US ARMORED INFANTRY BATTALION 1944
The armored infantry battalion has a headquarters and headquarters company, service company, and three rifle companies.
The armored infantry battalion is a powerful, mobile, lightly armored unit that is tactically and administratively self-contained and capable, to a limited extent, of independent action.
The battalion is specially organized, equipped, and trained for employment in mutually supporting tank and infantry action.
HEADQUARTERS AND HEADQUARTERS COMPANY
The headquarters and headquarters company of an armored infantry battalion consists of a battalion headquarters and the battalion headquarters company.
The battalion headquarters consists of the battalion commander and his staff. The headquarters company consists of a company headquarters, a reconnaissance platoon, an assault-gun platoon, a mortar platoon and a heavy machine-gun platoon.
The principal mission of the reconnaissance platoon is to obtain information required by higher headquarters and get it to the interested party in time to be of use. The platoon avoids engagements with the enemy, but must be prepared to act aggressively if the need arises.
The platoon normally performs the following types of reconnaissance:
- Zone reconnaissance. This type is performed in front of an advancing force. Aggressive force is used by the platoon when needed.
- Area reconnaissance. This type of reconnaissance is designed to search an area for definite information. This reconnaissance is more detailed than the zone reconnaissance.
The platoon is prepared to perform reconnaissance either over roads and trails or cross-country.
Dismounted scouts are used when necessary.
The employment and training of the reconnaissance platoon receives close supervision of the battalion commander. The platoon leader is responsible for the performance of its assigned battalion missions. He keeps in contact with the battalion commander and S-2 at all times during action in order to keep battalion headquarters advised on the situation and to perform any missions without delay. Information of vital importance concerning terrain, action of the enemy, strength of the enemy, action of adjacent friendly troops, or any other vital information is sent to battalion headquarters immediately.
The platoon may be reinforced by organic or attached units when the need arises.
Assault Gun Platoon
The assault-gun platoon furnishes close support fire for the battalion, using either direct or indirect fire. The platoon is usually employed as a complete platoon under the direction of the battalion commander.
The platoon is composed of a platoon headquarters section, three gun sections, and an ammunition section.
81-Mm Mortar Platoon
The 81-mm mortar platoon is used to support the rifle companies of the battalion under the direction of the battalion commander. Due to the high trajectory of the mortar, the platoon is useful in reducing point targets and neutralizing limited area targets inaccessible to the flat trajectory weapons.
The platoon is composed of a platoon headquarters section and three mortar squads.
Machine Gun Platoon
The machine gun platoon is employed by the battalion commander to give the rifle companies additional fire power. The platoon may be used to cover a definite sector.
The platoon is composed of a platoon headquarters section and two gun sections of two squads each. Each squad is equipped with a caliber .30 machine gun as the basic weapon. Each section is transported by a carrier, half-track.
Armored infantry normally fights dismounted.
Under favorable conditions vehicular armament either mounted or dismounted is used to support the attack.
If vehicles are used, they must be placed in position defilade and dispersed. It moves forward in vehicles until it is forced by enemy fire, or unfavorable terrain, to dismount.
In mounted movement it is sensitive to mine fields, other obstacles, unfavorable terrain, and weather.
Continued operation is dependent on maintenance and adequate resupply of ammunition, fuel, and lubricants.
When Platoons fought on foot, the infantry doctrine applied.
The service company is the service and administrative company of the armored infantry battalion, performing the following general functions:
- Furnishes enlisted personnel for battalion administrative headquarters, including the personnel and administrative section.
- Receives and distributes all supplies and replacements.
- Performs second-echelon motor maintenance.
- Furnishes supply and transportation personnel.
In combat, the service company establishes, operates, and controls-
- Battalion distributing points for ammunition, rations, water, fuel and lubricants, and engineer and other supplies.
- The battalion trains bivouac, usually containing the battalion supply officer's section, company (bivouac) headquarters, transportation platoon, maintenance platoon, and kitchen trucks. Mess and supply personnel and kitchens of all companies remain in the trains bivouac when not required in the forward area.
The service company consists of a company headquarters and administrative section, a battalion administrative and personnel section, a battalion supply and transportation platoon, and a battalion maintenance platoon.
- The service company commander is, in addition to his other duties, trains commander and assistant supply officer. He controls the trains in marches, sets up the trains bivouac area, and is responsible for furnishing necessary transportation for supplies.
- The company headquarters section is composed of the company commander and enlisted men necessary for company administration, mess, supply, and maintenance.
- The battalion administrative and personnel section is composed of the personnel officer and essential enlisted men. In combat, company clerks, who habitually work in the personnel section, are attached to the section. The section usually is attached to divisional administrative units, remaining in the rear echelon.
- The supply and transportation platoon is composed of the platoon leader, truck and other vehicle drivers, and the necessary clerks for supply and transportation.
- The maintenance section is composed of the battalion maintenance officer and mechanics and clerks necessary for battalion maintenance of vehicles.
The medical detachment is an integral part of the armored infantry battalion. The detachment has the function of supervising and advising on health and sanitation measures within the battalion, giving immediate care to personnel of the battalion who become sick, injured, or battle casualties, and evacuating the more serious cases to a higher echelon.