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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.]


24. The speed and mobility of motorized infantry call for speed and agility in the thought and actions of its commanders, who must be daring and have the faculty of translating decisions quickly into brief commands. Personal reconnaissance and quick appreciation of the situation are necessary. Preoccupation about the flanks, which are often deep, must not impair boldness of action.

25. Careful study of maps and the ground must precede entry into action. Air photographs may furnish valuable data for the assessment of the ground. Early reconnaissance must complete quickly its estimate of the situation. Before an action subordinate commanders will be informed promptly of the plans, so that they can familiarize their units with their tasks and can take appropriate action under changed circumstances.

26. The coordination of force to give uniform and simultaneous action is indispensable. Every dispersion of units weakens the attack. Rapidity in carrying out movements, and concealment of movements, above all against enemy air reconnaissance, are the prerequisites of surprise.

27. Commanders must always aim to utilize mobility for thrusts against the enemy's flanks and rear. The objectives will be so placed that unity of command is maintained.

28. In attacks against a demoralized enemy on a wide front, in opposed river crossings, in pushing forward through wooded and mountainous country, in overtaking the enemy, and in withdrawals, the temporary formation of small task forces may be an advantage. Each force must be equipped with the arms it needs for carrying out its task.

The smallest task force is the company—strengthened by heavy arms, artillery on self-propelled mountings, antitank guns, engineers, and frequently also tanks.

30. The infantry cannon company will be used by the regimental commander to support the battalions in battle. By rapidly building up a concentration of fire he is able to influence the battle at the decisive point. Subordination of individual platoons of the cannon company to the battalions is necessary when fighting on a wide front, in close country, and when the battalions are employed independently.

31. Where only a few companies in the motorized infantry units are equipped with armored personnel carriers, they must be used en masse. Preferably these companies will be allotted tasks in which the carriers are utilized fully as fighting vehicles. Such tasks may be:

(a) Reconnaissance (fighting);

(b) Taking possession of important areas while fighting against a weak enemy;

(c) Delaying an enemy approach;

(d) Carrying the battle deep into the enemy position, after overcoming his antitank defenses;

(e) Accompanying a tank attack.

32. In order to conserve the valuable fighting powers of the armored companies they should not be used as covering parties on the march, nor split up into separate reconnaissance patrols. It is equally inadvisable to weaken these companies by allotting single armored carriers to other units and headquarters.

33. The place of the regimental and battalion commanders is well forward. On the march they and the first echelon of their headquarters will, as a rule, be behind the company farthest forward. During the fighting the commander's place is in the center of the battle. Here, by personal participation at the right moment, he will often achieve decisive successes. When the regiment is following a tank attack in its vehicles, the regimental commander will move in front of his regiment in the vicinity of the commander of the tank unit.

34. Before the battle, if time permits, it is often convenient to issue orders in writing. A written order must always be given when this is the only way of insuring the collaboration of all arms. During the battle the commander will give short, single orders.

The most convincing and effective order is that given orally on the spot. The place from which orders are to be issued must be reconnoitered and made known in advance.

35. Orders must always be given first to those units and arms which require the longest time to prepare for action.

36. The regimental motorcycle platoon will be used for communication with, and the transmission of orders to, battalions, and also for the reconnaissance of routes and the regulation of traffic. In battle, communication between regiment and battalions, and between battalions and companies, can be maintained by radio as well as by orderlies on motorcycles and on foot.

37. The concealment of radio traffic is particularly important. In principle, radio messages are to be encoded if the time required to put them into effect allows the enemy to take countermeasures. Radio messages dealing with measures to be taken immediately are sufficiently camouflaged by the use of the "thrust line"* and code first laid down by the division.

* "Offset method in which a secret line is drawn north and south, or several degrees from the north-south line, on a map. Points are designated in inches up from the bottom of the map and right or left from the line. Example: A point 10 inches up the map and 3½ inches to the right of the line is described as 10 R 3.5." Cf. FM 18-5, Tank Destroyer Field Manual, paragraph 231.

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