Replacement depot

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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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3] 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."[1]

Locations[edit]

World War I[edit]

1st Replacement Depot, St Aignan, France: support for the American Expeditionary Force

World War II[edit]

Location of replacement depots in Europe c. January 1945.[4]

Depot Location Purpose
Training Center No. 1 Shrivenham, England Retraining limited assignment men for new duty
2nd Replacement Depot Thaon, France US Seventh Army direct support
3rd Replacement Depot Verviers, Belgium US First Army direct support
9th Replacement Depot Fontainebleau, France Officer and officer candidate training center
10th Replacement Depot Lichfield, England Hospital returnees
11th Replacement Depot Givet, Belgium US First Army and US Ninth Army intermediate depot
12th Replacement Depot Tidworth, England Reception depot and enlisted training center
14th Replacement Depot Neufchâteau, France US Third Army and US Seventh Army intermediate depot
15th Replacement Depot Le Havre, France Reception depot
16th Replacement Depot Compiègne, France Enlisted training 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 Hospital returnees
51st Replacement Battalion Charleville, France US Fifteenth Army direct support depot
54th Replacement Battalion Marseilles, France Reception depot
6900th Provisional Depot Verviers, Belgium Intermediate depot
6960th Provisional Depot Coëtquidan, France Enlisted training center

After World War II[edit]

Location of replacement depots after World War II and the Cold War.

Depot Location Formation served
8068th Replacement Depot Beppu, Japan
8069th Replacement Depot Sasebo, Japan

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Repple depple". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 2002. 
  2. ^ Karsten, Peter (2006). Encyclopedia of war and American society. Sage publications. pp. 727, 1115. 
  3. ^ Merton, Robert King (1957). Social theory and social structure. Free Press. pp. 272–75. 
  4. ^ 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/.