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Orders of Battle Orders-of-battle, TO&E's, and related information on who fought where and what they brought to the battle.

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  #1  
Old 05 Jan 18, 23:57
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U.S. Army Squad and Platoon organization World War I

Looking for U.S. Army Squad and Platoon organization World War I. Can't find anything on the net.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 06 Jan 18, 00:58
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I believe John English had a section on American Infantry in the First World War. It is in his classic: "On Infantry". It is available in print and Kindle.

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Old 06 Jan 18, 09:25
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The CMH lineage series on infantry, https://history.army.mil/html/books/...Pub_60-3-1.pdf, is overly general, but maybe interesting anyway.

CMH Pub 23-6, specifically p 347, has a TOE. The book is available as a free PDF https://history.army.mil/html/books/...H_Pub_23-6.pdf

It shows a platoon as:
* Platoon HQs: 1 officer (1LT or 2LT), 1 Sergeant, 4 Privates (runners)
* 1st Section (Hand Bombers): 2 Corporals, 4 PFCs, 6 Privates, organized into 3 bomber squads of 1 leader, 1 thrower, 1 carrier 1 scout
* 2nd Section (Rifle Grenadiers): 2 Corporals, 1 PFC, 6 Privates, organized as 6 rifle grenadiers and 3 carriers
* 3rd Section (Riflemen): 1 Sergeant, 2 Corporals, 6 PFCs, 8 Privates, with no further divisions given
* 4th Section (Automatic Riflemen): 1 Sergeant, 2 Corporals, 4 PFCs, 8 Privates, in 4 automatic rifle teams each consisting of 1 gunner and 2 carriers, with a corporal for each 2 guns, and the note that 2 automatic rifles per platoon are ordinarily held as company reserve, in which case the automatic rifle teams are used as riflemen
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Old 06 Jan 18, 09:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 82redleg View Post
The CMH lineage series on infantry, https://history.army.mil/html/books/...Pub_60-3-1.pdf, is overly general, but maybe interesting anyway.

CMH Pub 23-6, specifically p 347, has a TOE. The book is available as a free PDF https://history.army.mil/html/books/...H_Pub_23-6.pdf

It shows a platoon as:
* Platoon HQs: 1 officer (1LT or 2LT), 1 Sergeant, 4 Privates (runners)
* 1st Section (Hand Bombers): 2 Corporals, 4 PFCs, 6 Privates, organized into 3 bomber squads of 1 leader, 1 thrower, 1 carrier 1 scout
* 2nd Section (Rifle Grenadiers): 2 Corporals, 1 PFC, 6 Privates, organized as 6 rifle grenadiers and 3 carriers
* 3rd Section (Riflemen): 1 Sergeant, 2 Corporals, 6 PFCs, 8 Privates, with no further divisions given
* 4th Section (Automatic Riflemen): 1 Sergeant, 2 Corporals, 4 PFCs, 8 Privates, in 4 automatic rifle teams each consisting of 1 gunner and 2 carriers, with a corporal for each 2 guns, and the note that 2 automatic rifles per platoon are ordinarily held as company reserve, in which case the automatic rifle teams are used as riflemen
Seems like an awfully cumbersome set-up.

Why is there no Sergeant in Sections 1 and 2?

Section 3's Sgt has an awful lot to supervise.
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Old 06 Jan 18, 10:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
Seems like an awfully cumbersome set-up.

Why is there no Sergeant in Sections 1 and 2?

Section 3's Sgt has an awful lot to supervise.
I agree.

The book (I only skimmed it) gives an entire report by the board Pershing established to review British and French structures. The answers to your question might be there.

I recall (but can't reference) that they soon went from this cumbersome organization to one with 2 sections of 2 (or 3?) equal squads in each section.
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  #6  
Old 06 Jan 18, 11:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 82redleg View Post
I agree.

The book (I only skimmed it) gives an entire report by the board Pershing established to review British and French structures. The answers to your question might be there.

I recall (but can't reference) that they soon went from this cumbersome organization to one with 2 sections of 2 (or 3?) equal squads in each section.
Better. IIRC didn't they have 'square' divisions with four regiments at this time?
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Old 06 Jan 18, 13:00
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Yes, the Army used large, Square Divisions in WWI. What is not often brought up is that after going into combat these divisions were not kept at full strength. You can blame this on a flawed replacement system if you like, but the smaller divisions were easier for American higher ranks to command. American Generals were not highly regarded over there. I would imagine these large platoons were much smaller after seeing combat a time or two.

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Old 06 Jan 18, 17:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
Better. IIRC didn't they have 'square' divisions with four regiments at this time?
Yes, the AEF "square" division consisted off:
*Division Headquarters
*Infantry Brigade #1
**Infantry Brigade Headquarters Detachment
**Infantry Regiment #1
***Headquarters and Headquarters Company
***Infantry Battalion #1
****Headquarters Detachment
****Rifle Company #1
****Rifle Company #2
****Rifle Company #3
****Rifle Company #4
***Infantry Battalion #2 (Rifle Companies 5-8)
***Infantry Battalion #3 (Rifle Companies 9-12)
***Service Company #1
***Machine Gun Company #1
**Infantry Regiment #2 (Infantry Battalions 4-6, with Rifle Companies 13-24; Service and MG companies #2)
**Machine Gun Battalion
***Machine Gun Company #3
***Machine Gun Company #4
***Machine Gun Company #5
***Machine Gun Company #6
*Infantry Brigade #2
**Infantry Regiment #3 ((Infantry Battalions 7-9, with Rifle Companies 25-36; Service Company #3 and MG company #7)
**Infantry Regiment #4 ((Infantry Battalions 10-12, with Rifle Companies 37-48; Service Company #4 and MG company #8)
**Machine Gun Battalion #2 (with MG companies #9-12)
*Field Artillery Brigade
**Brigade Headquarters Detachment
**75mm Gun Regiment #1
***Headquarters and Headquarters Battery
***75mm Gun Battalion #1
****Headquarters detachment
****75mm Gun Firing Battery #1
****75mm Gun Firing Battery #2
****75mm Gun Firing Battery #3
***75mm Gun Battalion #2 (with firing batteries #4-6)
***Regimental Service Battery
**75mm Gun Regiment #2 (with Battalions #3-4, with firing batteries #7-12)
**155mm Howitzer Regiment
***Headquarters and Headquarters Battery
***155mm Howitzer Battalion #1
****headquarters detachment
****155mm Howitzer Firing Battery #1
****155mm Howitzer Firing Battery #2
***155mm Howitzer Battalion #2 (with batteries #3-4)
***155mm Howitzer Battalion ## (with batteries #5-6)
***Service Battery
**Trench Mortar Battery
*Motorized Machine Gun Battalion
**Motorized Machine Gun Company #1
**Motorized Machine Gun Company #2
*Engineer Regiment
**Engineer Battalion #1
***Engineer Company #1
***Engineer Company #2
***Engineer Company #3
**Engineer Battalion #2
***Engineer Company #4
***Engineer Company #5
***Engineer Company #6
*Field Signal Battalion
*Train Headquarters & Military Police
**Ammunition Train (may be aligned to the FA BDE)
**Supply Train
**Engineer Train
**Sanitary Train
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Old 07 Jan 18, 12:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 82redleg View Post
The CMH lineage series on infantry, https://history.army.mil/html/books/...Pub_60-3-1.pdf, is overly general, but maybe interesting anyway.

CMH Pub 23-6, specifically p 347, has a TOE. The book is available as a free PDF https://history.army.mil/html/books/...H_Pub_23-6.pdf

It shows a platoon as:
* Platoon HQs: 1 officer (1LT or 2LT), 1 Sergeant, 4 Privates (runners)
* 1st Section (Hand Bombers): 2 Corporals, 4 PFCs, 6 Privates, organized into 3 bomber squads of 1 leader, 1 thrower, 1 carrier 1 scout
* 2nd Section (Rifle Grenadiers): 2 Corporals, 1 PFC, 6 Privates, organized as 6 rifle grenadiers and 3 carriers
* 3rd Section (Riflemen): 1 Sergeant, 2 Corporals, 6 PFCs, 8 Privates, with no further divisions given
* 4th Section (Automatic Riflemen): 1 Sergeant, 2 Corporals, 4 PFCs, 8 Privates, in 4 automatic rifle teams each consisting of 1 gunner and 2 carriers, with a corporal for each 2 guns, and the note that 2 automatic rifles per platoon are ordinarily held as company reserve, in which case the automatic rifle teams are used as riflemen
Thanks so much .

It does seem like a clunky not very flexible organization. It also seems geared 100% for offensive operations.

It looks like a platoon that is task organized to take a section of trench.

The way I would see it operating:

The automatic riflemen lay down a base of covering fire.

The rifle grenadiers get in a little closer and start dropping rifle grenades on the section of trench to be assaulted.

The hand bombers get in close and start saturating the trench with grenades.

The rifle section rushes in for the final assault. They are followed in by the hand bombers who I would assume also have rifles or perhaps hand guns. In the close up fighting in the trench a shot gun or hand gun would be handier than a rifle. Better yet a Thompson submachine gun. To bad they aren't available.

As the final assault is going in the automatic rifles and grenadiers shift their fire to the flanks. Once the trench section is secured they move into the captured trench to defend against counter attacks.
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Old 17 Jan 18, 16:44
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Osprey has a book in their Battle Orders series on the AEF during WWI. Have any tried that?
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