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Order of Battle Question


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A friend of mine sent me the following e-mail: "I am making a Flames of War 1500 point combat company. I will am going to base the company on the British 1st Border Regiment. Glider Inf 1944. It will have 2ea platoons of Inf, Heavy MG platoon, Mortar Platoon, Recon platoon (3ea jeeps), AT Platoon (3ea 6pdr), Howitzer (3ea pack 75mm). Flames of war does not have an Intelligence Report for British Airborne Forces yet so I based my points and OB on a combo of the Late war British Infantry intell report and the US Airborne Intell report found on the web. My question is do I used the US Airborne squad of 3 sections 4 soldier each or the Late war British Infantry squad of 2 sections with 5 soldiers each? I am leaning towards the British OB of a Glider Squad of 2 sections with 5 soldiers each. I would appreciate your input. I've spent hours on the net looking for this info. I can not seem to find a squad level OB."

While I do not know the answer to his question, I have no doubt, given the quality and amassed knowledge of the members of this forum, that someone does know.

Regards,

1st Shirt

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Originally posted by 1st Shirt:

A friend of mine sent me the following e-mail: "I am making a Flames of War 1500 point combat company. I will am going to base the company on the British 1st Border Regiment. Glider Inf 1944. It will have 2ea platoons of Inf, Heavy MG platoon, Mortar Platoon, Recon platoon (3ea jeeps), AT Platoon (3ea 6pdr), Howitzer (3ea pack 75mm). Flames of war does not have an Intelligence Report for British Airborne Forces yet so I based my points and OB on a combo of the Late war British Infantry intell report and the US Airborne Intell report found on the web. My question is do I used the US Airborne squad of 3 sections 4 soldier each or the Late war British Infantry squad of 2 sections with 5 soldiers each? I am leaning towards the British OB of a Glider Squad of 2 sections with 5 soldiers each. I would appreciate your input. I've spent hours on the net looking for this info. I can not seem to find a squad level OB."

While I do not know the answer to his question, I have no doubt, given the quality and amassed knowledge of the members of this forum, that someone does know.

Regards,

1st Shirt

That doesn't look much like an air landing coy to me. It might get an anti-tank troop (4 guns) and a 3-in mortar section (2 tubes) or a pair of MMGs from battalion. British heavy weapons do not usually come in threes.

The pack howitzers are in the Air Landing artillery regiment at division. A battalion would expect to get maybe a one-third share in the fire of one 8-gun battery, and quite probably an FO attached to it.

In British usage "section" means the same as US "squad"; a squad is not subdivided into sections (and in US usage I understand a section is divided into squads, not a squad into sections). I can't find confirmation anywhere, but I would expect the airlanding sections to be the usual ten-man arrangement with a single Bren.

Napier Crookenden's "Dropzone Normandy" gives the organization of an Air Landing battalion in June 1944 as:

Total strength is 1000 all ranks.

Weapons include:

12 MMGs

12 3-in mortars

6 6-pdr ATk guns

George Forty's "British Army Handbook" gives the organization of an Air Landing battalion, August 1944, as:

The battalion has a support company, an AA/ATk company, and 4 rifle companies.

The AA/ATk company has 2 AA platoons and 2 ATk platoons.

Each AA platoon has 6 20mm guns.

Each ATk platoon has 4 6-pdr guns.

Each rifle company has 4 rifle platoons.

Ellis et al's "Victory in the West", 1962, gives the organization of an Air Landing Battalion, 1944, as:

Total strength is 47 officers and 817 other ranks.

The battalion has a support company, an AA/AT company and 4 rifle companies.

The support company includes a mortar platoon.

The mortar platoon has 4 3" mortars.

The AA/AT company has 2 AA platoons and 2 AT platoons.

Each AA platoon has 6 20mm guns.

Each AT platoon has 4 6-pdr guns.

Each rifle company has 4 rifle platoons.

Peter Harclerode's "Go to it!: The illustarted history of the 6th Airborne Division", 2000, gives:

Total strength approx. 800 all ranks.

The battalion has a Bn HQ, an HQ company, a support company and 4 rifle companies.

HQ company includes a recce platoon and a sniper platoon.

Support company has an MG platoon, a mortar platoon and an ATk platoon.

The MG platoon has 4 Vickers MMGs.

The mortar platoon has 4 3-in mortars.

The ATk platoon has 8 6-pdr ATk guns.

Each rifle company has a strength of 6 officers and about 150 other ranks.

Each rifle company has a company HQ and four rifle platoons.

Each company HQ has a a section of 2 3-in mortars.

Each rifle platoon has 36 men.

Martin Middlebrook's "Arnhem: The Airborne Battle" says that 1st Border (part of 1 Air Landing Bde) flew in with a total strength of 788 all ranks.

Make of that what you will.

All the best,

John.

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