Chapter XV
Movements and Distribution: Transportation and Forward Deliveries

(1) The Railways

As in August and September 1944, transportation again became the major limiting factor in Allied operations in the last month of the war. But there was an important difference between the two periods. In March 1945 plans were deliberately made for a rapid and sustained drive into the heart of Germany. Moreover, U.S. forces now had the advantage of experience in the supply of highly mobile forces, and much greater resources for that type of warfare.

Of necessity, motor transport initially had to bear the main burden of supply support in a rapid advance. But the support of a sustained drive also required that the railways supplement truck transport as early as possible. Detailed plans were accordingly made for the extension of the railways into Germany, and especially for the enormous engineering efforts involved in the bridging of the Rhine.

By February rail operations west of the Rhine had become fairly routine, and deliveries were being made well forward into the army service areas. In January the Transportation Corps had inaugurated an improved express service to replace the Little Red Ball, the trucking service which had been delivering about 100 tons of urgently needed supplies daily from Cherbourg to Paris since mid-September. The "Toot Sweet Express," as the new service was called, was organized to handle only high priority freight, but was to make deliveries all the way from Cherbourg and Paris to the forward ADSEC depots. A train of twenty cars was to leave Cherbourg every day. At Paris, with a maximum of twenty additional cars, two trains would then be made up, one proceeding to Namur and one to Verdun. Space was allotted to the armies, the air force, and the Advance Section on the basis of bids screened by the COMZ G-4. Total running time was set at thirty-six hours. To maintain this schedule selected rolling stock was set aside for the express service and could not be reconsigned at the terminals. Unloading had to be carried out within six hours of arrival. The first Toot Sweet Express left Cherbourg on 21 January with 107 tons of freight, and in the first two months deliveries to the advance depots averaged about 385 tons per day.

Shortly after the express was inaugurated,


TOOT SWEET EXPRESS READY TO LEAVE CHERBOURG. Crewmen for the express receiving instructions before departure.

its northern terminus was changed to Liège, and later its southern terminus was moved to Bad Kreuznach. Although it handled relatively small tonnages, the Toot Sweet Express filled an important need and continued to operate for several weeks after V-E Day.1

The tactical situation prevented any important forward extension of the rail lines in February, although some rehabilitation was carried out northward from Liège toward Roermond and from Aachen both north and east. With the completion early in March of VERITABLE and GRENADE, the operations of the 21 Army Group in the north, work was immediately begun to push railheads even closer to the Rhine in preparation for the crossing of that obstacle. Construction proceeded generally in accord with the current tactical plans. It was planned to provide a double-track line and a single-track bridge over the Rhine for each of the armies in the 12th Army Group. On this basis the Advance Section completed engineer plans in January for the restoration of the following lines: for the Ninth Army the line Aachen-Muenchen-Gladbach-Geldern-Wesel; for the First Army the line Aachen-Dueren-Cologne; and for the Third Army the line Thionville-


Trier-Koblenz. Rail bridges were initially planned at Wesel, Cologne, and Koblenz.2

ADSEC Engineer Groups A and C began rebuilding the rail bridges over the Roer near Baal and Dueren respectively as soon as the First and Ninth Armies had crossed that river, completing them on 11 March. Meanwhile the 1056th Port Construction and Repair Group, which had had so prominent a role in the restoration of Cherbourg and more recently had had its first experience in rail work with the construction of the bridge over the Meuse at Maastricht, began restoration of the railway northward from Baal toward Geldern and Wesel. Engineer Group C in the same period began extending the lines eastward from Aachen toward Cologne. This project was suspended when, with the capture of the Remagen bridge, priority shifted to the reconstruction of the line running southeastward from Dueren to the Remagen crossing. Plans were also made to open a single-track line to the bridgehead from Trier, but the collapse of the Remagen rail bridge on 17 March nullified these plans. The line from Dueren to Remagen was restored and then extended southward to Koblenz along the west bank of the Rhine.3

One feature of the rail net in the north had long been a cause of worry. All rail traffic in support of the First and Ninth Armies had to be funneled through the narrow bottleneck at Liège and was therefore extremely vulnerable to disruption by a few well-placed enemy bombs. Aerial bombing, strafing, and V-bomb attacks did in fact cause some damage and interrupted work on the Renory Viaduct, one of the three bridges in Liège, during reconstruction in December and January. SHAEF G-4 planners had advocated the opening of at least one additional rail route across the Meuse farther north, preferably at Maastricht. A bridge was rebuilt there, but a through route from the west via Hasselt was not restored.4

Farther south railroads were still some distance from the Rhine at the beginning of March, although rail support extended well forward into the Third and Seventh Army maintenance areas. The collapse of the enemy in the area east of the Moselle later that month finally opened the way for an extension of the railways to the Rhine, although rail service was not immediately available


BRIDGE ACROSS THE RHINE AT WESEL constructed by 1056th PC&R Group.

to the Rhine by the time of the crossing as it was in the north. Reconnaissance of the area then revealed that the line from Thionville eastward through Saarbruecken and Bad Kreuznach to either Bingen or Mainz could be restored with a much smaller engineering effort than the line northeastward to Koblenz. Engineer Group B began work on the line on 25 March and completed a single-track line to Mainz on 1 April.5

Bridging the Rhine proved to be one of the major engineering tasks of the war in Europe, ranking with the engineer aspects of the Normandy assault and the reconstruction of the ports in magnitude and complexity. Planning had begun early in October 1944, when the chief engineer, Maj. Gen. Cecil R. Moore, held the first meeting with engineers of all the major headquarters to discuss Rhine bridging problems. General Moore's office immediately thereafter began to prepare the long lists of materials and equipment, and to disseminate intelligence and technical information. Because of the peculiarities


SINGLE-TRACK RAILROAD BRIDGE AT MAINZ constructed by Engineer Group B.

of the big river, even a flood prediction service was established. The assembly of construction materials at the proper places was in itself a formidable job, involving the inland movement of naval craft and the handling of steel beams up to ninety-two feet in length and more than a yard in depth, and pilings up to a hundred feet in length. Transportation of these "out-of-gauge" materials inland required the careful selection of routes and taking into consideration the turning radius of trailer loads and of bridge and underpass clearance.6

Advance planning and careful preparation had its reward in the dispatch with which the Rhine bridges were installed. Starting on 29 March and working round the clock, the 1056th PC&R Group, using two engineer general service regiments, a construction battalion, and several smaller units, completed the first rail bridge across the Rhine at Wesel in ten days. Ground reconnaissance immediately after the assault crossing had resulted in the selection of a site farther upstream than planned, and required the bridging of the Lippe River as well. But plans were flexible, and the change was made without difficulty. The main


crossing over the Rhine was a twenty-three-span structure 1,753 feet long, the shorter bridge over the Lippe a six-span structure of 463 feet. Completion of the Wesel bridges immediately opened up a rail line of communications to Haltern, twenty-five miles east of the Rhine, and shortly thereafter to Muenster.

Engineer Group B in the meantime had reconnoitered three sites in the Third Army area, and on 4 April began construction of a railway bridge at Mainz. The 3,445-foot structure, 2,100 feet of which was of new construction, was also completed in ten days. In dedication ceremonies held on 14 April the bridge was named for President Roosevelt, who had died two days before. The bulk of the material used in its construction was brought forward about 150 miles from dumps in Luxembourg.

Farther south, in the area of the 6th Army Group, engineer units of the Seventh Army, working under the direction of the 1st Military Railway Service, began construction of a 937-foot rail bridge at Mannheim on 12 April and an 851-foot bridge at Karlsruhe on 17 April. The two structures were completed on 23 and 29 April, respectively.

Construction of a fifth Rhine railway bridge, at Duisburg in the Ruhr, was ordered late in April, but was not completed in time to play any part in the support of U.S. forces before the end of the fighting. After careful planning and assembly of materials, engineer units of Group A started construction on 2 May and completed the thirty-eight-span, 2,815-foot structure in a record six and one-half days.7

Logistic plans did not contemplate any substantial reliance on supply by rail beyond the Rhine until after mid-April. Army and ADSEC engineers nevertheless began the rehabilitation of lines east of the river immediately after the crossing, and made limited use of these lines to haul forward supplies transferred from trucks. In the north the line Muenster-Soest-Paderborn-Kassel was already in operation when the Wesel bridge was completed on 9 April, providing a continuous rail line of communications deep into Germany in support of the Ninth Army. First Army operated a line from Sarnou to Ingringhausen for five days beginning on 7 April, and then transferred operations to a new line from Kirchhain to Kassel to Ingringhausen. In the area of the Third Army the line Frankfurt-Friedberg-Giessen-Kassel was also open by 9 April. Rail extension almost kept pace with the armies in the next few weeks, and by V-E Day railheads were already in operation at Stendal and Magdeburg in the north, at Leipzig on the central line of communications, and at Regensburg and Stuttgart in the south.8 (Map 9)

Rail traffic over the Rhine, which began on a small scale on 8 April, quickly overtook motor transport as the main long-distance carrier. Within ten days the railways were handling about


Map 9
Railways in Use by U.S. Forces East of Paris


12,000 tons over the Rhine bridges, which approximately equaled the tonnage hauled by truck. By V-E Day, when they were handling 20,000 to 25,000 tons per day, they were accounting for fully three fourths of the total tonnage.9 At that time twenty-six general service regiments, supplemented by PC&R groups, dump truck companies, and engineer combat battalions, were engaged in reconstruction work, fifteen of the regiments with the Advance Section and the 1st Military Railway Service, and the remainder in other COMZ sections. The 1st and 2d Military Railway Services at that time were organized into 7 grand divisions, with 24 railway operating battalions, 7 shop battalions, plus mobile workshops, MP battalions, and other ancillary units, and had 11,000 miles of track under their jurisdiction.10

The rapid extension of rail traffic through narrow bottlenecks and under conditions of extremely mobile tactical operations soon brought their operating difficulties. Both of the major Rhine bridges--at Wesel and Mainz--were single-track structures and soon became serious traffic bottlenecks, in part simply because they lacked the capacity to handle the volume of traffic demanded for support beyond the Rhine, in part because of poor traffic control. Both bridges were required to handle traffic for two armies. The Wesel bridge had to handle a part of the traffic for First Army as well as the Ninth; the Mainz bridge had to handle the remainder of the First Army traffic in addition to the Third's. Moving supplies for two armies over a single bridge inevitably raised problems of priority, and was further complicated by the multiplicity of agencies involved, including the Advance Section, its regulating stations, and the armies. Proper movement control was lacking at first, and a remedy was not found until control agencies were established--initially at Thionville and then at Mainz, on the southern route, and at Muenchen-Gladbach in the north--on which all interested agencies were represented.11

Other factors complicated operations on both lines and initially prevented the development of their full potential. In the south poor signal communications caused delays in calling trains forward and resulted in congestion beyond Saarbruecken. In addition, the bridge over the Main River at Hanau had only a limited capacity and caused many trains to be sidetracked in the Mainz area.

The bridge at Wesel had a potential capacity of 7,000-8,000 tons per day, and was initially reserved exclusively for American use. For nearly two weeks after its opening, however, it handled only about 4,500 tons per day, and to make matters worse British forces almost immediately appealed for an allocation of running rights. The 21 Army Group requests were denied at first, but after several appeals, SHAEF on 23 April allocated one train path per day for 500 tons. Within another week the allocation was increased. Traffic over the bridge improved late in the month, and in the


week before V-E Day averaged about 10,000 tons per day. It was because of the inability of the Wesel bridge to meet both U.S. and British requirements that the construction of another at Duisburg was ordered on the 25th.12

Rail traffic suffered even more seriously from the failure to unload freight cars at the railheads in the forward areas and from the practice of selective forwarding. The congestion resulting from the latter was particularly serious in the south, where Third Army representatives, attempting to expedite the shipment of urgently needed supplies, accepted only portions of the army's requisitioned supplies for forward dispatch, sidetracking others to what amounted to dead storage. This practice eventually had its effect in the base and intermediate sections, where large numbers of loaded cars accumulated. The tendency to hold supplies on wheels in the forward areas was common in both army groups and produced an increasingly acute shortage of rolling stock. ETOUSA twice attempted to force the discharge of cars in the forward areas by temporarily restricting loadings in the Oise Section, and Supreme Headquarters also issued a warning about the possible effects of the critical shortage of cars on both military operations and the civil economy. But these measures had little effect, and the accumulation of cars under load continued. At the end of April 2,000 loaded cars were still on hand at former army railheads west of the Rhine alone, and the number of freight cars dispatched beyond the Rhine exceeded by more than 12,000 the number of empties returned.13

The difficulties at the Rhine bridges, the accumulation of loaded rail cars at other points on the lines of communications, and the attempt by the armies to institute partial acceptance or selective forwarding, all highlighted an old movement control problem--that is, the problem of controlling traffic between the Communications Zone and the combat zone, which were separate and coordinate commands. The point at which supplies passed from one command to the other--that is, the army rail and truckheads--was a critical point on the supply lines and a potential source of difficulty. Any consideration of the problem inevitably involved the regulating stations, whose basic mission was the control of traffic into the combat zone. A postwar review of their functioning revealed that there had been little uniformity in the concept which the various commands had as to their role or method of operating. In some cases the regulating officer became what amounted to an agent of the army with which he was serving and was


utilized virtually as a transportation section of the army headquarters. In some cases the regulating stations exercised the greatest control over movements within the army service area rather than over movements into the combat zone itself. In any case, movements were often initiated without their authority or contrary to their instructions, and embargoes were imposed without their knowledge. However useful they were as expediters and in a liaison capacity between the armies and the Communications Zone, it is clear that they did not operate as contemplated in field service regulations. As agents of the Advance Section rather than the theater commander, as contemplated in regulations, the regulating stations lacked the necessary authority to control movements where conflict arose either between the armies (as it did at the Rhine bridges) or between the armies and the Communications Zone. As agents of the Advance Section, moreover, they were unable to control reserves on rail cars in the army areas and were limited to requesting command action to expedite the release of cars, requests which had to go through the Advance Section, the Communications Zone, and the army group, to the armies.14

The shortage of both locomotives and rolling stock had been a persistent limiting factor in rail operations. The most desperate shortage occurred in January, when as many as 800 trains were held up at one time for lack of motive power, despite the receipt by that time of about 1,200 locomotives from the United States. This situation saw substantial improvement in the succeeding months. The United States shipped more than 500 additional engines to Europe between January and the end of April. These shipments, plus the large number of rehabilitated French and Belgian engines, and a few hundred German units, brought the total number of locomotives in use at the end of April to about 11,500.15

The Allies had originally planned to ship 50,000 freight cars to the Continent. About 20,000 of these had been delivered by the end of 1944, and a total of 234,000 cars was then in use on the French and Belgian railways. At that time schedules called for the delivery during 1945 of 28,000 U.S. cars, which American and British forces planned to assemble at Marseille and Brussels. But while there were sufficient cars in the United States to meet the planned build-up, insufficient shipping was allocated to move them. Partly because of inadequate receipts, assembly of cars also fell far short of the targets.

On V-E Day there were approximately 250,000 cars in use on the Continent, of which 29,000 had been provided from the United States. These proved far from adequate under the conditions existing in April. The rapid extension of the lines of communication into Germany that month suddenly drained thousands of cars from France and Belgium and immobilized


additional thousands under load. Concern over the dire effect which this development threatened to have on both military operations and the civil economy led to General Eisenhower's personal intervention near the end of the month. Fortunately relief was in sight with the arrival of V-E Day shortly thereafter.16

In the last month of the war the 1st and 2d Military Railway Service had continued to operate the continental railways. Co-ordination of the two systems was provided through General Headquarters, Military Railway Service, which had been established under General Gray at the time SOLOC was integrated with the Communications Zone in February. As of that date, however, the railways were still operated in accordance with an SOP of July 1944, which had limited the authority of the Transportation Corps to "technical supervision." The Transportation Corps had long striven for undisputed theaterwide control over operations in view of the intersectional nature of rail operations. Early in April 1945 it finally realized this goal when a new SOP clarified the Transporation Corps' authority by unequivocally making it directly responsible for both operations and maintenance of way and equipment. Railway construction continued to be the responsibility of the Engineer Service. Under the new operating procedure only minor administrative authority was left to be exercised over the Military Railway Service and its attached units by the COMZ sections. This was confined to matters of supply of common items, general court-martial jurisdiction, hospitalization and evacuation, and financial transactions. In accord with the SOP, troop assignments were issued relieving Military Railway Service units from attachment to the sections and assigning them to Headquarters, Military Railway Service, which in turn assigned them to either the 1st or 2d Military Railway Service. In an attempt to bring the pilferage problem under better control the Transportation Corps also assumed responsibility for the security of supplies in transit. Military Police units previously assigned to the sections were accordingly assigned to Military Railway Service.17

(2) Motor Transport--XYZ

Motor transport operations had become fairly routine in February. The bulk of the COMZ truck units were then engaged in port clearance, rail transfer, and interdepot hauls. Of the various express services which had been organized from time to time by the Motor Transport Service, only the ABC Haul was still in operation.18


The month of March brought a gradual shift in emphasis. The advance to the Rhine resulted in a substantial acceleration in truck movements in the forward areas, and the crossings of that river toward the end of the month brought line-of-communications hauling by motor transport to an unprecedented tempo, which was maintained until the end of hostilities.

Motor transport not only supported the advance to the Rhine, but handled the initial build-up in preparation for the Rhine crossings in both the north and south pending the extension of the railways. This proved a much greater task in the area of the Third Army, for rail service could not be pushed forward to the Rhine in time for the crossings, and, even after it was made available, suffered from bottlenecks in the Saarbruecken area. Throughout April, therefore, a portion of Third Army's supplies had to move forward by truck over the narrow and winding roads of the Palatinate.19 Preparations for the Rhine crossings also presented the Motor Transport Service with hauling tasks it had never faced before, including the movement of a small navy to the Rhine. Tank transporters were used to move several types of assault craft, including the unwieldy LCM, which weighed 46 tons and was 72 feet long, 14 feet wide, and 18 feet high. The movement from seaports to the Rhine required careful route reconnaissance because of the problems of overhead clearance and bridge loads.20

But these operations were completely overshadowed by the unprecedented scale on which trucking was organized to support the final offensive beyond the Rhine. The elaborate and thorough preparations for the use of motor transport in support of this drive contrasted sharply with the impromptu manner in which the Red Ball was brought into being in the summer of 1944. Planning for the operation got under way early in February, when the Communications Zone directed the two advance sections to determine what plans the two army groups had for future action in the event of a break-through and to determine what their supply requirements would be. At the same time it directed the Transportation Corps to survey motor transport resources and to make specific plans for the marshaling of all transport in support of a rapid advance.21

On 3 March the Motor Transport Service issued an administrative order outlining in full detail the plan for the organization, operation, and control of motor transport, which in its execution came to be known as the "XYZ Operation." The operation took its name from the three-phase scheme by which the plan would be implemented in accord with rising requirements. Assuming a two-day turnaround in each case, transport was to be allocated to move 8,000 tons of dry cargo per day under Plan X, 10,000 tons under Plan Y, and 12,000 tons under Plan Z. On a one-day turnaround deliveries could be double these amounts. In addition, a POL tanker fleet, with a daily capacity of 4,100 tons in all three phases on a one-day turnaround, was to move bulk POL forward from pipeheads


TRUCK-TRACTOR AND 40-TON TANK TRANSPORTERS carrying LCM's for Rhine River crossings, March 1945.

and railheads, initially from Maastricht, Thionville, and Saaralbe.

The Transportation Corps was far better prepared to undertake a mission of such scope than it had been in August 1944 from the point of view of experience, organization, and available equipment. In March 1945 the Communications Zone had 226 truck companies at its disposal on the Continent. In contrast with the situation in 1944, a substantial number of these were either 10-ton tractor-semitrailer combinations or 10-ton diesels, heavy-duty types which were best suited for long-distance hauling. Since January the Communications Zone had received sixty-four new heavy companies, fourteen of them consisting of diesel companies transferred from the Persian Gulf Command. The larger capacity of the heavy duty companies--rated at double that of a 2½-ton unit--actually gave the Communications Zone the equivalent of 316 2½-ton companies.22

Plans provided for the use of 55 companies under Phase X of the coming operation (2,750 vehicles), 67 under Phase Y (3,350 vehicles), and 81 under Phase Z (4,050 vehicles). In each case the bulk of the motor transport was to consist of the larger 10-ton companies, whose capacities were equivalent to 101, 125, and 150 2½-ton companies respectively in the three phases. In order to employ this equipment to best advantage the Motor Transport Service planned to use the 10-ton tractor-trailer companies over the main long-distance hauls, and the 2½-ton and 10-ton diesel units primarily for branch line-of-communications work,


local operational missions, and in the physically less favorable areas. It aimed at having forty vehicles per company in service at all times. The bulk POL fleet was to consist of seventeen companies, some of them of the 2,000-gallon type, some of the 750-gallon type, and a few 10-ton companies with skid-mounted tanks, with four 750-gallon tanks to a trailer.23

The planned organization and control of this transport was a vital feature of the XYZ Operation, and reflected the experiences and lessons of the earlier express services. There was no longer any question as to the desirability of providing an effective centralized control over a service which promised to be intersectional in nature. All motor transport used in XYZ was assigned to the 6955th Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the Motor Transport Service (Col. Ross B. Warren), which remained the ultimate authority for control of the entire operation. To permit flexibility in operations over the several routes the Motor Transport Service delegated the actual control over field operations to subordinate agencies known as highway transport divisions (HTD), provisionally created for this purpose. Two highway transport divisions were initially activated, the 1st HTD to operate the two routes in support of the First and Ninth Armies, in the north, the 2d HTD to operate the two routes in support of the Third and Seventh Armies in the south. Basically, each highway transport division consisted of a quartermaster group (TD) headquarters, augmented with personnel from the Motor Transport Service. In the period before the haul became intersectional the divisions were to be under the direct control of the transportation officer of the advance section in which they were operating.

Operating and maintenance procedures also reflected the influence of earlier trials and errors, bearing a strong resemblance to the SOP's which had been worked out for the successful ABC Haul. At points of origin, for example, marshaling-yard type of operations was to be in effect, with all trailers handled in the same manner as were freight cars by the Military Railway Service. All movements would be made in serials consisting of tractors operating in platoon convoys. Quartermaster detachments attached to each HTD were to operate marshaling yards and dispatch vehicles at the point of origin, operate road patrols for over-the-road discipline, control, vehicle recovery, and route reconnaissance, and ensure the prompt turnaround of vehicles at points of destination. Only the HTD's were to issue movement instructions. The HTD's were thus intended to be the central operating agencies in the field, co-ordinating loading and movements from point of origin to point of destination and issuing all movement instructions on the basis of over-all orders of the advance sections. Each truck company was made responsible for full preventive maintenance, and, reminiscent of old cavalry practice with respect to animals, drivers were ordered to carry out before resting specified maintenance procedures in bivouac, at servicing points, at halts,


and at loading and unloading points under the supervision of serial detachments. A mechanic was to ride each serial, carrying a small supply of high mortality parts. Mobile ordnance maintenance units from the advance sections were to provide road patrols, make major repairs, and provide replacement vehicles.

The XYZ service was mobilized with unexpected speed. The operation got under way on 25 March, and the first deliveries were made to the Third Army over a line of communications averaging about 120 miles in length. Within a few days trucks of the Motor Transport Service were rolling forward with supplies for the other three armies. At the end of the first week the operation had already shifted into Phase Z and was making deliveries of approximately 12,000 tons per day. Motor transport had been marshaled with unprecedented speed, truck companies in the various COMZ sections having been earmarked early in March and alerted for movement on twenty-four-hour notice. Movement orders had been placed on file for every unit nominated for XYZ, and were simply fed to teletypists in the Office of the Chief of Transporation when the need for the units arose.24

The marshaling of transport did not stop with the implementation of the third phase of the plan, and the operation eventually far exceeded the planned scale of operations. Toward the end of April the number of truck companies on XYZ hauls rose to the equivalent of 244 2½-ton companies, and deliveries for a time averaged at least 15,000 tons per day.

Shortly after the operation got under way it was realized that, largely because of the lateral distance between routes, one HTD could not efficiently handle the transport for two armies. Early in April, therefore, a third HTD was organized to support the First Army, and in the south a reinforced quartermaster group (the 469th) was assigned to the Continental Advance Section to serve in similar fashion in support of Seventh Army. The latter truck service, operating under CONAD, was known as the Yellow Diamond Route.25

XYZ was in constant flux, with loading points repeatedly moving forward as railheads could be advanced, and unloading points moving forward as the armies advanced deeper into Germany. Starting points were initially at Liège for the Ninth Army, at Dueren for the First, at Luxembourg City for the Third, and at both Saarbruecken and Nancy for the Seventh. Hauls in the first week ranged in length from eighty miles in the case of Ninth Army to 160 miles in the case of the Third. By V-E Day loading points had been established as far forward as Bielefeld in support of the Ninth Army and Wuerzburg in support of the Third, although trucks of the 3d HTD (First Army) were still returning all the way to Dueren to pick up their loads. (Map 10) Trucks of the 1st HTD (Ninth Army) by that time were delivering their loads as far forward as Magdeburg, and those of the 2d HTD (Third Army) were carrying supplies beyond Regensburg.


Map 10
XYZ Truck Routes
25 March-8 May 1945


While hauls sometimes exceeded 200 miles (mainly in the First Army), the average was nearer 140. The distances involved on the XYZ runs were therefore generally much shorter than on the Red Ball Express. This resulted largely from the speed with which railheads were opened in the wake of the armies. By V-E Day the XYZ trucks had hauled 630,000 tons to the armies,26 averaging 14,000 tons per day. The operation continued until the end of May. By that time it had handled a total of 872,000 tons for an average of about 13,000 tons per day.27

The XYZ Operation was a highly creditable performance, although it also had its hitches. Maintenance of vehicles was the biggest problem, as usual, despite the advance preparations and precautions. On the Third Army route, for example, a mechanic accompanied every convoy, four hours of maintenance were given to all vehicles before they were released for dispatch, and ordnance maintenance companies were assigned to service specific truck battalions. But spare parts were often lacking, with the result that the goal of a serviceability rate of forty vehicles per company was never quite achieved. On the Yellow Diamond Route the fortuitous capture of 1,000 German tires relieved one of the more serious shortages, and prisoners of war were extensively used to relieve drivers in preventive maintenance.28 The 2,000-gallon tankers created one of the most difficult maintenance problems, for they developed many leaks on some of the twisting routes, and were deadlined for varying periods for repairs. Replacement vehicles were slow to arrive on all four routes because of the distance to vehicle pools, which were located in intermediate and base sections. In addition, there were the usual difficulties over communications, aggravated by frequent moves, and with bottlenecks at bridges, many of which were one-way ponton structures.29

Some observers believed that the organization was still defective in some respects. A few considered that the highway transport divisions were superfluous agencies, some that control of the POL tanker companies had not been clearly established, and others that the transport divisions should have been organized on the task force principle, with all ancillary units needed in the operation, such as signal, ordnance, and MP units, attached to the controlling headquarters.30 But there was more general agreement that the command and administrative arrangements had been sound and effective. Colonel Warren, who headed the Motor Transport Service, considered the operations of the 2d HTD, which supported Third Army, particularly successful. The commander of the Advance Section had appointed the regulating officer at Third Army as his deputy for all ADSEC troops supporting General Patton's forces, and had arranged to have all HTD operations


in support of Third Army coordinated through that officer.31

Although the theater possessed much greater resources in the spring of 1945, and its logistic organizations greater know-how, the final offensive put a tremendous strain on transportation as had the drive across northern France in August 1944. The marshaling of fully three fourths of all motor transportation in the Communications Zone for the XYZ Operation was carried out only at the expense of other missions, particularly port clearance, with the results indicated in the preceding chapter. In mid-April officials in the combat as well as the communications zone were aware of the effect which the increasing withdrawals of truck units from the base areas would have on COMZ operations. But all were agreed that the end was near and that the sacrifice of essential rear area supply activities was justified.32 Meanwhile the armies, each of which had about forty truck companies for its own use in the forward areas, imposed strict priorities on the use of trucks, and, as in the summer of 1944, they augmented their lift by forming provisional units with the organic transportation of field artillery and antiaircraft artillery units.33

The efficient operation of motor transport had of course depended in part on the availability of good highways. While railways had to be counted on to do most of the heavy-duty hauling, it was the existence of good road nets that gave the desired flexibility to tactical maneuver in the forward areas and, in the initial stages of a sustained offensive, made possible the logistic support of the combat elements.

On the whole the damage to roads, like bridge destruction, was not as great as expected in OVERLORD plans. Both road maintenance and bridge construction nevertheless placed a major call on engineer resources. Road repair in the combat zone was normally carried out exclusively by engineer units. The Communications Zone wherever possible used both civilians and prisoners of war under the supervision of engineers, and enlisted the aid of national and local highway organizations, usually providing them with POL, trucks, and some road equipment. At the peak of operations the Communications Zone maintained a road net for military purposes west of the Rhine of 7,700 miles and eventually built 337 bridges. Bridge building suddenly became a tremendous task at the German border, where almost all major bridges in the path of the advance had been destroyed. The largest tasks were in the north, where rivers were wide. The biggest problem was encountered at the Meuse, where fourteen highway bridges were constructed with a combined length of 6,751 feet. After mid-September the Advance Section alone built seventy-one semipermanent fixed bridges, many of them replacing floating or tactical fixed bridges emplaced by the armies.

Early in 1945 road maintenance temporarily became the largest single item of Army engineer work, first because of


HIGHWAY BRIDGE OVER THE MEUSE RIVER, built with Bailey bridge spans over river barges.

snow and ice, and then, in February, because of an early thaw which extended over all of Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, and northern France as far as the Seine, and which damaged about 1,250 miles of the military network. Unfortunately the thaw came at a time when heavy troop movements were being carried out in preparation for the closing to the Rhine. At that time the force employed in road maintenance in the Communications Zone rose to about 17,000, and remained at that level until the end of hostilities. Approximately 40 percent of this force consisted of military personnel, 25 percent of civilians, and 35 percent of prisoners of war. In the combat zone road maintenance became the major preoccupation of engineer units in these months. During the two-week thaw of February, First Army assigned all engineer battalions to road work, and in addition used 4,000 men from the 7th Armored Division and 1,300 men from the 3d Armored Division on drainage work, filling potholes, and repairing shoulders.

In March emphasis shifted back to bridge construction, the Rhine getting the major attention. Planning the Rhine highway spans, like planning rail bridges, had begun in the fall of 1944. In all, fifty-seven highway bridges were built over the Rhine, fifty-two of them by the armies. The major fixed bridges were at Wesel, Cologne, Neuwied, Mainz, Oppenheim, Gernsheim, Frankenthal, and Ludwigshafen. The 1,050-foot Oppenheim bridge, constructed by the 1301st General Service Regiment of Third


Army, was considered by the chief engineer to be the best designed and constructed bridge built by a field force unit. Most of the twenty-six treadway and heavy ponton bridges, having served their purpose, were no longer in use by V-E Day. Of the five structures built by the Communications Zone, two were not opened until 15 May.34

(3) Inland Waterways

The inland waterways experienced many operating difficulties throughout the winter, and handled disappointingly small tonnages until March and April. Most of the waterways were frozen tight during the severe cold of January, although a limited traffic was maintained on the Albert Canal by the use of sea mules as ice breakers. In February, early thaws created flood conditions, particularly on the Seine, where barge traffic remained at a standstill until late in the month. Supply movements by water improved considerably in March, and the Transportation Corps established inland ports at Paris, Reims, Lille, La Louviere, and Liège. Most of these were operated by regular Transportation Corps port companies, aided by civilian and prisoner of war labor. Port clearance by barge totaled 177,000 tons in March, which was equal to 8 percent of total clearances (2,090,000 tons). It rose to 410,000 tons the next month, equal to 23 percent of all clearances. The heaviest shipments were made out of Antwerp, Ghent, and Marseille. Military traffic on the inland waterways was not in as great volume as it might have been in the last months, for more and more of the capacity of the inland waterways was assigned to civilian movements. Such movements naturally aided military operations to the extent that they relieved the railways of this burden.35

(4) Air Transport

Air transport operations in 1945, like long-distance trucking operations, showed marked improvement over the previous summer, and made a notable contribution toward maintaining the momentum of the final offensive. At least two factors in addition to the obvious advantages of experience favored a smoother air support operation in the final drive into Germany. In contrast with the summer of 1944, continental airfields were plentiful in April, so that there was none of the competition over the use of fields for tactical or administrative purposes which had characterized the earlier airlift. Equally important, there was no withdrawing of aircraft for airborne operations such as had given the 1944 airlift its on-again-off-again character, although such a withdrawal of craft was considered at one point.

Supply by air had reached a low ebb after the emergency missions during the Ardennes counteroffensive. During February and March barely twenty-five sorties per day were flown to the 12th Army Group area, and deliveries, consisting almost exclusively of medical supplies, averaged only about fifty-five tons.


Early in March the 12th Army Group bid for a lift of 800 tons per week for itself and the Communications Zone, and asked in effect for a guarantee that planes allocated for this purpose not be withdrawn for airborne operations or training. Modest as this demand was, SHAEF turned it down on the ground that additional lift could not be allocated for needs that were not of a truly emergency nature.36

Before the end of the month, however, SHAEF had authorized the maximum possible use of air in support of forces beyond the Rhine, and on 27 March the Third Army made the first bid for air supply, asking for a 2,000-ton lift. Bad weather prevented the use of air for another two days, but on 30 March the IX Troop Carrier Command, using 329 planes, inaugurated the stepped-up lift with the delivery of 197,400 gallons of gasoline to General Patton's forces.37

On the following day General Crawford met with representatives of all interested agencies to review the administrative procedure for supply by air in order to ensure that all headquarters fully understood their responsibilities. Despite repeated attempts at clarification and simplification, the procedures involved in requisitioning supplies by air and in co-ordinating the actual shipments were defective even at this date. That they still left something to be desired was revealed on the very first day of the expanded airlift, when planes had arrived at forward fields and it was found that no arrangements had been made to unload them. On this particular occasion CATOR (Combined Air Transport Operations Room) had been at fault, for it had authorized the flights on the basis of reconnaissance reports on the condition of forward airfields without giving sufficient advance notice to either the Communications Zone or Third Army.38

The Communications Zone had only recently recommended certain changes in the handling of air supply. Although responsible for the support of the field forces, it lacked the direct control of air transportation which it considered essential to orderly and expeditious supply of the armies. In mid-March it asked SHAEF to place all aircraft allocated for air supply under the direct control of the Communications Zone for loading, unloading, and routing, proposing that such supervision be delegated to the chief of transportation, who exercised movement control over other forms of transportation. SHAEF gave little encouragement to this proposal, but the entire procedure was overhauled at the meeting of 31 March.39 On General Crawford's suggestion it was agreed that the armies should henceforth submit all bids for


supply by air directly to CATOR, designating the airfield at which they wanted delivery after clearing with the tactical air command. CATOR was to co-ordinate the entire operation, making arrangements with the Communications Zone and notifying the armies in advance of the estimated delivery time. Furthermore, because of the expected fluidity of operations in the forward areas and the inadvisability of dispatching ADSEC units to widely scattered airfields, it was agreed that the bidding agencies--normally the armies--should thereafter be responsible for unloading supplies from aircraft and clearing airheads of supplies, although they might call on the Advance Section for assistance. The Communication Zone itself expected to man certain airfields, particularly in the Giessen area, north of Frankfurt, where it planned to build up supply stocks by air. SHAEF issued a directive outlining the new procedure on 1 April.40

Supply by air expanded rapidly in the first days of April as the full resources of the IX Troop Carrier Command were committed to the airlift. Deliveries reached their peak in the second week, when more than 6,200 sorties were flown and more than 15,000 tons of supplies were set down on forward fields. As could be expected, the great bulk of this tonnage (about 80 percent) consisted of gasoline. By design, the lion's share of the lift went to the First and Third Armies, whose requests were given first priority.

Third Army had begun to plan early in March for the air support of its anticipated drive beyond the Rhine, negotiating directly with CATOR on the subject. One important feature of its plan was the arrangement to have the 2d Engineer Aviation Brigade follow closely behind advancing infantry and armor to rehabilitate landing fields. Aviation engineers were attached directly to each corps for this purpose. Once they reported a field ready to receive planes, a pilot of the Troop Carrier Command stationed with the IX Tactical Air Command then reconnoitered the field and checked its suitability. In this way Third Army alone used some thirty fields for supply and evacuation, in many cases abandoning them after using them only a few days. Motorized "flying supply points" moved from field to field as new ones were opened farther forward, often moving at night, and normally issued supplies to using units directly from the field.

General Patton's forces eventually pushed into Austria and Czechoslovakia, and therefore had the most extended supply lines of any of the armies. In accord with its greater requirements, Third Army was made the greater beneficiary of the airlift. Between 30 March and 8 May it received about 27,000 tons of supplies via air, more than half of all the tonnage moved by that means. Of its total receipts, 22,500 tons consisted of gasoline (6,000,000 gallons), and accounted for 22 percent of all the gasoline Third Army issued in that period. In addition, Third Army received an average of 50,000 rations per day by air, equal to 11 percent of its total issues, plus small tonnages of critical Class II and IV items like field wire, cable, dry cell batteries,


bogie wheels and tires.41 Seventh Army called for supply by air only a few times when units were extended and supply routes were threatened. The main instances occurred on 9-10 April, when the 10th Armored Division was resupplied near Crailsheim, and on 26-27 April, when the VI Corps had to be supported by air.42

Although planes were never withdrawn from the airlift for other purposes during the final offensive, there was constant uncertainty as to the number of craft that would be available from day to day. The ETOUSA G-4 complained of this, but SHAEF refused to make a specific daily allocation for any particular force.43 It followed the policy of making the maximum number of aircraft available for this purpose, however, and the IX Troop Carrier Command averaged more than 650 flights and 1,600 tons per day throughout the month of April. At the height of the airlift in September 1944 approximately 1,000 tons per day had been shipped by air, about half of it going to the First and Third Armies.44 Aside from the large tonnages of gasoline which the airlift handled in April, its great value lay in the responsiveness to demand which it provided in the last sustained push, for it was able to meet urgent demands for specific items on much shorter notice than either rail or motor transport.

Airlift planes played an unprecedented secondary role in evacuation in the final month of operations. During April approximately 40,000 casualties were removed from the combat zone in the planes which had brought supplies forward. Even more spectacular was the evacuation of Allied prisoners, who were uncovered in increasing numbers as the armies overran enemy camps deep inside Germany. Seemingly endless "sky trains" of RAMPS (Recovered Allied Military Personnel) moved westward in the last days of hostilities. Third Army alone evacuated 135,000 men in the last month.45

(5) Forward Deliveries

Although the theater still faced serious problems in port clearance and depot storage in February 1945, its supply situation was more satisfactory than it had been for many months. Stocks of supplies in the Communications Zone had reached an all-time high of 4,027,250 tons, exclusive of backlogs in the ports and cargo awaiting discharge from ships. The distribution of these supplies was not yet ideal, since stocks in the U.K. depots still accounted for more than 40 percent of this tonnage. But some improvement had been made in the redistribution of stocks on the Continent, where too large a percentage had heretofore been held in the base areas, particularly in Normandy. The movements program of February brought about some


reduction in the Normandy stocks. Of the 2,323,000 tons of supplies on the Continent, approximately 313,000 tons were located in ADSEC and 100,000 in CONAD depots. In addition to COMZ stocks, 357,000 tons lay in army depots, ranging from 34,000 tons in the maintenance area of the First French Army to 95,000 in that of the Ninth U.S. Army.

In the forward areas the greatest concentrations of supplies were in the Liège-Namur-Charleroi-Lille area in the north, and in Verdun and the Dijon-Langres-Epinal area in the south. Stocks were not in proper balance in any of these installations, and a selective buildup of Class II and IV items was required. But supplies were considered adequate for the offensives planned for February. COMZ movement plans called for a heavy build-up in the Nancy-Toul area for the future support of the Seventh Army, the supplies for which were to come from the large classified stocks in Delta Base Section. This build-up got under way in February, although movements on the southern line of communications continued to be limited by inadequate rail transportation. The completion of a rail bridge at Avignon was expected to permit the opening of the line on the west bank of the Rhône, but this was again delayed early in February when a French barge crashed into the partially completed structure.

Deliveries nevertheless set a good record in February, totaling 25,000 tons per day to the five armies supported by the Communications Zone and averaging 5,600 tons for each of the four U.S. armies. At the end of the month army stocks had risen to 495,000 tons for a net gain of more than 130,000 tons. Stocks had risen to 414,000 tons in the Advance Section and 143,000 tons in CONAD.46

Forward movements continued in about the same volume to the combat zone in March, averaging more than 5,000 tons per day to each of the four U.S. armies, including the Third and Seventh, which carried out major offensives in closing to the Rhine. COMZ depot stocks meanwhile also continued to register net gains, rising to 4,790,000 tons by the end of the month, of which the two advance sections held an unprecedented 684,000 tons.47

Much of the heavy movement in March was in preparation for the offensive which was to carry Allied armies across the Rhine and deep into Germany. Plans provided that the Advance Section was to turn over its depots in the Namur-Liège-Maastricht area to Channel Base Section and that the Continental Advance Section should transfer its installations in the Verdun-Nancy-Toul-Metz area to the Oise Intermediate Section once the offensive got under way and then establish mobile dumps or depots in support of the armies. In accord with these plans, both advance sections turned over their installations in these areas immediately after the Rhine crossings and thereafter held only small tonnages in depots taken over from the armies just west of the Rhine, since


neither of them exercised territorial jurisdiction in Germany.

All the armies attempted to move supply stocks as far forward as possible before the Rhine crossings. The Ninth Army, for example, moved more than 100,000 tons of supplies and equipment from the Maastricht area to Muenchen-Gladbach in March, using more than forty assigned truck companies, plus several borrowed from the Advance Section and provisional companies which it formed from antiaircraft units. The First Army meanwhile had chosen Euskirchen as its next maintenance area in preparation for the Rhine crossings. The capture of the Remagen bridge on 8 March did not seriously disrupt these plans, and the army quickly shifted supply to exploit this success, putting in bridges and initially employing dukws to support the III Corps. Within two days it had established ration, POL, and ammunition supply points on the opposite shore.48

Both the Third and Seventh Armies carried out major offensives during March and then forced the Rhine without attempting a deliberate supply buildup in positions which would have afforded closer support. Support of the Third Army's drive had entailed supplying units on two axes--one through the Saar and one north of the Moselle, both of them over poor lines of communication. Twice after the first of the year the logistic support of Third Army was further complicated by lateral boundary changes. Late in January a shift in the boundary between the 6th and 12th Army Groups placed Nancy and Toul, then in the Third Army service area, in the area of the Seventh Army. Third Army turned over some of its installations in this area to the Continental Advance Section and evacuated others to its own maintenance area, which it then concentrated in the Metz-Thionville and Luxembourg City areas. In March a second boundary change placed Metz in the Seventh Army area, necessitating further adjustments in Third Army's administrative structure.49

In anticipation of the inevitable bottlenecks at the Rhine bridges all the armies attempted to ensure as high a degree of self-sufficiency as possible for forces operating beyond the river in the first few days. The Ninth Army, for example, specified that unit trains were to be loaded to capacity for the crossings, issued certain replacement items, such as tanks, in advance to meet initial losses, and restricted all traffic in the first forty-eight hours to tactical movements. As expected, the Wesel highway bridges, which were shared with the British, proved serious strictures to the desired build-up east of the Rhine, and carried the heaviest traffic in the north, partly because they were served by the most favorable road net to the east. At the height of the traffic on 9 April, the day the rail bridge was opened, a traffic count showed that the three highway bridges--a Bailey, a 25-ton ponton, and a treadway--carried more than 1,500 vehicles per hour.50

Although logistic support in the final month was more orderly and far more adequate than it had been in August and


September 1944, it nevertheless had some of the characteristics of the earlier pursuit. Army supply installations were forced to deploy forward repeatedly and to adjust to the changing tactical situation and to altered missions, placing enormous demands on transportation. First Army initially chose Marburg, about seventy miles west of Bonn, for its maintenance center and began to move supply installations into that area. But the location soon proved unsatisfactory, and a new maintenance area was chosen in the vicinity of Warburg, fifty miles away, to support the northeastward drive. Later in April, with its axis of operations shifted southward, First Army developed a new maintenance area at Giessen, far to the south. Third Army's line of communications also changed twice during April, first extending northeastward from Frankfurt to Hersfeld, Eisenach, Erfurt, and Weimar, and then in mid-April, in response to the army's altered mission, shifting abruptly to the axis Frankfurt-Schweinfurt-Nuernberg-Regensburg.51

Under conditions of lengthening hauls and turnaround time, the staples of supply--rations, gasoline, and ammunition--naturally took priority over Class II and IV items. One result was a lack of spare parts, which in turn resulted in a high mortality in vehicles. Army reserves fell from 410,000 tons to 234,000 tons in the seven weeks between the Rhine crossing and V-E Day. While this caused some alarm in the armies, it never reached serious proportions. The Communications Zone maintained a steady flow of supplies to the armies throughout the

[Long Tons per Divisional Slice]

Normal Combat Regrouping or
Negotiating Natural

Total 541 426 462
I 100 100 100
II and IV 117 117 117
III 144 144 180
V 180 65 65

Source: SHAEF G-4 Study, 27 Oct 44, sub: Maintenance, SHAEF G-4 400.22 Maintenance.

final weeks, daily receipts averaging at least 5,000 tons in each army as compared with the 3,000-4,000 tons during the 1944 pursuit.52 Perhaps the most significant commentary on logistic support in the final drive is the fact that neither the army groups nor SHAEF instituted tonnage allocations, as they had found it necessary to do in the summer and fall of 1944.

The consumption of supplies in the final offensive generally substantiated the factors which earlier experience had indicated would apply under similar conditions. SHAEF G-4 planners had studied the consumption experience of the period June-October 1944 and had arrived at the maintenance factors shown in Table 11.

On the basis of G-2 and G-3 estimates made in January, which assumed stiff enemy resistance and a slow advance, logistical planners at first calculated supply


requirements for "normal combat" conditions, for which maintenance requirements were figured at 540 tons per division slice per day.53

By April it had become clear that operations would more nearly resemble those of a "rapid advance," and maintenance factors were accordingly revised. Based on a study of operations in March, a new factor of 450 tons rather than 462 was actually adopted, reflecting reductions in Classes I, II, and IV, and a greater allowance of ammunition than earlier mobile type operations had indicated. The new factors were:54

   Class of supply Long tons
     Total 450
I 80
II and IV 90
III 180
V 100

Supply consumption in the final month varied from army to army, reflecting the differing operational conditions encountered. (Table 12) Consumption experience in the First and Third Armies closely approximated the revised factors in most classes of supply, although Third Army consumed somewhat higher quantities of gasoline (202 tons as compared with the planned 180). Ninth Army consumed both ammunition and Class II and IV supplies at a higher rate than was normal for rapid advance conditions (100 and 90 tons respectively), and correspondingly smaller quantities of gasoline (153 tons). For the three armies in the 12th Army Group, over-all maintenance rates averaged 455 tons per day as compared with the planned 450. Seventh Army's consumption record deviated most markedly from the planning figures, showing ammunition expenditures (171 tons) more nearly equal to normal combat scales (180 tons) and gasoline consumption at rates in excess of rapid advance scales (192 tons as against 180). Its overall consumption rate was 513 tons per division slice as compared with 455 tons for the armies of the 12th Army Group. In the last month the average field strength of the two army groups, including the First French Army, was 1,525,700 men, and the average consumption per man was 30.38 pounds per day.55

The supply performance of the last three months of hostilities clearly demonstrated the greater maturity of the


23 MARCH-25 APRIL 1945
[Long Tons per Divisional Slice]


     Total 445.45 490.0 429.7 446.7 512.9 267.3
I 87.75 118.1 70.9 79.3 94.7 70.3
II and IV 77.0 107.0 78.0 84.0 55.0 46.0
III 175.0 153.0 184.0 202.0 192.0 113.0
V 105.7 111.9 96.8 81.4 171.2 38.0

Source: Study by Statistical Sec G-4 SHAEF, Consumption Rates U.S. Farces from the Rhine to the Elbe, 23 Mar-25 Apr 45, SHAEF G-4 Basic Statistical Reports 102/3/22.

theater's supply organization and a tremendous improvement in the theater's over-all logistic potential. In the field of movements and distribution, in particular, the last three months contrasted markedly with the summer and fall of 1944. The period of relatively static operations had, of course, given the Communications Zone an opportunity to improve its operating procedures and to build the basic capacity in port discharge and better transportation. Eight months of operations had also given supply officers the experience which now was reflected in the greater self-confidence and expertness with which the final drive was planned and carried out. This was evident in all aspects of logistic support in the last few months, including marshaling resources, building the Rhine bridges, using motor and air transport, and extending rail service.


Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (XIV) * Next Chapter (XVI)


1. Another special delivery service dubbed the "Meat Ball Express" delivered perishables, chiefly meat, from Namur to the First and Ninth Armies on alternate days beginning early in March. COMZ G-4 History, II, 108-09; ADSEC Operations History, pp. 113-14; Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VI, Ch. IV, 10, and VI, Ch. VI, 85; Memo, Gilland for Crawford, 20 Apr 45, sub: Lutes' Memo for the Supreme Comdr Dated 25 Dec 44, SHAEF G-4 400.192 Supply Reports, I.

2. ADSEC Operations History, p. 134.

3. In any case, SHAEF logistical planners considered an exploitation of the Remagen bridgehead northeastward toward the Ruhr as infeasible for both tactical and logistical reasons. Supporting operations northeastward from Remagen would have put an added burden on the northern line of communications and, in addition, had the disadvantage of poor communications and terrain. An advance southeastward from the bridgehead, on the other hand, would eventually lead to a link-up with the Mainz-Mannheim area where support could more easily be given by rail and pipeline from the Verdun-Metz depots. See note by G-3 Div SHAEF on Developments From the Remagen Bridgehead, First Draft, 9 Mar 45, and Memo, Osmanski for Whipple, 12 Mar 45, sub: Remagen Bridgehead, both in SHAEF G-4 Operations East of the Rhine and Remagen Bridgehead 162/12/7; Memo, Whipple for G-4, 12 Mar 45, sub: Remagen Bridgehead, and Memo, Osmanski for Mov and Tn Br G-4 SHAEF, 18 Mar 45, sub: Railroad Dev, SHAEF G-4 381 War Plans Gen 1945, II; FUSA Rpt of Opns, 23 Feb-8 Mar 45, I, 42; Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VII, Ch. IV, 23-24.

4. Study, Mov and Tn Br SHAEF G-4, 14 Dec 45, sub: Rail Lines of Communication, SHAEF G-4 Rail Transportation 117/G3 DP-1, Folder 61; Railroad Reconstruction and Bridging, Hist Rpt 12, OCE ETO, pp. 81-82.

5. ADSEC Operations History, p. 134; Memo, Osmanski for Mov and Tn Br G-4 SHAEF, 18 Mar 45, sub: Railroad Dev, SHAEF G-4 381 War Plans Gen 1945, II; Comd and Stf Conf Notes, Hq COMZ, 23 Mar 45, EUCOM 337/3 Confs, Staff Weekly, I.

6. Final Report of the Chief Engineer, ETO, I, 170, 224-25.

7. ADSEC Operations History, pp. 147-50; Final Report of the Chief Engineer, ETO, I, 284-85; Hist Rpt 12, OCE ETO, pp. 86-94; Seventh U.S. Army Rpt of Opns, III, 888.

8. Annex K to G-4 Rpt, Cbl R-50547, ADSEC to TC ETO, 9 Apr 45, ETO Adm 413; FUSA Rpt of Opns, 23 Feb-8 May 45, II, 66, and I, 68; Ltrs, Whipple to G-4, 22 and 31 Mar 45, sub: Rail Dev in Support of the Southern Bridgehead, and Memo, Crawford for AG, 21 Apr 45, same sub, SHAEF Rail Transportation 116/3 G-4 Folder 50; Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VII, Ch. IV.

9. TC Progress Rpts for April and May 1945, Charts 26 and 22, respectively, App. 7, of Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VII, Apps.

10. Hist Rpt 12, OCE ETO, pp. 29-30; Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VII, Ch. IV, 25-26, 45-46; Ltr, Page, 13 May 45, sub: Estimate of COMZ Supply Situation (Rpt 4), ETO 381/400 Supplies (OVERLORD).

11. ADSEC Operations History, pp. 151-52; Cbl R-51743, ADSEC to G-4 ETO, 28 Apr 45, ETO Adm 415.

12. Ltr, Crawford to Smith, 19 Apr 45, sub: Logistical Picture of Pending Opns, SHAEF G-4 381 War Plans Gen 1945, II; Note of Mtg at SHAEF Fwd, Gen Napier, 15 Apr 45, and TWX MGA-10, 21 A Gp to SHAEF G-4, 16 Apr 45, SHAEF SGS 400.3/1 Supply Problems of Allied Advance; Cbl R-51616, ADSEC to Larkin, 27 Apr 45, ETO Adm 415; ADSEC Operations History, p. 154. See also the SHAEF G-4 File 400.22, Shipments, Exchanges, and Transfers, I.

13. Cbl FWD-19080, SHAEF to G-4 ETO, 1 Apr 45, Cbl E-32949, G-4 ETO to SHAEF, 15 Apr 45, Cbl EX-34381 G-4 ETO to COMZ Secs, 19 Apr 45, Cbl EX-38785, G-4 ETO to COMZ Secs, 29 Apr 45, all in ETO Adm 402 ETO Cbls; TWX FWD-19974, SHAEF to A Gps and COMZ, 26 Apr 45, SHAEF AG 617 Railway Case A, I; COMZ G-4 History, II, 103-04; Comd and Stf Conf, COMZ, 20 Apr 45, EUCOM 337/3 Confs, Staff Weekly, I; Memo, Transportation Sec 12 A Gp to G-4 12 A Gp, 29 Apr 45, sub: Loaded Rail Cars, 12 A Gp Rolling Stock, No. 106.

14. The postwar review of their employment revealed different opinions in the various commands. Continental Advance Section, for example, consistently opposed the establishment of regulating stations on the southern line of communications, insisting that they were superfluous organizations, and established one in March 1945, only after protesting an order from the Communications Zone that it do so. See Gen Bd Rpt 27, pp. 51-59.

15. Of these, 1,736 were U.S.-built, and 7,717 were French.

16. Ltr, Crawford to Gale, 28 Dec 44, sub: Availability of Railroad Rolling Stock to Meet Pres and Long Term Requirements, Cbl S-76142, SHAEF to CCS, 22 Jan 45, Cbl 885 COS (W) 619, AMSSO to JSM, 4 Feb 45, Cbl W-49694, CCS to SHAEF, 8 Mar 45, Memo, Napier for CAO SHAEF, 20 Apr 45, and Ltr, Gale to Mayer, 1 May 45, all in SHAEF AG 617 Railway Case A, I; CAO Mtgs, 19 Jan, 2 Feb, 16 and 30 Mar 45, SHAEF AG 337-2 CAO Mtgs; Memo, Robinson, Dir Control Div ASF, and Cbl, Broshous, Chief Control Div COMZ ETO, for Lee, 8 Mar 45, sub: Program [sic] Made on Items in Somervell's Memo of 24 Jan, EUCOM 400.192 Misc Rpts, VII; COMZ Progress Report for April 1945 (Transportation Section), App. 2 of Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VII, Pt. III.

17. ETO SOP 32, July 44, App. 10 to Ch. IV, Hist Rpt of TC ETO, V, and ETO SOP 32, 3 Apr 45, App. 4 to Ch. IV, pp. 19-20, Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VI; see also Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VI, Ch. VI, 24 and VII, Ch. IV, 4-5.

18. See above, Ch. V, Sec. I.

19. ADSEC Operations History, pp. 140-41.

20. Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VI, Ch. V, 23.

21. COMZ G-4 History, III, 60.

22. The 10-ton tractor-semitrailer combination proved the most ideal for long-distance hauling. The diesel also performed well, but presented a fuel problem. Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VII, Ch. V, 40-41.

23. AdmO 1, 6955th Hq and Hq Co MTS (Provisional), 3 Mar 45, in Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VI, Ch. V, 10-13; see also, p. 3; for detailed plans on the organization and operation of XYZ see Annexes A-F to AdmO 1 in Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VI, App. 5, Pt. 1.

24. Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VI, Ch. II, 58.

25. COMZ G-4 History, III, 62; Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VII, Ch. III, 13.

26. Including relatively small tonnages to the First French Army in the last two weeks.

27. Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VII, Ch. V, and App. 5.

28. Drivers were provided another comfort on the Yellow Diamond Route in the form of hot food. The Special and Information Services of CONAD set up "GI Joe Dinners" at fifty-mile intervals, where truck drivers could exchange cold rations for hot at any time of day or night. CONAD History, pp. 151-52.

29. Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VI, Ch. V, 14, and VII, Ch. V; CONAD History, pp. 188-94, 213-16.

30. ADSEC Operations History, pp. 135, 139; Rpt of Truck Opns in the Battle of Germany, 6957th HTD (Provisional), in Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VII, Ch. V, 17-26.

31. Ltr, Warren to OCMH, 23 Jun 54, OCMH.

32. Diary of G-4 12 A Gp, 12 Apr 45; Ltr, CG COMZ to CG ADSEC, 24 Apr 45, sub: Adm Support of Forces Operating in Germany, ETO 390 RH Planning Directives.

33. NUSA G-4 AAR, Apr 45; NUSA G-4 Periodic Rpts, Mar-May 45, NUSA 319.1 G-4 Periodic Rpts; FUSA Rpt of Opns, 23 Feb-8 May 45, Bk. II, pp. 63-65.

34. Final Report of the Chief Engineer, ETO, I, 288-306; Road Maintenance and Highway Bridging, Hist Rpt 14, OCE ETO, pp. 67-79.

35. Hist Rpt of TC ETO, VI, Ch. II, 65K, 161-64, Ch. VI, 16-18, 55-56, 65, and App., Chart II; see also, Vol. VII, App., Chart 11; ADSEC Operations History, p. 141.

36. Ltr, 12 A Gp to SHAEF, 6 Mar 45, sub: Airlift for Supply and Evacuation, and 1st Ind, 18 Mar 45, SHAEF AG 581.2-1 Supply by Air.

37. All statistics on deliveries by air from CATOR Weekly Load Summaries, are either in SHAEF G-4 551.2 Transportation by Air of Supplies and Equipment, II, or in SHAEF Air Staff, A-3 505.46-7, Air University Library, Maxwell Air Force Base, except as otherwise noted. Memo for Record, Col Hopkins, Chief Supply Br QM 12 A Gp, 3 Apr 45, SHAEF 12 A Gp G-4 Memos for Record; Diary of G-4 12 A Gp, 27 Mar 45.

38. Memo, Lt Col William A. Stephenson, COMZ Ln Off at 12 A Gp, for G-4 COMZ, 31 Mar 45, sub: Airlift Mtg at Crawford's Office, SHAEF, 31 Mar 45, 1400 Hours, 12 A Gp Supply by Air, No. 133.

39. Ltr, Hq COMZ to SAC, 15 Mar 45, sub: Supply by Air, and Memo, SHAEF G-4 Mov and Tn Br for AG, 19 Mar 45, SHAEF AG 581.2-1 Supply by Air, No. 1.

40. Memo, Stephenson for G-4 COMZ, 31 Mar 45; Supply and Evacuation by Air, Gen Bd Rpt 26, pp. 22-23.

41. Supply of Third Army by Air Supply and Evacuation During the Crossing of the Rhine and Beyond, 30 March to 9 May, by Gen Muller, TUSA G-4, and Memo, Kyser for Counts, 13 Apr 45, sub: Air Supply to Ninth Army, both in 12 A Gp Supply by Air, No. 133.

42. SUSA Rpt of Opns, III, 783-84, 893.

43. Cbl E-31233, ETO G-4 to SHAEF, 11 Apr 45, ETO Adm 402; Cbl FWD-19094, SHAEF to ETO G-4, 14 Apr 45, ETO Adm 414.

44. See Logistical Support, I, pp. 580-82.

45. 12 A Gp Rpt of Opns, XIII, 60; Gen Bd Rpt 26, pp. 37-38.

46. Ltrs, Page to CG COMZ, 17 Feb and 7 Mar 45, sub: Estimate of COMZ Supply Situation (Rpts 1 and 2), EUCOM 381 Projected Operations of COMZ ETOUSA, 14 Mar 45; Weekly Rpts of Tonnages in Storage in U.S. COMZ Depots and Br GHQ Depots, G-4 SHAEF, SHAEF G-4 137/13/1 COMZ Tonnages in Storage.

47. Ltr, Page to CG COMZ, 11 Apr 45, sub: Estimate of COMZ Supply Status (Rpt 3), SHAEF G-4 Estimate of Supply Situation Reports--COMZONE.

48. FUSA Rpt of Opns, 22 Feb-8 May 45, Bk. II, p. 59; FUSA AAR, March, pp. 59, 87-89; Conquer: The Story of Ninth Army, 1944-45, pp. 212, 221-25; NUSA AAR, G-4 Rpt for 1-15 Mar 45.

49. TUSAA AR, II, G-4, 57-58.

50. Conquer, pp. 255-56, 264, 320-21.

51. FUSA AAR, April, pp. 1, 3; TUSA AAR, II, G-4, 60.

52. The U.S. Fifteenth and First French Armies are not included. Rpt by G-4 Supply Br, 12 A Gp, 5 May 45, sub: Info on Supply Situation, 12 A Gp Supply--Reports of Status of, No. 131; Ltr, Page to CG COMZ, 13 May 45, sub: Estimate of COMZ Supply Situation (Rpt 4), ETO 381/400 Supplies (OVERLORD).

53. Of the supplies consumed in the combat zone under conditions of normal combat (541 tons) about 40 percent is consumed by the divisions themselves (223 tons as against 318 consumed by corps and army overheads). The Communications Zone accounts for another 201 tons, which raises the total theater slice (exclusive of air forces) to 742 tons per division. In other words, of the 742 tons per theater slice, the division accounts for 223 tons, or 31 percent, and overheads for 519 tons, or 69 percent. Under conditions of rapid advance the corresponding factors are 178 tons for the division itself, 284 tons for corps and army overheads, and 231 for COMZ overheads, and a total theater slice of 693 tons. Under conditions of regrouping or negotiating natural obstacles the factors are 166 tons for the division, 260 tons for corps and army overheads, and 201 for COMZ overheads, and a total theater slice of 627 tons.

54. Operations in the period 24 February-23 March 1945 had revealed the following average consumption factors: Class I, 81.4 tons; Classes II and IV, 92.8; Class III, 123.9; Class V, 123.8. for a total of 422 tons per division slice per day. The factor of 450 tons represented an estimate which assumed slightly different conditions in the final drive. Consumption Rates of U.S. Forces in the Final Advance to the Rhine, 24 Feb to 23 Mar 45, prep by Statistical Sec G-4 SHAEF, 25 Apr 45. SHAEF G-4, G-4 Basic Statistical Reports 102/3/22.

55. Study by Statistical Sec G-4 SHAEF, Consumption Rates U.S. Forces from the Rhine to the Elbe, 23 Mar-25 Apr 45, SHAEF G-4 Basic Statistical Reports 102/3/22.

Transcribed and formatted by Jerry Holden for the HyperWar Foundation