T Patrol on Reconnaissance
(See Also LRDG in Color)
Intelligence Gathering and Survey
Intelligence gathering was concerned with finding the enemy and seeing what they were up to. This often meant deep travel behind the lines where the LRDG would watch enemy troop movements for long periods of time. This was called Road Watch. It was hard work in which the results of the action were not often immediately recognized by the troops on the ground. Part of this work involved keeping a track of every vehicle that passed by a given location. The LRDG had special binders made up which include silhouettes of enemy vehicles which made it possible for the recce team to simply tick off how many of a given vehicle passed by at a specific time. These binders would were vital for the success of their missions but also could prove devastating is the enemy found them. For this reason, the LRDG knew that if they were to be captured, the binders needed to be destroyed or hidden from the enemy. According to The Other Desert War, not a single binder was ever captured by the enemy.
Even when in engaged in direct action missions, the LRDG still kept their primary mission of intelligence gathering as a secondary mission.
Surveying primarily focused on checking routes for the possible future use. The LRDG had a small survey section commanded by Ken Lazarus that did nothing but chart the desert. It comprised two or three vehicles and would go out for weeks at a time and chart new areas of the desert. On one surveying mission Bernard Bruce, leader of one of the Guards patrol covered over 3,500 miles of desert. Lloyd Owens mentions in his book, that sometimes a patrol would go out with nothing more than a blank sheet of paper with lines of latitude and longitude drawn on it and then proceed to chart what they came across. When they weren't making new maps, a patrol would have to correct the issued maps.
The LRDG was also instrumental in surveying the desert in order to plot enemy locations, and provide up to date information for the maps used by the British army.
Pathfinding and Courier
The LRDG was also sometimes used as part of of large scale raids. For the most part, they were not really designed to operate in such a fashion and the raids met with only marginal success.