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Corps

Corps map symbol

The corps was the command echelon immediately above the division and below the army in the American and British armies. It was regarded by most armies as an ad hoc formation of variable composition, though it typically was assigned two to four divisions. A corps was typically commanded by a major general or lieutenant general. The Japanese and Chinese armies omitted this echelon and organized their divisions directly into armies.

For planning purposes, the U.S. Army defined a "type" corps consisting of three infantry divisions, an antiaircraft regiment, a mechanized cavalry regiment, two engineer regiments, a field artillery brigade, a tank destroyer group, and various support units. After 1943, the headquarters was heavily streamlined and the corps became a collection of divisions and specialist battalions, with the battalions held in reserve or attached to the various divisions as needed for the immediate combat mission. The distinction between a corps and an armored corps became meaningless, and the four armored corps were redesignated as normal corps. The 1943 streamlining also moved most of the service units to the army level, allowing the corps headquarters to focus on operations.

The Marine Corps organized amphibious corps in the Pacific, which specialized in amphibious assault. Because the number of Marine divisions was limited, the Marine amphibious corps were redesignated simply as amphibious corps and were assigned a number of Army divisions. They differed from regular corps chiefly in having transports, landing ships, and landing craft more or less permanently assigned to them.


References

Stanton (2006)



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