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2 Leichte Division

During the years immediately prior to the attack on Poland, the German Army was in rapid expansion and transition. Units that had been officially noted as Cavalry were reconfigured into " light divisions " and were tasked to perform many traditional modern warfare roles of armored cavalry units: reconnaissance, rapid exploitation, screening and delay missions. Four light divisions were built, basically configured with two mobile infantry battalions, an engineer battalion, two mobile artillery battalions, a reconnaissance battalion and a Kradschutzen battalion as well as support troops. Following Poland, generally with the addition of newly created or reassigned tank battalions, they were redesignated at Panzer Divisions.

  I believe this shows part of the 6th Recon Battalion, subordinate to the 7th Recon Regiment at Grafenwoehr in 1938 or 1939. Their home station during this period was in the Hammelberg - BK - Meiningen area. The battalion is massed, in foreground, support vehicles, then Kradschutzen motorcycles and in the distance, scout vehicles.  

In November 1938, the 7th Reconnaissance Regiment, consisting of a reconnaissance battalion and a Kradschutzen battalion appears to have been built up in the vacant barracks areas at Hammelberg - Bad Kissingen - Meiningen area following the departure of the 2 Panzer Division. This unit was assigned to the 2 Leichte Division. Specific locations of units during the brief months prior to deployment to Poland are unknown; Manteuffel Kaserne appears to have been home to the Kradschutzen battalion and perhaps, a company or two of the scout battalion. The 6th Recon Battalion was one unit that appears to have been merged into the 7th Recon Regiment. Seen here, a selection of images related to the pre - war activities of that unit. None can be tied specifically to Bad Kissingen, we speculate that they may have been taken at the training areas at Grafenwoehr.

  The photographer walks through the motor park, into the scout vehicles and catches the reverse perspective. The observation tower at Grafenwoehr is visible on the horizon.  

Deployed to the invasion of Poland, the 2 Leichte was successfully commanded by LTG Georg Stumme. He was promoted and served as a Corps commander in France and Russia before dying of a heart attack while serving with the Afrika Korps.

To learn more about this man, follow this link:


Wearing the "Drillig" uniform, Kradschutzen mass on a staff car for the photo.


To view an excellent on line photo album that traces the 2 Leichte Division in the attack on Poland, follow this link: (at start page select Photos >> then select Poland 1939 >> then select 2 Leichte Division)


A scout vehicle at the training area.



  " Scout section ... forward!! "  


  An odd photo from the group, it appears to show the very start of a training exercise as the plan is explained to a visiting foreign officer. Note the impeccable uniforms, not a trace of dust! The officers of the recon battalion wear the black Panzer uniforms with berets.  


  Later in the day, an impromptu concert for the men during a break in the training. The guitar player at left seems to have a less than enthusiastic audience. If the visiting dignitaries were from Poland or Russia, they would soon have another opportunity to observe the 2 Leichte - 7th Panzer Division in action.  

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