Hello and welcome to my site devoted to the Leichter Panzerspähwagen series of 4 wheeled drive armoured scout cars. If you’ve visited the site before you’ll be aware of my on going project to build a replica Sd.Kfz.222, with the project now complete I feel its time to change the direction of this site into a one stop information point about this series of versatile armoured scout cars covering both the 2cm KwK38 armed 222 version, the radio (fu) 223 and the Kleiner Panzerfunkwagen 260/261 models used by the reconnaissance battalions Aufklärungs-Abteilungen of the Wehrmach Panzer divisions.
To understand an Aufklärungs units role it is important for us to discover and understand how the German Army as a whole classified and conducted reconnaissance operations during the war period. German Army reconnaissance techniques & doctrine of the period was sub divided by OKH & OKW into three distinct categories: Operative (Operational) Aufklärung, Taktische (Tactical) Aufklärung and Gefechts (Battle) Aufklärung.
For the German Wehrmacht, conducting operational reconnaissance routinely employed armoured vehicles of both tracked and wheeled type. They usually penetrated over a large area and in great depth providing vital information for strategic planning and action at command level. This type of reconnaissance was described in German field manuals of the time as being “cunning, clever, bold and decisive”, with the intention of determining the location and activities of enemy forces, locality of rail concentrations, displacements of enemy personnel, tank dispositions, loading or unloading areas of army elements and equipment, and the construction of field fortifications through ground based observation since aerial reconnaissance often missed these smaller, but vital details.
The Reconnaissance battalion's entire reason of being rests upon the gathering of this information for its parent formation, and for this task flexibility is the key requisite. Equally fundamental to this was radio communication procedure as the radio equipment carried is the reconnaissance vehicle's principal weapon. Consequently a high degree of mobility in operational areas is essential.
However, occasions may arise when the tactical information hunted has to be fought for, and in this context some protection and firepower is useful, but a balance between armour and mobility must be maintained with adequate protection provided for the crew whilst not impairing the vehicles overall performance. Nevertheless it must be also emphasised that the best results are obtained through undetected observation, and that contact with the enemy should be avoided if at all possible.