By Gordon L. Rottman
Wrestle reconnaissance, the perform of sending small teams of squaddies prior to the most physique of forces was once hired via the entire significant armies in global battle II. they might both creep in the course of the panorama or velocity via enemy territory in mild armored cars or jeeps, bristling with laptop weapons, to record at the place and energy of the enemy.
This ebook examines the usually dicy strategies and their devastating casualty premiums. The gear hired by means of strive against reconnaissance teams through the warfare is investigated as are the quick alterations in strategies that resulted from operational mess ups, and the necessities of differing terrain and operational theaters, which observed reconnaissance forces use various shipping from horses to boats and lightweight tanks. considering the bettering radio expertise to be had to either Axis and Allied reconnaissance forces, Gordon L Rottman offers an important perception into an underestimated element of the militia, whose paintings wouldn't in basic terms keep lives yet extensively affected the end result of the battle.
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Extra resources for World War II Combat Reconnaissance Tactics
Some of our men are a little too inclined to think of a patrol at four or five [o'clock] in the afternoon, and send it out that same night. To be worth a damn, a fighting patrol must start off with an odds-on chance... not six-to-four or even money, but a good two-to-one bet. To make this possible, your information has got to be really good and up to date. As regards to composition of fighting patrols, there is a wide divergence of opinion. In this battalion we go on the principle of maximum firepower with minimum manpower, and our patrols have usually consisted of an officer, a noncom, and nine men - in other words, an assault group consisting of an officer, three [grenade]-throwers, and three Tommy gunners, and a support group of a noncom and three Bren gunners.
The unit which is to perform such a reconnaissance may vary in size from a company to a battalion with artillery support. If the Germans expect to encounter unusually well-fortified positions with prepared obstacles, a unit consisting of engineers, heavy artillery and tanks is integrated into the reconnaissance party. The Germans try to conduct a reconnaissance-in-force with all the speed they can achieve. If their first attempt is unsuccessful, they often repeat an attack, sometimes immediately after the first failure.
They try to reach positions on the flanks without attracting attention, and then suddenly attack a previously assigned objective for the purpose of capturing a [prisoner for interrogation]. In general, the objectives are those which have been discovered by lookouts and listening scouts. After capturing a number of outposts, the Germans send details of two and three men into our rear areas. Our wide-awake unit commanders often take advantage of these tactics for the purpose of counter-reconnaissance.