Chapter XVI
Supply in the Last Months

(1) Rations, POL, and Coal

In addition to being able to move huge tonnages in the last months, the logistic organization was in a much better position to meet the demand for specific items of supply. The U.S. Communications Zone was supporting 3,675,000 troops, plus 1,560,000 prisoners of war as hostilities came to an end early in May 1945.1 On the whole, supply of these forces was better than it had been at any time since the beginning of the pursuit in the summer of 1944.

The supply of rations and POL presented no outstanding difficulties other than those normally accompanying highly mobile operations. The theater's ration position was good at the beginning of February. COMZ depots at that time held about 25 days of supply for all forces in the theater, and the armies held additional stocks ranging from 4 days in the case of the First Army to 9 days in the case of the Ninth. These levels represented approximately 400,000 tons in the Communications Zone (including some 30,000 in the United Kingdom) and about 23,000 tons in the combat zone. Nearly 140,000 tons, or 35 percent of the COMZ stocks, were well forward in the two advance sections.2

Between 80 and 90 percent of the issues in the combat zone continued to be of the bulk-type ration--either the A or B, depending on the availability of perishable items such as fresh meat, butter, vegetables, and fruit. A shortage of dehydrated yeast, caused by production difficulties in the United States, for a time threatened to limit the issue of fresh bread, but this deficiency was eventually resolved through local procurement. Meanwhile newly developed operational rations began to appear at the front. The Quartermaster Corps had made changes in all operational types--C's, K's, and 10-in-1's. The most welcome improvements came in the C ration, which, in addition to its original meat combinations, eventually included a variety of new ones such as meat and spaghetti; ham, eggs, and potatoes; meat and noodles; pork and rice; pork and beans; frankfurters and beans; ham and lima beans; and chicken and vegetables. Unfortunately the new combinations did


not appear in quantity before the end of hostilities.3

Theater ration levels continued to rise for several weeks, and by the time of the Rhine crossing were equivalent to forty-two days of supply. Army levels were somewhat erratic. Fluctuations in the army levels did not necessarily indicate a deterioration in the supply position. They reflected the changing tactical situation and, at times, the transfer of stocks to the Advance Section, as was the case in the period of rapid movement in March. Or, as was the case later, they resulted from the decision to defer receipts until direct rail shipments could be made to new depots. Sometimes they resulted from an increase in the ration strength without a corresponding build-up of reserves. At the time of the Rhine crossings reserves in the combat zone were excellent, totaling 31,365 tons and averaging five days of supply.4

Deliveries were good in the week after the crossings, and all the armies proceeded to build up a reserve east of the river. By the second week of April, however, army levels had begun to feel the effect of the lengthening lines of communications. Meanwhile the Advance Section turned over its large depot stocks to other COMZ sections and thereafter moved forward in close support of the armies, acting mainly as transporter and transfer agent and retaining no reserves under its own control. Reserves east of the Rhine consequently were never very great in terms of tonnages. Ration levels in the armies rose slightly in the third week, to 2.3 days in the First Army, 4.3 in the Third, 4.4 in the Ninth, and 4.1 in the Seventh, but the 12th Army Group considered Class I supply increasingly critical because of the tightness of transportation. In the final weeks the ration problem was aggravated by the necessity to feed large numbers of prisoners and displaced persons, although prisoners subsisted largely on captured stocks.

The rapid advance also brought the inevitable shift from bulk to operational rations, which were supplemented whenever possible with fresh bread, butter, and meat. The changeover was greatest in the First and Third Armies, in which operational rations accounted for 70 to 80 percent of all issues as compared with 10 to 15 percent in preceding months. In the theater as a whole operational rations comprised 26 percent of the total issues in April. Generally, while Class I levels in the combat zone threatened to become critical late in April, they never reached the precarious lows of August and September 1944, and U.S. forces did not suffer any want for subsistence. In the last week of operations no army had less than three days of supply on hand, and the First Army had built up a seven-day supply. Ration consumption in the final month had ranged from 71 tons per division slice in the First Army to 118 in the Ninth, and had averaged 87.75 tons as compared with the planned 80.5

POL supply was generally excellent


throughout the last three months of operations. Reserve levels in the forward areas dropped somewhat in the final days of hostilities, as could be expected during a rapid advance, but shortages never actually caused the final drive to falter.

POL stocks had reached an unprecedented 560,000 tons in the Communications Zone by February, far exceeding the authorized sixty-day level. Combat zone depots held an additional 35,000 tons, with levels varying from 2.5 days in the First Army to 8.3 days in the Third. POL was being discharged at the rate of about 13,000 tons per day, mainly at Antwerp, Cherbourg, Le Havre, and Port du Bouc.6

Although the three main pipeline systems at this time operated only as far as Maastricht, Coubert, and Epinal, additional construction was then under way on both the Major and Southern Systems. (Map 11) On the Northern System, based on Antwerp, Maastricht remained the forward terminus until late in March. Extension of the system north-northeastward to Wesel was finally undertaken on 3 March and completed and in operation by the 28th. Construction difficulties were numerous on this section of the system. On the initial stretch from Maastricht to Sittard construction was slowed by deep mud, which forced engineers to hand-carry much of the pipe, by a shortage of 6-inch couplings, and by the necessity to weld and bury large sections of pipe in the towns. Beyond Sittard the right of way was found to be heavily mined. Finally, at Roermond, floods made it necessary to suspend the pipelines over the Roer by cables.

Extension of the Major System had been resumed at the end of January, and within a month all three 6-inch lines had reached Châlons-sur-Marne. In March engineers laid one 6-inch line beyond that city to Thionville.

Construction on the Southern System meanwhile had advanced the 4-inch line to Sarrebourg by mid-February. This brought a noticeable improvement in Seventh Army's gasoline supply. The 6-inch line had only reached St. Jean de Losne by that time and did not extend to Sarrebourg for another two months. Because of a shortage of 6-inch pipe the Southern System beyond that point took the form of three 4-inch lines. One of these was completed to Saaralbe by late March. Late in February all construction and operation of the Southern System had been taken over by the Military Pipeline Service. At the time of the Rhine crossings, therefore, the most advanced pipeheads of the three main pipeline systems were at Maastricht, Thionville, and Saaralbe.7

In preparing for the final offensive to be launched late in March logistic planners estimated POL requirements for sixty U.S. and French divisions at approximately 10,300 tons per day. To meet this requirement they planned eventually to extend all three pipeline


Map 11
The POL Pipeline Systems


systems across the Rhine--at Wesel in the north, at Mainz in the center, and at Worms in the south. Motor transport would of course have to deliver packaged POL to the Rhine bridgeheads in the first few days. To lessen the burden which this would impose on the Rhine highway bridges supply officers planned the construction of pipeline crossings at the above-named locations and also in the vicinity of Remagen before the links with the main pipeline systems were completed. Gasoline could then be shipped to all four crossings via tank car and pumped across to the east bank, thus alleviating congestion on the bridges.8

Such pipeline crossings were eventually constructed at all four locations. Engineers started the one at Mehlem, near Remagen, on 25 March and completed it three days later, using a footbridge to support the line. Gasoline began flowing across the Rhine before the end of the month, the western terminal being supplied from Maastricht first by tank truck and later by tank car. On the east bank the pipeline was eventually extended ten miles to the Autobahn, where storage tanks were erected and whence gasoline was shipped in tank trucks to Giessen and there decanted.

Construction of a similar crossing at Mainz could not begin until 30 March because of the tactical situation. The east bank pipehead there was completed on 8 April, two weeks before the line from Thionville reached the river. It began operating a few days later, carrying gasoline brought to the west bank terminal by rail from Thionville. The line was used only temporarily, for it had been laid on a wrecked rail bridge and proved to be unsafe. Two new lines were subsequently laid across the newly constructed rail bridge.

Farther south, in the Seventh Army area, engineers constructed three lines across the Rhine at Frankenthal, a few miles south of Worms, and established the east bank pipehead at Sandhofen, a few miles north of Mannheim. Construction of the first line, supported by a Bailey bridge, began on 7 April and the line started carrying gas across the Rhine on the 15th. Two additional lines were constructed later, one of which was laid on the river bed.

Construction of the Wesel crossing had begun on 21 March and was completed in the first week of April. But this line never operated independently of the main pipeline. By the time it was installed, the lines from Maastricht had also reached the Rhine, the first gasoline arriving at the tank farm on the west bank on 28 March. The two systems were immediately linked, and on 3 April gasoline began flowing across the Rhine to Wesel. Consequently gasoline did not have to be shipped to the west bank by rail, but could be pumped through the pipelines directly from Antwerp. The completed Northern System consisted of one 6-inch and four 4-inch lines from Antwerp to Maastricht, and one 6-inch and two 4-inch lines beyond that city to Wesel.9


Work on both the Major and Southern Systems also went forward. On the Major System only one 6-inch line was laid to Mainz, arriving there on 22 April. A second line between Châlons and Thionville was laid by early May, completing the system. All the lines on the Major (or Central) System were 6-inch lines. One was extended to Mainz, two as far as Thionville, and three to Châlons. On the Southern System three 4-inch lines were eventually constructed forward from Saaralbe, the first arriving at Frankenthal on 20 April, the other two at the end of the month. By late April, therefore, gasoline was being pumped directly from the ports to pipeheads on the east bank of the Rhine--from Antwerp to Wesel in support of the Ninth Army, from Cherbourg to Mainz in support of the Third, and from Port du Bouc to Frankenthal in support of the Seventh. A fourth line, served by rail car, bridged the Rhine at Mehlem in support of the First Army. Delivery capacities at the pipeheads were 2,500 long tons per day at Wesel, 1,500 tons at Mainz, and 1,200 tons at Sandhofen, opposite Frankenthal. An additional 4,800 tons could be delivered to Maastricht, Thionville, Châlons, and Saarbourg. On its completion the continental network--including the Seine and Minor Systems, the latter of which was no longer in operation--had a route distance of 1,412 miles and had 3,577 miles of pipe. Storage facilities totaled 7,619,116 barrels.10

At the time of the Rhine crossings late in March both COMZ and army stocks of POL were the highest they had ever been. The Communications Zone at the time had nearly 600,000 tons of Class III supplies in its depots, of which the packaged portions alone--262,000 tons--constituted 22.8 days of supply. Army depots held another 65,000 tons, with levels ranging from 5 days of supply in the First Army to 9 days in the Ninth.11 Supplying the armies with POL was therefore purely a transportation problem, and the attention which the planners had given to that problem paid good dividends. Deliveries were fully adequate in the first weeks. In the second week of April the armies had an average of six days of supply on hand, and each had succeeded in moving at least 1,000,000 gallons into forward areas east of the Rhine. The Ninth Army, which had a total of 4,500,000 gallons or 8.2 days of supply on hand, already enjoyed the benefits of the Wesel pipehead, and was building up a reserve east of the Rhine at a good rate. Daily issues of gasoline rose to between 600,000 and 700,000 gallons in each of the armies by mid-April, and on occasion exceeded 1,000,000 gallons. Deliveries came close to matching these requirements throughout most of the month. Much of the gasoline moved forward from the pipeheads in tank trucks and was decanted by the Advance Section in the forward areas. But a large portion also moved via tank car from the pipeheads west of the Rhine. Theater stocks had continued to rise, and totaled nearly 700,000 tons on 25 April. The armies at that time still had reserves totaling 47,000 tons.

Deliveries finally began to fall short of


C-47 TRANSPORT PLANES BRINGING IN POL for Third Army, 31 March 1945.

daily consumption in the last days of April, and levels in the combat zone consequently dropped off. Air deliveries had been a major factor in meeting daily requirements until that time, but these also fell off at the end of the month. All the armies felt the effect of the increasing difficulties in transportation, and in the Seventh and Third Armies reserve levels for the first time fell below two days of supply. Third Army considered its POL situation critical enough to impose rationing for the last three days of operations. But POL shortages did not delay the final surrender.12

Despite the fairly consistent intensity of offensive activity in the last three months of operations, POL consumption experience brought a downward adjustment in the factor of 192 tons per division slice which had been adopted in January. Consumption in March had actually averaged barely 124 tons per division slice in the U.S.-supported armies, due mainly to low consumption in the Ninth U.S. and First French Armies. Logistic planners had ignored this statistic in estimating the requirements for the final drive, using the factor of 180 tons, which the experience of 1944 indicated


would apply in mobile operations. Consumption in the combat zone actually averaged 175 tons in the final month.13

The supply of coal saw some improvement in the final months, but remained unsatisfactory until the end of hostilities. Neither imports nor indigenous production had been satisfactory. The import program, which called for shipments of more than 200,000 tons per month, had fallen behind for a variety of reasons, including shortages of coal in the United Kingdom, bad channel weather, a lack of shipping, and shortages of rail cars on the Continent. Meanwhile, indigenous production faced endless difficulties. SHAEF had taken steps to prime local production, including the acquisition of mine supplies and equipment from the United States, and had established close liaison with national authorities through its Solid Fuels Section, which had a staff of mining experts.14 But the industry of France, Belgium, and Holland was slow to recover, suffering from many shortages, particularly pit timber, from severe winter weather, which closed the canals, and from labor unrest resulting from bad living conditions. The most critical stage was reached in January, when a two-week strike by Belgian miners cut deeply into the meager reserves of coal and brought about the fall of the Belgian Government.15

The coal situation was aggravated from the start by the necessity to provide the minimum needs of the French economy, which was experiencing extreme hardship. Military requirements obviously had to take priority, and the French demands for greater concessions to the civil economy, including greater imports and priority for coal movements over purely military movements, had to be denied. The Communications Zone's requested allocations from French production, averaging 170,000 tons in February and March, were consistently pared down by SHAEF. Meanwhile, French efforts to restore coal production were disappointing; in February the French delivered only 58 percent of the tonnage allocated. Relations with the Allies over the matter of coal allocations became strained in April when the French threatened to withhold coal from U.S. and British forces. The COMZ reaction was a proposal to stop the flow of imports of raw materials for local industry and to end the allocation of POL to the French.16


Some improvement in coal imports had occurred in February, when shipments to the Continent totaled 226,000 tons, equal to 90 percent of the target. Some of the difficulties which had hampered local production also eventually began to clear up. By mid-February, for example, a two and one-half months' stock of pit timber had been built up at the Nord and Pas-de-Calais mines. The supply of coal was far from ample, however, and military authorities tightened the conservation program urging greater use of wood, reducing the allowances for bathing and for hospitals, and ordering the suspension of space heating on 1 April.17

Allied authorities meanwhile had made plans to restore captured German mines to production. Early in December 1944 SHAEF had directed the 12th Army Group to occupy all mines uncovered in its area and to safeguard and maintain the mines and their equipment pending the resumption of operations, and offered technical assistance in this mission. Shortly thereafter it made the Communications Zone responsible for the actual operation of the mines, although it contemplated only a supervisory role for the military and specified that both management and labor would be German. The Communications Zone subsequently delegated this responsibility to the Advance Section, which immediately drew up plans for opening the mines and asked for the necessary technicians, supervisory units, and equipment. Not until late in March, however, did SHAEF actually designate the districts and mines to be operated, or begin to provide the necessary technical assistance. The Advance Section meanwhile organized a Coal Mining Division within its Engineer Section to serve as a staff supervisory agency, and a field organization known as the Rhine Coal Control to supervise and oversee actual operations at the mines. The necessary troop units were acquired very gradually, and by V-E Day consisted mainly of the Headquarters, 6th Engineer Special Brigade, augmented with various U.S. and Allied technicians, an engineer general service regiment, and a British Pioneer Group, plus various signal, transportation, and quartermaster units. The Continental Advance Section meanwhile similarly organized an Engineer Operating Group to reopen the Saar mines. In both the Saar and the Aachen-Ruhr areas these various efforts were just beginning to bear fruit as hostilities came to an end early in May.18

(2) Ammunition

The supply of field artillery ammunition improved only temporarily as a result


of the Bull mission in December, and, for the field commanders at least, remained a cause for anxiety until after the Rhine crossings late in March. Both army groups complained of inadequate receipts early in February. The 6th Army Group had made heavy expenditures during January, caused in part by the Seventh Army's defensive operations and in part by the elimination of the Colmar Pocket, and asked for additional credits. But SHAEF answered that it could not authorize additional allocations in view of expected receipts from the U.S., and refused to release ammunition from its own reserve, which had not even reached the specified seven-day level and in any event was intended only for operational emergencies. The 6th Army Group consequently had no choice but to effect savings from its own resources, and for a time limited expenditures to half the authorized maintenance rates in order to rebuild its reserves.19

The 12th Army Group reported that its receipts had not even equaled the established SHAEF maintenance day of supply rates, and that consequently there were insufficient quantities of most mortar and artillery ammunition items available in forward depots to meet the command's accrued allowances. Deficiencies came to 31 percent in the case of 60-mm. mortar ammunition, 22 percent in the case of 8-inch howitzer ammunition, 39 percent in that of 240-mm. howitzer ammunition, and 84 percent in that of 4.5-inch gun ammunition. Only by strict rationing, it noted, had it been possible to establish a small reserve.20

These deficiencies could be attributed only partially to inadequate receipts from the United States. Shipments in some categories had actually exceeded the estimates provided General Bull, and theater stocks of most of the major types of artillery ammunition actually were at better levels at the end of January than at the end of December. The deficiencies could be traced in part to SHAEF's decision deliberately to withhold at least a portion of the receipts from the United States in order to build up working margins to levels recently authorized--that is, twenty-seven days in the army groups and seven days in SHAEF at current SHAEF maintenance rates of supply. At the end of January, however, the ASF admitted that shortfalls in December production of some of the heavier calibers--specifically 155-mm. gun, 8-inch howitzer, and 240-mm. howitzer ammunition--had necessitated revisions in its January allocation of those types. A few weeks later the Communications Zone pointed out that the quantities released for January loading had not been shipped as scheduled, and that releases for February and March shipment were not living up to expectations either.21


These developments were bound to play hob with theater maintenance supply rates--the rates at which the Communications Zone committed itself to deliver ammunition to the armies--and in turn with the tactical plans of the armies. The field commands had long desired guaranteed rates on which they could base tactical planning. Under current practice the Communications Zone computed its projected deliveries on the basis of stocks actually on hand plus War Department releases for future delivery. The War Department, in attempting to satisfy urgent theater demands, in turn based its shipping forecasts on estimated production, making no allowance for shortfalls in manufacture or unforeseen transportation difficulties. Since all critical items were shipped directly from assembly lines, any lag in production had an immediate effect on loading and shipping schedules. In this way shortfalls in December production had forced a cutback in January allocations, with inevitable repercussions on shipments to the European theater. The War Department's inability to maintain its December level of releases forced the Communications Zone to revise the maintenance day of supply in the theater, and had brought the expected protests.22

Once again experience had shown that there was many a slip twixt production forecasts and actual delivery at the front. No production or shipping schedule was completely reliable. Furthermore, the Communications Zone had found that, contrary to earlier assumptions, it could not predicate ammunition maintenance rates on the expectation that express shipments would make ammunition available in the forward depots in the month after its production. Unpredictable delays in loading, in convoy sailings, and in port discharge, or delays resulting from the necessity to segregate lots or arising from the manner of loading made it unwise to count on ammunition becoming available until the second month after its production. The lesson in this recent experience was but a variant of the one learned in October, when it was found that ammunition lying in ships off the continental ports could not safely be considered as part of COMZ depot stocks and therefore available for issue.

Early in March the theater submitted recommendations for new day of supply rates to the War Department, calling for reductions in some items which had been in relatively good supply, but for higher rates than ever for heavy artillery ammunition. In justification for the upward revisions it argued that the use of air observation posts had improved long-range observation and thus made the larger caliber weapons more effective in all types of combat, making it possible to strike deeper into the enemy's defensive zone against his command posts, supply installations, and so on. In addition, improved tactical mobility of the heavy caliber weapons and proficiency in firing had increased the employment of these weapons and increased the number of days they could be in action.23 This request


ran directly counter to current thinking in the War Department, which desired reductions rather than increases.

Shortly thereafter the War Department asked the theater for a careful review of its long-range ammunition needs. The War Department at this time faced a final decision as to whether it should drive ahead on the expansion program or hold productive capacity in line with what it believed would be reduced requirements in the European theater and, before long, with the requirements of a one-front war in the Pacific. The expansion of production facilities promised to cut deeply into the amounts of steel needed for other military purposes, particularly for tanks and trucks. Moreover, the War Department, which had been criticized in December for the ammunition shortage, was being subjected to increasing criticism from both Congress and industry for what was regarded as an unwarranted expansion of production facilities for ammunition.

In any event, much water had flowed over the dam since December, and General Lutes felt that the combat experience of recent months should have provided the theater with far more realistic data on which to base future ammunition requirements. The War Department's own study of ETOUSA expenditure reports for the period November through February appeared to substantiate the belief that the theater's requests were due for radical revision, for it indicated that actual expenditures in the critical types nowhere near approximated the figures presented by the Bull mission in December. In the case of 8-inch howitzer ammunition, for example, expenditures had come to only 22.2 percent of the estimated figures; for 240-mm. howitzer ammunition they had come to only 24 percent, for 155-mm. gun ammunition they were 51.7 percent, for 155-mm. howitzer ammunition 51.8 percent, and for 105-mm. howitzer 59.9 percent. According to War Department calculations the theater already had eight months of fire in sight in the 105-mm. category.

As usual, the theater challenged these figures. The War Department, as theater officials pointed out, had overlooked the fact that ammunition had been made available to the army groups at restricted rates in January and February so that reserves could be replenished. Expenditures consequently bore no relationship to the estimates made in December nor to the releases and shipments made by the War Department. Despite the many exchanges and visits, it appeared as late as March that the War Department and the theater had come little nearer speaking the same language on ammunition, for the theater continued to state its requirements in terms of desired expenditures and the War Department continued to argue from expenditure statistics representing restricted firing. Needless to say, ETOUSA officials were exasperated to find that the War Department was continuing to assess the theater's requisitions on the basis of rationed expenditures. In the opinion of one SHAEF staff officer, the basic difficulty in all the negotiations over the ammunition problem lay in the fact that the War Department had never really accepted the theater's increased expenditure rates.24


On the other hand the tactical outlook in the theater had changed substantially since the critical days of December and January, when the army groups had estimated their needs for breaching the Siegfried Line on the assumption that their attacks would continue to meet determined resistance. The request in March that ETOUSA take another look at its long-range ammunition needs proved fully justified by events. In accordance with that request, SHAEF on 18 March asked both army groups to reconsider their long-range needs, recognizing that supply in the past had not been all that was desired, but emphasizing the desirability of reducing requirements in view of the more optimistic tactical outlook.25

Both army groups were understandably reluctant to volunteer reductions in their estimates in light of the persistent deficits of past months. Both groups, moreover, were about to cross the Rhine, and were naturally hesistant to predict what the scale of resistance would be beyond that obstacle. Both commands again cited the handicap under which they had long operated. General Devers pointed out that his forces repeatedly had been forced to conserve ammunition for varying periods in order to permit proper support for major offensive operations. He noted that supply had rarely been adequate to permit the desired freedom of action to both armies simultaneously. Forced economies had persistently handicapped his forces, and for five weeks after the elimination of the Colmar Pocket 6th Army Group had restricted expenditures to about half the SHAEF maintenance rate so that it would have adequate stocks upon closing to the Rhine. General Devers asked that current rates not be reduced.26

General Bradley's response likewise emphasized the extent to which expenditures in the 12th Army Group had been curtailed by nonavailability and the necessity to create minimum reserves, and the extent to which his command had been forced to supplement its meager supply with captured ammunition and with ammunition and guns borrowed from the British.27 The 12th Army Group commander volunteered certain reductions, but he repeated the point which the theater had emphasized again and again in its communications with the War Department, that past expenditures were no criterion for estimating future needs. Rationing, as one of his artillery officers noted, had constantly been in the background of all firing, and had made it impossible to say what ammunition expenditures might have been had they not been restricted.28

The limited availability of the major types of ammunition had in fact made it impossible to determine precisely what quantities the theater actually required. The army groups had previously submitted desired expenditure rates in anticipation


[Rounds per Weapon per Day]

Planned and Actual Mortar Howitzer Gun

60-mm. 81-mm. 105-mm. 155-mm. 8-in. 240-mm. 4.5-in. 155-mm. 8-in.

Day of Supply

WD Established Rate
     1 September 1944a
10.0 15.0 40.0 28.0 25.0 25.0 20.0 15.0 7.0
ETOUSA Recommendation
     3 March 1945b
8.0 20.0 45.0 28.0 35.0 25.0 25.0 15.0 15.0
SHAEF Maintenance Rate
     March 1945c
10.0 6.2 23.5 22.4 17.5 14.1 12.9 16.8 7.5
12th A Group Desired Rate
     March 1945c
6.1 15.0 40.5 26.6 31.9 22.8 25.0 15.0 15.0
6th A Group Desired Rate
     March 1945c
6.7 15.0 46.5 38.0 37.2 31.5 30.0 20.0 25.0
ETOUSA Recommendation
     1 April 1945c
6.4 15.0 40.5 26.6 32.6 22.8 25.0 15.0 15.0
ETOUSA Proposed Rate
     10 April 1945d
5.0 18.0 41.0 26.0 25.0 22.2 25.0 15.0 13.0
WD Established Rate
     30 April 1945e
5.0 18.0 41.0 26.0 25.0 22.2 25.0 15.0 13.0

Actual Expenditures

June 1944-February 1945e 4.7 7.8 19.3 13.2 12.9 11.8 6.2 4.8 4.3

Sources: a Ltr, WD to ETO, 1 Sep 44, Sub: Day of Supply of Ammo, ADSEC 381B Day of Supply and Unit of Fire.
b Ltr, CG ETO to WD, 3 Mar 45, Sub: Ammo Day of Supply, ADSEC 381B Day of Supply and Unit of Fire.
c Ltr, Bull to CofS, 2 Apr 45, Sub: Determination of Ammo Rqmts for U.S. Forces, SHAEF G-3 O&E 471 Ammunition.
d Ltr, ETO to WD, 10 Apr 45, Sub: Ammo Expenditures, Levels, and Day of Supply, EUCOM 471 Ammunition (General), IV.
e Ltr, WD to ETO, 30 Apr 45, Sub: Day of Supply for Ammo ETO, SHAEF AG 481-1 Ammunition Status Reports (Day of Supply), No. 2.

of continued heavy resistance, and the theater had recommended a single rate, examples of which are shown in Table 13. At the end of March the Communications Zone and Supreme Headquarters tentatively agreed on somewhat lower maintenance rates, In effect, the new rates, also shown in Table 13, did not actually represent very substantial reductions. General Bull, the SHAEF G-3, estimated that only about half of the available divisions would be


engaged in later months against moderate resistance, and that the forces actively engaged could therefore be supplied at the desired rates. Consequently, current rates of production would easily meet ETOUSA's needs.

Allied forces were already across the Rhine at the time the new rates were discussed, and there were positive indications at last that enemy resistance was diminishing. These considerations undoubtedly encouraged General Bradley to concur in the proposed reductions. On 3 April SHAEF notified the War Department that it considered current production rates adequate to support future operations and that it would not require the completion of additional manufacturing facilities.29 On 10 April the theater followed this up with new recommended day of supply rates and estimated future requirements. With previous difficulties in mind, it emphasized that its estimates represented minimum requirements and asked that they be approved and shipped without delay even if they might in some instances appear excessive. Justification could be provided later.30

The April requisition proved academic so far as the outcome of operations in Europe was concerned, but it illustrated the theater's continuing apprehension over the War Department's response to its requests. Actually, the entire ammunition picture had begun to brighten by late February, and supply proved adequate for all purposes in the final offensives. Theater stocks continued to rise even during the February-March offensives which carried all the armies to the Rhine. First and Third Army levels remained practically unchanged in this period despite firing in excess of current maintenance rates. Seventh Army gradually rebuilt its reserves, benefiting from periods of relative quiet and excellent receipts. Early in March, for example, issues for a time declined to a low of 585 tons per day for the entire army. By the middle of the month they temporarily rose to 2,335 tons per day coincident with the drive to the Rhine, but receipts about equaled expenditures even in that period.31 On 22 March, with all the armies poised for the Rhine assault, ammunition stocks were excellent in all areas. Total theater stocks at the time came to approximately 843,000 tons, of which 675,000 were in COMZ depots and 168,000 in army installations. At the current SHAEF maintenance rates these tonnages represented an average of fifteen days of supply of all major types of ammunition in field force depots and an average of forty-five days in COMZ depots.32


The last heavy expenditures of ammunition occurred at the Rhine crossings themselves, and in the case of the Ninth Army proved to be the most tremendous outpouring of any action during the war in Europe. Ninth Army had carefully conserved its ammunition for several weeks before, as it had for the Roer crossing operation in February, and then poured forth its savings with crushing weight in a short period in order to achieve the maximum support of the two divisions in the assault. In a period of twenty-nine hours on 24-25 March Ninth Army artillery units fired 6,470 tons of ammunition at five to twelve times the current maintenance rates of supply. Its 105-mm. howitzers, for example, fired at the rate of 132 rounds per gun per day, its 155-mm. guns at the rate of 166 rounds, 8-inch guns at 112 rounds, 240-mm. howitzers at 89 rounds, and 25-pounders (borrowed from the British) at the rate of 563 rounds.33

Any anxieties which field commanders still had over ammunition supply in March disappeared with the successful crossing of the last major obstacle. Ammunition was no cause for worry in the final month of operations except for the means of transporting it. All armies reported complete satisfaction with deliveries in the days immediately after the Rhine assault, and in the first week of April the 12th Army Group noted that ammunition supply was adequate for the first time since August 1944.34 As in August and September 1944, Class V requirements were small during April. As could be expected, the need for the heavier caliber ammunition declined rapidly, and as early as 31 March Third Army asked that no further allocations of 8-inch gun and 240-mm. howitzer ammunition be made.35 First Army's total expenditures averaged only 900 tons per day in the first half of the month, and Seventh Army's fluctuated between 500 and 1,200, depending on the resistance encountered. Expenditures throughout the four U.S. armies had actually averaged 115.3 tons per division slice in April, slightly exceeding the planning factor of 100 tons adopted at the beginning of the drive beyond the Rhine. Seventh Army's expenditures had far exceeded those of the other armies, totaling 171.2 tons per division per day. (See Table 12.) Deliveries in most cases matched issues, and at the end of April stocks in army depots were only slightly lower than at the start of the offensive, totaling 130,000 tons.36

COMZ stocks had continued to increase, meanwhile, rising to nearly 800,000 tons by mid-April.37 Imports had averaged more than 9,200 tons per day since the first of February as against average expenditures of only 5,090 tons. Despite this excellent position the theater at first opposed any cancellations of shipments


from the United States, particularly of the traditionally "critical" items.38 After having been urged repeatedly by the War Department to review its stock position, however, the Communications Zone on 20 April recommended that loadings in the United States be reduced from 6,300 to 4,500 tons per day beginning on 15 May, the balance to be held to the credit of the theater. Representatives of SHAEF, the army groups, and Communications Zone accepted this proposal at a conference at Supreme Headquarters on the 24th. Army Group stocks were higher at this time than they had ever been, and it was proposed that these could be safely reduced. General Devers' spokesman refused to concur, despite the fact that the 6th Army Group's level at that time was equal to forty-five days of supply. Both army groups indicated they would be satisfied if expenditures could be replaced. The Communications Zone estimated that it could do this with the reduced imports. The restriction on loadings entailed a cancellation of approximately 60,000 tons for the period 15 May-15 June.39

Meanwhile the War Department, pointing out that theater stocks would soon reach maximum levels if expenditures followed their current trend, asked the theater for more outright cancellations of accrued credits. Within the next week the Communications Zone in turn asked SHAEF's approval to cancel all ammunition which had been deferred plus all future shipments scheduled to arrive after 1 June, and asked for authority to declare as excess to theater requirements all ammunition exceeding the seventy-five day level, which at the end of April totaled 98,000 tons. SHAEF immediately approved the latter; it also authorized the Communications Zone to release to the War Department half of all future production scheduled for release to ETOUSA, the remainder to be held to the theater's credit pending later instructions.40

Distribution problems had plagued ammunition supply until the last. Stock accounting and allocation were complex administrative problems at best, and they did not always guarantee the delivery or distribution of ammunition as intended. In February, for example, activity factors of 45, 30, and 25 percent assigned to the Ninth, First, and Third Armies had given the smallest share of ammunition to General Patton's forces. In actual fact, however, Ninth Army had been inactive early in February and Third Army had done the heaviest firing of any of the armies. As a result, Third Army's reserves had been quickly drained while


those of the other armies, particularly the Ninth, had risen. Third Army's stocks of 155-mm. gun ammunition, for example, had fallen to 5.4 days by mid-February while Ninth and First Armies possessed between 23.3 and 25.9 days; its stocks of 81-mm. mortar ammunition stood at 2.4 days while those of the Ninth and First Armies respectively stood at 12.7 and 16. Army Group recognized this inequity by the middle of the month and acted to resolve it by substantial revisions in the activity factors for the remainder of the month.41

The constantly changing weapons strength, on which ammunition allocations were based, also complicated accounting procedures. Ground rules were not always clear on how the weapons population was to be counted. In January, for example, 12th Army Group discovered that the Communications Zone had not been including in its weapons basis the 81-mm. mortars on tank recovery vehicles and protested the discrepancy. The Communications Zone did not consider these as combat weapons. In any case, it pointed out that their inclusion in the weapons basis would not make any more ammunition available, since the maintenance day of supply rate was already computed on the basis of every round on hand or due to arrive. Their inclusion would simply result in the publication of a new day of supply at a lower rate, and would only upset the formula then being used and to no one's advantage. SHAEF accepted the logic of this argument and ruled against the inclusion of the disputed mortars.42

The Communications Zone's attempt to calculate the SHAEF and army group reserves alone involved much complicated bookkeeping in view of the periodic revisions in the maintenance day of supply. In mid-March the Communications Zone proposed to ease its task somewhat by stabilizing the current twenty-seven day army group reserve and ten-day SHAEF reserve at the existing level based on the March weapons strength and maintenance day of supply rate.43 Using these figures, it proposed to specify a fixed number of rounds due each of the army groups, which would not be altered except upon sizable transfers of troops from one to another.44 But the distribution of reserves between the armies, army group, and SHAEF, and the physical disposition of ammunition between army depots and the forward and rear depots of the Communications Zone, plus the


fact that large amounts were always in the pipeline, made stock accounting difficult at all times. The vagaries of the system were further illustrated as late as the end of April when SHAEF found it necessary to instruct the army groups to have the various armies report not only the status of ammunition physically on hand in their own depots but the quantities on credit to them in the Communications Zone, for COMZ reports included only unobligated stocks on hand in COMZ depots. Unless obligated stocks were reported by the armies they were not reported at all.45

The ammunition allocations procedure underwent one final change in mid-March designed in part to provide a uniform system for the two army groups. Up to this time the armies of the 6th Army Group had followed the practice of submitting requisitions twenty days in advance, the requests being filled by Continental Advance Section as ammunition became available. The 12th Army Group wrote credits for only the ammunition which it expected would be on the ground at the time the armies called ammunition forward from the Advance Section. On 14 March, after discussing proposed changes with representatives of the army groups and the two advance sections, the Communications Zone outlined a new procedure. Beginning on 21 March the Communications Zone was to allocate specific quantities of ammunition to the two army groups for the ten-day periods 1-10, 11-20, and 21 to the end of the month, the allocations to be published so as to reach them three or four days before the start of the period--that is, on the 27th, 7th, and 17th respectively--and to present estimates or forecasts of the amounts to be allocated for succeeding periods up to ninety days. Allocations were to be based, as before, on weapons strengths as computed by the Communications Zone. The army groups were to specify the amounts to be credited to each army, and the Communications Zone was then to set up credits in specific advance depots and notify the armies of the location of the ammunition.

In effect, the new system represented the theaterwide application of the credit and forecasting procedure which the 12th Army Group had adopted for a while in November. Opinions were divided as to the efficacy of the new system. The 6th Army Group found the new procedure something less than satisfactory, claiming that allocations were habitually late in arriving and the channels for acquiring credits too devious. The 12th Army Group was satisfied that ammunition supply had finally been placed on a firm basis. Supply was so satisfactory in April that the army group discontinued the practice of furnishing the armies with estimates of future supply at the end of the month. A few weeks earlier the improved supply prospects had led the Communications Zone to propose a change in the allocation period from ten to thirty days and also the elimination of the time limitation by which credits expired at the end of thirty days if not used, in both cases to ease its bookkeeping burden. But a decision was postponed, and the recommendations


were not adopted before V-E Day.46

Operations in April, when ammunition was plentiful, were hardly representative of the entire eleven months' experience. Since ammunition was rationed for most of that period there was no adequate test of the validity of War Department day of supply rates, and the theater never really determined precisely what quantities would have been satisfactory. Possibly such figures were beyond determination anyway, for it is axiomatic that field commanders rarely consider that they are adequately supplied with ammunition. In any case, the theater did not cease until V-E Day to emphasize to the War Department that releases of ammunition must not be predicted on past expenditures where such expenditures had been limited by nonavailability.47

(3) Equipment

Class II and IV supply, like the supply of rations and POL, was largely a transportation and distribution problem in the final months. Shortages which had reached genuinely critical proportions in December, attributable to production difficulties in the United States, had either been resolved by February or were being overcome as the result of the various measures taken in December and January. Shortages of one kind or another plagued U.S. forces until the last day of fighting, but relatively few of the hundreds of thousands of Class II and IV items of supply were classed as "critical" after the beginning of March.

As before, the main supply problems concerned the engineer, signal, and ordnance services. The demand for engineer equipment was unusually high in the last few months because of the numerous water obstacles and because of additional special requirements for the Roer and Rhine crossings. For the Rhine crossing, as an example, the 12th Army Group's bill of materials included the following: 120 Bailey bridge sets of various types, 20 treadway bridges, 40 25-ton ponton bridges, 1,200 assault boats, 200 utility power boats, 1,800 outboard motors, 46 ponton barges, 47 LCM's, 72 LCVP's, and 490 anchors. Much of this equipment had to be obtained through special procurement projects (PROCO), which the theater submitted to Washington in the fall of 1944. Early in January the deputy chief engineer returned to the United States to expedite the delivery of several items, including assault boats, utility power boats, and ponton boats. Late in January the engineer service contracted with five French firms for 700 plywood storm boats, which were built in record time.

Assembling the needed equipment in forward parks proved an unprecedented


undertaking because of the out-of-gauge size of much of it. With few exceptions, however, the supplies were on hand in time for the assaults. The main deficiency was in maintenance supplies for truck-mounted cranes, which were in great demand in all the armies. Third Army stocks had to be brought all the way from Luxembourg. Movements east of the Rhine later entailed a heavy commitment of truck transport. First Army, for example, used seven 2½-ton companies, two 10-ton semitrailer companies, three engineer dump truck companies, the tractor trucks of an engineer heavy ponton battalion, and 100 5- to 7-ton tractor trailers to haul bridging materials. The 5- to 7-ton trailers were loaded and spotted in forward dumps and thus constituted a moblie dump and were unloaded only as needed. Third Army was one of the heaviest users of river bridging equipment in the last three months, building 225 bridges in February, 341 in March, and a peak number of 394 in the final month, which saw the crossing of the Danube and the Inn. Most of the timber for fixed bridges was procured locally, and steel I-beams came from mills operated under the supervision of the Advance Section.48

In signal supply the shortage of field wire remained chronic throughout February, and the armies continued to enforce strict rationing to ensure active units an adequate supply. This deficiency gradually eased in March, when the ASF began releasing about 100,000 miles per month. Forward depot stocks remained low in March, but the armies received large quantities and made heavy issues as the result of improved deliveries, which averaged 1,100 miles per day in the First Army and about 800 in the Third. The supply of wire, and of radios and spare parts, was often unpredictable in the final month, causing nervousness in the field commands. But this was fairly characteristic of all supply in a highly mobile situation, since it was rarely possible to build up substantial forward stocks. Shortages sometimes became momentarily "critical" overnight, as on 20 April, when Third Army's reserve of wire dropped to 238 miles. Three days of supply (1,900 miles) arrived on the following day, however, and another seventeen day's supply was en route. At the end of April all the armies had from twelve to eighteen days of wire either on hand or en route. Some of the most urgent needs--batteries, for example--were met via air. On the whole, signal supply was better in April than it had been for several months.49

Ordnance Class II and IV supply problems in the last few months were concerned largely with maintenance. Shortages of major items, such as tanks and general purpose vehicles, which had become so critical in the fall, were largely eliminated by February. The losses of the Ardennes had also been replaced by


that time. In March the armies were reporting for the first time in months that items such as small arms, artillery weapons, and fire control and sighting equipment were in sufficient supply to cover losses. The main shortages that were to persist to the end were in spare parts, accessory items, major replacement assemblies such as truck engines, axles and transmissions, hot patches, brake fluid and lining, batteries, and, to some extent, tires and tubes. Shortages of tank tracks and bogie wheels became especially acute in the final week. Lacking spare parts, forward maintenance units made it a common practice in the final months to strip salvage vehicles of all serviceable parts. Ninth Army, for example, obtained about 30 percent of all the automotive spare parts requirements for Operation GRENADE by systematically stripping damaged vehicles.50

The supply of combat vehicles was unusually good in the final months. The medium tank shortage had been solved once and for all by the allocations which General Lutes had arranged in December and by the increase in the replacement factor. Some improvement was already noticeable by early February, when theater resources totaled 6,374 medium tanks against total theater requirements for 7,095. Against a T/E requirement for 5,255 there were actually 5,434 on hand in the armies. The armies thus possessed only a small reserve of 179 tanks, but an additional 940 were in theater pipelines. The theater as a whole had a reserve of 1,119 tanks and lacked 721 to meet its full authorized reserve of 1,840 tanks.51

In January the War Department had refused the theater's request for an increase in its on-hand reserve of medium tanks to 70 percent. It agreed instead to a 35-percent reserve on the basis of the new 14-percent replacement factor, and agreed to create an additional 35-percent reserve in the zone of interior on which the theater could draw if necessary. The theater in turn had authorized the armies to have the bulk of the reserve--28 percent, or a sixty-day level--in their own areas.52 Under these arrangements the War Department had scheduled shipments of about 1,200 medium tanks per month beginning in February. Receipts under this program greatly improved the tank situation in the theater. On the eve of the Rhine crossings theater stocks totaled 7,620, only 159 tanks short of the total T/E and reserve requirement of 7,779. Against a T/E requirement for 5,477 the armies actually had 6,606 on hand, giving them a reserve of 1,129 against an authorized reserve of 1,535. While the armies' stocks included nearly 600 unserviceable tanks, the armies had another 600 in reserve, and additional tanks intended for the army reserves were in theater pipelines.53


PERSHING TANKS M26 mounting the new 90-mm. gun move through Wesel, Germany.

In light of this increasingly favorable situation the War Department notified the theater in mid-April that it contemplated eliminating the 35-percent reserve being created for ETOUSA in the United States. The theater first opposed such action, pointing out the difficulty of maintaining the full 28-percent reserve in the army areas in view of the large percentage of total theater stocks that was constantly in the pipeline or under repair. It also predicted heavier losses under current operating conditions. In the end, however, ETOUSA agreed to accept the War Department's proposed elimination of the zone of interior reserve on condition that the War Department ensure continued deliveries at the rate of the past three months.54

Contrary to expectations, tank losses in the 12th Army Group actually came to only 9.7 percent in March and were to drop to 5.2 percent in the final month. Losses in the 6th Army Group came to about 11 percent for the last six weeks. In mid-April the COMZ G-4 reported to SHAEF that sufficient medium tanks were then available to meet the full authorized reserve of 28 percent in the armies and 14 percent in the Communications Zone. The downward trend in losses had in fact led the theater to reassess


its needs with a view toward canceling certain releases not already shipped.55

Field commanders had long looked forward to the arrival of the new 90-mm. gun T26, or Pershing, in hopes that they would at last have a tank to match German armor. The first shipment to the theater contained only twenty tanks, all of which went to the 3d and 9th Armored Divisions in the First Army and first saw action on 23 February. While no additional receipts were expected before April, General Eisenhower specified in mid-March that all T26's arriving in April should be assigned to the 12th Army Group, and that a portion of May receipts would go to the 6th Army Group. General Bradley in turn allocated the expected 126 tanks in approximately equal numbers to his three armies. By mid-April 185 of the new tanks had arrived, of which 110 were then with armored divisions. Whether the remaining 75, or additional tanks, saw action before V-E Day is unknown.56

Even before the first token number had been tried in battle the theater had urged the War Department to provide the maximum number of the new heavy tanks, as the T26's were then classified, and the War Department had assured it that both production and shipment of the new tank was being given the highest priority. Two weeks after the first commitment of the new weapon Maj. Gen. Gladeon M. Barnes, one of the ASF ordnance officers who had gone to the theater to introduce the T26 and observe its performance, reported an enthusiastic reception for the tank among combat commanders and asserted that its 90-mm. gun was far superior to any tank gun the Germans then had in use. There was little doubt that the new weapon represented a great improvement over the Sherman. But Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Holly, head of the theater's armored section, felt constrained to correct any impression that the T26 was superior to the German Tiger and Tiger Royal. The Pershing's 90-mm. gun, he pointed out, was superior to the German 88 only when firing the new high velocity armor-piercing (HVAP) ammunition, and was still definitely inferior to the enemy's gun when using ordinary armor-piercing ammunition. In extension of this sobering fact, he noted that the better ammunition was being manufactured in very limited quantities because of the shortage of tungsten carbide, a critical metal used in the core of the projectile. As if to deflate


M24 LIGHT TANKS with the 75-mm. gun advance along a forest road in Germany.

any unwarranted optimism as to the availability of the new tanks, he observed, moreover, that they were not scheduled for production in large numbers until the third and fourth quarters of 1945.57

While these observations were pertinent to any eventual evaluation of the new tank, they proved of little consequence to the outcome of the fighting in Europe, for hostilities soon came to an end. First Army, which had been the first to receive the new tanks, later concluded that the delayed arrival and commitment of the T26's plus the fact that German armor had already been crippled, precluded any adequate test of their worth. On the other hand, the M24, the new light tank with the long-barreled 75-mm. gun, had been furnished in larger numbers and tried over a longer period, and had proved its excellence more conclusively.58

Meanwhile the theater continued trying to replace the obsolescent 75-mm. gun medium tank with 76's, and to get more HVAP ammunition for the latter. Production difficulties limited the shipments of the improved ammunition, however, to less than two rounds per gun


per month. Late in February the theater made plans to convert 75-mm. gun tanks into 76's. But the program was slow to get under way, and the theater subsequently canceled the project in view of the high rate of receipts from the United States and the declining loss rate. At the time of the Rhine crossings about 40 percent of all medium tanks in the theater were of the 76-mm. gun type.59

A project for installing 17-pounder guns in some of the Shermans, characterized by several false starts, was never completed. U.S. tank reserves had finally improved sufficiently by mid-February to permit the release of M4's for this purpose, and arrangements were made with the British to convert 160 tanks, the maximum number which the supply of 17-pounder ammunition would support. The first of the modified tanks were delivered in March and were assigned to the Ninth Army. But in mid-April the program was cut from 160 to 80, again because of ammunition shortages, and few of the tanks ever saw action.60

Aside from the complications which the development and introduction of improved weapons presented, the supply of tanks typified fairly well the general improvement in Class II and IV supply by February 1945. On the whole, supply in all classes was better in the last three months than it had been at any time since July 1944. Testifying to this improvement was the statement which appeared with increasing regularity in the G-4 periodic reports of the field commands: "There are no . . . items in critical short supply which will adversely affect operations."

The marked improvement had in fact led theater officials themselves to consider the possibility that ETOUSA was requisitioning and stocking supplies in excess of its needs. Early in March the G-4 instructed the supply services to review their position with a view toward reducing imports. The War Department had long suspected the theater of overstocking. As late as April it pointed out that ETOUSA was asking for quantities of signal, engineer, medical, and ordnance supplies far in excess of consumption rates.61 The memory of past difficulties made supply officials cautious to the last, however, and there were few cancellations until the end of hostilities was a certainty.


Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (XV) * Next Chapter (XVII)


1. The troop total included sixty-one U.S. and eleven French divisions. French forces supported by the United States totaled about 350,000, most of them in the 6th Army Group.

2. Ltr, Page to CG COMZ, 17 Feb 45, sub: Estimate of COMZ Supply Situation (Rpt 1), EUCOM 381 Projected Operations of the COMZ ETOUSA, 14 Mar 45.

3. Army and Army Group G-4 Periodic Reports for February 1945; QM Supply in the ETO, II (Subsistence), App. XXXI. For more detail on rations see Romanas et al., Quartermaster Operations in the War Against Germany.

4. Ltr, Page to CG COMZ, 11 Apr 45, sub: Estimate of COMZ Supply Situation (Rpt 3), SHAEF G-4 Estimate of Supply Situation Reports--COMZONE, No. 59.

5. Army and Army Group G-4 Periodic Rpts for March and April; Report on Consumption Rates U.S. Forces From the Rhine to the Elbe, 23 Mar-25 Apr 45, prep by Statistical Sec G-4 SHAEF, 11 May 45, 12 A Gp, Supplies--Backlog and Requisitions, No. 128.

6. Ltr, Page to CG CZ, 17 Feb 45, sub: Estimate of COMZ Supply Situation (Rpt 1), SHAEF G-4 Estimate of Supply Situation Reports--COMZONE, No. 59; 12 A Gp G-4 Periodic Rpt for Week 4-10 Feb 45.

7. Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricants, Hist Rpt 13, OCE ETO, pp. 94-105; Monthly Rpts, Construction Div OCE ETO, ADSEC 51-104; Seventh Army Rpt of Opns, III, 880.

8. Memo, Petroleum Br G-4 SHAEF, 26 Mar 45, sub: Future Opns--POL Plan, SHAEF G-4 463.7 Gasoline and Motor Oil (Gen) 1945, II.

9. Memo, Gilland for Crawford, 31 Mar 45, sub: Current POL Supply Program, SHAEF G-4 463.7 Gasoline and Motor Oil (Gen) 1945, II; Comd and Stf Conf Notes, COMZ, 5 May 45, EUCOM 337/3 Confs, Staff Weekly, I; FUSA Rpt of Opns, 22 Feb-8 Mar 45, Bk. III, p. 49; COMZ G-4 History, V, 28.

10. Monthly Rpts, Construction Div OCE ETO, ADSEC 51-104; Final Rpt of the Chief Engr, ETO, II, App. 33A-C.

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

12. Army and Army Group G-4 Periodic Rpts for April; Memos for Record, Maj. James R. Howton, Supply Br 12 A Gp, reporting on visits to army quartermasters to survey Class I and III situation, 5 and 12 Apr 45, and Memos for Record, Hopkins, 12, 21, and 26 Apr 45, all in SHAEF 12 A Gp G-4 Memos for Record, File 77; Cbl C-3167, TUSA to SHAEF, 28 Apr 45, SHAEF G-4 463.7 Gasoline and Motor Oil (Gen) 1945, I; TUSA AAR, II QM, 26; FUSA Rpt of Opns, 22 Feb-8 May 45, Bk. III, p. 49.

13. Included in this average is the low consumption experience of the First French Army, in which only 113.6 tons per division slice per day were consumed. Average consumption in the four U.S. armies was 183 tons. Consumption Rates of U.S. Forces in the Final Advance to the Rhine, 24 Feb-23 Mar 45, dated 25 Apr 45, and Consumption Rates U.S. Forces From the Rhine to the Elbe, 23 Mar-25 Apr 45, dated 11 May 45, both prep by Statistical Sec G-4 SHAEF, SHAEF G-4, G-4 Basic Statistical Rpts, 102/3/22.

14. See also below Chap. XVIII, Sec. 3.

15. Cbl G-4 SF-127, Belgian Solid Fuels Sub-Section to SHAEF, 7 Feb 45, ETO Adm 400; Min, CAO Mtgs, 26 Jan and 2 Feb 45, SHAEF AG 337-2 CAO Mtgs; Ltr, Crawford to CofS, 4 Mar 45. sub: Coal Production, SHAEF SGS 463.3 Coal Supply, II; Cbl FWD-17879, SHAEF to AGWAR, 15 Mar 45, App. to Current Opns Br, SHAEF G-4 War Diary/Jnl; Ltr, Plank to CG COMZ, 21 Jan 45, and 1st Ind, COMZ to ADSEC, 15 Feb 45, and Memos, Stearns for CG COMZ, 1 Feb 45, sub: Solid Fuel Situation, Belgium, Stearns for CG COMZ, 5 Feb 45, sub: Coal Situation, Belgium, and Stearns for Lord, 10 Feb 45, sub: Coal Situation, Belgium, all in EUCOM 463.3 Coal 1944-45, II.

16. Ltr, Minister of Industrial Production to SAC, 2 Feb 45, sub: Coal Situation, and Memo, Gale for CofS, 8 Feb 45, sub: Coal Situation in France, SHAEF SGS 463.3 Coal Supply, I; Memo, COMZ G-4 for DCofS, 20 Mar 45, Ltr, Brig Gen Wayne R. Allen, GPA, to CofS COMZ, 1 May 45, sub: Coal, and Ltr, Larkin to SAC, 3 May 45, sub: Coal in France, all in EUCOM 463.3 Coal 1944-45, II.

17. Min, CAO Mtg, 9 Mar 45; Ltr, Crawford to SHAEF Mission to France, 13 Feb 45, sub: Coal Situation in France, SHAEF SGS 463.3 Coal Supply, II; Memo, Broshous for G-4, 10 Mar 45, and Memo, G-4 COMZ for DCofS, 20 Mar 45, sub: Conservation of Coal, EUCOM 463.3 Coal 1944-45, II.

18. Ltr, COMZ to ADSEC and Chief Engr COMZ, 29 Dec 44, sub: Opn of German Coal Mines, Ltrs, COMZ to SAC, 23 Jan and 16 Feb 45, same sub, and Cbl EX-25505, COMZ to ADSEC, 26 Mar 45, all in EUCOM 463.3 Coal 1944-45, II: ADSEC Operations History, pp. 166-73, 177-78; CONAD History, p. 244; COMZ G-4 History, V, 8.

19. TWX BX-23700, 6 A Gp to SHAEF, 30 Jan 15, and TWX S-77391, SHAEF to 6 A Gp, 1 Feb 15, Cbl Log, Smith Papers; Seventh Army Rpt of Opns, III, 882-83.

20. TWX QX-26875, 12 A Gp to SHAEF, 10 Feb 45, and Ltr, 12 A Gp to CG COMZ, 11 Feb 45, sub: Ammo Status for Month of Jan, EUCOM 471 Allocation of Ammunition, III; Memo, Holtzworth for G-4, 19 Feb 45, sub: Ammo Forecast 19 Feb to 1 Mar 45, 12 A Gp 471/1 Ammunition Allocations.

21. TWX Conf Between SHAEF and WD, 16 Mar 45, 12 A Gp 471 Ammunition General; Cbl WARX-29114, ASF to SHAEF, 30 Jan 45, SS&P Planning Div 201.02 Ammunition, A46-371; Memo, Styer for Lutes et al., 13 Feb 45, sub: Production, ASF 200.02 Gen Somervell's Inspection Trip Eto, 333; Cbl EX-98943, COMZ to WD, 15 Feb 45, SHAEF AG 471-1 Ammunition Status Reports; TWX E-13717, COMZ G-4 to SHAEF, 26 Feb 45, SHAEF G-3 O&E Ammunition.

22. Cbl WX-40036, AGWAR to COMZ, 19 Feb 45, SHAEF AG 471-1 Ammunition Status Reports; TWX E-13717, COMZ G-4 to SHAEF, 26 Feb 45.

23. Ltr, CG ETO to WD, 3 Mar 45, sub: Ammo Day of Supply, ADSEC 381B Day of Supply and Unit of Fire.

24. TWX Conf Between SHAEF and WD, 16 Mar 45, 12 A Gp 471 Ammunition General; Ltr, Lutes to Larkin, 20 Mar 45, SHAEF G-3 O&E 471 Ammunition.

25. TWX FWD-17983, SHAEF to A Gps, 18 Mar 45, G-3 O&E 471 Ammunition.

26. TWX BA-25381, 6 A Gp to SHAEF, 23 Mar 45, SHAEF AG 471-1 Ammunition Status Reports, No. 2.

27. The 12th Army Group had borrowed 100 25-pounders and 300,000 rounds of ammunition from the British and since 1 December had fired about 75,000 rounds of captured field artillery and mortar ammunition.

28. TWX QX-31452, 12 A Gp to SHAEF, 24 Mar 45, SHAEF AG 471-1 Ammunition Status Reports, No. 2; Memo, Hedekin of Arty Sec 12 A Gp for G-3, 22 Mar 45, sub: Ammo Rqmts, Note 2, 12 A Gp 471 Ammunition General.

29. Ltr, Col Stewart to G-4 SHAEF, 26 Mar 45, sub: Determination of Future U.S. Ammo Rqmts for This Theater, SHAEF G-4 471 Ammunition 1945; Teletype Conf Between ETOUSA and WD, 30 Mar 45; Ltr, Bull to CofS, 2 Apr 45, sub: Determination of Ammo Rqmts for U.S. Forces, and Cbl FWD-18510, SHAEF to Somervell, 3 Apr 45, SHAEF G-3 O&E 471 Ammunition.

30. Ltr, ETO to WD, 10 Apr 45, sub: Ammo Expenditures, Levels and Day of Supply, EUCOM 471 Ammunition General, IV.

31. 12 A Gp Rpt of Opns, XII, 151, VI, 61, SUSA G-4 Periodic Rpts for Feb and Mar 45.

32. Army group personnel reports actually show army reserves averaging about twenty-five days of supply for most types. One possible explanation for the discrepancy: army group figures may include obligated stocks still in COMZ depots. Ltr, Page to COMZ G-4, 11 Apr 45, Estimate of COMZ Supply Situation (Rpt 3), EUCOM 381 Projected Operation of COMZ ETOUSA, 14 Mar 45; Memo, OCOO for CG COMZ, 22 Mar 45 sub: Days of Supply in COMZ Depots and Armies as of 22 March, EUCOM 471 Ammunition (General); 12 A Gp G-4 Periodic Rpt, 18-24 Mar 45.

33. Gen Bd Rpt 58, pp. 38-39.

34. 12 A Gp Ord Sec Jnl, 27 Mar 45; Monthly Rpt of Activity, Arty Sec 12 A Gp, 8 Apr 45, 12 A Gp 319.1 Reports.

35. 12 A Gp Ord Sec Jnl, 31 Mar 45.

36. Ltr, Page to CG COMZ, 13 May 45, sub: Estimate of COMZ Supply Situation (Rpt 4), EUCOM 381 Projected Operation of COMZ ETOUSA, 14 Mar 45; 12 A Gp G-4 Periodic Rpt, 22-28 Apr 45; Consumption Rates U.S. Forces From the Rhine to the Elbe, 23 Mar-24 Apr 45, prep by Statistics Sec, G-4 SHAEF, 11 May 45, SHAEF G-4 Basic Statistical Reports, No. 31.

37. On the basis of the current weapons population the authorized seventy-five-day reserve permitted the theater to have about 900,000 tons of ammunition.

38. Memo, Gilland for G-4 SHAEF, 14 Apr 45, sub: Reduction of Shipments to ETOUSA on Advent of V-E Day, SHAEF G-4 400.22 Shipments, Exchanges and Transfers, I.

39. TWX EX-35274, COMZ to SHAEF, 20 Apr 45, TWX FWD-19863, SHAEF to COMZ, 24 Apr 45, Conf at SHAEF Fwd, 24 Apr 45, Cbl EX-36910, COMZ to AGWAR, 25 Apr 45, all in SHAEF G-3 O&E 471 Ammunition; Memo, Stewart for Reference Reduction of Ammo Shipments, SHAEF G-4 471 Ammunition.

40. Cbl WARX-72683, ASF to COMZ and SHAEF, 24 Apr 45, and Cbl EX-37413, COMZ to WD, 26 Apr 45, both in SS&P Planning Div 201.2 Ammunition, A46-371; TWX EX-38866, COMZ to SHAEF, 29 Apr 45, TWX E-39064, COMZ to SHAEF, 30 Apr 45, and Cbl EX-39114, COMZ to AGWAR, 30 Apr 45, all in SHAEF G-3 O&E Ammunition 471; Ltr, Hq SHAEF to CG COMZ, 3 May 45, sub: Future Ammo Rqmts, SHAEF AG 471-1 Ammunition Status Reports (Day of Supply) No. 2.

41. Monthly Rpt of Activity (Feb), Arty Sec 12 A Gp, by Col Hedekin, 13 Mar 45, 12 A Gp 319, Rpts; Memo, Arty Sec 12 A Gp for G-3, 12 Feb 45, sub: Ammo Allocs, Memo, Col Holtzworth, Supply Br G-4 12 A Gp, for G-4, 14 Feb 45, sub: Revised Ammo Forecast, 9 to 19 Feb 45, Memo, Arty Sec for G-3 12 A Gp, 18 Feb 45, sub: Ammo Estimate, and Memo, Arty Sec 12 A Gp for G-3, 22 Feb 45, all in 12 A Gp 471/1 Ammunition Allocations.

42. TWX QX-26507, 12 A Gp to COMZ, 30 Jan 45, TWX EX-93877, COMZ to 12 A Gp, 2 Feb 45, TWX EX-10532, COMZ to SHAEF, 19 Feb 45, TWX FWD-17224, SHAEF to COMZ and A Gps, 21 Feb 45, all in SHAEF AG 471-1 Ammunition Status Reports (Day of Supply), 1945.

43. Early in March SHAEF raised the reserve under its own control from seven to ten days in order to provide an additional means of influencing a particular operation, particularly in the event of a sudden strengthening of one of the army groups. Memo, Holtzworth for G-4 12 A Gp, 10 Mar 45, 12 A Gp 471/1 Ammunition Allocations.

44. Ltr, COMZ to SAC, 17 Mar 45, sub: Stabilization of A Gp and SHAEF Reserve, SHAEF AG 471-1 Ammunition Status Reports (Day of Supply) No. 2.

45. Ltr, Col Stewart, Chief of Current Opns Br G-4 SHAEF to G-4, 1 Feb 45, sub: Ammo Status Rpts, SHAEF G-4 471 Ammunition; TWX FWD-20178, SHAEF to 6 A Gp, 29 Apr 45, SHAEF AG 471-1 Ammunition Status Reports (Day of Supply) No. 2.

46. Ord Stf Offs Mtg, OCofOrd ETOUSA, 24-25 Feb 45, SUSA File 34, Supply Sec G-4, Supply Rpt From ETOUSA; 12 A Gp Ord Sec Jnl, 27 Feb and 18 Apr 45; Memo, 12 A Gp G-4 for Ord, Arty, and G-3, 13 Mar 45, sub: Forecast of Ammo Supply to the Armies, 12 A Gp 471 Ammunition General; Ltr, ETO to Major Comds, 14 Mar 45, sub: Alloc of Ground Force Ammo to Major Comds, SHAEF AG 471-1 Ammunition Status Report No. 2; 6 A Gp G-3 Sec Final Rpt, pp. 104-05; Memo, 12 A Gp Ord for G-4, 28 Apr 45, 12 A Gp 471/1 Ammunition Allocations, 12 A Gp Rpt of Opns, XII, 153; Gen Bd Rpt 58, pp. 63-66.

47. Ltr, CG ETO to Gen Reileman, Div of Supply ASF, 14 Apr 45, 1st Ind to Ltr of 21 Mar 45, sub: Projected Supply Status of Ammo, EUCOM 471 Ammunition (General), III; ETO G-4 Quarterly Periodic Report for quarter ending 31 Mar 45, 6 May 45, EUCOM 319.1 G-4 Periodic Rpts ETO Quarterly.

48. Final Report of the Chief Engineer ETO, I, 223; Supply, Hist Rpt 3, OCE ETO, p. 43; TUSA AAR, II, Engr, 25-28, 35, 40; NUSA G-4 AAR, 15-31 Mar 45; FUSA Rpt of Opns, 22 Feb-8 May 45, Bk. II, pp. 175, 179; 12 A Gp Rpt of Opns, VI, 61, 66, 76; 12 A Gp G-4 Periodic Rpts for Feb and Apr; SUSA G-4 Periodic Rpts, Feb-Apr.

49. FUSA Rpt of Opns, 22 Feb-8 May 45, Bk. II, p. 217; TUSA AAR, II, Sig, 16, 18, 20; Comd and Stf Conf Notes, COMZ, 9 Mar 45, EUCOM 337/3 Conf, Staff Weekly, I; 12 A Gp G-4 Periodic Rpts for Feb-Apr 45; SUSA G-4 Periodic Rpts for Feb-Apr 45.

50. TUSA AAR, II, Ord, 24; Conquer; The Story of the Ninth Army, pp. 162-63; NUSA Ord AAR, 1-15 Mar 45; FUSA Rpt of Opns, 22 Feb-8 May 45, Bk. III, pp. 7, 9-10.

51. Ltr, Craword to Smith, 7 Feb 45, sub: Weekly Rpt on Lutes' Memo, SHAEF G-4 319.1 Rpts Gen Lutes, 1945, I.

52. Cbl E-84778, Somervell to Styer, 10 Jan 45, and Cbl WARX-20645, AGWAR to Somervell, 14 Jan 45, both in EUCOM 470.8 Combat Armored Cars and Tanks.

53. Rpt on Status of Medium Tanks, prep by AFV&W Sec ETO, 20 Mar 45, SHAEF G-3 O&E 470.8 Tanks, III.

54. Cbl E-33545, G-4 ETO to AGWAR, 16 Apr 45, ETO Adm 402.

55. A report by the Armored Fighting Vehicle and Weapon Section, ETOUSA, gives conflicting although incomplete figures: 5,626 tanks on hand in the armies as against a total requirement for 5,129 which would give the armies a reserve of 497 as against an authorized one of 1,436. Another source indicates there were 1,100 additional tanks in COMZ depots, but these, plus the 5,626 on hand in the armies (6,726) would not have matched the over-all theater requirement of 7,283. Rpt, Status of Medium Tanks, AFV&W Sec ETO, 20 Apr 45, SHAEF G-3 O&E 470.8 Tanks, III, and Cbl EX-39080, COMZ to 6 A Gp, 30 Apr 45, SHAEF AG 480.8-1 Allocation of Tanks, 1945; Memo, Gilland for Crawford, 20 Apr 45, sub: Lutes' Memo to the Supreme Commander, dated 25 Dec 44, SHAEF G-4 400.192 Supply Reports, I; 12 A Gp AAR, XI, 67; Losses of Medium Tanks for Period 13 Mar-28 Apr 45, Tab C to missing Ltr, 6 A Gp G-3 Armd Sec 252, Medium Tank Correspondence, RG 914.

56. Ltr, Bull to CofS, 15 Mar 45, sub: Alloc of Heavy Tanks, TWX QX-28443, 12 A Gp to SHAEF, 28 Mar 45, and Ltr, Bull to CofS, 17 Apr 45, sub: Alloc of Heavy Tanks T26, SHAEF SGS 470.8 Tanks, II; Ltr, Bull to Twitchell, 26 Mar 45, SHAEF G-3 O&E 470.8 Tank III; Teletype Conf Between Maj Gen G. M. Barnes and Maj Gen Levin H. Campbell, 5 Mar 45, EUCOM 470.8 Combat Armored Cars and Tanks, II.

57. Ltr, Barnes to Campbell, CofOrd, 6 Mar 45, sub: Rpt of Heavy Tanks Mission, and Ltr, Holly to Deputy Theater Comdr, 2 Apr 45, sub: Comments on Rpt of Heavy Tank Mission, EUCOM 470.8 Combat Armored Cars and Tanks, II.

58. FUSA Rpt of Opns, 22 Feb-8 May 45, Bk II, p. 147. The new M6 gun on the M24, although a 75-mm. gun, was commonly referred to as a 76-mm., to distinguish it from the short-barreled 75-mm. on the medium tank.

59. Ltr, Holly to Deputy Theater Comdr, 2 Apr 45; Ltr, ETO to A Gps, 25 Apr 45, sub: Cancellation of 76-mm. Gun Conversion Program for 300 75-mm. Gun Tanks, M4 Series, EUCOM 470.8 Combat Armored Cars and Tanks, II; 12 A Gp AAR, XI, 54.

60. Ltr, Crawford to Maj Gen J. A. M. Bond, Dir of Ln and Munitions, War Office, 16 Apr 45, SHAEF G-4 471.1 Cannon, Mortars, and Ammunition; Final Hist Rpt, AFV&W Sec ETO, p. 22, ETO Adm 540; 12 A Gp AAR, XI, 54.

61. Cbl WX-71085, AGWAR to COMZ, 21 Apr 45, SHAEF S S 400.3/1 Supply Problems of Allied Advance.

Transcribed and formatted by Jerry Holden for the HyperWar Foundation