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A battalion is a
military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intens ...
, typically consisting of 300 to 1000 soldiers commanded by a
lieutenant colonel Lieutenant colonel ( or ) is a rank of commissioned officer in the army, armies, most Marine (armed services), marine forces and some air forces of the world, above a major and below a colonel. Several police forces in the United States use the ...

lieutenant colonel
, and subdivided into a number of
companies A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity In law, a legal person is any person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness ...
. In some countries, battalions are exclusively
infantry at the Battle of the Somme The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British Empire and French Third Republic against the German Empire. It took place bet ...

infantry
, while in others battalions are unit-level organizations. The term "battalion" was first used in
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
as ''battaglione'' no later than the 16th century. It derived from the Italian word for battle, ''battaglia''. The first use of battalion in English was in the 1580s, and the first use to mean "part of a
regiment A regiment is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a state so as to offer such military capability as a national defense policy may require. In some countries param ...
" is from 1708.


Independent operations

A battalion is the smallest
military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intens ...
capable of "limited independent operations", meaning it includes an executive, staff (i.e., S-1, S-2, etc.) with a support and services unit ( e.g., headquarters and headquarters company). The battalion must have a source of re-supply to enable it to sustain operations for more than a few days. This is because a battalion's complement of ammunition, expendable weapons (e.g., hand grenades and disposable rocket launchers), water, rations, fuel, lubricants, replacement parts, batteries, and medical supplies normally consists of only what the battalion's soldiers and the battalion's vehicles can carry. In addition to sufficient personnel and equipment (usually at least two primary mission companies and one mission support company) to conduct operations, as well as a limited administrative and logistics capability, the commander's staff coordinates and plans operations. A battalion's subordinate companies and their platoons are dependent upon the battalion headquarters for command, control, communications, and intelligence, and the battalion's service and support structure. The battalion is part of a
regiment A regiment is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a state so as to offer such military capability as a national defense policy may require. In some countries param ...
,
brigade A brigade is a major tactical military formation Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a state so as to offer such military capability as a national defense policy may require. In some ...

brigade
, or
group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in language with ...
, depending on the branch of service.


Homogeneity

A battalion's companies are primarily of one type (e.g., an infantry or tank battalion), although there are exceptions such as combined arms battalions in the U.S. Army. A battalion typically includes a headquarters company and some sort of
combat service support The term combat service support (or CSS) is utilized by numerous military organizations throughout the world to describe entities that provide direct and indirect sustainment services to the groups that engage (or are potentially to be engaged) ...
, combined in a
combat support company#REDIRECT Combat support company {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from move {{R from other capitalisation ...
.


British Army

The term ''battalion'' is used in the
British Army Infantry The Infantry of the British Army, comprises 49 infantry at the Battle of the Somme (July–November 1916) during the First World War Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, ...
and some corps including the
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME ) is a corps Corps (; plural ''corps'' ; from French language, French ''corps'', from the Latin ''corpus'' "body") is a term used for several different kinds of organisation. A mi ...
, and Intelligence Corps. It was formerly used in the
Royal Engineers The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers (RE), and commonly known as the ''Sapper A sapper, also called pioneer or combat engineer, is a combatant Combatant is the legal status of an individual who has the ri ...
(before they switched to regiments), and was also used in the now defunct
Royal Army Ordnance Corps The Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) was a corps Corps (; plural ''corps'' ; from French , from the Latin "body") is a term used for several different kinds of organization. A military innovation by Napoleon, the formation was first named as ...
and
Royal Pioneer Corps The Royal Pioneer Corps was a British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces. , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time personnel and 30,020 Army ...
. Other
corps Corps (; plural ''corps'' ; from French , from the "body") is a term used for several different kinds of organization. A military innovation by , the formation was first named as such in 1805. The size of a corps varies greatly, but from tw ...

corps
usually use the term "regiment" instead. An infantry battalion is numbered ordinarily within its regiment (e.g., 1st Battalion,
The Rifles The Rifles is an infantry regiment of the British Army. Formed in 2007, it consists of four Regular battalions and three Reserve battalions, plus a number of companies in other Army Reserve battalions. Each battalion of The Rifles was formerly a ...
, usually referred to as 1 Rifles). It normally has a headquarters company, support company, and three rifle companies (usually, but not always, A, B and C companies). Each company is commanded by a
major Major is a military rank Military ranks are a system of hierarchical relationships in armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. I ...

major
, the officer commanding (OC), with a
captain Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a military rank in ar ...
or senior
lieutenant A lieutenant ( or abbreviated Lt., Lt, LT, Lieut and similar) is a commissioned officer in the armed forces, fire services, police and other organizations of many nations. The meaning of lieutenant differs in different militaries (see compar ...

lieutenant
as
second-in-command {{unreferenced, date=May 2007 Second-in-command (2i/c or 2IC) is a title denoting that the holder of the title is the second-highest authority within a certain organisation. In the British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land w ...
(2IC). The HQ company contains signals,
quartermaster Quartermaster is a military term, the meaning of which depends on the country and service. In land army, armies, a quartermaster is generally a relatively senior soldier who supervises stores or barracks and distributes materiel, supplies and wik ...
, catering,
intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas or general notions that occur in the mind, ...
, administration, pay, training, operations and medical elements. The support company usually contains
anti-tank Anti-tank warfare originated from the need to develop technology and to destroy s during (1914–1918). Since the developed the first tanks in 1916 but did not deploy them in battle until 1917, the developed the first anti-tank weapons. The ...
,
machine gun A machine gun is an auto-firing, rifled tank gun. In firearms, rifling is the helical groovings that are machined into the internal (bore) surface of a gun's barrel, for the purpose of exerting torque and thus imparting a spin to a ...

machine gun
,
mortar Mortar may refer to: * Mortar (weapon), an indirect-fire infantry weapon * Mortar (masonry), a material used to fill the gaps between blocks and bind them together * Mortar and pestle, a tool pair used to crush or grind * Mortar, Bihar, a village in ...
,
pioneer Pioneer commonly refers to a settler who migrates to previously uninhabited or sparsely inhabited land. In the United States pioneer commonly refers to an American pioneer, a person in American history who migrated west to join in settling and deve ...
and
reconnaissance In military operations, reconnaissance or scouting is the exploration of an area by military forces to obtain information about enemy forces, terrain, and other activities. Examples of reconnaissance include patrolling by troops (skirmishers, ...

reconnaissance
platoons. Mechanised units usually have an attached
light aid detachmentA Light Aid Detachment is an attached independent minor unit of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, or Royal New Zealand Army Logisti ...
(LAD) of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) to perform field repairs on vehicles and equipment. A British battalion in theatre during World War II had around 845 men; as of 2012, a British battalion had around 650 soldiers. With successive rounds of cutbacks after the war, many infantry regiments were reduced to a single battalion (others were amalgamated to form large regiments that maintained multiple battalions, e.g., the
Royal Anglian Regiment The Royal Anglian Regiment (R ANGLIAN) is an infantry regiment of the British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces. , the British Army comprises 80,040 re ...
). Important figures in a battalion headquarters include: *
Commanding officer The commanding officer (CO) or sometimes, if the incumbent is a , commanding general (CG), is the officer in of a . The commanding officer has ultimate authority over the unit, and is usually given wide latitude to run the unit as they see fit, ...

Commanding officer
(CO) (invariably a
lieutenant colonel Lieutenant colonel ( or ) is a rank of commissioned officer in the army, armies, most Marine (armed services), marine forces and some air forces of the world, above a major and below a colonel. Several police forces in the United States use the ...

lieutenant colonel
) *
Second-in-command {{unreferenced, date=May 2007 Second-in-command (2i/c or 2IC) is a title denoting that the holder of the title is the second-highest authority within a certain organisation. In the British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land w ...
(2i/c) (major) *
Adjutant as regent A regent (from the Latin : ruling, governing) is a person appointed to govern a state ''pro tempore'' (Latin Language, Latin: 'for the time being') because the regnant monarch is a minor, is absent, abdicated the throne, is incapacita ...

Adjutant
(captain) *
Quartermaster Quartermaster is a military term, the meaning of which depends on the country and service. In land army, armies, a quartermaster is generally a relatively senior soldier who supervises stores or barracks and distributes materiel, supplies and wik ...
(QM) (LE captain) * Quartermaster (technical) (QM(T)) * Medical officer (MO) (
Royal Army Medical Corps The Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) is a specialist corps in the British Army which provides medical services to all Army personnel and their families, in war and in peace. The RAMC, the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, the Royal Army Dental Corps an ...
captain or major) * Administrative officer (
Adjutant General's Corps The Adjutant General's Corps is a corps in the British Army responsible for many of its general administrative services. As of 2002, the AGC had a staff of 7,000 people. History The corps was formed on 6 April 1992 through the amalgamation of seve ...

Adjutant General's Corps
captain or major) *
Padre
Padre
(
Royal Army Chaplains Department The Royal Army Chaplains' Department (RAChD) is an all-officer corps that provides ordained clergy to minister to the British Army. History Image:Royalarmychaplainsdepartmentcap.JPG, left, 150px, A post 1953 RAChD No.1 dress cap The Army Chaplains ...
chaplain 4th or 3rd class) * Operations officer (Ops) (lieutenant) * Intelligence officer (IO) (lieutenant or captain) * Regimental Signals officer (RSO) (
Royal Corps of Signals The Royal Corps of Signals (often simply known as the Royal Signals – abbreviated to R SIGNALS) is one of the combat support arms of the British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a p ...
captain) *
Regimental sergeant major Regimental sergeant major (RSM) is an appointment that may be held by warrant officers class 1 (WO1) in the British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces. , ...
(RSM) (
warrant officer Warrant officer (WO) is a rank Rank is the relative position, value, worth, complexity, power, importance, authority, level, etc. of a person or object within a ranking, such as: Level or position in a hierarchical organization * Academic rank * ...
class 1) * Regimental quartermaster sergeant (RQMS) (warrant officer class 2) * Regimental quartermaster sergeant (technical) (RQMS(T)) (warrant officer class 2) Battalions of other corps are given separate cardinal numbers within their corps (e.g., 101 Battalion REME).


Battle group

A battle group consists of an infantry battalion or
armoured regimentArmoured regiments are units provided by the Royal Armoured Corps Royal may refer to: People * Royal (name), a list of people with either the surname or given name * A member of a royal family Places United States * Royal, Arkansas, an unincorpor ...
with sub-units detached from other military units acting under the command of the battalion commander.


Canadian Army

In the
Canadian Forces The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF; french: Forces armées canadiennes; ''FAC'') is the unified military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare ...
, most battalions are reserve units of between 100–200
soldiers A soldier is a person who is a member of a professional army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the ...

soldiers
that include an operationally ready, field-deployable component of approximately a half-company apiece. The nine regular force infantry battalions each contain three or four rifle companies and one or two support companies. Canadian battalions are generally commanded by
lieutenant-colonel Lieutenant colonel ( or ) is a rank of commissioned officer An officer is a member of an Military, armed forces or Uniformed services, uniformed service who holds a position of authority. In its broadest sense, the term "officer" refers to ...
s, though smaller reserve battalions may be commanded by
major Major is a military rank Military ranks are a system of hierarchical relationships in armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. I ...
s. Those regiments consisting of more than one battalion are: *
The Royal Canadian Regiment , colors = , identification_symbol_2 = Maple Leaf (2nd Bn pipes and drums) , identification_symbol_2_label = Tartan , identification_symbol_4 = The RCR , identification_symbol_4_label = Abbreviation , march = Quick – "The Royal Canadian Re ...
(three
regular The term regular can mean normal or in accordance with rules. It may refer to: People * Moses Regular (born 1971), America football player Arts, entertainment, and media Music * Regular (Badfinger song), "Regular" (Badfinger song) * Regular tunin ...
and one reserve battalions) *
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI, generally referred to as the Patricia's) is one of the three Regular Force infantry regiments of the Canadian Army of the Canadian Armed Forces. Formed in 1914, it is named for Princess Patricia ...

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
(three regular battalions) *
Royal 22e Régiment
Royal 22<sup>e</sup> Régiment
(three regular and two reserve battalions) * The Royal Newfoundland Regiment (two reserve battalions) Tactically, the Canadian battalion forms the core of the infantry battle group, which also includes various supporting elements such as armour,
artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fortifications dur ...

artillery
, combat engineers and
combat service support The term combat service support (or CSS) is utilized by numerous military organizations throughout the world to describe entities that provide direct and indirect sustainment services to the groups that engage (or are potentially to be engaged) ...
. An infantry battle group will typically be commanded by the commander of the core infantry battalion around which it is formed and can range in size from 300 to 1,500 or more soldiers, depending on the nature of the mission assigned.


Indian Army

A battalion in the
Indian Army The Indian Army is the land-based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces The Indian Armed Forces are the armed forces, military forces of the India, Republic of India. It consists of three professional uniformed serv ...

Indian Army
consists of four rifle companies. In turn each rifle company consists three platoons. A battalion in the Indian Army is commanded by a
colonel Colonel (; abbreviated as Col., Col or COL) is a senior military officer rank used in many countries. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations. Historically, in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, a colonel was typica ...
. Normally a battalion is attached to a
regiment A regiment is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a state so as to offer such military capability as a national defense policy may require. In some countries param ...
. A regiment may consist of one to a few battalions.


Royal Netherlands Army

In the
Royal Netherlands Army The Royal Netherlands Army ( nl, Koninklijke Landmacht) is the Ground warfare, land branch of the Netherlands Armed Forces. Though the Royal Netherlands Army was raised on 9 January 1814, its origins date back to 1572, when the was raised – ma ...

Royal Netherlands Army
, a mechanised infantry battalion usually consists of one command- and medical company, three mechanised infantry companies, and one support company, which has three platoons with heavy mortars and three platoons with anti-tank missiles ( TOW). With the
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...

Dutch
artillery units, the equivalent of a battalion is called an (which translates to "section"). Combat companies consist of (usually mechanised) infantry,
combat engineers erected in Iraq File:VietnamCombatArtCAT08VictoryVReynoldsCombatEngineer.jpg, Combat Engineer depicted in the Vietnam Combat Artists Program A combat engineer (also called field engineer, pioneer or sapper) is a type of soldier who perf ...
, or
tank A tank is an armored fighting vehicle An armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) is an armed combat vehicle protected by armour, generally combining operational mobility with offensive and defensive capabilities. AFVs can be wheeled or tra ...

tank
s. In the latter case, the unit is called an , which translates roughly to "squadron". There are also support battalions in the Dutch Army, which specialise on a specific task: for example, supplies and transport or communications. The Netherlands have four battalions that are permanently reserved for the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for har ...

United Nations
, for the purpose of
peacekeeping Peacekeeping comprises activities intended to create conditions that favour lasting peace. Research generally finds that peacekeeping reduces civilian and battlefield deaths, as well as reduces the risk of renewed warfare. Within the United Na ...
duties. An infantry battalion, logistical battalion, combat battalion, and the
Royal Netherlands Marine Corps The Netherlands Marine Corps ( nl, Korps Mariniers) is the elite infantry component of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The unit is specialised in special operations, operating under highly extreme conditions and amphibious warfare. The Korps Marinier ...
all have a battalion structure. Each battalion usually consists of the following: * Battalion command ** Commander ** Second in command * General service ** Personnel section ** Intelligence section ** Operations section ** Materiel section ** Communication section * Command company ** Command group ** Administration group ** Medical group ** Communication group ** Supply platoon * Three infantry companies * Support company ** Command group ** Recon platoon ** Mortar platoon ** Anti-tank platoon


Soviet Armed Forces


Motorised rifle battalion

In the
Soviet Armed Forces The Soviet Armed Forces, also called the Armed Forces of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Armed Forces of the Soviet Union (, Вооружённые Силы Советского Союза) were the armed forces of the Russian SFSR ...
, a motorised rifle battalion could be mounted in either BTR
armoured personnel carrier An armoured personnel carrier (APC) is a broad type of armoured, military vehicle designed to transport personnel and equipment in combat zones. They are sometimes referred to colloquially as "battle taxis" or "battle buses". Since World War I ...
s or BMP
infantry fighting vehicle An infantry fighting vehicle (''IFV''), also known as a mechanized infantry combat vehicle (''MICV''), is a type of armoured fighting vehicle used to carry infantry into battle and provide direct fire , direct-fire support. The 1990 Treaty on C ...
s, with the former being more numerous into the late 1980s. Both consisted of a battalion headquarters of 12 personnel and three motorised rifle companies of 110 personnel each, along with a number of combat support units: a mortar battery consisting of eight 120mm
120-PM-43 mortar The M1943 Mortar also known as the SAMOVAR is a Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continental area on Ear ...
s or automatic 82mm 2B9 Vasileks, an air defense platoon with nine
MANPAD Man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS or MPADS) are portable surface-to-air missiles. They are guided weapons and are a threat to low-flying aircraft, especially helicopters. Overview MANPADS were developed in the 1950s to provide military g ...
s, either the
SA-7 Grail The 9K32 Strela-2 (russian: Cтрела, "arrow"; NATO reporting name NATO reporting names are code names for military equipment from Russia, China, and historically, the Eastern Bloc (Soviet Union and other nations of the Warsaw Pact). They ...
,
SA-14 Gremlin The 9K34 Strela-3 (russian: 9К34 «Стрела-3», 'arrow', NATO reporting name: SA-14 Gremlin) is a man-portable air defense missile system ( MANPADS) developed in the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Sociali ...
or
SA-16 Gimlet The 9K38 Igla (russian: Игла́, "needle", NATO reporting name SA-18 Grouse) is a Russian/ Soviet man-portable infrared homing surface-to-air missile A surface-to-air missile (SAM), also known as a ground-to-air missile (GTAM) or surf ...
, and an automatic grenade launcher platoon with six 30mm
AGS-17 The AGS-17 Plamya (Russian: Пламя; ''Flame'') is a Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continental ar ...
launchers. The BTR battalion also featured an anti-tank platoon with four
AT-3 Sagger The 9M14 Malyutka (russian: Малютка, links=no; "Little one", NATO reporting name: AT-3 Sagger) is a manual command to line of sight (MCLOS) Wire-guided missile, wire-guided anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system developed in the Soviet Un ...

AT-3 Sagger
or
AT-4 Spigot The 9K111 ''Fagot'' (russian: Фагот; "bassoon") is a second-generation tube-launched SACLOS Wire-guided missile, wire-guided anti-tank missile system of the Soviet Union for use from ground or vehicle mounts. The 9K111 Fagot missile system was ...
launchers and two 73mm
SPG-9 The SPG-9 Kopye (Spear A spear is a pole weapon consisting of a shaft, usually of wood, with a pointed head. The head may be simply the sharpened end of the shaft itself, as is the case with Fire hardening, fire hardened spears, or it may be ma ...
recoilless gun A recoilless rifle, recoilless launcher or recoilless gun, sometimes abbreviated "RR" or "RCL" (for ReCoilLess) is a type of lightweight artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far ...
s; BTR units on high-readiness status sometimes had six missile launchers and three recoilless guns. Both featured the same support units as well, with a signal platoon, supply platoon, repair workshop and medical aid station. The addition of the antitank platoon meant that a BTR battalion at full strength was 525 personnel and 60 BTRs, including three command variants, while a BMP battalion consisted of 497 personnel and 45 BMPs, including three command variants.


Tank battalion

Prior to the late 1980s, Soviet tank battalions consisted of three tank companies of 13
T-64 The T-64 is a Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or worke ...
,
T-72 The T-72 is a family of Soviet Union, Soviet/Russian main battle tanks that entered production in 1969. The T-72 was a development of the T-64, which was troubled by high costs and its reliance on immature developmental technology. About 25,000 ...

T-72
or
T-80 The T-80 is a main battle tank A main battle tank (MBT), also known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the armor-protected direct fire and maneuver role of many modern armies. Cold War-era development of more powerful ...

T-80
tanks each, along with a battalion headquarters mounted in a command tank and a headquarters and service platoon, for a total of 165 personnel and 40 tanks; battalions using the older
T-54 The T-54 and T-55 tanks are a series of Soviet main battle tank A main battle tank (MBT), also known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the armor-protected direct fire and maneuver role of many modern armies. Cold ...
,
T-55 The T-54 and T-55 tanks are a series of Soviet main battle tank A main battle tank (MBT), also known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the armor-protected direct fire and maneuver role of many modern armies. Cold W ...

T-55
or
T-62 The T-62 is a Soviet main battle tank A main battle tank (MBT), also known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the armor-protected direct fire and maneuver role of many modern armies. Cold War-era development of mor ...

T-62
s tanks had 31 or 40 additional enlisted personnel. However, forces in Eastern Europe began to standardize to a smaller formation with 135 personnel and 31 tanks total, with each tank company consisting of 10 tanks total.


Artillery battalion

A Soviet artillery battalion in the late 1980s consisted of a battalion headquarters, a headquarters platoon, a maintenance and supply platoon and three firing batteries, each with six artillery pieces, whether the self-propelled
2S1 Gvozdika The 2S1 ''Gvozdika'' (russian: 2С1 «Гвоздика», "Carnation") is a Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia Eurasia () is the larg ...

2S1 Gvozdika
s or the towed
D-30
D-30
howitzer A howitzer () is generally a large ranged weapon between an Artillery, artillery gun (also known as a ''cannon'' outside the US) – which has smaller, higher-velocity shells fired at flatter trajectories – and a Mortar (weapon), mortar – wh ...

howitzer
s, and numbering 260 personnel or 240 personnel respectively. Rocket launcher artillery battalions consisted of a headquarters and headquarters platoon, a service battery and three firing batteries equipped with
BM-21 Grad The BM-21 "Grad" (russian: БМ-21 "Град", lit= hail Hail is a form of solid precipitation. It is distinct from ice pellets (American English "sleet"), though the two are often confused. It consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice, e ...
s for a total of 255 personnel.US Army, ''FM 100-2-3 The Soviet Army: Troops, Organization and Equipment'', 4-50


Swiss Army

With the major reform of its armed forces in 2004, the
Swiss Army The Swiss Armed Forces (German: ''Schweizer Armee,'' French: ''Armée suisse,'' Italian: ''Esercito svizzero,'' Romansh: ''Armada svizra)'' operates on land and in the air, serving as the primary armed forces of Switzerland ,german: Schw ...

Swiss Army
abandoned the old regimental system and adopted a combat team approach centred on battalions as the building blocks of mission-oriented task forces. Battalion sizes vary between branches.


United States


United States Army

In the
United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists ma ...
, a battalion is a unit composed of a headquarters and two to six batteries, companies, or troops. They are normally identified by ordinal numbers (1st Battalion, 2nd Squadron, etc.) and normally have subordinate units that are identified by single letters (Battery A, Company A, Troop A, etc.). Battalions are tactical and administrative organizations with a limited capability to plan and conduct independent operations and are normally organic components of brigades, groups, or regiments. A U.S. Army battalion includes the battalion commander (
lieutenant colonel Lieutenant colonel ( or ) is a rank of commissioned officer An officer is a person who holds a position of authority as a member of an armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly orga ...
), executive officer (
major Major is a military rank Military ranks are a system of hierarchical relationships in armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. I ...

major
),
command sergeant major A Command Sergeant Major (CSM) is a Non-commissioned officer, non-commissioned rank and position of office in the United States Army. The holder of this rank and position is the most senior enlisted member of a color-bearing Army unit (battalion ...
(CSM), headquarters staff, and usually three to five companies, with a total of 300 to 1,000 (but typically 500 to 600) soldiers. A regiment consists of between two and six organic battalions, while a brigade consists of between three and seven separate battalions. During the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' (Tryon nove ...
, an infantry or cavalry battalion was an ad hoc grouping of companies from the parent regiment (which had ten companies, A through K, minus J as described below), except for certain regular infantry regiments, which were formally organized into three battalions of six companies each (numbered 1–6 per battalion vice sequential letter designations). After 1882, cavalry battalions were renamed squadrons and cavalry companies were renamed troops. Artillery battalions typically comprised four or more batteries, although this number fluctuated considerably. During World War II, most infantry regiments consisted of three battalions (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) with each battalion consisting of three rifle companies and a heavy weapons company. That is, rifle companies A, B, C along with heavy weapons Company D were part of the 1st battalion, rifle companies E, F, G, and heavy weapons Company H constituted the 2nd battalion, and rifle companies I, K, L, and heavy weapons Company M were in the 3rd. There was no J Company: the letter ''J'' was traditionally not used because in 18th and 19th century old-style type, the capital letters ''I'' and ''J'' looked alike, and were therefore easily confused with one another. It was common for a battalion to become temporarily attached to a different regiment. For example, during the confusion and high casualty rates of both the
Normandy Landings The Normandy landings were the landing operation Allied invasion of Sicily, 1943 A landing operation is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended fo ...

Normandy Landings
and the
Battle of the Bulge The Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Counteroffensive, was a major German offensive Offensive may refer to: * Offensive, the former name of the Dutch political party Socialist Alternative (Netherlands), Socialist Alternative * ...

Battle of the Bulge
, in order to bolster the strength of a depleted infantry regiment, companies and even battalions were moved around as necessary. The U.S. Army also created independent tank battalions to attach to infantry divisions during World War II in order to give them fire support. From the 1960s through the early 1980s, a typical maneuver (infantry or tank) battalion had five companies: headquarters and headquarters company (HHC) and A, B, and C Companies, plus a combat support company (CSC), with a scout platoon, 107 mm (4.2 inch) heavy mortar platoon, along with other elements that varied between organizations. These included heavy anti-tank TOW missile platoons, ground surveillance radar sections and man-portable air-defense system sections. Beginning in the early 1980s, some elements of the combat support companies (the mortar and scout platoons) were merged into the headquarters company with the staff and support elements, others were moved to their parent type organization (ground surveillance radar and air defense), and in infantry battalions the heavy anti-tank missile platoon was organized as a separate company (E Company). In the late 1980s, there was a fourth "line" company added (D Company) in most infantry and tank battalions. In this older structure, U.S. Army mechanized infantry battalions and tank battalions, for tactical purposes, task-organized companies to each other, forming a battalion-sized task force (TF). Starting in 2005–2006, the U.S. Army's mechanized and tank battalions were reorganized into Brigade combat team#Combined Arms Battalion (×3), combined arms battalions (CABs). Tank battalions and mechanized infantry battalions no longer exist. These new combined arms battalions are modular units, each consisting of a headquarters company, two mechanized infantry companies, two tank companies, and a forward support company attached from the battalion's parent brigade support battalion. This new structure eliminated the need to task-organize companies between battalions; each combined arms battalion was organically composed of the requisite companies. At a higher level, each Brigade combat team#Armored Brigade Combat Team, armored brigade (formerly designated 'heavy brigade') is now composed of three CABs (versus the two CABs of a former heavy brigade), one reconnaissance squadron, one artillery battalion, one brigade engineer battalion (BEB), and one brigade support battalion (BSB).


United States Marine Corps

A United States Marine Corps battalion includes the battalion headquarters, consisting of the commanding officer (usually a lieutenant colonel, sometimes a colonel), an executive officer (the second-in-command, usually a major), the sergeant major, and the executive staff (S-1 through S-4 and S-6). The battalion headquarters is supported by a headquarters and service company (battery). A battalion usually contains two to five organic companies (batteries in the artillery), with a total of 500 to 1,200 Marines in the battalion. A regiment consists of a regimental headquarters, a headquarters company (or battery), and two to five organic battalions (Marine infantry regiments – three battalions of infantry; Marine artillery regiments – three to five battalions of artillery; Marine combat logistics regiments – one to three combat logistics battalions). In the U.S. Marine Corps, the brigade designation is used only in "Marine Expeditionary Brigade" (MEB). An MEB is one of the standard Marine Air-Ground Task Forces (MAGTF), is commanded by a brigadier general or major general, and consists of command element, a ground combat element (usually one reinforced Marine infantry regiment), an aviation combat element (a reinforced Marine aircraft group including rotary wing, fixed wing, and tiltrotor aircraft), and a combat logistics element (a Marine combat logistics regiment, which includes naval construction forces [Seabees] and naval medical elements). In the U.S. Marine Corps, an infantry or "rifle" battalion typically consists of a headquarters and service company, three rifle, or "line", companies (designated alphabetically A through M depending upon which battalion of the parent regiment to which they are attached) and a weapons company. Weapons companies do not receive a letter designation. Marine infantry regiments use battalion and company designations as described above under World War II, with company letters D, H, and M not normally used but rather held in reserve for use in augmenting a fourth rifle company into each battalion as needed. United States Marine Corps infantry battalions are task organized into Battalion Landing Teams (BLTs) as the ground combat element (GCE) of a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). A standard U.S. Marine infantry battalion is typically supported by an artillery battery and a platoon each of tanks, amphibious assault vehicles, light armored reconnaissance vehicles, reconnaissance Marines, and combat engineers. The battalion structure is designed to readily expand to include a fourth rifle company, if required, as described above under battalion organization. Often Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO) officers are assigned to the battalion, to coordinate naval gunfire support#United States, naval gunfire support.


United States Navy

The United States Navy has Seabee (US Navy), construction battalions and Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (United States), navy cargo handling battalions. They are structured roughly analogous to an Army or Marine Corps battalion with staff and commanding officers of similar grade and experience.


See also

* Battalion (Sweden) * Indonesian Army infantry battalions * March battalion * Military organization


References


External links


French Infantry of the Napoleonic Wars


1996, by Major General Richard A. Chilcoat, US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania {{Military units Battalions, * Military units and formations by size