Capturing Caesars Camp - New PSC

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DougM
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Re: Capturing Caesars Camp - New PSC

Post by DougM »

A number of typos crept through, like 2 on page 3 alone, like in for it and so on.

My query is the BEF squad size. Corporal, 3 man bren team and seven riflemen? I thought the standard org in 1940 was 10 men?
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Quackstheking
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Re: Capturing Caesars Camp - New PSC

Post by Quackstheking »

DougM wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 6:25 am
My query is the BEF squad size. Corporal, 3 man bren team and seven riflemen? I thought the standard org in 1940 was 10 men?
It’s 11 men per section in the Blitzkrieg Handbook for the 1940 Regulation Platoon (exactly as detailed above) and 8 in the 1939 Platoon.

Assume this must be correct.

Don

Kustenjaeger
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Re: Capturing Caesars Camp - New PSC

Post by Kustenjaeger »

What is being referred to as the 1939 organisation was WE II/1931/12/B/3 effective 6 April 1938. The 1940 establishment was infantry battalion (higher establishment) effective 10 April 1940. See http://www.bayonetstrength.uk/BritishAr ... 938-45.pdf.

The former rifle company had a 12 man HQ and 3 platoons of 29 (30 in the first platoon). In the higher establishment there were two platoons of 38 and one of 39. The platoon 2” mortar was allocated (first line ammo) 9 HE and 27 smoke rounds.

Edward

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BaronVonWreckedoften
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Re: Capturing Caesars Camp - New PSC

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften »

So what were the chances that the BEF in France had increased section sizes to 11 men by the time the Germans crossed the borders?
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DougM
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Re: Capturing Caesars Camp - New PSC

Post by DougM »

Somewhere between nil and zero... I would suggest.
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Kustenjaeger
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Re: Capturing Caesars Camp - New PSC

Post by Kustenjaeger »

Ellis’ The War in France and Flanders gives battalion strength as approximately 780 men with 734 rifles - this is exactly in accordance with higher establishment. Probably the only way of knowing would be battalion strength returns but I imagine most of these were lost. Not many battalion histories seem to talk much about low level structure.

It is just possible that the 10 April 1940 effective date for higher establishment was actually after the changes were made (this occurs from time to time in the WE records).

NB the sources are WO24/935/114 [National Archives Kew] for the 1938 establishment (WE II/1931/12B/3) and WO24/937/201 for the higher establishment. Note that WO24/936/110 as at 20 September 1939 repeats the 1938 establishment. The next formal WE for the infantry battalion is In WO24/938/530 as at 14 August 1940 (WE II/1931/12B/4) which again has platoons of 29/30 men.

Edward

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Re: Capturing Caesars Camp - New PSC

Post by Archdukek »

BaronVonWreckedoften wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 12:47 pm
So what were the chances that the BEF in France had increased section sizes to 11 men by the time the Germans crossed the borders?
Rich discusses the conflicting evidence for the change in the Blitzkreig 1940 Handbook (p 75). Apparently the most recent research shows that the new structure was not unknown and his conclusion is that Regular battalions were largely able to call on reinforcements from their depots to bring their numbers up to strength before the German onslaught. The Territorial units on the other hand were “woefully under equipped and under manned.”

While the Handbook includes lists for both the 1939 and 1940 platoon structure, the authors of the PSC have chosen to use the 1940 structure for this campaign.

John

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DougM
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Re: Capturing Caesars Camp - New PSC

Post by DougM »

I did wonder about drafts from depots travelling to their parent units in France. But will play it as written. Means I need more BEF figures though.
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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Capturing Caesars Camp - New PSC

Post by Truscott Trotter »

We are talking June and the Brit system allowed for LOB troops which could have been used to make up the numbers, anyway it is hard enough for the Scots with the 1940 platoon let alone the 1939 one

sackatatties
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Re: Capturing Caesars Camp - New PSC

Post by sackatatties »

The 51st had the new organisation (11/section) in place before Abbeville and was known to be 'overstrength' while it was at the Maginot.

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