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Engineering Troops

The Engineering Troops were directly subordinate to the General Staff. However, Minister of Defense Sergey Ivanov, ordered them re-subordinated directly to Deputy Minister of Defense and CINC, Ground Troops, Col-Gen Nikolay Kormiltsev, "until the Main Command of the Russian Ground Troops is set up, which must be done by 1 December 2001." Very frequently engineers are confused with construction units, because soldiers and officers of construction units, being ashamed of their membership in the tribe of builders, very often they bear instead the emblems of engineers. Engineers are troops of the front line. They go into the battle simultaneously with the motorized riflemen and the tankers, and frequently also earlier. Engineers first mastered the newest means of waging of war and injected them in the arsenal of army. The engineers were isolated as independent of the branch of services such as the railroad troops, the motor transport troops, or the tank troops. Engineers were born on the basis of the needs the artilleries, in the depths of artillery and up to the beginning of 19th century were their component part. Russia's first military school for training of officers was opened in 1701. This school prepared the officers of artillery and engineers. The infantry and cavalry military schools opened only 30 years later. The problem of developing and combat use of first aeronautical, and then aircraft forces was entrusted precisely to the engineers. Up to the end of the First World War aviation parts remained in conducting of Chief Military Engineering Directorate. At the beginning of 1942 ten field-engineer armies were formed. One field-engineer army to each front. In 1943 the titles of marshals and Chief marshals not only for the aviation, the tankers, the artillery, but also for the engineers, were introduced. Engineers are intended for solving the "engineering support of battle" missions. The field manual of ground forces [VS] of the USSR treat this concept thus: "Engineering support is one of the forms of engineer support. The engineering support of military operations of the troops is organized and is accomplished for the purpose to create for the troops the necessary conditions for the timely and reserved advancement, developments, maneuver, the successful fulfillment by them of combat missions, increasing the protection of the troops and objects from all forms of defeat, for the putting to the enemy of losses, for the difficulty of the actions of enemy. Engineering support includes: - engineer reconnaissance of enemy, locality and objects; - the fortification equipment of positions, boundaries, regions, control posts; - device and the content of engineering barrages, and the carrying out of destruction; - installation and the content of nuclear mines and contact mines; - destruction and the neutralization of the nuclear mines of enemy; - making and the content of passages in the barrages and the destruction; - the device of the passages through the obstacles; - the mine clearing of locality and objects; - preparation and the maintenance of the paths of motion of the troops, supply and evacuation; - equipment and the maintenance of passages during boosting of water obstacles; - engineer operations for masking of the troops and objects; - engineer operations for the restoration of the combat efficiency of the troops and overcoming the consequences of nuclear strikes of enemy; - output and the purification of water, the equipment of water-supply points. Engineer support missions are carried out by parts and subdivisions of all branches of services and special troops. They independently erect structures for the delivery of fire, observation, shelter of personnel and technology; they cover by the mine fields and disguise their positions and regions of arrangement; they lay and designate paths of motion; [preodolevayut] barrages and obstacles; water obstacles boost. Engineers carry out the most complex engineer support missions, which require the special training of personnel, the application of engineering technology and specific engineer explosive items. Furthermore, they inflict defeat technician and on personnel of enemy by mine-explosive and nuclear-mine means." The widely-known expression notes the plan was "was smooth on paper, but they forgot about the ravines". These are general aphorism, but a sad reminder to many generals of times past and present. It is possible to give hundreds of examples, when neglect of engineer reconnaissance tore away the most excellent intentions of generals, converted the attacking troops into the target for the enemy. Engineer reconnaissance of locality is carried out by different methods and methods (study of locality according to map, aerial photographs, military geographic descriptions; observation, engineering- reconnaissance patrols and the like). The result of engineer reconnaissance of locality is the answer to the question of terrain trafficability for the personnel and the technology, about the possibility of masking of personnel and technology (both its and strangers). For this it is necessary to obtain the information about area relief (for example, the slope of hills); the presence and road capacity; on the possibility of cross-country movement (it is not swamped locality, it is deep snow, there are whether ravines); on the presence of water obstacles (river, streams, lake, flooded area); on the thickness of scaffolding and their fire hazard. On the whole, the locality, in which are in prospect the military operations, one should thoroughly study and understand - as it can influence the solution of combat problems. Without this any sliest combat plans will prove to be simply projects and the troops will prove to be broken. It is natural that the enemy also studies locality and he tries to hinder the operations of our troops. For this the enemy carries out a number of measures for worsening in the possibilities of moving our troops. He destroys or are prepared for the destruction of road, bridges, weirs, forest obstructions are arranged, the antitank ditches are torn off, barricades are arranged, minefields are established, are built reinforced-concrete pillboxes, bunkers, armored covers, trenches dig. Engineer reconnaissance is obligated to reveal these measures of enemy, to forecast the actions of enemy. The methods of conducting engineer reconnaissance depend on that phase of battle or maneuver, which is in prospect to conduct (offensive, defense, withdrawal, march). For conducting engineer reconnaissance in the parts and the subdivisions can be organized engineering observation posts ([INP]), engineering reconnaissance patrols ([IRD]), posts of photographing (pF), engineer reconnaissance parties (IRG), groups of deep reconnaissance ([GGR]), helicopter patrols (vd), posts of radar surveillance ([PRN]). Usually these posts and groups create the engineering subdivisions of motorized rifle (tank) division, housing, army, front. In the powered rifle (tank) regiments, the battalions the tasks of engineer reconnaissance usually are laid on usual [razvedposty] and groups. The soldiers or the sergeants of the engineer company of regiment are included for this in the composition of posts and groups. It is not possible to describe in the brief article entire complexity and variety of the tasks of engineer reconnaissance, the complexity of their solution. A very plain (children's) example - on the way of the offensive of our tank regiment lies flat green field. It interests regiment-commander - will pass there tanks. Engineer reconnaissance is obligated to give precise and single-valued answer - yes or not. Indeed under the green carpet of grass can be concealed antitank mines or impervious swamp. Which will occur, if reconnaissance is mistaken, to foresee simply. But this is how to find out, if this field under the sight of numerous snipers and machine gunners of enemy, the mortar and artillery fire? Field engineers manifest resourcefulness, risk, suffer losses by their lives and finally give precise answer. However, field engineers under the fire of enemy make passages among the enemy mines, lay the log path through the swamp. Regiment achieves success. Entire glory to tankers. Indeed they won battle. However, but that field engineers? Again they forgot about them, although by its success the regiment is to a considerable extent obliged [im]. however, and failure also can be copied to the field engineers. Fortification equipment of positions, boundaries, regions, control posts. Fortification equipment is one of the most important elements of the engineering support of battle. Here enter entrenchments, combat materiel, the equipment of shelters for the technology, the shelters for the personnel, the passages of communication, the equipment of observant and command and observation posts. The substantial part of the works on fortification equipment carries out personnel of powered rifle (tank) subdivisions, subdivisions of other troops. The role even of simplest [fortsooruzheniy] in the achievement of victory in combat is very great. It suffices to say that the losses from the fire of the enemy of sheltered infantry in comparison with the unsheltered are 4-6 times lower, and from nuclear weapon 10-15 times. Work on [fortoborudovaniyu] begins immediately after unit training exercise of this region and organization of fire system. They continue always when subdivision occupies this region. These works are very labor-consuming and occupy much time. It suffices to say that even fragment of the entrenchment of sub-machine gunner for the shooting lying it occupies from 25 to 40 minutes. For the fragments of entrenchment for the tank it is necessary to move to 28 [kub].[m]. of the earth. If one considers that tank crew consists of three people, then each of the tankers must move 9 [kub].[m]. of ground. One person per hour, working in average ground, can move to 1 cubometers. It means, on the fragment of entrenchment for the tank by hand it will be required from 10 to 30 hours. But this that stands. Tank in the entrenchment successfully is straightened with three-four advancing tanks of enemy. In a number of cases (hasty occupation of defense, the proximity of the suitable enemy and the like) of time for this there is not. For shortening of the time of [fortoborudovaniya] of positions are drawn the engineers. Thus, the engineer company of tank regiment for these purposes has available nine times [BTU] (bulldozer equipment, hung up to the tank), i.e., along one [BTU] to the tank company. This equipment makes it possible to unearth one tank entrenchment in 30 minutes (plus the already 5 man-hours of work by shovels). Furthermore, in the engineer company for the fragments of trenches, foundation areas under the shelters, the refuges, the shelters for the technology is a machine [PZM] (regimental excavator). It digs trench with a speed of up to 300 meters per hour, with the fragment of foundation areas its productivity of 150 [kub].[m]. an hour (for the comparison - excavator only 40). The possibilities of the engineer battalion of division are considerably higher. Furthermore, front usually has available [odnim]-[tremya] the specialized battalions of [fortoborudovaniya]. There in particular there are machines of the type [BTM], which dig trench with a speed of up to 900 meters an hour; [MDK], which trench for the tank dig after 8-10 minutes. Should be given some explanations according to the military-engineering terminology. The fact is that very in many publications, films are widespread erroneous names. That everything call "field-engineer blade" correctly it is called "small infantry shovel", in abbreviated form [MPL]. The entrenching shovel is called large, standard size shovel. The open earthen construction for the delivery of fire is called entrenchment. Entrenchment is for pointer, machine gun, grenade launcher, mortar, instrument, tank, the combat vehicle of infantry ([BMP]), armored carrier ([BTR]), antiaircraft site and the like in a word for in all, which can shoot. Very frequently the entrenchment for the tank is erroneously called caponnier. This is completely incorrect. This word is alien into the literature from the times of forts and fortresses. Caponnier - this is concreted or brick construction, adjoining the fortress wall and intended for the delivery of fire along the walls of fortress for the destruction of those bursting open directly to the walls of the soldiers of enemy. If caponnier makes it possible to conduct fire not to two sides, but into one, then it is called [polukaponir]. For the not shooting technology (automobiles, communication vehicle, field kitchens, ambulance transport the like), the personnel are built the shelters. Their difference from the entrenchments in the fact that of them it is not possible to conduct fire. In a number of cases and for the shooting technology can be torn off the shelters. Thus, shelter for the tank differs from entrenchment for the tank only by its depth (tank it is hidden in the shelter completely to entire its height). Different shelters also are built for the shelter of personnel. But, if all shelters for the technology then are named "shelter", then their names are distinguished for the personnel. Slot is used for the shelter of powered rifle department (and for other small units). Outwardly it is similar in the short section of trench. Slot can be opened and overlapped (it is covered with on top thin logs (by recuperator) and it is put some more by the layer of the earth into 30-60[sm]). Slot must contain not less than 1/3 personnel of department. Shelter is the completely sunk, filled up by the earth construction from the logs, the panels, or the elements of wavy iron. Shelter is covered from above one or several rows of recuperator and is filled up by the layer of the earth not less than 1[m].20[sm]. Bunks for leisure of personnel inside are equipped, heating furnace is established, electricity can be carried out. Very frequently the shelter is erroneously called mud hut. This in the root is erroneous. Mud huts, in contrast to the shelters, are surface construction, are arranged in the administrative areas; they are not intended for the shelter of personnel from the fire of enemy. Mud huts are intended for the prolonged stay of personnel and are a kind of the large huts from the logs, covered with the thick layer of turf. Mud huts can have capacities to 100 and even 200 people shelter it, while contains to 13 people. One shelter to the platoon is equipped according to the standards and it must contain 1/3 numbers of platoon. Shelter is not intended for the delivery of fire. Construction similar to the shelter, but equipped with one or several embrasures is called BUNKER (wood and earthen weapon emplacement) or BUNKER (earth-and-timber weapon emplacement). The same construction, but from the concrete is called DOT (lasting weapon emplacement) or DOS (permanent emplacement). Refuge is similar to the shelter, but it is more according to the size, it descends into the earth deeper than shelter, has the thicker protective layer of the earth and it is completely hermetically sealed. I.e. inside the refuge cannot penetrate toxic substances, incendiary means. Refuge is equipped filter -[ventillyatsionnoy] installation; in the refuge it is possible to be located in the poisoned zone, the zone of radioactive contamination, without putting on it is anti-gas. Refuge is equipped one to the company and must contain not less than 1/3 personnel of company. Engineers for guaranteeing the possibility of the rapid device of shelters for the personnel have not only excavating technology, but also finished sets of the elements of shelters and refuges, or saw-mill and lumber-working tools for the work on the front edge or near it. Also they have available means and possibilities for the device of these shelters and entrenchments directly under the fire of enemy. For example, entrenching charge (OZ) allows in by the aid of the directed explosion in 2-3 minutes to unearth by explosive method entrenchment for pointer for the shooting costing (with depth of 1[m].10[sm].). The large number of other construction is built besides entrenchments and shelters in the defense area of motorized riflemen and tankers, artillery. This, the first of all observant and command and observation posts, which differ from shelters and entrenchments insignificantly (so sheltered observation post it is shelter with the established inside periscope; open KNP of regiment-commander - this is the section of trench with the cells for the staff officers, several shelters for the radio stations, one refuge). Ducts - this of the trenches, which connect between themselves the entrenchments of subdivisions or the trenches, which lead into the rear (for the extension of injured, delivery of ammunition, food, completion). Also in the defense area shelters for the injured, for the medical aid stations, are built means of connection, water-supply points, field depots, points of nourishment and the like Device and the content of engineering barrages, and the carrying out of destruction. Installation and the content of nuclear mines and contact mines. The device and the content of engineering barrages is one of the basic tasks of engineers. All is to a certain extent familiar with this part of the combat activity of engineers. First of all, this the installation of mine pour on. Minefields play very essential role in the cover of the positions of the troops from the attacks of enemy. The many-year experience of waging of war shows that the mine danger can very considerably influence the actions of enemy. Mines do not so much bring real harm on enemy, they how much influence the psyche of personnel. Experience shows that it is sufficient undermining on the mines of two-three tanks in order to completely break up the attack of tank company. The experience of war in Afghanistan attests to the fact that was sufficient undermining on the mine of one machine on the road so that the speed of the motion of the column of our troops would be reduced to 1-2 kilometers in hour then the speed of motion it would be determined by the ability of field engineers to check road against the presence min. in the field manuals of a number of the countries there exists term "mine war". The mass application of mines is capable of almost completely it paralyzing any combat activity of enemy troops in one or other territory or another. At present mine danger is strengthened by the fact that the development of technology and electronics makes it possible to create almost reasonable mines. This is reality, that the mine does not react to the soldier of its army, innocent civilian, but immediately it operates with the approximation of the soldier of enemy and explodes at the most advantageous moment. Furthermore, today there is not united sufficient reliable method of detecting the mines, and even during the detection of mine there are no methods of their reliable neutralization. Mines can have sensors [raspoznayushchie] - purpose this or mine sweeper, they can recognize the significance of purpose, they can have an instrument of multiplicity (to pass the specific quantity of purposes and under the following to explode). Mines can on the radio signal be transferred into the combat either secure situation or be self-liquidated. Pour on for the installation of mine or separate mines is in no way compulsory the presence of the field engineer on the spot of installation. Mines can be placed remotely (to cover even not territory of enemy with the aid of the artillery or aviations). It is possible within the very short times to cover very large sector of the fronts by mines. If at the beginning of the Sixties combat engineer company within the night could establish one kilometer of minefield, then now per hour to 10-15 kilometers. Recently for field engineers for the installation of the mines before its front edge it was necessary at night to creep out to the neutral axis and under the firing of enemy to lay mines. Now partially it is possible to avoid this due to the systems of remote mining. However, these systems lay mines on ground, which makes possible for enemy frequently to reveal and to destroy mines. Minefields must be not only established, but also contained. Into the content of minefield enters control of its state, the installation of new mines of those instead of exploding, the protection of field from its mine clearing by enemy, the enclosure of field by signs so that their machines or personnel would not blow up on the mines, the timely removal of these signs, the transfer of minefield into the combat or safe state (if this minefield is established as controlled), opening and closing passages in the minefield, the passage of its troops through the passages. Some minefields motorized riflemen or tankers can establish themselves, but this form of military operations is too specific, he requires special knowledge and therefore only engineers, as a rule, deal with minefields. For the accomplishment of this objective the engineer company of powered rifle (tank regiment) has the combat engineer platoon, in arsenal of which are three trailer mine layers ([PMZ]) and three automobiles the Urals or KamAZ (Kama Automobile Plant). Platoon can in 15-20 minutes establish the antitank mine field with a length of one kilometer. In arsenal of engineers are mines anti-tank, anti-personnel, objective (for mining of buildings and other construction), automobile (for mining of highways), railroad, antilanding (for mining of water obstacles), anti-aircraft (mining the runways of airfields), booby traps, booby traps. Nuclear contact mines are the special type of controlled mines. In arsenal of engineers are [nosimye] nuclear contact mines by weight near 60[kg]. and with power from 500[t]. to 2 [tys].[t]. of the TNT equivalent. No longer tactical, but important immediate strategic problems are solved with the aid of the nuclear contact mines. With their aid the continuous strips of nuclear- mine barrages are created, are destroyed very large bridges, weirs, hydro-electric stations, railroad junctions. However, the combat employment of engineers is not limited to mines. Engineers build and the nonexplosive obstacles (prickly or cutting wire, the antitank ditches, scarps and counterscarps, barricade, obstructions on the roads, the regions of bogging up and flood), produce different destruction for the difficulty of the advance of enemy (destruction of roads, bridges, obstructions on the roads); they destroy infrastructure (destruction of buildings, railroad and highway construction, water-supply systems, gas supply, power supply, capacity with the fuel, the petroleum industries). For the accomplishment of these objectives the engineers have different explosives, special engineer explosive items (charges of different power and methods of actuating). The problems of destruction and mining engineers solve not only in their territory with the preparation of locality for the defense, but also in the territory of enemy for the purpose to hinder to enemy military operations, to apply to it losses, to hinder or to make impossible his maneuver (withdrawal, the transfer of parts in the threatened sections, supply of ammunition, bringing up of reserves). Very frequently by the basic task of subdivisions and parts airborne troops or subdivisions of the Special Force is precisely the creation of conditions for the successful fulfillment engineers of the tasks of causing to the enemy of harm. For example, the Special Force seizes and retains several hours important bridge, so that the field engineers could explode it. By the way in order to explode double-transit railroad bridge is required the work of combat engineer platoon during 8-10 hours and 500-700 kg. of explosive. Small mine in the ladies handbag it is clearly insufficient, as this they love to show in the films.

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