Logistics in World War I

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Russian ammunition baskets for heavy artillery shells. Supplying the artillery of WWI was a challenge which, for Britain, resulted in the Shell Crisis of 1915.

Logistics in World War I was the organising and delivery of supplies to the armed forces of World War I. The main method of transportation of supplies at the start of the war was still by horse due to the lack of available alternatives in 1914, similar to that of the inclusion of cavalry within the armed forces, and the fast pace of the war in the first part of the war. As the war progressed it became increasingly difficult to supply soldiers in the traditional way by horse and carriage due to conditions at the front. The supply routes became muddy and impassable, improvement to artillery on both sides and other tactics meant that supplies became increasingly delivered under cover of night and were considerably slowed down. However, as the war ground down into static trench warfare it became easier for armies to support their troops with the use of the railway, especially for the artillery. This made the transportation of supplies easier and quicker to get from the factories to the front line. This did have problems of their own, as seen by the Shell Crisis of 1915.

On the Allied Side a huge producer of supplies was the United States of America meaning the supplies had to be transported over the Atlantic Ocean to England and France. This revolutionised how war shipping was conducted and saw the first use of military convoys to counter the threat caused by German U-Boats