Author Topic: Military Organisation question  (Read 2972 times)

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Tema69

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Military Organisation question
« on: July 01, 2008, 02:42:26 PM »
Hey guys,
Does anyone know how American, British and/or German infantry units were organised, operated and were equipped during WW2?
Information on how they operate now will be appreciated too.

I have found information for large groups (divisions, battalions, etc...) but I can't seem to find much on platoon-sized combat units.

What I'm looking for is something like:
1 Rifle Squad consists of 2 Firegroups, with a Squad Leader (SSgt.) and 8 to 10 soldiers, equipped with [...]...
For example, I know the german mission-based tactics were often based on their MG34/42s, but what I'm looking for is how the MG is supported by the infantry, and how many MGs per squad, etc...

Anyone has any info, books or links? I'd really appreciate any help I can get.

Note: I'm looking for the information for an alternate history setting, so it doesn't have to be 100% accurate.
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Melblen_Cairn

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Re: Military Organisation question
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2008, 03:21:45 PM »
Not sure if this would date back to WW2 military setups but I would think the smaller groupings haven't change very much. I know they change the larger groupings around every so often. But here is a start.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platoon

From her you can branch into company sizes and higher. I would also check out the links at the bottom of most of the articles they may branch to other usfull information for you too.

« Last Edit: July 01, 2008, 03:24:27 PM by Melblen_Cairn »
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Melblen_Cairn

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Re: Military Organisation question
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2008, 03:29:38 PM »
There is alos quite a bit of information of weapons used at the time

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ww2_weapons

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:World_War_II_American_infantry_weapons

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:World_War_II_firearms_of_the_United_States

Though I am not positive if it shows how many are in use in each unit.
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Melblen_Cairn

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Re: Military Organisation question
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2008, 03:33:03 PM »
Also found these.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Lists_of_military_units_and_formations_of_World_War_II

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Military_lists_of_World_War_II

And that's just from Wiki, I am sure the internet has tons of other sites on the topics, but this should keep you busy for a bit.
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Tema69

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Re: Military Organisation question
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2008, 03:47:58 PM »
:) Thank you Melblen Cairn, unfortunately I have read most of this already, I guess I should've specified that in the OP. Most of it is either for modern combat or too large formations (again, Armies, Divisions, etc...).

IIRC, the small-unit organisations have been changed a few times since then, so it's not entirely accurate, but still usable.

What I really need is how a squad/platoon/fireteam is equipped, especially for the Krauts.

I have some info for American and British fireteams (US: firegroups), but not their equipment, so I can only guess what weapon who used. For example, did an Automatic Rifleman use a BAR or a M1919?
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Hinthas

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Re: Military Organisation question
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2008, 06:08:39 PM »
Tom,

Try this out. Yeah, it has to do with mini's but the info is something you're looking for.
http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=101013

While yer at it, look at this stuff too.
http://www.bayonetstrength.150m.com/
http://www.cons.org/redwolf/infantry-toe.html

That oughta get you started.

As far as the BAR vs. the M1919. The BAR was alot more common of a weapon than the M1919. The US military didn't invest too much logic in the concept of Heavy support at the squad level. The BAR was all that was needed. The M1919 was a bit more common in the Pacific or PTO.

Enjoy,
Doug
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Melblen_Cairn

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Re: Military Organisation question
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2008, 06:55:50 PM »
From what I have read the Fireteam concept was mostly incorperated by the marines during operations in the PTO. Then called firegroups. A firegroup consisted of a rifleman with an M1 Garand, one with a BAR, and one with a sub-machine gun. There were 3 firegroups to a squad with one squad leader.

From WW1 the germans had develped their own infiltration tactics which organized troops into squads of lightly equiped soldiers to get past the enemylines in smaller groups. I think their organization and structure remained largely the same into WW2 with a squad being their smallest unit. If they were built around their Maschinengewehr 34, and your not looking for 100% historical accuracy, then have one machine gunner and one assist armed with a sub-machinegun. The rest of your squad is a rifleman carrying a Gewehr 43 or Mauser Karabiner 98k. Everyone has their standard bread bag, several stick grenades, and other standard infantry equipment.

If your designing an anti-tank infantry have two of the group with a Panzerschreck and assist.

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brokenoakleys

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Re: Military Organisation question
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2008, 08:25:39 PM »
The old wargame 'Sqaud Leader' had some pretty detailed info on small unit organization.  Sorry to say I no longer have a copy.

Late 20th century US army squad organization was as follows, not your era but may give you a rough guide:

9 soldiers:
1 Squad leader
2 four person teams.

Each four man team had:

1 soldier with a light machine gun type weapon;
1 'grenadier' with a grenade launcher attached to an assault rifle;
1 team leader with an assault rifle;
1 rifleman with an assault rifle.

Tema69

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Re: Military Organisation question
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2008, 01:44:57 AM »
Wow! Thanks for the help guys!

@ Hinthas: Great links! Thanks... Your Google-Fu is impressive :)
@ MelblenCairn: Thanks, although since we're talking 1951, the MG34 would largely have been replaced by the '42, as the '34 was being used in ground defence positions or in tanks, where it would be less prone to dirt and mud.
@ BrokenOakleys: SquadLeader? What kind of game is it? If I'm lucky, the YouthCenter/Club/thing were I GM might have something similar. Oh wait, I think its called Blitzkrieg or something. As for the organisation, that was kinda what I got from wiki, but thanks for confirming. :P
During 'Nam, did the grenadier carry a M79? AFAIR, wasn't the M79 the only weapon of the soldier? Apart from bayonet and KABAR.

Anyway, thanks for the information and assistance, you are the greatest! Grab a cookie, will ya? *cookie* ...damn, we haven't got a cookiesmiley.
...Grab a Cthulhu, then. :cc
Tema69. 69 marks my affiliation to the ex-youth house on Jagtvej 69 in Copehagen, Denmark, a place where there used to be room for everyone until it was sold.

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Hinthas

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Re: Military Organisation question
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2008, 05:37:09 AM »
Yes, have some Cthulu-mari why dont ya? That spicyness gets right up in yer gourd real quick like.

Its just being familiar with the terms is what helps. TO&E means squat to most folks but translates to Table of Organization AND Equipment for the military folks out there. I just inserted WW2 British TO&E in Dogpile and thats what came up. Same with WW2 German TO&E. Alternatively, you could put Infantry or Engineer or Artillery or whatever and spit out the TO&E that you need.

The M-79 was the only weapon assigned. Like '60 gunners, sometimes they acquired a sidearm like the .45 pistol. I wanted to swap out my M-16A2 for a Thumper when I was at Bragg but was not allowed. Even though I was eyebaling the damn things in the armory, "Those don't exist" came the formal reply. Bastards! I DID qualify Expert with the M-203 so its not like I didn't know how to fire it.

Squad Leader was a game put out in the late 70's early 80's maybe. OLD game. Try Ebay or maybe RPG Drivethru. Good luck on that one.

Doug
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Tema69

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Re: Military Organisation question
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2008, 11:42:01 AM »
I figured what TO&E meant, but I didn't know the term before. That's kinda why I hoped some of you militaryguys out there could help me out. And you did. :)

Why would you wanna swap an assault rifle with a singleshot grenade launcher? Wouldn't that kinda restrict your versatility big time?
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Hinthas

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Re: Military Organisation question
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2008, 04:21:40 PM »
The M-16A2 is one weapon and so is the M-79. The M-16A2/M-203 is two weapon systems together. You DON'T get to choose your assigned weapon. Weight wise the M-79 is lighter than the M-16A2 and, to a veteran Slingshot guy like myself (lots of trouble when I was younger), its just sexy. :love But my logic was a cardinal sin as far as the military was concerned: I wanted to be different.
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Tema69

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Re: Military Organisation question
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2008, 09:12:20 PM »
Yeah, I know...
It's just, I've only heard complaints about the M79, because it was slow, and couldn't be used at close range.
Tema69. 69 marks my affiliation to the ex-youth house on Jagtvej 69 in Copehagen, Denmark, a place where there used to be room for everyone until it was sold.

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nemafow

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Re: Military Organisation question
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2008, 02:22:00 AM »
It might sound silly, but I beleive the Close Combat games (fantastic series of PC games btw) are pretty realistic in what the infantry are armed with.. If you have access to a copy maybe load it up and take a look?

They even have time periods in it when outdated weapons were still being used due to supply problems.

Just a suggestion though.
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Tema69

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Re: Military Organisation question
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2008, 12:58:12 PM »
Thanks. :) Google'd the serie. I didn't know them at first, but I'm pretty sure I've played one of them once, although I don't remember which, where or when.
I'll see if I can buy 'em at Ebay.
Tema69. 69 marks my affiliation to the ex-youth house on Jagtvej 69 in Copehagen, Denmark, a place where there used to be room for everyone until it was sold.

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nemafow

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Re: Military Organisation question
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2008, 05:28:46 AM »
They are pretty cheap to pickup on Ebay, but I'm sure you could get them another way... Small CDs.

Suggestion though,

CC4 and CC5 are german vs american battles
CC3 is the soviet vs german
CC2 is americans vs germany again.

And from memory in CC4 there are some british vs german battles but I'm not 100% sure so don't quote me on that one.

Theres even the newest one which is Close Combat: Modern Tactics, using todays militaries.
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Tema69

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Re: Military Organisation question
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2008, 01:23:22 PM »
Yeah well, since my firewall doesn't work too well, I ain't downloadin' nothin'... :)
And yeah, they're a few bucks on ebay so I'll probably grab them there asap.

Cool, thanks. I'll probably see if I can get CC2, 4 and 5.
Tema69. 69 marks my affiliation to the ex-youth house on Jagtvej 69 in Copehagen, Denmark, a place where there used to be room for everyone until it was sold.

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