Reorganisation of the 36th and 41st Armored Inf Regts

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Gary Kennedy
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Reorganisation of the 36th and 41st Armored Inf Regts

Post by Gary Kennedy » 25 Jun 2020 18:40

Time for another obscure query on my part.

In March 1942 the Armored Infantry Regiments of the Armored Divisions were to consist of;

Headquarters and Headquarters Company
Service Company

Three Battalions, each
Headquarters and Headquarters Company
Three Rifle Companies

Medical Detachment with Headquarters and three Battalion Sections

2nd and 3rd Armored Divisions kept their Regimental structures through to 1945, following the adoption of the Light Armored Division format in late 1943, as used by 4th Armd and later. The new Armored Infantry Battalion was a standalone unit and added a Service Company to the above general outline. In broad terms there was not too much difference between the HQ and HQ Company of the Armd Inf Bn under the March 1942 and September 1943 Tables of Organization, but there were detail differences to the staff. The Rifle Company of Sep1943 was different from that of Mar1942 in that the former added an Antitank Platoon while the earlier version had its guns handled by the riflemen.

There is a list of T/Os held in the ETO as of October 1944 and revised in January 1945 (both buried somewhere on fold3.com). These includes overall personnel strengths for the T/Os, split by Officers, WOs and EM. Included is a T/O 7-21 dated 1st March 1942 for an Armd Inf Regt, as changed by T/O 7-25 of 15 September 1943. There are also entries for 7-22 for the HQ & HQ Company and 7-23 for the Service Company. Both of these are slightly down from the original T/O strengths, in line with the 50% reduction in Basics applied to the majority of units during 1944. To reach the figures given for the Regiment overall (141 O, 14 WO, 3226 EM), including Medical, it only works out if the Armd Inf Bns had switched onto the Sep1943 T/O, however everything I've read on the the 2nd and 3rd Armd Divs suggests they modified the Mar1942 T/Os and adopted none of the Sep1943.

I've been looking around for any reference to one or other Battalions of the 36th and 41st Armd Inf Regts having its own Service Company, as opposed to the Regimental level one, but without success. So has anyone come across a mention of a Service Company in any of the Battalions of the 36th and 41st Armored Infantry Regiment, or any other snippet, like an Antitank Platoon in the Rifle Companies, that might support the Battalions at least being reorganised on the Sep1943 T/Os?

Thanks,

Gary

Richard Anderson
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Re: Reorganisation of the 36th and 41st Armored Inf Regts

Post by Richard Anderson » 25 Jun 2020 19:23

Gary Kennedy wrote:
25 Jun 2020 18:40
Time for another obscure query on my part.
No kidding. :lol:


I've been looking around for any reference to one or other Battalions of the 36th and 41st Armd Inf Regts having its own Service Company, as opposed to the Regimental level one, but without success. So has anyone come across a mention of a Service Company in any of the Battalions of the 36th and 41st Armored Infantry Regiment, or any other snippet, like an Antitank Platoon in the Rifle Companies, that might support the Battalions at least being reorganised on the Sep1943 T/Os?
Anything to do with the 2d and 3d AD organizational adaptations is obscure to the extreme and not well documented. Don Houston in his doctoral thesis on the 2d AD touched on the initial decisions in England, but in about a paragraph (much better than his published history).

It appears that in the 2d AD, the AIR requested and probably received:

70 .50 caliber MG for AA mounts
132 .30 caliber MG
81 BAR

They also replaced the towed 37mm AT with the 57mm, but retained an unknown number of 37mm as half-track mounts. They requested the replacement of 27 60mm mortars with 81mm mortars vehicle-mounted, but it is unclear if they were ever received...and I doubt it.

Other division units received:

25 .50 caliber MG
21 HT personnel carriers (some may have gone to the AIR)

I cannot find any evidence the structure of the AIR was substantially changed though. The only other major change was in late 1944 and early 1945 when the Assault Gun Platoons in the AIR began replace the 75mm HMC M8 with the Medium Tank M4 (105mm).
"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

Gary Kennedy
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Re: Reorganisation of the 36th and 41st Armored Inf Regts

Post by Gary Kennedy » 26 Jun 2020 01:53

Well I have a reputation in obscurities to uphold :)

I think the thing that has always struck me as odd is the seemingly straightforward replacement of the Rifle Company 37-mm antitank guns by the 57-mm, but with no accompanying increase in manpower. The Rifle Platoons under the 1st March 1942 version of 7-27 were already pretty small, with only two Rifle Squads proper and an abbreviated third included in the Headquarters, which also provided two gunners for the Platoon's 37-mm gun. Exchanging the 37-mm gun for the 57-mm but keeping the personnel unaltered always feels a strange decision. The 57-mm was authorised a 10-man Squad in other T/Os, so why the Armd Inf Regts were expected to man theirs with two designated gunners and a half dozen guys who also had to act as riflemen just seems bizarre.

Thanks for the info on the requests for weapons changes. Asking to upgrade their 60-mm mortar squads to 81-mm versions was certainly ambitious! I'd seen confirmation from the 36th of them getting their 105-mm M4s in late 1944 and a few photos of the track mounted 37-mm guns (which looks to have cut down on the legroom).

Gary

wwilson
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Re: Reorganisation of the 36th and 41st Armored Inf Regts

Post by wwilson » 26 Jun 2020 14:23

A related item I've tracked with only a bit of success are the additional riflemen added to French armored infantry battalions in 1944.

Those men came from FFI units but there seems to be precious little description of their armament or transport. I doubt the French were able to conjure up halftracks for their transport, although it may have happened in some cases.

Yes, I've been curious about the 2d and 3rd AD organization post 1943 as well.

Richard Anderson
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Re: Reorganisation of the 36th and 41st Armored Inf Regts

Post by Richard Anderson » 26 Jun 2020 17:28

Gary Kennedy wrote:
26 Jun 2020 01:53
Well I have a reputation in obscurities to uphold :)
:lol:
I think the thing that has always struck me as odd is the seemingly straightforward replacement of the Rifle Company 37-mm antitank guns by the 57-mm, but with no accompanying increase in manpower. The Rifle Platoons under the 1st March 1942 version of 7-27 were already pretty small, with only two Rifle Squads proper and an abbreviated third included in the Headquarters, which also provided two gunners for the Platoon's 37-mm gun. Exchanging the 37-mm gun for the 57-mm but keeping the personnel unaltered always feels a strange decision. The 57-mm was authorised a 10-man Squad in other T/Os, so why the Armd Inf Regts were expected to man theirs with two designated gunners and a half dozen guys who also had to act as riflemen just seems bizarre.
Indeed, I did not mean to say that they did not move personnel about, but the details of the specific modification orders is missing. I suspect that since they decreased the total number of 37mm - there was a plethora of towed and portee 37mm in the original T/O&E - that was a source for some of the manpower. However, I cannot find any evidence that total divisional manpower was changed?
"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

Gary Kennedy
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Re: Reorganisation of the 36th and 41st Armored Inf Regts

Post by Gary Kennedy » 27 Jun 2020 14:28

No, I can't find a authorised strength figure that might support the idea either. I've attached the pages from the T/O list that caught my eye. The Armd Inf Regt is on the Pg30 extract, and the Armd Regt on the Pg52 one. The list doesn't include any other March 1942 issue T/Os that would have been applicable to the 2nd and 3rd. It was reissued in January 1945 and adds three EM to the Armd Inf Bn (re the replacement of the M8 with the M4 105-mm) and makes no change to the Armd Regt totals.

The Armd Regt figures actually reconcile with the March 1942 tables if you adjust for 5% Basics (excepting the Recn Co, which had fewer Basics than that anyway).

I also found one chart showing the various Companies of the Regiments of 2nd Armd Div in late 1944.

https://www.benning.army.mil/Library/Ar ... index.html

https://mcoepublic.blob.core.usgovcloud ... 20Roer.pdf

Page 24 of the PDF shows the Armd and Armd Inf Regts all organised as would be expected per the March 1942 T/O. It doesn't include personnel totals but does show HQ Companies in the Battalions, so I'd be surprised if they missed Service Companies out. There's one person I need to check with to make sure.

Re the Free French Armd Divs, I recall there was a detailed post on here by someone outlining changes made to their 1944 structure. I've had a search but can't find it.

Thanks,

Gary
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wwilson
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Re: Reorganisation of the 36th and 41st Armored Inf Regts

Post by wwilson » 27 Jun 2020 18:29

Thanks for that, Gary. I'll look around.

Richard Anderson
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Re: Reorganisation of the 36th and 41st Armored Inf Regts

Post by Richard Anderson » 27 Jun 2020 20:48

Gary Kennedy wrote:
27 Jun 2020 14:28
No, I can't find a authorised strength figure that might support the idea either. I've attached the pages from the T/O list that caught my eye. The Armd Inf Regt is on the Pg30 extract, and the Armd Regt on the Pg52 one. The list doesn't include any other March 1942 issue T/Os that would have been applicable to the 2nd and 3rd. It was reissued in January 1945 and adds three EM to the Armd Inf Bn (re the replacement of the M8 with the M4 105-mm) and makes no change to the Armd Regt totals.

The Armd Regt figures actually reconcile with the March 1942 tables if you adjust for 5% Basics (excepting the Recn Co, which had fewer Basics than that anyway).

I also found one chart showing the various Companies of the Regiments of 2nd Armd Div in late 1944.
Sorry, I think I misunderstood your original post Gary.

Okay, if I'm parsing it correctly, the T/O&E extract indicates that the organization of the 36th and 41st AIR was that of T/O&E-7, of 1 March 1942 with C.1 of 23 July 1942. Oddly enough, they do not mention C.2 of 29 October 1942, probably because it did not affect the AIR organization. That applied to the regimental assets, but it specifically states that T/O&E 7-25 was used for the AIB in the regiments.

So then, the regiment would have consisted of:

HQ&HQ Co, AIR - 13/2/116
Svc Co AIR - 6/3/137
3 X AIB - 108/9/2,859
Total - 127/14/3,112

As opposed to the total given for the regiment of 141/14/3,226, so a difference of 15/0/114

In the original T/O&E-7 I have, the Medical personnel are only given as an aggregate - 50/0/364, but the complete breakdown of the Medical attachment by unit, is:

AIR - 9/0/72
2 X armored regiments - 16/0/120
recon battalion - 4/0/25
Eng Bn 3/0/27
3 X FA Bn - 9/0/72
Division HQ, HQ Co, Svc Co, Sig Co, and Div Trains, along with the AIR, shared 9/0/58

Now the AIR Medical Section was split into a HQ Det of 3/0/15 and three battalion detachments each of 2/0/19. Given the Medical Det of the September 1943 AIB was 3/0/33, I would suggest the difference of 15/0/114 is in the AIR medical detachment.
"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

Gary Kennedy
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Re: Reorganisation of the 36th and 41st Armored Inf Regts

Post by Gary Kennedy » 28 Jun 2020 19:46

These are the figures I was working on from those given in the T/O listings.

Figures given as officers, warrant officers, enlisted, total.

HQ & HQ Co, AIR - 13/2/116 = 131 (EM reduced from 123 in original T/O re Basics at 5%)
Serv Co, AIR - 6/3/137 = 146 (EM reduced from 142 in original T/O re Basics at 5%)
HQ Med Det - 3/0/15 = 18
Chaplains - 2/0/0 = 2

AIB (total) - 39/3/986 = 1028 (includes Med Sec, EM reduced from 959 in original T/O re changes to Basics )
HQ & HQ Co, AIB - 14/0/152 (with changes to Basics)
R Co - 6/0/245 = 251
R Co - 6/0/245 = 251
R Co - 6/0/245 = 251
Serv Co = 4/3/66 = 73 (with changes to Basics)
Med Sec - 3/0/33 = 36

AIR (total) - 141/14/3226 = 3381 (with Regtl T/Os on Mar42, Bn T/Os on Sep43 and Med Det adjusted in line)

The Mar1942 T/O for the AIB was;
HQ & HQ Co - 9/0/157 = 166 (likely less 7 Basics by July 1944)
R Co - 5/0/173 = 178
R Co - 5/0/173 = 178
R Co - 5/0/173 = 178
AIB (total) = 24/0/669 = 693 (with Med Sec of 2/0/19 = 26/0/688)

AIR (total) - 102/5/2332 = 2439

It may simply be the T/O lists shows an potential change to the Sep43 organisation for the Armd Inf Bns, but it never happened.

Gary

Richard Anderson
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Re: Reorganisation of the 36th and 41st Armored Inf Regts

Post by Richard Anderson » 29 Jun 2020 17:40

Gary Kennedy wrote:
28 Jun 2020 19:46
AIB (total) - 39/3/986 = 1028 (includes Med Sec, EM reduced from 959 in original T/O re changes to Basics )
HQ & HQ Co, AIB - 14/0/152 (with changes to Basics)
R Co - 6/0/245 = 251
R Co - 6/0/245 = 251
R Co - 6/0/245 = 251
Serv Co = 4/3/66 = 73 (with changes to Basics)
Med Sec - 3/0/33 = 36

(snip)

It may simply be the T/O lists shows an potential change to the Sep43 organisation for the Armd Inf Bns, but it never happened.

Gary
Gary, T/O&E 7-25 went through 5 changes to 21 November 1944. It was 39/3/989 at the end, including 3/0/33 Med.
"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

Gary Kennedy
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Re: Reorganisation of the 36th and 41st Armored Inf Regts

Post by Gary Kennedy » 30 Jun 2020 02:26

Yes, the figures in the Oct44 index I posted don't include Change 5 of 9Sep44 (the addition of the bow gunners with the arrival of the 105-mm M4s), but they are in the revised list of Jan45, showing the Regiment as 3390 all ranks (up 9 from that given in Oct44).

I have though heard back from the person I wanted to check with. He says 36th Armd Inf Regt reported 102 officers, 4 WOs and 2386 EM on 1Dec44, rising to 2426 EM on 21Jan45. Their Mar42 T/O called for 2472 all ranks, including 2365 EM. I don't know why the T/O index put together in 1944/45 showed the Bns on the Sep43 strengths but it was not reflected in the actual organisation for the 36th, and I'd suspect the 41st.

Gary

Richard Anderson
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Re: Reorganisation of the 36th and 41st Armored Inf Regts

Post by Richard Anderson » 30 Jun 2020 03:23

Gary Kennedy wrote:
30 Jun 2020 02:26
Yes, the figures in the Oct44 index I posted don't include Change 5 of 9Sep44 (the addition of the bow gunners with the arrival of the 105-mm M4s), but they are in the revised list of Jan45, showing the Regiment as 3390 all ranks (up 9 from that given in Oct44).

I have though heard back from the person I wanted to check with. He says 36th Armd Inf Regt reported 102 officers, 4 WOs and 2386 EM on 1Dec44, rising to 2426 EM on 21Jan45. Their Mar42 T/O called for 2472 all ranks, including 2365 EM. I don't know why the T/O index put together in 1944/45 showed the Bns on the Sep43 strengths but it was not reflected in the actual organisation for the 36th, and I'd suspect the 41st.

Gary
I'm not surprised. A lot that was intended was months getting actually carried out, especially when it came to personnel. I'll see if I can skim the the 36th AIR AAR for any more info, but it would probably require a deep dive into the Morning Reports to find when actual changes occurred.
"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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