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trajan

German military motorcycle messengers - did they exist?

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trajan

Reading a mention of the bicycle messengers who made up a regular part of a German regiment, it suddenly struck me that while I have seen many a photograph of GB military messengers on motorbikes, I can't recall ever seeing a photograph of a German military messenger on one... Were motorbikes not used by the German military? Anybody out there who can satisfy my curiosity on this matter?

 

Trajan

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GreyC

Hi Trajan,

there were so called Kraftradfahr-Formationen from the autumn of 1914 on, they got their badge in August 1915 in the shape of a motorcycle on their collar, like the Kraftfahrer had their metal car on the collar. Whereas you find the Kraftfahrer-Emblem once in a while (two versions) the Kraftrad-Emblem is rare. i don´t have one yet, unfortunately, will send you photo privately.

GreyC

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trajan

Cheers GreyC! I thought that there should be some of these guys, but couldn't recall seeing anything. There again, if that rare to see an emblem or postcard or photograph, no wonder such a thing would have passed me by... Does Somers Imperial German Armies in Field Grey show an example? The relevant volume is out of my hands at the moment...

 

Julian

 

Edited by trajan

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GreyC

Hi trajan,

don´t know, but try index Kraus Kraftradfahrer.

GreyC

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The Prussian

Hello!

Cron says:
"Kraftradfahrer versahen den Meldedienst bei höheren Stäben und den Kolonnen" (Motor cyclists served in higher staffs and train-colums as a service of depatch riders.

Since september  1914, "Kraftradfahr-Abteilungen" (Motor-cyclist detachements) were set-up to protect the lines of communication.

Since 1915 they were under command of the "Etappen-Inspekteure" (Lines of communication inspectorates)

 

Unfortunately I don´t have a photo of the collar badge. Only  of the car...

There were two different car badges. I think an old and a new one or a private purchase.

Note: Only those men with a driver-license could wear such a badge!

Somers had some photos of the cyclists, but no visible collar patch...

Kraftfahr-Btl. (Kraftrad 1).JPG

Kraftfahr-Btl. (Kraftrad 2).JPG

Radfahrer-Kompagnie Wesel (Kraftrad NSU 3,5 PS 1914).jpg

Alpenkorps  (Edelweiß, Kraftfahrer).JPG

Kraftfahrer (Kragenabzeichen).JPG

Kraftfahrer, Lederlitewka, Schulterklappe, 2 Mann).JPG

Edited by The Prussian

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SiegeGunner

No photos, Julian, but over the years I have encountered numbers of references in my translation work to motorcycle despatch riders  ...  particularly for carrying orders/reports and the like between the headquarters of higher levels of command in the rear of the front.  The means of carrying important messages was obviously decided according to local conditions, and motorcycle despatch riders seem to have been favoured where there were half-way decent roads, on which the motorcyclist could manoeuvre around holes/obstacles and past slow-moving traffic. 

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trajan
20 hours ago, GreyC said:

... try index Kraus Kraftradfahrer.

 

Next stop when home again!

 

9 hours ago, The Prussian said:

Cron says:
"Kraftradfahrer versahen den Meldedienst bei höheren Stäben und den Kolonnen" (Motor cyclists served in higher staffs and train-colums as a service of depatch riders.

Since september  1914, "Kraftradfahr-Abteilungen" (Motor-cyclist detachements) were set-up to protect the lines of communication.

Since 1915 they were under command of the "Etappen-Inspekteure" (Lines of communication inspectorates)

Radfahrer-Kompagnie Wesel (Kraftrad NSU 3,5 PS 1914).jpg

 

 

Thanks Andy  and that photograph of the Radfahrer is astounding! What a mix of units, uniforms, and weaponry!

 

4 hours ago, SiegeGunner said:

...  I have encountered numbers of references in my translation work to motorcycle despatch riders  ...  particularly for carrying orders/reports and the like between the headquarters of higher levels of command in the rear of the front.  The means of carrying important messages was obviously decided according to local conditions, and motorcycle despatch riders seem to have been favoured where there were half-way decent roads, on which the motorcyclist could manoeuvre around holes/obstacles and past slow-moving traffic. 

 

Cheers Mick - so these chaps are around (see Andy and GreyC above), but not that common - or, shall we agree? - less common than for GB units?

 

Julian

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GreyC

Hi Julian,

have seen three photos in the last 5 years of motorcycle on collar and dozens of cars on collars for their four-wheeled counterparts, just to give you an idea..

GreyC

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trajan
19 minutes ago, GreyC said:

Hi Julian,

have seen three photos in the last 5 years of motorcycle on collar and dozens of cars on collars for their four-wheeled counterparts, just to give you an idea..

GreyC

 

Rare then... I look out for photographs  of 'Ersatz' bayonets with known units, and compared to 'Regular' bayonets with known units they are, well, as rare as finding a curry wurst stand on the Reeperbahn... So, Kraftfahrrader photographs are the ones to keep on eye on for the future as more stable financially than,  e.g., Bitcoin?

Edited by trajan

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GreyC

Too close to call!

GreyC

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SiegeGunner
On ‎09‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 13:38, trajan said:

Cheers Mick - so these chaps are around (see Andy and GreyC above), but not that common - or, shall we agree? - less common than for GB units?

 

Certainly around, Julian, but I really can't say if they were more or less common than on the British side, because I've never looked for them systematically ... just encountered them in the course of translating documents from various different parts of the WF and at various times.  I've also come across (horse-) mounted despatch riders carrying messages over broken country in the rear.  As best as I can judge, it seems to have been a case of 'horses for courses', and motorcycles were used where they were available and best-suited to the terrain and the job to be done. 

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GreyC

 

Hi,

today we had a postcard collector´s fair in town and I got lucky. The emblems are not very clear and a bit small, but I have never seen two on one pic. And it was affordble at that as the quality was not that good. As comparison to the Kraftradfahrer-Abzeichen the older version of the Kraftfahr-Abzeichen. All I need now is a good photo of the new one.

Enjoy.

GreyC

KraftradfahrerAbzeichenklCopy.jpg.5994dc99589693f7b8fa2a76cf00cf62.jpgKraftradAbz_D2.jpg.6e76bcb759af56bdb739df9f66523bf0.jpg

KraftfahrerAbz_Dkl.jpg.827fd0f1ab538d5eee91152da6158424.jpg

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trajan

Oh well done! You said you had been looking for something like this for ages - and finally something comes along!

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The Prussian

Great photos!!!!! I also look for them since a couple of years! Congrats!

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Waddell

The motorcycle with the distinctive triangular tank is a Wanderer and the more conventional looking motorcycle may well be an NSU, both of whom made motorcycles for the military.

 

A very interesting thread this. I was unaware of the car and motorcycle collar badges.

 

Scott

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trajan
2 hours ago, Waddell said:

... A very interesting thread this. I was unaware of the car and motorcycle collar badges. 

 

I was aware of the car badges and likewise of the "Little engine that could" type worn by railway guys, but like you, I had no idea on these motorcycle ones!

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GreyC

Thank you guys! Glad you like it..

@ Scott: Thank you. Can confirm the NSU in #7. Was wandering (pun not intended) about he bike in #12. Wanderer also supplied loads of cars to the military, nicknamed Puppchen.

GreyC

5a2ead7f13280_xWanderer_Kolonne_Siebenburgen24111917_KleinGrey.jpg.e1a44007949affe28cb2ff8d09e424aa.jpg

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