BOMBAY SAPPERS
Home / MUMBAI / Bombay Sappers — Elphinstone Road Station Bridge

Bombay Sappers — Elphinstone Road Station Bridge

THE BOMBAY SAPPERS.

Bombay Sappers and Miners Motto: Sarvashtra 
Bombay Sappers and Miners Colours: blue and Maroon
bombay sappers
THE BOMBAY SAPPERS INSIGNIA
The Bombay Sappers and Miners built the Elphinstone Road Station Bridge in three months and all Mumbai is agog. We as a people would not be surprised at the speed and quality of the Bombay Sappers construction, if you only knew  what they can really do and how swiftly these Combat Engineers work to facilitate the very survival of our army on the move on the the battlefield; The high speed at which they work to provide mobility to the armed forces, how rapidly they build and dismantle tracks, helipads and bridges and how fast they create obstacles for the enemy by laying mine fields and demolishing bridges once our own forces have passed that way.

Bombay Sapper, a soldier responsible for engineering tasks and laying and clearing mines. In the British Army, a private soldier in the Corps of Royal Engineers, a combatant performing various feats of military engineering,  also trained as an infantry man in operations, both defensive and offensive.

In India, we have informally, the Bombay Sappers, the Calcutta Sappers In Lonavla some twenty years ago I had met Retd. Colonel BSKS Chopra.  he was a  Bombay Sapper from Kirkee (Head Quarters of the regiment.), “ it is a support group, it follows the army and helps set the infrastructure when and where needed …”

Infrastructure? I thought. “ Let’s say, the besieging forces come to a chasm or a river and there is no existing cross-over,  the Sappers immediately build a bridge with whatever materials are available”, he explained

Hmmm …I thought again. With whatever material available?! They must be quite something and the immediacy?! And the quality of work! It wouldn’t do for the besieging forces or the besieged ones at that, to plunge head long into a raging torrent or the rolling jeeps and tanks to drop into the chasm a few hundred feet below, now would it?

1812, French sappers building a bridge during the Battle of Berezina.

It all started in the late seventeenth century with the French soldiers who

 

sapped. Soldiers were used to destroy enemy fortifications by using ‘sape’ meaning, ‘trenches’. Those engaged with ‘Mines’ (tunnel war-fare  )were called Miners. Sappers dug trenches to allow attacking forces to advance towards the enemy defense works and forts until the besieged would be sufficiently suppressed for the attackers to breach the walls. Often the sape was dug up to and under the fort wall. Then,  a tremendous gun-powder explosion was engineered which would destroy the besieged fort wall and permit attacking infantry to breach the enemy lines.

India received its ‘Sappers’ a century later with a new force imprinting its mark on the politics of India. A hundred Indians became Sappers when in  1777, the Bombay Presidency’s first Chief Engineer, Major Lawrence Nilson, recruited them to form the ‘Pioneer Lascars’. Even today, the Sappers are often referred to as ‘Pioneers’.                                                                                                                                                                                Come 1797, under Captain-Lieutenant Bryce Moncrieff (Bo.E.), the Pioneer Lascars were absorbed into newly formed four Companies of 100 men each, rendering sterling service in maintaining lines of communication and assisting the heavy cannons reach battlefields. Twenty five years later, in 1822, they officially became a battalion.

For their exceptional service in the “Great War”, the title ‘Royal’ was bestowed on the Corps in 1921, making them the ‘3rd Royal Bombay Sappers and Miners’. Two years later, the  Corps became the ‘Royal Bombay Sappers and Miners’ and remained so, till the end of the Second World War.

Most nations of the world have their Sappers and Miners. In France, where the name originates, has both civil and military ‘Sapeurs’. They have the Sapeur de l’Air (Air Sapper) , Sapeur Parachutiste (Parachute Sapper),  Sapeur de Marine (Marine Sapper), Sapeur-mineur  (Sapper-miner )and the municipal Sapeur-pompier( Fire-fighters).

Not to be outdone, Portugal has  ‘Sapador  de Engenharia’ (engineering sapper) , trained combat engineers, ‘Sapador de Infantaria’ (infantry sapper) soldiers who usually serve in the combat support sapper platoon of an infantry battalion, ‘Sapador NBQ’  (NBC sapper) engineers  specialized in Nuclear, biological and Chemical war-fare. Municipal Sappers The ‘Bombeiros-sapadores’ (Sapper-firefighters).

Greece, ‘μηχανικό; michaniko’  (Corps of Engineers) , the Italian Army has ‘Guastatore’ combat engineers and other specialized sapper units ; the United States Army, sappers are combat engineers who support the front-line infantry. Ottoman Empire,  ‘Lağımcılar Ocağı’  (literally: Sapper Corps) and the Pakistan Army,  sapper officers like in ours, perform combat and normal engineer duties. Canada, in honour of sappers who graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada, has  named an island in St. Joseph Channel, Algoma District, Ontario   as the Sapper Island.

BOMBAY SAPPERS

 

 

 

 

 

About DCooper

Check Also

Game of Thrones Season 7

Mumbai, 19 July, 2017: Hotstar, India’s leading video-on-demand platform, and the exclusive online destination for award-winning HBO content in India, launched the highly anticipated premiere of Game of Thrones Season 7 on Monday, 17 July. The first episode of the new season was available for audiences to view within minutes of its US telecast, under the Hotstar Premium service.  In response to the burgeoning audience for international content in India,  Hotstar has partnered with the world’s largest studios, like HBO, Disney and Showtime, to bring the  most celebrated international movies and shows to India.  Game of Thrones is the world’s most avidly watched and anticipated show,  with immense excitement and conjecture preceding every season premiere. Unfortunately, it  is also the most illegally downloaded show in the world, despite the content being legally distributed, globally,  …

10 comments

  1. Thanks for the concepts you are sharing on this site. Another thing I would like to say is that getting hold of duplicates of your credit report in order to look at accuracy of the detail may be the first measures you have to carry out in credit improvement. You are looking to freshen your credit reports from destructive details mistakes that ruin your credit score.

  2. Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, excellent site!

  3. I discovered your blog site site on the search engines and check several of your early posts. Always maintain up the very good operate. I recently additional increase Rss to my MSN News Reader. Looking for toward reading much more on your part later on!…

  4. I recently noticed your website back i are generally looking through which on a daily basis. You’ve got a loads of information at this site so i actually like your look to the web a tad too. Maintain the best show results!

  5. Definitely, what a great site and enlightening posts, I surely will bookmark your blog.Have an awsome day!

  6. We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done an impressive job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

  7. Valuable info. Lucky me I discovered your website by chance, and I am shocked why this twist of fate didn’t came about in advance! I bookmarked it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Transate...