it would be much too long, in a summary like this, to give all the details concerning the different operations of Logistics.
This branch forms one of the special studies of the officers of the General Staff
. General Jomini
, in his treatise on the Art of War, gives, as belonging to Logistics, the following:--
To prepare beforehand all the necessary materiel
for the opening of the campaign.
Draw up the orders and instructions for the assemblage of the army and its being put in movement.
To draw up the orders of the General-in-Chief
for the different enterprises, as well as the plans of attack for premeditated fights.
To concert with the chiefs of Artillery and Engineers the measures to be taken for the safety of the different depots and magazines.
To command and direct the reconnoitering parties, and to procure by any means information concerning the enemy.
To take the necessary measures for the combination of the different movements ordered by the General-in-Chief
To prepare the march for the different columns, that it may be executed with order and ensemble
. To render the march easy and safe, and to regulate the time for halting.
To compose and direct by good instructions the advanced and rear guards, as well as detached corps.
To supply them with every necessary to fulfill their duties.
To fix the instructions of each commander of an army corps for the arrangement and composition of his columns on arriving near the enemy, as well as their arrangement and distribution in line of battle according to the nature of the ground and the character of the enemy we have to deal with.
To point out to advanced guards and other detached corps the place for reassembling in case of defeat.
To order and survey the march of the trains of artillery, ammunition, provision, etc. etc., and to place them near the troops, but in a way that they do not hinder their movements.
To take the necessary measures for order and safety both in marching and resting.
To arrange the successive arrivals of ammunition and provision as soon as they are required ; to collect all the means of transport in the country, and regulate its employment.
To adopt the establishment of camps, and regulations for their order, safety, and police.
To establish and organize the lines of operation and the halting-places of the army, as well as the communication of the detached corps with this line.
To appoint capable officers to organize and command the rear of the army, to watch over the safety of the detachments and convoys, to give them good instructions, and to see that the means of communication between the base of operation and the army are kept up.
To organize on this line the depots, magazines, hospitals, and workshops, and to provide for their safety.
To keep an account of all the detachments formed either on the flanks or rear of the army; to see to their safety, and give them a place for action.
To unite in companies or battalions all the small troops or isolated men going from the army to the base of operation, or from this to the army.
In a siege, to order and superintend the service of the troops in the trenches.
To take, in a retreat, all possible measures for order; to appoint troops to replace those of the rear guard; to provide for the moving of the trains, so that nothing may be lost, and that they can proceed without any impediment and in the greatest safety.
To assign, in cantonments, positions to the different corps, and indicate to each division a place of assembly in case of alarm; to take all measures for the carrying out of orders, instructions, and regulations.
We must, however, speak of marches as far as their general arrangement is concerned, because from the march we might be obliged to pass to a battle, and then our dispositions should be such that all our troops are able to form speedily in line of battle.
We distinguish four kinds of marches-march in advance
, in retreat, flank
march, and manoeuvre
The two first can be executed in one column marching on one road, or in several columns marching on several roads.
The third requires the formation of at least two parallel colunns; in the fourth, the operations are always executed
with many columns — if not, it offers nothing different from the three first marches.
The precautions for security which are taken in all these marches emanate from one great rule, which is, that they should always be, so that the main body has time to form the marching column in line of battle before the enemy can arrive near it
All columns on a march should therefore be provided with advanced and rear guards, as well as with detachments to cover the flanks.
The distance between these guards and the main body must be regulated by the time this one requires to form in line of battle.
If, for instance, we suppose that our column is one mile in length, the troops in the rear would require about twenty-five minutes to form from the rear of the column in line of battle; the advanced guard should, therefore, be at the distance of about one and a half miles. The advanced guard is generally one-fifth of the main body; it sends out another guard, consisting of about one-sixth of its force, and at a distance permitting the main body of the advanced guard to form in line of battle.
This first corps sends out pickets in advance and on the flanks; these are composed, for the most part, of cavalry, which is better able to survey the country, and make its reports quicker.
In a march for advance, the rear guard is used only to keep order and cover the trains; it is, therefore, less strong than the advanced guard.
In a retreat, it is the rear guard that is made strongest.
Fig. 5, Plate V., shows the disposition of an army corps of five brigades marching in advance.
Dispositions for marching|
The guard nearest the enemy should be always composed of the three arms.
The artillery belonging to each brigade marches in the center of this brigade; the reserve artillery is generally disposed after the third brigade; then comes the infantry of reserve, then the trains, and, finally, the cavalry, which always marches at the end of the column, it being always able to arrive in time on the battle-field.
In marching, a column of 25,000 to 30,000 men occupies a space of 7000 to 8000 yards, without counting the distance from the advanced guard; it is, therefore, evident that large armies can never act or move on one road only.
The different army corps march on different parallel roads; but here again they must be disposed in such a manner that they can with facility form in line, either separately or with the other corps combined.
Each of these corps must march just as if it alone were advancing against the enemy; but the distance between all these corps should be such that they can all unite in time.
They have a common advanced guard, which marches at a sufficient distance to permit of the other corps joining, and forming in line of battle; and in the same way they have their common rear guard or reserve.
Fig. 1, Plate V., shows this disposition.
In these marches we present the enemy our flank, and special dispositions must be taken to cover it. Here the advanced guard becomes flank guard, and the whole army is disposed as shown in Fig. 2, Plate V. The greatest necessity exists that good order should be maintained.
trains and baggage are always the most distant from the enemy; the corps should be near enough to be able to render each other prompt assistance.
The battalions in the marching columns must be at the necessary distance for deployment, or, in general, to form in line of battle without disorder.
If the army is large, so that several corps may be formed, they should be disposed as shown in Figs.
3 or 4, Plate V.
If the enemy attacks the advanced guard, he offers his own flank to the corps already more advanced or still behind.
, while retreating from Ratisbon
, before the battles of Abensberg
, etc., formed in a similar way; he executed his march between the Austrian force and the Danube
The flank march of General Radetski
, in 1848, from Verona
, is also remarkable.
By manoeuvre marches we understand marches executed by large armies, and having more of a strategical object than a tactical one; they are, in fact, strategical flank marches.
I will give the dispositions for marching as used by Napoleon
in 1805, and at Jena
Each of the corps designated in the plan was of three divisions, and in the manoeuvres at Ulm
that of Ney
was of five.
In these marches the force of each army corps, and the distance between them, are such that it can resist the enemy's army long enough, till sustained by the others nearest to it.
Examples: march and Manoeuvres of Napoleon near Jena, 1806.
the operations near Jena
were the following:--
The Prussian army, numbering 120,000 men, was thus disposed: 20,000 near Eisenach
, 50,000 near Erfurth, and 50,000 men near Blankenhain.
's army was near Bamberg
, and amounted to from 170,000 to 180,000 men.
determined to cut the Prussians entirely from their base of operation.
For this, he advanced in three columns--one in the direction from Coburg
to Sahlfeld, another at Kronach and Sahlburg, and a third at Hof and Plauen.
The extreme left of the Prussians was at Schleitz.
It was outflanked by the last column, and repulsed by the column in the center.
On the 12th the greater part of the army arrived at Gera
, and on the 13th, in the evening, the different army corps occupied the following positions:--
, 10 miles from Jena
, and 7 from Ney
, who was at Rohda, 9 miles from Jena
; Lannes at Jena
; the Guard followed Lannes; Soult
on a parallel road to Jena
, about 10 miles from this place, and 6 to 7 from the Guard; Davoust
, and Murat
arrive at Naumburg
, from whence Bernadotte
has to march, on the 14th, to Dornburg, and Davoust
A part of the cavalry is still at Auma
, and the Bavarian division is left at
Plauen to cover the French
is about 18 miles from Jena
If we consider this disposition, we shall find that it answers nearly every case.
The Prussian army is entirely separated from its base, and all the corps are so disposed that they can easily assist each other.
Lannes forms the advanced guard of the whole army, and, by his arrival in front of the Prussians, keeps them in their position till Davoust
arrives at Naumburg
If the Prussians attack him, their loss only becomes more certain, as the decisive point is Naumburg
The result of these marches and manoeuvres was the total loss of the Prussian army.
March and manoeuvre of Napoleon near Ulm, 1805.
, with from 70,000 to 80,000 men, advanced from the Austrian frontier as far as Ulm
's army, arriving from Wurzburg
, Mayence, Spire, and Kehl
, numbered 180,000 men. This army was not directed against Ulm
, but against the lower towns on the Danube
The arrangement of the columns is similar to that on a flank march.
formed the flank guard, and Soult
the advanced guard; the different corps were from 5 to 10 miles distant from each other, and the whole front of operations was from 45 to 50 miles in length.
attacks, he finds the corps he attacks always supported, in less than three hours, by two or three
Marches and Manoeuvres of Napoleon at Jena.
13, 14 October, 1806.|
other corps; and, besides, the direction is always such that, wherever he attacks, he is outflanked.
If he directs his efforts against Ney
, who forms the pivot in the manoeuvre, he is outflanked by Soult
; and if he attacks the latter, Ney
are on his flanks.
The result of this manoeuvre — which was, however, excellently favored by Mack
's own incapacity — was the complete destruction of the Austrian army under his command.
I will say a few words on the repose of troops in time of war.
They bivouac, canton, or camp.
In the bivouac, they pass the night in the open air, round fires, etc.; in camping, they are provided with tents; in cantoning, they are distributed in houses among the inhabitants.
In the wars of Europe
, the latter mode is always adopted for all kinds of marches and manoeuvres.
Troops bivouac only when in expectation of a battle.
In all these cases, however, the arrangements must be so made that, from resting, the troops can quickly join and form in line of battle.
In camping, the tents should be disposed so that each battalion, brigade, division, etc. can form from its camp at once in line or in order for marching; advanced guards, posts, and pickets should be disposed, and the distances from the main body should be calculated the same as for columns in marching — that is, that the army should have time to assemble and form for battle.
The disposition for camps will be found in all army regulations; and this, as well as
the cantoning of troops, being the special mission of the officers of the general staff
, it would be useless to say more here concerning it.
I trust that this summary will suffice to give the reader a general but a clear idea of the great operations of war. For special study, the works of General Jomini
II., Archduke Charles
, the Memoirs of Napoleon
, Marshal Marmont
, etc. etc.
should be consulted.