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

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daveshoup2MD
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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 16 Jan 2022 08:07

Richard Anderson wrote:
16 Jan 2022 07:50
Not before Pearl Harbor, because no divisions were mobilized prior to then.
But in fact, and as you acknowledge, multiple divisions in fact were mobilized before Pearl Harbor, as is made clear - the 2nd Cavalry Division and the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Armored divisions being the most obvious in needing cadre along the lines of the process used for the division mobilized in 1942-43.

So your statement excerpted above is incorrect, is it not?

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 16 Jan 2022 08:46

daveshoup2MD wrote:
16 Jan 2022 08:07
But in fact, and as you acknowledge, multiple divisions in fact were mobilized before Pearl Harbor, as is made clear - the 2nd Cavalry Division and the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Armored divisions being the most obvious in needing cadre along the lines of the process used for the division mobilized in 1942-43.
The cadre process and mobilization of divisions I described was after Pearl Harbor. I thought when I said "That of course is for the Infantry Division" that it would be clear I was speaking specifically of the infantry divisions and how they were cadred upon mobilization?
So your statement excerpted above is incorrect, is it not?
Nope, but then it was not intended to apply to anything other than the infantry divisions mobilized after 7 December 1941.
"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

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 16 Jan 2022 11:12

Hi Richard,

You post, "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." It occurs to me that this was much the situation of the German Army in 1939. By November 1942 the USA had had three years equivalent to German conscription in the late 1930s to train its forces.

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 » 16 Jan 2022 18:04

Sid Guttridge wrote:
16 Jan 2022 11:12
You post, "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." It occurs to me that this was much the situation of the German Army in 1939. By November 1942 the USA had had three years equivalent to German conscription in the late 1930s to train its forces.
The expansion of the Reichswehr began in October 1934. By September 1939 it had seen nearly five years of growth, going from ten divisions to one hundred and twelve.

As of 1 July 1939, the U.S. Army consisted of 174,000 enlisted in 6 active divisions, including the Air Corps, and 6 more that effectively were brigades. Expansion began then with an authorization from Congress to raise enlisted strength to 210,000. The proclamation of emergency on 8 September 1939 led to a further Regular Army increase to 227,000 enlisted and, after the fall of France, to the Federalization of the National Guard in the fall of 1940 and winter 1940/1941. Authorized enlisted strength increased to 280,000 on 13 June 1940 and to 375,000 on 26 June) 1940.

As of 1 July 1940 the United States Regular Army consisted of 13,797 officers and an enlisted strength totaling 243,095. 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.

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.

So, after two years of expansion, the U.S. Army in late 1941, immediately before the attack on Pearl Harbor, was where the German Reichsheer was at the end of 1936, when it completed expansion to 39 divisions. The further wartime maximum expansion, which the Reichsheer completed in essentially four years through 1943, the U.S. Army completed in three years.
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.
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.
"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 daveshoup2MD » 16 Jan 2022 20:11

Sid Guttridge wrote:
16 Jan 2022 11:12
Hi Richard,

You post, "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." It occurs to me that this was much the situation of the German Army in 1939. By November 1942 the USA had had three years equivalent to German conscription in the late 1930s to train its forces.

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.
The US did not begin mobilization until the Q4 of 1940.

Q4 1940 to Q4 1942 is two years.

So, no.

The US line infantry were part of a combined arms team that destroyed the German army wherever the two faced off, from North Africa to Germany, but if you really need a "when the odds were even" scenario (which is stupid, because combat is not sport, but whatever), then the combat record of the infantry divisions of the US 1st and 3rd armies in the Ardennes in the winter of 1944-45 should educate you.
Last edited by daveshoup2MD on 17 Jan 2022 19:45, edited 1 time in total.

daveshoup2MD
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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 16 Jan 2022 20:12

Richard Anderson wrote:
16 Jan 2022 08:46
daveshoup2MD wrote:
16 Jan 2022 08:07
But in fact, and as you acknowledge, multiple divisions in fact were mobilized before Pearl Harbor, as is made clear - the 2nd Cavalry Division and the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Armored divisions being the most obvious in needing cadre along the lines of the process used for the division mobilized in 1942-43.
The cadre process and mobilization of divisions I described was after Pearl Harbor. I thought when I said "That of course is for the Infantry Division" that it would be clear I was speaking specifically of the infantry divisions and how they were cadred upon mobilization?
So your statement excerpted above is incorrect, is it not?
Nope, but then it was not intended to apply to anything other than the infantry divisions mobilized after 7 December 1941.
Okay.

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 16 Jan 2022 20:19

daveshoup2MD wrote:
16 Jan 2022 20:11
The US did not begin mobilization until the Q4 of 1940.
It depends on what you mean by mobilization.

The expansion of the Army began when Congress authorized the Army enlisted strength increase in Summer 1939, then escalated through 8 September 1939, 13 and 26 June 1940, 16 November 1940, and 26 August 1941. It was a period of mobilization roughly analogous to the prewar Protective Mobilization Plan, even though that plan was not really followed.
"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 daveshoup2MD » 16 Jan 2022 20:45

Richard Anderson wrote:
16 Jan 2022 20:19
daveshoup2MD wrote:
16 Jan 2022 20:11
The US did not begin mobilization until the Q4 of 1940.
It depends on what you mean by mobilization.

The expansion of the Army began when Congress authorized the Army enlisted strength increase in Summer 1939, then escalated through 8 September 1939, 13 and 26 June 1940, 16 November 1940, and 26 August 1941. It was a period of mobilization roughly analogous to the prewar Protective Mobilization Plan, even though that plan was not really followed.
Guttridge specifically stated "German conscription in the late 1930s," so the equivalent in the U.S. would be conscription and recall of reservists/Guard personnel, which started in Q4, 1940.

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 16 Jan 2022 21:03

daveshoup2MD wrote:
16 Jan 2022 20:45
Guttridge specifically stated "German conscription in the late 1930s," so the equivalent in the U.S. would be conscription and recall of reservists/Guard personnel, which started in Q4, 1940.
Good point. Conscription in Nazi Germany was ordered 16 March 1935 and began inducting personnel 21 May 1935 (I think I would call that the "mid 1930s" rather than Guttridge's "late 1930s")...so about five and a half years earlier than the U.S., which enacted the draft 16 September 1940 and began in October.

However, the call up of the Organized Reserve began in June 1940 and Federalization of the National Guard began in August 1940, so the entire process really began at the end of Q2 and extended into Q1 of 1941. The German reserve classes were called up in March 1939, released and then called up again at the end of August 1939, while they did not really have a National Guard, unless you consider the Landwehr or Landesschützen as a NG, so a slightly different system and sequence.
"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 daveshoup2MD » 16 Jan 2022 21:11

Richard Anderson wrote:
16 Jan 2022 21:03
daveshoup2MD wrote:
16 Jan 2022 20:45
Guttridge specifically stated "German conscription in the late 1930s," so the equivalent in the U.S. would be conscription and recall of reservists/Guard personnel, which started in Q4, 1940.
Good point. Conscription in Nazi Germany was ordered 16 March 1935 and began inducting personnel 21 May 1935 (I think I would call that the "mid 1930s" rather than Guttridge's "late 1930s")...so about five and a half years earlier than the U.S., which enacted the draft 16 September 1940 and began in October.

However, the call up of the Organized Reserve began in June 1940 and Federalization of the National Guard began in August 1940, so the entire process really began at the end of Q2 and extended into Q1 of 1941. The German reserve classes were called up in March 1939, released and then called up again at the end of August 1939, while they did not really have a National Guard, unless you consider the Landwehr or Landesschützen as a NG, so a slightly different system and sequence.
Thanks. I'd see beginning conscription as the equivalent, in terms of true mass mobilization, in the two countries, which makes clear the differences between the US and Nazi Germany in terms of elapsed time or combat experience/shakedown by 1942 or whatever it is Guttridge was trying to say.

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 16 Jan 2022 21:39

daveshoup2MD wrote:
16 Jan 2022 21:11
Thanks. I'd see beginning conscription as the equivalent, in terms of true mass mobilization, in the two countries, which makes clear the differences between the US and Nazi Germany in terms of elapsed time or combat experience/shakedown by 1942 or whatever it is Guttridge was trying to say.
The start of conscription makes an easy benchmark, because of the similarity in systems I agree. Otherwise, the difference in the structures and decision making process make it difficult. For example, you could say that the U.S. "began" mobilizing after the White House conference on 28 November 1938 that resulted in the push to increase RA strength in the 1939/1940 FY. However, in terms of unit mobilization the rubber really hit the road after Pearl Harbor, when the OR divisions were activated and plans began to constitute, activate, and organize the AUS divisions.
"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 daveshoup2MD » 16 Jan 2022 21:54

Richard Anderson wrote:
16 Jan 2022 21:39
daveshoup2MD wrote:
16 Jan 2022 21:11
Thanks. I'd see beginning conscription as the equivalent, in terms of true mass mobilization, in the two countries, which makes clear the differences between the US and Nazi Germany in terms of elapsed time or combat experience/shakedown by 1942 or whatever it is Guttridge was trying to say.
The start of conscription makes an easy benchmark, because of the similarity in systems I agree. Otherwise, the difference in the structures and decision making process make it difficult. For example, you could say that the U.S. "began" mobilizing after the White House conference on 28 November 1938 that resulted in the push to increase RA strength in the 1939/1940 FY. However, in terms of unit mobilization the rubber really hit the road after Pearl Harbor, when the OR divisions were activated and plans began to constitute, activate, and organize the AUS divisions.
Sure, there are no "perfect" parallels, especially in terms of a centralized dictatorship ordering conscription and a federal democracy passing legislation to institute the same; no need for a re-authorization vote after 12 months, of course, among some other "slight" differences...

https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/exhibit ... %80%93202.

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

Post by Felix C » 17 Jan 2022 00:09

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Jan 2022 06:31
My favorite German soldiers in Normandy were those Koreans who had been passed along from the Japanese Army to the Red Army to the Germans to the Americans. Tho the fave should be the Ossies who are said to have shot the German NCO so they could surrender faster.
Carl Ossies?

daveshoup2MD
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Re: US troops in Torch were what makeup in terms of length of service.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 17 Jan 2022 00:44

Felix C wrote:
17 Jan 2022 00:09
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Jan 2022 06:31
My favorite German soldiers in Normandy were those Koreans who had been passed along from the Japanese Army to the Red Army to the Germans to the Americans. Tho the fave should be the Ossies who are said to have shot the German NCO so they could surrender faster.
Carl Ossies?
Ostlegion "Hiwis" maybe?

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 17 Jan 2022 12:19

Hi Richard,

German conscription began in October 1935 and by September 1939 two year classes had completed it and two more were still with the colours.

The starting base for the US Army in 1939 at some 175,000 (or even 189,000) was considerably larger than for the 100,000-man Reichswehr before 1935. Furthermore, the National Guard added about another 225,000. In 1935 Germany had no equivalent institution.

The US began overseas deployments in late 1939. For example, it doubled the garrison of Puerto Rico by the end of that year. Only the draft began in October 1940.

You say that the "when the odds were even scenario......is stupid.....". I never mentioned it.

The US Army rarely met the German Army at its relative best because by the time they first encountered each other the great majority of the German Army was on the Eastern Front. By 1944-45 the German Army was in decline. Nevertheless, Dupuy in Numbers, Prediction and War and Marshall in Men Against Fire, both US authors, did not express a very high opinion of US infantry.

Most US infantry divisions were probably only reaching peak field efficiency by the end of the war, at which point the enemy was crumbling. This is not the Americans' fault, but it may well have deprived them of being able to show off their best.

US troops landed at TORCH would presumably largely have been regulars, National Guard or two-year draftees. Standard conscription in France and Germany in 1939 was two years. They were thus probably equivalent to German Welle I or French Serie A divisions of 1939 in terms of duration of training.

Therefore I am quite happy to stand by "It occurs to me that this was much the situation of the German Army in 1939." There was not, or at least should not, have been anything particularly unusual about the state of readiness of US troops for combat in November 1942 compared with those of other armies entering combat for the first time earlier in WWII.

Cheers,

Sid.

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