Notes on our TO&E
THE UNITED STATES ARMY
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.
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
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
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."
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
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.