VM003 American GIs 1942/44
Following Americas sudden entry into the war at the end of 1941 the army underwent a massive expansion and re equipment programme. The models in this box depict the troops deployed in the North African, Mediterranean and European theatres from Operation Torch in 1942 to the autumn of 1944 in NW Europe. They are wearing the typical combat uniform which includes the M1941 field jacket and canvas leggings.
Like most armies the basic infantry fighting formation was the battalion. An American battalion consisted of 871 men commanded by a lieutenant-colonel. A battalion was organised into a headquarters/headquarters company, three rifle companies and a heavy weapons company (equipped with 81mm mortars, 30cal and 50cal machine guns). Generally speaking rifle companies (193 all ranks) had more manpower than their British or German equivalents.
Three battalions made up an infantry regiment and three regiments with supporting arms (artillery, engineers, reconnaissance troops, and medics) formed an infantry division.
The troops were very well equipped with modern weapons including the world’s first self-loading rifle (the M1 Garand), Thompson sub-machine guns, and the famous Bazooka anti-tank rocket launcher (of which over 500 were allocated to a division.