TM-E 30-451 Handbook on German Military Forces

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. — Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



11. Organic Engineer Units

This arm includes the regular combat engineers, as well as fortress engineers, construction engineers, and regional engineers. On the other hand, the engineer arm does not include railway engineers and railway operating troops, and these therefore are listed separately. (See paragraph 13, below.)

It should be noted that the personnel of engineer platoons in organic divisional units (other than the organic engineer battalion) belong to the arm of the unit which they are serving and not to the engineer arm, although they are trained to perform minor engineer functions.

Engineer units often form small detachments within their unit for special missions (such as flame-thrower detachments and mine-detection detachments).

An engineer battalion (Pionierbataillon) is organic in every German division, varying in strength and composition according to the type of division. (See Figures 133 to 135.)

The engineer battalion in the Two-Regiment Infantry Division is similar to that in the Volks Grenadier Division except that its components are slightly weaker.

The armored engineer battalion in the Motorized Division is very similar to the armored battalion in the Army Armored Division.

The armored engineer battalion in the SS Armored Division is similar to the armored engineer battalion in the Army Armored Division. It has, however, two bridge columns instead of only one.

A mountain engineer battalion is approximately equal in strength to an armored engineer battalion; however, it includes mountain climbing devices and trestle bridge equipment.

The parachute engineer battalion is believed to be organized similarly to the engineer battalion in the Infantry Division, 1944 Type.

Bridge columns were, until 1943, an organic component of the engineer battalions in all types of divisions. At the time of the major reorganization of German divisions the bridge columns were withdrawn to corps from all but the armored divisions. The different types of bridge columns are designated by various capital letters, i.e., "B," "J," "K," and "T," each of which represents the type of bridge-building equipment used. Of these, the bridge column "B" has sufficient equipment for building longer bridges than does column "K." However, bridges built by column "B" are of wood, while those built by column "K" are steel.

Armored engineer platoons, Goliath, about 35 men strong, may be included in any type of engineer battalion. These platoons specifically are equipped for the handling of the cable-controlled, small, armored demolition-charge carrier, the Goliath (not to be confused with the large radio controlled demolition carrier, B-IV, which is employed by the Tiger (FKL) Company and the crew of which belongs to the armored arm, while the Goliath crew belongs to engineers).


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