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"Sherman Tank Armored Division Unit Organization" Topic

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Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2023 2:39 p.m. PST

How many Sherman tanks in a World War Two US Army tank battalion in an armored division?
U.S. Army Handbook 1939-1945 by George Forty and World War Two Order of Battle by Stanton both say 186 medium tanks. I think this is how they are organized:
5 per platoon x 3 platoons + 2 platoon HQ + 1 105mm assault gun M4 = 18 tanks per company
3 companies per battalion = 54 tanks + 2 HQ tanks + 3 105mm assault gum M4 = 59 tanks per battalion
3 battalions per division = 177 tanks in the tank battalions +
3 HQ batteries of the Field Artillery Battalion with 3 M4 each = 9 M4 tanks + 177 in the tank battalions
For a total of 186 M4 Sherman tanks in a US Army Armored Division per
Armored Division T/O of 14 September 1943.

Is that correct?
How does the T19 105mm halftrack fit into that organization?
How does the M7 Priest fit in?
Were they exchanged on a 1-1 basis as the newer weapon became available?
Did some divisions keep the T19 or M7 Priest until after Dragoon? Or after Normandy?
And with two M4 in the Battalion HQ is one for the Battalion CMR, one for the XO and the First SGT gets the 105mm version?

Mike Bunkermeister Creek

Starfury Rider17 Jul 2023 3:20 p.m. PST

Each Tk Bn with 53 gun armed M4s and 6 105-mm how armed M4s.

Each Armd Inf Bn with 3 75-mm how armed M8s, these starting to be replaced by 3 105-mm how armed M4s around the end of 1944.

Each Armd FA Bn with three M4s as tank OPs.

Total Light Armd Div M4s was 186 before the Armd Inf Bns were authorised theirs, which increased the total to 195. As I recall the old Handbook puts the additional 105-mm armed M4s with the Tk Bns and assumes M7s for the Armd Inf Bns. The M7s were though only with the Armd FA Bns, 18 per for 54 in Div Arty.

The M8s were either 17 (8 in the Cav Recn Sqn and 3 per Armd Inf Bn), or 8 when the Armd Inf Bns had the M4 w/ 105-mm how.


Rakkasan17 Jul 2023 5:56 p.m. PST

Here is a link to a possible organization. link

It is unlikely that a company first sergeant or battalion command sergeant major would command a tank. It is possible but not common. That would go to an operations nco or master gunner. The company and battalion senior NCO would be riding herd on supply, maintenance, medical, vehicle and personnel replacements, mail, or even running the command post.
While units may have wanted to retain the T19 or M7, manning, parts shortages, wear and tear on the systems, and the desire to have perceived better kit would have compelled them to turn those vehicles in.

Starfury Rider18 Jul 2023 4:30 a.m. PST

If I recall correctly, the second gun tank in Coy HQ was designated as a spare command tank for the CO and the 105-mm tank was commanded a Sergeant. The 1942 version of the Tank Coy FM is online, including at


There was a superseding 1944 version that I have as a Nafziger book somewhere, I don't think that is online though.


ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Jul 2023 5:38 a.m. PST

1st and 2nd Armored Divisions had an older organization which gave them significantly more tanks.

laretenue18 Jul 2023 9:30 a.m. PST

At the risk of taking this thread in an unintended direction …

Leclerc's 2nd French Armoured Division (2e DB) used – to the best of my knowledge – standard US establishment. So does the organisation described above apply to it too?

Starfury Rider18 Jul 2023 11:00 a.m. PST

I couldn't find the later version of FM 17-32 online. The FM on the Tank Battalion, FM 17-33 of Dec 1944 is online. I was sure there was a copy in the CGSC online library but can't find it now. There's a pdf at the below link -

PDF link

Page 6 gives an outline of personnel to vehicles, and as noted above the 1st Sgt and 2-in-C of the Tank Coy are in the AM&S and maintenance portion. In Bn HQ, the Tank Sec had two gun tanks, with a spare seat in one so a HQ officer could make use of a tank.


donlowry18 Jul 2023 5:10 p.m. PST

IIRC, the M7 Priest, besides being the backbone of the armored artillery, was used in lieu of the Sherman 105 when not enough of the latter were available. Then they were used in the armored infantry to replace the M8 Howitzer Motor Carriage.

donlowry18 Jul 2023 5:13 p.m. PST

As Scott said, the 2nd and 3rd ADs had more tanks, having 2 armor regiments, each with 2 battalions of Shermans and 1 battalion of Stuarts. Therefor a total of 4 Sherman battalions instead of 3 as in the other ADs, and 6 companies of Stuarts (2 battalions) instead of 3 as in the other ADs.

Starfury Rider19 Jul 2023 4:32 a.m. PST

I know I've queried the use of M7s as in lieu equipment for the 105-mm armed M4 in Tank Bns or Armd Inf Bns. I did start a thread over here which has a few links and comments on the issue;

TMP link

That concerns the Tank Bn in particular. I went through the available AARs for Armd Inf Bns on the CGSC website (think they have like two out of three for the Armd Inf Bns in the bulk of the US Armd Divs). I couldn't find any specific reference to the M7 being used, just a few comments on the M4 with howitzer.


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2023 5:16 a.m. PST


Best coverage I can find on the composition of 2E DB compared witha US Armoured Div is in Claude Gillimo's book "Armor Camouflage and Markings of the French 2nd AD" (it is inavluable) esp on pages 6 and 7. The Osprey "Division Leclerc" is good on unit history but the composition is harder to follow.

However, if you want the real experts, pose a question on;

a free site, but in French. Google translate does help (especially with the replies). They have encyclopaedic knowledge of the unit.

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