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The German Pionier: Case Study of the Combat Engineer's Employment During Sustained Ground Combat

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,01 Jul 2017,24 May 2018

Corporate Author:

U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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In February 2016, Chief of Staff of the Army General Mark Milley formally directed a shift of training focus of the US Army from counterinsurgency to sustained ground combat operations by directing a focus on readiness levels to conduct sustained ground combat in a full spectrum environment against a highly lethal hybrid threat or near-peer adversary. For the US Army Engineer Regiment this means a return to mobility focused operations based on combined arms maneuver such as the combined arms breach and river crossing operations from the route clearance centric mobility operations that dominated the combat engineers mission set during the Global War on Terrorism. To accomplish Milleys directed shift in readiness focus, the US Army Engineer Regiment must regain its proficiency in major ground combat operations. Beginning with individual soldier tasks and progressing up the echelons to collective combined arms training. Simultaneously, the Engineer Regiment and other supported or supporting branches of the US Army require retraining on the capabilities and proper employment of combat engineers. This monograph seeks to explore historical case studies of German combat engineers Pioniere during the Second World War employed in major combat operations against a peer or near-peer adversary. To provide relative, meaningful, and actionable insights on the future employment of combat engineers, this monograph analyzes the experiences of the Pioniere through the lens of the modern American concept of operational art to align them with current concepts.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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