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Kradschuetzen in Waffen-SS before Operation Blau. The
harsh condition of Russian winter snow and spring mud had proved difficulty
in front line service for pure motorcycle rifle battalion. New equipment
such as Schwimmwagen and even SPW 250 replaced motorcycles in the LSSAH,
SS-Reich, SS-Totenkopf and SS-Wiking motorized reconnaissance battalion.
The SS-Reich motorcycle rifle battalion was incoporated into the new SS
fast rifle regiment "Langemarck" in April 1942. A new motorcycle
rifle battalion was established for SS-Totenkopf Division (mot) in March
1942 but it was also incoporated into the new SS fast rifle regiment "Thule"
in August 1942.
of schnelle Schuetzen-Regiment in SS-Division (mot) before Operation Blau.
The brand new SS schnelle Schuetzen-Regiment "Langemarck" (SS
fast rifle regiment "Langemarck") was raised on 20th April 1942
in SS-Reich Division (mot). The remnant of SS Infanterie-Regiment 4 "Langemarck"
became the regimental headquarters and second battalion for the new regiment.
The SS-Reich Kradschuetzen-Bataillon became the first battalion. The SS-Totenkopf
Division (mot) also raised its only fast rifle regiment. The SS schnelle
Schuetzen-Regiment "Thule" was raised on 1st August 1942 from
remnant of SS Infanterie-Regiment 9 "Thule" and SS-Totenkopf
Kradschuetzen-Bataillon. Both regiments were equipped with new Schwimmwagen
in each battalion. It seems there was a plan to raise a fast rifle regiment
for all SS-Division (mot) in 1942 but only SS-Reich Division (mot) and
SS-Totenkopf Division (mot) had them. The LSSAH Division (mot) had only
motorized reconnaissance battalion instead of motorcycle rifle battalion.
There were some conflicting information about the fast rifle regiment
in SS-Wiking Division (mot). Some information suggested that SS schnelle
Schuetzen-Regiment "Westland" was the fast rifle regiment in
SS-Wiking Division (mot) but there was no solid evidence about this information.
The original idea for SS fast rifle regiment was not known. It seems that
the intention of the regiment was to replace the pure motorcycle rifle
units for rapid deploy but it was redundant for SS-Division (mot) to have
two 3-battalion regiments plus one 2-battalion regiment. Besides the regiment
was equipped with new Schwimmwagen in each battalion and maintenance for
the new Schwimmwagen might be a heavy burden for the battalion. More information
is needed to have build a whole view for these SS fast rifle regiments.