200 U. S. trained divisions?

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 03 Apr 2021 20:43

Who did your father recruit for?

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 03 Apr 2021 20:45

Who did your father recruit for? What years were these?

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 03 Apr 2021 23:55

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
03 Apr 2021 20:45
Who did your father recruit for? What years were these?
Carl - FYI; you're probably aware of these, but pretty interesting snapshot in terms of personnel, recruiting, readiness, and force structure of the active and the reserve components of the US Army at the end of the 1970s.

https://history.army.mil/books/DAHSUM/1 ... m#Contents

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Apr 2021 00:35

daveshoup2MD wrote:
02 Apr 2021 03:09
Yep. Interesting contrast with 1940-45, of course, which gets back to the question of how many ground force combat divisions the US could have raised and sustained during the Second World War ... which leads to the question of how many the US should have raised and sustained.
Well, given the U.S. mobilization was c. 10% less than that of Britain and even less than that of Germany and the Soviet Union, I think a more intensive mobilization along the lines of "this is national survival at stake" and there could have been somewhere between 100 and 110 divisions. Reduce the AAA Command further as was going on in 1943-1945 and you could probably squeeze out another ten divisions or so. I suspect though that would be it unless you manage to pull personnel out of ASF and/or desegregate the Army so Black manpower could be better utilized (forcing personnel into Engineer G/S Regiments where they acted as basically labor battalions was extremely wasteful).
"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 daveshoup2MD » 04 Apr 2021 01:48

Richard Anderson wrote:
04 Apr 2021 00:35
daveshoup2MD wrote:
02 Apr 2021 03:09
Yep. Interesting contrast with 1940-45, of course, which gets back to the question of how many ground force combat divisions the US could have raised and sustained during the Second World War ... which leads to the question of how many the US should have raised and sustained.
Well, given the U.S. mobilization was c. 10% less than that of Britain and even less than that of Germany and the Soviet Union, I think a more intensive mobilization along the lines of "this is national survival at stake" and there could have been somewhere between 100 and 110 divisions. Reduce the AAA Command further as was going on in 1943-1945 and you could probably squeeze out another ten divisions or so. I suspect though that would be it unless you manage to pull personnel out of ASF and/or desegregate the Army so Black manpower could be better utilized (forcing personnel into Engineer G/S Regiments where they acted as basically labor battalions was extremely wasteful).
Interesting. Are you including the six USMC divisions with your 100-120 total, or is that all US Army?

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Apr 2021 03:24

daveshoup2MD wrote:
04 Apr 2021 01:48
Interesting. Are you including the six USMC divisions with your 100-120 total, or is that all US Army?
No, Just Army. The USMC was specialized enough, even when they started taking in selectees, that I am not sure how much they could expand and keep the quality intact. Wasn't it the 6th MARDIV that was created from existing units? Anyway, assuming my 10% WAG is close that means that "full" mobilization might only generate 0.6 of another Marine division.
"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 » 04 Apr 2021 04:25

Richard Anderson wrote:
04 Apr 2021 03:24
No, Just Army. The USMC was specialized enough, even when they started taking in selectees, that I am not sure how much they could expand and keep the quality intact. Wasn't it the 6th MARDIV that was created from existing units? Anyway, assuming my 10% WAG is close that means that "full" mobilization might only generate 0.6 of another Marine division.
Technically yes. All three Marine rifle regiments existed previous to the divisions activation. The 22d Marines had been around longest, since 1942 as a 'independent' regiment. The 4th Marines was reconstituted January 1944 out of four Raider battalions. The 29th Marines existed from early 1944 in a attenuated form of one battalion (1/29). In Sept 1944 it joined the activating 6th Mar Div & was filled out to three battalions. I'm unsure where the fillers came from. Neither do I know where the artillery & other support battalions came from. Given the training requirements I suspect a hefty portion had been around a while. Beyond that there was a portion filled out with recent recruits.
Richard Anderson wrote:
04 Apr 2021 03:24
No, Just Army. The USMC was specialized enough, even when they started taking in selectees, that I am not sure how much they could expand and keep the quality intact.
Im not certain either. While some of the quality came from the attitude of those who volunteered for service with the Marines there were other important sources. Perhaps the most important was the initial cadre of combat veterans of the campaigns in Latin America. Building on that was a expanding veteran core from the ongoing Pacific campaigns. Unlike Italy or the campaigns in NW Europe the combat was on & off. Some weeks or months fighting, then weeks or months the beach, where replacements were assimilated & trained with the veterans. The frequent refinement of doctrine, organization and tactics was enabled by the extended periods on a beach where training could occur. The US Army units in the PTO benefitted from this in & out cycle the same way. The slack time between battles or campaigns allowing some reflection and action on improving practice in battle.

This ongoing refinement of doctrine was another source of the 'quality'. This was not driven from the top by some Navy or Marine version of AGF back in Washington DC. While some did come out of the schools in the US the colonels commanding the battalions and regiments tended to drive change from the bottom up. This is why the weapons mix in the company & battalion changed multiple times in three years

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

Post by Andy H » 04 Apr 2021 12:47

Hi

Was the US still abiding by the draft ages of 20-45 from 1942 till the wars end or had they been changed?

Regards

Andy H

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 04 Apr 2021 13:12

Hi Guys,

As there was no Marine division in the interwar period, did the Navy tap the Army for equipment, specialists and training for all the artillery, engineers and ancillary arms to set one up?

If not, why not?

During WWII, did the US Marines have any weaponry, (not including amphibious and landing craft), developed for themselves exclusively? Did they reject any Army weaponry?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Gary Kennedy » 04 Apr 2021 13:51

From memory the USMC fielded both the Johnson rifle and the Johnson LMG, but in the Raider and Parachute units rather than the normal Mar Inf Regts. The infamous Reising did see widespread issue before being pulled. I think the First Special Service Force used the Jonson LMG, I'm not sure anyone but the USMC did the Johnson rifle and the Reising. Pretty much everything else in the USMC armoury though was also used by the US Army (M1 rifles and carbines, all the Browning MGs, 60-mm and 81-mm mortars, and the 75-mm, 105-mm and 155-mm howitzers and 15-mm gun, plus the 37-mm atk gun and 2.36in rocket launcher). They were very eager to get the M26 tank but didn't in time for combat. A fair few of their radio sets were Navy rather than Army types.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 04 Apr 2021 18:29

Richard Anderson wrote:
04 Apr 2021 03:24
daveshoup2MD wrote:
04 Apr 2021 01:48
Interesting. Are you including the six USMC divisions with your 100-120 total, or is that all US Army?
No, Just Army. The USMC was specialized enough, even when they started taking in selectees, that I am not sure how much they could expand and keep the quality intact. Wasn't it the 6th MARDIV that was created from existing units? Anyway, assuming my 10% WAG is close that means that "full" mobilization might only generate 0.6 of another Marine division.
So let's go down the list:

Historical US Army - 90 divisions; 16 armored (1-14, 16, 20), 74 infantry (1-11, 13, 17, 24-38, 40-45, 63, 65-66, 69-71, 75-104, 106; Americal; 1st, 2nd CD - total infantry includes five airborne, 2 dismounted cavalry, one mountain);
Historical USMC - 6 infantry (1-6)

Speculative US Army:

Army "comb-out" - yield is unclear, but AGF and ASF presumably could have yielded some manpower; how much remains unclear.

AAF (B-29 program) - 130,000 personnel in 1943-45 (Command Decisions, I believe)

Army brigade headquarters (suitable for conversion), still overseas in 1945; at the end of the war, the army's order of battle included 44 AA brigade headquarters, of which 29 served overseas. Obviously, not all of these brigades could have been converted to infantry brigade headquarters equivalents, because of the operational situations in their various theaters during the course of the war, but it's worth noting the 45th's experience as Task Force 45 in 1944-45. Along with the 29 AA brigades, there were still five FA brigade headquarters overseas and functional during the last year of the war, along with two infantry brigade headquarters active overseas in 1945, a provisional (non-divisional) cavalry brigade headquarters, a tank destroyer brigade headquarters, and no less than 14 engineer brigade headquarters, all overseas (defined as outside of CONUS). With the above caveats, that totals 52 brigade headquarters and, generally, designed as the equivalent to the old Army standard of "square" brigades overseeing two regiments. Even if only half could be converted, that's 26; call it cadre for 13 divisional headquarters?

Marine Corps' non-divisional combat and support elements (III and V 'Phib each had a corps artillery headquarters equivalent, as well as two separate provisional FA group headquarters and two provisional AA group headquarters, for example, that were all still active in 1945, as was a single Marine combat engineer group headquarters), so - perhaps - as many as five "extra" brigade-level (in the modern "regimental equivalent" sense) headquarters? Might be seen as equivalent to the headquarters of a seventh marine division, but it's probably a stretch.

The Navy's naval construction expeditionary elements, however, should presumably weigh in the mix, as well. More than 300,000 officers and men served in the USN's CEC during WW II, and the mobile elements required the formation of 54 regiments (closer to an Army battalion in size), 12 brigades, and under various designations, five naval construction forces - each roughly, a division headquarters equivalent. Again, not all of these organizations could or should be considered the equivalent of ground force combat arms, but they do indicate the scale of the mobilization and the resources created to meet it. Cut it in half, so 27 regiments, six brigades, and two forces - maybe two more divisions?

Army separate combat arms (infantry and dismounted cavalry) arms regiments, still overseas in 1945; 3rd, 24th (C); 29th, 65th (PR), 102nd, 111th, 118th, 147th, 150th, 156th, 158th, 159th, 295th (PR), 296th (PR), 364th (C), 372nd (C), 442nd (AJA), 473rd, 474th, 475th, 501st PIR, 503rd PIR, 508th PIR, + 1st Filipino; 43rd (NPS), 44th (NPS), 45th (NPS), 57th (NPS)' + 112th and 124th cavalry. Total is 30, but there are some caveats, especially the NPS and most of the similar "restricted manpower" regiments and, but in terms of those operational as frontline infantry in this period, there's (arguably) 14-16 infantry, two cavalry, and the three PIRs; that's (very roughly) the equivalent of six additional infantry divisions and an additional "light" airborne division, so - maybe - seven more divisions?

Then one starts getting into separate combat arms battalion equivalents (infantry, tank, tank destroyer, cavalry squadrons) and support elements (field artillery, AA artillery, engineers), and manpower increments (AAF, NCF, comb-outs of AGF and ASF, etc.) but that's pretty deep into the weeds.

But add it all together, and that's - very roughly - the cadre for 15-16 ground force divisions, with infantry/dismounted cavalry regiments equivalent to six infantry divisions and an airborne division.

Interestingly enough, the above tracks pretty reasonably (at least at this level of detail) with the ~10 "planned" 1943 activations (from Stanton, 15th Airborne, 61st, 62nd, 67th, 68th, 72nd, 73rd, 74th, 105, 107th); I've seen some mention of as many as four additional armored divisions (tentatively the 18th, 19th, 21st, 22nd), as well.

Also interestingly enough, it comes close to tracking with the 9-12 division equivalents of "Allied" troops (the French under ANFA, the Brazilians, and the X Force ROC divisions) the US equipped overseas for service under US command, which suggests something of the tradeoffs necessary. Set aside the ROC Y Force order of battle, since that was a non-US theater and much closer to standard L-L, along with requiring an overland route from Burma...

Then there's the manpower pool that the four NPS regiments and the separate 1st FR suggest; the Commonwealth of the Philippines. The US Army's Philippine Division (which if numbered, would have been the 12th) was an operational formation, with (essentially) three infantry RCTs; the US Army's 31st, 45th, and 57th infantry, of which the 45th and 57th were officially "Philippine Scout" units; Filipino enlisted and a mix of US and Filipino officers.

Granted, a US mobilization plan in 1940-43 that relied on Commonwealth manpower organized by the PCA is problematic, but it is worth recalling that along with the "Old Scouts", (roughly) 120,000 Filipino citizens were mobilized in 1941-42 in the PI into the PCA (as opposed to US citizens of Filipino ancestry, or Filipino nationals resident in the US, being mobilized as such into the US Army). The resulting order of battle amounted to 10 "light" divisions on the PCA TO&E, which was roughly equivalent to a US "square" infantry brigade in manpower and equipment, and about two-thirds of the standard US army infantry division in units. There were also two "regular" divisions in the PCA OOB, which were closer to a US infantry regiment in scale. Call it (maybe) 22 US-standard infantry regiments, with headquarters and support and service elements equivalent to (perhaps) 5 divisions; add the US Army's PD/12th infantry division/3 RCTs, and that's (very roughly) six division equivalents, which gets the totals to (perhaps) the following:

96 divisions (as mobilized; presumably keep the 2nd Cavalry Division by folding in some or all of the "restricted" manpower that went to the 24th (C); 65th (PR), 295th (PR), 296th (PR), 364th (C), 372nd (C) regiments), plus the following:

US 12th Infantry Division (PS replaced by RA 3rd and 29th infantry regiments)?
US 15th Airborne (501st PIR, 503rd PIR, 508th PIR or equivalents)
US 61st Infantry Division (102nd, 111th, 118th, or equivalents)
US 62nd (147th, 150th, 156th, or equivalents)
US 67th (158th, 159th, 474th, or equivalents)
US 68th (475th infantry, 112th, 124th cavalry, or equivalents)

then it gets sketchier, although presumably AAF, AGF, and ASF manpower (and possibly USN CEC) gained via comb-outs could have yielded another 5-6; the PCA, perhaps another six... so, perhaps 115, total?

Add in the Allied formations (8-16 French, 1 Brazilian, 3 ROC/X Force equivalents) and there's another 20.

Interesting exercise.
Last edited by daveshoup2MD on 04 Apr 2021 18:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 04 Apr 2021 18:33

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
04 Apr 2021 04:25
Richard Anderson wrote:
04 Apr 2021 03:24
No, Just Army. The USMC was specialized enough, even when they started taking in selectees, that I am not sure how much they could expand and keep the quality intact. Wasn't it the 6th MARDIV that was created from existing units? Anyway, assuming my 10% WAG is close that means that "full" mobilization might only generate 0.6 of another Marine division.
Technically yes. All three Marine rifle regiments existed previous to the divisions activation. The 22d Marines had been around longest, since 1942 as a 'independent' regiment. The 4th Marines was reconstituted January 1944 out of four Raider battalions. The 29th Marines existed from early 1944 in a attenuated form of one battalion (1/29). In Sept 1944 it joined the activating 6th Mar Div & was filled out to three battalions. I'm unsure where the fillers came from. Neither do I know where the artillery & other support battalions came from. Given the training requirements I suspect a hefty portion had been around a while. Beyond that there was a portion filled out with recent recruits.
Richard Anderson wrote:
04 Apr 2021 03:24
No, Just Army. The USMC was specialized enough, even when they started taking in selectees, that I am not sure how much they could expand and keep the quality intact.
Im not certain either. While some of the quality came from the attitude of those who volunteered for service with the Marines there were other important sources. Perhaps the most important was the initial cadre of combat veterans of the campaigns in Latin America. Building on that was a expanding veteran core from the ongoing Pacific campaigns. Unlike Italy or the campaigns in NW Europe the combat was on & off. Some weeks or months fighting, then weeks or months the beach, where replacements were assimilated & trained with the veterans. The frequent refinement of doctrine, organization and tactics was enabled by the extended periods on a beach where training could occur. The US Army units in the PTO benefitted from this in & out cycle the same way. The slack time between battles or campaigns allowing some reflection and action on improving practice in battle.

This ongoing refinement of doctrine was another source of the 'quality'. This was not driven from the top by some Navy or Marine version of AGF back in Washington DC. While some did come out of the schools in the US the colonels commanding the battalions and regiments tended to drive change from the bottom up. This is why the weapons mix in the company & battalion changed multiple times in three years
Good points regarding the cyclical nature of operations in the PTO, as opposed to EAME/MTO/ETO.

The best single volume USMC equivalent to Stanton I've found is Rottman's US Marine Corps WW II Order of Battle which also includes Marine Aviation, down to the battalion/squadron level.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 04 Apr 2021 18:42

Sid Guttridge wrote:
04 Apr 2021 13:12
Hi Guys,

As there was no Marine division in the interwar period, did the Navy tap the Army for equipment, specialists and training for all the artillery, engineers and ancillary arms to set one up?

If not, why not?

During WWII, did the US Marines have any weaponry, (not including amphibious and landing craft), developed for themselves exclusively? Did they reject any Army weaponry?

Cheers,

Sid.
The 1st and 2nd brigades of the FMF were organized as such in 1935-36, and included a headquarters, infantry regiment (3 battalions), field and AA battalions/batteries, engineer battalion, tank company, medical battalion, signals, service and support, etc., with dedicated aviation (at least nominally). These two formations were expanded into the 1st and 2nd Marine divisions in 1941, as part of the prewar mobilization, and provided the basis for the FMF's expansion during WW II to an army-level expeditionary force of two corps and six divisions, in total.

The Marines had brigade-level experience going back to W I (and before, actually), and there were enough Marines in France by 1918 that if the war had continued into 1919, there could have been a Marine Division in the field with the AEF. The USN provided (and continues to provide) medical services and (general) engineering support, via the USN's CEC - the Seabees.

Which, it's worth mentioning, numbered 300,000 officers and men at the high point in WW II, so the equivalent (roughly) of a field army in manpower.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 04 Apr 2021 18:50

For the US Army the Med started out 'cyclical'. After the Italian campaign started ops for the Fifth Army became less so. There were still some breaks into 1944. ie: the 1st ID, 2d Armored, 82 AB had extended down time after their transfer to the UK. & the 82d & 101st had extended rest & training time between operations. The formations transferred to the 7th Army for Op ANVIL had a brief break before the mid August kick off. After that it was the full court press across Europe & I am convinced the US infantry suffered for it. The US Army replacement system worked better where formations could systematically rotate out of combat for several weeks, or a month+, integrate the replacements & reshuffle the veterans.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 04 Apr 2021 19:11

Sid Guttridge wrote:
04 Apr 2021 13:12
Hi Guys,

As there was no Marine division in the interwar period, did the Navy tap the Army for equipment, specialists and training for all the artillery, engineers and ancillary arms to set one up?
Short answer is yes, the Marines interwar used mostly Army equipment. Some exceptions: The armor were Marmon Herrington vehicles. Aircraft were near all USN types. Medium & heavy artillery, all the the Base Defense Battalions were Navy designs, the three inch and five inch DP guns. Since these battalions were operating closely integrated with Navy littoral and forward base ops it made some sense to use weapons with ammunition and service requirements matching USN resources. The low funding interwar reinforced this. The Army did have a program to turn the 3" cannon into a dual purpose of tri purpose weapon in the 1920s, but did not adopt the result. That rather left the Navy on its own in this.
During WWII, did the US Marines have any weaponry, (not including amphibious and landing craft), developed for themselves exclusively? Did they reject any Army weaponry?
Sid.
The diesel engine version of the M4 Medium tank was accepted. The Army did not want it. As prewar the Marines used mostly USN selected aircraft. For utility vehicles it was a mix of Navy and Army models. Im unsure what Army designs for AAA were used by the Marines.

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