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Author Topic: WW1 Late War Austro-Hungarian Infantry Platoon Organisation  (Read 675 times)

Offline armchairgeneral

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Please can anyone help with the WW1 Late War Austro-Hungarian Infantry Platoon organisation. I can only find organisation down to a company.

Offline Driscoles

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Re: WW1 Late War Austro-Hungarian Infantry Platoon Organisation
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2018, 06:19:08 PM »
Isnt it the same as the German army?
, ,

Offline Hombre

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Re: WW1 Late War Austro-Hungarian Infantry Platoon Organisation
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2018, 07:22:14 PM »
from 1916 the changed their Tactics like the German Army and raised
new troops called "Sturmbatallione ".
In Trenchfighting they used Sturmtroops like the Germans for coordinated Attacks.
i use three Stosstrupps for a platoon, one leader and nine troopers.
every Stosstrupp has a flamethrower added.
And some  HMGs for support.
For some scenarios i use smaller troops about 4-5 man.



Offline armchairgeneral

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Re: WW1 Late War Austro-Hungarian Infantry Platoon Organisation
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2018, 07:27:06 PM »
@Driscoles - Not sure. They don’t appear to have used LMGs or rifle grenades to any great extent so these specialist sections wouldn’t be part of the platoon as with the German army. I guess as with the Russians they would have four rifle sections with supporting HMGs and trench or infantry 37mm guns available at company level?

Also rather than a bombing section I guess they had whole bombing platoons/companies or even battalions?

@Hombre - Thanks for your reply. A flamethrower per section seems a lot? Is your organisation based on any source of information?
« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 07:31:42 PM by armchairgeneral »

Offline Metternich

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Re: WW1 Late War Austro-Hungarian Infantry Platoon Organisation
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2018, 01:17:33 AM »
George Nafziger gives the following Table of Organization and Equipment (TOE) for a 1918 Austro-Hungarian(Kaiserlich und Koeniglich, or KuK) Infantry Division:

http://www.314th.org/Nafziger-Collection-of-Orders-of-Battle/918AXAA.pdf

Following gives the breakdown for KuK artillery units 1917-18
http://www.austro-hungarian-army.co.uk/artyorg.html
 
As for KuK Storm Troops (from the same website):  http://www.austro-hungarian-army.co.uk/sturmtruppen.html     see below

"When the AOK noticed, that the Germans had already developed such courses (assault infantry), the German High command was asked, if it was possible to join one course in Beuville. 15 officers of the AH army attended two courses in September / October 1916. The experiences were rather positive, so the AOK asked again to send soldiers to Beuville. The German High command offered, to activate three courses (November 1916, December 1916, January 1917) only for members of the AH army. 120 officers and 300 NCOs were trained in Beuville. Copying the German system, they should be the main cadre of the newly raised AH army assault battalions. These army assault battalions had to train until spring 1917 at least two assault squads ("Sturmpatrouillen") per every infantry company. The composition of these army assault battalions differed due to the available resources in the army area. Normally there were 4 infantry companies, a MG-company, mortars, flamethrowers and engineer squads. The training was rather successful on the north-eastern front, because the low fighting intensity offered enough possibilities to take soldiers out of the front line and send them to the courses. On the other hand, the former "Jagdkommandos" simply changed their designation and were incorporated into these battalions. On the Italian front there were more problems, especially because of the heavy casualties on the Isonzo sector. Regimental commanders often refused to send their best men to the hinterland just for training purposes."
The first test for this young infantry branch was made during the 10th battle of the Isonzo-river. The experiences differed. When the assault companies were split up into squads, being at the head of the infantry in a counter attack, the fighting was always successful. Where they deployed in close formation, the companies suffered heavy casualties, also if there had been no reconnaissance on the objective. Because of this, the AOK developed general orders on how to deploy assault battalions in the future. The composition of the battalions was also fixed. In contrast with the period before and the German system, assault battalions should, be-ginning from June 1917, be raised at the divisional level. Every infantry division should have a divisional assault battalion consisting of as many assault companies as the division had regiments. Every cavalry division had to activate a so-called assault half-regiment. Independent brigades had to raise half-battalions. The number-designation of the assault battalions, half-regiments or half-battalions was the same as the parent divisions/brigade. The companies received the number of their regiment, for instance: k.u.k. Infantry regiment Nr. 14 - k.u.k. Assault Company Nr. 14.

"Concerning the supporting elements many problems had to be faced. In addition to the assault companies, the battalions should consist of a MG-company, an infantry-gun-section, a mortar platoon, a flamethrower platoon and a phone-squad. Because of the shortage of weapons and war material, these units were taken out of the front regiments and had to be returned immediately after the courses or missions. It can be said, that until October 1917 most of the assault battalions had no own support elements. In that case the big victory of the joint AH and Ger-man forces during the 12th battle of Isonzo was decisive for the assault battalions. Much Italian war material and weapons had been captured and were now issued to the assault-troopers. During their training, the soldiers of the assault detachments had always been instructed on enemy weapons, ready to use seized enemy equipment for their own purposes after taking an objective. Now they got plenty of MGs or SMGs, which could be used immediately.During the 12th Isonzo-battle, the AH assault-battalions proved their efficiency during modern trench warfare. Their elite character was similar to the pre-war role of the cavalry. Storm troopers became a symbol of offensive spirit and successful attacks, but led - by the way - to an overestimation of their power to effectively decide the issue on the battlefield. Until June 1918 the AH army had quite a lot of storm troopers at her disposal. Every front-company had at least two assault patrols, ready to perform reconnaissance or special missions on enemy outposts. Secondly there were the regimental assault companies forming the divisional battalions and third the well equipped staff of the army assault courses."

"But from 1918 the system of building the trenches changed. Instead of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd position, combat zones were established. The first and second positions have been brought together to the "main combat zone", about 4 km deep. It was secured to the front by an outpost line. Bunkers, camouflaged MGs, deep obstacle-areas, hidden infantry-guns and mortars fortified the distance between the former first and second position. This meant, during an attack not only lines had to be taken, but the infantry had to break through the whole combat-zone. Despite the large number of available combat patrols, they were simply not enough to take all the objectives in the combat-zone. This was one of the causes, why the offensive on the Piave River in June 1918 failed.  After this battle, all assault units and patrols were taken out of the front and returned to their trainings camps. Their service was reduced to reconnaissance and small assault missions until the end of the war. After the war, the idea of specially trained and equipped assault troops was given up. It was planned to train every soldier in close combat and trench warfare, so there was no need to keep any assault units. Like the whole AH army, the assault-battalions disappeared in November 1918. But it was their skills, their training and their efficiency, which moulded infantry organization and training of the European armies of WW II."

The Encyclopedia Britannica for 1922 notes that for Austro-Hungarian Storm Troops, by the beginning of 1918 each Austro-Hungarian "infantry division headquarters possessed a storm battalion and each cavalry division headquarters and each independent infantry brigade a corresponding unit,all these being formed from the storm troops of regiments, brigades, etc."

  As for supporting pioneers for infantry units, The Encyclopedia Britannica for 1922 also notes that "after 1916 the pioneer sections were expanded into 'technical companies' (one per regiment or independent battalion) and each consisting of an infantry searchlight, a trench mortar, and a bombthrower section."  I think that by "bombthower section" what is meant is a greande launcher, what the Germans called the Granatenwerfer (developed by the KuK who named it the Priestenwerfer, because it had been invented by a priest - but under German Army nomenclature that would have meant that it "threw" priests !  So the Germans called a mortar a Minenwerfer and the grenadelaucher ).  By 1916 the KuK also had adopted the 37mm gun, of which a platoon of two would have been in each KuK infantry regiment (although it was welcomed by the troops, the round lacked the explosive capacity to destroy hardened positions.
As for flamethrowers, the E.B. 1922 notes that the reorganization of the winter of 1917-18 resulted in 60 three-company sapper battalions (1 per division and the remainder at corps level, etc.),  1 flamethrower battalion, and numerous bridging tool and other units (e.g. drilling, electric, searchlight)

Offline Metternich

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Re: WW1 Late War Austro-Hungarian Infantry Platoon Organisation
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2018, 01:29:40 AM »
The Austro-Hungarian "light machine gun."  This may be a reference to the Austro-Hungarian "Sturmpistole M.18, " which was an Austro-Hungarian copy of the Italian Villar-Perosa "light machine gun" (debatable whether it was an LMG or an SMG, as it fired pistol ammunition, but was used as a crew served weapon and had a bipod).  The Italians had issued six per Arditi company, which may be a clue to how the KuK issued them.

Offline armchairgeneral

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Re: WW1 Late War Austro-Hungarian Infantry Platoon Organisation
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2018, 07:16:00 AM »
@Metternich - Thanks for the replies. I had come across the Nafziger website. Although it refers to the company and battalion organisation and support weapons it doesn’t tell me how many sections in a platoon. I guess four each of 9 at full strength?

Offline monk2002uk

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Re: WW1 Late War Austro-Hungarian Infantry Platoon Organisation
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2018, 08:10:12 AM »
As 1918 progressed, several companies went from 4 down to 3 platoons of riflemen per company. Each platoon had 4 sections.

Robert

Offline armchairgeneral

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Re: WW1 Late War Austro-Hungarian Infantry Platoon Organisation
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2018, 09:23:10 AM »
As 1918 progressed, several companies went from 4 down to 3 platoons of riflemen per company. Each platoon had 4 sections.

Robert

Thanks Robert

Offline Driscoles

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Re: WW1 Late War Austro-Hungarian Infantry Platoon Organisation
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2018, 05:19:14 PM »
Thanks Metternich