What did it mean to be "reduced to cadre"?
Many units were 'reduced to cadre' after the 1918 Armistice, but what exactly did that mean?
One discussion on the Great War Forum explains, "In essence they become purely administrative, awaiting an outcome i.e. reform or disband". That roughly sums up my assumption, but they are specifically referring to British Army units. Was it the same with RAF units?
In my case, I am trying to understand what 41 Squadron did, i.e. what it looked like and how it was occupied, between 7 February 1919, when it was reduced to cadre and returned to England, and 31 December 1919, when it was disbanded at Croydon. The records I have located are vague and lack detail.
However, broader than just 41 Sqn, I would like to understand the general concept better. What did this period as cadre look like for former front-line squadrons? I presume their role would have included administration relating to the disposal of men, machines and equipment, but is that a correct assumption?
If so, it seems to me to have been an extremely long period (ca 10 months) for 41 Sqn to undertake such activity, if that's all it was, but I am happy to be corrected. Was there more to it?
Lastly, after the Armistice, were all units that were not retained as operational squadrons reduced to cadre before disbandment, or were some just disbanded outright without becoming a reduced cadre?
Thanks for your feedback
[Also posted on The Aerodrome forum but no response yet as I write this; hence seeking input from the RAF Commands forum Brains Trust]
41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946