Combined arms

Combined arms is an approach to warfare which seeks to integrate different combat arms of a military to achieve mutually complementary effects (for example, using infantry and armor in an urban environment, where one supports the other, or both support each other).[1] According to strategist William S. Lind, combined arms can be distinguished from the concept of "supporting arms" as follows:

Combined arms hits the enemy with two or more arms simultaneously in such a manner that the actions he must take to defend himself from one make him more vulnerable to another. In contrast, supporting arms is hitting the enemy with two or more arms in sequence, or if simultaneously, then in such combination that the actions the enemy must take to defend himself from one also defends himself from the other(s).[2]

Though the lower-echelon units of a combined arms team may be of similar types, a balanced mixture of such units are combined into an effective higher-echelon unit, whether formally in a table of organization or informally in an ad hoc solution to a battlefield problem. For example, an armored division—the modern paragon of combined arms doctrine—consists of a mixture of infantry, tank, artillery, reconnaissance, and perhaps even helicopter units, all coordinated and directed by a unified command structure.[3]

Also, most modern military units can, if the situation requires it, call on yet more branches of the military, such as infantry requesting bombing or shelling by fighter or bomber aircraft or naval forces to augment their ground offensive or protect their land forces. The mixing of arms is sometimes pushed down below the level where homogeneity ordinarily prevails, for example by temporarily attaching a tank company to an infantry battalion.

Vietnam, Manöver, 1963
Aircraft, infantry and tanks working together, Vietnam War

Ancient warfare

Combined arms operations date back to antiquity, where armies would usually field a screen of skirmishers to protect their spearmen during the approach to contact. Especially in the case of the Greek hoplites, however, the focus of military thinking lay almost exclusively on the heavy infantry. In more elaborate situations armies of various nationalities fielded different combinations of light, medium, or heavy infantry, cavalry, chariotry, camelry, elephantry, and artillery (mechanical weapons). Combined arms in this context was how to best use the cooperating units, variously armed with side-arms, spears, or missile weapons in order to coordinate an attack to disrupt and then destroy the enemy.

Philip II of Macedon greatly improved upon the limited combined arms tactics of the Greek city-states and combined the newly created Macedonian phalanx with heavy cavalry and other forces. The phalanx would hold the opposing line in place, until the heavy cavalry could smash and break the enemy line by achieving local superiority.

The pre-Marian Roman Legion was a combined arms force and consisted of five classes of troops. Lightly equipped velites acted as skirmishers armed with light javelins. The hastati and principes formed the main attacking strength of the legion with sword and pilum, whilst the triarii formed the defensive backbone of the legion fighting as a phalanx with long spears and large shields. The fifth class were the equites (the cavalry) used for scouting, pursuit and to guard the flanks.

After the Marian reforms the Legion was notionally a unit of heavy infantrymen armed with just sword and pilum, and fielded with a small attached auxiliary skirmishers and missile troops, and incorporated a small cavalry unit.

The legion was sometimes also incorporated into a higher-echelon combined arms unit — e.g., in one period it was customary for a general to command two legions plus two similarly sized units of auxiliaries, lighter units useful as screens or for combat in rough terrain.

The army of the Han Dynasty is also an example, fielding mêlée infantry, crossbowmen, and cavalry (ranging from horse archers to heavy lancers).

Civilizations such as the Carthaginians and Sassanids also were known to have fielded a combination of infantry supported by powerful cavalry.

Middle Ages

At the Battle of Hastings (1066) English infantry fighting from behind a shield wall were defeated by a Norman army consisting of archers, infantry and mounted knights (cavalry). One of the tactics used by the Normans was to tempt the English to leave the shield wall to attack retreating Norman infantry only to destroy them in the open with cavalry. Likewise Scottish sheltrons – which had been developed to counter the charges by English heavy cavalry, and had been used successfully against English cavalry at the Battle of Stirling Bridge (1297) – were destroyed at the Battle of Falkirk (1298) by English archers acting in concert with mounted knights. Both Hastings and Falkirk showed how combined arms could be used to defeat enemies relying on only one arm.[4]

The English victories of Crécy, Poitiers and Agincourt were examples of a simple form of combined arms, with a combination of dismounted knights forming a foundation for formations of English longbowmen. The lightly protected longbowmen could down their French opponents at a distance, whilst the armoured men-at-arms could deal with any Frenchmen who made it to the English lines. This is the crux of combined arms: to allow a combination of forces to achieve what would be impossible for its constituent elements to do alone.

During the Middle Ages military forces used combined arms as a method of winning battles and furthering a war leader or king's long term goals. Some historians claim that during the Middle Ages there was no strategic or tactical art to military combat. Kelly DeVries uses the Merriam-Webster definition of combat "as a general military engagement".[5] In the pursuit of a leader's goals and self-interest tactical and strategic thinking was used along with taking advantage of the terrain and weather in choosing when and where to give battle. The simplest example is the combination of different specialties such as archers, infantry, cavalry (knights or shock mounted troops), and even peasant militia. At times, each force fought on its own and won or lost depending on the opposing military competence. During the Middle Ages leaders utilized a combination of these skilled and unskilled forces to win battles. An army that has multiple skills available can engage a larger force that incorporates mainly one or two types of troops.

Each type of military formation – infantry, archers, cavalry, or peasant – has certain advantages that the other does not have. Infantry allows a force to hold ground and in the event of overwhelming enemy forces withdraw into terrain that mounted troops cannot maneuver as easily, thus negating the advantage of the horse. Archers provide standoff with their bows or crossbows. Cavalry can maneuver faster and provide fast attack before the enemy has had time to prepare defenses. Peasants are more numerous and cheaper on the royal coffers. Over the long term the army can cross-train and learn the skills of the specialties to increase combat effectiveness. This is known as a combat multiplier today. The combination of the different skills help provide a commander the flexibility to minimize risk when it comes to engagements. The overall objective of any military force is to fight and win, while also preserving the largest number of combatants to carry on the larger strategic aims of the king. This can be seen in some of the engagements during the Middle Ages.

Examples of combined arms use in battle

The effective use of combined arms can – in conjunction with strategic and tactical considerations – overwhelm opposing forces even numerically superior forces. The use of terrain and weather can also aid in the use of combined arms to bring about the desired results of the commander of a military force.[6][5]

Crecy-en-Ponthieu

Mid-1346, at Crecy-en-Ponthieu, an English army numbering between 3,000–20,000 mixed troops set up a defensive line for the oncoming French forces numbering nearly 100,000 mixed troops. The English being in a defensive position dismounted their knights to augment the infantry forces on the lines of defense. It is unclear from the sources of the location of the English archers, either on the flanks, intermingled with the line troops, or behind the lines; the most likely was that they were formed up along the flanks according to prior positions in previous battles. The French arrived on the battlefield and sent their crossbowmen in advance of the cavalry to assault the English lines. The effectiveness of the crossbowmen was limited by rain having soaked the strings of the crossbows reducing its effectiveness. The English archers had been able to keep their bow strings dry and only used them when the crossbowmen were in range. This led to the massacre of the crossbowmen and a retreat of the survivors who were then trampled by the advancing French cavalry. This also disrupted an already disorganized advance after a long march to the battlefield by the cavalry. The piecemeal assault of the French forces would lead to an English victory.

Battle of Morgarten

In 1315, Swiss peasants, archers, and infantry at Morgarten were able to ambush a larger Austrian force. The Swiss had rebelled against Austrian rule and funneled the Austrian forces into easily defended passes in the Swiss mountains. The peasants and archers on the high ground effectively rained down arrows and rocks to disorganize the Austrian forces and the infantry charged in forcing the advance guard to retreat into the main body causing more confusion, as well as a general military retreat by the Austrian military.

Battle of Auberoche

In 1345, an English army of about 1,200 men had been moving through the Périgord region of Gascony. The French army had caught up outside the town of Auberoche but did not know the English had hidden in the woods near where the French had encamped upon arrival. During the evening meal the French were surprised by an attack under the cover of English archers. The disorganized French forces were slaughtered and had no choice but to withdraw.

16th to 19th centuries

In Japan, at the battle of Nagashino (長篠の戦い) in 1575, forces of the Oda clan successfully employed combined arms against the Takeda clan army which heavily relied on cavalry. The Oda army erected palisades to protect their ashigaru musketeers that downed Takeda's cavalry while their samurai cut down any enemies who managed to approach mêlée range.

The 17th century saw increasing use of combined arms at lower (regimental) level. King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden was the proponent of the idea. For fire support he attached teams of "commanded musketeers" to cavalry units and fielded light 3-pounder guns to provide infantry units with organic artillery.

In the eighteenth century, the concept of the legion was revived. Legions now consisted of musketeers, light infantry, dragoons and artillery in a brigade sized force. These legions often combined professional military personnel with militia. Perhaps the most notable example is the use of light cavalry, light infantry and light horse artillery in advance detachments by France's La Grande Armée during the Napoleonic Wars.

Napoleonic Wars

After 25 years of near continuous warfare, the armies that met at the Battle of Waterloo were organised in a similar manner–into corps which contained infantry, cavalry and artillery (see Order of battle of the Waterloo Campaign), and used similar combined arms tactics. Within each corps were divisions of infantry or cavalry made up of brigades and an artillery unit. An army would usually also have reserves of all three arms under the direct command of the army commander which could be sent in support of any corps or division of a corps to increase any arm which the army general considered necessary. The great French cavalry charge commanded by Marshal Ney during the battle failed to break Wellington's squares of infantry and Ney's failure to supplement his cavalry with sufficient horse artillery to break the squares open is usually given as a major contributing factor in the failure. It is an example of why generals needed to use combined arms to overcome the tactics used by enemy officers to frustrate an attack by a single arm of an army.[7]

In contrast the 27th (Inniskilling) suffered 478 casualties from an initial strength of 750 because of their exposure to attack by French combined arms. They were located near the centre of Wellington's line, but unlike most of the rest of Wellington's infantry were in a declivity on the exposed side of the Mont-Saint-Jean escarpment. Exposed as they were, they were forced to stand in square for most of the day for fear of cavalry attack and so made an easy dense target for Napoleon's massed artillery.[8]

20th-century developments

The development of modern combined arms tactics began in the First World War. Early in the Western Front, fighting descended into stagnant trench warfare. Generals on both sides applied conventional military thinking to the new weapons and situations that they faced. In these early stages, tactics typically consisted of heavy artillery barrages followed by massed frontal assaults against well entrenched enemies. These tactics were largely unsuccessful and resulted in large loss of life.

As the war progressed new combined arms tactics were developed, often described then as the "all arms battle". These included direct close artillery fire support for attacking soldiers (the creeping barrage), air support and mutual support of tanks and infantry. One of the first instances of combined arms was the Battle of Cambrai, in which the British used tanks, artillery, infantry, small arms and air power to break through enemy lines.[9] Previously such a battle would have lasted months with many hundreds of thousands of casualties. Co-ordination and planning were the key elements, and the use of combined arms tactics in the Hundred Days Offensive in 1918 allowed the Allied forces to exploit breakthroughs in the enemy trenches, forcing the surrender of the Central Powers.

In World War II combined arms was a fundamental part of some operational doctrines like the German Blitzkrieg or the Soviet deep battle doctrine, which was based on combining tanks, mobile units (mechanised infantry or cavalry) and infantry, while supported by artillery.

In 1963 the United States Marine Corps formalized the concept of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force, which combined Marine aviation and Marine ground units for expeditionary missions.[10]

The Vietnam War had a profound influence on the development of the US Army's combined arms doctrine. Due to the very difficult terrain that prevented access to the enemy-held areas of operation, troops were often deployed by air assault. For this reason, US troops in Vietnam saw six times more combat than in preceding wars, due to less time spent on logistic delays. The result: an infantry unit increased in effectiveness by a factor of four for its size, when supported with helicopter-delivered ammunition, food and fuel.[11] In time the US Army in Vietnam also learned to combine helicopter operations and airmobile infantry with the armoured and artillery units operating from fire support bases as well as the US brown-water navy and USAF Close Air Support units supporting them.[12]

Post Cold War (1991 to present)

2013.2.27 육군 26사단 장갑하차전투훈련 Republic of Korea Army 26th Division (11918611034)
South Korean K-1 tanks, combat vehicles and infantry in Gyeonggi Province

In the 1991 Gulf War a mix of strikes by fixed-wing aircraft including carpet bombing and precision bombing was used in combination with large numbers of strikes by attack helicopters. During the ground assault phase, tanks and other AFVs supported by attack aircraft swept over remaining forces. The front line moved forward at upwards of 40–50 km/h at the upper limit of the Army's tracked vehicles.

In 2000, the US Army began developing a new set of doctrines intended to use information superiority to wage warfare. Six pieces of equipment were crucial for this: AWACS, an airborne look-down radar JSTARS, GPS, the lowly SINCGARS VHF digital radio, and ruggedized PCs. The mix is supplemented by satellite photos and passive reception of enemy radio emissions, forward observers with digital target designation, specialized scouting aircraft, anti-artillery radars and gun-laying software for artillery. Everything feeds into the network.

Based on this doctrine, many US ground vehicles moved across the landscape alone. If they encountered an enemy troop or vehicle concentration, they would assume a defensive posture, lay down as much covering fire as they could, designate the targets for requested air and artillery assets. Within a few minutes, on station aircraft would direct their missions to cover the ground vehicle. Within a half-hour heavy attack forces would concentrate to relieve the isolated vehicle. In an hour and a half the relieved vehicle would be resupplied.

See also

References

  1. ^ ADRP 3-0: Unified Land Operations (pdf). Department of the Army. 16 May 2012. pp. 1–14. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  2. ^ Lind, William S. (1985). Maneuver Warfare Handbook. Westview Press. p. 12.
  3. ^ Combined Arms Breach (video). OEC G&V. c. 2015. This visualization was developed for the Maneuver Center of Excellence and is closely based upon the National Training Center Breach and Assault exercise executed circa 1990. This visualization demonstrates viable TTPs as discussed in ATTP 3-90-4 for the conduct of the combined arms breach against a hypothetical enemy.
  4. ^ Hamilton, John (2010). Knights and Heroes, Fantasy and Folklore. ABDO Publishing Company. p. 18. ISBN 9781617842856. Set 2.
  5. ^ a b DeVries, Kelly (1996). Infantry Warfare in the early Fourteenth Century. Rochester, NY: Boydell Press. p. 18.
  6. ^ DeVries, Kelly; Smith, Robert Douglas (2012). Medieval Military Technology. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  7. ^ Haythornthwaite, Philip (2007). The Waterloo Armies: Men, organization and tactics (illustrated ed.). Pen and Sword. p. 12. ISBN 9781844155996.
  8. ^ Weller, Jac (2010). Wellington at Waterloo (illustrated, reprint ed.). Frontline Books. p. 166. ISBN 9781848325869.
  9. ^ Palmer, Peter J. (31 May 2009). "Cambrai 1917: The myth of the great tank battle". WesternFrontAssociation.com. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  10. ^ "What is a Marine expeditionary unit?". Home of the Thundering Third. United States Marine Corps. 2007. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007.
  11. ^ Stanton, Shelby (1999). The 1st Cav[elry] in Vietnam: Anatomy of a division. Novato: Presidio Press. pp. 111–132.
  12. ^ Schlight, John (2003). Help from Above: Air Force close air support of the Army 1946–1973. Washington, D.C.: Air Force History and Museums Program. pp. 299–352.

Further reading

  • Perry, Roland (2004). Monash: The outsider who won a war. Sydney: Random House.
10th Armored Brigade (People's Republic of China)

The 10th Tank Division (Chinese: 坦克第10师) was formed in August, 1967 4th Independent Tank Regiment, 284th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment from 79th Army Division and 286th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment from 81st Army Division.

As of August 28, 1969, the division was composed of:

37th Tank Regiment (former 4th Independent Tank Regiment);

38th Tank Regiment (former 284th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment);

39th Tank Regiment (former 286th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment).In the 1970s the division maintained as a reduced tank division, which consisted of 2 amphibious tank regiments (37th and 38th, with Type-63 amphibious tank) and 1 light tank regiment (39th, with Type 62 light tank).

In December 1969 it moved to Jurong, Jiangsu province.

In early 1976 37th and 38th Tank Regiments detached and renamed as Tank Regiments of 1st Army Corps and 60th Army Corps; 2nd and 3rd Independent Tank Regiments of Nanjing Military Region attached and renamed as 37th and 38th Tank Regiments.

In 1982 Armored Infantry Regiment and Artillery Regiment were activated.

By then the division was composed of:

37th Tank Regiment;

38th Tank Regiment;

39th Tank Regiment;

Armored Infantry Regiment;

Artillery Regiment.From January 1 the division was under command of 60th Army Corps.

In 1985 the division was transferred to 1st Army after 60th Army Corps' disbandment.

In 1998 the division was renamed as 10th Armored Division (Chinese: 装甲第10师). The Armored Infantry Regiment was disbanded and absorbed into tank regiments which became armored regiments.

By then the division was composed of:

37th Armored Regiment;

38th Armored Regiment;

39th Armored Regiment;

Artillery Regiment.Through its history the division was an amphibious unit that may take part in the first-wave assault of Taiwan.

The division was the only armored division deployed south of Yangtze River, and its 37th Armored Regiment was the first Blue Force unit of PLA ground force.

In late 2011 the division was split into two: the division itself became 10th Armored Brigade (Chinese: 装甲第10旅), while half of its battalions formed 178th Mechanized Infantry Brigade.

116th Mechanized Infantry Division (People's Republic of China)

The 116th Division was a military formation of the People's Volunteer Army (Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) during the Korean War with a standard strength of approximately 10,000 men.

119th Motorized Infantry Brigade (People's Republic of China)

The 119th Division was a military formation of the People's Volunteer Army (Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) or Chinese Communist Forces (CCF)) during the Korean War with a standard strength of approximately 10,000 men. It was a component of the 40th Army, consisting of the 355th, 356th, and 357th Regiments.

124th Amphibious Mechanized Infantry Division (People's Republic of China)

The 124th Division was a division of the PRC People's Liberation Army. During the Korean War, it was the first unit of the People's Republic of China to cross the Yalu River.

127th Mechanized Infantry Division (People's Republic of China)

The 127th Light Mechanized Infantry Division is the primary maneuver element of the 54th Group Army in the Jinan Military Region.

The 127th Light Mobile Mechanized Infantry Division is one of the most famous and best-equipped PLA formations. Its three main regiments, the 371st, 379th, and 380th, are all Red Army Regiments. The 379th regiment is the famed Ye Ting independent regiment, a nationalist armored train unit that was once commanded by Dr SunYat-Sen, with Zhou Enlai as its political commissar during the Republican Revolution of 1911. The "Iron Army" title was an honor for its Armored Train roots. It also acted as vanguard in the battle to seize the Luding Bridge during the Long March.

193rd Mechanized Infantry Brigade (People's Republic of China)

The 193rd Division (Chinese: 第193师) was created in February 1949 under the Regulation of the Redesignations of All Organizations and Units of the Army, issued by Central Military Commission on November 1, 1948, basing on the 22nd Brigade, 8th Column, 2nd Army Group of Huabei Military Region. Its history could be traced to the famous 1st Division of Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army.

The division was composed of 577th, 578th and 579th Infantry Regiments. As a part of 65th Corps the division took part in major battles during the Chinese Civil War, including the Pingjin Campaign, Lanzhou Campaign and Ningxia Campaign.

In December 1950, Artillery Regiment, 193rd Division was activated. Since 1952 the regiment was renamed as 573rd Artillery Regiment. In 1952 the division was renamed as 193rd Infantry Division (Chinese: 步兵第193师).

In February 1951 the division entered Korea as a part of People's Volunteer Army. During its deployment in Korea the division took part in the Fifth Phase Offensive and several major battles, during which it allegedly inflicted 8960 casualties to confronting UN Forces (including 86 POWs). In October 1953 the division pulled out from Korea.

In November 1953, 398th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment was activated. By then the division was composed of:

577th Infantry Regiment;

578th Infantry Regiment;

579th Infantry Regiment;

398th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment;

573rd Artillery Regiment.In April 1960 the division was renamed as 193rd Army Division (Chinese: 陆军第193师).

In September 1968, 398th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment was detached from the division and joined 7th Tank Division as 28th Tank Regiment. In December 1969, 573rd Artillery Regiment was renamed as Artillery Regiment, 193rd Army Division.

In 1985, the division was renamed as 193rd Infantry Division (Chinese: 步兵第193师) again, and reorganized as a northern motorized infantry division, catalogue A. Tank Regiment, 193rd Infantry Division was activated from HQ and 1st Battalion, 22nd Tank Regiment, 6th Tank Division, Independent Tank Battalion of 1st and 4th Garrison Division of Beijing Military Region. Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment, 193rd Infantry Division was also activated.

From 1985 to 1998 the division was composed of:

577th Motorized Infantry Regiment;

578th Motorized Infantry Regiment;

579th Motorized Infantry Regiment;

Tank Regiment;

Artillery Regiment;

Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment.In 1998 578th Motorized Infantry Regiment was disbanded. Tank Regiment, 193rd Infantry Division was reorganized as Armored Regiment, 193rd Infantry Division.

In 2010, 577th Motorized Infantry Regiment was re-equipped with ZSL-92B APCs and converted to a mechanized infantry regiment.

In late 2011 the division was split into two brigades: the 193rd Mechanized Infantry Brigade (Chinese: 机械化步兵第193旅) and 194th Mechanized Infantry Brigade. Until then the division was composed of:

577th Mechanized Infantry Regiment;

579th Motorized Infantry Regiment;

Armored Regiment;

Artillery Regiment;

Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment.In April 2017 the brigade was renamed as 193rd Combined Arms Brigade (Chinese: 合成第193旅).

The brigade is now a maneuver part of PLA 81st Army.

196th Motorized Infantry Brigade (People's Republic of China)

The 196th Motorized Infantry Brigade is a military formation of the People's Liberation Army of the People's Republic of China. It is one of the "showcase" units of the PLA ground force.

The 196th Division (Chinese: 第196师) was created in February 1949 under the Regulation of the Redesignations of All Organizations and Units of the Army, issued by Central Military Commission on November 1, 1948, basing on the 1st brigade, 1st Column of the Huabei Military Region. Its history can be traced to the 1st Independent Brigade of Jinchaji Military Region, formed in August 1946.

The division was a part of 66th Corps. Under the flag of 196th division it took part in several major battles during the Chinese Civil War.

In October 1950 the division entered Korea along with the Corps and became a part of the People's Volunteer Army (Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) or Chinese Communist Forces (CCF)) during the Korean War with a standard strength of approximately 10,000 men. The division was then consisting of the 586th, 587th, and 588th Regiments.In March 1951 the division pulled out from Korea and stationed in Yangcun, Tianjin. The division was the first unit converted to Regular Force in March 1951, the first unit converted to Soviet Equipment Unit in June 1952, and the first unit converted to Chinese equipment in PLA ground force.

In 1952 the division renamed as 196th Infantry Division (Chinese: 步兵第196师).

576th Artillery Regiment was activated in March 1951 and attached to the division. 4th Independent Tank Regiment of Armored Troops was attached to the division and renamed as Tank Regiment, 196th Division. In July 1953 the regiment was renamed as 401st Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment.

From 1956 the division became a Showcase unit and was opened to foreign media. The division was then composed of:

586th Infantry Regiment;

587th Infantry Regiment;

588th Infantry Regiment;

401st Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment;

576th Artillery Regiment.In 1960 the division renamed as 196th Army Division (Chinese: 陆军第196师).

In January 1961 the division became one of the first ten combat alert divisions of the army, which made it a "big" division under PLA glossaries, as a fully manned and equipped division.

In 1962 the division was designated as a "Northern" unit, Catalogue A. the division was shortly moved to Fujian province for an emergency alert deployment.

In September 1968 its 401st Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment was detached from the division and became 24th Tank Regiment of 6th Tank Division.

In June 1969 576th Artillery Regiment was renamed as Artillery Regiment, 196th Army Division. The division was then composed of:

586th Infantry Regiment;

587th Infantry Regiment;

588th Infantry Regiment;

Artillery Regiment.In 1985 the division was transferred to Tianjin Garrison Region following 66th Army Corps' disbandment, and renamed as 196th Infantry Division (Chinese: 步兵第196师).

From 1985 to 1998 the division was maintained as a Northern Infantry Division, Catalogue B.

In September 1986, Reconnaissance Company, 196th Infantry Division took part in the Sino-Vietnamese War. For its outstanding performance during its deployment, the company was regarded as "Heroic Reconnaissance Company" in December 1987.

In 1998 the division was reduced and renamed as 196th Motorized Infantry Brigade (Chinese: 摩托化步兵第196旅).

In September 1999 the division was transferred to 24th Army.

In 2003 the division was transferred to 65th Army following 24th Army's disbandment.

1st Amphibious Mechanized Infantry Division

The 1st Amphibious Mechanized Infantry Division is a military formation of the People's Liberation Army of the People's Republic of China. It is now one of two amphibious divisions of the PLA ground forces facing Taiwan.

2nd Armored Brigade (People's Republic of China)

The 2nd Armored Brigade, originally the 2nd Tank Division and the 2nd Armored Division, is an armored formation of the People's Liberation Army of the People's Republic of China.

3rd Guard Division (People's Republic of China)

The 70th Division (Chinese: 第70师) was created in February 1949 under the Regulation of the Redesignations of All Organizations and Units of the Army, issued by Central Military Commission on November 1, 1948, basing on the 16th Division, 6th Column of the PLA Huadong Field Army. Its history can be traced to the 2nd Detachment of New Fourth Army, formed in February 1940.

56th Motorized Infantry Brigade (People's Republic of China)

The 29th Division, now as 56th Motorized Infantry Brigade is a military formation of the People's Liberation Army of the People's Republic of China. It is now one of four mobile brigades of PLA 47th Army. It is the unit that experienced the most times of unit transferring in PLA ground force.

The 29th Division(Chinese: 第29师) was created In February 1949 under the Regulation of the Redesignations of All Organizations and Units of the Army, issued by Central Military Commission on November 1, 1948, basing on the 6th Brigade, 2nd Column of PLA Zhongyuan Field Army. Its history could be traced to 1st Regiment of Eastern Forward Column, 129th Division of Eighth Route Army, formed in December 1937.

The division is part of 10th Corps. Under the flag of 29th division it took part in several major battles in the Chinese civil war.

In January 1951 the division was transferred to 15th Corps and entered Korea as a part of People's Volunteer Army. The division took part in the Fifth Phase Offensive in 1951 and the Battle of Triangle Hill in 1952 during its deployment in Korea and allegedly inflicted 17714 casualties to UN Forces. A soldier from 29th Division, Qiu Shaoyun, was posthumously honored as a "First-Class Hero of the Chinese People's Volunteers Army" as he adhered to ambush discipline in order to veil the position of the platoon and burned to death by napalm bombs.

In May 1954 the division returned from Korea with the Corps HQ and renamed as 29th Infantry Division(Chinese: 步兵第29师) of the National Defense Force. The division stationed at Huayuan, Hubei province.

In May 1958 the division received 45th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment from 45th Army Division. By then the division was composed of:

85th Infantry Regiment;

86th Infantry Regiment;

87th Infantry Regiment;

45th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment.

323rd Artillery Regiment (from 149th Regiment of 50th Division).In July 1960 the division was detached from 15th Corps and was put under control of Wuhan Military Region. In the same year the division was renamed as 29th Army Division(Chinese: 陆军第29师).

In July 1967 a detachment from this division took part in the Wuhan Incident, guarding Mao's hotel from mutinous Independent Division of Hubei Provincial Military District.From August 1967 to October 1968 the division was returned to now 15th Airborne Corps, becoming an Army unit under the control of Air Force.

In October 1968 the division was transferred to newly formed 17th Army Corps, and its 45th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment was detached and transferred to 11th Tank Division.

In December 1969 the division was renamed as 49th Army Division(Chinese: 陆军第49师). All its regiments renamed as follows:

145th Infantry Regiment (former 85th);

146th Infantry Regiment (former 86th);

147th Infantry Regiment (former 87th);

Artillery Regiment (former 323rd).In November 1972 the division was detached from the Corps and was put under control of Wuhan Military Region again after 17th Army Corps' disbandment.

In March 1976 the division moved to Wuwei, Gansu and was transferred to 19th Army Corps, renaming as 56th Army Division(Chinese: 陆军第56师).All its regiments renamed as follows:

166th Infantry Regiment (former 145th);

167th Infantry Regiment (former 146th);

168th Infantry Regiment (former 147th);

Artillery Regiment.In September 1985, the division was renamed as 56th Infantry Division(Chinese: 步兵第56师) and was transferred to 47th Army after 19th Corps' disbandment. The division maintained as a Northern Infantry Division, Catalogue B from 1985 to 1998.

In December 1989 its 168th Regiment was re-organized as a special security regiment.

In October 1998 the division was reduced and re-organized as 56th Motorized Infantry Brigade(Chinese: 摩托化步兵第56旅).

In April 2017 the brigade was redesignated as 56th Combined Arms Brigade(Chinese: 合成第56旅).

58th Mechanized Infantry Brigade (People's Republic of China)

The 58th Mechanized Infantry Brigade (lang-zh:机械化步兵第58旅) is a brigade of the People's Liberation Army Ground Force. It is one of the three maneuver elements of the 20th Group Army in the Jinan Military Region. The 58th was previously a division, being converted to a brigade sized formation in 1998.

The 58th Division (Chinese: 第58师) was created in February 1949 under the Regulation of the Redesignations of All Organizations and Units of the Army, issued by Central Military Commission on November 1, 1948, basing on the 1st Division, 1st Column of the PLA Huadong Field Army. Its history can be traced to 3rd Guerrilla Contingent of Eastern Fujian Red Army, formed in May 1933.

The division is part of 20th Corps. Under the flag of 58th division it took part in several major battles during the Chinese Civil War.

In November 1950 the division entered Korea as part of the People's Volunteer Army. At this time, the division consisted of the 172nd, 173rd, and 174th Regiments.The 58th Division attacked the U.S. Marines holding Hagaru-ri during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. During the battle, Yang Gensi, commander of 3rd Company, 172nd Infantry Regiment, 58th Division, sacrificed himself when holding a strategic position with one of his platoons, as he threw himself into a group of more than 40 American soldiers while holding a satchel charge, killing himself and the American soldiers. Yang was posthumously awarded as "First Class Hero of People's Volunteer Army", and "Hero of Democratic People's Republic of Korea".During its deployment in Korea, the division inflicted 11952 casualties to opposing UN forces, destroyed or damaged 26 aircraft, destroyed or captured 313 tanks and automobiles and 67 artillery pieces.

In October 1952 the division pulled out from Korea and renamed as 58th Infantry Division(Chinese: 步兵第58师). The division was then composed of:

172nd Infantry Regiment;

173rd Infantry Regiment;

174th Infantry Regiment;

263rd Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment;

338th Artillery Regiment.On November 9, 1956 263rd Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment was detached from the division and renamed as Tank Crew Training Regiment of Jinan Military Region.

In 1960 the division was renamed as 58th Army Division(Chinese: 陆军第58师).

In 1969 338th Artillery Regiment renamed as Artillery Regiment, 58th Army Division.

In March 1979 the division took part in the Sino-Vietnamese War. During its deployment in Vietnam it inflicted 629 KIA and 3 POW to the opposing PAVN forces, while suffered 64 killed and 165 wounded.

In October 1985 the division was renamed as 58th Infantry Division(Chinese: 步兵第58师). Tank Regiment, 20th Army Corps was attached and renamed as Tank Regiment, 58th Infantry Division; Anti-aircraft Artillery Regiment was activated from unknown unit. Since then the division was composed of:

172nd Motorized Infantry Regiment;

173rd Motorized Infantry Regiment;

174th Motorized Infantry Regiment;

Tank Regiment;

Artillery Regiment;

Anti-aircraft Artillery Regiment.The division maintained as a Northern Motorized Infantry Division, Catalogue A from 1985 to 1998.

In 1998 the division was reduced and renamed as 58th Motorized Infantry Brigade(Chinese: 摩托化步兵第58旅). The brigade conversion in 1998 was part of the PLA's effort to experiment with a Corps-Brigade-Battalion force structure instead of the traditional Corps-Division-Regiment structure.

In 1999 the brigade was further re-organized as 58th Mechanized Infantry Brigade(Chinese: 机械化步兵第58旅), becoming the first mechanized brigade of PLA ground force.

The brigade is one of the units of the Jinan MR tasked to serve as one of the mobile response elements capable of reinforcing Groups Armies in other Military Regions in case of emergency or war.

60th Motorized Infantry Brigade (People's Republic of China)

The 60th Mechanised Infantry Brigade is one of the three maneuver elements of the 20th Group Army in the Jinan Military Region. The 60th was converted from a division to a brigade as part of the PLA modernization efforts of the late 1990s.

The predecessor 60th Division was created in 1949 as part of the 20th Army. It consisted of the 178th, 179th, and 180th Regiments. It entered Korea along with the rest of the 20th Army as part of the People's Volunteer Army (Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) or Chinese Communist Forces (CCF)).

The 60th Division moved toward a blocking position near Koto-ri, south of "Hell-Fire Valley" during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.

6th Armored Division (People's Republic of China)

The 6th Tank Division (Chinese: 坦克第6师) was formed on September 10, 1968 from 6th Independent Tank Regiment, 392nd Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment from 187th Army Division, 393rd Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment from 188th Army Division and 401st Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment from 196th Army Division.

As of September 2, 1969, the division was composed of:

21st Tank Regiment (former 6th Independent Tank Regiment);

22nd Tank Regiment (former 392nd Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment);

23rd Tank Regiment (former 393rd Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment);

24th Tank Regiment (former 401st Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment).On September 1, 1971, 23rd Tank Regiment was detached and renamed as Tank Regiment, 81st Army Division.

In March 1983 Armored Infantry Regiment and Artillery Regiment were activated. From 1983 to 1984 the division maintained an army tank division, catalogue B.

On March 25, 1983, the division was attached to 38th Army Corps.

In early 1984 the division was regrouped as one of the two combined arms army tank divisions(the other one was 3rd Tank Division): the Armored Infantry Regiment was renamed as Mechanized Infantry Regiment, and added a tank battalion and an additional armored infantry battalion. Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment activated.

By then the division was composed of:

21st Tank Regiment;

22nd Tank Regiment;

24th Tank Regiment;

Mechanized Infantry Regiment;

Artillery Regiment;

Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment.In 1989 the division actively took part in the enforced martial law and the crackdown on protests in Beijing along with the other units from 38th Army.

In the early 1990s the division re-equipped with Type-88B main battle tanks.

In 1998 the division was renamed 6th Armored Division (Chinese: 装甲第6师). The Mechanized Infantry Regiment was disbanded and absorbed into tank regiments which became armored regiments.

The division was not affected in the 2011 disbandment of armored divisions. It was the only one armored division in the PLA Ground Force from the year of 2011 to 2017.

Since then the division was composed of:

21st Armored Regiment;

22nd Armored Regiment;

24th Armored Regiment;

Artillery Regiment;

Antiaircraft Regiment.In April 2017 the division was split into two brigades: the 6th Combined Arms Brigade and 189th Combined Arms Brigade.

7th Armored Brigade (People's Republic of China)

The 7th Tank Division (Chinese: 坦克第7师) was formed on September 10, 1968 from 2nd Independent Tank Regiment, 233rd Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment from 28th Army Division, 312th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment from 107th Army Division and 398th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment from 193rd Army Division.

As of September 12, 1969, the division was composed of:

25th Tank Regiment (former 2nd Independent Tank Regiment);

26th Tank Regiment (former 233rd Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment);

27th Tank Regiment (former 312th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment);

28th Tank Regiment (former 398th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment).

In April 1976 26th Tank Regiment was detached from the division and renamed Tank Regiment, 69th Army Corps. In March 1983, Armored Infantry Regiment and Artillery Regiment were activated.

By then the division was composed of:

25th Tank Regiment;

27th Tank Regiment;

28th Tank Regiment;

Armored Infantry Regiment;

Artillery Regiment.In 1970s and 1980s the division re-equipped with Type 69-1 medium tanks and became the only unit equipped with it. The division maintained as a tank division, catalogue B during the late-1970s and early-1980s.

In July 1985 the division was attached to 28th Army. In September 28 Tank Regiment was detached and renamed as Tank Regiment, 188th Infantry Division. Tank Regiment, 69th Army Corps returned and renamed 28th Tank Regiment.

In 1998 the division was transferred to 63rd Army after 28th Army's disbandment, and re-organized as Armored Brigade, 63rd Army.

In 2003 it became Armored Brigade, 27th Army after 63rd Army's disbandment.

In late 2011 it received a new designation as 7th Armored Brigade.

8th Armored Brigade (People's Republic of China)

The 8th Tank Division (Chinese: 坦克第8师) was formed on September 26, 1967 from Factory No.953, 238th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment from 33rd Army Division, 281st Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment from 76th Army Division and 330th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment from 200th Army Division.

As of August 19, 1969, the division was composed of:

29th Tank Regiment (former 281st Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment);

30th Tank Regiment (former 238th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment);

31st Tank Regiment (former 330th Tank Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment).In the 1970s the division maintained as a reduced tank division, which consisted of 3 under-equipped tank regiments.

In 1975 31st Tank regiment was fully equipped with 80 Type 59 tank tanks.

In December 1982 the division was put under command of 46th Army Corps, and an Armored Infantry Regiment was formed and attached to the division.

In April 1983 an Artillery Regiment was formed and attached to the division.

In 1985 the division was transferred to 67th Army after 46th Army Corps' disbandment. In the late 1980s the division maintained as an army tank division, and from 1986 it became the only unit equipped with Type 79 main battle tanks.

By then the division was composed of:

29th Tank Regiment;

30th Tank Regiment;

31st Tank Regiment;

Armored Infantry Regiment;

Artillery Regiment.In 1998 the division was transferred to 26th Army after 67th Army's disbandment and renamed 8th Armored Division (Chinese: 装甲第8师). The Armored Infantry Regiment was disbanded and absorbed into tank regiments which became armored regiments.

By then the division was composed of:

29th Armored Regiment;

30th Armored Regiment;

31st Armored Regiment;

Artillery RegimentIn late 2011 the division was split into two: the division itself became 8th Armored Brigade (Chinese: 装甲第8旅), while half of its battalions formed 200th Mechanized Infantry Brigade.

The 8th Armored Brigade is now one of the five maneuver elements of the 26th Army in the Jinan Military Region. It serves as the heavy strike element for the 26th Army.

People's Liberation Army Ground Force

The People's Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) (simplified Chinese: 中国人民解放军陆军; traditional Chinese: 中國人民解放軍陸軍; pinyin: Zhōngguó Rénmín Jiěfàngjūn Lùjūn) is the land-based service branch of the People's Liberation Army and it is the largest and oldest branch of the entire Chinese armed forces. The PLAGF can trace its lineage from 1927; however, it was not officially established until 1948.

United States Army Combined Arms Center

The U.S. Army Combined Arms Center (USACAC) is located at Fort Leavenworth and provides leadership and supervision for leader development and professional military and civilian education; institutional and collective training; functional training; training support; battle command; doctrine; lessons learned and specified areas the Commanding General, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) designates in order to serve as a catalyst for change and to support developing relevant and ready expeditionary land formations with campaign qualities in support of the joint force commander.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.