At its peak in World War II, the United States Army contained over 700 engineer battalions, along with numerous independent brigades and regiments. The specialized soldiers of the Engineers were tasked with a wide variety of crucially important tasks including river bridging, camouflage, airfield construction, and water and petroleum supply. However, despite their important support roles, the engineers were often employed on the front lines fighting beside the general infantry in the desperate battles of the European theatre. This book covers the role of these soldiers, from their recruitment and training, through their various support missions and combat experiences, forming an account of what it was truly like to be a combat engineer in World War II.
Gordon L. Rottman entered the US Army in 1967, volunteered for Special Forces and completed training as a weapons specialist. He served in the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in 1969-70 and subsequently in airborne infantry, long-range patrol and intelligence assignments until retiring after 26 years. He was a Special Operations Forces scenario writer at the Joint Readiness Training Center for 12 years and is now a freelance writer, living in Texas.