Table of Contents
The Combat Command has no organic troops with the exception of a Headquarters Company. Composition of troops under its command were made and changed as the occasion demanded it, the only consistent member being Battery A, 777th AAA Battalion.
Past commanders of Combat Command A have been Brigadier General James Taylor, Colonel Harry F. Hanson, and Colonel John L. Hines.
As in the case of Combat Command A, Combat Command B has its headquarters staff and its Headquarters Company, with composition of the command changing in accordance with the mission at hand. Battery B, 777th AAA Battalion was an almost permanent attachment to the headquarters.
Other commanders of Combat Command B were Brigadier General (then Colonel)
George W. Read, Jr., and Colonel Harry F. Hanson, who was in command until
18 April 1945.
Former commanders of Reserve Command were Colonel Harry F. Hanson,
Colonel Albert E. Harris, and Lt. Col. Embry D. Lagrew, who was in command
until 18 April 1945.
The Division attributes the greater part of its success in breaking up the many strong counter-attacks in the ARDENNES to the terrific barrages laid down by the artillery battalions that enabled our troops to push the Germans back to Germany.
Armored artillery is designed to move and shoot fast. Giving close support
to speeding tank and infantry columns, the battalions can roll off the
road into firing positions, with fire direction centers operating, in less
than ten minutes. The fluid, intelligent use of Divarty has been
an outstanding feature of the Division's success.
Forward Echelon is the tactical headquarters of the Commanding General, the General Staff and those directly concerned with the conduct of the fighting. In the Rear Echelon are the administrative offices which maintain the vast amount of records and reports.
Closely behind the fighting elements move the halftracks, trucks and peeps of the Forward Echelon. Into this headquarters flow orders from higher headquarters, reports on the progress of the fighting, a mass of information concerning the enemy, reports of the division's strength in personnel and materiel and the availability of supplies. This information is correlated to form the basis for the Commanding General's plan of action. Here the decisions are made, and from this headquarters the orders covering all phases of the operation go out by radio, wire, liaison officer and messenger.
To speed communication with the fighting elements and enable the Division Commander to reach the front positions quickly, the Forward Echelon was kept well forward during action. Defending it was the Headquarters Co. Defense Platoon of light tanks and infantry halftracks.
In addition to the Division Commander, his Chief of Staff and his General Staff, (G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4) the Forward Echelon includes the Chemical Warfare Officer, Signal Officer, Military Government Officer, Assistant Division Engineer, and Division Surgeon.
Administrative center of the division is the office of the Adjutant General, Lt. Col. George W. Moore Jr. This section maintains files and prepares division records, publishes general and special orders and conducts division correspondence. Here, also, are offices and staffs of the Judge Advocate, Inspector General, Division Chaplain, Special Service Officer, Red Cross Field Director and Postal Officer, traveling with Division Trains.
Personnel officers and company clerks of all division units maintain
the records of men here during action so they may work with a minimum of
interruptions from enemy action.
Each staff section is given certain responsibilities. Their activities are explained on the next two pages. The work of one section often depends upon the work of other sections. Obviously there must he someone to coordinate all these activities. This is one of the principal duties of the Chief of Staff.
It is likewise obvious that the Division Commander cannot always remain at the headquarters. When he is away, someone must be present who can give decisions in his name. Due to his close association with the Division Commander, the Chief of Staff is able to make such decisions in conformity with the Commander's policies.
The Chief of Staff keeps the Division Commander informed on the many matters pertaining to the Division's operations. He also disseminates the orders of the Commander to the persons who are to execute such orders.
In short, the Chief of Staff is the Division Commander's principal assistant and adviser.
The evacuation of enemy prisoners of war and liberated Allied ex-prisoners of war is under the G-l's control.
Recommendations for decorations and promotions of officers and appointment of enlisted men to be officers and WO's are processed by the G-1, who makes recommendations to the General for approval or disapproval.
The G-1, through the Special Service Officer, supervises all special
service activity within the division. This includes Red Cross clubmobiles
and "doughnut dugouts", USO and movie showings and the athletic and recreational
programs. The appointment of general courts martial and knowledge of the
morale of the command, which includes knowledge of the number of men AWOL
and of the number of violations of orders serious enough to merit disciplinary
action, are G-1 matters.
Vast amounts of information come from combat units through G-2's (intelligence officers), higher headquarters, adjacent units and attached intelligence teams such as Interrogation of Prisoners of War, Photo Interpretation, Order of Battle Counter Intelligence Corps, and Military Intelligence and' Interpretation. From prisoners, civilians, documents, photographs, radio, air and ground reconnaissance and from the G-2's own records come the bits of information which, pieced together, provide a picture of the enemy.
This information, together with estimates of enemy capabilities, is submitted to the Commanding General to aid him in forming his plans for a given operation. Reports on the enemy, his gun positions, everything which can be found out about him and the terrain, is made known to the combat units of the division to enable them to meet and defeat the enemy with a minimum loss of men. Counter intelligence, also, is the G-2's responsibility. He recommends and' supervises measures taken to limit the enemy's information of our troops.
The G-2 is also responsible for distribution of maps to division units
through the headquarters of the 25th Armored Engineer Battalion.
During training periods the G-3 organizes and coordinates the training
of the division as prescribed by the Division Commander and higher headquarters.
This involves the issuance o f training directives, arranging for training
areas, training aids, schools, ranges and equipment with the object of
building the division personnel into a fighting team, in conjunction with
In time of combat the G-3 and his assistants plan and coordinate the operations of the division in accordance with the desires of the Division Commander and orders from higher headquarters. Fighter-bomber airplanes are controlled through the Air Officer who works closely with the G-3 and dispatches fighter support to units as needed. From the G-3 situation map, kept current by information from the combat commands and units, the Division Commander and the G-3 keep a constant check on the progress of the operations,. making changes as dictated by the situation.
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