John B. Wilson
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Wilson, John B., 1934-
Maneuver and firepower: the evolution of divisions and separate brigades / by John B. Wilson.
p. cm.
Army lineage series
Includes bibliographical references and index.
1. United States. Army-Organization-History. I. Center of Military History. II. Title.
UA25W554 1997
355.3'0973-DC20                                                                                             94-21031
CMH Pub 60-14
First Printing

Jeffrey J. Clarke, General Editor
Advisory Committee 
(As of September 1997)


Joseph T. Glatthaar 

University of Houston 

Michael J. Kurtz

National Archives and Records Administration

Raymond A. Callahan 

University of Delaware

Brig. Gen. Fletcher M. Lamkin, Jr.

U.S. Military Academy

Maj. Gen. James J. Cravens, Jr. 

U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command

Carol A. Reardon

Pennsylvania State University

Carlo W. D'Este 

New Seabury, Mass.

Col. Everett L. Roper, Jr.

U.S. Army War College

George C. Herring, Jr.

University of Kentucky

Mark A. Stoler

University of Vermont

Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Inge 

U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

Lt. Gen. Frederick E. Vollrath

Archivist of the Army

Gerhard L. Weinberg

University of North Carolina

U.S. Army Center of Military History 
Brig. Gen. John W. Mountcastle, Chief of Military History
Chief Historian Jeffrey J. Clarke
Chief, Field Programs and  Historical Services Division John T. Greenwood 
Editor in Chief  John W Elsberg

This work traces the evolution of two unique U.S. Army organizations-divisions and brigades-which combined combat arms, combat support, and combat service support units into well-oiled engines for war. The Army has used divisions for over two hundred and twenty years on the battlefield and for nearly eighty years has maintained them in peacetime as well. Separate combined arms brigades, a newer phenomenon, date to the 1960s. Both organizations have played a pivotal role in the American military experience, and their exploits form the core of the Army's history in the twentieth century.
The following study is a systematic account of the way these two organizations evolved, highlighting the rationales behind that evolution and the many factors that played a part in bringing those changes into reality. This book will also complement the forthcoming revised edition of Armies, Corps, Divisions, and Separate Brigades, a volume in the Army Lineage Series.
In this work the reader, whether military or civilian, can follow the development of two of the Army's complex organizations. Force planners today will find the challenges faced by their predecessors in making these institutions responsive to an ever-changing threat in an evolving political and technological environment highly relevant. By telling this story in a comprehensive manner, the volume makes a significant contribution to the history of the Army.
Washington, D. C. 
2 February 1998
Brigadier General, USA 
Chief of Military History

The Author
John B. Wilson was born and grew up in Imperial, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Duquesne University, receiving a B.A. degree in history in 1963 and an M.A. degree in American history in 1966. He joined the Organizational History Branch, Center of Military History, in 1968 and served there until he retired in 1997. He compiled Armies, Corps, Divisions, and Separate Brigades in the Army Lineage Series and is the author of several articles on the organizations of divisions and separate brigades.

This volume examines the evolution of divisions and separate brigades in the U.S. Army as it searched for the most effective way to fuse combat arms, combat support, and service units into combined arms teams. The Army has used divisions and brigades since the colonial era, but the national leadership did not provide for their permanency in the force until the twentieth century. When divisions became a part of the standing force, experiences on American battlefields in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as European military practices, shaped their organization. The permanent divisions and brigades that the Army organized, however, were uniquely American.
At the beginning of the seventeenth century armies had no permanent tactical subdivisions. Administrative organizations called "regiments" were primarily designed to bring armed men to the battlefield. Upon arriving at the battle site, the men were usually grouped into battalions or squadrons, tactical organizations. King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden established brigades during the Thirty Years War as tactical organizations, assigning several battalions to them for the duration of a campaign, an arrangement that minimized the necessity for regrouping or retraining his army before going into battle. Shortly thereafter, other nations adopted the Swedish example.
The size of armies increased by the early eighteenth century, and Frederick the Great of Prussia began dividing his army into columns, which marched as wings or lines that fell into a prearranged order on the battlefield. Such maneuvers required discipline and well-drilled troops. To overcome the Prussians, Marshal Maurice de Saxe of France reintroduced the cadence step, which had fallen into disuse, and stressed discipline to control an army on the march and in combat. By marching troops at a measured step, Maurice could judge the time required to move his army to engage an enemy. With the ability to calculate marching time, Marshal Victor E Broglie in the mid-1700s began dividing the French Army into several permanent columns or divisions of infantry and artillery for a campaign. These divisions made an army easier to maneuver and occasionally permitted him to use part of it as an independent force. Almost two hundred years later Basil Liddell Hart described that process as making a limbless army grow arms that could grip an enemy at different points while others struck him.
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries European military theorists incorporated the doctrine for organizing divisions and brigades into their publica-

tions, and many of those works were known to military leaders in colonial America. The British Army also brought European methods of war to North America before the Revolutionary War, and the colonists adopted much of that practice and doctrine in developing their own divisions and brigades as command and control units.
Against this background, Chapter I surveys the types of brigades and divisions the Army employed in the various wars of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These units and the doctrine underlying them were the basis for organizing and maintaining permanent divisions and brigades in the twentieth century Chapters 2 through 14 trace the evolution of United States Army divisions and separate brigades from approximately 1900 to 1990. Their various reorganizations and their roles in the total Army are the grist of the study Chapter 15 draws together some of the lessons explored in the main body of the volume. Since the manuscript was prepared seven years ago momentous changes have occurred in the Army, and a brief look forward examines some of them.
The word "division" over the years has had many meanings within the Army, as well as within the other military services. As used in this study, the term addresses only a large, combined arms team capable of independent operations. But an integral part of the story is also the development of the "brigade," initially a command and control headquarters for two or more regiments or battalions from the same arm or branch. In the mid-twentieth century the brigade evolved into a combined arms unit smaller than a division. The combined arms brigade, although a relatively new structure, is also a subject of this study.
A few words need to be said about the charts and tables in the volume. Tables of organization and equipment (TOE) published for divisions and separate brigades and their subordinate elements served as the skeleton for the study, and the charts were derived from them. No one table, however, contains all the information that appears in each chart. Therefore, to develop each chart, I began with the largest unit, such as the division, and compiled the data for each subordinate element down to and including company, troops, battery, or detachment. The charts, nevertheless, represent only windows in time, for the organizations constantly changed. The tables listing divisions and brigades, their location, maneuver elements, and other information were also drawn from many sources. Hence, they are not attributed to any particular work or document.
Many colleagues have served as mentors in the research and writing of this manuscript. To name everyone who assisted in the work is impossible, but key supporters in the Center of Military History have been Morris J. MacGregor, Acting Chief Historian of the center in 1989-90; Dr. David Trask, former Chief Historian; and Lt. Col. Clayton R. Newell, former Chief, Historical Services Division. I am also indebted to Col. Raymond K. Bluhm, Colonel Newell's successor, who read the manuscript and offered insightful suggestions, and to Dr. John T. Greenwood, who arranged space and support for me within the center after I retired to complete the work. Janice E. McKenney, Chief, Organizational

History Branch, read, commented on, and edited numerous versions of each chapter, and Romana M. Danysh from the Organizational History Branch read and commented on the work and listened to endless hours of discussion about the scope and presentation of the material. Rebecca Robbins Raines, Donna Everett, and Edward Bedessem, all currently assigned to the Organizational History Branch, assisted in defining ideas and the relationships of arms, support, and service units to divisions and separate brigades.
Outside the branch but within the center, Dr. Edward Drea, former Chief, Historical Research and Analysis Division, offered invaluable help in clarifying the ideas presented. Maj. Glenn Hawkins and Dr. Edgar E Raines read sections of the manuscript and forced close examination of some of its basic assumptions. Dr. Robert K. Wright, Chief, Historical Resources Branch, offered suggestions for organizing and presenting the material. Over the years the center's library staff, especially James Knight, offered indispensable help in locating books and articles and completing citations in the notes and bibliography. Geraldine Harcarik from the Historical Resources Branch cheerfully searched for countless documents in the center's archival holdings.
No serious historical work about the Army can be accomplished without drawing on holdings of the U.S. Army Military History Institute at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. The staff there was a steady source of help. In particular, John Slonaker, Dennis Vetock, and Louise Arnold-Friend always found time to stop during a busy day to respond to my requests for documents, books, and articles. They gladly shared their knowledge of Army organization, suggesting works that might not have come to my attention. Another individual in the historical community who shared his knowledge about the Army was John L. Romjue of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.
The preparation of the volume for publication has also been the result of the efforts of many people. I would like to express my appreciation to Susan Carroll, who edited the manuscript and prepared the index; Joycelyn M. Canery, who typed the final text; Beth E MacKenzie, who designed the charts and obtained and placed the photographs; John A. Birmingham, who created the pages and designed the cover; and Sherry Dowdy who created the maps. I am particularly appreciative of the work of Catherine A. Heerin, who oversaw the editorial process, and Arthur S. Hardyman, who saw the production effort to fruition.
Many have contributed to the completion of this work by their knowledge, advice, cooperation, and encouragement---and to all of them I owe a debt of gratitude. For any and all errors of fact or interpretation, I am responsible.
Washington, D. C. 
2 February 1998 


Revolutionary War 3
War of 1812 7
Mexican War 10
Civil War 12
War With Spain 16
Reforms Following the War With Spain 23
Concentration on the Mexican Border in 1911 29
The Stimson Plan 31
Operations on the Mexican Border 1913-1917 34
Authorization of Permanent Divisions 37
First Revisions 47
The Baker Board and Pershing's Staff Organizational Study 52
Plans To Organize More Divisions 55
Organizing the Divisions 58
Expansion of the Divisional Forces 65
Divisional Changes 67
Occupation and Demobilization 79
The AEF Evaluates World War I Divisional Organizations 83
Development of Divisions Under the 1920 National Defense Act 86
Reorganization of Divisions 97
Paper Divisions  109
Reserve Divisions  115
More Realistic Mobilization Plans  117
Motorization and Mechanization  120
A New Infantry Division  125
A New Cavalry Division  133
Infantry and Cavalry Divisions Revisited 143
Organizing Armored Divisions 147
Mobilization of National Guard Units 152
Expanding Divisional Forces 154
Reorganization of the National Guard Divisions 158
Another Reorganization 160
Increases in the Force Structure 169
Wartime Reorganization, 1943 179
Light Divisions 187
Expanding Divisional Forces: Meeting the Troop Basis 190
Deployment and More Organizational Changes 196
Correcting Organizational Problems 196
Redeployment 199
Demobilization, Occupation, and the General Reserve 207
Reorganization of Reserve Divisions 213
Postwar Divisional Organizations 222
The State of Divisional Forces 229
Deployment of Forces to Korea 239
Rebuilding the General Reserve 242
Organizational Trends 247
Readjustment of Divisional Forces 250
Improving the Reserves 254
Exploring Alternative Divisions 263
Pentomic Divisions 270
Reorganization of the Divisions 279
Evaluating ROCID and ROCAD 281
MOMAR-I  291
The Development of ROAD  293
ROAD Delayed  303
The ROAD Reorganization  308
Airmobility  314
The Buildup of the Army 323
Expansion of the Force 330
Organizational Changes to Units in Vietnam 333
Divisions and Brigades in Other Commands 336
Retrenchment 341
The 21-Division, 21-Brigade Force 353
A New Force - Greater Integration of Regulars and Reserves 364
The Division Restructuring Study 379
Division-86 383
Elusive Light Divisions 390
The Army of Excellence 391
A New Direction 403


1. National Guard Infantry Divisions, 1914  32
2. National Guard Infantry Divisions, 1917  40
3. Geographic Distribution of National Guard Divisions, World War I  59
4. Geographic Distribution of National Army Divisions, World War I  61
5. Expansion of Divisional Forces, 1918  66
6. Deployment of Divisions to France 70
7. Demobilization of Divisions  82
8. Distribution of Regular Army Divisions and Brigades, 1922 100
9. Allotment of Reserve Component Infantry Divisions, 1921 102
10. Allotment of Reserve Component Cavalry Divisions, 1921 103
11. Allotment of National Guard Cavalry Brigades, 1927 116
12. Divisions Active on 7 December 1941 157
13. Divisions Activated or Ordered Into Active Military Service in 1942 171
14. Divisions Activated in 1943 192
15. Deployment of Divisions to the Pacific Theater 194
16. Deployment of Divisions to the European Theater 195
17. Status of Divisions, 1 June 1946  209
18. Location of National Guard Divisions, Post-World War II  216
19. Location of Organized Reserve Corps Divisions, Post-World War II 220
20. Divisions Designated as Training Centers, 1947-50 222
21. Combat Divisions on Active Duty During the Korean War  244
22. Regular Army Training Divisions, 1950-56 245
23. Operation GYROSCOPE 253
24. Maneuver Element Mix of Divisions: ROAD Reorganization, 30 June 1965  310
25. Maneuver Element Mix of Brigades: ROAD Reorganization, 30 June 1965 313
26. Divisions and Brigades: Selected Reserve Force, 1965 329
27. Deployment of Divisions and Brigades to Vietnam 333
28. Maneuver Elements Assigned to Divisions and Brigades in Vietnam, 30 June 1969 336
29. Maneuver Element Mix of Divisions and Brigades on Active Duty Outside Vietnam, 30 June 1969 339
30. National Guard Divisions and Brigades, 1968 340
31. Redeployment of Divisions and Brigades From Vietnam 345
32. The 21-Division Force, June 1974 362
33. The 21-Brigade Force, June 1974  363
34. Round-out Units, 1978 365
35. The 24-Division Force, 1978 368
36. The 24-Brigade Force, 1978  369
37. Divisions, 1989 404
38. Brigades, 1989  406
39. Divisions and Brigades in Southwest Asia, 1990-91 407


1. Infantry Division, 1917 39
2. Cavalry Division, 1917  41
3. Infantry Division, 24 May 1917 50
4. Infantry Division, 8 August 1917 56
5. Infantry Division, 7 October 1920 93
6. Cavalry Division, 4 April 1921 96
7. Cavalry Division, 1928 114
8. The Mechanized Force, 1928 124
9. Proposed Infantry Division, 30 July 1936 128
10. Infantry Division (Peace), 1939, Corrected to 8 January 1940 134
11. Cavalry Division, 1938 136
12. Infantry Division, 1 November 1940  146
13. Cavalry Division, 1 November 1940  148
14. Armored Division, 15 November 1940 151
15. Infantry Division, 1 August 1942 162
16. Armored Division, 1 March 1942 164
17. Motorized Division, 1 August 1942 165
18. Airborne Division, 15 October 1942 168
19. Infantry Division, 15 July 1943 183
20. Armored Division, 15 September 1943 186
21. Light Division, 1943 189
22. Airborne Division, 1944 197
23. Infantry Division, 7 July 1948 226
24. Armored Division, 8 October 1948 228
25. Airborne Division, 1 April 1950 230
26. Atomic Field Army Infantry Division, 30 September 1954 266
27. Atomic Field Army Armored Division, 30 September 1954 268
28. PENTANA Division 273
29. Airborne Division (ROTAD), 10 August 1956 275
30. Infantry Division (ROCID), 21 December 1956 278
31. Armored Division (ROCAD), 1956 280
32. Pentomic Infantry Division, 1 February 1960 283
33. Training Division, 1 April 1959 285
34. Medium Division (MOMAR), 1960 294
35. Heavy Division (MOMAR), 1960 295
36. ROAD Division Base, 1961 299
37. Airborne Division, 1961 301
38. Airborne Brigade, 1961 302
39. Howze Board Air Assault Division, 1963 315
40. Airmobile Division, 10 July 1965 317
41. Training Division, 1966 342
42. TRICAP Division 358
43. Training Division, 1970 371
44. Heavy Division, Division Restructuring Study, 1 March 1977 381
45. Heavy Division (Tank Heavy) as Briefed to General Meyer on 18 October 1979 385
46. Heavy Division, 1 October 1982 388
47. Light Division, 1 October 1985 394
48. Airborne Division, 1 April 1987 398
49. Air Assault Division, 1 April 1987 399


1. Corps Areas in the United States, 20 August 1920 88
2. Field Armies in the United States, 1932  118
3. Field Armies in the United States, Post-World War II 218


Soldiers of the American Revolution, Trenton, December 26, 1776  4
Bvt. Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott 8
The Battle of Palo Alto 11
Camp Humphreys, Virginia, 1863 15
Staff of the 2d Division, I Army Corps, 1898 17
Camp Alger, Virginia, 1898 18
The Public Views the 1904 Maneuvers, Manassas, Virginia 26
Troops Pass in Review, 1904 Manassas Maneuvers 26
Maj. Gen. Henry C. Corbin and Col. Arthur L. Wagner 27
Maj. Gen. J. Franklin Bell 29
27th Infantry, 2d Division, Encampment, Texas City, Texas 35
4th South Dakota Infantry, San Benito, Texas, 1916 36
Maj. Gen. Hugh L. Scott 48
Maj. Gen. Tasker H. Bliss 49
16th Infantry,  1st Division, Parades in Paris, 1917 51
The Gondrecourt, France, Training Area 51
Officers of the American Expeditionary Forces and the Baker Mission 53
Draftees Drill in Civilian Clothes, Camp Upton, New York 62
Camp Meade, Maryland, 1917 63
165th Infantry, 42d Division, in Trenches, 1918 69
Traffic Congestion in the Argonne, 1918 72
American Occupation Troops Cross the Rhine at Coblenz, Germany, 1919 80
1st Field Artillery Brigade, 1st Division, on Occupation Duty in Germany, 1919 81
5th Field Artillery Troops at the 1st Division Parade, Washington, D.C., 1919 84
Superior Board Members, 1919 86
26th Division Parade, Fort Devens, Massachusetts, 1925 110
Maj. Gen. Charles P. Summerall 111
Officers Quarters, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, 1925 113
1st Cavalry Division Maneuvers, 1927 113
Medium Armored Car of the Mechanized Force, 1931 123
General Malin Craig 127
General George C. Marshall 133
1st Cavalry Division Maneuvers, Toyahvale, Texas, 1938 135
67th Infantry (Provisional Tank Brigade) at Third Army Maneuvers, 1940 144
37-mm. Gun and Crew, 1941 145
Brig. Gen. Adna R. Chaffee 149
Half-Track Personnel Car, 1941 152
Tanks of the 68th Armored, 2d Armored Division, at the Louisiana Maneuvers, 1941 155
Provisional Tank Destroyer Battalion , Fort Meade, Maryland, 1941 156
Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short Reviews the Hawaiian Division, 1941 158
Camp Shelby, Mississippi, 1941 160
Paratroopers in a Special Demonstration, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, 1941 167
Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair 181
General McNair and Maj. Gen, Elbridge G. Chapman Inspect 13th Airborne Division Troops, 1944 191
8th Infantry Division Arrives at Hampton Roads, Virginia, Port of Embarkation, 1945 200
41st Infantry Division Departs the Philippines, 1945 208
7th Infantry Division Band, Seoul, Korea, 1945 211
350th Infantry, 88th Infantry Division, Parades in Gorizia, Italy, 1945 221
A Final Parade in Gorizia, Prior to the 88th Division's Departure, 1947 231
82d Airborne Division Troops at the New York City Victory Parade, 1946 231
Elements of the 2d Infantry Division Near Wonju, Korea, 1951 241
40th Infantry Division Troops Prepare To Replace the 24th Division, 1952 246
4th Infantry Division Leaves New York for Germany, 1951 247
3.5-inch Rocket Launcher in Action Against the North Koreans, 1950 248
M41 Light Tank Bound for the 705th Tank Battalion, 1954 249
37th Infantry Division Troops Pass in Review, 1954 251
General Matthew B. Ridgway 265
General Maxwell D. Taylor 270
101st Airborne Division Simulates an Atomic Blast During Training, 1957 271
Honest John Rocket Launcher, 1957 272
M60 Tank 292
M48 Tanks 292
General Clyde D. Eddleman 296
Davy Crockett Rocket Launcher 298
Little John Rocket Launcher 300
32d Infantry Division Elements Train During the Berlin Crisis, 1961 304
Pre-positioned Equipment in Germany During Operation BIG LIFT 304
1st Battalion, 60th Infantry, at Fort Richardson, Alaska, 1963 312
Elements of the 173d Airborne Brigade Arrive in Vietnam 324
9th Infantry Division's First Base Camp in Vietnam, 1966 326
Soldiers of the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Fire From Viet Cong Trenches,1966  327
Elements of the 69th Infantry Brigade Train at Fort Riley, Kansas, 1966 328
3d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Members Engage the Viet Cong, 1966 331
Elements of the 9th Infantry Division Departing Vietnam, 1969 343
Tube-Launched, Optically Tracked, Wire-Guided Missile 354
General Creighton W. Abrams 357
Chaparral Surface-to-Air Missile System 360
Vulcan Air Defense System 360
General Fred C. Weyand 380
General Donn A. Starry 384
General Edward C. Meyer 386
Bradley Fighting Vehicle System 387
Multiple Launch Rocket System 387
9th Infantry Division "Dune Buggy" 392
General John A. Wickham, Jr 393
Winter Training, 205th Infantry Brigade, 1986 396
Reactivation Ceremony, 29th Infantry Division, 1985 396
Illustrations courtesy of the following sources: pp. 4, 380, 386, and 393, U.S. Army Art Collection; pp. 8, 15, 17, 36, 48, 113 (top), 221, 247, 272, 304 (bottom), 324, 326, 360 (top and bottom), 387 (top), and 396 (top), U.S. Army Center of Military History; pp. 11, 26 (top and bottom), 27, and 53, Library of Congress; pp. 18, 35, 51 (bottom), and 144, U.S. Army Military History Institute; p. 231 (top), William Gardner Bell; pp. 231 (bottom), 292 (top and bottom), 300, 304 (top), 328, 354, 3 87 (bottom), and 396 (bottom), National Guard Association; p. 298, Firestone News Service; p. 384, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command; and p. 392, Fort Lewis Military Museum. All other illustrations from the files of the National Archives and Records Administration.

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