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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.]


38. Reconnaissance must be carried out as early as possible to gain the initial advantage over the enemy.

39. Reconnaissance must be rapid. Commanders must be determined to push forward at all costs.

40. Normally, clear information about the enemy can be obtained only by fighting. Bold and resolute action is necessary. The strength of reconnaissance patrols and their composition vary with the task, the enemy, and the time at the disposal of the patrol. As a rule, they will not be less strong than a squad.

41. The more obscure the situation and the closer the country for reconnaissance, the more patrols must be used.

42. As a rule, it is wrong to hold up the advance of a unit by waiting for the results of reconnaissance.

43. Unit commanders must exchange important data obtained from reconnaissance and observation.

44. Units must always endeavor to listen in to reconnaissance reports radioed by the divisional reconnaissance unit and air reconnaissance Staffel.*

45. The regimental commander organizes close reconnaissance during an action in order to obtain data on which to base the employment of his regiment. In addition, the battalion commanders keep themselves continuously informed about the enemy and the terrain by close reconnaissances.

46. Close reconnaissance must begin at the latest with deployment. Once contact with the enemy has been established, it must not be lost.

47. Close reconnaissance must also be carried out during the night. It may provide data for the conduct of the battle the next day. Moreover, it harasses the enemy.

48. Until motorized infantry units are equipped with reconnaissance tanks for combat reconnaissance, they have the following means at their disposal:

(a) Reconnaissance patrol on armored carriers;

(b) Motorcycle reconnaissance patrol;

(c) Reconnaissance patrol by bicyclists and on foot.

Motorcycle patrols are especially mobile and fast. Their disadvantage lies in their vulnerability and in the difficulty of maintaining good observation while in movement.

Armored carriers, because of their armor and cross-country performance, are particularly suitable for reconnaissance.

49. The object of close reconnaissance, during battle, by motorized infantry is to locate in good time:

(a) Enemy antitank weapons;

(b) Obstacles, primarily mine fields, gas-contaminated areas, and improved natural obstacles;

(c) Enemy tanks;

(d) Natural obstacles.

Furthermore, it is important to locate flanks and gaps in the enemy positions.

Patrols should endeavor to bring in prisoners. Detailed information about the enemy may be obtained from them.

50. Every reconnaissance patrol must be acquainted with the general situation and intended line of action. It must know how far it can advance without the likelihood of contacting the enemy; where the enemy may be encountered and where he will certainly be encountered.

51. In addition to any other tasks, every reconnaissance patrol will reconnoiter the terrain. Information about the terrain is always of decisive importance. In particular, the state of roads and tracks, and the carrying capacity of bridges, must be reported. Defiles, gradients, natural obstacles, and marshland must be mapped. Alternative approaches are to be explored and reported without delay.

52. Before going into battle every commander must endeavor to look over the terrain personally. In the rapid course of movements, the commander must therefore always choose his place well forward to enable the carrying out of timely and repeated personal reconnaissance.

53. When fighting is carried out on foot, the adjutant will arrange for the field of battle to be under continual observation.

* Squadron, about 9 airplanes

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