The Development of Mobile Logistic Support in Anglo-American Naval Policy, 1900–1953
Publication Year: 2009
Though completely unsung and commonly left out of battle histories, nothing is more important than the details of logistics and support operations during a military campaign. Without fuel, food, transport, communications, and medical facilities, modern military engagement would be impossible.
Peter Nash compares the methods the British and American navies developed to supply their ships across the vast reaches of the Pacific Ocean during the first part of the twentieth century. He argues that the logistics challenges faced by the navies during World War II were so profound and required such innovative solutions that the outcome was the most radical turning point in the history of mobile logistics support. He shows how the lessons learned during the final campaign against Japan were successfully implemented during the Korean War and transformed the way naval expeditionary force is projected to this day.
Published by: University Press of Florida
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Water is unquestionably the most important natural feature on earth. By volume, the world’s oceans compose 99 percent of the planet’s living space; in fact, the surface of the Pacific Ocean alone is larger than that of the total land bodies. Water is as vital to life as air. Indeed, to test whether the moon or other planets can sustain life, NASA looks for signs of water. ...
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Ultimately, logistics is about combat power. Today, seaborne logistic support is a well-established and indispensable enabler for achieving sustained reach, freedom of maneuver, and operational flexibility in maritime operations—the hallmarks of any genuine blue water navy. ...
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There are a number of people who have helped me during the course of writing this book, for whom I would like to record my sincerest gratitude and appreciation. ...
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When peace returned to the Pacific in August 1945, both Britain and the United States were deploying the most potent fleets ever created.1 It was not just the sheer numbers either. The necessary flexibility to win a war stretching across vasts oceans had required a unique capacity for sustaining huge combat fleets at sea for lengthy periods many thousands of miles from their shore bases. ...
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1. Naval Logistics, 1900–1940: Historical Perspective, Political Context
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Any nation’s strategic foreign policy reflects a myriad of often conflicting perceptions and interests even within their own elites—particularly financial, economic, diplomatic, or military—as well as other domestic or external pressures. For brevity’s sake, the following strategic overview is confined to the naval perspective as it related to the Pacific during the interwar period. ...
2. World War II: The Fleet Train Comes of Age
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This chapter charts the progress of both the U.S. and British navies in developing mobile logistic support during World War II. This war would require a new type of expeditionary warfare using carrier task forces that would have to operate for long periods away from any base. ...
3. Underway Replenishment at Sea (UNREP/RAS)
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Chapter 2 described the key to achieving mobility and endurance by using fleet trains replete with mobile bases for floating medical, repair, and salvage facilities that could also act as staging posts to transport fuels, aircraft, and all forms of supplies to the carrier task forces in the battle zone. ...
4. Postwar Logistics: Turning Practice into Procedure
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Logistically speaking, the primary impetus for strategic change in how global wars could be waged at sea during the first half of the twentieth century was the switch in ship propulsion from coal to oil. The implications for endurance, efficiency, ship displacement, and, ultimately, war-fighting capability were significant and far-reaching. ...
5. Fleet Sustainability and Its Effect on Auxiliary Ship Design
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When looking at the general attributes of either the Royal Navy or the U.S. Navy by the end of World War II, arguably their most outstanding capabilities could be characterized as mobility, flexibility, and sustained high-intensity striking power. These were the legacy of their struggle to achieve strategic flexibility and sustainable air-offensive capability, ...
6. Strategic Mobilization: The Case for Reserve Fleets
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With both navies at their peak strength by the end of World War II, the most immediate postwar challenge was to arrest the momentum and decelerate their complex machinery in an orderly and planned way. As the Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) of the U.S. Navy put it, “We could not choose the time and circumstances of our mobilization. ...
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7. Fleet Mobility: Tactical Development, 1945–1953
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Despite the effects of demobilization and increasingly severe operational budgets, the challenge for the Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy was how to deploy tactically their most effective forces at the right level, mix, and capability to meet constabulary obligations and yet be ready for any potential high-intensity maritime threats. ...
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This book has suggested that the Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy had neither the need nor motivation during the interwar period, or for that matter even in the early years of World War II, to foresee the full strategic and logistic ramifications of carrier-based air support for amphibious landings in the Western Pacific. ...
Appendix A. U.S. Naval Train Squadron, 1926
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Appendix B. BPF/Fleet Train: Planned and Actual Strengths, 1941–1946
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Appendix C. Admiralty Plans (Q) Division, 1944
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Appendix D. Pacific Ocean Distances (miles
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Appendix E. Task Force 37, BPF, July 13–August 20, 1945
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Appendix F. The BPF Fleet Train in the Pacific, December 1944–January 1946
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Appendix G. Replenishment Formations, 1946
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Appendix H. Royal Navy Cruising Disposition during Replenishment, 1947
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Appendix I. Replenishment at Sea Liquids Transfer Rig Comparisons
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Appendix J. Replenishment at Sea Solids Transfer Rig Comparisons
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Appendix K. USN Logistics Plans Division OP-12, 1944
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Appendix L. USN CNO Organization, 1945
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Appendix M. USN CNO Logistic Agencies, 1942–1946
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Appendix N. USNWC First-Year Logistics Course, 1947–1948
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Appendix O. Naval Staff Admiralty, 1949
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Appendix P. Naval Staff Admiralty, January 1952
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Appendix Q. Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 1947
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Appendix R. RFA Tanker Plan, 1946
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Appendix S. Proposed USN Postwar Fleet Dispositions, November 1945
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Appendix T. U.S. Navy Force Levels, 1945–1955
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Appendix U. RN Naval Estimates: Personnel, Active, and Reserve Fleet Statistics, 1945–1955
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Appendix V. Royal Navy Fleet Train Deployed during the Korean War
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Appendix W. USN Organization Chart for the Operating Forces, 1947
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Appendix X. Mobile Logistic Support: Related Doctrine Manuals
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Glossary of Replenishment Terms
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About the Author
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After retiring from Barclays Bank International in 1994, Peter V. Nash studied naval history for his master’s degree at King’s College, University of London. In 2006 he was awarded his doctorate degree, also from King’s College. He has spent several years researching archives in the United States and the United Kingdom on naval logistics, ...
Page Count: 368
Illustrations: 38 b&w photos, 11 drawings,4 maps, 3 tables
Publication Year: 2009