However, divisions were still what most would consider large organizations of about 14,000 men organically composed according to the Order of Battle of the United States Army World War II, European Theater of Operations, Divisions. They could be modified to suit any tactical situation by the attachment of other types of units, such as anti-aircraft, chemical, and engineer, etc. Central to the infantry division's mission was the rifle squad, composed of 8 to 24 men, though 12 was most typical.
|Organization of a generic Army World War II infantry division|
without the support and specialty unity which augmented
battalions, regiments and divisions; created using Microsoft
|Organic units of the 5th Infantry Division; image from Order of Battle of the|
United States Army World War II, European Theater of Operations, Divisions
Divisions are attached to corps, corps to armies, and armies to an army group. For example, my father-in-law's chain of command was:
|The Army officers in my father-in-law's chain of command; created using|
Lt. Gen. Omar Bradley reported to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force. When I am reading about World War II, I keep this chart nearby. Enlisted men are very rarely mentioned in the histories or even contemporary unit reports. The commanding officers are much more likely to be mentioned. If I spot a name on this chart, especially a name near the bottom, I make a note of it as whatever occurred may have involved my father-in-law. Knowing how the Army was organized and the chain of command also enables me to better understand combat narratives and the after action reports.
 Forty, George. The Armies of George S. Patton, (London: Arms and Armour Press, 1996) , page 65.
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