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The Kradschuetzen before Polish Campaign

Updated by
Dr.Chuang
on 29/11/2001


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The Kradschuetzen in Panzer-Division before Polish Campaign. From the very beginning when the first experimental Panzer-Division founded in 1934 there was a Schuetzen-Brigade (motorized rifle brigade) with one leichte Schuetzen-Regiment (motorized light rifle regiment) and one Kradschuetzen-Bataillon (motorcycle rifle battalion) as motorized infantry units to support two Panzer-Regiments within the Panzer-Division. The riflemen could ride on their motorcycle with excellent speed in pursuing retreating enemy or searching enemy weak spot and they could also dismount from their motorcycle quickly and fight on ground effectively. Thus they could play dual roles as motorcycle rifleman and tactical reconnaissance. This reflected on the formation of Schuetzen-Brigade (motorized rifle brigade) and Aufklaerung-Abteilung (mot) (motorized reconnaissance battalion) in the first three Panzer-Divisions formed in 1935. Besides the organic motorcycle rifle battalion in he motorized rifle brigade, there was one motorcycle rifle company in each motorized rifle battalion and motorized reconnaissance battalion. The 4. and 5. Panzer-Divisions raised in 1938 did have slight different in the formation of their motorized rifle units. The 4. Panzer-Division had only Schuetzen-Regiment 12 and there was no motorcycle rifle company in the regiment. The only motorcycle reconnaissance company in the division belonged to the Aufklaerung-Abteilung (mot) 7. The 5. Panzer-Division had Schuetzen-Regiment 12 and 13, there was one motorcycle rifle company in each motorized rifle battalion. The 10. Panzer-Division raised in 1939 consisted solely of detached units. The only motorcycle reconnaissance company in the division belonged to the motorized reconnaissance battalion. The Panzer-Verband "Kempf" raised in 1939 also consisted of detached units, including those from Waffen-SS. The SS-Standarte "Der Fuehrer" (mot) (motorized SS regiment "Der Fuehrer") had one motorcycle reconnaissance company and the SS-Aufklaerung-Abteilung (mot) (SS motorized reconnaissance battalion) also had two motorcycle reconnaissance companies. After the Polish Campaign, the Panzer-Verband "Kempf" was amalgamated into the 10. Panzer-Division and the Waffen-SS units returned to the SS-VT Division.

The Kradschuetzen in leichte Division before Polish Campaign. The creation of leichte Division was the result of the conceptional conflict between Panzer and Kavallerie arms. The employment of the leichte Division was like the former Heeres Kavallerie with the exception of decisive battles. Their tasks included reconnaissance beyond the front lines, reconnaissance attack against enemy reconnaissance units or advanced troops, screen the front and flanks, conduct delaying actions, closing gaps, quickly occupying important sectors and pursuing retreating enemy forces. The reconnaissance became the major task of the leichte Division and that also became the major role for motorcycle rifle units in the division. There were four leichte Divisions formed in 1938. The 1. leichte Division had Kradschuetzen-Bataillon 6 under the 6. Schuetzen-Brigade and there was one motorcycle reconnaissance company in the Aufklaerung-Abteilung (mot) 6. The 2. leichte Division had one motorcycle reconnaissance battalion under the Aufklaerung-Regiment (mot) 7. The 3. leichte Division had one motorcycle rifle battalion under the Kavallerieschuetzen-Regiment 9 and one motorcycle reconnaissance companies in each motorized reconnaissance battalion under the Aufklaerung-Regiment (mot) 8. The 4. leichte Division had one motorcycle reconnaissance battalion under the Aufklaerung-Regiment (mot) 9. The motorcycle rifleman played a reconnaissance role in the leichte Division.

The Kradschuetzen in Infanterie-Division (mot) before Polish Campaign. There was no organic motorcycle rifle battalion in motorized infantry division at that time. The only motorcycle rifle company in the division belonged to the motorized reconnaissance battalion.

Polish Campaign 1939
Panzer Truppen : The Complete Guide to the Creation & Combat Employment of Germany's Task Force-Formations, Organizations, Tactics, Combat Reports, un 1933-1942 (Volume 1)
German World War II Organizational Series
 The German Order of Battle, Panzers and Artillery in World War II
The 1st Panzer Division, 1935-1945: A Pictorial History
Panzergrenadier Group
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