Richard Anderson wrote: ↑
08 Apr 2021 18:04
daveshoup2MD wrote: ↑
06 Apr 2021 23:33
Same reason the eight French Army LMP divisions didn't all take the field immediately in 1944; doesn't mean the NPS organization effort could not have been expedited. As it was, there were French LMP formations in Germany and conducting active operations in the spring of 1945; that's less than a year after Normandy, even less after Provence. The equivalent after Leyte would have been 1945.
Umm, the reason the French "LMP" divisions did not take the field immediately was twofold. For one, all eight were not activated in 1944 and for another, there was insufficient equipment to outfit them earlier. Only two divisions were activated 30 September and 17 November 1944, the remaining six were activated in January and February 1945 and were not operational until April 1945...when De Gaulle's shenanigans resulted in the termination of the program.
So the French example is two divisions activated about a month and a half to three months after the landing and six more two to three months later, achieving a degree of operational capability a couple months after that. If we look at a similar timeline for the Philippines, we'd expect initial operational capability of the first divisions in c. end of March 1945 and the rest at the end of June 1945.
How that materially helps the American manpower situation and lack of divisions prior to June 1945 is beyond me. Nor can I figure out how liberated manpower, be it Filipino or French, could make a difference before it was liberated.
The above is not a criticism of the US Army's historical decisions in 1940-45, simply an observation that there were additional resource pools that the US could have tapped when it came to ground force division(s) beyond the historical 96 division force structure, and gotten closer to the numbers posited earlier in the mobilization, of 100 or more.
Okay, sure, I didn't take it that way...I'm just wondering how this "thought exercise" actually demonstrates a path to more American-controlled (a very loose term WRT the French) divisions any earlier than April-June 1945.
Nothing more, nothing less. If you can't appreciate that, oh well...
Oh, I appreciate it just fine, I'm just not seeing anything new in it, given these speculations about what to do with all those "useless" American separate infantry regiments first came to my attention around 1973 - I think it was - when Jim Dunnigan was going on about it in S&T.
But given that, your final paragraph above is, quite frankly, ridiculous.
Damn, I knew I should have included some sarcasm emojis.
Good luck with your book.
1973? Reading Strategy & Tactics
? Huh ....
Anyway, the comments as per the Philippines speak to three issues;
1) the evidence the 1941-42 mobilization in the PI provides in terms of US equipment pools and limited US officer cadre pools for a "larger" US mobilization. 10-12 brigades on the PA TO&E suggests equipment equivalent to (roughly) 5-6 infantry divisions on the US TO&E. The cadre issue is not obvious, but my recollection from various sources is that of the 10-12 PA formations, no more than three were commanded by PA officers - Capinpin, Lim, and Segundo; the other nine were commanded by American officers; some number of the staff and subordinate officers were as well.
2) the Filipino manpower that was mobilized in 1941-42 suggest that - absent a Japanese entry, which was, after all, the situation when the US Army's planning efforts were underway in 1940-41, including the "200 US trained divisions for a theoretical European counteroffensive at some later date, which is what started the entire thread - the PI could have generated personnel that in turn could have replaced some percentage of the US garrison, thus freeing up US resources for use elsewhere;
3) the 1942-46 use of Filipino manpower by the US military - the wartime 1st and 2nd Filipino regiments raised in the US, and both the recognized guerrilla forces and the NPS raised in the PI, as well as the US cadre for the recognized guerillas, - provides additional evidence for 2), above, absent Japanese entry into the war.
The comments as per the French, both as re-armed in North Africa in 1942-44 and raised and equipped by the US in liberated France in 1943-45, speak to the basic issues of US cadre equivalents in place of the training and advisory groups, and additional US equipment.
Other besides myself raised the question, in this very thread, if the Allied field formations equipped/deployed/etc. under US command in 1942-45 could be seen as substitutions for the US divisions planned for in 1940-43; this was simply an expansion on those thoughts.
All of the above is speculation on the original question - how many "more" ground force divisions could the US have realistically raised, if the "90 division gamble" decision went a different way. What followed was not criticism of the decision, or the existence of separate infantry regiments, or anything else, other than looking at what else was in the US OOB and seeing how many "infantry division equivalents" could be assembled, using factual information, as opposed to the usual WAGs, SWAGs, and pulled from the air opinions.
If you saw it as something else, oh well - that's on you.
Again, here's the list, between the historical US ground force formations, and the speculative (with some detail added):
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); again, whether the historical B-29 force generation policy (organizing "new" units in CONUS, rather than re-equipping units already deployed to the Pacific), and, of course, avoiding the China deployment entirely would have saved manpower hardly seems unlikely, how much, and how soon an effective B-29 force could have been deployed in the Marianas, are open questions - but there certainly was an X-Y access between the historical program and not deploying the B-29 at all.
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 28 served overseas as such (31st, 32nd, 34th, 35th, 38th, 40th, 41st, 42nd, 44th, 45th, 47th, 48th, 49th, 50th, 51st, 52nd, 53rd, 54th, 55th, 56th, 59th, 68th, 70th, 71st, 74th, 102nd, 75th, 76th); all but the 41st and 42nd were active in 1945. 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 28 AA brigades, there were still five FA brigade headquarters (13th, 32nd, 33rd, 34th, 61st) overseas and functional during the last year of the war, along with two infantry brigade headquarters active overseas in 1945 (2nd, 5332nd), a provisional (non-divisional) cavalry brigade headquarters (316th) , a tank destroyer brigade headquarters (1st), and no less than 14 engineer brigade headquarters (1st EAB, 1st ESB, 2nd EAB, 2nd ESB, 3rd EAB, 3rd ESB, 4th ESB, 5th ESB, 6th ESB, 5201st, 5202nd, 5220th, 5221st, 5222nd) all overseas (defined as outside of CONUS). With the above caveats, that totals 51 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, call it cadre for 12-13 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. Even cutting 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.
Again, interesting exercise.