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"VCOs ?" Topic


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451 hits since 9 Mar 2020
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Comments or corrections?

uglyfatbloke09 Mar 2020 10:29 a.m. PST

I don't have access to my books right now, so can anybody point me in the right direction for the distribution of VCOs in infantry battalions?

Windy Miller09 Mar 2020 12:28 p.m. PST

As in Viceroy Commissioned Officers? As a minimum one Subedar Major in Battalion HQ, one Subedar in each company and one Jemadar in each platoon.

Just found this which might help:

Indian Inf Bn (MT)

Bn HQ – 4 Brit Offrs, 2 VCOs, 51 Indian ORs

HQ Coy -
Coy HQ – 1 Brit Offr, 6 IORs
Sig Pl – 1 Brit offr, 1 VCO, 34 IORs
Mortar Pl – 1 Brit Offr, 45 IORs
Carrier Pl – 1 VCO, 22 IORs
Pioneer Pl – 1 VCO, 23 IORs

Admin Coy -
Coy HQ – 1 Brit Offr, 6 IORs
QM Pl – 1 Brit Offr, 1 VCO, 34 IORs
Medical Pl – 21 IORs
Transport Pl – 1 Brit Offr, 1 VCO, 53 IORs

Four Rifle Coys, each -
Coy HQ – 1 Brit Offr, 1 VCO, 8 IORs
Three Pls, each -
Pl HQ – 1 VCO, 5 IORs
Three Secs, each – 1 NCO, 11 Sepoys

Total 15 Brit Offrs, 24 Viceroy COs, 821 Indian Other Ranks

uglyfatbloke09 Mar 2020 2:24 p.m. PST

That's brilliant Windy; many thanks – do you have a date for it? I was n't aware of the 12 man sections, nor the relatively large platoon HQ.

Legion 409 Mar 2020 2:33 p.m. PST

That is interesting … thumbs up

Windy Miller09 Mar 2020 2:35 p.m. PST

No dramas. It was for a motorised battalion in North Africa in 1941. I didn't actually notice the 12 man sections but now you mention it the extra men could be drivers. Six man Platoon HQ is about right though – platoon commander (jemadar), platoon sergeant (havildar), orderly/signaller, 2in mortar team and a driver.

uglyfatbloke09 Mar 2020 2:38 p.m. PST

That would make perfect sense; I'm much obliged.

Starfury Rider09 Mar 2020 4:56 p.m. PST

Interesting to see that description attributed to an Indian Army Motor Battalion, which it does not describe.

It would appear to be the version I posted on another forum, quite some time ago now;

link

Not for a Motor Bn, but for a Bn using only MT, there being another version for a Bn using Animal and Motor Transport. Likewise no date given in the original document, which was an Indian issue of Infantry Training 1944 (Part I), which I got as a reprint from Groucho Publishing.

Gary

Windy Miller09 Mar 2020 5:44 p.m. PST

Hi Gary. Thanks for adding the link and clarification. I found your description a while ago but couldn't remember where. And you're quite right, it's not a motorised battalion but one using motor transport.

The allocation of VCO's would remain broadly the same I would have thought. Any idea on the 12 man sections?

Starfury Rider10 Mar 2020 6:44 a.m. PST

Yes, I can only suppose the same, that the VCOs were mostly in the posts filled by Subalterns and Captains. The 12 strong Section is pretty big by British standards and sadly the manual doesn't shed any light as to why. It may have been linked to LoB.

As I recall the strength of the Section in the Bns described varies from 10 to 12, depending on whether it's a Br or Indian Bn, and whether it A & MT or MT only. I'll see if I can dig out the details tonight.

Gary

Sadly the manual proved to be a straightforward reprint of the 1944 document published in the UK, just exchanging the wire diagram for a Br Inf Bn on the 1943 WE for a series on units on Indian estabs.

Starfury Rider10 Mar 2020 10:50 a.m. PST

Indian Inf Bn (MT)

Bn HQ 4 Brit Offrs, 2 VCOs, 51 Indian ORs

HQ Coy -
Coy HQ 1 Brit Offr, 6 IORs
Sig Pl 1 Brit offr, 1 VCO, 34 IORs
Mortar Pl 1 Brit Offr, 45 IORs
Carrier Pl 1 VCO, 22 IORs
Pioneer Pl 1 VCO, 23 IORs

Admin Coy -
Coy HQ 1 Brit Offr, 6 IORs
QM Pl 1 Brit Offr, 1 VCO, 34 IORs
Medical Pl 21 IORs
Transport Pl 1 Brit Offr, 1 VCO, 53 IORs

Four Rifle Coys, each -
Coy HQ 1 Brit Offr, 1 VCO, 8 IORs
Three Pls, each -
Pl HQ 1 VCO, 5 IORs
Three Secs, each 1 NCO, 11 Sepoys

Total 15 Brit Offrs, 24 Viceroy COs, 821 Indian Other Ranks

Bicycles – 12
Motorcycles – 9
Jeeps – 19
Carriers, tracked – 15
Karryall – 1
Trucks, 15-cwt, FWD – 23
Truck, water – 1

Pistols – 74
Rifles – 665
Twin AA LMGs – 2
LMGs (Carrier Pl) – 7
LMGs (other) – 37
TSMG – 90
2-in mortars – 12
3-in mortars – 6
Atk rifles – 9


Indian Inf Bn (Animal & MT)

Bn HQ 4 Brit Offrs, 3 VCOs, 50 Indian ORs

HQ Coy -
Coy HQ 1 Brit Offr, 8 IORs
Sig Pl 1 Brit offr, 1 VCO, 34 IORs
Mortar Pl 1 Brit Offr, 42 IORs
Carrier Pl 1 VCO, 21 IORs
Pioneer Pl 1 VCO, 23 IORs

Admin Coy -
Coy HQ 1 Brit Offr, 6 IORs
QM Pl 1 Brit Offr, 1 VCO, 34 IORs
Medical Pl 21 IORs
Transport Pl 1 Brit Offr, 1 VCO, 99 IORs

Four Rifle Coys, each -
Coy HQ 1 Brit Offr, 1 VCO, 8 IORs
Three Pls, each -
Pl HQ 1 VCO, 5 IORs
Three Secs, each 1 NCO, 10 Sepoys

Total 14 Brit Offrs, 24 Viceroy COs, 826 Indian Other Ranks

Bicycles – 20
Motorcycles – 9
Jeeps – 2
Carriers, tracked – 15
Karryall – 1
Trucks, 15-cwt, FWD – 23
Truck, water – 1
Mules – 52
Ponies – 7

Weapons are unreadable (the edge of the page was sliced off during copying), assume LMGs, mortars and Atk rifles as above. The British versions of the above each show an 11-man Section, so it is just the Indian Bn with MT that had 12 for some reason.

Gary

uglyfatbloke11 Mar 2020 4:19 a.m. PST

Interesting stuff…especially the 12 man section. All our WW2 projects are built as companies and SWMBO will be pretty chuffed if she can justify a 12 man section. British section were generally 10 men, so I wonder if the 12 man section might aimed more at Burma as a response to the larger Japanese squad structure.

Skarper11 Mar 2020 4:42 a.m. PST

Total guess – but perhaps the issue was relative availability of men capable of being NCOs versus the numbers available to be riflemen?

Typical UK&C sections seem to have had 6-8 men in the ETO. Perhaps with 1-2 men LOB.

Richard Baber11 Mar 2020 9:26 a.m. PST

I`m building an Indian unit right now, but I`m going for 10-man sections.

uglyfatbloke11 Mar 2020 9:32 a.m. PST

That's how SWMBOs company is organised on the assumption (mine) that it would mirror the British Army. Naturally platoons in any army tend to be understrength in practice, but we make full-strength companies for all our 28mm WW2 projects.

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