The use of the reconnaissance group.

The Allies 1939-1945, and those fighting against Germany.

Moderator: John W. Howard

Post Reply
User avatar
tigre
Patron
Posts: 7052
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Argentina

The use of the reconnaissance group.

Post by tigre »

Hello to all :D; a French point of view.........................

The use of the reconnaissance group.

Before the war of 1939, during field service and major maneuvers, one fact struck us above all: the fluctuation of ideas in the use of the groupe de reconnaissance (GR). Some of our leaders, and even our great leaders, seemed to want to use the GR as a more or less distant security element, others as a recce detachment.

During the operations of 1939 and 1940, when the Kriegspiele became "the phoney war", this same hesitation was to manifest itself.

Taking advantage of the lessons of experience, we would like here, and very briefly, to draw out lessons for the current or future use of the GR.

Far be it from us to make predictions about the war of tomorrow. We remember too much, unfortunately those of our great masters published in magazines or dailies, before 1914 or after 1918. We still have them before our eyes and will not have the indiscretion to cite them, even anonymously... They make us smile.

Since then, new means have come to disrupt all strategic and tactical ideas. However, let us not hasten to conclude, as we did the day after the trench warfare, the uselessness or impossibility of movement, the uselessness or impossibility of the use of fluid and fast light land units. New weapons can, like old ones, find their solution.

All history is there to prove it to us and no one has the right to assert that the atomic bomb, the rockets, the discovered rays, or to be discovered, parachuting behind enemy lines will be possible tomorrow. Motor vehicles may be stopped on the roads, planes grounded, firearms themselves silenced. Let us also not repeat the fairly frequent error in France, of preparing "the next one", remaining hypnotized by the processes of "the last one". It is not a question of stagnating in a deceptive and criminal routine, but of evolving and progressing. However, it seems to us that we can, for the future, still foresee the rapid action of an element such as the GR, to recognize, provide information, provisionally hold a point or occupy it, and this, even assuming
the use of completely new devices brought to life by our imagination.

We therefore propose, in this short study, to first see what was done in 1939 in the static war, after May 10, 1940, in the Blitzkrieg and then to present what could have been achieved.

I. — The GR in action.

And first of all, we will recall for the record that the GRDI (the only one of interest in our opinion and the one that we will study *), included three combat squadrons: 1 horse squadron, 1 motorcycle squadron, 1 machine-gun and anti-tank gun squadron, plus staff, a total of 24 light machine guns, 10 machine guns and 4 cannons of 25 (2 mounted and 2 horse-drawn). This was the so-called “normal type” GRDI, an absolutely abnormal and illogical type in our opinion. The first quality of a unit is indeed homogeneity, especially when this unit must be flexible, maneuverable and fast. Proceed with an amalgamation of automobiles, motorcycles from 2 to 11 HP, coming from requisition 2 and horses of all ages, all sizes and all gaits (most of which cannot go beyond trotting), is nonsense... to put it mildly.

It would certainly not have occurred to anyone, to prepare for a race or a raid in peacetime, to proceed with a mixture of riders, trucks and motorcycles. And yet it was with such a mix of squadrons that we entered the campaign.

(*) Two reconnaissance groups existed in France in 1939: the GRDI, working for the benefit of the infantry division, and the GRCA, attached to the army corps.

Source: L'emploi du groupe de reconnaissance. Rolland, Henri de. Revue Militaire Suisse. Band (Jahr): 93 (1948). Heft 5

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.
User avatar
tigre
Patron
Posts: 7052
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: The use of the reconnaissance group.

Post by tigre »

Hello to all :D; more........................

The use of the reconnaissance group.

I. — The GR in action.

On February 6, 1940, after a long period of inertia in the Bitche sector and at rest in Alsace, our division (35th DI) was placed at the disposal of the 12th Corps and relieved the 70th in the Pechelbronn sector. Its mission was: on the one hand, to protect the oil wells, on the other hand, to prohibit access to the Alsace plain, and finally, to complete the organization of the land and create a new position in front of the Maginot line on the Haussauerbach.

The deployment of the division was as follows: two sub-sectors were formed on the left, in the foothills of the Vosges, by the 49th infantry regiment, whose lieutenant-colonel's headquarters was installed at the Marienbronn farm; on the right towards the Lauter, by the 123rd RI and the 29th GRDI (CP of the lieutenant-colonel in Ingolsheim).

Each sub-sector itself included two districts, each held by a battalion: to the west, Climbach district and Pigeonnier-Scherol district; to the east, district of Wissembourg, occupied by the infantry and district of Geisberg-Altenstatt, assigned to the GR. On the far right the Hardt and the Moulin de Saint-Remy held by a section of the 123rd.

In second echelon, the 11th RI had 1 battalion in Kutzenhausen, 1 in Retschwïller-Memelshoffen and the third in Lobsann. The artillery was distributed as follows: 1 group of the 14th R.A.D. (guns of 75), at Birlnbach, 1 group at Schonenbourg, 1 group at Keffenach. The 214th R. A. D. (cannons of 155) on the other hand, had 1 group in Lobsann and another in Lampertsloch. The division, flanked on the left by the 28th Alpine Division and on the right by the 23rd Division, installed its headquarters at the
thermal recovery in Morsbronn.

What was, in this whole, the role of the 29th GR. Two very distinct phases must be examined:

1° On March 10, the motorcycle squadron and the mounted machine gun platoon went up alone from Gunstett to the Oberhoffen district: 1 platoon at height 276 towards Weiler, another in reserve at Oberhoffen, 2 in support at heights 216 and 149. All these units remain in place until March 26.

2° On the 27th, the regrouped GR relieved a battalion of the 123rd in the Altenstatt-Geisberg district, and held several support points: the signal box, hill 189, the level crossing, the passage above the Seltz road (*). On the right, an infantry section, which is attached to it, holds, as we have said, the Hardt, the Ciblerie, and the Moulin de Saint-Remy.

Until April 25, the GR will remain in its positions, with the mission of locking itself into a string of isolated islets and holding out at all costs, without any idea of ​​withdrawal.

(*) Note that all these points are essentially identifiable.

Source: L'emploi du groupe de reconnaissance. Rolland, Henri de. Revue Militaire Suisse. Band (Jahr): 93 (1948). Heft 5

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Attachments
Deployment in the defensive sector...............................
Deployment in the defensive sector...............................
image073.jpg (33 KiB) Viewed 82 times
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.
Post Reply