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DIVISIONS AND HIGHER COMBAT UNITS 3 Under this head come the division sive application of combat power at the (three types), the corps, the field army, critical place and time. Combat power the army group, and task forces. consists primarily of a judicious com

DIVISIONS. A division, as the term bination of troop units (battle groups, is used today, is the smallest type of armor battalions, and armored cavalry Army unit which includes elements of squadrons) and fires (atomic and/or infantry, artillery, armor, and service nonatomic fires) delivered by mortar, troops as part of its permanent organ- artillery, and/or rocket means. ization, is commanded by a general In the offense, its attack is charofficer, and is capable of sustained com- acterized by atomic and nonatomic bat operations when it receives the fires; the swift movement of selected normal logistical support from higher troop units; and a violent assault on headquarters.

the enemy, to destroy him at once if Some historians credit France with possible, otherwise by the rapid exfirst employing such units, in the later ploitation of initial successes. It is years of the 18th century. Napoleon usually carried out by either envelopmade extensive use of divisional for- ing or penetrating the enemy force. mations. According to some records, Envelopment may be used when an however, it was in the 19th century enemy flank has been located, or when that they began to appear in peacetime there are gaps between enemy units; European armies. Prussia adopted the our mobile troop units can then attack divisional organization after the Napo- around the flank or through the gaps, leonic wars. In this country, the divi- secure objectives (usually terrain sion as

a permanent type of tactical areas) deep in the enemy's rear, and unit assumed its present significance capture or destroy him. Penetration is with the passage of the National De- usually resorted to when the situation fense Act of 8 June 1916, by which does not favor envelopment. It is Regular Army units were assigned to directed at the enemy's main position, brigades and divisions.

which it seeks to rupture. Enemy reOur Army has three types, the in- sistance is isolated and neutralized, in fantry, airborne, and armored divisions. the area selected for attack, by atomic

Infantry Division. The infantry divi- and/or nonatomic fire; this is followed sion is organized on the pentagonal immediately by the rapid movement of concept, based on four main principles: troops into and through the area, to ready adaptability to the requirements roll back the shoulders of the penetraof the atomic battlefield; pooling at tion. The momentum of the attack is higher echelon of equipment and units sustained by moving fresh troops not habitually required within sub- through the ruptured enemy defenses. ordinate units; recognition of the in- As with envelopment, the aim is to creased span of control possible through capture or destroy the enemy by seizmodern signal communications; and ing objectives in his rear. adaptability to the integration of new

When employed on the defense, the and better materiel as it is developed. division generally repels the enemy's Its largest combat units are its battle

assault by atomic and/or nonatomic groups, of which there are five per

fires (artillery and/or rocket), madivision. They are supplemented by neuver of troop units, and close coman armor battalion, an armored cavalry bat. It usually locates its battle groups squadron, divisional artillery, and other

along the forward edge of the battle troops. The strength of the division is

area and in depth throughout the divi820 officers, 64 warrant officers, and

sion sector. To gain this depth, battle 12,864 enlisted men; total 13,748.

groups in the rear are located in blockThe infantry division's primary mis- ing positions, or are held mobile and sion is to destroy or repel the enemy. dispersed in assembly areas;

these It accomplishes this mission by aggres- groups, together with the armor bat

: For the war records of individual divisions, corps, etc., see chapter 28.

talion and armored cavalry squadron, are employed (a) to block, or destroy by counterattack, the enemy in any sector where he may have penetrated or enveloped our unit positions, and (b) to destroy any enemy elements which may have gotten to our rear areas by air transport or infiltration. Emphasis is placed on the destruction of the enemy in those sectors, and on that terrain, which are most favorable to the defender. Usually, just before our troops close with the enemy, he is subjected to atomic and/or nonatomic fire by artillery and/or rockets.

In exploiting the effects of fire power it is essential that troops move fast. In atomic warfare, a division is widely dispersed under normal conditions. It is concentrated for the minimum time needed to bring to bear its whole combat power and secure its objective. Thereafter it is again rapidly dispersed, to reduce its vulnerability to atomic attack.

Forty-three infantry divisions were organized during World War I. Sixtyseven were active at the peak of mobilization for World War II. Eight (including the 1st Cavalry Division) were employed in Korea in the period 195053.

The Airborne Division. The airborne division is designed to effect "vertical envelopment” by airborne assault, using parachutes, Air Force troop carrier assault landing aircraft, and/or Army aviation.

Our first airborne divisions, the 82d and 101st, were organized on 15 August 1942. By the end of World War II the Army had five such divisions overseas, one of them in the Asiatic-Pacific theater and the other four in the Mediterranean-European theater.

Since that war the airborne divi. sion's capabilities have been greatly increased by better transport aircraft and heavier parachute drop equipment. The World War II division's chief means of transport was an Air Force version of the Douglas DC-3, a 1937 model commercial airline workhorse with a speed of only 150 miles per hour. Its cargo capacity seldom exceeded 5,000 to 6,000 pounds for a 300-mile radius, and its cargo doors were so small that parachute

delivery was restricted to man-sized items of 500 pounds or less. The division could not deliver by parachute a single vehicle, or any type of artillery except the small 75mm pack howitzer. By contrast, the present division, using the Air Force's latest 350-mile-perhour transport aircraft and the Army's latest heavy drop techniques, can deliver by parachute, within a 2,000-mile radius, heavy items of equipment up to and over 25,000 pounds; for example, 762mm Honest John rocket launchers, 155mm howitzers, bulldozers, 5-ton trucks, and 90mm self-propelled, tracked Scorpion antitank guns. This combination of modern Air Force transports and Army heavy drop equipment was highly successful in a number of operations conducted in Korea by the 187th Airborne Combat Team.

The airborne division, like the infantry division, has ive battle groups as its largest combat components. It differs from the infantry division as follows(1) Its battle groups have five rifle

companies each, instead of four as

in the infantry division. (2) It has no organic tanks, armored

personnel carriers, or 155mm

8-inch howitzers. (3) It has less than half as many

34-ton and larger trucks. (4) It has four 762mm rocket launch

ers, as against two in the infantry

division. (5) It has a support group, organized

a functional and streamlined basis, which is responsible for the

logistic operations of the division. (6) Its equipment is lighter and more

rugged and austere. All of its combat elements, with equipment, can be carried in Air Force medium transport aircraft (C-119, C-123, C130). In contrast, much of the combat equipment of the infantry division must be carried in heavy C-124 aircraft (a total of several hundred are needed to move all such equipment of the division in one lift); and its tanks and tank recovery vehicles are not air-transportable even in the heaviest Air Force

transport aircraft, the C-133. (7) It has fewer personnel: 657 of

ficers, 76 warrant officers, and 10,



753 enlisted persons, a total of 11,

486. Usually the division is boldly delivered by air, directly on or near its objective, to achieve surprise. The following missions are considered particularly well suited for airborne divisions; airborne raids deep in the enemy's rear, to destroy or neutralize an objective and then withdraw; strategic or tactical airborne operations, with or without the friendly use of nuclear weapons, to seize hostile territory that is otherwise inaccessible because of major geographical barriers or because seizure is beyond the capabilities of other forces; assisting friendly ground forces over major rivers or other barriers by seizing and holding critical objectives; reinforcing friendly forces that have become isolated.

Once on the ground, the airborne division's tactics are essentially those of the infantry division.

Our present airborne divisions are composed entirely of personnel who have volunteered for parachute duty. This has resulted in an extremely high esprit de corps.

Armored Division. This is the Army's basic large armored unit. The first armored divisions were organized in 1940. By the middle of 1943 there were 16 of them. All were employed in combat in the European theater in World War II. None was used in the Korean War.

As compared with the infantry division(1) The armored division has four armored battalions and four armored infantry battlions, whereas the infantry division has one armor battalion, and its five infantry elements

are organized into battle groups. (2) Its engineer battalion has four

engineer companies and a bridge company, as compared with the infantry division engineer battalion, which has five engineer

companies. (3) It has a quartermaster battalion

instead of a quartermaster com

pany. (4) The infantry division has a trans

portation battalion which provides trucks and armored personnel car

riers sufficient to transport the combat elements of two battle groups. Each armored infantry battalion of the armored division has organic armored personnel carriers to trans

port all combat elements. (5) It has three 105mm self-pro

pelled field artillery battalions instead of the one 105mm towed field artillery battalion of the infantry

(6) The armored cavalry squadron,

signal battalion, medical battalion,
ordnance battalion, aviation com-
pany, administration company, and
division trains of the two divisions
have a like function and a similar
organization. The field artillery
composite battalions of the two are
similarly organized.
(7) The armored division is some-
what the larger of the two, with
921 officers, 90 warrant officers, and

13,606 enlisted persons; total 14,617. The armored division is characterized by

A high degree of tactical mobility, either on roads or cross country. All elements are mounted on tracklaying or wheeled vehicles or in Army aircraft.

An integrated weapons system composed of armor-protected large-caliber tank guns, machineguns, and mortars.

Inherent protection afforded by the armor, which enables this heavy firepower to be advanced through fireswept areas or areas contaminated with chemical, biological, radiological agents, or the induced radiation resulting from nuclear explosions.

Immediately responsive, mobile nuclear delivery means which can be rapidly brought to bear on area targets or heavy-caliber nonatomic fires as required.

Light and medium nonatomic mored artillery, with excellent crosscountry mobility, rapid in-and-out-ofaction features, and on-carriage ammunition and crew transport.

Flexibility afforded by cellular-type organizations; an extensive and versatile communications system; and mobile, responsive service and combat support units geared to the momentum and needs of armored division operations.





By capitalizing on its characteristics, the armored division can rapidly and decisively attain its assigned objectives. This is normally done by a combination of fast maneuver and the rapid concentration of the division's firepower and physical mass against the enemy's most vulnerable areas before he has time to react effectively to the attack.

The 360 tanks, 714 other heavy tracklaying vehicles, and 987 242-ton and 5-ton trucks of the division place certain limitations on its employment. All interested commanders and staffs must recognize these limitations, and must make careful plans to overcome minimize them.

The armored division has no fixed organization for combat. In its operations the task force concept is usually employed. There are three combat command headquarters. A task force is formed around such a headquarters as a nucleus, for a particular mission, by attaching to the headquarters such tanks, armored infantry battalions, and engineer, artillery, and service support as the situation requires. Similarly, battalion task forces are formed within a combat command task force, by cross attachment of tank and armored infantry companies between battalions, adding such other of the units available to the combat command task force as are needed.

The armored division is especially suited to the following types of mission

Exploitation of the successes of other units and of the effects of atomic fires, as a decisive element of a larger force.

Pursuit of enemy forces.

Covering force for a higher command conducting offensive, defensive, or retrograde operations.

Striking force of a higher command which is on the defensive or conducting a mobile defense.

In conjunction with any of the foregoing, the destruction of enemy armored formations.

Special operations, such as offensive action against enemy airborne or guerrilla forces, and operations in conjunction with airborne and amphibious operations.

Operational reserve of a field army or higher command.

THE CORPS. The next larger unit above the division is the corps. The name comes from the French “corps d'armée," meaning one of the principal bodies of troops that form an army. After adopting the divisional formation in the latter part of the 18th century, the French army also adopted a "mutually supporting system of two or more divisions integrated into a corps." Napoleon introduced the permanent corps d'armée; and since then all important ground forces have included corps in their organization. In this country they were first used during the Civil War, when both sides employed corps, or "army corps" as they were sometimes called, as major tactical units.

A corps is normally under a field army. Its nucleus is a headquarters and a limited number of organic combat support and service support troops, as follows

Of wo EM Total Headquarters, corps 100 16 146 262 Headquarters company, corps

4 55 68 Headquarters and Head

quarters battery
corps artillery

31 5 132 168 Field artillery observation battalion

39 12 736 787 Signal battalion corps 41 5 1106 1132 Engineer topographic company, corps

4 3 107 114 Corps aviation company 48

120 168 Corps artillery aviation company


105 156 Military police company, corps


193 198 To this nucleus the field army commander allocates two or more divisions, plus whatever additional support troops the situation indicates. These allocated troops do not form a permanent part of the corps; they may be increased or decreased, and divisions may be shifted from one corps to another, as circumstances dictate.

The corps is essentially a tactical unit of execution and maneuver. Its commander is primarily concerned with combat operations. He normally exercises only such control over the service and administrative activities of his attached forces as is essential to accomplish his mission.

A corps may also operate as an independent unit in the field, rather than as a part of a field army. It is then known as an independent corps, and is directly under a headquarters higher


than field army, or is part of a joint force. It performs most of the combat and administrative functions normally performed by a field army. This requires the assignment or attachment of additional service and combat support units, and additional personnel for the corps staff.

A corps is designated by a Roman numeral, as "III Corps.” In the Spanish-American

War we employed two corps (both of them independent); in World War I, nine; in World War II, twenty-eight. In the Korean War there were three U. S. corps, together with two corps of the Republic of Korea.

FIELD ARMY. The field army is the next larger unit above the corps.

In the early days of our history, all Army units in a certain area grouped under a single senior commander, and identified by a place or area name such as “Army of the Potomac.” These armies varied greatly in size and organization. During World War I the First and Second U. S. Armies were organized and employed as a part of the AEF. The Third U. S. Army was later utilized as the principal unit of the American Army of Occupation in Germany. In 1932, tactical Army units in the United States were organized into field armies, whose commanders were given responsibility for the tactical training of the field forces. This was done to facilitate expansion in the event of mobilization. During the planning in 1940-1942, a "type field army" was adopted, consisting of a specified number of corps, divisions, and nondivisional units.

The following units are organic to a type field army

Of WO EM Total

its mission, may differ from the "type field army" as regards number of divisions and supporting troops, number of corps, assignment of divisions to corps, etc. Its central characteristic is that it is self-contained and has the means for carrying out its tactical and administrative responsibilities.

The reinforcing units of a field army are normally allocated to its several corps prior to an operation, except for a small reserve which the field army retains. The battle is influenced, at field army level, by transferring divisions from one corps to another to increase the pressure on the enemy at the critical point.

A field army is designated by a spelled-out number followed by the word “Army," as "Third Army" (the term "field" being omitted), unless there is some reason for another designation. The following is a list of our field armies in World War II, with their principal commandersFirst Army-Lt. Gen. Courtney H. Hodges Third Army-Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. Fifth Army-Lt. Gen. Lucian K. Truscott Sixth Army-Gen. Walter Krueger Seventh Army-Lt. Gen. Alexander M, Patch Eighth Army-Lt. Gen. Robert L. Eichel

berger Ninth Army-Lt. Gen. William H. Simpson Tenth Army-Lt. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buck

ner, Jr. Fifteenth Army-Lt. Gen, L. T. Gerow First Allied Airborne Army-Lt. Gen. L. H.

Brereton Following World War II, the Seventh Army was reorganized and employed in Germany. The Eighth Army remained in the Far East and participated in the Korean War.

ARMY GROUP. The army group is organized primarily to conduct largescale tactical and strategic operations, and normally has few logistical or administrative functions. It consists of a headquarters, the necessary supporting troops, and several field armies. In some situations it may also contain separate corps and divisions. It is the largest field organization under a single commander.

The creation of army groups is especia appropriate when the number of field armies under a theater commander is so large that he must deal with an undue number of subordinates. Their collection into army groups will then facilitate the theater commander's control of his troops.

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