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Author Topic: Looking for 1930s Irish army TO&E.  (Read 5201 times)

Offline commissarmoody

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Looking for 1930s Irish army TO&E.
« on: October 28, 2013, 06:10:54 AM »
As the title says, looking for the TO&E of an Irish army, platoon. Also company, battalion, and regimental support is also welcome.
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Offline Arlequín

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Re: Looking for 1930s Irish army TO&E.
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2013, 11:07:45 AM »
I don't know a great deal about the Irish Army of the era I'm afraid. After 1929 it was reduced to a force of 10,000 men, the main combat element of which was 5 infantry battalions (Numbered 1-5), the Cavalry Corps and the Artillery Corps. With reservists called up the whole force could be rounded out to a division of two brigades.

The Cavalry Corps was a mix of armoured cars, cyclist units, but with no actual horse cavalry. The Wikipedia article on its vehicles is very good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armoured_fighting_vehicles_of_the_Irish_Army#Vickers_Mk._D_Tank

The post Civil War army began with a core composed of officers and regulars who had served in the British Army, so I suspect that unit organisation would be very similar to that of the British Army, rather than them trying to 'reinvent the wheel' at the time... but that is of course a guess on my part.

 :)

Offline carlos marighela

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Re: Looking for 1930s Irish army TO&E.
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2013, 12:30:58 PM »
No idea about platoon orgs but this will give you quite a bit of info including the make up of the battalion per 1923 ( apparently three rifle companies and a 'light machine gun unit' with a total strength of 497 all ranks)

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=7yVsz0GYWSEC&pg=PA43&lpg=PA43&dq=irish+army+TO%26E&source=bl&ots=ptCcNILDkJ&sig=xYGgLM6LwkWaXV12qt6hmnDwQQY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=d1RuUpCqL4H1lAXGloHYCw&ved=0CEsQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=irish%20army%20TO%26E&f=false

There is an Osprey on the topic but no idea what detail it goes into. The Irish Army has always been blighted by governmental parsimony and the number of battalions fluctuated during the period. They also bought penny packets of equipment. A single Vickers Mark D , two Landsverk L-60 tanks a handful of Leyland and Landsverk armoured cars etc etc.

This should give you the equipment listings and another source of Orders of battle.

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38127
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Offline commissarmoody

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Re: Looking for 1930s Irish army TO&E.
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2013, 12:41:33 PM »
Thanks, I will look into this after work.


Offline commissarmoody

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Re: Looking for 1930s Irish army TO&E.
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2013, 02:03:07 AM »
Thanks SP, that is what I was looking for.
apparently the regular army had 3/7 man squads and an MG Squad with 7 man Lewis gunner squad with 3 guns.
And each battalion had a 4 platoon maxim gun company with 4 platoons of 4 guns each.

The volunteer units had 4/9 man squads and with one Lewis gun in each.
So not much change really in the force structure at the company level. 

 Now to figure out some good national characteristics  for games like COC.

Offline S_P

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Re: Looking for 1930s Irish army TO&E.
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2013, 02:35:53 AM »
Happy to help  :) :) :)

Offline commissarmoody

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Re: Looking for 1930s Irish army TO&E.
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2013, 03:22:13 AM »
 <img src="http://images.britishpathe.com/?id=6476&num=10&size=thumb" title="IRISH ARMY IN THE FIELD" width="352" height="264" />[/url]
The Irish army on maneuvers in 1933

http://northstrandbombing.wordpress.com/interviewees/army-during-the-emergency/
Also from this article we can gleam that.
The infantry battalion of 881 all ranks consisted of a headquarters company, a machine-gun company and three rifle companies. Its most formidable armament was undoubtedly the sixteen Vickers medium machine-guns in the four platoons of the machine-gun company, a higher proportion it would seem than one finds in other armies. On the other hand it was weak in mortars and even weaker in anti-tank guns, a serious deficiency. The rifle companies had four platoons each, the platoons being further divided into three ten-man sections. With a light machine-gun (usually a Lewis gun but in some cases Bren guns) in each section, the rifle company was moderately well armed.

And as for characteristics of the army training we get.

 The basic training of the soldier seems to have been satisfactory. They were toughened with marching, had a decent level of rifle marksmanship and probably an even better standard with crew-served weapons such a light and medium machine-guns. The basic training of officers and NCOs was also satisfactory but advanced training was not.
So just regular all the way around troops . Not particular shining in one area or another, but focused training on LMGs and MMGs.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2013, 07:41:51 AM by commissarmoody »

Offline carlos marighela

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Re: Looking for 1930s Irish army TO&E.
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2013, 08:18:27 AM »
That is basically a carbon copy of the contemporary British Army "imperial" battalion organisation, right down to the MG company. This org proved problematic on the NWF in the thirties due to the difficulty of transporting the guns and ammo.

Fair bet that you could take platoon organisation from the British Army as well.

Offline Arlequín

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Re: Looking for 1930s Irish army TO&E.
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2013, 09:03:43 AM »
'The Emergency' might not necessarily reflect the same organisation as during the rest of the thirties. It was the same in Britain, pre-1938 organisations are not the same as post-1938 ones.
:)

Offline commissarmoody

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Re: Looking for 1930s Irish army TO&E.
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2013, 12:33:05 PM »
The early list of the volunteers and regular were supposed to represent the force structure up tell 1938, but aside from the video I haven't seen much on their training. I am just guessing that they emulate British doctrine.

Offline carlos marighela

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Re: Looking for 1930s Irish army TO&E.
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2013, 07:52:18 PM »
Early on a significant number of their officers and NCOs were ex British Army which ws a contributing factor to the mutiny IiRC. I have this vague memory that dear old Eammon, America's finest son at one point was interested or even invited a delegation from the French Army. Of course he was a rabid Anglophobe. That said the battalion org is more than  strongly suggestive of British doctrine and there was sod all professional military thinking to be drawn from the former ranks of the IRA.

By the time of the 'emergency' there were probably more Irishmen in the British Army than there were in the Irish Army and kudos to those who had the guts to join the big biffo against fascism. There's a lovely if somwhat apocryphal tale of two Irishmen in a slit trench at El Alamein waiting for the barrage to lift and one says to the other "well you can say what you like about de Valera but a least he kept us out of this war".

 :)

Offline Arlequín

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Re: Looking for 1930s Irish army TO&E.
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2013, 10:04:18 PM »
The figure of 5,000 deserters from the Irish Army in 1939 is often bandied about, roughly half the army.

In the video mentioned above, they seem to be working in sevens as they cross that field, and on the march bit, the Lewis guns appear to be in one section. Which bears out the first lot of organisation. 

Offline commissarmoody

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Re: Looking for 1930s Irish army TO&E.
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2013, 11:06:16 PM »
Great, so the volunteers had a more modern TO&E and the regular army had an older structure most likely left over from the great war vets experiences, with all the LMGs concentrated in one squad. I would imagine that they would most likely be dived up as need amongst the rest of the platoon when on patrol. And concentrated when on the assault to give support by fire.

So I guess long and short, I will treat them exactly as a British platoon when using the COC rules. With the  "Fire by fives" rules. (squad leader has the rifle team increase there volume of fire)
And "concentrated fire" allowing a gun team to target an enemy team as opposed to the whole section. And increase there fire on that team.

Sound good?
I know I am beating a head horse by repeating that, but when I finish my little write up for an interwar Irish platoon to be use in the interwar era. I don't want some one to pop up saying that, so and so training manual dictated that they were to assault backwards, using there left foot as the lead foot and only to use there bayonets in to open letters and cans of tuna fish.  ;D

Offline Arlequín

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Re: Looking for 1930s Irish army TO&E.
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2013, 11:36:53 PM »
Great, so the volunteers had a more modern TO&E and the regular army had an older structure most likely left over from the great war vets experiences, with all the LMGs concentrated in one squad.

Not necessarily... the army was restructured and re-equipped in the late 30's as war in Europe seemed likely, the speech by the good Major was about 'The Emergency' and the film was from 1933.

I wouldn't want to commit to 'the British way' as the method... but the Lewis section laid down a base of fire and the other sections manoeuvred in the assault, but there were obviously variations.

 

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