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A fresh look at Great War logistics

A new book takes a fresh and new perspective to the critical contribution of particular components of military and commercial logistics to the preparations of the British and Empire Armies in the pre-war period and during the Great War.

An Unappreciated Field of Endeavour – Logistics and the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front 1914-1918, by Lt Col Clement Maginniss, explores the success of the BEF’s Quartermaster-General, Wully Robertson, in utilising the skill of his logistic planners and soldiers to deliver the agile operational logistic capability that was the salvation of the BEF in 1914.

Also examined, is the long forgotten but extraordinary logistic feat of deploying Indian Expeditionary Force A to France, through the mobilisation and transportation of its soldiers across deserts and oceans before its complex logistic integration to the BEF in France.

Logistics were fundamental to the use of tanks in the Great War, an aspect comprehensively examined, to assess how transportation in particular, constrained the development of operational deployments.

The book also analyses how, in 1918, the BEF’s logisticians were able to generate the capability to sustain All-Arms mobile three dimensional combat operations in a chemical warfare environment, whilst maintaining the momentum of the advance, having focused mainly upon supporting siege warfare for the previous four years.

All these threads are drawn together to weave a colourful pattern of achievement, whilst illustrating how logistics evolved to overcome complex challenges and in doing so, transformed operations, creating a Great War legacy that links to defence logistics in the 21st Century, particularly in the expanding arena of contractor support to operations.

On the Western Front, the BEF’s enormous logistic capability was not an end in itself but a vital means to achieve the military aim, an observation as valid today as it was in 1918.

The book is available from the publisher and Amazon now.

 

The Royal Logistic Corps

The Royal Logistic Corps

#BritishArmyLogistics working together with our #Nato allies to fulfil the tenets of our strategy: World class. Innovative. Adaptable. 16th Sustainment Brigade HQ 104 Logistic Support Brigade ... See MoreSee Less
Exercise SEAHORSE INCREMENTUM is an Armoured Vehicle (AV) technical trade exercise for The Royal Logistic Corps’ Vehicle Support Specialist (VSS) trade. The aim of the exercise is to ensure that personnel in the trade remain compliant with Armoured Vehicle Standing Orders and that all personnel can operate AVs safely within the supply chain. Planned by 17 Regiment RLC on Salisbury Plain Training Area, the four-week exercise brings the VSS trade together to train on a variety of platforms from Challenger 2 to Panther. As the only trade group that operates all AVs outside of the Armoured Corps, VSS are key to delivering a vital logistic effect to its teeth arms, enabling essential logistic capability. The trade is able to receipt, store, manage, issue and move AVs through the supply chain safely, professionally and in a timely manner.The exercise was achievable with support from the Field Army unit DMIs, platforms from across the Iron Division and Team Rhino and Real-Life Support from 104 Logistic Support Brigade.17 Port and Maritime Regiment RLC, Marchwood HQ 104 Logistic Support Brigade ... See MoreSee Less