Why Hitler liquidated the motorcycle troops after the battle of Stalingrad

Weapons 13/01/20 Why Hitler liquidated the motorcycle troops after the battle of Stalingrad

During the First World motorcycles fared well at the front – they were used by couriers and scouts, so there is nothing surprising in the occurrence before the Second World military units on motorcycles.

And for communications, and intelligence

Industry in Germany specifically for this purpose has developed a range of new models of motorcycles with engines from 125 cm3 to 800 cm3. The most famous models of second world still light motorcycles NSU, Triumph, Victoria, and of course, the heavy motorcycles with sidecar – BMW and Zundapp.

Light motorcycles were to be used for communications and reconnaissance, heavy – for the movement of parts, haul munitions, patrolling and even for transporting light guns of the airborne troops, however, from this idea, then abandoned – the guns refused too heavy.

As he wrote in the promotional brochure, the major Hasso von Manteuffel, the use of motorized units did not anticipate that they will resist the superior forces of the enemy. Motorcyclists expected to reinforce the infantry, motorized infantry and armored car parts. It was supposed to be highly mobile units, which in case of emergency can be easily transported from one front to another.

Experts of the Wehrmacht were carefully thought out outfit motorcycle riders has developed a system of special signals the flags and sound the horns.

From rifles to mortars

According to the article at that time in the Italian newspaper “Giornale d’italia” a battalion of German infantry comprised three motorcycle companies and a heavy weapons company. Combat strength was three anti-tank guns, four mortars,15 mortars, 12 machine guns, 61 machine gun and 900 carbines. Till 1941 was formed 16 sotheir battalions, and the beginning of the great Patriotic war these battalions appeared in the composition of infantry divisions, Panzer divisions and the SS.

in addition, each division was formed of the battalions of scouts, which required one company was equipped with motorcyclists.

Motorcycles were used not only in special units. They were definitely at the headquarters, on the batteries – they went the nurses and the rangefinder. Motorcycle delivery of ammunition.

Yes forgot about the ravines…

the Reality, as usual, introduced some changes: until the war with the Soviets, the Nazis and failed to test the bikes in real combat situation.

the Annexation of countries such as Austria, the Czech Republic, the Sudetenland and Moravia, was quick and bloodless. The only thing that met in Europe, “Jerry on motorcycles” – rain and wind. The roads were excellent.

the War in France is revealed only positive aspects. The roads were still excellent, and it turned out to evacuate the wounded on motorcycles very efficiently. After the capture of France and Belgium in the hands of the Nazis got a lot of French and Belgian motorcycles, who also was going to use in the army.

Successful motoparaplane Wehrmacht acted in Poland. Here they first came into real battle with the enemy, and also in the Tuchola Pushcha, they had to overcome real roads, but motorcyclists were able to show their best side: this is favored by the weather it was dry.

However, Poland has made the first “ring” — Kampinoska forest and Sands around the city of Kielce for motorcyclists was impassable — no drive to the sidecar motorcycles bogged down in the sand. In addition, the failed operation for light motorcycles with an engine capacity of 250 – 300 cubic cm transferred loads, often broke down, required careful attention and frequent maintenance. They could only use orderlies at the headquarters, as they had the maintenance time.

PRociety was addressed and corrected. In 1940 the Wehrmacht received a heavy and powerful wheelchair motorcycles BMW and Zundapp with a drive to the sidecar wheel.

Seven bends a mile

“Operation Barbarossa” was the last operation in which took part a large of the motorcycle division. On the Eastern front were involved in 20 battalions of motorcyclists as part of armored divisions and the battalions that are included motorcycling and mountain infantry divisions and SS divisions.

All went well until the autumn of 1941, and when charged rains, slush – mud, clay, swamps, made it impossible for the moving motorcycle, even on the roads. On light motorcycles, the fighters fell, and the heavy – stuck in the mud up to the wheel hubs.

not only that, in the Russian mud on the roads and broke even such reliable bikes, like BMW. Due to difficulties with the supply of any delays in delivery of spare parts, and motorcycles have become a headache for support services. And the harsh Russian frosts generally questioned the operation of motorcycles, not designed for winter.

Given that the manufacturer of the motorcycle has cost Germany more expensive than the production car, it became clear that the idea failed.

the Hitlerite command had to withdraw fighters from motorcycles and attach them to motorized battalions. Since 1942 the Wehrmacht instead of the motorcycles began to arrive amphibious vehicles VW Schwimmwagen and powerful cars. “Bikers” turned into a pantsergrenadery or became part of intelligence.

In fact, the history of the use of motor units ended in 1943 at Stalingrad, where the Soviet army defeated the Sixth army of the Wehrmacht.

Maya Novik

© Russian Seven

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