Operation Granby : Desert Rats armour and transport in the by Bob Morrison

By Bob Morrison

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The Elector of Saxony had joined the imperial cause, and the Swedes retained only a small bridgehead in the north. The Swedish E a r ly Mode Rurnnn iWa ngrHfae ra ed, 1500 –1713 23 Fig. 1. The Battle of Wittstock. The Swedish army prepares for its assault on the wood defenses of the Allied center and left flank before Wittstock. (Detail from a 5 -foot, 11-inch, illustration of the battle. Courtesy of the Swedish Krigsarkivet, Stockholm) force, screened by thick woodlands, advanced on Wittstock from the south and crossed the Dosse River.

But how is this to be effected? his baggage and provisions are unloaded and scattered, part of his horses and drivers killed, others dispersed by fear, and his wounded to be carried by soldiers already fainting under the fatigue of a long action. The enemy, encouraged by his distress, will not fail to increase the disorder, by pressing upon him by every side, with redoubled fury and savage howlings. He will probably form a circle or a square, to keep off so daring an enemy ready at the least opening to fall upon him with the destructive tomahawk; but these dispositions, tho’ a tolerable shift for defence, are neither proper for an attack, nor a march thro’ the woods.

Very soon afterward the Light companies of Line battalions were grouped together in Light Infantry battalions. For his own operation, Bouquet recruited special bodies of men: hunters, flankers, and scouts. Bouquet wrote careful, to use the modern term, “standard operational procedures” for fighting among trees. These writings and precepts are instructive, providing evidence not only of his experience and clear thinking on forest warfare but also illustrating the details needed for such operations in this period.

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