This important book is packed with information. The author has provided a rare account of logistics in supporting a combat operation that will be of enormous value to historians and enthusiasts – Highly Recommended.
NAME: Sinews of War, The Logistical Battle to Keep the 53rd Welsh Division On the Move During Operation Overlord FILE: R2596 AUTHOR: Major A D Bolland MBE PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: soft back PAGES: 101 PRICE: £9.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, World War II, World War 2, Operation Overlord, Normandy landings, breakout, armoured formations, logistics, resupply, ammunitioning, fuel, food, equipment ISBN: 1-47386-856-4 IMAGE: B2596.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ydy7akbh LINKS: DESCRIPTION: This important book is packed with information. The author has provided a rare account of logistics in supporting a combat operation that will be of enormous value to historians and enthusiasts – Highly Recommended. In a vast mountain of military history books the very rare books look at logistics, even though no army could take the field without logistics, where those that suffer interruption of logistics are either besieged or retreats. Before the mechanization of armies, almost every army took its baggage train with it. This train included supply wagons, pack animals and camp followers. As battle was about to be joined, the baggage train would be sent to the rear. After the battle the victorious army brought forward its baggage train. Mechanization introduced many changes. Fast moving armoured/mechanized forces had to be supplied in the field. The major requirement was fuel, but the rapid firing guns that are a feature of this type of force also required ammunition to be supplied frequently. This meant that the logistics system had to anticipate where the forward units would be when they required resupply. In the fluid warfare of desert fighting, the logistics vehicles are unlikely to follow on behind but strike out on an intercepting course to rendezvous at some point ahead. Even in the close confines of a European battlefield, logistics has to anticipate. If the anticipation, and the radio calls from forward units, do not succeed in linking the battle groups with their supply vehicles in time, the fighting vehicles run out of fuel and become useless. They also become vulnerable to the enemy, particularly if their tactical air force does not hold air superiority, as applied to the German last ditch counter attack through the Ardennes. In North Africa, both sides out ran their logistics, were forced to halt and then sent into retreat. The Normandy landings were potentially out matched by the defenders and any failure in the flow of logistics could prove fatal. Considerable effort went into preparing the logistics. This included sections for two artificial harbours being floated across the Chanel and joined together while the troops were trying to fight their way off the beaches. As the harbours were being assembled, amphibious trucks came ashore with the first resupplies, and an underwater pipeline was brought ashore to provide fuel to the vehicles carrying it forward to refuel the fighting vehicles. It was an incredible feat of engineering but it has never received the attention it deserves from historians. However, it was just a starting point. Logistics then had to be carried forward behind the advancing battle groups and this is almost invisible in histories. Of course it doesn't have the excitement of battle and attention is focussed on the battle groups that were only able to function with effective logistics. The author has written a remarkable presentation of how the 53rd Welsh Division was kept supplied on the move during Operation Overlord. The fact-filled work will be invaluable to historians and military students, but it should be widely read by all those with an interest in WWII and mechanized units that have followed. It provides a graphic view of the challenges that have to be overcome to keep the fighting vehicles moving forward to their objectives. The author has produced concise and descriptive text that is supported by many illustrations in the form of sketches, maps and photographs, with many very informative tables. Originally privately produced for Rhine Army, this edition takes a vital part of battle planning and objectives achievement to a wide audience. This work is much more significant that just a history of keeping the 53rd Welsh Division moving. It shows how all mechanized formations have to be supplied in any modern army.