HomeOne Level Up Last updated: 14.03.2017

101 Engineer Combat Group 1
101 Geniegevechtsgroep (101 Gnggp)

Operational Role | Atomic Demolition Munitions


101 NBC Ontsmetcie108 Duikerpel111 Pel Spec Opdr [111 PSO]102 Bouwmachcie104 Vobrcie462 Gnbat103 Gnbat107 Kaucie11 Gnbat41 Gnbat105 PontplbrcieStstcie 101 Gnggp101 Gnggp

Unit Location Peace Strength War Strength
Staff and Staff Company
101 Engineer Combat Group [a]
Wezep 18/27/80 (125)
24/37/122/2 (185)
11 Engineer Battalion [b] Wezep 29/73/374 (476) 31/89/552/2 (674)
41 Engineer Battalion [c] Seedorf (GE) 29/74/376 (479) 31/89/551/2 (673)
103 Engineer Battalion [d] 31/88/555/2 (676)
462 Engineer Battalion [e] 31/88/555/2 (676)
105 Pontoon Bridge Company [f] Wezep 6/21/125 (152) 5/21/134 (160)
104 Medium Girder Bridge Company [g] 5/14/72 (91)
108 Diver Platoon [h] Wezep 1/10/34 (45) 1/11/44 (56)
102 Construction Machine Company Wezep 6/22/121 (149) 6/26/166 (198)
107 Dump Truck Company Wezep 4/13/76 (93) 5/14/115 (134)
101 NBC Decontamination Company Wezep 4/17/81 (102) 5/21/113 (139)
111 Special Assignments Platoon [i] Wezep 2/6/37 (45) 2/6/40 (48)

101 Engineer Combat Group Peace Strength: 99/263/1304 (1666)
101 Engineer Combat Group War Strength: 177/504/3019/10 (3710)

Notes

a. This unit included a terrain documentation group in charge of collecting, filing and keeping up-to-date all engineering-relevant information on the corps sector in West Germany. The resulting terrain documentation archive (terdoc-archief) increasingly held general military geographic information as well and would, over the years, grow to be the main provider of such information for 1 (NL) Corps.2
b.Likely to be assigned to 1 Division "7 December" in wartime.3
c.Likely to be assigned to 4 Division in wartime.3 4 In September 1986 the battalion was brought up to (near) war strength by placing the Short Leave company on active duty.5 
d.GRIM battalion, largely filled by mobilisable companies and platoons that had fulfilled their active-duty period in 41 Engineer Battalion up to twenty months prior to mobilisation.6 18
e.GRIM battalion, largely filled by mobilisable companies and platoons that had fulfilled their active-duty period in 11 Engineer Battalion up to twenty months prior to mobilisation.6 18
f.Equipped with German hollow-deck bridge materiel (Hohlplattenbrücke). Probably under the command of 201 Engineer Combat Group in wartime for bridging operations on the Weser and/or Aller rivers.7
g.Filled by personnel from the general pool of mobilisable reserves (vrij-indeelbaar bestand) that had fulfilled their active-duty period in relevant functions up to eight and a half years prior to mobilisation.6 Most or all of these reserves would have served their active-duty period in the medium girder bridge group of 11 or 41 Engineer Battalion.8
h.Formed in 1982.9
i.This unit was to enable the deployment of US Army nuclear land mines (referred to as Atomic Demolition Munitions or ADM) in the Netherlands corps sector by providing the necessary transport, field storage, security, communications and engineer support.10 For such operations 111 Special Assignments Platoon would in wartime be reinforced with a detachment from 567th (US) Engineer Company, based in Hanau (GE), and an armoured infantry platoon.11 This combined outfit, designated the ADM Detachment, would be placed under operational command of Commander, 1 (NL) Corps whilst executive command would lay with the divisional or brigade commander in whose area of responsibility the weapon(s) would be used. The emplacing, priming and detonation of the devices would be carried out by specialist teams from the aforementioned US Army engineer detachment.12 The ADM were stored under US Army Custody, possibly in Hanau (GE) or Sögel-Lahn (GE).13 See further the Atomic Demolition Munitions section below.

Operational Role

In the first few days after mobilisation 101 Engineer Combat Group would be occupied preparing the corps sector for defence by creating defensive positions and executing a variety of barrier and obstacle plans. The forward-deployed 41 Engineer Battalion would be assisted in these operations by engineer units from I (GE) Corps until the remainder of 101 Engineer Combat Group would arrive.14 Once war would have broken out the tactical situation would determine the group's further operations, as its units were not capable of combat engineering and thus had to stay clear of advancing enemy formations.1 Subsequent operations were expected to be focused on keeping open tactically and logistically important roads in the corps sector. This would include the Corps Rear Area until 201 Engineer Combat Group was mobilised and ready to take over the responsibility of engineering operations there.15 <

Atomic Demolition Munitions

Atomic Demolition Munitions, first allocated to 1 (NL) Corps in 1962, were designed to block or channel enemy forces by creating massive obstructions for which the necessary conventional means would be unavailable or insufficient. In 1977 the ADM allocated to 1 (NL) Corps included both Medium Atomic Demolition Munitions (MADM), with reported yields of 0.5, 1, 5, 8, 10, and 15 kilotons (W45 warhead), as well as Special Atomic Demolition Munitions (SADM), which were man-portable and are reported to have had variable yields in the range of 0,01 to 1 kiloton (W54 warhead).16

As can be gathered from note i above, the ADM
were property of the United States and would remain under US Army control at all times. Any request for the detonation of ADM had, ultimately, to be decided upon by the president of the United States. The request sequence was probably identical or similar to the procedures to authorise a nuclear mission for the dual capable artillery

By 1985 ADM had become both technically obsolescent and politically controversial
. Following NATO's Montebello Decision of 1983, which reduced the number of nuclear warheads in Europe, the ADM were withdrawn, as a consequence of which 111 Special Assignments Platoon was disbanded in 1986.17 <

_________________________________________________

1.It should be noted that the designation Engineer Combat Group is somewhat delusive: this formation type and its subordinate units were neither  designed nor equipped for combat engineering; see for instance VS 5-154, I-1. In 1975 the more adequate designation Geniegroep was reverted to the previously used Geniegevechtsgroep, apparently because it was an (internally) well established designation and the new one caused confusion. NL-HaNA 2.13.110 inv. nr. 267, Naamswijziging geniegevechtsgroep, 1975.
2.Elands et al., 250 jaar, 201. Huysman en Duijnhouwer, Terreinkennis, 227.
3.Elands et al., op. cit., 201, 226.
4.Felius, Einde Oefening, 161.
5.SSA-MvD, CLAS/BLS 7643, Memorandum Realisatie Legerplan 120-1B d.d. 22 maart 1985.
6.NIMH 205A/10, Aflossing van mobilisabele eenheden en -aanvullingen d.d. 11 november 1983. Ibid., d.d. 17 juni 1985.
7.Hoffenaar en Schoenmaker, Met de blik, 195. Elands et al., op. cit., 192, 227, 233.
8.NL-HaNA 2.13.110 inv. nr. 263, organisatietabellen en autorisatiestaten (OTAS) staf, staf- en verzorgingscompagnieën 11 en 41 Geniebataljon, 1976. Elands et al., op. cit., 239. In peacetime 11 and 41 Engineer Battalion each had one such group, comprising ± 10 men with MGB materiel, in their staff and support company. Both groups would go to 104  Medium Girder Bridge Company in wartime. This arrangement was transferred to 107 Dump Truck Company in 1986 when a medium girder bridge platoon was placed on active-duty with that unit. Ibid.
9.Elands et al., op. cit., 259.
10.NL-HaNA 2.13.110 inv. nr. 1389, voorstel tot wijziging OTAS 111 Peloton Speciale Opdrachten, 1977. Elands et al., op. cit., 195. It will be noted that the details of ADM operations as given on this page are based on the aforementioned NL-HaNA document from 1977; changes may have been implemented between that year and 1985. It will further be observed that the wartime role of 111 Special Assignments Platoon was not dissimilar to the supporting role of 23 Royal Army Detachment in the operations of the dual-capable artillery.
11.NL-HaNA 2.13.110 inv. nr. 1389, op. cit. It is worth noting that in this 1977 document, being a proposal to reorganise and enlarge 111 Special Assignments Platoon, the commander of 1 (NL) Corps finds this unit to be unable to fulfill its wartime role adequately. One of the issues observed was the need for an armoured infantry platoon to be attached in a security role (then permanently assigned to a platoon from 43 Armoured Infantry Battalion), an arrangement that was found to be highly problematic for both the armoured infantry battalion involved as well as for the ADM Detachment itself. Other issues found were deficiencies in the platoon's control, communications and transport capabilities. Being not quite contemporary, this information is given for what it is worth; it is however apparent that the corps commander's proposal to reorganise 111 Special Assignments Platoon into a company-size unit with its own security-role infantry was not followed through.
12.Ibid. In 1977 the 567th (US) Engineer Company fell under the 130th (US) Engineer Brigade in Frankfurt (GE); for nuclear release procedures it fell under 552nd US Army Artillery Group (552nd USAAG) in Sögel (GE). At this time the arrangement was that in wartime 567th (US) Engineer Company would detach two five-men ADM Emplacing Teams and one ADM Control headquarters to 1 (NL) Corps, which units would be incorporated in the abovementioned ADM Detachment. Ibid. Isby and Kamps, Armies, 375. Website U.S. Army in Germany, Engineer Division
13.In 1982 it was thought that about fifteen ADM were earmarked for deployment in the 1 (NL) Corps sector, and that these were stored in Sögel-Lahn (GE). Anonymus, Opslag en transport, 23, 25, 55. This location seems plausible given the involvement of 552nd US Army Artillery Group (see footnote 12). The Stockholm International Peace Research Institite (SIPRI) estimated the total number of ADM stored in Western Europe at about three hundred. Ibid., 23. 
14.These initial engineer operations, under operational command of 3 (GE) Armoured Division, would involve 41 Engineer Battalion, 41 Armoured Engineer Company, 3 and 120 (GE) Engineer Battalion and the three armoured engineer companies of the West German division. Elands et. al., op. cit., 227-228. See also 41 Armoured Brigade, Operational Role: The Corps Covering Force. For a detailed order of battle of I (GE) Corps and 3 (GE) Armoured Division in 1989, see Dragoner, Bundeswehr, Teil 2.1.
15. For this section: Elands et al., op. cit., 227-228, 232-233.
16.NL-HaNA 2.13.110 inv. nr. 1389, op. cit. Elands et al., op. cit., 195. Cochran, Arkin and Hoenig, Nuclear Weapons, 38, 52, 60. Mechtersheimer und Barth, Militarisierungsatlas, 342; website The Nuclear Weapon Archive, Complete List of All U.S. Nuclear Weapons (the W54 is referred to as Mk-54 SADM there). For reference: the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 had a yield of 15 to 16 kilotons. Website The Nuclear Weapon Archive, loc. cit.   
17.Elands et al., op. cit., 270. Hoffenaar en Schoenmaker, op. cit., 375, 398. Training of new personnel for 111 Special Assignments Platoon ceased as of August 1985. HTK 1984-1985, kamerstuknr. 18600 X ondernr. 54. The disbandment of the platoon enabled 43 Armoured Engineer Company to be placed on active duty in September 1986. Elands et al., op. cit., 270. Hoffenaar en Schoenmaker, op. cit., 398. 
18.RIM was the Dutch acronym for Direct Influx into Mobilisable Units (Rechtstreekse Instroming in Mobilisabele Eenheden). GRIM was a variant of this system, meaning "Largely RIM" (Grotendeels Rechtstreekse Instroming in Mobilisabele Eenheden). For a survey of the Royal Army's unit filling and reserve system see Gijsbers, Blik in de smidse, 2222-2231; Selles, Personele vulling; Berghuijs, Opleiding, 14-23. In English: Isby and Kamps, Armies, 341-343; Sorell, Je Maintiendrai: The Royal Netherlands Army within the Alliance, 94-96; Van Vuren, The Royal Netherlands Army TodayMilitary Review April 1982, 23-28.