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Configuring and managing warehouses is a central concern for both business logistics and military logistics.

Logistics is the management of the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet some requirements, for example, of customers or corporations. The resources managed in logistics can include physical items, such as food, materials, animals, equipment and liquids, as well as abstract items, such as time, information, particles, and energy. The logistics of physical items usually involves the integration of information flow, material handling, production, packaging, inventory, transportation, warehousing, and often security.


  • It would be foolish to describe the logistics hub as merely ugly, for it has the horrifying, soulless, immaculate beauty characteristic of many of the workplaces of the modern world.
  • On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war. These are opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign. More than 35 countries are giving crucial support -- from the use of naval and air bases, to help with intelligence and logistics, to the deployment of combat units. Every nation in this coalition has chosen to bear the duty and share the honor of serving in our common defense.
  • Hannibal excelled as a tactician. No battle in history is a finer sample of tactics than Cannae. But he was yet greater in logistics and strategy. No captain ever marched to and fro among so many armies of troops superior to his own numbers and material as fearlessly and skillfully as he. No man ever held his own so long or so ably against such odds. Constantly overmatched by better soldiers, led by generals always respectable, often of great ability, he yet defied all their efforts to drive him from Italy, for half a generation. … As a soldier, in the countenance he presented to the stoutest of foes and in the constancy he exhibited under the bitterest adversity, Hannibal stands alone and unequaled. As a man, no character in history exhibits a purer life or nobler patriotism.
    • Theodore Ayrault Dodge, in Hannibal : A History of the Art of War among the Carthaginians and Romans (1893), p. 652
  • That total war would ultimately be decided by material rather than moral factors was not lost on the Germans. 'The first essential condition for an army to be able to stand the strain of battle', wrote Rommel, 'is an adequate stock of weapons, petrol and ammunition. In fact, the battle is fought and decided by the quartermasters before the shooting begins. The bravest men can do nothing without guns, the guns nothing without plenty of ammunition; and neither guns nor ammunition are of much use in mobile warfare unless there are vehicles with sufficient petrol to haul them around.' By the final year of the war, an active US army division was consuming around 650 tons of supplies a day. Because a single army truck could carry just five tons, this posed a formidable logistical challenge. Indeed, as supply lines were stretched from 200 to 400 miles in the months after D-Day, deliveries to the advancing armies slumped from 19,000 tons a day to 7,000 tons - hence the slackening of the pace of the Allied advance in the second half of 1944 and one defect of Montgomery's grab for Arnhem. The last phase of the war revealed the importance (consistently underrated by both the Germans and the Japanese) of assigning ample numbers of men to the task of supply rather than combat. The ratio of combatants to non-combatants in the German army was two to one; but the equivalent American ratio in the European theatre was one to two. In the Pacific, the Japanese ratio was one to one; the Americans had eighteen non-combatants for every man at the front. As the war came to an end, the United States had nearly as many men under arms as the Soviet Union (around twelve million in each case) but only a minority of Americans were actually engaged in combat.
    • Niall Ferguson, The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West (2006), p. 520
  • Logistics is the ball and chain of armored warfare.
    • Heinz Guderian, Quoted in "Sword Point" - Page 141 - by Harold Coyle - 1988
  • It struck me as I waited that all great enterprises are about logistics. Not genius or inspiration or flights of imagination, skill or cunning, but logistics. Building pyramids or landing spacecraft on Jupiter or invading whole continents or painting divine scenes over the roofs of chapels: logistics.
  • Experience has shown that the mass-armies of “democratic” states fight with greater zeal when they are animated by hatred and supported by a hate-crazed populace that fancies it is fighting a holy war. Lies have therefore become military equipment, a kind of mental logistics; but it is the essence of such propaganda that its spuriousness is known only to the persons who manufacture it. The model of such operations is the famous lie-factory managed by Lord Bryce during the First World War, in which a corps of expert technicians forged photographs, while expert liars, including Arnold Toynbee, concocted stories, of “atrocities,” to inspire the emotionally overwrought British with a fanatical hatred of the incredibly bestial Germans and with a noble Christian ardor to kill them.
  • Decision theory can be pursued not only for the purposes of building foundations for political economy, or of understanding and explaining phenomena that are in themselves intrinsically interesting, but also for the purpose of offering direct advice to business and governmental decision makers. For reasons not clear to me, this territory was very sparsely settled prior to World War II. Such inhabitants as it had were mainly industrial engineers, students of public administration, and specialists in business functions, none of whom especially identified themselves with the economic sciences. Prominent pioneers included the mathematician, Charles Babbage, inventor of the digital computer, the engineer, Frederick Taylor and the administrator, Henri Fayol.
    During World War II, this territory, almost abandoned, was rediscovered by scientists, mathematicians, and statisticians concerned with military management and logistics, and was renamed “operations research” or “operations analysis.” So remote were the operations researchers from the social science community that economists wishing to enter the territory had to establish their own colony, which they called “management science”.


  • An army marches on its stomach.

See also

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