A replacement depot in United States military terminology is a unit containing reserves or replacements for large front-line formations, such as field armies. As such, the term refers to formations similar to, but larger than, march battalions in other countries. The slang term "repple depple" came into common use in the US Army during World War II.
These depots were used by the US Army in Europe in World War II, but were found to be ineffective as the men assigned from these large pools had poor esprit de corps and were unfamiliar with the fighting formations to which they were subsequently assigned. The handling of the replacements in a bulk, impersonal way by permanent depot staff tended to cause psychological trauma so that they were weakened by the experience. The Oxford English Dictionary notes, in a citation from The New York Times Magazine, 9 December 1945, that "repple depples, in short, are dreary places."
World War I
World War II
Location of replacement depots in Europe c. January 1945.
|Training Center No. 1||Shrivenham, England||Retraining of limited assignment men for new duty|
|2nd Replacement Depot||Thaon, France||US Seventh Army direct support depot|
|3rd Replacement Depot||Verviers, Belgium||US First Army direct support depot|
|9th Replacement Depot||Fontainebleau, France||Officer and officer candidate retraining center|
|10th Replacement Depot||Lichfield, England||Processing of hospital returnees|
|11th Replacement Depot||Givet, Belgium||US First Army intermediate depot |
US Ninth Army intermediate depot
|12th Replacement Depot||Tidworth, England||Theater reception depot |
Enlisted retraining center
|14th Replacement Depot||Neufchâteau, France||US Third Army intermediate depot |
US Seventh Army intermediate depot
|15th Replacement Depot||Le Havre, France||Theater reception depot|
|16th Replacement Depot||Compiègne, France||Enlisted retraining center|
|17th Replacement Depot||Angervilliers, France||US Third Army direct support depot|
|18th Replacement Depot||Tonges, Belgium||US Ninth Army direct support depot|
|19th Replacement Depot||Étampes, France||Processing of hospital returnees|
|51st Replacement Battalion||Charleville, France||US Fifteenth Army direct support depot|
|54th Replacement Battalion||Marseilles, France||Theater reception depot|
|6900th Provisional Depot||Verviers, Belgium||Field army intermediate depot |
Officer and officer candidate retraining center
|6960th Provisional Depot||Coëtquidan, France||Enlisted retraining center|
After World War II
Location of replacement depots after World War II and the Cold War.
|8068th Replacement Depot||Beppu, Japan|
|8069th Replacement Depot||Sasebo, Japan|
- "Repple depple". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 2002.
- Karsten, Peter (2006). Encyclopedia of war and American society. Sage publications. pp. 727, 1115.
- Merton, Robert King (1957). Social theory and social structure. Free Press. pp. 272–75.
- Ruppenthal, Robert G. Logistical Support of the Armies: September 1944 - May 1945. Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 1959. Accessed July 9, 2014. http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-E-Logistics2/.
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