US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

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Richard Anderson
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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Richard Anderson » 17 Jan 2022 17:11

Sid Guttridge wrote:
17 Jan 2022 12:19
Hi Richard,

German conscription began in October 1935 and by September 1939 two year classes had completed it and two more were still with the colours.
By September 1939, the classes of Jahrgang 1913-1919 had been fully taken in. That amounted to about 2.2-million trained reservists or active duty personnel over the course of four years. The US Army received under 1-million unductees from Fall 1940 through fall 1941.
The starting base for the US Army in 1939 at some 175,000 (or even 189,000) was considerably larger than for the 100,000-man Reichswehr before 1935. Furthermore, the National Guard added about another 225,000. In 1935 Germany had no equivalent institution.
The expansion of the Reichsheer began in 1934, not 1935. By the end of 1934 it consisted of 21 active divisions and 27 by the end of 1935. It then had four more peacetime years to expand and train. The US Army effectively did the same in one year and a bit.
The US began overseas deployments in late 1939. For example, it doubled the garrison of Puerto Rico by the end of that year. Only the draft began in October 1940.
The 65th Infantry was activated and the PR National Guard was federalized, which actually about quintupled the garrison, from a few thousand to 17,000. Your point is?
You say that the "when the odds were even scenario......is stupid.....". I never mentioned it.
Nor did I, you're talking to someone else at this point.
The US Army rarely met the German Army at its relative best because by the time they first encountered each other the great majority of the German Army was on the Eastern Front. By 1944-45 the German Army was in decline. Nevertheless, Dupuy in Numbers, Prediction and War and Marshall in Men Against Fire, both US authors, did not express a very high opinion of US infantry.
No, they criticized two different things. Trevor did not, to my recall, ever express a low opinion of US infantry, he criticized their tactics and training. Marshall criticized the training they received in fire discipline and control.
Most US infantry divisions were probably only reaching peak field efficiency by the end of the war, at which point the enemy was crumbling. This is not the Americans' fault, but it may well have deprived them of being able to show off their best.
No, most reached "peak efficiency" about three to eight weeks after entering combat, depending on when and where they were introduced to combat. However, as for German divisions "peak efficiency" was a variable, affected by how long they remained in combat and how they were refreshed.
US troops landed at TORCH would presumably largely have been regulars, National Guard or two-year draftees. Standard conscription in France and Germany in 1939 was two years. They were thus probably equivalent to German Welle I or French Serie A divisions of 1939 in terms of duration of training.
The 1st and 3d Infantry Division each had a core of Regulars, augmented by draftees. Th 34th Infantry Division was Federalized 10 February 1941, began training 7 April 1941, POMed 8 January 1942, and departed for England 14 January 1942. They completed about half of their Z/I training and was never able to complete its formal WD training program, before it landed in North Africa. It consisted almost entirely of National Guard, except for a leavening of Regular Army and Organized Reserve senior officers.
Therefore I am quite happy to stand by "It occurs to me that this was much the situation of the German Army in 1939." There was not, or at least should not, have been anything particularly unusual about the state of readiness of US troops for combat in November 1942 compared with those of other armies entering combat for the first time earlier in WWII.
Whatever.
"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: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 17 Jan 2022 19:47

Richard Anderson wrote:
17 Jan 2022 17:11
Sid Guttridge wrote:
17 Jan 2022 12:19
Hi Richard,

German conscription began in October 1935 and by September 1939 two year classes had completed it and two more were still with the colours.
By September 1939, the classes of Jahrgang 1913-1919 had been fully taken in. That amounted to about 2.2-million trained reservists or active duty personnel over the course of four years. The US Army received under 1-million unductees from Fall 1940 through fall 1941.
The starting base for the US Army in 1939 at some 175,000 (or even 189,000) was considerably larger than for the 100,000-man Reichswehr before 1935. Furthermore, the National Guard added about another 225,000. In 1935 Germany had no equivalent institution.
The expansion of the Reichsheer began in 1934, not 1935. By the end of 1934 it consisted of 21 active divisions and 27 by the end of 1935. It then had four more peacetime years to expand and train. The US Army effectively did the same in one year and a bit.
The US began overseas deployments in late 1939. For example, it doubled the garrison of Puerto Rico by the end of that year. Only the draft began in October 1940.
The 65th Infantry was activated and the PR National Guard was federalized, which actually about quintupled the garrison, from a few thousand to 17,000. Your point is?
You say that the "when the odds were even scenario......is stupid.....". I never mentioned it.
Nor did I, you're talking to someone else at this point.
The US Army rarely met the German Army at its relative best because by the time they first encountered each other the great majority of the German Army was on the Eastern Front. By 1944-45 the German Army was in decline. Nevertheless, Dupuy in Numbers, Prediction and War and Marshall in Men Against Fire, both US authors, did not express a very high opinion of US infantry.
No, they criticized two different things. Trevor did not, to my recall, ever express a low opinion of US infantry, he criticized their tactics and training. Marshall criticized the training they received in fire discipline and control.
Most US infantry divisions were probably only reaching peak field efficiency by the end of the war, at which point the enemy was crumbling. This is not the Americans' fault, but it may well have deprived them of being able to show off their best.
No, most reached "peak efficiency" about three to eight weeks after entering combat, depending on when and where they were introduced to combat. However, as for German divisions "peak efficiency" was a variable, affected by how long they remained in combat and how they were refreshed.
US troops landed at TORCH would presumably largely have been regulars, National Guard or two-year draftees. Standard conscription in France and Germany in 1939 was two years. They were thus probably equivalent to German Welle I or French Serie A divisions of 1939 in terms of duration of training.
The 1st and 3d Infantry Division each had a core of Regulars, augmented by draftees. Th 34th Infantry Division was Federalized 10 February 1941, began training 7 April 1941, POMed 8 January 1942, and departed for England 14 January 1942. They completed about half of their Z/I training and was never able to complete its formal WD training program, before it landed in North Africa. It consisted almost entirely of National Guard, except for a leavening of Regular Army and Organized Reserve senior officers.
Therefore I am quite happy to stand by "It occurs to me that this was much the situation of the German Army in 1939." There was not, or at least should not, have been anything particularly unusual about the state of readiness of US troops for combat in November 1942 compared with those of other armies entering combat for the first time earlier in WWII.
Whatever.
Well said.

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 18 Jan 2022 07:28

Felix C wrote:
17 Jan 2022 00:09
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Jan 2022 06:31
My favorite German soldiers in Normandy were those Koreans who had been passed along from the Japanese Army to the Red Army to the Germans to the Americans. Tho the fave should be the Ossies who are said to have shot the German NCO so they could surrender faster.
Carl Ossies?
A slang German word. 'Ossi' might be a better spelling, tho I've seen it as Osse too.

Translates as Easterner, Eastsider, Eastlander. In this context it would refer to the 'Ost' Battalionen made up of the men volunteered out of the PoWs or labor groups conscripted in Poland, Ukraine, ect... Originally these were 'Germans' decended from migrants from Germany into the Russian empire, or Germans who remained when the borders changed. As with Alsatians they could volunteer for service in the army & gain or solidify citizenship. By 1943 the need for cannon fodder was becoming desperate & there was a effort to recruit anyone willing to put on a German uniform.

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Jan 2022 16:19

Osties Carl, not Ossies. Ost = east.
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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 19 Jan 2022 02:55

My Grandfather pronounced it without the hard consonant. Perhaps that was his residual Swabian accent from his father & the others from there. My neighbor Kalus Lederer back I 1993 referred to the wave of East Germans traveling in the west as "Oses". He seemed to compress the word. He'd just immigrated from Bavaria to Lafayette that year. When I questioned Earl Kehrberg on the meaning he also pronounced it with the soft consonant. His German was probably influenced by the academic environment he lectured in circa 1963. He was also fluent enough in Portuguese to lecture in that language, tho that may have had nothing to do with it. Now the Walpies or Dunns from the Boswell area would likely have pronounced it with the hard consonant. I remember in elementary school how kids from that side of the county talked funny. Wasn't until a few years ago I realized even those born around Boswell in the 1980s still had some sort of harsher Saxson or Prussian influenced accent in their speech.

My Grandfather & his brother joked about the Wetsuracks directly across the road to the east. "Those Ossies do things differently over in Tippencanoe County." gesturing at the neighbors farm house 50 yards away.

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 Jan 2022 04:30

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
19 Jan 2022 02:55
My Grandfather pronounced it without the hard consonant. Perhaps that was his residual Swabian accent from his father & the others from there. My neighbor Kalus Lederer back I 1993 referred to the wave of East Germans traveling in the west as "Oses". He seemed to compress the word. He'd just immigrated from Bavaria to Lafayette that year. When I questioned Earl Kehrberg on the meaning he also pronounced it with the soft consonant. His German was probably influenced by the academic environment he lectured in circa 1963. He was also fluent enough in Portuguese to lecture in that language, tho that may have had nothing to do with it. Now the Walpies or Dunns from the Boswell area would likely have pronounced it with the hard consonant. I remember in elementary school how kids from that side of the county talked funny. Wasn't until a few years ago I realized even those born around Boswell in the 1980s still had some sort of harsher Saxson or Prussian influenced accent in their speech.

My Grandfather & his brother joked about the Wetsuracks directly across the road to the east. "Those Ossies do things differently off in Tippencanoe County." gesturing at the neighbors farm house 50 yards away.
Great stuff.

One thing that rarely seems to get considered is how many German Americans, from immigration waves going back to the Colonial era, ended up being the architects and operators who helped destroy the Axis.

Eisenhower, Nimitz, Spaatz, and many more all come to mind. Krueger, obviously, and Eichelberger; Waesche, Wedemeyer, Gruenther, Lemnitzer, Schriever, etc.

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 19 Jan 2022 04:58

I wonder if that were the same for the Air Corps?


Be interesting to sift through the rosters of the national guard officers and trace out their ethnic, social, and class connections. The NG is often criticized for social connections being important, but which social connections & which era?

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 Jan 2022 05:35

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
19 Jan 2022 04:58
I wonder if that were the same for the Air Corps?

Be interesting to sift through the rosters of the national guard officers and trace out their ethnic, social, and class connections. The NG is often criticized for social connections being important, but which social connections & which era?
Maj. Gen. Otto Weyland served as commanding general of the XIX TAC, supporting 3rd Army, in 1944-45; he rose to four- start general in the USAF after the war and led Tactical Air Command as such.

https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies ... le/105233/

The US air attache in Berlin in the 1930s was Col. (then Major) Theodore Joseph Koenig, who served as air attache 1936-37, graduated from the C&GS School in 1938, and served on the Army General Staff until 1943, at which point he went overseas and commanded combat units.

https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/tag/t ... ph-koenig/

James "Dutch" Kindelberger was a US Army pilot in WW I and led North American Aircraft from 1935 to 1960s; https://www.nationalaviation.org/our-en ... ger-james/

Good point on the NG officers; just looking at the CGs listed in Stanton for the NG divisions, I see Roger Eckfeldt (26th) and Milton Reckord (29th); could be German or Dutch. Then there are those whose ancestors were - possibly - within German territory, but probably would not have gotten very far in the German military - Claude Bloch and Maurice Rose, for example.

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Richard Anderson » 19 Jan 2022 07:30

Reckord is an English name, but his mother was a Zimmerman.
"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: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by EKB » 19 Jan 2022 08:39

daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Jan 2022 04:30

One thing that rarely seems to get considered is how many German Americans, from immigration waves going back to the Colonial era, ended up being the architects and operators who helped destroy the Axis.

Eisenhower, Nimitz, Spaatz, and many more all come to mind. Krueger, obviously, and Eichelberger; Waesche, Wedemeyer, Gruenther, Lemnitzer, Schriever, etc.

And one American soldier named Rommel, who sure did look like a more famous person with that name.
Pvt Bobbie Rommel 3rd Bn 506 PIR 101st Airborne.jpg
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/217 ... e-j-rommel
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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 Jan 2022 08:42

EKB wrote:
19 Jan 2022 08:39
daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Jan 2022 04:30

One thing that rarely seems to get considered is how many German Americans, from immigration waves going back to the Colonial era, ended up being the architects and operators who helped destroy the Axis.

Eisenhower, Nimitz, Spaatz, and many more all come to mind. Krueger, obviously, and Eichelberger; Waesche, Wedemeyer, Gruenther, Lemnitzer, Schriever, etc.

And one American soldier named Rommel, who sure did look like a more famous person with that name.

Pvt Bobbie Rommel 3rd Bn 506 PIR 101st Airborne.jpg

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/217 ... e-j-rommel
Course, he might have been one of the Polish Rommels... ;)

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 Jan 2022 08:57

Richard Anderson wrote:
19 Jan 2022 07:30
Reckord is an English name, but his mother was a Zimmerman.
Fair point, then.

Fair number of Italian Americans, as well:

https://acesofww2.com/USA/aces/gentile/

https://arsof-history.org/icons/mucci.html

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Sid Guttridge » 19 Jan 2022 14:28

Hi Richard,

Sorry for the delay in replying.

The 1913 Class is a gap in my notes. I have it being trawled for volunteers, but not initially for conscription. I have it placed collectively in the Ersatz Reserve rather than the Reserve, which was where time served conscripts or ex-regulars went. Can you confirm it was called up en masse in 1935?

You post, "That amounted to about 2.2-million trained reservists or active duty personnel over the course of four years. The US Army received under 1-million unductees from Fall 1940 through fall 1941." So, in 1940-41 the US was mobilizing men in roughly twice the numbers of the Germans in the late 1930s, when they could raise about 500,000 in each year group? Or to put it another way, per capita, in 1940-41 the USA was raising men at about the same rate as Germany in the late 1930s?

Yup, the expansion of the Reichsheer began in 1934, not 1935. The US Army was expanding in 1939. However, conscription began in Germany in the autumn of 1935, whereas in the USA it began in the autumn of 1940.

You post, "By the end of 1934 it consisted of 21 active divisions and 27 by the end of 1935." Those are the plans, not the reality. Probably only by the end of 1936, when they had had a year of conscription to fill out their establishments with reasonably trained men could anything ressembling divisions have been put in place. Even then they may well have been under strength because they had almost no reserves to top them up to war establishment.

You post, "It then had four more peacetime years to expand and train." Yup, and that produced very nearly three years of time-served conscripts and one year of half-served conscripts. It then had to employ every single one of them on an actiive battlefront. By contrast, in November 1942 the USA employed only a tiny fraction of its manpower in TORCH two years after introducing conscription. (The number of divisions initially employed there was so small that they could all, in theory, have been provided by the pre-war regular army). The overwheming majority of US divisions only saw combat from mid 1944, 2-5 years after the first were originally ordered embodied.

You post, "The 65th Infantry was activated and the PR National Guard was federalized, which actually about quintupled the garrison, from a few thousand to 17,000." The 65th was a regular unit. The expansion in Puerto Rico in 1939 came largely from continental US artillery units being deployed there. The PR National Guard was called out in the autumn of 1940, like its continental equivalents. The quintupling you talk of took place in 1940.

You are right, like me, you also did not not mention the "when the odds were even scenario". I aplogise. That was daveshoups's introduction to the conversation.

I did not say anything about Dupuy ever having expressed "......a low opinion of US infantry". I actually wrote that he, "did not express a very high opinion of US infantry." The two are not the same thing and I don't have to defend what I did not write. Unless, of course, you are contending that he did express a very high opinion of US infantry? Did he?

It is some 30 years since I last read Dupuy's Numbers, Prediction and War. From what I recall, his statistical analysis showed that US (and British) infantry divisions did not tend to perform as well as German infantry divisions in 1943-45, even sometimes when these were recently raised Volksgrenadier divisions. (I am not sure I buy into Dupuy's statistical methodology, but that is my recollection of his conclusions.)

You post that Dupuy "criticized their tactics and training. Marshall criticized the training they received in fire discipline and control." These are rather fundamental criticisms and, I would suggest, if true, rather tend to support my more nuanced proposition that they "did not express a very high opinion of US infantry."

You post, "most US infantry divisions "reached "peak efficiency" about three to eight weeks after entering combat." What is the source of this quite precise time frame?

As your description of 1st, 3rd and 34th Divisions coincides well with my charecterization of the composition of the initial divisions in North Africa, I see no reason to take major issue with it. However, I would suggest that you may be underselling 34th Division. Although it may have been federalized on 10 February 1941, it was actually a longstanding state National Guard formation whose personnel had already had some training. Furthermore, it appears to have conducted its first divisional field exercises no later than September 1941. It was apparently sent to Europe because it was one of the divisions most advanced in its preparation and there it span off 500 volunteers to form the first Ranger battalion. (Perhaps this last cost it some of its more self motivated manpower?)

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Richard Anderson » 19 Jan 2022 18:53

Sid Guttridge wrote:
19 Jan 2022 14:28
Sorry for the delay in replying.
I was awaiting your reply with barely bated breath.
The 1913 Class is a gap in my notes. I have it being trawled for volunteers, but not initially for conscription. I have it placed collectively in the Ersatz Reserve rather than the Reserve, which was where time served conscripts or ex-regulars went. Can you confirm it was called up en masse in 1935?
It was fully mobilized by 26 August 1939.
You post, "That amounted to about 2.2-million trained reservists or active duty personnel over the course of four years. The US Army received under 1-million unductees from Fall 1940 through fall 1941." So, in 1940-41 the US was mobilizing men in roughly twice the numbers of the Germans in the late 1930s, when they could raise about 500,000 in each year group? Or to put it another way, per capita, in 1940-41 the USA was raising men at about the same rate as Germany in the late 1930s?
Sure the rate was higher, because the US had a much larger demographic to work from, but I do not see that the rate matters, it is the total mobilized.
Yup, the expansion of the Reichsheer began in 1934, not 1935. The US Army was expanding in 1939. However, conscription began in Germany in the autumn of 1935, whereas in the USA it began in the autumn of 1940.
I think I just said that?
You post, "By the end of 1934 it consisted of 21 active divisions and 27 by the end of 1935." Those are the plans, not the reality. Probably only by the end of 1936, when they had had a year of conscription to fill out their establishments with reasonably trained men could anything ressembling divisions have been put in place. Even then they may well have been under strength because they had almost no reserves to top them up to war establishment.
Do you think that at the end of 1941, the 37 active divisions in the US Army were complete? Two of the five armored divisions were more or less complete, two were organizing, and one was a cadre, one of the two cavalry divisions was more or less complete, the second was organizing. Of the remaining 29 divisions, one was an isolated and understrength garrison force and the two in the Hawaiian Islands, while nominally now mobile divisions, were still effectively static garrisons, each at about two-thirds strength. The 27 infantry divisions in the Z/I, 9 Regular and 18 National Guard, were woefully incomplete. Of those, three of the nine Regular divisions were more or less fully manned and equipped. The rest were fully manned, but equipment varied from 30 to 50% of requirements.
You post, "It then had four more peacetime years to expand and train." Yup, and that produced very nearly three years of time-served conscripts and one year of half-served conscripts. It then had to employ every single one of them on an actiive battlefront. By contrast, in November 1942 the USA employed only a tiny fraction of its manpower in TORCH two years after introducing conscription. (The number of divisions initially employed there was so small that they could all, in theory, have been provided by the pre-war regular army). The overwheming majority of US divisions only saw combat from mid 1944, 2-5 years after the first were originally ordered embodied.
Again, did I say anything different? And do you have a point? By the end of September 1942, the US Army committed 20 infantry divisions overseas, including the 24th and 25th in Hawaii. So two-thirds of those available in the Z/I as of 7 December 1941. That many did not see combat is irrelevant, their early commitment overseas affected the mobilization and training of the entire Army. Simply put, the American Army never developed the mobilization expertise exhibited by the Germans, but then, the Germans were building on a basis of expertise and experience about 100-years old, whereas the American one was ad hoc in the extreme.
You post, "The 65th Infantry was activated and the PR National Guard was federalized, which actually about quintupled the garrison, from a few thousand to 17,000." The 65th was a regular unit. The expansion in Puerto Rico in 1939 came largely from continental US artillery units being deployed there. The PR National Guard was called out in the autumn of 1940, like its continental equivalents. The quintupling you talk of took place in 1940.
Then what was the point of your factoid regarding the Puerto Rico garrison expansion?
You are right, like me, you also did not not mention the "when the odds were even scenario". I aplogise. That was daveshoups's introduction to the conversation.
Good of you to notice.
I did not say anything about Dupuy ever having expressed "......a low opinion of US infantry". I actually wrote that he, "did not express a very high opinion of US infantry." The two are not the same thing and I don't have to defend what I did not write. Unless, of course, you are contending that he did express a very high opinion of US infantry? Did he?
Actually, yes he did, his opinion of the US Army as a whole was quite high. What he criticized was its battlefield performance, which did not always revolve around a high or low opinion of infantry.
It is some 30 years since I last read Dupuy's Numbers, Prediction and War. From what I recall, his statistical analysis showed that US (and British) infantry divisions did not tend to perform as well as German infantry divisions in 1943-45, even sometimes when these were recently raised Volksgrenadier divisions. (I am not sure I buy into Dupuy's statistical methodology, but that is my recollection of his conclusions.)
I do not believe statistical analysis is opinion?
You post that Dupuy "criticized their tactics and training. Marshall criticized the training they received in fire discipline and control." These are rather fundamental criticisms and, I would suggest, if true, rather tend to support my more nuanced proposition that they "did not express a very high opinion of US infantry."
Since you are putting words into their mouths, I would hardly described your proposition as nuanced. They criticized the tactics and training practices of the US Army, which is not an opinion, high or low, of US infantry. It is an opinion of the tactics and training practices that resulted in what may be assessed as poor performance. Perhaps that's too nuanced for you?
You post, "most US infantry divisions "reached "peak efficiency" about three to eight weeks after entering combat." What is the source of this quite precise time frame?
Experience of the divisions in combat. An extreme example is the 90th Infantry Division. It entered combat as a complete division, more or less, on 10 June 1944. Its officers and men were incapable of performing relatively simple operations, suffered tremendous casualties to little result, went through two division commanders, and assistant division commander, seven regimental commanders, and numerous battalion commanders (the first of which on his first day of combat announced he had gone blind and went to the rear). And yet seven weeks later were the spearhead of the breakout east into France, capturing 10,709 EPW in the process. Or the 99th Division, which after 37 days in combat, while on an extended and vulnerable front was forced to defend against the attack of three German divisions, reinforced by elements of another.
As your description of 1st, 3rd and 34th Divisions coincides well with my charecterization of the composition of the initial divisions in North Africa, I see no reason to take major issue with it. However, I would suggest that you may be underselling 34th Division. Although it may have been federalized on 10 February 1941, it was actually a longstanding state National Guard formation whose personnel had already had some training. Furthermore, it appears to have conducted its first divisional field exercises no later than September 1941. It was apparently sent to Europe because it was one of the divisions most advanced in its preparation and there it span off 500 volunteers to form the first Ranger battalion. (Perhaps this last cost it some of its more self motivated manpower?)
Do try not to teach your granny to suck eggs. All of the National Guard formations were "longstanding state" formations. A tautology demonstrates nothing.

I am well aware of the history of the 34th Division. It was chosen because, among other things, it was one of the few NG divisions that had recently trained as a division, in August 1937 and then again in August 1940. After Federalization 10 February 1940 and movement from Camp Ripley Minnesota to Camp Claiborne Louisiana 20 February 1940, it participated in the V Corps Maneuvers of June 1941 and the GHQ Maneuvers of August-September 1941, which also were factors in the decision. It was also triangularized 8 December 1941, one of the earliest to complete reorganization, which was another factor in its favor. Then, the 27th, 32d, 37th, and 41st, which were also in similar states of readiness, were already committed to the reinforcement of Pacific garrisons, when the decision was made to send a National Guard division to the UK, which was another factor in its favor. I would have to double-check, but I believe also by then the CG and the three regimental commanders were all RA, replacing the former NG personnel, most of whom were over-age for overseas service.

In any case, I do not see how making a factual statement of the composition of the 34th Division was "underselling" it? It consisted almost entirely of National Guard, except for a leavening of Regular Army and Organized Reserve senior officers. How is that an "undersell"? It did not complete the formal WD training program, the MTP, before it landed in North Africa. How is that an "undersell"? Both are simple statements of fact, I would think that so normally careful a wordsmith as you would realize that?
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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 19 Jan 2022 22:03

And one American soldier named Rommel, who sure did look like a more famous person with that name.
Course, he might have been one of the Polish Rommels... ;)
My home turf was heavily settled in the mid to latter 19th Century by Swabians, including a family named Rommel. Theres a park in Oxford Indiana named after that local family. Had their relationship to Irwin Rommel explained, but filed it away under useless information.

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