Thursday, June 5, 2008

Amateurs debate tactics, professionals debate logistics

Forbes has an interesting piece on the role logistics has in warfare. Here is a little snippet.

Since the beginning of organized warfare, logistics have been one of the biggest headaches of any commander. Even the best army, without adequate supplies, will quickly collapse. Few people understand or appreciate the problems the logistician has to face. But behind every successful army there have been some great logisticians.
American military logisticians have had to face a complex variety of problems. The 1st Infantry Division, also known as the Big Red One after its distinctive shoulder patch, was established in 1916 and is the U.S. Army's oldest divisional organization. It has served in every major American conflict since World War I. These snapshots of the 1st Infantry Division taken over a century illustrate the typical problems Americans have had to face. One thing is for certain: A good logistician has to adapt to a constantly changing environment.

Here is a list of quotes about logisticians and their role in winning a war. Here are some of my favorites. vital to military success as daily food is to daily work. - Captain A.T. Mahan, Armaments and Arbitration, 1912

The supreme excellence is not to win a hundred victories. The supreme excellence is to subdue the armies of your enemies without even having to fight them. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War

My logisticians are a humorless lot...they know if my campaign fails, they are the first ones I will slay. - Alexander

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