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"infantry and armored company composition questions" Topic


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428 hits since 27 Aug 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

chrach727 Aug 2017 4:56 p.m. PST

I am awaiting arrival of my copy of the Rommel rules by Sam Mustafa. In these grand tactical rules I believe each base represents a company of either infantry, armor or artillery.

I would like to know if the armor bases should have scattered infantry between the tanks? Did armored companies have protective infantry mixed in with them when they advanced some or most of the time?

Also for the infantry bases I plan on having infantry and their transports on the base. What other things should I add to a typical infantry company? Mortars, ATG's? AA?

I am specifically thinking of mid and late war germans and americans.

Personal logo Jeff Ewing Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2017 6:12 p.m. PST

The armored companies would be separate, but would likely have infantry in support. Here's the company breakdown:
German:
link

US:

picture

advocate27 Aug 2017 11:23 p.m. PST

I'd say not. Having infantry in support would be shown by having an infantry company in the same square. Having infantry in the same base might be confusing when you send your armour swanning off into the enemy rear!

Vigilant28 Aug 2017 3:38 a.m. PST

Having infantry support would depend on what infantry, if any, was available. Allied armies did not have integrated armour/infantry as a routine and on many occasions there was little Co-ordination between the 2. Currently reading about the attack on Cassino where a combined American, Indian and New Zealand armour attack was launched from an unexpected direction and could have succeeded had infantry been attached, but were told that there was none available and they should press on regardless.

Griefbringer28 Aug 2017 3:46 a.m. PST

Also for the infantry bases I plan on having infantry and their transports on the base. What other things should I add to a typical infantry company? Mortars, ATG's? AA?

Regarding transports, normal rifle company did not have much in the way of vehicles available, and these would probably be left somewhere behind when going to action. Armored infantry and panzergrenadiers on the other hand would have enough trucks/halftracks for the whole company.

AA-guns were typically divisional level weapons, and not usually assigned to front lines. Though German armoured panzergrenadier companies had a few half-track mounted light AA guns.

As regards mortars, light versions (45-60 mm) were popular in the early war rifle companies in many armies, but started to fall out of use as the war progressed – though the US 60 mm version served to the end of the war and beyond. Medium (80 mm+) and heavy mortars tended to be battalion or regimental level assets.

Anti-tank guns were also usually battalion or regimental assets in leg infantry, though some armoured infantry companies could have them – US armoured infantry company having three (originally spread across rifle platoons, later formed into a platoon of their own).

Mark 1 Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2017 11:09 a.m. PST

Agree with others that the best approach would be to have a company (stand) of infantry supporting the efforts of your company/companies (stand/stands) of tanks.

In the post-war European armies it became reasonably common to create combined arms companies by mixing a platoon of infantry into a company of armor, or vice versa. NATO armies would often "exchange" platoons, with an armored company giving up one platoon of tanks to be attached to an infantry company, and getting a platoon of infantry attached in exchange, for example. In Warsaw Pact armies it was more common to have a company in the battalion or regimental structure, which could be parceled out as attachments with no cross-attaching. So a tank company might get a platoon of infantry attached without giving any of its tanks up.

But that was not done in WW2 except in the most unusual cases. Far more often the mechanism by which arms came to be combined was full companies attached to a mission, under the command of a task force (kampfgruppe) commander.

That said, the Germans were the most flexible in terms of kampgruppe construction. Their combat leaders were generally VERY practical, and by mid- to late-war would put together formations from whatever forces were available to them to meet mission requirements. So if anyone would have platoons mixed into combined arms formation it would be the Germans.

An additional consideration worth noting is that contrary to what might be implied in the links above, it was not at all common to have German tanks operating with normal infantry companies.

German tanks were in the panzer divisions, period. There were no tanks assigned to work with infantry divisions. That was the job of the StuGs. Doesn't mean it never happened, but it was exceedingly rare compared to other armies. So if you want infantry to work with your tanks, you really should have panzergrenadier formations (the infantry in the panzer divisions), not landser formations (the infantry in the infantry divisions). Panzergrenadiers had different TOEs than landsers.

In the U.S. Army it was also true that the armored infantry (in the armored divisions) had different TOEs than the Infantry (in the infantry divisions). But most US infantry divisions had tanks in support (GHQ independent tank battalions). In fact if you count the tank destroyers as well, most US infantry divisions in ETO had more armor than German panzer divisions (more transports for the infantry, too). So it is entirely reasonable to have tanks and standard infantry formations working together for the U.S. Army.

All based on readings, and subject to correction.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

chrach728 Aug 2017 12:26 p.m. PST

So to make a nice looking and accurate base for Germans I could have a bunch of infantry and a single stug on the base?

And for Americans I could have a bunch of infantry and a single tank destroyer on the base?

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