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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Logistics


Steve Bramley
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Hi,

Who would have the overall responsibility for ensuring that a full division was loaded on to transport ships to cross the channel at one of the ports?

Would it be the A.S.C.?

Cheers,

Steve.

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Steve

I am not sure that the ASC would know about every Divisional element's needs. The reason I say this is because there doesn't seem to be an allowance for what would be a large organisation within the ASC in the account of it's set-up in the LLT.

I would think it was devolved by Division HQ to each Brigade/Battalion (Adjutant ?) and he collated the requirements. Division then consolidated the information and requested the Army's Port Control (whatever they were called) to organise shipping and a loading schedule,which they (APC) advised to Division and then controlled and ensured full despatch of all elements. Remember I said "I would think" !

Sotonmate

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Thanks Sotonmate,

Sounds like a pretty reasonable explanation. I'd welcome any thoughts from others,

Steve.

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Hello Steve

There was a HQ for Embarkation Duties at Southampton consisting of an Embarkation Commandant with a specialist staff, and similar smaller HQs at the other major ports. These worked out the logistics of loading the ships, in liaison with the Admiralty who actually provided them. A unit or formation would be told when and where to turn up for loading.

In France each Base Commandant on the coast had a Military Landing Officer, usually a major, with a number of junior officer Assistants, to reverse the process.

The whole operation would be run from the department of the Director of Movements at the War Office. The process was basically just a scaling-up of the normal peacetime arrangements for troops coming and going from India and the Colonies.

Because of its responsibility for railways, the RE provided many of the officers engaged on these duties.

The system didn't always work: many of the ships carrying troops to Gallipoli had to be unloaded and re-packed at Alexandria because, for instance, the guns and their ammunition had been sent in different ships.

Ron

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Many thanks to Ron and Sotonmate,

That just about does the job for me,

Cheers,

Steve.

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