Where are the other 15 Quartermaster Squadrons and other important questions

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Joseph Sullivan
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Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:07 pm

The more I look at DUIs, the less sense the numbering system makes. Why does the 1st Division have a whole slew of identified sub-units, and the 2nd Division has none? Why isn't the 16th QM Squadron the 1st QM Squadron unless there are 15 others ahead of it in line?

I gather that the 1st 99 Cavalry regiments were regular army, and that the 100 series were Federalized NG units, but why then jump to the 300 series for more NG? Why are there gaps in the order -- not every number for every brigade or regiment is filled?

Its there any special order to the way the numbered regiments were distributed among the numbered brigades, and the brigades among the divisions?

In short, was there any rhyme or reason to these numbers, or did they just exist?
Joe
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wkambic
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Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:43 pm

One way to make your enemy's intel job easier is to neatly and sequentially number everything in your order of battle. All the Bad Guys have to know is the highest number and they can estimate your capabilities with reasonable accuracy.

Of course if you've got a history of doing this you can also confuse them by creating more numbers that you actually have and have the highest one obvious.

The Army is a really sprawling operation and I suspect that nobody ever attempted to "rationalize" the system for both the reasons above and it would be "too hard." ;)
Bill Kambic

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Joseph Sullivan
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Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:11 pm

Bill:


All good points, but somehow I suspect that the last is the best.
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Mike Miller
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Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:16 pm

The unit numbering systems for WWII and after can be simple and complicated. Armies and Corps are simple as they have a logical sequence. Infantry Divisions also had simple rules as RA divisions had numbers 1-25 reserved for them. NG divisions had numbers 26-45. The numbers 46-75 were held in reserve if needed (63rd, 65th, 66th, 69th, 70th, 71st, 75th used) for additional NG divisions. The National Army divisions had number 76+. Component regimental units had some naming regularities with 1-100 numbered regiments being assigned to RA divisions, 200-299 assigned to NG divisions and 300-+ assigned to NA Divisions. This could also get confusing as some regiments were later mixed into the wrong category of division. The RA units typically had assigned units with a corresponding unit number however this was not always true for a myriad of reasons. NG and NA divisions had corresponding 200 or 300 series numbered support units. This broke down with some attached units units (TD, AAA, having very different numbers such as 600-800.Artillery was even more confusing at times. Armored Divisions lacked order and numbering consistency with two types of divisions Heavy (2nd and 3rd) and light (all the rest). Shelby Stanton's World War II Order of Battle is the best resource for figuring out some of this confusion.
Joseph Sullivan
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Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:20 pm

Alas, the cavalry units were all pre-WW2. Is there a way to figure them out?
Joe
Mike Miller
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Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:47 am

I have information about them too. What specifically did you want to know? There were a lot of RA, NG and Reserve cavalry units. Many were only cadre or paper though.
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Pat Holscher
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Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:51 pm

Another thing to keep in mind is that the U.S. Army didn't really have a divisional structure after the Civil War until 1918. So there were a lot of units of various types that were formed with unit designations that then were incorporated into divisions in 1917.

For example, the, the structure of the 3d Division in 1917-18 was as follows:

5th Infantry Brigade, consisting of;
  • 4th Infantry Regiment, a regular Army regiment.
    7th Infantry Regiment, also a regular regiment
    8th Machine Gun Battalion. I don't know the make up of this unit but machine gun battalions were a recent introduction into the Army. World War One would prove to be unique for the combat use of such battalions and they'd not really reappear in the U.S. Army during World War Two.
6th Infantry Brigade, consisting of;
  • 30th Infantry Regiment. Regular Army.
    38th Infantry Regiment. Regular Army.
    9th Machine Gun Battalion
3rd Field Artillery Brigade, consisting of;
  • 10th Field Artillery Regiment (75 mm) Newly formed in 1916 at Camp Douglas, Arizona.
    18th Field Artillery Regiment (155 mm). Newly formed in 1916 at Ft. Bliss, Texas.
    76th Field Artillery Regiment (75 mm). Converted from regular U.S. Army's 18th Cavalry Regiment wholesale. The 18th Cavalry was a newly formed Cavalry regiment authorized in 1916 which had a brief existence before being converted to cavalry Quite a few of the newly authorized cavalry regiments from the National Defense Act of 1916, and National Guard cavalry regiments, were reorganized from cavalry to artillery or transport. Indeed, even some National Guard infantry was so reorganized. The reorganization of available cavalry regiments made sense in context as the men in them were familiar with handling horses, and artillery was horse drawn at the time.
    3rd Trench Mortar Battery. Another new formation. Trench mortars were a major feature of World War One but would be obsolete by World War Two.
7th Machine Gun Battalion

6th Engineer Regiment

5th Field Signal Battalion

Headquarters Troop, 3rd Division. This was a cavalry troop. I'm not sure what cavalry regiment provided the troops for it. Basically, however, cavalry troops were individual troops assigned from prewar cavalry regiments, quite a few of which were National Guard cavalry troops.

3rd Train Headquarters and Military Police. Military police as a regular establishment was new to the Army at this time, and reflected its enormous growth.

3rd Ammunition Train.

3rd Supply Train

3rd Engineer Train

3rd Sanitary Train

5th, 7th, 26th, and 27th Ambulance Companies and Field Hospital

The point would be that some of these units were brand new creations, but others were long standing units that had not been in divisions. When things were assembled existing designations were retained.
Pat

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Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:29 pm

Yes, it gets confusing.

A lot of trench mortar units and heavy artillery units, those on railroad platforms; were formed from Coast Artillery units. After the War they were returned to the Coast Artillery. Part of the 4th Artillery Regiment, generally a Pack Artillery regiment, went to France and manned 155mm Schneider howitzers.

So, which lineage if followed?
Couvi

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Joseph Sullivan
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Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:02 pm

So, what this means to me is that in the horse-mounted period, there was no general rationale at all for unit numbers and how they fit into divisions and brigades.
Joe
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