The Technical Services subseries, composed of twenty-four volumes, covers seven technical services representing the combat and combat services branches that the Army still recognizes in 1992. In all cases these volumes were written by the technical historian most knowledgeable on the subject in conjunction with the assistance of the Center of Military History.
The first volume on this service is a history of the phases of activity which precede procurement, distribution, and maintenance of fighting equipment, namely, organization, training, research, and development. It is, in short, an analysis of the factors that largely determined the quality of weapons supplied to the Army in World War II. Volume II on the Ordnance Department covers the problems of quantity: production, distribution, and upkeep; and Volume III, operations overseas.
THE CHEMICAL WARFARE SERVICE: ORGANIZING FOR WAR. By Leo P. Brophy and George J. B. Fisher. (1959, 1989; 498 pages, 16 tables, 11 charts, 1 map, 32 illustrations, bibliographical note, glossary, index, CMH Pub 10-1.)
The first part of this volume is an administrative history of the Chemical Warfare Service from its inception until 1946, when it became the Chemical Corps. This part covers the experience of World War I, at home and with the American Expeditionary Forces; the trying years from 1920 to 1939 when the new service had to contend with military parsimony and the public opprobrium attached to gas warfare; and then with the greatly expanded functions of the service in World War II.
In that war the Chemical Warfare Service was responsible for training not only its own service troops and specialized combat units for chemical mortar, smoke generator, and chemical air operations, but also for training the whole Army to cope with chemical warfare, and, incidentally, for training civilians for defense against the use of chemicals in case of enemy attack. These training missions are the subject of Part II.
In 1942 the Chief of the Chemical Warfare Service was designated to head a United States Chemical Warfare Committee, which worked out with the British combined policies and plans for chemical warfare--an experience described in Part I, Chapter IV.
This volume describes and evaluates the record of the Chemical Warfare Service in developing, procuring, and issuing munitions of chemical warfare to the Army and Navy from the inception of the service in world War I. In that war, with the assistance of the Bureau of Mines and the National Research Council, the service developed toxic agents and protective equipment and procured them on a large scale, though few of the items produced had reached the troops of the American Expeditionary Forces when the war ended (Chapter I). In the postwar years of military economy the service could keep only a nucleus of scientists at work on the discovery and designing of its munitions (Chapter II). In the field of procurement and distribution its activity, except for planning, was limited almost entirely to gas masks, manufactured at Edgewood Arsenal and stored at the Edgewood depot (Chapter X).
Increased appropriations and rapid expansion came with the semi-mobilization of 1939-41, when the service built new laboratories, plants, arsenals, proving grounds, and depots, and began to stock chemical munitions (Chapter X), while its scientists watched the development of munitions that were proving useful in Europe (Chapter II).
The service expanded very rapidly after the United States entered the war. At the heart of its special activities was an augmented technical staff, which worked with the assistance of the Office of Scientific Research and Development and other civilian agencies. The mission of the service was extended to include the offensive and defensive aspects of biological warfare, long under discussion, and now recognized as a serious threat (Chapter V). In pursuing its original mission the service searched for more effective war gases (Chapter III), and better means of physical protection against toxic agents (Chapter IV). It also improved the 4.2-inch chemical mortar into an extremely effective high explosive as well as chemical weapon (Chapter VI); developed what were essentially new weapons: flamethrowers (Chapter VII) and incendiaries (Chapter VIII); and provided better screening smokes and smoke generators (Chapter IX).
The service manufactured these munitions in its arsenals and plants and also procured great quantities of them through contracts with private industry. In addition to problems of procurement that it shared with the other technical services, the Chemical Warfare Service had its own, such as those incident to the relatively modest size of its contracts, and the fact that most of its items had not reached an advanced stage of development (Chapters XIII-XV). The service also had peculiar problems of storage and distribution (Chapter XVI) and unusual difficulties in the field of property disposal (Chapter XVII) because of the nature of its munitions.
Chemicals in Combat, the last of three volumes devoted to the Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) in World War II, covers the overseas story of that technical service. The first six chapters concern planning, organization, and logistics in the major theaters of operations. Most of the remaining chapters describe the development and combat employment of smoke munitions and generators, the 4.2-inch mortar, the portable and mechanized flamethrowers, and incendiary munitions.
An underlying theme pervades this overseas story. The Chemical Warfare Service was organized in World War I as the vehicle for employing gas munitions and for defending against the use of gas by the enemy. It was thought that these would be the principal roles in World War II. But because gas was not used in the Second World War, the CWS men and units had to justify their presence by undertaking non-gas warfare missions. If there were two key words to describe the overseas CWS experience, they would be "preparedness" for the possible introduction of gas warfare and "improvisation" for the effective use of units in the absence of gas warfare. On top of all this the chemical service was operating in an Army that was not enamored with the traditional chemical mission, let alone the possibility of improvisation.
Had the Allied nations known with certainty what the intentions of the Axis powers were with regard to the use of gas warfare, the U.S. investment in time and materiel might not have been undertaken. On the other hand, had the Allies been any less prepared, one only can guess at what effect that a persistent agent might have had on the D-day landing or at Anzio. If the Japanese had not believed their home land vulnerable to gas they might have used mustard agents against the amphibious forces that slowly penetrated their vast defensive perimeter. The author argues that the U.S. preparedness from gas warfare was worth the effort. Like a "fleet in being," it countered a threat that could have been decisive to the Allied cause if gone unchallenged.
This volume is a history of the measures taken in the United States to cope with the variety of demands placed on the Corps of Engineers during World War II. In the period before Pearl Harbor the dominant theme was preparation to fight in the war of movement that air and armor had introduced on the battlefields of Europe. In the midst of rapid expansion, the corps adopted and procured such equipment as emergency bridges designed to sustain heavier loads, airplane landing mats to take the place of paved runways, powerful earth-moving machinery, and delicate mapping instruments to exploit the possibilities of aerial photography. Such equipment, while greatly increasing the engineer capabilities, also increased its dependence on skilled manpower and on a steady supply of industrial products.
Once the United States was in the war the corps faced global demands not only for more troops, but also for new types of units to reconstruct damaged ports, operate small craft in amphibious landings, distribute petroleum products, manufacture and distribute parts of complicated machinery, and many other incidental tasks. The unexpected lack of skills and aptitudes of a great number of the recruits, the need for hasty training, and the priorities of procurement assigned to weapons immediately required gravely handicapped the engineers. The second part of this work, devoted to 1942, gives an account of the basic decisions and measures adopted to meet the stresses and changes of incessant crises and explores the debate between the corps and the higher echelons of the War Department in the search for realistic compromises.
After 1942, training programs, lengthened and improved in the light of experience, began to produce a more versatile engineer-soldier. Thereafter, too, procurement could be based on more accurately estimated long-range requirements and freer access to materials. The last part of the volume is devoted to this period in which the corps reached its full strength and capacity and in which the orderly distribution of equipment and replacement parts became the primary goal of the corps' logistical activity in the United States.
The whole volume particularizes, and merges into, the comprehensive pictures of mobilization, training, procurement, and supply presented in the Army Ground Forces volumes on the organization and training of ground combat troops: R. Elberton Smith's The Army and Economic Mobilization and Leighton and Coakley's volumes on Global Logistics and Strategy.
Shortly before the United States entered World War II on the side of the Allies, the responsibility for military construction in the United States was transferred from the Quartermaster Corps to the Corps of Engineers. This major shift in mission took place in two steps. First the engineers took charge of Air Corps construction in November 1940. Then, just weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor, they took over all military construction in support of the expanding Army. In the course of the war, the engineers carried out a multi-billion-dollar program of construction. To do this, they converted their decentralized network of field offices from water resource projects to the new mission. The result was a massive engineer construction effort that ranged from the barracks, hospitals, and other buildings that made up entire new camps to munitions factories and the complex and far-flung facilities employed in the Manhattan Project for production of the atomic bomb.
Construction in the United States is replete with citations, statistics, and Army organization charts to make clearer an otherwise potentially confusing subject. More importantly this volume is also a history of people: of military leaders and their staffs and of civilian engineers, contractors, and suppliers, giving human interest to the narrative that covers all phases of this remarkable program. After describing the arrangements under which military construction was carried out during World War I and the interwar years, the study covers the political negotiations involved in the change and the many administrative adjustments made by the Corps of Engineers as it adapted to being the Army's construction agent. The authors trace the execution of the mission through the dramatic rapid expansion in 1942 to peak production in 1943. They also cover planning for demobilization, which began during the period of the greatest construction activity.
A companion to the operational volumes in the Army's Pacific theater subseries, this volume chronicles the story of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the most primitive, undeveloped, and remote areas of the Pacific Ocean, China, and Southeast Asia. More often than not, these regions were covered with impenetrable jungles, alive with tropical insects and debilitating diseases, cut by swift and wide rivers, criss-crossed with rugged mountains, and at the end of tenuous supply lines that stretched hundreds, if not thousands, of miles back to developed bases.
Whether in the tropical jungles of Papua-New Guinea or the Burma-China borderlands, on the coral atolls of the Central Pacific, or on the inhospitable islands of the Aleutians, American forces were initially confronted with a lack of even the most rudimentary logistical facilities and with few of the supplies they needed to sustain modern combat operations. They first had to carve out toeholds for bases that could then be tied into the worldwide logistical network that would pump in the men and materiel to press the fight against the Japanese. That difficult job belonged to the Army engineers, who first fought as combat engineers on the front lines and then became the builders who transformed jungles or atolls into new links in the chain of the advanced airfields, ports, and supply bases that would sustain the next forward steps on the road to Tokyo.
The Corps of Engineers began its war against Japan well before the attack on Pearl Harbor as engineer units in Alaska, Hawaii, the Philippine Islands, and Panama labored to improve the defenses of the United States and its vital overseas possessions against hostile attack. After the war began, engineers in the Philippines were consumed in the desperate and unsuccessful campaign to hold Bataan and Corregidor until help arrived. Meanwhile engineer units began flowing into Australia and on to Papua where they developed the bases from which the Allies would begin their long campaign to return to the Philippines.
General MacArthur's strategy of "leapfrogging" up Papua-New Guinea and back to the Philippines stressed avoiding strong Japanese concentrations and seizing and then developing the airfields and bases that would permit his air forces to cover his next leap forward. The success of this approach depended heavily on the ability of his engineer forces to build sufficient facilities quickly under enemy fire, in hostile and primitive conditions, and often with limited supplies of materials and heavy equipment.
Among the most notable of the many achievements of the Army engineers in the Southwest Pacific Area were the operations of the 2d, 3d, and 4th Engineer Special Brigades which conducted all of MacArthur's amphibious assault landings from 1943 through the end of the war. Created in 1942 to conduct the Army's assault landings, the boat and shore operations of the engineer special brigades found their fullest use in MacArthur's numerous amphibious operations.
In the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater from 1942 through 1944, engineers concentrated on establishing the airfields, supply lines, and bases necessary to sustain British, Indian, Chinese, and American forces facing the Japanese. While many engineer units supported the aerial supply route across the Himalayas (the Hump) and built airfields in China from which U.S. and Chinese air forces struck back at the Japanese and their homeland, others confronted a virtually impassable barrier of mountains, rivers, and jungles in their mission to reestablish an overland supply rouse to China. By February 1945 Army engineers had driven the Ledo Road and its accompanying petroleum pipeline across the mountains and jungles of northern Burma to link up with the old Burma Road and thus once again opened a secure land route to China for military supplies.
This volume parallels the preceding one, treating the Army Corps of Engineers in the Mediterranean and European theaters. There Army engineers were called upon to provide their traditional combat missions in offensive and defensive ground operations as well as the construction support needed to develop the logistical structure to sustain those operations. But the requirements of modern war against powerful foes demanded that they played new and innovative roles, such as in amphibious operations, airfield development for tactical and strategic air forces, aerial photography and mapping, and port reconstruction and repair.
While constructing the support and training base for American forces in the United Kingdom, U.S. Army engineers were severely tested during combat operations in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. New tactical bridging equipment, such as the Bailey and treadway bridges, were successfully employed as were new heavy construction equipment, such as Caterpillar tractors and LeTourneau scrapers, which provided American engineers with a significant advantage over their opposing counterparts. First encountered in Tunisia, the German adeptness at mine warfare was a serious challenge which the combat engineers never completely overcame through the remainder of the war. In this area, as in others, technology could not replace the human skills of the individual engineer.
This volume records the slow and methodical operations of the Italian campaign which placed a high premium on the more traditional skills of the combat engineer --laying and clearing minefields, building and assaulting field fortifications, and developing and maintaining supply lines. Siege operations against a dug-in enemy in mountainous terrain, in which engineers played a critical role, replaced mobile warfare for months on end. In such operations, base development and the buildup of supplies were of importance to each forward leap and often determined the actual timing for each movement.
During the Normandy Campaign of 1944, Army engineer efforts supported the initial lodgment and then the ensuing war of movement: clearing mines, conducting assault river crossings, erecting temporary tactical bridges, and rebuilding roads, airfields, and railways. Bridging, in fact, proved critical to the war in northern Europe due to the many rivers, canals, and lesser water courses that characterized the terrain. Allied progress often depended on the rapidity with which engineers could repair existing highway and rail spans, construct new ones, and replace critical assault bridging with more permanent structures.
Also treated are engineers efforts to assist the military government in restoring basic services throughout liberated western Europe and newly occupied Germany and to build and maintain the logistical infrastructure that supported the permanent American forces stationed there.
The Surgeon General in World War II was responsible for designing, building, equipping, and operating the Army's great system of hospitals in the United States and for the movement to them of patients from overseas and in the zone of interior. His department was also the matrix and forge of the hospitals and evacuation units sent to theaters of operations throughout the world, and it selected, trained, and equipped them. Planning and improvement of methods to meet these complex responsibilities constitute the main theme of the present volume.
The author's well-documented exposition of this theme focuses on large-scale hospital administration, to include medical construction, training, procurement, logistics, and command organization. Included are treatments of The Surgeon General's sometime difficult relationships with the Quartermaster General, the Chief of Engineers, the Chief of Transportation, and the Commanding Generals of the Army Air Forces and the Army Service Forces in matters of responsibility and jurisdiction.
The Medical Department. Medical Service in the Mediterranean and Minor Theaters is the first of three volumes concerning the administrative history of the Army Medical Department's overseas operations in World War II. The initial chapter covers the work of the Army Medical Department at the Atlantic outposts established in 1941 before the initiation of major deployments to the Mediterranean and European theaters. The remaining chapters describe the Army medical service in the campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and southern France. Included in the appendixes are a survey of the organization and operations of the German medical service and a brief discussion of the hospitalization and evacuation system of French forces serving with U.S. troops in the theater.
In the Mediterranean theater, where U. S. Army troops launched their first ground offensive in the fall of 1942, the organization, equipment, and techniques of the Medical Department were tested under a wide variety of conditions from the deserts of North Africa to the mountains and marshes of Italy. The experience acquired significantly benefited later campaigns in both Europe and the Pacific. Of particular importance is the pioneering work on combat psychiatry which was begun on an experimental basis in Tunisia and Sicily.
From 1944, when the campaign in northern Europe first began siphoning veteran medical formations and their facilities from Italy, to the spring of 1945, when the Germans surrendered, untried replacements and chronic shortages of equipment and supplies handicapped the medical service in the Mediterranean theater. The work documents the ingenuity and skill required by medical officers to prevent disease and to provide evacuation, hospitalization, and care for the sick and wounded in a theater that had become a secondary effort. Finally, the study covers the activities of Army medical personnel who remained in southern Europe supporting the occupation force and the local governments, until the last U.S. forces left Italy in December 1947.
This volume tells the story of the U.S. Army medical service in the largest American land campaign of World War II. Primarily an operational and logistical rather than a clinical history, it follows the development of the theater medical service from the beginning of the U.S. Army buildup in Great Britain early in 1942 through the Normandy invasion, the advance across France and the Low Countries, and the overrunning of the Third Reich.
The European theater Chief Surgeon, Maj. Gen. Paul R. Hawley, and his assistants assembled and trained over a quarter million medical personnel; established hospitals containing hundreds of thousands of beds in Great Britain and on the Continent; solved problems of supply; safeguarded troop health; and developed a complex system of air, sea, rail, and ambulance evacuation. In occupied Germany, they encountered and overcame a situation new to American armies: the surrender and imprisonment of a whole enemy army, numbering in the millions; the liberation of other millions of prisoners and displaced persons; and the care of a conquered people who were both industrialized and highly urbanized. In the process, the medical service met the challenges of working with Allies, supporting fast-moving mechanized forces, adapting units and equipment for unanticipated missions, and integrating the latest findings of medical science into a comprehensive system of patient care. This is, however, more than a story of high policy. Also described are the efforts and achievements of frontline aidmen, litterbearers, and ambulance drivers; doctors and nurses in hospitals; and the thousands of other American medical soldiers. Often unsung, usually overworked, and occasionally in mortal danger, they gave effect to abstract plans through countless acts of courage and compassion.
This account chronicles theater medical planning and operations under conditions of modern, high-intensity combat. It also constitutes a case study in the workings of combat service support in wartime and illustrates principles of medical organization that remain timeless. Finally, this account dramatically reaffirms the truth that Army medicine requires for success in war doctors who are also soldiers, who understand the workings of the other branches of service, and who are able to cooperate effectively with them.
This volume treats the medical history of the war against Japan, a story that was as varied as the theater itself, which covered approximately a third of the surface of the earth. The South and Southwest Pacific Areas and the China-Burma-India Theater were ravaged by tropical diseases; cold injury was a problem in the Aleutian fighting; and combat surgery was everywhere important. The need to fight a war on islands required the Army to make many changes in a force structure designed for land combat, and the Medical Department followed suit in order to provide medical support on the beaches, during the move inland, and in deep jungle fighting beyond the reach of vehicles.
Command arrangements differed as widely as the physical environment. Theater surgeons were obliged to work in both Army- and Navy-run theaters and within joint and combined command structures. The complications that resulted, especially in the Southwest Pacific Area, were significant not only because coherent medical policy was long delayed, but because of the special difficulties of the Pacific war. Command support was needed to assign medical materiel the high priorities that it needed in order to cross thousands of miles of open ocean and arrive at the proper location, at the right time, and in adequate quantity. Even more important, command support was absolutely essential to enforce the rules of preventive medicine so vital to troop health while fighting in primitive and highly malarial lands.
In the South and Southwest Pacific the authors record the complex medical learning process that took place. Although troops in both theaters had been in combat from the first days of the war, their lack of time for preparation was reflected in the early epidemics that weakened both the defenders of Bataan and the conquerors of Guadalcanal and Papua. Hard-won mastery of preventive medicine and amphibious medical organization contributed crucially to the later triumphs of American arms. In all the Pacific theaters, amphibious medical support was a complex art that was learned and perfected to a great extent under enemy fire. In the Central Pacific Area the treatment and evacuation of wounded rather than fighting disease became the centerpiece of medical activity. Finally, medical personnel in the China-Burma-India Theater devoted their efforts not only to support of the small American forces, but to aiding the miserably ill-equipped Chinese armies and teaching the rudiments of medicine to young Chinese officers.
Although care of American and Allied forces grew ever more sophisticated, medical support for guerrillas and prisoners of war continued to be primitive in many respects. Care of civilians injured in the fighting gradually improved, however, leading to the successful efforts of the postwar military government in Japan to suppress disease among former enemies, preserve life, and provide for the victims of the atomic bombs.
This first volume includes background material, reaching from the early nineteenth century to the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939 (Chs. I-III). The research and development programs, 1919 to 1939, receive special attention because of their direct effect upon much of the later work. The main emphasis of the book nevertheless falls upon the period 1939 to 1945.
While endeavoring to examine dispassionately the attitudes of other agencies within and outside the Army, the authors present the story chiefly from the point of view of the Ordnance Department. Chapter III gives a brief account of the financing of the department's activities before and during World War II in order to put the discussion of policies and procedures, accomplishments and failures, into a meaningful setting. It includes a rapid survey of the consequences of lend-lease, supplemental to the data in Global Logistics and Strategy. Chapter IV highlights the framework within which the department worked, the organization created by the two wartime Chiefs of Ordnance, and the revisions demanded by Army reorganization and the appearance of new civilian agencies; it also explains not only the major organizational features but also the philosophy underlying them and the sources of conflict between the Ordnance Department and other agencies. Two subsequent chapters (V and VI) cover recruitment and training of personnel to carry on the expanded tasks of the department. The rest of the volume deals with research and development problems.
Much of the section on research and development contains a discussion of particular items developed to meet particular military needs. It focuses therefore on the problem of translating combat requirements into feasible "development requirements" and the steps the Ordnance Department took to satisfy them. Hence the chapters on ordnance for ground warfare (X-XIII) deal with the development of equipment designed to embody all three desiderata of modern warfare: the greatest possible mobility, maximum firepower, and utmost protection for troops. A chapter (XIV) on weapons for ground defense against aerial attack constitutes the bridge between the data on ground and air equipment, while Chapters XV through XVII on aircraft armament analyze the characteristics of adequate airborne weapons and the work of the Ordnance Department in endeavoring to develop suitable airborne guns, rockets, and bombs. Comparisons with German concepts, methods, and results throw added light on much of the American research and development program. Finally, in Chapter XVIII, exploration of the difficulties resulting from the shortage of strategically important raw materials and description of the means devised to conserve them further explain ordnance quandaries.
This volume fits the activities of the Ordnance Department into the larger pictures of procurement and supply to be found in The Army and Economic Mobilization and the two volumes on Global Logistics and Strategy. The story focuses on the particular items that ordnance officers were tasked to procure and supply: artillery and small arms, and ammunition for both; fire-control instruments; combat vehicles, including the tank; the transport vehicles that put the Army and its supplies on motor-driven wheels; and spare parts and maintenance for all of these. How it provided and maintained such vital instruments of war is of interest to all who depended on them for effectiveness in combat, and not less so to employers and employees in the great American industries, such as the automotive, whose plants and skills the Army drew into its service to aid in producing these instruments.
This volume complements Planning Munitions for War, which describes the development of Ordnance Department weapons. The section on procurement in the present volume centers on the department's Industrial Division, the manufacturing arsenals, and the district offices; the section dealing with supply concentrates on the Field Service Division and the depots and changes in the depot system introduced to improve delivery all over the globe of the right kinds of munitions in the right quantities.
At the outset the authors describe the problems of the department in launching the munitions program of 1940 and in the basic task of computing requirements. They examine the need for new construction, both of depot and manufacturing facilities, as a factor in lengthening the gap between the decision to rearm and readiness to deploy adequately armed combat forces. They give full weight to the strong ties developed over the years between the Ordnance Department and industry through the procurement districts, the manufacturing arsenals, and the Army Ordnance Association and describe, in non-technical language, wartime manufacturing methods and new techniques of production. In a succession of "commodity chapters" the volume explores the most serious problems that the department had to overcome in procuring or producing a class of equipment, such as artillery, tanks, ammunition of various types, and vehicles, repeatedly emphasizing the critical importance of machine tools for the production of fighting equipment. The rest of the volume tells how the department stored and distributed the enormous quantities and varieties of munitions produced and gives particular attention to problems of cataloging and stock control.
On Beachhead and Battlefront tells the evolving story of combat service support for items of ordnance equipment and ammunition. The volume concentrates on the European, Mediterranean, and Southwest Pacific Theaters of Operations, drawing a distinction among these theaters of war and the type of support demanded in each theater of operations. Other areas, such as the China-Burma-India Theater and the South Pacific, Caribbean, and Alaska, are mentioned only in passing or in how they support the main theaters of operations. The author provides rich combat service support contrasts and similarities between Pacific and European theaters. Beginning with the Army's first offensives in Burma, Papua, and North Africa, the narrative then follows the invasion of Europe beginning with Sicily, cumulating in victory in Europe. The story then returns to the Pacific to describe the invasions of New Guinea, the Philippines, and Okinawa. Ordnance support for both operational planning and execution are the central themes.
The author carefully begins each campaign with a brief military geographical overview, discusses the planning and conduct of ensuing operations, and then details the ordnance combat service support that was provided. Planning is first considered and then contrasted with execution. In each of the unfolding campaigns the author details the units and men conducting ordnance support, drawing extensively upon the detailed ordnance records down to unit level to give the reader a sense of the issues that might otherwise be lost.
The volume also details the organizational concept of support, pointing out the various echelons of support in each theater, but focusing on field army level and the support given to subordinate corps and divisions. In each case units, commanders, planners, and soldiers are mentioned with illustrations of their changing combat circumstance, and doctrinal issues of organization, levels of stockage, command, control, and communications are fully portrayed. The evolving ordnance organizational concept of support reflected the changing command and control needs of the various campaigns. The study thus contrasts the mobility and transport requirements for equipment coming into each theater and the demands placed on ordnance support under combat conditions. In each case maintenance support was effected as far forward as feasible.
This volume also evaluates U.S. equipment and compares it to Axis equipment, not only in quality and quantity, but the rapidity with which it was fielded. Further, by detailing each successive campaign, this volume accents the continued improvisation and imagination generated by ordnance personnel. Towed sleds behind tanks in Italy, hedgerow cutting tanks in Normandy, and barge-mounted maintenance shops in the Philippines, all contributed to successful combat service support to the frontline soldier.
THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS: ORGANIZATION, SUPPLY, AND SERVICES, VOLUME II. By Erna Risch and Chester L. Kieffer. (1955, 1983; 433 pages, 19 tables, 3 charts, 30 illustrations, bibliographical note, glossary, index, CMH Pub 10-13.)
A military force is a separated community, what sociologists call a "segregative community," and in modern war it becomes a huge one. An army (or navy) has not only to forge en effective fighting force out of this vast community and arm it, but also to feed and clothe it, and, in general, step into the place of a thousand private and public enterprises that normally provide for its daily human needs. The principal business of the Quartermaster Corps in World War II was to provide the housing, food, clothes, personal equipment, and fuel for a community that numbered, first and last, between eleven and twelve million men and women. It also provided laundry, bath, and other services. The corps became therefore at once a bridge and a transforming agency between the civilian economy and a "nation in arms" which was soon deployed throughout the globe.
These two volumes show that the Quartermaster Corps was unprepared for this staggering task, partly because of financial starvation, partly from lack of vision and flexibility, largely because of demands that could not be anticipated. Food and clothing, for example, while they had to be standardized for mass procurement, had also to be adapted and varied for use in every diversity of climate and terrain. Equipment had to be reduced in bulk since mobility of force was at a premium and cargo shipping was one of the Allies' scarcest resources throughout the war.
These volumes describe the vigor, ingenuity, and resourcefulness with which the Quartermaster General and his corps attacked a bewildering variety of tasks and emphasize failures as well as successes. Even the most successful expedients were often distasteful to the individual soldier who had to endure dehydrated vegetables and fruits, egg and milk powders, and similar prepackaged edibles. Improvements were often slow. When, for example, GIs refused to use lemon powder except to scrub floors, the Quartermaster Corps simply stopped having it made.
These volumes also detail the cooperation of American industry with the Army on a vast scale. The Quartermaster General engaged over two hundred firms in tasks of research and development and covered a larger sector of the normal civilian economy in procuring supplies needed by the Army than did any other service. Another major story centers around the administration of those supplies. Essentially, the Quartermaster Corps developed a commodity-functional type of organization and stock control system to effect economy and achieve a balanced distribution of supplies. The result is a history of mass organization operating under high pressures, capable of improvisation, and sufficiently flexible to perform its huge task effectively.
Both volumes describe the Quartermaster Corps at work in the zone of interior. Volume I, after treating the reorganization and expansion of the corps at the outbreak of war and sketching its wartime organization (Introduction and Ch. I), deals with research and development (Chs. II-V), procurement and production control (Chs. VI-VIII), storage and warehousing operations (Ch. IX), and stock control (Ch. X). Volume II treats salvage and reclamation (Chs. I-II) and the problems of industrial demobilization (Ch. III), and includes a statistical review (Ch. IV) reflecting the magnitude and proportions of quartermaster operations in World War II. It completes the picture of zone of interior activities with an account of the recruiting, assignment, and training of quartermaster personnel (Chs. V-IX) and of such special services of the corps as the procurement of animals (Ch. X), its operation of laundry and dry-cleaning establishments (Ch. XI), and its provisions for the care of the dead (Ch. XII).
This book is an analytical history of quartermaster activities in three great U.S. theater commands in the war against Japan: the Southwest Pacific, South Pacific, and Central Pacific Areas. Since Army elements were most numerous in General MacArthur's command, the Southwest Pacific is treated at greater length than the others. But the author, observing in general a chronological sequence, has linked the diverse developments in the three commands.
The narrative includes the efforts of quartermasters in 1941 to equip the Philippine Army for a hostile attack, an undertaking largely frustrated by lack of time and the initial American strategy of meeting invasion at the beach line. This strategy called for dispersion of stocks that had been painfully accumulated at depots that were thus soon overrun and had to be destroyed to avert capture. Complementing The Fall of the Philippines, the volume then recounts the ingenious efforts on Bataan to stave off starvation by fishing, harvesting local rice crops, and slaughtering carabao and the brave but tragic attempts to break through the strangling Japanese blockade and bring in food from the southern Philippines and from Australia and the Dutch East Indies.
The narrative then focuses on food-importing Hawaii. There the Army, fearing a Japanese invasion, gave the quartermaster of the Hawaiian Department an extraordinary role as controller of civilian food supplies. Hawaii, New Zealand, and Australia were the only land masses in the Pacific that had been sufficiently developed to serve as major bases. Remoteness from the United States and shipping shortages put a premium on local procurement of military necessities in the two British commonwealths, especially Australia, which became major suppliers of subsistence and provided large quantities of other items.
The corps was also confronted with extraordinary difficulties of supply over the long lines running from depots in the United States to widely scattered island bases in territory that lacked the basic facilities for storage and distribution. The author describes how these difficulties were surmounted and troops on tiny atolls and jungle-clad islands were supplied, giving close attention to interruptions of supply to bases and troops. The volume includes an evaluation of the utility of the various items of individual and organizational equipment under the exceptional conditions of island and tropical warfare and covers the whole gamut of quartermaster responsibilities in the field, from bakeries, baths, laundry, salvage, and graves registration, to the supply of food and clothing.
The chief function of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps in Europe was to provide food and clothing for the troops. But it was also involved in such work as supplying laundry and bath facilities; collecting, identifying, and burying the dead; providing fuel, shelter, and the liquor ration; supplying spare parts and salvaging useful items; handling captured enemy equipment; and acting as supply custodian to the far-flung civil affairs organization. By the spring of 1945, the Quartermaster Corps in the Mediterranean and European theaters was furnishing necessities and comforts to more than seven and one-half million people, of whom 60 percent were Allies, civilians, and prisoners of war. It was the largest human support operation by a single organization to that time.
This study emphasizes the higher levels of quartermaster activity at different periods of the war against the Axis. In the Mediterranean Theater of Operations encompassing North Africa, Sicily, and Italy, stress has been placed on the roles of the corps, army, and base section quartermasters, while in the European theater greater attention has been given to the problems of the Theater Chief Quartermaster. This difference in approach springs from differences between the two theaters. The Mediterranean theater evolved more slowly, with strong British involvement. In the Mediterranean, moreover, there was greater influence upon operations by junior logistical commanders and staff officers than in the more elaborate and tightly knit theater organization to the north.
Dominating quartermaster activity in the European Theater of Operations was a toweringly energetic soldier, Maj. Gen. Robert M. Littlejohn. His frustrations, mistakes, and triumphs in organizing supply for highly mechanized continental warfare and his efforts to maintain a strong position with respect to G-4 and the other technical services provide the principal narrative thread for this volume. From the moment of his arrival in London in 1942 as a key member of the special staff in the Services of Supply, the history of the quartermaster support mission in Europe is inseparably associated with the officer who headed it.
He touched the cardinal issues of the day: the multifaceted logistical planning effort in England for the great cross-Channel attack; the crisis of "frantic supply" during the race across France in mid-1944; the winter clothing and trench foot controversy during the stalemate a few months later; and the controversy over prisoner-of-war rations amid the theater and worldwide food shortage in 1945. General Littlejohn's last assignment in the European theater was head of the Graves Registration Command, an effort representing the largest item of unfinished quartermaster business in the liberated countries as the fighting came to a close.
During World War II the Signal Corps provided, as it had traditionally done, both strategic and tactical communications. As both a combat arm and a technical service, a status it shared only with the Corps of Engineers, it was responsible for the doctrine and equipment used by every Army communicator. Thanks to the technological advances of the 1920s and 1930s, electronic signals carried the voice of command from Washington to the most distant theater of operations. Although FM radio had been developed for tactical use by the eve of World War II, pigeons continued to roost within the Signal Corps' inventory. By 1945, despite instances of heroic service, especially in Italy, their days as Army communicators were numbered. These winged messengers, survivors of a simpler era, could not compete with such electronic battlefield devices as the walkie-talkie. The story of this communications revolution is contained in these three volumes. Advances in electronics, especially radar, were second in importance only to that of nuclear fission as an application of scientific knowledge to the fighting of a technological war. However, in the development of many other electronic devices, such as the proximity fuze, Signal Corps research efforts were also significant.
Of the technical services, the Signal Corps was the least prepared in 1941 for what lay ahead. The War Department's prewar planning grossly underestimated the demands for communication that the kind of war in which the United States was about to engage would impose. The Emergency examines this planning. It sketches the growth of the corps from its birth in 1860 to the outbreak of World War II in Europe in 1939 (Chs. I-III). The narrative establishes the breadth of the corps' mission and describes its organization, doctrine, and programs of research and development, since all of these deeply affected its activities in World War II. The emphasis of the volume is nonetheless placed on the events of the period from 1939 to December 1941 . Each of the main activities of the corps is treated: research and development; procurement, testing, and evaluation; the storage, distribution, and maintenance of devices and systems of communication; and the elaborate training programs needed to see that all of these activities were accomplished effectively. Subsequent volumes continue the coverage of these areas during the war years.
The Test begins when two young Signal Corps soldiers at their radar set on Oahu detected the enemy's bombers winging their way in to attack Pearl Harbor. In the months that followed, the corps was almost overwhelmed by the weight of demands for men, equipment, and globe-circling administrative communications systems. The Signal Corps nevertheless ultimately rose to the challenge, providing communications of unprecedented scope and variety. By mid-1943 the corps had passed its first major test in the deserts of North Africa.
The Outcome follows the Signal Corps through the subsequent theaters of combat: from the assault landings in Sicily and Italy; through the hedgerows of France; to the jungles of the CBI and the Southwest Pacific. The second half of the volume is devoted to discussing such major activities as electronic warfare, signal security and intelligence, and photography. The authors carry the Signal Corps' story past V-J Day to the first attempt at space-age signals, Project Diana, early in 1946.
In communications as in other areas, World War II required enormous cooperative effort. Thus, the interaction between the War Department, other military agencies, the Allies, and the civil communications industry loom large in these narratives. Although conflicts between these groups are presented from the stand-point of the Signal Corps, each volume has endeavored to do justice to other points of view in examining and presenting the evidence. The last chapter of the second volume (XVI) examines what was perhaps the most critical of these controversies, the jurisdictional conflict between the Chief Signal Officer and the Commanding General of the Army Service Forces (ASP) over the level of command at which control of Army communications should be exercised. This wartime power struggle was resolved in 1946 with the dissolution of the ASF, and the Chief Signal Officer regained direct control over the Army's communications, but the organizational conflict remained without a solid solution, until the McNamara reforms of the 1960s.
A useful feature of the first and third volumes is the appendix in which most of the Signal Corps' World War II equipment is listed and explained in terms intelligible to a layman. The list in volume III has been modified to reflect the discontinuance of certain items.
The movement of men and supplies, en masse, over great distances became in World War II one of the most vital military interests of the powers engaged, particularly of the Western Allies. Movement overseas, in particular, presented them with problems whose solution spelled the difference between failure and success in defeating the Axis powers. This and the two succeeding volumes on the Army's Transportation Corps are written with an awareness of the importance of effective transportation in bringing to bear the power of the U.S. Army and in delivering military supplies to the British Commonwealth, the USSR, and China, where and when needed to carry out the strategic plans of the Allies.
The Transportation Corps was created after the United States entered the war to overwatch the Army's interest in these matters and to provide the facilities required to move its men and supplies. As the youngest of the seven "technical services" brought together under the control of General Somervell's Army Service Forces in March 1942, the corps was responsible for obtaining the Army's share in the services of common carriers in the United States (by rail, highway, and inland waterways) and in shipping on the high seas. It also supervised the great system of ports of embarkation; organized and operated the rail and truck transportation the Army developed to supplement these services; and assembled and administered, loaded and unloaded the Army's fleet of troopships, hospital ships, and freighters.
This volume covers antecedents and origins of the corps; the difficulties overcome in constituting this latecomer among the Army's services and rendering it efficient; its internal organization in Washington and in the field; its relations with other elements in the Army Service Forces and the overseas commands of the Army; and the measures adopted to ensure economy and efficiency in the use of ports and ships. Also treated are its cooperation and conflicts with the Navy, the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Office of Defense Transportation, the War Shipping Administration, and the British Ministry of War Transport.
This volume deals extensively with movement, the heart of the Transportation Corps mission. The narrative focuses on the massive movements of men and materiel within the zone of interior and between the United States and overseas theaters of operations.
In meeting its responsibilities in the zone of interior the corps was drawn into active relationships with the common carriers of the United States by rail, highway and waterway and with the civilian Director of Defense Transportation, in the effort to ensure proper handling of essential civilian traffic as well as extraordinary military demands, since nonmilitary traffic was also greatly increased by the war. The author also deals with the problems of the Chief of Transportation in providing shipping capacity, the most needed and scarcest logistical requirement of the war, to move troops and supplies to the overseas theaters of operations. This responsibility required collaboration with the U.S. Maritime Commission, the War Shipping Administration, and the British Ministry of War Transportation, under direction of the Joint and Combined Chiefs of Staff. In examining these relationships the author particularizes the role of the Chief of Transportation and his corps in the broader picture presented in the volumes on Global Logistics and Strategy.
The work takes up the conflicts of jurisdiction, common to all the technical services, which the Chief of Transportation had with Headquarters, Army Service Forces, over the issue of centralization of function and control. Also treated are disputes with the Army Air Forces, since the exemption of air transport from the control of the Transportation Corps made it more difficult for it to ensure prompt and uninterrupted deliveries and to enforce traffic priorities.
In the training and timely deployment of specialist officers and troops the Chief of Transportation had special difficulties since neither his office nor the corps had been established until three months after Pearl Harbor. The effect of this late start on training and procurement was never fully overcome.
Operations Overseas treats the role of the corps in providing transportation for American forces and equipment overseas on a large scale, over invasion beaches, in ports, and on internal lines of communications by rail, highway, and waterway, since indigenous facilities were in most cases inadequate. Employment of local manpower and facilities was indispensable, and the authors describe the problems of language, labor relations, pilferage, safety, and military security that the corps had to meet under widely diverse conditions around the globe. Given a shortage of trained American transportation personnel, it had often to rely on untrained service and combat troops, while its problems were multiplied by the scarcity of base and storage facilities in the Pacific, North Africa, and the Aleutians; by the widespread destruction of ports and railroads in Europe; and by long and unsatisfactory lines of communications in North Africa and Iran and in the China-Burma-India Theater. Its operations were also hampered by the tendency of overseas commands to use oceangoing vessels as floating warehouses, which, for example, created massive shipping tie-ups off the coast of Normandy and in the Pacific. In Europe the corps had to meet the crisis that arose from inadequate provision of heavy motor transport equipment and drivers in planning for the invasion of the Continent in 1944, a deficiency that had grave effects after the breakout at St. Lo when the rapidly advancing American armies outdistanced their supply.