daveshoup2MD wrote: ↑
18 Feb 2022 04:54
The US sent/had all ~96 Army and Marine divisions overseas in 1941-45, and kept them all up to strength for their assigned duties;
That is disingenuous to put it politely.
The Marines did it by committing divisions for a few months and then spending a year or so to put Humpty back together again.
1st MARDIV - 4 months in combat, then 1 year out of combat, then 3 months of combat, then 6 months out of combat, then 1 month in combat, then 5 months out of combat, then 2 months in combat...end of the war. See? Less than a year of combat required two years out of combat for rebuilding.
Just looking at the Army's 67 Infantry division's, one was overseas in December 1941 and was destroyed. Two were in Hawaii in 1941, one was organized overseas and twelve more went overseas in 1942, eleven more followed in 1943, thirty-seven in 1944, and three in 1945. One quarter, twenty-four, went overseas in the last full year of the war. One, the 98th, saw no combat.
Of the last three Infantry Divisions deployed to Europe, the 71st was credited with 49 days in combat and suffered 788 battle casualties, the 86th had 34 combat days and 760 battle casualties, and the 97th had 31 days in combat and 934 battle casualties.
the British broke up three divisions - 1st Armoured, 50th Infantry, and 59th Infantry, all of which were deployed and fighting in Europe - in 1944 to provide replacements for divisions in the 15th and 21st army groups. Although the 1st Airborne Division remained in the order of battle, it did not see action after Arnhem.
Although in a sense the 92d Infantry Division was "broken up", it wasn't for replacements. Instead, divisions were bled white as the replacement situation grew more and more serious, while the 82d and 101st Airborne were kept in action by cannibalizing non-divisional airborne units. It was expected that by 31 December 1944, the ETOUSA would have available 37,937 Riflemen, but would require 68,343. As of 1 December, the ETOUSA was short 28,341 officers and men, of which 21,211 were Infantry. In essence, the better part of two infantry divisions were not present.
Based on the above, the British broke up - at least - eight combat divisions between 1942-44 because of a lack of replacements.
And the American Army kept divisions in the field that were critically short of Riflemen.
The only comparable US case was the 2nd Cavalry Division, except it was broken up in 1944 to provide logistics units, not combat replacements; considering that - at the time - the US was planning on maintaining two US field armies, and sustaining a significant amount of the French 1st Army's logistics needs, in the MTO, the need for more logistics troops is understandable.
That was the 2d 2d Cavalry Division. The 2st 2d Cavalry Division was disbanded and re-rolled as an armored division. There is also the not so minor problem that breaking up the 2d 2d Cavalry Division could not really provide combat replacements, except to Black combat units, which did not need them at the time.
Whether the 2nd Cavalry Division deserved being broken up for it, is a different question. Not to get to deep in the weeds about the integration policies (or lack thereof) of the US military in the 1940s, the 92nd Division was, in fact, reformed in 1944-45 as (essentially) a semi-integrated formation at the unit (RCT) level, and fought as such in 1945. The 93rd Division also deployed overseas and saw action, albeit limited and generally at the RCT level and below, across the SWPA from the Solomons to the Philippines in 1944-45, including recorded KIA, etc.
Yep, the idiotic under-utilization of Black personnel in the US Army in World War II easily matched any idiocy perpetrated by the British.
The "96 division equivalents" point made above is arguable, given the PD saw action in 1941-42, the 2nd CD (both iterations) was in the order of battle and deployed overseas in 1941-44, the 1st ABTF was formed as a division equivalent in 1944, deployed, and saw action as such, and the MTF was formed as a division equivalent in 1944, deployed, and saw action as such, in 1944-45.
Indeed, it is very arguably, which is why I am arguing it.
Anyway, yes, both iterations of the 2d Cavalry existed, but neither were committed to battle, well, the 9th AD was, but not quite the same thing, and anyway, I think you are already counting it? One-third of the 1st ABTF was British and it was not formed as a "division equivalent", but as a provisional airborne task force for a specific mission. What is the "MTF"?
"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