United States Army in World War II: European Theater of Operations

Logistical Support of the Armies: Volume 2: September 1944–May 1945

by Roland G. Ruppenthal

. . . to Those Who Served

Table of Contents



The Tyranny of Logistics: September 1944–February 1945

Chapter 1: Logistic Limitations as the Arbiter of Tactical Planning

The Pursuit’s Effect on Logistic Plans—Competing Tactical Plans—The September Decisions—Prospects at the End of September

Chapter 2: Tactical and Organizational Developments

Tactical Operations—Organization and Command

Chapter 3: The Port Discharge and Shipping Problems

The Port Problem as Affected by the Pursuit—The Beaches and Minor Ports of Normandy—The Role of Cherbourg—The Brittany Area

Chapter 4: The Port Discharge and Shipping Problems (continued)

The Seine Ports—Le Havre and Rouen—Antwerp and the Other Northern Ports—Southern France—The Shipping Tie-up

Chapter 5: Transportation Developments

Motor Transport: The Color Routes—The Railways—Air Transport—Inland Waterways

Chapter 6: Forward Movements

The Tonnage Allocations System—The Ardennes Counteroffensive and Its Effect on Movements

Chapter 7: Supplying The Armies: Rations, POL, and Coal


Chapter 8: Supplying the Armies: Equipment

Class II and IV Shortages in General—The Case of the Winter Uniform—Weapons and Vehicles

Chapter 9: Supplying the Armies: Ammunition

The October Crisis—Contention With the War Department—The November Offensive and the Bull Mission—Ammunition Supply in December and January

Chapter 10: The Troop Build-Up, August 1944–March 1945

The Flow of Divisions—Service and Supporting Troops

Chapter 11: The Manpower Problem, August 1944–February 1945

Rumblings of a Replacement Problem—The Storm Breaks, November–December 1944—The Theater Acts, January–February 1945—The Replacement System in Operation

Chapter 12: The Logistic Structure Under Scrutiny

The Communications Zone and the Field Commands—Expediting Supply Deliveries—Supply Planning Procedures—The Depot System and Records Keeping—Expedients

The Last Offensive: February–May 1945

Chapter 13: Tactical, Logistical, and Organizational Aspects of the Last Offensive

Tactical Developments, 8 February–8 May 1945—Logistic Factors in Planning the Last Offensive—Command and Organization, February–August 1945

Chapter 14: Movements and Distribution: Port Discharge and Clearance

Planning and Controlling Movements—Discharge and Clearance—Shipping—BOLERO in Reverse

Chapter 15: Movements and Distribution: Transportation and Forward Deliveries

The Railways—Motor Transport–XYZ—Inland Waterways—Air Transport—Forward Deliveries

Chapter 16: Supply in the Last Months

Rations, POL, and Coal—Ammunition—Equipment

Chapter 17: End of the Replacement Problem

The Turning Point—Withdrawals Are Stopped—Results of the Retraining Program

Chapter 18: Local Procurement on the Continent, June 1944–August 1945

Purpose and Policy—The Use of Nonmilitary Labor—Local Procurement of Supplies

Chapter 19: Retrospect


Code Names

Bibliographical Note



1. Beach Discharges, 1 July-17 November 1944

2. Discharge Performance of Normandy’s Minor Ports

3. Discharge Performance of the Brittany Ports

4. Tonnages Discharged at Continental Ports, June 1944–April 1945

5. Artillery Ammunition Expenditures, 15-21 October 1944

6. 12th Army Group Artillery Ammunition Expenditures, 6 June-22 October 1944, Compared With Day of Supply Rates

7. OVERLORD Divisional Build-up, D plus 90 to D plus 210

8. Divisional Build-up in the European Theater, 1942–1945

9. Theater Strength by Major Component, May 1944–April 1945

10. Battle and Non-battle Casualties, June 1944–May 1945

11. Combat Zone Maintenance Factors, June-October 1944

12. Combat Zone Consumption Experience, 23 March-25 April 1945

13. Ammunition Day of Supply by Type: Selected Planned Rates, September 1944–April 1945, and Actual Expenditures, June 1944–February 1945

14. Civilians Employed in the Communications Zone in Selected Weeks, 1944–45


1. Tactical Progress, 12 September 1944–9 February 1945

2. ETO Boundaries

3. COMZ Boundaries, November 1944–January 1945

4. The Port of Cherbourg

5. Highway Express Routes, September 1944–February 1945

6. Tactical Developments, 8 February-8 May 1945

7. COMZ Boundaries, April 1945

8. Movement Program, March 1945

9. Railways in Use by U.S. Forces East of Paris

10. XYZ Truck Routes, 25 March-8 May 1945

11. The POL Pipeline Systems


Maj. Gen. Arthur R. Wilson—Brig. Gen. John P. Ratay—Maj. Gen. Thomas B. Larkin—Troops Debarking Onto a Causeway—Bulldozer Stuck in the Thick Mud—The Port of Cherbourg—Destruction at Cherbourg - Gare Maritime - Quai de Normandie - Wrecked hangars - Bassin Charles X—Marginal Wharf Construction—Laying Railway Tracks—Seatrain Unloading a Gondola—LSTs Discharging Cargo on the Beach—Crane Lifting a Lock Gate—DUKWs Transferring Cargo—Quay at Rouen Loaded With Incoming Supplies—Ships Discharging Cargo for Clearance by Rail—Remains of Decanting Site—Searching for Casualties in Wreckage—General Destruction at Marseille—Close-up of Damaged Dock Facilities—Trucks Loaded With Supplies—Red Ball Express Trucks—Truck-Tractor and Semitrailer Stuck in Thick Mud—Loaded 10-Ton Semitrailers—Truck Tractors, 5-Ton, Hauling 10-Ton Semitrailers—Four 750-Gallon Skid Tanks—American Locomotive Lowered by Crane—Maj. Gen. Frank S. Ross—Convoy of Trucks Carrying Essential Supplies—C-47’s Airdropping Supplies by Parachute—Barge Convoy on Albert Canal—Supply Trucks Passing Through Bastogne—Portion of the Major Pipeline—Camouflaged Pumping Station—POL Storage Tanks—Thousands of Jerricans—Sign Appealing for the Return of Jerricans—U.S. First Army’s POL Reserves—General Dwight D. Eisenhower—Serving a Hot Meal to Cold Infantrymen—Parsons Jacket 1941—Infantryman Wearing a Field Jacket M1943—Medium Tanks—Street Fighting in Aachen—“And me a Clerk-Typist!”—Officer Candidate Class, Fontainebleau—Orientation Lecture for Enlisted Men—Infantry Replacements Checking Equipment—Lt. Gen. Brehon B. Somervell—Ludendorff Railway Bridge—Stacks of War Matériel in Open Storage—Toot Sweet Express Ready To Leave Cherbourg—Bridge Across the Rhine at Wesel—Single-Track Railroad Bridge at Mainz—Truck-Tractor and 40-Ton Tank Transporters—Highway Bridge Over the Meuse River—C-47 Transport Planes Bringing in POL—Pershing Tanks M26—M24 Light Tanks—French Civilians Employed by U.S. Forces—Italian Service Unit Men Loading Cases of Rations—German Prisoners of War Filling 50-Gallon Oil Drums—Renault Plant—Belgian Workers in a Rubber Plant—Soldiers Equipping Medium Tank Tracks—First Division Troops Wearing Winter Camouflage Garments

The illustrations are from the files of the Department of Defense except for the cartoon by Sgt. Dick Wingert, page 329, courtesy of The Stars and Stripes.





Kent Roberts Greenfield, General Editor

Advisory Committee (As of 30 May 1958)

Elmer Ellis, University of Missouri

Brig. Gen. John B. Sullivan, U.S. Continental Army Command

Samuel Flagg Bemis, Yale University

Brig. Gen. Edgar C. Doleman, Army War College

Gordon A. Craig, Princeton University

Brig. Gen. Frederick R. Zierath, Command and General Staff College

Oron J. Hale, University of Virginia

Brig. Gen. Kenneth F. Zitzman, Industrial College of the Armed Forces

W. Stull Holt, University of Washington

Col. Vincent J. Esposito, United States Military Academy

T. Harry Williams, Louisiana State University

Office of the Chief of Military History, Maj. Gen. Richard W. Stephens, Chief

Chief Historian, Kent Roberts Greenfield

Chief, Histories Division, Col. Seneca W. Foote

Chief, Editorial and Publication Division, Lt. Col. E. E. Steck

Editor in Chief, Joseph R. Friedman

Chief, Cartographic Branch, Elliot Dunay

Chief, Photographic Branch, Margaret E. Tackley