A Popular History of The Great War/Volume 1/Page 78

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THE OPPOSING FORCES


next rank, and then Lieutenant Colonel, who was usually in charge of a battalion of infantry or a regiment of cavalry; Major, Captain, usually the company leader, Lieutenant, and Second Lieutenant completed the list of commissioned officers. The non-commissioned officers were Sergeant Major, Sergeant, Corporal; and Lance Corporal. The adjutant acted as the Colonel's chief assistant, while the Quartermaster looked after the battalion's stores. Divisions and brigades had each their own staff and a number of miscellaneous units and officers to complete their organization. Quite apart from this military hierarchy, although controlling it and providing for its equipment and food, was the secretary of state for war, with his army council and his great civil department.

The strength of the various units of the Regular Army just before the outbreak of the Great War was:

Infantry 149,507
Cavalry 20,332
Artillery 47,894
Engineers 10,230
R.A.S.C. 6,463
R.A.M.C. 4,781
R.F.C. 1,005
Miscellaneous 13,328
253,540

Perhaps the greatest achievement of Lord Haldane during his term of office as secretary for war (1905-12) was the creation of the British Expeditionary Force. Under his scheme this force of 160,000 was constituted for employment abroad in case of need. It consisted of six divisions of infantry, each composed of 598 officers and 18,077 men, with 54 field guns, 18 4.5-in howitzers, and 4 heavy 60-pounder guns, and one division of cavalry, composed of 485 officers and 9,412 men with 24 horse artillery guns. In addition, troops were provided for the lines of communication. The total strength available for the firing line was thus about 130,000 officers and men, with 480 guns.

The actual British expeditionary force that reached France in August, 1914, had a combatant strength of about 80,000 men — four divisions, and one cavalry division. The other two divisions did not reach the front till the middle of September. The original force, divided into two corps under Sir D. Haig

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