War Establishments

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by DavidW, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member


    Just to echo the points above, there wasn't a WE for the HQ of an Inf Div issued specifically for the Middle East/North African theatre. My research never involved digital cameras and mass collecting, but I did get the indices for 1936-1945 (and a few pages for 1946-7) and scoured them for anything of that type.

    For an Inf Div, you'd be looking at II/1931/1/3 from early 1940, then II/1/4 from the later months of 1941. It feels like there should have been a whole new set of unit organisations issued for the desert war, but the focus was very much on Armoured, Artillery and Infantry units, roughly in that order, when it came to theatre specific Divisional level WEs. It makes for a somewhat unsatisfying patchwork when trying to stitch together what a British Inf or Armd Div was 'supposed' to look like in the desert war, especially as a lot of the more interesting WEs only appeared in late 1942 (such as Armd and Armd Car Regts). Given the amount of make do and mend and local solutions I gave it up as a bad job myself; 1939-40 and 1943-45 are much easier to quantify, even if they do throw up a few of their own obstacles!

  2. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks Aixman. That make sense now.

    How about the Commonwealth Infantry Division HQ's, were they the same?

    If not, I need Australian, Indian, South African & New Zealand! One at a time perhaps to reduce my confusion.
  3. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks Gary.
  4. Aixman

    Aixman War Establishment addict Patron

    In general, they are not contained in the above explained system unfortunately, as do the Canadians. Volumes I to XVI only organize the British system of tables. But there is volume IX "Overseas units other than Middle East", volume X, dealing with Persia and India Command and 10th Army (and confusingly in part with airborne forces in general) and volume XI "Indian Command".

    For example X/16G/1 effective 10.06.43 "Headquarters 2nd Indian Division" deals with a deception unit.
  5. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    Well that would be pushing the boat out. I made a few tentative enquiries to Australia and New Zealand years back, but ended up having to rely on the goodwill of a few 'natives' who were generous enough to share their own findings (no Div HQs though). I've never gotten near the Indian Army WEs, and got no reply to a query on the South African. Basically you need a 'tame' researcher and even then it's a major undertaking if you don't know where to look, especially in overseas archives. You might be looking at 30 plus WEs for a basic Divisional structure, plus revisions, and you need a working knowledge of the ref system used; as mentioned above only Canada conformed to British practice in that area.

    Me, I'd just like the 30ish tables I need to complete the D-100 USMC Div, and the missing Part II tables for the G-100 Div, the lost Feb41 Schutzen Regt KStN, the late war Soviet Tank and Mechanised Bde Shtats, and a few more minor things :)

  6. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    OK, so "no" to Commonwealth Divisional HQ MEWE, I can live with that for now.

    How about even higher formation Corps HQ MEWE?
    I am thinking 10th,13th & 30th.

    Any luck there? I'm sure that I see a title page tucked away in Aixman's photos above.

    Thanks very much.
  7. Aixman

    Aixman War Establishment addict Patron

    Special WEs for Middle East (volume VI):
    VI/307/1 Headquarters XIII Corps
    A.C.I.: 19.11.1941
    effective: 20.09.1941
    6 pages


    VI/505/1 Headquarters of a Corps (Modified), Middle East
    A.C.I.: 22.07.1942
    effective: 19.05.1942 (except GSO 1: 21.06.1942)
    3 pages

    Standard Corps in volume III:
    Headquarters of a Corps (A.C.I.; effective date)
    III/5/1 (25.05.1932)
    III/5/2 (11.01.1939)
    III/5/3 (15.05.1940)
    III/5/4 (07.10.1942; 31.08.1942)
    III/5/5 (08.12.1943; 23.11.1943)
    III/5/6 (04.10.1944; 16.09.1944)
  8. Aixman

    Aixman War Establishment addict Patron

    Headquarters XIII Corps
  9. Aixman

    Aixman War Establishment addict Patron

    Headquarters of a Corps (Modified), Middle East
  10. Aixman

    Aixman War Establishment addict Patron

    Headquarters of a Corps
  11. Aixman

    Aixman War Establishment addict Patron

    Headquarters of a Corps
    dbf likes this.
  12. Aixman

    Aixman War Establishment addict Patron

    I don't have many KStN, surely no original archive material, but might have some information in secondary sources (e.g.: Mueller-Hillebrand). Interested?

    Regarding the Soviet "Shtats": By your citing I guess you have some in Cyrillic script. As I do languages, and some in Cyrillic, I would be most interested to see one (or more) in original script.

  13. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    There are a lot of KStN available on line these days. If you have a look at www.sturmpanzer.com there are the bulk of the US NARA files for download there. The way the US records were assembled though is a bit eclectic to say the least; their focus was firmly on the ETO so the bulk of the tables are from late 1943 onwards, but even then they sometimes skip to 1945 issues and leave some important tables out. I've mined the BA-MA records on and off for a good few years now (my last ordering experience was not one I'd wish to repeat, so I'm highly unlikely to go to them again). The German records are themselves incomplete but I've pulled together what I could do and wanted to in terms of unit organisations, lots of gaps though in terms of Inf and Armd for 1937-42 though. It's only possible to complete a few mid-44 to VE-Day Divs for example.

    I had just been able to get a good few Red Army shtat docs from a fellow enthusiast in Russia when the shout went up that an online archive was available.


    That's a link to a search engine, but it seems to work intermittently these days. If you pop Штат into the search box (first column, third line down) that brings up a host of items. The bulk of the available docs are on Rifle Divs, and there is a rejigged 1944 Tank Bde, but there are some errors in a one table at least for that. Type in 04 551 for the Rifle Regt (Штат № 04/551 Стрелкового полка стрелковой дивизии (военного времени)) I can't read Cyrillic but have been able to translate the 'trades and duties' using online facilities to pull together the 1941-45 Rifle Regt evolution.

    I'm sure the Commonwealth WEs that David asked about are out there, somewhere, it's just finding the little beggars! It's not a cheap hobby but can be quite compulsive:). Trying to work with researchers in Aus/NZ/SA and India would be quite involved I suspect, though I found a very decent one in Canada and am sure there are others in said countries. And there's no way of knowing if the relevant archives have said documents anyway. British WE records seem largely complete, though I think there are a few that went AWOL.

    Aixman likes this.
  14. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks Aixman
  15. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Last one for a while!

    8th Army Headquarters MEWE Please.

    Many thanks,
  16. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Any joy?
  17. Aixman

    Aixman War Establishment addict Patron


    Sorry for any delay. After some hardware problems I had to get a new computer.

    As Trux says correctly, questions are easy, but the answers are sometimes demanding.
    Finding the suiting war establishment is not like fetching a book from a shelf. Unfortunately, having all information available doesn't mean finding details easily. There is no "outer" organization for war establishments, except for the volumes, an you have always to compare the lot. I am trying to approach a suitable solution, but as it is a multi-relations thing, this will take some time (years).
    Having searched through volume VI for two hours or so (reading the details), I wasn't able to find a special WE for 8th Army or an army in Middle East in general. Surprisingly. That would mean you had to search in volumes I to IV (here III), the standard. Which I would not believe for several reasons. Or probably in volume VIII, the "secret" (then unpublished) one. Both volumes have more than 1,000 tables each, not counting the different versions. Together, both volumes represent about one third of the WEs in the 16 volumes.

    If you have any idea of the correct title of this WE, or better the table number, I could react quickly.

  18. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    HQ, Eighth Army - VI/34C/2 - WO24/941 (Oct-Dec 1941), page 988.

    Mention of a VI/34C/3 in Vol 948, but suffixed as NP, which are the dreaded 'not printed' as far as I understand.

    HQ, Eighth Army - VI/34C/4 - WO24/948 (Oct-Dec 1943), page 1449. Late ACI date but the effective date could be very much earlier.

    Original was VI/1931/34C/1, HQ Cyrenaica Command. - WO24/939 (Jan-Jun 1941), page 122.

  19. Aixman

    Aixman War Establishment addict Patron

    Thank you, Gary, that helps really!
    The pages you mention are cited as "Copy Nos.", lots missing in blocks. probabely I might have found some blocks in the African WEs (I AF, II AF, III AF) recently, haven't checked yet. I already sorted the pics into folders for volumes, tables and versions, so the pure number will be sufficient for me to check. It took me months of work, as you can imagine. I am planning to put the predecessors (as being mentioned as well as the logicals) into a catalogue, and then the successors which might shed some light. More ideas (uniques, sizes, corps and others) to follow.

  20. Aixman

    Aixman War Establishment addict Patron

    Headquarters, Eighth Army

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