibilition of tactical airraft during it.
Order of Battle is a top soeret docmnt to which anmeants
are issued almost daily. This shws exacetly which units are urd,-
ommand of the various Corps end Divisions.
Artilery-'poration Orers aro goperally issued from Corps LQ.
4rtilory Planning instructions as above.
documonts supplement the Corps Ops Instructions with full details of'tho
.rtillery Piro Plan has a useful mp showing vioro barrass
and concentrations arc to be aeda.
Counter Battery Intelliene Summarios, issued daily by the
O.B.0., giv Utormation about the activity of hostile artillery tpipther
with locations of now positious.
Hostl]e Battery Location List is brought up to date by froqunt
mendments and gves 6 or 8 "iguro map roforonoos for all enomy batteries
that have beon located by various moans. Many will be found to have
been unoccupied alternatiw positions.
Div and Corps Inteligono Summaries aro properod by 1.O to
give their H.Q. all available information about the onoey in thoir scotw
of tho front. They provido identification of oou units and toll of
their strangth and morale.
'. Cositintrops. Combined Situation and iollignc ?Woprts,
available daily at Army Group. They record tho positions atour om
fomations down to Brigade level.
Oyp Tog are issuod at various levels *=I give tho battle
situation in varying doroos of dotail., They havo to bo collected spOn
after issue or they are liable tobo btint.
rostels. War Office Situation Tololrints. Copies of those
held at Lrmy Group for considaroblo perioda and, r.though thoy doal
no formations loer thjan Brigades,, they 5X0 useful choeks whon no
other souce of information is available.
4,. Lfr Pbroi Ops Plashes aetoloprints from Vings or Sqiazrorns
giving full details of attacks mee 'by planes of the iatical Air
ft-e Daily Log. 2nd T.. poduced a daily reocri of
all their operations giving time, numbes and type of aircraft load
and a bief statement about tho tarot nrd results. It sho
noted that map references are not iC0, reliable and often a string of
plao-names is.follwed by a statement to tho eff ct that 3 tnkp"an
5 U.T. were destroed, such infctinations being quite use'*** to the
Air. Ministry rar Roam Air Staff Operation aimarios wreA
tfS . They give nmbers of aircraft, weight ot bambs
and pilots' claims for all the air forces all over the worldo
Publshed daily, they are a most fruitful souroe of intontion"*An
aing with weights of attack but give no details as to
bombs or their uses.
knon as "pink
7. Hostile Battery History Sheets can be obtained from the
0.B.O. They gve the date, method and acocraoy of location of each
battery togethr with in ormation about weights of ountor-battery
fire put down on it and sam idea of the duration of its activity.
G. Nistory Shots vam frm Battery H.Q. and record, among
other things, the nmber at equivalent full charges-fired and the
state o atain
it is usually boat to
consult theG .P.O. or the No. i ct the gun for dtails of roui
fired in a particular engems nt.
"0. Lrtillery betocrological Data can be obtaned from the Net
party associated with the operation but it is necessary to a=ang
with them beforehand for the preservation of all their records. If
Ravin asoents are made, data can be obtained fran the G.L. team.
1. Divisional R.i. Log, kept by the C.R.A., records any ext a
barraas or harassing fire over and above the original plan.
12. RJLZ. Recoyery Section Tank Casualty Location ists show
where all knocked-out tanks are situated though they tend to exclude
-brpw-up&* which axe not worth recovering.
13. LflJUM. Wkshowp Tonk Repair. Records provide Information
about the type of dum sustained by the various tanks that have been
I4. P.O.r. intellinoe smarios arc issued poriodica.12y from
various H.Q. and cover all-maner of subooets on which information
has boon gatherud by interrogators.
15.Shellrepsentto the C.O., recrd the rriVgA1t hGstU.
shells with some ilos of the direction from which they a .
16. 2nd Scholon Casualty Roturns give the dlny numorws of killed,
wouned and missing in eah unit.
17. Divisionl edisal Returns re consolidatol by the ..D.N.S.
from, all C.C.S. and P.D.S. reports. They usually irnitet the wepon
for the death or Nrd
18. Div and orps Intelligence Sumpearits; z'eforrod to in Section
4 above, a give useful iacmation o the enemy's rbactio to the
19. harjal PhotMihe can be used to firA where bombs abfli Aa
roedots 1-aded. In good vsather wmy sortiesam lwotNn mdnIt is I"n
photos tWkn beoreoto af ter a bombarbent, tD
pcosoib*, by ocaulwi
raw 4WtS Mrm 0CM.
Notes on the
(a) zoopt when tilled itt wator, craters will usually Y1elA
luesas to their origin in the f: m o frAOnts, larrin from
oxporieno owo soon boosos export at distinguishing fraonts of a
60 2b S.4.P. Rocket ProJeotilO from those Of a shell etc. The a#e of 4
orator is harder to detormine.beoauso ono is not often on the scene
early enough to recognize. that easily distingu.shed appearanco at newly
distur d. earth; the s.u tbof velgtation groing in a crater is usaL2
a iood indication of as, but In domp soil cM with hot weathdr. oM. a .
be deceived in ibis.
(b) Bmb craters.
There are so msw variables concerned in the determination
guide am be given (.cemake anrAMa
orater sines that no reliable
in Chapter V). The very larp and very semll
cen be recognised bt the intermediate sies present difficulties.'
the sam that
to disting.i& the two sets of craters by their relitfive smie. Caters
in roadways will generally be filled in by the time the ir -o1
investigators arrive, but one qan make a fair estimate of the si"e of
Bomb wcaters in
the orator by inspection of the distutbod. surfac.
shallow water show up quite wall on aerial photopwbein.
These ara usually very shallow and pear-shaoged, with a wry
ehar.toi.stic "butterfly-wing" pattern in the spoil; theso Owingou
ar thrown forward- along the line of flight. The only notable eaoeptions
anong shell aters are thos of the super-heavies which are round, 2 or
3 feet deep and without butterfly-wings; this is especially so in wet
soil where even medius tend to make this type CC crater.
(d) Mortar waters.
than a scar on the surface;
Mortar bombs make hardly m
usually almost rourA and very shallow, these are about i8w in diameter.
The larg German mortar bombs make cate'.s .-cprable with those at
field. artillery anlls.
. .(6P lb
Lthcugh with different types of soil and different angles oft_
dive a variety of shapes and sines have been encountered, the most usual
type of water is val, sore 8' by 5' and about 18" deep. Digging
crater ill generally reveal characteristic fraponts but this is often
gsenoe, in or near the crater, of the easily
unnmessary beeast of the
rscognise4 rocket motor snior 'fins. The motor rsam&les a 3 foot length
of drain pipe No isd).*
(t) Larid rockets. Qxattress')
The craters ar similar to those of the aircraft rocket but
the motor tends to split into long thin strips like the 1"Il of an
outsine banans; these st ps will be found ractruing from the crater.
£r oacmam and M.G. sea".~
L metalda roa~d that has been stated ohoms very definite
r&marks. Thre strafting occurs ini paassad holes as largeas6in diametr can often be seen.
(&) Tbarc I retreat has taken place. one has alwayS to be OA the
lookout for vehicles destroyed ))y the oneiV to prevont thou fallift
into our hado. This is usuallyindicated by the presonce at the
mtal canes in wich the German deolition~ chargos anc carried -and by
*~fact that the. ontra of doatuction is located in a standard
Vehicles that were destrod on roads aro goworanly pushod off by bulldoers at! one has to try to cstimate the positli at the tim at the5
kil and to assess what wa oigiral damage ma what was done by th
b u 2to r
to a wohio*le aMd than one has to resort to deductivo reasoning and the
cauaes*. Thi prolmi
(a) Cannct and .G. its
as f chnol
xt~&bt, spiosor p o fire a "kdea vehicles othe a
b oug anreol.
Bule hzinos inth
postblecaues o As
their situation WAnattituft mey yUuia
to often In battlefield Ivs
fatwo= detective wfU3
have been a first class peratical fieuedahw.
L type.~ ato
poatioa have leen exMdIim& VOMASIM twe
the shalow pit Aug for the 2D = LAL gun to the raiotOSA
oaMates of heeaycoasta gIUns. They fanfl.it two classes, *0os
OFTAwently maib by the troye in the field (varying ensOMOVaROU82
according to the oiweaustsnces) wa thoe mads by wdenwite labW
4 bean. the batt2s &aM built to stansa. spOVOitaIONS).
They ewe easy -to tIA whn built In the oen AS VWuare -a I
built up than OXoavateA. Quite large peitiol were, howe, niua1~'
misad shen they wore hian abong the sape at a wood but the peod.nnt
barrel af'the abwomine pm usu22y oauftt the eye.
(0) vaoooUPIsA sites.
1!hen a gun site Is overrun or toe troop Is forced to retreat,*
sam evidene of occupation is iavariab~y laft. empty oases, 6201048
papers, bopty tima wa cigarette packets. but-, 1wn no such *VLUMD
is fourA, oe ehcu2A examine the Woun& for tracla boto statin. tlik
the site had 8efinte3 *enunoooudeA.
These were often so wll devised that they 4eceived the eyo
until cia approached quite nar. 1fceibn pales wer used to elualatej
Guns still on sito when the positions were invostigatoA vore
eithor inutact, suggestinj s'trrender or waW~ retroat, dostroycA by Ih
crow, indicated by standara Uage (breach blocks blown massles sO±t
oin the case -of A.L. guns, mountings aoinoliahod) or. ieStroyA by
5011 weapon at Os.
bmpty cartridge oase tell their own story* The waber at
wavietirouft ouA ansits is often at interest as cames bem
cocinel where positions were overrun bocause the wounition vas
All records, Gounnts* arA personal papors mob as lottoes
such sourees csa be
Idnt,?AA fic4atioun of t
tM up with the P.1r. interrogation. Gravos; wiah
ci without -aatos on them, anaaead bodies anl yield. vaxuable,
tifformatioi. :7heol tracks throughi or pwryoey avalding recent cratr.
aWst vithdrswal aftew shelling WM beg=,.,,
(a) A knowlodge of the appearance of the Invreasions us&o by the...-tracku vf all typos of A.P.V., both British oMAGorasn, all.ws ote lo4
reconstruct the ourse at events to a very eonsi rablototf
(b) The-depth of tba Ingrossiona made by such tracks MA
indcations of siding aM bellying emWAbA the investigator to assessI
the effeets of the tal*-arrying capacity atie
on the emtie o
,TJohnson, Nao Va'....a-&&Apa
in Ma~kthie am, wi th a team of' G
l~nstr'uctors were to co
ou another P ,edicteA Fire Survey (this at.
cauatie at9 athalaewl
party, att timespa4
mjo rn inmt
Mao w'ae nSarpant
Offiers who haol Jlust j}oined us fri the Medica Research Council,
t loos- o oarout
on to Cew, or Stwwey (trosask.
ad the Remt
, or daft by the Mss; to Uock ar Ge p. Tho-atok
vas- as pey
ona, heailysuppor by a.llt. a
, bt thedacniee
ant ionluded in te
Of the Sieghhed lse, jo that t ant slol.
The archCUry nart we
docaod tfie acuracy (RelMd
f=e oto and
from atay, 2). on
selves, got iean tr
effects (Rcopwt 26),
Control Post an a manes
report wasfi a straight
accudoin, . Thoah, it wep ow
t, of then
a ac Cotrong
ah mmansel steb
solvesies,.wel the oral* effectsreport expands& the ealier I*tshef
bombardment* usd i
valablo an altoo
the operalon w
4p means nos,
oTaihough e On
stoted, the ait sesuo the Veoritable batev
it wnt on forom
yet, with our amies sloil fitin
hean -a.oigve a tong rio of superfiat
ie nly heavy
Llthoeuh Lt.-Col. Johno was'
oc asonull wonsulUdi
on th plfint the ofwas tt o for th ble ;ti
to do; ft the- most part it was dataibod administration that contod,
and theetowe had no part. During this poriod Major Pike I reportoc&the
militryvalue of Rlocket firing TyphoonB was finally published (Joit
It was based o
ao ri s Of inV0utigations
of Typhoon att.-
on avariety at military tarots. !Wst interesting perhaps it attempte
an assessment of the mcale effects of attacks with this mcapqon, bass&
observation and prisonert
:~e~bete1hM.- The aassat swransh 316d.
ca. .saslton the Rhine. 7,e plannad what we righA.yA
susectd o b alast great effort: majors Thllwo and Pike, Coptolve
MAthiasson and. loyae, and several of 0.R.5. T.L.J. to combine an a largeJ
study, cE the flak oAn Countar-flak prortm (Which included air
artillery); Major Swann and Lt.-Col. Johnson to stucly the build-op of
vehicla. and. units over the river; Major Sarguannt to follow the amu
axd. tho Uiiol tea= to aitay agtin casualties to tank personnel. Yot
anethor Tao H.Q. was sot uip in a reasonably intact house in Koveoar
som ays before the assiult an& the party set .to work.
of the from
succession of planes anti gliders sailing impeturbably over the Rhine
ae disappearing into the fog of war fast forming over the battlefield.
The sa af ternoon we wont down to the Rhine and watchod the Buffaloas,
assault boats .AMrafts fast ferrying over vehicles &M troops. To
the south, after a little shelling, the creossing wnt easily, and by
the afternoon bridgahoads wore socuro. The near bank was socthing vrith
mm, and boteo an irosiatablo likeness to Margato on a BankHoliday with
in tho m waiting to cross. Though there
tar bank, and even a few landing.in'tho water,
nothing fell to disturb the party on the near side. But furthor north,
ab in particular opposite Roos, the fight ha boon harder, and the
builA-up badly delayd. Although by the time we arrivod things wore
easier, the grim ovidonooof what ha& gone before was all too evident.
It was opposite Roes that almost the only Gorman j6t-plano, or indood,
any sort to appear in the Rhino crossing, ahrioko& down at.
us, sounding like sae monster shll.
A few days later the *whole party crossed the Rhine and sot up a
now Tao M next to Main 12.Corps. A few days later stil., so fast was
th battle now moving, wo movod forward again to Dinjdan, next to
2d Arm Hoadvartors.
I this time the Flak and 'Countr-Flak party
towrd the countryside ozmining gun positions, while others followed
the armour. But as time went on, it bece increasingly difficult to
reach the front fron Dingdon, and so Major Sargeaunt and the Medical
Officers left to lve"with Tank units. Soon after, our Tao H.Q. came
to an era and we returned to 21 Araw Group, which had now moved to
Suchteln jut inside Germany. The inevitable report writing follo~md;
fltber 30, about the Build-up, and Joint Mober 4., about Flak and.
ounter--Flak. The first of these two represented our second and last
esasy into matters of organisation ard inicated if it did nothing
mary problems of traffic control demarning investigation.
The seoond report contained some interesting and unmsual statistics on
the airborne operation, but was mainly onoornpd with a study of the
luense neutralisation prograune. All the methods we had evolved for
. thLa .scrt of study in the past were brought together in this very
"2i.. The end of the Section.
eamhilo tho armourod divisions raood on oards the nerth Gorman
ooast, Bremen, Uweburg, MAboek. It was evident that we should do littlo
More of any imodiato valuo, and it beono incrcasingly doubtful if we
shqlA oveor'do arW oreo at all. As a last gosturo, more from curiosity
th. anything lseo, Major Swann and Captain Royce wont to a Corps
Readquartors,,proparing to attack sowe of the northern fortroseos,
lived with thom, and tried to find out vshothor after all they could not
direct and imndiato "Scientific .4viao".
Perhaps fortnat"ly, surronder intervened before the matter was put to
If the Riine arossing was a cliaxa, the ovonts that followed ire
anti-clmx.. The'rosult was only a matter of tim-, and *Y*nsurrendrr
it was no surprise. As an O.R.S. our work was done, and
in tho'months that followed, before ve finally broke up, we only.
xfnAshod off reports:
?Mbor 32, the Z"oured'pursuit beyond the Rhine,
mbor 33,Me Pansarfaust and Mmorandum Nxmboz 2, Bombing bohirn the
hino. THo first of those reports was more of a series of observations
on tactics than a report. The second was a thorough and suocesaful
study of the tactics and effects of this unusual Gorman weapon. It vas
prhaps a fitting last report for the Section, inasmnh"as it was a
ulminating dovolopmont of the type of work with which we starto, in
Normanmdy, Mortar location and Sherman tak casualties.
A. 2 m
'hbust the Section was in integral part at H.Q. 21 .rq Crup the
day to day aftinistation WA very ittle dforent trM that o O
ariinnz7 unit of oomieable asx.
It was not until late .Lagust Whoe
the Sotiaon went o cut into the blw to liv on Its own that new
problems had to be face.
Then the non-owistionc8 personnel had to wilwtake tasks that do
not usually fell to their lot. Driwr batoon bad not only to drive and
to wbxt" but had to do f ar wre( of' t-~aradmitnnea
vehicles than is usual for mon in thoiwpoeition. They had also to be
able to cook as they atten "Ant off for days with thoir otZicrs a4fM
a box c rations nd a p trol oor were oxpoetod to produo 3 oale a
dWy or starve. In many oaos they had to assist thoi officers in the
exvinination af aza-its, boub craters end the like.i
Parties froqontly returna to Seotion HQ. in the aftemran OnZ
dure to sot of again at 0900 brs nout morning.
Thismeant that the ehiolos had to bo overhati2od, lmps and ooolmrs
repaired or roplaoct, rations for several days pAod up And a bAb-odand ame6
ade tails attanded to. It was esoential, thorofare, to have
at the baso the requisite personnol to deal with such qpLqroncies, Tm
K.T. n ohazni ani.the Corporal between them saw to it that those things
went a !cotbay.
.- th such a fluid section as this it ws impossible to predict how
eny voula be present at H.Q. at any givon tims and thoug fflew-sin tbo field triad to sond mossaps warning of their Arrival the bodie
the papor by evoral hours aol cuplicatad the feeding
-ith ach moe of Section H.Q. And Vith.tho sotting up aoeach Tao
the Lftinistrative oficar had his work oAt out to visit tho
proposed area, obtain acmmodation nd return to oreair 'do
The' Clerical staff, at one tia orly a Serjoant typist And a no.clirk, wa
aterwipe d by the acquisition (surplus to ostdblishmcnt) of 'a second typist, The ,vaduction of the any reorts And
memoranda (an avoraj of one vury 8 days) was a big task, as each
involved several drafts including tables of figurs And calculations endthe lzangamW was generally somowbat above the heads of the typists,
0 the motion w, auh that for dys And ovn woks sow
mon "rouldbe workint
at full presu=o and then a bift rospito follow.
often to rofum allocations of vacancies for short leave inPers as
thera ie no a freto S.Temnwr
That tho r
a takof an Tr*s, kept this unuu bo
of men 1pingsmoothly wAs A credit to himself -.nd of insstlachle velve to ft
The strength of No. 2 Oprational seeareh Section r'as as folios:-
i COW-al (
i X.T. mohad
jope & 2 trailer
j Bedford 3tn i rY
2 iklor 0034
ULst Of isports WA)aa.
A. 2 O.R.S. REMI
t Royal 11-rim
nArtillery in operation "MMNS'
Investigation of an Attack on a German Colma nar
nEnmTakan .. ithMoan
area, Aluut 19144
Darbing of Casn, 7th July 194.4 (at QHWW~b)
Bombing in operation G0M.DW
'Bombing in operation 3BLUW
Bombing in operation TOTAIUS
Effect of 90 lb Fragmontation Daub.
Sugestea Plan to blook Germn Retreat from Argantan
Tloation of Enemy Mrtars
of 75 mm Sherman Tank Casualties, 6th Jun -.
10th Jay 194.
S Heavy Bombng in Suppt o thelru
Enemy Casualties in Veh:,les and Xquipent in the
Retreat trom Normandy to the Sei" 16 "ir
and Ground Supprt in the Zsault on Boulops
Lnalyis of Geman Tank Casualties in Fstace 6th Jne
31sat .uguat 1914
Tank Casualties during the .zloitation Phase after
crossing the Seie
Infantry officer Caw,.ltiem
G.L.III in Forecasting rind for Artillery Meteor.
Effect at rtillery Firo on Enemy Forward Defensie
Positions in the Attack on Qeilonkirchen (30 Corps)
Acuraoy of Predicted Shooting - operation S TCI5AO
Zffect of Various Forms of Fire Support on the eatum
Dofenoes of taicheron
Sapport Operation VaT=BLZ - Effeot on Porward
Ati-Tank guns in the .rdennes
Use of Mobilo Radar Control Posts far 4ir Support ot #WOf Counter-ulttery
Firo in operation V'm!ABZ
Speed ofBuild-up in the '.aault Crossing of the PM~n
Aocracy of Predicted Fire in operation VIER T
Pursuit aftor Crossing the Eh,4
Use of the Panserfaust in the N.X7. European Cmnpai
WOTS (2 G.R.S. and CWTAV)
Air attack on Enemy Lmour in the
3 Roke-fiirgTypoon inClose Support at VMlia
German Flak aA Allied Countor-flak Measures in operatice
Bombig at Caunio
at- tta Lir Poas to afama the Mw'
IAai hng af DtKqt Fgi"t IDae:
Hwy~ S9olnd belhind the lines ibr IntrdLCAuaa:
Fititte and Fi9hte1r-b0ber -tecs
flgltear od Piftez-bver attedsa c~in
'AM'trwt No 1)
b In Op~tof -thea~
Abt ad Ormm Sipport, In-the Aimau
(Hipoat No. 36)
obifig in OPOMIeOrft
Is From tn axainatlon of the VWotd and or Mr hitoIrcPhs, end from InfAtution provided
01(aC), SECUiD AFMafter the operation, to estimate )"c boan cede of the efftoct of the
bombing of CALM
on 7th July, 1%6 This hts boo further supplIeolted from fnceunta of e
hTIBH prisoners *a ur
In the town at the ties.
The report that follows
iS divided Into four sectO s-
fest on merale.
Efect on fighting IriCAN*
4 Mr photorphs
Ora we =
Phatorrphs of dmnago,
t.lweon the ground; will b subluetd as an ndoendm in duo course.
In an aminatlon of this tpe, It is not eoa to obtain d t als of other than puroly
ttota. Measurod In torms of theso offects lone, It migt Moer that this aorial
bombordment me of only ifulted suacoss, but the bald tat must In no ciroatmas be overlooleed,
th.t it ws prelude to r coomplotely Socessful oporation culzinating in the onptura of the towne
It- D14UM INFLXM&
The bwInbl%- cttc on C:ZN oonsisted of twosoarPto rifds. The first involvec 300
knilrorn't with M R 030
u.iJLng point: bombs from ts attack were Intendod to Cver the
northern Suburs of CAMI. The sood involved 160 aircraft, aiming at i R 011695, an area of
open fields. These two distinct target are"s, one town end the other e tstty, we doscrlbod
Etch bomber crried 5 tons, aad it .ppears from the craters that a mixture of 500 lb
end 1000 lb bmbs, tUwd .025 seconds doln, wer.rUsd. Dotnite intormetion on these points is
not avzili.ble here.
This area consists of SoothlY undulating fields of rassand Mteat, intersectod
by various roads and traecls. The bombs u.ire reasonably closely spaced, the centre of thw
Pattern beine abut 200 to 300 yards east of the caling point. The circle containing
9110thS Of the bOetbs has been sti MTed roUehlY and iS Shon rhus '-..Oe.
on the nm and
on air Photorxphs I end 2. there rrns very little enst of this circle, end only a row
sticks north ant south, but to the siest cd South vest, there was a certaln mount of spill
Into the area- of ST GEMtAIN
U~ BUXCE iiEPJE.R
lEnerSatrlrl and praonnel,
There were not ny Coran troops in this r, . 0(a). SE0OM m state that
26 83 REM7(IWJflTM) wen braed on ST M,,IN U, . '.aiuiEME and that 2nd OW 3rd 9tys
of 155 LWT REOT
of 21 PZ IY ware In the areanorth west of C M. These bttoarlos wore
Duch depleted, an probebly consisted of Oly 200 non Ad 15 to 20 10.5 m 0eope SP guns
end 12 em russitn tretor-drarn Cuns with perhaps 40 vehicles. in addition there were
vCioGus unidentified FlUAiunits in the n lhbourteod.
overprint of 2nd July, 19%4 Shwed the following:-
(a) 2eouayintctin rnues
01oM. the track at...•
6? SP ON
-'.. m,a 3
tics am 9 al..u
to h-Mb ban WAb~to
(a) or 3 guns
2 on *op
COPY ciyvOflkble to DTIC does not
ceut ontn~ 9fiWteat~ro
The offset,of the bobing on the Oraw Is bust Show by
ounuid~rine o', a ita
the dofto OVOrprlltt
extmication troflhos Thet were reln f ittotd out tndermroin offie
qWcrters. Ite tre outside the Uain sam of the OmObS and could hot M OTheeOe
be 60GaOt'd to fll* Storod doneO MOO05
dq. M S TNSO consisted of T.rl .1tateiyc U(4(rruh
off lo~5wis qutm.rsr, surrondA4 by ifIre. Thos, :,Is,
utsid the nnob
trot Of bOabifiC but thure Worv fun1boabs TithIn thb %M4oiosrt. Aea.Ut the
%1' :n ':
thic ar._- therv, w~ro mzatreus sit trneh slooping
es or s1~1A
.n. -hun pit$
of Y'.riolf sizes* Tho site mightj
el Pile cm, =t a %Tocedrod quite mnroealkaablo vehicle. There P1103 of
2D= *0l cuses. IndicatinG that there had boon -runs of this "~Ibro there.
isaw$ ilIolY tart the other -.MS and YMhOleS Wore savwoIod .creer tho
tbsbnc. ;.bout 146
hours eloped before the cixJw1JI3 occupiwd this prcrtilo
an,_# so thet S.-lyolo would beet boon possible. there rae no dead left behinds
Tho -1nstt of Uba~ yrioJ frr nil to rbout 15 per are.
This vaoeocntainod sloopI C holes and 1..C, OUPU~ts.ew
The site mict h.'YO held 50 non$ but M~dMd vore found.4
cre also 14
smerely d=^-cod iueold voibles, one (Incod somi-treked
-Y hiolo -1111 d2r4od r-otor ey-ole. The Ground ws hcrolly aczlwd with tyrolis,
:ndi t is pro.,tblo thX there nad in ftnt boen a. mbor of SP Cane in the are,
~t~tc:othor with Such vohicles ts ruornod sorvioeeble, bed booA romwed
at seat titio after tite lboobln. The density of buobs varied rrrebout 10 to
15 per core.
(a) 2 r 3?_[uns. This emc ontailned tho usuci slit trench slelIng holos cs
well es ono lgiCter sa-tracked personnel cerrior with trailor. not badla
do~ovc4 end two stvarelr drncgod soadl suo-traoked vehicles. Twodead Gowmn
lrd boon left ;^.nirlly buried In a orntor. This Site might he held 2 or 3
mmnsmd 20 to 30tn. fteodnsiyof bobs viod tronnil to aboutlo0pw
1&. Eftoot on rornd MtAcks.
Th rs onlyo pre rtd
~arcof the booingt Misito
grh u on the MMpt7. It rSCboeUt 5 to6 yrds wide, xuW to as vih as 6test In
pianoS. It h~d received 13 hit$ Mtich Partially' or UtOlly blocked It to 160"e
?be crtmr wer howevor Quito scslna tilled swoby' buldoze
witin 6 hursof
he ree btn cmpld b 'lloed forces. The blockage of this read
did rat seriousl affecot either side as detours woe ously =o in the Son
fields. The Utros
-t 8 -Ad 9, 2lthouch running through the noat heovily bhand
ame (15 hocbs per core) weft taolly norotIeble by whbir detours rounid the craters.
Mwroads Wn1trecks outside the no~i bonbinG area, although In la tow ases thq Woe
Strom with a;little debris, wore in no wy affeacted as regards takine traff Ia.
13 rot Possible to estinto nS nu estotly an ar centcininz 9110the af the beebs. Thi
ME aj-uw'onrea. With wldt..l v~ery
donsities or houses. h prineipol Mo
~tuildin: ra t i-ity btilit, Qoachc vibntn villa of too or three Stories. Thle Greot
CISOV~ty of thos4 cre ra l1 grceIO,, Wnthose left stmdine were vo ermiDUSlY
1=0004 Toe S.,ut~rn pxft of the re lost inWlud e a prt of the Win town, Shwe
t1eM 19re stMn builulOg (act dotoahod) of I to 5 stories.
'the density of '-XWS int this crec ms :baut 35 Weroorei the centro, frile
3 o wt 10 pe can towords the 40CA6
xItin t: tho 6'neonetiMon In the moruttn Pre. thfire was soae $pill Into
til bcarily7 bUiii-Wo ares In the uth. mere prrtIeul~Ir me.vy .'At~tIof =1s ceased#
their offoat wa of no orentC111
in the mburban Areas the strees rer on the average about 12 yrds wide,
except for the main entrrIce roods, which wore smetimes as wide as 20 yards. Inkthe
the streets varied between boulevards of 100 Yods across to Side Streeto oflly
h number of Commas in the area was mall
0C1(a), BMIWOA..ff, stute that
the North pan of C..t contaitled only recr
nts of a battalion of 31 C.? lEOIMD and
ot 12 88 DIVISION, probrby less than 100 sen altogether. It is known that there Ahre
omeOormas a=nIti;.s, but no stluateo6 be mad of the nambers. Only three dead
Oo"O.n were foudw Wrilng the examintion of the are, but others uW have boen buried
in the rubble.
the defence overprint of 2nd July, 194. showed only ainH? per In the Worth of
CAN. Although this particular re was heavily cratered, no vehicle rmainse were foumd,
Indloatinc probably that thW had been now
v% before the bombing& it Is otherwise •
inconcelvable that relics wud not have bon found.
Effets Onroads In SbAn~eU%&
The affet of the bombing was to produce a oplete obstruction to all %beelod
vehiclos enoring the Towm fro the North, alone tho direct routes of the Grande•
Communications lo. 22 and 79, 7 and 60 (sue hp). It is 3ust possible th tthra ed
vehicles could hoo found a w,7 through, although this Wasnot In fat tried. The
obstruction ens due almost entirely to craters, which were so close as to l"0
for dotourse The obstruction due to wrOcked buildie was onlry iidentra In the Centre
of the area,. althou h In the Southern, bore heavily built Up area, it contributed to
atent. no density of b0abS in this area TIOed between 1d-€rd"5O per Core.
The first attempt to clear q route throueh consisted in sendln a bulldoser
tfr11 to 12 on the Nap, in the artaenoon of 9th July. The bulildozer oceeded In
anoothin, a path throueh the suburblan are,
suitable for tracked vphIcles, as far as
the point (12) tbere it was hold up by a Ir
crater with half wreoked buildings on one ,
side aW a vertical descent into the roat of the Chateau on the otWr.
Effect on mod in town areas.
Tio utent of the obstruotion in the town Itself Is shon dleartetio
l lly' on
the Hap. The obstruction was due panrtly to anters, but mainly to large masses of
notegy, as much as 10 feet hich, broucht down from stone uildings, The height of the
obst ucions depended on the hoicht of the buildings and the width of the streets, but
ta a rouh ost.tatt, complete obstrution resulted then the heicht of the builldlng me
equal to or Crooater than the Width of the Sret* In man lnnoI,
thei am" or'
the only netbod of Clearing
woult be quite ineffective,
This degree of obstruction, which was far greater then that Ine the sb a
we" Was proue by a very suc Am er doir/
of bombso, low than 5 per onn..
Little evidenc could be obtained of the effect of the bombing on Osman morale,
thigh is urortunate, as this 5r. wePl have been its greatest rontribution. No P.*. ver
Captured Whohod actuall been in the bombin.
the PaW. outside the area agreed that It
s most frietening while it lasted, but It uWsnot Possible to find ot whether this effect
ves lasting, The
OAFRegiment, whoheld positions north of CAE, were Isolated and
received no food or canition after the bembing, but In fact tmW resisted for onsiderably
longer than troops to h lost Ur West.
Then is no doubt that our aim troops were Miatly onourceed both by Seeing the
imhressiv Strew of bombers flyinp overba
ad also b knowing that the bombswere dropping
rea%hreUthc were to fight the nt dW.
effects of the bombinG of C1i en the Subsequent figbting In the ane am
Only hro boon manll In view of the sm-l number of troops in the area. Ouch troops ts there
MW cat neces rlly have been erOusi dimor ised.
The 31 GAPRegiment, who
food, Petrol or ammnition throun
for sone drys loncor thnn those in
the forces lMst nd West wore
were holding North of Cne, did nat ret nay, supplies of
after the boing. Although in toot thseqfrceS held Out
the East d West epproaches to COlx, It f
only have been
ble to retire, Wile these Nrtkwero m-t.
o OPISiOD of both 9 €N and 9 DRIS 4gaea. *o
intened CAN irom West Mj gut
ere that the bm lng io and 3U t North of CUM Could 0nl he wedo the Tom.
more difficult to tdie Sine It dented much Of It to all but Infanty an foot, tile
plenty of averter snipars, restricting the number of ntronoew to be hald,
intact a latera~l routo through the toom.
he following polnta, though nt
fully proven stud out fro A onsideroation of
adlnota abhomy boabruf.In
The pomsibility of will fre th. main tI eet Me, oat be di owo for.
Ionbuilt ) up we*,
- tbe wzote
it) QpjiijMj . L density of hoba up to 15 potr c oer a oonsiderble arng
did not block tho roAds.- In Motgent~i, or In heavily ditched or wooded country.
onan detousa are difficult or impassIble, such blooklng might noults
a Blocking ws achieved with a vory high donaiwp of bombs (up
to 35 per tire). Subsequent clearing tV bulldosora was possible.
(o) ?&Igrns. Blocking roslted from quito a mel dOMenity of bombs (loa thn
5 po aro) cd eve er c
Ozeo difficllt to olea r boauso ot hugo woos of
l AMhours olpsod before
Maodte4 or sufriciently intacj to be
troops occuplet this Poa. so Uket SeIV690 Vad baveo boon Possible. It to wMUkrd
YA M S
ae been WohItefd by ththrt eUA af ro.$Vo2Y IMMOtMO.I1but emater
moue instoad of
10 ou of about 1.0 vehileswore loft behind serioully daw4ode A consid"r
hlhcr proportion Still could lyl beon destroyed hed insteetnaen u fuses boon led, In VAis
cunnaction It should be noticed tht.t mo t of tho r PAMn6 vohicles Were hea ly saihod. but
tlthfew frepnt str klce1 Indlo i g tb.t thr bad Orly been destroyed when they wn within
or at. le"At very notr the win of an Individual oGr~o
soft t"wueort Is undoubtedly one of the
s nmat vulnerablo points to this form
te atorial eff ects pedesed br this bobia Mttak do net appe= to be ftttieet
h oPrtiont p reo
t huh IM
.. t"ns ip-,4