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Churchill
02-09-2008, 07:48 PM
I probably havn't looked hard enough for it, but, could someone tell me how many men in a squad, squads in a whatever-comes-next, etc., all the way to devisions(?) in an army? I heard it once on Mail Call, but forgot about it. Thanks!

overlord644
02-09-2008, 08:54 PM
if your talking about the American army then it goes like this-
squad-13
platoon-40
company-130
battalion-500
thats as far as i can go but the numbers rarely ever match this in combat because of casualty rates, so thats why its hard to get a good number, as for regiments and divisions, it varies a lot so the best way to figure that out is basic multiplication

im sorry to say im not sure about the british army but i cant imagine its too different

Churchill
02-09-2008, 09:54 PM
Thanks for the info. I appreciate it.

pdf27
02-10-2008, 01:03 AM
British Army
Section: 8
Platoon: ~ 30

Gets very variable above that...

overlord644
02-10-2008, 02:00 AM
now when you say section is that a British term for a squad or a different unit altogether cause i have heard the term used in the US when talking about MGs or Mortars

32Bravo
02-10-2008, 04:40 AM
now when you say section is that a British term for a squad or a different unit altogether cause i have heard the term used in the US when talking about MGs or Mortars

Tactically, Britsh Army section is the equivalent speak for U.S. Army squad - i.e. it is a sub-unit of a platoon.

The section breaks down into two groups, a gun group - with LMG or fire support weapon - and a rifle group.

The gun group would consist of the gun team i.e. gunner and number two, and the gun controller - usually a Lance Corporal who doubles as Section 2i.c.

The Rifle Group consists of the Section Commander - usually a Corporal - and four riflemen.

On the parade-ground, the section are usually referred to as a squad (Although a squad can comprise of more than a section :)).

Culturally, the term 'Suaddie' may sometimes be used in a disparaging manner, or sometimes as an affectionate term for a Tommy - dendending on who is using it. :)

pdf27
02-10-2008, 04:50 AM
Don't the US army have Sergeants as squad commanders?

32Bravo
02-10-2008, 05:02 AM
Don't the US army have Sergeants as squad commanders?

I believe they did/do?

Purely speculative. I would think it is something to do with the span of control. The Squad being 13 strong, as desribed above.

Also, their ranks are slightly different to the British - PFC comes to mind. The British have a grading system for private solders - ascending from four to one, as I recall - but I think this more of a 'pay' grade, and has no relationship with PFC, which appears to be a Lance-Corporal.

How many PFC's and Corporals in a Squad?

Three squads add up to thirty-nine. So, in a platoon of forty, what about the platoon commander's Tac. H.Q. ?

32Bravo
02-10-2008, 05:16 AM
By the way, as I understand it, in the 'Warrior role' the section consists of ten men. Two of them being vehicle crew i.e. driver and commander, but then the de-bussed section reverts to eight?

Might find this interesting:

http://www.armedforces.co.uk/army/listings/l0013.html

Amrit
02-10-2008, 07:03 AM
You may also find this of help. As the site states, these are ideal full strength numbers and varied considerably in reality:

http://www.bayonetstrength.150m.com/

pdf27
02-10-2008, 07:20 AM
By the way, as I understand it, in the 'Warrior role' the section consists of ten men. Two of them being vehicle crew i.e. driver and commander, but then the de-bussed section reverts to eight?
From memory they do it as seven dismounts and three vehicle crew - the gunner stays with the vehicle as he can provide more firepower there than he would as a dismount.

32Bravo
02-10-2008, 08:06 AM
Yes, I would suppose that this, generally, makes sound, tactical sense. Presumably this varies according to tactical requirements dictated by terrrain etc. e.g. FIBUA?

Man of Stoat
02-10-2008, 09:22 AM
I believe that the Second World War infantry section consisted of 10, rather than the modern eight. three? in the gun group and seven? in the rifle group.

"Normal" weapon scales would be:

one Bren
two submachine guns (carried by the corporal and Lance corporal)
seven rifles

Of course in practice this would vary according to taste.

Nickdfresh
02-10-2008, 10:26 AM
Don't the US army have Sergeants as squad commanders?


Yes, or squad leaders more precisely...

Nickdfresh
02-10-2008, 10:28 AM
I believe they did/do?

Purely speculative. I would think it is something to do with the span of control. The Squad being 13 strong, as desribed above.

Also, their ranks are slightly different to the British - PFC comes to mind. The British have a grading system for private solders - ascending from four to one, as I recall - but I think this more of a 'pay' grade, and has no relationship with PFC, which appears to be a Lance-Corporal.

How many PFC's and Corporals in a Squad?

Three squads add up to thirty-nine. So, in a platoon of forty, what about the platoon commander's Tac. H.Q. ?

I think the US Army/Marines use the French style of ranks.

In that line, I think a US Army Sergeant would be more akin to a British Army Corporal, and a British Army Sergeant would be more of a "Sergeant First Class" in the US Army, roughly. I think.

I also believe up into the 1970s, the Army had an annoying system of enlisted pay grades for those at E-5 (now only sergeants) that was Specialist5/6, so a higher technical pay grade could be theoretically under the command of an NCO at the E-4 (corporal's) rank. Today, only E-4s can be either corporals or "specialists"...

Churchill
02-10-2008, 10:46 AM
In the game Blitzkreig, one squad of soldiers is: one officer with a hand gun, one Boys AT gun or Bazooka rocket launcher, one or two lmg (Sten or Thompson) people and the rest of the ten were rifle men. That was for all the countries( Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, England, Canada, America, Russia, and any others). I was also wondering of that was somewhat close to being right.

32Bravo
02-10-2008, 10:58 AM
think the I US Army/Marines use the French style of ranks.

In that line, I think a US Army Sergeant would be more akin to a British Army Corporal, and a British Army Sergeant would be more of a "Sergeant First Class" in the US Army, roughly. I think.



Do you know how that would pan out with, say, Company Sergeant Major and Regimental Sergeant Major?

Typically, British Sergeant and W.O ranks are as follows, in descending order:

Regimental Sergeant Major (battalion) - Warrant Officer class 1;

Company Sergeant Major (job and description varies) Warrant Officer class 2;

Colour Sergeant (usuallly company quartermaster sergeant);

Sergeant (platoon).

The same would apply to squadron and troop etc.

pdf27
02-10-2008, 11:21 AM
In the game Blitzkreig <snip> I was also wondering of that was somewhat close to being right.
Well, that last bit puts you one up on our resident uber-troll, a character by the name of IRONMAN who always quited the Call of Duty manual as if it were reality!

Man of Stoat
02-10-2008, 03:37 PM
Originally Posted by Churchill
In the game Blitzkreig <snip> I was also wondering of that was somewhat close to being right.

Short answer, no. not by miles.

Churchill
02-10-2008, 07:03 PM
Ok. Thanks for the confirmation of its falseness.

Nickdfresh
02-11-2008, 02:58 PM
Do you know how that would pan out with, say, Company Sergeant Major and Regimental Sergeant Major?

Typically, British Sergeant and W.O ranks are as follows, in descending order:

Regimental Sergeant Major (battalion) - Warrant Officer class 1;

That would be just Sergeant Major, Command Sergeant Major, and the top enlisted man in the US Army is SGM of the Army..


Company Sergeant Major (job and description varies) Warrant Officer class 2;

Company First Sergeant, or "Top" --if you know him well enough...


Colour Sergeant (usually company quartermaster sergeant);

Usually the supply sergeant is a Master Sergeant (E-8). I'm not sure there is a direct equivalent to "color sergeant."


Sergeant (platoon).

Usually a Sergeant First Class (SFC or E-7), but sometimes Staff Sergeants (SSG or E-6) perform the job as well...


The same would apply to squadron and troop etc.

Warrant Officers are considered to be 'almost' officers in the USA, and therefore have no direct equivalent in enlisted rank and are ranked WO1-WO4 with a WO4 being pretty close to a Colonel or even Brigadier in real terms, and a person that you do not want to piss off...

32Bravo
02-12-2008, 07:44 AM
The link will take you to the British insignia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Army_Other_Ranks_rank_insignia

overlord644
02-13-2008, 10:42 PM
question: in the US or British armies, would you have to volunteer to be armored infantry (infantry in an armored division) or would you just be assigned there?

32Bravo
02-14-2008, 01:07 PM
Until very recent times - the last year or so - Brtish Army battalions rotated through duties every two, three or four years. For example, a battalion might serve a two year stint in a place Like Cyprus, with a detatched company serving a six month tour in the Falkland Islands. The battalion's next posting could be an armoured role in Germany, or it could be dismounted in the UK or Berlin. Individuals do not usually go elsewhere, but serve much of their time with their parent battalion. It is the battalion that takes on the various roles, not the individual.

With the amalgamations of 2007, it is envisaged that some of the two and three, battalion regiments will have one battalion serving in the UK and be available for service in various locations about the globe where Britain has interests, and the other battlion would be armoured and serving in Germany for the main part. With this new arrangement, soldiers will be offered the opportunity to transfer between battalions within the same regiment, depending on skills and career path.

Normally, if one was to Join a regiment such as the Rifles, for example, one would continue in the Rifles regardless of which battalion of Rifles one might serve with. British soldiers are usually somewhat parochial about their regiment and dislike transferring.

Each regiment has its own unique and proud history. Most British soldiers believe that they serve in the best Section/Squad; in the best Platoon; in the best Company; in the best Battalion; in the best Regiment in the best Arm; in the best Army; in the World! That's ho it works.

http://www.army.mod.uk/infantry/regts/the_rifles/

Uyraell
02-14-2009, 08:36 AM
I think the US Army/Marines use the French style of ranks.

In that line, I think a US Army Sergeant would be more akin to a British Army Corporal, and a British Army Sergeant would be more of a "Sergeant First Class" in the US Army, roughly. I think.

I also believe up into the 1970s, the Army had an annoying system of enlisted pay grades for those at E-5 (now only sergeants) that was Specialist5/6, so a higher technical pay grade could be theoretically under the command of an NCO at the E-4 (corporal's) rank. Today, only E-4s can be either corporals or "specialists"...

You're correct, it existed `til circa 1979-80, though I was never able to unravel its' intricacies enough to understand how all that fit together, despite my VN veteran friend patiently trying to enlighten me: in truth, I think the Pentagon dropped that aspect of the system because they could no-longer make sense of it either.:army::mrgreen:

Regards, Uyraell.

Nickdfresh
02-14-2009, 05:54 PM
Don't the US army have Sergeants as squad commanders?

'Squad leaders' actually...

And as a side note, squads can be split into "fire teams" depending on the situation and the given doctrine of the time...

Edit: Ha! Necropost!

Churchill
02-14-2009, 08:51 PM
Wow, the last post(before the necropost) was one year ago...

Iron Yeoman
02-16-2009, 02:53 AM
As I seem to remember it it was supposed to be like this
section - 8 men
platoon - 3 sections (24) & HQ sect (6)
company - 3 platoons & HQ platoon (80 - 120)
battalion - 3 rifle companies, 1 support company (MG, Mortar, Anti-tank, Recce), HQ company (450-800)

It can get more complicated after that. Brigades are supposed to have 4 combat units (a combination of armoured regiments & infantry battalions) and several supporting units of signals, reme, rlc, engineers etc...

However, you're more likely to find a brigade commanding 2 or 3 battlegroups. Battlegroups are based around a battalion with added on assets e.g. an armoured squadron.

So, in answer to the original question, there are laid down guidelines as to how many soldiers should be in each sub-unit but in practice this is rarely if ever the case.

Schuultz
02-16-2009, 08:47 AM
In the British Army, that is. I'm pretty sure the numbers vary between countries. I remember reading about a French Battalion being bigger than a British one on average.

The (modern) German setup is probably very much like the American one... not a lot of traditions taken over from the Wehrmacht or the Reichswehr...

Churchill
02-16-2009, 02:22 PM
section - 8 men
platoon - 3 sections (24) & HQ sect (6)
company - 3 platoons & HQ platoon (80 - 120)
battalion - 3 rifle companies, 1 support company (MG, Mortar, Anti-tank, Recce), HQ company (450-800)

Hey! That's what I was looking for in the first place!:D

Iron Yeoman
02-17-2009, 02:31 AM
Happy to oblige.