This book is a visual celebration of the achievements of the Army Service Corps in turning around the logistics disaster of the Crimean War into a modern supply system that, from 1902, provided a dependable supply system for the British Army. A fascinating story that is recommended.
NAME: Postcards of the Army Service Corps, 1902-1918 Coming of Age
AUTHOR: Michael Young
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWI, World War One, First World War, Boer Wars, communications, writing home, artwork, postcards, sights of Empire, logistics, images of war, life in the ASC
DESCRIPTION: This book is a visual celebration of the achievements of the Army Service Corps in turning around the logistics disaster of the Crimean War into a modern supply system that, from 1902, provided a dependable supply system for the British Army.A fascinating story that is recommended.
Before 1902, the British Army had never been served well by it’s Corps of Commissaries. Those providing the essential supplies that every army depends on were perhaps best regarded as civilians in uniform, similar to the corrupt and ineffective RN ‘pussers’ that Pepes attempted to reform during the time of Charles II. There were a great many ‘Spanish practices’ with supply officers having a financial interest in cheating the soldiers. The Army Service Corps was a part of the major Army reforms which began with Cardwell’s Army Reforms that removed the practice of purchasing Commissions and began to make the Army a more professional service that was trained and equipped to fight the increasingly complex wars that new technology was about to introduce.
One important factor of the British Army was, and still largely is, a collection of Corps and Regiments that enjoy a degree of independence. Traditionally they were raised in geographic areas and deployed by Horseguards to form parts of armies. Each unit might have its own language with names for weapons and ammunition, ranks and supplies that were not shared by other units. This was to present challenges as late as the 1990s when the need for computerization required the creation of a data dictionary. A projectile could for example be know by many names, including bullet, round, or ball ammunition. That created difficulties for those trying to build a professional supplies system.
The author has collected a wealth of images in the form of postcards and photographs, illustrating the life and times of the ASC from 1902 to the end of WWI. Text is confined mainly to captions and extended captions which is more than adequate to support the fascinating images that illustrate not only life in the ARC during a period of significant change, but also illustrates the Empire and the new technologies of war.