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Old January 23rd, 2019, 04:22 AM

Kiwikkiwik Kiwikkiwik is offline
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Default British oob

I started off looking at British use of halftracks but I uncovered quite a lot of other stuff so here it is. There is actually a monumental reference for the British TOEs, the four books published through Helion by Mark Bevis, British and Commonwealth Armies 1939-45. This is basically just presenting Marks work. Also War Establishments is very handy.

but first, in Steven Zalogas book US half tracks of World War 2 he says this

Thirty (GMC T48, 57mm gun Half track) were supplied to Britain , where they were reconverted back to personnel carriers

Meskos M3 half track in actions says this

680 (GMC T48, 57mm gun Half track) were shipped to the British,... The British kept only a small number of their vehicles, which were also converted back to the half track configuration.

So Unit 189 M3 SP 6 Pdr should be removed from the British OOB.

Units 131 and 312 Halftrack SPM don't exist. British only used the 3 inch mortar dismounted out of a universal carrier.
You have two versions of Motor Infantry. One called Motor infantry one called Mech Infantry, both contain errors. The Mech Infantry formations listed below, travel in half tracks and turretless tanks which is how Motor Infantry or regular infantry travel. Motor infantry were always called Motor infantry irrespective of whether they travelled in trucks or halftracks. For clarity's sake the duplicate Mech Infantry formations should be deleted. This is safe to do because each is just a duplicate of its correctly named Motor equivalent.
002 Mech Inf Co 1/42-12/46
003 Mech Inf Co+ 1/42-12/46
014 Mech Recce Sec 1/43-12/46
041 Mech Inf Pl 1/42-12/46
070 Mech AT-Gun Sec 1/42-12/46
071 Mech AT Gun Tp 1/42-12/46
170 Mech Hvy AT Sec 2/43-12/46
171 Mech Hvy AT Tpc 2/43-12/45
014 Mech Recce Sec seems to be modelled on a Recce section, No Stuarts in Motor formations only in Recce formations. No 17 pdrs (Your 170, 171 formations) in Motor infantry. In the formations where 17 pdrs do exist they can be towed by Cromwell tower or Truck as well as Halftrack, you have just halftrack.
This leaves mech infantry, formation 330 Mech Patrol, correctly carried in carriers, and a full suit of correctly named Motor Infantry. A Motor battalion is always attached to an Armoured divisions Armoured Brigade, it has a very specific structure. Armoured divisions can also contain a free standing "Motorised Brigade" composed of "lorried" infantry battalions with a completely different structure to Motor Infantry. Your Motor Formations are a hybrid between motor and lorried infantry. Motor infantry sections are -always- 8 men you have 10 men.
OK so Motor formations are
009 Motor MG Pl 30
012 Motor Bn AT Pl
013 Motor Bn Spt Co 1/30-5/41
020 Motor Bn Spt Co 6/41-12/46
331 Motor Coy 35
332 Motor Coy 43
333 Motor Coy 30
335 Motor Inf Pl 30
336 Motor Inf Pl 43
340 Motor Bn HQ
345 Motor MG Pl 43
356 Motor Recce
356 Motor Recce, These are motorcycles, Motor Battalions did not have motorcycle recce. A motorcycle battalion was in existence in june 1940 but is not part of a Motor Battalion so should drop Motor from 356s name. At this time British Infantry Divisions also had MC with sidecars, living in their Divisional recce.

So including the above Mech formations you have 5 different Motor coys. I have looked at the evolution of the Motor battalions in Beavis and suggested 5 replacement Motor coys with service dates that match the changes in formation structure, your service dates don't do this. Rather than just list the errors in the current Motor Battalion formations Ive matched Beavis's and your current formations as chronologically as I can and shown how the current coys can be morphed into a correct structure as in Bevis. I've mentioned some of the errors in the process. Truck and light lorry refers to 15 cwt truck.

331 Motor Coy 35 1/35 to 12/46 can be transformed into the Early Motor coy TOE from about 2/41 to 3/42. On 3/42 TOE changes significantly.
Coy HQ should be 2 two Infantry sections one with Boys one with 2" mortar, Coy HQ's 2" mortar is missing, one section has a SMG and is only 3 men. SMG in unit 702 should be removed as SMGs were not issued to Motor Infantry. So Replace units 701 and 435 with 479 (needs end date extended) and 900 (needs end date extended). Coy HQs may not have had Rifle grenades.
Motor Coys at this time have only 2 vickers HMG you have 4. Each HMG has its own light lorry. Your formation has each HMG pair sharing a light lorry.
The Coy has a Mortar platoon. Two 3" mortars, each has a light lorry for transport. Your formation has no mortars.
In the platoons every section has a boys rifle. So a section with a boys rifle needs to be included in "infantry" picklist. No Hawkins mines at this time.
Motor Coys -always- included a 3 section carrier platoon called a scout platoon. Your formation has only 2 carrier sections. You would benefit by creating and including a formation "scout platoon" that would give you the correct 3 sections instead of the current 2 and a scout platoon HQ. This also frees up a slot in the Coy formation.

332 Motor Coy 43 1/43 to 12/46 can be turned into the Later Motor Coy from about 9/43 to 1/44 For these dates the TOE should change to;
Coy HQ, two Infantry sections one with 2" mortar And one with or without a PIAT/boys (Your coy HQ has 2" missing, includes a SMG and one section is only 3 men. SMG can be removed they were not issued to Motor Coys. Mech scouts picklist should be a full section with one section with PIAT/boys and one section without. Replace unit 702 and 451 with 479/173 (needs end/start date extended) and 900 (needs end date extended). Coy HQs may not have had Rifle grenades
You have HMGs correct.
The Coy has a Mortar platoon. Two 3" mortars in carriers. Your formation has no mortars.
SMG armed units should be removed from medium and infantry picklists.
Mortar and HMG Platoons transport is just as likely to be trucks as carriers.
2 carrier sections need to be replaced with a carrier scout platoon as for 331.

003 Mech Inf Co+ 1/42 to 12/46 can be turned into Last Motor Coy 1/44 to 12/46. During this time the MG platoon was moved into the Support Coy. For these dates TOE should be Coy HQ; Remove STEN and add 2" mortar and PIAT. Replace unit 702 with 902.
Replace two 3" halftracks with two 3" Mortars carried in carriers.
Remove units 540 and 542 from Medium infantry, both have a STEN which was not issued to Motor infantry.
AT guns are kept in the Battalion Support Coy (which appears below), so should be removed, but I guess they are in the Mech Inf Co+ for convenience.
The carrier scout platoon needs to be added.

002 Mech Inf Co 1/42-12/46 can be used to fill the gap 3/42 to 9/43. At this time TOE changed from 3 to 2 platoons per Coy and the AT support coy appears. Changes required are;
Coy HQ Replace unit 702 with 900 (needs end date extended). Just the 2" mortar in coy HQ at this time
Remove one Motor platoon. 2 only at this time.
Add platoon with two 3" Mortars carried in carriers.
Add platoon with 4 HMG in carriers.
Remove unit 469 from Heavy infantry picklist as it can give 4 2" mortars per platoon instead of 1 ( only ever 1). Remove unit 468 from Medium infantry (Platoon HQ) as no LMG in platoon HQ. Add unit 408 (needs end date extended) to Heavy infantry picklist to allow for 4 boys per platoon.
The carrier scout platoon needs to be added.

Which leaves 333 Motor Coy 30 1/30 to 12/34 to become the very First Motor battalion. Earliest Motor formation I can find is start date 38 and end date should be about 2/41 when structure changes significantly.
For this time period structure should be Coy HQ; Two infantry sections one with Boys, one with 2" mortar (Your formation currently doesn't have these weapons and one section is only 3 men) so change units 700 and 487 to 479 and 900 (needs end date extended). Coy HQs may not have had Rifle grenades
Should have only two vickers HMG currently 4. Each HMG has its own light lorry. Your formation has each HMG pair sharing a light lorry.
The formation has two 3" mortars each in a truck. Your formation has no mortars.
Every section has a boys rifle. So one of the Medium infantry choices should have a boys rifle. A section with a boys rifle needs to be included in "infantry" picklist.
The carrier scout platoon needs to be added.

Just looking at the platoons, 335 Motor Inf Pl 30 and 336 Motor Inf Pl 43 need units 540, 542 and 532 removed from their picklists as SMGs aren't issued to Motor platoons. I think I mentioned this earlier but weapon 184 Hawkins mine has an issue date of june 42 you have it appearing earlier. Available in 5/40 for unit 468 Rifle Section for example.

So on to the Motor Infantry Support Coys, 013 Motor Bn Spt Co 1/30 to 5/41 and 020 Motor Bn Spt Co 6/41 to 12/46 These formations never have mortars, yours have mortars. Mortars are always in the motor Coy itself. Except in 3-6/40 when the support platoon consists of just four 3" mortars with trucks and nothing else. There is also a single example of a support coy with nothing other than four 37mm AT portee in 3/40, otherwise no Support coys until 3/42. Mortars are always 3" never 4.2". You have 4.2" in the support Coy, 4.2" mortars are held at Brigade level in regular infantry and don't appear at all in Motor Battalions.
Support Coy 013 start date should be 3/42 as there are no support coys prior to this except the 3" and 37mm exceptions above. The first Support Coys starting in 3/42 contain only AT Guns, no HMGs, so end date should be 5/44, when HMGs were included. So for 013 Spt Coy remove the Mortars and HMGs. Most commonly there are 4 AT platoons of four guns each. You have 3 platoons of 4 guns this configuration arrives in 6/43 up until this date the guns are always 2pdr or 6pdr and always Portee, after this date they can be portee or towed (when towed, always towed by a truck usually 15cwt).
Support Coy 020 can then have service dates of 5/44 to 12/46 corresponding to the start date for inclusion of HMGs in the support Coy. HMGs are always 2 platoons of 4 each and are always carried in carriers. You have them in trucks. Most commonly there are 3 AT platoons with 4 guns each as you have. AT guns can be carried in Trucks or Lloyd carriers. So remove the mortars and the rifle sections STEN. For both formations FOOs are probably best left in formation 340 Motor Bn HQ.

Your Motor Bn HQ has carriers these don't exist in Bn HQ. It is usually just 2 trucks and 2 rifle sections up until the changeover to half tracks when it goes to 3-4 halftracks and still doesn't have any carriers. A utility vehicle is indeed sometimes in attendance.

Transport has some issues. The first problem is the 3 types of turretless kangaroo and churchill tank troop carriers, these should be removed from the motor infantry transport picklist. These vehicles were in separate Armoured carrier regiments which were always used to carry regular infantry as the Motor infantry already had their own transport which didn't include turretless tanks. Transport in the Motor battalion infantry sections is either 15 cwt truck or half track. The small size of the 15 cwt truck is what limited motor infantry squads to 8 men. The 8 men includes the driver. So maybe unit 288 Morris 15cwt should have a carrying capacity of 8 instead of 12 reflecting this. Sections remained 8 men after Halftracks came into use.

If you look at the Bevis books and elsewhere it is clear your half track formation introduction dates are about 2 years too early on 1/42. Half track equipped British motorised brigades weren't committed to action until about 4/44 in Italy. Production of the Lend Lease halftrack M5, which is what Britain used, didn't get off the ground until Dec 42 and began arriving in UK in 43. The 15 cwt trucks are 2x4 until late 43 when the 4x4 version is issued.

Irrespective of date Motor Coys always has a scout platoon with three, 3 carrier sections, The structure of this formation remained virtually unchanged throughout the war. Carriers can also appear in recce Regiments where they were only ever used as a stopgap replacement for Armoured cars. There are no other "fighting" carrier formations in the British army.
The carrier sections that made up a scout platoon were just that, a "normal" infantry section of 10 men crewing 3 carriers. Each carrier section has 3 carriers, one PIAT/Boys, one 2" mortar, 3 BRENs, one 10 man section. This configuration remains constant throughout the war, extra weapons were never issued to scout platoon vehicles. If the carrier is replacing an armoured car in recce extra weapons can be present but rarely. So there was only ever one type of scout platoon and there was only be one type of carrier section in it, you have 3.
Formation 367 carrier patrol has 15 men when it should have 10. can be deleted.
Formation 45 carrier section has 18 men when it should have 10, and has 3 PIATS instead of 1 and depending on the pick list 6 instead of 3 LMG. I recommend removing this formation also.
Formation 330 mech patrol has 11-13 men which is closer to the 10 man limit but can be drastically overarmed. This Mech patrol can be configured to have 5 PIATs and 4 2" mortars not to mention 3 BREN guns. All 3 BREN carriers in the pick list have 2 weapons each so you need 6 gunners and 3 drivers minimum, 9 men to operate the carriers but you also have 10 men that can dismount.
So using mech patrol to create the carrier section we need to remove unit 456 PIAT carrier and 461 BREN carrier from the picklist this removes 3 of the 4 possible extra PIATs and the 3 extra mortars. Replace the remaining unit 453 the 2 BREN MG BREN carrier with the 1 BREN LMG carrier unit 133 or 550. So now the section has a driver and one gunner in each carrier leaving 4 dismountable men, perhaps a 2 man PIAT team and a 2 man mortar team. Alternately have one carrier with a 2" mortar instead of a BREN LMG and 2 BREN single LMG carriers, that allows for a 6 man crew and the carriage of a single 4 man PIAT/LMG team. As the carriers weren't really considered particularly bulletproof, it is also possible to have 3 carriers with no armament giving 3 crew and something like a 3 man PAIT/LMG team and a 4 man LMG/mortar team. Also it is possible to have 1 PIAT carrier and no PIAT in the dismountable crews. I imagine in reality the 3 carriers operated as a single group especially as only the lead carrier in each 3 carrier section had a radio. Similarly, once dismounted the rifle section probably operated like any other rifle section rather than as 3 very small teams. Platoon HQ is usually one carrier, one Daimler scout car, 1 LMG.
Scout platoons were also part of regular infantry battalions. In regular infantry battalions from 6/44 one of the sections can be 3 wasps, 3 LMGs, 1 2" mortar, 1 PIAT. Your Wasp service start date is 1/43 but should be 6/44 which is when they were first used.
https://www.canadiansoldiers.com/veh...owers/wasp.htm and others
Carriers can appear as towing units and singly or paired as Officer runabouts which is taken care of by formations 396 and 370 1 and 2 carriers.
Some scout platoons retained Boys rifles up until 12/43
Carrier sections were not issued SMGs. So units, 450 Mech Patrol, 177 Patrol, 178 Patrol, 275 Patrol, 457 Mech Patrol, 455 Mech Support and 78 PIAT Team should be removed from carrier picklists as they contain SMGs. The STEN was not particularly popular authors comment on its unreliability and in any case HQ probably thought Carrier sections already had enough firepower with 3 LMGs between the 10 men. In reality the scout platoon was often used for liason, administration or in a transport role instead of scouting as they weren't really a particularly battle worthy vehicle. Visibility when under fire was very limited, the driver couldn't see to either side and the occupants couldn't hear each other above the engine noise.

Carriers occasionally appear in recce regiments operating as stop gap armoured cars in Armoured Car platoons. In this role they were not used as troop carriers and had 3 man crews according to Richard Dohertys book The British Reconnaissance Corps in World War II. The majority of carriers that appeared in recce regiments were configured with a single LMG, but I can find 2 examples of extra PIATs and 1 for extra LMGs being issued to carriers appearing in Armoured car platoons. So here is a spot for carriers 456(PIAT BREN), 461(2" BREN), 284(Boys BREN) and 453(BREN BREN). These 4 vehicles only make sense with a nondemountable crew of 3 and a carrying capacity of 0 because they need all three men to drive and operate the two weapons. Carrying capacity of 0 conforms with their tactical deployment as an armoured car. 2nd Infantry division operated some 7 carrier, 7 LMG recce sections in 44/45 in Burma, 3 crew per carrier, one 2" mortar, otherwise always 3 carriers per section.

I think you call your Universal carrier a BREN carrier and your BREN carrier a Boys carrier, Scout carrier you dont have.
The first Motor battalion (38 to about 1/41 in my chronology) have their scout platoon in BREN carriers (your Boys carrier) the other four Motor coy (that I suggest) use Universals. During 38 to 1/41 you have the scout sections mounted in Universal carriers (your BREN carrier). If you were to create the scout platoon then before 1/41 (the introduction date of Universal carriers into scout platoons) they should have BREN (your Boys) carriers in the picklist. Each 3 carrier BREN, (your Boys) carrier section is crewed by a 6 man section, giving each carrier a two man crew. This being the case it would probably be best if BREN (your Boys) carriers have a carrying capacity of 0, but crew increased to 2. Seating capacity in a BREN carrier is of course 3 max but always had a crew of 2. BREN carriers used in the desert almost always just had a single LMG as armament. In France they had a Boys and a BREN. Also in France this earliest scout platoon has an unarmoured "staff car" instead of a Daimler in platoon HQ

I think I mentioned this before but PIATs/PIAT carriers enter service in 7/43 for the invasion of Sicily you have them available in 1/43

Time to just quickly look at lorried infantry which is presently a hybrid between Motor and Lorried.

Lorried (often called Motorised, as distinct from Motor) infantry (with 10 man sections) -always- travelled 2 sections per lorry. You have 1 truck per section using units 517 1&1/2 Ton Truck or Morris 15cwt as the Lorry, but with a carry capacity of 12 these are too small to carry the 2 sections required but unit 54 Medium lorry could if carry capacity is increased from 18 to 20 and issued 2 per platoon. 294 Bedford might also be suitable and can carry 24. Coy HQ also travels in a lorry, you have them in trucks, only Battalion HQ has trucks. Late in the war regular infantry can travel in turretless tanks from Armoured carrier regiments. The turretless tanks are presently incorrectly part of motorised infantry and need to have their own formation built carrying regular infantry at one section per tank.

Lorried and Regular infantry both used formation 016 Rifle Bn Spt Co. This formation changed a lot but never had nine 3" mortars as it has now, it only ever had 6, often less. The scout platoon in Btn SPT Coy is the same as that in Motor Coy but has 4 sections, currently it only has only 3, a possible formation slots shortage would be solved by using a 4 section scout platoon instead of 3 separate sections. Engineers could be 2 or 3 sections, usually 2, but always carried in a Lorry except late in the war they can travel in a M14 H/T. You have them in trucks. AT guns can be towed by Universal Carriers, Lloyd carriers or trucks you only have trucks as an option. Mortars can be carried by mortar carriers or trucks you have only mortar carriers in the picklist.

While I'm here,

British tank troops are usually 3 tanks, unless a gun tank is included. Formation 112 Valentine Troop with 4 tanks is missing its gun tank, should be three 2pdr and one 6 pdr valentine not four of the same gun. You have 6 pdr valentine available in 7/42 so the 4 tank configuration should maybe start on 7/42, currently formation 112 Valentine Troop starts on 1/41, earliest date I can find for this formation is 11/42. The Valentines should all have their AA guns removed. If you can find even one picture of a Valentine in action with an AA MG you are doing better than me.
Formation 025 Armour Car Trp should be 3 A/Cs not 4. Also formation 142 Mixed A/C Trp was almost always 3 and 3 not 2 and 2. Recce section can also be configured Stuart, Daimler and Carrier.

Infantry (Matilda) troops in France 1940 are either three Matilda I(.303), three Matilda II or two Matilda I(.303) and one Matilda I(.5) never three Matilda(.5) which is what you have. Coy HQ does not include A10 CS tanks which you have. Coy HQ should be one Matilda as appropriate, one Vickers VIB and two staff cars. The different troop types can be mixed within the Coy. Formations 011, 121, 122, 123, 119, 456 and 69 are effected.

Armoured AA trucks, Units 681, 682, 683, 684, 685 don't exist, 20mm were only ever mounted on unarmoured trucks, the units pictures show unarmoured trucks. Even if these vehicles had their armour values returned to 0 there are a few problems. Unit 684 20mm AA Truck-3 actually has the double instead of the triple mount. A triple mounting was in use mounted on an unarmoured truck in 44 in the British 21st army group support. Paired 20mm (683) didn't seem to be issued. Picture for 683 might just be a prototype. The picture for unit 749 Oerlikon AA is of the type 98 Japanese 20mm gun, proving what a rare beast Oerlikons were in the British army.

British unit 563 Churchill AMRCR Hull front Heat value of 109 looks a little high.
Formation 111 Carrier troop has 6 Carriers not sure what this represents.

Here are some online resources for Motor infantry to check against.
or here
Where there are 5 Motor Battalions to choose from. Bevis confirms these formations.


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