200 U. S. trained divisions?

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Gary Kennedy
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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Gary Kennedy » 22 Jan 2021 19:13

The British Divisional count does vary. Some had short lifespans and others were rebadged as new formations.

A total of 40 numbered Inf Divs were formed, of which 31 were in being as of early 1940. Four of these were renumbered, including one (9th) that replaced the original 51st lost in France in 1940. Another (42nd) was converted to an Armd Div. At the beginning of 1944 there were 25 Inf Divs, of which four were training formations and not designed for overseas service. 15 Inf Divs were overseas by July 1944, with 10 in the UK, including the four training. By Jan 1945 three training Divs were gone, plus one overseas (59th), with one activated in the Far East (36th) for 22 total.

11 Armd Divs were form in total, with 2nd being lost in North Africa by by mid 1941 and 8th disbanded at the start of 1943. 9th (UK only) and 10th were both disbanded in the Jun/Jul 1944 period. 42nd was disbanded in the UK in late 1943. As of July 1944 there were eight Armd Divs, of which seven were overseas. 1St Armd Div was effectively disbanded in Italy in Oct 1944.

1st Cav Div became 10th Armd Div in late summer 1941. 1st Abn Div was formed beginning late 1941 and 6th Abn Div in summer 1943.

As of May 1945 there were 29 British Army Divs of all types (22 Inf, 5 Armd and 2 Abn) in existence, with eight in the UK (including the reforming 1st Abn).

At least that's what I got many moons ago with a spreadsheet, a copy of Joslen and no doubt several brews.

Canada had five Divs from 1943ish onwards, two Armd, three Inf, all seeing service overseas.

I would let someone better acquainted have a crack at the Australian orbat; from what I can see six Inf Divs overseas with a larger number of Divs in Australia only. New Zealand added 2NZEF (effectively a small Corps), South Africa three(?) Divs, all overseas. I'd also leave the Indian Army to someone with better knowledge, 22 total Divs is quoted in an old book of mine (Commonwealth Divs 1939-45, Bellis).

I have no idea if that comes to the 75 Divisions quoted.

Gary

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Counter » 22 Jan 2021 19:45

Carl Schwammberger wrote:I suspect you meant at the start of 1943?
I meant divisions which actually fought against the germans (only nine), not the Pacific and not those were trained, and equipped but not fought yet either. As a matter of fact, at the end of 1943, 1 infantry division and 2 armored were not in contact with the enemy anymore, they were preparing for D-Day. Germans had at that time more than 200 divisions, some of them fighting, some others expecting (but experienced) plus others in training.

As Carl wisely wrote, is not that easy to train officers, technicians and High Staff personnel. So what I mean -I give to the US forces all the merit they deserved- is that, for the decider people living at that time, the estimate of the US troops value was exaggerated... and that was helpful, anyway.

Reading about planning "Sledgehammer" operation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Sledgehammer, I was schocked how general Marshall thought that madness could have worked (landing in France at the end of 1942, instead of doing "Torch"). That would have been a super-Dieppe disaster... 8O

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Andy H » 22 Jan 2021 21:43

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Jan 2021 06:47
Im skeptical the figure of 75 for the Brits is accurate too. A lot of the ground combat divisions on the books were training units, or reduced strength like those garrisoning Iraq or Palestine.
Hi Carl

Your correct to be skeptical.

Britain formed 11 Armoured Divisions & 34 or 35 Infantry Divisions during the war plus 9 County Divisions (or coastal divisions) plus some 40 static Brigades. In addition there were numerous Indep Armd & Inf groupings. Outside of these were 2AB Divisions and numerous Deception and Paper Divisions.

The British Army reached a peak of around 2.92million (1945) and if divided by 75 it would give a D.Slice of 38,933, compared to around 35,000 for US D.Slice.

Regards

Andy H

Sources: 'And We Shall Shock Them' by David Fraser, 'Raising Churchills Army' by David French and 'British Army Handbook' by George Forty

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Jan 2021 03:03

Counter wrote:
22 Jan 2021 19:45
...
Reading about planning "Sledgehammer" operation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Sledgehammer, I was schocked how general Marshall thought that madness could have worked (landing in France at the end of 1942, instead of doing "Torch"). That would have been a super-Dieppe disaster... 8O
A couple decades ago I did some research with the object of confirming the insanity of executing a major invasion of NW Europe in 1943. I ended up finding most of the putative problems were based on bad information. The typical objections were simply coming from false assumptions. The actual problems were not even on the radar of the critics & further its been difficult to prove them one way or another Lets just say the jury is still out on that one.

Then a decade ago I did some similar research on the 1942 problem in connection to a debate on the Armchair General forums. Again I discovered a lot of really bad information was connected to the opinions, on both sides. Perhaps the most interesting item I found was the 'plan' for a 1942 operation was not US but British. Marshals proposal seems to actually support for this British plan, and a offer to reinforce it with US forces. One of the skeptics in this Arm. Gen. debate came around to a qualified agreement in the viability of the operation. He even went to the trouble to test the British plan with a commercial war-game. His conclusion, & mine is it was a viable operation provided the strategic objective was kept realistic for 1942. Again the jury is still out on this one. Theres still some questions on items like cargo shipping and practicality of altering certain aspects of the US army ground forces training schedules in early to mid 1942.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Jan 2021 03:31

I reread the paragraph in the OP, from Roberts book. My best guess is Roberts somehow was doing sloppy writing and the remark about "200 divisions" was from the 1940 mobilization proposals or projections. There were several studies by the War Plans Division, attempting to establish the eventual mobilization requirements. A need for 200 ground combat divisions in 1944 was one. The putative goal was reduced several times during 1941 & 1942, usually in parallel to increases in Army Air Forces & Army Service Forces, or USN requirements.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Jan 2021 03:34

Gary Kennedy wrote:
22 Jan 2021 19:13
The British Divisional count does vary. Some had short lifespans and others were rebadged as new formations. ...

... I have no idea if that comes to the 75 Divisions quoted.

Gary

Heres a thread accounting for the Brot/Commonwealth divisions. viewtopic.php?f=114&t=40054

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Andy H » 24 Jan 2021 15:11

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
24 Jan 2021 03:34
Gary Kennedy wrote:
22 Jan 2021 19:13
The British Divisional count does vary. Some had short lifespans and others were rebadged as new formations. ...

... I have no idea if that comes to the 75 Divisions quoted.

Gary

Heres a thread accounting for the Brot/Commonwealth divisions. viewtopic.php?f=114&t=40054
Hi Carl

I think you meant this thread viewtopic.php?f=114&t=67514

Regards

Andy H

Sid Guttridge
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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 24 Jan 2021 15:23

Hi Guys,

With the British and Dominion forces you probably have to differentiate between defensive and expeditionary divisions. They usually had as many or more divisions that never left their shores as actually did so.

If one is going to count, say, the German 700-series security divisions and Ersatzheer reserve divisions in the German order of battle, or the coastal divisions in the Italian order of battle, then many, most or all the the various Commonwealth divisions should probably be counted. It was not their fault nobody invaded them to draw them into battle.

Cheers,

Sid

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 24 Jan 2021 15:24

Hi Guys,

With the British and Dominion forces you probably have to differentiate between defensive and expeditionary divisions. They usually had as many or more divisions that never left their shores or reached a battlefront as actually did so.

If one is going to count, say, the German 700-series security divisions and Ersatzheer reserve divisions in the German order of battle, or the coastal divisions in the Italian order of battle, then many, most or all the the various Commonwealth divisions should probably be counted. It was not their fault nobody invaded them to draw them into battle, as happened to all the German and Italian divisions above.

Cheers,

Sid

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Andy H
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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Andy H » 24 Jan 2021 15:45

Hi

In May 1941 the British Government set upon its final OoB in terms of its absolute maximun of fielded divisions, though its Field Force Conspectus-36 (FFC-36) which foresaw the British Army fielding 47 Infantry Divisions, 12 Armoured Divisions and 8 Indep Tank Brigades (Obviously at this stage the eventual 2 Airborne Divisions weren't considered). Of these the Dominions were expected to supply 20 Infantry, 2 Armoured and 1 Tank Brigade.

Prior to FFC-36 all plans were initially based upon the idea of a 55 Division British Army.
As Gary stated earlier many Divisions came and went but even during the Phoney War, mobilisation of a larger army was actively discouraged as hopes were rife that a large scale land battle could be discouraged.

Regards

Andy H

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Feb 2021 07:32

Reviewed this document: http://www.alternatewars.com/WW2/Victor ... ements.htm Which is 'Army Requirements Supporting Study of the War Plans Div (Section II, Part II, Appendix II) Dated 11 September 1941. It has the estimate broken down into ground combat forces. To summarize:

Divisions........................54 (presumably these are 'infantry' div)

Armored Div....................61

Motorized Div..................61

Airborne Div.....................9

Mountain.......................10

4 (?) Cavalry
Total.........199

Thats very close to the 200 Divisions claimed in the quote from Roberts book.

The total number of men, including service and air force, as well as independent ground combat battalions is 8,795,658. Divided by 199 divisions that is a 'division slice' of 45,000 men per div HQ. Thats very close to the 44,000 allowed for in the logistics planning for the first 90 days of Op OVERLORD.

While the number raised for the US Army was close to the 8,795,658, the number of divisions was half this estimate. Even after a allowance for US Marines and the equipment and support of Allied forces is allowed for the number is at the very best about 130 divisions. Te difference seems to be in the size of the air forces and service forces that never left the US. Both look a lot larger than planned for in 1941.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Duncan_M » 21 Feb 2021 21:06

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Feb 2021 07:32
Reviewed this document: http://www.alternatewars.com/WW2/Victor ... ements.htm Which is 'Army Requirements Supporting Study of the War Plans Div (Section II, Part II, Appendix II) Dated 11 September 1941. It has the estimate broken down into ground combat forces.
Do you know who wrote that?

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Richard Anderson » 21 Feb 2021 23:19

Duncan_M wrote:
21 Feb 2021 21:06
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Feb 2021 07:32
Reviewed this document: http://www.alternatewars.com/WW2/Victor ... ements.htm Which is 'Army Requirements Supporting Study of the War Plans Div (Section II, Part II, Appendix II) Dated 11 September 1941. It has the estimate broken down into ground combat forces.
Do you know who wrote that?
Major Wedemeyer was the primary author, but with inputs from a large number of OPD officers, including Gerow. It is the summary of the "Victory Plan" report.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Feb 2021 23:31

This: https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/US ... Ops-4.html outlines the history of the WPD. Page 55 & 56 concerns the 1941 period.

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