Home Forums WWII WW2 US Anti-Aircraft Units

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  • #179072
    Avatar photoWhirlwind
    Participant

    I am looking for some information on how US Anti-Aircraft assets were organized in 1944-45 in Europe.  Very specifically I am looking at where M16 Quad 0.50 vehicles would be held and where 40mm Bofors guns were held, but any info gratefully received.

    #179077
    Avatar photoDon Glewwe
    Participant

    Single-source info I found/used:

    A Battalion (of four Batteries) could be assigned to an infantry Division.

    A Battery had two Platoons, each with four Sections of an M16 and a Bofors (?)

    http://www.militaryresearch.org/44-27%2022Apr44.pdf

     

    As a Divisional asset I figured their distribution was pretty much “whatever the General wanted”?  For my planned Battle of the Bulge campaign I decided that farming the Batteries out to each static-defense infantry Battalion and, further down the line, one Section to each Company made enough sense to me to game it that way…dunno.

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #179104
    Avatar photoMartinR
    Participant

    Not sure about the US organisation specifically, but in terms of deployment, AA is generally found defending large, important and vulnerable targets like HQs, supply dumps, divisional artillery, positions, bridges etc. Vast enemy air superiority might induce you to roll it along with combat units, and vast friendly air superiority might induce you to use it as direct fire artillery instead.

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

    #179161
    Avatar photoMartinR
    Participant

    OK, I dug out my (very old) Command Decision TOEs. It seems there were a few different organisations for attached AAA battalions, but for the 1943 to 45 Infantry Div, Chadwick lists the AAA Auto Weapons Battalion, Mobile (attached).

    HQ battery and four firing batteries, each with two (troops?) of M16 MGMC, and two troops of Bofors guns.

    For the 43/44 Light Armoured Div, it is AAA Auto Weapons Battalion, SP (attached) with HQ battery and four firing batteries with a halftrack mounted HQ and two troops each of M15 and M16 MGMC.

    If I had to guess the allocation, for armoured Divs, one battery per combat command and one with Div HQ, and for infantry, one per RCT and one with Div HQ, but as I said above, I’d expect them to mainly be defending the artillery, logistic elements, HQs and criticalbridges etc for those formations.

     

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

    #179212
    Avatar photoWhirlwind
    Participant

    Very many thanks both

    #179214
    Avatar photoJim Webster
    Participant

    Also note that by late 1944 and into 1945 the overwhelming allied air superiority meant that there was less need for AA units than for infantry. Somewhere I read a comment that some AA units were just used as infantry. Blowed if I can remember where now 🙁

    But I suspect that towards the end of the war, deployment might be more flexible that rigid TOE might suggest

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #179232
    Avatar photoMartinR
    Participant

    Certainly battalion level AA platoons were often disbanded in 44/45. Division and Corps stuff, less so, as Luftwaffe still conducted bombing raids right into 1945.

    But yes, the air threat was generally lower for Allies. The US AA battalions weren’t part of the divisional structure in any case, just attached, unlike the British LAA Regiments.

    Re disbanding, by the time 43rd Infantry Div reached the Seine in August 44, they disbanded all the battalion AA and AT platoons, as well as the carrier platoon and one of the rifle companies , but the infantry platoons were still down to 20 men each, albeit with two Brens per section.

     

     

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

    #179234
    Avatar photoJim Webster
    Participant

    Thanks for that, nice to have memories confirmed  🙂

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

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