Excepting the knapsack, which is too rigid, the equipments are generally good, but the necessity for adding a heavy pair of shoes to the already weighty load carried by the infantryman is not seen.  The inconveniences caused by an occasaional broken shoe are of infinitely less importance than those resulting frm loading hundreds of men with unnecessary weight.  It should be the duty of the supply and transport departments, or, in our service, of the Quartermaster Department, to provide the shoes when needed.  The weight to be placed on our men deserves the most careful consideration, espeically as modern battle conditions demand that an intrenching tool be carried.  Experience tells us that our troops are prone to disencumber themselves on the march of articles not essential to personal safety or of immediate use.  General Grant, in his Memoirs, mentions how he was impressed by the number of new overcoats thrown away on the march to the Wilderness, and we know that more than thirty years later our troops in Cuba and in China did likewise.  Do we need further lessons?  Moreover, we should add a sufficient number of hot and cold water carts to  follow the column to insure our men a proper supply of wholesome water.  Again, we want an acceptable emergency ration, if that has not already been secured, so as not to require the solider to carry more than one day’s field ration at any time.  No effort should be spared to reduce the wieght and bulk of his load.

 

Source:  Reports of Military Observers Attached to the Armies in Manchuria During the Russo-Japanese War, War Department, Office of the Chief of Staff, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1907, Pt. V, p. 29.

stevenhardestyMore war storiesinfantry,logistics,russo-japanese warExcepting the knapsack, which is too rigid, the equipments are generally good, but the necessity for adding a heavy pair of shoes to the already weighty load carried by the infantryman is not seen.  The inconveniences caused by an occasaional broken shoe are of infinitely less importance than those...Recovering forgotten and overlooked military history