United States Army Logistics: The Normandy Campaign, 1944
United States Army Logistics: The Normandy Campaign, 1944. By Steve R. Waddell. Greenwood Press, 1994. 190 Pages. $55.00. Reviewed by Lieutenant Colonel Harold E. Raugh, Jr., U.S. Army.
Logistics in general has been an unglamorous aspect of combat and military planning, usually overshadowed by operations on the ground. This is ironic, because the success of military operations frequently depends upon logistics. In few cases has this been more true than in Operation Overlord-the Allied invasion of continental Europe in June-and the subsequent breakout and pursuit across France.
Although it is recogized that the initial landings achieved surprise and hard-fought success, few realize that logistical plans for the operation barely survived contact with the enemy. The author, an assistant professor of history at the United States Military Academy, says, "As the invasion succeeded and the battle for Normandy intensified, logistical planners dealt with a supply system that achieved much but failed to operate as planned." These shortcomings were due to a cumbersome, frequently overlapping system of logistical commands, elements, and staff sections; port and supply point congestion; and "a serious error" in overlooking or underestimating the effect of the terrain and impact upon operations of the hedgerows in Normandy. …