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Logistics: The Key to Victory (Hardback)


By Jeremy Black
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781399006019
Published: 1st September 2021



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Logistics is an essential aspect of warfare and this is an original and much-needed contribution. All commanders know that an army (or navy) cannot operate without supplies yet most aspects of war studies emphasise strategy, tactics, weaponry and command. This book fills a gap in war studies with logistics as a huge subject at the centre of all conflict, globally and historically. The focus is on key conflicts, developments and concepts, illustrating the vital role of logistics with technologies changing but underlying issues remaining constant. Here is a world history of logistics - a veritable compendium - but within a detailed and comprehensive but concise text. Factors affecting logistics include, for example, climate, geography, food supplies, welfare of troops, payment, transport, communications, terrain and distance, but also government policy, stability and financial conditions. All are considered, including theoretical and practical factors of supply, from classical, ancient, early and medieval times, to modern eras of industrial warfare, especially with oil and steam, and scientific and technical advances - even cyber warfare and 'smart' weapons.

As someone who worked in civilian logistics all my working life, while being interested in military history, I found this a very interesting book to read.

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Military Model Scene

This book is recommended reading for logistics professionals and for those that still doubt the decisive nature of a comprehensive logistics strategy.

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Australian Naval Institute

Anyone who wants to understand logistics (and policy-making) better would be well-advised to read it.

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ARRSE (Army Rumour Service)

"The author does an excellent job in considering strategic, operational and tactical levels of logistics and the factors of supply across the ages from the classical to modern times, all having their specific issues but also a commonality of purpose and a constancy of limitations! This work should be recommended reading equally for the experienced practitioner and the logistic tyro!"

Martin Willoughby, Chairman of the Wessex Branch of the Western Front Association

About Jeremy Black

Jeremy Black has been described as 'the most prolific historical scholar of our age' and has researched deeply and written extensively on history, politics including political ideas, and international relations, and military history. And while he has specialised in British history from the 17th and 18th centuries to modern and contemporary times, his range his range embraces antiquity, early and mediaeval, to modern and contemporary, history, and on a global scale. He obtained a starred first in History at Queen's College, Cambridge, followed by postgraduate work at St John's College and Merton College, Oxford, was Lecturer in History at Durham University and Professor of History at Exeter University where he is now Emeritus Professor. He has lectured widely in the Commonwealth, Europe and the USA and served as archives editor and council member of prestigious research bodies and on editorial boards of academic journals. He was made MBE.

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