US Army Engineer Combat Battalions

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schutzearsch
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Joined: 13 Jul 2006 21:43
Location: Germany

US Army Engineer Combat Battalions

Post by schutzearsch » 10 Nov 2020 20:58

Hello everyone,

Few Quick Questions about the American Combat Engineer Battalions

Was there any difference in Organization and Equipment between an Combat Engineer Battlion attached to a Division and one attatched to a Corps?

Is there a full list of all ECBs and a list to which Divions/Corps they where attatched?

It seems to me that there is a pattern to the numbers of the ECBs that the Regular Army Divisions (1st ID, 2nd, 3rd ID, etc.) hat double digit numbers like 1st CEB 2nd ECB, 10th ECB. National Guard Divisions (28th, 29th, 30th) hat Numbers with a 100 like 103rd ECB, 111th ECB, etc. later rasied Divisions (84th, 90th, 99th etc.) hat numbers with a 300 like 309th ECB and Units attacthed to a Corps had numbers with a 2 like 291st ECB 257th ECB.

Is that correct?

US Corps usually had Groups to coordinate and quartmaster attacthed battalions for exampel the VII Corps had the 6th Armored Group which had attatched Tank Battalions and the 4th Cavarly Group (Mechanized) which was a Cavalry Regiment but it's two battalions designated the 4th and the 24 Cavarly Squadrons where often used seperately. Was there a similar higher command unit for Engineer Battalions at Corps level?

Thanks for your help!

Gary Kennedy
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Re: US Army Engineer Combat Battalions

Post by Gary Kennedy » 10 Nov 2020 21:20

The same Tables of Organization were used by Engineer Battalions in Infantry Divisions and non-Divisional Battalions, 5-15 being the summary, 5-16 for HQ & Service Company and 5-17 for the Engineer Company. 5-17 of March 1944 includes a note that for units in Divisions the Company was issued a diesel engine tractor of 55 to 65 DBHP, while in non-Divisional units it was a 70 to 90 DBHP version.

Gary

Richard Anderson
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Re: US Army Engineer Combat Battalions

Post by Richard Anderson » 10 Nov 2020 22:02

schutzearsch wrote:
10 Nov 2020 20:58
Hello everyone,

Few Quick Questions about the American Combat Engineer Battalions

Was there any difference in Organization and Equipment between an Combat Engineer Battlion attached to a Division and one attatched to a Corps?
They were identical with the minor exception noted by Gary.
Is there a full list of all ECBs and a list to which Divions/Corps they where attatched?
I'm afraid not.

Note that in the U.S. Army units "assignment" was a more or less permanent state. The organic engineer battalion of the division for example was "assigned". However, at higher echelons non-divisional battalions were normally "assigned" to an army, but "attached" by the army to corps and divisions. So that while there was an Engineer Combat Group, HQ & HQ Company assigned to each corps, its battalions were attached to it from army.

Shelby Stanton covers all the ECB, but given the non-divisional battalions changed attachment frequently and even assignment, it is a huge task to track their movements,
It seems to me that there is a pattern to the numbers of the ECBs that the Regular Army Divisions (1st ID, 2nd, 3rd ID, etc.) hat double digit numbers like 1st CEB 2nd ECB, 10th ECB. National Guard Divisions (28th, 29th, 30th) hat Numbers with a 100 like 103rd ECB, 111th ECB, etc. later rasied Divisions (84th, 90th, 99th etc.) hat numbers with a 300 like 309th ECB and Units attacthed to a Corps had numbers with a 2 like 291st ECB 257th ECB.

Is that correct?
Not exactly. In the Great War and thereafter in the revised organization of 1921, the Army had numbered Engineer Regiments and separate battalions were specialized units. When the organization of the infantry division was revised in 1940-1941, its engineer element was reorganized as a battalion, while the non-divisional regiments remained until they were reorganized as separate battalions in 1943. The numbering system was original on the same pattern as for other regiments, the numbers 1-99 were reserved for the Regular Army, 100-299 were National Guard, and 300+ were Organized Reserve and wartime Emergency "National Army" units, if such were organized.

However, in World War II, when the regiments were split up, typically the 1st Battalion was renumbered the same as the old regimental number, while the 2d Battalion was renumbered in a vacant higher series, typically 900+. Others, and wartime units organized in the "Army of the United States" (they decided not to use the old "National Army" designation) were assigned numbers in any vacant series, including some of the Organized Reserve numbers that were left vacant during the 1920s and 1930s when the units were disbanded as economy measures. Many of the other branches, such as artillery, went through the same reorganization and renumbering, so it is frequently difficult to tell if a World War II non-divisional unit was Regular Army, National Guard, Organized Reserve, or Army of the United States, without digging deep into its lineage.
US Corps usually had Groups to coordinate and quartmaster attacthed battalions for exampel the VII Corps had the 6th Armored Group which had attatched Tank Battalions and the 4th Cavarly Group (Mechanized) which was a Cavalry Regiment but it's two battalions designated the 4th and the 24 Cavarly Squadrons where often used seperately. Was there a similar higher command unit for Engineer Battalions at Corps level?
Yes, essentially all units, except Infantry, formerly organized as regiments were reorganized as a Group Headquarters and attached separate battalions during 1942 and 1943. Many of them remained effectively unchanged other than in designation for some time, as the groups and its battalions tended to remain together, but by mid 1944 most of those old affiliations were gone as the separate battalions moved about.

BTW, in the U.S. Army Cavalry was organized as Groups comprised of Cavalry Squadrons rather then Battalions, in turn comprised of Troops rather than Companies. The only Company in the Cavalry Squadron was the Tank Company. And, yes, I agree, it is arbitrary and makes little sense, which is the U.S. Army's traditions in a nutshell. They also liked "Inclosures" rather than "Enclosures" and "Indorsements" rather than "Endorsements". :lol:
"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

schutzearsch
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Posts: 49
Joined: 13 Jul 2006 21:43
Location: Germany

Re: US Army Engineer Combat Battalions

Post by schutzearsch » 10 Nov 2020 23:16

Thank you very much Gary and Richard!

This helps me a lot!

Of coure your right, in Cavalry a battalion is usually a squadron and a company is a troop. But I didn't konw that the tank company was called a company not a troop.

regards!

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