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The German Motorized Infantry Regiment
Military Intelligence Service, Special Series No. 4, October 17, 1942
[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from a WWII U.S. War Department Special Series publication. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


142. If motorized infantry have to break contact, their armored carriers enable them rapidly to outdistance any nonmotorized, unarmored pursuit.

Counterattacks with limited objectives are most effective in assisting disengagement. The mobility and speed of infantry on vehicles must always be exploited to deliver the counterattack from an unexpected quarter.

143. Disengagement from enemy tanks is made easier if time is available to build up strong defensive fire in a position in the rear which has good natural antitank defense.

144. Vigilant reconnaissance on the flanks and well-timed use of flank protection—preferably attached antitank troops and engineers—are necessary to prevent envelopment by highly mobile enemy forces.

145. The commanding officer lays down the order of withdrawal, the supporting tasks for heavy weapons, and the time for breaking contact.

146. As a rule, the armored personnel carriers go forward and bring in the infantry as they disengage. If this is impossible owing to the tactical situation or the ground, the infantry falls back on to its vehicles on a broad front, making full use of terrain cover. The vehicles of unarmored motorized infantry can move forward only as far as the last cover.

147. In order to impose the maximum delay upon the enemy, the withdrawal of heavy weapons on armored personnel carriers or self-propelled mounts can be left to the last.

Even after disengagement of the heavy weapons, fighting patrols will remain in contact with the enemy.

148. The use of smoke assists disengagement. It conceals the time and direction of the withdrawal.

149. The rear guard will have attached heavy weapons units on self-propelled mounts, antitank troops, and engineers. The engineer platoons will support the withdrawal of the rear guard by erecting obstacles and blowing up bridges. The order to lay mines will be given by division.

150. The commander will insure by planning and the timely issue of orders that units withdrawing on a broad front are concentrated quickly into march columns. Traffic congestion will be avoided by careful traffic control.

* Cf. FM 17-20, Armored Force Field Manual, Employment of Armored Units, Reconnaissance Platoon and Company, par. 51.

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