Panzer Reconnaisance Demonstration Battalions

Discussion in 'Axis Units' started by jerrymurland, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. jerrymurland

    jerrymurland Junior Member

    Reading Guderian;s Panzer Leader I have come across the term Reconnaissance Demonstration Battalion, a term he uses on Sketch Map 5 as well. Despite Googling frantically I'm still not sure what this unit was or did. Being a bear of little brain, does anyone feel like enlightening me as to what these/this unit actually did?

  2. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Surely its sounds like a bodged translation of

    Panzer-Aufklärungs-Lehr-Abteilung 130

    Panzer-Aufklärungs-Lehr-Abteilung 130 • Axis History Forum

    Basically Panzer Lehr Division's Aufklärungs Battalion, aka Reconnaissance Battalion.

    Panzer Lehr itself broadly translates to Armoured Demonstration, and was lavishly equipped as a whole. Quite a few good books out there on its constituent units if you want to dig deeper.

    Essentially Aufklärungs Battalions were mounted in half-tracks and armoured cars, used for reconnaissance and odd jobs. Very, very versatile unit for Panzer Division's to have to hand, not dissimilar in use to our Recce Regiments. They packed a lot of punch and could help throw an enemy attack off balance, or be divvied up into Companies and loaned to different sectors where an armoured counter-attacking asset was needed.
    4jonboy and Drew5233 like this.
  3. steelers708

    steelers708 Junior Member

    I suspect, not having my copy to hand, that it is a translation of Lehr und Versuchsabteilung. The original reconnaisance instructional battalion was the Kavallerie Lehr und Versuchsabteilung set up in 1938, the battalion served a variety of purposes. It provided demonstrations to visiting dignitaries, supervised the hands on training component for those taking training courses and it was also responsible for testing new equipment.

    The battalion participated in the occupation of Austria and the Sudetenland and later served in Poland and France. After the campaign in France it carried on it's original 'teaching' role until 1941 when it was attached to the 1.Kavallerie division and fought in Russia, before returning to Krampnitz, it's home base. It was redesignated Kradschutzen-Lehr-Abteilung in 1942 and returned to the Eastern Front and was attached to the 11th Panzer division. It returned to Krampnitz in late 1942 and was redesignated as Panzer Aufklarungs Lehr Abteilung in April 1943, later that year the battalion provided a cadre and personnel for the formation of the Panzer Grenadier Lehr Regiment. The remainder of the battalion were reasigned in September 1943 to reconstitute the Aufklarung Abteilung of the 21st Panzer division.

    The Panzer Lehr division was formed in December 1943 from the demonstration units of the various Panzer Schools which served the same purpose for armoured troops as the Kavallerie Lehr und Versuchsabteilung.
  4. jerrymurland

    jerrymurland Junior Member

    Thanks guys , as I suspected there was a difference between the standard Armoured Recce Battalion and the Demonstration Battalion. Most helpful
  5. steelers708

    steelers708 Junior Member

    I just checked my copy and Guderian is talking about the Polish and French campaigns so it definitely isn't the Panzer Aufklarungs Lehr Abteilung he's talking about, and then on page 65 he mentions Doberitz-Krampnitz so it's the Kavallerie Lehr und Versuchsabteilung he's on about as that was it's home base.
  6. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    Two very good books on German motorised reconnaissance units are 'Tip Of The Spear' and 'Scouts Out', both by Robert Edwards.
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Do they cover much on 1940 in France?
  8. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    The two books have a combined page count of over 1000 pages and cover the origins, composition, insignia, uniforms, unit histories and organisation charts, vehicle details and the various campaigns.
    For the west in 1940 there are around 56 pages.
  9. Trackfrower

    Trackfrower Member


    Got the books you mentioned.
    Tip Of The Spear is very good, but Scouts Out is a very hard read, almost a textbook.
    Plenty of photos, but not sure about using coloured in film for reference!

    hucks216 likes this.

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