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The Evolution of Divisions and Separate Brigades/The Crucible-Combat

  • "When Admiral Doenitz surrendered the German Government, every American division was in the operational theaters. All but two had seen action; one had the mission of securing the vital installations in the Hawaiian Islands; the other was an airborne division in SHAEF Reserve."
  • General George C. Marshall 1

At the end of 1942, with divisions on the offensive in North Africa and the South Pacific, World War II became the crucible in which divisions tested their combat skills. After the attack on Pearl Harbor the Army accelerated mobilization, but only a few divisions were parceled out to meet threats. For almost another year the War Department failed to decide on the ultimate number of divisions needed to fight the war in European and Pacific theaters. Force planners, however, continued to increase the size and number of divisions without regard for the domestic economy. Planners also paid little heed to logistical requirements, especially the means of moving units overseas. When logistical problems came to the fore, their solutions brought about changes in the structure of the divisions. Infantry, armored, and airborne divisions were reorganized; horse cavalry and motorized divisions were eliminated; and experiments with light divisions began. When victory came in Europe, the combat theaters fielded a total of eighty-nine divisions. These units had undergone considerable changes in less than three years.

Wartime Reorganization, 1943Edit

In the late summer and early fall of 1942, while preparing Task Force "A" to participate in Operation TORCH, the invasion of North Africa, trained soldiers were still extremely scarce. To fill the task force, the War Department deferred reorganizing and filling the 97th Infantry Division, the last of the Organized Reserve divisions to enter active military service, and reduced three partially trained divisions to less than 50 percent of their authorized strengths. To avoid stripping divisions again and disturbing their training, the War Department designated the 76th and 78th Infantry Divisions as replacement units to receive, train, and hold men until needed. The divisions served in that capacity from October 1942 to March 1943, when replacement depots took over. Both divisions, refilled, then began their combat training program anew.2

In late 1942 the War Department selected the 7th Motorized Division to be part of the assault forces to be used to drive the Japanese from the Aleutian Islands. In spite of growing doubts by Army Ground Forces about the usefulness of fully motorized divisions, the division was chosen because of its high state of readiness. Furthermore, it was located near Fort Ord, California, an amphibious training site, and could conveniently undergo the training required for the operation. On 1 January 1943 the 7th Motorized Division reverted to a standard infantry division.3

Besides the shortage of trained manpower, the nation also faced a severe shortage of ships large enough to transport divisions to the combat theaters. For this and other military and political reasons, plans for an early invasion of Europe across the English Channel were postponed. Also, the expansion and deployment of Army Service Forces and Army Air Forces units placed heavy demands on available shipping, while the success of German submarines off the Eastern Seaboard of the United States made that shortage of tonnage even more acute. Finally, the demands of the hard-pressed Pacific theaters put an unprecedented strain on shipping facilities. Therefore, from October 1942 to March 1943 no division departed the United States, and from March to November 1943 only eleven went overseas.4

In October 1942, acting to alleviate the growing shipping problem, Marshall directed Army Ground Forces, Army Air Forces, and Army Service Forces to eliminate unnecessary vehicles and excess noncombatants. He sought a 15 percent reduction in personnel and a 20 percent reduction in vehicles. In particular, he deemed the requirements for divisional transportation in the tables of organization and equipment to be extravagant because they represented what division commanders asked for rather than what they actually needed.5

To accomplish these objectives, McNair established the Army Ground Forces Reduction Board to review all units under his control. Two principles, streamlining and pooling, guided the work. The former limited a unit to what it needed on a daily basis, while the latter gathered at corps 6 or army levels resources that were believed to be only occasionally required. Pooling was derived from the assumption that a division would be usually assigned to a corps or an army. 7

After the Reduction Board concluded its work on the infantry division in March 1943, 2,102 officers and enlisted men and 509 vehicles were stripped from the divisional tables of organization. The scalpel slashed most divisional elements. The cuts eliminated 363 men and 56 vehicles from the infantry regiment, with the cannon company deleted entirely. The regiment retained six 105mm. towed howitzers, which required less shipping space than 75-mm. self-propelled guns, used less gasoline, and did less damage to light bridging. These were placed in the regimental headquarters company. The number of automatic rifles was pruned from 189 to 81, but the introduction of the new 2.36-inch rocket launchers (bazookas) provided powerful antitank and antipillbox resources that required no designated operator in the regiment. Reductions in medical, communication, and service personnel accounted for most of the other regimental personnel losses. 8

The board carved 475 men and 95 trucks from the division artillery. Firepower did not decline since the number of artillery pieces remained at twelve 155-mm. and thirty-six 105-mm. howitzers. The headquarters and service batteries were combined, and antitank and antiaircraft platoons were eliminated. An antitank capability remained with the addition of 166 bazookas. To save personnel spaces, the number of truck drivers, mechanics, cooks, and orderlies was reduced. 9

The board provided for the return of the airplane to the infantry division, a step that reflected the expanded width and depth of the battlefield. The aero squadron had been eliminated from all divisions by 1940, but field artillery officers continued to request their own aircraft to guide counterbattery and indirect fire. In 1941 and 1942 the field artillery experimented with light planes, and on 6 June 1942 two light observation aircraft were added to each field artillery battalion and two to the headquarters of the division artillery. The board's decision formalized these additions.10

Divisional combat support and service support units were severely cut. The engineer battalion and signal company each lost about 100 men, mostly because certain bridging equipment was taken from the engineer battalion and the radio intelligence platoon was detached from the signal company. Both functions moved to army level. The quartermaster company lost about 150 men, but the number of trucks remained approximately the same. No basic changes took place in the medical battalion, ordnance company, or military police platoon. 11

The board also believed that the division headquarters and its headquarters company had grown too large. To reduce the size of the headquarters company, its strength was cut almost in half by eliminating the defense platoon and some vehicles, drivers, and orderlies. The band assumed the mission of protecting the divisional headquarters as an additional duty. Divisional staff sections remained the same, but the board cut some assistant staff officers and enlisted men. Total reductions in the division represented a 13.5 percent decrease in all ranks and 23 percent in vehicles.12

Marshall tentatively approved the new division but directed that its tables of organization be sent to the theater commanders for comment. To sell the new structure, General McNair and Maj. Gen. Edwards, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, went to North Africa, where they found no support. The division and corps commanders in the combat zone rejected the cuts on the grounds that the division had already been reduced to the lowest acceptable minimum.13

With shipping and manpower shortages still severe, Edwards' staff prepared another set of tables for the infantry division that was a compromise between the Army Ground Forces proposal and the desires of the overseas division and corps commanders. The new division had 14,253 officers and enlisted men (Chart 19). Its combat support and combat service elements remained about the same as those proposed by the Reduction Board. To satisfy division and corps commanders in North Africa, cannon companies were restored to the infantry regiments and service batteries to the field artillery battalions. The 2.36-inch rocket launchers were retained as antitank weapons, but 57-mm. antitank guns replaced the 37mm. guns. In the division headquarters company the defense platoon reappeared, as did the service platoon in the quartermaster company. Finally, Edwards' staff added a new unit-headquarters, special troops-which provided administrative support to the reconnaissance troop; to the signal, ordnance, and quartermaster companies; and to the military police platoon. As for vehicles, the new compromise organization had 2,012, almost the same as in the 1942 tables.14

In January 1943 the Reduction Board turned its attention to the motorized division concept. Several alternatives had always existed. Since the motorized and infantry divisions had similar organizations, the latter could simply be augmented as needed with 2-1/2-ton trucks, permitting the simultaneous movement of all divisional elements. Another option was to "armorize" the organization by equipping it with tanks, armored personnel carriers, and self-propelled artillery. McNair recommended to the Army Staff the reorganization of all motorized divisions as standard infantry divisions, except for the 4th, which was to be equipped with armored personnel carriers. The staff supported McNair's recommendation.15

On 12 March 1943 the Acting Chief of Staff, General Joseph T. McNarney, approved replacing motorized divisions with infantry divisions. He also approved the activation of additional truck companies organized with black soldiers to motorize the infantry division when necessary. The 4th Motorized Division, however, was to remain intact pending its possible use overseas. Also, the armored division was to be reorganized to achieve a better balance between infantry and armor elements. The following May the 6th, 8th, and 90th Motorized Divisions were reorganized as infantry divisions. Because the revised structure of the infantry division was not settled, the divisions adopted and retrained under the 1942 infantry division tables.16

After the March decision, none of the overseas commanders wanted the 4th Motorized Division because they thought it would make inordinate demands on critical shipping space and the already limited supply of tires and gasoline. The tires for a motorized division's vehicles alone required 318 tons of rubber compared to 166 tons for those in the infantry division. Besides, the 4th was the only motorized division authorized a full complement of equipment plus additional personnel and equipment to constitute a special task force. Its potential punch in combat, however, did not appear to justify the costs of shipping and logistical support. On 1 August 1943 the 4th reverted to the standard infantry division structure.17

The organization of the armored division had been in question for several months because of the imbalance between armor and infantry forces. Some options existed for improvement. Lt. Gen. Jacob L. Devers, Chief of the Armored Force, wanted to obtain a better balance at corps level by having one motorized and two armored divisions in a corps and by "armorizing" the motorized division.18 McNair believed that the armored division was "so fat there is no place to begin." 19 He wanted either to increase the infantry or reduce the armor in the existing division, changes that would result in a sweeping reorganization of the unit. 20

Eventually McNair directed the Reduction Board to cut the divisional armor, believing the use of tanks had changed since 1940. Both the British and the Germans had successfully used a division that fielded fewer tanks than the American armored division. The armored division was not free to roam at will, as first envisioned, because of improvements in antitank weapons. McNair saw it as a unit of opportunity to exploit a breakthrough, to take part in a pursuit, or to cover a withdrawal-all former cavalry missions. Therefore, the armored division could be smaller. Furthermore, McNair saw the need for fewer armored divisions in the total force, and with fewer armored divisions more separate tank battalions, which were needed to support infantry divisions, could be organized. 21

Combat-experienced officers in the North African theater opposed a major reorganization of the armored division. In March 1943 the Fifth Army convened a review board, chaired by Maj. Gen. Ernest N. Harmon, the commander of the 2d Armored Division. The board recommended retention of the existing division structure with the addition of more infantry and the assignment of tank destroyer and antiaircraft artillery battalions. To simplify logistical and maintenance operations, the board wanted to reduce the types of vehicles within the division, recommending that motorcycles and amphibious trucks be replaced with 1/4-ton trucks and that obsolete tanks be removed. Since the 1st Armored Division had been used in piecemeal fashion on the Tunisian front and the 2d Armored Division was the only such division to gain experience as a divisional organization, the board believed that a major reorganization of the armored division was premature.22

After months of study and discussion, the War Department rejected the field recommendations and on 15 September 1943 published new armored division tables of organization that followed McNair's ideas (Chart 20). Three tank and three armored infantry battalions replaced the armored and infantry regiments. Each tank battalion included one light and three medium tank companies, and the armored infantry battalion had three line companies. For self-sufficiency, infantry and tank battalions each had a service company that assumed many of the functions of the former regimental headquarters and service companies and rendered some maintenance. No basic change took place in the division's three field artillery battalions but, as in the infantry division, the tables provided for liaison aircraft for that arm. The results reduced the variety of vehicles. No additional organic antitank or antiaircraft artillery battalions were included, for Army Ground Forces believed that the divisions had sufficient antitank and antiaircraft resources within their infantry, armor, and field artillery units. Besides, the command felt the divisions could obtain additional antitank and antiaircraft artillery resources from pools of such units at higher echelons.23

The armored division continued to field two combat commands as task force headquarters, which were to be used to build flexible fighting teams of armor, infantry, and artillery with support appropriate for the tactical requirements. A brigadier general led one command and a colonel the other. The Reduction Board gave no explanation for this curious rank arrangement. Undoubtedly one of the billets permitted the assignment of a second general officer to the division to replace the assistant division commander, whose slot had been eliminated. The reserve command, a new organization led by an infantry colonel with a small staff, served to clarify command and control in the division's rear area. In the past the reserve commander had been the senior officer among those units.24

The tables made substantial changes in the armored division's combat support and combat service support arena. The engineer battalion lost its bridge company (higher headquarters were to supply bridging equipment) and the number of engineer line companies fell from four to three. To compensate for the removal of reconnaissance elements from tank and infantry units, the reconnaissance squadron included a troop for each of the combat commands. In addition, the squadron had two reconnaissance troops for divisional missions, an assault gun troop of four platoons (one for each reconnaissance troop), and a light tank company. The division trains comprised only medical and maintenance battalions, the supply battalion having been eliminated. Each unit was made responsible for its own resupply. Also, the divisional supply company was discarded and its functions divided between the headquarters company of the division and the headquarters company of the trains. These changes pared the division's strength from 14,630 men to 10,937, slashed the number of tanks from 360 to 263, reduced the variety of vehicles to ease repair problems, and eliminated the maintenance-prone motorcycles.25

The War Department on 16 October 1943 summarized why the reorganizing of divisions and other units was necessary in Circular 256. It cited the need to secure the maximum use of available manpower, to permit transport overseas of the maximum amount of fighting power, and to provide greater flexibility in organization in keeping with the principle of economy of force and massing of military strength at the decisive point. In addition, the reorganization was to reduce headquarters and other noncombatants in order that command function might keep pace with modern communication and transport facilities and to provide commanders with the greatest possible amount of offensive power through reduction in passive defensive elements.26

Reorganization of infantry and armored divisions began shortly after publication of the new tables. Infantry and armored divisions, including those most recently activated in the United States, adopted the new organizations between 1 August and 11 November 1943. Overseas commands reorganized their infantry divisions as soon as possible but had the authority to delay the changes if units were under alert, warning, or movement orders or if they were engaged in maneuvers or active operations against an enemy. The divisions needed time to retrain. Except for the 3d and 34th Infantry Divisions, the eight infantry divisions in the European and Mediterranean theaters were reorganized by the beginning of the new year. The 34th came under the tables immediately prior to its participation in the Anzio campaign in March 1944 and the 3d after Rome fell in June. Of the twelve infantry divisions in the Pacific theater, eight were converted by the beginning of 1944 and the remaining four by the following August.27

Reorganization of the three overseas armored divisions followed a somewhat different course. The 1st Armored Division adopted the new structure while in a rest and training area in Italy in 1944. The 2d and 3d Armored Divisions retained the 1942 configuration throughout the war. During the fall of 1943 the commander of the European Theater of Operations, General Devers, who had been a leading spokesman for the heavy armored division decided that the war was too advanced to permit changes in those units.28

When the divisions in the Pacific adopted the new tables, MacArthur restructured the Americal Division to conform to other infantry divisions. On 1 May 1943 he placed it under the tables prepared by the Reduction Board, the only division to use them, but in September it was reorganized under the 15 July structure. Because of the unit's widely acclaimed combat record, which included a Presidential Citation (Navy) for its elements' service on Guadalcanal, the War Department retained its name rather than give it a numerical designation.29

Light DivisionsEdit

Early in 1943 Army Ground Forces developed a new type of unit, the light division, which the Operations Division of the Army Staff had suggested earlier as a possibility for the Pacific theater. Planners thought such a division could function in a variety of combat conditions, such as jungles and mountains, simply by varying the unit's mode of transportation. Initially, McNair, who disliked special units, opposed the idea because of the unique training it required. Given the shortage of shipping in the fall of that year, the Operations Division again put forth the proposal. By this time planners had extended the idea to include amphibious operations. When preparing for the invasion of North Africa, the Solomon Islands, and New Guinea, infantry divisions had to be reorganized, reequipped, and retrained to make assault landings. In addition, a light division structure also seemed appropriate for the airborne division.30

On 17 January 1943 McNair appointed Col. Michael Buckley from the Army Ground Forces G-3 section as chairman of a committee assigned the task of developing a structure for light units using pack animals or light trucks. The committee's report called for a 9,000-man triangular infantry division (Chart 21) with two types of field artillery and quartermaster units. The pack division had over 1,700 animals, most of which were mules for the field artillery and quartermaster units, while the truck division had only 267 1/4-ton trucks and 200 1/4-ton trailers. Both divisions were also authorized numerous handcarts.31

General McNarney, the Deputy Chief of Staff, decided to test these organizations and on 21 June approved the formation of three rather than two light divisions. One was to be truck, another pack, and the third a modified pack. The modified pack division's men and units were to be equipped with skis, snowshoes, toboggans, and cargo sleds. Because of the growing number of troops undergoing special winter training at Camp Hale, Colorado, Army Ground Forces suggested they be organized under a divisional structure. The adjutant general added the 10th and 71st Light Divisions to the rolls. On 15 July 1943 Brig. Gen. Robert L. Spragin, a veteran of the Guadalcanal campaign, assumed command of the 71st at Camp Carson, Colorado, and Maj. Gen. Lloyd E. Jones, former commander of the U.S. Army Forces at Amchitka, Alaska, took over the 10th at Camp Hale. The 71st was built around the 5th and 14th Infantry, regiments that had served in the jungles of Panama. The 10th was based on the 86th Infantry and other units at Camp Hale that were undergoing winter warfare training. Eventually the 87th Infantry, which had served in Alaska, joined the 10th. The 89th Infantry Division at Camp Carson supplied fillers for both divisions. On 1 August 1943 the 89th itself was reorganized and redesignated as the 89th Light (Pack) Division. Neither light amphibious nor light airborne divisions were organized because the War Department opposed any change in the existing airborne division and the Southwest Pacific Area Command lacked confidence in the light amphibious concept, preferring standard infantry divisions for amphibious operations.32

Army leaders quickly noted some major problems in the light divisions during their training. Neither the 71st Light (Truck) nor 89th Light (Pack) Division included adequate infantry staying power; the 1/4-ton trucks lacked suitable mobility on wet, mountainous, makeshift roads; the 75-mm. pack howitzer provided inadequate firepower; the division lacked reconnaissance resources and had insufficient engineer and medical capabilities; and the division staff was unable to operate twenty-four hours a day within the authorized assigned personnel. The divisions were not self-sustaining. Maj. Gen. John Millikin, who tested the divisions in maneuvers, recommended, "That unless a definite need for these types of divisions can be foreseen, the present Light divisions (motor and pack) [should] be returned to a standard division status.."33 No need seemed to exist for the divisions, and even the Southwest Pacific Area, the command for which they were originally designed, wanted nothing to do with them. Army Ground Forces therefore reorganized the 71st and 89th Divisions in May 1944 as standard infantry divisions.34

The 10th Light (Alpine) Division proved unsatisfactory for many of the same reasons as the truck and pack units. Marshall, however, wanted it reorganized and retained in the force because of its mountain warfare skills. Eventually Army Ground Forces recommended the addition of three weapons companies to each of the division's infantry regiments; an increase in the size of the engineer, signal, and medical elements; and the provision of mule transport for all combat elements. In November 1944 the War Department published tables of organization and equipment reflecting these changes, which gave the division 14,101 officers and enlisted men and 6,152 animals. The same month, the 10th Light Division became the 10th Mountain Division, and in December it moved to the Mediterranean theater. The division went overseas without animals, receiving them from remount stations in the theater before going into combat.35

Expanding Divisional Forces: Meeting the Troop BasisEdit

While Army Ground Forces and General Staff officers revised divisional organizations, the number of divisions expanded and a final determination was made regarding the total number needed. Army Ground Forces organized the last reserve infantry division, the 97th, in February 1943. By August 1943 it had also activated as a part of the Army of United States the 42d, 63d, 65th, 66th, 69th, 70th, 75th, and 106th Infantry Divisions; the 16th and 20th Armored Divisions; and the 11th, 13th, and 17th Airborne Divisions (Table 14).36

The 42d was a unique unit, for it was a reconstitution of the World War I "Rainbow Division." Except for the division headquarters, none of its earlier elements were returned, but Army Ground Forces filled its new units with personnel from every state. To emphasize the division's tie to its World War I predecessor, Maj'. Gen. Harry J. Collins, the commander, activated the unit on 14 July, the eve of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Champagne-Marne campaign in France during which the "Rainbow" had helped to stem a German drive on Paris.37

In addition to activating more airborne divisions in 1943, the War Department made changes in the airborne brigade force. To emphasize both the parachute and the glider training missions, the 1st Airborne Infantry Brigade replaced the 1st Parachute Infantry Brigade as a training unit. The Airborne Command also formed the 2d Airborne Infantry Brigade that year to help in training. The 1st Brigade existed for approximately seven months and was disbanded after most nondivisional airborne units had gone overseas. In the fall of 1943 the 2d Brigade deployed to Europe where it continued to support airborne training.38

The need for the cavalry division remained questionable. Because Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson had insisted on maintaining large horse units, Army Ground Forces replaced the organizations withdrawn from the 1st Cavalry Division for the North African campaign and reactivated the 2d Cavalry Division early in 1943 as an all-black unit split between Camp Clark, Texas, and Camp Lockett, California.39

Deployment of cavalry divisions, however, proved to be a thorny problem. The units remained unpopular with theater commanders because of the shipping space they required and the logistical nightmare they presented, given their horses and equipment. The need for units in the Southwest Pacific Area, however, led MacArthur to accept the 1st Cavalry Division as a dismounted unit. The division turned in its horses and associated gear in March 1943 and left for Australia in June. Many of the horses of the 1st Cavalry Division found a home in the 2d Cavalry Division.40

In Australia the division was reorganized partly under infantry and partly under cavalry tables. Each cavalry squadron was allotted a heavy weapons troop similar to the weapons company in the infantry battalion. The veterinary troop in the medical squadron became a collecting troop, and the reconnaissance squadron was reduced to a troop similar to the unit in the infantry division. Some of the personnel and equipment of the reconnaissance squadron were used to create a light tank company. The addition of a 105-mm. howitzer battalion gave the artillery two 105-mm. and two 75-mm. howitzer battalions. Along with the reorganization, the adjutant general redesignated the unit as the 1st Cavalry Division, Special, because of its unique organization under infantry and cavalry tables and the desire to retain the cavalry "name" among the divisional forces. Having completed all changes by 4 December 1943, the division moved to New Guinea for combat. More organizational changes took place thereafter, particularly in the artillery, which eventually included four tractor-drawn 105-mm. howitzer battalions and an attached 155-mm, howitzer battalion.41

Personnel shortages dictated a different fate for the 2d Cavalry Division and the 56th Cavalry Brigade. The Mediterranean theater needed service troops, and in September 1943 the War Department decided to use the personnel of the 2d Cavalry Division in that role. Leaving the country in February 1944, the division was inactivated shortly thereafter in North Africa and its men reassigned to a variety of service units. Army Ground Forces eliminated the 56th Cavalry Brigade when no use for it developed overseas. Its headquarters troop became the 56th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, Mechanized, but did not see combat. The former brigade's cavalry regiments went on to fight in the Pacific and China-Burma-India theaters.42

With ongoing manpower shortages, the Army continually examined the relationship between the total military force and the manpower pool available for military service. That relationship was constantly balanced against the manpower required to maintain the productive capacity of industry, which remained vital to the overall Allied war effort. As the war progressed, staff studies suggested that the number of divisions mobilized could be cut. Soviet armies had checked the German advance, and it appeared that the Allies would gain air superiority over Europe. Therefore, shortly before the invasion of northern France in 1944, the War Department approved a troop basis that contained 90 divisions rather than 100 within a total Army strength of 7,700,000. The French were to raise ten divisions, and the United States was to equip them, which created equipment shortages. That troop basis called for 1 light, 2 cavalry, 5 airborne, 16 armored, and 66 infantry divisions. With the inactivation of the 2d Cavalry Division in May 1944, the number of divisions in the troop basis was reduced by one and the number of divisions raised during World War II remained at eighty-nine. The decision to limit the number of divisions haunted War Department planners during the remainder of the war for they feared that mobilization had not gone far enough. Marshall, however, held to the eighty-nine divisions in the troop basis.43


Deployment and More Organizational ChangesEdit

Although the Army began deploying divisions shortly after the nation entered the war, the number of trained and partially trained divisions still located within the United States mounted in 1943 because of port and shipping problems. Unlike World War I, no troops were to be sent to foreign stations unless the War Department could guarantee their supply. In August 1943 sixty divisions were at various stages of readiness in the United States.44

Toward the end of 1943 the deployment picture brightened. With the nation's massive ship-building program and the retreat of German submarines from the western Atlantic, the War Department was able to accelerate the deployment of divisions. Most went to Europe to take part in the cross-Channel attack and the drive to strike at the German heartland. Eventually 68 divisions-47 infantry, 16 armored, 4 airborne, and 1 mountain -fought in Europe and 21 divisions-1 airborne, 1 cavalry (organized as infantry), and 19 infantry-in the Pacific area. (Tables 15 and 16 give the date that each division moved to the port of embarkation.) No division remained in the continental United States after February 1945. 45

Although most infantry and armored divisions had been reorganized prior to seeing combat because of the delay in moving them overseas, the Army reorganized its airborne divisions to meet specific combat needs. The first modification, involving only the 82d, took place during the preparation for the Sicilian campaign. Because of a shortage of shipping space for gliders, a crated glider being one of the largest pieces of equipment sent overseas, a parachute infantry regiment replaced one of the glider regiments, and a second parachute field artillery battalion was added. The change was in keeping with the original plan for the division, which envisioned a task force organization.46

After the Sicily campaign, General Ridgway, the commander of the "All American" 82d, organized a small pathfinder team to help divisional elements reach their targets. The team's mission was to jump into the assault area and guide the remainder of the division to the drop zone. After the team proved successful in Italy, other airborne divisions organized similar units.47

Combat operations soon demonstrated that the airborne division lacked sufficient manpower and equipment for sustained operations. In Sicily and Italy resources were not available to relieve or replace the division with either an infantry or armored division as quickly as planners had envisioned. In December 1943 Ridgway recommended changes in the airborne division to correct major deficiencies. Because it served primarily as infantry, he wanted more transportation resources; additional medical, engineer, and quartermaster support; and greater infantry and artillery firepower. Planners in Washington opposed the changes because they thought the additional equipment and personnel would prevent the division from serving as a light, mobile force, stripped to the bare essentials and easily air transportable.48

After the assault landings by the 82d and 101st in Holland in 1944, Ridgway again attempted to revise the authorized structure of the divisions. The 82d had an additional 4,000 troops attached in the Normandy jump and over 5,000 for its operations in Holland. The 101st had also been augmented for both operations. Frustrated with the bureaucracy, Ridgway, then commanding the XVIII Airborne Corps, appealed personally to General Marshall for aid in reorganizing the divisions. Marshall directed his staff to reconsider their structure and invited Ridgway or his representative to Washington to explain his ideas. Instead of coming himself, Ridgway sent Maj. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, the 101st's commander. On the day the German Ardennes offensive began, the War Department published new tables of organization and equipment for the airborne division. Marshall described it to Ridgway as "in all probability wholly acceptable to you and your associates." 49

The new airborne division consisted of one glider infantry and two parachute infantry regiments, division artillery, antiaircraft artillery and engineer battalions, medical and parachute maintenance companies, and special troops, to which the division headquarters, ordnance, and quartermaster companies; military police and reconnaissance platoons; band; and medical detachment reported (Chart 22). The tables reversed the proportion of parachute and glider infantry regiments and considerably strengthened the units. The glider infantry regiment was authorized a third battalion and an antitank company, and both types of regiments fielded heavier weapons. In the engineer battalion the number of parachute and glider companies was also reversed. The four battalions in the division artillery, both parachute and glider units, were authorized 75-mm. pack howitzers, but a note on the tables indicated that one glider artillery battalion could be equipped with 105mm. howitzers if more firepower was necessary. As in the other divisions, the field artillery was authorized observation and liaison aircraft. The number of trucks jumped from 400 to 1,000, and the authorized strength soared to 12,979. Approximately 50 percent of the men were parachutists.50

To adopt the new structure, the overseas commands were forced to rely on their own resources because the War Department made no additional men available. Existing nondivisional parachute infantry and field artillery units were assigned to the airborne divisions, and other units, including 2d Airborne Infantry Brigade headquarters, were disbanded to obtain personnel. In March 1945 the European Command reorganized the 13th, 17th, 82d, and 101st Airborne Divisions. The 11th Airborne Division in the Pacific was reorganized in July but, unlike the European divisions, the unit was authorized two 105-mm. howitzer glider battalions in place of two 75-mm. pack units, and one glider infantry regiment was converted to parachute infantry. Throughout the war Maj. Gen. Joseph Swing, the 11th's commander, had insisted upon cross-training glider and parachute troops. Only the 17th Airborne Division participated in an assault landing after the reorganization; all others served as infantry for the remainder of the war.51

Combat experience also led to alterations in both the infantry and armored divisions after the 1943 revision. The most significant change took place in the armored division, where the small headquarters of the division artillery command was expanded to a headquarters and headquarters battery, providing the division with a fire direction center. Because of the many minor changes, the War Department published new tables for both types of divisions in January 1945, incorporating all the changes since 1943. At that time the strength of the infantry division stood at 14,037 and the armored division at 10,700.52

Correcting Organizational ProblemsEdit

Neither infantry nor armored divisions proved to be completely satisfactory during combat because they lacked all the resources habitually needed to operate efficiently. In the European theater, when an infantry division conducted offensive operations it almost always had attached tank, tank destroyer, and antiaircraft artillery battalions. Because of the shortage of tank and tank destroyer units, these units were not available to serve regularly with the same division, resulting in considerable shuffling of attached units, which diminished effective teamwork. The cannon company in the infantry regiment was hampered by the limited cross-country ability of the 105-mm. howitzer's prime mover. Often tied to the division artillery, the company also created ammunition shortages for that headquarters. Divisional reconnaissance suffered because the troop lacked sufficient strength and its vehicles were too lightly armored and armed. The decision to have fewer divisions and to maintain them through a constant flow of replacements proved costly. Many recruits were killed or seriously wounded before they could be effectively worked into the fabric of frontline units.53

The armored division lacked sufficient infantry and medium artillery. To solve this problem, attachments took place when such units were available. Combat experience also dictated that the division have three combat teams. Under the 1942 structure the infantry regiment's headquarters in the 2d and 3d Armored Divisions was often provisionally organized as a third combat command. In the other divisions, under the 1943 configuration, an armored group headquarters and headquarters company was attached to serve as a combat command.54 These expedients created command and control problems and complicated teamwork. The division's reconnaissance unit and replacement system suffered from the same weaknesses as in the infantry division.55

In January 1945, recognizing these organizational problems, the War Department began to revise the infantry division structure for units planned for redeployment from Europe, after the defeat of Germany, to the Pacific theater to aid in the conquest of Japan. The War Department cast aside its policy of rejecting changes in units because of personnel considerations and directed staff agencies to prepare tables for sound fighting teams. It ordered the elimination of dual assignments for personnel, the addition of any equipment listed earlier as special but that had been used routinely, provisions for more adequate communications in all components, and an expansion of military police resources. The infantry regiment was to receive more mobile, self-propelled howitzers and better antitank weapons. Later the War Department instructions indicated that the revised structure would not be limited to use in the war against Japan.56

On 1 March 1945 Army Ground Forces submitted three proposals for reorganizing the infantry division. Each specified different manning levels, but the planners recommended the one that maximized the division's size and firepower. An enlarged infantry regiment with 700 additional men provided more punch. The weapons platoon in each rifle company had two new sections, one with six 2.36-inch rocket launchers and the other with three 57-mm. recoilless rifles.57 In the battalion's weapons company a new platoon of six 75-mm. recoilless rifles augmented the two platoons equipped with light and heavy machine guns. Because the regiment's 105-mm. howitzers lacked cross-country mobility for close support, commanders had tied the cannon company to the field artillery fire direction center to serve as an additional indirect fire battery. Army Ground Forces thus replaced the cannon company with a tank company comprising nine tanks. The tanks also replaced the 57-mm. towed guns in the antitank company, which were too lightly armored and judged to be too road bound. The number of truck drivers, communications and postal personnel, and ammunition bearers was increased. The military police force grew from a platoon to a company and a signal battalion replaced the signal company. A tank battalion was added to the division and a fourth company to the division engineer battalion. To expand the "eyes and ears" of the division, the reconnaissance troop was increased in size and authorized two light aircraft. These changes together resulted in a proposed divisional strength of 18,285 personnel, an increase of 4,248 men over the January 1945 figure.58

On 5 April the Army Staff informed Army Ground Forces that because of expected personnel shortages divisions could not be reorganized according to any of the proposed changes. Instead, the staff directed the command to prepare another set of tables that would increase personnel for communications, replace the military police platoon with a company, enlarge each 105-mm. and 155-mm. howitzer battery from four to six pieces, and restructure the infantry regiment along the lines of the March proposal. Shortly after issuing these instructions, the staff told Army Ground Forces that about fifty more men could be added to the division for various service duties.59

On 1 June the War Department published tables for the infantry division calling for 15,838 officers and enlisted men. The division met most of the Army Staff's guidance, except for the proposed increases in the artillery batteries. The planners believed that the new organization gave the division more mobility, flexibility, and firepower, in particular for tank warfare. No unit, however, adopted the structure until October 1945.60


The war ended in Europe in May 1945, and the Army had to come to grips with demobilization while still engaged in the war against Japan. Aware that the call to "bring the boys home" would eventually be irresistable, as early as 1943 Acting Secretary of War Robert E Patterson had appointed Maj. Gen. William F. Tompkins to head the Special Plans Division (SPD), War Department Special Staff, to plan for demobilization and reorganization of the postwar Army.61

Tompkins began with the assumptions that the war in Europe would end first, that an occupation force would be needed there, and that those who had served the longest should be released as quickly as possible. Enough soldiers had to be retained to conclude the war in the Pacific. With these ideas in mind, the Special Plans Division and the overseas commands worked out a redeployment policy based on a point system. Under it, men received points for length of service, combat participation, military awards, and time spent overseas. Soldiers who were parents were also to receive special consideration. Out of this rating system, four categories of soldiers emerged: those to be retained for service in a command; those to be transferred to a new command; those to form new units in a command; and those to be discharged.62

When the War Department approved the redeployment policy in the spring of 1945, planners believed the European command would need to furnish fifteen divisions to end the war in the Far East and twenty-one to the United States to reconstitute a strategic reserve, which had ceased to exist in February 1945. Following the German offensive in the Ardennes in December 1944, the last seven divisions in the ninety-division troop program had been sent to Europe. With the point system and a tentative troop basis in place, redeployment waited only for the fighting to end in Europe.63

On 12 May, four days after the surrender of Germany, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander, set the readjustment program into motion. High and low point men switched units, and in June the 86th, 95th, 97th, and 104th Infantry Divisions left Europe for reassignment. Arriving home, the men took thirty-day leaves before undergoing training to prepare for the Pacific theater. But the successful use of atomic bombs against Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August skewed all readjustment plans toward demobilization. By September 1945, 19 divisions1 airborne, 1 mountain, 2 armored, and 15 infantry returned from Europe for use elsewhere. Of those units, only the 86th and 97th Infantry Divisions moved to the Far East, arriving in the Philippines and Japan after the fighting had ended.64

Compared to World War I, divisional organizations had rapidly adjusted to the demands of the Second World War. Initially three considerations greatly influenced the organization of the various divisions: the availability of men to field the units desired by the Army; the availability of shipping space to move them to the combat theaters; and the availability and quality of equipment. The last proved influential, continually forcing the Army to make structural changes to accommodate improved weapon systems or, in some cases, to eliminate those that proved less than successful in combat. In 1943 McNair attempted to reorganize divisional structures based on experiences acquired during the maneuvers of 1940 through 1942 and on the battlefield, where infantry, armored, and airborne divisions had to be augmented routinely, in particular to oppose tanks and airplanes. As the European war came to a close, the General Staff attempted to give infantry divisions the additional resources they habitually needed, but this effort came too late to benefit them during the conflict.

Before and during World War II the Army also sought to develop several new types of divisions and to achieve an acceptable balance between firepower and mobility. Planners tried not to sacrifice either capability to the other, seeking instead to serve both masters. This effort proved reasonably successful in the acid test of battle, especially by comparison with the performance of divisions during World War I. The accumulated experience of the twentieth century eased the task of making periodic organizational adjustments to satisfy changing requirements. Nevertheless, this evolutionary process would continue after World War II as the pace of technological developments and expanded global security roles of the United States Army forced it down roads that had never been traveled before.

Endnotes for Chapter VIIEdit

1 Biennial Report of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, July 1, 1943, to June 30, 1945, to the Secretary of War, p. 106.

2 Memo, AGF to CofS, U.S. Army, 24 Jul 42, sub: Modification of Troop Basis, 1942, 320.2/267 (S)-GNGPS (AGF, Plans Section) (7-222), and 1st Ind, same subject, 8 Aug 42, AG 320.2 (7-24-42) MS-C, AG 320.2 (7-24-42), RG 407, NARA; Palmer et al., The Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 175-79; Joseph J. Hutnik and Leonard Kobrick, eds., We Ripened Fast, The Unofficial History of the Seventy-Sixth Infantry Division (Frankfurt, Germany: Otto Lembeck, 1946), pp. 19-21; Lightning: The History of the 78th Infantry Division (Washington, D.C.: Infantry Journal Press, 1947), pp. 9-11.

3 Stetson Conn, Rose C. Engelman, Byron Fairchild, Guarding the United States and Its Outposts, United States Army in World War II (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1964), p. 277; Ltr, TAG to CGs AGF and II Armored Corps, 1 Jan 42, sub: Redesignation and Reorganization of the 7th Motorized Division, AG 320.2 (12-312) OB-I-GN-M (Order of Battle, Intelligence, AGF), 7th Inf Div file, DAMH-HSO.

4 Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, p. 286; Palmer et al., Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 489-93,

5 Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 286-87.

6 On 19 August 1942 army corps were officially redesignated as corps.

7 Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 288-89, 291.

8 Ibid., pp. 274-75, 303-14; T/O 7-11, Infantry Regiment, 1 Apr 42; T/O 7-11, Infantry Regiment, 1 Mar 43. The 1942 cannon company had six 75-mm. self-propelled howitzers and two 105-mm. self-propelled howitzers.

9 Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 304-05.

10 T/O 6-10, Division Artillery, Motorized, Infantry or Motorized Division, 1 Mar 43; Memo, G-3 for AGF, 6 Jun 42, sub: Organic Air Observation for Field Artillery, WDGCT (Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, General Staff) 320.2 (2-5-42), reprinted in Richard Tierney, The Army Aviation Story (Northport, Ala.: Colonial Press, 1963), pp. 68-69; William E. Vance, "History of Army Aviation," Aviation Digest 3 (Jun 1957): 7-12.

11 T/O 5-15, Engineer Battalion, Infantry Division, 1 Apr 42; T/O 5-15, Engineer Battalion, 1 Mar 43; T/O 11-7, Signal Company, Infantry Division, 1 Apr 42; T/O 11-7, Signal Company, Infantry Division, 1 Mar 43; T/0 10-17, Quartermaster Company, Infantry Division, 15 Sep 42; T/O 10-17, Quartermaster Company, Infantry Division, 1 Mar 43; Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 309-11.

12 T/O 7-1, Headquarters, Infantry or Motorized Division, 1 Jun 42; T/O 7-1, Headquarters. Infantry Division, 1 Mar 43; T/O 7-2, Headquarters Company, Infantry or Motorized Division, I Jun 42; T/O 7-2, Headquarters Company, Infantry Division, 1 Mar 43: Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 311-14.

13 Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 314-17.

14 Ibid., pp. 317-18; TOE 7, Infantry Division, 15 Jul 43. While preparing the 1943 tables, the War Department combined Tables of Organization and Tables of Equipment into a single document, a Table of Organization and Equipment (TOE).

15 Memo, GNDCG (Commanding General, Army Ground Forces) for G-3, 28 Jan 43, sub: Basis of Organization of Motorized Division, 320.2/19 (Armd.F) (S)-GNDCG, Memo, Organization and Mobilization Branch, G-3, to Edwards, 18 Feb 43, sub: Conference on Motorized Division, AG 320.2 (1-283), and Memo, WDGCT for CofS, 24 Feb 43, sub: Reorganization of the Motorized Division, WDCGT 320 (2-243), AG 320.2 (2-2413), all RG 407, NARA.

16 Memo, WDGCT for CofS, 24 Feb 43, sub: Reorganization of the Motorized Division. and Ltr, TAG to CGs, II Armored Corps and other addresses, 7 May 43, sub: Redesignation and Reorganization of 6th, 8th, and 90th Motorized Divisions, both AG 320.2 (4-30-43) OB-IGNGCT-M, AG Reference files. DAMH-HSO.

17 Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 337-39; Ltr, TAG to CGs, AGF and XIII Corps, 30 Jul 43, sub: Redesignation and Reorganization of the 4th Motorized Division, AG 322 (28 Jul 43) OB-I-GNGCT-M, AG Reference files, DAMH-HSO.

18 Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, p. 324.

19 Ibid., p. 322.

20 Memo, AGF for CofS, 7 Dec 42, sub: Organization of Armored Units, 320.2 (Armd Force) (R) (11-6-42), and Memo, WDGCT for CofS, 16 Jan 43, sub: Organizational of Armored Units, WDGCT 320 (12-7-42), both RG 407, NARA.

21 Memo, WDGCT for CofS, 16 Jan 43, sub: Organization of Armored Units; Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 319-26.

22 Report of Proceedings of a Board of Officers, 27 Mar 1943, Memo, AGE for Requirements Section, and CG, AGE, undated, sub: Comments on Han-non Board report, both Ground AG Section, Project Decimal file 1942-1943, AGF 319.1, North African Binder, RG 337, NARA.

23 Memo, AGF for Requirements Section and CG, AGF, undated, sub: Comments on Hannon Board report; TOE 17, Armored Division, 15 Sep 43; Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 327-31.

24 TOE 17, Armored Division, 15 Sep 43; Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 327-31.

25 TOE 17, Armored Division, 15 Sep 43; Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 329-35; J. M. Pittman, "Reorganization of the Armored Division," Military Review 24 (April 1943): 44-47.

26 WD Cir 256, 1943.

27 Ltr, TAG to CGs, AGF and other addresses, 20 Aug 43, sub: Utilization of Personnel, AG 320.2 (31 Jul 43) PE-A-M-C, Ltr, TAG to CGs, AGF and XIII Corps, 30 Jul 43, sub: Redesignation and Reorganization of 4th Motorized Division, Ltr, TAG to CGs, AGF and other addresses, 2 Aug 43, sub: Reorganization of Infantry Divisions, AG 322 (28 Jul 43) OB-IGNGCT-M, Ltr, TAG to CGs, AGF and Third Army, 20 Sep 43, sub: Reorganization of the 38th Infantry Division, AG 322 (18 Sep 43) OB-I-GNGCT-M, Ltr, TAG to CGs, AGE and other addresses, 23 Sep 43, sub: Reorganization of the 93d Infantry Division, AG 322 (22 Sep 43) OB1-GNGCT, Ltr, TAG to CinC, Southwest Pacific Area and other addresses, 12 Oct 43, sub: Constitution of Units, AG 322 (6 Oct 43) OB-I-GNCGT-M, Ltr, TAG to CG, North African Theater of Operations, 29 Jul 43, sub: Reorganization of the 34th Infantry Division, AG 322 (26 Jul 43) OB-I-GNGCT, Ltr, TAG to CG, South Pacific Area, 20 Sep 43, sub: Reorganization of the Americal Division, AG 322 (17 Sep 43) OB-I-GNGCT, Ltr, TAG to CG U.S. Army Forces. Central Pacific Area, sub: Reorganization of the 33d Infantry Division, AG 322 (30 Sep 43) OBI-GNGCT-M, Ltr, TAG to AGE and other addresses, 15 Sep 43, sub: Reorganization of Armored Divisions, AG 322 (10 Sep 43) OB-I-GNGCT-M, Ltr, TAG to CGs, AGE and Third Army, 31 Aug 43, sub: Reorganization of the 4th Armored Division, AG 322 (29 Aug 43) OB-I-GNGCTM, Ltr, TAG to CGs, AGE and Armored Command, 3 Sep 43, sub: Reorganization of the 16th Armored Division, AG 322 (1 Sep 43) OB-I-GNGCT-M, and Ltr, TAG to CGs, AGF and Armored Command, 3 Sep 43, sub: Reorganization of the 20th Armored Division, AG 322 (1 Sep 43) OB-I-GNGCT-M, all AG Reference files, DAMH-HSO; Historical Data Cards, Divisions. The sixty infantry divisions in the United States did not include the 89th Infantry Division, which was reorganized as a light division on 1 August 1943 (see below).

28 GO 118, Fifth Army, 1944, 1st Armd Div file, DAMH-HSO; Ltr, Devers to A.C. Gillem Jr., 29 Nov 43, Devers Papers, MHI.

29 Memo, AGF to TAG, 1 Apr 43, sub: Reorganization of the Americal Division, 320.2/19 (PTO) (S)-GNGCT/06414 (3-183), 320.2 4-1-43 (18), RG 407, NARA; Ltr, TAG to CG, South Pacific Area, 3 Apr 43, sub: Reorganization of the Americal Division, AG 320.2 (4-1-43) OB-I-GNGCT, AG Reference files, DAMN-HSO; Ltr, TAG to CG, South Pacific Area, 20 Sep 43, sub: Reorganization of Americal Division; Cronin, Under the Southern Cross, pp. 104, 128; Department of the Army (DA) GO 73, 1948.

30 Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 331-43.

31 Memo, AGF for G-3, 2 Mar 43, sub: Light Division, 2 Mar 43, 322.2 (Div) (S), RG 407, NARA; TOE 72 (Trk) and (Pack), Light Division, 1 Jul 43, 89th and 71st Inf Div files, DAM HHSO.

32 Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 3456; Fred Clinger, Arthur Johnson, and Vincent Masel, History of the 71st Infantry Division (Augsburg, Germany: E. Kieser KG, 1946), pp. 1-2; History of the 10th Light Division, AGF Study 28 (Washington, D.C.: Historical Section, AGF, 1946), p. 1; Maynard L. Diamond, Willard E. Simms, Edward B. Baldinger, and Meyer Siegelbaum, 89th Infantry Division, 1942-1945 (Washington, D.C.: Infantry Journal Press, 1946), pp. 47-48. Also see the 10th, 71st, and 89th Infantry Divisions files in DAMH-HSO.

33 Diamond et al., 89th Infantry Division, p. 61.

34 Ibid., pp. 60-61; Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 3478; Ltr, TAG to CGs, Second Army and other addresses, 16 May 44, sub: Redesignation and Reorganization of 71st Light Division, AG 322 (12 May 44) OB-I GNGCT-M, 71st Inf Div, and Ltr, TAG to CGs, Fourth Army and other addresses, 16 May 44, sub: Redesignation and Reorganization of the 89th Light Division, AG 322 (12 May 44) OB-I-GNGCT-M, 89th Inf Div, both AG Reference files, DAMH-HSO.

35 Training in Mountain and Winter Warfare, AGF Study No. 23 (Washington, D.C.: Historical Section, AGF, 1946), pp. 11-12; TOE 70, Mountain Division, 4 Nov 44; Ltr, TAG to CG, Fourth Army, 1 Nov 44, sub: Reorganization and Redesignation of the 10th Light Division, AG 322 (25 Oct 44) OB-I-GNGCT, 10th Mt Div file, DAMH-HSO; Interview, author with Walter L. Galson, National Association of the 10th Mountain Division, Washington, D.C., 28 Nov 79, author's files.

36 Historical Data Cards for the 42d, 63d, 65th, 66th, 69th, 70th, 75th, and 106th Infantry Divisions; the 16th and 20th Armored Divisions; and the l lth, 13th, and 17th Airborne Divisions and unit files for each division in DAMH-HSO. In addition to the divisions listed, TAG also placed the 61st, 62d, 67th, 68th, 72d, 73d, and 74th Infantry Divisions and the 18th, 19th, 21st, and 22d Armored Divisions on the rolls, but they were never organized during the war. The 15th Airborne Division was also placed on the rolls but never organized.

37 "The `Rainbow Division'," National Guardsman 3 (Aug 49): 18-19; Ltr, Harry J. Collins to George C. Marshall, 19 Jun 43, Marshall Papers.

38 Ltr, TAG to CG, Airborne Command, 1 Jul 44, sub: Organization of HHC, 1st and 2d Airborne Infantry Brigades, AG 322 (29 Jun 43) OB-I-GNGCT-M, and Ltr, TAG to CGs, AGF and Airborne Command, sub: Disbandment of HHC, 1st Airborne Infantry Brigade, 23 Nov 43, AG 322 (21 Nov 43) OB-I-GNGCT-M, both 1st Bde, 1st Inf Div, file, DAMN-HSO; Ltr, TAG to Chief, Historical Section, AWC, 21 Feb 45, sub: Organizational History, AG 314.7 OB-I, and Unit Diary, Second Airborne Infantry Brigade, 1943-1944, both 2d Bde, 1st Inf Div file, DAMN-HSO.

39 Ltr, AGF to CGs, Third Army and IX Corps, 12 Sep 42, sub: Activation of Elements of the 1st Cavalry Division, 322.13/1 (1st Cav Div) (R)-GNGNT (9-122), 1st Cav Div file, and Ltr, TAG to CGs, Services of Supply and other addresses, 23 Nov 42, sub: Activation of 2d Cavalry Division, AG 320.2 (11-212) OB-I-GN-M, 2d Cav Div file, both DAMH-HSO.

40 Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, p. 336; Ltr, TAG to CG, Third Army, 2 Mar 43, sub: Reorganization of 1st Cavalry Division, AG 320.2 (2-283) OB-IGNGCT-M, 1st Cav Div file, DAMN-HSO; James W. Hinds, Second Cavalry Division (no publisher, 1987), pp. 60-61.

41 Ltr, TAG to CinC, Southwest Pacific Area, 17 Sep 43, sub: Reorganization of Units in Southwest Pacific Area, AG 322 (14 Sep 43) OB-I-GNGCT-M, and Ltr, TAG to CinC, Southwest Pacific Area, 13 Nov 43, sub: Redesignation and Reorganization of 1st Cavalry Division, AG 322 (9 Nov 43) OB-I-GNGCT-M, both AG Reference files, DAMN-HSO; Wright, The 1st Cavalry Division in World War II, p. 240.

42 MacGregor, Integration of the Armed Forces, p. 33; Ltr, TAG to CGs, AGF and North African Theater of Operations, 11 Apr 44, sub: Inactivation and Disbandment of Units, AG 322 (8 Apr 44) OB-I-GNGCT-M, AG file, DAMH-HSO; Hinds, Second Cavalry Division, pp. 64-67: Ltr, TAB to CGs, Fourth Army and Southern Defense Command, 24 Apr 44, sub: Assignment, Reorganization and Redesignation of Certain Cavalry Units, AG 322 (22 Apr 44) OB-I-GNGCTM, AG Reference files, DAMN-HSO; Mary Lee Stubbs and Stanley Russell Connor, ArmorCavalry Part II: Army National Guard, Army Lineage Series (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1972), pp. 167-87.

43 Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, table, "Ground Forces in the Army, Dec 41-Apr 45," and pp. 163-81; Maurice Matloff, "The 90-Division Gamble," Command Decisions, Kent R. Greenfield, ed. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1960), pp. 365- 81.

44 Matloff, "The 90-Division Gamble," p. 374.

45 Robert W. Coakley and Richard M. Leighton, Global Logistics and Strategy: 1943-1945, United States Army in World War II (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1968), p. 246-47; Palmer et al., Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 489-92.

46 Ltr, TAG to CGs, Second Army and Airborne Command, 4 Feb 43, sub: Changes in Assignment of Units to the 82d Airborne Division and Airborne Command, AG 320.2 (2-3-43) OB-I-GN-M, 82d Abn Div file, DAMN-HSO; James E. Mrazek, The Glider War (London: Robert Hale and Company, 1975), p. 108.

47 James M. Gavin, On to Berlin, pp. 49-50.

48 Memo, AGF for CofS, 17 Dec 43, sub: Change in T/O, Airborne Division, 320.3/75 (S)GNGCT, and Memo, G- 3 for ACofS, 17 Dec 43, same subject, WDGCT 320.2, both Correspondence, Matthew Ridgway in Marshall Papers.

49 Ltr, Ridgway to Marshall, 1 Nov 44, Ltr, Ridgway to Marshall, 4 Dec 44, Summary Sheet (SS), G-3 for CofS, 8 Nov 44, sub: Reorganization of the Airborne Division, all in Matthew Ridgway, Marshall Papers; Maxwell D. Taylor, Swords and Plowshares (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1972), pp. 97-98; TOE 71, Airborne Division, 16 Dec 44; cited material from Ltr, Marshall to Ridgway, 18 Dec 44, Marshall Papers.

50 Memo, G-3 for CofS, 15 Dec 44, sub: Reorganization of the Airborne Division, WDGCT 322 (15 Dec 44), RG 407, NARA; TOE 71, Airborne Division, 16 Dec 44.

51 SS, G-3 for DCofS, 16 Dec 44, sub: Reorganization of Airborne Divisions, 322 (16 Dec 44), RG 407, NARA; Ltr, TAG to CG US Forces in the European Theater of Operations (ETO), 16 Jan 45, sub: Reorganization of the 101st Airborne Division, AG 322 (8 Jan 45) OB-IGNGCT-M, Ltr, TAG to CG, US Forces in the ETO, 22 Feb 45, sub: Reorganization of the 13th, 17th and 82d Airborne Divisions, AG 322 (18 Feb 45) OB-I-GNGCT-M, and Ltr, TAG to CinC, USAF, Pacific, 4 Jul 45, sub: Reorganization and Redesignation of Certain Airborne Units, AG 322 (30 Jun 45), OB-I-GNGCT-M, all AG Reference files, DAMH-HSO; Edward M. Flanagan, The Angels: A History of the Ilth Airborne Division 1943-1946 (Washington, D.C.: Infantry Journal Press, 1948), pp. 1-2; also see 11th, 13th, 17th, 82d, and 101st Abn Divs files, DAM HHSO.

52 TOE 6-160-1, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery (HHB), Division Artillery, Armored Division, 12 Feb 44; TOE 7, Infantry Division, and TOE 17, Armored Division, 24 Jan 45.

53 General Board, ETO, Report 17, Types of Divisions-Postwar Army, pp. 8- 9, 1945, DAMH-Library.

54 The armored group headquarters and headquarters company was organized almost identical to the headquarters and headquarters company of a combat command in an armored division. It contained the necessary staff, communication, and transportation to enable it to function as the headquarters of a task force comparable in size to a combat command.

55 General Board, ETO, Report 17, Types of Divisions, pp. 12-13.

56 Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 454-55.

57 Recoilless rifles had been developed during the war, and the weapons combined the effect of artillery with the mobility of hand-carried arms by using high velocity gas ports to counteract recoil, as opposed to absorption of recoil by springs and/or oil flowing through various orifices.

58 Greenfield et al., Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 456- 75.

59 Ibid., pp. 476-77.

60 Ibid., pp. 477-83; TOE 7, Infantry Division, 1 Jun 45.

61 Hewes, From Root to McNamara, p. 112.

62 WD Readjustment Regulations, 1-1, 12 Feb 1945.

63 Coakley and Leighton, Global Logistics and Strategy, pp. 584-85.

64 "Redeployment," Ms, Occupation Forces in Europe series, pp. 82-84, 89, and Bell I. Wiley, "AGF on the Eve of Demobilization Period," Ms, History of AGF during the Demobilization Period, chart, "Arrival of Major Ground Units for Redeployment to LO September 1945," both DAMH-HSR.