Tuesday, June 16, 2009

US Infantry Battalion - Table of equipment - 1944

The Infantry Battalion, circa 1943 to 1945

Battalion Headquarters (4 Officers)

Headquarters Company (5 Officers, 117 men), comprised of;

Company HQ (2 Officers, 24 men)

Battalion HQ Section (13 men)

Communications Platoon (1 Officer, 22 men)

Ammunition & Pioneer Platoon (1 Officer, 26 men)

Antitank Platoon (1 Officer, 32 men)

Heavy Weapons Company (8 Officers, 158 men), comprised of;

Company HQ (2 Officers, 32 men)

Two Machine Gun Platoons, each (1 Officer, 35 men)

Mortar Platoon (4 Officers, 56 men)

Three Rifle Companies (6 Officers, 187 men), each comprised of;

Company HQ (2 Officers, 33 men)

Weapons Platoon comprised of;

Platoon HQ (1 Officer, 5 men)

Mortar Section (17 men)

Machine Gun Section (12 men)

Three Rifle Platoons, each comprised of;

Platoon HQ (1 Officer, 4 men)

Three Rifle Squads, each comprised of 12 men

Total Strength of 871 all ranks (35 Officers and 836 men)

The elements of the Battalion

Battalion Headquarters - Battalion commander (Lieutenant Colonel), Executive Officer (Major), Adjutant (Captain) and Intelligence Officer (Lieutenant)

Company HQ - the HQ of the HQ Company provided the various cooks, supply men and specialists required to keep the Battalion functioning.

Battalion Headquarters Section - provided scouts and drivers to the Officers at Battalion HQ.

Communications Platoon - maintained radio, wire and telephone communication between the Battalion and higher and parallel formations.

Ammunition & Pioneer Platoon - the A & P Platoon provided a pool of men who could undertake all manner of manual tasks, including hauling ammunition to forward positions, sometimes under enemy fire. It was commanded by a 2nd Lieutenant with a Sergeant and driver for the Platoon truck, which mounted a .50 cal heavy machine gun. Each of its three eight man squads was led by a Corporal, promoted to Sergeant in 1944. The four NCOs carried rifles, all others carbines, and the Platoon carried two Bazookas for antitank defence.

Antitank Platoon - 3 x 57-mm antitank Gun. Each 57mm crewed by ten men with rifles and a truck to transport crew, guns and ammunition.

Heavy Weapons Company HQ - this unit provided similar command and administrative facilities as that of the Rifle Companies and HQ Company, and added a .50 cal HMG mounted on its 3/4 ton Weapons Carrier.

Machine Gun Platoon - 8 x .30 cal Browning M1917 heavy machine guns plus two Bazookas.

Mortar Platoon - 6 x 81-mm weapons, paired up into three Sections, each commanded by a Lieutenant.

The Rifle Company - each with a Weapons Platoon and three Rifle Platoons.

The Rifle Squad - 1 Staff Sergeant and 1 Sergeant with an assault group of seven men, two of whom were designated as scouts, and 1 BAR rifleman, his assistant and an ammunition bearer. In practice the squad would have as many as 3 BAR's.

Rifle Platoon HQ - 1 Lieutenant, 2 Sergeants (one Platoon Leader, the other Platoon Guide) & 2 runners. One man with the M1903A4 Springfield sniper rifle.

The Weapons Platoon - Mortar section - 3 x 60-mm weapon. The light machine gun section 2 X M1919 Browning machine guns.

Company HQ was split between the usual command and administrative functions. The commander was a Captain, a 1st Lieutenant serving as his Executive Officer. Included were 17 men used as replacements and fillers.

The Rifle Company had five Bazookas for immediate antitank defence.

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