Home Forums WWII New article on SOTCW website: Experimental Infantry Brigade 1934 to 1936

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  • #134480
    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    Strictly speaking inter-war rather than WWII, but there’s a new article on the SOTCW website:

    The Durham Light Infantry 1934-36: Part of the British Experimental 6th Infantry Brigade

    Military history author
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    #134488
    deephorse
    Participant

    Thanks for that, very interesting.  Pity that the author concentrated on the MG battalion because I would have liked a similar level of information on the rifle battalions.  In particular I would like to have known how they thought a seven man infantry section would work?  For example, how many men would operate the ZGB?  With only one NCO per section would the ZGB be able to operate independently as a ‘gun group’?  If it did then the remaining rifle group might only be four men strong.  That looks a bit weak on paper so maybe the section never split and operated as a single seven man unit?  A lot of questions that I would like to have seen discussed.

    Less enthusiasm, please. This is Britain.

    #134491
    Jemima Fawr
    Participant

    Thanks for that, very interesting. Pity that the author concentrated on the MG battalion because I would have liked a similar level of information on the rifle battalions. In particular I would like to have known how they thought a seven man infantry section would work? For example, how many men would operate the ZGB? With only one NCO per section would the ZGB be able to operate independently as a ‘gun group’? If it did then the remaining rifle group might only be four men strong. That looks a bit weak on paper so maybe the section never split and operated as a single seven man unit? A lot of questions that I would like to have seen discussed.

    Funnily enough, a seven-man section is exactly what the wartime Motor Battalions had.  And they would often be below that strength, through casualties and LOB.

    My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/

    #134539
    John D Salt
    Participant

    Mr. Picky points out that “improvision” is a perfectly good word, meaning that something has not been provided. It is not a mistake for “improvisation”, and the (sic) following it is therefore not needed.

    All the best,

    John.

    #134594
    Jemima Fawr
    Participant

    I forgot to come back and post this earlier.  This is the experimental uniform and ‘deerstalker hat’ mentioned in Russell’s link:

    My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/

    #134599
    deephorse
    Participant

    Thanks for that.  The uniform looks fairly modern, in that it could easily pass for something worn in the 1950s if it was in green rather than, as I suspect, khaki.  The deerstalkers look like bush hats too from the angle shown in the photo.

    Less enthusiasm, please. This is Britain.

    #134604
    Jemima Fawr
    Participant

    Thanks for that. The uniform looks fairly modern, in that it could easily pass for something worn in the 1950s if it was in green rather than, as I suspect, khaki. The deerstalkers look like bush hats too from the angle shown in the photo.

    Yes indeed.

    My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/

    #134605
    Etranger
    Participant

    They could almost be c1950 Korean war Commonwealth soldiers in that get up. 3RAR in 1951 below.

    I wonder why they didn’t stick with it?

    #134629
    Jemima Fawr
    Participant

    Yes, I think that’s 44 Pattern Battledress.  I think they went for the short BD in the 1930s simply because it was a lot cheaper than the nice, long ‘safari jacket’ and they already had an eye on the coming war with Germany and the need for massive, rapid (and cheap) mobilisation.  Much the same as Frederick The Great having uniform coats made from the minimum amount of material, in order to save money.

    My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/

    #134631
    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    Yes, I think that’s 44 Pattern Battledress. I think they went for the short BD in the 1930s simply because it was a lot cheaper than the nice, long ‘safari jacket’ and they already had an eye on the coming war with Germany and the need for massive, rapid (and cheap) mobilisation.

    I think I’ve heard that before.

    Thanks for the interesting discussion, everyone.

    Military history author
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    #134638
    Jemima Fawr
    Participant

    Then we get into the whole post-war return to BD… The 44 Pattern simply didn’t have enough brass to polish for a peacetime conscript army and you couldn’t Blanco 44 Pattern webbing…

    It’s interesting that the ‘Soldier 95’ combat uniform review came up with much the same conclusions and solutions as the 1944 uniform review (and probably the 1933 review)…

    My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/

    #134658
    MartinR
    Participant

    Wrt seven man sections, iirc I read somewhere in one of the many manuals that the minimum strength for a section to be effective was six men after which they’d have be  amalgamated. So a two man gun group and a four man rifle group. Which was why so many rifle platoons would operate quite happily with 20 or so men, albeit without much tolerance for casualties.

    As noted, motor platoons generally had small sections in any case.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #134661
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Do I remember reading somewhere that the minimum viable platoon strength was considered to be 13 (1 x Pl Comd, 2 x 6-man sections) althought that has zero capacity for absorbing casualties (so could presumably be used only for recce and defence)?

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #134668
    deephorse
    Participant

    I can’t see a platoon of 13 men passing a morale check in any set of rules I’ve ever used!

    Less enthusiasm, please. This is Britain.

    #134689
    Jemima Fawr
    Participant

    Do I remember reading somewhere that the minimum viable platoon strength was considered to be 13 (1 x Pl Comd, 2 x 6-man sections) althought that has zero capacity for absorbing casualties (so could presumably be used only for recce and defence)?

    Yes, Sidney Jary says that in his book ’18 Platoon’.  He also goes on to say that his platoon, though mentions that the ‘spare’ Bren would be held at Platoon HQ – presumably under the control of two men, and then there’s the 2-inch mortar and PIAT to consider… He also mentions that his platoon hardly every operated with three sections.  If things got worse, companies would be reduced to two platoons (each of two sections) and then if it still got worse, companies would be amalgamated.

    My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/

    #134690
    Jemima Fawr
    Participant

    I can’t see a platoon of 13 men passing a morale check in any set of rules I’ve ever used!

    Yes, if those losses are all sustained in one action, but we’re talking here about a pre-battle reorganisation of three understrength sections into two sections.

    My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/

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