The Classic Divisional Layout

The Heavy OPFOR Organizational presents a self-proclaimed “composite” example of an infantry division, in contrast to its explicitly Soviet/Russian styled motor rifle and tank formations. Fittingly, this serves as an example of the “classic” triangular division found by many countries since World War II.

After World War II, with armor becoming more common, the classical formation of an infantry-heavy division tends to involve the following:

  • Three subunits under the division, almost always called regiments or brigades.
  • A mobile element (tanks, or in extreme cases, cavalry) with a separate headquarters from the three subunits. This is designed to be attached to/distributed among the lower formations, but is still there.

There are of course many idiosyncrasies depending on doctrine and equipment, particularly in the composition of the subunits. This particular formation has a “light assault battalion”, likely inspired by North Korean light infantry formations. But this nonetheless stands as a general rule of thumb to use should one not know the composition of a land formation.

On offense, the mobile element will tend to be deployed forward. Whether it’s as a whole or divided among the subunits depends on circumstances. On defense, it will generally be held back to serve as a reserve for counterattacks.

Most relevant to Command is the status of air defense weapons. Regiments/brigades will tend to have lighter air defense systems (think MANPADS/lighter AAA) that cover their own forces. At division level would generally be heavier systems (this particular Heavy OPFOR one has SA-8 SAMs and S-60 AA guns) that will be deployed to cover the most important parts.