8 years ago #1
dfc2soft
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My understanding of the organization of WW2 US Army infantry structures is as follows:

Division lead by major general, consisted of about 10 battalions Brigade lead by brigadier general, consisted of 2-5 battalions Regiment lead by colonel, consisted of 3 battalions Battalion lead by lt. colonel, consisted of 5 companies (hq, weapons, and 3 rifle) Company lead by captain consisted of 3 rifle platoons, 1 weapons platoon

and hq. Platoon lead by lieutenant divided into 2 or more squad.

First question-any errors with the above? Second-where does a major fit in to the command structure? third-if the above is correct, how do brigades and regiments relate as they seem to overlap in size? Thanks in advance.

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8 years ago #2
kdanforth
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During World War II infantry divisions had a triangular organization which eliminated the brigade level of command. An infantry division consisted of three infantry regiments. Within the regiment the smallest sub-unit was the rifle squad of 12 men. Three squads made up a rifle platoon and three platoons and one weapons platoon were grouped together to form a rifle company (193 all ranks). A battalion comprised three rifle companies, plus a heavy weapons company and HQ company (with attached anti-tank platoon). Total battalion strength was 871. An infantry regiment comprised three battalions together with HQ and HQ company; cannon company; anti-tank company; and service company. Three infantry regiments made up the divisions total of 9354 infantrymen. In addition the division had a field artillery battery with total manpower of 2160. There were also various auxiliary units assigned (recon troop, engineer battalion, medical battalion, quartermaster company, ordnance company, signal company, and military police platoon). Including all attached personnel total divisional strength was over 14,000.

Depending on casualties, the rank of officers actually holding command positions could vary significantly. Majors could command battalions and LtCols command regiments if required. Many of the field grade officers (Majors and LtCols) were on the various HQ staffs or served as deputy commanders in battalions and regiments.

Jeff J.

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8 years ago #3
dfc2soft
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WII US Army Orgs ar enot my main area of expertise, however:

HQ Company, three infantry regiments, cavalry squadron, artillery regiment. Usually had extra tank, tank destroyer, AA? battalions attached as well.

I don't think the brigade was used by US forces in WWII.

Yes. Also AT company and Howitzer company at regimental level.

Yes. Also AT platoon at battalion level.

Yes.

Yes.

Don't know about the US Army, butin the German Army a particular rank did not correspond with a particular command level (although it often did), so eg a company could be commanded by a Lt etc. Maybe some battalions were commanded by Majors, or maybe they were XOs or whatever??

I don't think they do.

Cheers

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8 years ago #4
lakid
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A Major would serve as a battalion executive officer (XO) and another as the operations officer. Other majors would serve on various higher level staffs. Unless the LtCol is out of action, Majors rarely find themselves int he chain of command. However, when the LtCol was unable to exercise command, the XO would assume command untile relieved.

Regiments are normally homogenous units (Infantry, Armor, Artillery) with one heraldic designation (i.e. 3d Infantry, 70th Armor). A brigade was, is, an organization composed of units of different kinds from various regiments or other organizations and commanded by a Colonel (like a regiment) or Brigadier General.

The present US army has few regiments which exist as a regiment (i.e. with a regimental headquarters). When I was in service, the only regiments were ACR's, the 2d, 3d, and 11th Armored Cavalry Regiments. The divisions had no regimental organizations. Instead they had brigades composed of battalions designated as coming from various regiments. One brigade in which I served had 2-64th Armor, 3-64th Armor, and infantry battalion and an artillery battalion plus a brigade headquarters.

In WWII, the regiments were the rule and were used as the base upon which Regimental Combat Teams (RCT's) and Divisons were built. A RCT contained a separate infantry regiment plus supporting elements (logistical, engineers, tanks, artillery, etc.) Infantry divisions typically did not contain brigades, but the regimental headquaters functioned in the same manner as today's brigade headquarters and often controlled attached elements of other branches of service.

WWII armored divisions contained brigades (called combat commands) which controlled artillery, tank and mech infantry battalions plus other attached elements.

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