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Engineer Combat Battalion

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Engineer Combat Battalion

An engineer combat battalion was a designation for a battalion-strength combat engineering unit in the U.S. Army, most prevalent during World War II. They are a component of the United States Army Corps of Engineers.


Also known as "combat engineer battalions" (CEB), they were typically divided into four companies: A, B, C, and Headquarters and Service (H&S).

Best known for pontoon bridge construction, their duties also included serving as sappers deploying and deactivating explosive charges and unexploded munitions, mapmaking, camouflage, and a wide variety of construction services supporting frontline troops. They also fielded defensive .30 cal. and .50 cal. machine gun squads, anti-tank rocket and grenade launchers, and were required to fight as infantry when needed.

Combat engineers played important roles in numerous World War II battles, especially breaching the heavily fortified Seigfried Line protecting the German border and numerous defensive lines established by the Wehrmacht in Italy, including the Gustav Line. Among the most familiar for their heroism and contributions to establishing key bridgeheads in the European Theater was at the Ludendorff Bridge at the Battle of Remagen.

Their construction equivalent U.S. Navy Seabees played a crucial role establishing beachheads and airstrips in the Pacific Command's island hopping strategy of defeating Japan.


A World War II era combat engineer battalion possessed both combat and combat support capabilities. These included, but were not limited to:

  • Bridge (mobile, floating, fixed), rail, & road construction and maintenance
  • Conducting river crossings by pontoon/raft, motor-powered assault boats
  • Demolition
  • Placing/de-arming munitions, including mines
  • Port & harbor maintenance and rehabilitation, including beachheads:
  • Laying roads and unloading/loading supplies, vehicles & personnel from transport and cargo ships
  • Camouflage
  • Water supply and sanitation
  • Map production
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Establishing/maintaining supply and ammunition dumps
  • Building barracks, depots, and similar structures
  • Rescue & road patrols, bridge and road reconnaissance
  • Clearing of debris and wreckage
  • Unit defense and intelligence
  • Fighting as infantry when needed
  • US units

    Combat Engineer Battalions in the U.S. military include:

  • 1st Engineer Combat Battalion
  • 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion
  • 9th Engineer Combat Battaltion
  • 14th Engineer Combat Battalion
  • 15th Engineer Battalion
  • 16th Engineer Battalion
  • 31st Engineer Combat Battalion
  • 114th Engineer Combat Battalion
  • 244th Combat Engineers
  • 248th Engineer Combat Battalion
  • 249th Engineer Combat Battalion
  • 289th Engineer Combat Battalion
  • 291st Engineer Combat Battalion
  • 311th Engineer Combat Battalion, 8th Blackhawk Div (United States)European Theater

  • 864th Engineer Battalion
  • 1269th Engineer Combat Battalion
  • References

    Engineer Combat Battalion Wikipedia

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