What is a Tank Sqn?

What is a Tank Sqn?

Postby Pedro » 08 Oct 2016

Hi

I do not know how often this crops up but on page 56 we are told that "For each Tank Squadron you may take 3 Support units". Logic dictates that it should actually read for each tank platoon (or indeed one support for each tank). One also assumes that StuGs count as Tanks.

Thanks in advance

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Re: What is a Tank Sqn?

Postby NTM » 08 Oct 2016

Yes refers to the Platoon but number of choices not always the same as number of tanks.
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Re: What is a Tank Sqn?

Postby Number4 » 08 May 2017

A tank sqn is English for Tank Company - usually of three 'Troops' (platoons), each four or five tanks. It's what happens when you give heavy equipment to people who would rather ride horses common foot soldiers have patoons and companies while horsey types have troops and platoons :grin:
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Re: What is a Tank Sqn?

Postby The Waxed Moustache » 10 Jul 2017

Number4 wrote:A tank sqn is English for Tank Company - usually of three 'Troops' (platoons), each four or five tanks.


In UK & Dominion forces, five troops of three for most tanks but four of four Shermans (or Cromwells in 7AD), one or two (later in 1944) being a Firefly. Each squadron also has a HQ troop of approximately 3 tanks, including a close support variant for Churchills and some Sherman units in Italy.

US cavalry units also used term squadron but US armoured units called them companies.
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Re: What is a Tank Sqn?

Postby Alanmccoubrey » 11 Jul 2017

The Waxed Moustache wrote:US cavalry units also used term squadron but US armoured units called them companies.


You are further confusing things by bringing up the US Cavalry, in WW2 a Cavalry Squadron was in fact the equivalent to a battalion. A US Armored Division had such a "Squadron" as its Recce Battalion and it was 935 men strong.
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Re: What is a Tank Sqn?

Postby Number4 » 29 Aug 2017

Alanmccoubrey wrote: in WW2 a Cavalry Squadron was in fact the equivalent to a battalion. A US Armored Division had such a "Squadron" as its Recce Battalion and it was 935 men strong.


Historically the US Cavalry squadron was an ad hoc tactical formation of two (or more) companies. When the cavalry regiments converted from horses to mechanized, the regiments became cavalry groups (mechanized), and the group comprised two squadrons that were completely independent with their own HQ and service troop, light tank company and artillery (M8 75mm GMC assault guns on the Stuart tank chassis).

The squadrons each comprised HQ and service troop (company), A, B and C troops (recon companies with M8 greyhound armored cars, and E troop with six assault guns in three 2 gun sections with a small HQ

If the squadron was part of an armored division then a 4th recon company, 'D Troop', was added to the squadron.
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Re: What is a Tank Sqn?

Postby Alanmccoubrey » 29 Aug 2017

According to the TO&E in Forty's US Army Handbook, regardless of your use of troop and company in reference to the same type of unit, the numbers of MEN involved make a Squadron a battalion sized unit and also a permanent one nothing "ad hoc" about it.
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Re: What is a Tank Sqn?

Postby Number4 » 30 Aug 2017

[quote="Alanmccoubrey"]According to the TO&E in Forty's US Army Handbook, regardless of your use of troop and company in reference to the same type of unit, the numbers of MEN involved make a Squadron a battalion sized unit and also a permanent one nothing "ad hoc" about it.[/quote}

If you bother to read my post properly, the term squadron has it's roots in the US Civil War where it was an ad hoc tactical formation. With the demise of cavalry regiments in WWII, the term was used to refer to the permanent sub units of the Cavalry Groups, in line with tradition.

The use of 'Troop' instead of company is likewise an old cavalry tradition. Not my terminology but the US Army's. It denotes a unit that derives it's lineage from the horsed cavalry.
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Re: What is a Tank Sqn?

Postby Alanmccoubrey » 30 Aug 2017

We aren't talking about the ACW, and incidentally the terms LONG predate that war, and you are wrong when you say that a Squadron was an Ad Hoc formation, the more you argue about it the more confusing it becomes to people who just want to know how many vehicles/troops to have.
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Re: What is a Tank Sqn?

Postby The Waxed Moustache » 31 Aug 2017

Alanmccoubrey wrote:
The Waxed Moustache wrote:US cavalry units also used term squadron but US armoured units called them companies.


You are further confusing things by bringing up the US Cavalry, in WW2 a Cavalry Squadron was in fact the equivalent to a battalion. A US Armored Division had such a "Squadron" as its Recce Battalion and it was 935 men strong.


I agree, and I apologise for opening a can of worms! :blush: My choice of words was also unfortunate in hindsight and was me firing off a response without thinking. By 'them' I meant 'squadron' in terms of British/Commonwealth tanks, as I mentioned in my previous sentence (i.e. a British tank squadron is the equivalent of a US tank company). Apologies again.

For those interested in the etymology, I think it derives from the Italian squadro (square) and squadrone (soldiers drawn up in a square). Dating from the sixteenth century, that is the earliest reference to the term I've found in military parlance. Obviously, the term has evolved to represent many different types of formations across various military branches.
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