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.
German Assault Engineer Battalion Organization
German Assault Engineers
The German Assault Engineer Battalion (Pionier-Sturm-Bataillon) has the general organization of a battalion consisting of a Staff/HQ’s Company and three engineer companies, for a total of around 900 men. The purpose of the battalion as indicated by its title was a unit designed to be used in assaults. To that end the unit is partially armored with 22 Sd.Kfz.250/251 half-tracks, it has two flamethrower platoons (as well as a half-track flamethrower platoon) and a specialized “Typhoon” platoon equipped and tasked with assaulting fortress type positions.
The staff /HQ’s company used KStN 703. This has the commander’s group, reconnaissance platoon, maintenance platoon and other support units. This is your basic German infantry type HQ’s company.
The battalion has two armored engineer companies organized under KStN 727, Panzer-Pionier-Kompanie (G). These are armored companies that have 11 half-tracks each. The half-tracks were two Sd.Kfz. 250/3 (signals), two Sd.Kfz. 251/17 (2cm Flak) and seven Sd.Kfz. 215/7 (engineer). Each company also had an allotment of 30 Goliaths. Although, these do not show up in the KStN as they are considered a consumable like ammunition and panzerfaust.
Each company was also allocated 39 sub-machine guns, 28 light machine guns, four heavy machine guns and two 8cm Granatenwerfer 42. With a total personnel count of 267 men per company.
World War Two German Army Pionier battalions:
- Panzer-Pionier-Bataillon (armoured pioneer battalion performing engineering tasks during an assault from manoeuvre)
- Sturmpionierbataillon (assault pioneer battalion performing engineering tasks during an infantry assault)
- Gebirgs-Pionier-Bataillon 95, a pioneer unit trained for the mountain terrain
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