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Fishwelding

Modeling USAREUR, Cold War

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Sort of. The Battalions still belong to Regiments, but the regiments are no longer pure. Before the Battalion system was instituted, the Companies were labelled Able (A) through Mike (M). Now each Bn has an HHC, and 3 companies, all labelled Alpha through Charlie. There used to be 4 line companies, but the Delta Companies was deactivated and each Bn was reduced to 3 Co's in 2000 or so.

For WWII:

"During World War II, most infantry regiments consisted of three battalions (a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd) with each battalion consisting of four companies. That is, companies A, B, C, and D were part of the 1st battalion, companies E, F, G, and H constituted the 2nd battalion, and I, K, L, and M in the 3rd. There was no J company. [The letter J was traditionally not used because in 18th and 19th century old style type the capital letters I and J looked alike and were therefore too easily confused with one another.]"

These links explains it well.

U.S. Army Combat Arms Regimental System ('57 - '81)

United States Army Regimental System (post '81)

So the bumper number would be read as 5th Infantry Division, 1st Battalion, 40th Armored Regiment. Also, the A in 5I 1A40 would most likely have been a triangle, either solid or open. Armor is represented by a triangle in military unit symbols.

I served 21 years in the Army, I was trying to be simplistic with the answer rather than to go into details about the organization and TO&E of the US Army from the begining of time.

Mechanized Infantry and Armor Battalions use to have 5 companies, HQ's, A, B, C, and CSC. I believe they did away with the CSC and brought the D Company back. What is referred to today and since 1963 as a Brigade was the equivalent of a Regiment in WWII. It use to be that a Division was 3 Brigades, one of my old units, the 1st Infantry and others now have 5 active Brigades. Don't know if they are full strength but on paper they have 5 Brigades. And yes they still go by regiments on paper and heraldry, but you won't hear them say, send the 16th inf regiment in, it will be send the 3rd brigade in.

Some infantry regiments in WWII had up to 5 battalions, the Army no longer has that. Now it's 2 or 3, there is no Brigade in the Army today that has 5 infantry battalions organic to that Brigade, they might get additional attached battalions assigned.

As for the "A" or triangle for armor, it all depends on the stencil machine, some do not have the triangle but all have an A. You use what you got, but it was an error on my part not to mention the triangle.

Edited by Alpha13

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I served 21 years in the Army, I was trying to be simplistic with the answer rather than to go into details about the organization and TO&E of the US Army from the begining of time.

Feel free to go into details. On a site like this, nobody'll mind. :D

Besides, I could pick up some of the slack on really early periods! I don't honestly know when the Two Up/One Back structure developed, but I think continental Europea regiments in the Napoleonic Wars had three battalions. The Prussians had First, Second and Jaeger (huntsmen, ranger) Battalions. I think the French had something similar. My understanding of the British Army at that time was that one battalion stayed at home for recruitment and training, while another battalion was in the field with an army. The United States Army likely modeled after the Brits during the Federalist Era, and then the French after Napoleon. Prussianization didn't occur until after Emory Upton in the 1870s. I don't remember how the regulars were organized in the Civil War, but the volunteer regiments that have garnered more historical fame (as usual in the US) needn't have organized along those lines.

What I miss are some of the old designations that were short-lived. Like the Machine Gun Battalion. In an age of bolt-action rifles, it's worth having a "Machine Gun Battalion."

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I served 21 years in the Army, I was trying to be simplistic with the answer rather than to go into details about the organization and TO&E of the US Army from the begining of time.

16 years so far myself. No problem giving thorough info here. That is what most are looking for. Just trying to lay it out fully so there is no confusion.

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When we used to go by rail we had to tie the APC's down on the flatcars, we had to use cables on the front and rear of the vehicles and diagonally ran the cables to the flatcar, making an X. We had 4 blocks of wood that had to be nailed in front and the rear of each track. The specifications by the Germans was that at least 3 nails were to be driven through each block into the flatcar. We use to cheat, when we got ready to go on manuvers we would drive 3 nails in the block and cut the ends off 2, so in reality only 1 nail would hold the block down. Once in a while the German rail workers would check the blocks looking for the heads of 3 nails and with a prybar and when the block came loose, they would hold up the train until we did it right. It was a way to screw with them and to delay our departure to the grind of the woods.

I'm surprised the Deutsche Bahn allowed people to tie their own vehicles down, and only inspected "once in a while." I guess they figured you cared as much about your track as they did their railway. Go figure.

Do we still have "troops" in the cavalry? By which I mean "companies?"

Edited by Fishwelding

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Do we still have "troops" in the cavalry? By which I mean "companies?"

Yes, there are still Cavalry Troops.

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Hey, and since it came up before: Woooweeee! A Gamma-Goat kit! My life is complete. :salute:

Although because it's an aftermarket kit, it's a little pricey for me. Not nosebleed-expensive, but not buy-on-a-whim, either. Probably more than the Army paid for the real ones.

Edited by Fishwelding

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I'm surprised the Deutsche Bahn allowed people to tie their own vehicles down, and only inspected "once in a while." I guess they figured you cared as much about your track as they did their railway. Go figure.

Do we still have "troops" in the cavalry? By which I mean "companies?"

The Germans would not tie down any US Army equipment, why would they, they had free labor; us! Plus it wasn't their job, it was the crews job, the Germans just inspected so an 11 ton or 60 ton vehicle wouldn't fall on someones Mercedes.

Yup they still have cav troops as in companies.

Edited by Alpha13

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Hey, and since it came up before: Woooweeee! A Gamma-Goat kit! My life is complete. :salute:

Although because it's an aftermarket kit, it's a little pricey for me. Not nosebleed-expensive, but not buy-on-a-whim, either. Probably more than the Army paid for the real ones.

Yeah that Gamma Goat is pricey but I'm interested.

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The Germans would not tie down any US Army equipment, why would they, they had free labor; us! Plus it wasn't their job, it was the crews job, the Germans just inspected so an 11 ton or 60 ton vehicle wouldn't fall on someones Mercedes.

Yup they still have cav troops as in companies.

And, as I think on it, if an M113 took out a bridge abutment, the bridge, and several peoples' mercedes, I think the Bahn and their insurance provider could just charge the whole thing to Uncle Sam anyway. If I recall, the U.S. paid for a lot of "maneuver loss" or "maneuver damage" during the period.

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And, as I think on it, if an M113 took out a bridge abutment, the bridge, and several peoples' mercedes, I think the Bahn and their insurance provider could just charge the whole thing to Uncle Sam anyway. If I recall, the U.S. paid for a lot of "maneuver loss" or "maneuver damage" during the period.

In the early years of Reforgers the US Army pretty much did what they wanted and drove anywhere they wanted. But then the Army came out with a policy of "minimum" maneuver damage because the Army paid through the nose. But later on on Reforgers the Germans started to file claims for damage that was never done, if we drove by a farm on the hardball the German would chase us so he could get the bumper markings of the unit and then file a false claim. We then started to block out the bumper markings.

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In the early years of Reforgers the US Army pretty much did what they wanted and drove anywhere they wanted. But then the Army came out with a policy of "minimum" maneuver damage because the Army paid through the nose. But later on on Reforgers the Germans started to file claims for damage that was never done, if we drove by a farm on the hardball the German would chase us so he could get the bumper markings of the unit and then file a false claim. We then started to block out the bumper markings.

Yea, that was predictable. I don't think it would take any population too long before some would capitalize on that situation.

I've wondered what kind of damage all those exercises, by all countries' armies, did to roads. I've seen what a self-propelled howitzer does to asphalt pavement here in the United States, especially when it turns a corner. And I thought that had something to with those Dhiel (spelling?) tracks the Bundeswehr used. Then again, I have some doubts about the quality of U.S. roads compared to the Autobahn. Not having traveled on the latter, however, I'll reserve judgment.

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Yea, that was predictable. I don't think it would take any population too long before some would capitalize on that situation.

I've wondered what kind of damage all those exercises, by all countries' armies, did to roads. I've seen what a self-propelled howitzer does to asphalt pavement here in the United States, especially when it turns a corner. And I thought that had something to with those Dhiel (spelling?) tracks the Bundeswehr used. Then again, I have some doubts about the quality of U.S. roads compared to the Autobahn. Not having traveled on the latter, however, I'll reserve judgment.

I saw an M-60 tank one time drive through a stone house and land in the basement (the driver dozed off). I saw another time an M-60 run over an occupied VW Golf, needless to say there were no survivors. (The woman driver tried to beat the tank, the tank won)

The roads held up pretty good over there, but curbs didn't. Crossing railroad tracks at other than at crossings was a big no no. Had a tendency to misalign the rails.

Edited by Alpha13

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Hey guys, what are your thoughts on Tamiya's old M106A1? I realize the Tamiya -113 has some oddities or inaccuracies by itself, something having to do with the engine deck detail. I had a blast building a -106 kit as a kid, and I've looked forward to doing so again. How long did the army use the M106A1? I know the army use(d) another -113 variant with a bigger mortar, but out of the box, about what time-frame does the Tamiya kit possibly represent?

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Hey guys, what are your thoughts on Tamiya's old M106A1? I realize the Tamiya -113 has some oddities or inaccuracies by itself, something having to do with the engine deck detail. I had a blast building a -106 kit as a kid, and I've looked forward to doing so again. How long did the army use the M106A1? I know the army use(d) another -113 variant with a bigger mortar, but out of the box, about what time-frame does the Tamiya kit possibly represent?

The M-106 had the bigger mortar in it, 4.2 inch 107mm, they were assigned to CSC in infantry battalions. The M-125 had the 81mm mortar and were assigned to the Weapons Platoon in a infantry rifle company, A, B, C, there were 3 M-125's in the platoon and 1 M-113 that was used for the FDC. Also the weapons platoon had 2 M-113's that had single TOW missile launchers in each.

Both mortar vehicles could fire the mortar mounted or dismounted.

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The M-106 had the bigger mortar in it, 4.2 inch 107mm, they were assigned to CSC in infantry battalions. The M-125 had the 81mm mortar and were assigned to the Weapons Platoon in a infantry rifle company, A, B, C, there were 3 M-125's in the platoon and 1 M-113 that was used for the FDC. Also the weapons platoon had 2 M-113's that had single TOW missile launchers in each.

Both mortar vehicles could fire the mortar mounted or dismounted.

Were these TOW launchers vehicle-mounted, or did they have to be dismounted to engage? I am familiar with the M-113 Dragon missile rig, but wasn't aware that M-113 mechanized infantry units carried TOW systems. I just assumed that prior to Dragon, U.S. infantry relied on LAW or maybe the old recoilless rifles for in-house anti-tank work.

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Were these TOW launchers vehicle-mounted, or did they have to be dismounted to engage? I am familiar with the M-113 Dragon missile rig, but wasn't aware that M-113 mechanized infantry units carried TOW systems. I just assumed that prior to Dragon, U.S. infantry relied on LAW or maybe the old recoilless rifles for in-house anti-tank work.

The TOW vehicles could fire the missile from the vehicle, there was a launcher that sat on a swivel stand that when deployed came up through the cargo hatch, it was all manually operated. The TOW could also be fired dismounted on a tripod setup. Also CSC in an infantry battalion had 4 or 6 TOW M-113's. CSC stands for Combat support company, they had the 4.2 mortar platoon, the recon platoon, the anti-tank platoon (TOW), GSR platoon, and scout platoon.

The 106mm RR use to be mounted on M-113's on the back deck, the Army got rid of them, big signature when fired. The LAW was first, then the TOW and the Dragon came later. The Army also had another weapon that was never really put in the inventory, it was the XM-202. Four 66mm tubes that fired napalm, it was shoulder fired. We tested them in Germany and weren't impressed and apparently neither was the Army, we never saw them again.

Also infantry squads used the 90mm RR well into the late 70's, the Dragon replaced it.

Edited by Alpha13

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Here is a photo of what started out as a one of the countless "zero dark thirty" USAREUR alerts that went into all day waiting for the word what to do next. The vehicle marked C-44 is a M-125 81mm mortar APC, it has the side opening hatches closed. The vehicle to the left of it is also an M-125 with the hatches open. Note the red paint on the vehicle to the left it denotes a warning of the high voltage from the antenna, all M-106's and M-125's had the antenna next to the drivers hatch. M-113's had the antenna mounted on the left side deck behind the drivers hatch. Command vehicles, (Company Commander, Platoon Leaders) would have 2 antennas, both mounted on the left side deck.

So you know how the Army numbered the vehicles in rifle companies, M-113 #10 would be the Company commanders, numbers 11-14 would be the 1st platoon, numbers 21-24 would be the 2nd platoon, numbers 31-34 would be the 3rd platoon, numbers 41-44 would be the mortar section of the weapons platoon, and 45-46 would be the TOW vehicles in the weapons platoon. The 1, 2, 3 numbered vehicles were the rifle squads, the numbered 4 vehicle would be the platoon leaders in a rifle platoon. Armor companies and Cav Troops were numbered the same way.

The vehicle to the right of Charlie Company C-44 would be C-45 a TOW vehicle. Vehicles were parked in order by number by platoons in the motor pool.

scan0013copy.jpg

Edited by Alpha13

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Hey guys, what are your thoughts on Tamiya's old M106A1? I realize the Tamiya -113 has some oddities or inaccuracies by itself, something having to do with the engine deck detail. I had a blast building a -106 kit as a kid, and I've looked forward to doing so again. How long did the army use the M106A1? I know the army use(d) another -113 variant with a bigger mortar, but out of the box, about what time-frame does the Tamiya kit possibly represent?

The M106 was used up through the mid-late '90s as the M106A2. It was replaced by the M1064A3 (the current, 120mm mortar carrier) in the late '90s. The Tamiya M106 kit is pretty good. It is the basic Tamiya M113 kit with a new hull roof and interior for the mortar carrier specific parts. Out of the box it builds into a Vietnam-era M106A1. With a few add-ons and tweaks and it can be updated to an M106A2 or, with the MR Models conversion kit, can become the M1064A3. It can be built up nicely. I have used them as a base for an M106A2 and an M1064A3

M106A2 4.2 Inch Mortar Carrier

M106A2004.jpg

M106A2007.jpg

M106A2008.jpg

M1064A3 120mm Mortar Carrier

120mmMortar010.jpg

120mmMortar002.jpg

120mmMortar005.jpg

I recommend it. Good luck on it.

Edited by HeavyArty

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This photo shows a vehicle that still had the mount for the 106mm RR, circled in red. Long after the RR was taken out of the inventory.

scan0115acopy.jpg

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The M106 was used up through the mid-late '90s as the M106A2....

I recommend it. Good luck on it.

Thanks! Very inspiring builds there, too.

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The TOW vehicles could fire the missile from the vehicle, there was a launcher that sat on a swivel stand that when deployed came up through the cargo hatch, it was all manually operated. The TOW could also be fired dismounted on a tripod setup. Also CSC in an infantry battalion had 4 or 6 TOW M-113's. CSC stands for Combat support company, they had the 4.2 mortar platoon, the recon platoon, the anti-tank platoon (TOW), GSR platoon, and scout platoon.

This earlier TOW mount was then replaced, if I recall, by the M901 ITV. And these platoons would perhaps be doled out to support the rifle companies for specific tasks?

On a broadly related issue, in event of war, you infantry would be part of a "task force" or something similar together with tanks, right? That is, it was presumed friendly armor would never be very far away?

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This earlier TOW mount was then replaced, if I recall, by the M901 ITV. And these platoons would perhaps be doled out to support the rifle companies for specific tasks?

On a broadly related issue, in event of war, you infantry would be part of a "task force" or something similar together with tanks, right? That is, it was presumed friendly armor would never be very far away?

Back then the 2 TOW vehicles were organic to a rifle company, when in an overwatch position the infantry squad or platoon would be with the TOW section (they worked in pairs). The ones from CSC would support the battalion, if a rifle company needed more, then CSC would send them. Yes, the M-901 replaced the original single TOW version. The 901 became a big contraption, started out I think with 2 TOWS and then 4. And got bigger and taller, the Army has always had a height problem with their tactical vehicles, they don't know when to stop, keep adding stuff on.

The infantry and armor always trained together, there usually was one armor platoon attached to a rifle company and a rifle platoon attached to an armor company, depending on the mission. A Cav troop had a rifle platoon organic to the troop, so the Sheridans had direct support from their own infantry. But we worked with Cav troops too.

Edited by Alpha13

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On a broadly related issue, in event of war, you infantry would be part of a "task force" or something similar together with tanks, right? That is, it was presumed friendly armor would never be very far away?

Yes, the Infantry and Armor are usually Task Organized (mixed together) for combat. When a Platoon is swapped between companies, it is then called a Company Team. When companies are swapped between battalions, then you have a Bn Task Force.

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Back then the 2 TOW vehicles were organic to a rifle company, when in an overwatch position the infantry squad or platoon would be with the TOW section (they worked in pairs). The ones from CSC would support the battalion, if a rifle company needed more, then CSC would send them. Yes, the M-901 replaced the original single TOW version. The 901 became a big contraption, started out I think with 2 TOWS and then 4. And got bigger and taller, the Army has always had a height problem with their tactical vehicles, they don't know when to stop, keep adding stuff on.

Versus the Russian BMP, which is laudably low, but has other complaints concerning its survivability and, well, room inside to stuff inside anyone over 5' tall, to say nothing of their combat gear. The APC has not 'matured' as a technology like the tank has, where (Merkavas aside) the basic configuration has been much the same for a while.

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The 901 became a big contraption, started out I think with 2 TOWS and then 4. And got bigger and taller, the Army has always had a height problem with their tactical vehicles, they don't know when to stop, keep adding stuff on.

I'm surprised to hear that, I seem to recall most of the M901 guys saying that they liked it quite a bit. Especially the old hands that came from the M-113's with the exposed TOW mount. BTW, the 901 never had 4 TOW launch tubes, just one on each side of the sight.

It wasn't that handy on the offense since it could not keep up with M-1's and could not fire on the move but on defense / overwatch, with the ability to park in a prepared fighting position or just below the crest of a ridge, with the crew under armor and just the "hammerhead" exposed, it was a pretty good piece of equipment. I don't think the original TOW's were that reliable but that is another story. By the time they came out with the I-TOW and the TOW-2, things got better. Speaking of unreliable missiles, did any of you guys from the 80's get stuck with the Dragon? Thank god we never had to go to war with that POS.

Thanks for all the interesting stories and pictures, this is turning into quite the valuable thread.

Regards,

John

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