and general supplies. Prior to analyzing logistical facilities you should obtain an
understanding of the supply delivery methods.
a. Supply channels. The supply systems start at mines, farms, and forests which
are the sources of most raw materials. The raw materials are transported to processing
and assembly plants, and the end products are placed in warehouses prior to shipment. If
the enemy is not fighting in its own country, the next step is transportation to a location in
or near the combat area. Up to this point, the supply operation is usually beyond the
range of the tactical ground commander and is targeted for strikes by strategic forces.
(1) Upon arrival at a main supply port or railhead, supplies may be within the
range of tactical weapons, and may be well into the tactical IA's field of search. From this
point in the system, supplies will be prepared for distribution to lower echelons. Assuming
the operating force is a Soviet Front, the first distribution will be to the combined arms
army. From army, they will go to divisions and then, in turn, to regiments or brigades,
battalions, and companies, finally reaching individual troops. There will be some variation
from these channels due to the location or disposition of troops, but variations will be the
exception rather than rule. For targeting purposes, supplies in the hands of the user are
no longer considered supplies.
(2) By describing the supply system, the largest supply concentrations become
smaller and smaller as they approach the using troops. Therefore, the best places to look
for supplies are in the rear areas, and the search in areas closer to the front line are less
successful. It is to be expected most targetable supply concentrations will usually be
found between the main supply port and division supply dump. Beyond the latter point,
concentrations may be too small for profitable targeting.
b. Characteristics. The fighting effectiveness of an enemy is heavily dependent
upon supply of food, water, ammunition, clothing, POL, and replacement equipment such
as trucks, tanks, river-crossing material, and artillery. Several of these items have
attendant features which aid in their separate identification. Others are packaged or
crated in such a manner that positive identification cannot be made from aerial
photography alone and may be reported as supplies without naming the type. Regardless
of the materials stored in them, supply installations have certain common characteristics
which are almost always present.