The Motorcycle Regiment

The motorcycle regiment was one of those obscure units in military history. At least according to one Soviet World War II organization, it was essentially a reinforced motorcycle-heavy battalion with motorized artillery and, at least on paper, a tank company, that could act as a forward detachment or be broken up into recon patrols without issue. Some descriptions have them being multi-battalion formations.

A postwar set of field regulations on regimental operations describes it as follows.

A motorcycle regiment (battalion) is a tactical unit (small unit). It is made up of battalions (companies) and other small units. The regiment (battalion) is intended for conducting reconnaissance of the enemy. In addition, it has the capacity to:.
— pursue the retreating enemy, destroy headquarters and signal centers, and disrupt the work of the enemy rear;
— destroy enemy airborne landings;
— seize crossings, important lines,, and objectives, and hold them until the arrival of friendly troops;
— protect the exposed flanks of friendly troops.
The motorcycle regiment and battalion can carry out reconnaissance missions operating as an entity or as small units which are designated as reconnaissance detachments and separate reconnaissance patrols.
Independent of the character of the combat mission to be carried out, the motorcycle regiment and battalion may be reinforced with artillery, tanks, self propelled artillery, small units of special troops, and air support.

The motorcycle regiment was made obsolete by increased mechanization (the recon battalion in later large units fills more or less the same role), but it’s one of those unconventional formations I have a strange interest in.

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