Engineer School (ETW building)
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Military engineering is a highly technical field of study, best carried out by trained officers and not left to common soldiery with mattocks!
The school teaches all the specialised skills that an officer of engineers will require, such as surveying, the use of explosives, military architecture, construction, the arts of siege warfare, military illustration (used to create maps) and much else besides. Some mundane tactical skills are taught as well, but engineers are not expected to command armies and issue orders to gentlemen. It is their lot to position guns and advise when a breach in a fortress’ walls is “practicable”, and could fall to an assault.
Sappers and miners, like artillery experts, had long history of being permanent retainers in royal armies of the medieval and Renaissance periods; siege works needed experts to demolish castle walls. Thanks to the likes of the French Marshal Vauban (1633-1707) and his magnificent fortifications, the need for military engineers to create, or break into, defences grew, not lessened, during the 18th Century. The elaborate and layered defences that he and his successors developed required skilled architects and builders. Engineer officers became a corps of highly educated experts, while leaving the hard, mucky work of digging to the rank-and-file sappers and pioneers, of course!