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TO&E for the basic US infantry squad/platoon

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by A-58, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    In a basic US rifle squad, what was the TO&E for personal weapons? I've noticed in pictures and newsreels of different soldiers carrying an assortment of weapons, with the most being the M-1 Garand of course, and after that the M-1 Carbine. Who is assigned the thompson, the grease gun, the garand and the carbine in the squad and platoon? Then where does the Springfield rifle w/scope and the shotgun come in? Or the M-2 Carbine? When I was in the army, each squad was broken down into two 5 man fire teams, and each fire team had the team leader and automatic rifleman (w/the M-16 selector switch set on rock & roll), the grenadiar with the M-203, and two riflemen with their M-16s set on semi-auto. Our squad leaders had their rifles on full auto as well, and the platoon sergeants frequently carried shotguns w/.45 sidearms. The LT carried a rifle too. I was the M-60 gunner for quite some time, so I guess my equivelent to a WW2 era squad would be the BAR man. We all carried LAWs, so that probably replaced the need for the bazooka team. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    The basic rifle squad had 12 men. A squad leader, assistant leader, four grenadiers, a three man BAR team and, three riflemen. Equipment was typically 10 or 11 M1 Rifles (Garand), 1 1903 Springfield with scope (if so equipped), one BAR (later changed to two in late 1944), and 4 grenade launcher attachments.
    Thompson SMGs were available for issue in the company HQ (there were officially 12) when the mission called for these. Some ncos and officers just carried one instead of their rifle by preference.
    The two assistant BAR men and the BAR gunner each carried a special set of pouches for BAR magazines (officially 8 each) along with reduced rifle ammo. But, it was typical of squads in the field for everyone to carry two or three BAR magazines.
    Although 4 grenadiers were provided more often squads kept only one or two rifle grenade launchers in service. Everyone would carry one or two rifle grenades forward. A common mod here was to clip a 60mm mortar bomb on the rifle grenade base for house busting in urban areas. The M9A1 antitank HEAT round was also frequently carried.
    A bazooka or bazooka team could be attached from company HQ if needed.
    Tactics were officially that the squad broke into three sections. The grenadiers and BAR team covered the assistant squad leader or squad leader and maneuver section (riflemen) in the advance. This didn't work in practice.
    In practice most squads got 2 BARS and spilt into two teams under the squad leader and ASL. Each team had a BAR and rifle grenade launcher along with several riflemen. The teams would leapfrog covering each other in the advance. That was learned from experiance rather than theory.

    Three squads plus a headquarters section made up the platoon.
     
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  3. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

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    When did the 2 bar issue occur? Late 1944 or early 1945?
     
  4. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    [​IMG]

    "On paper the Rifle Squad was 7 Riflemen with Garands, Squad and Assistant Leader carried M1s as well, the Automatic Rifleman had a BAR and the Assistant Auto Rifleman had a M1, and the Ammo bearer had a M1.

    On paper M1s were standard issue. But the NCOs usually had a SMG or carbine for the close range fights. There is no real standard for the TOE for the rifle squad. But Garands were definaltly the main weapon.




    Personally i dont like the BAR. Which is why my mod is going towards the Airborne. Their loadout was very good. They refused to use the BAR because they needed more firepower and felt it lacked it.
    • 1 Squad Leader(SSgt)-------M1 Garand Rifle, or Thompson SMG
    • 1 Assistant Leader(Sgt)------M1 Garand Rifle, Carbine, or SMG
    • 7 Riflemen ------------------M1 Garand Rifles and (2 max) Carbines
    • 1 Machine Gunner-----------M1919A4/6, and a Carbine
    • 1 Assistant Gunner----------M1 Carbine
    • 1 Ammo bearer---------M1 Garand Rifle
    That is the closest thing to a standard Airborne Rifle squad. Again they varied, but with the weapons show in that table. Platoon HQ had the 1st and 2nd Lieutenants carrying Carbines or SMGs, and the Platoon Sergeant and Guide had Rifles and Carbines. I read about the loadout of a squad for a certain mission, they had all SMGs and carbines with 2 Garands. So the loadout could be taylored for any mission. What i read was for a very close urban mission."






    "Early in World War 2 the US Army had millions of 1903 Springfield. So a squad would have 10 1903 Springfield, 1 or 2 Thompson machine gun and or a BAR.
    As production of the M-1 Garand picked up it replaced the 1903 in the US Army first and then the US Marines. A late war squad would look like this, 1 BAR, 1 1903 Springfield Rifle, and 10 M-1 Garand Rifles. Some squads might have 1 Thompson or a M-3 sub machine gun."



    US Army 1944 40 men
    HQ = 4
    - Platoon Leader
    - 3 Rifleman
    3 X Rifle Squad = 12 each
    - Leader (Sub-machine gun)
    - Assistant Leader (BAR)
    - 10 Rifleman

    US Army Armored Infantry World War II 57 men
    Platoon HQ = 12
    - Commander
    - Platoon Sergeant
    - Staff Sergeant
    - Driver
    - 8 Rifleman
    2 X Rifle Squad = 12 each
    - Staff Sergeant
    - Assistant (sergeant)
    - Driver
    - 9 Rifleman
    MG Squad = 12
    - Staff Sergeant
    - Assistant (Sergeant)
    - 2 Gunner
    - 2 Ammo handler
    - Driver
    - 5 Rifleman
    Mortar Squad = 9
    - Staff Sergeant
    - 2 Gunner
    - 2 Ammo Handler
    - 2 Rifleman
    - 2 Driver

    US Army Airborne World War II 39/51 men
    Platoon HQ = 7
    - 2 Officers
    - Platoon Sergeant
    - Sergeant Guide
    - 3 Messengers (1 RTO)
    2-3 Rifle Squad X 12
    each
    Mortar Squad = 6 (1 X 60mm mortar)

    US Army 1943 41 men
    Platoon HQ = 5
    - Lieutenant
    - Platoon Sergeant
    - Staff Sergeant
    - 2 Runner
    3 X Rifle Squad = 12 each
    - Staff Sergeant
    - Sergeant
    - Assault Group = 7
    o 2 Scouts
    o 5 Rifleman
    - Automatic Rifle Group
    o Gunner
    o Assistant Gunner
    o Ammunition Carrier
    TOEs: Rifle Platoons


    1. figs. 19, 31, and 32.) Letters enclosed in rectangles are abbreviations to indicate the members of the rifle squad:
    Letter Individual Weapon
    S Sergeant, squad leader M1 rifle
    C Corporal, assistant squad leader. M1903 rifle for antitank rifle grenades
    AR Automatic rifleman Browning automatic rifle
    AAR Assistant automatic rifleman Carbine
    AB Ammunition bearer Carbine
    R Rifleman M1 rifle

    HyperWar: FM 7-10: Rifle Company, Rifle Regiment


    [​IMG]

    Construction required in organizing rifle squad defense area.

    Various sources with different TO&Es.Of course there were various differences in combat strength and weapons due to individual soldier's tastes and unit needs and levels of unit strength.
     
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  5. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Jeez JC,

    That was very informative reply to say the least. I believe that just about covers my request. As Elvis would say, "thank you, thank you very much."

    Much obliged.
     
  6. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Thanks LOL. Im pleased to help. I especially like the US Army Field Manual 7-10. Comes in handy LOL.One of the many that I have downloaded in my collection. :D
     
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  7. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    That was amazing JC I have even bookmarked it for later reading.
     
  8. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Thanks. Im glad you liked :).
     
  9. Michael J. Matzer

    Michael J. Matzer recruit

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    Great post from JCFalkenbergIII. It was very useful for me. But I wonder if the .30 cal machinegun was sometimes used instead of BAR? Or was there always separate fire MG team? We're trying to display ww2 INFANTRY unit and want to put MG into our squad. Is it wrong to have MG team in the rifle squad? (We don't have any BARs to use). The numbers are same I suppose - one man as machine gunner, another one who carry tripod and the last one who carry ammunition. Thanks for your advice
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm not an expert here but my impression is that the basic US infantry squad would not have a .30 caliber mg. It might be assigned an mg team based on the mission or if it were equipped with vehicles then they might have a tripod for one or more of the vehicle mounted ones. Looking at at TOE I have for the marine corp thier MGs were in the battalions MG company. The same source has a list for an US army armored infantry regiment. It lists mgs in the regimental HQ, Service company, and in the infantry battalions (18 per battalion in the March 1 1942 listing). The mg's are listed in company HQ, MG plattoon, and 2 are listed in the MG squad or the rifle platoon. However it should be noted that halftracks are also listed. The period FM's are on line and might be a better source.
     
  11. boomit4

    boomit4 recruit

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    Airborne Platoon Structure, Normandy


    (Note: 1 man in the squad was the designated scout. He had the option between the Garand, Carbine, If he chose the Carbine, one Carbine Spot would be removed. Same with Garand. Along with that, the as shown there isn't 3 Thompson's like you guys thought. In WWII they realized Thompson's were getting too expensive so they made the grease gun making it so only 2-3 Thompson's were used in a squad instead of 5.)

    -The Ammunition Carrier Carried and M1A1 Carbine, along with the Assistant Gunner

    -3x Rifle Squads All with 12 Men.


    Platoon Leader: 2nd Lt/1st Lt -- Thompson/Carbine
    Platoon Sergeant: SSgt -- Thompson/Carbine

    Squad Leader: Sgt -- Thompson/Carbine/Garand
    Assistant Squad Leader: Cpl -- Carbine/Garand
    Squad Machine Gunner: Pvt/Pfc -- M1919A4 Browning Machine Gun
    Garand Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- M1 Garand
    Garand Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- M1 Garand - M7 Grenade Launcher
    Garand Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- M1 Garand - M7 Grenade Launcher
    Carbine Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- M1A1 Carbine - Designated Ammunition Carrier
    Carbine Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- M1A1 Carbine - Assistant Machine Gunner
    Carbine Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- M1A1 Carbine
    Sub Machine Gunner: Pvt/Pfc -- Thompson
    Sub Machine Gunner: Pvt/Pfc -- Grease Gun
    Sub Machine Gunner: Pvt/Pfc -- Grease Gun

    -6 man Mortar team

    Mortar Squad Leader: Cpl/Sgt -- Carbine/Thompson
    Main Mortar Man: Pvt/Cpl -- M60 Mortar, and 1 M1A1 Carbine
    Assistant Mortarman: Pvt/Pfc -- Carbine
    Mortar Ammunition Man: Pvt/Pfc -- Garand
    Garand Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- Garand
    Sub Machine Gunner: Pvt/Pfc -- Grease Gun

    Airborne Platoon Structure, Holland

    (Note: In Holland the only time they would have a 2nd Lt as a Platoon leader is if; A- The 2nd Lt is a replacement for the old Platoon Leader. B- The platoon leader was injured early in Normandy and did not return to the battle zone until it was time to go to Holland.)

    Platoon Leader: 1st Lt/2nd Lt-- Thompson/Carbine
    Platoon Sergeant: SSgt/TSgt -- Thompson/Carbine/Garand

    -3x Rifle Squads All with 12 Men.

    Squad Leader: SSgt -- Thompson/Carbine/Garand
    Assistant Squad Leader: Sgt -- Thompson/Carbine/Garand
    Squad Machine Gunner: Pvt/Pfc -- M1919A4 Browning Machine Gun
    Garand Rifleman: Pvt/Cpl -- M1 Garand
    Garand Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- M1 Garand - M7 Grenade Launcher
    Garand Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- M1 Garand - M7 Grenade Launcher
    Carbine Rifleman: Pvt/Cpl -- M1A1 Carbine
    Carbine Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- M1A1 Carbine - Designated Ammunition Carrier
    Carbine Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- M1A1 Carbine - Assistant Machine Gunner
    Sub Machine Gunner: Pvt/Pfc -- Thompson
    Sub Machine Gunner: Pvt/Pfc -- Grease Gun
    Sub Machine Gunner: Pvt/Pfc -- Grease Gun

    -6 man Mortar team

    Mortar Squad Leader: Sgt/SSgt -- Carbine/Thompson
    Main Mortar Man: Cpl/Sgt -- M60 Mortar, and 1 M1A1 Carbine
    Assistant Mortarman: Pvt/Pfc -- Carbine
    Mortar Ammunition Man: Pvt/Pfc -- Garand
    Garand Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- Garand
    Sub Machine Gunner: Pvt/Pfc -- Grease Gun

    Airborne Platoon Structure, Battle of the Buldge

    (Note: In battle of the Bulge, the airborne realized they didn't need there sub machine gun spots like they did in Normandy and Holland. So they decided to remove 2 of the Sub Machine Gunner Positions and replaced them with 2 Browning Automatic Rifle Spots because of the more snowy weather and because there was no close quarter fighting like in Normandy or Holland.)

    (Note: In battle of the Bulge, a 2nd Lt would only be there as a replacement for the original Platoon Leader.)

    Platoon Leader: 1st Lt/2nd Lt -- Thompson/Carbine
    Platoon Sergeant: SSgt/TSgt -- Thompson/Carbine/Garand

    -3x Rifle Squads All with 12 Men.

    Squad Leader: SSgt -- Thompson/Carbine/Garand
    Assistant Squad Leader: Sgt -- Thompson/Carbine/Garand
    Squad Machine Gunner: Pvt/Pfc -- M1919A4 Browning Machine Gun
    Garand Rifleman: Pvt/Cpl -- M1 Garand
    Garand Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- M1 Garand - M7 Grenade Launcher
    Garand Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- M1 Garand - M7 Grenade Launcher
    Carbine Rifleman: Pvt/Cpl -- M1A1 Carbine
    Carbine Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- M1A1 Carbine - Designated Ammunition Carrier
    Carbine Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- M1A1 Carbine - Assistant Machine Gunner
    Sub Machine Gunner: Pvt/Pfc -- Thompson
    Automatic Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- BAR
    Automatic Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- BAR

    -6 man Mortar team

    Mortar Squad Leader: Sgt/SSgt -- Carbine/Thompson
    Main Mortar Man: Cpl/Sgt -- M60 Mortar, and 1 M1A1 Carbine
    Assistant Mortarman: Pvt/Pfc -- Carbine
    Mortar Ammunition Man: Pvt/Pfc -- Garand
    Garand Rifleman: Pvt/Pfc -- Garand
    Sub Machine Gunner: Pvt/Pfc -- Grease Gun
     
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  12. gunbunnyb/3/75FA

    gunbunnyb/3/75FA Member

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    don't forget that officers and nco's would have carried the .45 m-1911 pistol as well, as would have machine gun and mortar section leaders, with the other members carrying what ever pistol they could snag onto.
     
  13. Alaskarat

    Alaskarat Member

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    I have found that a unit’s TOE and MTOE (Modified) are not so standard once a unit arrives to the field. Also none of these tables took in effect MTOE. As I look at the TOE I see where some folks were authorized Carbines, my best guess is given the chance to have the Garand over the Carbine a soldier would chose the Garand. So I guess what I am saying is not to lean to hard on the TOE/MTOE as to what an actual unit would have had on hand for personnel and weapons.

    In 1985 for example a Huey in El Salvador was authorized two M60D machine guns while the aircrew was authorized .38 revolvers. What really was on board the aircraft was in fact two M60Ds, one M60 (ground) on CAR-15, individual side arms varied because of our orders stating Privately Owned Weapons (POWS) Authorized. In my case an M1911A1 and an AK-47 barrowed from the embassies’ captured weapons vault. During the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] Gulf war a Platoon Sergeant (me) was authorized a 9mm. Yeah right and I also added to my TOE an M16A2.
     
  14. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Seems odd to have two different type .45 caliber submachine guns - M1 Thompson and M3 "grease gun" - within a squad.
     
  15. Vanir

    Vanir Member

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    not that I'd have any idea but a suggestion could be...perhaps the thompson was preferred by people like squad leaders who got personal choice (more expensive production usually means better machined and better reputation for serviceability, accuracy, etc. doesn't it, like the way German MG teams actually preferred MG34 over MG42 despite performance increase)
    ...whereas the greasegun was issued to designated "submachine gunners" in europe, specifically because it comes with a spare barrel chambered for 9mm parabellum and adapts readily in the field for captured ammunition.

    ? just a total guess ?
     
  16. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Personal choice is a good point, but it would manifest itself as someone carrying a different weapon from the one in the TO&E; there were a lot of irregularities especially in veteran units which had had opportunities to scrounge or swap weapons.

    To me it still seems odd that the TO&E would specify different SMGs, though as you say there were some differences. Have to wonder if troops in the field would carry a spare 9mm barrel, magazines, etc.; if they did capture a stash of German ammo they would likely also capture an MP40 or something to shoot it.

    Side note - does anyone recall the Vietnam series Tour of Duty, on TV about 15 years ago? In one season the principal cast members were assigned to SOG, which apparently entitled them (or the props department) to use whatever weapons they wanted. Not only did they all carry different weapons, but as I recall no two of them even used the same ammunition:
    M-16 - 5.56mm
    AK-47 - 7.62x39
    M-60 - 7.62x51
    9mm SMG, French MAT-49 IIRC, maybe a Swedish K
    And something else, maybe a 12-gauge shotgun, been a long time since I saw it.
     
  17. Vanir

    Vanir Member

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    yeah true, I just remembered in passing that it was "readily adaptable for captured ammunition" I read, and didn't think that it was probably dropped to partisan groups in 9mm config and equipped to US troops exclusively in .45 config.

    I looked it up in just a commercial publication I have (not a detailed reference book) and it claims there were a great number of complaints with the initial version of the grease gun that was issued. It cites the wire stock bending in use, breech mechanisms being inadequate grade metallurgy and the cocking handles snapping off in the field. It was related to the factories producing them never having made guns before, it says and despite being rectified fairly quickly in service, this caused such a terrible reputation for the weapon that many servicemen particularly in European deployment simply refused to carry it wherever they had any other alternative. It says that in the Pacific there was little choice but it was grudglingly accepted during the course of service as a reliable, although never celebrated weapon.
    One of Chris Bishop's books printed recently.
     
  18. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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    Good thread. Well worth a bump.

    I thought this excellent 1942 Training film for Non-commissioned officers (NCO's) on battle formations would fit in well here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzEfslwknZs
     
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