HORNE, Henry Sinclair

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Military records clearly indicate that the first of what came to be known as a 'rolling' or 'creeping' barrage was used by the Bulgarians in the Siege of Adrianople in March 1913.

    On the Western Front, it is usually agreed that this concept of covering artillery fire by lifting it in strictly timed stages to match the advance of the troops, whilst causing the enemy to cower in their trenches or dug-outs, was first employed by British 51st Division at Loos in September1915. The commander was Douglas Haig, of British First Army.

    However, it was on the Somme in 1916 that Henry Sinclair Horne, Commander of XV Corps and then First Army, first routinely deployed this technique using a rate of approximately 50 metres advance per minute, but considerably slower in bad (e.g. muddy) conditions.
    In April 1917, Horne again highly successfully used the technique with the Canadian Corps at Vimy Ridge; hence the Canadians are often described as original deployers of the 'creeping' barrage.

    In its final form, the 'creeping' barrage could be a wall of several rows of exploding munitions over a mile in depth. Depending on the circumstance, it could include artillery shells, howitzer, mortars and even machine gun fire. Once the barrage had crossed the enemy defence-line it would be halted, providing a protective curtain against any counter-attack. And then, when the allied troops were ready to advance again, it would continue its timed forward progression until the next objective was attained. And so on.

    However, Horne was the first to concede that much of his success with the 'creeping barrage' was due to the ideas of Ernest Wright Alexander,VC, who was Brigadier General Royal Artillery XV Corps on the Somme and, later in 1918 Artillery Commander of British First Army.

    Amongst other prominent figures who also claimed the 'creeping barrage' as their own were British 4th Army Commander Henry Seymour Rawlinson, and French Army Commander-in-Chief Robert Georges Nivelle.


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