Second World War
An enthusiast's site dedicated to the evolution of the Infantry Battalion, in its many forms, during the course of the Second World War.
After a prolonged absence following the demise of my old hosting firm, this is the beginning of my attempt to resurrect my fallen www.bayonetstrength.150m.com site.
It will take a while to complete all the sections I would dearly love to, and let’s be honest, the internet is littered with abandoned or abbreviated hobby projects, so this may become yet another one. Fingers crossed, I’ll hopefully complete the first batch of studies at least.
This attempt represents the major redesign I had planned before real life demanded my full attention. It is also the way I wish I could have undertaken the project from the outset, replacing my first stumbling efforts of around 2000. At the time there was practically no readily available information giving detailed organization of Allied and Axis units during the Second World War. Much of what was on the internet was translated into wargaming terms, some was factually correct but taken out of context, and some was plain wrong.
As I was chipping away at the subject with the equivalent of a hammer and chisel, other folks were harvesting thousands of pages of documents utilising digital technology. You couldn’t quite get Tables of Organization and Equipment for free with your breakfast cereal, but it seemed like it for a while. I will not be able to rival those levels of acquisition, so after some consideration I have decided to return to my original endeavour, low level unit organization.
The site will focus primarily on Infantry Battalion organization of the major Allied and Axis nations between 1939 and 1945. At the moment there are four unit types covered; the British Infantry Battalion, the German Infantry (later Grenadier) Battalion, the Red Army Rifle Battalion and the US Army Infantry Battalion. With these I am declaring my first objective line reached. Next will be either the armoured and motorised Infantry Battalions of the same four principle players, or the somewhat quicker to produce British and US airborne Battalions; there is also the USMC Infantry Battalion to address as well.
The emphasis for these opening studies is detail and evolution. Not just how many men and what weapons they carried, but also information I rarely see, such as ammunition allocations and communications equipment. I cannot pretend to have this to the same degree for all unit types, so the sections for Imperial Japan and Italy will of necessity be rather more basic. Commonwealth forces will feature thanks to past contributions, though they do make for a large degree of duplication with their British counterparts and offer their own problems in terms of detail. Eventually, I do hope to have the same coverage as before.
Below then are the currently four active links, representing the end of the first batch of studies I set out to complete.
German Army organization during the Second World War updated January 2021- Schützen and Kradschützen Battalion, 1938-1940 added
New links will be posted to this page as and when. As can be seen from the above, the general approach will be an overview of the unit involved, coupled with detailed organizational data taken from the contemporary documentation for it. These are provided in PDF files which I reckon that most people now will be able to open. If anyone does have issues accessing any files then please let me know.
So, to those who expressed some disappointment at the old site going, I hope that the new approach will provide an improvement. Needless to say the PDFs are intended to be download and saved. If you do wish to extract information from them for your own publication, then a credit or link would be welcomed. Over the years I have been gifted information from numerous others and have tried to keep track, so please see the acknowledgments and sources section at the end of each general overview.
As ever, I hope you may find the site of use and interest. Should anyone need to get in touch over technical or sourcing issues, or to offer answers for my ‘still searching for’ queries, then my old Hotmail address remains operable - gary$gjk$at$hotmail.com; remove each $ sign and replace at with @ (spammers - it’s not grown up and it’s not funny).
Departed Start Line August 2018
Objective Line 1 reached September 2019