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Encyclopedia > Aerial surveillance
Mixed reconnaissance patrol of the Polish Home Army and the Soviet Red Army during Operation Tempest, 1944
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Mixed reconnaissance patrol of the Polish Home Army and the Soviet Red Army during Operation Tempest, 1944

Reconnaissance is the military term for the active gathering of information about an enemy, or other conditions, by physical observation. It is part of combat intelligence. Compare to counterintelligence. Image File history File links Captain Mruk with a Soviet reconaissance patrol Radom-Kielce Home Army Area, during the Operation Tempest, August of 1944 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Captain Mruk with a Soviet reconaissance patrol Radom-Kielce Home Army Area, during the Operation Tempest, August of 1944 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... For other meanings of Home Army see: Home Army (disambiguation) The Armia Krajowa or AK (Home Army) functioned as the pre-eminent underground military organization in German-occupied Poland, which functioned in all areas of the country from September 1939 until its disbanding in January 1945. ... The short forms Red Army and RKKA refer to the Workers and Peasants Red Army, (in Russian: Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия - Raboche-Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya), the armed forces first organized by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918. ... Armia Krajowa Polish 7th Infantry Division of the Radom-Kielce Area, during the Operation Tempest Operation Tempest (Polish: Plan Burza, sometimes also translated as Operation Storm) was a series of planned local uprisings prepared by the Polish Home Army during World War II. The main aim of the operation was... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1944 calendar). ... Military intelligence (abbreviated MI, int. ... Counterintelligence or counter-espionage is the act of seeking and indentifying espionage activities. ...


Often referred to as recce /ˈre.ki/ (British & Commonwealth) or recon (USA), the associated verb is reconnoiter in American English or reconnoitre in British English. A verb is a part of speech that usually denotes action (bring, read), occurrence (decompose, glitter), or a state of being (exist, stand). Depending on the language, a verb may vary in form according to many factors, possibly including its tense, aspect, mood and voice. ... American English (AmE) is the dialect of the English language used mostly in the United States of America. ... British English (BrE) is a term used (especially by Americans) to differentiate between the form of the English language used in the United Kingdom and those used elsewhere. ...


Examples of reconnaissance include patrolling by troops, ships, submarines, or aircraft, or by setting up covert observation posts. Reconnaissance may also be carried out by satellites or unmanned aircraft. Espionage is not normally considered to be covered by the term reconnaissance, as reconnaissance involves uniformed military forces operating ahead of the main force, as opposed to non-combatant individuals within the enemy lines. Patrolling is a military tactic. ... German UC-1 class World War I submarine A model of Gunter Priens Unterseeboot 47 (U-47), German WWII Type VII diesel-electric hunter-killer (SSK) submarine Typhoon class ballistic-missile carrying (SSBN) submarine, compared to a man USS Virginia, a Virginia-class nuclear attack (SSN) submarine A submarine... A military aircraft used for monitoring enemy activity, usually carrying no armament. ... Secrecy is the condition of hiding information from others. ... For other uses, please see Satellite (disambiguation) A satellite is an object that orbits another object (known as its primary). ... Spy and secret agent redirect here; for alternate use, see Spy (disambiguation) and Secret agent (disambiguation). ...


Reconnaissance seeks to collect information about an enemy. This includes types of enemy units, locations, numbers, and intentions or activity. A number of acronyms exist for the information to be gathered – mainly coined by the US – including salt (size, activity, location, and time), salute (size, activity, location, unit, time, and equipment), sam & doc (strength, armament, movement, deployment, organization, and communications). Thus reconnaissance is a fundamental tactic which helps to build an intelligence picture.

Contents


Airborne photo reconnaissance

Reconnaissance photographs, such as this one of Soviet missile installations, played a key role in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
Reconnaissance photographs, such as this one of Soviet missile installations, played a key role in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Main article: Surveillance aircraft Download high resolution version (800x809, 178 KB)U.S. reconnaissance photograph of soviet missile sites on Cuba, taken from a Lockheed U-2 spy plane following the Cuban missile crisis. ... Download high resolution version (800x809, 178 KB)U.S. reconnaissance photograph of soviet missile sites on Cuba, taken from a Lockheed U-2 spy plane following the Cuban missile crisis. ... U.S.A.F. spy photo of one of the suspected launch sites The Cuban Missile Crisis refers to the tense confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States regarding the Soviet deployment of nuclear missiles in Cuba. ... English Electric Canberra PR.9 photo reconnaissance aircraft CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft of the Canadian Air Force. ...


On 16 October 1912 a Bulgarian Albatros aircraft was used to perform Europe's first reconnaissance flight in combat conditions. October 16 is the 289th day of the year (290th in Leap years). ... 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ...


During the First World War, photo reconnaissance was one of the early uses of the aeroplane. Aviators such as Fred Zinn evolved an entire range of new flying and photography techniques to use the new technology in the equally new environment of trench warfare. Combatants Allies: Serbia, Russia, France, Romania, Belgium, British Empire, United States, Italy, and others Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire Casualties Military dead:5 million Civilian dead:3 million Total dead:8 million Military dead:4 million Civilian dead:3 million Total dead:7 million The First World... Friedrich Wilhelm Fred Zinn of Battle Creek, Michigan, was one of the volunteer American aviators who flew with the French Aéronautique Militaire in World War I. He is one of the early pioneers of using aerial photography for wartime reconnaissance. ... Trench Warfare is a form of war in which both opposing armies have static lines of fortifications dug into the ground, facing each other. ...


Before the Second World War the conventional wisdom was to use converted bomber types for airborne photo reconnaissance. These bombers retained their defensive armament, which was vital since they were unable to avoid interception. Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... A bomber is a military aircraft designed to attack ground targets, primarily by dropping bombs. ...


In 1939 Flying Officer Maurice Longbottom of the RAF was among the first to suggest that airborne reconnaissance may be a task better suited to fast, small aircraft which would use their speed and high service ceiling to avoid detection and interception. Although this seems obvious now, with modern reconnaissance tasks performed by fast, high flying aircraft, at the time it was radical thinking. He proposed the use of Spitfires with their armament and radios removed and replaced with extra fuel and cameras. This led to the development of the Spitfire PR variants. Spitfires proved to be extremely successful in their reconnaissance role and there were many variants built specifically for that purpose. A Flying Officers sleeve/shoulder insignia Flying Officer is a junior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries. ... The Royal Air Force (often abbreviated to RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ... The still unpainted Spitfire protoype, K5054, shortly before its first flight The Supermarine Spitfire was a single-seat fighter used by the RAF and many Allied countries in World War II. Produced by Supermarine, the Spitfire was designed by R.J. Mitchell, who continued to refine it until his death... The Supermarine Spitfire was one of the best fighter aircraft of its time. ...


Immediately after World War II, long range aerial reconnaissance was taken up by adapted jet bombers – such as the English Electric Canberra, and its American development, the Martin B-57 – capable of flying higher or faster than the enemy. After the Korean War, RB-47 aircraft were used. These were at first converted B-47 jet bombers, but later these were purposely built RB-47 reconnaissance planes. They did not carry any bombs. They had large cameras mounted in the belly of the plane, and with a truncated bomb bay used for carrying flash bombs. The English Electric Canberra was a first-generation jet bomber manufactured in large numbers through the 1950s, and as of 2006 some still remain in service. ... The English Electric Canberra was a first-generation jet bomber manufactured in large numbers through the 1950s, and remaining in service until the early years of the 21st century. ... Combatants Western Allied/UN combatants: South Korea, United States Communist combatants: North Korea, Peoples Republic of China Strength Note: All figures may vary according to source. ... USAF B-47E Stratojet. ...


The onset of the Cold War led the development of highly specialized and secretive strategic reconnaissance aircraft, or spy planes, such as the Lockheed U-2 and its successor, the SR-71 Blackbird (both from the United States). Flying these aircraft became an exceptionally demanding task, as much because of the aircraft's extreme speed and altitude as it was because of the risk of being captured as spies. As a result, the crews of these aircraft were invariably specially selected and trained. The Cold War was the protracted geopolitical, ideological, and economic struggle that emerged after World War II between the global superpowers of the Soviet Union and the United States, supported by their alliance partners. ... A military aircraft used for monitoring enemy activity, usually carrying no armament. ... The Lockheed U-2R/TR-1 in flight The U-2, nicknamed Dragon Lady, is a single-seat, single-engine, high-altitude Surveillance aircraft flown by the United States Air Force. ... An SR-71 in flight The Lockheed SR-71 Type A, unofficially known as the Blackbird, is a long-range, advanced, strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed from the Lockheed YF-12A and A-12 aircraft by Lockheeds Skunk Works (also responsible for the U-2 and many other advanced aircraft). ... Spy and secret agent redirect here; for alternate use, see Spy (disambiguation) and Secret agent (disambiguation). ...


Reconnaissance in force

Some military elements tasked with reconnaissance are armed only for self-defence, and rely on stealth to gather information. Others are well-enough armed to also deny information from the enemy by destroying their reconnaissance elements.


Reconnaissance in force (RIF) is a type of military operation used specifically to probe an enemy's disposition. By mounting an offensive with considerable (but not decisive) force, the commander hopes to elicit a strong reaction by the enemy that reveals its own strength, deployment, and other tactical data. The RIF commander retains the option to fall back with the data or expand the conflict into a full engagement. Planning, calculating, or the giving or receiving of information. ...


Reconnaissance by fire (or speculative fire, 'spec fire') is a tactic which applies a similar principle. When not trying to be stealthy, reconnaissance units may fire on likely enemy positions to provoke a reaction. Tactics is the collective name for methods of winning a small-scale conflict, performing an optimization, etc. ...


See also

Cap badge of the Special Reconnaissance Regiment. ... United States Marine Corps seal The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the U.S. military. ... The RRT of the 22d MEU-SOC, Tunisia, 1997 The Radio Reconnaissance Platoon is the special operations element of the United States Marine Corps Radio Battalion. ... Official Name USMC Force Reconnaissance Force Recon Marines Branch United States Marine Corps Command Structure MARFORPAC; MEF I, III; MEU(SOC) 11, 13, 15, 31 MARFORLANT, MEF II; MEU(SOC) 22, 24, 26 MARFORRES, Reserves Description MEU(SOC) Deep Recon Capability, Special Operations Capability Readiness Any shore in the world... The Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, or JFCC ISR is a component of US Strategic Command. ... The South Alberta Light Horse, or SALH, is an armoured unit of the Canadian Forces Army Reserve based at Armouries in Medicine Hat, Alberta and Edmonton, Alberta . ... The 1st American Regiment was originally raised during the Seven Years War by Robert Rogers and were better known as Rogers Rangers. ... The Ontario Regiment (RCAC) is a reserve armoured regiment of the Canadian Armed Forces. ...

External links

  • Reconnaissance and Surveillance Operations—Canadian Land Forces manual about armoured reconnaissance (PDF)

 
 

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