Chapter 1 covers the history of armored reconnaissance, with its historical roots, its cavalry tradition and its role in the age of armor. It explores the “schoolhouse,” that is the cavalry school and its role in developing tactics and doctrine in prewar Germany andapplying those concepts through the use of training and the establishment of the Kavallerie-Lehr- und Versuchs-Abteilung at Krampnitz. It then traces the evolution of theory as refined by the realities of the battlefield and the wartime situation of Germany, focusing on and comparing both prewar and late-war doctrinal manuals (both of which are translated in their entirety as appendices). In addition, an early-war primer for the training of scout sections is reviewed and examples drawn from it illustrating the typical scenarios scout crews could encounter on the battlefield.
Please note that sample pages here are illustrative only. Actual layout will differ slightly, however, the text and images will remain the same.
In addition to the main-body text, there are a number of sidebars devoted to the chapter theme:
- An excerpt from a wartime publication outlining correct and incorrect methods of employment for armored reconnaissance assets (done in the typical German richtig and falsch style of the period.
- Several after-action reports that were printed in the periodical Die Panzertruppe that was published by the force-structure branch of the Army High Command. These include an AAR from a “c” type armored scout company (armed with the light Sd.Kfz. 250 series of vehicles, including the scout halftrack, the Sd. Kfz. 250/9) and another AAR concerning the experiences of an armored reconnaissance battalion organized under the freie Gliederung concept (both published in late 1944).
- A selection of images from the photo album of a scout assigned to Aufklärungs-Abteilung 2 (mot), illustrating the life and training of an armored scout in prewar Germany.
- A selection of images illustrating different aspects of training and doctrine as it pertained to the armored reconnaissance force.
Each chapter also contains additional images tracing the Panzeraufklärungstruppe through the war. Chapter 1 highlights images of prewar reconnaissance battalion and the Campaign in Poland.