Hello to all, besides I think this is a very interesting article I wish to ask to the forum mates if this scheme of organization was kept throughout the war or it was changed later.
FIELD 0RGANIZATION OF THE SERVICES OF SUPPLY IN THE GERMAN ARMY
BY LIEUTENANT COLONEL E. M. BENITEZ, Coast Artillery – Military Review, sep 1939.
In the reconstrucction of the German Army, accomplished during the past two years, the Services Of Supply have been reorganized into a system capable of fulfilling the Complex requirements of a modem army.
The three fundamenltal needs of an army in the field are:
supply of everything that the troops require to live, to move and to fight; Care of sick and wounded men; and similar care for animals. With this in view, the “services in rear of the operating troops” or Ruckwartige Dienste have been organized in three principal branches—the supply, sanitary and veterinary services.
Of these branches, the first in importance is the service of supply (Nachschub), because it is the artery connecting the operating army with the source of supply in the home country, and is required to furnish the troops with everything required for use in the field.
Attached to the services of supply (Heeresversorgung) are several subsidiary services—the military police service in the rear areas (Ordnungdienst) ; the military postal service; and the great organization for the exploitation and use of establishments existing in the theater of operations.
The most advanced elements of the services are integral parts of the operating troops.
Evacuation of everything that might hamper the activity or mobility of troop units in the first line (sick and wounded men and animals, prisoners, materials in need of repar or unserviceable; surplus materials, captured materiel) is handled by each service within its own province.
In so far as the services are concerned, the territory is divided thus:
(1) Zone of the operating armies, which includes the entire theater of war ( Operationsgebid ) ;
(2) Zone of the services (Ruckwartiges Gebiet), or the rear zone within which the services carry on their varied activities.
The scheme of organization is as follows:
Services of the front-line units
Services in rear of the operating troops
Service of supply
Motor supply service
Repair and replacement service
Quartermaster supply service
Military police service in the rear areas
Military postal service
Service for exploitation and use of establishments
existing in the zone of the operating army.
More specifically, the various branches of the service of supply are charged with the following duties:
The ammunition service with the supply of ammunition for all arms, of hand grenades, explosives and incendiary material; that is to say, the service is concerned exclusively with supply of ammunition and Similar material, and has nothing to do with arms and other heavy material.
The motor supply service, with supply of fuel, lubricants and tires.
The repair and replacement service, with supply of motor vehicles and materials pertaining to them, including spare parts; arms and materials which are damaged or unserviceable; and with means of field transportation in general. It thus includes functions which in other armies are distributed among the ordnance, engineer and lines of communication services.
Quartermaster supply service; with supply of rations, forage, clothing, equipage and finance. This service was formerly called the “Intendantur”; this term is no longer in use, although the officers of the service are still known as “Intendants.” The service is now designated as the “Verwaltungsdienste.”
“Services in rear of he operating troops” belong to armies and divisions, and to a limited extent to the army corps. The whole service is centered in the army. The division, as an operative unit (Operative Einheit), is provided with such services as assure to it, within the army an independence proportioned to its missions. During the World War, the corps was considered as the operative unit, and as such was provided with all the necessary services, and the divisions, with certain exceptions, did not have them. The corps is now provided only with the services strictly indispensable for the corps troops, except the cavalry corps, which have the same services as the cavalry divisions, Nevertheless, as a unit intermediate between the army and the division, the corps has the important function of coordinating the operation of the services with the tactical dispositions that is to say, of regulating the, supplies to he furnished to the divisions with regard to the situation.
Organization of the services in the rear of the operating troops.
Coordinating agencies.-The quartermaster general at G.H.Q. and the Army Quartermaster at Army Headquarters, are responsible for the operation of all the services.
In 1914 the organization of the services was based upon the regulations for the lines of communication (Kriegsetapenornung). All supply was placed under the direction of the lines of communication (Armeeetapeninspectionen) and the army commander had no effective control over the operation of the services!- But during the battle of the Marne, in September 1914, the commander of the German First Army was compelled by the intricate situation which arose in the rear areas, to assume control of the movement of supply agencies during the movements from the Marne to the Ourcq and from the Ourcq to the Aisne. In view’ of the difficulties involved, the logistic direction of the services was assigned to the armies, early in 1915.
Operating agencies in the rear of the operatnig troops.
Motor supply columns, G.H.Q. (heavy)
Motor supply columns, army (light and heavy)
Divisional supply columns (light motor or horsed)
Corps supply columns
Pack trains (in mountain warfare only)
Divisional gas and oil columns, light and heavy,
Motor repair shops, army and division.
Army parks-infantry, artillery, pioneer, signal, motor.
Army depots, ammunition and subsistence.
Service units-battaions in the aymy, companies in the division.
Specifically, the supply columns provide for supply of ammunition, explosives, rations and forage, arms, clothing, equipment, means of transportation, horses and material of all sorts required by the operating troops. They are also charged with evacuation of arms and material of all sorts, damaged or unserviceable, sur plus material, and captured material. In special cases they may be called upon to assist in evacuation “of sick and wour ded men and animals".
G. H. Q., reserve columns ar d army columns are entirely motorized., Divisional columr s are partly motorized and partly horse drawn.
The division gas and oil columns are reserved exclusively for supply of tires, fuel an lubricants, for all military motor vehicles.
The army ammunition an subsistence depots provide for the supply of their respective stores. The subsistence depots carry, in addition, smal stocks of clothing and equipment.
The army service battalions or the divisional service companies are made up of ammunition, subsistence, salvage and technical platoons; they furnish railheads with the men necessary for handling, storage and issue of supplies.
The G.H.Q. motor supply columns, heavy (useful load 60 tons) constitute a reserve o transportattion at the disposition of the quartermaster general, The army motor supply columns, light and heavy (useful load respectively 30 and 60 tons) provide a rolling reserve of ammunition, rations and forage, for the re-supply of th depots and parks.
The divisional supply columns (light motor or home drawn, useful load about 30 tons) carry a part of the “initial supply,” corresponding to our “day of fire” and “day of rations and forage.”
The corps supply columns are charged with the supply of corps troops only; except that the supply columns of the cavalry corps are in general barged with supply of ammunition, rations and forage (chiefly oats) for the cavalry division columns.
Pack transportation is fittle used in Germany; pack trains are assigned only to units operating in the mountains.
Gas and oil columns.
Like the supply columns, these are divided into light and heavy, according to carrying’ capacity. They are assigned to divisions and are charged with the supply of fuel, lubricants and tires, for motor vehicles assigned to first line units, headquarters and service unit s.
Means of transportation assigned to first line units.
Light regimental (or independent battalion ) columns
Combat vehicles or battery combat trains
1st Echelon (horse’ drawn)\ second echelon (motor), or one echelon (motor) for motarized units.
Baggage train: motor.
The light columns (of varying composition according to arm) are largely motorized and carry ammunition, pyrotechnics, explosives, camouflage material, and small stocks of arms and implements.
These carry ammunition, spare parts of arms, tools for minor repairs, medical and veterinary equipment.
The field kitchens (horsed or motorized) are fitted for cooking on the march, and also carry one day’s field and one day’s reserve rations. The led horses are intended for the use of heavy weapons and artillery.
Transportation for rations.
I.—Units not motorized.—The first echelon, horsedrawn, consists of one wagon per company and two per squadron or battery; it carries one day’s rations and forage.
The second echelon, motorized, consists of one medium truck per battalion or corresponding unit, and carries a second day’s rations and forage.
2.—Motorized units.—There is only one echelon, consisting of one truck per company or corresponding unit; it carries two days’ ordinary rations.
This consists of one truck per battalion or equivalent unit, It carries ¾ of the personal equipment of the soldier (the remaining ¼ being on the men), officers’ baggage, and a small stock of clothing and equipment.
To follow The services in the division. Regards. Tigre.
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.