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Supply Units

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Supply Units

Post  henridecat on Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:15 pm

Discussion copied from Yahoo group
================================================================
Dear all,
In scenarios that require a side to deliver or protect a supply
train/column, how do you normally deal with these units? How long
would a supply column be? And what does the opponent have to do to
detroy a supply unit?

Thanks, Rasmus Larsen
================================================================
Hi again Rasmus

As a rule of thumb, you could assume a column of wagons would take up at least as much room as the troops they were supporting, and probably nearer 50% more.

For a bit more detail on this you could look at a short article I did for the KN website. I think it's called 'The Baggage, the Baggage' - or something like that.

Regards

Martin
================================================================

I know these things because I asked just these questions. Behold the
words of Mr. Leeson himself:

http://www.kriegsspiel.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=47&Itemid=59

Tony Hawkins
================================================================
Miles and miles is the answer. Depending, as Martin says the size of the force and the availability of the transports.

National doctrine will also play a part. French supply trains should be shorter than Austrian ones, for example. You don't need so many waggons when you are stealing food from the locals!

There's a wonderful theory about the number of horses and waggons need by an army if transporting its own fodder. Which starts with calculating the total number of horses to be fed (cavalry, generals, staff officers, artillery teams, messengers, mounted officers, limbers, forges, ammo waggons, etc. etc.) it then says that you need 'x' waggons to provide that fodder. However, these waggons themselves have horses so you need waggons to provide fodder for the waggon horses etc. etc. Great Fun!

Then again its not always waggons. Wellington's army in the Peninsular was supplied by thousands and thousands of mules. Bearing in mind you can get a lot more in a waggon than you can on a mule they must have streached back quite a distance.

You can also get things very badly wrong. The Grande Armee when invading Russian in 1812 had less supply waggons than the Army of the Potomac when it invaded Virgina in 1864 even though it had five times as many men!

David Commerford
================================================================
There's a wonderful theory about the number of horses and waggons need by an army if transporting its own fodder. Which starts with calculating the total number of horses to be fed (cavalry, generals, staff officers, artillery teams, messengers, mounted officers, limbers, forges, ammo waggons, etc. etc.) it then says that you need 'x' waggons to provide that fodder. However, these waggons themselves have horses so you need waggons to provide fodder for the waggon horses etc. etc. Great Fun!

Yes I remember this too. I think the calculation was that this effect limited the length of the supply line to about 60 miles.

Martin James
================================================================
Martin,

"this effect limited the length of the supply line to about 60 miles."

Oh! So not too bad then, 'only' 60 miles! ;o)

Actually, that would also explain the need for the continual creation of Depots or Supply Bases, as armies advanced. Yet another thing to factor in to our (campaign scale) games!

David Commerford
================================================================
Hi David

Absolutely. Where possible they tried to set up their depots at ports, or in towns on navigable rivers, as it was much easier to bring in supplies by barge than lug them overland.

Martin
================================================================

I think reading Martin Van Creveld's Supplying War is a must.

Chris Russell
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henridecat

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