About Allied Army Commands....

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Lupo Solitario
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About Allied Army Commands....

Post by Lupo Solitario » 03 Jan 2018 18:37

Hi

I'm sorry for this trivial question but I'm having a quarrel about this point: which was the formal way of numbering British and American Armies in WWII?

Did they use arabic cyphres or latin ones?

Example, the Second British Army in Northwestern Europe was formally the 2nd or the II? Idem the Fifth US Army in Italy, 5th or V?

Thanks for any hint

Richard Anderson
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Re: About Allied Army Commands....

Post by Richard Anderson » 03 Jan 2018 19:43

Only the U.S. Army was "formal" regarding these.

Army Groups - Arabic numerals as viz. 12th Army Group
Armys - written out as viz. Third U.S. Army (TUSA)
Corps - Roman numerals as viz. XX Corps
Divisions, Regiments, Battalions - all Arabic numerals
Companies that are part of a battalion or regiment - letters
Separate Companies - Arabic numerals
Platoons - Arabic numerals
Detachments - Arabic numerals or letters
"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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Lupo Solitario
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Re: About Allied Army Commands....

Post by Lupo Solitario » 03 Jan 2018 20:18

thank you a lot

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Sheldrake
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Re: About Allied Army Commands....

Post by Sheldrake » 04 Jan 2018 00:16

Richard Anderson wrote:Only the U.S. Army was "formal" regarding these.

Army Groups - Arabic numerals as viz. 12th Army Group
Armys - written out as viz. Third U.S. Army (TUSA)
Corps - Roman numerals as viz. XX Corps
Divisions, Regiments, Battalions - all Arabic numerals
Companies that are part of a battalion or regiment - letters
Separate Companies - Arabic numerals
Platoons - Arabic numerals
Detachments - Arabic numerals or letters
Sorry but this Will Not Do!

British practice was defined by Staff Duties
http://ww2talk.com/index.php?resources/ ... ations.33/

Agreed. Armies were referred to as ordinal numbers written out "First Army" and groups of armies as Arabic ordinal numbers "15th Army Group"

However in the second world war the British did not use roman numerals. It was "30th Corps" and 12th Corps not "XXX Corps" or "XII corps," (although by the time the official history was written we had adopted American practice.)

At a unit level the British were much more idiosyncratic. The US Army had a system. The British had "tradition." Infantry battalions and cavalry regiments might appear to be be be fractions: 1/4th Essex 15/18th Hussars 1/7th Gurkhas. (But they are not. Its a very long story.)

Companies might be lettered A-D within each battalion of a Regiment, or consecutively across battalions A-D, E-G, ... W-Z. Or they might be numbered e.g. Nos 1-4 Company Irish Guards or named - "The Kings Company The Grenadier Guards" "Battleaxe company". Artillery batteries might be lettered e.g. K Battery RHA or numbered e.g. 462 battery or a fraction of letters e.g. L/N Battery or numbers 17/43 Bty (which landed on D Day) or even occasionally a name "Chestnut troop" AKA A Troop RHA. Artillery troops - subdivisions of batteries might be lettered consecutively within Regiments (A-F or A-L) or sometimes refer to a previous amalgamation. L Battey had Nery and Eagle troop in Italy in 1944.

At a detachment or special force level the British really let rip. "Frankforce" "Force 138" "Special Air Service" "Special Boat Service" "Long Range Desert Force." No 62 Commando - Small Scale Raiding Force (SSRF)

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