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infantry training

Discussion in 'Military Training, Doctrine, and Planning' started by haslvk, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. haslvk

    haslvk New Member

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    How were infantry trained for WWII that entered service in late 1943 or 1944? They would not have taken part in Louisiana maneuvers or Tennessee maneuvers. My grandfather entered service in Nov '43, and active Dec '43. He went overseas with the 35th Div / 134th inf reg in May of 1944. Can any opinion what type of training he had (he entered at Fort Snelling St Paul)?


    Edit for my post. He actually went overseas on june 15 1944 arriving june 27 44. He entered the 134th from the 86th replacement bn. Not much info is available for 86th replacement
     
  2. haslvk

    haslvk New Member

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    Edit for my post. He actually went overseas on june 15 1944 arriving june 27 44. He entered the 134th from the 86th replacement bn. Not much info is available for 86th replacement
     
  3. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Assuming he was infantry, after basic training, soldiers went to their specialty school. After receiving basic infantry training he would been assigned to his regiment where he had OTJ training on real combat. In May he would have been reinforcement for the Normandy landing I assume. More then likely his graduate education was in the hedgerows. A replacement reg is where new soldiers would have been given instruction from combat soldiers on how to survive.
     
  4. harolds

    harolds Member

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    What steve talks about is what the ideal was. In reality, things could have been much different. If your Grandfather went through formal infantry training he was lucky. Some replacements got sudden branch transfers when the replacement situation became grim. These men probably only had the training they got in basic. They possibly may have had some real quick conversion training but not necessarily. The real problem came when the replacements were fed into the line (usually at night) along with ammo, food and other necessities. These men often didn't live through the night. If they did, they were in a unit they didn't know, and often were ignored by the old hands who waited to see if he survived. By this time however some divisional and regimental commanders were waiting until a unit was rotated out of the line for a few days and then feeding in the replacements. Our initial method of replacement caused a lot of unnecessary casualties. Again, your Grandfather was wildly fortunate in that he survived!
     
  5. haslvk

    haslvk New Member

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    Thank you for the replies. I know he fought in the last couple days of st lo and was taken pow crossing the moselle river just before battle of nancy France
     
  6. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    In 1943/44/45 most infantry training was conducted at the Infantry Replacement Training Centers. (In 1942, in addition to the IRTC's, much basic and infantry training was conducted in the new Reserve divisions -- roughly numbered 42, 63 through 106.)

    Large maneuvers (division and above) were mostly training for commanders and staffs. Units below battalion learned to be ready for anything and count-on nothing.


    I practice writing this summary as accurately as possible but there are many small variations.

    Fort Snelling is a regional Reception Center where he would be medically examined, tested for aptitude and issued a first set of uniforms. From there he would go by train to an Infantry Replacement Training Center for 13 to 17 weeks of basic and infantry training. Most would be allowed ten days furlough home and then report to Fort Meade, Maryland where Ground Force soldiers (mostly infantry) were accumulated to insure a steady flow overseas. Soldiers destined for northern Europe were sent out through New York or Boston. They would arrive at Glagow, Scotland or Liverpool, England and travel by train to a Replacement Depot in southwestern England. Through this transit period attempts were made to keep soldiers physically in-shape (road marching) and skilled with their primary weapon (dis-assembly and re-assembly). From England soldiers were shipped across the channel, in groups called Casual Detachments, and received by the field army Replacement Battalions where they would live in fields awaiting an assignment to a division.


    IRT provided basic skills but little tactical field training. When replacements arrived at a unit in combat they were often bewildered by unit procedures -- moving when they shouldn't, not moving when they should. Survival skills like judging the sound of approaching enemy artillery fire, before it landed, took time to acquire. Most everyone knew it was better to assign replacements when the unit was off the front line, but for circumstance, this was perceived as not always possible.
     

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