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Battlefront WWII
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THE UNITED STATES ARMY

German Formations/ Soviet Formations

INFANTRY REGIMENT

During the Second World War the U. S. infantry regiment became a triangular unit with three infantry battalions and support units. Due to a shortage of combat riflemen the U. S. Army chose to maintain it's heavy artillery at the Corps level to support the infantry as needed. Consequently, the regiment was somewhat limited in independent operations unless sufficient support, artillery, armor and anti-tank units were attached.

ARMORED REGIMENT

After 1943 most U. S. Armored Divisions where reorganized to fight as combat commands consisting of three or four battalions each (a mixture of armor and mechanized infantry). The Combat Command concept and the use of independent units increased the ability of the armored division to operate in a variety of combat conditions.

REGIMENTAL/COMBAT COMMAND TEAMS

Within both the Infantry and Armored Divisions it was possible to create up to three regimental combat teams tailored for use on specific combat missions. The U. S. Army patterned this concept based on the German "Kampfgruppe" model. These teams provided the flexibility in meeting the changing combat conditions found on the battlefield.

THE GERMAN ARMY

U.S. Formations/ Soviet Formations

INFANTRY REGIMENT

In June 1944, the Germans were forced to reorganize their infantry regiments with 30% fewer personnel because of heavy casualties and the lack of replacements. Increased firepower through the use of automatic weapons made up for the deficiency in manpower. A continued reliance on draft animals for transport limited the mobility of the standard German Infantry formation.

MOTORIZED INFANTRY REGIMENT (MOTORIZED INFANTRY BATTALION)

As German manpower losses mounted the need for mobility and protection against armor became more pronounced. This type of unit, although rarely up to strength, was highly mobile and normally included elements of antitank and/or assault gun units.

PANZER GRENADIER REGIMENT (ARMORED INFANTRY BATTALION)

This type of unit was much like the motorized infantry division one except that a variety of armored half-tracks and self-propelled weapons were used instead of trucks and towed guns. This allowed them to survive on the battlefield without immediately dismounting.

PANZER REGIMENT (TANK BATTALION)

By 1944, the striking power of the standard tank regiment had been greatly reduced through attrition. As their mainstay, the tank regiment relied on two tank battalions. The attachment of strong anti-tank units along with armored or motorized infantry and artillery units were often used to create formidable striking forces called a "Kampfgruppe."

VOLKSGRENADIER BATTALION

This type of infantry unit was created in 1944. From an organizational point of view its only significance was a dramatic increase in firepower through the use of small automatic and antitank weapons to offset the growing lack of personnel.

THE SOVIET ARMY

U.S. Formations/ German Formations

INFANTRY RIFLE BATTALION

The outstanding feature of this formation was the large number of automatic weapons in it. Although this unit was smaller then it's German equivalent its combat strength was nearly equal. Unfortunately, a heavy reliance on draft animals made it incapable of prolonged offensive action.

SOVIET TANK BATTALION

This unit usually was used as a strike force to deliver the decisive blow or exploit a breakthrough. Although comparable to the tank companies of other countries it was normally without adequate supplies to carry out a sustained maneuvers.

SOVIET MECHANIZED BATTALION

This was the critical Soviet unit. It was very mobile and capable of a wide variety of missions, including breakthrough, pursuit or counter-attack. It was supported by a large array of mechanized infantry, tanks, artillery, anti-tank and engineer units. Like the other Soviet battalions it's supply and maintenance capabilities were road bound.

This page was last updated on 12/07/2013 at 11:56AM

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