Tactical Command

help modeling a US Armored Division for Rommel
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Author:  Dave [ Tue Jul 12, 2022 6:06 pm ]
Post subject:  help modeling a US Armored Division for Rommel

I scored a copy of Rommel for cheap off of eBay the other week, I was wondering if someone (L4?) could help me with a few build questions. I’d like to model a US Armored Division on the table with bases representing a company and individual models representing platoons (so 1 model equates to 3-5 actual vehicles). I found some info on battleorder.org and I was wondering if someone could help me fill in the blanks.

1 Armored Division
 - 3 Armored Infantry Battalions
   - 3 Rifle Companies
     - 3 Rifle Platoons and 1 Anti-tank Platoon of M3 Half-tracks (20 per Company)
 - 3 Tank Battalions
   - 3 Medium Tank Companies
     - 3 Platoons of M4 Tanks (18 per Company)
   - 1 Light Tank Company
     - 3 Platoons of M5 Tanks (17 per Company)
 - 3 Artillery Battalions
   - 3 Artillery Companies
     - 3 Batteries of M7 self-propelled 105mm howitzers (6 per Company)
 - 1 Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron
   - 3 Reconnaissance Troops
     - 3 Platoons of M8 Armored Cars (12 per Troop) and Jeeps (22 per Troop)
   - 1 Cavalry Assault Gun Troop
     - 3 Platoons of M8 Assault Guns (6 per Troop)
   - 1 Light Tank Company
     - 3 Platoons of M5 Tanks (17 per Company)

Author:  scarik [ Wed Jul 13, 2022 2:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: help modeling a US Armored Division for Rommel

battleorder.org is a great place to start. this is another good place: https://tmg110.tripod.com/usarmy_mcv.htm

Things change a little as the war progresses so these answers are specifically from '43 onward.

I can fill in the blanks

Recon Troop- consists of an HQ section, Scout section and an Armored Car section
Scouts are infantry mounted in 6 Jeeps. 3 are armed with 30cal MGs and the other 3 carry light mortar teams
AC section is 3 M8 Greyhounds
HQ is 2 M8 Greyhounds and 2 Jeeps

Additionally Cav Recon Troops attached to Armored Divisions (ie Cavalry Groups) only have 3 Recon Platoons and 3 Assault Gun Platoons.

Armored Field Artillery Battalions are organized into 3 companies each with 6 SP 105mm guns (M7 priests).
FA Battalion (no Divisonal HQ section)
-3 companies of self-propelled 105mm guns
-each company has 3 batteries of 2 guns

Lastly US companies and battalions have HQ sections that are fully armed platoons (exception being artillery has no HQ, and Tank Destroyer Battalion HQ is Jeeps only). Armored companies and Battalions have 2 vehicles of the same type as their HQ.

Medium Tank Battalions also have Assault Gun Platoons with 6 Shermans (105s after July '44, standard 75s until then). On paper these are 3 tanks in Bat HQ and 1 added to each Company HQ, but in practice they kept them together as a single troop.

Last unit you need is an Division-level Armored Engineer Battalion. Its equipped the same as any other Armored Infantry but without the AT guns, instead they have a bridging unit. Their small arms are decidedly more close range with an abundance of M3 grease guns and just so, so many explosives.

For modelling at 3-5 vehicles per model you'll need 4 Halftracks on each Infantry Company. Standard issue was 20 Halftracks per company (2* for HQ, 5 for each Rifle Platoon, 3 for the AT platoon)
*the maintenance M3 was armed and fought a lot more than intended since they would perform battlefield maintenance and aid stuck vehicles, etc.

Author:  Dave [ Wed Jul 13, 2022 3:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: help modeling a US Armored Division for Rommel

Thanks man, that helps a lot.

How do the M10/M18/M36 Tank Destroyers factor in to all of this? There's stats for those in Rommel.

The role of the M8 AG was direct fire support? Maybe I'll tuck a single model on one of my armored infantry bases.

Author:  scarik [ Wed Jul 13, 2022 6:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: help modeling a US Armored Division for Rommel

You're welcome. WW2 Armor is my jam. Especially US and German organization and use.

Tank Destroyers were organized into independent battalions at first which was a doctrinal mistake. They were supposed to act as reserves and wait to staunch enemy breakthroughs but the troops proved reluctant to stay in ambush positions and watch the infantry get overrun so they eventually got attached directly to divisions.

A TD Battallion is 3 companies of TDs. Originally this actually meant towed 57mm guns like the AT Platoons. Then i meant halftracks mounted with the same short 75mm howitzer as the later M8 HMC in the Cavalry Recon AG. After that it became M10/18/36s.

After the break up of the battalions they were added to Infantry Divisions and parted out as needed.

Patton did everything in his power to delete the AT Infantry platoons and use self-propelled TDs in their place. 4th Armored (Lead by Walker and including Abrams) essentially got his wish and was effectively fully mechanized. Other divisions ended up with a mix. No one complained much since the 57s didn't really do the job by then. They could kill most German armor just fine, but they were slow and vulnerable to small arms so doctrinally not great.

TLDR; you can replace the AT Platoons with them or just add the Battalion to the Division if the rules make that easier.

The M8AG was for fast, responsive fire support. They could recon in force as well as provide direct and indirect support. Being open-topped like other TDs made them vulnerable but also gave great visibility and added punch to a light tank company.

During the Battle of the Bulge the Cav Recon tended to be M18s replacing the M8AGss and M24 Chafee's replacing the Stuarts. Stuarts then got the job of the M8AC which got phased out of forward recon and sent to signals.

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