Napoleon famously said that an army marches on its stomach, but it also marches in its boots and its uniforms, carrying or driving its weapons and other equipment, and all this material has to be ordered from headquarters, produced and delivered. Janet Macdonald’s detailed and scholarly new study explains how this enormously complex task of organisation and labour was carried out by the British army during the First World War. She describes the personnel who performed these tasks, from the government and military command in London to those who handled the items in the field. They were responsible for clothing, accommodation, medicine, transport, hand weapons, armament and communications – a vast logistical network that had evolved to keep millions of men in the field. This meticulously researched account of this important subject – one which has hitherto been neglected by military historians – will be essential reading and reference for anyone who is interested in the modern British army, in particular in its organisation and performance in the First World War.
SUPPLYING THE BRITISH ARMY IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR
Most people are well aware that every effort was made to keep the troops and the other armed forces supplied during the long and bloody WWII – Janet MacDonald’s account of the supply chain and the problems involved is a good piece of historical fact that makes for a compelling read.