The US army is very easy to fit across the entire WW2 timeline. There were only minor changes in force organisation from mid to late war and the US is absent from the early war period. The basing of the model pegs them for the later European campaigns but the models can easily be used for the Africa setting with a bit of leeway on the bases. I have decided to focus on infantry and tank formations and ignore the mechanised option. Armoured Rifle companies can be quite effectively but at least to me they don’t truly symbolize the US military style in WW2. I leave the Blitzkrieg mechanised warfare impression to the Germans. With that exception the US list basically includes one of everything in the book except the heavy artillery battery (a late release and still on the work desk).
The paint scheme is based on Vallejo Brown Violet for both clothing and helmet. Add a black wash and a light highlight with Brown Violet and a tiny bit of Khaki and they are done. The belts and accessories are done up in Khaki followed by a wash.
A note on photography. All models on this page use the same green bae colour, wash and highlight. Yet, many of them look differently. I shot these images in a rush and unfortunately left on the “auto-correct” feature of my camera. I will update them with better calibrated images at some point.
Headquarters: The US HQ for Rifle Companies is a fairly static formation, at least compared to a German HQ formation. Aside from the officers, it has access to sniper and bazooka teams. Sergeant Kelly is available as a Hero if needed.
Rifle Platoons: The core of the Rifle Company is built around three full infantry platoons, each with a bazooka team.
Weapons Platoon: A complete weapons platoon with all options including LMG sections, mortars, bazooka teams and a Jeep for the platoon commander.
Machine Gun Platoon: The MG platoon has a full complement of guns as well as the supporting bazooka team, office and command Jeep.
Anti-Tank Platoon: The AT platoon as four M1 57mm guns pulled by Dodge ¾-ton trucks. A bazooka team, officer and command Jeep complete the unit. I used 57mmm instead of 37mm guns to ensure that a reasonable AT capability is available for late war battles as well.
Mortar Platoons: A total of 4 mortar sections with two command units allow me to field either a full 3-section platoon or two 2-section platoons. The Jeeps can provide transportation for one of the platoons. The extra section was built from left-over parts and will at some point be augmented to a second full 3-section platoon (never enough long range support in a US company).
Intelligence and Recon Platoon: Standard I&R platoon with 3 teams, command and four jeeps. As with all scout units, I based them with only 3 models to differentiate them from regular infantry bases. This also leaves some room for bushes and other hiding spots that fit in well with the scouting theme.
Artillery: Artillery is the place where the US truly shines. The full 4-gun Field Artillery Battery has all support options including transportation in the form of 4 GMC 2.5-ton trucks, 2 Dodge ¾-ton trucks and a jeep as well as command, staff and observer teams. Highest priority for this army is the addition of another artillery formation, ideally with heavier 155mm guns to augment the M2A1 105m howitzers of this battery.
Anti-Aircraft: A full 4-gun AA platoon including command staff and Jeep. The M1 Bofors are static as the platoon doesn’t have the necessary trucks. I just couldn’t see the in-game use for trucks in an AA platoon.
Light Tanks: Five M5A1 Stuarts provide light tank support. The Stuart is hopelessly outclassed even during mid-war scenarios but still provides a very rapid anti-infantry unit as well as a threat to armoured transport vehicles.
Tanks: The medium tank formations are enough to field a Tank Company instead of the normal Rifle option. Alternatively, the platoons can individually support a Rifle Company. The core components are a command section of two M4A1 Shermans with a M4 105mm howitzer Sherman in support,
a full 5-tank M4A1 (76mm) Sherman platoon,
a small platoon of 3 M4A1 Shermans,
a full platoon of 5 M4A1 Shermans using an older colour scheme (I bought the base models painted and then experimented on them with washes/dirt before painting the actual force),
and some left-over pieces such as two Old Glory Fireflys (rarely used) and a DD variant Sherman for the odd amphibious scenario.
Tank Destroyer: Self-Propelled Tank Destroyers are such a marvellous part of the US arsenal so there are two full platoons, each with 4 M10 GMC’s. Both platoons have all necessary officers, carbine teams and Jeeps. The first platoon can also replace its Jeeps with M20 Utility Vehicles for late war operations.
Air Support: Currently the only air support is a single L4 Grasshopper observation plane for the artillery. I plan on adding a flight of P38 Lightings.
Other: I am a firm believer in the visual appeal of wargaming. That’s why we go through all the effort of painting, converting and terrain buildings. I therefore dislike the use of counters or dice on the battlefield to identify game dynamics. I made up visually pleasing alternatives instead. The destroyed Sherman, Camp and the Supply Depot are normal objective markets.
The tank crew Bailed Out markers are mounted on pennies for stability but otherwise standard.
The dead or wounded US soldier discs serve as Pinned markers.