The Aufklärungs Abteilung 13 was formed on October 12, 1937 in the town of Stendal, Germany. The unit was attached to the 13th Infantry Division (mot.), which received recruits from Wehrkreis IV, which was roughly in the regions of Dresden and Saxony . The unit assisted in the annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938. The abteilung supported the 13th infantry Division (mot.) during the invasions of Poland and France. After the fall of France the unit was moved back into the homeland. On October 1940 the 13th Infantry Division (mot.) was redesignated as the 13th Panzer Division.
Aufklärungs Abteilung 13 moved with the 13th Panzer Division to Romania in November 1940 to serve as a training unit, during this time the unit was designated Lehr Aufklärungs Abteilung “R”. The unit served as an instructional unit until May 1941 when the division returned back to Germany. Upon arrival in Germany, the reconnaissance battalion was redesignated as “Panzer Aufklärungs Abteilung 13”.
Panzer Aufklärungs Abteilung 13 took part in Operation Barbarossa as part of Army group South. The unit remained on the eastern front until the remainder of the battalion was consolidated with Kradschützen battalion 43 of the 13th Panzer Division. The unit effectively was called Kradschützen Abteilung 43 from April 1942 until April 1943. On April 1943 the remainder of Kradschützen Abteilung 43 was redesignated to “Panzer Aufklärungs Abteilung 13”.
The second iteration of Panzer Aufklärungs Abteilung 13 served the 13th Panzer Division during the retreat across Russia. The unit was effectively destroyed on August, 1944 with the 13th Panzer Division. The remaining members of the 13th Panzer Division reformed in Hungary on November 1944. The unit was sent to Budapest and was again encircled and effectively destroyed again in January 1945. The remains of the division and reconnaissance battalion formed Panzer Division Feldherrnhalle 2. This unit fought until the end of the war until it surrendered in Austria on the 8th of May 1945.