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

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

Post by Felix C » 26 Feb 2019 20:50

Were they peacetime pre-PH draft soldiers or post-PH volunteers still new in service? The pre-PH daftees had a full year+ in service compared to the later ones. I suppose regulars were spread very thin due to the growth of the army.

If mostly recent draftees then it would in part explain Kasseriene as they had not done as many field maneuvers or presumably worked with other arms.

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

Post by OpanaPointer » 27 Feb 2019 00:12

We had ~150,000 troops in 1939. I imagine NCOs felt lucky if they had a good proportion of men from the October 1940 draft.
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Felix C
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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Felix C » 27 Feb 2019 01:10

yeah but the peacetime draft was later and before Ph they had a year in. Over the hill in October as was said in 1941.
Looks like 18,633 inducted in 1940 and in 1941 there were 923,842 inducted. https://www.sss.gov/About/History-And-R ... Statistics
Last edited by Felix C on 27 Feb 2019 13:08, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by OpanaPointer » 27 Feb 2019 01:36

Yeah, but any pre-war training was going to be a plus, lots of sudden corporals.
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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by OpanaPointer » 27 Feb 2019 01:36

Year Army Navy
1939 189,839 125,202
1940 269,023 160,997
1941 1,462,315 284,427
1942 3,075,608 640,570

https://www.nationalww2museum.org/stude ... ry-numbers
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Richard Anderson
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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Richard Anderson » 27 Feb 2019 01:42

It's complicated...

As of 1 July 1940 the United States Regular Army consisted of 13,797 officers and an enlisted strength totaling 243,095 (authorized enlisted strength had been expanded from 227,000 to 280,000 on 13 June and to 375,000 on 26 June), including the Army Air Corps. The strength of the National Guard officer corps was about 21,074 and enlisted strength was 226,837. There were also approximately 33,000 Reserve officers and 104,228 ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Camps) and CMTC (Citizens’ Military Training Camps) graduates in the Organized Reserve Corps. Finally, the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), established by President Roosevelt as part of the “New Deal,” had provided a taste of military discipline, barracks and field life to approximately 250,000 young men.

Between 16 September 1940 and 1 July, 1941 the expansion of the Regular Army authorization, the federalization of the National Guard, the recall of Reserve officers, and conscription had increased the size of the Army to 1,326,577 officers and men, including the Army Air Corps. These measures resulted in an expansion of the Army to 36 active divisions, the 1st and 2nd Cavalry, the 1st-9th, 24th-38th, and 40th, 41st, and 43rd-45th Infantry Divisions, the Philippine Division, and the 1st-4th Armored Divisions. By 7 December 1941 conscription had further increased this total to 1,638,086 officers and men, but with an increase of only a single division, the 5th Armored. However, that strength had only been maintained – by the narrowest of margins – just 20 days before the initial one-year term of service authorized by Congress for the Guard, draftees and Reserve officers was to expire on 27 August 1941. Following testimony by Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, Congress passed an indefinite extension of service beyond the initial one-year term by a single vote on 7 August.

On 15 January 1942, the initial expansion plan embodied in the Troop Basis for 31 December 1942 was authorized. This required the formation of 38 new divisions in 1942, bringing the total to 73 (the Philippine Division was in effect “written off” and the 2nd Cavalry Division was inactivated in July). This was to be achieved by the creation of nine new armored divisions and 29 infantry divisions (two of which were to become the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions).

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.

So a very mixed bag of RA, NG, and AUS personnel with varying degrees of training and - except for some officers with Great War experience - entirely without combat experience.
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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by OpanaPointer » 27 Feb 2019 01:46

And that's how we got Fredendall.
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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Richard Anderson » 27 Feb 2019 01:49

OpanaPointer wrote:
27 Feb 2019 01:46
And that's how we got Fredendall.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by Felix C » 27 Feb 2019 01:57

thx Richard. Very nice of you for that detailed reply. I also have read that the American infantry used in Torch where not as well trained or as capable as the ones who filled the ranks in 1944 post D-Day. Do not know how accurate that is. May have been a biased academic looking to make a point for higher IQ soldiers. I think also inferring the wholesale transfers from other occupations requiring more education/intelligence were beneficial to the ground effort.
Last edited by Felix C on 27 Feb 2019 13:11, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 27 Feb 2019 03:02

Felix C wrote:
27 Feb 2019 01:57
thx Richard. Very nice of you for that detailed reply. I also have read that the American infantry used in Torch where not as well trained or as capable as the ones who filled the ranks in 1944. Do not know how accurate that is. May have been a biased academic looking to make a point for higher IQ soldiers.
To be fair, they went into combat almost exactly 11 months after the US entered the war with a military that had essentially been in hibernation from spring 1920 to fall 1939.
"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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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by LineDoggie » 27 Feb 2019 04:25

OpanaPointer wrote:
27 Feb 2019 01:46
And that's how we got Fredendall.
A Marshall mistake


"I like that man; you can see determination all over his face."-Marshall on Fredendall
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Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 06 Mar 2019 04:48

If I am reading Stauntons chart correctly (World War II Order of Battle US Army) the Torch divisions developed/trained as follows:

1st ID. Reorganized to triangular div late 1940 & raised to full strength by mid 1941. Cadre for activating 79th ID removed Jan? 1942, Cadre for 100th ID removed May? 1942. Was attached to Amphibious Forces Atlantic for amphibious exercises in 1942.

3rd ID Reorganized to triangular div late 1940 & raised to full strength by mid 1941. Cadre for activating 81st ID removed Jan? 1942, Cadre for 87th ID removed Jun? 1942. Participated in amphibious exercises on west coast 1940-41, Was attached to Amphibious Forces Atlantic for amphibious exercises in 1942.

9th ID Reorganized to triangular div late 1940 & raised to full strength by mid 1941. Cadre for activating 82d ID removed Nov? 1941, Cadre for 88th ID removed Dec? 1941. Was attached to Amphibious Forces Atlantic for amphibious exercises in 1942.

34th ID To Federal service Feb 1941. No mass assessment of cadre for new division, but reorganization to triangular TO provided surplus for new units, also some replacement of men unfit for service, and transfer of individuals for other duty. This was typical of the NG divisions & percentage of personnel replaced varied.

1st Armored. Activated July 1940. Cadre for 4th AD removed November? 1941. Cadre for 6th AD removed September? 1941

2d Armored. Activated July 1940. Cadre for 3rd AD removed November? 1941. Cadre for 6th AD removed September? 1941

(What division did I miss?)

In this I am working backwards from the activation dates of the new divisions. Cadres were identified by individual 3-6 months ahead of activation & individuals usually sent to the appropriate school for their first billet in the new unit. So the cadre assessment dates are approx. six month previous to the activation of the new division.

It looks as if all these divisions went through one complete training cycle for certification as combat ready, some had time to run through two or even three between late 1940 & Nov 1942. Each assessment of cadre meant replacements from the specialty schools & recruit training & the need to at least partially reset & restart the work up cycle. Replacement of obsolescent 1920s equipment with state of the art, and reorganization from square to triangular structure had requirements for resetting portions of the training.

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

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 06 Mar 2019 05:13

Felix C wrote:
26 Feb 2019 20:50
Were they peacetime pre-PH draft soldiers or post-PH volunteers still new in service? The pre-PH daftees had a full year+ in service compared to the later ones. I suppose regulars were spread very thin due to the growth of the army.

If mostly recent draftees then it would in part explain Kasseriene as they had not done as many field maneuvers or presumably worked with other arms.
My take is faulty doctrines, and problems in I Corps command had more to do with failures. I'd also note that the failures usually referred to were mostly with the 1st Armored Division, which had a couple tank battalions detached to support the French, was spread out in a cavalry style screen well forward of the main line of resistance, and was attacked by two German corps. The commander of the 1st AD had interference by the Corps commander & was not fighting his battle on his own so to speak. It also seems the corps and by extension the 1st AD commander had no idea they were fighting a multi corps enemy attack for the first 48 hours. The 1st AD fought a disorganized battle piecemeal for a few days, then withdrew behind the infantry divisions holding a line of rugged hills. There the US Army did much better & the Germans made less progress, & in some cases suffered some sharp tactics defeats.

Strictly speaking the 1st AD was not a virgin unit. The armored infantry regiment & several tanks battalions had been deeply involved in the November/December battles around Medjeb al Bab. During the intervening rainy season they had wallowed around skirmishing with Germans & Italians between Tebesa & their March positions.

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

Post by daveshoup2MD » 09 Jan 2022 03:14

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
06 Mar 2019 05:13
Felix C wrote:
26 Feb 2019 20:50
Were they peacetime pre-PH draft soldiers or post-PH volunteers still new in service? The pre-PH daftees had a full year+ in service compared to the later ones. I suppose regulars were spread very thin due to the growth of the army.

If mostly recent draftees then it would in part explain Kasseriene as they had not done as many field maneuvers or presumably worked with other arms.
My take is faulty doctrines, and problems in I Corps command had more to do with failures. I'd also note that the failures usually referred to were mostly with the 1st Armored Division, which had a couple tank battalions detached to support the French, was spread out in a cavalry style screen well forward of the main line of resistance, and was attacked by two German corps. The commander of the 1st AD had interference by the Corps commander & was not fighting his battle on his own so to speak. It also seems the corps and by extension the 1st AD commander had no idea they were fighting a multi corps enemy attack for the first 48 hours. The 1st AD fought a disorganized battle piecemeal for a few days, then withdrew behind the infantry divisions holding a line of rugged hills. There the US Army did much better & the Germans made less progress, & in some cases suffered some sharp tactics defeats.

Strictly speaking the 1st AD was not a virgin unit. The armored infantry regiment & several tanks battalions had been deeply involved in the November/December battles around Medjeb al Bab. During the intervening rainy season they had wallowed around skirmishing with Germans & Italians between Tebesa & their March positions.
The experiences of the British 1st Armoured Division and 2nd Armoured Division in their respective "first battles" against the Axis in Africa are interesting comparisons to those of the US 1st Armored Division, as well.

The only (Western) Allied armored division that had a "smooth" introduction to combat in 1940-42 was probably the British 7th Armoured, which had the unique advantage of having the Italians on the other side for its baptism of fire, and even the Desert Rats had some challenges when they faced the Germans the first time, to put it mildly...

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

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Jan 2022 04:40

Was just rereading about the German leaders miscalculations for fighting the Allies in their 1944 invasion. It appears even those veterans of the Eastern front had a rough reintroduction.

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