Bicycle Battalion 402

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tigre
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Re: Bicycle Battalion 402

Post by tigre » 22 Apr 2017 13:55

Hello to all :D; a little more...................................

The Radfahr Bataillon 402 - Barbarroja 1941.

Riga - June 30, 1941.

Shortly after midnight, the Kampfgruppe Lasch, surrounded on the left bank of Riga by troops of the 8th Soviet Army which had not been able to cross the river, received the first reinforcements: a motorized Battalion and an anti-tank company of 1. ID. They were immediately sent to the most dangerous areas of defense. Under cover of the night, several soldiers of the group Geisler managed to drag its severely wounded commander through the sections of the railroad bridge that hung of its supports. At 2 o'clock in the morning, Soviet sappers blew the remnants of the bridge, which now became impassable.

A little later the artillery commander of the 1st Army Corps, General Burdach, arrived in the city and relieved Oberst Lasch as commander of all troops in the Riga sector. Then the advance detachments of this Army Corps, vanguards of the 61. ID (Generalleutnant Siegfried Hänicke) and detachments of the Pi. Rgt 667 (Oberst Ullersperger) reached the Dvina. After them arrived the 217. ID and the 58. ID reserve of the 18. AOK. The 291. ID was coming from the west.

Having received considerable reinforcements, on June 30, 1941, the Germans after fierce battles managed to completely dominate the part of the left bank of Riga, the Soviet troops maintained the part of the right bank of the city. Attempts by the enemy to force the Dvina River upstream from the city, in the Dole Island district, were rejected. Then the Germans began to flank Riga deeply from the east.

The Northwest Front reconnaissance report confirmed that "after a strong and repeated (twice) artillery preparation, with the active assistance of the" fifth column", the opponent conquered the accesses to Riga at 23:30 hours on the June 30, 1941. Bridges over West Dvina in Riga were blown by our troops "

According to the Directive of the Commander of the Front, the remnants of the units and detachments of workers, who were no longer strong enough to continue the struggle, left Riga in the evening on June 30 and moved along the Pskov road to Sigulda.

According to German sources in the street fighting in Riga, the Germans lost 9 officers and 82 non-commissioned officers and troops.

Source: http://home.clara.net/percy/index.htm
Http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... Abt402.htm
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... IKorps.htm
http://refdb.ru/look/1557681.html
https://www.antik-war.lv/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=131342

Cheers. Raul M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Bicycle Battalion 402

Post by tigre » 29 Apr 2017 13:59

Hello to all :D; a little more...................................

The Radfahr Bataillon 402 - Barbarroja 1941.

Riga - July 1, 1941.

On the other side of the front southeast of Riga, the German sappers of the Pi. Rgt 667 on the night of July 1, 1941, transported across the Dvina, by means of assault boats and rafts, the Radfahr Bataillon 402 and the 1. / Stug Abt. 185. According to W. Haupt, "There was not a single enemy in the city. The Soviets left Riga at night, and the Latvian population filled the streets and welcomed the incoming German troops as liberators. in the city there were signs of the terrible battles.The symbols of the city - Castle of the Order and the Church of St. Peter - burned like torches ".

This was confirmed by Vladimir Baryshev: "The street fighting lasted two days. Under the pressure of the superior enemy forces they had to leave the city, and by the end of July 1, 1941, our troops moved through the Gauja river"

The same day a German platoon of the RI 1 of the 1. ID was successful and after a surprise attack captured the central and dam of Ķegums 45 km upstream of the Dvina river.

Thus, from June 26 to July 1, the German forces had established several bridgeheads on the north bank of Dvina from Daugavpils to Riga for further advances. On June 30, 1941, according to a directive order of the Northwest Front, a general withdrawal of its troops was carried out on the line of the old fortified areas, Pskov, Sebezh and Ostrovsk.

But on July 1, 1941, the Front Command received a new directive signed by the Chief of General Staff G.K. Zhukov ordering an active operation (offensive) to eliminate the crossing to the north bank of the Western Dvina river by the enemy .................

This new solution, taking into account the disposition of the troops, did not agree either with the current situation or the real possibilities of the troops and had an extremely negative impact throughout the course of the hostilities. Army troops were ordered to stop the withdrawal, to go on the offensive and restore the defense along the Dvina, regaining Riga. The units of the army received the following tasks: the 10th Rifle Corps to Riga; The 11th Rifle Corps to occupy the Ogre-Koknese area; The 12th Mechanized Corps (in cooperation with units of the 27th Army) to defeat the enemy in Krutspil and reach the Dvina. To accomplish these missions, the 8th Army was reinforced with the 181st and 183rd Rifle Divisions.

But because of communication problems, the Commander of the 8th Army could only transmit the order to cease the withdrawal and restore the previous situation at dusk of July 1, 1941, so that the troops could no longer comply it and the withdrawal continued as before.

Source: http://home.clara.net/percy/index.htm
Http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... Abt402.htm
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... IKorps.htm
http://refdb.ru/look/1557681.html
https://www.antik-war.lv/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=131342
http://forum.myriga.info/index.php?showtopic=1389&st=40

Cheers. Raul M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Bicycle Battalion 402

Post by tigre » 06 May 2017 19:04

Hello to all :D; a little more...................................

The Radfahr Bataillon 402 - Barbarroja 1941.

Riga - July 1941.

On July 2, 1941, the 18. AOK received an order from the Army Group specifying that the Army should reach the Ostrow-Pskow line and with an Army Corps of two divisions turn to secure Estonia and seize Reval. Of course, this last Army Corps would be the XXVI. AK that with a division would march towards the north (61. ID) whereas the 291. ID would follow immediately. Also after the conquest of Reval and Baltisch Port was to start Operation Beowulf II (conquest of Saaremaa, Hiiumaa and Muhu).

On July 03, 1941 the XXVI. AK issued directives on the subordination of formations at the Army Corps level:

There will be subordinate to the XXVI. AK the following units: Radf. Btl 402, Radf. Btl 403, MG Btl 10, s.Art. Abt. II./ AR 58 (Mot) with sFH18, the 1. / Pz Jäg. Abt 563, the I./Flak 51 and 1 battery of s.Art. Abt. 637 (Mot) with 21 cm Mörser.

With respect to Radf. Btl 402 at the start of the march it was subordinated to the 61. ID. The rest of the formations were to reach Riga on July 5, 1941 and during the march they were to rake the surroundings of Zchlok - Tukum - Frauenburg - Auz - Eitau. The I./ Flak 51 and the II./ AR 58 were to form a marching party in charge of the oldest commander, upon arriving at Riga on the I./ Flak 51 would be under Flak-Rgt Stab 164 - Riga. The remainder subordinate to Commander Riga-west.

Source: Fuente: KTB 18. AOK T-312 Roll 781 and KTB XXVI. AK.
https://www.vif2ne.org/rkka/forum/arhprint/89934
https://www.antik-war.lv/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=131342

Cheers. Raul M 8-).
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Ron_Wynn
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Re: Bicycle Battalion 402

Post by Ron_Wynn » 28 May 2021 20:26

I am very interested in finding out more about this unit. I have played many a wargame with this unit counter and have marvelled at its history.

Ron_Wynn
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Location: Kingston, ON Canada

Re: Bicycle Battalion 402

Post by Ron_Wynn » 28 May 2021 21:14

Here is what I have found so far ...

Radfahr-Bataillon 402
Formation
Radfahr-Bataillon 402 (Radf.Batl. 402) was formed on 1 April 1940, in Wehrkreis VI as heerestruppen. The battalion was comprised of a Bataillon Stab, three Radfahr-Kompanie, each with 3x 50mm Mortars, 4x MMGs and 9x LMGs and a schwerer Kompanie (mot) with 3x 37mm PaK, 1x LMG and 12x 81mm Mortars. Initially recruited as gebirgsjäger, the battalion continued to wear the bergmütze, edelweiss and mountain boots even though they were not a mountain unit.
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Fall Gelb
Radf.Batl. 402 was transferred to OKH Reserve on 15 May, deployed to Holzkirchen in the south of Germany to complete training prior to its deployment in France.
Fall Rot
1. Kavallerie-Division
1. Kavallerie-Division (1. KD) was encamped at Aachen awaiting its next mission after the surrender of the Netherlands. On 28 May the division was transferred to 4. Armee and ordered to move immediately to Amiens.
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XXXVIII. Armeekorps
4. Armee assigned 1. KD to XXXVIII. Armeekorps (AK) with the specific task of covering the army left flank and maintaining contact with 6. Armee. The division was reinforced with Radf.Batl. 402, II/Artillerie-Regiment 77 (II/AR 77), schwere Artillerie-Abteilung (mot) 602 (sArt.Abt. (mot) 602) and a Flak Kompanie.
1. KD was deployed at Avesnes le Comte, remaining north-east of the Somme River until the breakout. Both artillery battalions were deployed forward to assist in the corps attack.
The next morning at 1000hrs, the division crossed the Somme between Dreuil-les-Amiens and Amiens West, advancing along the line Amiens-Poix to Famechon. Strong enemy forces had been identified in the corps rear, 1. KD and elements of 27. Infanterie-Division (ID) were ordered to clear the Foret d'Ailly. After heavy fighting, including a cavalry charge by Reiter- Regiment 22 and Kavallerie-Regiment 21, the forest was secured and the division continued the advance to Frémontiers. Radf.Batl. 402 had received its baptism by fire.
On 8 June, 1. KD was deployed along the XXXVIII. AK left flank, relieving 27. ID from the task of covering the army left flank. Maintaining contact with 6. Army, the division encountered stiff resistance, fighting hard it slowly advanced south-westwards.
The Corps Commander, General von Manstein, intended to continue the pursuit up to the Seine River with two divisions forward, one in reserve and 1. KD slightly rearward on the left. He requested 4. Armee approval to move 1. KD south of the Seine River, replaced on the Oise flank guard and employed as the armeekorps spearhead in the pursuit towards Paris. The army commander strongly reminded von Manstein that 1. KD was only to be committed covering the army’s left flank against any threat from Paris. Reconnaissance of Beauvais and as far as the Seine-Oise between Gannes and Beaumont was authorised.
On 10 June, 1. KD identified a strong French mixed infantry-armour force around La Chapelle-en-Vexin, 10 km west of Beauvais. The division fought hard, defeating the enemy in detail, destroying 32 armoured vehicles including 10 heavy tanks, capturing at least 1500 soldiers and dispersing the remainder. Although its losses were considerable, the division occupied the high ground on both sides of Avernes and secured the army left flank.
I. Armeekorps
On 13 June, Heeresgruppe B assigned I. AK to 4. Armee which inserted it on the army left flank. 1. KD was transferred to I. AK, remaining north of the Seine in the Pontoise area with orders to continue guarding the Oise flank. I. AK began its movement to the front, reaching Beauvais the next day.
Ordered to cross the Seine, the retreating enemy having destroyed all the local bridges, 1. KD attempted a forced river crossing at Meulan. The division became embroiled in a major firefight being forced back with many casualties. A second attempt made the next morning was successful, with a large bridgehead established. 1. KD formed a motorised march group to cross at the Vernon Bridge while the main body would cross the river into the Meulan Bridgehead. In the late evening on 14 June, the motorised march group crossed the Vernon Bridge, continued through Mantes-la-Jolie to the bridgehead at Meulan-en-Yvelines, deploying in the defensive awaiting the crossing of the divisional main body. The next morning as I. AK crossed the Seine River at Vernon, 1. KD completed its river crossing, moved through the Meulan Bridgehead towards Mantes.
The division was ordered to quickly advance towards Houdan and Neauphle-le-Château, charging hard they reached Dreux and Nogent-le-Roi in the early evening. On 16 June, the division had advanced 100km, the Radfahr-Bataillonen were heavily engaged throughout the advance fighting stragglers, corralling POWs and pushing through the refugee choked roads. The next day after bypassing Chartres, the division commander General der Kavallerie Kurt Feldt was ordered to conduct a reconnaissance in force to Saumur on the Loire River, seize the bridges and form bridgeheads.
On 18 June, 1. KD advanced parties of bicycle and motorised troops departed, followed by the horsemen. Encountering stiffening resistance along its axis of advance, they dispersed the enemy rearguard, seizing the high ground southeast of Droué and west of Cloyes-sur-le-Loir. Just before midnight, lead elements arrived at Saumur and were immediately engaged by the French defenders, which included l’Ecole de Cavalerie candidates. The French demolished the Pont Napoleon just after midnight, the Montsoreau bridge at 0115hrs, with the railway bridge following at 0300hrs.
At dawn the next morning, a German Staff Car approached the destroyed Pont Napoleon, a German and French officer got out, approaching the bridge under a white flag. Fearing a trick, the French opened fire destroying the car and killing the two officers. 1. KD responded by firing over 2000 artillery rounds into Saumur over the next two days.
Throughout the day, the advanced parties launched attacks along the Loire River, probing for a weakness in the line where they could force a crossing. The cadets repulsed every crossing attempt. On 20 June 1940, the 1. KD main body arrived, covered by a deliberate artillery fire plan, assault boats ferried troops across the river, seizing several bridgeheads to the east and west of Saumur. Outnumbered, the hard-pressed cadets cleared the western bridgehead. Not so in the east, 1. KD troops forded the Loire at Aunis, dug-in, preparing to expand their bridgehead. To contain them, the cadets prepared a line of fighting positions, heavy fighting raged across the surrounding farmland for several days.
Meanwhile to the east, VIII. AK had captured an intact bridge around Tours, to the west, XXXVIII. AK seized crossings at Angers. Saumur was in danger of being encircled.
As I. AK closed on the Loire River the next day, 1. KD entered Saumur capturing the remaining defenders. General Feldt praised the resistance of the cadets in his after-action report, in which he was the first to call them "Cadets of Saumur". The 218 students captured by the division were released in the following days instead of being interned, the cadets marched south until they arrived at the Demarcation Line, they cleaned their uniforms, polished their boots and marched, singing, across the line to the Free Zone between
lines of German soldiers standing at attention.
With Saumur secured, 1. KD continued its southwestern advance meeting negligeable resistance, ending the day in Thouars.
On 22 June, the armistice was signed at Compiègne.
I. AK was ordered to immediately advance to the Atlantic Coast., the armeekorps formed two fast advance groups; Vorausabteilung Oberst Rauch and Vorausabteilung Oberst Burdach. Vorausabteilung Oberst Rauch which included Radf.Batl. 402, began its drive to the Atlantic Coast to occupy La Rochelle and Rochefort, secure and seize all shipping. Three days later, I. AK completed its deployment along the coastline. On 30 June 1940, Vorausabteilung Oberst Rauch and Vorausabteilung Oberst Burdach were disbanded. Radf.Batl. 402, sArt.Abt. 602 (mot) and Art.Abt. II/77 (mot) are returned to 1. KD.
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Coastal Defence Duties
In July 1940, Radf.Batl. 402 was conducting coastal defence duties along the Atlantic Coast as an independent unit. Later, on 21 July, the battalion was transferred to Bricquebec-en-Cotentin south of Cherbourg with II. AK, subordinate to 216. ID.
Unternehmen Seelöwe
On 4 August, Radf.Batl. 402 was assigned to VIII. AK, subordinate to 6. Gebirgs-Division, beginning extensive work-up training for Unternehmen Seelöwe. In February 1941 Radf.Batl. 402 returned to Germany.
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Sources
Radfahr-Bataillon 402 - Einheiten des Heeres
Various Army, Corps and Division Orders May-July 1940
Generalfeldmarschall Fedor von Bock: The War Diary 1939-1945
2. Gebirgs-Division - EHRI
Lage West 15.5.40. abds.
Riders of the Apocalypse: German Cavalry and Modern Warfare, 1870-1945, David R. Dorondo
Die 24. Panzer-Division Vormals 1. Kavallerie-Division 1939-1945, Kurt Vowinkel
Lost Victories by Field-Marshal Erich v. Manstein

1. Kavallerie-Division of May 15, 1940 to June 25, 1940 - AHS
History of the 216 Infanteriedivision - Telenet
VIII. AK, Unternehmen Seelöwe: Niehorster
Truppenfahrrad-Radf.Batl. 402 | Facebook
Radfahr-Bataillon 402 und Gebirgsjäger?! - Einheiten des Heeres
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sailorsam
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Re: Bicycle Battalion 402

Post by sailorsam » 29 May 2021 02:47

bf109 emil wrote:
08 Aug 2009 01:23
maybe off of what you wanted, but US bicycles of WW2http://www.theliberator.be/militarybicycles.htm
thanks much for the linque. very informative.

I think a lot of my generation got its history from tv and movies, and bicycles were rarely portrayed in the media accounts. nice to pick up on some forgotten info.
Saint Peter, let these men enter Heaven; they served their time in hell.

Ferraud01
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Location: Geneve

Re: Bicycle Battalion 402

Post by Ferraud01 » 19 Aug 2022 14:12

Hello,
I am an Alsatian origin and I am looking for the story of one of my Great Uncle who fought during the Second World War at:
Gebirgs-Jager-Nachrichten-Ersatz Kompagnie1 Oberammergau
1/4/40 Stab Radfahr Battalion 402
9/7/40 Radfahr Ersatz Kompanie 402
10/13/44 Died in action at Petsamo (Hill 211?).

I have a hard time knowing if he went to Greece or if from Germany (Aachen) he went to Riga then Petsamo.

In general, can you help me to trace Ernst Wiesmuller's career from April 1940 to October 1944?
A big thank you to you.

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