*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 29, 2020, 04:28:50 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Donate

We Appreciate Your Support

Members
Stats
  • Total Posts: 1446485
  • Total Topics: 101572
  • Online Today: 361
  • Online Ever: 1409
  • (January 16, 2020, 09:05:58 PM)
Users Online

Recent

Author Topic: British & German 1914 Platoon Org  (Read 977 times)

Offline Bohica

  • Student
  • Posts: 19
British & German 1914 Platoon Org
« on: August 12, 2020, 05:44:14 PM »
Hello Folks, Can anyone point in the direction of TO&Es for German and British Infantry platoons in 1914.  I am trying to put together a skirmish force using Empress Miniatures and I can find details on my internet searches.

Thanks
It could be worse

Offline armchairgeneral

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • Mastermind
  • *
  • Posts: 1256
Re: British & German 1914 Platoon Org
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2020, 06:20:17 PM »
At full strength, in 1914 a British infantry platoon had 1 officer, 1 sergeant, 1 batman/runner and 4 sections of 12.

A German platoon, had 4 sections of 19 men with an NCO and 2 subsections of 9 so 77 in total.

All the above are riflemen so rather boring. By the mid to late period you had specialist sections of rifle grenadiers, LMGs, close assault grenadiers and riflemen so tactically much more interesting with more options  :)

Current and forecast unpainted leadpile - 526 figures. Painted 2020 - 0

Offline Mad Gadgeteer

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 193
Re: British & German 1914 Platoon Org
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2020, 08:24:33 PM »
A German platoon, had 4 sections of 19 men with an NCO and 2 subsections of 9 so 77 in total.

Huh... I show two different organizations for 1914; perhaps there is a pre-war organization and a post declaration of war organization.

The first one shows, in great detail:

"Companies were then further divided into three Platoons ('zugen') led by a senior NCO or junior officer, numbered 1-3 and with 4 Sections ('korporalschaften') to each Platoon. These sections were commanded by a corporal and were numbered 1-12 throughout the Company. The smallest subdivision of the German Army was the 9 man Squad, including its squad leader (a lance-corporal), two of which made up the Section."

The other shows, in lesser detail:

"A typical rifle platoon was divided up into 9 squads and consisted of 81 men made up."

It also points out that "to make up for the smaller number of riflemen in a rifle company, new weapons were incorporated into the makeup of the platoons in the rifle company. In 1914, each rifle company was supported by a heavy machine gun platoon."

"May the dice of your God's roll like the breasts of your favorite concubine."  Graeme "Henry" Henderson, Dumfries c1980

Offline armchairgeneral

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • Mastermind
  • *
  • Posts: 1256
Re: British & German 1914 Platoon Org
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2020, 08:48:03 PM »
Well I read your organisation as the same as mine? 4 sections to each platoon. 2 squads of 9 to a section? Plus NCOs and Officers gives 76 to 80 odd men per platoon.

HMGs may well have been allocated at company level but the question was directed to platoon organisation.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2020, 08:50:47 PM by armchairgeneral »

Offline Mad Gadgeteer

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 193
Re: British & German 1914 Platoon Org
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2020, 10:10:43 PM »
Well I read your organisation as the same as mine? 4 sections to each platoon. 2 squads of 9 to a section? Plus NCOs and Officers gives 76 to 80 odd men per platoon.

HMGs may well have been allocated at company level but the question was directed to platoon organisation.

I was referring to the addition of a 9th squad as apposed to just 8.  The 9th appears to have been added to either just combat units once the war started or added to all across the board. 

The mention of the HMG was just a reference in case he wanted to add one into the mix...

Geeze....

Offline carlos marighela

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 8201
Re: British & German 1914 Platoon Org
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2020, 04:45:05 AM »
I suspect that the ‘9th squad’ is in fact the command element of the platoon. Officer/SNCO platoon commander, 2IC and a couple of supernumeraries, most likely runners. 4x19= 77, 77+4 = 81.
Eu sempre te amarei
Onde estiver estarei
Oh meu Mengooo

Tu és time de tradição,
RAÇA, AMOR e PAIXÃO
Oh meu Mengooo!

Offline monk2002uk

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 471
Re: British & German 1914 Platoon Org
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2020, 05:10:16 AM »
It is definitely not the case that infantry companies were supported by an HMG platoon in 1914. The British and French operated HMG sections at the battalion level. The German army allocated HMGs by company at the regiment level, ie the 13th Company in an infantry regiment. On the 1914 battlefield, the German MG companies did detach MG sections for specific purposes. Occasionally this meant that an infantry company from all three armies might have had, at most, an MG section 'attached' by proximity. The converse means that 3 out of 4 infantry companies would not have been associated with any MGs directly, though indirect fire might have been used in support.

Robert

Offline Mad Gadgeteer

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 193
Re: British & German 1914 Platoon Org
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2020, 06:18:54 AM »
It is definitely not the case that infantry companies were supported by an HMG platoon in 1914. The British and French operated HMG sections at the battalion level. The German army allocated HMGs by company at the regiment level, ie the 13th Company in an infantry regiment. On the 1914 battlefield, the German MG companies did detach MG sections for specific purposes. Occasionally this meant that an infantry company from all three armies might have had, at most, an MG section 'attached' by proximity. The converse means that 3 out of 4 infantry companies would not have been associated with any MGs directly, though indirect fire might have been used in support.

Robert

http://www.worldwar1.com/sfgermreorg.htm

It matches a reproduntion German infantry field book I have in my collection as well. So, don't know what to tell you.

Offline carlos marighela

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 8201
Re: British & German 1914 Platoon Org
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2020, 07:18:48 AM »
It would however require a tripling of German machine gun holdings in 1914 to be true. I think it’s fairly well established that the Germans had a machine gun company of six guns per infantry battalion, which, if parcelled out would allow for two or possibly three (with a battalion in reserve and two up front) per battalion not per company. Those machine guns could be farmed out to battalions but what I’ve read on the subject suggests a preference for concentrating them. The British army was more likely to parcel out individual guns based on colonial experiences.

Jaeger battalions received the full 6 gun allotment so they could conceivably placed a pair with each company but I doubt there were the additional guns to do this with line regiments in 1914. This is all pre Machinegun Sharpshooter battalions, company held LMGs and the like.

Offline armchairgeneral

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • Mastermind
  • *
  • Posts: 1256
Re: British & German 1914 Platoon Org
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2020, 01:11:14 PM »
Geese....

Meaning? Your initial response of “Huh” suggested the organisation I gave was incorrect although the first source you quoted confirmed it.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2020, 07:49:28 PM by armchairgeneral »

Offline monk2002uk

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 471
Re: British & German 1914 Platoon Org
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2020, 08:05:48 PM »
http://www.worldwar1.com/sfgermreorg.htm

It matches a reproduction German infantry field book I have in my collection as well. So, don't know what to tell you.
With the hyperlink, are you referring to the image labelled 'Infantry Regiment Combat Units 1914'? It is just over half way down the page?



The structure in that image is categorically wrong. The 1914 MG Company should branch at the top node, sitting alongside the 3 infantry battalions. Note how each battalion has 4 infantry companies, hence 12 infantry companies in total. Thus the MG Company was labelled 13th Company.

What is the name of the reproduction German infantry field book?

Robert

Offline Driscoles

  • The Dude
  • Moderator
  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 4177
Re: British & German 1914 Platoon Org
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2020, 06:46:18 AM »
For a skirmish game I suggest 10 to 12 figures per unit and 1 hmg every 40 to 50 figs.
I also suggest at least one cavalry unit per side. It makes each early ww1 game more fun.

To all the experts here please be kind and respectful.

Cheers
Björn
, ,

Offline monk2002uk

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 471
Re: British & German 1914 Platoon Org
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2020, 07:14:25 AM »
Skirmish games can be adjusted in whatever way suits, for sure. Here is an AAR and photos of one that we played in Bolt Action, based on a fictional 1918 encounter battle. You can see the over-representation (from an historical perspective) of the various weapons systems. It was a fun game though...

http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=78675.msg963029#msg963029

Robert

Offline huevans

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 698
Re: British & German 1914 Platoon Org
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2020, 01:55:04 AM »
With the hyperlink, are you referring to the image labelled 'Infantry Regiment Combat Units 1914'? It is just over half way down the page?

The structure in that image is categorically wrong. The 1914 MG Company should branch at the top node, sitting alongside the 3 infantry battalions. Note how each battalion has 4 infantry companies, hence 12 infantry companies in total. Thus the MG Company was labelled 13th Company.

What is the name of the reproduction German infantry field book?

Robert

Robert, that's a HUGE platoon by WW2 standards. Were there particular C&C difficulties that might be reflected in a skirmish game?

Offline monk2002uk

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 471
Re: British & German 1914 Platoon Org
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2020, 07:33:39 PM »
I can't comment on the comparative sizes of early war 1914 infantry platoons versus WW2 platoons. The latter is not something I am anywhere near as familiar with. It was a revelation to discover that the Spearhead stand (WW2 ruleset) represented a platoon, with roughly the same frontage as a Great War Spearhead stand, which represents an infantry company.

Based on your comment (thank you), the large size of a WW1 platoon is compensated for, from a command and control perspective, by the much closer proximity of the sections. This did not negate the possibility of orders becoming distorted during transmission along the line but the ability to maintain flank contact was easier.

The bigger problem with WW1 skirmish actions is that the close proximity of more dense formations makes for heavy casualties if the platoon is targeted. Hence an off-table enemy machine gun section could completely destroy an entire infantry platoon in minutes. Likewise a heavy artillery shell hit could devastate a platoon.

FWIIW, skirmish actions are best fought as advance guard vs advance or rear guard actions in relatively close terrain. Early war, mid-war (Operation Alberich in early 1917), and late-war (German Spring offensives or Last 100 Days) are examples on the Western Front.

Robert

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
20 Replies
6974 Views
Last post November 03, 2008, 02:55:08 PM
by Will Bailie
7 Replies
3374 Views
Last post April 14, 2011, 04:00:30 AM
by Stecal
17 Replies
3877 Views
Last post February 27, 2014, 12:15:49 PM
by armchairgeneral
0 Replies
1014 Views
Last post July 23, 2016, 01:23:38 PM
by Khurasan Miniatures
7 Replies
1500 Views
Last post November 28, 2016, 08:42:20 AM
by Kelgtar