Bicycles

The German army prided itself as being a modern mechanized army. The speed and ferocity of the Blitzkreig was based on a heavily motorized assault force. The reality was that even at the beginning of the war the army was largely horse mounted. In addition to the horses there was a new, "modern" and non-motorized mobility option-- the bicycle. Bicycles were optimal for getting troops where they needed to go. They were fast, reliable, required no fuel or food, and appeared to suit the "Modern" image of the German army. The German army utilized an official Truppenfahrrad but they also appropriated every available civilian bike around. The 353 lumped all of its bicycle squadrons into a fusilier battalion. The fusilier batallion of the 943rd Infanterie Regiment (353 Div) were the first troops to be dispatched to meet the invading Allied army on D-Day plus 1. These men were in constant combat for months on end until they were eventually converted to standard infantry after being mauled during Operaiton Cobra. 

These photographs were taken from a number of online sources and auction sites.  They are presented here for educational purposes.