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Military logistics


Military logistics is the discipline of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of military forces. In its most comprehensive sense, it is those aspects or military operations that deal with:

The word "logistics" is derived from the Greek adjective logistikos meaning "skilled in calculating". The first administrative use of the word was in Roman and Byzantine times when there was a military administrative official with the title Logista. At that time, the word apparently implied a skill involved in numerical computations.

Historically supplies for an army were first acquired by foraging or looting, especially in the case of food and fodder, although if traveling through a desolated region or staying in one place for too long resources could quickly be exhausted. A second method was for the army to bring along what was needed, whether by ships, pack animals, wagons or carried on the backs of the soldiers themselves. This allowed the army some measure of self-sufficiency, and up through to the 19th century most of the ammunition a soldier needed for an entire campaign could be carried on their person. However this method led to an extensive baggage train which could slow down the army's advance and the development of faster-firing weapons soon outpaced an army's ability to supply itself. Starting with the Industrial Revolution new technological, technical and administrative advances led to a third method, that of maintaining supplies in a rear area and transporting them to the front. This led to a "logistical revolution" which began in the 20th century and drastically improved the capabilities of modern armies while making them highly dependent on this new system.


Class Description Consumer Class
Class I Subsistence (food), gratuitous (free) health and comfort items. Troops
Class II Clothing, individual equipment, tent-age, organizational tool sets and kits, hand tools, unclassified maps, administrative and housekeeping supplies and equipment. Troops
Class III Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants (POL) (package and bulk): Petroleum, fuels, lubricants, hydraulic and insulating oils, preservatives, liquids and gases, bulk chemical products, coolants, deicer and antifreeze compounds, components, and additives of petroleum and chemical products, and coal. Equipment
Class IV Construction materials, including installed equipment and all fortification and barrier materials. Troops
Class V Ammunition of all types, bombs, explosives, mines, fuzes, detonators, pyrotechnics, missiles, rockets, propellants, and associated items. Equipment
Class VI Personal demand items (such as health and hygiene products, soaps and toothpaste, writing material, snack food, beverages, cigarettes, batteries, alcohol, and cameras—nonmilitary sales items) and paperclips. Troops
Class VII Major end items such as launchers, tanks, mobile machine shops, and vehicles. Equipment
Class VIII Medical material (equipment and consumables) including repair parts peculiar to medical equipment. (Class VIIIa – Medical consumable supplies not including blood & blood products; Class VIIIb – Blood & blood components (whole blood, platelets, plasma, packed red cells, etc.). Troops
Class IX Repair parts and components to include kits, assemblies, and sub-assemblies (repairable or non-repairable) required for maintenance support of all equipment. Equipment
Class X Material to support nonmilitary programs such as agriculture and economic development (not included in Classes I through IX). Civilians
Miscellaneous Water, salvage, and captured material. Troops

  • Design, development, acquisition, storage, distribution, maintenance, evacuation, and disposition of materiel.
  • Transport of personnel.
  • Acquisition or construction, maintenance, operation, and disposition of facilities.
  • Acquisition or furnishing of services.
  • Medical and health service support.
  • Ohl, John Kennedy (1994). Supplying the Troops: General Somervell and American Logistics in World War II. DeKalb, Illinois: Northern Illinois Press. ISBN .  Biography of Brehon B. Somervell, head of the United States Army's Army Service Forces during World War II.
  • Prebilič, Vladimir. "Theoretical aspects of military logistics" Defense and Security Analysis, June 2006, Vol. 22 Issue 2, pp 159–177
  • Thorpe, George C. (1917). Pure Logistics: The Science of War Preparation. Kansas City, Mo.: Franklin Hudson Pub. Co. OCLC 6109722. 
    • Thorpe, George C. (1986) [1917]. George C. Thorpe's Pure Logistics: The Science of War Preparation. Stanley L. Falk (introduction). Washington, D.C.: National Defense University Press. 
    • Thorpe, George C. (1997) [1917]. George C. Thorpe's Pure Logistics: The Science of War Preparation. Newport, R.I.: Naval War College Press. 
    • Thorpe, George C. (2002) [1917]. Pure Logistics: The Science of War Preparation. Honolulu, Hawaii: University Press of the Pacific. ISBN . 
    • Huston, James A. (1966). The Sinews of War: Army Logistics, 1775–1953. United States Army. 755 pages. online.
  • Thorpe, George C. (1986) [1917]. George C. Thorpe's Pure Logistics: The Science of War Preparation. Stanley L. Falk (introduction). Washington, D.C.: National Defense University Press. 
  • Thorpe, George C. (1997) [1917]. George C. Thorpe's Pure Logistics: The Science of War Preparation. Newport, R.I.: Naval War College Press. 
  • Thorpe, George C. (2002) [1917]. Pure Logistics: The Science of War Preparation. Honolulu, Hawaii: University Press of the Pacific. ISBN . 
  • Huston, James A. (1966). The Sinews of War: Army Logistics, 1775–1953. United States Army. 755 pages. online.
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Wikipedia

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