- Military engineer
A military engineer is primarily responsible for the design and construction of offensive, defensive, and logistical structures for
warfare. Other duties include the layout, placement, maintenance and dismantling of defensive minefields and the clearing of enemy minefields and the construction and destruction of bridges. In some cases an engineer may be required to destroy something that that same engineer designed and constructed. In many armies the military engineers are also called pioneers or sappers. [citebook|title=From Crossbow to H-bomb|author=Bernard Brodie, Fawn McKay Brodie|year=1973|publisher=Indiana University Press|id=ISBN 0253201616]
"In some countries, the modern military may comprise engineering units in say, weapon design or procurement, or of non-military
civil engineering (e.g. flood controland rivernavigation works) which are not covered by this article."
In modern times a military engineer that usually operates during
battleand under fire is called a combat engineer. "For more modern aspects of military engineering and tools of the combat engineering corps, see combat engineering."
Origins of military engineering
Perhaps the first civilization to have a dedicated force of military engineering specialists were the Romans, whose army contained a dedicated corps of military engineers known as "
architecti". Roman military engineeringwas pre-eminent amongst its contemporaries, and the scale of certain military engineering feats, such as the construction of a double-wall of fortifications convert|30|mi|km long in total (both walls combined total) in just six weeks to completely encircle the besieged city. Such military engineering feats would have been completely new, and probably bewildering and demoralizing, to the Gallic defenders. The best known of these Roman army engineers due to his writings surviving is Vitruvius.
fortifications are designed to prevent intrusion into the inner works by siege infantry. For minor defensive locations these may only consist of simple walls and ditches. The design principle is to slow down the advance of attackers to where they can be destroyed by defenders from sheltered positions. Most large fortifications are not a single structure but rather a concentric series of fortifications of increasing strength. Fortified cities would typically include an inner "old town"' within walls. Should the city be attacked, those residing outside the walls would enter the inner city. Within this would be a redoubt, or citadel, to which defenders could retreat should the walls or gates be breached.
When the defender must
retreatit is often desirable to destroy anything that may be of use to the enemy, particularly bridges, as their destruction can slow the advanceof the attackers. The retreating forces may also leave booby traps for enemy soldiers, even though these often wreak their havoc upon non-combatantcivilians.
In ancient times, fortifications were assaulted by
siege engines. These could be projectile throwing devices or simple moving towers that could allow attackers protection while positioning them above the top of the fortification's walls.
The undermining of the defender's walls by tunneling is called mining. With the military use of
gunpowderthis explosivecould be placed in tunnels to explode directly under the walls. The most spectacular use of this technique in the 19th century was during the United States' Civil War.
The clearing of enemy minefields is another offensive task.
Often the defender in retreat will destroy bridges to impede the attacker. These must be quickly replaced by the attacker in order to retain offensive mobility. In
World War IIa short portable bridge called the Bailey bridgecould be quickly placed by a specialized transporter vehicle. Pontoon bridges have long been used as temporary replacements for destroyed river crossings.
The design, construction, and demolition of the works and devices shown would be the task of a military engineer in the appropriate era.
Famous Military engineers
Menno van Coehoorn
Pierre Charles L'Enfant
Paul R. Smith
Earthquake engineering structures
Military technology and equipment
Siege engine;Some military engineering projects of World War II:
Society of American Military Engineers
Canadian Military Engineers
Royal Australian Engineers
* [http://www.pioniertruppe.com German Engineers]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.