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Battle Orders 3: US Armored Divisions, The European Theater of Operations 1944–45

by Stephen J Zaloga

Published by Osprey Publishing Ltd, ISBN 1-84176-564-3, 96 pages


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No, this isn’t a bald and boring set of tables showing Orders of Battle for US armoured units. It is actually a fascinating and very useful look at the whole picture of them in Europe. It starts with a brief look at what the combat mission was intended to be for the divisions, the tank destroyer units and the separate tank battalions. Operational doctrine and training follow, and then comes a long chapter on unit organisation. Yes, it does include tables – but no, that’s not all there is.

The very informative and readable text is all about how new tanks were brought into the divisions how the Combat Commands were used, and how the infantry, armoured cavalry, artillery and engineer components of the divisions all meshed together. Next is another short chapter on command and control, showing the importance of radio communications, and then there’s a detailed look at tactics. Here we get a host of scenarios, from operations in the enemy’s rear to counterattack. Actual examples are analysed, with detailed maps of the terrain and the unit movements.


The final chapter describes all 14 of the Armored Divisions that fought in Northwest Europe, with potted histories of each of them and notes of their attachments to US Armies and of the units that comprised them. There’s a good collection of photographs to illustrate all of this, with informative captions.

This is a very useful reference book for modellers and historians – definitely recommended!

John Prigent

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