bicycle troops

During World War I in particular, cycle-mounted infantry, scouts, messengers and ambulance carriers were used extensively by all combatants

Italian Bersaglieri during WWI with bicycles strapped to their backs c.1917

“Bersaglieri were high mobility unit who fought French and Austro-Hungarian troops along the trenches and ridge lines of the Alps. They were known for their high morale and aggressive spirit. During that war, 50,000 lost their lives”

German bicycle infantry on the northern Russian front in 1941

“German light infantry battalions each had a bicycle company at the outbreak of the war, and additional companies were raised during the war bringing the total to 80 companies, a number of which were formed into eight bicycle battalions”

Danish soldiers cycling to the front during the Battle of Denmark, 1940

Bicycle Corps at Fort Missoula in 1897

Even today in a modern warfare situation bicycles have been employed, such as with the US government’s use of bikes in Afghanistan and Iraq

there’s something definitely eerie about the use of something that most of us use for recreational purposes (along with commuting) in a military context. It makes sense to use them, as they are compact, quiet and efficient, though it still makes for very unusual photographs

2 responses to “bicycle troops

  1. In the last photo, the bike on the right is for riding on water right?

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