*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
February 26, 2024, 07:22:16 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Donate

We Appreciate Your Support

Members
Stats
  • Total Posts: 1681536
  • Total Topics: 117778
  • Online Today: 1003
  • Online Ever: 2235
  • (October 29, 2023, 12:32:45 AM)
Users Online

Recent

Author Topic: mid-80s US Mechanized and Armored Company contents?  (Read 1501 times)

Offline Evil Dave

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 495
mid-80s US Mechanized and Armored Company contents?
« on: December 09, 2023, 02:12:53 PM »
I'd like to put together a couple of companies in 6mm to use with various games. How do these look with regards to contents? Is there anything I'm missing? Anything I should add that might find itself on the same table as these during a game (AA, artillery, helicopters, etc)?

I'll likely do two of each, one 84ish and another late-85ish to get some more variety in there.

Mech CHQ
 2 M113/M2
3 Mech Platoons
 4 M113/M2
 1 Platoon HQ squad
 3 Infantry squadd
1 Mech Weapons Platoon (only with the M113)
 2 M901

Armored CHQ
  2 M1/M1IP
  1 M113
  1 M577
3 Armored Platoons
  4 M1/M1IP

For the infantry I likely do stands of 6 with 2 M203s, 1 M60, 1 Dragon and 2 M16s.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2023, 04:26:55 PM by Evil Dave »

Offline CapnJim

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3566
  • Gainfully unemployed and lovng it!
Re: mid-80s US Mechanized and Armored Company contents?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2023, 03:17:35 PM »
As far as the tank company goes, it would have been M1/M1IP/M60A3 until about mid- to late '86, at which time the M1A1 started to be fielded.  So for either of your tank companies, NO M1A1s.  The tank company also had an M577 (which the XO often operated out of) and the 1SG had an M113.

For the infantry, Mech platoons did not have rifle squads in the company HQ.  And the rifle platoons only had 3 rifle squads, although the M113 platoon did have a weapons squad (w/M60 teams).  The Bradley company HQ did have 2 M2s/M113s.  But for either company, the XO was usually in the TOC's M577, and the 1SG operated out of an M113.  The XOs M2/M113 usually provided TOC security.  In '84 it would have been all M113s, while in '85, there would indeed have been some M2 units.   

FYI, I was a tank platoon leader in 2-64 Armor/3rd ID in Germany from '84 through '87, if that helps...
« Last Edit: December 09, 2023, 03:24:06 PM by CapnJim »
"Remember - Incoming Fire Has the Right-of-Way"

Offline Evil Dave

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 495
Re: mid-80s US Mechanized and Armored Company contents?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2023, 04:28:57 PM »
Thanks for your help Jim, I changed the post above.

Offline CapnJim

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3566
  • Gainfully unemployed and lovng it!
Re: mid-80s US Mechanized and Armored Company contents?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2023, 04:55:01 PM »
Glad to help!  Also, Mech Companies had 2 M125 mortar carriers, until about '85/'86 or so.  And this may be of interest to you...  https://www.fireandfury.com/orbats/modcwus.pdf

Offline Evil Dave

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 495
Re: mid-80s US Mechanized and Armored Company contents?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2023, 05:05:36 PM »
Thanks, I had stumbled upon that but I wasn't sure if I was looking at something where numbers were adjusted for in-game ratios, or if it just had typos.

I couldn't reconcile how a mechanized infantry company had 9 infantry and 7 M113s (from the right side of page 25) based on everything else I was reading.

Offline CapnJim

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3566
  • Gainfully unemployed and lovng it!
Re: mid-80s US Mechanized and Armored Company contents?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2023, 05:11:05 PM »
I saw that.  That must have been a typo. 

Offline Evil Dave

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 495
Re: mid-80s US Mechanized and Armored Company contents?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2023, 08:30:59 PM »
How did the battalion assets get allocated? Both the armored and mechanized battalions had a battery of 6 M106s and a recce/scout platoon of 6 M3s. Did these operate together at those numbers? Or get split up and allocated to teams?

And same question for the divisional assets, I guess. What about the armored cav squadrons, artillery, anti-air, SAMs, AHs, etc?
« Last Edit: December 09, 2023, 09:23:27 PM by Evil Dave »

Offline CapnJim

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3566
  • Gainfully unemployed and lovng it!
Re: mid-80s US Mechanized and Armored Company contents?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2023, 08:56:14 PM »
I'd be happy to answer that.  It'll be a longish post, but I won't be able to get to it until later this evening or maybe tomorrow...of course, others might chime in as well.

Offline Evil Dave

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 495
Re: mid-80s US Mechanized and Armored Company contents?
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2023, 09:22:04 PM »
Thanks again Jim, whenever you have time.

Online carlos marighela

  • Elder God
  • Posts: 10667
  • Flamenguista até morrer.
Re: mid-80s US Mechanized and Armored Company contents?
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2023, 10:24:49 PM »
Jim is quite right. The mechanised platoon did not have a weapons squad, unlike light infantry. Instead there was a weapons pool held at platoon level of 3 X M47 Dragons and 2 X M60 machineguns. Bear in mind that if you want to stage your troops out of Berlin, they are organised as light infantry, with pooled M113s (basically a company's worth per battalion).

Here's the relevant field manual for the M113 platoon  under the H series TO&E that was in still in effect in the early 1980s:

https://archive.org/details/fm7777mechinf/page/n3/mode/2up

In 1985 two dismounts were dropped per squad and minor changes were made to the PHQ.

Here's field manual covering the mech platoon in m113 for the J series TO&E, introduced in 1985.

https://www.bits.de/NRANEU/others/amd-us-archive/FM7-7%2885%29.pdf

If you don't fancy skimming through the FMs yourself, then this video has a fair summary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJZkId18ao4


Just a minor point but the first Bradley battalions deployed from the US to Europe for Reforger exercises in 1983, so if you really fancy you could field them. The Bradley org is a complex one but again that video has a decent summary. Not sure what the official position was pre the 1986 FM but I suspect that just codified what was being done already.

Of course Bradley platoons didn't always fare so well tactically on exercise. Fast forward to 6.01 of this little cracker:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMmT3jQqEoo&list=PLXfy-6JidhovxfrS3F4wY7-5f0KhoSbOb&index=6

 ;)

 
Em dezembro de '81
Botou os ingleses na roda
3 a 0 no Liverpool
Ficou marcado na história
E no Rio não tem outro igual
Só o Flamengo é campeão mundial
E agora seu povo
Pede o mundo de novo

Offline CapnJim

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3566
  • Gainfully unemployed and lovng it!
Re: mid-80s US Mechanized and Armored Company contents?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2023, 02:00:44 AM »
Good info, Carlos!  The funny thing about M2 platoons was the 9-man squads.  Which in and of itself is OK, but the M2 was only designed to hold 7 dismounts....

As far battalion assets, as you mention, each heavy battalion had a platoon of 6 M106 mortar carriers, carrying 106mm (4.2") mortars.  We called 'em 4-duece mortars.  They typically deployed together a few clicks back from the FEBA (Army for front line).  While they were trained to fire section (2 tubes) missions, they usually fired platoon missions.  They were not directly attached to line companies.  However, the battalion commander would assign the mortar platoon as direct support to one of the line companies, depending on the tactical situation.  Essentially, that line company would have priority of fires (first dibs) on the mortar platoon's fire missions.  The other companies would then have indirect support, and could get fire support from the mortars as they were available.  Platoon Leaders could call for fire, and their calls for fire would be channeled through their company commander then up to battalion.  Battalion mortars are best represented by off-board artillery.  Their availability should not be automatic (even in the '80s, radios could be a bit wonky), but should be fairly easy for the a company with the mortars in direct support.  A bit harder for companies with them in indirect support.     

Battalion scout platoons were different for M113 battalions and M2 battalions.  Scout platoons in M113 battalions had 3 M113s and 3 M901 ITVs, paired into 3 sections.  The M113s would each have up to 4 dismounted scouts, depending on manpower levels.  M2 battalions would have 6 M3 Bradleys, and each would have 3 dismount scouts.  These too would be paired into 3 sections.  Tank battalions' scout platoons' composition would depend on the infantry carriers their sister mech battalions had.  The scouts too were not directly attached to line companies.  They would generally be a few clicks out in front of the battalion, or perhaps on its flank, screening the battalion.  Mission-wise, we had the 3 F's - Find 'em, Fix 'em, and F*** 'em up.  The scouts' job was to find 'em (the enemy), and maybe fix 'em, again depending on the tactical situation.  The line companies would take care of the fixing and f***ing up.

One thing to keep in mind was that the Army had the Task Force and Team doctrine in place then.  Within a Brigade, a tank battalion and a mech battalion would swap companies.  This would result in a tank battalion with 3 tank companies and a mech company, and a mech battalion with 3 mech companies and a tank company.  These were referred to as Battalion Task Forces.  And within those Task Forces, the Task Force commander would swap platoons between a tank company and a mech company.  This would result in a tank company with 2 tank platoons and a mech platoon, and a mech company with 2 mech platoons and a tank platoon.  These were referred to as Company Teams.  Team Yankee  from Harold Coyle's book of the same title is an example of a Tank Company Team.

Another thing to keep in mind at the company level is the presence of supporting vehicles from battalion and divisional assets.  Examples would include an FSO's M113 from the divisional artillery FDC, a medical M113 from the battalion medical platoon, an M163 Vulcan from the division ADA battalion, and the company's maintenance team from the battalion maintenance platoon (an M113 and/or 2-1/2 ton truck, and an M88 recovery vehicle). 

Brigades subordinate to Divisions didn't have any real assets to discuss here.  I'll discuss divisional-level assets in more detail in my next post.

I hope this helps so far...

Offline Grumpy Gnome

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 5318
    • The Grumpy Gnome
Re: mid-80s US Mechanized and Armored Company contents?
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2023, 09:03:23 AM »
Carlos and CapnJim have a wealth of knowledge and are very good at expressing it.

I can not think of anything to add to what they have said and I served in US Mech Infantry units from 1988 to 2000. I have to admit I am particularly envious of Carlos' breadth of knowledge and CapnJim‘s memory of specific US military information, both of which far surpasses mine. Too much alcohol and blows to the head over the years I suspect.

Both continue to impress me with their knowledge and willingness to share with folks on here. I hope folks appreciate just how excellent a source of information they are.

Home of the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/

Online carlos marighela

  • Elder God
  • Posts: 10667
  • Flamenguista até morrer.
Re: mid-80s US Mechanized and Armored Company contents?
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2023, 10:10:10 AM »
It's all fresh to mind. I've just finished basing my 1984  US Berlin Brigade infantry platoon. Save for a touch of matte varnish, an extra M67 gunner  to round out the weapons squad and an M60 tank that I ordered during the Black Friday sales, it's good as done.*






* I say that knowing that with hobbies nothing is ever really finished. I want to paint a few more MP's, do some of the Germans in the evocatively titled 6941st Guard Battalion and one day do a CEV, if I can find one in the right scale. Then I can get around to blowing up the Starlight Club and Turner Barracks.  :D

Offline Jemima Fawr

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1725
    • Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog
Re: mid-80s US Mechanized and Armored Company contents?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2023, 12:03:55 AM »
Thanks, I had stumbled upon that but I wasn't sure if I was looking at something where numbers were adjusted for in-game ratios, or if it just had typos.

I couldn't reconcile how a mechanized infantry company had 9 infantry and 7 M113s (from the right side of page 25) based on everything else I was reading.
It's adjusted for the game ratios.  Basically 2:1 or 3:1 per vehicle or heavy weapon.  So a company with 7 model vehicles is 3x platoons of 2 and an HQ of 1.
Suffering from insomnia?  Too much excitement in your life?  Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog might be just the solution you've been looking for: www.jemimafawr.co.uk

Offline AKULA

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • Galactic Brain
  • *
  • Posts: 6211
Re: mid-80s US Mechanized and Armored Company contents?
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2023, 08:50:42 AM »
A really useful thread - have learnt a lot from this  :)

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
13 Replies
6264 Views
Last post October 18, 2007, 09:19:40 PM
by Chairface
6 Replies
6046 Views
Last post October 05, 2008, 08:53:49 AM
by BigMecha
2 Replies
1554 Views
Last post July 26, 2011, 04:17:16 AM
by Darkoath
36 Replies
11176 Views
Last post June 19, 2014, 11:10:12 AM
by Too Bo Coo
1 Replies
1445 Views
Last post September 18, 2014, 02:23:52 PM
by Julfdi