A History of the Grossdeutschland Armoured Reconnaissance Division

A new reconnaissance unit for the then "Motorised Infantry Division Grossdeutschland" was laid out in an order on the first of April 1942.

it was officially known as the"Motorcycle -Troop Battalion Grossdeutschland" but was in reality a combination of vehicles more in keeping with an Armoured Reconnaissance unit, a title not officially given to the unit until March 1943.

The battalion was built entirely from scratch at the Wandern training grounds very close to the Oder river. Most of the men needed for this new unit were drawn from the armoured branches and the rest were volunteers.

The man chosen to lead this elite group of men was Horst von Usedom.It was his experience with the 11th Panzer Division that led to him being hand picked for the job.

Von Usedom had strong links to the Hussars of old which gave rise to the battalion nick-name "Von Usedom's Hussars".

The division also used cavalry terms and ranks ie-squadron instead of company,and the enlisted men did not become grenadiers in 1943 with the rest of the infantry but stayed as riflemen to the wars end.

Even though Von Usedom left the Hussars in July the nick-name and traditions stuck with the division until the bitter end.

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