Sunday, April 18, 2010

RN Division.

This is coolbert:

"The General inspecting the trenches
Exclaimed with a horrified shout
'I refuse to command a division
Which leaves its excreta about.'

But nobody took any notice
No one was prepared to refute,
That the presence of shit was congenial
Compared to the presence of Shute.

And certain responsible critics
Made haste to reply to his words
Observing that his staff advisors
Consisted entirely of turds.

For shit may be shot at odd corners
And paper supplied there to suit,
But a shit would be shot without mourners
If someone shot that shit Shute."

That German Air Force [Luftwaffe] ground division [LwFD] of World War Two [WW2] fame [?]comprised of excess and superfluous personnel, organized as an infantry division, the LwFD seeing combat action at Stalingrad, had a predecessor!

The British Royal Navy [RN] Division. Organized during the Great War [WW1], consisting also of excess and superfluous personnel, sailors of the RN, seeing combat not in the slightest manner as a normal naval rating would, but rather as infantry on the Western Front, WW1!

"The British 63rd (Royal Naval) Division was a First World War division of the New Army. At the direction of Winston Churchill, the First Lord of the Admiralty, it had been formed at the outbreak of war as the Royal Naval Division composed largely of surplus reserves of the Royal Navy who were not required at sea"

Surplus reserves - - not required at sea! "We can use them else where!"

"Forming a Division:

Long before the war it was realised by the Royal Navy that, enormous it might be, but it still had too many reservists for the number of sailing vessels it would have available in time of war."

"The idea was put forward that units could be trained as infantry to fight for ports or naval installations and then to defend them. I think that the RAF Regiment serves a similar purpose today only for airfields etc."

A concept worthy of merit. "Troops", sailors organized and capable of fighting as a ground force, for the purpose of guarding ports, naval installations, occupying or even capturing analogous enemy facilities, etc.

NOT necessarily intended to be placed in the thick of the ground combat as was seen on the Western Front, NOT fully trained or equipped or experienced infantry of the quality as you would have with a conventional army infantry division.

BUT seeing combat action on the Western Front during the Somme Campaign, some of the roughest-toughest most deadly warfare imaginable.

[the 63rd RN Division did have organic a regular army infantry brigade and several battalions of Royal Marine light infantry. The RN Division did not totally consist of sailors!!]

For those of you curious, Shute was the British regular army general commanding the division when it saw combat on the Somme! Shute was not liked, as expressed in verse! Obvious!


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