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WW2 Infantry Divisions.

I was recently reading up a bit about Op Market Garden, the part where 43rd (Wessex) Inf Div take over the drive to Arnhem from Guards Armoured leads me to ask the great and good on here a few questions. :grin:
It seems that WW2 Inf Divisions contained no integral tank units, what did they do if they needed armoured support?
What transport did they have?
The army was made up of both Regular and TA divisions, containing Regular and TA units. Did these units stay strictly manned with Regular or TA soldiers on the relevant service type or did they get jumbled up in the need for manpower?
 

QRK2

LE
I was recently reading up a bit about Op Market Garden, the part where 43rd (Wessex) Inf Div take over the drive to Arnhem from Guards Armoured leads me to ask the great and good on here a few questions. :grin:
It seems that WW2 Inf Divisions contained no integral tank units, what did they do if they needed armoured support?
What transport did they have?
The army was made up of both Regular and TA divisions, containing Regular and TA units. Did these units stay strictly manned with Regular or TA soldiers on the relevant service type or did they get jumbled up in the need for manpower?
On your first point that, that is what Tank (as opposed to Armoured) Bdes were for. This details on transport are out there on google I suspect, I know that there were some RASC TC Coys. There was some swapping around of TA Bns early in the war so a Reg Bn would move into a TA Bde, not sure about later on. By the end of the war Infantry were pretty mixed up with reinforcements posted to where they were most needed without a lot of regard to capbadge. Adam (the AG) wanted to get rid of the Infantry regimental system.
 
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I was recently reading up a bit about Op Market Garden, the part where 43rd (Wessex) Inf Div take over the drive to Arnhem from Guards Armoured leads me to ask the great and good on here a few questions. :grin:
It seems that WW2 Inf Divisions contained no integral tank units, what did they do if they needed armoured support?
What transport did they have?
The army was made up of both Regular and TA divisions, containing Regular and TA units. Did these units stay strictly manned with Regular or TA soldiers on the relevant service type or did they get jumbled up in the need for manpower?
As I understand it Each Corps had a tank Brigade
This would be assigned to the DInf ivision in Contact and so in effect each attacking Brigade had a tank regiment in support
 
By September 1944 there were eight independent Armoured/Tank Brigades in 21st Army Group, shared between the five Corps (I, VIII, XII, XXX & II Canadian Corps). These brigades were 4th Armoured, 8th Armoured, 31st Tank, 33rd Armoured, 34th Tank, 6th Guards Tank, 2nd Canadian Armoured & 1st Czechoslovak Armoured Brigades. There had also been the 27th Armoured Brigade (disbanded in Normandy), while 34th Tank Brigade was in the process of being transferred to 79th Armoured Division to become an all-Crocodile brigade.

The Tank Brigades listed above were equipped with Churchill Infantry Tanks, while the Armoured Brigades were equipped with Shermans, except for the Czechs who had Cromwells.

The doctrinal line between 'Tank' and 'Armoured' Brigades was blurred to the point of non-existence by 1944, simply because there weren't enough Infantry Tanks (i.e. Churchills) to go around. There were only enough Churchills for three brigades (plus 1st Assault Assault Bde RE) in NW Europe, two in Italy and one (in the process of being created) in India. The remaining 20-odd brigades were equipped with medium tanks and were designated as 'Armoured' though still had the same infantry-support role (the three brigades in Burma being the exception - designated as 'Tank', but being equipped with a mix of Sherman, Lee/Grant and Stuart, though replacement with Churchill was underway for one of the brigades).

XXX Corps in Market-Garden had the independent 8th Armoured Brigade under command (4/7th Dragoon Guards, 13/18th Hussars, Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry, 12th KRRC & 147th Fd Regt RA) and was further reinforced by 44th RTR from 33rd Armoured Brigade and 15/19th Hussars from 11th Armoured Division. All of these units were initially under the command of 43rd (Wessex) Division, but some of the armour was detached along the way to support the US Airborne Divisions (44 RTR & 15/19 H to 101st Airborne and SRY to 82nd Airborne). There were also some additional Recce and Armoured Car units attached from other formations. There was no 'Funny' support from 79th Armoured Division, as they were busy dealing with the fortified Channel Ports at that time.

In terms of MT, an infantry division had roughly enough 3-Tonner TCVs to lift one of its three brigades at a time (or one battalion in each brigade). This could later be supplemented by 'Kangaroos' from 79th Armoured Division (there were eventually five squadrons of Kangaroos, each of which could lift a battalion). Armoured Divisions had enough TCVs to lift its single infantry brigade and Armoured Brigades of Armoured Divisions (as well as a few independent brigades, such as the 8th Armoured Brigade) also included a 'Motor Battalion', which was fully mechanised with halftracks and carriers.

[edited, as I'd said seven brigades and then listed eight...]
 
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exspy

LE
By September 1944 there were seven independent Armoured/Tank Brigades in 21st Army Group, shared between five Corps (I, VIII, XII, XXX & II Canadian).

What a cogent, informed, accurate and concise response.

It's obvious you have no place on Arrse. Don't come back until you can opine endlessly on your career with THEM.
 
I forgot to add that the TCVs were only needed to transport the infantry platoons themselves, as everything else in the Infantry Battalion establishment had ample organic transport. If TCVs were unavailable, battalions could shuttle their own sub-units around using their own Echelon transport and/or Carrier Platoon, or get them to ride tanks (which happened quite a lot in Market-Garden).
 
I was recently reading up a bit about Op Market Garden, the part where 43rd (Wessex) Inf Div take over the drive to Arnhem from Guards Armoured leads me to ask the great and good on here a few questions. :grin:
It seems that WW2 Inf Divisions contained no integral tank units, what did they do if they needed armoured support?
What transport did they have?
The army was made up of both Regular and TA divisions, containing Regular and TA units. Did these units stay strictly manned with Regular or TA soldiers on the relevant service type or did they get jumbled up in the need for manpower?
I think once the TA was mobilised in 1939 every recruit joining the army entered as 'Hostilities Only' whether they volunteered or were conscripted and would be posted to whatever unit needed them, regular or reserve. Any extra battalions of a regiment formed in wartime would be part of the TA even though the TA had been mobilised and was full time. This why most of the wartime Parachute battalions were formed from TA battalions. When the Parachute Regiment was formed in November 1942 regular soldiers still belonged to their original regiment but pre-war TA and wartime H.O. soldiers became part of the Army Air Corp.
 

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