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War Establishment - Canadian Infantry Battalion June-Aug 1944 also LCA loading

August 12 2008 at 11:29 AM
Michael Dorosh 

Can anyone provide hard date (i.e. source document) vis a vis the War Establishment of an infantry battalion as it was deployed in Normandy in the summer of 1944?

Am looking for the establishment of men (i.e. ranks and appointments) as well as allocation of weapons and vehicles.

Also, as a secondary question, was there an official "assault company" W.E. for the designated assault companies on the beaches? An LCA could hold 35 men, but an infantry platoon was 36 men. Here is my problem - each company had 5 LCAs, and there were engineers and FOO teams allocated to the LCAS in addition to three infantry platoons. So how do you divide three platoons + RCE and RCA into five boats?

 
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AuthorReply
Mark W. Tonner

Re: W.E. Cdn Inf Bn Jun-Aug 44 - Normandy

August 12 2008, 2:01 PM 

Hi Michael;

You wrote ... "Can anyone provide hard date (i.e. source document) vis a vis the War Establishment of an infantry battalion as it was deployed in Normandy in the summer of 1944?

Am looking for the establishment of men (i.e. ranks and appointments) as well as allocation of weapons and vehicles"

The Infantry (Rifle) Battalions of the 4th, 5th, 6th (2nd Div) 7th, 8th, 9th (3rd Div) and 10th (4th Div) Canadian Infantry Brigades in Normandy from June through August 1944 would have been organized as per W.E. Cdn II/233/3 which had come into effect 5 August 1943 (G.O. 466/43 and C.M.H.Q. Administrative Order No. 119, 7 Aug 43) which gave each battalion an authorized strength of 37 officers and 811 other ranks (each rifle company had 5 officers and 122 other ranks, each platoon had 1 officer and 36 other ranks). W.E. Cdn II/233/3 was superceded by W.E. Cdn II/233/4 effective 15 August 1944 (G.O. 553/44).

Under W.E. Cdn II/233/4 there was no change in the basic organization or in the strength of a Canadian Infantry (Rifle) Battalion, apart from a note which provided for an additional four privates (one driver I.C. per rifle company) when the battalion formed part of an armoured division.

W.E. Cdn II/233/4 - Amendment No. 4 - effective 27 September 1944 (G.O. 19/45), however, added a Scout officer plus his batman, thus increasing the strength of a Canadian Infantry (Rifle) Battalion to 38 officers and 812 other ranks.


Hope this helps.

Cheers

Mark

 
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Michael Dorosh

It's a start

August 12 2008, 5:31 PM 

Would that I had copies of those - any chance you would have them on hand?

 
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Doug Townend

Combat loading of LCAs for D-Day

August 12 2008, 2:38 PM 

In addition to the three platoons, there was Coy HQ, support weapons, the FOO party if one was alloted, Engineer party if alloted, etc. And dont forget the ladders and bicycles!!
Given that each platoon had a specific task, any attached troops would probably have gone into the platoon LCA. The FOO party would have gone into the Coy HQ LCA.
From pictures I'm sure we've all seen, the loading was tight but sufficient for the platoon and all the atts and dets.
DT.

 
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Kent Aist

Left Outs

August 12 2008, 2:49 PM 

What was the actual strength of a platoon when it deployed on D-Day since there should have been some left behind as cadre if needing to rebuild?


 
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Michael Dorosh

Exactly

August 12 2008, 5:31 PM 

I believe you can count the "left outs" among the bicycles; they came in with the reserve battalions/reserve brigade via LCI...

Did anyone have a specific loading list for the LCAs? I'm not picturing it. Reference to "support weapons" isn't very descriptive, as to my mind, support weapons in an infantry company were pooled in Support Company, or in the Platoon Headquarters in a 1944 infantry company. Since Support Company consisted of Anti-Tank guns and Mortars (which I don't envision them schlepping ashore on D-Day), I have no idea what this could refer to. I've not seen reference to flamethrowers in use on D-Day by Canadians, either. Bunker-busting seems to have been the task of the AVsRE and Sherman DDs, or by hand grenades and demo charges when the tanks failed to show or were ineffective (in the case of the QOR and the Winnipegs).

Thanks for the replies thus far.

 
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Kevin Lambie

Regina Rifles landing table

August 17 2008, 8:40 PM 

Michael,

Somewhat anecdotal for your purposes, but have dug out my landing tables for the RRR, and it appears that 119 marching personnel was the number for all four rifle coys in the first and second waves. The first wave was as follows:

A Coy 119 pers
1 Pl (Sigs Sec) 4
BnHQ (Med Sec) 4
6 Fd Coy RCE 18
13 Fd Regt RCA FOO pty 3

Total in 5 LCAs 148


B Coy 119 pers
1 Pl (Sigs Sec) 4
BnHQ (Med Sec) 4
6 Pl (Pnr Sec) 7
6 Fd Coy RCE 12
13 Fd Regt RCA FOO pty 3

Total in 5 LCAs 149

2 pers from each of A and B Coys landed a carrier in the third wave (H+75 mins)
One extra Lt for A Coy (H+3-4 hrs)
A and B Coy CQMS (H+4 hrs)

That comes to 123 for A Coy and 122 for B Coy by H+4 hrs, no additional pers in the landing tables.

A total of 32 pers did not land until 16 Jun, though I have no information on how these were distributed between Coys.


Kevin Lambie
http://www.reginarifles.ca

 
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Michael Dorosh

Extremely helpful

August 18 2008, 9:04 AM 

Hardly anecdotal coming from you, Kevin, and very much useful. Depending on your schedule and interest, I may have a "D-Day" related document I'd like peer reviewed by you - if you're interested.

 
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Kevin Lambie

Anecdotal?

August 18 2008, 10:06 AM 

Just not certain if this is typical or just a single data point if units had the opportunity to tweak these numbers a bit depending on their tasks.

Happy to review a document for you, though I'm still a neophyte at far too much of this stuff.

 
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