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Phantom Wwii Divisions?


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#1 The Cooler King

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 09:01 PM

Anyone have any info on the Phantom divisions of WWII? What was their purpose? Was it restricted solely to airborne? (6th, 18th, 21st, and 135th) Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by The Cooler King, 01 August 2005 - 09:01 PM.


#2 IMike

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 12:49 AM

Anyone have any info on the Phantom divisions of WWII? What was their purpose? Was it restricted solely to airborne? (6th, 18th, 21st, and 135th) Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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According to U.S. Army Order of Battle. World War II, App. IV, the Phantom Divisions were a product of Operation Fortitude, and constituted the forces available to what the Germans described as Armeegruppe Patton, which was expected to make the main invasion in the Pas de Calais. Patches for these divisions were approved by the War Department (and, I assume, frequently seen north of the Thames):
6th Airborne Division
9th Airborne Division
11th Infantry Division
14th Infantry Division
17th Infantry Division
18th Airborne Division
21st Airborne Division
22nd Infantry Division
46th Infantry Division
48th Infantry Division
50th Infantry Division
55th Infantry Division
59th Infantry Division
108th Imfantry Division
119th Infantry Division
130th Infantyr Division
135th Airborne Division
141st Infantry Division
157th Infantry Division

The same appendix also lists ten divisions (which it labels "Ghost Divisions" which were planned by the War Department but were cancelled in 1943 because of manpower requirements in other areas. These were the 15th Airborne Division and the 61st, 62nd, 67th, 68th, 72nd, 73rd, 74th, 105th & 107th Infantry Divisions. The component infantry regiments planned for each of the divisions are identified, as are the artillery battalions of all except the 107th Infantry Division.

The 108th Infantry Division may have been organized as an Army Reserve unit after the war. I remember seeing a patch for it in (I believe) a late '50s or early '60s Officers Guide. (I remember it because I was aware at the time that there had not been a 108th Division during World War II).

Mike

#3 G.MITCHELL

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 03:31 AM

Were`nt Operation Fortitude and Garbo combined to mask the real invasion
plans ?

#4 Kiwiwriter

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 09:21 AM

Get your hands on "The Deceivers" by Thaddeus Holt. It covers the whole story of Allied deception efforts, especially "Fortitude," chapter and verse. Fascinating stuff.

#5 The Cooler King

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 09:28 PM

Thanks a bunch Mike. Anyone know if phantom divisions were only used with FUSAG and Operation Fortitude?

#6 Kiwiwriter

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 10:26 AM

Thanks a bunch Mike. Anyone know if phantom divisions were only used with FUSAG and Operation Fortitude?

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Oh, no, fake divisions were used all over the war. The deceivers in Egypt turned the Australian training and replacement centers in Palestine and the New Zealand ones in Egypt's Camp Maadi into notional additional Australian and New Zealand divisions. Since there were a lot of men training in those bases, it was easy to create a fictional infantry division out of a training center.

#7 Dogdaddy

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 06:14 PM

Anybody who wants to see how easy it is to create a fictional division (or three) of infantry need only see "Downfall" :D


Jim




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