« October 2009 »
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
You are not logged in. Log in

Search the site:

powered by FreeFind
Volunteer with us.

Entries by Topic All topics  
A Latest Site News
A - Using the Site
AAA Volunteers
AAB-Education Centre
AAC-Film Clips
AAC-Photo Albums
AIF - Lighthorse
AIF - ALH - A to Z
AIF - DMC - Or Bat
AIF - DMC - Anzac MD
AIF - DMC - Aus MD
AIF - DMC - British
AIF - DMC - French
AIF - DMC - Indian
AIF - DMC - Italian
AIF - DMC - Medical
AIF - DMC - Remounts
AIF - DMC - Scouts
AIF - DMC - Sigs
AIF - DMC - Sigs AirlnS
AIF - DMC - 1 Sig Sqn
AIF - DMC - 2 Sig Sqn
AIF - DMC - Eng
AIF - DMC - Eng 1FSE
AIF - DMC - Eng 2FSE
AIF - 1B - 1 LHB
AIF - 1B - 6 MVS
AIF - 1B - 1 LHMGS
AIF - 1B - 1 Sig Trp
AIF - 1B - 1 LHFA
AIF - 1B - 1 LHR
AIF - 1B - 2 LHR
AIF - 1B - 3 LHR
AIF - 2B - 2 LHB
AIF - 2B - 7 MVS
AIF - 2B - 2 LHFA
AIF - 2B - 2 LHMGS
AIF - 2B - 2 Sig Trp
AIF - 2B - 5 LHR
AIF - 2B - 6 LHR
AIF - 2B - 7 LHR
AIF - 3B - 3 LHB
AIF - 3B - 8 MVS
AIF - 3B - 3 LHB Sigs
AIF - 3B - 3 LHFA
AIF - 3B - 3 LHMGS
AIF - 3B - 3 Sig Trp
AIF - 3B - 8 LHR
AIF - 3B - 9 LHR
AIF - 3B - 10 LHR
AIF - 4B - 4 LHB
AIF - 4B - 4 Sig Trp
AIF - 4B - 9 MVS
AIF - 4B - 4 LHFA
AIF - 4B - 4 LHMGS
AIF - 4B - 4 LHR
AIF - 4B - 11 LHR
AIF - 4B - 12 LHR
AIF - 5B - 5 LHB
AIF - 5B - 10 MVS
AIF - 5B - 5 LHFA
AIF - 5B - 5 Sig Trp
AIF - 5B - ICC
AIF - 5B - 14 LHR
AIF - 5B - 15 LHR
AIF - 5B - 1er Regt
AIF - 5B - 2 NZMGS
AIF - Aboriginal LH
AIF - Badges
AIF - Cars
AIF - Chinese LH
AIF - Double Sqns
AIF - Engineers
AIF - Fr - 22 Corps
AIF - Fr - 13 LHR
AIF - Honour Roll
AIF - HQ - 3rd Echelon
AIF - Marching Songs
AIF - Misc Topics
AIF - NZMRB - Sig-Trp
AIF - Ships
AIF - Ships - Encountr
AIF - Ships - Una
AIF - Wireless Sqn
BatzA - Australia
BatzA - Broken Hill
BatzA - Liverpool
BatzA - Merivale
BatzB - Boer War
BatzB - Bakenlaagte
BatzB - Belmont
BatzB - Bothaville
BatzB - Buffels Hoek
BatzB - Coetzees Drift
BatzB - Diamond Hill
BatzB - Driefontein
BatzB - Elands
BatzB - Graspan
BatzB - Grobelaar
BatzB - Grootvallier
BatzB - Hartebestfontn
BatzB - Houtnek
BatzB - Karee Siding
BatzB - Kimberley
BatzB - Koster River
BatzB - Leeuw Kop
BatzB - Mafeking
BatzB - Magersfontein
BatzB - Modder River
BatzB - Onverwacht
BatzB - Paardeberg
BatzB - Palmietfontein
BatzB - Pink Hill
BatzB - Poplar Grove
BatzB - Rhenoster
BatzB - Sannahs Post
BatzB - Slingersfontn
BatzB - Stinkhoutbm
BatzB - Sunnyside
BatzB - Wilmansrust
BatzB - Wolvekuil
BatzB - Zand River
BatzG - Gallipoli
BatzG - Anzac
BatzG - Aug 1915
BatzG - Baby 700
BatzG - Evacuation
BatzG - Hill 60
BatzG - Hill 971
BatzG - Krithia
BatzG - Lone Pine
BatzG - Nek
BatzJ - Jordan Valley
BatzJ - 1st Amman
BatzJ - 2nd Amman
BatzJ - Abu Tellul
BatzJ - Es Salt
BatzJ - JV Maps
BatzJ - Ziza
BatzM - Mespot
BatzM - Baghdad
BatzM - Ctesiphon
BatzM - Daur
BatzM - Kurna
BatzM - Kut el Amara
BatzM - Ramadi
BatzN - Naval
BatzN - AE1
BatzN - Cocos Is
BatzN - Heligoland
BatzN - Marmara
BatzN - Zeebrugge
BatzN - Zeppelin L43
BatzNG - Bitapaka
BatzO - Other
BatzO - Baku
BatzO - Egypt 1919
BatzO - Emptsa
BatzO - Karawaran
BatzO - Peitang
BatzO - Wassa
BatzP - Palestine
BatzP - 1st Gaza
BatzP - 2nd Gaza
BatzP - 3rd Gaza
BatzP - Aleppo
BatzP - Amwas
BatzP - Ayun Kara
BatzP - Bald Hill
BatzP - Balin
BatzP - Beersheba
BatzP - Berkusieh
BatzP - Damascus
BatzP - El Auja
BatzP - El Buggar
BatzP - El Burj
BatzP - Haifa
BatzP - Huj
BatzP - JB Yakub
BatzP - Kaukab
BatzP - Khan Kusseir
BatzP - Khuweilfe
BatzP - Kuneitra
BatzP - Megiddo
BatzP - Nablus
BatzP - Rafa
BatzP - Sasa
BatzP - Semakh
BatzP - Sheria
BatzP - Surafend
BatzP - Wadi Fara
BatzS - Sinai
BatzS - Bir el Abd
BatzS - El Arish
BatzS - El Mazar
BatzS - El Qatiya
BatzS - Jifjafa
BatzS - Magdhaba
BatzS - Maghara
BatzS - Romani
BatzS - Suez 1915
BatzSe - Senussi
BatzWF - Westn Front
BW - Boer War
BW - NSW - A Bty RAA
BW - NSW - Aust H
BW - NSW - Lancers
BW - NSW - NSW Inf
BW - Qld
BW - Qld - 1ACH
BW - Qld - 1QMI
BW - Qld - 2QMI
BW - Qld - 3ACH
BW - Qld - 3QMI
BW - Qld - 4QIB
BW - Qld - 5QIB
BW - Qld - 6QIB
BW - Qld - 7ACH
BW - SA - 2ACH
BW - SA - 4ACH
BW - SA - 8ACH
BW - Tas
BW - Tas - 1ACH
BW - Tas - 1TIB
BW - Tas - 1TMI
BW - Tas - 2TB
BW - Tas - 2TIB
BW - Tas - 3ACH
BW - Tas - 8ACH
BW - Vic
BW - Vic - 1VMI
BW - Vic - 2ACH
BW - Vic - 2VMR
BW - Vic - 3VB
BW - Vic - 4ACH
BW - Vic - 4VIB
BW - Vic - 5VMR
BW - Vic - 6ACH
BW - Vic - AAMC
BW - Vic - Scot H
BW - WA - 2ACH
BW - WA - 3WAB
BW - WA - 4ACH
BW - WA - 8ACH
BW Gen - Campaign
BW Gen - Soldiers
BW General
Cavalry - General
Diary - Schramm
Egypt - Heliopolis
Egypt - Mena
Gen - Ataturk Pk, CNB
Gen - Australia
Gen - Legends
Gen - Query Club
Gen - St - NSW
Gen - St - Qld
Gen - St - SA
Gen - St - Tas
Gen - St - Vic
Gen - St - WA
Gm - German Items
Gm - Bk - 605 MGC
GW - 11 Nov 1918
GW - Atrocities
GW - August 1914
GW - Biographies
GW - Propaganda
GW - Spies
GW - We forgot
Militia 1899-1920
Militia - Area Officers
Militia - Inf - Infantry
Militia - Inf - 1IB
Militia - Inf - 2IB
Militia - Inf - 3IB
Militia - Inf - NSW
Militia - Inf - Qld
Militia - Inf - SA
Militia - Inf - Tas
Militia - Inf - Vic
Militia - Inf - WA
Militia - K.E.Horse
Militia - LH
Militia - LH - Regts
Militia - LH - 1LHB
Militia - LH - 2LHB
Militia - LH - 3LHB
Militia - LH - 4LHB
Militia - LH - 5LHB
Militia - LH - 6LHB
Militia - LHN - NSW
Militia - LHN - 1/7/1
Militia - LHN - 2/9/6
Militia - LHN - 3/11/7
Militia - LHN - 4/6/16
Militia - LHN - 5/4/15
Militia - LHN - 6/5/12
Militia - LHN - 28
Militia - LHQ - Qld
Militia - LHQ - 13/2
Militia - LHQ - 14/3/11
Militia - LHQ - 15/1/5
Militia - LHQ - 27/14
Militia - LHS - SA
Militia - LHS - 16/22/3
Militia - LHS - 17/23/18
Militia - LHS - 24/9
Militia - LHT - Tas
Militia - LHT - 12/26
Militia - LHV - Vic
Militia - LHV - 7/15/20
Militia - LHV - 8/16/8
Militia - LHV - 9/19
Militia - LHV - 10/13
Militia - LHV - 11/20/4
Militia - LHV - 19/17
Militia - LHV - 29
Militia - LHW - WA
Militia - LHW-18/25/10
Militia - Military Orders
Militia - Misc
MilitiaRC - Rifle Clubs
MilitiaRC - NSW
MilitiaRC - NT
MilitiaRC - Qld
MilitiaRC - SA
MilitiaRC - Tas
MilitiaRC - Vic
MilitiaRC - WA
Militiaz - New Zealand
Tk - Turkish Items
Tk - Army
Tk - Bks - Books
Tk - Bks - 1/33IR
Tk - Bks - 27th IR
Tk - Bks - Air Force
Tk - Bks - Yildirim
Tk - POWs
Wp - Weapons
Wp - Hotchkiss Cav
Wp - Hotchkiss PMG
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
Open Community
Post to this Blog
Site Index
Education Centre
LH Militia
Boer War
Transport Ships
LH Battles
ALH - Units
ALH - General
Aboriginal Light H
Ottoman Sources

"At a mile distant their thousand hooves were stuttering thunder, coming at a rate that frightened a man - they were an awe inspiring sight, galloping through the red haze - knee to knee and horse to horse - the dying sun glinting on bayonet points..." Trooper Ion Idriess

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre aims to present an accurate history as chroniclers of early Australian military developments from 1899 to 1920.

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre site holds over 12,000 entries and is growing daily.

Contact: Australian Light Horse Studies Centre

Let us hear your story: You can tell your story, make a comment or ask for help on our Australian Light Horse Studies Centre Forum called:

Desert Column Forum

WARNING: This site contains: names, information and images of deceased people; and, language which may be considered inappropriate today.

Thursday, 22 October 2009
Brigade Scouts, Scouting or Protective and Tactical Reconnaissance Part 2 Protective Scouting
Topic: AIF - DMC - Scouts

Scouting or Protective and Tactical Reconnaissance, Part 2

Protective Scouting

Frederick Allan Dove


3rd Light Horse Brigade Scouts in the hills at Tripoli, December 1918


In 1910, Major Frederick Allan Dove, DSO, wrote a book on a subject he was very familiar with through practical experience called Scouting or Protective and Tactical Reconnaissance. This book set the intellectual framework for the formation of the Brigade Scouts during the Sinai and Palestine Campaigns as part of the Great War.

Dove, FA, Scouting or Protective and Tactical Reconnaissance, 1910.

Method Of Study.

SCOUTING should be studied under two heads:

I. - Protective Scouting.

II. - Scouting for Information by detached Patrols.

In the text-book I. is called Protective, and II. Tactical Reconnaissance.

I will deal first with

I. - Protective Scouting.

Protective Scouting is of a precautionary nature. Upon its proper performance depends the protection of our Columns from annoyance, surprise, and ambush.

Troops within striking distance of the- enemy must throw out Advanced, Flank and Rear Guards. Each of these again pushes out smaller groups, or even individuals, to feel for the enemy. Thus the column is surrounded by a human "Screen," behind which it may march, rest, or manoeuvre, securely hidden from the prying eyes of the foe. The work of this “Screen" will be described in its relation to

(A.) The Advanced Guard.

(B.) The Flank Guard.

(C.) The Rear Guard.

(A.) The Advanced Guard Screen Of Scouts.

The distribution of the Advanced Guard into Mainguard and Vanguard is prescribed in F.S. Regs., Section 66, 3, 4. Nothing is said as to the formation of the Vanguard.

It would appear, however, that the essential subdivision should' be into a line of Observation and a line of Resistance; that is to say, into

(a) A Screen of Scouts.
(b) Supporting Troops.

When the Vanguard consists of both mounted troops and infantry, the former would naturally form the Screen of Scouts and the latter the Supports, which would still provide for their own protection by a few Scouts, who would assist to keep up connection with the cavalry patrols in their front.

1. Formation of the Screen.

It is not at all necessary that the Screen should be a complete unit, such as a troop* or squadron*. [Infantry please read "section" or "company'."] But it is essential that it should be organised into patrols, that each patrol has a leader, and that unity of action is maintained by reference to a directing patrol.

Mounted troops work best in patrols of four men, infantry in either files (two men) or fours. A line of single Scouts is weak in all those points which go to make up good screening work, viz., keeping touch, observation and communication.

There must be a leader in each patrol. By him the other Scouts are controlled, disposed, and moved as his intelligence and training suggests.

There must be a Directing Patrol. With this patrol will march an officer or N.C.O. specially detailed to maintain the correct direction. From the directing patrol all other parts of the Screen maintain touch and direction; it also regulates the average pace of the Screen in conformity with the movements of the Mainguard.

2. - What every man in the Screen must be told.

Before the Vanguard moves off or extends to cover the front, every man in it should be told

(a) The Direction of the Advance.

This should be done in reference to landmarks if possible; the compass direction given; and attention drawn to the position of the sun, and the direction of the wind, if steady. Landmarks should be pointed out. Important topographical features known to the officer and not immediately visible to the men should be mentioned.

(b) The Frontage to be Searched.

In this matter, again, landmarks are the best guide, if available. Scouts to be efficient must have a good eye for the tactical importance of localities. All their movements should be preceded by a brief study of the features of the Country to be traversed. Frontage should never be defined in hundreds of yards, nor should the intervals between patrols or mere be fixed by any other consideration than the nature of, the country.
The Scouts must be taught that the Vanguard will always cover as wide a frontage as can be effectively searched by the numbers of men in the Screen.

Put another way, this means that the patrols will keep as far away from one another as they can, without losing touch, and without neglecting the observation of ground where even small bodies of the enemy might lie in ambush.

(c) The Directing Patrol.

The Directing Patrol should be named - e.g., "Corporal Smith's patrol will direct." The other leaders will then note their own relative position in the line. This is necessary in order to secure the first essential of Screening work,

Keeping Touch.

This term requires some explanation. The Vanguard is “in touch “with the Mainguard when it can and does maintain ready communication therewith, and is in position to fulfil its duty of reconnaissance. Should the Vanguard get so far in advance that communication is difficult, or should it diverge from its proper direction, and thus uncover the Mainguard, it may be said to have “lost touch." Similarly, a number of patrols are in touch when intercommunication is easy, there is no unsearched ground between them and they do not overlap. In the Scouting Screen touch is kept from the directing patrol. In each patrol the duties can be so allotted as to secure this. For instance, here are three patrols:

Number (3) patrol is directing; in each case he is the leader, b right flanker, c left flanker, and d rear man.

Number (2) patrol keeps touch with number (3) and number (1) patrol keeps touch with number (2). In patrols (2) and (1), the man c has the duty of looking to the touch and letting his leader know how the patrol on his left is moving, or whether it has halted, and to answer and pass on signals or messages. Should number (1) patrol get so far out as to lose touch, it is not the duty of number (2) to follow it but the leader of (2) should at once inform the commander of the Screen. He may then detach one or two of his men to take the" place of number (1) patrol and at the same time to look out for it, and if found bring it back by signal. The Commander of the Screen on his part may send out a fresh patrol if men are at hand, and if not, inform his next senior of what has happened. The fresh patrol would move in between numbers (3) and (2), and the latter would then incline out to take up the duty of the Missing number (1).

(d) To Whom and Where to Report.

Rapid passing of information to the O.C. Mainguard is of vital importance. It must be decided on the spot, having due regard to the nature of the country, whether urgent reports can be most quickly transmitted along the line of patrols to the Centre, thence down to the Support, &e., or whether patrols may save time by communicating direct to the Support. In any case the patrol will pass on to neighbouring patrols and to the commander of the Screen any information they obtain.
3. - Extending the Screen.

When the patrols to form the Screen have been told off and the necessary instructions issued, the screen may be extended:-

(1) To its full frontage from the halt, and under cover, if available; or

(2) Gradually as it advances, the patrols inclining outwards; or

(3) It may be sufficient at first to have a directing patrol and one or two flanking patrols, the remainder being held back. Later one or more patrols may be sent to either flank, the original flankers being pushed further out.
4. - Movements of the Screen.

The movements of the screen are regulated from and by the directing patrol. But everything favouring of rigidity or drill must be suppressed. The patrol leaders must have considerable latitude and be encouraged to cultivate an eye for country. The duty of all is to co-operate so as to ensure the safe and uninterrupted march of the Mainguard. The directing patrol of course is usually limited in its choice of a line of advance, because its primary function is to maintain the correct direction. The other patrols should under stand that it is their business to protect and assist the directing patrol.. But each leader chooses his own methods of so doing. The movements of a patrol should consist of a series of progressions from one point of observation to another. The intermediate advances should be quick and by the most concealed route. If thought necessary - and it may often he so-one or two men should be left at the last point until the next one is secured.

The average pace of the movement of the Screen is set from the Main Body. This must be constantly borne in mind. But, if the commander of the Screen seas that his patrols have- got into difficult country and that they cannot do their work at the pace required, he will inform his next superior, but make every endeavour to keep going until he receives further orders.

5. - The Directing Patrol.

The Directing Patrol is accompanied by an officer or N.C.O. who is charged with the duty of maintaining the correct direction. Touch is kept between this patrol and the supports by means of Connecting Files (two men). These men are in a position to pass orders up from the Mainguard or reports down from the Screen of Scouts. Their duty is very important, requiring constant vigilance. In each file, one man must particularly watch to the front and the other to the rear.

When the Screen covers a wide front, additional connecting files may be placed in rear of the right Centre and of the left Centre.

6. - Observation.

As before remarked, patrol leaders are particularly charged with the duty of Observation. But they have much to do besides. It is a good plan, therefore, to have one or two special officers or N.C.O.'s told off as "Observers." Theirs is a roving commission. They will proceed to that part of the frontage, being covered which affords the best points for observation. There they remain as long as they think fit, searching the landscape with their eyes, and using the field-glasses to examine doubtful localities or objects. When satisfied they move on to the next good outlook. They must be men of keen sight and with a sound appreciation of the tactical importance of the ground presented to their view. They will be of greatest value if they are cool and alert when the Scouts eventually draw fire vide Contact with the Enemy.



Previous: Part 1, Preface & Introduction

Next: Part 3, Communication 


Further Reading:

Obituary, Frederick Allan Dove

Brigade Scouts

The Light Horse

Australian Light Horse Militia

Militia 1899 - 1920

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Brigade Scouts, Scouting or Protective and Tactical Reconnaissance Part 2 Protective Scouting

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 26 December 2009 3:28 PM EAST

View Latest Entries

Full Site Index

powered by FreeFind
Let us hear your story: You can tell your story, make a comment or ask for help on our forum.

Desert Column Forum

A note on copyright

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre is a not for profit and non profit group whose sole aim is to write the early history of the Australian Light Horse from 1900 - 1920. It is privately funded and the information is provided by the individuals within the group and while permission for the use of the material has been given for this site for these items by various donors, the residual and actual copyright for these items, should there be any, resides exclusively with the donors. The information on this site is freely available for private research use only and if used as such, should be appropriately acknowledged. To assist in this process, each item has a citation attached at the bottom for referencing purposes.

Please Note: No express or implied permission is given for commercial use of the information contained within this site.

A note to copyright holders

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre has made every endeavour to contact copyright holders of material digitised for this blog and website and where appropriate, permission is still being sought for these items. Where replies were not received, or where the copyright owner has not been able to be traced, or where the permission is still being sought, the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre has decided, in good faith, to proceed with digitisation and publication. Australian Light Horse Studies Centre would be happy to hear from copyright owners at any time to discuss usage of this item.


Australian Light Horse Studies Centre

eXTReMe Tracker