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Supplying the British Army in the Second World War (Hardback)

WWII Military

By Janet Macdonald
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 223
Illustrations: 30
ISBN: 9781526725332
Published: 18th March 2020

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During the Second World War, how were the multitude of items required by the soldiers in the front line selected, ordered and delivered, and how were they produced? In this the second volume in her detailed, scholarly study of the army’s logistical system, Janet Macdonald describes the necessity for central advanced planning for each expeditionary force as well as those engaged in home defence, and the complex organization of personnel who performed these tasks, from the government and military command in London to those who distributed the equipment on the battlefield.

Armies have always required large amounts of material, but by the Second World War the numbers of men involved had grown exponentially, their equipment had become mechanized and their deployment was world wide. Elaborate planning and administration at every level had to ensure that items of all kinds were collected, transported and handed out in every theatre of the war. The scale of the operation was enormous and it had to be performed to critical timetables and was sometimes threatened by enemy action, and it was vital to the army’s success.

This is a really valuable book (especially for we logistics types) and is a very good companion to the author’s similar book on the logistics of the Great War. It offers a valuable insight into the sheer quantity of equipment produced and delivered. My father recounted returning a damaged Jeep to a supply compound near Caen after the Normandy landings and being astounded by the number of replacements available, and that repair was not an option; just dump it and take a new one! This book explains how this example came about.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Janet Macdonald

Janet Macdonald has published books on numerous subjects. Her first book on naval history was Feeding Nelson’s Navy: The True Story of Food at Sea in the Georgian Era; her second, the British Navy’s Victualling Board, 1793-1815: Management Competence and Incompetence. She took her MA in Maritime History at the Greenwich Maritime Institute, London, and her PhD at King’s College London, where she was awarded a Laughton Scholarship. Her thesis was on the administration of naval victualling. Her most recent books are From Boiled Beef to Chicken Tikka: 500 Years of Feeding the British Army, Sir John Moore: The Making of a Controversial Hero and Horses in the British Army 1750-1850.

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