Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton
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Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  155 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Why did Napoleon succeed in 1805 but fail in 1812? Were the railways vital to Prussia's victory over France in 1870? Was the famous Schlieffen Plan militarily sound? Could the European half of World War II have been ended in 1944? These are only a few of the questions that form the subject-matter of this meticulously researched, lively book. Drawing on a very wide range of...more
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Published December 12th 1979 by Cambridge University Press (first published 1977)
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Fred
4/5 Stars. A very, very dry book for the most part but there are some spots that impressively lighten it up. This book is all about the logistics of warfare. The writer attempts to show how wars are won or lost often through logistical failure or excellence and many times throughout history tactical and strategic excellence failed to achieve the desired result because of a poor mastery of logistics. Would recommend this for anyone in the military in a logistics branch, would not recommend this f...more
Matt
Jul 05, 2008 Matt rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Military officers, military historians, students of history of every sort
"Clearly, logistics is the hard part of fighting a war."

--Lt. Gen. E. T. Cook, USMC, November 1990

"Gentlemen, the officer who doesn't know his communications and supply as well as his tactics is totally useless."

--Gen. George S. Patton, USA

"Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics."

--Gen. Robert H. Barrow, USMC (Commandant of the Marine Corps)

As the last of those three quotes puts so pithily, the true study of war lies less in the romantic areas of strategy and tactics than...more
Florent
Un ouvrage très original, qui propose d'analyser quelques grandes campagnes sous l'angle de la logistique exclusivement. Les résultats sont vraiment intéressants, on peut juste regretter que l'auteur ne s'attaque à chaque fois qu'à l'un des deux belligérants (pas toujours le vainqueur d'ailleurs).

L'auteur réfute les classements habituels par époque (ancien régime, guerres napoléoniennes, révolution industrielle) ou par technique (cheval, chemin de fer, camion), pour démontrer que la vraie ruptur...more
Philip Blood
Probably one of my top ten favourite military history books. I first read it for my BA in the 1970s and still have the original copy. At the time it was a radical approach to the study of logistics and its impact on strategy. Subsequent research and time has wiped some of the gloss off its originality but it remains an important book. Essential reading for scholars, soldiers and anyone interested in how wars are influenced by logistics.
DoctorM
Old saying: "Amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics". From Wallenstein keeping Austria in the Thrty Years War by building one of the first modern supply systems (and becoming a major entrepreneur and making a fortune out of it) to Patton's tanks running out of fuel as their supply lines over-extended, Martin Van Creveld stresses the truth of that old saying. Anyone who considers the difficulties of supplying US forces in Afghanistan (arguments with Pakistan, uncertain use of Centr...more
Christian Palmer
There's some great info in this book on the development of modern military logistics, but some of the chapters aren't well organized and sometimes Van Creveld falls short of proving what he's trying to prove. However, there are a lot of counterintuitive and insightful arguments that any military logistician needs to get a handle on in here, making at least one read through worth your time. And when Van Creveld is good, he's great, such as when he's taking apart Rommel or blowing apart the miscon...more
Charles Mccain
There is an expression in the US military: “Amateurs talk tactics. Professionals talk logistics.” And this is made crystal clear in this book which explains in detail why so many great campaigns in history, such as the German invasion of the Soviet Union, faltered because of totally inadequate logistics planning. The author is the world authority on military logistics. Absolutely first rate.
Wachlin007 Hotmail
This book is the first modern study ever to discuss the historical impact that logistics has played in warfare. I thought it was a good read because makes you analyze warfare a little differently. How do you get an army where it needs to go? How do you keep it resupplied? How have armies done this throughout the ages? I found it interesting, but some would say it is boring.
Chris Mericle
This book started the entire professional historical analysis of logistics in war. Read this and then read Feeding Mars: logistics in Western Warfare from the Middles Ages to the Present ed. by John a Lynn and you will be a knowledgeable chap!
Iain
Oct 29, 2013 Iain marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
I won't rate this as I focused on the chapter about the WWI Eastern Front. But I will say that after reading that one chapter I had no desire to read the rest of the book.
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Martin Levi van Creveld (born 5 March 1946) is an Israeli military historian and theorist.

Van Creveld was born in the Netherlands in the city of Rotterdam, and has lived in Israel since shortly after his birth. He holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he has been on the faculty since 1971. He is the author of seventeen books on military his...more
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