Part One - Part Two - Part Three - Part Four
In contract, the situation in Europe saw both Superpowers as well as their allies in both the NATO and Warsaw Pact alliances, amass an enormous amount of combat power (both conventional and nuclear). In a continent locked between two alliances, any sort of major crisis in Europe itself or emanating from elsewhere in the world (one favourite scenario with both novelists and planners was the collapse of Iran during the Iran-Iraq War with both Superpowers forcibly intervening to ensure a faction agreeable to them was installed in power, leading to direct US-Soviet confrontation) had the potential to ignite a firestorm engulfing the whole of Europe, a situation reminiscent of the summer of 1914. Indeed, such a situation nearly occurred in 1983 with the NATO command post exercise codenamed Able Archer, where miscalculations and misperceptions on both sides brought the USA and USSR closer to a nuclear confrontation than has generally been acknowledged. (Akhtar, 2017) A major confrontation between the two alliances, even without nuclear weapons, would have been a staggeringly violent and destructive conflict, conducted on land, sea and in the air (as well as space) on a twenty-four-hour non-stop basis, not only in Europe but in other parts of the world as well. Such a conflict would have continued the mid-to-late twentieth century trend of being highly capital intensive and logistically, very demanding in its requirements. While both alliances were equipped with broadly similar types of conventional weapon systems (main battle tanks, APCs, Self-Propelled Artillery, specialised and multi-role combat aircraft, warships of different sizes and capabilities), the Warsaw Pact had clear numerical advantages and the two sides were organised very differently at the tactical, operational and strategic levels which reflected the way they were both going to fight the war and the way they were going to provide logistic support. (Martin, 1985; IISS, 1986)
NATO's Allied Command Europe (ACE) was split into three regions, Allied Forces Northern Europe (AFNORTH), Allied Forces Central Europe (AFCENT) and Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH). The countries in AFNORTH (Denmark and Norway) and AFSOUTH (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey) were in large part separated geographically and so had to look after their own defence and logistic support, with the potential to receive limited reinforcements from elsewhere in the alliance by units that could deploy at distance from their home base, such as the ACE Mobile Force, UK Mobile Force, France's Force d'Action Rapide, the US 82nd Airborne Division or other national airborne and marine units. AFCENT however, was where any Third World War would have been at its most intense and for NATO, saw what was known as the 'layer cake' of national formations defending West Germany. It was split into the Northern Army Group (NORTHAG) made up of 1st West German Corps, 1st Netherlands Corps, 1st British Corps and 1st Belgian Corps, and the Central Army Group (CENTAG), made up of 3rd West German Corps, 5th US Corps, 7th US Corps and 2nd West German Corps. Available reinforcements included the 1st French Army and the 3rd US Corps. Many of the formations in AFCENT were a considerable distance from their battle locations and would have relied upon a certain amount of warning time in order to activate reservists, fully prepare and move to their deployment locations, as would the logistic support system at corps level and below. At corps-level there were 'deep' capabilities including base workshops for conducting major overhauls of vehicles and other combat equipment, stores depots, vehicle depots, ammunition depots and fuel depots, holding stocks of whatever supplies, spare parts and consumables were available to enable the corps to conduct its primary mission. In general, NATO formations would have been engaged on more than one occasion, as they were set up to conduct combat operations but would have been rotated out of the frontline after falling below a certain level of combat capability (due to casualties) and then rested in order to be resupplied as well as accepting replacement equipment and personnel. It would then be sent back into combat. Obviously, a doctrine such as this requires each formation to have some sort of infrastructure to enable it to absorb replacements and meant that NATO formations were generally larger than their Warsaw Pact equivalents. (Martin, 1985; Farindon, 1986; Smith, 2017)
As an example, the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) was the major peacetime British formation stationed in West Germany. Upon mobilisation, this would have become 1st (British) Corps and expanded from a strength of around 55,000 to around 150,000 personnel with the movement of additional units from the UK to the continent. At 1st (British) Corps level there were similar 'deep' capabilities and resources, only this time dedicated to supporting the Corps and its divisions. During the 1980s, 1st (British) Corps consisted of four divisions: 1st, 3rd, and 4th Armoured Divisions based in West Germany, with a forward element from 2nd Infantry Division which was based mostly in the UK. Each division consisted of its component brigades (after April 1986, the 7th Armoured, 12th Armoured and 22nd Armoured Brigades were in 1st Armoured Division; the 4th Armoured, 6th Airmobile and 33rd Armoured Brigades belonged to 3rd Armoured Division; while the 11th Armoured, 20th Armoured and 19th Infantry Brigades were in 4th Armoured Division) as well as transport (Royal Corps of Transport – RCT), ordnance (Royal Army Ordnance Corps – RAOC), and maintenance (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineer – REME) battalions or regiments. Each division could assign sub-units (companies and squadrons) to individual brigades. There were also corps-level transport regiments, ordnance battalions and REME battalions which could be assigned as needed. Each division was similarly supported and so was each brigade. Whenever a major formation, such as a brigade, division or, indeed the whole Corps, exercised it took its assigned support units with it. The problem the British Army (and indeed the rest of NATO) had faced, especially since the mid-1970s, was that slowly reducing defence budgets had meant a greater emphasis had been placed on the 'shop window' of combat capability rather than the logistic support that would enable the combat arms to function. (Werner, 1982) The results of this were dramatically highlighted with the UK's response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 (see below). The commander of BAOR (a four-star general) and therefore 1st (British) Corps was also COMNORTHAG (Commander, Northern Army Group) and therefore also commanded the German, Belgian and Dutch contingents of NORTHAG, as well as other NATO assets that had the potential to be assigned to the Central Front, depending on what was happening elsewhere in Europe. For example, the Italian Ariete Brigade could have potentially been transferred to the operational command of 1st (British) Corps had AFSOUTH been quiet. BAOR and 1st (British) Corps could access fuel from the NATO Fuel Pipeline System (FPS) and several NATO ammunition depots were sited within the BAOR / 1st (British) Corps geographical boundary. NATO policy was applied across the board - typically a NATO member was expected to be self-sufficient, but also to be prepared to share its support resources and capabilities if another NATO corps commander needed it, although most lines of communication ran east-west rather than north-south. As a side note, this expectation of being ready (if needed) to support the forces of other members has been carried over into the Post-Cold War strategic environment and forward of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC – a NATO formation which is commanded by a British general and has a great deal of C4IS and administrative support provided by the UK) Rear Boundary, nations were expected to be able to cross-service and mutually support - hence the continued emphasis on NATO codification, a single fuel policy, ammunition interchangeability tables and so on. The ARRC is a large-scale version of the ACE Mobile Force and will draw on formations (up to divisional-level) from other NATO members as they are needed. (Tsouras, 1994; Watson & Rinaldi, 2005; Smith, 2017)
In contrast, the Warsaw Pact would have operated differently from NATO in the event of war. The Warsaw Pact was a peacetime alliance, set up to facilitate cooperation between the member countries as well as the stationing of Soviet forces in Eastern Europe. In the event of war, the forces of each Warsaw Pact member would be integrated into the Soviet Army as part of the Western TVD (or Theatre) and assigned to a particular 'Front' (a high-level Soviet Army formation) in conjunction with a number of Soviet Army units. For example, the East German Army (NVA – Nationale Volksarmee) would have merged with the Group of Soviet Forces Germany (GSFG) to form the 1st and 2nd West Fronts, while the Czechoslovak Army would have merged with the Soviet Central Group of Forces to form the Central Front. In general, each front would consist of three armies, each of which consisted of either four or five divisions. There were three basic types of division, each of which consisted of either three (airborne) or four regiments (tank and motorised rifle). This was possible because the non-Soviet Warsaw Pact countries equipped and organised their forces on the Soviet model, while Soviet Army organisation was very modular, right from regimental to front level, which meant that for example, one Soviet / Warsaw Pact motorised rifle division was organised very similarly to another motorised rifle division. The main differences would be in the readiness level of the formation, the types of equipment held and the number of personnel present in peacetime. Each division would be held at one of three readiness levels – Category I, II or III, with I being the highest state of readiness. These units would be fully manned and have one hundred percent of their equipment. When compared to their Western equivalents however, the number of personnel in each division was lower, as Soviet doctrine emphasised rapid, offensive operations utilising huge amounts of firepower and so most of a division's personnel were either in the combat arms or combat support, rather than combat service support. For example, a Soviet tank division in 1984 had 11,470 personnel and 328 tanks, while a US armoured division had 16,295 personnel and 348 tanks. In addition, Soviet doctrine emphasised the replacement of entire units once they had become combat ineffective, while NATO emphasised filling gaps in existing formations caused by battle casualties. The Soviets also emphasised battlefield recovery and repair, with equipment that was considered lightly damaged being repaired and sent back into action within a few hours. Soviet formations would be echeloned all the way from the frontline in West Germany, back some 875km (544 miles) to the western military districts of the USSR. This was developed to avoid making them a target for NATO's tactical or theatre nuclear weapons but would have also been valuable to counter NATO's increasing focus on 'deep attack', including the US Army's 'Air Land Battle 2000' concept. However, despite the differences in doctrine and personnel numbers, the Soviet Army did plan on providing their formations with logistic support as formations at the divisional-level and above held a certain amount of supplies organically, with a front holding around twelve days' worth, an army holding two or three days' worth and a division holding between three and five days' worth. The responsibility for logistic support lay with the 'tyl' or rear services, and included finance, medicine, ammunition supply and fuel. While the Soviet Army had a system of priorities regarding resupply (in the order of ammunition, POL, technical supplies, rations and clothing) much would depend on the tactical situation. To simplify logistic planning, commodities were divided into specific quantities, known as 'norms'. The 'norm' for each commodity was known by a different name, for example, ammunition was known as a 'unit of fire', while POL was known as a 'refill', food as a 'daily ration' and spare parts were known as 'sets'. Such quantities were laid down by the Soviet MOD on the basis of research done into The Great Patriotic War (in other words, the Second World War) and modified to take account of operational experience. With a doctrinal emphasis on offensive operations, it is unsurprising that the two main priorities were ammunition and POL. The Soviets practised a concept of 'delivery forward' enabling the rear services commander to mass logistics assets behind the engaged divisions, depending on the army's exact mission. They expected that a front offensive would have required in the region of 25,000 tons of fuel per day or 300,000 tons overall. Theatre-level LOCs would move the supplies to the fronts, who would then distribute them to the armies and so on. These LOCs would be made up of road and rail transportation assets with each front having a motor transport brigade, each army having a motor transport regiment, down to battalion level. Although rail transport was considered the most important means of moving military equipment and supplies, one weakness was the different gauges found in the USSR and Eastern Europe, meaning that supplies, equipment and personnel would have to be transferred at the border. Such delays could have been exacerbated by attacks by NATO. In addition, there were pipelines laid by pipeline brigades and battalions (found at front and army level) at a rate of up to forty-five miles (72km) per day. (Schoch, 1981; Chadwick, 1984; Isby, 1988; Thompson & Kinnear, 1988; Zaloga, 1989; Tsouras, 1994)
Historical Note: History of NATO Codification
The first known reference to a common identification system for military material comes in a letter written in 1608 by a Dutch mathematician called Simon Stevin who was the Army Quartermaster-General in the Netherlands. His letter, sent to the Duke of Sully (a Minister to France’s King Henry IV) describes his reform and modernisation of the financial affairs of the Dutch State and, in particular, the Army. Stevin explained that his innovative approach was not actually new and was based on the principles used during the fourth century BC campaigns of Alexander the Great and by Julius Caesar who created a post of 'Logistica' Officer to manage the equipment of the Roman legions. Stevin’s innovation was the creation of a (mathematically based) classification system that facilitated the exploitation of information about material assets to be used to achieve savings in inventory procurement and management of State-owned equipment. Simon Stevin’s approach was seminal in the establishment a 'universal language' for inventory catalogue data management. Later, the French minister, Vauban, established a Corps of military engineers who oversaw the 'Gardes Magasin' or 'storekeepers'. At that time, there were twelve classes to identify military material: handguns, throwing weapons, and other portable firearms, cannons and culverins, cordage, and so on. This principle of classifying and identifying material was then spread throughout Europe by the logistics unit created by Napoleon and part of the Imperial Guard that followed with him throughout his campaigns. By the early twentieth century, the French Academy of Military Engineers conducted a study modernization of material identification which identified the benefits of describing material prior to classification to permit interoperability and to optimize the stocks. The concept was later adopted by the German Wehrmacht in the 1930s and was exploited with great success during the Second World War. During the war, President Roosevelt commissioned a report on US wartime logistics which was critical of many aspects including the fact that some American depots had abundant stock of material which had been desperately needed on the battlefield. President Roosevelt consequently established a commission (subsequently endorsed by his successor, President Truman) to analyse the underlying causes of military logistics inefficiencies and to identify solutions. Among the issues the commission highlighted was material identification. At that time, every military depot had its own unique cataloguing system which frustrated Logistics Command efforts to achieve a global view of the assets; 'a single version of the truth'. The commission accordingly proposed that the USA adopt an improved version of the German system based on the 'Item of Supply' principle to create a single unique number (or key) for all interchangeable items of production in all their applications. This recommendation was adopted and lead to the Federal Item Identification Guides (FIIGS) which later evolved into the Federal Catalog System (FCS). The FCS enshrined a method for distinguishing every item by its 'Fit, Form and Function'. As Western European armed forces adopted and used American materiel during the Cold War, they became accustomed to the FCS method of inventory identification and adopted their own, similar, methods. By 1953, the interoperability difficulties associated with numerous, diverse national codification systems drove five countries (Belgium, France, Germany, UK, and the Netherlands) to seek to adopt a single, common identification system. In 1958 the NATO Headquarters held the first meeting of the Panel on Codification, forerunner of the Group of National Directors on Codification and the NATO Codification System giving birth to a NATO codification system still in place to this day. (Reilly, 2017; Minnaert, 2008)
The Post-Cold War World
The Cold War finally came to an end, following the remarkable events of 1989-1991. Growing disillusionment with the Communist system in Eastern Europe, coupled with the reforms of Perestroika (reform) and Glasnost (transparency) enacted by General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev led to a weakening of Communist Party control, eventually sparking a (mainly) peaceful revolution including most memorably, the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. It was quickly followed by the re-unification of Germany (1990), the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact (1991) and the collapse of the USSR (1991). In the years since that enormous change, several trends have become clear:
Historical Note: Logistics in the Gulf War
The Gulf War is considered by some to be the last major conflict of the Cold War era, and by others to be the first major conflict of the Post-Cold War era. As part of the multinational response to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq (under Saddam Hussein) in August 1990, the UK sent the 1st Armoured Division from West Germany, along with combat aircraft and warships, to Saudi Arabia, a distance of 7,500 nautical miles (12,000km). Between the initial deployment and the liberation of Kuwait, the UK sent 260,000 tons of general stores and 102,000 tons of ammunition, as well as 5,300 tracked AFVs and 11,700 wheeled vehicles, over the sea lines of communication. This movement necessitated 215 voyages by nine vessels of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) along with 144 chartered merchant vessels travelling across the Mediterranean and down the Suez Canal, a journey that took (including loading and unloading) twenty-eight days. The airlift over the same period of time involved every transport plane in the RAF's inventory (nine Tristars, twenty-two VC-10s and sixty C-130 Hercules), reinforced by contributions from New Zealand (two C-130) as well as Belgium, Portugal and Spain (one C-130 each) along with aircraft chartered from twelve civilian companies. This fleet moved almost all the personnel, in addition to 53,000 tons of cargo. While it turned out that actual combat operations would last a relatively short time, had the fighting become protracted, the UK force would have needed approximately 19,000 tons of cargo a week, most of it being brought in by sea. What must also be underlined was that this effort exposed the 'hollowing out' of logistic support to BAOR that had gone on through the late 1970s and 1980s. The UK only managed to deploy 1st Armoured Division to Saudi Arabia and logistically support it by stripping both BAOR and the other two divisions of substantial assets, something which badly affected BAOR's operational capability and its ability to meet its peacetime commitments. (Miller, 1994; HCDC, 1991; Smith, 2017)
This has led to a number of concepts, intended to facilitate such logistic support (including some 'borrowed' from the commercial logistics sector), such as 'just in time', 'focused logistics', 'directed logistics', 'performance-based logistics', 'contracting for availability', 'contracting for capability' and 'urgent operational requirements' as well as a greater emphasis on cooperation with allies and the increased use of Contractor Logistic Support. As far as Contractor Logistic Support (CLS) is concerned, the practise is not new – even a cursory glance at the history of contractor involvement in military campaigns will highlight that they have been utilised to ensure the efficacy of logistic support to deployed forces. Such support was utilised in conflicts such as the Wars of the Spanish Succession (in the age of Marlborough), the Napoleonic Wars and the Crimean War for there "were Master Generals and Boards of Ordnance centuries before there were Secretaries of State for War or Commanders-in-Chiefs". (Fernyhough, 1980, p. 7) It was only really in the Twentieth Century (see the case study below) that militaries moved away from this model towards one of self-sufficiency, leading one to conclude that the wheel has indeed now turned full circle. Indeed, even the Romans had personnel who would drive and look after the pack animals, wagons, tend to the baggage and perform other logistically important jobs. This category of soldier was called 'immunes' but historians disagree as to whether they were non-combatant support personnel (such as many modern contractors working for companies such as BAE Systems or Rolls Royce who provide services to the UK Armed Forces) or whether they were specialists who were exempt from fatigue duty but expected to fight in the ranks alongside the other soldiers, closer to the idea of 'sponsored reserves'. There were however, two categories of non-combatant support personnel referred to, 'lixae' and 'calones' who were collectively known as 'servicemen' (appariatores) or 'helpers' (adiutores – not to be confused with the adiutores involved in logistics administration, who were of high rank). Some historians use the two terms interchangeably but in general, 'lixae' are used to mean 'sutlers', in other words, private businessmen who make their living by selling goods and services to the army, other terms being merchants (mercatores) and traders (negotiatores). Why there is such a distinction is unclear, perhaps the former being officially licensed sutlers and the latter being merchants following the army without permission. Meanwhile 'calones' is used to describe military servants or slaves, employed either by individuals or by the army as a whole. In addition, the Romans extensively used private contractors in both supplying the army around the Empire as well as the city of Rome. (Roth, 1999) Ultimately, while the Roman Army did not wholly rely on the provision of CLS, such support was important as the "presence of a large number of Italian merchants in Vaga in Numidia was one factor, according to Sallust, in Metellus's decision to choose it as an operational base." (Roth, 1999, pp. 174-175)
Today, the commercial world has long accepted that to gain competitive advantage it has to reduce costs and enhance operational performance by outsourcing some of its activities to other organisations. Companies such as Toyota have had success built upon a careful consideration of what can be achieved by balancing in-house activities with those that can be contracted out to external organisations. This approach brought commercial success during the 1980s and 1990s and its general concepts, put forward by academic writers such Ellram (1997), were adapted by organisations in the Public Sector and were generally seen as successful. (Savas, 2000; Domberger & Rimmer, 1994) Included in this category are Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), which are now being re-examined to see if they have truly increased value for taxpayers' money. Nevertheless, outsourcing in general has gained an impetus which is now extremely difficult to overcome. Indeed, today it is now an integral part of the logistics strategy to support the UK Armed Forces. For the UK MoD, the outsourcing of certain activities, especially those taking place in a benign environment, while initially contentious have in the main, proved a success. Such activities would include catering, cleaning, IT support and guard services. More recently, these have been considered as a package where outsourcing has taken place to a third-party facilities provider, such as Serco and ESS. (Jost, Dawson & Shaw, 2005) Whilst success can be demonstrated in such benign environments, there has also been a move towards outsourcing of activities that are much closer to the frontline.
Case Study: Feeding the Troops
The British Army too had to put up with the effects of the laissez-faire economics of the late Edwardian / Victorian period with the feeding of the troops a matter of private profit. As mentioned earlier, the Commissariat were responsible for the supply of goods and services to the Army but up until the Crimean War, were under the control of the Treasury, not the War Office, whose main concern was how to save money, rather than the health and wellbeing of the soldiers. The management of the canteens in army barracks were contracted out to private companies, and in many cases, small fortunes were made at the soldiers' expense:
"Corrupt canteen stewards, extortionate prices, inferior goods and filthy canteens became music hall jokes. Such was the quality of goods supplied by some contractors that just before the outbreak of the Crimean War the Commissariat was forced to issue the following instruction:
'The bread supplied under public contract ought not to be inferior to that used in prisons, in workhouses and by heavy labouring men.'" (Slade, 1985, p. 160)
In fact, there had never been an organised system for supplying the army. Both Wellington and Marlborough had campaigned while relying on local traders, much like their predecessors in the Middle Ages and even antiquity. Although the Commissariat (and hence the Treasury) provided bread, meat and spirits (and had done so since the time of Cromwell), everything else had to be bought from what were known as sutlers (traders that followed the army around while it was on the march) or obtained by forage. Many troops stationed in the UK were billeted in ale houses under the terms of the Mutiny Act of 1689. This obliged landlords to provide 'food, fire and candle' at a fixed rate, with the practice continuing until the large-scale barrack building following the Napoleonic Wars. These new barracks led to the first attempts to provide a regulated canteen system for the British Army. To discourage soldiers smuggling in alcohol, it was decided that canteens should be able to sell spirits. The Board of Ordnance, who were responsible for the canteens, let them out to private contractors for terms of three years. The contractor paid a fixed rent for the canteen, along with a sum of money called 'Privilege Money'. This was a monthly payment for every ten men in the barracks and both that and the rent were put out to tender, the contract going to the lowest estimate. By offering contracts to the lowest bidder, the Board of Ordnance were essentially inviting contractors to make money at the troops' expense. "There were frequent complaints from the men about high prices and bad quality goods. Insubordination became commonplace, often the result of a visit to the canteen, whose spirits were worse than those sold in public houses." (Slade, 1985, p. 161) The state gave British soldiers every reason to turn to drink by offering them bad food, bad housing and a monotonous occupation – and then deplored the drunkenness rampant in the army. Some regimental commanders did their best to improve matters, but their limited reforms (such as setting up libraries and savings banks) could not be extended to the army as a whole.
It took the suffering during the Crimean War and the accompanying publicity to start the reform process off. Firstly, the Commissariat was transferred from the Treasury to the War Office, setting up its own bakeries and butcheries, while additional goods such as tea, coffee, salt and pepper were provided on a bulk basis to the larger barracks. The sale of spirits had been formerly abolished in 1847 but the practice continued informally and was 'controlled' by posting NCOs to stop drinking after the dinner hour. 'Privilege Money' was abolished. A major change came in 1863 with canteens now having to be managed on a regimental basis, each one overseen by a committee which purchased goods for the canteen from traders on the open market. Canteen stewards and waiters were (mainly) drawn from the regiment and any profits ploughed back into the regiment. While this system worked, there were problems with corruption and pilfering, as COs who had little experience in running what was essentially a business, handed the management over to canteen stewards and NCOs, who in some cases skimmed profits and took bribes from less reputable contractors. Again, reforms gradually spread from regiment to regiment, such as those instituted by Captain Lionel Fortesque of the 17th Lancers, who kept the canteen's takings in a lockable till which was checked every morning, as well as calculating the minimum profit that the canteen should make over a given period and then dismissing any NCO or canteen steward whose figures did not meet this target.
In 1894, still dissatisfied with the supply arrangements in the British Army, Major General Harry Craufurd, Surgeon Captain Herbert Ramsey and Captain Fortesque all agreed that the best way to buy goods was to form a cooperative society. So, they founded the Canteen and Mess Cooperative Society (CMCS). No-one was allowed to own more than £200 worth of shares and all profits (apart from five percent interest on the shares) went back to the regiments who joined the society. At first, turnover was small, but soon the advantages of buying in bulk soon became apparent and trade quickly increased. Although 1899 (the year the Boer War started) saw two new systems introduced (the Regimental Tennant System and the District Contract System), neither system was a success. The CMCS however, managed to place staff and stores on every troopship bound for South Africa. In theatre, Lord Roberts (commanding the force from Capetown) discovered that some regiments were better supplied than others, those that were, were members of the CMCS. Lord Roberts then asked them to supply all his troops. When Lord Roberts linked up with Sir Redvers Buller's force from Durban, he discovered Buller had set up his own supply organisation, the Natal Field Force Canteen. This organisation, renamed the South African Garrison Institutes, took over from the CMCS which returned to the UK. As with the Crimean War, there was a public outcry into its conduct and just like the Crimean War the answers to the questions being raised was simple: the British Army had gone to war without proper logistic support.
The CMCS went from strength-to-strength, further discrediting the Tennant System. Further reform was halted by the outbreak of the First World War. However, the War Office summoned the CMCS and Sir Alexander Prince, Chairman of one of the more reputable of the Army's suppliers, Richard Dickeson & Co. The two came together to form the Expeditionary Force Canteen (EFC) with money from the Treasury in the form of a £720,000 loan. The EPC starting small, quickly expanded with the Army to not only provide supplies to the British Army abroad but in the UK as well. In January 1915 it had one second hand Ford car and sales of around £3 million. By the end of the war they had a total of 577 branches, along with 249 lorries, 151 cars, forty-two motorcycles and fourteen trailers, with sales of around £43 million. Canteens had been set up as far afield as Helles during the Gallipoli campaign, the Greek islands of Imbros and Lemnos, Salonika, Egypt, Palestine and Mesopotamia. The EPC made a vital contribution to victory being aided by the Women's Royal Auxiliary Army Corps and provided the basis for further reform. In June 1917, the Army Canteen Committee became the Navy and Army Canteen Board, which also took control of the RAF's canteen upon its establishment in April 1918. Finally, on 1 January 1921, the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes were established, more popularly known as NAAFI and eighteen years later and for the first time in its history, the British Army went to war with a fully equipped, professional canteen service in support.
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