I would like to talk about something different, and investigating I found that it could be interesting to talk about the logistics in the army. Logistics, in military science, are all the activities of armed-force units in roles supporting combat units, including transport, supply, signal communication and medical aid.
Logistics belongs to the group of the science of computation, persist in mathematics as the logistics or logarithmic curve. The first systematic effort to define the word with some precision and to relate it to other elements of war was made by Antoine-Henri Jomini (1779-1869), the noted French military thinker as writer. He define logistics as “the practical art of moving armies”, by which he meant the whole range of functions involved moving and sustaining military forces.
It’s really useful to distinguish four basic element or functions of logistics: supply, transportation, facilities and services. All involve the provision of needed commodities or assistance to enable armed forces to live, move, communicate and fight.
Supply is the function of providing the material need of military forces. These function adapted to the army embraces all stages in the provision and servicing of military material. The whole process can be divide into four phases:
- The design-development-production process of crating a finished item.
- The administrative process by which military agencies acquire finished items.
- The distribution-distribution-servicing processes undergone by military material while “in the service”.
- The planing-administrative process of balancing supply and demand
Before the development of steam propulsion, armies depended for mobility on the muscles of men and animals and the force of the wind. Armies have usually been able to move faster and with a better chance of avoiding enemy detection by water than by land.
Before the age of mechanization, the soldier’s carrying capacity was usually supplemented by additional carriers and haulers, human and animal. A team of six horses ate about as much as 40 to 40 men, but the men could carry more on than the horses could carry. In many parts of the world motor transport still has not displaced human and animal carriers and haulers in the movement of military supply.
The provision of military facilities, as distinct from fortification, didn’t became a large and complex sphere of logistic activity until the transformation of warfare in the industrial era. In that transformation the traditional function of providing nightly lodgings or winter quarters for the troops dwindled to relative insignificance in the mushrooming infrastructure of fixed and temporary installations that became part of the military establishment of the major powers.
Army have long claimed the label of “combat support” as distinct from the “service support” functions of supply, transportation, hospitalization and evacuation, military justice and discipline, custody of prisoners of war, civil affairs, personnel administration and non tactical construction.