When I first sat down to create this site, I had to decide exactly how I was going to present the information I had. The problem was not what I did know, but what I didn't. I only had two legitimate Tables of Organisation & Equipment (TOE) to work from; the 1944 US Infantry Battalion and the 1944 German Grenadier Battalion. Everything else I had came from numerous books or the Nafziger Collection. Between these sources, I reckoned I could put something of use together, but the detail I could provide varied greatly between units.
I wanted, though to be consistent in my approach. That is why I opted for the format used in the pages dedicated to the various Battalions elsewhere in the site. Providing a total for the Officers and men assigned to each sub-unit, but restricting detailed discussion to those elements I could be sure of, invariably the Rifle Platoons. Since then, I have been able to increase my knowledge considerably, and my collection of War Establishments, Tables of Organization and KStN occupies around seven A4 folders (the big ones).
I still have what I consider to be huge gaps in my knowledge, not surprising given the scale of the subject, but irritating all the same. Still, a few more things have fallen into place and I think it only proper to add them for those who may find such arcane matters of interest.
I have again tried to use a consistent approach, as is my nature. The Infantry Battalion of each featured nation is documented fully for the particular period specified. Armoured Infantry, Paratroops and Marines are restricted to Rifle Company TOE only. This is largely due to my research being found wanting in several key areas. It is also partly because the various admin and service elements, while vital to the operation of a Mechanised unit are invariably tedious to transcribe. There are only so many times you can write the words 'cook' and 'automobile mechanic' before you get the impression no one was actually in the rifle units!
Caution should be exercised in any study of the officially sanctioned and compiled TOE. These documents described how the army thought it units should look. In combat units were organised in the manner the soldiers involved knew they should look. The British Army, not an institution known for encouraging individualism, actually marked its tables as 'suggested' organisation, recognising the need for amendments to be made to fit local circumstance.
Where appropriate, I have added comments which I hope will increase the usefulness of the descriptions. As mentioned, there are still a great many things I would love to know but simply cannot track down. In some cases I have had to 'interpret' the likely reality to fill in the blanks. Where this is the case it is noted beforehand. I do not want to pass off any of my guesses as fact. The passage of sixty years since many of these tables were written means that some details have probably been lost. However, enough remain to warrant the exercise I think. Pages labelled Official are taken from reliable sources, while those labelled Provisional are my interpretations.
The sources used for each table are identified specifically to aid those who may wish to study them further or simply assess my accuracy. Please check the Published works and Websites for more details. As ever in these pages, if anyone reading this in some distant location or just down the road thinks they may have some of the information I am searching for, then please do not hesitate to drop me a line. Likewise, if you see anything that is absolute rubbish (my writing skills aside), please let me know what it should be and, more importantly, how you know?!
I have attempted to mimic the style of real tables within the constraints of my technological know how. Each unit of a Company is covered. The role, rank, weapon and vehicle of each man is detailed. Where more than one man of the same role is found the number in parenthesis identifies how many. No number indicates a single man. Where a line identifies a driver then the same vehicle is allocated for each driver stated. Example,
|Driver (2)||Private||Rifle||1/4 ton Jeep|
would indicate two drivers, two Jeeps, both men armed with rifles. Totals of Officers and men are not repeated here as they can be found on the relevant Army page navigated from the Index page.
I hope someone may find these pages of use, it took me long enough to finish them!
British Infantry Battalion (Official) - 1944
Australian Infantry Battalion (Official) - 1944
Canadian Infantry Battalion (Official) - 1944
New Zealand Infantry Battalion (Official) - 1945
US Infantry Battalion (Official) - 1944
German Grenadier Battalion (Official) - 1944
Armoured Infantry Companies
Parachute and Marine Companies
Published works and Websites
Infantry Weapons of World War Two
Infantry Tactics of World War Two