Military Formations


This article is not intended to be a comprehensive examination of British or other military formations. It's only a simplified, quick-reference guide to the rough sizes of the formations around PPA, to give some context that may not otherwise be apparent in the texts reproduced on this website. See also Military Ranks. A useful starting point for further investigation, and the primary source for this article, is the Wikipaedia article Military organization.


Formation Strength Constituents Notes
Army Group 250,000+ 2+ Armies German Army Group C
Army 60,000-100,000+ 2-4 Corps 8th Army
Corps 30,000-80,000 2+ Divisions US II Corps
Division 10,000-20,000 2-4 Brigades or Regiments 1st Airborne Division
Brigade 2,000-5,000 2+ Regiments or 3-6 Battalions 28th Garibaldi Brigade
Regiment or Group 2,000-3,000 2+ Battalions 27th Lancers
Battalion 300-1,000 2-6 Companies 3rd Battalion, Libyan Arab Force[1]
Company or Squadron 70-250[2] 2-8 Platoons LRDG[3], PPA
Platoon or Troop 25-60 2+ Sections 'A' Troop, 27th Lancers
Section or Patrol 8-12   Each PPA fighting Patrol in the Italian Campaign had 16 men[4]

Copyright © 2013 foPPA
17 Jan 2013

Further information
Notes: 
  1. ^ Popski was a Major, in charge of a Company, in the 3rd Battalion.
  2. ^ This is why PPA's initial size was unusual, in being a Squadron but having an establishment of only 23. See PPA War Establishment ME/866/1
  3. ^ Although called the "Long Range Desert GROUP", it was actually only about three times larger than PPA, at roughly 250 men.
  4. ^ See PPA War Establishment NA/229/1
Updates: 
  • 2010-12-02 Original article.
  • 2013-01-17 Moved LRDG example down from "Group" to "Squadron".