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Thread: # of people in a unit...

  1. #1
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    Question # of people in a unit...

    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!

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    Default Re: # of people in a unit...

    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

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    Default Re: # of people in a unit...

    Thanks for the info. I appreciate it.

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    Default Re: # of people in a unit...

    British Army
    Section: 8
    Platoon: ~ 30

    Gets very variable above that...

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    Default Re: # of people in a unit...

    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

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    Default Re: # of people in a unit...

    Quote Originally Posted by overlord644 View Post
    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.
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 02-10-2008 at 04:42 AM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


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    Default Re: # of people in a unit...

    Don't the US army have Sergeants as squad commanders?

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    Default Re: # of people in a unit...

    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    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. ?
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 02-10-2008 at 05:19 AM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


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    Default Re: # of people in a unit...

    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
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 02-10-2008 at 05:18 AM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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    Default Re: # of people in a unit...

    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/
    _______________________________________________

    Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji DFC - 43 & 258 Squadron RAF & 6 Squadron RIAF. Hurricanes & Spitfires over France, Tomahawks in North Africa, Hurricanes over Burma.

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    Default Re: # of people in a unit...

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    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.

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    Default Re: # of people in a unit...

    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?


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


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    Default Re: # of people in a unit...

    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.
    1884 electric cartridge. Look similar to anything?

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    Default Re: # of people in a unit...

    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    Don't the US army have Sergeants as squad commanders?

    Yes, or squad leaders more precisely...

  15. #15
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    Default Re: # of people in a unit...

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    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"...

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