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Digital Subscriptions > Military Modelcraft International > January 2018 > Armour in Proile 18 Armour in Proile 18

Armour in Proile 18 Armour in Proile 18

Thomas Anderson examines the armoured reconnaissance units of the Wehrmacht in combat during World War II.

Reconnaissance, and in particular close reconnaissance is, and was, vital to the success of any military operation. In Die Panzertruppen General Heinz Guderian wrote: Recce units shall provide facts about the enemy for the own leadership. We distinguished between air reconnaissance, ground reconnaissance, signal intelligence and intelligence corps reconnaissance. Here, I want to focus only on the second term. In the 1930s Germany developed armoured cars, which were used with success throughout the war. However, as early as 1935 a heavy half-tracked reconnaissance vehicle (the H 8 H) was planned, and in mid- 1939 the first ideas on fullytracked reconnaissance vehicles evolved. The latter would result in the Panzerspähwagen ‘Luchs’, but the H 8 H design did not enter mass production and disappeared.

The invasion of Russia, however, posed new challenges to the victorious Wehrmacht. One was the lack of good roads: in both autumn and spring, large parts of the country were transformed into bottomless mud. The wheeled armoured cars were useless under such conditions, even tanks and half-tracks reached their limits. Pz.Aufkl.Abt.1 set up requirements for a full cross-country capability by December 1942. They reported:

Armour protection: Protection against SmK ammunition is regarded as sufficient. According to our experiences a complete protection against weapons like the Russian AT rifles won’t be possible for recce vehicles, where weight is limited. Armament: 2 cm weapon or AT rifle. As a secondary weapon we suggest the MG 34. For a later model we strive for a weapon capable of dealing with the armour of medium tanks. HE shells should be available. Retention of the Achtradwagen (eight-wheeled armoured car) platoon is not considered necessary.

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About Military Modelcraft International

Inside this month's issue: - IDF Puma. Ivan Momcilovic Momcha presents some IDF heavy armour. - Iranian Shilka. Vorya Hidaryan joins the MMI team with Meng’s sublime Shilka. - The Russian Tiger. Bryan Krueger builds a Soviet KV prototype.