Talk:Structure of the Australian Army during World War I

Active discussions

Request for informal reviewEdit

@Hawkeye7, AustralianRupert, Nick-D, Ian Rose, and Peacemaker67: - Gents I've just created this article and if possible would appreciate you having a look over it for gross errors or omissions if you have the time. Hawkeye7, noting that this is one of your fields in particular any time you might be able to spare would be greatly appreciated. From that outset I accept that by only covering the ORBAT at the end of the war the article is by no means complete, but I'm more after a review to pick up any major factual issues rather than suggestions for expansion etc (although if you have any and are willing to spare the time pls feel free to add those as well, or to dive-in and chop / change, add material as you see fit of cse). Thanks in advance. Anotherclown (talk) 13:42, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

G'day, nice work. Thanks for having a crack at this one. One suggestion I have is to add the locations of the expeditionary forces (e.g. Western Front, France/Belgium, Sinai/Palestine, New Guinea etc.), similar to how you put it next to the military districts. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 21:19, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
Sure looks comprehensive, AC. On the subject of locations for the expeditionary forces, I guess one could argue that by their nature they weren't necessarily tied to locations like the districts (yes folks, I am thinking of WWII and the RAAF area commands vs. their mobile formations like No. 9 Group and No. 10 Group / First Tactical Air Force) but then obviously they operated somewhere and perhaps that's worth noting. I guess that means I'm neutral on this point, can see arguments on both sides... ;-) Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 22:06, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
This also looks good to me. My only comment really is that the article doesn't capture the large scale of the AIF's administration, logistics and training units in the UK, France and Egypt. The chapter on this topic in Graham Wilson's book Bully Beef and Balderdash: Some Myths of the AIF Examined and Debunked (which is a much better book than its title suggests) could provide a useful source here - it provides detailed order of battle material. Unfortunately I don't own a copy. It could also be noted that almost all of the home army units were reserve formations manned on a skeleton basis (with the entire system being close to collapse - see the World War I defences of Australia article), and the AIF combat units were frequently greatly under-strength. Nick-D (talk) 08:29, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
I have a copy. It was an interesting use of my OrBat. Hawkeye7 (talk) 10:39, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks gents, I appreciate all your help with this one. Anotherclown (talk) 10:51, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
Nick - I added a bit more IRT to your other suggestions re manning. How's that look? Cheers. Anotherclown (talk) 11:24, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
Anotherclown, surely there are some locations able to be added for the home units? Each unit in 1918 was located at a particular barracks/town, surely? As regards the expeditionary forces, one might add a paragraph at the top saying generally where each unit was at the time. My understanding of an OB is that three things need to be present : title of unit, location of unit, equipment (the last not necessarily relevant here). In addition, yes, endorse Nick-D's thought - can we start filling in the CSS and administrative echelons? Maintenance units, remount depots, hospitals, training units, etc etc etc, both in the expeditionary forces and at home.. Buckshot06 (talk) 05:01, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
Gday. I've added a bit for the Citizen Forces IRT service and medical corps now and I think Hawkeye's previous additions probably cover the AIF. Other than that I'm at the limit of my sources. IRT to locations for home units I'm certainly not opposed to it but there are a few issues - first and foremost is that realistically most Bns and Regts had sub-units that were widely geographically dispersed (each coy / sqn in a different town) so there would be a large amount of information that would need to be presented and I'd wonder how we might do this in a way which didn't overwhelm the reader. Secondly I only have that info for the infantry and light horse units available to me. One method I'm considering adopting is to add the territorial title for each unit, however, this only applied to the infantry and the light horse. Once again though the issue with doing this is just the amount of information this would provide to the reader (also it would be incomplete as I'm missing a couple). Thoughts? Anotherclown (talk) 09:31, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
Ah, OK. I didn't realise they weren't concentrated. In that case for the home units you'd just put the battalion/regiment HQ location (when you have it available). That is at least my standard for territorial/Army National Guard units. At least that gives some texture. I'd fill in the infantry and light horse, and then wait for other information to become available. Artillery etc when the information arrives... Cheers and again, great work... Buckshot06 (talk) 21:10, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for having a look and offering suggestions. BTW I've added the territorial titles I had for now. Anotherclown (talk) 09:51, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Could the structure of the Australian Army at the declaration of war also be included to show the build up to what was then at close of hostilities? Regards Newm30 (talk) 01:33, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Gday. Yes I can see definite value in that, I guess my main concern with that though would be just how big this currently is already and that adding more may detract from its readability. Also in many ways the 1914 list would look very similar to that of the Citizen Forces from 1918 (minus a number of units raised b/n 1914 and 1918) and obviously without the ANMEF and AIF so I wonder if the casual reader might not comprehend. I choose 1918 due to the sources I had and it fitted neatly with showing the "peak strength" (in terms of units) of the Army (albeit minus the 6th Division which was broken up). Anotherclown (talk) 09:51, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Could we do a collapsible list? So if the reader wants to view they can? Not sure how to do it, but have the information to add. Regards Newm30 (talk) 23:01, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like a creative suggestion although that is beyond my limited skills. I'm not opposed to it though if can someone can pull it off, although I guess I would be interested in discussing at what level do we collapse it (for instance do we collapse each of the MDs? or the entire 1918 list etc) One other thought is maybe to use columns to reduce the whitespace? All that said pls don't let me stop you from adding the 1914 ORBAT if you are keen to make a start, we can work out the formatting stuff later. Cheers. Anotherclown (talk) 10:26, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
Newm30 - thank you for adding that material, I've expanded it a bit now to include the higher level departments, formations, training schools etc and added some missing corps (like the Automobile Corps) etc. Anotherclown (talk) 05:32, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

Central Flying SchoolEdit

CFS is conspicuously absent from the 1918 Officers' List. @Ian Rose: - Do you know if it could it possibly be No. 2 Flight (3rd Military District)? If so would No. 1 Flight (2nd Military District) be Camden then? Anotherclown (talk) 10:33, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

I meant to add a "thanks in advance" on the end but was a bit quick in hitting the save button. Cheers. Anotherclown (talk) 10:28, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
Hi AC, wasn't waiting on the thanks in advance, just been very busy preparing for trip away! Coulthard Clark (The Third Brother) only mentions No. 1 Flight, as follows: "Test-flying began at Point Cook from 1 March 1914, and by July, when the peacetime Army establishment was amended to acknowledge the existence of No. 1 Flight of the Australian Flying Corps (AFC)..." (p. xv). Note he later says: "The armistice in November 1918 came barely two months after the CFS had undergone an extensive shake-up. Under the reorganisation which became effective on 9 September, the school became a unit of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and consisted of No. 1 Home Training Squadron and an Aeroplane Repair Section. The Australian Flying Corps (AFC) reinforcements camp at Point Cook, now redesignated No. 1 Home Training Depot, also came under the umbrella of the CFS." (p. 12). No mention of Camden anywhere. Hope this helps! Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 00:51, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for digging this up, greatly appreciated. Unfortunately I'm actually a little more confused now though. I guess the problem is I'm using sources which depict the Army's structure at moments in time during what would have been a period of considerable development (i.e. the Staff and Regimental List 1914 is at 1 July 19141 January 1914 and the Officers' List 1918 is as at 1 August 1918), but as you show there often seems to have been some "lag" in organisational changes being reflected in establishment changes. I might have to think on this for a bit. Anotherclown (talk) 08:58, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Well I think an OOB always has to be "as at" a certain date, and if 1 Aug is your 1918 date then the 9 Sep change is no help. CFS would still have been part of the AMF, but even after searching for Nos. 1 and 2 Flights throughout Third Brother, Cutlack's official history of the AFC index, and my ecopy of Fire in the Sky, I'm also none the wiser on these two, at least by the time 1918 rolled around... :-( Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 09:22, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Agreed re as at dates (although I think some "wiggle" can be applied as long as its annotated etc) and re statement "CFS would still have been part of AMF" unfortunately though for whatever reason the Officers' List 1918 doesn't seem to list it (I still suspect No. 2 Flight is code for CFS but maybe I'm way off). I think I'm going to have to try and get the Staff and Regimental List for 1918 (there seems to be only one copy in the whole country other than in the National Archives I guess...) BTW I checked Cutlack, Issacs, Molkentin and Units of the Royal Australian Air Force before asking you, sorry I should have mentioned and saved you from wasting your time looking there. Regards. Anotherclown (talk) 10:10, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Heh, it's okay, four eyes are better than two and my checks were very fast, so no trouble... ;-) Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 10:22, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
BTW I've added this now using the Third Brother ref, thank you for digging that up. Anotherclown (talk) 09:38, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
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