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#3771647 - 04/22/13 08:22 PM Combat Engineers-Sappers  
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Damocles Offline
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When did the American military start referring to their Combat Engineers as Sappers, officially or otherwise ?

Without particularly looking I've come across a couple of instances in the last week or so of American Combat engineers being referred to as "Sappers", a term I normally associate with the British Army.

Last edited by Damocles; 04/22/13 08:23 PM.
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#3771671 - 04/22/13 08:53 PM Re: Combat Engineers-Sappers [Re: Damocles]  
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapping

Comes from 7th Century BC Assyrian Army term.

A sap is a fortified trench. So a sapper is one who digs the trench.

Last edited by Master; 04/22/13 08:54 PM.

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#3771738 - 04/22/13 10:53 PM Re: Combat Engineers-Sappers [Re: Master]  
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I am not sure : I think (but I can be wrong of course) that the genuine meaning of 'sapper' is the one who dig under,undermine the trench, or dugout or fortification wall to make it collapse or to blow it with mine, explosives.


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#3772218 - 04/23/13 09:06 PM Re: Combat Engineers-Sappers [Re: Damocles]  
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Thank you, but I know what a Sapper is and why they got their name (I once, many moons ago, was one). It's just that I thought that Americans referred to their Combat Engineers as "Combat Engineers". Twice in the last week though I've come across Americans referring to them as Sappers, the first by Michael Yon and secondly a competition to find the best Combat Engineers. I was just curious, is this a recent change, maybe influenced by Ops alongside Brit's in Iraq and Afghanistan or has it been common currency for some time prior to these deployments ?

Kaa wrote;
"I am not sure : I think (but I can be wrong of course) that the genuine meaning of 'sapper' is the one who dig under,undermine the trench, or dugout or fortification wall to make it collapse or to blow it with mine, explosives."

My understanding is that a "Sap" is an offensive trench dug towards the enemy positions as opposed to a normal trench which is defensive in nature.

#3772219 - 04/23/13 09:11 PM Re: Combat Engineers-Sappers [Re: Damocles]  
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I think there is an official name for it (combat engineers) and an unofficial but more widely used name (sapper.)


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#3772224 - 04/23/13 09:22 PM Re: Combat Engineers-Sappers [Re: Damocles]  
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we've called ours sappers for donkeys years, maybe you guys are just doing the same thing now?? its far easier to just say "sapper" after all.


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#3772499 - 04/24/13 02:49 PM Re: Combat Engineers-Sappers [Re: Damocles]  
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Sapper is an official term with the US Army. They even have a shoulder tab for it, and is one of the only three tabs authorized by the Army to be worn by individuals who earned it (The others being, Special Forces and Ranger).

v6,
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#3772524 - 04/24/13 03:30 PM Re: Combat Engineers-Sappers [Re: Damocles]  
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In the Canuck forces, "Sapper" is a rank. It's equivalent to a PFC but used only for combat engineers (or whatever the hell PC name they're going by now).


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#3772534 - 04/24/13 03:48 PM Re: Combat Engineers-Sappers [Re: Damocles]  
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DetCord is a combat engineer, thought he would have commented by now.


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#3773897 - 04/26/13 11:35 PM Re: Combat Engineers-Sappers [Re: bones]  
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Originally Posted By: bones
Sapper is an official term with the US Army. They even have a shoulder tab for it, and is one of the only three tabs authorized by the Army to be worn by individuals who earned it (The others being, Special Forces and Ranger).

v6,
boNes



This was my understanding of the use of the word 'Sapper' by the US Army.

#3775804 - 05/01/13 02:19 AM Re: Combat Engineers-Sappers [Re: Damocles]  
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They've been known as sappers for at least a decade or two.


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