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Tuesday, 29 November 1960

Mr Bryant (WILLS, VICTORIA) t asked the Minister for the Army, upon notice -

In what way is the 1960 pentropic division superior to a 1945 infantry division in (a) manpower, (b) fire-power and (c) mobility?

Mr Cramer (BENNELONG, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Army) - The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: -

The jungle division in use at the end of World War II. was designed, as its name implies, for operations in jungle terrain in the south-west Pacific area.

The pentropic division is specially designed for employment in tropical terrain and to meet the particular needs of South-East Asia. It is a lean, versatile and powerful organization. Its designers had experience with, and gave cognizance to, the lessons gained from the employment of the jungle division. Moreover, the concept of the pentropic division acknowledges and reflects the need under conditions of modern war to reduce vulnerability and to increase flexibility.

The strength of the pentropic division is approximately 14,000 as compared with 13,000 in the jungle division.

The pentropic division has more rifle sections, more field guns, machine-guns and medium mortars, lt also includes tanks and a light aircraft unit, neither of which formed part of the jungle division establishment.

The superiority in mobility of the pentropic division is conferred by the combination of transportation resources available to the division - its communications and its equipment.

In all these matters, the pentropic division is superior to the jungle division. In the field of communications alone, the new and improved signal equipment in the pentropic division makes possible the ability to control directly five tactical units (the battle groups), instead of the previous three brigades, thus granting the Commander ubiquity which he did not possess previously.

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