LOGISTICAL SUPPORT OF THE ARMIES, VOLUME I: MAY 1941-SEPTEMBER 1944. By Roland G. Ruppenthal. (1953,1985,1989; 616 pages, 11 tables, 6 charts, 18 maps, 58 illustrations, bibliographical note, glossaries, index, CMH Pub 7-2.)
This is the history of the logistical operations in the European Theater of Operations in support of the U.S. Army forces in that theater from 1941 to mid-September 1944. The operations described and analyzed were under the direction of the headquarters of the combined command known as ETOUSA Communications Zone. But the focus throughout is on the relation of logistics to combat and the influence of adequate or inadequate logistical support on the planning and conduct of tactical operations by the field armies. Two major problems of supply that had important effects on these operations are treated in detail: the shortage of gasoline in the period of pursuit and the developing shortage of field artillery ammunition, which became critical in the fall of 1944.
Beginning with the arrival of the first small group of U.S. Army "Special Observers" in May 1941, the narrative tells the story of the successive predecessor commands in the United Kingdom and the activation of the European theater (Ch. I). It covers in turn the buildup of forces and logistical planning in preparation for the cross-Channel invasion (Chs. II-VII) and then logistical operations on the Continent through the end of the phase of rapid pursuit in September (Chs. X-XIV).
The major theme is logistical difficulties, first those of building up U.S. forces for the invasion of France, then of supporting them in combat. For the period of continental operations emphasis centers largely on problems of movement: cross-Channel shipping, the development of beach and port discharge facilities, and long-
distance transportation by rail and truck, including the famed Red Ball Express (Ch. XIV).
Full attention is given to theater organization and command, particularly to the relation of logistics to other functions, and to the influence of personalities on the evolution of command and on administrative effectiveness (Chs. I, II, III, V, and XI).
1. Logistical (OVERLORD) planning for large-scale offensive operations (Chs. IV, VII).
2. Theater command and territorial organization, particularly where an Allied command is superimposed on a national command and a single commander holds positions in both (Chs. I-III, V, XI).
3. The influence of logistical considerations on tactical planning and decisions (Ch. XII).
4. Manpower problems, particularly with respect to economical use of personnel, and the variance of casualty experience of the first months from estimated replace-ment needs (Ch. XI).
5. The logistics of rapid movement and its effects on future capabilities (Chs. XII-XIV).
6. Competition between global and theater strategy and priorities in the buildup of supplies and forces (Chs. II, III, VI).
7. Supply over beaches in support of a large invasion force, including the use of artificial ports (Chs. VII, X, XI).
8. The influence of personalities in the development of theater organization and in the relationship of theater commands to each other (see especially Ch. XI).
9. The results of inadequate planning and staff coordination in meeting urgent calls for logistical support (Ch. XIII).
10. The development of a theater troop basis (Ch. III).
11. Early struggles attending the establishment of a U. S. Army command in the United Kingdom (Ch. I).
12. Relations with an ally which serves as "host" nation and on which U.S. forces must depend heavily for locally procured services and supplies (Chs. II, III, VI).
13. Effect of the North African invasion on the preparation of a force in the United Kingdom for the cross-Channel invasion (Ch. II).
14. Training and rehearsing for the cross-Channel attack (Ch. VIII).
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