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  #1  
Old 19-06-21, 11:21
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Default Doctoral thesis: Australian army logistics 1943-45

Something different

http://unsworks.unsw.edu.au/fapi/dat...CE01?view=true
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Old 21-06-21, 04:40
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Been reading this thesis: the author refers to Aust. General Transport Companies using " Australian 3 Ton 4X4 " trucks . I am thinking he means CMP's ?
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Old 21-06-21, 15:15
maple_leaf_eh maple_leaf_eh is offline
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Default PhD thesis

Thanks for the link. I jumped from the introduction to the conclusion, skipping several hundred pages in between. I note that the author described an over emphasis on fighting arms over support arms. Canada's NATO brigade in Germany was very thinly supported because the planners relied on the Allies for just about everything after the first week.

He called the Australian forces Eurocentric, which even in 2006 or 07 when the piece was published, must have been an uncomfortable statement. The origins evidently were the Army was expected to reinforce the Empire, not necessarily look after itself.

However, what I found particularly interesting was the expectation that the Australian Army would have to provide for itself, US troops, the RAAF and the RNZ forces. My conclusion is the importance of always having extra capacity is an argument many logisticians must hammer home when the bean counters look to trim.
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Old 21-06-21, 16:37
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Default Narrative not analysis

Like Mike K, I've been reading this thesis, and have to say I've been underwhelmed by it. It seems to me, now at page 180, that it is more a narrative of logistics support, rather than an analysis of the logistics problems and the evolution of solutions - the 'what, where' with little of the 'how and why'. Mike K queries what Mallett is referring to as 'Australian 3 ton 4x4 trucks'. Mike's query is symptomatic of what I have read thus far: there are lots of 'givens' - assumptions you will be familiar with what the author is referring to. For example, the author refers to 'jeeps', 'trailers', 2 1/2 ton 6x6 and 3 ton 4x4 trucks, an assortment of landing craft, and various supply vessels without any explanation as to the size, carrying capacity, capability, etc, which I think would be a must in a thesis purporting to analyse the problems and solutions of supply during the 1943-1945 period.

Moreover, when the author does venture into the technical, he has made some bad blunders. Statements such as "Each Matilda tank carried 88 2-pounder or 3-inch howitzer rounds, and 36 belts of 7.92 mm Breda machine gun ammunition' on page 253 are demonstrably wrong, and his calculations for the air transport of 86,400 rounds of 25-pdr ammunition on page 120 are wrong, but also demonstrate his lack of knowledge about artillery ammunition.

What surprises me most is that his supervisors, all eminent military historians, did not pick up on such points. Long way from the finish yet, as this is a 400-odd page thesis, and while presenting a fine narrative, has thus far fallen short of the stated aim. I hope it gets better.

Mike

Last edited by Mike Cecil; 21-06-21 at 23:14.
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Old 22-06-21, 04:46
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Maybe his work would have resulted in a more comprehensive and accurate paper if he had broken down the thesis into describing the logistics of the various army branches: Signals, Engineering , Medical, Artillery and so on.

I know that during WW2 in Australia, much research was done in an attempt to counter the tropical climate in the SWPA in regard to equipment denigration. Such as, canvas items rotting and moisture intrusion in communications equipment . Malaria control was another big one. These problems were all a part of the logistics issue I would think.
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Old 22-06-21, 05:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maple_leaf_eh View Post
He called the Australian forces Eurocentric, which even in 2006 or 07 when the piece was published, must have been an uncomfortable statement. The origins evidently were the Army was expected to reinforce the Empire, not necessarily look after itself.
That is probably a very correct statement for not only the Australian Army in 1939-40, but also the Department of Defence, and the Government as a whole. The population and the economy were committed to "do our bit" to support the British Empire.

However, attitudes changed markedly in 1942, and by the 1943-45 period that this thesis covers the view had turned 180 degrees to one of "forget the British Empire" and look wholly to the South West Pacific Area and the defence of Australia, even though by that time the specific threat to Australia had receeded. From 1943 on, the Australian Army was not part of the Empire War Effort, although the RAAF and RAN continued to be a major contribution.
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Old 22-06-21, 05:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Kelly View Post
Maybe his work would have resulted in a more comprehensive and accurate paper if he had broken down the thesis into describing the logistics of the various army branches: Signals, Engineering , Medical, Artillery and so on.

I know that during WW2 in Australia, much research was done in an attempt to counter the tropical climate in the SWPA in regard to equipment denigration. Such as, canvas items rotting and moisture intrusion in communications equipment . Malaria control was another big one. These problems were all a part of the logistics issue I would think.
Mike, you need to read the other works of this prolific Author! (!!!) These major factors are neatly summarised in jut one paragraph.

https://scholar.google.com.au/citati...jswAAAAJ&hl=en
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Last edited by Tony Smith; 22-06-21 at 06:04.
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  #8  
Old 22-06-21, 06:07
Mike Cecil Mike Cecil is offline
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Default Relevant topics not covered

I agree, Mike, that such topics as the development of tropic proofing of all manner of equipment is relevant but barely touched upon. Same with the development of equipment such as the light laundry, mobile field shower systems, light (jeep) ambulances and dump trucks, the 25-pdr Short, and prefabricated steel framed huts - all developed in response to the atrocious tropical climate and difficult operational conditions.

I'm also encountering a number of inaccuracies such as Matilda tanks being 'medium' tanks, misspelled ship names, the use of 'Dakota' when referring to USAAF-operated C-47 Skytrain aircraft, and the like.

So far, it hasn't improved since my last post.

Mike
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