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Engineer Special Brigades


Engineer Special Brigade shoulder patch

U.S. Army. Via Wikimedia Commons

Engineer Special Brigades were U.S. Army engineer units trained and organized to man the landing craft required for amphibious invasions. They were authorized by the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 9 May 1942 and a training center was activated on 5 June 1942 at Cape Cod. Two brigades were activated shortly thereafter. By the end of the war, six Engineer Special Brigades had been activated. The 2, 3 and 4 Engineer Special Brigades saw extensive service in the Southwest Pacific under MacArthur, while the 1 Engineer Special Brigade was initially deployed to Europe and transferred to the Pacific just in time for the Okinawa campaign.

Each brigade was equipped to transport and land a division. This required a force of 7340 men, 540 LCMs and LCVPs, and 104 command and support boats.

The Navy regarded the Engineer Special Brigades as an institutional encroachment on its responsibilities and was persuaded to accept their activation only with great reluctance, and only because the Navy already had its hands full in the Pacific and Atlantic. None served under Nimitz, who insisted that landing forces should be brought ashore by Navy or Coast Guard crews.

References

ESB: Engineer Special Brigade (accessed 2008-6-27)
Morison (1953)


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