Numbering platoons in infantry battalions

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Rodney2q, Oct 22, 2008.

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  1. This might sound a bit daft but is there any system for numbering the platoons in a British infantry battalion?

    The reason I ask is that I've been reading the book "With the Jocks" by Peter White, about his time in the KOSB in 1944-45. He was a platoon commander in B Coy 4KOSB, and the platoons were numbered 10,11 and 12 platoons.

    Another book I read (18 platoon) had the author's platoon as 18 platoon (no surprise there then).

    In my days in the infantry I was in C Company, which had 9, 10 and 11 platoons.

    Anyone have any idea how the platoons were numbered, or was it down to "tradition" or the CO/s whim?

    Just curious....


  2. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I know that 1 RHamps had 2 companies named from 1st Bn and 2 from 2nd Bn A&B X&Y possibly? 2 LI had a similar thing but no C company I think, when I was in 1980's it was normally A coy 1,2,3. B coy 4,5,6. C Coy 7, 8, 9. then either Sp coy or D depending upon tradition!
  3. companies used to have 4 platoons but I'm not sure when it was changed. As far as I am aware they have always been numbered from 1 in A Coy or the senior Coy so that callsigns match
  4. Wasn't 4 Pln, A Coy for instance the war call up/Reservist one?
  5. Before WW2. This is how the British infantry battalion developed during WW2:

    Rifle companies always had three platoons. By 1943 rifle platoon numbers usually began with 7 Plt, A Coy, and ended with 18 Plt, D Coy because-
    HQ Coy- 1(Signals), 2 (Admin) Plts
    Spt Coy- 3(Mortar), 4(Carrier), 5(Anti-Tank), 6(Pioneer) Plts
    However it was unusual for HQ or Spt Coy platoons to be referred to by their numbers.
  6. Nice one Baboon6, that makes sense.

    I shall sleep soundly tonight...

    :D :D :D

  7. The 2ic of White's wartime B company, sadly, died a few days ago; Brigadier Frank Coutts CBE who later became Colonel of The King's Own Scottish Borderers. A former Scottish rugby international and veteran of many a campaign 'With the Jocks.' Big Frank was 'some man' and much loved in his regiment and throughout the Army in Scotland, he had recently celebrated his 90th birthday. RIP
  8. Sad to hear that - I shall raise a glass to them all when I finish the book.

    All the best

  9. In 1 R HAMPS it was A, B, Y, and Z. The first three were the rifle coys with Z Coy being the support company. Rifle platoon were numbered 1 - 9.