This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations, as well as the First and Second World Wars in general hosted by Marcus Wendel's Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research and Christoph Awender's WW2 day by day.
The US racial attitudes towards the African-American ("colored" in 1940's parlance) was particularly wasteful.
Binder001 wrote:Even though there were only three divisions of "colored" troops there were several combat arms battalions that saw combat. The 761st Tank Battalion (Third Army in ETO) was the most famous, but there was also the 784th (First Army, late ETO) and a light tank battalion in Italy (I forgot the number offhand). There were also several tank destroyer battalions and several field artillery outfits. One "colored" battalion of 155's was trapped in Bastogne with the 101st Airborne and provided valuable heavy artillery fire.
delta tank wrote:There were also more African-American soldiers in World War II serving in combat units, but I believe more served in service support units. Did we maximize their numbers, desire to serve, talents? Obviously not. During the "Battle of the Bulge" the Army out of necessity started the integration process by asking African-American soldiers to volunteer for the infantry. They volunteered and went to "white" infantry units by platoons and I also believe by squads.
The Enigma wrote: So the guys working on the beaches of the likes of Iwo Jima were Army not Marine?
Just to clarify is an American Tank battalion like a British armoured regiment and not a British tank battalion; i.e. mediums/cruisers not heavy/infantry tanks?
binder wrote:I believe that there were few if any black Marines in WW2.
binder001 wrote:You are quite right that we undermanned the Army. This is not only due to the needs of the other armed services but part of being the "Arsenal of Democracy". Quite a few deferrals were given to people who could build the dams, lay out the factories, etc. There were also a considerable number of medical deferments that the Germans (for instance) wouldn't have considered. There have been a number of books and other writings on the deep flaws with the US mobilization plans, especially with regard to the infantry. Part ofthat does come down to your feelings about the number of available divisions. ETOUSA in particular couldn't rotate infantry divisions out of the line for rest and absorption of new personnel. The new guys were fed into the line companies as individuals or small groups and were often KIA/WIA before they could really learn their jobs well.
The US racial attitudes towards the African-American ("colored" in 1940's parlance) was particularly wasteful. There was a pool of fit men who WANTED to fight for their country and were too often turned away or had their skills wasted because of the predjudices of the Army and the country.
The US mobilization was a compromise on many levels. How many aircraft carriers do we build and leave unmanned? How many of the specialized units like airborne divisions do we really need? How big of an air arm can the bomber barons talk us into? Which supplies go unmoved because we pulled the truck drivers into the infantry? Looking back from 2010 it's much clearer than looking forward from 1941-42.
Delta Tank wrote:The_Enigma,The Enigma wrote: American tank battalions, there were two types, medium battalions and light battalions. The M-4 battalions were 3 companies of medium tanks (16 each?) and one company of light tanks (16 each?) and there should of been two headquarter tanks. So for a total of 66 tanks, 50 mediums and 16 light tanks? Here read through this! http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/ww ... armor.aspx Mike
The_Enigma wrote:I was scanning through Armageddon by Max Hastings earlier today, not a book or author I particularly like, and I noted that apparently Ike, at the height of the Ardennes campaign, made a request to Marshal for 100,000 marines to be deployed to the ETO because infantry shortages were that bad; a request that was turned down.
It seems a tad excessive and a little over the top, does anyone know if there is any truth to this claim Hastings’s make? I will provide a page number later was I get home.
Correct me if am wrong here but wouldn’t that total be practically the entire marine force, already fully engaged in the Pacific? I understand the US was undergoing similar, but not as bad, manpower problems like the British Army was however with regular and national guard army divisions being shipped into France on a regular basis (I believe the final US Army was activated during early 1945) why would a request like this be made?
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