Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Army Ground Forces by Mad Missouri
OFFICE OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL
ARMY GROUND FORCES
20 August 1946
MEMORANDUM FOR GENERAL OF THE ARMY EISENHOWER.
1. During the last four months Army Ground Forces has made great strides in executing the plan for the activation, equipping, training, and deployment of Army combat units. As per the meeting of 15 May 1946, the plan calls for the mobilization of 4 types of divisions: infantry, armored, mountain, airborne. The planned break down as it now stands is: 18 armored divisions, 69 infantry divisions, 4 airborne divisions, and 2 mountain divisions.
2. So far all existing divisions have been raised to full wartime strength, and 15 new divisions have been raised. Those new divisions being: 3 armored, 2 mountain, 1 airborne and 9 infantry. This process has been made much easier by the return of large numbers of trained veteran troops. For now each newly activated infantry or armored division is being built with a core of at least 1/3 to 1/2 of total personnel being experienced veterans. The numbers for the airborne divisions being closer to 3/4 veteran personnel. The fact that large numbers of trained and experienced troop already exist has allowed the reactivation, and training times to be cut shorter than originally planned. With the main problems causing delays being a lack of modern equipment types. Further divisions will be ready in groups of 20 with an expected readiness date for the next group is around October 1946, then another group being ready every 60 to 90 days.
3. Each armored division is being rebuilt to the new April 1946 Tables of Organization and Equipment that take into account lessons learned during the last war. Each infantry division is being rebuilt to a modified July 1943 Tables of Organization and Equipment that increase antitank capability while limiting manpower usage. Please see the attached pages for complete break downs for the new armored division.
4. The 18 armored divisions will include all 16 divisions from the last war, plus the 2 former cavalry divisions which will now be designated as the 1st and 2nd Armored Cavalry Divisions. In addition to the 18 planned armored divisions, 119 independent armored battalions will be raised to support the infantry. Also 80 self-propelled anti-tanks battalions will be formed out of the personnel from the former tank destroyer units.
5. So far the only problem of real concern is in a projected shortage of available manpower for combat replacements. In the last war there was a noticeable shortage of available combat replacements for much of 1944 and 1945. This caused the removal of many seemingly redundant support personnel from units for fill combat roles. This in turn had the unintended effect of unbalancing those units, and limiting their combat staying power. It is predicted that this will be an even larger problem during this war possibly starting as early as the summer of 1947. Based on manpower projections by December 1947 the only units that will have a steady surplus of available replacements will be the 3 segregated colored divisions. As we are already facing a huge manpower disadvantage against the Russians we must become more flexible in our staffing policies. To address this issue it is recommended that immediately the regulations be amended to allow all citizens not of the colored race to serve in regular Army divisions. This action will allow a larger available draft age manpower pool starting in winter 1946. Furthermore it is recommended that further battalion and regimental size segregated colored combat units be raised and assigned in an as needed bases to Regular Army divisions.
General J. L. Devers
Army Ground Forces
Summary of revised April 1946 Armored T/O & E:
1. Armored Division:
1 Division HQ Battalion
1 Heavy Tank Battalion (90mm gun tanks)
3 Medium Tank Battalions (76mm gun tanks)
4 Armored Infantry Battalions
1 Armored Field Artillery Battalion (155mm)
3 Armored Field Artillery Battalions (105mm)
1 Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron
1 Armored Medical Battalion
1 Ordnance Maintenance Battalion
1 Armored Engineer Battalion
1 Signal Company
1 Antitank GMC Company
1 Antiaircraft automatic gun Company