Size....

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Lucky13, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Was just wondering, were Army, Division, Battalion etc., etc. similar in size between fighting forces in WWII and the way that they were built up?
     
  2. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    #2 mikewint, Nov 16, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
    Lucky, does this help?
    The U.S. Army was re-organized into three forces in March 1942:
    Army Ground Forces (AGF). According to the The Army Almanac, "Its mission was to provide ground force units properly organized, trained and equipped for combat operations." About 4,400,000 personnel were part of the Army Ground Forces during the war. They sustained about 80% of the U.S. Army casualties.
    Army Service Forces (ASF). The ASF, originally called Services of Supply, was responsible suppling and servicing the U.S. Army. Organizations under ASF included: corps of engineers, quartermaster corps, medical corps, signal corps, chemical warfare service, ordnance department, and the military police.
    Army Air Forces (AAF). The AAF was responible for the training and making ready the air component of the U.S. Army. The Army Air Forces became an independent service (U.S. Air Force) in 1947.
    At it's peak in March 1945, the U.S. Army had 8,200,000 personnel
    . The Army Ground Forces
    Personnel in the Army Gound Forces were grouped into two areas: divisional forces and non-divisional forces. In March 1945, there was about 1,200,000 personnel assigned to divisions and 1,500,000 to non-divisional units.
    The core combat arm of the Army Ground Forces was orginized around the division formation. The division was created to be the smallest Army organization capable of performing independent operations. Ninety-one divisions were formed by the U.S. Army in World War II. In general, a division contained about 15,000 troops. See below for a complete breakdown of a division.
    Non-divisional forces included service units and some additional combat troops not initially assigned to a division.
    Note: most service units were allocated across all U.S. Army organizations. For example, both the Army Service Forces and Army Ground Forces had engineer units. In addition, engineer units were part of divisions while other engineer units were part of non-divisional personnel.
    Division
    Combat troops of the U.S. Army are classified by the weapons and methods used in combat.
    Divisional facts:
    There were 5 types of divisions: infantry, mountain, armored, airborne, and cavalry.
    91 divisions were mobilized during the war: 68 infantry divisions, 1 mountain division, 16 armored divisions, 5 airborne divisions, and 2 cavalry divisions.
    All divisions were activated in the United States except for the following divisions: Philippine (activated in the Philippines), Hawaiian (activated in Hawaii and renamed the 24th division), 25th (activated in Hawaii from troops of the Hawaiian division), and Americal (activated in New Caledonia.)
    There were three major theaters of operation during the war: Pacific (22 divisions were deployed to the Pacific), Mediterranean (15 divisions), and Europe (61 divisions). Seven divisions served in both the Mediterranean and European Theaters (1st, 3rd, 9th, 36th, 45th infantry divisions; 82nd airborne; and 2nd armored.)
    Two divisions were disbanded or deactivated before the end of the war: the Philippine division was destroyed and disbanded on 10 April 1942; and the 2nd Cavalary division was activated and inactivated twice: 15 Apr 41 to 15 Jul 42 and 23 Feb 43 to 10 May 44.
    Three divisions did not enter combat: 98th Infantry division, 13th Airborne division, and the 2nd Cavalary division.
    By June 1946, 74 divisions were inactivated or disbanded leaving 17 divisions on active duty.
    Division Components
    All divisions of the U.S. Army originated from the following four sources:
    Regular Army
    National Guard
    Organized Reserves
    Army of the United States
    The numbering of divisions followed a pattern established in 1917 during World War I. The numbers 1 to 25 were reserved for the Regular Army; numbers 26 to 45 for the National Guard; and numbers 46 to 106 for the Army of the U.S. However, there were a number of exceptions. The two airborne divisions, 82nd and 101st, were redesignated Regular Army when they converted from infantry to airborne divisions. The 25th was formed from troops of the Hawaiin division and was classified as an Army of the U.S. division. The 42nd division was a National Guard division in World War II but was mobilized as an Army of the U.S. division.
    Thus a Division - 10,000 to 15,000 soldiers. Usually consisting of three brigade-sized elements and commanded by a major general, divisions are numbered and assigned missions based on their structures. The division performs major tactical operations for the corps and can conduct sustained battles and engagements.

    A Brigade - 3,000 to 5,000 solders. A brigade headquarters commands the tactical operation of two to five organic or attached combat battalions. Normally commanded by a colonel with a command sergeant major as senior NCO, brigades are employed on independent or semi-independent operations. Armored cavalry, ranger and special forces units this size are categorized as regiments or groups.

    A Battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,300 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel. Several battalions are grouped to form a regiment or a brigade.
     
  3. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    No. I would have to double check the numbers, but for example one Waffen SS division could number as much as 21000 men, while Soviet divisions often numbered just 4500-5000 men.
     
  4. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    That's wrong.

    German Infantry Division: Total 16500 Men, 3 x 3 Infantry Regiment 3000 men each
    Soviet Infantry Division: Total 10.386 Men, 3 x 3 Infantry Regiment 2500 men each
    British Infantry Division: Total 15.500 Men, 3 x 3 Infantry Brigades 2500 men
    each
     
  5. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    #5 imalko, Nov 17, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
    Waffen SS divisions were larger then Wehrmacht infantry divisions. Hubert Essame in his book "Normandy Bridgehead" gives a figure of 21000 men serving with 1st SS Panzer Division in June 1944.

    3x2500=7500

    As I said I would have to look up for the numbers to be sure. But Soviet divisions were rarely in full strength, especially in 1941/42.
     
  6. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Cheers guys!
     
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