This is a reading guide for the book Supplying War by Martin van Creveld. My purpose in writing this guide was to make it easier for other Marines to read and understand this book, especially the many Marines who don't do a lot of heavy reading. It gives examples of supply and logistics being used as weapons, being used to force armies into battle, and completely directing a commander's strategic big blue arrows. Hopefully the guide makes it more accessible.

As you read, keep in mind that I'm not the perfect academic. There may be cases where I've misread or misunderstood van Creveld. Also, I'm generally going to write on the assumption that van Creveld is correct in his theories and conclusions. If I constantly questioned him, this guide would be longer than the book, and, as you'll find out, entire books have been written just to discuss criticism of Supplying War.

Finally, if you find yourself getting angry over some mistake in the book or the guide, that's great. It means you're probably too smart to need a reading guide in the first place. However, please email me as well, and let me know about the issue so I can correct email is in the footer of the webpage. Also, if you have any other commentary on the guide (e.g., "your guide was a great help", "your guide was a worthless waste of time", etc.), please email that to me as well.

This guide is dedicated to the many current and former supply Marines who enabled SPMAGTF-A and MEB-A to operate in Afghanistan, but especially Brady Wentlandt, John "JT" Thomas, Travis Bowser, Drew Harris, Will Long, Chuck Shaw, Matt Hall, Brad Canterbury, Jeremy Carroll, Michael Slomski, Mohammed Huda, Tiffany Harris, Ed Connelly, Darrick Parris, TJ Smith, Chris "Bearclaw" Olsen, Brandon Wright, Victor Hurtado, Chris Hossley, Brent Miller, Jack Crutchfield, and honorary supply Marines Chris Hitchcock, Melissa Lathrop, and Ronnie Wilburn.

Also, I owe many thanks to Dr. van Creveld, who generously assisted me via email when I was grinding my way through the sections of the guide during downtime on COC watch.

To get started, crack open your copy of Supplying War (or buy one via the link in the nav bar), open up to the introduction, and click on the link to the introduction section in the sidebar on the right hand side of this page.


Capt Palmer