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Evolution of the engineer in combat essay

As the prevalence of civil engineering outstripped engineering in a military context and the number of disciplines expanded, the original military meaning of the word "engineering" is now largely obsolete.

In its place, the term "military engineering" has come to be used. Tasks of military engineering[ edit ] Modern military engineering can be divided into three main tasks or fields: Combat engineering is associated with engineering on the battlefield.

Combat engineers are responsible for increasing mobility on the front lines of war such as digging trenches and building temporary facilities in war zones. Strategic support is associated with providing service in communication zones such as the construction of airfields and the improvement and upgrade of ports, roads and railways communication.

Ancillary support includes provision and distribution of maps as well as the disposal of unexploded warheads. Military engineers construct bases, airfields, roads, bridges, ports, and hospitals. During peacetime before modern warfare, military engineers took the role of civil engineers by participating in the construction of civil-works projects.

Nowadays, military engineers are almost entirely engaged in war logistics and preparedness. This group was pre-eminent among its evolution of the engineer in combat essay. 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. Alexander the Great also used engineers in his army[ citation needed ].

In ancient times, military engineers were responsible for siege warfare and building field fortificationstemporary camps and roads. The most notable engineers of ancient times were the Romans and Chinesewho constructed huge siege-machines catapults, battering rams and siege towers.

The Romans were responsible for constructing fortified wooden camps and paved roads for their legions. Many of these Roman roads are still in use today. For 500 years after the fall of the Roman empirethe practice of military engineering barely evolved in the west. In fact, much of the classic techniques and practices of Roman military engineering were lost. Through this period, the foot soldier who was pivotal to much of the Roman military engineering capability was largely replaced by mounted soldiers.

Evolution of the engineer in combat essay

It was not until later in the Middle Agesthat military engineering saw a revival focused on siege warfare. When laying siege, they planned and oversaw efforts to penetrate castle defenses. When castles served a military purpose, one of the tasks of the sappers was to weaken the bases of walls to enable them to be breached before means of thwarting these activities were devised. Broadly speaking, sappers were experts at demolishing or otherwise overcoming or bypassing fortification systems.

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Working dress of the Royal Military Artificers in Gibraltar, 1795 With the 14th-century development of gunpowdernew siege engines in the form of cannons appeared. Initially military engineers were responsible for maintaining and operating these new weapons just as had been the case with previous siege engines. In England, the challenge of managing the new technology resulted in the creation of the Office of Ordnance around 1370 in order to administer the cannons, armaments and castles of the kingdom.

Both military engineers and artillery formed the body of this organization and served together until the office's predecessor, the Board of Ordnance was disbanded in 1855. Military engineering significantly revised the way fortifications were built in order to be better protected from enemy direct and plunging shot. The new fortifications were also intended to increase the ability of defenders to bring fire onto attacking enemies.

Fort construction proliferated in 16th-century Europe based on the trace italienne design. In peacetime these specialists constituted the regimental tradesmen, constructing and repairing buildings, transport wagons, etc. On active service they moved at the head of marching columns evolution of the engineer in combat essay axes, shovels, and pickaxes, clearing obstacles or building bridges to enable the main body of the regiment to move through difficult terrain. The modern Royal Welch Fusiliers and French Foreign Legion still maintain pioneer sections who march at the front of ceremonial parades, carrying chromium-plated tools intended for show only.

Other historic distinctions include long work aprons and the right to wear beards. The Peninsular War 1808—14 revealed deficiencies in the training and knowledge of officers and men of the British Army in the conduct of siege operations and bridging.

During this war low-ranking Royal Engineers officers carried out large-scale operations. They had under their command working parties of two or three battalions of infantry, two or three thousand men, who knew nothing in the art of siegeworks.

Royal Engineers officers had to demonstrate the simplest tasks to the soldiers, often while under enemy fire. Several officers were lost and could not be replaced, and a better system of training for siege operations was required. The first courses at the Royal Engineers Establishment were done on an all ranks basis with the greatest regard to economy. To reduce staff the NCOs and officers were responsible for instructing and examining the soldiers.

If the men could not read or write they were taught to do so, and those who could read and write were taught to draw and interpret simple plans. The Royal Engineers Establishment quickly became the centre of excellence for all fieldworks and bridging. Captain Charles Pasleythe director of the Establishment, was keen to confirm his teaching, and regular exercises were held as demonstrations or as experiments to improve the techniques and teaching of the Establishment.

From 1833 bridging skills were demonstrated annually by the building of a pontoon bridge across the Medway which was tested by the infantry of the garrison and the cavalry from Maidstone. These demonstrations had become a popular spectacle for the local people by 1843, when 43,000 came to watch a field day laid on to test a method of assaulting earthworks for a report to the Inspector General of Fortifications. In 1869 the title of the Royal Engineers Evolution of the engineer in combat essay was changed to "The School of Military Engineering" SME as evidence of its status, not only as the font of engineer doctrine and training for the British Armybut also as the leading scientific military school in Europe.

A Bailey bridge being deployed in the Korean War to replace a bridge destroyed in combat. The dawn of the internal combustion engine marked the beginning of a significant change in military engineering.

With the arrival of the automobile at the end of the 19th century and heavier than air flight at the start of the 20th century, military engineers assumed a major new role in supporting the movement and deployment of these systems in war.

Military engineers gained vast knowledge and experience in explosives. They were tasked with planting bombs, landmines and dynamite.

Military engineering

At the end of World War Ithe standoff on the Western Front caused the Imperial German Army to gather experienced and particularly skilled soldiers to form "Assault Teams" which would break through the Allied trenches. With enhanced training and special weapons such as flamethrowersthese squads achieved some success, but too late to change the outcome of the war. In early WWII, however, the Wehrmacht "Pioniere" battalions proved their efficiency in both attack and defense, somewhat inspiring other armies to develop their own combat engineers battalions.

Notably, the attack on Fort Eben-Emael in Belgium was conducted by Luftwaffe glider -deployed combat engineers. The need to defeat the German defensive positions of the " Atlantic wall " as part of the amphibious landings in Normandy in 1944 led to the development of specialist combat engineer vehicles. These and other dedicated assault vehicles were organised into the specialised 79th Armoured Division and deployed during Operation Overlord — 'D-Day'.

Modern military engineering still retains the Roman role of building field fortificationsroad paving and breaching terrain obstacles. A notable military engineering task was, for example, breaching the Suez Canal during the Yom Kippur War.

As ENTEC, the institute was mandated to conduct military engineer interoperability training for participating nations. Military engineering by country[ edit ] Military engineers are key in all armed forces of the world, and invariably found either closely integrated into the force structure, or even into the combat units of the national troops.