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WWII - Casualty rates in US infantry units


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#101 Delta tank 6

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 1708 PM

I don't know aboput other combatants. Germany pulled units back for reconstitution. US operated with a bare minimum of units and thus needed a large pipeline of trainees/hospital returnees. Divisions in ETO would "burn through" their infantry strenght in 90 days. The Army was trying to adhere to a 17 week training cycle for infantry replacements which would mean that you would need four trrops in the training cycle for every troop in a line infantry unit. Add in the over headfor running the infantry training centers and the infantry OCS plus the sick and wounded infantrymen at some point in the medical chain then the guys "in transit" to or from the front and you quickly get to a 1.5 to 1 ratio.


To all,

From the same book that I quoted above:Biennial Reports of the Chief of Staff, page199.

". . . At the replacement training centers men were made ready to join the divisions and replace casualties in a concentrated training period of 17 weeks. At these training centers they were given six weeks of basic military training and intense physical conditioning. In the remaining period they acquired competence in handling the weapons with which they would fight or the equipment with which they would work and in learning the tactics of squads, platoons, companies, and battalions, the tactical units which actually engaged in combat.
An infantryman, for example, became proficient in his primary weapons and familiarized with the M1 rifle, the carbine, the hand grenade, the rifle grenade, the automatic rifle, the .30 caliber medium machine gun, the 60mm mortar, and the two-man rocket launcher. These were the weapons that every infantry rifleman might be called upon to use. Not only were men taught to handle their weapons with proficiency in the replacement training centers, but they were taught to take care of themselves personally . . .As the Army acquired battle veterans, both officers and enlisted men were returned to the United States for duty as instructors in the replacement training centers. These veterans, who learned how to survive in combat, passed on knowledge to new men and thereby increased both their effectiveness and their chances of survival in their first experience in combat. . . "

Another thing is depending where the replacement was sent they got additional training and integration into a squad before being committed to combat. This was more true in the Pacific than in the ETO or MTO. Some divisions in the ETO ran new replacements through some training centers at a divisional school before sending them into combat.

Mike
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#102 George Newbill

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 2218 PM

I was required to read the US Army's evaluation of the battle in Hurtegen Forest and the report was quite damning of the Army's replacement system which was in fact too good. It allowed those units to burn through 300% casualities in a week. Other units lost 300% in the whole war, mostly green troops.
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#103 lastdingo

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 0955 AM

I was required to read the US Army's evaluation of the battle in Hurtegen Forest and the report was quite damning of the Army's replacement system which was in fact too good. It allowed those units to burn through 300% casualities in a week. Other units lost 300% in the whole war, mostly green troops.


Martin van Creveld's "Combat power" is not really favoring the U.S. personnel system.
I'm puzzled by vCreveld's reasoning, though - the German system was already completely distorted by emergency measures at the time when the German confronted the Americans on the ground, especially since mid-43 (and the Afrika Armee was already shattered by the British at the time of the Kasserine battle). His conclusions seem to be questioned by this.
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#104 Rich

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 1013 AM

I was required to read the US Army's evaluation of the battle in Hurtegen Forest and the report was quite damning of the Army's replacement system which was in fact too good. It allowed those units to burn through 300% casualities in a week. Other units lost 300% in the whole war, mostly green troops.


Really? What study is that? No unit in the 4th, 9th, or 28th Division that I am aware of went "through 300% casualties in a week".
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#105 Ken Estes

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 1407 PM

Really? What study is that? No unit in the 4th, 9th, or 28th Division that I am aware of went "through 300% casualties in a week".

Nor were they necessarily green troops in the divs that had to be replaced over 2x, those would be 82nd and 1st ID.

Edited by Ken Estes, 11 May 2008 - 1411 PM.

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#106 Kenneth P. Katz

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 2340 PM

I believe that many infantry replacements never went through any training of this kind. They were pulled from REMF units and tossed into infantry units.

To all,

From the same book that I quoted above:Biennial Reports of the Chief of Staff, page199.

". . . At the replacement training centers men were made ready to join the divisions and replace casualties in a concentrated training period of 17 weeks. At these training centers they were given six weeks of basic military training and intense physical conditioning. In the remaining period they acquired competence in handling the weapons with which they would fight or the equipment with which they would work and in learning the tactics of squads, platoons, companies, and battalions, the tactical units which actually engaged in combat.
An infantryman, for example, became proficient in his primary weapons and familiarized with the M1 rifle, the carbine, the hand grenade, the rifle grenade, the automatic rifle, the .30 caliber medium machine gun, the 60mm mortar, and the two-man rocket launcher. These were the weapons that every infantry rifleman might be called upon to use. Not only were men taught to handle their weapons with proficiency in the replacement training centers, but they were taught to take care of themselves personally . . .As the Army acquired battle veterans, both officers and enlisted men were returned to the United States for duty as instructors in the replacement training centers. These veterans, who learned how to survive in combat, passed on knowledge to new men and thereby increased both their effectiveness and their chances of survival in their first experience in combat. . . "

Another thing is depending where the replacement was sent they got additional training and integration into a squad before being committed to combat. This was more true in the Pacific than in the ETO or MTO. Some divisions in the ETO ran new replacements through some training centers at a divisional school before sending them into combat.

Mike


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#107 lastdingo

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 0546 AM

I believe that many infantry replacements never went through any training of this kind. They were pulled from REMF units and tossed into infantry units.


At least Patton ordered to mostly disband AA units to fill up the infantry. Some AA weapons were used for ground support, though.
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#108 Richard Lindquist

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 0953 AM

At least Patton ordered to mostly disband AA units to fill up the infantry. Some AA weapons were used for ground support, though.


The Army as a whole massively disbanded CONUS-basewd AAA and TD units, put them through some infantry training, and shipped them off as individual replacements.

On 31 Dec 1943, the Army had 557 AAA bns abd 101 TD battalions active.

On 31 Mar 1945, the Army has 331 AAA bns and 68 TD battalions active.
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#109 Jim Martin

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 0724 AM

According to a collection of Bill Mauldin "Willie and Joe" cartoons that I have, black marketeers from the Services of Supply were sent to line units, rather than time in the stockade or other punishments. As Mauldin noted, "While infantrymen were glad to get the replacements, they were hardly flattered...."
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