Learning Curve, The Great War
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Transcript: Source2
Orders sent out to British commanders, 22 June 1916
(Catalogue ref: WO 158/234)

1.     During the first two phases of the operations, outlined in para 4 (1) and 4 (2) of the above orders, there may arrive a moment when the enemy's resistance may break down, in which case our advance will be pressed eastwards far enough to enable our cavalry to push through into open country beyond the enemy's prepared line of defence. Our object will then be to turn northwards, taking the enemy's lines in flank and reverse, the bulk of the cavalry co-operating on the outer flank of this operation while suitable detachments will be detailed to cover the movement from any offensive of the enemy from the east. For the latter purpose the line LES DOEUFS – BAPAUME – high ground east of MORY – high ground west of GROISILLES – MONCHY – le – PREUX is of tactical importance. The front gained between the rivers SOMME and ANCRE will meanwhile be maintained by part of the forces available.

2.     During which phase of the operations the enemy's resistance is likely to break down it is impossible to foretell, but the Army Commander wishes to be prepared for the most favourable situation to ourselves, while at the same time running no risk of a less favourable situation finding us unprepared.

   If the enemy's resistance breaks down during the first phase of the operations it is necessary to have the cavalry close at hand to exploit our success and that all other troops should make way for their advance. On the other hand, if the enemy's resistance is not at once broken and hard fighting ensues on the Green line, then it is essential that nothing should interfere with the rapid advance of our artillery and reserves in preparation for attacking the Brown line and maintaining our position on the Green line. The cavalry must in this case be kept back and clear of all routes to be used by artillery and infantry in their advance.

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