Academic journal article Military Review

Russian Supply Efforts in America during the First World War

Academic journal article Military Review

Russian Supply Efforts in America during the First World War

Article excerpt

RUSSIAN SUPPLY EFFORTS IN AMERICA DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR, Dale C Rielage, McFarland & Co. Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, NC, 2002, 164 pages, $30.00.

Like other nations that fought in World War I, Russia was unprepared for the size, scope, and intensity of that conflict. Ammunition stocks disappeared as artillery fired projectiles far in excess of prewar projections. There were not enough supplies to meet the needs of the battlefield because the railroad lines were unable to deliver available supplies on time.

Russia, Britain, and France were not able to produce the materiel Russia needed in sufficient quantity. Dale C. Rielage ably tells the story of Russia's efforts to buy war supplies and railroad equipment from the United States and Canada. The story is not about efficiency and good acquisition practices; rather, it is about chaos, bureaucratic pigheadedness, ineffective management, and competing governments spending lots of money. Russia's representatives managed to get the materiel they needed delivered, but incompetence, infighting, and needless delay marked their efforts. This book looks at Russia's desperate efforts to supply its forces before revolution and civil war eventually consumed them. Many of the contracted supplies were delivered to White Russian forces in an effort to defeat the Bolsheviks. …

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