German Bundeswehr Armoured Reconnaissance Company, 1959–1970

German SPz kurz (Hotchkiss) Reconnaissance Tank with 20 mm autocannon

In 1958 the West German Bundeswehr adopted the Heerestruktur 2 organisation. The newly structured tank and mechanized infantry brigades received an armoured reconnaissance company each, equipped with Spähpanzer kurz recon tanks. SpähPz kurz was well armed with a 20 mm auto-cannon which provided enough firepower to deal with enemy recce vehicles, armoured personnel carriers, and infantry forward positions typically encountered on patrol. Two SpähPz formed an armoured patrol.

Bundeswehr Panzeraufklärungskompanie, 1959–1970

  • Panzeraufklärungskompanie
    • Kompanietrupp - Company HQ
    • 1. Spähzug - Recce Platoon
      • Spähtrupp - Patrol
        • SpähPz kurz with 20 mm Cannon
        • SpähPz kurz with 20 mm Cannon
      • Spähtrupp, as above
      • Spähtrupp, as above
      • Spähtrupp, as above
    • 2. Spähzug, as above
    • 3. Spähzug, as above

Compared to other armoured vehicles of the period, SpähPz kurz was relatively quiet, especially when driven at low rpm. In 1975, the armoured recce units of the Bundeswehr received the amphibious 8-wheeled Spähpanzer Luchs, a superb recce vehicle with state-of-the-art noise-reduction.

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