CIC 477

Past Issues
CIC 476
CIC 475
CIC 474
CIC 473
CIC 472
CIC 471
CIC 470
CIC 469
CIC 468
CIC 467
CIC 466
CIC 465
CIC 464
CIC 463
CIC 462
CIC 461
CIC 460
CIC 459
CIC 458
CIC 457
CIC 456
CIC 455
CIC 454
CIC 453
CIC 452
CIC 451
CIC 450
CIC 449
CIC 448
CIC 447
CIC 446
CIC 445
CIC 444
CIC 443
CIC 442
CIC 441
CIC 440
CIC 439
CIC 438
CIC 437
CIC 436
CIC 435
CIC 434
CIC 433
CIC 432
CIC 431
CIC 430
CIC 429
CIC 428
CIC 427
CIC 426
CIC 425
CIC 424
CIC 423
CIC 422
CIC 421
CIC 420
CIC 419
CIC 418
CIC 417
CIC 416
CIC 415
CIC 414
CIC 413
CIC 412
CIC 411
CIC 410
CIC 409
CIC 408
CIC 407
CIC 406
CIC 405
CIC 404
CIC 403
CIC 402
CIC 401
CIC 400
CIC 399
CIC 398
CIC 397
CIC 396
CIC 395
CIC 394
CIC 393
CIC 392
CIC 391
CIC 390
CIC 389
CIC 388
CIC 387
CIC 386
CIC 385
CIC 384
CIC 383
CIC 382
CIC 381
CIC 380
CIC 379
CIC 378
CIC 377
CIC 375
CIC 374
CIC 373
CIC 372
CIC 371
CIC 370
CIC 369
CIC 368
CIC 367
CIC 366
CIC 365
CIC 364
CIC 363
CIC 362
CIC 361
CIC 360
CIC 359
CIC 358
CIC 357
CIC 356
CIC 355
CIC 354
CIC 353
CIC 352
CIC 351
CIC 350
CIC 349
CIC 348
CIC 347
CIC 346
CIC 345
CIC 344
CIC 343
CIC 342
CIC 341
CIC 340
CIC 339
CIC 338
CIC 337
CIC 336
CIC 335
CIC 334
CIC 333
CIC 332
CIC 331
CIC 330
CIC 329
CIC 328
CIC 327
CIC 326
CIC 325
CIC 324
CIC 323
CIC 322
CIC 321
CIC 320
CIC 319
CIC 318
CIC 317
CIC 316
CIC 315
CIC 314
CIC 313
CIC 312
CIC 311
CIC 310
CIC 309
CIC 308
CIC 307
CIC 306
CIC 305
CIC 304
CIC 303
CIC 302
CIC 301
CIC 300
CIC 299
CIC 298
CIC 297
CIC 296
CIC 295
CIC 294
CIC 293
CIC 292
CIC 291
CIC 290
CIC 289
CIC 288
CIC 287
CIC 286
CIC 285
CIC 284
CIC 283
CIC 282
CIC 281
CIC 280
CIC 279
CIC 278
CIC 277
CIC 276
CIC 275
CIC 274
CIC 273
CIC 272
CIC 271
CIC 270
CIC 269
CIC 268
CIC 267
CIC 266
CIC 265
CIC 264
CIC 263
CIC 262
CIC 261
CIC 260
CIC 259
CIC 258
CIC 257
CIC 256
CIC 255
CIC 254
CIC 253
CIC 252
CIC 251
CIC 250
CIC 249
CIC 248
CIC 247
CIC 246
CIC 245
CIC 244
CIC 243
CIC 242
CIC 241
CIC 240
CIC 239
CIC 238
CIC 237
CIC 236
CIC 235
CIC 234
CIC 233
CIC 232
CIC 231
CIC 230
CIC 229
CIC 228
CIC 227
CIC 226
CIC 225
CIC 224
CIC 223
CIC 222
CIC 221
CIC 220
CIC 219
CIC 218
CIC 217
CIC 216
CIC 215
CIC 214
CIC 213
CIC 212
CIC 211
CIC 210
CIC 209
CIC 208
CIC 207
CIC 206
CIC 205
CIC 204
CIC 203
CIC 202
CIC 201
CIC 200
CIC 199
CIC 198
CIC 197
CIC 196
CIC 195
CIC 194
CIC 193
CIC 192
CIC 191
CIC 190
CIC 189
CIC 188
CIC 187
CIC 186
CIC 185
CIC 184
CIC 183
CIC 182
CIC 181
CIC 180
CIC 179
CIC 178
CIC 177
CIC 176
CIC 175
CIC 174
CIC 173
CIC 172
CIC 171
CIC 170
CIC 169
CIC 168
CIC 167
CIC 166
CIC 165
CIC 164
CIC 163
CIC 162
CIC 161
CIC 160
CIC 159
CIC 158
CIC 157
CIC 156
CIC 155
CIC 154
CIC 153
CIC 152
CIC 151
CIC 150
CIC 149
CIC 148
CIC 147
CIC 146
CIC 145
CIC 144
CIC 143
CIC 142
CIC 141
CIC 140
CIC 139
CIC 138
CIC 137
CIC 136
CIC 135
CIC 134
CIC 133
CIC 132
CIC 131
CIC 130
CIC 129
CIC 128
CIC 127
CIC 126
CIC 125
CIC 124
CIC 123
CIC 122
CIC 121
CIC 120
CIC 119
CIC 118
CIC 117
CIC 116
CIC 115
CIC 114
CIC 113
CIC 112
CIC 111
CIC 110
CIC 109
CIC 108
CIC 107
CIC 106
CIC 105
CIC 104
CIC 103
CIC 102
CIC 101
CIC 100
CIC 99
CIC 98
CIC 97
CIC 96
CIC 95
CIC 94
CIC 93
CIC 92
CIC 91
CIC 90
CIC 89
CIC 88
CIC 87
CIC 86
CIC 85
CIC 84
CIC 83
CIC 82
CIC 81
CIC 80
CIC 79
CIC 78
CIC 77
CIC 76
CIC 75
CIC 74
CIC 73
CIC 72
CIC 71
CIC 70
CIC 69
CIC 68
CIC 67
CIC 66
CIC 65
CIC 64
CIC 63
CIC 62
CIC 61
CIC 60
CIC 59
CIC 58
CIC 57
CIC 56
CIC 55
CIC 54
CIC 53
CIC 52
CIC 51
CIC 50
CIC 49
CIC 48
CIC 47
CIC 46
CIC 45
CIC 44
CIC 43
CIC 42
CIC 41
CIC 40
CIC 39
CIC 38
CIC 37
CIC 36
CIC 35
CIC 34
CIC 33
CIC 32
CIC 31
CIC 30
CIC 29
CIC 28
CIC 27
CIC 26
CIC 25
CIC 24
CIC 23
CIC 22
CIC 21
CIC 20
CIC 19
CIC 18
CIC 17
CIC 16
CIC 15
CIC 14
CIC 13
CIC 12
CIC 11
CIC 10
CIC 9
CIC 8
CIC 7
CIC 6
CIC 5
CIC 4
CIC 3
CIC 2
CIC 1

Infantry Divisions on the Western Front, 1914

Arguably, the most important military operation of the past century or so was the opening campaign of the First World War in France and Belgium, which insured that the Great War would be long, bitter, and devastating, with consequences that are still echoing across the world.

In 1914 the contemporary way of calculating military power was in terms of divisions, and specifically infantry divisions.  The table summarizes the number of infantry divisions available to each of the Western Front combatants at the start of each week from the onset of mobilization to the end of December, by which time trench warfare had set in.  All types of infantry divisions have been included here, active, reserve, territorial, and militia formations. In addition, the table excludes three Belgian garrison divisions (Antwerp, Liege, and Namur) and six division-sized German Ersatzheer (replacement corps), which did end up at the Front.  There were also many independent brigades, none of which had any support services or artillery: Germany had 27 Landwehr (territorial) or Landsturm (militia) brigades, while France had five independent regular brigades and Britain one.  Forces not present in the theatre of operations are omitted.  Thus, the table does not include forces in the United Kingdom and the empire until they arrived in northwestern Europe, nor French forces in North Africa or on the Italian frontier, until they were committed on the main Front.  

Allied Divisions German Divisions
Date Belg Brit Fr Total West Total
Aug 2 6 - 75 81 71 83
Aug 9 6 - 79 85 71 83
Aug 16 6 4 79 89 71 83
Aug 23 6 4 85 95 71 83
Aug 30 6 5 85 96 69 83
Sep 6 6 5 85 96 73 89
Sep 13 6 6 86 98 73 89
Sep 20 6 6 87 99 73 89
Sep 27 6 7 89 102 74 89
Oct 4 6 7 88 101 74 89
Oct 11 6 9 88 103 75 91
Oct 18 6 10 88 104 85 103
Oct 25 6 10 88 104 85 103
Nov 1 6 10 90 106 86 104
Nov 8 6 10 89 105 86 104
Nov 15 6 10 88 104 87 105
Nov 22 6 10 88 104 87 105
Nov 29 6 10 88 104 87 105
Dec 6 6 10 88 104 91 112
Dec 13 6 10 89 105 91 112
Dec 20 6 10 89 105 87 112
Dec 27 6 11 89 106 87 112
Note: Date is that of the Sunday at the beginning of each week. As noted in the text, allied figures are the total number of divisions in France and Belgium. German figures give the number of divisions on the Western Front (West), and the total number of infantry divisions available in the Imperial Army (Total).

The influence of the so-called “Schlieffen Plan” on German deployments is evident in the figures for the first few weeks of the campaign, during which the proportion of the Imperial Army committed to the West was greatest.  But even then, the German Army did not even approach parity with Allied forces, getting no closer than 87.7 percent, and that only in the opening week of the campaign.

Changes in the numbers of divisions are due to a variety of factors.  Increases reflect the activation of new units or their arrival of divisions out-of-theatre, while decreases may be due to the movement of formations overseas --the French had to replace active army formations in North Africa with territorials-- or the administrative dissolution of a division. Belgian fortress divisions aside (not counted here), no divisions were destroyed in combat during this period.  As these are net figures, although the French raised two new divisions in the week ending of August 30, they also disbanded two, with the result that no change appears in the number of divisions.

 

"Second Class Boy"

Until well into the twentieth century most ships’ crews, warships and merchantmen alike, included boys working as servants or apprentices.  For example, during the eighteenth century boys (and the occasional girl passing as a boy), often as young as ten, comprised nearly 10 percent of the crew of the typical British warship.

The custom of sending young boys to sea was a very old one, and officers were encouraged to take on “servants” with financial rewards (they got to pocket most of the boy’s pay).  But abuses abounded.  For example, some ship’s captains would carry their sons, or the sons of friends or kinsmen, often as young as age five or six, on their crew lists in order to give the boys a “paper trail” of service at sea, which presumed experience, and thus gave them a leg up in securing a commission.

To prevent this sort of corrupt practice, and to help keep very young children out of the service, in 1794 the Royal Navy replaced the traditional system of recruiting boys with a more formalized one.

  • First Class Boy: “Gentlemen” or “volunteers” as young as 11, seeking a commission, to be instructed in seamanship, mathematics, geography, and so forth, before ascending to midshipman, were paid £6 a year (about £6,250 in today’s currency).
  • Second Class Boy:  Older boys, of 15 to 17 year, seeking a career before the mast in the navy, presumed to have some experience and serving regular watches, were paid £5 a year (about £5,200 today).
  • Third Class Boy:  Lads of 13 to 15, presumed to have no experience, performing basic duties while learning the basics of seamanship, for which they were paid £4 a year (about £4,150 in today’s money).

With appropriate changes, including pay increases, basic educational requirements, formalized training programs, and so forth, this system formed part of the Royal Navy’s manpower policies until the middle of the twentieth century.  For example, Admiral Sir John Forster "Sandy" Woodward, who commanded the British task force that retook the Falkland Islands from the Argentine invaders in 1982, had entered the Royal Navy as an officer cadet at the age of 13.

BookNote: Considering how common the custom of sending young boys to sea was, it’s rather surprising that the subject did not received any attention from historians until the 2010 publication of Roland Pietsch’s interesting The Real Jim Hawkins: Ships' Boys in the Georgian Navy , which takes its title from the cabin boy of Robert Louis Stevenson’s adventure yarn Treasure Island.

 


© 1998 - 2021 StrategyWorld.com. All rights Reserved.
StrategyWorld.com, StrategyPage.com, FYEO, For Your Eyes Only and Al Nofi's CIC are all trademarks of StrategyWorld.com
Privacy Policy