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In the military, replenishment refers to the procurement and supply of goods that the troops to be supplied need to maintain combat strength. For a long time, the supply force was a separate branch of the German army , but is now part of the logistics force .


Wehrmacht material warehouse
Assault guns of the Wehrmacht are moved to the Eastern Front by train

Historically, the supply troops emerged from the entourage that was not or hardly armed for a long time. During the First World War , they began to bring supplies to the front with railroads and army field railways as well as the newly invented trucks . The main load of supply from the army supply camps to the front lines had to be carried out by horse-drawn carts until the Second World War . Only after the Second World War, when the modern armies were fully motorized throughout, were the supplies also fully motorized. The military symbol on the beret can be explained from this development . It shows a stylized Caduceus with wings and a train wheel in the background.

Since the entourage or the supply troops can be involved in combat operations in the rear area and this is of great importance for the combat strength of the troops, in the 20th century there was a move to arm the supply force and train them in security service. Losses in supply units occurred during retreats and enemy breakthroughs, through raids by partisans and attacks by enemy air forces during World War II .

Since the Second World War was the first motorized war, the necessary supplies increased considerably. On average, a battle tank on the Eastern Front needed 5 liters of petrol per kilometer, originally 2.5 liters were planned. Trucks enabled the troops to be supplied much faster, but they themselves were dependent on fuel supplies and were not available in large numbers on the German side. This led to the fact that even tank units had to be supplied with supply columns from horse-drawn panjewagons , especially during the Rasputitsa period in autumn.

However, this was to take revenge on the eastern front with its vastness, the encirclement of the 6th Army in the Battle of Stalingrad was also a result of a lack of supplies, as the troops rushed forward hundreds of kilometers without regard to supplies or flank protection. In addition, the vastness of the area and the associated enormous effort in supplying the troops, both by the operational army command and by the high command of the Wehrmacht itself, were not sufficiently taken into account in the assumption that the troops could compensate for this in the face of the enemy and his possibilities.

In the last months of the war, the German crews often had to destroy their motorized combat vehicles themselves due to a lack of fuel so that they would not fall into the hands of the enemy. After landing in Normandy , the Western Allies made a very rapid advance in autumn 1944; With the Red Ball Express , they operated a replenishment system with columns of trucks, for which other large associations that were not on the advance had to temporarily surrender a considerable part of their vehicle equipment for general replenishment.

In the early years of the Bundeswehr , the supply force was known as the " Quartermaster Troop ". As part of their basic training, the soldiers were also trained as security soldiers, and the troop leaders were enabled to deploy their (sub) units both according to their specific function and in the security and defense of field positions. In the NVA the GDR was named the squad Rear Services .

Supply troops in the German Wehrmacht and Waffen SS

Current situation in the Bundeswehr

Beret badge of the former supply force of the army of the Bundeswehr

In 2005, the formerly independent arm of the army was partially reclassified into the armed forces base . Together with the repair troops and the transport troops as well as comparable forces from all branches of the armed forces , the replenishment troops form the new logistics force . The forces remaining in the army are referred to as army logistics troops .

Supplies to non-military organizations

Emergency services such as the fire brigade are also referred to as replenishment, even if the special supplies differ from military supplies. The supply of the team remains the same, but the equipment depends on the type of disaster . Similar to the organization in the Bundeswehr , a so-called S4 also performs this function within the operational management .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: replenishment  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations