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> hierarchy an definitions
jivana
Posted: September 16, 2005 09:56 am
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Sirs,

in many of the posts I read in this forum and in others expressions are used out of a context that would be reachable for me, even if I have been reading intensively about this subject for some months.

For example you write about a "division" including a "battalion", in other postings you read the espressions "army" and "regiment".

Therefore I kindly ask you to explain the differences and the hierarchy of these expressions:
division
battalion
Mountain Battalion
army
regiment

I would also like to know of how many people these groups consisted in WW2.

For instance, how can I follow the way of a Battalion, if I don´t know the Army or viceversa? Is a battalion part of an Army or of a Division, how many Armies did Romania have?

Also I would like to see an overview of the hierarchy of the soldiers, what range was a NCO? or an officer. How do I recognize the rang at the uniform? (If you look at the soldiers/NCOs/officers on the photo of the 15th Battalion each of them has a different uniform, how do I know what they represented?)

Sincerely
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Victor
Posted: September 16, 2005 06:47 pm
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First I suggest that you also take a look at the Organization section on the website to get a more detailed picture of army organization.

Now let's start with the unit hierarchy from bottom to top. We will consider the infantry, as it was the most numerous type of troops during WWII. I will also simplify the explanations. Please note that there were differences in organization in the armies of WW2. For example a post-summer of 1941 Soviet Army could be very well be similar in size with a German or Romanian larger corps.

The smallest unit was the squad (around 10 men).
Usually three or four squads made up a platoon (30-40 men).
Three or four platoons made up a company (120-200 men).
Three companies made up a battalion. A battalion also had a heavy weapons company (machine-guns, mortars) or a recon company (for mountain troops) (500-800 men).
Two or three battalions plus other smalller units with specific tasks (antitank, pioneers etc) made up a regiment (between 1,500 and 4,000 men strong, depending on the type of regiment).
Two or three infantry regiments plus one or two artillery regiments made up an infantry division (between 13,000 and 17,000 men strong).
The brigade, in the Romanian Army, was used to designate groups of six mountain battalions and two mountain artillery regiments or groups of three cavalry regiments and one artillery regiment. It was smaller in size than a Romanian infantry division.
Several divisions made up a corps.
Several corps made up an army and several armies made up an army group. The army group could be over 500,000 men.

Romania had three operational armies during WW2: 1st, 3rd and 4th.

For ranks, see this older topic: http://www.worldwar2.ro/forum/index.php?showtopic=1150

NCOs are "subofiteri" in Romanian. They are situated between officers and soldiers. A sergeant major is an NCO for example.

Hope this helps.
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Imperialist
Posted: September 17, 2005 07:39 am
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Victor, what about the Airforce? I knew the land organization, but the Airforce one I dont. How many planes are/were in a squadron, how many squadrons in an Airwing (if this is the order).
Thanx.
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Victor
Posted: September 17, 2005 07:51 am
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Again, the terms differed from country to country. Romania adopted the French and then the German system in the years of WW2.

The German ace Werner Mölders (the first man to surpass the 100 confirmed kills) introduced the Rotte/Schwarm system for fighters. In Romanian that is celula/patrula. A celula means 2 aircraft, while a patrula means 2 celule (4 aircraft). The bomber patrula was 3 aircraft strong.

Several patrule made up a squadron (12-15 aircraft).
Two or three squadrons made up a group (between 25 and 40 aircraft)
Several groups made up a flotilla (around 100 aircraft)
Several flotillas made up an air corps and in the case of the Luftwaffe, several air corps made up an air fleet.

The USAAF also had the squadron/group system, but the RAF designated the German groups as wings and the air corps as groups. The VVS (the Soviet air force) had regiments instead of groups, brigades and divisions instead of flotillas and air armies instead of air corps.
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jivana
Posted: September 18, 2005 05:43 pm
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Victor,

I want to thank you very much for your clear and understandable answer. Are you a teacher?

I really read all your links and explanations (and also the other answers you gave to me in other posts) anxiously and with most interest!

As to the uniforms:

The stripes indicated in the link aren´t often to be seen in the pictures, how can I recognize in a uniform the belonging to a certain group by
-the cap/helmet
- the belt buckle
- or what do the stripes mean over the breast pocket?

Regards

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Carol I
Posted: September 18, 2005 07:01 pm
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QUOTE (jivana @ Sep 18 2005, 06:43 PM)
- or what do the stripes mean over the breast pocket?

Above the left breast pocket? They are ribbon bars of the decorations received by the officer.
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jivana
Posted: September 18, 2005 07:38 pm
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Thank you,

but:
What kind of decorations? Honorations? For what evants?

Regards
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Carol I
Posted: September 18, 2005 07:47 pm
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QUOTE (jivana @ Sep 18 2005, 08:38 PM)
What kind of decorations? Honorations?

All kinds of decorations: orders, medals and honorary signs, Romanian and foreign.

QUOTE (jivana @ Sep 18 2005, 08:38 PM)
For what evants?

The usual reasons for awarding decorations were (and still are): bravery in the field, extraordinary services to the state, distinguished achievements and/or merits, commemoration of various events etc.
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Agarici
Posted: September 19, 2005 09:53 am
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QUOTE (Victor @ Sep 16 2005, 06:47 PM)
First I suggest that you also take a look at the Organization section on the website to get a more detailed picture of army organization.

Now let's start with the unit hierarchy from bottom to top. We will consider the infantry, as it was the most numerous type of troops during WWII. I will also simplify the explanations. Please note that there were differences in organization in the armies of WW2. For example a post-summer of 1941 Soviet Army could be very well be similar in size with a German or Romanian larger corps.

The smallest unit was the squad (around 10 men).
Usually three or four squads made up a platoon (30-40 men).
Three or four platoons made up a company (120-200 men).
Three companies made up a battalion. A battalion also had a heavy weapons company (machine-guns, mortars) or a recon company (for mountain troops) (500-800 men).
Two or three battalions plus other smalller units with specific tasks (antitank, pioneers etc) made up a regiment (between 1,500 and 4,000 men strong, depending on the type of regiment).
Two or three infantry regiments plus one or two artillery regiments made up an infantry division (between 13,000 and 17,000 men strong).
The brigade, in the Romanian Army, was used to designate groups of six mountain battalions and two mountain artillery regiments or groups of three cavalry regiments and one artillery regiment. It was smaller in size than a Romanian infantry division.
Several divisions made up a corps.
Several corps made up an army and several armies made up an army group. The army group could be over 500,000 men.

Romania had three operational armies during WW2: 1st, 3rd and 4th.

For ranks, see this older topic: http://www.worldwar2.ro/forum/index.php?showtopic=1150

NCOs are "subofiteri" in Romanian. They are situated between officers and soldiers. A sergeant major is an NCO for example.

Hope this helps.


Or better yet check this link (here on this forum), for it contains the ranks for all the branches of the Romanian army (land, navy, air force): http://www.worldwar2.ro/forum/index.php?showtopic=1662

A schematically represented relation between different types of units, in the ascending order of their subordination:

SQUAD (grupa)

PLATOON

COMPANY (battery/”baterie” in artillery, squadron/”escadron” in cavalry)

BATTALION

REGIMENT

[GROUP - similar with a regiment in strength, or somewhat in between a regiment and a brigade; unlike the regiment, the group has a more accentuated “inter-arms” component: subordinated artillery, recon/motorized groups, and so on; for an example, see here: http://www.worldwar2.ro/forum/index.php?sh...=15&#entry37300 ]

BRIGADE (note: before WW 2, the the brigade echelon was also present in the Romanian infantry organization, being created and cancelled several times; when existed, it vas a structure superior to the regiment echelon, and subordinated to the infantry division)

DIVISION (in Romanian “divizie”; different form the Romanian “division”, which was a echelon in the artillery structure, similar with battalion)

ARMY COPRPS

ARMY (note: before September 1940, Romania had four operational armies; after the territorial cessions from autumn 1940, as an important part of the territorial and demographical recruiting base was lost, many units were disbanded…).

Also the numbering was continuous for echelons from regiment upwards; the same for the independent battalions. So in order to search for information for a certain unit (a regiment for example) it is enough to know its number and type (infantry, cavalry, mountain), you don’t necessarily need to know to what division (brigade) it was attached. For the smaller units (battalion and downwards) their number depended on the superior echelon they were subordinated to (so you have a 2nd battalion in the 9th infantry regiment… and a 2nd battalion in the 16th infantry regiment).

As for Romanian/original equivalents for the army lower ranks (“fruntas”, “caporal” and “sergent”) - they were called “gradati” in the Romanian army.

This post has been edited by Agarici on September 19, 2005 09:55 am
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dragos
Posted: September 19, 2005 10:38 am
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In addition, the companies in an infantry regiment were numbered gradually from 1 to 12. For example the 8th Company was the Heavy Weapons Company (the fourth company) of the 2nd Battalion of the Regiment.



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