|These aren't real Roman soldiers, camera weren't invented to around 1100 AD I think...|
Shovels and E-Tools are not necessarily the same thing. Shovels are usually full sized...well, shovels. E-Tools on the other hand are usually those portable spades that are designed to be carried by soldiers along with their other gear. The simplest are just smaller headed shovels with short handles. From there you have the variety that have straight handles with heads that fold down and/or lock in multiple positions. After that category you have the E-Tools I am most familiar with and have used myself, the aluminum tri-fold unit that the US Army has used for the last 30 some years. Glock, of all companies, makes a more modern version of the collapsible E-Tool replacing steel and aluminum with polymer plastic for a more lightweight tool...that is so Glock.
Again, there are 2 main uses for the E-tool, as a tool for digging or a weapon for fighting. For its use as a tool, well its pretty simple...thrust blade into earth, shovel dirt away from hole...repeat. In any war that has involved heavy use of infantry forces, solders are well versed in this simple task. I have talked to men from Vietnam that would be required to dig a hole every night to sleep and fight in, and then fill it in each morning and start again the following afternoon. Due to the current tactics used in the war on terror, most soldiers are removed from this task for the most part, although its use is not totally uncommon...just ask those paratroopers that used shovels to dig and fill sandbags to build OP Restrepo in the movie of the same name.
|Actual instruction pic from US Army combatives manual, circa 1990's|
|Spetsnaz shovel....in Soviet Russia shovel digs you! Actually, it only works if you have a blue and white stripped t-shirt on...|