200 U. S. trained divisions?

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 04 Apr 2021 19:50

daveshoup2MD wrote:
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?
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 Marine corps as it developed in the 20th Century was a large departure from the 18th & 19th Century Corps. Earlier it had followed the Britsh model where the marines were relatively small and a integrated part of the ships company. Battalions of any size were temporary ad hoc formations and usually filled out with common seamen, gunners, and officers from the ships companies. For littoral & amphibious ops the US Army doctrinally and in real terms provided the bulk of the infantry, artillery, and other specialties for landing forces. After 1900 this gradually began to change. The Navy began looking at permanent 'battalions' of Marines, and deployable base defense units. In the early Banana Wars HQ for nominal Marine regiments were established to administrate the growing forces ashore in places like Hati. The occupation of Vera Cruz was a indicator of the trend. The US Army had no readily deployable formation & the seizure was executed with a mixed bag of Marines and seamen from the Fleets ships companies. Eventually the Army did get a brigade together to relieve the Navy landing party, but it was over a month.

Post 1918 then Navy began further development of the Marines as a ready force. The Base Defense Battalions continued to develop & extensive thought was put into what would be needed for War Plan ORANGE. This was influenced by requirements in the expanding Latin American interventions & possible execution of full war plans in Latin American nations, beyond Nicaragua. In Nicaragua you can see the outline of the Marine Expeditionary Brigade in actual combat operations 1926-1934. Another example would be the group deployed to Shanghai in the 1927 emergency. War Plan ORANGE still envisioned the US Army providing 80 - 90 % of the ground combat forces. But unlike earlier wars the Marines had become a formal component of the Navys vision of landing and ground ops in a Pacific War. The Expeditionary Brigades were permanent and sophisticated (even by modern standards) combined arms groups.
The USN provided (and continues to provide) medical services and (general) engineering support, via the USN's CEC - the Seabees.
Even today the two are a lot more integrated than most people understand. The core role as a littoral combat force means the Marines must be closely integrated as a Navy component. Had the pre 20th Century doctrine continued & the US Army provided the men & arms for all landing forces the specific would need to be as closely integrated into the Navies amphibious forces in order to provide a ready ground combat component of a littoral expeditionary force.
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.
The four air wings made that 300,000 something more than a field army. Unlike the near universal trend in the 20th Century the USN went the opposite direction and kept a closely integrated tactical air force with its Marines. Im unsure what mavericks in the Navy made that happen, but it exists.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Apr 2021 20:49

daveshoup2MD wrote:
04 Apr 2021 18:29
So let's go down the list:
Okay.
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)
We don need no stinkin B-29. :D
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.
Of which 20 more or less served overseas, plus one provisional organization. The 14 serving in the ETOUSA fulfilled a viable mission coordinating antiaircraft defenses, particularly versus the V-1 threat, so I'm not sure those 994-odd officers, warrant officers, and enlisted men would really have been better used as infantry? That one of the two brigades serving until the end of the war in Italy was converted to an infantry formation isn't necessarily an indicator converting them all would have been.
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?
Arguably, the FA brigades did play a role acting as an army artillery headquarters, given the Army HQ only had a FA Section (unlike the Corps HQ, which was organized with a HQ & HQ Btry, Corps Arty with an aggregate 112 officers, WO, and EM).

Which two infantry "brigades" do you mean? The 1st SSF was for special service. :D The 2d Airborne Infantry Brigade was a permanent augmentation to the 82d A/B Div and was inactivated 15 January 1945, which simply was an acknowledgement of reality. The 45th and 5332d were both provisional organizations, which was part of the problem...provisional organizations authorized for specific tasks proliferated at an alarming rate, especially in ASF...IIRC, by the end of the war it was estimated that over 300,000 troops were tied up in such units (I'll see if I can track down the reference).

Yes, the remnant Cavalry, TD, and others were redundant, but messing with the Engineers again was treading into ASF territory, which was perilous. Fundamentally, the places with really large numbers of manpower to be tapped were, more or less in order:

ASF, which remained essentially untapped through the end of the war.
Army Schools, which were kind of necessary for training, eliminating them is like Hitler's decision to eliminate the Ersatzheer...a cure probably worse than the disease.
AAF, being pared down and diverted to other combat arms as early as 1943.
AAA Command, ditto.

Otherwise, you kill deferments and increase the ages for Selective Service.
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.
Maybe a seventh, but I agree it would have been a stretch and dilution of quality manpower.
"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 Richard Anderson » 04 Apr 2021 21:07

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
04 Apr 2021 19:11
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.
There is a bit of confusion there Carl. The USMC 3" gun as used by the Marine Defense Battalions organized at the beginning of the war was the Army M1918 AA Gun and was only "dual-purpose" in the sense that many AA guns were. The 5" and 7" guns used initially by the Defense Battalion were redundant Navy types, mostly from Great White Fleet-era battleships and armored cruisers and were strictly coast defense without an AA "dual" capability.

The Army program for a "universal" multi-purpose gun in the 1920s was based on the 75mm round, not the 3".
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.
The Marines backed into the Army program tanks, mostly because of the failure of the M-H designs and by the realization that improved landing craft designs enabled the transportation of heavier tanks, initially the Light Tank M3 and then the Medium Tank M4. However, the diesel-engine Medium Tank M4A2 came in by the back door...and by the end of the war HQMC was attempting to standardize on the gasoline-engine M4A3 and M26, against resistance from the Marine Tank battalions. The story is well covered by Ken Estes in Marines Under Armor, which I relied upon heavily when writing the Marine tankers story in For Purpose of Service Test. Oddly enough, the Marines also fitted its early tanks with Navy radios, rather than the Army Signal Corps radios, with unfortunate consequences in early Marine tank battles, especially Betio.

The Marines did develop an indigenous 20mm AA gun as an adjunct to the Army's 37mm M1A1 AA Gun, which used the same carriage. However, the 20mm version was not well liked IIRC and quickly went away. Otherwise, the standard Army 3" and 90mm were used.
"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 Delta Tank » 04 Apr 2021 21:48

Rich,

Is your book “For Purpose of Service Test” in print?

Mike

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Apr 2021 22:54

Delta Tank wrote:
04 Apr 2021 21:48
Rich,

Is your book “For Purpose of Service Test” in print?

Mike
It is in the hands of Stackpole. They haven't made a decision yet.
"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 » 05 Apr 2021 03:03

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
04 Apr 2021 19:50
daveshoup2MD wrote:
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?
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 Marine corps as it developed in the 20th Century was a large departure from the 18th & 19th Century Corps. Earlier it had followed the Britsh model where the marines were relatively small and a integrated part of the ships company. Battalions of any size were temporary ad hoc formations and usually filled out with common seamen, gunners, and officers from the ships companies. For littoral & amphibious ops the US Army doctrinally and in real terms provided the bulk of the infantry, artillery, and other specialties for landing forces. After 1900 this gradually began to change. The Navy began looking at permanent 'battalions' of Marines, and deployable base defense units. In the early Banana Wars HQ for nominal Marine regiments were established to administrate the growing forces ashore in places like Hati. The occupation of Vera Cruz was a indicator of the trend. The US Army had no readily deployable formation & the seizure was executed with a mixed bag of Marines and seamen from the Fleets ships companies. Eventually the Army did get a brigade together to relieve the Navy landing party, but it was over a month.

Post 1918 then Navy began further development of the Marines as a ready force. The Base Defense Battalions continued to develop & extensive thought was put into what would be needed for War Plan ORANGE. This was influenced by requirements in the expanding Latin American interventions & possible execution of full war plans in Latin American nations, beyond Nicaragua. In Nicaragua you can see the outline of the Marine Expeditionary Brigade in actual combat operations 1926-1934. Another example would be the group deployed to Shanghai in the 1927 emergency. War Plan ORANGE still envisioned the US Army providing 80 - 90 % of the ground combat forces. But unlike earlier wars the Marines had become a formal component of the Navys vision of landing and ground ops in a Pacific War. The Expeditionary Brigades were permanent and sophisticated (even by modern standards) combined arms groups.
The USN provided (and continues to provide) medical services and (general) engineering support, via the USN's CEC - the Seabees.
Even today the two are a lot more integrated than most people understand. The core role as a littoral combat force means the Marines must be closely integrated as a Navy component. Had the pre 20th Century doctrine continued & the US Army provided the men & arms for all landing forces the specific would need to be as closely integrated into the Navies amphibious forces in order to provide a ready ground combat component of a littoral expeditionary force.
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.
The four air wings made that 300,000 something more than a field army. Unlike the near universal trend in the 20th Century the USN went the opposite direction and kept a closely integrated tactical air force with its Marines. Im unsure what mavericks in the Navy made that happen, but it exists.
Agree with all of the above; the USMC, ground and air, were roughly equivalent to the Canadian 1st Army and the RCAF in Europe (or the Australian 1st Army and RAAF in the Southwest Pacific); the Marines didn't have armored divisions or heavy bombers, but in terms of deployed forces, probably about the same. Given the six Marine tank battalions and six amtrac battalions, however, the Marines tracked AFV components were significant.

The comment "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." was in reference to the CEC, however.

The basic point being that with 54 NCRs, under 12 NCBs, under five NCFs, the US Navy's expeditionary construction force - which, fighting as infantry, was generally quite capable of mixing it up with the IJA, historically - amounted to a field army in deployable personnel and headquarters units. This is a reality that is rarely recognized in these sorts of discussions.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 05 Apr 2021 03:19

Richard Anderson wrote:
04 Apr 2021 21:07
,,. Oddly enough, the Marines also fitted its early tanks with Navy radios, rather than the Army Signal Corps radios, with unfortunate consequences in early Marine tank battles, especially Betio...
A lot of unfortunate consequences with the tanks on Betio.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 05 Apr 2021 03:24

Richard Anderson wrote:
04 Apr 2021 20:49
daveshoup2MD wrote:
04 Apr 2021 18:29
So let's go down the list:
Okay.
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)
We don need no stinkin B-29. :D
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.
Of which 20 more or less served overseas, plus one provisional organization. The 14 serving in the ETOUSA fulfilled a viable mission coordinating antiaircraft defenses, particularly versus the V-1 threat, so I'm not sure those 994-odd officers, warrant officers, and enlisted men would really have been better used as infantry? That one of the two brigades serving until the end of the war in Italy was converted to an infantry formation isn't necessarily an indicator converting them all would have been.
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?
Arguably, the FA brigades did play a role acting as an army artillery headquarters, given the Army HQ only had a FA Section (unlike the Corps HQ, which was organized with a HQ & HQ Btry, Corps Arty with an aggregate 112 officers, WO, and EM).

Which two infantry "brigades" do you mean? The 1st SSF was for special service. :D The 2d Airborne Infantry Brigade was a permanent augmentation to the 82d A/B Div and was inactivated 15 January 1945, which simply was an acknowledgement of reality. The 45th and 5332d were both provisional organizations, which was part of the problem...provisional organizations authorized for specific tasks proliferated at an alarming rate, especially in ASF...IIRC, by the end of the war it was estimated that over 300,000 troops were tied up in such units (I'll see if I can track down the reference).

Yes, the remnant Cavalry, TD, and others were redundant, but messing with the Engineers again was treading into ASF territory, which was perilous. Fundamentally, the places with really large numbers of manpower to be tapped were, more or less in order:

ASF, which remained essentially untapped through the end of the war.
Army Schools, which were kind of necessary for training, eliminating them is like Hitler's decision to eliminate the Ersatzheer...a cure probably worse than the disease.
AAF, being pared down and diverted to other combat arms as early as 1943.
AAA Command, ditto.

Otherwise, you kill deferments and increase the ages for Selective Service.
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.
Maybe a seventh, but I agree it would have been a stretch and dilution of quality manpower.
The B-29 program including organizing "new" groups (and wings and air divisions and air forces) throughout 1944-45 in CONUS and deploying them overseas, including the failed effort from China, and with the necessary shipping and port organization to support them (and in China, the air lift); simply re-equipping some or all of the B-17 and B-24 groups already active or in the pipeline for the 5th, 7th, 11th, and 13th air forces, and concentrating them in the Marianas after the islands were taken in 1944, would have avoided much of the "ground up" effort, as well as the abortive China deployment, and still put the B-29 in range of the Japanese home islands in 1945 - which is when they were needed. So, certainly a potential savings of manpower, shipping, time, and energy.

My count is 29 AA brigade headquarters overseas, from Stanton; not sure where your number comes from. In any event, not suggesting they would amount to an infantry battalion equivalent, more that some of them - like TF 45 - could function as the equivalent of an infantry brigade headquarters. Two such, roughly the equivalent of an infantry division headquarters.

So, again, 29 AA brigade headquarters overseas, five FA brigade headquarters overseas, two infantry brigade headquarters active overseas in 1945 (2nd Airborne and 5332nd/MARS Task Force both lasted until 1945, and an equivalent to the 2nd Airborne, the 7th ATF, had been active in 1944), a provisional (non-divisional) cavalry brigade headquarters (316th), a tank destroyer brigade headquarters (1st), 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...

The exercise here is looking for "field" brigade-level headquarters of combat arms or combat support, of which there were many, as detailed above.

After that, look at the separate regiments, etc.
Last edited by daveshoup2MD on 05 Apr 2021 04:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Apr 2021 04:24

daveshoup2MD wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:24
The B-29 program including organizing "new" groups (and wings and air divisions and air forces) throughout 1944-45 in CONUS and deploying them overseas, including the failed effort from China, and with the necessary shipping and port organization to support them (and in China, the air lift); simply re-equipping some or all of the B-17 and B-24 groups already active or in the pipeline for the 5th, 7th, 11th, and 13th air forces, and concentrating them in the Marianas after the islands were taken in 1944, would have avoided much of the "ground up" effort, as well as the abortive China deployment, and still put the B-29 in range of the Japanese home islands in 1945 - which is when they were needed. So, certainly a potential savings of manpower, shipping, time, and energy.
Okay, sure, all they need to know in advance is that their plans to base XX BC in China was a nonstarter.
My count is 29 AA brigade headquarters overseas, from Stanton; not sure where your number comes from. In any event, not suggesting they would amount to an infantry battalion equivalent, more that some of them - like TF 45 - could function as the equivalent of an infantry brigade headquarters. Two such, roughly the equivalent of an infantry division headquarters.
You'd think by now I could express myself more clearly, sorry. I meant the 20 that went overseas and did anything. The other 9 arrived just soon enough in a theater of war to be inactivated. Anyway, if you want to use them as HQ for anything meaningful, it has to be done earlier.
two infantry brigade headquarters active overseas in 1945 (2nd Airborne and 5332nd/MARS Task Force both lasted until 945, and an equivalent to the 2nd Airborne, the 7th ATF, had been active in 1944), a provisional (non-divisional) cavalry brigade headquarters (316th), a tank destroyer brigade headquarters (1st), 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...
Okay, you're on a roll, but still. 2d A/B Bde had no separate existence after 14 January 1944 when it was attached to the 82d.
The exercise here is looking for "field" brigade-level headquarters of combat arms or combat support, of which there were many, as detailed above.
A better exercise might be to halt the proliferation of provisional organizations sucking personnel away from regularly constituted units.
After that, look at the separate regiments, etc.
I keep meaning to look into the state of the separate regiments...some of them were little more than cadre strength IIRC for most of the war, but I really need to dig into it.
"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 » 05 Apr 2021 04:40

Richard Anderson wrote:
05 Apr 2021 04:24
daveshoup2MD wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:24
The B-29 program including organizing "new" groups (and wings and air divisions and air forces) throughout 1944-45 in CONUS and deploying them overseas, including the failed effort from China, and with the necessary shipping and port organization to support them (and in China, the air lift); simply re-equipping some or all of the B-17 and B-24 groups already active or in the pipeline for the 5th, 7th, 11th, and 13th air forces, and concentrating them in the Marianas after the islands were taken in 1944, would have avoided much of the "ground up" effort, as well as the abortive China deployment, and still put the B-29 in range of the Japanese home islands in 1945 - which is when they were needed. So, certainly a potential savings of manpower, shipping, time, and energy.
Okay, sure, all they need to know in advance is that their plans to base XX BC in China was a nonstarter.
My count is 29 AA brigade headquarters overseas, from Stanton; not sure where your number comes from. In any event, not suggesting they would amount to an infantry battalion equivalent, more that some of them - like TF 45 - could function as the equivalent of an infantry brigade headquarters. Two such, roughly the equivalent of an infantry division headquarters.
You'd think by now I could express myself more clearly, sorry. I meant the 20 that went overseas and did anything. The other 9 arrived just soon enough in a theater of war to be inactivated. Anyway, if you want to use them as HQ for anything meaningful, it has to be done earlier.
two infantry brigade headquarters active overseas in 1945 (2nd Airborne and 5332nd/MARS Task Force both lasted until 945, and an equivalent to the 2nd Airborne, the 7th ATF, had been active in 1944), a provisional (non-divisional) cavalry brigade headquarters (316th), a tank destroyer brigade headquarters (1st), 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...
Okay, you're on a roll, but still. 2d A/B Bde had no separate existence after 14 January 1944 when it was attached to the 82d.
The exercise here is looking for "field" brigade-level headquarters of combat arms or combat support, of which there were many, as detailed above.
A better exercise might be to halt the proliferation of provisional organizations sucking personnel away from regularly constituted units.
After that, look at the separate regiments, etc.
I keep meaning to look into the state of the separate regiments...some of them were little more than cadre strength IIRC for most of the war, but I really need to dig into it.
Well, there were those with significant experience in China who pretty much made it clear that the "victory through air power" concept via the CBI was not going to work; and given the failures of everything from HALPRO onwards, doesn't seem to have taken much deep insight.

As far as the rest goes, all that's being done is looking at what brigade-level headquarters were active overseas and (generally) still around in 1945, to provide some sort of measurement for "possible" divisional headquarters equivalents.

Filling them out with regimental equivalents would require looking at the separate combat arms regiments that were overseas and still around in 1945, and/or counting up group/battalion equivalents, as in Task Force 45 and what became the 473rd Infantry Regiment. To start with, going through Stanton looking for existing separate regiments that were overseas in 1945, one finds the following:

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 not (generally) restricted and 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.

That's pretty significant.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Apr 2021 16:42

daveshoup2MD wrote:
05 Apr 2021 04:40
Well, there were those with significant experience in China who pretty much made it clear that the "victory through air power" concept via the CBI was not going to work; and given the failures of everything from HALPRO onwards, doesn't seem to have taken much deep insight.
True enough.
As far as the rest goes, all that's being done is looking at what brigade-level headquarters were active overseas and (generally) still around in 1945, to provide some sort of measurement for "possible" divisional headquarters equivalents.

Filling them out with regimental equivalents would require looking at the separate combat arms regiments that were overseas and still around in 1945, and/or counting up group/battalion equivalents, as in Task Force 45 and what became the 473rd Infantry Regiment. To start with, going through Stanton looking for existing separate regiments that were overseas in 1945, one finds the following:

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 not (generally) restricted and 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.

That's pretty significant.
Well, yes, some caveats indeed. I'm not sure the U.S. Army was able to make use of the Philippine Scouts regiments (43d, 45th, and 57th - the 44th wasn't active during World War II) "overseas" after 9 April 1942. In the same vein it is difficult to see how effective use could have been made of the 1st Filipino Infantry as other than a separate regiment.

Logically of course it made sense to form the 24th, 364th, and 372d as another Infantry Division (Cld), but again it runs up against the institutional and national prejudices of the time and the notion that there simply wasn't enough qualified combatant and technical manpower from the Black manpower pool to organize a third division.

The three PIR are problematic as well. Functionally, by January 1944, the 2d A/B Bde and its 501st and 508th PIR were attachments to the 82d and 101st and were considered an operational requirement in the developing airborne doctrine and divisional organization, just as important as the breaking up of the 401st GIR to provide third battalions to the division's two GIR. The early deployment of the 503d PIR also makes it difficult to use it as a division, unless it was as a ETOUSA-style augmentation to the 11th A/B Div. BTW, the 506th PIR was also technically a separate regiment until 1 March 1945, but like the 501st and 508th was considered a functional requirement for the operation of the divisions (the separate 507th PIR was relieved from attachment to the 82d when its organic 504th PIR returned from Italy and was attached to the 17th A/B Div, making three of the ETOUSA divisions "square"...only the 13th, which was never committed to combat, was not).

The 112th Cav was intended as a mounted cavalry regiment for operations in the Pacific, but eventually was attached to the 1st Cav Div as dismounted, giving that division ten maneuver squadrons/battalions. The 124th Cav was similar, but instead went to Burma and MARS. Arguably, it and the 5307th/475th Inf could have formed a "division" in Burma, but effectively they were anyway...and a pretty effective way to disable personnel.

The other separate Infantry regiments are a bit harder to track.

The 3d garrisoned Newfoundland until it replaced the 29th as the training cadre of the Infantry School. The 29th then went to garrison Iceland until it deployed to France to guard LOC, which in fact was a vital role for it (just preventing illicit siphoning from the gas pipelines was a full-time job for the regiment). The 3d was eventually relieved as Infantry School cadre by the 4th (not included on the list because it never left the American Theater, although it did leave the Z/I and participate in operations in Alaska and Attu). The 4th ended the war at Benning. The 3d helped rebuild the 106th.

IIRC, there were plans for a while to raise a Puerto Rican division based on the 65th and with the 295th and 296th, but incipient racism and what was considered "difficult" recruiting issues meant it went nowhere. Arguably, the 65th's role in French Alps was more economical than deploying an entire division there and relieved the A/B TF to other critical roles. The two other regiments garrisoned the Caribbean.

The 102d went overseas as an organic part of the 43d Inf Div and then became essentially island garrison troops until assigned as training cadre for the Pacific replacement system...the same role the 118th Inf had in the ETOUSA. Making such Replacement Command school troops available as combat troops basically required a better replacement system...a systemic improvement to the Army rather than an organizational one.

The 111th guarded the East Coast until sent to the Pacific, where it had a viable combat role until it became garrison troops.

The 147th went overseas as an organic part of the 37th Inf Div and then became garrison troops.

The 150th garrisoned the Canal Zone.

The 156th provided French-language personnel for police and security duties in North Africa, while the rest of the regiment became school troops at the Assault Training Center until the invasion, when they became security forces for ETOUSA and COMZ, where the regiment's language capability again became an asset.

The 158th as part of the 45th Inf Div was garrisoning the Canal Zone, then was sent to Australia and then garrisoned islands, formed task forces for small island assaults, and then landed in the Philippines.

The 159th garrisoned Alaska, along with the 4th.

The 473d, 474th, and 475th were all renaming of existing assets.

Overall, it can be argued the separate regiments fulfilled important tasks that did not require full divisions. It also remains unclear how much they were stripped of manpower. IIRC, the 147th Inf "regiment" as garrison on Iwo Jima was actually the size of a weak battalion, but its difficult to track the strength of the separate regiments.
"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 » 05 Apr 2021 18:40

Richard Anderson wrote:
05 Apr 2021 16:42
...
Overall, it can be argued the separate regiments fulfilled important tasks that did not require full divisions. It also remains unclear how much they were stripped of manpower. IIRC, the 147th Inf "regiment" as garrison on Iwo Jima was actually the size of a weak battalion, but its difficult to track the strength of the separate regiments.
This is a important point in a reorg discussion. A year ago I poked at what the real strength of these separate regiments was. The second and third hand sources I turned up suggest half or less of their nominal strength would have been available. I ran across one claim that by 1944 10-15% of these separate regiments were Pacifc veterans who were now unfit for overseas service due to Malaria & other tropical diseases. That all the members were fit for overseas service, & a unfit portion not placed in them as a convienient holding pen.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by rcocean » 05 Apr 2021 21:31

Richard Anderson wrote:
05 Apr 2021 16:42

Overall, it can be argued the separate regiments fulfilled important tasks that did not require full divisions. It also remains unclear how much they were stripped of manpower. IIRC, the 147th Inf "regiment" as garrison on Iwo Jima was actually the size of a weak battalion, but its difficult to track the strength of the separate regiments.
Was there any thought to simply assigning spare Infantry regiments to the armored divisions? BTW, total men in non-divisional combat units totaled 690 thousand in March 1945. And that includes the TD battalions the 60 independent Tank battalions over 300 independent Artillery battalions and over 200 Engineer battalions. so the infantry in these independent regiments couldn't have been that much

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 05 Apr 2021 21:42

Richard Anderson wrote:
05 Apr 2021 16:42
daveshoup2MD wrote:
05 Apr 2021 04:40
Well, there were those with significant experience in China who pretty much made it clear that the "victory through air power" concept via the CBI was not going to work; and given the failures of everything from HALPRO onwards, doesn't seem to have taken much deep insight.
True enough.
As far as the rest goes, all that's being done is looking at what brigade-level headquarters were active overseas and (generally) still around in 1945, to provide some sort of measurement for "possible" divisional headquarters equivalents.

Filling them out with regimental equivalents would require looking at the separate combat arms regiments that were overseas and still around in 1945, and/or counting up group/battalion equivalents, as in Task Force 45 and what became the 473rd Infantry Regiment. To start with, going through Stanton looking for existing separate regiments that were overseas in 1945, one finds the following:

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 not (generally) restricted and 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.

That's pretty significant.
Well, yes, some caveats indeed. I'm not sure the U.S. Army was able to make use of the Philippine Scouts regiments (43d, 45th, and 57th - the 44th wasn't active during World War II) "overseas" after 9 April 1942. In the same vein it is difficult to see how effective use could have been made of the 1st Filipino Infantry as other than a separate regiment.

Logically of course it made sense to form the 24th, 364th, and 372d as another Infantry Division (Cld), but again it runs up against the institutional and national prejudices of the time and the notion that there simply wasn't enough qualified combatant and technical manpower from the Black manpower pool to organize a third division.

The three PIR are problematic as well. Functionally, by January 1944, the 2d A/B Bde and its 501st and 508th PIR were attachments to the 82d and 101st and were considered an operational requirement in the developing airborne doctrine and divisional organization, just as important as the breaking up of the 401st GIR to provide third battalions to the division's two GIR. The early deployment of the 503d PIR also makes it difficult to use it as a division, unless it was as a ETOUSA-style augmentation to the 11th A/B Div. BTW, the 506th PIR was also technically a separate regiment until 1 March 1945, but like the 501st and 508th was considered a functional requirement for the operation of the divisions (the separate 507th PIR was relieved from attachment to the 82d when its organic 504th PIR returned from Italy and was attached to the 17th A/B Div, making three of the ETOUSA divisions "square"...only the 13th, which was never committed to combat, was not).

The 112th Cav was intended as a mounted cavalry regiment for operations in the Pacific, but eventually was attached to the 1st Cav Div as dismounted, giving that division ten maneuver squadrons/battalions. The 124th Cav was similar, but instead went to Burma and MARS. Arguably, it and the 5307th/475th Inf could have formed a "division" in Burma, but effectively they were anyway...and a pretty effective way to disable personnel.

The other separate Infantry regiments are a bit harder to track.

The 3d garrisoned Newfoundland until it replaced the 29th as the training cadre of the Infantry School. The 29th then went to garrison Iceland until it deployed to France to guard LOC, which in fact was a vital role for it (just preventing illicit siphoning from the gas pipelines was a full-time job for the regiment). The 3d was eventually relieved as Infantry School cadre by the 4th (not included on the list because it never left the American Theater, although it did leave the Z/I and participate in operations in Alaska and Attu). The 4th ended the war at Benning. The 3d helped rebuild the 106th.

IIRC, there were plans for a while to raise a Puerto Rican division based on the 65th and with the 295th and 296th, but incipient racism and what was considered "difficult" recruiting issues meant it went nowhere. Arguably, the 65th's role in French Alps was more economical than deploying an entire division there and relieved the A/B TF to other critical roles. The two other regiments garrisoned the Caribbean.

The 102d went overseas as an organic part of the 43d Inf Div and then became essentially island garrison troops until assigned as training cadre for the Pacific replacement system...the same role the 118th Inf had in the ETOUSA. Making such Replacement Command school troops available as combat troops basically required a better replacement system...a systemic improvement to the Army rather than an organizational one.

The 111th guarded the East Coast until sent to the Pacific, where it had a viable combat role until it became garrison troops.

The 147th went overseas as an organic part of the 37th Inf Div and then became garrison troops.

The 150th garrisoned the Canal Zone.

The 156th provided French-language personnel for police and security duties in North Africa, while the rest of the regiment became school troops at the Assault Training Center until the invasion, when they became security forces for ETOUSA and COMZ, where the regiment's language capability again became an asset.

The 158th as part of the 45th Inf Div was garrisoning the Canal Zone, then was sent to Australia and then garrisoned islands, formed task forces for small island assaults, and then landed in the Philippines.

The 159th garrisoned Alaska, along with the 4th.

The 473d, 474th, and 475th were all renaming of existing assets.

Overall, it can be argued the separate regiments fulfilled important tasks that did not require full divisions. It also remains unclear how much they were stripped of manpower. IIRC, the 147th Inf "regiment" as garrison on Iwo Jima was actually the size of a weak battalion, but its difficult to track the strength of the separate regiments.
Look up the "New" Philippine Scouts; they are not in Stanton, but they existed. Basically, liberated manpower enlisted (in some cases, "recovered") back to the US Army; four RCT equivalents were raised in 1944-46.

The 159th went to the ETO in March, 1945, according to Stanton, which where all the above detail came from, other than the NPS regiments, so you may have missed some details. Likewise, the 473rd was a conversion of (largely) combat support (AA) units to line combat units, and given that's the point of the discussion, saying it was simply a "renaming" pretty much misses the point. Same for the points on LOC security and the like; those may have been the duties some of these units were assigned to, but it doesn't change them from being infantry to being MPs, for example.

There's also the minor point that in a crisis, the "cooks and bakers" always get thrown into the line; the assignment of the 45th AA Brigade to the line i Italy in 1944-45 as Task Force 45 and it's eventual conversion to the 473rd Infantry Regiment are an example of just that, but the examples of legion (as anyone who's worn the uniform knows full well); others are the USAAF personnel and landed sailors in the Battle of the Pockets on Bataan. One takes the oath, one goes where one is sent.

Here's another one: Ben Solomon, who won a MOH for his service as machine gunner on Saipan (despite being a Dental Corps captain) as per:

Captain Ben L. Salomon was serving at Saipan, in the Marianas Islands on July 7, 1944, as the Surgeon for the 2nd Battalion, 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division. The Regiment’s 1st and 2d Battalions were attacked by an overwhelming force estimated between 3,000 and 5,000 Japanese soldiers. It was one of the largest attacks attempted in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Although both units fought furiously, the enemy soon penetrated the Battalions’ combined perimeter and inflicted overwhelming casualties. In the first minutes of the attack, approximately 30 wounded soldiers walked, crawled, or were carried into Captain Salomon’s aid station, and the small tent soon filled with wounded men. As the perimeter began to be overrun, it became increasingly difficult for Captain Salomon to work on the wounded. He then saw a Japanese soldier bayoneting one of the wounded soldiers lying near the tent. Firing from a squatting position, Captain Salomon quickly killed the enemy soldier. Then, as he turned his attention back to the wounded, two more Japanese soldiers appeared in the front entrance of the tent. As these enemy soldiers were killed, four more crawled under the tent walls. Rushing them, Captain Salomon kicked the knife out of the hand of one, shot another, and bayoneted a third. Captain Salomon butted the fourth enemy soldier in the stomach and a wounded comrade then shot and killed the enemy soldier. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Captain Salomon ordered the wounded to make their way as best they could back to the regimental aid station, while he attempted to hold off the enemy until they were clear. Captain Salomon then grabbed a rifle from one of the wounded and rushed out of the tent. After four men were killed while manning a machine gun, Captain Salomon took control of it. When his body was later found, 98 dead enemy soldiers were piled in front of his position. Captain Salomon’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

[urlhttps://web.archive.org/web/20110227152517/http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... i_87148963][/url]

Be that as it may, the point here was to consider where the "Infantry Division Equivalent(s)" being discussed in this thread "could" have been found; absent someone spending a lot of time in the NARA, it's all shorthand, but at least it's something approximating factual shorthand, as opposed to most of these discussions. ;)

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Richard Anderson » 06 Apr 2021 01:12

daveshoup2MD wrote:
05 Apr 2021 21:42
Look up the "New" Philippine Scouts; they are not in Stanton, but they existed. Basically, liberated manpower enlisted (in some cases, "recovered") back to the US Army; four RCT equivalents were raised in 1944-46.
Yes, I know. First, they can't be reorganized until the Scout cadre manpower, c. 6,000 of them in Japanese prisons and around the same number in guerilla units or laying low, are liberated. The 43d, 45th, and 57th Infantry (PS) were reorganized 6 April 1946. The 44th Infantry (PS) was activated in 1932, but not organized until 1946. The 2nd Squadron, 26th Cavalry Regiment (PS) was reorganized as the 12th Mechanized Cavalry Troop (PS) in March 1946. The 14th Engineers (PS) were reorganized in 1946 as the 56th Engineer Construction Battalion (PS). The 12th Signal Company (PS) was reorganized in 1946. The 23rd, 24th, and 88th Field Artillery Battalion (PS) were reorganized in 1946.

Do you see a pattern? Those "four RCT equivalents" were all raised in early 1946, not in "1944-1946".
The 159th went to the ETO in March, 1945, according to Stanton, which where all the above detail came from, other than the NPS regiments, so you may have missed some details. Likewise, the 473rd was a conversion of (largely) combat support (AA) units to line combat units, and given that's the point of the discussion, saying it was simply a "renaming" pretty much misses the point. Same for the points on LOC security and the like; those may have been the duties some of these units were assigned to, but it doesn't change them from being infantry to being MPs, for example.
Since I was working, hastily from Stanton and other sources like my nascent ETOUSA OB, I following what you are saying. Yes, I forgot the 159th arrived in Europe in March and was also attached to the 106th, quite an embarrassment considering the amount of work I put in years ago on the 106th for HLG.
There's also the minor point that in a crisis, the "cooks and bakers" always get thrown into the line; the assignment of the 45th AA Brigade to the line i Italy in 1944-45 as Task Force 45 and it's eventual conversion to the 473rd Infantry Regiment are an example of just that, but the examples of legion (as anyone who's worn the uniform knows full well); others are the USAAF personnel and landed sailors in the Battle of the Pockets on Bataan. One takes the oath, one goes where one is sent.
Indeed. It was such a regular thing in the infantry that they even had a common designator for the "cooks and bakers" when they were fielded in an emergency - it was "JIG" Company.
Here's another one: Ben Solomon, who won a MOH for his service as machine gunner on Saipan (despite being a Dental Corps captain) as per:
Sure, that's nice and all, but I think you're missing my point. Those separate regiments were not just lazing about doing nothing. In fact, they were often so busy acting as separate Task Forces, LOC security, garrison and occupation troops that they rarely were able to fulfill the role they were originally envisaged for - as immediate reinforcements for divisions in combat. It was another plug-and-play concept, but was thought to be more flexible and less unwieldy than the old square organization. It just never really worked well that way, except for the 106th INfantry Division.
Be that as it may, the point here was to consider where the "Infantry Division Equivalent(s)" being discussed in this thread "could" have been found; absent someone spending a lot of time in the NARA, it's all shorthand, but at least it's something approximating factual shorthand, as opposed to most of these discussions. ;)
This is an excellent discussion, but my off-the-cuff estimate is that no matter how attractive hammering together separate regiments as divisions looks, I don't think it was practical. They all had jobs, none were goofing off.

I still suspect the only realistic way to create more divisions was through tighter manpower economy, eliminating deferments, and expansion of selective service.
"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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