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Subject: Re: Nazism vs Communism:Which is Worse?
From: (John W. Schaefer)
Date: Mar 19 1996

In article <4i13n0$>, says...

>The Russians did not have anything like the supply requirements of Allied 
>units, their units 'bombed up' for an Op, and off they went, without any 
>logistic support at all.

	As stated, that's a canard. Logistics is not magic. Materials usage 
is directly related to actions. Sure, if you sit on your duff, you don't need 
much stuff. But in order to fire 1000 50-kg shells, you have to move 50,000 
kgs, plus accessories, overhead, and the supplies and overhead of the part of 
the logistics train you use. The Russians didn't have a magical way to 
conduct military operations without supplying them.

	Now, it is a fact that a lot of the total transport capability of the 
WWII Russian military was organic to units. There wasn't enough left over to 
maintain the kind of classical logistics structure the Western Allies had. 
But that was not by Russian preference--they just didn't have the 
requisite equipment, management and engineering skills and transportation 
infrastructure. Their struggles to build those capabilities throughout the 
war are sufficient evidence that they recognized they were operationally and 
organizationally inferior. 

	You are arguing, I think, that their units were wonderfully effective 
indefinitely while needing much less tonnage than the Western Allies, so that 
they didn't need the logistics capability they didn't have. That's factually 
wrong--the dominant portion of any modern unit's logistical tonnage during a 
fast attack is POL, weapons/vehicle replacement and ammunition. American 
units had organic supply lift capability, just like the Russians, but 
while American units could generally count on the logistics guys to get 
materials to them just when their organic supplies were exhausted, Russian 
units could not. When Russian units with only the supplies they could carry 
organically had used up those supplies, and found themselves not receiving 
replacements from the rear, they were effectively de-militarized.
Units stop shooting and driving when they run out of shells and gas. 

	The original argument here was that the Russians would have been able 
to advance westward against the Western Allies without hindrance by Allied 
fighter-bomber interdiction of logistics activity. That is absurd.  The 
interdicting units might have had to look harder for trains and trucks, but 
each individual destroyed target would be a much larger percentage of the 
overall resources the Russians had available. And, with our superior photo 
intelligence capability and knowledge of the ground we were retreating over, 
the fighter-bomber pilots would know exactly where to hit the bridges, 
railyards and other pinchpoints in the road and rail net--the real key to 
disabling a logistics system.

	In a lot of ways, war is won and lost by logistics. The Russian Army 
at the end of WWII was not a wonderful example of how to run a logistics 
system. They got the logistics job done only because the folks they were 
fighting had an inadequate capability to interdict that system. Our 
capability would have been immensely greater.                              

                                           John Schaefer

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