04 January 2011

On Logistics

Fort Drum, New York in May.
While the art of supplying, sustaining, raising, clothing, paying, and fielding an army has been underexplored in military history, I'm not certain if I want to continue reading Martin Van Creveld's "Supplying War:  Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton".

True, Van Creveld takes considerable pleasure in breaking down popular historical myths.  This is always welcome.  Still, in dissecting Napoleon's disastrous incursion into Russia, Van Creveld makes the assertion that the Emperor's infamous logistical failures weren't as bad as most historians are apt to believe.  After all, according to Van Creveld, Le Petit Corporal did plan his logistics in excruciating detail, as he did during most of his campaigns, most notably, during the War of the Third Coalition.  I guess the reader is expected to overlook minor details, such as the fact that the Grande Armee's logistical plans--no matter how immaculate--still failed spectacularly during the War of 1812.


Anonymous said...

"...popular historical myths." Like your caption under the photo about Ft Drum in May?

Starbuck said...

I like to think of that as a tongue-in-cheek joke :)

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