(Last Updated September 03, 2012
The ORBAT Utility on the Matrix has both the Static and Fluid ORBAT
functions. The Static ORBAT is best described as that shown in Nicholson's
Appendix "B" for November 1918 at Armistice.
This ORBAT was the backbone leading to the initial development of the
Matrix as it was the most common reference used when discussing CEF Army
Troops and Army Corps. That lead to the formation of the original Summary
Tables and Navigation
As we progressed with the development of the ORBAT it was necessary
to go back in time to the creation of the CEF in 1914 and then to start
to follow the development of the "First Contingent" through
the periods of the Army Corps in the First Division going to Shorncliffe
and then on to France, followed by the Second, Third and Fourth
Divisions. All this time the Army Troops developed on a parallel
plane. It is a complex but interesting field of study and we hope
that the ORBAT Utility will assist in the development of a better
understanding of the "fluid nature" of the CEF development.
From the "Fluid ORBAT" we then have the ability to jump off
to specific "Battle ORBATS" that are not only fixed in a
specific time, but in a specific place. It may be some time until
we get to that level, but stay tuned, and please do participate in the
When the "Matrix Project" was first initiated, there were
questions as to whether the Matrix was an "ORBAT" (Order
of Battle). The early plan was that this site was not
to be an official ORBAT but rather a user friendly resource site for the
grand relatives, perhaps even now the "great grand relatives"
who are researching their family history. The ORBAT may be too complex
for the amateur historian, but once in the process, then the ORBAT will
become an important tool in the progress of the research. As such,
the Matrix will remain as it is, formed upon Nicholson's 1918
"Static ORBAT" and we will add the "Fluid ORBAT" as
a separate utility.
With the developing interest in the ORBAT analysis, comments were
submitted suggesting that it was perhaps time to prepare a separate page
that defined the term, explained how the ORBAT fit into the CEF history,
and eventually linking to the various ORBAT resources. This page
is now a reflection of what we have received and what we are
Michael Thierens and Bill Alexander have graciously prepared for this
project the defining terms of the ORBAT, which we have posted on the
"ORBAT Definition Page".
This is more or less a quick summary definition:
The Order of Battle is defined as a listing of all units
involved directly, or indirectly in a specific supporting role,
in the conduct of a specific battle during a specific period of
Thierens Post 2004)
New for the winter of 2006-2007 was the creation an ORBAT that shows the
changes in the Army Troops and Corps Troops for the period prior to the
start of the Great War in 1914
through to the signing of the Armistice in 1918. This is being
done by showing what the structure was in each of the quarters of the
year, more or less corresponding to major actions. A new topic has
been opened on the CEFSG Forum for this process, so please log on and
Fluid ORBAT Project
As this project progresses, you will find links here to the pages
that begin to assemble this information. Check the header of this
page for those links.
The project has now gone past it's infancy, so you will see "more
of the bits and
pieces" of information as they are being collected, highlights to
show "major changes" and other highlights to mark
"work in progress". In some cases
information has been inserted, when a reference was noted during the
research process, as often the authors will state "... but that
was changed in...".
In many cases you will see that the terminology and abbreviations are not necessarily consistent, as the terminology
varies between authors, as well as between the CEFSG members submitting
information. Piece by piece we are going back to check to see if
the units are different or the terminology is different. Some form
of standardization will be required but I can not assure you that
what we are now using is correct.
In November 2008 we upgraded the Fluid ORBAT pages
to show the major battles in each of the annual quarters from 1914 to
1918. The primary reference for the battle information is Appendix
F of the Nicholson Official History of the CEF.