Sorry if I am using the wrong wording here, but hopefully you will get my drift. I tried to google the answer but couldn’t find anything useful.
During WWII, as I understand it, there were specialty Allied units that supported the main fighting forces. Just a few that come to mind are the Medical Units, Corps of Engineers and the Army Motor Pool.
Let’s take the Corps of Engineers for example. I assume they would often be ahead of the main fighting force building temporary bridges and other structures that allowed the troops and their associated heavy equipment to traverse swampy areas, wide streams and rivers.
My question is when the engineers were doing their job did they carry rifles with them in case they were ambushed, or were they protected by other forward units? Were engineers expected to fight alongside soldiers when not doing engineering work?
I’m trying to understand if they just did their job, or if they were expected to also fight just like a normal soldier when needed?