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"[Austria 1805] Why Pioneers? And Bridging Train?" Topic

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Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2021 2:32 p.m. PST

My interest lies in Austerlitz in detail, the campaign overall and results within each sphere. However I am building the 'Allies' in opposition to my French.

Of Concern:
Long known in OB from many sources, the existence of three Austrian 'Pioneer' company's attached to the Grenzer Light Brigade of GM Carnevilles' have been documented. Nothing I read aluded to their use, or usefulness until this.

Only when I saw the OB posted by Jonathan Gingerich link did I see that he has cited:
Pioneer Corps -3 coy.s- with two mobile bridges.

First impression is great! They planned to storm and bridge the Goldbach. But that's not really how the Austrians operated is it?

I'll readily admit as a francophile that the 'Allies' had ample space to attempt to bridge an unprotected spot along the stream (even if swampy), and perhaps outflank one or more of the strongpoints/ towns that otherwise impeded their progress.

However logic draws me to the second hypothesis- that as only when crossed successfully would a new interim 'bridge' be thrown and give more access around the bottleneck defiles
for the rest of the Corps/Columns to pass.

What say ye? Any definitive texts in German explain this?

And perhaps, did the Austrians also have with them other bridging trains during the campaign? Such equipment, unless cited in capture reports, tends to be overlooked IMO,
regards and thanks,

14Bore16 Feb 2021 2:59 p.m. PST

Other than seems not a big mentioned item, but every army had bridging trains or means to cross rivers on short notice.
I have about a year remade my pioneer companies for my Prussians and Russians and have boats and flat bed wagons for whichever army needs them.

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2021 1:26 a.m. PST

Bridging equipment and the men to build with it were a standard part of most armies of the period. Their presence in the orbat would not necessarily mean their deployment in battle. Building bridges under fire was a rare occurrence and as mentioned, would usually happen after the far bank had been secured and the fighting moved on. Also, given the time they took to build, if an operation required them, it was usually a preliminary phase before the fighting started.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2021 2:24 p.m. PST

Yes guys, thanks for the elucidation given.
I could have written the same (no offense); it was some detail from the exposé of Germanic sources I'm particularly interested in 'as if' the bridges were some part of the grand plan.

They were not just there; they were attached as part of Carnevilles brigade; the Avant-Garde, so why? If they weren't expected to be used/ useful, why would you place them so close to the front line?

Jonathan Gingerich doesn't give a source- and he's the only one to identify such at all.
However I disagree with some of his OB in other parts, so wonder if this is also reliable. Perhaps I should contact him directly,

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