The Evolution of Divisions and Separate Brigades/A Prelude to the Past, a Look to the Future

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The Evolution of Divisions and Separate Brigades by John B. Wilson
Chapter V: A Prelude to the Past, a Look to the Future
Illustrations not included
  • “Nor can it be questioned that the Division as now organized and composed . . . of foot, animal, and motor elements, all with varying rates of speed, is uneconomical, unwieldy and unadapted to the demands of modern mobile warfare”.
  • General Malin Craig 1

After establishing post-World War I divisions, the Army experienced a prolonged period of stagnation and deterioration. The National Defense Act of 1920 authorized a Regular Army of 296,000 men, but Congress gradually backed away from that number. As with the Regular Army, the National Guard never recruited its authorized 486,000 men, and the Organized Reserves became merely a pool of reserve officers. The root of the Army's problem was money. Congress yearly appropriated only about half the funds that the General Staff requested. Impoverished in manpower and funds, infantry and cavalry divisions dwindled to skeletal organizations.

Meanwhile, the General Staff and service schools searched for a divisional structure, particularly for the infantry, that best suited the conditions of modern warfare. Like their European counterparts, American military planners remembered, above all, the indecisiveness that had dominated the battlefield in World War I. The result had been a protracted war of hitherto unimagined devastation. The search for a sound divisional organization was part of the effort to find the means of restoring decisiveness to warfare. Otherwise, victors might suffer as much as, or even more than, the vanquished. These considerations drew attention especially to various means of improving the division's mobility and maneuverability so that the Army could avoid future wars of position that would force it to adopt the bloody strategy of attrition.

Paper Divisions[edit]

Between 1923 and 1939 divisions gradually declined as fighting organizations. After Regular Army divisions moved to permanent posts, the War Department modified command relationships between divisional units and the corps areas. It placed elements of the 1st and 3d Divisions and the 8th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 16th, and 18th Infantry Brigades directly under the corps area commanders, making division and brigade commanders responsible only for unit training. They were limited to two visits per year to their assigned elements-and that only if corps area commanders made funds available. Later, as a further economy move, the War Department reduced the number of command visits to one per year, a restriction that effectively destroyed the possibility of training units as combined arms teams.2

In July 1926 the commander of the 1st Division, Brig. Gen. Hugh A. Drum, wrote to the Second Corps Area commander, Maj. Gen. Charles P. Summerall, that "it is not an exaggeration to say that the division as a unit exists only on paper." 3 Drum requested the return of all administrative, logistical, and disciplinary functions for his divisional elements within the corps area and authority to visit each divisional regiment once a month and each brigade every three months. He also wanted to organize a proper division headquarters. Summerall concurred with Drum's request, but Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. John L. Hines denied it in the interest of economy and simplicity of administration, supply, and discipline. On 31 December 1926 Summerall, by then Chief of Staff, reversed the decision and gave Drum command of all 1st Division units in the Second Corps Area and permission to reorganize the divisional headquarters. Drum could also coordinate inspection arrangements with other corps area commanders where his units were stationed. The following July Summerall restored the same privileges to the 3d Division's commander, Brig. Gen. Richmond P. Davis, at Fort Lewis, Washington. Brigade commanders, however, were not granted similar authority.4

While discussing the need to reconstitute the 1st Division as a combat unit, Drum stressed the importance of building esprit. Unfortunately, the few tangible symbols the Army had used to enhance morale were initially denied to divisions and brigades after the war. Regular Army soldiers returning from France were not allowed to wear divisional shoulder sleeve insignia because they "cluttered" the uniform. The men appealed to Secretary of War Newton D. Baker, who subsequently approved the use of shoulder sleeve insignia throughout the Army. When a division adopted a "patch" design, soldiers put it on their uniforms and emblazoned it on their divisional flag. The other item, the campaign streamer, representing participation in a major operation was denied to headquarters of divisions and brigades because they were command and control units rather than fighting organizations. Although the policy was contested, it was not until after the 1st and 3d Divisions reestablished effective headquarters that the War Department granted division and brigade headquarters the right to display on their flags streamers symbolizing the campaigns in which they had directed their subordinate units.5

A sharp decline in divisional readiness occurred after 1922, when Congress again cut the Regular Army's size, this time to 136,000 officers and enlisted men. The Chief of Staff, General of the Armies John J. Pershing, reduced the strength of the infantry division from 11,000 to 9,200 men, but he did not authorize the inactivation of any divisional elements. Four years later Congress expanded the Army Air Corps without a corresponding increase in the Army's total strength. Rather than cut the size of ground combat units, the War Department turned again to inactivating units. The Panama Canal Division lost an infantry regiment, the 8th Brigade an infantry battalion, and the 16th Brigade two infantry battalions. Given continuing personnel shortages, the chief of infantry complained in 1929 that not another man could be taken from his units if they were to conduct effective training. Therefore, another round of inactivations took place. The 8th, 10th, 12th, 14th, and 18th Brigades and the Philippine Division each lost a battalion. A year later the Philippine Division inactivated an infantry brigade headquarters, and in 1931 the division lost another infantry regiment.6

Infantry divisions also suffered shortages in the area of combat support. By 1930 the 1st and 2d Divisions and the Philippine Division had the only active medical regiments in the Regular Army, and they were only partially organized. During the previous year the War Department had removed the air squadron and its attached photographic section from the division. Simplicity of supply, maintenance, and coordination and better use of personnel justified the reduction. Offsetting that loss, a small aviation section was added to the division headquarters to coordinate air activities after air units were attached. In 1931, to provide quartermaster personnel for posts and stations in the United States, the quartermaster train in each active division except the 2d was reduced to two motor companies and a motor repair section. Besides these units the 2d retained one wagon company. No train headquarters remained active.7

Unlike the other organizations, in theory divisional field artillery was increased during the interwar years. Until 1929 the Army maintained two 75-mm. gun regiments for the 1st, 2d, and 3d Divisions and a battalion of 75s each for the Panama Canal Division, the Philippine Division, and the separate infantry brigades. The Hawaiian Division fielded one 155-mm. howitzer and two 75-mm. gun regiments, all motorized. During 1929 Summerall restored the 155-mm. howitzer field artillery regiment to all infantry divisions. Although the 155-mm. howitzer still lacked the mobility of the 75-mm. gun, the change made divisional artillery, in theory, commensurate with that found in foreign armies.8

Besides a shortage of personnel, the 2d Division, the only division housed on one post in the United States, lacked adequate troop quarters. Living conditions at its home, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, were deplorable for both officers and enlisted men by the mid-1920s. To remedy the situation the War Department decided to break up the division in 1927 and move its 4th Brigade to Fort D. A. Russell, Wyoming, where suitable quarters were available. That move left only the Hawaiian Division concentrated at one post, Schofield Barracks, a situation that continued until the Army began to prepare for World War II. Thus, despite the wishes of Army leaders, by 1930 the Army was again scattered throughout the country in a number of isolated bases.9

The cavalry division illustrated other aspects of the Army's dilemma between realism and idealism. In 1923 the 1st Cavalry Division held maneuvers for the first time, intending to hold them annually thereafter. However, financial constraints made that impossible. Only in 1927, through the generosity of a few ranchers who provided free land, was the division able to conduct such exercises again.10

In 1928 Maj. Gen. Herbert B. Crosby, Chief of Cavalry, faced with personnel cuts in his arm, reorganized the cavalry regiments, which in turn reduced the size of the cavalry division. Crosby's goal was to decrease overhead while maintaining or increasing firepower in the regiment. After the reorganization the cavalry regiment consisted of a headquarters and headquarters troop, a machine gun troop, and two squadrons each with two troops. The cavalry brigades' machine gun squadrons were inactivated, while the responsibility for training and employing machine guns fell to the regimental commanders, as in the infantry.11

About the same time that Crosby cut the cavalry regiment, the Army Staff, seeking to increase the usefulness of the wartime cavalry division, published new tables of organization for an even larger unit. The new structure summarized changes made in the division since 1921 (Chart 7), which involved increasing the size of the signal troop, expanding the medical unit to a squadron, and endorsing Crosby's movement of the machine gun units from the brigades to the regiments. A divisional aviation section, an armored car squadron, and tank company were added, and the field artillery battalion was expanded to a regiment. Divisional strength rose to 9,595. Although the new tables had little impact on the peacetime cavalry structure, the 1st Cavalry Division did eventually receive one troop of an experimental armored car squadron, and a field artillery regiment replaced its field artillery battalion.12

Even with austere conditions, the Army did not lose sight of its tactical missions. For example, Maj. Gen. Preston Brown, commander of the Panama Canal Department, urged the replacement of the Panama Canal Division with Atlantic and Pacific command groups. Having examined the supply system, the probable tactical employment of troops, and the advantages of other command systems, he decided that a divisional structure did not represent the best solution in the Canal Zone. The War Department agreed to inactivate the division headquarters in 1932 with the understanding that special tables of organization would be kept on file to facilitate the reorganization of the division within a few hours. Such a situation, however, never occurred, and the division remained inactive.13

Reserve Divisions[edit]

The condition of reserve divisions paralleled that of the Regular Army. In 1924, three years after the states began reorganizing the National Guard divisions, the Militia Bureau suspended federal recognition of new units because of the chronic lack of money. The suspension lasted two years, until Secretary of War Dwight R Davis lifted it to provide additional units for the states. That decision permitted further organization of the 40th Division (California), the least developed of all the Guard infantry divisions. The repeal also allowed Minnesota and New York to organize two infantry brigade headquarters, the 92d and 93d, respectively, for nondivisional units to meet mobilization needs.14

Infantry divisions in the National Guard remained basically stable organizations despite being extremely under strength, and before 1940 only a few regimental changes were made. In most divisions the artillery brigade's ammunition train was not authorized because it had an exclusively wartime mission. As in the Regular Army, the 155-mm. howitzer regiment was authorized in 1930, and by mid-1937 all divisions had a federally recognized 155-mm. howitzer regiment or part of one. The strength of infantry divisions varied, but no division reached the 11,000 men prescribed in the peacetime National Guard tables of organization. The nadir was in 1926, following the suspension of federal recognition. By 1939 Guard infantry divisions averaged 8,300 troops each.15

National Guard cavalry divisions proved unsatisfactory because they were scattered over too large an area for effective training. The Militia Bureau first attacked the problem in 1927, when it realigned some divisional elements to reduce the geographic size of the divisions. Two years later the bureau limited cavalry formations to brigade-size units, assigning one brigade to each corps area (Table 11). The formation of the 59th Cavalry Brigade was authorized to meet the need for the additional brigade called for in the plan. At that time the bureau withdrew federal recognition from the 22d Cavalry Division headquarters, the only cavalry division to have a federally recognized headquarters. Unlike Regular Army cavalry regiments, Guard regiments retained their six line troops, except those in the 52d Cavalry Brigade, whose regiments were able to recruit and maintain sufficient personnel to support nine troops.16

Brigades remained the largest cavalry units in the Guard until the mid-1930s, when Congress authorized an increase in its strength. In 1936 the National Guard Bureau, formerly the Militia Bureau, returned to federally recognizing cavalry division headquarters. By mid-1940 the bureau had federally recognized headquarters for the 22d, 23d, and 24th Cavalry Divisions, but not for the 21st. At that time the 21st consisted of the 51st and 59th Cavalry Brigades, the 22d of the 52d and 54th, the 23d of the 53d and 55th Brigades, and the 24th of the 57th and 58th Cavalry Brigades; the 56th Cavalry Brigade served as a nondivisional unit.17

The Organized Reserves maintained infantry and cavalry divisions that were authorized a full complement of officers but only enlisted cadres. Many divisions met or exceeded their manning levels for officers, but enlisted strength fell below cadre level. In 1937 Secretary of War Harry W Woodring held the opinion that the dearth of enlisted men kept the Organized Reserves from contributing much to mobilization. Under these conditions effective unit training was impossible.18

More Realistic Mobilization Plans[edit]

Mobilization underpinned the maintenance of divisions, but the Army's preparedness program lacked substance. Undermanned divisions had no higher command headquarters despite ambitious plans to group all 54 infantry divisions in the United States into 18 Organized Reserve army corps and these corps into 6 Organized Reserve armies with each army also having 2 cavalry divisions. In 1927 the General Staff began to shift toward more realistic war plans. When division and corps area commanders met in Washington to discuss Army programs that year, one of the topics they examined was the status of Regular Army divisions and brigades. The senior officers believed that reinforced brigades serving as nuclei of divisions were impractical. Chief of Staff Summerall argued that to mobilize a skeletal division (a reinforced brigade) would take the same amount of time as organizing a completely new division since both would have to be filled with recruits.19

In August 1927 the staff released new war plans for the Regular Army that reassigned the active brigades of the 8th, 9th, and 7th Divisions to the 4th, 5th, and 6th Divisions, respectively, and the inactive brigades of the last three divisions to the first three. These were paper transactions only. In an emergency, however, the Regular Army would now be able to field the 1st through the 6th Divisions. For the 4th, 5th, and 6th, it needed only to activate divisional headquarters and support units. But with no station changes, the Army leadership lost further sight of an important World War I lesson: the need to have divisions concentrated for combined arms training.20

Also in 1927, for echelons above divisions in the Regular Army, the adjutant general constituted one army, one cavalry corps, and three army corps headquarters. In addition, the 3d Cavalry Division, a new Regular Army unit, was added to the rolls to complete the cavalry corps. No army corps, cavalry corps, or army headquarters was organized at that time, but moving these units in the mobilization plans from the Organized Reserve to the Regular Army theoretically made it easier to organize the units in an emergency. The Organized Reserve units, after all, were to be used to expand the Army following the mobilization of Regular Army and National Guard units.21

With increased tensions in the Far East and the rearmament of European nations, Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur scrapped existing plans for echelons above divisions and created an army group in 1932. He established General Headquarters (GHQ), United States Army, with himself as commander, and ordered the activation of four army headquarters, one each for the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the Mexican and Canadian borders (Map 2). To the four army headquarters he assigned eighteen army corps headquarters, and to the corps headquarters the fifty-four infantry divisions. The Regular Army cavalry corps, which comprised the 1st, 2d, and 3d Cavalry Divisions, was assigned to the Fourth Army, and the four mounted National Guard divisions to the GHQ. Organized Reserve cavalry divisions remained in those areas where the armies were to raise units.22

In planning for the four armies, Brig. Gen. Charles E. Kilbourne, chief of the War Plans Division, suggested to MacArthur that he drive home to the president, the secretary of war, and the Congress exactly how the Army's strength had affected readiness. The Army could not even field four infantry divisions as a quick response force because of the lack the men to fill such a force and the bases to accommodate it. Furthermore, if such a force were concentrated, or even committed, it would be unable to support training of the reserves. Kilbourne viewed an increase in Army strength as unlikely but nevertheless recommended as a goal the maintenance of four peace-strength infantry divisions, one for each army, and five reinforced infantry brigades.23

The War Department established an embryonic readiness force on 1 October 1933. Divisional forces returned to their pre-1927 configuration, with the 1st, 2d, and 3d Divisions having two active infantry brigades and the 4th through 9th Divisions having only one active brigade each. In the Fourth Corps Area the 4th Division also received a third active infantry regiment, another step closer to the four-division ready force. The next year the field artillery brigades of the 1st through 4th Divisions were realigned to consist of one 155mm. howitzer and two 75-mm. gun regiments, and each active infantry brigade was authorized a 75-mm. gun regiment. All field artillery units were partially active. No division or brigade was concentrated on a single post during the reorganization.24

The four-army plan introduced some realism into the arrangements for mobilizing Regular Army infantry divisions, but no true emergency force existed because of personnel shortages. During the next few years the Army revised the preparedness plans by reassigning divisions and assigning new priorities to them, but no division could meet an immediate threat.

Motorization and Mechanization[edit]

Even though the status of divisions between the two world wars fell far short of readiness because of low manning levels, developments in at least organizational theory were significant. Divisions designed to fight on a static front and endure heavy casualties were no longer acceptable. World armies sought divisions that could defeat an opponent with maneuver and firepower. Writers such as the Englishmen J. F. C. Fuller and Basil Liddell Hart led the way, advocating the employment of machines to restore mobility and maneuverability to the battlefield. Motorization, the use of machines to move men and equipment, had begun early in the twentieth century and progressively increased thereafter with technological advances. As a means of movement and transportation behind the front line in France, infantry divisions used cars, motorcycles, trucks, and motorized ambulances. Some field artillery regiments also used caterpillar tractors to move heavier artillery pieces. After World War I all divisions were authorized some motorized vehicles, but neither infantry nor cavalry divisions had enough to move all their men and equipment. Field Service Regulations stipulated that infantry divisions would depend upon army corps or army units to provide transportation in the field.25

In 1927 the 34th Infantry, an element of the 4th Division, conducted experiments using trucks to move itself, disembark, and fight. Two year later, in 1929, the Army started a program to motorize eight infantry regiments, four in the Hawaiian Division and four in the United States assigned to the 4th and 5th Divisions. To equip each of these small peacetime regiments, the staff authorized 1 passenger and 4 cross-country cars, 15 motorcycles, and 50 trucks, with most vehicles coming from obsolete World War I stocks. In 1931 Congress appropriated money for the first significant purchase of trucks since World War I, enabling the Army to motorize the supply trains of the 1st, 2d, and 3d Divisions. One wagon company in the 2d Division remained however, because of the reluctance to consign the horse and wagon to the past.26

By 1934 the Army had developed motorized equipment for field artillery that equaled the cross-country mobility of the horse and had sufficient endurance to conduct high-speed marches. Motorization of the Regular Army's field artillery began when Congress gave the Public Works Administration money to buy vehicles for the Army. Within five years all Regular field artillery regiments assigned to infantry divisions had truck-drawn pieces.27

Besides providing mobility on the battlefield, trucks helped the Army save money between World Wars I and II. In 1932 a crisis developed in the National Guard infantry divisions because they lacked a sufficient number of horses to train the field artillery. After extensive evaluation, the Guard determined that trucks were more economical than horses, and the following year it began to motorize the 75-mm. guns. By the end of 1939 all Guard divisions had truck-drawn field artillery, except for one regiment in the 44th Division.28

Mechanization involved employing machines on the battlefield as distinct from transporting personnel and equipment. During World War I the British and French had developed tanks to aid the infantry in the assault, and, using borrowed equipment, the AEF had organized tank brigades before the end of the war. In combat, however, tanks fought in small units, usually platoons, in infantry support roles. Their slow speed and lack of electronic communications capability made any other tactical employment impractical. After the war the tank company replaced the motorized machine gun battalion in the American infantry division. Postwar Army doctrine for tanks still prescribed that they support infantry in close combat to provide "cover invulnerable to the ordinary effects of rifle and machine gun fire, shrapnel, and shell splinters." 29 Although the British and French Armies adopted similar doctrine, continuous improvements in engines, suspension, and radios steadily increased the capabilities of such machines. In 1926 the British, responding to the prodding of Fuller, Liddell Hart, and others, tested an independent mechanized force that could make swift, deep penetrations in an enemy's rear, disorganizing and defeating an opponent before effective resistance could be mounted.30

The following year Secretary of War Davis observed a mechanized demonstration at Aldershot, England, and upon returning home ordered development of a similar force. On 30 December 1927, he approved an experimental brigade consisting of two light tank battalions, a medium tank platoon, an infantry battalion, an armored car troop, a field artillery battalion, an ammunition train, chemical and ordnance maintenance platoons, and a provisional motor repair section, all existing units. In July 1928 units of what was called the Experimental Mechanized Force assembled at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, under the command of Col. Oliver Estridge. For the next three months the force, more motorized than mechanized, conducted field tests. Automobile manufacturers contributed trucks and cars, but the few available pieces of mechanized equipment were obsolete.31

Shortly after Davis approved the organization of the Experimental Mechanized Force, Maj. Gen. Frank Parker, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3.32 adopted another approach toward mechanization. He concluded that the mechanized experiment would lead nowhere because the force "would lack the fixity of tactical purpose and permanency of personnel on which to base experimental work, and its equipment will be so obsolete as to render its employment very dissimilar to that of a modernly-equipped mechanized force," 33 Parker recommended that Summerall appoint a board to prepare tables of organization and equipment for a mechanized force, establish the characteristics of its vehicles, and develop doctrine. Summerall, with Davis' concurrence. established the Mechanized Force Board on 15 May 1928. 34

Within six months the board designed a combined arms armored force of approximately 2,000 officers and enlisted men. It consisted of a headquarters and headquarters company, a light tank battalion with an attached chemical company, a field artillery battalion, an engineer company, and two infantry battalions each consisting of two rifle and two machine gun companies (Chart a). A medium tank company, an armored car troop, and a .50-caliber antiaircraft artillery detachment were to be attached to the force. Probable missions embraced spearheading an attack, serving as a counteroffensive force, penetrating enemy defenses, temporarily holding a key position, and operating in the enemy's rear area to disorganize his reserves. To carry out these missions, the officers drew up a "shopping list" for light and medium tanks, armored reconnaissance cars, semiautomatic rifles, rapid cross-country vehicles for infantry, self-propelled 37-mm. antitank guns, self-propelled 75-mm. and 105-mm. howitzers, and two-way radios. The report recommended that the force begin as a small unit and build gradually to full strength. Since new mechanized equipment would not become available before fiscal year 1930, the board saw no need to assemble the unit until then. Davis endorsed the plan in November 1928.35

Two years later, just before Summerall left office, Col. Daniel Van Voorhis organized the first increment of the unit, which was designated the Mechanized Force, at Camp Eustis, Virginia. Consisting of a tank company, an armored car troop, a field artillery battery, and an engineer company, it totaled roughly 600 men. There, however, the project stopped. Because of the Great Depression, Congress never appropriated money for more new equipment, and Van Voorhis' force had to make do with World War I-vintage equipment along with horses and wagons. Of more concern, the infantry, cavalry, and other arms and services opposed the use of scarce Army funds to finance the new organization. With limited amounts of new wine available, customers wanted their old bottles filled first.36

In May 1931 the new Chief of Staff, General Douglas MacArthur, changed the direction of mechanization. He observed that recent experimental units had been based on equipment rather than on mission and that an item of equipment was not limited to one arm or service. He therefore instructed all arms or services to develop fully their mechanization and motorization potential. Under MacArthur's concept, cavalry was to continue work with combat vehicles to enhance its role in such areas as reconnaissance, flank action, and pursuit, while infantry was to explore ways to increase its striking power by using tanks. His decision spelled the end of the separate Mechanized Force, and five months later it was disbanded. Units and men assigned to the force were returned to their former assignments, except for about 175 officers and enlisted men. including Van Voorhis, who remained with mechanized cavalry. They transferred to Camp Henry Knox (later Fort Knox), Kentucky, to create a new armored cavalry unit.37

On 1 March 1932, Van Voorhis organized the 7th Cavalry Brigade to experiment with mechanization. At that time it consisted of only a headquarters, but the following January the 1st Cavalry moved from Marfa, Texas, to Fort Knox where it became part of the brigade. Shortly thereafter the regiment adopted tentative tables of organization that provided for a covering squadron, a combat car squadron, a machine gun troop, and a headquarters troop. Each squadron had two troops, and the regiment had a total of seventy-eight combat cars. That structure lasted until 1 January 1936, when the War Department outlined a new organization that consisted of a headquarters and band, two combat car squadrons of two troops each, and headquarters, service, machine gun, and armored car troops. The new tables authorized the regiment to have seventy-seven combat vehicles, all developmental items. Eventually the War Department assigned a second cavalry regiment, a field artillery battalion equipped with 75-mm. guns (mounted on self-propelled half tracks), ordnance and quartermaster companies, and an observation squadron to the brigade. The brigade became the Army's first armored unit of combined arms, contributing much to the development of mechanized theory in the interwar years. However, bureaucratic in-fighting often stifled the unit's development.38

Although many European theorists urged the development of independent armored forces, their armies made little progress toward the formation of such units. The British abandoned their experiments in 1927 and did not organize their first armored divisions until 1939. The French organized light armored divisions in the 1930s, but put most of their tanks in various infantry support roles. In the United States the Regular Army fielded two partially organized tank regiments as a part of the infantry arm between 1929 and 1940.39

Both German and Russian Armies took a different approach. Neither had employed tanks in World War I, but both saw their potential. Only after Adolph Hitler abrogated the military provisions of the Versailles Treaty in 1935, however, did the German Army develop offensive-oriented armored panzer divisions. But their interest in mechanization, especially tanks, was evident throughout the period, as witnessed by the several visits by German officers to the 7th Cavalry Brigade at Fort Knox in the mid-1930s. The Russians experimented with tanks from all industrial nations and favored the use of mass armor in the mid-thirties. On the eve of World War II, however, the Russians had shifted emphasis to small tank units in support of an infantry role.40

A New Infantry Division[edit]

January 1929 marked the beginning of a ten-year struggle to reorganize the infantry division. The Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, General Parker, reported that European countries were developing armies that could trigger a war of greater velocity and intensity than anything previously known. Great Britain, France, and Germany were engrossed with "machines" to increase mobility, minimize losses, and prevent stabilization of the battlefront. The British favored mechanization and the French, motorization, while the Versailles Treaty limited the Germans to ideas and dreams. Some Europeans adopted smaller, more maneuverable, triangular infantry divisions that were easier to command and control than the unwieldy square division. Since the Army planned to introduce semiautomatic rifles and light air-cooled machine guns, Parker suggested that the 2d Division conduct tests to determine the most effective combination of automatic rifles and machine guns. Summerall agreed to the proposal but extended the study to encompass the total infantry division. The study was to concentrate on approved standard infantry weapons, animal-drawn combat trains, and motorized field trains. The chief of staff placed no limit on road space, a principal determinant of divisional organization before and immediately after World War I.41

The Chief of Infantry, Maj. Gen. Robert H. Allen, who had responsibility for organizing and training infantry troops, agreed to the examination but objected to having the commander of the 2d Division supervise the tests, which he believed fell within the purview of his own office. Eventually Summerall agreed, and Allen assigned the job to the Infantry Board at Fort Benning, Georgia.42

During the investigation several proposals surfaced for a triangular infantry division, which promised greater maneuverability, better command and control, and simplified communications and supply. Nevertheless, Army leaders turned down the idea. Maj. Bradford G. Chynoweth of the Infantry Board attributed the retention of the square division, which was imminently suitable for frontal attacks, to Summerall. As a former division and army corps commander in France, Summerall saw no need for change.43

The question of the infantry division's organization lay dormant until October 1935, when Maj. Gen. John B. Hughes, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, revived it. In a memorandum for General Malin Craig, MacArthur's successor as Chief of Staff, Hughes suggested that the General Staff consider modernization of the Army's combat organizations. Although great strides had been made in weapons, equipment, transportation, and communications, organizations were still based on World War I experiences. He also noted that such organizational initiatives were the purview of the General Staff, an obvious reference to the resistance of the chief of infantry in 1929 to reexamine divisional organizations. Since the General Staff was responsible for total Army organization, Hughes thought it should conduct any such examination.44

In November Craig canvassed senior commanders regarding reorganization issues. He noted the infantry division in particular had foot, animal, and motor units, all with varying rates of speed, which did not meet the demands of modern warfare. Craig wondered if the division were too large, and, if so, whether or not could it be reduced in size. Possibilities for reduction included moving support and service functions to army corps or army level, cutting infantry to three regiments, and reorganizing the field artillery into a three-battalion regiment. No consensus emerged. Even the three champions of infantry the Infantry School, the Infantry Board, and the chief of infantry-failed to agree on a suitable organization, differing especially on the continued existence of infantry and field artillery brigades as intermediate headquarters between the regiment and the division.45

On 16 January 1936 Craig created a new body, the Modernization Board, to examine the organization of the Army. Under the supervision of Hughes, the board was to explore such areas as firepower, supply, motorization, mechanization, housing, personnel authorization, and mobilization. It was to consider recommendations from the field, the General Staff, service schools, and any earlier studies, including those concerned with foreign armies. Despite this broad charter, the board members nevertheless addressed only the infantry division, considering the total Army organization too extensive and too complex to be covered in one study. Besides, the board concluded that the formation of higher commands rested upon the structure of the infantry division.46

The board's report, submitted on 30 July 1936, rejected the square infantry division and endorsed a smaller triangular division (Chart 9), which could easily he organized into three "combat teams." Its proposal cut the infantry division from 22,000 officers and enlisted men to 13,500 and simplified the command structure. The brigade echelon for infantry and field artillery was eliminated, enabling the division commander to deal directly with the regiments. The enduring problem of where to locate the machine gun was dealt with again; one machine gun battalion was included in the infantry regiment, which also had three rifle battalions. The field artillery regiment consisted of one 105-mm. howitzer battalion and three mixed battalions of 75-mm. howitzers and 81-mm. mortars. The latter were to be attached to the infantry regiments in combat. To assist in moving, searching, and operating quickly on a broad front, cavalry returned to the division for the first time since before World War I in the form of a reconnaissance squadron, to be equipped with inexpensive unarmored or lightly armored cross-country vehicles. The anticipated rapid movement of the division minimized the need for extensive engineer work, except on roads. Therefore, an engineer battalion replaced the existing regiment. Because engineers would be primarily concerned with road conditions, they were also to provide traffic control in the divisional area. A signal company was to maintain communications between the division and regimental headquarters, and attached signal detachments were to perform these services within regiments.47

To increase mobility, the division's combat service support elements underwent radical changes. A battalion of trucks and a quartermaster service company of

laborers formed the heart of a new supply system. They handled the baggage and noncombat equipment of all divisional elements. Each divisional unit was responsible for its own ammunition resupply. The new arrangement led to the elimination of the ammunition train, regimental field trains, and the quartermaster regiment. A quartermaster light maintenance company was added to service the motor equipment. The maintenance of hospitals passed to the army corps. A newly organized medical battalion collected and evacuated casualties, while infantry, field artillery, cavalry, and engineer units kept their medical detachments to provide immediate aid. All service elements were placed under a division service troops command, headed by a general officer, with a headquarters company that performed the provost marshal's duties and included the division's special staff.48

To comply with Craig's directive for the division to employ the latest weapons, the board recommended that its infantrymen be armed with the new semiautomatic Garand rifle, which the War Department had approved in January. For field artillery, the board wanted the even newer 105-mm. howitzer, which was not yet even in the Army's inventory.49

Members of the board concluded that they had given the division all the combat and service support resources needed for open warfare. Those elements not required were moved up to the army corps or army echelon. Additional units, such as heavier field artillery, antimechanized (antitank), tank, antiaircraft, aviation, motor transport, engineer, and medical units, might be required, but the board made the divisional staff large enough to coordinate the attachment of such troops. Although small, the new division was thought to have equal or greater firepower than the square division and occupied the same frontages as its predecessor.50

In a separate letter to Craig, Hughes summarized the advantages and disadvantages of the new infantry division. Pluses included its highly mobile nature, the ease with which infantry and field artillery could form combat teams, and the reduction in the number of command echelons and amount of administrative overhead. He also pointed to improvements in transportation, supply, and maintenance, since all animal transport was eliminated. Given such a division, he believed that the Regular Army could achieve a viable readiness force without an increase in authorized personnel. Drawbacks appeared minor. The states might not accept a reallotment of National Guard infantry divisions in peacetime. As a federal force, those divisions served only in national emergency or war, but as state forces they had been located and frequently used to cope with local emergencies and disasters. Hughes questioned splitting communication functions between the arms and the signal company and the pooling of transportation for baggage and other noncombat equipment into the service echelon. Both arrangements could generate friction because the functions would be outside the control of the user. He was also concerned about the loss of the infantry and field artillery brigades because they eliminated general officer positions. Finally, training literature would need revision and dissemination to the field.51

After reviewing the report, Craig decided to test the proposed division with attached antimechanized (antitank) and antiaircraft artillery battalions and an observation squadron. He selected the 2d Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. James K. Parson, to conduct the test between September and November 1937. The resulting Provisional Infantry Division (PID) included 6,000 men from the 2d Division and a similar number from other commands, which also furnished much of the equipment. The examination, the first in the history of the Army, was held in Texas, where space and terrain permitted a thorough analysis of the unit.52

Even before the test ended, Maj. Gen. George A. Lynch, Chief of Infantry, vetoed the proposed organization in a report to the staff in Washington. Having witnessed part of the exercise, he viewed the separation of the machine gun from the rifle battalion and the attachment of the signal detachment and mortar battery to the infantry regiment as mistakes. The first prevented teamwork in the regiment, and the second interfered with unity of command. Lynch considered the attached antitank battalion an infantry unit because it used the same antitank weapons as the infantry regiment. He objected to the commander of the service troops, contending that the presence of a general officer in this position complicated the chain of command. Furthermore, since the movement of the trains depended on the tactical situation, only the division commander could make the decision to move them. Because field, supply, and ammunition trains operated to the rear of the combat units, Lynch discerned no need for them in the division. He suggested that the Army return to the fixed army corps, in which divisions did the fighting and the corps provided the logistical support.53

Shortly after Lynch's negative account, the New York Times reported that Craig planned to appoint a special committee to design an infantry division based on the PID test. The article claimed that the committee was to include Maj. Gen. Fox Conner, Col. George C. Marshall, and a third unnamed officer. Eventually Brig. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, the Chief of Staff of the RID, was identified in private correspondence as the third member. Conner and Marshall, former members of the Lassiter Board, had supported Pershing's small division. Conner had also served as Craig's personnel representative at the PID test. Within a few days Marshall, writing from Vancouver Barracks, Washington, told a friend that such a board would look like a "stacked deck" to secure a small division. As it happened, any plans for the group fell through when Conner retired for medical reasons.54

The final report on the PID test, mostly the work of McNair, noted many of the divisional weaknesses identified by Lynch, but, instead of assigning the division to a fixed army corps, McNair proposed a new smaller and more powerful division. To attain it, he recommended that the infantry regiment have an antitank company and three battalions, each with one machine gun and three rifle companies. The machine gun company was to be armed with both machine guns and mortars. Inclusion of the antitank company in the regiment eliminated the need to attach such a battalion to the division. Like Lynch, he suggested eliminating signal detachments in favor of infantry, artillery, and cavalry troops. To increase firepower and range, McNair wanted to replace 75-mm. howitzers with 75-mm. guns and one battalion of 105-mm. howitzers with 155-mm. howitzers. He felt that mortars had no place in the division artillery because they could not provide close support for infantry and their rate of fire, range, and accuracy failed to meet field artillery standards. Another battery of 75-mm. guns in each direct support battalion was to replace the mortars. Because the reconnaissance squadron operated considerably in front of the division and on its flanks, he proposed that it be moved to the corps level. McNair sensed an overabundance of engineers. In a war of movement, engineers would not have the time to do extensive road work. Another responsibility, that of traffic control, could return to the military police. Therefore, the engineer battalion could be reduced to a company and a separate military police unit would combine provost marshal and traffic control missions. McNair also faulted the special command for the service troops organization and advised its elimination. He believed the ordnance company and band were unnecessary and advocated their reassignment to higher echelons. The quartermaster service company and motor battalion were to be combined as a quartermaster battalion, which was to supply the division with everything except ammunition. Each combat element was to remain responsible for its own ammunition supply. These changes produced a division of 10,275 officers and enlisted men.55

After analyzing all reports and comments, the Modernization Board redesigned the division, retaining three combat teams built around the infantry regiments. Each regiment consisted of a headquarters and band, a service company, and three battalions, each with one heavy weapons company armed with 81-mm. mortars and .30and .50-caliber machine guns and three rifle companies, but no antitank unit. The .50-caliber machine guns in the heavy weapons companies and the 37-mm. guns in the regimental headquarters companies were to serve primarily as antitank weapons. The large four-battalion artillery regiment was broken up into two smaller regiments, one of three 75-mm. gun battalions and the other with a battalion of 105-mm. howitzers and a battalion of 155-mm. howitzers. Although the test had shown that the field artillery commander had no problems with the four-battalion unit, school commandants and corps area commanders questioned the quality of command and control within the regiment. Two general officers assisted the commander, one for infantry and one for field artillery, but they were not in the chain of command for passing or rewriting orders. Within the combat arms regiments, signal functions fell under the regimental commanders, while the divisional signal company operated the communication system to the regiments. The engineer battalion was retained but was reduced in size and consisted of three line companies in addition to the battalion headquarters and headquarters company. Traffic control duties moved to a new military police company that combined those activities with the provost marshal's office.56

The board completely reorganized the supply system. The combat arms were given responsibility for their own ammunition resupply and baggage. Therefore, the motor battalion was eliminated. A new quartermaster battalion was established, which included a truck company to transport personnel and rations, a service company to furnish laborers, and a headquarters and headquarters company. The headquarters company could do minor motor maintenance requiring less than three hours, while major motor maintenance moved to the army corps level. The quartermaster light maintenance and ordnance companies were removed from the division. Medical service within the division was based on the assumption that it would be responsible for the collection and evacuation of the sick and wounded to field hospitals established by corps or higher echelons. The former headquarters company, service troops, was incorporated into the division headquarters company.57

With no change expected in total Army strength, the new division had two authorized strengths, a wartime one of 11,485 officers and enlisted men and a peacetime one of 7,970. During peacetime all elements of the division were to be filled except for the division headquarters and military police companies, which were to be combined. Other divisional elements required only enlisted personnel to bring them up to wartime manning levels.58

After the Modernization Board redesigned the division, Craig decided to spend a year evaluating it before he determined its fate. The 2d Division, selected once more for the task, again borrowed personnel and equipment from other units to fill its ranks. Between February 1939 and Germany's invasion of Poland on 1 September, the "Provisional 2d Division" commanded by Maj. Gen. Walter Krueger tested the proposed unit. Krueger found the organization sound except for the quartermaster battalion and the need to make some minor adjustments in a few other elements. The quartermaster battalion lacked enough laborers and trucks to supply the division, and he recommended increases in both. With its many pieces of motorized equipment, the division required more maintenance personnel. Minor changes included augmentations to the divisional intelligence (G-2) and operations (G-3) staff sections, a slight increase in the signal company to handle communications for the second field artillery regiment, a complete motorization of the engineer battalion, and the replacement of the five regimental bands with one divisional band.59

Maj. Gen. Herbert J. Brew, Eighth Corps Area commander and the test director, concurred with most of Krueger's findings except for the engineer and quartermaster battalions. He opposed completely motorizing the engineer unit because the engineers were to be limited to the divisional area instead of a broad front. He favored an increase in the number of trucks in the quartermaster battalion but not to the extent suggested by Krueger. Brew also saw no need for infantry and artillery sections having their own general officers, because the commander could easily deal with all elements, but he recommended a staff officer, not necessarily a general officer, to coordinate field artillery fire. To make room for a second general officer in the division, he suggested that the division's chief of staff become the second-in-command with the rank of brigadier general because he would know more about the division than anyone else except for the commander.60

On 14 September 1939, Lt. Col. Harry Ingles of the Modernization Board summarized the evolution of the division's organization, focusing on the report of Krueger and the comments of Brew. He also recommended resolutions to the disputed points. Two days later Marshall, who had replaced Craig as Chief of Staff on 1 September, approved a new peacetime division, which included infantry and artillery sections headed by general officers in the division headquarters, a motorized engineer battalion, a divisional band within the headquarters company, and an increase in the number of trucks in the quartermaster battalion (Chart 10). Marshall's division was completely motorized.61

Still, the new organization did not totally satisfy Marshall. Having followed its development closely as chief of the War Plans Division and later as deputy chief of staff, he believed that the division should be even stronger to cope with sustained combat. In Marshall's view, however, the new organization's overwhelming advantage was that the National Guard divisions could easily adopt it. Furthermore, the onset of war in Europe added urgency because the Army could no longer delay modernization.62

A few days after Marshall approved the new structure he authorized the reorganization of the 1st, 2d, and 3d Divisions and the activation of the 5th and 6th Divisions, each with a strength of 7,800 officers and enlisted men. No division was concentrated because the Army did not have a post large enough to house one. Divisional elements, however, were conveniently located within corps areas to ease training. Geographically, the divisions were distributed so that one division was on each of the seaboards (Atlantic and Pacific), one near the southwest frontier, and two centrally located to move to either coast or the southwest. With the outbreak of war in Europe, Congress quickly authorized increases in the strength of the Army, and by early 1940 the infantry division stood at 9,057.63

A New Cavalry Division[edit]

The Modernization Board took up the cavalry division in 1936. Most officers still envisioned a role for the horse because it could go places inaccessible to motorized and mechanized equipment. Taking into account recommendations from the Eighth Corps Area, the Army War College, and the Command and General Staff School, the board developed a new smaller triangular cavalry division (Chart 11), which the 1st Cavalry Division evaluated during maneuvers at Toyahvale, Texas, in 1938. Like the 1937 infantry division test, the maneuvers concentrated on the divisional cavalry regiments around which all other units were to be organized.64

Following the test, a board of 1st Cavalry Division officers, headed by Brig. Gen. Kenyon A. Joyce, rejected the three-regiment division and recommended retention of the two-brigade (four-regiment) organization. The latter configuration allowed the division to deploy easily in two columns, which was accepted standard cavalry tactics. However, the board advocated reorganizing the cavalry regiment along triangular lines, which would give it a headquarters and headquarters troop, a machine gun squadron with special weapons and machine gun troops, and three rifle squadrons, each with one machine gun and three rifle troops. No significant change was made in the field artillery, but the test showed that the engineer element should remain a squadron to provide the divisional elements greater mobility on the battlefield and that the special troops idea should be extended to include the division headquarters, signal, and ordnance troops; quartermaster, medical, engineer, reconnaissance, and observation squadrons; and a chemical warfare detachment. One headquarters would assume responsibility for the administration and disciplinary control for these forces.65

Although the study did not lead to a general reorganization of the cavalry division, the wartime cavalry regiment was restructured, effective 1 December 1938, to consist of a headquarters and headquarters troop, machine gun and special weapons troops, and three squadrons of three rifle troops each. The special troops remained as structured in 1928, and no observation squadron or chemical detachment found a place in the division. With the paper changes in the cavalry divisions and other minor adjustments, the strength of a wartime divisional rose to 10,680.66

Such paper changes characterized much of the interwar Army's work. Although planners lacked the resources to man, equip, and test functional divisions, they gave considerable thought to their organization. They developed a new concept for the infantry division, experimented with a larger cavalry division, and explored the organization of a mechanized unit. Designing the new infantry division with a projected battlefield in North America, officers took into account the span of control, the number of required command echelons, the staff, the balance between infantry and field artillery, the location of the reconnaissance element, the role of engineers, and the best way to organize the services and supply system. The triangular infantry division appeared to offer the best solution to these requirements according to the planners, who Marshall thought were among "the best in the Army."67

Endnotes for Chapter V[edit]

1 Ltr, CofS to CGs all corps areas and other addresses, 5 Nov 20, sub: Reorganization of Divisions and Higher Units, AG 320.2 (1135), RG 177, NARA.

2 Ltr, TAG to CGs of all corps areas, 9 Oct 22, sub: Command, AG 320.2 (1022), and Memo, G-3 to CofS, 27 Aug 26, sub: Reconstitution of the 1st Division, AG 320.2 (7-19-26), RG 407, NARA.

3 Ltr, CG, 1st Division to CG, Second Corps Area, 19 Jul 26, sub: Reconstitution of the First Division, AG 320.2 (7-17-26), RG 407, NARA.

4 Ibid., with 1st Ind, CG, Second Corps Area, to TAG, 5 Aug 26, and 2d Ind, TAG to CG. Second Corps, 31 Aug 26, Memo, G-3 for CofS, sub: Reconstitution of the 1st Division, 27 Aug 26, and Ltr, TAG to CGs of all corps areas, 31 Dec 26, sub: Reconstitution of the First Division, AG 320.2 (7-19-27), RG 407, NARA; Ltr, Maj Gen Summerall to Brig Gen Richmond P. Davis, 6 Jul 27, and Ltr, Summerall to Maj Gen John L. Hines, 6 Jul 27, John L. Hines Papers, LC.

5 WD Cir 42, 1919; Memo, WPD for CofS, 16 Jan 20, sub: Recommendations of Conference of Department and Division Commanders, Memo, CofS, no subject, 23 Jan 20, Memo, Newton D. Baker to Gen March, 20 Apr 20, Memo, WPD for TAG, 28 Apr 20, sub: Shoulder Patch Insignia for Division, Corps, Services, etc., copies TTOH; Ltr, Pershing to Maj Gen Clarence R. Edwards, 27 May 20, Pershing Papers, LC; WD Cir 59, 1928.

6 Rpts of the Sec of War, AR WD 1922, pp. 15-16, and AR WD 1923, p. 125; "New Tables of Organization," Infantry Journal 21 (Aug 1922): 186-92 (The new tables cut the infantry regiment from 1,490 to 1,205 officers and enlisted men.); "Battalions Declared Inactive," Infantry Journal 30 (Jun 1927): 660; Annual Report of the Chief of Infantry, FY 1929, p. 38, RG 177, NARA,- "Five Battalions of Infantry to be Made Inactive," Infantry Journal 32 (Sep 1929): 317; Returns, Philippine Division, 1931, RG 94, NARA; also see notes "Infantry During the Interwar Years;" author's files.

7 Army Directory, July 1929, p. 28; Ltr, TAG to Chief of the Air Corps, 17 Jan 29, sub: Principles to be followed in assignment of Air Corps Troops to higher tactical organization, with Endorsements, AG 320.2 Air Corps (12-20-28) Pub., Microfilm A 2765, Albert F. Simpson Historical Research Center, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama; WD Cir 14, 1931.

8 T/O, Table 31 W, Field Artillery Brigade, Infantry Division, 18 Apr 1929; WD Cir 39, 1929; Ltr, TAG to Chiefs of all Arms and Services, and other addresses, 7 Dec 29, sub: Assignment of Troops, AG 320.2-FA (11-4-29) Misc. (Ret)-C, DAMH-HSO.

9 Memo, G-3 for CofS, 2 May 27, sub: G-3/17531-Change in Certain Regular Army Units, AG 370-5 (4-28-27), RG 94, NARA; Ltr, Summerall to Harry M. Worsback, MC, 1 Jun 27, AG 370-5 (5-21-27), Ltr, TAG to CG, Eighth Corps Area, 6 Jun 27, sub: Troop Movement, AG 370-5 (5-21-27) (Misc), RG 94, NARA; "Shifting of Infantry Units," Infantry Journal 31 (Jul 1927): 89.

10 Adna R. Chaffee, "The Maneuvers of the First Cavalry Division, September October, 1923," Cavalry Journal 33 (Apr 1924): 133-62; George Dillman, "1st Cavalry Division Maneuvers," Cavalry Journal 37 (Jan 1928): 47.

11 Aubrey Lippincott, "New Regimental Organization," Cavalry Journal 32 (Jan 1929): 22-24.

12 T/O, Table 401 W, Cavalry Division, 10 May 1928; "Extracts from the Annual Report of the Chief of Cavalry, Major General Herbert B. Crosby," Cavalry Journal 37 (Jan 1928): 108; Ltr, TAG to All Corps Areas, Departments, and Exempted Stations Commanders and other addresses, 26 Oct 34, sub: Reorganization of the Field Artillery, AG 320.2 FA (12-26-33) Pub, AG Reference files, DAMH-HSO; Ltr, TAG to CG, Eighth Corps Area, 16 Oct 28, sub: Armored Car Unit, 320.2 Cavalry (10-2-28) Misc-C, and Lt Col Regnier, "History of the 91st Reconnaissance Squadron, 1st Cavalry Division," undated Ms, 91st Armored Cavalry Reconnaissance Battalion file, DAMN-HSO.

13 Ltr, Panama Canal (PC) Dept to TAG, 7 May 31, sub: Organization of troops within PC Department, Ltr, PC Dept to TAG, 5 Feb 32, sub: Reorganization of the Panama Canal Department, with 1st Ind, TAG to CG, PC Dept, 17 Mar 32, AG 320.2 PC (5-7-31), and Returns, PC Division, all RG 407, NARA.

14 Reports of the Chief of the Militia Bureau, 1925, p. 13, and 1926, pp. 17-18; Memos for Assistant Chief of Staff (ACofS), G-3, 30 Apr 26, 28 Feb 27, and 31 May 27, MB 325.4 Gen-6, War Department Mobilization Plan, 19 Mar 26, Miscellaneous files, DAMH-HSO.

15 Memos for Statistical Section, ACofS G-3, 31 Mar 27 and 2 Jan 30, MB 325.4 Gen 6, DAMH-HSO; Report of the Chief of the Militia Bureau, 1926, Appendix C; Reports of the National Guard Bureau, 1936, p. 7, and 1939, p. 27; also see author's notes "National Guard Interwar Years."

16 Report of the Adjutant General of New Jersey, 1927, p. 7; State of New York, Annual Report of the Adjutant General, 1928, p. 21; Reports of the Chief of the Militia Bureau, 1928, pp. 25-26, and 1929, pp. 14, 22-23; Memos for Statistical Section, ACofS, G-3, 28 Feb 27, 31 Mar 27, and 3 Sep 29, MB 325.4 Gen-6, DAMH-HSO.

17 Memos for Statistical Section, A CofS, 1 Apr 36, 1 Nov 39, 1 Mar 40, MB 325.4 Gen, DAMH-HSO; John B. Smith, "Our First National Guard Cavalry Division," Cavalry Journal 46 (Sep-Oct 1936): 378-79; "Two More Cavalry Divisions Authorized," Cavalry Journal 48 (Jan-Feb 1939): 67; National Guard Register (1939), p. 15.

18 "Progress of Assignments of Infantry Reserve Officers to Infantry Division of the Organized Reserves," US. Army Recruiting News 5 (May 1922): no pagination; Comptroller's Records, US Army Divisions-Infantry and Cavalry Strength, 30 Jun 1928-1931, Reference Paper Files, Army Reserve 1916-1939, DAMH-HSO; Rpt of the Sec of War; 1937, p. 6.

19 War Department Mobilization Plans, 1923, 1924, and 1926, Miscellaneous files, DAMHHSO; Proceedings of Conference of Corps Area and Division Commanders held at Washington, D.C., June 1927, p. 140, AWC course material 1927, MHI.

20 Ltr, TAG to Chiefs of all War Department Branches and other addresses, 15 Aug 27, sub: Constitution, Reconstitution, or Redesignation of Certain Units of the Regular Army and the Reorganization of Regular Army Divisions, AG Reference files. 320.2 (6-5-27) Misc (Ret), DAMN-HSO.

21 Ibid.

22 Apt of the Sec of War, 1932, p. 53; Ltr, OCS to CGs of Corps Areas and Depts., 9 Aug 32, sub: Establishment of Field Armies, OCS 20696, Four Army Plan file, 1933, DAMH-HSO.

23 Memo, WPD for CofS, Sub: Four Army Organization, 27 Mar 33, WPD 3561-15, AG 320.2 (8-6-32), Section I-A, RG 407, NARA.

24 Ltr, CofS to CGs of Armies and Corps Area, 18 Aug 33, sub: Development of Four Army Organization, AG 320.2 (8-16-33) (Mist.) M-E (WPD) 3561-27, Four Army Plan file, 1933, Ltr, TAG to CGs all Corps Areas, Departments, and Exempted Stations, 26 Oct 34, sub: Reorganization of Field Artillery, AG 320.1 F.A. (12-26-33), Pub, AG Reference files, DAMH-HSO.

25 T/O, Table 1 W, Infantry Division, 1921; T/O, Table 401 W, Cavalry Division, 1921; Field Service Regulations United States Army (1923), p. 66.

26 Rpt of the Sec of War, 1928, p. 82; WD Cir 29, 1929; Erna Risch, Quartermaster Support of the Army: A History of the Corps 1775-1939 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1962), pp. 717-19; WD Cir 14, 1931.

27 Rpt of the Sec of War, 1934, pp. 40-41, and 1935, p. 7; Ltr, TAG to CGs all Corps Areas, Departments, and Exempted Stations, 26 Oct 34, sub: Reorganization of Field Artillery; Army List and Directory, 20 Oct 1939, pp. 9-10, 15.

28 John S. Shetler, "Motors for the Guard," Quortermcr.ster Review 14 (Mar-Apr 1935): 47 49; National Guard Register (1939), pp. 1422-23.

29 Field Service Regulations (1923), p. 13.

30 J, F. C. Fuller, "Tactics and Mechanization," and "Editorial Comment: Mechanization of Military Forces," Infantry Journal 30 (May 1927): 457-76, 533-35. The entire issue is devoted to mechanization.

31 Timothy K. Nenninger, "The Experimental Mechanized Forces," Armor 78 (May-Jun 1969): 33-39; GO 16, Third Corps Area, 5 Jul 1928, 66th Armor file, DAMH-HSO: Brig Gen Daniel Van Voorhis, lecture, "Mechanization," 13 Oct 1937, at the Army War College, AWC course material 1937-1938, MHI.

32 After World War I, the Army Staff was reorganized to consist of the Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, and Assistant Chiefs of Staff, G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4, and War Plans Division. The G-1 position corresponded to personnel, G-2 to intelligence, G-3 to operations, and G-4 to supply.

33 Memo, G-3 for CofS, 20 Mar 28, sub: A Mechanized Force, AWC Course material, G-3/10677, 84 17, MHI.

34 Ibid.; WD SO 110, 10 May 1928, extract printed in Rpt, Mechanized Force, 1 Oct 28, AWC course material 84-20, MHI.

35 Rpt, sub: A Mechanized Force, 1 Oct 28, Memo, Deputy Cots for CofS, 31 Oct 28, sub: A Mechanized Force, AWC course material, OCS 18500-57, 84-20, MHI. The board included Maj. Adna R. Chaffee, who would become a beacon for mechanization in the next decade.

36 Mildred Hanson Gillie, Forging the Thunderbolt (Harrisburg, Pa.: Military Service Publishing Co., 1947), pp. 360; Charles L. Scott, "Early History of Mechanization," draft Ms, Charles L. Scott Papers, LC; Nenninger, "The Experimental Mechanized Forces," pp. 33-34.

37 Nenninger, "The Experimental Mechanized Forces," p. 39; Memo, OCS, 1 May 31, sub: General Principles to Govern Mechanization and Modernization Throughout the Army, Military Intelligence Division Correspondence, 1917-1941, 2045-1192/12, RG 165, NARA; Norman Miller Cary, "The Use of Motor Vehicles in the United States Army, 1899-1939," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Georgia, 1980, p. 244; Rpt of the Sec of War, 1931, p. 43; Daniel Van Voorhis, "Mechanization"; Robert W. Grow, "The Ten Lean Years," Ms, Feb 1969, pp. 19-22, DAMHHSO.

38 Ltr, TAG to CG of all Corps Areas and Depts and other addresses, 16 Jan 31, sub: Changes in Assignment of Divisional Cavalry units, AG 320.2 (12-24-31) Misc. (Ret) MC, 1st Armored Div file, DAMH-HSO; GO 2, Fifth Corps Area, 6 Feb 1932, Records of U.S. Army Continental Commands, 19202, RG 394, NARA; Guy V. Henry, "The Trend of Organization and Equipment of Cavalry in the Principal World Powers and Its Probable Role in Wars of the Near Future," Cavalry Journal 41 (Mar-Apr 1932): 5-9; T/O, Table 423 P, Cavalry Regiment (Mechanized), 1 Jan 1933; Grow, "The Ten Lean Years," pp. 22-38; T/O, Table 423 P, Cavalry Regiment (Mechanized), 14 Oct 1935; Daniel Van Voorhis, "Mechanization"; Scott, "Early History of Mechanization."

39 Corelli Barnett, Britain and Her Army 1507-1970 (Warmondsworth, England: Allen Lane, Penguin Press, 1974), p. 469; Glenn B. Hellmich, "Charles de Gaulle: His Ideas on Mechanized Warfare and the Army of the Future and the Application of These Ideas," Master thesis, Xavier University, 1955, p. 68; Jeffery A. Gunsburg, Divided and Conquered: The French High Command and the Defeat of the West, 1940 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1979), p. 9-10, 15, 41-42; Timothy K. Nenninger, "A Revised Mechanization Policy," Armor 78 (Sep-Oct 1969): 4519.

40 Heinz Guderian, Panzer Leader (New York: E. P. Dutton and Co., 1952), pp. 36, 316; Gillie, Forging the Thunderbolt, p. 85-89; Richard M. Ogorkiewcz, Armor: A History of Mechanized Forces (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1960), pp. 222-28.

41 Memo, G-3 for CofS, 23 Jan 29, sub: Recent developments in organization and training in armies of England, France, Germany, and Japan, Memo, G-3 for Cots, Jan 32, sub: Prospective changes in organization based on recent developments in organization and training of foreign armies, Memo on conference, Office, Chief of Infantry (CI), 5 Jul 29, G-3 21930 and CI files, 400-112-7988, B-IV, RG 177, NARA.

42 Memo on Conference, 5 Jul 29; Ist Ind CI to G-3, 2 Feb 29, CI 320/8510-B, CI files, 400-112-7988, B-IV, RG 177, NARA.

43 Minority Report, Infantry Reorganization Project, 20 Oct 29, Division General file, DAMH-HSO; Ltr, CI to TAG, 23 Nov 29, sub: Reorganization of the Infantry Battalion, and 1st Ind, CI to TAG, 5 Dec 29, Ltr, TAG to CI, 18 Dec 29, sub: Reorganization of the Infantry Division, War, Ltr, Infantry Board to CI, 2 Apr 30, sub: Reorganization of the Infantry Division, Memo, Lt Col Bruce Magruder for General Fuqua, 7 May 31, sub: Reasons for not delaying reorganization Project, all CI files 400-112-7899, RG 177, NARA; Ltr, Brig Gen Chynoweth to author, 30 Aug 77 author's file.

44 Memo, G-3 for CofS, 5 Oct 35, sub: Modernization of the Organization of the Army, Memo, OCS for A CofS, G-3, 28 Oct 35, sub: Modernization of the Organization of the Army, WDP G-35651, RG 165, NARA.

45 Ltr, OCS to all CGs Corps Area and other addresses, 5 Nov 35, sub: Reorganization of Divisions and Higher Units, AWC Course material, AG 320.1 (11-4-35) (Misc) F-M, 52-12, MHI; Ltr, Commandant of the Infantry School to the CI, 13 Dec 35, sub: Review of Plans for Reorganization of the Division and Higher Units submitted by the Academic Department of the Infantry School and by the Infantry Board, Ltr, CI to TAG, 31 Dec 35, sub: Reorganization of the Division and Higher Units, CI files 400-122/7988 B 11, C4-1, RG 177, NARA.

46 Lit, TAG to Brig Gen John H. Hughes, 16 Jan 36, sub: Modernization of the Organization of the Army, AG 320.1 (1-6-36) (C) Off, Memo, G-3 for COff, 21 Dec 35, sub: Modernization of the Organization of the Army, Memo, G-3 for CofJ, 30 Jul 36, sub: Initial Report of Organization Committee on "Modernization of the Organization of the Army" with special reference to the Infantry Division, G-3 35651, all RG 165, NARA; Harry C. Ingles, "The New Division," Signal Corps Bulletin No. 108 (Apr-Jun 1940): 15-31. The board consisted of Brig Gen John H. Hughes, Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, as the president; Cols. Philip B. Peyton (G-1) and Fay W. Bradson (G-2), Lt Cols Gilbert R. Cook (G-3) and Leonard C. Sparks (G-4), and Maj. Harvey G. Allen, War Plans Divisions. Between 1936 and 1940 the membership on the board changed, but the G-3 remained its president and Ingles, who replaced Cook in 1936, served the longest and performed most of the work relating to the G-3.

47 Memo for CofS, 30 Jul 35, sub: Initial Report of Organization Committee.

48 Ibid.

49 Ibid.

50 Ibid.

51 Memo, G-3 for CofS, 4 Aug 36, sub: Initial Report on the Organization Committee on "Modernization of the Organization of the Army" with special reference to the Infantry Division, G-3/35641-12, RG 165, NARA.

52 Ibid.; Memo, G-3 for CofS, 5 Dec 36, sub: Tests of Proposed Infantry Division, with TAB A, Memo, Lt Col Ingles for General Hughes, 14 Jan 1937, no subject, G-3/35651-12, RG 165, NARA; Memo 2, Proposed Infantry Division (PID), 20 May 37, sub: Composition of Proposed Infantry Division and Attached units, and Memo 4, PID, 4 Jun 37, sub: Armament, AG 320-2 (1-6-36), RG 407, NARA; Herbert E. Smith, "The Proposed Infantry `Streamlined' Division," Recruiting News 20 (Jan 1938): 9-11 and (Feb 1938): 8-10.

53 Ltr, CI to TAG, 26 Nov 37, sub: Report of Observation, Proposed Infantry Division Test, Vicinity of San Antonio, Texas, October 18-28, CI 400/112-7988-B H C (4-1) Inf Div., RG 177, NARA.

54 Ltr, George C. Marshall to Walton H. Walker, 21 Dec 37, Marshall Papers; "Push Plan To Lift Mobility of Army," New York Times, 13 Dec 1937; Ltr, Marshall to William M. Spencer, 18 Mar 38, Marshall Papers.

55 Lesley J. McNair, High Lights of Report by CG, 2d Division of the Field Service Test of the PID including the Division Recommended, 31 Mar 1938, McNair Papers, RG 407, NARA.

56 Harry C. Ingles, "The New Division," Infantry 49 (Nov-Dec 1939): 521-29; Ltr, TAG to CG, Eighth Corps Area, 24 Jan 39, sub: Directive for extended field service test of new division organization, AG 320.2 (12-29-38) Misc. (Ret) M-C, 2d Infantry Division file, DAMH-HSO.

57 Ltr, TAG to CG, Eighth Corps Area, 24 Jan 39.

58 Ltr, TAG to CG, Eighth Corps Area, 15 Oct 38, sub: Reorganization of the 2d Infantry Division, AG 320.2 (9-3-38) Misc. (Ret) M-C, 2d Inf Div file, DAMN-HSO.

59 Memo, G-3 for CofS, 3 Sep 38, sub: Reorganization of the Infantry Division, G-3/35651-55, RG 165, NARA; Special Report based on Field Service Test of the Provisional 2d Division conducted by the 2d Division U.S. Army, 1939, AWC course material, MHI; Ltr, Provisional 2d Division, 7 Sep 39, sub: The test of the New Division Organization, AG 320.2 (9-7-39), RG 165, NARA.

60 Ltr, Provisional 2d Division, 7 Sep 39, sub: The test of the New Division Organization, and 1st Ind, CG, Eighth Corps Area to TAG, Sep 1939, AG 320.2 (9-7-39) RG 165, NARA.

61 Memo, G-3 for CofS, 14 Sep 39, sub: Reorganization of the Infantry Division, G-3/35651-55, RG 165, NARA; Tables of Organization and Reference Data for the Infantry Division, Triangular (Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: Command and General Staff School, 1939), pp.737.

62 Ltr, Marshall to James L. Collins, 4 Oct 39, Marshall Papers.

63 Memo, G-3 for CofS, 16 Sep 39, sub: Organization of Regular Army, First Priority (17,000 increase), 16 Sep 39, G-3/6541-Gen 697, Ltr, TAG to CI, Field Artillery, Engineers and other addresses, 8 Sep 38, sub: Preliminary measures in connection with the organization of the new Infantry Division, AG 320.2 (8-31-39) M (Ret) G-M, all Study on Triangular Divisions, 1939, DAMH-HSO.

64 Ltr, TAG to CG, Eighth Corps Area, 12 Oct 36, sub: Organization of the Cavalry Division, AG 320.2 (10-6-36 Misc. (Ret)-C, Memo, G-3 for the Commandant, AWC, 30 Dec 36, sub: Reorganization, Cavalry Division, G-3 35651, Ltr, TAG to CG, Eighth Corps Area, 15 Feb 38, sub: 1st Cavalry Division Maneuvers, Fiscal Year 1938, 353 (1-29-38) Misc. C., Report of Board of Review, vol. I, Fort Bliss, Texas, 2 Jun 1938, all in AWC course material, MHI.

65 Report of Board of Review, vol. 1, Fort Bliss, Texas, 2 Jun 1938, AWC course material, MHI.

66 "Revised Tables of Organization, Cavalry Regiment, Horse," Cavalry Journal 48 (Mar-Apr 1939): 58-63.

67 Ltr, Marshall to Collins, 4 Oct 39, Marshall Papers.