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.
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 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, should be thoroughly studied and understood - 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 friendly 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. The soldiers or the sergeants of the engineer company of a regiment are included for this in the composition of posts and groups.
Engineers were born on the basis of the needs of the 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.
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