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RicemanCDN
01-29-2009, 12:44 AM
i just resently read some things on a canadian dispatch rider and iw as wondering what kind of machines they used. i know they used the Harley Davidson WLC and the Norton 16H motor cycles but i was also wondering about there Triumph and Indian motor cycles. Also was there offensive biker units and what kind of bikes did the germans use (you know the one with the side car) all help is a appreciated.


http://www.vturalcycles.com/images/hp1.jpg
I guess the Russians had them to cause these men have DP-28s

Nickdfresh
01-29-2009, 09:34 AM
I'm not a motorcycle junky, but I know Indian made a military bike as well as a lot of police bikes before, during, and after WWII...

http://www.cycletownusa.com/841.html

Nickdfresh
01-29-2009, 09:38 AM
The Indian 741 was the standard bike they made for the Army, the 841 was an experimental larger model that nixed in favor of the Jeep...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxiCtZMSiiY

RicemanCDN
01-29-2009, 06:42 PM
So no one could find any info on any German or allied tactics cause i know they were used to send messages from armoured units to armoured units and i know they were Command posts main way of quick package delivery. But i once saw a propoganda poster of a man doing a wheelie on one and he had a M1 in the Rifle Holister and in the background was a knight on a horse with it on its hind legs and it kinda showed they used them offensivly and u also always see germans with there side cars and MG 34s so they obviously attacked with them and i know the germans had bicycle unit that carried MG 34s under the frame of the bike for offensive action. so i am wondering about the offensive actions of these fine machines or just waht kind of bikes they were other then the three we already got. Pictures would help to!:)
THANKS!!!

flamethrowerguy
01-29-2009, 07:22 PM
Within the Wehrmacht you got to differentiate between Dispatch Riders ("Krad-Melder") and regular motorbike troops ("Krad-Schützen", usually Battalion strength).
It's unlikely that a Dispatch Runner uses a bike with sidecar (and mounted MG) since he's acting all on his own, hence the "Solo-Krad".

31593160
Krad-Melder (with "Solo-Krad") and a column of Krad-Schützen (with "Beiwagen-Krad)

RicemanCDN
01-29-2009, 08:53 PM
Well How did they use the Motor cycle soldat

Churchill
01-29-2009, 09:21 PM
I would use them as a light recon vehicle. I wonder what they were actually used for...

RicemanCDN
01-29-2009, 09:25 PM
well no shit i asked if they fought hence why i said offensivly how were they used

flamethrowerguy
01-30-2009, 04:29 AM
As Churchill wrote, primarily they were supposed to do recce tasks. However with the Wehrmacht forced more and more onto the defensive they were basically used for everything (filling front gaps, motorized infantry etc. pp.)

Nickdfresh
01-30-2009, 09:38 AM
So no one could find any info on any German or allied tactics cause i know they were used to send messages from armoured units to armoured units and i know they were Command posts main way of quick package delivery. But i once saw a propoganda poster of a man doing a wheelie on one and he had a M1 in the Rifle Holister and in the background was a knight on a horse with it on its hind legs and it kinda showed they used them offensivly and u also always see germans with there side cars and MG 34s so they obviously attacked with them and i know the germans had bicycle unit that carried MG 34s under the frame of the bike for offensive action. so i am wondering about the offensive actions of these fine machines or just waht kind of bikes they were other then the three we already got. Pictures would help to!:)
THANKS!!!


With my limited knowledge on the subject (resulting from some research I did on the "One Percenters" motorcycle gangs that arose in the US and Canada largely sprung from War Vets that were trained in the War), I think the US use of motorcyclists as dispatch riders was rather limited due to the success of the Jeep and other smaller four wheel vehicles. They were certainly used and motorcycles saw action in all theaters, but they were limited and really didn't play that big of a part despite the romantic aspects...

The "trick" you saw with the rider using an M-1 was more likely a demonstration unlikely to be useful in combat. And motorcyclists were never useful as any sort of neo-cavalry any more than horsemen were. They were however extensively trained and from what I saw had to undergo a rigorous training program riding over rough terrain. Some were used as perhaps pickets or for recon, but they had limited usefulness in combat, even as runners. The resources allocated for bikes were better spent in Jeeps and other four wheel vehicles which could carry more people and cargo...

Nickdfresh
01-30-2009, 09:41 AM
well no shit

No need to be snippy!


i asked if they fought hence why i said offensivly how were they used

How effective do you think a single guy riding on a bike is going to be as an offensive weapon? I'm not sure, but I think the Heer ditched the motorcycle sidecars with the MG34s as a waste or resources...

pdf27
01-30-2009, 09:45 AM
As Churchill wrote, primarily they were supposed to do recce tasks. However with the Wehrmacht forced more and more onto the defensive they were basically used for everything (filling front gaps, motorized infantry etc. pp.)

Achtung-Panzer! says pretty much the same thing - motorcycle troops to provide light, fast recce (essentially the same task the British Army currently carries out with the CVR-T family of vehicles).

RicemanCDN
01-30-2009, 02:05 PM
Well What Types or Bikes were used? all i know is the harley davidsion WLC and Norton 16H bikes were used though the 16H was a small 1 cylinder bike. could any one give me info german bikes. and the allied use of indian and triumph motor cycles

flamethrowerguy
01-30-2009, 02:13 PM
Wehrmacht:

Light motorbikes:
- DKW RT 125
- NSU 251 OSL
- Triumph BD 250/1
- Zündapp DB 200

Medium motorbikes:
- BMW R 4
- BMW R 35
- DKW NZ 350
- Victoria KR 35 WH

Heavy motorbikes:
- BMW R 12
- NSU 601 OSL
- Zündapp K 500 W
- Zündapp K 800 W
- Zündapp KS 600 W

Heavy motorbikes with powered sidecar:
- BMW R 75
- Zündapp KS 750

RicemanCDN
01-30-2009, 10:33 PM
Wehrmacht:

Light motorbikes:
- DKW RT 125
- NSU 251 OSL
- Triumph BD 250/1
- Zündapp DB 200

Medium motorbikes:
- BMW R 4
- BMW R 35
- DKW NZ 350
- Victoria KR 35 WH

Heavy motorbikes:
- BMW R 12
- NSU 601 OSL
- Zündapp K 500 W
- Zündapp K 800 W
- Zündapp KS 600 W

Heavy motorbikes with powered sidecar:
- BMW R 75
- Zündapp KS 750

WOW thanks!!!! do u think u could hook me up with some pictures to?

kamehouse
01-31-2009, 04:37 AM
http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee44/kamehouse-uk/Bastogne%20museum/BattleofthebulgeMuseums320.jpg
Zundapp 750(?) I think from the Bastogne museum.Funnily enough I went with my father and he told me these motorbikes were in use in the French army after the war notably in Algeria.
I'll add some more as I find them.
http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee44/kamehouse-uk/La%20Gleize%20museum/BattleofthebulgeMuseums416.jpg
From La Gleize museum.Not sure which motorbike it is though.This museum is quite small and stuffed with too many things so I couldn't get a better picture.
The next ones are from the "guerre et paix" museum:
http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee44/kamehouse-uk/Novion%20Museum/BattleofthebulgeMuseums209.jpg

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee44/kamehouse-uk/Novion%20Museum/BattleofthebulgeMuseums194.jpg
I think these two are DKW 350 typ N2

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee44/kamehouse-uk/Novion%20Museum/BattleofthebulgeMuseums189.jpg
BMW side-car R 12

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee44/kamehouse-uk/Novion%20Museum/BattleofthebulgeMuseums188.jpg
Zundapp KS 600 with a nice Kfz 15 behind it.


Finally the last one from Prague.BMW for sure but like Nick I am no expert in motorbike.
http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee44/kamehouse-uk/Prague%20museum/Picture061.jpg

Nickdfresh
01-31-2009, 08:53 AM
Nice pics. What I'd like to know is specifically how big a part the motorcycle played in the War from someone whose a bit more obsessed than I. The biker has certainly played a big part in both the Americas and European postwar popular culture. But you really don't see them all that often in War films other than that famous fictional scene with Steve McQueen in the "The Great Escape.".

kamehouse
01-31-2009, 10:50 AM
From what I have read so far about the German army,I would imagine Motorcycle bataillons were more a recon force but also one to be used for "coup de main" kind of attack due to the flexibility and speed of the bataillon.
Not sure about the allied side.

Nickdfresh
01-31-2009, 11:16 AM
From what I have read so far about the German army,I would imagine Motorcycle bataillons were more a recon force but also one to be used for "coup de main" kind of attack due to the flexibility and speed of the bataillon.
Not sure about the allied side.

Theoretically, but I'd like to see something of their record of use....

kamehouse
01-31-2009, 05:13 PM
The coup de main of Belgrade is one of the most known.
http://www.dasreich.ca/belgrade.html
Also in "grenadiers" by Kurt Meyer, there is a lot of description of Motorcycle bataillon during Operation Marita with the Leibstandarte.

Shayne
11-17-2009, 02:01 AM
To answer the initial question Canadian Dispatch Riders (Don R's) rode BSA, Matchless, Triumph, and Norton. The Canadian Provost Corps rode Harley.
Don R's went through them quite quickly usually putting them in the sticks, laying them down, vehicle collisions, etc.

Ross Boring
04-05-2010, 06:11 PM
I too am trying to gather some information on the Canadian army's dispatch riders in WWII. I have attached a photograph of my Uncle Harold taken somewhere (over there) - Italy, I think. I had at first thought this to be a Harley-Davidson and had sent the photo to them in hopes of gathering further info. They were kind enough to respond that the bike in the photo is actually an Indian and I am only now beginning my quest for more information with this new knowledge. I will be more than happy to share with you any information I gather. And I would love to hear from anybody who can assist me in my quest.

Shayne
04-05-2010, 06:58 PM
Very nice picture. I don't believe the Canadians used Indians and that 'looks' like a BSA but I've been wrong before ;-) I'd know better if the lighting was toned down.
Sadly my uncle passed away last Monday so I will not be gleaning any more information from him.
He went from being a DonR to driving tanks as a Recce when his kidneys got too bad from driving the motorbike over tank tracks for years.
When you say you 'sent the photograph to them', who is 'them'?
What unit was your uncle attached to?

Ross Boring
04-06-2010, 11:23 AM
Thanks for getting back to me. Thinking the bike was a Harley I contacted Harley here in the States and worked my way through several departments and eventually was able to forward the picture to HD-Buelservices and they were the folks who identified the bike as an Indian. I'll see what I can do about toning down the picture but it's the only one I have and it's in an album so it may take some time.
I'm sorry to hear about your uncle. I would have loved to ask him some questions. Perhaps you can give me some leads from the information you got from him.
Let me start at the biginning. I had a massive seizure in 1985 and lost most of my personal memories. I could still operate in the business mode but most of my childhood is gone. I'm now 69 years old and my family is asking that I pass along whatever I can. I lost any threads I may have had to my Canadian relatives because of the seizure.
I was born in Montreal and spent most of WW-II at my grandparents and they lived at No. 61 Beaconsfield Rd. Their names are/were Douglas and Margaret Williams and their 3 sons, Tom, Doug and Harold were in the Canadian Army and I believe they left Canada in 1939. Tom was in the Medical Corps and Douglas was an officer (no information beyond that) and Harold was the dispatch rider. I am only now starting a journey to find out what I can about my family. I am hoping I can get enough information to send to the Canadian Army in hopes of them assisting in my quest.

forager
04-06-2010, 11:53 AM
Had a friend who was a Motorcycle scout early in WW2.
He as with the initial effort in N Africa.

He spoke quite a bit about our inadequate equipment and undeveloped tactics.
The Germans also had air superiority at the time.

He rode HD 45s and was with a unit that had 75s mounted on halftracks. Dismal affairs, as described by him.

He went on and served in Italy where they upgraded to scoutcars.

He got a siver star fending off German attacks against his disabled vehicle.


He reported bouncing a couple .50 bullets off the Tower of Pisa when nobody was looking.

Served in Korea and VN with SF assigned to SOG, retiring as a CSM.

Triple CIB recipient before the recent period redesignations.

A tough old bird.

Honored to have known him.




De Opresso Liber

Shayne
04-06-2010, 01:34 PM
If you can get Harold's, or your other uncle's death certificate(s) you can get all of his/their military records from Collections Canada. The records are amazingly comprehensive and well worth tracking down the certificates.
I cannot post links so go to collectionscanada.ca and from there 'genealogy' and then military records. You can print the forms and fax them to Collections Canada and 6 weeks later have more information than you believed possible!

Ross Boring
04-06-2010, 03:16 PM
Hi Shayne,
I really appreciate this lead. I will check the site and see if I can trace the family starting with my grandparents.
Harold was any lads dream uncle. The first thing he did when he got home was to show me his service revolver - then he threw me on the back of his Harley. Now that's just a little bit of heaven. It's wonderful news to know where to go after I find more information and I am most grateful for your help.
I'm pretty sure he was in North Africa because I have a letter he sent my mother just before going in on the Italian campaign. He was on active service so I can't discern whether he was going into Sicily or the Italian mainland. I also know he had enough medals to cover a fedora because I had them as a youngster.

Ross Boring
04-06-2010, 04:39 PM
Thanks for picking up my comment. I am assuming your friend was in the American Army and I would guess he rode a Harley-Davidson WLA. There were a few Indian's available early in the war but then H-D got the contract and built 80-90,000 WLA's and had enough parts at the end of the war to build another 30,000 bikes. Harley also built 1,000 XA models with a shaft drive copied from the German BMW's but not many of those made it into combat because they were not chosen for further production.

Ross Boring
04-13-2010, 05:52 PM
Shayne,

My friend played with the photo a little. I have it as an attachment because I don't know how to put it in the message. I'm hoping the increased detail may be helpful in identifying the bike for you. Your help is appreciated as always!

Rytis
04-14-2010, 10:05 AM
Hello,
There vas a discusion abouth motorbikes in the second world war in Lithuanian vebsite, of whih i am the proud member. You can read the tread here

http://antraspasaulinis.net/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?129286.0

I think it covers al the ofensive or dispath bikes used in the war. I know it is in lithuanian, but names, pictures and links are mostly ok. If you nedd some bit to bee translated just ask.

Abouth the canadian dispath. I think that thei mostly used british bikes like
BSA M20
http://www.autogallery.org.ru/m/bsam20.htm
Ariel W/NG 350
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_W/NG_350
And Matchless G3/L
http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matchless_G3/L