The history of logistics and supplying war

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In contrast to the orthodoxy, Martin van Creveld argues that the continuity of methods of supply, 1625-1914, overshadowed what change there was. Creveld implies that the armies of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries could also have engaged in Napoleonic maneuvers had military leaders at the time possessed the imagination to transcend the artificial rules of siege warfare and thrust for the enemy's vitals rather than just beat him about the arms and shoulders. Van Creveld's emphasis on an army's capacity to fend for itself in the field ties in with another of his hypotheses. He criticizes the value of detailed military planning. His exclusion of naval warfare and American experience is at least idiosyncratic and probably warps some of his conclusions. Van Creveld makes a good point, but then he stretches it and in doing so forgets other important logistic needs of a modern army.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFeeding Mars
Subtitle of host publicationLogistics in Western Warfare from the Middle Ages to the Present
EditorsJohn A Lynn
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780429699900
ISBN (Print)081331716, 9780367007621
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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