German Pioneer 1939-45 Combat Engineer of the Wehrmacht'WA146
The German Army of World War II collectively referred to its various engineer units as Pioniere (Pioneers). This organization included Pioniertruppen (Pioneer Troops), Bautruppen (Construction Troops), Eisenbahntruppen (Railway Troops), and Technische Truppen (Technical Troops). They were first and foremost assault troops, and construction workers second. They were tasked with overcoming manmade and natural obstacles, and in the attack they supported the infantry as specialist assault troops, attacking fortified positions with demolitions and flamethrowers. In the defence they constructed fortifications and shelters, erected obstacles, laid minefields, planted booby traps, cleared fields of fire, erected camouflage, and maintained supply routes. This book examines the recruitment and special training of a German Pionier. It also covers life in the field while on campaign, their role in supporting infantry assaults.