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Encyclopedia > Sapper

A sapper, in the sense first used by the French military, was one who sapped (undermined) another's fortifications. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Undermining. ...


When an army was defending a fortress with cannon, they had an obvious height and therefore range advantage over the attacker's own guns. The attacking army's artillery had to be brought forward, under fire, so as to facilitate effective counter-battery fire. This was achieved by digging what the French termed a 'Sappe'. Using techniques developed and perfected by Vauban, the sapeurs (sappers) began the trench at such an angle so as to avoid enemy fire 'enfilading' (passing directly along) the sappe. As they pressed forward, a position was prepared from which cannon could suppress the defenders on the bastions. The sappers would then change the course of their trench, zig-zagging their way toward the fortress wall. Each leg brought the attacker's artillery closer and closer until (hopefully) the besieged cannon would be sufficiently suppressed for undermining to begin. Broadly speaking, sappers were originally experts at demolishing or otherwise overcoming or bypassing fortification systems. Sébastien Le Prestre, Seigneur de Vauban and later Marquis de Vauban (May 15, 1633 - March 30, 1707), commonly referred to as Vauban, was a Marshal of France and the foremost military engineer of his age, famed for his skill in both designing fortifications and in breaking through them. ... Look up zigzag in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


A sapper is an individual usually in British or Commonwealth military service. Called a combat engineer by the Americans, a pionier by the Germans and a génie by the French, a sapper may perform any of a variety of tasks under combat conditions. Such tasks typically include bridge-building, laying or clearing minefields, demolitions, field defences as well as building, road and airfield construction and repair. In other words, the sapper's tasks now involve facilitating movement of allied forces and impeding movement of the enemy's.


Sapper (abbreviated Spr) is the Royal Engineers' equivalent of Private. This is also the case within the Canadian and Royal Australian Engineers, however, this use of the term is not used by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. The term Sapper was introduced in 1856 when the Corps of Royal Sappers and Miners was amalgamated with the officer Corps of Royal Engineers to form the Corps of Royal Engineers. The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers (RE), and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps of the British Army. ... A Private is a soldier of the lowest military rank (equivalent to Nato Rank Grades OR-1 to OR-3 depending on the force served in). ... The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers (RE), and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps of the British Army. ... The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers (RE), and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps of the British Army. ...


In France, the civil firefighters and the military firefighters of the Paris Fire Brigade are called "sappers-pumpers" (sapeurs-pompiers, SP): the first fire company created by Napoléon I was a military sappers company. Apart from this, the sappers are the combat engineers. Firefighter with an axe A firefighter, sometimes still called a fireman though women have increasingly joined firefighting units, is a person who is trained and equipped to put out fires, rescue people and in some areas provide emergency medical services. ... Fire engine of the Brigade Sapeurs-Pompiers de Paris parading The Paris Fire Brigade, in French Brigade Sapeurs-Pompiers de Paris(BSPP), is the fire service for the city of Paris and the surrounding departments of Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, Hauts-de-Seine. ... French fire engine parading The sapeurs-pompiers (SP), officially le Corps du Sapeurs-Pompiers, are the firefighters of France. ... Bonaparte as general Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a general of the French Revolution and was the ruler of France as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic from November 11, 1799 to May 18, 1804, then as Emperor of the French (Empereur... A US army combat engineer setting up a communications cable. ...

Contents

Specific usage

U.S. Army

In the U.S. Army, Sappers are combat engineers who advance with the front-line infantry, and they have fought in every war in American history. The designation is earned as an additional proficiency. The United States Army is the largest branch of the armed forces of the United States. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Infantry are soldiers who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units, though they may be transported to the battlefield by horses, ships, automobiles, skis, bicycles, or other means. ...


The U.S. Army authorizes four skill tabs for wear above the unit patch on the left shoulder. Three of these tabs identify soldiers who have passed a course proving their leadership and adaptability: the Special Forces tab, the Ranger Tab, and the Sapper Tab, in that order of wear from highest to lowest. The President's Hundred Tab is worn for the best marksmen in the Army. Special Forces Tab The Special Forces Tab is a decoration of the United States Army which is awarded to any service member who completes the Special Forces Qualification Course, or the Special Forces Officer Course, at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. ... Ranger Tab The Ranger Tab is a military decoration of the United States Army which signifies completion of the U.S. Army Ranger School, a three month course providing instruction in small-unit combat tactics in woodland, mountain, and swamp operations. ... The Sapper Tab is a military badge of the United States Army which was authorized in June 2004 by the Army Chief of Staff, General Peter Schoomaker. ... The Presidents Hundred Tab The Presidents Hundred Tab, a full-color embroidered tab of yellow 4 1/4 inches (10. ...


To wear the Sapper Tab, a Soldier must complete the Sapper Leader Course which is operated by the U.S. Army Engineer School at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The Sapper Leader Course is a 28-day course designed to train joint-service leaders in small unit tactics, leadership skills, and tactics required to perform as part of a combined arms team. The course is open to enlisted Soldiers in the grades of E-4 (in the Army, specialist) and above, cadets, and officers O-3 (Army, captain) and below. Students can come from any combat or combat support branch of the service, but priority is given to engineering, cavalry, and infantry soldiers. [1]. The course is in two Phases. Fort Leonard Wood is a United States Army Basic Combat Training (BCT) post located in the Missouri Ozarks. ... Official language(s) English Capital Jefferson City Largest city Kansas City Largest metro area St Louis Metro[1] Area  Ranked 21st  - Total 69,709 sq mi (180,693 km²)  - Width 240 miles (385 km)  - Length 300 miles (480 km)  - % water 1. ...


Phase I lasts 14 days and covers general subjects including medical, navigation, demolitions, air and water operations, mountaineering, and landmines and weapons used by enemy forces. Phase II is the remaining 14 days. It covers basic patrolling techniques and battle drills that emphasize leadership. The subjects include urban operations, breaching, patrol organization and movement, and reconnaissance, raid and ambush tactics. It concludes with a three-day situation training exercise, and five-day field training exercise. These missions are a 60/40 mix of engineer and infantry missions. See drugs, medication, and pharmacology for substances that are used to treat patients. ... Table of geography, hydrography, and navigation, from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ... A massive crane is used to demolish this tower block in northern England Demolition is the opposite of construction: the tearing-down of buildings and other structures. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A landmine is a type of mine which is placed onto or into the ground and explodes when triggered by a vehicle or person. ... Urban warfare is a modern warfare conducted in urban areas such as towns and cities. ... In military tactics, to patrol, or conduct a patrol, is to conduct reconnaissance of a designated area or route. ... Mixed reconnaissance patrol of the Polish Home Army and the Soviet Red Army during Operation Tempest, 1944 Reconnaissance is the military term for the active gathering of information about an enemy, or other conditions, by physical observation. ... It has been suggested that Standard RAID levels be merged into this article or section. ... An ambush is a long established military tactic in which an ambushing force uses concealment to attack an enemy that passes its position. ...


Leadership is emphasized throughout the SLC. During the course leader roles are rotated regularly and each student is evaluated at least twice on leadership. The results of the Sapper Leader Course are soldiers who are hardened combat engineers who are qualified to fight and lead on today’s battlefields. [2].


U.S. Marine Corps

In the U.S. Marine Corps, the term sapper is commonly used as a call sign amongst combat engineer units to designate them as engineers when attached to infantry units. Combat Engineers in the Marine Corps, unlike their Army counterparts, are a sort of jack of all trades. During Basic Combat Engineer Training, a Marine is trained in a variety of fields which as a whole encompass the 1371 MOS. Subjects covered include Demolitions, Breaching, Woodframe Construction, Concrete Laying, Land Clearing, Surviability Positions, and Counter Mobility. Depending on the type of unit the Marine is assigned to will determine what tasks they will be used for primarily. For example, a Marine assigned to a Marine Division will primarily be required to perform tasks involving infantry tactics, breaching, and mine clearing. That same Marine if assigned to an Air Wing on the other hand would be more likely to perform construction work and tactical airfield construction and maintenance. In any case, a Marine Combat Engineer is required to be proficient in all areas to include infantry tactics and weapon systems. The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States military responsible for providing power projection from the sea,[1] utilizing the mobility of the U.S. Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces. ...


PAVN and Viet Cong

In the PAVN and Viet Cong, the sappers were special operations soldiers who used infiltration, sabotage, and ambush to attack enemy forces. The Peoples Army of Vietnam (PAVN) is the term used by the Vietnamese for their army, which during the Vietnam War (1961 - 1975) was known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), or Army of North Vietnam. ... A Viet Cong soldier, heavily guarded, awaits interrogation following capture in the attacks on Saigon during the festive Tet holiday period of 1968. ... Special forces or special operations forces is a term used to describe relatively small military units raised and trained for reconnaissance, unconventional warfare and special operations. ...


Fictional references

  • In the novel The English Patient Ondaatje's character Kip is a sapper during World War II.
  • The computer game Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness has a military unit called Goblin Sappers which are used to demolish enemy units and structures.
  • In Commandos an explosives expert on the team is referred to repeatedly as merely "The Sapper".
  • The computer game City of Heroes includes a secret paramilitary organization called the "Malta Group," which employs agents called "sappers," equipped with distinctive and widely dreaded endurance-draining weaponry.
  • In Age of Empires II, it is possible to research a "Sappers" upgrade that increases the damage villagers cause against buildings.
  • In the computer game series Icewind Dale, Dwarven shock troops were designated "sappers," although they acted more in the manner of kamikaze shock troops (explosives fitted to their backs and said dwarves charging the Player's party).
  • In the 1978 Cold Chisel song, "Khe Sanh", which is about an Australian veteran of the Vietnam War, the famous first line is "I left my heart to the sappers round Khe Sanh".

This article is about the book. ... Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness (usually simply called Warcraft II; sometimes abbreviated to WCII or WC2) is a sequel to the popular real-time strategy game Warcraft, published by Blizzard Entertainment in December 1995. ... Promotional artwork for the Commandos series. ... City of Heroes (CoH) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing computer game based on the superhero comic book genre, developed by Cryptic Studios and published by NCsoft. ... Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings (or simply Age of Kings) is a real-time strategy game set in the middle ages, released in 1999. ... Icewind Dale is a computer role-playing game (CRPG) developed by Black Isle Studios. ... This article is about the Australian band. ... Khe Sanh is a Australian pub rock song, released by the band Cold Chisel in 1978, and named after the Battle of Khe Sanh (1968), during the Vietnam War. ... Vietnam veteran is a phrase used to describe someone who served in the armed forces of participating countries during the Vietnam War. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000...

External links

  • Royal Engineers Museum History of the Royal Engineers (The Sappers)
  • Royal Engineers Museum Origins of the term "Sapper"

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Sapper Tab (144 words)
The Sapper Tab was approved by the Chief of Staff, Army, on 28 June 2004.
The Sapper Tab metal replica is available in two sizes, full and dress miniature.  Soldiers authorized to wear the Sapper Tab may wear the Sapper Tab metal replica.  The full size version is approximately 1 5/32 inches (2.94 cm) in width.  The dress miniature version is 13/16 inch (2.06 cm) in width.
 The dress miniature metal tab is worn on the blue and white mess and evening mess uniforms.  When miniature medals are worn on the blue and white dress uniforms, personnel may wear the dress miniature Sapper tab metal replica.  The tab is authorized for permanent wear.  Further wear policy is contained in AR 670-1.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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