Category: battalion

Swedish Volunteer Battalion in a trench during The Continuation War, 1941

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‘Big Nims’ of the United States 3rd Battalion, 366th Infantry, Laughing at the Sight of His Comrades with Gas Masks On, 1918

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U.S. troops of 2nd Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, supported by M4 Sherman tanks and M10 tank destroyers move into the German city of Aachen, October 15, 1944. Painting by Steve Noon

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Painting by British artist Steve Noon for Osprey Publishing’s Campaigns 181: The Siegfried Line 1944-1945. It depicts U.S. soldiers moving into Aachen, the first large German city to be captured by Allied forces.

More information from the book:

“In preparation for the attack into the center of Aachen, the 2/26th Infantry received specialized urban assault training developed on the spot by its commander, Lt Col Derrill Daniel. Short of manpower, Daniel was intent on substituting firepower for manpower and he dubbed the tactics as "knock’em all down.” Each rifle company was organized as a task force with an attachment of three M4 medium tanks or M10 tank destroyers, two 57mm antitank guns, two bazooka teams, a flamethrower, and two heavy machine-gun teams. To ensure that ammunition continued to flow in and casualties flowed out in a timely fashion, Daniel obtained M29 Weasel cargo carriers to deal with the rubble-filled streets. The tactics were to use firepower to chase the defenders into the cellars, at which point they would be attacked with grenades and flamethrowers. The attack was staged to systematically rout out the German defenders a street at a time, as seen here. The infantry would move along the sides of the street, using the buildings for cover, while the tanks and tank destroyers would move forward to provide direct firepower support.

Co-ordination was essential, and the German infantry was armed with the potent Panzerfaust antitank rocket. The task of the US infantry was to keep the German infantry at bay, so that they could not use the short-range Panzerfaust effectively. At least one M12 155mm GMC was used during the city fighting to knock out especially stubborn resistance points. Its 155mm gun could often bring down an entire building with only a few high-explosive rounds. By the time of the October 1944 fighting, the city had already been devastated by previous bombing and shelling. However, the streets were relatively clear of rubble, as the city government had attempted to keep main thoroughfares open until the evacuation on October 12. German defenses were based in the ruined housing and buildings, which offered a measure of protection against small-arms fire. However, the entire city garrison comprised only about 5,000 troops, and included a large number of Luftwaffe and naval personnel hastily transferred to the army in September with little or no infantry training. As a result, the two US attack battalions, although significantly outnumbered, were able to steadily advance and capture the city in less than a week.“

WW1: Morning of August 10, 1918, during the advance towards Lihons. Troops from the Australian 6th Battalion rest in a trench. The Battalion had sustained heavy casualties in the attack upon Crepy Wood. This small group found themselves without officers during the roll-call

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“Left to right, sitting on the bank: Sergeant (Sgt) Hunt: Quartermaster Sergeant Kirby; Sgt Ward. Front row, in the trench: unidentified; unidentified; Tullock, on the right (leaning).
Staff-Sergeant on top of the bank, who is seen making a check roll-call.”

WW1 Austro Hungarian 3rd Battalion, K.u.K Infantry Regiment No.35 in Bohinjska Bistrica, 1915. Colourised.

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Original: Austrian state archives, Vienna.

Members of the 363rd Field Artillery Battalion, Pvt. Troy Dixon uses a Japanese barber chair to cut the hair of Sgt. John Anderson, near Shuri, Okinawa, June 10, 1945.

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WW1 Austro Hungarian Zugsführer, K.u.K Feldjäger Battalion, Eastern Front 1917. Colourised.

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Corporal Walter Norman Ellis, Service Nº1917 27th Battalion and the 5th Machine Gun Battalion, 1st Australian Imperial Force. Summer 1915 colourised By RJM

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A Lieutenant of the 8th Battalion, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, WW1 .

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Members of the 3rd Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade pause to read a book about themselves

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The book itself can be read here, and is well worth a browse – it’s often hilarious, and has a very Wipers Times sort of feel to it.