The Innards of Intelligence: Bildskizze – Visual Air Reconnaissance Report

Apart from the written report (see an example at this link), German aerial observers also regularly provided visual reports. These were called Bildskizze. An example with explanation is below.


German text Translation
22.11.41 22 November 1941
An Koluft Obstlt Heymer (Pz.-Gruppe) To: Koluft Lt.Col. Heymer (Pz.-Gruppe)
Zeit: 07.05 – 07.30 Time: 07.05 – 07.30
Karte: 1:400.000 Bardia Map: 1:400,000 Bardia
Hoehe Height: (not given)
Map elements from the top:
n. Tobruk – n. Bardia To Tobruk – To Bardia
Capuzzo – Trigh Si. Azeiz Trigh Capuzzzo – Sidi Azeiz
Arid Gasr el Arid airfield
2 Kfz 2 motor vehicles moving south-east
10 Kfz 10 motor vehicles moving northwest
Feindfrei Free of enemy
Keine Bewegung No Movement
Omar Omar
3 Jaeger 3 Fighters
Abwehr: 3 Jaeger Defense: 3 Fighters
500 Kfz 500 motor vehicles
Gabr Saleh – Trigh el Abd – B. Gibni – Abid Gabr Saleh – Trigh el Abd – Bir Gibni – Gasr el Abid
44°:30’ 45°:00’ Numbers indicate coordinates on latitude/longitude
Gez. Block, Ltn Signed: Lt. Block
Beobachter Observer

D.A.K. war diary entry 28 February 1941

28 February 1941

At 08.00 hours the Commander, with the Chief of Staff, the IIa, and the Commission (Captain Weller) flies to Sirt and then joins the Forward Detachment Wechmar at en Nofilia. The purpose of this trip to the Forward Detachment is mainly the reconnaissance of the terrain around Sirt and east of en Nofilia.

At 18.00 hours a parade and march past of the troops of the 5th naval transport column is carried out in Tripoli before Major-General Streich, the commander of 5.lei.Division.

The Commander together with the gentlemen accompanying him arrives in Tripoli during the evening.