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US infantry squad scouts in WWII

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  • #16
    Both because I wonder how much the way infantry scouts worked in WWII influenced the development of LRRP units in Vietnam. Would infantry and cavalry scouts be under the control of the I and R units?

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    • #17
      If they are part of a Squad, they are not in the I&R Platoon.

      Pruitt
      Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

      Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

      by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Merkava188 View Post
        Both because I wonder how much the way infantry scouts worked in WWII influenced the development of LRRP units in Vietnam. Would infantry and cavalry scouts be under the control of the I and R units?
        Cavalry scouts have little or nothing to do with the development of LRRP units. They came out of the Ranger, raiding history. Although its a little older now, this book provides a pretty good overview of the early history of LRRPs as they developed in USAREUR in the late 50s
        usacac.army.mil/cac2/cgsc/carl/download/csipubs/gebhardt_LRRP.pdf

        www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a284551.pdf


        Cavalry scouts developed out of the mechanized cavalry reconnaissance squadrons and groups of WW2, through the Constabulary and then the Armored Cavalry Regiments in Europe.

        cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p4013coll11/id/746

        www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a214798.pdf

        Searching DTIC for "armored cavalry" and "long range reconnaissance" produces a bunch of results that might be useful.

        This title seems like it might have good info, but I couldn't access it quickly:
        "U.S. Army Mechanized Reconnaissance in the Cold War"

        If you look through the back issues of Armor and Infantry magazines, available online at Fort Benning's website, you'll find some articles discussing the evolution of organization and doctrine for both types of units.

        Infantry squad "scouts" in WW2 had very little to do with either strand of doctrinal development.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by BronzeStarPrice View Post
          My Grandfather was a Scout for much of his time in the Europe
          Campaign of WWII. To my knowledge he never rotated out. But
          did have many partners, even to the extent of picking his own from
          Time to time. He "won" a coin flip to get the Scout spot. He told me of many interesting stories I would gladly share if anyone's interested or
          If I can answer any questions from his wealth of war knowledge he told me about.
          29 Let's Go!
          Thanks but what exactly do you mean when you say he "won" the coin flip to be scout? Did he WANT to win the toss to be scout?
          It'd certainly tie in with something I read (I think it was Nam) about a guy who always volunteered to be point man because he knew Charlie usually let the point man go by uncsathed and preferred to open up on the main body of the platoon when it came through. Makes sense to me..
          (I'll try to find the quote again in my books and will post it in this thread if I find it)

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          • #20
            So far I've only found this (on the net), it seems in this incident that Charlie let not just the point man go by, but the entire first squad, then detonated his mine to clobber the second squad-

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            • #21
              How much difference is there between scout units and I and R units(IRST as there now known as )?

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Merkava188 View Post
                How much difference is there between scout units and I and R units(IRST as there now known as )?
                I've never heard the acronym IRST. Do you mean RSTA? The US played with RSTA doctrinally at least in the development of the Stryker BCTs, beginning in like 1999-2000. When the rest of the Army became modular Infantry and Heavy (later Armored) BCTs, their armed reconnaissance (H/ABCT) and reconnaissance (IBCTs) squadrons often used the term (RSTA), but they lacked the target acquisition assets included in the SBCT surveillance troop and the use in H/A and IBCTs was doctrinally incorrect.

                As a separate, dead-end line of development in the initial modular force, the Battlefield Surveillance Brigades had an anemic Cavalry Squadron, which had four HMMWV-mounted scout platoons and a LRS Company (IIRC, two platoons with 8 or 10 teams) that combined the contemporary incarnations of the LRRP/LRP/LRS and the (light) cavalry. They didn't last long, and are now all inactivated, with the BfSBs converted to Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigades (the BfSBs had a couple of MI battalions, too- their operations were nothing like the cavalry squadron's, part of the reason the BfSB never really worked all that well).

                Doctrinally, the US Army today has scout squads and platoons in cavalry troops and squadrons. These exist in Stryker and Armored BCTs, and in the Cavalry Squadrons of Infantry BCTs. There is some push to change the reconnaissance platoon of Infantry battalions in Infantry BCTs into Cavalry platoons as well, but I don't think that's been done yet. That would come full circle for these platoons, which were originally armored cavalry platoons under ROAD from the early 60s and changed to the current reconnaissance platoons with the development of the Light Infantry Divisions in the mid-1980s.

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                • #23
                  I think the I and R platoon Merkava is referring to is from the U.S. Army in World War II.

                  U.S. Army Infantry regiments had an I & R (Intelligence and Reconnaissance ) Platoon in the regimental headquarters company.

                  The I & R Platoon was a small unit of 25 men.
                  "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
                  Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

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                  • #24
                    Didn't they also have I and R units during the Korean War? I also remember when Schwarzkopf was assigned to the Berlin Brigade he was apart of the Brigade's I and R unit.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Merkava188 View Post
                      Didn't they also have I and R units during the Korean War? I also remember when Schwarzkopf was assigned to the Berlin Brigade he was apart of the Brigade's I and R unit.
                      Although it doesn't mention I&R platoons directly, see https://history.army.mil/html/books/...3-1/index.html. It says that the infantry regiment was essentially unchanged between WW2, through Korea, until the implementation of ROCID (Pentomic) in the late 1950s, when battle group reconnaissance platoons were in the combat support company of the infantry battle group.

                      Wilson, Maneuver and Firepower, https://history.army.mil/html/books/...ub_60-14-1.pdf says that intelligence and reconnaissance platoons replaced intelligence platoons in infantry regiments in the 1942 organization (p 161), and makes nearly the same comment about the Pentomic battle group's combat support company (p 282).

                      According to wiki, Schwarzkopf graduated USMA in 1956, and attended the Infantry School Oct 56-Mar 57, and then his first assignment was at the 101st, which was already pentomic. He didn't go to Germany until Jul 59, and served as a platoon leader, liaison officer and recon platoon leader in 6th ID before going to Berlin as the CG's aide-de-camp in Jul 60. If this timeline is correct, he served in pentomic recon units, not triangular I&R units.

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                      • #26
                        James Jones was a writer who knew his stuff, and int he Thin red Line there is a quote about scouts. He gives a quote about how in Modern warfare the idea of a scout is an antiquated notion in modern warfare and the squad position of first scout is in fact first target. In the book the two brave and well trained scouts in one squad are ordered forward to investigate a jap position by their officer, and are promptly dispatched by well aimed rifle shots.
                        One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions - Admiral Grace Hopper

                        "The eunuch should not take pride in his chastity."
                        Wu Cheng'en Monkey

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                        • #27
                          ...they're over there...

                          Old bud of mine was a grunt in Viet Nam and was the point for his platoon. Once in a while he was relieved of that honor so that a less vetted man could gain some experience but it was mostly him. In heavy brush and jungle he would range about 25-30M ahead and move very slowly. His weapon of choice was a modified Mossberg 12ga semi-auto, loaded with 00 buckshot and deer slugs. It had a rather interesting effect on any ambushers as it was very noisy which had the double effect of identifying the direction of the threat and also the location of the point man.
                          ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
                          IN MARE IN COELO

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                          • #28
                            A few years ago I read Schwarzkopf's biography that he wrote after Desert Storm and it did mention that he was in an I and R unit while he was stationed in Berlin. Didn't the U.S. Army go back to the triangular divison structure after Vietnam?

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Merkava188 View Post
                              A few years ago I read Schwarzkopf's biography that he wrote after Desert Storm and it did mention that he was in an I and R unit while he was stationed in Berlin. Didn't the U.S. Army go back to the triangular divison structure after Vietnam?
                              I think I have Schwarzkopf's book somewhere- I'll have to look and see.

                              After pentomic, in ~1963 the Army went to the ROAD organization. The ROAD organization was kind of a mixed evolution of the triangular WW2 infantry division (with 3 fixed regiments of 3 battalions) and the post-WW2 armored division (with 3 flexible combat commands that could be task organized from the 8 maneuver battalions assigned to the division).

                              The ROAD division had a base that included 3 maneuver brigade headquarters, and a flexible number of maneuver battalions- the theoretical "standard" was for infantry divisions to contain 2 tank and 8 infantry battalions; for armored divisions to contain 6 tank and 5 mechanized infantry battalions; for mechanized infantry divisions to contain 3 tank and 7 mechanized infantry battalions; and for airborne divisions to contain 1 assault gun/tank battalion and 8 airborne infantry battalions.

                              As actually implemented, there was more variety than the 4 standard organizations. Wilson lists the following mix of battalions as of 30 June 1965:
                              1st Armored: 5 tank, 4 mech (plus roundout?)
                              1st Cavalry: 5 infantry, 2 mech, 2 tank (late with 8 airmobile)
                              1st Infantry: 5 infantry, 2 mech, 2 tank
                              2nd Armored: 4 mech, 5 tank (plus roundout?)
                              2nd Infantry: 5 infantry, 2 mech, 2 tank
                              3rd Armored: 5 mech, 6 tank
                              3rd Infantry: 7 mech, 3 tank
                              4th Armored: 5 mech, 6 tank
                              4th Infantry: 5 infantry, 2 mech, 2 tank
                              5th Infantry: 8 infantry, 2 tank
                              7th Infantry: 5 infantry, 2 mech, 2 tank
                              8th Infantry: 4 infantry, 3 airborne, 3 tank (this might be 5/2, not 4/3)
                              24th Infantry: 7 mech, 3 tank
                              25th Infantry: 6 infantry, 1 mech, 1 tank (plus roundout?)
                              82nd Airborne: 9 airborne, 1 tank (tank with equipment only)
                              101st Airborne: 9 airborne, 1 tank (tank wth equipment only)

                              The reserve component also varied from the standard, but both ARNG and USAR infantry divisions were uniformly 6 infantry and 2 tank battalions, and 4 of the 5 armored divisions were 4 mech and 5 tank, although the 40th Armored Division (California ARNG) was 4 mech and 6 tank.

                              A couple of references:

                              https://history.army.mil/html/books/...ub_60-14-1.pdf

                              www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/697844.pdf

                              usacac.army.mil/cac2/cgsc/carl/download/csipubs/sixty.pdf

                              http://scholar.google.com/scholar_ur...l=1&ws=826x506

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