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Logistics Quotations

    I don't know what the hell this "logistics" is that Marshall is always talking about, but I want some of it. - Admiral E. J. King


    The Logistician

    Logisticians are a sad and embittered race of men who are very much in demand in war, and who sink resentfully into obscurity in peace. They deal only in facts, but must work for men who merchant in theories. They emerge during war because war is very much a fact. They disappear in peace because peace is mostly theory. The people who merchant in theories, and who employ logisticians in war and ignore them in peace, are generals.

    Generals are a happy blessed race who radiate confidence and power. They feed only on ambrosia and drink only nectar. In peace, they stride confidently and can invade a world simply by sweeping their hands grandly over a map, point their fingers decisively up trrain corridors, and blocking defiles and obsticles with the sides of their hands. In war, they must stride more slowly because each general has a logistician riding on his back and he knows that, at any moment, the logistician may lean forward and whisper: "No, you can't do that." Generals fear logisticians in war and, in peace, generals try to forget logisticians.

    Romping along beside generals are strategists and tacticians. Logisticians despise strategists and tacticians. Strategists and tacticians do not know about logisticians until they grow up to be generals--which they usually do.

    Sometimes a logistician becomes a general. If he does, he must associate with generals whom he hates; he has a retinue of strategists and tacticians whom he despises; and, on his back, is a logistician whom he fears. This is why logisticians who become generals always have ulcers and cannot eat their ambrosia.

    Unknown Author


    To wage war, you need first of all money; second, you need money, and third, you also need money. - Prince Montecuccoli


    Logistics..."embraces not merely the traditional functions of supply and transportation in the field, but also war finance, ship construction, munitions manufacture and other aspects of war economy." - Lt Col George C. Thorpe, Pure Logistics, 1917


    The supreme excellence is not to win a hundred victories. The supreme excellence is to subdue the armies of your enemies without even having to fight them. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War


    Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War


    You will not find it difficult to prove that battles, campaigns, and even wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics. - General Dwight D. Eisenhower


    Logistics comprises the means and arrangements which work out the plans of strategy and tactics. Strategy decides where to act; logistics brings the troops to this point. - General Antoine Henri Jomini, Precis de l'Art de la Guerre (The Art of War), 1838


    Logistics is the "practical art of moving armies." - General Antoine Henri Jomini


    Experience has taught me that manufacturers are now as necessary to our independence as to our comfort. - Thomas Jefferson


    Seldom will all logistics principles exert equal influence; usually one or two will dominate in any given situation. Identifying those principles that have priority in a specific situation is essential to establishing effective support. - Joint Pub 4-0, Doctrine for Logistics Support of Joint Operations, Sep 25, 1992


    To inquire if and where we made mistakes is not to apologize. War is replete with mistakes because it is full of improvisations. In war we are always doing something for the first time. It would be a miracle if what we improvised under the stress of war should be perfect. - Admiral Hyman Rickover


    A little neglect may breed mischief: for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost. - Benjamin Franklin


    You realize when shoeing the horse that the shoe may be thrown--possibly causing the horse to run, so you have a mule on standby to get the rider to the war. - Capt John P. Laverdure, Scott Air Force Base, HQ Air Mobility Command, 1996


    Logistics Planning - The wisdom to realize when working on plan A, you'll run into conflicts in executing plan B and being properly prepared, and successfully executing plan E. - Capt John P. Laverdure, Scott Air Force Base, HQ Air Mobility Command, 1996


    Lean forward. It's always better to fall on your face than on your backside. - M. Cox


    Behind every great leader there was an even greater logistician. - M. Cox


    The programs of training and exercises form the final test of logistics readiness. Since the majority of junior officers and enlisted men in the logistics services are specialized in a technical field, sound technical training is their fundamental preparation for war. In addition, however, specific attention must be paid to the development of fundamental discipline, leadership, and personal versatility which are so vital to efficient logistics service under wartime conditions. - RADM Henry E. Eccles, USN, Ret, Logistics in the National Defense, 1959


    Logistics...in the broadest sense, the three big M's of warfare--material, movement, and maintenance. If international politics is 'the art of the possible,' and war is its instrument, logistics is the art of defining and extending the possible. It provides the substance that physically permits an army to live and move and have its being. - James A. Huston, The Sinews of War: Army Logistics 1775-1953, 1966


    Logistics...as vital to military success as daily food is to daily work. - Captain A.T. Mahan, Armaments and Arbitration, 1912


    The ideal for all military forces is to reduce their logistical requirements to necessities only. - Air Force Manual 1-1, Basic Aerospace Doctrine of the United States Air Force, Essay T, March 1992


    Logistics sets the campaign's operational limits. - Joint Pub 1, Joint Warfare of the U.S. Armed Forces, November 1991


    The essence of flexibility is in the mind of the commander; the substance of flexibility is in logistics. - Rear Admiral Henry Eccles, U.S. Navy


    Logistics must be simple--everyone thinks they're an expert. - Anonymous


    My logisticians are a humorless lot...they know if my campaign fails, they are the first ones I will slay. - Alexander


    Logistics: The Profession - As a business professional with a vested career interest in the field of logistics, you are a part of a highly dynamic profession: current global developments and technological innovations are impacting logistics today as never before. While the logistics function's contributions to a firm's competitive strength have often been "invisible" in the past, many factors have coalesced to heighten its importance and visibility in the 1990s and beyond. - CLM-National What It's All About


    Throughout the struggle, it was in his logistic inability to maintain his armies in the field that the enemy's fatal weakness lay. Courage his forces had in full measure, but courage was not enough. Reinforcements failed to arrive, weapons, ammunition and food alike ran short, and the dearth of fuel caused their powers of tactical mobility to dwindle to the vanishing point. In the last stages of the campaign they could do little more than wait for the Allied advance to sweep over them. - Dwight D. Eisenhower, British Army Doctrine Publication, Volume 3, Logistics (June 1996) p. 1-2


    As we select our forces and plan our operations,....(w)e must understand how logistics can impact on our concepts of operation...Commanders must base all their concepts of operations on what they know they can do logistically. - Lt Gen Alfred M. Gray, Jr., Marine Corps Gazette (July 1987)


    The tactics...no, amateurs discuss tactics,.... Professional soldiers study logistics. - Tom Clancy, Red Storm Rising


WWW Virtual Library of Logistics
Ver 4, Sep, 1999, Matthew D. Cox, logistics@logisticsworld.com
Sponsored by LogisticsWorld.
Copyright 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 MDC, All rights reserved.