Kradschützen Truppen (Motorcycle Troops) – Wartime Pictures

Kradschützen Truppen motorcycle troops were motorized, lightly armed and highly mobile infantry units of the German Wehrmacht and Waffen SS, usually incorporated into the Panzer Divisions.

The Wehrmacht developed Kradschützen as a rapid mobile assault and reconnaissance force from 1936 and were used extensively during the early stages of the Second World War as part of the German Blitzkrieg successes (1939-1940) and Operation Barbarossa Invasion of Russia (June 1941).

On 31st January 1943, the German 6th Army under Field Marshal Frederick Von Paulus finally surrendered at Stalingrad to the Russians. After Stalingrad the tide of war turned against the Germans who were forced to develop defensive strategies as they were slowly pushed back by the ever increasing strength and resources of Russian and Anglo – American forces.

German defensive strategy development included Kampfgruppen as an ad hoc combined arms formation, usually employing combination of tanks, infantry, artillery, anti-tank elements, generally organised for a particular task or operation. A Kampfgruppe could range in size from a corps to company, but the most common was an Abteilung (battalion)-sized formation. Kampfgruppen were generally referred to by either their commanding officer’s name or the parent division, such as Kampfgruppe Peiper.

The development of kampfgruppen, panzer grenadier regiments and armoured halftracks meant that large formations of lightly armed Kradschutzen motorcycle troops became obsolete with the soldiers being transferred to other services such as panzer grenadier regiments and kampfgruppen. For the remainder of the war the motorcycles were now relegated to support roles such as despatch riders, messengers and light reconnaissance etc…

Wehrmacht Motorcycles (Krads)

BMW R12 Combo (1936-1945)

BMW R12 Combo (1936-1945). Main Kradschutzen motorcycle during early war Blitzkrieg (1939 – 1940) and Operation Barbarossa Invasion of Russia (1941) periods.

DKW nz350-dkw-nz-350-big

DKW NZ 350 – Used by solo Dispatch Riders (Kradmelder) throughout the war (1938-1945).

BMW R75 Combo (1943 - 1945). Heavy 2 wheel drive motorcycle.

BMW R75 Combo (1943 – 1945). Heavy 2 wheel drive motorcycle.

Kradschutzen Motorcycle Troops – Wartime Photographs

Waffen SS Kradschutzen von Leibstandarte Adolf Hilter (LAH).

Waffen SS Kradschutzen von Leibstandarte Adolf Hilter (LAH).

"Waffen SS" "Kradschutzen" "Leibstandarte Adolf Hilter"

Waffen SS Kradschutzen von Leibstandarte Adolf Hilter (LAH).

"Waffen SS" "Kradschutzen" "Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler"

Waffen SS Kradschutzen von Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LAH)

 

BMW R12 Krad Schutzen Totenkopf 1 WSS BMW Krad Totenkopf 1 BMW R71 SS57172 Kradmelder Totenkopf 1

DKW NZ Krad Totenkopf 5  DKW NZ Krad Totenkopf 4 DKW NZ Krad Totenkopf 2 Russland, Kradschütze, Beiwagenkrad BMW R75 Krad Combo Mud 1 BMW R75 Krad Combo Mud 2 BMW R12 WH103601 BMW R12 WH22206 1

BMW R75 Combo (1943 - 1945). Heavy 2 wheel drive motorcycle with trailer.

BMW R75 Combo (1943 – 1945). Heavy 2 wheel drive motorcycle with trailer.

DKW NZ Krad Totenkopf 1

DKW NZ350 Krad with Sidecar Waffen SS Totenkopf Division

BMW R SS Kradmelder 1 DKW SB200 Kradmelder 1 DKW Kradmelder Totenkopf 1 BMW R71 Kradmelder Totenkopf 11 BMW R71 Kradmelder Totenkopf 10 BMW R66 Kradmelder Totenkopf 12 BMW R35 Kradmelder Loaded Up 2 BMW R35 Kradmelder Loaded Up 1 BMW R SS Kradmelder 1 WSS Kradschutzen Haircut totenkopf-relax  DKW NZ350 SS50029 2 Totenkopf BMW R12 Krad Combo Totenkopf 1 DKW NZ SS50029 Krad Totenkopf 10   DKW NZ Krad Totenkopf 3   BMW R75 Krad Combo Totenkopf 5  BMW R71 Kradmelder Totenkopf 11 BMW R71 Kradmelder Totenkopf 10 BMW R66 Kradmelder Totenkopf 12 BMW R35 SS52012 Krad Totenkopf 1 BMW R12 Krad Combo Totenkopf 6 BMW R12 Krad Combo Totenkopf 2 BMW R12 Krad Combo Totenkopf 1   BMW R12 Krad SS65510 1 BMW R12 Krad Combo SS 1

DKW NZ350 WSS Kradmelder 2