[US Army] Armored Division – Organization & Structure #Visualization


The organization and structure of an US Army “light” armored division in World War 2 – the September 1943 layout for all except 2 of the 16 armored divisions.

Script & further information:

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Zaloga, Steven J.: US Armored Divisions, European Theater of Operations, 1944-45

Stanton, Shelby L.: Order of Battle US Army World War II

—Credits & Special Thanks—
The Counter-Design is heavily inspired by Black ICE Mod for the game Hearts of Iron 3 by Paradox Interactive

Ethan Meixsell – Demilitarized Zone (the Irony :D)

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  1. Yo, im apart of a Realizm unit for the Post Scriptum WW2 game and i want to make a cool armor unit. Do you know whats a good tank unit is that worked with the 1st Ranger Battalion ? Love these vids! Keep on!

  2. Did you know that the sherman tank can be easily destroyed by the German tiger tank till the sherman upgraded there the tank by making it more thick I think

  3. The US stopped using the regimental command system and reorganized into "combat commands" which were roughly regiment in size but included battalions of all types, so for example a combat command might include 2 tank battalions, a motorized infantry battalion, a cav squadron, and an artillery battalion. After the 1950's the Army switched to using "brigades" as the sub unit of the division with a similar organization. Today we call them Brigade Combat Teams but they can trace their lineage to WWII with the combat commands. Hope that makes sense. Captain, US Army Retired.

  4. can you please do a video discussing how different factions operated command groups, examples would be US Combat command, Germans did kampfgruppe. what im looking for is how the different factios went about setting up add hoc units for centralizing command in a given engagement.

  5. There are many armored unit manuals under FMs (field manuals) an TMs (technical manuals):

    Light and Medium:

  6. The SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) was based on the concept of the "Combat Command", essentially, a trio of regimental command units (called CCA CCB and CCR-the "R" for "Reserve"), to which the Divisional Commander could assign his highly modular battalions.

    A very basic version of the combat command concept would equate to three equally composed Combat Commands, each with 1x Tank Battalion, 1x Mech Infantry Battalion, and 1x Mech Artillery Battalion.*

    This leaves the organic Cavalry Sqn, Engineer Batt, and any attached battalions (such as an Automatic Weapons Batt, or Antitank Batt) under direct command of the Divisional Commander for apportionment to various supporting, or variant, tasks.

    * Naturalich, as with Deutscher formations, the US Army Armored Division, when deployed for the advance, might have as its FLOT (Forward Line Of Troops) an ad-hoc Kampfgruppe combining the Mech Cav Sqn with other weapon units, such as detached medium tank platoons, single mech artillery batteries, or, preferentially, a Bren armed Lindy Beige. Unfortunately, there were not enough Lindy clones to go around, but this lack is currently being addressed in DARPA labs even as I write this.

  7. Fascinating and effective presentation. It would work really well as an interactive graphic… If you ever do something like that, I'd be all over it !cheers.

  8. The regimental structure was done away with because the US army had evolved the notion of the "combat command" for its armored divisions. A combat command was an HQ unit that could be assigned individual battalions or even companies as needed for a particular mission. The usual structure was 3 combat commands, A and B for combat operations and combat command "R" intended for rest and reserve. Actual use of combat commands varied by division. Some upgraded CCR to full combat status and simply assigned one tank, one armored infantry and one artillery battalion to each combat command, giving 3 separate combined arms subunits in the division.

  9. Thank you for all your efforts.
    Both the Soviet and US Army forces underwent TO&E reorganizations in the 1942-'43 period; the Soviets were still in the midst of major realignments during Kursk. This was also the real first period the US Army recognized the concept of the "brigade combat team" by forming Combat Commands in each division.
    Unlike the Germans and Soviets; who formed various "elite" divisions; the US Army strove for full standardization in divisional TO&E. Also, there's the "paper" TO&E for a given unit, and the actual based on attrition of personnel and equipment in the field. The formation of "elite" units can also be said of the US Army when looking at divisions like the 82nd and 101st with their number and type of parachute and glider regiments…those divisions held regiment status through the war. Then, there's the whole application of the Regimental Combat Team (or unit), which can add even more confusion as there wasn't uniformity from one division to the next.
    I, as someone who has studied this stuff for over 4 decades, genuinely appreciates your efforts. We used to have to dig through volumes and reams of written material the hard way.
    I look forward to going through all of your posts, and your future work.

  10. You should take a look at the Cold War era US Armored Cavalry regiments. Very unique formations I would say. The power of an armored division concentrated into a regiment.

  11. At least part of the reason for the "light" configuration was to optimize the balance of armor and infantry in the unit (this was common to all the combatants, the US just changed quicker than most). The "extra" 3 tank battalions from each "lightened" division mostly ended up attached to infantry divisions (though they were not "organic" to the TOE at that point). Both the armor and infantry division also almost always had a TD battalion attached (for infantry, this might be towed 3 inch guns).

    The 2 "heavy" divisions tended to have independent infantry attached to help balance the ratio post 1943.

    Yeah, you kinda dropped it on the Combat Commands. Which made the light division on paper binary (since CCR was a depot HQ). Though in practice, they became effectively "triangular".

    One graphic that would be useful (educational) would show the "rifle" strength of various nations' units as opposed to "ration strength" and explaining how different armies rebuilt units (and why the US army had a manpower issue in late 44 to 45, even with (fairly) light casualties, quite simply they were dividing up manpower in "build units" ratios instead of "keep units going" ratios, and had to turn a lot of specialist troops (especially AA) into regular infantry.

  12. soooo your videos are very helpfull for this era of military history! 😀 i have a hard time organizing all my sources for military organization by nation.

  13. So it means that none of US soldiers had to march to the battle :). It's huge when you compare it to the other nations. I just start to fully appreciate the power of US industry.

  14. These video breakdowns of historical divisions appeal to a much wider audience than your BF gamer group. I am glad you are focusing on organization and equipment.

    When I was much younger I drew the icons myself and made pamphlets showing T,O & E for all the WW2 divisions I could locate suitable data for. You presentations are more palatable and easier to assimilate.

    Good work.

  15. Gaming aside, what I find interesting is that the US Army today is not very different in structure at the company and battalion level, but has almost entirely done away with the regimental system of organization(though strangely enough not for naming conventions of battalions). Instead everything is brigade combat team based making it now the smallest fully self supporting combat formation. I understand this from a small wars perspective. But the lack of a cohesive organic leadership trace above the brigade level leaves a plug and lay system that has more weaknesses than strengths(opinion). Full combined arms integration was their strength in WWII and somehow it seems to have been put aside for ease of deployability.

  16. Amazing work man!!! I have a request, I'm french, and my english is enough to understand the main things, but your work is quite a precise stuff, with specific denomination etc, and you have a kind of strong, but nice of course, german (I think?) accent, so if you can put subtitles on your videos, it would be amazing!!! 😀

  17. Unfortunately I can not like this video. You completely missed THE key component to the Division these being the Combat Commands. These three bridge HQ equivalents were the actual command and controls centers for the division. The key was that they did not have any troops permanently assigned to them instead the division battalions could be assigned to them as needed for what ever tactical battle they were to fight. This gave the America Commands a degree of flexibility that other nations had to work hard to achieve.

  18. Thanks man! I've been (very slowly) making a guide on Steam for Men of War: Assault Squad 2 dealing with different historical companies

  19. Really good video. I do suggest adding the numbers in text. Like when listing the hundreds of MGs and 100s of jeeps to have the number at least appear briefly on the screen. Then it would be easier to write down. Also some people are more visual learners than audio learners so seeing a number is more memory effective than hearing it. Keep up the good work.

  20. great videos. keep them going. could you go into the rationality of why army units were arrayed that way?

  21. I've got an idea for a video! How about Air doctrine for Both NATO and Communist forces During the Korean War. Because both sides broke rules. Such as The American Fighters Crossing into China Trying to hunt for chinese Migs. And Soviet Pilots Fighting along side the north koreans even though they denied ever being directly involved in the war. I always found it fascinating.

  22. Rommel's mouth must have watered at all that equipment, Jesus.

    So the HOI4 division setup would be, I take it:

    -3 tank battalions
    -3 mechanized infantry battalions
    -3 artillery battalions
    -signal company
    -recon company
    -field hospital
    -maintainence company

    So I guess tank destroyers were independent battalions?

  23. is funny how the the germans clasified the panzer v "phanter" to médium tank. but is truth that the germans have a diferent parametres in terms of clasified the tanks.


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