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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.]


54. Good march discipline is essential for the smooth and rapid execution of movements. To prevent delays on the march, timely reconnaissance of the route is especially important. Reconnaissance patrols will be sent ahead for this purpose.

55. On good roads free from traffic, a regiment of armored motorized infantry can cover from 150 to 200 kilometers in 24 hours. Motorized infantry on wheeled vehicles can cover from 250 to 350 kilometers in 24 hours.

56. Marches are carried out in accordance with the principles laid down in H. Dv. 472 and the instruction O. K. H. Gen. St. d. H. Ausb. Abt. (I) Nr. 2600/40 geh. vom 12.12.40.

57. Tracked and wheeled vehicles must be kept separate as far as possible in order to reduce vehicle strain and to allow the march to proceed smoothly.

With the tracked vehicles go the vehicles of the command group, and of signal, repair, and medical services, and also the essential fuel and ration trains.

58. March orders should contain:

(a) Information about the enemy;

(b) Own mission;

(c) Route and destination;

(d) Reconnaissance and protection;

(e) Line of departure and time;

(f) Order of march (including special instructions for baggage trains and for repair and medical services);

(g) Halts and rests;

(h) Commander's place, and special instructions for communication;

(i) And, at night, the degree of illumination ordered by division.

In issuing orders, it should be borne in mind that in view of the wide area in which troops are usually quartered, often more than an hour elapses between the issue of orders and the start of the move. Accordingly, warning orders should be issued whenever possible, giving the expected time and direction of march, or time and place of assembly.

The art of command consists in disposing units so that they can take up their places in the column without lengthy interruption of the move, and without interfering with the movements of other units.

59. It is a good plan to lay down the maximum speed at which the leading vehicle will travel. For armored personnel carriers this will normally be 15 miles per hour.

Unarmored motorized infantry units can travel on good roads at speeds up to 20 miles per hour for the leading vehicle.

The situation may call for higher speeds than is normal for the vehicles, in which case some severe strain and breakdowns must be allowed for.

60. When the motorized infantry regiment forms a march column inside the division, the commander is responsible for the speed and continuity of movement and for leaving the roads free by the time ordered. In accordance with the divisional order, he orders halts and rests, provides protection and camouflage during these periods, and arranges for vehicles to refuel.

When a march column has been allotted a separate route, it may also be required to organize reconnaissance, protection, and route-marking. During a halt, units move off the road and remain there, camouflaged as much as possible, ready to resume the march without delay.

Roads and ground may make it difficult or impossible to move forward or to deploy rear elements of the column. Consequently, the heavy weapons and artillery must be placed behind the advance elements so that, in the event of contact with the enemy, heavy fire can be brought quickly to bear. Attached engineers are to be placed well forward in the regiment.

61. Communication on the march will be maintained within the regiment by means of motorcycle messengers.

62. If antiaircraft machine-gun units are attached to the regiment, provision must be made for their timely use at danger spots such as bridges and defiles.

63. If the formation is equipped with only a few companies on armored carriers, these companies are to be kept behind on account of their slower speed.

64. When the regiment is marching alone, or as all advance guard, it will, as a rule, detach a reinforced company for its protection. To this company, heavy weapons, especially antitank guns, will be attached.

65. The heavy infantry cannon company will march, usually, with the foremost battalion.

66. For protection against enemy armored vehicles the antitank weapons must be distributed throughout the entire length of the column.

67. Protection and march intervals vary with the situation, visibility, and probable enemy tactics. They are laid down in minutes.

A general guide is:

     From the leading company to the foremost battalion  _ _ _ _ _  5 min.
     Between battalion  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  5 min.

68. When a motorized infantry battalion is detailed as an advance guard, the principles given in paragraphs 64-67 apply.

69. If reconnaissance shows that a detour can be made around an obstacle without much loss of time, the advance guards will bypass the obstacle, leaving its removal to those behind.

70. Security against enemy air attacks during moves by day demands the utilization of broken ground, and considerable dispersion of the formation.

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