(1) A combat infantry unit (one light machine gun, six to eight riflemen, in all up to 13 men) established almost simultaneously in 1917 in the German and French armies as a result of the development of group infantry tactics. After World War I (1914–1918) the combat group was adopted in the organization of the infantry (or cavalry) in the armies of many countries.
(2) An organic tactical subdivision introduced during 1957–1958 in the armies of the United States and several other states in place of regiments and designed to wage combat independently or as part of a division. It consists of four or five infantry companies, a headquarters company, and a support company, as well as reconnaissance, combat engineer, self-propelled gun, medical, signal, and supply and repair platoons. It has about 1,500 men.
(3) After 1942, in connection with their significant losses on the Eastern Front, the term “combat group” (Kampfgruppe) was used in the fascist German Army to denote a division which had lost one-third of its fighting strength; in 1944 a table of organization for the combat group was actually instituted.