US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 Jan 2022 23:02

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
19 Jan 2022 22:03
And one American soldier named Rommel, who sure did look like a more famous person with that name.
Course, he might have been one of the Polish Rommels... ;)
My home turf was heavily settled in the mid to latter 19th Century by Swabians, including a family named Rommel. Theres a park in Oxford Indiana named after that local family. Had their relationship to Irwin Rommel explained, but filed it away under useless information.
I was thinking of the branch of the Polish officers Juliusz Rommel and Karol Rommel.

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 20 Jan 2022 00:57

Not many Poles settled in Benton County too many Przeklęci Niemcy I guess.

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 20 Jan 2022 02:21

At risk of derailing the thread by returning to the OP I'll reflect on Rich Andersons remarks in Post #6.
The mobilization of new divisions required existing divisions to provide cadres of officers and enlisted men, who were in turn replaced by new recruits from the replacement training centers or later who were inducted and directly trained by the divisions. By August 1942, when the TORCH forces began organizing, the process of transferring personnel from unit to unit to even out experience was well underway. The 1st ID was probably the most experienced with many of its officers and NCO staff from the prewar "Old Army". However, it required about 4,000 men to bring it up to strength (as late as 1 January 1940 it had only about 7,800 enlisted personnel). The 9th ID was just as skeleton in January 1940, with about 3,000 personnel assigned to it (it had been maintained as a single-regiment "brigade" for most of the 1920s and 1930s with most of its units in hibernation. The 1st and 2d AD were formed in July 1940 from existing RA personnel, but there was only 9,859 officers and men with armor experience in the entire army. The 34th ID was National Guard, federalized in 1940, but sent to England early, with limited training and a mixed bag of equipment.
Estimating from that it might be ground combat divisions in Op TORCH had:

1st, 3rd Inf Div 20% 'Regular Army' & the balance either from the prewar reservists (near all officers), volunteers, & draftees. There is a question of where the line is between Regular Army & men who voluntarily enlisted in 1940-41. I've detected in the 'social history' a attitude the volunteers of those years were thought of as RA vs the early conscripts distributed to combat formations 1941-1942. Lacking numbers I cant say if that group was significant, but often perception is more important than numbers.

9th Inf Div. Beween 10 & 15 % RA. Probably closer to 10%. In the history there is a sense this was regarded as a RA division. Perhaps that comes back to volunteers of 1940 filling out a percent of this formation.

1st & 2d Armored Divisions. 10% RA ? Again the ambigious voluntary enlistees are a variable here. Theres also a question of National Guards men forming a portion of the newly minted Armored Infantry & Artillery Battalions. That would be men drawn from the reorganizing former NG divisions as they prepared to shed brigade HQ and the 4th infantry regiment. Perhaps that group would be insignificant or non existent, but there are references to this here & there.

34th ID. The question with any of the National Guard formations is how many original members had attritioned away by any given date & were replaced by Reserve officers & draftees. Using two different & very rough methods I'm seeing by Nov 1942 between 35 & 20 % as replacements for missing original member.

Corps units. This is always the forgotten group which in the context of the US Army has a importance way above its numbers. To often peopler counting divisions when they should be looking at the supporting formations in the corps group.

The question of the line between early volunteers considered Old Army and later arrivals might be better turned around a bit and placed somewhere to divide all the men who had less than a years training or time in service from those with more. From my own experience at training Marines, and being trained around eight months might be the line. That is the men who joined the Torch formations after January 1942 would be the significantly less skilled & less disciplined cohort. What percentage those were might be as useful a metric as anyone drafted before November 1941 would be a fairly useful soldier with a year of training and general existence in the Army environment.

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 20 Jan 2022 03:40

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Jan 2022 00:57
Not many Poles settled in Benton County too many Przeklęci Niemcy I guess.
Of course, given how fluid the borders in Central Europe were, and when someone emigrated, the same family could been identified as Poles, Germans, Austrians, Czechs, or Russians ...

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 20 Jan 2022 04:01

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Jan 2022 02:21
At risk of derailing the thread by returning to the OP I'll reflect on Rich Andersons remarks in Post #6.
The mobilization of new divisions required existing divisions to provide cadres of officers and enlisted men, who were in turn replaced by new recruits from the replacement training centers or later who were inducted and directly trained by the divisions. By August 1942, when the TORCH forces began organizing, the process of transferring personnel from unit to unit to even out experience was well underway. The 1st ID was probably the most experienced with many of its officers and NCO staff from the prewar "Old Army". However, it required about 4,000 men to bring it up to strength (as late as 1 January 1940 it had only about 7,800 enlisted personnel). The 9th ID was just as skeleton in January 1940, with about 3,000 personnel assigned to it (it had been maintained as a single-regiment "brigade" for most of the 1920s and 1930s with most of its units in hibernation. The 1st and 2d AD were formed in July 1940 from existing RA personnel, but there was only 9,859 officers and men with armor experience in the entire army. The 34th ID was National Guard, federalized in 1940, but sent to England early, with limited training and a mixed bag of equipment.
Estimating from that it might be ground combat divisions in Op TORCH had:

1st, 3rd Inf Div 20% 'Regular Army' & the balance either from the prewar reservists (near all officers), volunteers, & draftees. There is a question of where the line is between Regular Army & men who voluntarily enlisted in 1940-41. I've detected in the 'social history' a attitude the volunteers of those years were thought of as RA vs the early conscripts distributed to combat formations 1941-1942. Lacking numbers I cant say if that group was significant, but often perception is more important than numbers.

9th Inf Div. Beween 10 & 15 % RA. Probably closer to 10%. In the history there is a sense this was regarded as a RA division. Perhaps that comes back to volunteers of 1940 filling out a percent of this formation.

1st & 2d Armored Divisions. 10% RA ? Again the ambigious voluntary enlistees are a variable here. Theres also a question of National Guards men forming a portion of the newly minted Armored Infantry & Artillery Battalions. That would be men drawn from the reorganizing former NG divisions as they prepared to shed brigade HQ and the 4th infantry regiment. Perhaps that group would be insignificant or non existent, but there are references to this here & there.

34th ID. The question with any of the National Guard formations is how many original members had attritioned away by any given date & were replaced by Reserve officers & draftees. Using two different & very rough methods I'm seeing by Nov 1942 between 35 & 20 % as replacements for missing original member.

Corps units. This is always the forgotten group which in the context of the US Army has a importance way above its numbers. To often peopler counting divisions when they should be looking at the supporting formations in the corps group.

The question of the line between early volunteers considered Old Army and later arrivals might be better turned around a bit and placed somewhere to divide all the men who had less than a years training or time in service from those with more. From my own experience at training Marines, and being trained around eight months might be the line. That is the men who joined the Torch formations after January 1942 would be the significantly less skilled & less disciplined cohort. What percentage those were might be as useful a metric as anyone drafted before November 1941 would be a fairly useful soldier with a year of training and general existence in the Army environment.
Interesting points. On this one: "There is a question of where the line is between Regular Army & men who voluntarily enlisted in 1940-41. I've detected in the 'social history' a attitude the volunteers of those years were thought of as RA vs the early conscripts distributed to combat formations 1941-1942" I've read the same regarding Guardsmen who enlisted in 1940-41 vis draftees who were fillers in 1941-42, etc.

Then there are always a few exceptions to some of the above; men who were veterans of various conflicts and forces other than the ones they enlisted in, but whose experience made a difference in action; Herman J. Bottcher, for example.

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Richard Anderson » 20 Jan 2022 05:11

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Jan 2022 02:21
Estimating from that it might be ground combat divisions in Op TORCH had:

1st, 3rd Inf Div 20% 'Regular Army' & the balance either from the prewar reservists (near all officers), volunteers, & draftees. There is a question of where the line is between Regular Army & men who voluntarily enlisted in 1940-41. I've detected in the 'social history' a attitude the volunteers of those years were thought of as RA vs the early conscripts distributed to combat formations 1941-1942. Lacking numbers I cant say if that group was significant, but often perception is more important than numbers.
Probably a gross underestimate. The three active divisions, 1st-3d, were maintained prewar at around 9,000 and by 30 June 1941 were up to about 13,000 each. They then cadred other divisions, but most of the shortfalls before Pearl Harbor would have been made up with RA and OR personnel. After Pearl Harbor and before TORCH they were brought up to strength with whatever personnel were available, so AUS draftees and some NG would have been included. Nevertheless, they were probably 85-90% "Regulars" albeit the number of Old Army personnel was small.
9th Inf Div. Beween 10 & 15 % RA. Probably closer to 10%. In the history there is a sense this was regarded as a RA division. Perhaps that comes back to volunteers of 1940 filling out a percent of this formation.
The RA core of the 9th Division was about 3,000 men. It was brought up to strength through the increase in the RA, but also with OR and some draftees. I would expect at least 70% was at least nominally RA.
1st & 2d Armored Divisions. 10% RA ? Again the ambigious voluntary enlistees are a variable here. Theres also a question of National Guards men forming a portion of the newly minted Armored Infantry & Artillery Battalions. That would be men drawn from the reorganizing former NG divisions as they prepared to shed brigade HQ and the 4th infantry regiment. Perhaps that group would be insignificant or non existent, but there are references to this here & there.
Voluntary enlistees before Pearl Harbor were RA, there was no ambiguity that I can see. The 1st and 2d were entirely RA as formed, then deduct the cadre for the 3d and 4th with some also going to the 5th and 6th. like the 1st, 2d, and 3d Division they were probably stil 85-90% Regulars.
34th ID. The question with any of the National Guard formations is how many original members had attritioned away by any given date & were replaced by Reserve officers & draftees. Using two different & very rough methods I'm seeing by Nov 1942 between 35 & 20 % as replacements for missing original member.
Few to none. It was full strength when it went to England, suffered routine garrison attrition, and so aside from its RA and OR officers was essentially 90% or so NG I would expect.
Corps units. This is always the forgotten group which in the context of the US Army has a importance way above its numbers. To often peopler counting divisions when they should be looking at the supporting formations in the corps group.

The question of the line between early volunteers considered Old Army and later arrivals might be better turned around a bit and placed somewhere to divide all the men who had less than a years training or time in service from those with more. From my own experience at training Marines, and being trained around eight months might be the line. That is the men who joined the Torch formations after January 1942 would be the significantly less skilled & less disciplined cohort. What percentage those were might be as useful a metric as anyone drafted before November 1941 would be a fairly useful soldier with a year of training and general existence in the Army environment.
The line was in their enlistment documents. RA enlisted prewar, AUS were draftees and wartime commissioned out of college like my Dad, NG were prewar, and OR was tiny, fewer than 5,000 enlisted IIRC, most were officers and many were superannuated.
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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Jan 2022 02:56

Nevertheless, they were probably 85-90% "Regulars" albeit the number of Old Army personnel was small.
This is what makes it fuzzy in judging. A volunteer of late 1940 or 41 would have the same training time by mid 1942 as a draftee of that year. The one difference I can see at this point might be the early volunteers would have long term enlistments & tend to be directed to specialties with long training requirements, such as the Air Corps. The draft or Selectee with their initial one year obligation would tend towards specialties with a shorter training time. After service times were extended in the later half of 1941 & again at the end of 1941 this trend would tend to shrink.

In any case Old Army personnel would be closer to what I was identifying as Regular. Precisely why the divisions assigned to Op Torch would be so heavily salted with RA/volunteers vs Selectees is not clear. Im sitting here with 'History of Military Mobilization in the United States Army' on my lap open to Chapter XVII and all thats clear at this point is the considerable disorder created by the expectation of demobilization in late 1941 reverse into a expansion from 38 to 73 ground combat divisions. Perhaps this thought that the NG & Selectee would vanish at their one year anniversary dates caused the low number RA formations to be filled out with the volunteer long service enlistments. Since there was still a requirement the Army maintain a combat capable force of some sort. Where the 629.273 Selectees taken in Fiscal Year 1941 were placed is not clear.

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Jan 2022 03:24

34th ID. The question with any of the National Guard formations is how many original members had attritioned away by any given date & were replaced by Reserve officers & draftees. Using two different & very rough methods I'm seeing by Nov 1942 between 35 & 20 % as replacements for missing original member.
Few to none. It was full strength when it went to England, suffered routine garrison attrition, and so aside from its RA and OR officers was essentially 90% or so NG I would expect.
But wouldn't we also want to include the time the 34th Div spent from mobilization into Federal service 10 Feb 1941 to its departure to the UK 14 Jan 1942? Thats eleven months of broken bones, felony convictions, and general unsuitability for service attritioning away the original mobilized group. Theres also the question of how understrength the NG formations were when mobilized and how any shortfall was made up?

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 21 Jan 2022 05:01

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Jan 2022 02:56
Nevertheless, they were probably 85-90% "Regulars" albeit the number of Old Army personnel was small.
This is what makes it fuzzy in judging. A volunteer of late 1940 or 41 would have the same training time by mid 1942 as a draftee of that year. The one difference I can see at this point might be the early volunteers would have long term enlistments & tend to be directed to specialties with long training requirements, such as the Air Corps. The draft or Selectee with their initial one year obligation would tend towards specialties with a shorter training time. After service times were extended in the later half of 1941 & again at the end of 1941 this trend would tend to shrink.

In any case Old Army personnel would be closer to what I was identifying as Regular. Precisely why the divisions assigned to Op Torch would be so heavily salted with RA/volunteers vs Selectees is not clear. Im sitting here with 'History of Military Mobilization in the United States Army' on my lap open to Chapter XVII and all thats clear at this point is the considerable disorder created by the expectation of demobilization in late 1941 reverse into a expansion from 38 to 73 ground combat divisions. Perhaps this thought that the NG & Selectee would vanish at their one year anniversary dates caused the low number RA formations to be filled out with the volunteer long service enlistments. Since there was still a requirement the Army maintain a combat capable force of some sort. Where the 629.273 Selectees taken in Fiscal Year 1941 were placed is not clear.
Your point on "Old Army" regulars as opposed to "1940-41 volunteer" FOR the regulars is going beyond the legal status of a given enlistment (or commission, for officers) and more to the reality that every organization has its own culture, and human nature being what it is, some fit entirely, some partially, and some not at all.

John Basilone did six years with the US Army in 1934-37; was a civilian for roughly three years, and enlisted in the USMC in 1940; despite his prior service, he still went through basic and advanced training with the USMC. By the time the war broke out, he was a 'regular' as they came in a lot of ways, but still - little different situation than someone like (for example) Elmo Haney, who had been a Marine (straight time) since 1927...

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 21 Jan 2022 05:02

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Jan 2022 03:24
34th ID. The question with any of the National Guard formations is how many original members had attritioned away by any given date & were replaced by Reserve officers & draftees. Using two different & very rough methods I'm seeing by Nov 1942 between 35 & 20 % as replacements for missing original member.
Few to none. It was full strength when it went to England, suffered routine garrison attrition, and so aside from its RA and OR officers was essentially 90% or so NG I would expect.
But wouldn't we also want to include the time the 34th Div spent from mobilization into Federal service 10 Feb 1941 to its departure to the UK 14 Jan 1942? Thats eleven months of broken bones, felony convictions, and general unsuitability for service attritioning away the original mobilized group. Theres also the question of how understrength the NG formations were when mobilized and how any shortfall was made up?
Good questions; someone would have to spend a lot of time at NARA, going through the actual G-1 records for a given division from (say) 1938-39 to 1942-43 to really be able to make a judgment.

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Richard Anderson » 21 Jan 2022 06:34

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Jan 2022 03:24
But wouldn't we also want to include the time the 34th Div spent from mobilization into Federal service 10 Feb 1941 to its departure to the UK 14 Jan 1942? Thats eleven months of broken bones, felony convictions, and general unsuitability for service attritioning away the original mobilized group. Theres also the question of how understrength the NG formations were when mobilized and how any shortfall was made up?
The Guard divisions as mobilized by 30 June 1941 averaged 17,670 officers and men and were still organized as "square" divisions". The NG divisions were understrength as square divisions, but when the 34th was reorganized 8 December 1941 it still had excess personnel to shed, since it only required 15,245 O&EM. Between its Federalization and its reorganization, a portion of its officer staff and a smaller number of enlisted was transferred out or retired and generally replaced by RA and OR personnel, but there was no likely need to draw on Selective Service enlisted fillers. That is just nine months and a fraction to its reorganization and exactly a month to when it left the NYPOE. Call it 30 days of non-combat attrition, normally calculated as 0.3 percent per day and with 15,245 you get around 46 per day, sick call or something more heinous...except that they were POMing, which meant near lockdown for enlisted after terminal leave and somewhat more freedom to officers. Anyway, most non-combat losses RTD (notice that in theory at 0.3% a year results in the attirtion of an entire division, but it doesn't work that way), so there may have been a few hundred personnel shortfall to make up on loading for departure, since meeting T/O strength was a requirement for POM. Those would have been drawn from Basic Privates at the Fort Dix Reception Center, but even so is still a drop in the bucket.

Anyway, all of that changed after Pearl Harbor and only the initially deployed National Guard Divisions, the 27th, 32d, 34th, 37th, and 41st, retained any semblance of their National Guard identity for more than six months or so as those still in the Z/I were drawn on for cadre for the mobilized OR divisions and then to replace battle losses in the deployed divisions. The 34th probably retained its distinctive identity right up to Valentine's Day 1943.
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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Sid Guttridge » 21 Jan 2022 14:32

Hi Richard,

You post, “I was awaiting your reply with barely bated breath.” If so, it was as well that I replied when I did. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for you asphyxiating yourself, however slowly!

The 1913 Class may well have been mobilized in 1939. However, that wasn’t what I asked. Can you confirm that the 1913 Class was conscripted en masse in 1935? If you simply don’t know, that is a perfectly acceptable answer.

If you were being clear and not using a variety of terms such as “began expansion”, “conscription” and “mobilization” then it might not be necessary for me to try to clarify matters a bit. Besides, being in agreement is a good thing, surely? I don’t see any good reason to disagree with you for the sake of it.

You ask, “Do you think that at the end of 1941, the 37 active divisions in the US Army were complete?” Nope. On the other hand your claim for the German Army that “By the end of 1934 it consisted of 21 active divisions and 27 by the end of 1935” required some clarification.

You ask, “Again, did I say anything different?” Yes, but that can be sorted out if you can clarify when the 1913 Class was conscripted. (See above)

You say, “By the end of September 1942, the US Army committed 20 infantry divisions overseas” Yes, but how many had actually seen combat?

You say, “That many did not see combat is irrelevant”. Not when one is discussing comparisons between the German Army and the US Army. The great majority of US divisions only saw combat 2-5 years after their first embodiment for WWII. This is similar to German divisions in 1939.

You say, “Simply put, the American Army never developed the mobilization expertise exhibited by the Germans, but then, the Germans were building on a basis of expertise and experience about 100-years old, whereas the American one was ad hoc in the extreme.” Whose responsibility is that?

You ask, “Then what was the point of your factoid regarding the Puerto Rico garrison expansion?” The point was to illustrate that some expansion began before Selective Service was introduced in late 1940. I can only use examples available to me.

You say that Dupuy did express a very high opinion of US infantry. Can you give us an illustration of this? Numbers, Predictions and War does not give this impression.

You say, “His opinion of the US Army as a whole was quite high. What he criticized was its battlefield performance.” Forgive me if I sound naïve, but isn’t battlefield performance the ultimate measure of an army?

Could you clarify what you mean by “I do not believe statistical analysis is opinion?"Is that a statement or a question?

You ask, “They criticized the tactics and training practices of the US Army, which is not an opinion, high or low, of US infantry. It is an opinion of the tactics and training practices that resulted in what may be assessed as poor performance. Perhaps that's too nuanced for you?

Yup, far too nuanced. You appear to be saying that in assessing the performance of an armed force, one cannot take into account the tactics and training practices that contribute to that performance. I am sure that can’t be the impression that you are trying to give, so can you please clarify.

I am not sure one can generalize from the experience of just two divisions, but I will look into both. Which were the three German divisions that attacked 99th Division, when and where?

You post, “Do try not to teach your granny to suck eggs.” I take that as you agreeing backhandedly with what I wrote.

You post, “All of the National Guard formations were "longstanding state" formations. A tautology demonstrates nothing.” Actually it shows that your emphasis earlier on the federalization of National Guard divisions serves to obscure that their origins and preparation considerably predate this.

As regards 34th Infantry Division, your original précis of it emphasized its limitations, without mentioning the upside. For example, the spinning off of the first Ranger battalion would seem to indicate that its preparations was regarded as at least adequate.

As things stand, I still see no reason to modify, "The important thing was that, whatever their limitations, the US Army matched its men to tasks they were capable of achieving. This proved true not only in North Africa but throughout 1942-45 in the ETO. US line infantry had no outstanding reputation that I am aware of, but they proved up to the job set them."

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Jan 2022 02:21

Sid Guttridge wrote:
21 Jan 2022 14:32
If so, it was as well that I replied when I did. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for you asphyxiating yourself, however slowly!
Oh, I always await your replies with barely bated breath and have yet to asphyxiate myself.
The 1913 Class may well have been mobilized in 1939. However, that wasn’t what I asked. Can you confirm that the 1913 Class was conscripted en masse in 1935? If you simply don’t know, that is a perfectly acceptable answer.
I am curious why you think I said or implied that, when my statement was quite clear? Jahrgang 1913 was fully called up by 28 August 1939. JG 1915 and 1916 were fully called up by November 1937. JG 1917 by 1 October 1938.
If you were being clear and not using a variety of terms such as “began expansion”, “conscription” and “mobilization” then it might not be necessary for me to try to clarify matters a bit. Besides, being in agreement is a good thing, surely? I don’t see any good reason to disagree with you for the sake of it.
Sorry, but I believe I was fully clear from the begining when I stated my initial remarks applied to the MTP of infantry divisions after Pearl Harbor. Anyway, I use a variety of terms because they generally have different meanings, as do those. I will be happy to explain the difference between “began expansion”, “conscription” and “mobilization” if you don't understand them.
You ask, “Do you think that at the end of 1941, the 37 active divisions in the US Army were complete?” Nope. On the other hand your claim for the German Army that “By the end of 1934 it consisted of 21 active divisions and 27 by the end of 1935” required some clarification.
What clarification did it need?
You ask, “Again, did I say anything different?” Yes, but that can be sorted out if you can clarify when the 1913 Class was conscripted. (See above)
Since I was quite clear in what I said, I don't think it requires further clarification. Unless you are uncertain when 28 August 1939 was or what "fully called up" means?
You say, “By the end of September 1942, the US Army committed 20 infantry divisions overseas” Yes, but how many had actually seen combat?
Why does it matter? By physically removing them from the Z/I they were removed from the mobilization process, could not be used to cadre new formations, and once in combat, required a replacement flow from the still mobilizing forces in the Z/I, which disrupted them as well. The Germans had the advantage of committing its units in the same continent (aside from the minor forces in North Africa). They essentially turned France into a giant training ground and were able to maximize the efficiency of its already efficient mobilization system.
You say, “That many did not see combat is irrelevant”. Not when one is discussing comparisons between the German Army and the US Army. The great majority of US divisions only saw combat 2-5 years after their first embodiment for WWII. This is similar to German divisions in 1939.
I am unclear what "first embodiment for WWII" means in either context. When the unit was constituted? When it was activated/mobilized?
You say, “Simply put, the American Army never developed the mobilization expertise exhibited by the Germans, but then, the Germans were building on a basis of expertise and experience about 100-years old, whereas the American one was ad hoc in the extreme.” Whose responsibility is that?
Why, the American Army's of course? Was the implication that hard for you to grasp?
You ask, “Then what was the point of your factoid regarding the Puerto Rico garrison expansion?” The point was to illustrate that some expansion began before Selective Service was introduced in late 1940. I can only use examples available to me.
What "example" is that please? You say the Puerto Rico "garrison" expanded prior to October 1940. What is the source and context for that statement? The 92d Infantry Brigade was constituted in the NG 25 August 1940, was organized and recognized 26 September 1940 in San Juan, and was called into Federal service 15 October 1940. At full strength it would have numbered about 79 O&EM. The 295th and 296th Infantry PRNG were called into Federal service at the same time. The 42d Infantry was RA organized as a Regular Army Inactive unit as the University of Puerto Rico ROTC detachment since 28 May 1929. The 3d Battalion, 65th Infantry was activated 1 February 1940, bringing the regiment up to initial war organization, but it was RA of course, so falls under my remarks regarding the expansion of the RA 1939-1941. Or did you miss that?
You say that Dupuy did express a very high opinion of US infantry. Can you give us an illustration of this? Numbers, Predictions and War does not give this impression.
Tsk, tsk Sid, I'm surprised by you. Where did I "say that Dupuy did express a very high opinion of US infantry"? What I said was, "Trevor did not, to my recall, ever express a low opinion of US infantry, he criticized their tactics and training." In reply, you said "I actually wrote that he, "did not express a very high opinion of US infantry." The two are not the same thing and I don't have to defend what I did not write." My reply is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
You say, “His opinion of the US Army as a whole was quite high. What he criticized was its battlefield performance.” Forgive me if I sound naïve, but isn’t battlefield performance the ultimate measure of an army?
Trevor served 25 years in the U.S. Army and was Honorary Colonel of the 7th FA, do you think he would have had a low opinion of it? Unlike some, he was able to have a good opinion of something, while recognizing its limitations. The U.S. Army could have been better tactically and eventually got there, while the Germans could have been much better at strategy and operational art, and never got there.
Could you clarify what you mean by “I do not believe statistical analysis is opinion?"Is that a statement or a question?
It is a statement, the question mark should have been followed by :roll: or perhaps :o to express my bewilderment that you cannot discern the difference between opinion and analysis. That Trevor recognized the combat advantage of the Reichsheer does not mean his "opinion" of that entity was high.
You ask, “They criticized the tactics and training practices of the US Army, which is not an opinion, high or low, of US infantry. It is an opinion of the tactics and training practices that resulted in what may be assessed as poor performance. Perhaps that's too nuanced for you?

Yup, far too nuanced. You appear to be saying that in assessing the performance of an armed force, one cannot take into account the tactics and training practices that contribute to that performance. I am sure that can’t be the impression that you are trying to give, so can you please clarify.
Okay, then if I can't have a nuanced conversation with you, perhaps it is better to have no conversation at all?
I am not sure one can generalize from the experience of just two divisions, but I will look into both. Which were the three German divisions that attacked 99th Division, when and where?
12. and 277. VGD, 3. FJD., elements of 1. and 12. SS-PzD, 16 December 1944.
You post, “Do try not to teach your granny to suck eggs.” I take that as you agreeing backhandedly with what I wrote.
Nope.
You post, “All of the National Guard formations were "longstanding state" formations. A tautology demonstrates nothing.” Actually it shows that your emphasis earlier on the federalization of National Guard divisions serves to obscure that their origins and preparation considerably predate this.
I am unclear why you think I was "obscuring" "their origins and preparation considerably predate" the Federalization of the National Guard? Or were you unaware of the history and structure of the U.S. Army National Guard?
As regards 34th Infantry Division, your original précis of it emphasized its limitations, without mentioning the upside. For example, the spinning off of the first Ranger battalion would seem to indicate that its preparations was regarded as at least adequate.
What "limitations" did I emphasize? And what "upside" did I denigrate? I made a statement of fact regarding its time in Federal service and the state of its training. BTW, the 34th Infantry Division did not spin off the 1st Ranger Battalion, although a high proportion of the original 1st Ranger battalion were volunteers from the 34th Infantry Division.
As things stand, I still see no reason to modify, "The important thing was that, whatever their limitations, the US Army matched its men to tasks they were capable of achieving. This proved true not only in North Africa but throughout 1942-45 in the ETO. US line infantry had no outstanding reputation that I am aware of, but they proved up to the job set them."
Good, since you were never asked to modify it. My reply was, "Indeed, but it could be said the German "line infantry" also had no outstanding reputation through fall 1940, when the combined experience of Poland, Norway, and France led to retraining and fine tuning of its tactics that sustained it through the end of the war. The problem for the U.S. Army was that it did not gain comparable experience against its German opponent until completing the Tunisian, early Italian, and Normandy campaigns (the Pacific campaign experience was very theater specific) until mid 1944 and did not have the convenient six to nine month relative lull to implement the lessons learned. Arguably, the peak of the U.S. Army in terms of strength, equipment, experience, and efficiency was early 1945." And I see no reason to modify it either.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 23 Jan 2022 20:44

Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Jan 2022 06:34
... normally calculated as 0.3 percent per day and with 15,245 you get around 46 per day, sick call or something more heinous...
The only comparison of attrition I have would be for the 3rd Marine Division circa 1983. The number we were given there was .0004 or 4.8 Marines discharged as unfit for medical reasons daily. Out of a reduced strength of 12,000 (1/3 of the division was detached) That comes out to 960 in 200 days. Our battalion surgeon thought that to low, but the artillery has a higher portion of injuries so maybe that colored his opinion.

The other loss would be those on the NG muster but found unfit on or shortly after mobilization. My reserve battery was screening and discharging the unfit over four months previous to activation for Deser Storm. We still lost another 5%, eight of 160 in 14 days following activation for medical reasons. There were a couple others mentally unfit, but I could not get rid of them :x

If, the 34th had the same loss rate that would be 5% or 883 out of the 17670 out of the gate, over the next 200 days 1,351. If the count of 17,670 is after a initial 5% loss then its 1,414 over the next 200 days. What the loss for reasons other than medical was I cant say. We had a effective screening system for filtering out the other problems long before DS occurred. How effective the NG were in the case of the 34th Div I'd not guess at this point.

Richard Anderson
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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Richard Anderson » 23 Jan 2022 21:41

Carl, 17,670 was the average strength of the 18 NG divisions as of 30 June 1941. They reorganized 8 December, so had plenty of troops for the 15,000-required. They then had 30 days to shipping out and, by WD requirement, they had to ship out at full T/O strength, which meant divisions were kept slightly overstrength in Basic Privates as fillers, until they boarded, then the excess went to the reception center. I cannot think of any way the division would have had a significant attrition of personnel not covered by the excess 2,000+ personnel that major additions of RA or AUS personnel would be required. They would have had a fair number of RA and OR officers, especially covering the Division HQ and Staff, and the Regimental/Battalion HQ and staff - call it 10% at a guess, but only a smattering of RA, OR, or AUS enlisted.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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