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Author Topic: OOB: what is an OOB?  (Read 7521 times)


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« on: 22 May 2009, 15:29:30 »

An Order Of Battle was, in its original form during the European period of Medieval warfare, the order in which troops were positioned relative to the position of the Army commander. Today it refers to a listing of military units, often with equipment, location and other relevant information.

It was also applied to the disposition of ships in the line of battle during the age of sail. In the later transformation of its meaning during the European period of Early Modern warfare the order of battle came to mean the order in which the units manoeuvered or deployed onto the battlefield to form battle-lines, with the positioning on the right considered the place of greatest honour. This need to reflect the unit seniority led to the keeping of military staff records, in tabular form reflecting the compilation of units an army, their commanders, equipment, and locations on the battlefield.

During the Napoleonic wars the meaning of the order of battle changed yet again to reflect the changes in the composition of opposing forces during the battle owing to use of larger formations than in the previous century. With standardisation in organisation of field forces as part of regiments, brigades, divisions and Corps, the order of battle often became associated and confused with table of organisation which is a permanent composition of a given unit or formation according to army doctrine and to suit its staff administration operations. Napoleon also instituted the staff procedure of maintaining accurate information about the composition of the enemy order of battle, and tables of organisation, and this later evolved into an important function and an organisational tool used by military intelligence to analyse enemy capability for combat.

In its modern use the order of battle signifies the identification, command structure, strength, and disposition of personnel, equipment, and units of an armed force during field operations. Various abbreviations are in use, including OOB, O/B, or OB, while ORBAT remains the most common.
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« Reply #1 on: 4 November 2011, 18:16:45 »

An Order of Battle normally shows the organization of a higher organization with subunits attached. Commanders names, when known, are commonly included, but detailed information about the units equipment is normally not.

Not all OOB's include both sides forces or even the entire organization from the top to the bottom. It could be an OOB for an entire Army Group or just that of a platoon. Normally OOB's don't go down to squad level but if they are broken down into fireteams they can be shown as well.

At times the overall equipment type may be shown for the unit as well. There can also be information about deployments and if the entire unit was deployed or not. This information may or may not be included in an OOB.

An example of a common OOB is the one for Operation Bagration in June 1944:


Army Group Centre (Feldmarshal Ernst Busch to 28 June; then Feldmarshal Walter Model)
   Third Panzer Army (Colonel-General Georg-Hans Reinhardt)
       IX Corps (General Rolf Wuthmann)
       LIII Corps (General Friedrich Gollwitzer)
       VI Corps (General Georg Pfeiffer to 28 June)
       Reserve: 14th Infantry Division
   Fourth Army (General Kurt von Tippelskirch)
       XXVII Corps (General Paul Völckers)
       XXXIX Panzer Corps (General Robert Martinek to 28 June; then Lieutenant-General Otto Schünemann to 29 June)
       XII Corps (General Vincenz Müller)
       Reserve: Panzergrenadier-Division Feldherrnhalle, 286th Security Division
   Ninth Army (General Hans Jordan to 27 June; then General Nikolaus von Vormann)
       XXXV Corps (Lieutenant-General Kurt-Jürgen Freiherr von Lützow)
       XXXXI Panzer Corps (Lieutenant-General Edmund Hoffmeister)
       LV Corps (General Friedrich Herrlein)
       Reserve: 20th Panzer Division, 707th Infantry Division
   Second Army (Colonel-General Walter Weiss)

Second Army was not involved in the first or second phases of the German defense, being positioned south of the main axis of Soviet operations.

Red Army
Two special representatives to Stavka were appointed to coordinate the operations of the Fronts involved: Alexander Vasilevsky and Georgy Zhukov.

   1st Baltic Front (General Hovhannes Bagramyan)
        4th Shock Army
        6th Guards Army
        43rd Army
        3rd Air Army
    3rd Belorussian Front (General Ivan Chernyakhovsky)
        11th Guards Army (General Kuzma Galitsky)
        5th Army
        39th Army (General Ivan Lyudnikov)
        31st Army (General Vasily Glagolev)
        5th Guards Tank Army (General Pavel Rotmistrov)
        1st Air Army
        Cavalry-mechanised group under command of Lieutenant-General Nikolai Oslikovksy, including 3rd Guards Cavalry Corps
    2nd Belorussian Front (Colonel-General Georgiy Zakharov)
        33rd Army (Lieutenant-General Vasily Kryuchenkin)
        49th Army (Lieutenant-General Ivan Grishin)
        50th Army (Lieutenant-General Ivan Boldin)
        4th Air Army
    1st Belorussian Front (General Konstantin Rokossovsky)
        3rd Army (General Alexander Gorbatov)
        8th Guards Army (Lieutenant-General Vasily Chuikov)
        28th Army
        48th Army
        65th Army (General Pavel Batov)
        16th Air Army
        Cavalry-mechanised group under command of Lieutenant-General Pliev, including 1st Mechanised Corps, 4th Guards Cavalry Corps
   1st Ukrainian Front (Marshal Ivan S. Konev)
        3rd Guards Army (Soviet Union)
        13th Army
        60th Army
        38th Army
        1st Guards Army
        18th Army
        1st Guards Tank Army
        3rd Guards Tank Army
        4th Tank Army
        5th Guards Army
        Cavalry-mechanised Group 1 and 2

The 1st Belorussian Front was particularly large, and included further units which were only committed during the following Lublin-Brest Offensive.

Primary Source for Bagration OOB:

The unit structure for armies is basically this; with some different names being used in different military organizations:

Army Group
Fire Team/Section

Here is the OOB for the Ia Drang Valley Campaign October 1965:

a Drang helped convinced doubters that the helicopter was no where near as vulnerable as feared.

B-3 Front PAVN   General Chu Huy Man

32 Regiment
   334th Battalion
   635th Battalion
   966th Battalion
   The battalions were also known as H-4, H-5, H-6

33 Regiment
   1st Battalion
   2nd Battalion
   3rd Battalion
   The battalions were also known as K-1, K-2, K3; and as D-1, D-2, D-3

66 Regiment
   7th Battalion
   8th Battalion
   9th Battalion
   Also known as K-7, K-8, K-9 battalions

120mm mortar battalion

14.7mm AAA battalion

H-15 Battalion, Main Force, Viet Cong

Other Viet Cong units

AA and mortar units

US Army Field Forces, Vietnam [MG Stanley R. Larsen]

II Corps Tactical Zone, the same area as covered by ARVN II Corps

US 1st Cavalry Division (incomplete orbat) [Major General W.O. Kinnard]

3rd Brigade [Colonel Thomas Brown]
   A 1/5 Cavalry (attached to 2/7 Cavalry)   This unit designation is read A Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment
   2/5 Cavalry
   1/7 Cavalry [LTC Hal Moore, later LTG]
   2/7 Cavalry [LTC Robert McDade]

1/9 Cavalry [divisional reconnaissance squadron (regiment), fought in campaign]
   1/19 Artillery [Not mentioned at Battles at X-Ray and Albany]
   2/20 Aerial Rocket Artillery
   1/21 Artillery [Two batteries support X-Ray]

227 Assault Aviation Battalion [UH-1, Fought in the campaign]

228 Assault Support Helicopter Battalion [CH-47]

B/229 Assault Aviation Battalion (20 UH-1D)

11 Aviation Support Company [OV-1 Mohawk]

17 Aviation Company [De Havilland Buffalo]

478 Aviation Company [CH-54 heavy lift]

545 MP Company

8 Engineer Battalion [Elements]

15 Medical Battalion [Elements]

27 Maintenance Battalion [Elements]

13 Signal Battalion [Elements]

15 Supply and Service Battalion [Elements]

34 Quartermaster Battalion [Elements]

Air Support

740 CAS sorties were flown, mainly in support of LZ X Ray and Albany. Five B-52 missions with 96 sorties were flown.

Other cavalry battalions of the division:

1/5 Cavalry

5/7 Cavalry

1/8 Cavalry
[Fought in the campaign]

2/8 Cavalry [Fought in the campaign]

1/12 Cavalry [Fought in the campaign]

2/12 Cavalry [Fought in the campaign]

Primary Sources:

Hope this helps.

Good Hunting.

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