Page 118: Alert reader Paul from the UK has provided additional information for the section concerning “Higher Commands,” specifically the Fallschirm-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 12 and 11.
Both your narrative and the organizational diagram describes this unit as having 5 companies, one of Panzerspähwagen and three of SPW’s, plus a supply company.
This has always struck me as an odd organization for an airborne corps, in so much that Fallschirmjäger (excepting the HG Division of course) were fundamentally infantry, whereas the reconnaissance battalion as described is effectively an armored one and issued armored vehicles. It does not not add up, even though the diagram is German WWII and shows that situation.
As it happens, I have had some recent correspondence with a gentleman, who has researched this formation quite deeply and his research has yielded an entirely different unit structure and one that makes more sense, particularly with regard to the infantry versus armor comments above.
The data are compiled from US Army POW interrogations of personnel who had been assigned to Fallschirm-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 12 and had been captured in Normandy, they stated that the battalion had the following organization:
- Headquarters: 1x 6×6 Italian Armored Car, 3x Italian B4 tanks
- 1st Company (Rifle): 2x VW Kübelwagen, 8x trucks, 3x half-tracks (SPW?)
- 2nd Company (Rifle):As in the 1st Company
- 3rd Company (Rifle):As in the 1st Company
- 4th Company (Light Antiaircraft): 4x 2cm Flak (not verified)
- 5th Company (Heavy Weapons): 1x 12cm mortar, 2x Pak 40, 12x trucks
- 6th Company (Maintenance and Supply)
All company commanders are named in these reports, and it is also possible that the half-tracks mentioned might well be something like Kettenkräder for gun towing or something similar.
So, as you can see, there is no commonality between the diagram and your narrative that goes with it and these POW statements. As the airborne corps was essentially infantry, the POW descriptions make much more sense. Their poor levels of equipment do very much reflect units put together in 1944.