Logistical Support of the Armies - Vol. 2

Logistical Support of the Armies - Vol. 2

Logistical Support of the Armies - Vol. 2

Logistical Support of the Armies - Vol. 2

Excerpt

This volume completes the story of the logistic support of U.S. forces in the European theater, carrying the account forward from mid-September 1944 to the end of hostilities in May 1945. It follows the pattern, established in Logistical Support of the Armies, Volume I, of focusing on the influence which logistical support or lack of it had on the planning and the conduct of tactical operations. The inclination consequently has been to concentrate on the problem areas in logistic support, such as port discharge and transportation difficulties, and supply and manpower shortages. As explained in the Preface to Volume I, it was not intended to cover all aspects of logistics as the term is commonly defined. To avoid duplication, such subjects as hospitalization and evacuation, communications, and construction are purposely left to the technical service histories, where they can be given proper coverage. The one major exception is the account of the rebuilding of Cherbourg, which was so important to the development of the logistic structure in the summer and early fall of 1944 that it is presented as a case history in planning and execution. A substantial amount of space has been given to the discussion of theater command and organization because of the persistent influence which that problem had on logistic support and on the relations between the service and combat elements. In general, the topical treatment predominates, but within the boundaries of the two distinct periods of tactical developments. One major violation of chronology occurs in the treatment of local procurement (Chapter XVIII), which did not lend itself to division.

The author's work was again lightened by the use of preliminary studies prepared by members of the Historical Section, ETO. For Volume II these were: Robert W. Coakley's two-volume study of theater command and organization; John E. Henderson's study of the replacement problem; and George H. Elliott's study of the use of indigenous manpower. Once again Mr. Royce L. Thompson gave invaluable aid in running down records and in researching several thorny problems.

It is a pleasure to acknowledge the help of the several persons who contributed so cordially and generously in the final production of the volume: Mr. Joseph R. Friedman and Miss Ruth Stout for their expert editorial judgment; Mrs. Loretto Stevens for the laborious work of copy editing the manuscript; Mr. Wsevolod Aglaimoff for the excellent cartographic work . . .

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