“The speed, accuracy and devastating power of American Artillery won confidence and admiration from the troops it supported and inspired fear and respect in their enemy.”
-General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Greetings everyone! Welcome to Order of Battle Blog 2, in case you missed the first one, you can find it along with Dev Blog 1 here. Today we will preview the American 1944 order of battle in CAOS2. General Eisenhower’s words of wisdom will remain with us throughout the blog - as the American way of war and overwhelming fire support are inseparable.
United States 1944:
The American 1944 order of battle is a hybrid OOB, meaning its units are drawn from across the European Theater of Operations, at different points in the year. However, the majority of units on the OOB are based on their June-July 1944 organizations, with a select few drawn from the Battle of the Bulge in December.
Doctrine: Flexibility and Fire Support
Strengths: The best artillery available to any nation. Large selection of independent tank, tank destroyer, and anti-aircraft battalions. Large and durable Infantry divisions.
Weaknesses: Many divisions are not battle-hardened. There is insufficient mechanized infantry to support armored spearheads. “Light” armored divisions are brittle. “Heavy” armored divisions are unwieldy.
US forces defending against a German offensive in a hypothetical 1944 defense scenario. Although the German attackers enjoy armored superiority and have broken through the center of the US line, the American defenders are well supported by huge volumes of artillery. The blue hilighted hexes are the fire support grid of the 402nd Artillery Group, equipped with potent 240mm Howitzer M1s. Each of the small red lines on the map is a different fire support mission
The US 1944 OOB is remarkably flexible. Even ordinary infantry divisions can be transformed into combined arms formations with the addition of independent tank or tank destroyer battalions. However, the true power of the American military rests in its unrivaled artillery arsenal and highly efficient fire support doctrine. American artillery is typically longer ranged and hits harder than other nations' weapons. These advantages lend American forces a significant force multiplier that helps compensate for the lack of combat experience of many of their divisions.
In 1944, the Americans’ greatest weakness lies in their comparative lack of mechanized or motorized infantry. “Heavy” style armored divisions provide powerful offensive hammers due to the sheer number of tanks, but they suffer from a chronic shortage of mechanized infantry. Meanwhile, “light” armored divisions enjoy a better ratio of armor to infantry, but are smaller in size, and typically operate as combined arms fire brigades.
Consequently, American commanders are forced to rely more heavily on their infantry and supporting artillery than other nations to conduct large scale offensives. Due to the lack of fully motorized infantry divisions, American offensives are typically slower and more deliberate than their German adversaries, since the tanks easily outrun their supporting infantry. The Americans compensate for this with self-propelled artillery that can keep up with the advance, and powerful fire support that can enable their infantry to take the fight to the enemy.
In total, the US 1944 OOB consists of 202 units comprising 18 divisions, 5 independent regiments, and 89 independent battalions.
7 Armored Divisions:
- 3 “Heavy” Armored Divisions
- 1st Armored Division
- 2nd Armored Division
- 3rd Armored Division
- 4 “Light” Armored Divisions
- 4th Armored Division
- 5th Armored Division
- 6th Armored Division
- 9th Armored Division
The 1st Armored Division is a battle hardened "Heavy" style armored division. These veterans of Tunisia, Sicily, and Italy are among the most dangerous armored troops available to American commanders. Like all American "Heavy" style armored divisions, the 1st AD's greatest weakness is its comparative shortage of mechanized infantry.
The 5th Armored Division is a typical "Light" style armored division. It is a flexible but brittle division. To get the most out of these formations, always remember to group these battalions together into combined arms battlegroups.
11 Infantry Divisions:
- 1st Infantry Division
- 2nd Infantry Division
- 3rd Infantry Division
- 4th Infantry Division
- 9th Infantry Division
- 28th Infantry Division
- 29th Infantry Division
- 30th Infantry Division
- 45th Infantry Division
- 80th Infantry Division
- 92nd Infantry Division
The 92nd Infantry Division is a typical American infantry division. It consists of 3 infantry regiments, and an artillery regiment, as well as a reconnaissance troop and an engineer battalion attached to headquarters. The 92nd Infantry Division is a primarily defensive formation, and it will require significant support to go on the offensive.
The 29th Infantry Division as organized during the Normandy Landings. The addition of the 747th Tank battalion equipped with M4 Shermans provides much needed armored support. While the 459th Anti-Aircraft Battalion's M16 and M15A1 halftracks provide close defense against enemy fighter bombers and serve as a mobile machinegun nests in close combat. The addition of independent battalions gives American infantry divisions the extra firepower they need to take the fight to the enemy.
Independent Armor/Mechanized Units:
- (12) Tank Destroyer Battalions (Self Propelled)
- (6) Tank Battalions (Medium)
- (1) Tank Battalion (Light)
- (4) Mechanized Cavalry Regiments
- (1) Armored Infantry Battalion
A quick sample of the independent reconnaissance, mechanized, armor, and tank destroyer battalions available to the American 1944 OOB. These battalions can be attached to divisions or employed independently. Through clever use of independent battalions and the attachment feature, you can even assemble your own custom divisions at the start of a scenario.
- (4) Combat Engineer Battalions
- (3) Ranger Battalions
- (2) Infantry Regiments
Independent Artillery Units:
- (14) 155mm Howitzer Battalions (Towed)
- (8) 105mm M7 Priest Battalions (Self Propelled)
- (6) 155mm M1A1 Field Gun Battalions (Towed)
- (6) 75mm M5 Anti-Tank Battalions (Towed)
- (4) 105mm M2A1 Howitzer Battalions (Towed)
- (3) 4.5” M1 Field Gun Battalions (Towed)
- (3) 4.2” M2 Chemical Mortar Battalions (Towed)
- (2) 240mm Heavy Howitzer Battalions (Towed)
- (2) 203mm Howitzer Battalions (Towed)
- (1) 155mm M12 Gun Motor Carriage Battalion (Self Propelled)
American XX Corp's Artillery during the Normandy Landings. Like all American corps, XX Corps possesses artillery for every conceivable mission, including long ranged 155mm guns, hard hitting 155mm howitzers, 105mm howitzers, and even monstrous 240mm super heavy howitzers. See the image below for a side by side comparison of some of the most common American artillery pieces.
Independent Anti-Aircraft Units:
- (5) 90mm M2 Anti-Aircraft Battalions (Towed)
- (5) 40/12.7mm Anti-Aircraft Battalions (Self Propelled)
- (3) 40mm M1 Anti-Aircraft Battalions (Towed)
Tying it all Together:
That’s it for America today. You can look forward to raining destruction on your opponents from afar once beta releases! If you are looking for more information about CAOS2 OOBs, a faction blog on Germany 1944 is in the works. If you are looking for more details on gameplay, a dev-blog on combat planned for next weekend.
As always, feel free to ask any questions or join us on our community discord!