THE QUARTERMASTERCORPS: OPERATIONS IN THE WARAGAINST GERMANY. By William F. Ross and Charles F. Romanus. (1965,1979,1991; 798 pages, 21 tables, 4 charts, 3 maps, 39 illustrations, bibliographical note, glossary, index, CMH Pub 10-15.)

The chief function of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps in Europe was to provide food and clothing for the troops. But it was also involved in such work as supplying laundry and bath facilities; collecting, identifying, and burying the dead; providing fuel, shelter, and the liquor ration; supplying spare parts and salvaging useful items; handling captured enemy equipment; and acting as supply custodian to the far-flung civil affairs organization. By the spring of 1945, the Quartermaster Corps in the Mediterranean and European theaters was furnishing necessities and comforts to more than seven and one-half million people, of whom 60 percent were Allies, civilians, and prisoners of war. It was the largest human support operation by a single organization to that time.

This study emphasizes the higher levels of quartermaster activity at different periods of the war against the Axis. In the Mediterranean Theater of Operations encompassing North Africa, Sicily, and Italy, stress has been placed on the roles of the corps, army, and base section quartermasters, while in the European theater greater attention has been given to the problems of the Theater Chief Quartermaster. This difference in approach springs from differences between the two theaters. The Mediterranean theater evolved more slowly, with strong British involvement. In the Mediterranean, moreover, there was greater influence upon operations by junior logistical commanders and staff officers than in the more elaborate and tightly knit theater organization to the north.

Dominating quartermaster activity in the European Theater of Operations was a toweringly energetic soldier—Maj. Gen. Robert M. Littlejohn. His frustrations,

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mistakes, and triumphs in organizing supply for highly mechanized continental warfare and his efforts to maintain a strong position with respect to G-4 and the other technical services provide the principal narrative thread for this volume. From the moment of his arrival in London in 1942 as a key member of the special staff in the Services of Supply, the history of the quartermaster support mission in Europe is inseparably associated with the officer who headed it.

He touched the cardinal issues of the day: the multifaceted logistical planning effort in England for the great cross-Channel attack; the crisis of "frantic supply" during the race across France in mid-1944; the winter clothing and trench foot controversy during the stalemate a few months later; and the controversy over prisoner-of-war rations amid the theater and worldwide food shortage in 1945. General Littlejohn's last assignment in the European theater was head of the Graves Registration Command, an effort representing the largest item of unfinished quartermaster business in the liberated countries as the fighting came to a close.

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