With a similar layout and size of engine to the R75, as well as a standardized sidecar, there was little to differentiate the KS750 from the BMW model. 5. By 1943, British army motorcycle fatalities fell from 200 to 50 a month. The Canadian Army, like its British counterpart, used the 16H for dispatch work. C $7.88. Deafened by their engines, DRs were easy prey for enemy strafing. Item Information. The M12 was significantly better than the M86. It had limited fixtures – including no lights – but was more effective than the Welbike. DRs had to deliver their packets as fast as possible (there were no speed limits) over the shortest possible route. The Intelligence Corps also made extensive use of motorcycles to get them into battle-torn areas close behind the infantry, note Ken Messenger and Max Burns in The Winged Wheel Patch, A History of the Canadian Military Motorcycle and Rider (WWP). Harley-Davidsons used in England were swapped for lighter bikes after D-Day. Courses were so tough, recruits said, that it was battle—without enemy bullets. He spent the duration as a prisoner of war, reported Farley Mowat in, On the ill-fated Dieppe Raid in August 1942, DRs were tasked with creating as much havoc ashore as possible, says, “While a regiment’s history can be traced with relative ease,” says, Long after the war was over, Watts finally realized the role he had played in history. Civilian vehicles would break into a convoy queue, “then would try to skip along to get ahead, and a DR would be coming along hell-bent for leather and he’d bang right into him, and that was the end of his game. Armed motorcyclist serving as a messenger for his platoon of the mechanized cavalry reconnaissance unit, Fort Riley, KS, April 1942. Signal corps DRs wore a patch on the left arm, below the elbow, of a wheel with wings under the initials DR. best. This made them instant targets for an enemy eager to ideally capture, or if necessary, destroy the message. “One Sunday (15th October) during the afternoon, the Police had been instructed to call on all messenger… Epic Militaria is UK based, but we ship to the USA, Europe and Worldwide. Ordered to take information to an American hospital, he came under enemy fire. Log in or sign up to leave a comment Log In Sign Up. Legion Magazine engages Canadians in commemorating the effort, bravery and sacrifice of those who served and continue to serve in Canada’s military. Often the means of transport was via motorcycle messenger, which was usually the cheapest method. The 67 mountain signals battalion of the Wehrmacht commanders tunic (Gebirgs-Divisions-Nachrichten-Abteilung 67) in the rank of major. William Poy was not yet a Canadian citizen, but he worked with the Canadian Trade Commission before volunteering as a DR in Hong Kong at the end of 1941 and serving through the Japanese invasion. An Indian dispatch rider in Cyprus, 3 March 1942 A despatch rider (or dispatch) is a military messenger, mounted on horse or motorcycle (and occasionally in Egypt during World War I, on camels). He seems to be holding a Thompson Submachine Gun. Headed for a bridge marked on the map, “I could see an 88—that’s German, it’s a fantastic gun they had.” Luckily, the bridge was being defended by a British airborne unit. Another British bike, the 16H’s ruggedness and dependability made it popular despite its modest performance. “I’m getting the hell out of here.”. The ubiquitous German motorcycle messenger (Kradmelder) from Stab Artillerie-Regiment 110 in the Eastern Front with his DKW NZ 350, wearing his rubberized coat (Kradmantel) that has been wrapped and buttoned around his legs to keep dirt and dust off his uniform. Asap Animation. The sidecar had racks to carry either a mortar or a machine gun, turning the whole vehicle into a mobile weapons platform. He was awarded the British Military Medal for being “indefatigable in delivering messages, although his routes were usually subjected to bombing from the air, shell and mortar fire.” Six months after the occupation, Poy and his family were on the first leg of their trip to Canada, among Allied nationals exchanged for Japanese nationals. Attached to the side was a boxy sidecar with machine-gun mountings at both front and back. Cochrane built a clay oven so the cook could make baked goods and a fireplace to make the barracks comfy. With a speed of 65mph, it was one of the faster bikes of the war. Legionnaires get discounted cell phone plans with SimplyConnect! We’d get down the road…and he asked, ‘Were you scared?’ I says, ‘Scared? I well remember spending winter evenings at Abbotsfield learning about the engine of the bike. Most of us know that motorcycle clubs, whether of the law-abiding or outlaw biker gang variety, are descended from WWII vets who caught the "riding" bug in the combat zone. The photo gives a clear view of the US Army License Plate showing number U.S.A. W-617078, the dash barely visible. The FN Company in Liège had been selling civilian motorbikes to the Belgian Army since World War I. … The underground bunker, used for communications during the war, is home to the 31 rare and restored vintage motorcycles he now owns. In part of the same action, DR Bob Creighton of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment was taken prisoner when German troops seized the French hospital in which he was recovering from a motorcycle accident. Even so, hundreds of DRs were killed by enemy or accident each year. DRs were often vital to operations. It could maneuver well in small spaces thanks to a reverse gear. Light and maneuverable, they displaced horses as mounts for scouts and messengers as well as for military police and other similar duties. In six months he recorded six DRs killed, four seriously wounded and many injuries. They learned to ride safely over all types of terrain in all weather conditions. Hidden on a property in regional WA, Terry Germain's private World War II bunker is perfectly suited to his needs. But the helmets were widely loathed and sometimes doffed when out of sight of the brass. Staudinger climbed on the back of the motorcycle and took off with the German messenger. Hutt of the RCCS was killed in 1940 in a motorcycle accident during the curtailed attempt by the British to create a diversion to draw some of the heat away from the French Army after Dunkirk. When Indian and USO reps approached Brian Klock, about building a one-off bike for their Scout Inspired Custom Series, he knew exactly what direction to take. One of several similar bikes created for the Czechoslovakian army in the … As engine technology improved, motorcycles were increasingly seen as a modern replacement for the horse-borne infantry units that had been such an important part of the American military, with entire infantry units being equipped with motorcycles to give them greater battle… They enjoyed a lot of freedom, often spending days away from chain of command. But what role, exactly, did motorcycles play in the military? What DRs did not have was a good means of self-defence. Legion Magazine is published six times a year in English with a French insert. “Less than 30 seconds [later], this ungodly explosion went off, and then this piece of metal about four feet long landed about six feet from me…. “All of a sudden…he’d tip the sidecar up and over you’d go…. The saddle and pillar folded away for transport. Only the front wheel had any suspension. Unfollow motorcycle ww2 to stop getting updates on your eBay Feed. An improved version, the AX2, was given an 804cc engine which provided superior traction, letting it travel better over bad terrain. The job was hard and dangerous, but it also had its allure—and its perks. “There was a heavy toll [even while training]… particularly dispatch riders,” says the Official History of the Canadian Medical Service, 1939-1945. It’s unlikely any DR ended the war riding the same bike he started out on. Only a fraction of trainees went on to become DRs. Chick Owens, who ended the war with the RCCS, narrowly escaped death from a V-2 bomb in Antwerp, Belgium. Several different motorcycles were utilised by riders, but it was the British-made Triumph that was used most frequently throughout the First World War. To the enemy, shooting the messenger was not a bad idea, either. But, notes, “Sitting right up forward on the tank in their usual way, they just bulldozed their way through, ignoring ruts and water holes,” said one British DR quoted in. Cushman scooters were adopted early in the war for messengers and employees at large U.S. military bases. The Zundapp company’s answer to the R75, the KS750 was another German heavy military motorbike. Home » Military History » Army » Motorcycle messengers. Uniforms varied depending on service, but basics included high boots, leather vests, canvas trousers, weatherproof jackets, helmets, goggles and gloves with wide cuffs. And on the cobblestone road, there were sparks flying… anybody could hear me…so I rode on the side of the curb on the grass.”. ... (military motorcycle messenger). Many of the nations involved in the war produced their own versions. It had a rack for a Bren light machine gun and was sometimes used as a weapons platform. All rights reserved. A dozen motorcycles were outfitted with snorkels so they could go into action immediately, but none of the DRs made it off the beach. “Independence as a DR was great,” said Aisbitt. He spent the duration as a prisoner of war, reported Farley Mowat in The Regiment. Its flat-twin 750cc engine drove the rear wheel but not the sidecar one. Even before World War II, the motorcycle was seen as a vital part of the military. 100% Upvoted. As far back as 1916, sidecar-equipped motorcycles had been used by the United States during its attempts to hunt down Pancho Villa and his forces. It was usually equipped with a sidecar. “I was scared all the time. “Don’t rev it, because if you do, we’re going to get it,” he told the ambulance driver. I wore them out.”. Following World War II, increasing urban congestion in London saw riders on small motorcycles making scheduled runs with artwork or copy between printers and advertising agencies or newspapers. You had to be scared. That’s why you kept alive…. https://t.co/6pbxbt3bPF. Sergeant D.G. “I smashed up nine motorcycles altogether in Italy,” said Trooper Darrell White. They had to be prepared to go without sleep, to sleep rough, to miss meals and to get themselves out of trouble. “Go down the highway at least two or three, miles before we rev and get the hell out of here.”. The Germans dismissed Canadian combat prowess with propagandist Lord Haw Haw’s oft-quoted jeer: “Just give them a bottle of whisky and a motorcycle and they will kill themselves.”. ... 2 product ratings - WW2 German BMW Motorcycles in World War II Reference Book. “Of the 12 who started in our group, only four completed the course and two quit once we got overseas.”. Staudinger asked the messenger in a friendly manner if he could find some gasoline for the platoon. In November 1941, just after Lapointe awoke in hospital with a fractured skull, the British government made helmets mandatory for military motorcyclists. “As soon as a civilian car came through, you had to take a trip past the convoy to the end. It served in the same roles, again carrying either a mortar or a machine gun mounted on the sidecar. The job of messenger boy in the first instance obviously involved learning to ride a motor-cycle. On the ill-fated Dieppe Raid in August 1942, DRs were tasked with creating as much havoc ashore as possible, says WWP. But the thing that set Canadian DRs apart, the thing that earned them the title Crazy Canucks, was their habit of riding on the gas tank—risking discipline in doing so. 99. Once they go to the end, you turn around and you go back on the front again.”. Shoaf wear winter garb with a Tanker's Jacket and either has paratrooper boots or overshoes. Sometimes it seemed as if nothing could keep a tenacious DR from completing his duty. Military Motorcycles Motorcycles & Scooters have been used by the military since they became available early in the 20th century. The machine gun, the book wryly notes, was good for opening wine barrels. were more humorous than dangerous, as Dale Brecknell of the 2nd Field Artillery Regiment recalled in an interview for the Memory Project: “I was ordered to deliver a message to the regimental commander, travelling through the mountains. DRs also “explored far out on either flank, rapidly building up the divisional intelligence picture,” according to the, The Intelligence Corps also made extensive use of motorcycles to get them into battle-torn areas close behind the infantry, note Ken Messenger and Max Burns in, What DRs did not have was a good means of self-defence. It is believed that DRs were in every major operation involving Canadian land forces (except for the 1943 operation on Kiska, an island in the Aleutians off Alaska). In the UK 'despatch rider' is also a term used for a motorcycle courier. I was a part of that.’ At the time I had no idea. Vega Helmets Unisex-Adult 7817-054 Warrior Motorcycle Helmet w/Sunshield for Men & Women, Adjustable Size Dial DOT Half Face Skull Cap for Bike Cruiser Chopper Moped (Patriotic Flag Graphic, Large) 4.6 out of 5 stars 2,341. ECS is a motorcycle messenger registered process server working for attorneys, medical industry and entertainment to deliver results. They thought I was dead, so they were trying to take my boots.” They scattered when he stirred. World War II was a global war that was under way by 1939 and ended in 1945. “It was also a neat way to pick up girls,” said RCCS Sergeant Jim Conway. One shell fell behind him, and when a second exploded just ahead, dispatch rider Gordon Edward Allen knew German gunners were homing in on him. Designed to be fitted with a sidecar, it was the only British military bike to provide drive to the sidecar wheel. Allen caught a transport back to his own unit. About 700,000 motorcycles were produced for the Allies. ... 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