In this part I will try to describe the clothing and equipment that Bronislaus could have and use during War. In english terminology word “Pionier” means “Engineer”.

Pionier in voller Ausrüstung
Pionier in voller Ausrüstung
Pioneer from Kgl. Sächs. 2. Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 22
Pioneer from Kgl. Sächs. 2. Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 22

The basic responsibilities of engineers were:

- building and reparing bridges, Ponton bridge, Pioneers building a bridge
- building and repairing roads,
- removing obsticles,
- constructing obstacles (barbed wire), Pioneers rising barbed wire
- building trenches and bunkers,
- building fortifications and entrenchments,
- raise telegraph lines,
- supporting infantry during fortifications sieges.

Therefore, to cope with all the engineering tasks pioneers used special equipment and tools. Their work was important and quite often they worked under time pressure to allow infantry freely operate close to the enemy. It was particularly visible in operations on the Eastern Front. Withdrawing Russian army destroyed several bridges to slow down the pursuit of the German army. When the front stabilized engineers were responsible for building trenches, shelters and forts. They also built barber wires to support and help infantry defend against the enemy counterattacks.

The basic engineers tools were:
PionierspatenLarge Spade
Beil – Hatchet
BeilpickePick Hatchet, Pionier Beilpicke
DrahtschereWire Cutter, Pionier Ersatz Wire Cutter, Ersatz Cutter

Handsäge – Handsaw
Schrotsäge (Zweimannsäge)Crosscut Saw
Bajonett mit SägerückenBayonet with Sawback

The soldbuch consist list of the items and objects which Bronislaus was equipped or received during the war. We know when, what and how many pieces he had received. Not all items listed in the Soldbuch were received by Bronislaus. Some of them like Stiefel fur Kav. and Reithose were not intended for infantry or pioneers.

FeldmützeField Cap
Waffenrock – Tunic
Drillichjacke – Twill jacke
HalsbindeNeck Stock
Tuchhose – Trousers
Reithose – Riding Trousers
Drillichhose – Twill Trousers
Handschuhe – Gloves
Stiefel fur Inft.Boots for Infantry
Stiefel fur Kav. – Boots for Cavalry
Schnürschuh – Lace-Up Boots
Hemden – Shirt
Helm mit Zub.Helmet with Accessories
Tornister oder Rucksack m. Zub.Backpack with Accessories
Zelt mit Zubehör – Tent with Accessories
Leibriemen mit ZubehörBelt and Buckle
Mantelriemen – Overcoat Straps
Brotbeutel m. BandBread Bag with Strap
Feldflasche mit TrinkbecherCanteen with Drinking Cup
Kniewärmier – Knee Warmers

Portepees, Säbeltroddel oder FaustriemenBayonet Troddel

Sporen Pulswärmer – Pulse Warmer
PatronentaschenAmmunition Pouches

Kochgeschirr mit RiemenMess Kit with Straps
Kl. Spat. m. Tasche – Small Spade with Pouch
Beilpicke – Pick Hatchet
Beil Kopfschützer – Head Protector
DrahtschereWire Cutter
Sägetasche mit Inhalt

Mützenband – Masking band for the Field Cap
Unterhosen – Underpants
Unterjacken – Vest

Each infantry division had assigned one or two pioneer companies. The mobilised in 1914 pioneer company consisted of:

- company commander
- four lieutenants
- doctor
- 264 men (including NCO’s)
- 22 horses
- four equipment wagons
- two other wagons
- field kitchen

Feldküche 2. Rez. Pi. Komp
Feldküche 2. Rez. Pi. Komp
Members of the Reserve Pionier Kompanie Nr. 48 during building a well.
Members of the Reserve Pionier Kompanie Nr. 48 during building a well.

Before the 1914 there were 35 pioneer battalions as listed below:

Garde-Pionier-Bataillon – Berlin (Garde Korps)

Pionier-Bataillon Fürst Radziwill (Ostpreußisches ) Nr. 1 – Königsberg i.Pr. (I Armee Korps)

Pommersches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 2 – Stettin (II Armee Korps)

Pionier-Bataillon von Rauch (1. Brandenburgisches ) Nr. 3 – Spandau (III Armee Korps)

Magdeburgisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 4 – Magdeburg (IV Armee Korps)

Niederschlesisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 5 – Glogau (V Armee Korps)

Schlesisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 6 – Neiße (VI Armee Korps)

Westfälisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 7 – Cöln (VII Armee Korps)

1. Rheinisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 8 – Coblenz (IX Armee Korps)

Schleswig-Holsteinisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 9 – Harburg (VIII Armee Korps)

Hannoversches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 10 – Minden (X Armee Korps)

Kurhessisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 11 – Hann.-Münden (XI Armee Korps)

Kgl. Sächs. 1. Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 12 – Pirna (XII Armee Korps)

Württembergisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 13 – Ulm (XIII Armee Korps)

Badisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 14 – Kehl (XIV Armee Korps)

1. Elsässisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 15 – Straßburg i.E. (XV Armee Korps)

1. Lothringisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 16 – Metz (XVI Armee Korps)

1. Westpreußisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 17 – Thorn (XVII Armee Korps)

Samlandisches (Festungs-) Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 18 – Königsberg i.Pr. (I Armee Korps)

2. Elsässisches (Festungs-) Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 19 – Straßburg i.E. (XV Armee Korps)

2. Lothringisches (Festungs-) Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 20 – Metz (XVI Armee Korps)

1. Nassauisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 21 – Mainz (XVIII Armee Korps)

Kgl. Sächs. 2. Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 22 – Riesa (XII Armee Korps)

2. Westpreußisches (Festungs) Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 23 – Graudenz (XX Armee Korps)

2. Westfälisches (Festungs) Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 24 – Cöln (VII Armee Korps)

2. Nassauisches (Festungs) Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 25 – Mainz (XVIII Armee Korps)

Masurisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 26 – Graudenz (XX Armee Korps)

2. Rheinisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 27 – Trier (XXI Armee Korps)

2. Brandenburgisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 28 – Cüstrin (III Armee Korps)

Posensches (Festungs) Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 29 – Posen (V Armee Korps)

3. Rheinisches (Festungs) Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 30 – Ehrenbreitstein (IX Armee Korps)

Kgl. Bayer. 1. Pionier-Bataillon – München (I Bayerisches Armee Korps)

Kgl. Bayer. 2. Pionier-Bataillon – Speyer (II Bayerisches Armee Korps)

Kgl. Bayer. 3. Pionier-Bataillon – München (II Bayerisches Armee Korps)

Kgl. Bayer. 4. (Festungs) Pionier-Bataillon – Ingolstadt (III Bayerisches Armee Korps)

Specification of the World War I – trench war required greater number of the pionieer units. Since 1915 German army created over 400 independent pioneer companies to cope that requirement.
There were also some specialist units which were under the pioneer arm control. The main of these special branches were: Minenwerfer (Trench mortar units), Scheinwerfer (Searchlight) and Mineur-Kompanie (Mining Company).

German 7.58cm Leichter Minenwerfer
German 7.58cm Leichter Minenwerfer

German 7.58cm Leichter Minenwerfer

German Pioneers with Searchlight
German Pioneers with Searchlight
Maskierter Scheinwerfer im Schützengraben
Maskierter Scheinwerfer im Schützengraben

German searchlights used in the trenches

The pioneers were also responsible for gas attacks during the Great War. In 1915 two Pioneer Regiments were created to cope with this purpose. These were 35th and 36th Pioneer Regiments, each of two battailons (each of 3 companies) and Minenwerfer company. These special units consisted of group of technical engineers, meteorologists and scientists.
Their main task was installation heavy cylinders with gas and digging them in the trenches and mount them with lead pipes. Genarally pioneers from these gas battailons were responsibles for installation and operation cylinders with gas.


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