The 1111th Engineer Group in the Bulge: The Role of Engineers as Infantry in AirLand Battle
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This study examines the role of U.S. Army Engineers fighting as infantry in AirLand Battle by analyzing the actions of the 1111th Engineer Combat Group during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. By manning hasty defensive positions at Malmedy, Stavelot, and Trois Ponts, the 291st Engineers and C Company, 51st Engineers delayed the German advance long enough for 30th Infantry and 82d Airborne Divisions to reach the area and wrestle the initiative from Sixth Panzer Army. The defense of the Our the River line by elements of the 51st Engineers was instrumental in delaying 116th Panzer Division long enough for 3rd Armored and 84th Infantry Divisions to reach defensive positions in front of the Meuse River. Engineers were successful as infantry against mechanized forces for several reasons 1 Infantry missions were limited in scope 2 They were augmented with additional fire power 3 They occupied good defensible terrain 4 World War II engineer units received extensive combat training before deploying overseas. The Battle of the Bulge displays many of the characteristics of a Soviet attack on NATO.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics