Animal transport of the German army

Interesting read of one of the factors that affected German logistics and why it was not as much of a factor for the allies. It still boggles my mind at how many horses the German military used during the war and still hard for me to wrap my head around it.


You Lordy Lord you have NO idea. I have a book for you!

The German Armed Forces until the last year of the war had between 2.5 and 2.75 million horses under it’s command. Their vets were top-notch; if they could get the animals to field hospitals, 75% of them would end up being returned to service

Also while I’m not sure about animal transport, I do know that in 1939, Britain was the only military in Europe that had more or less done away with it’s cavalry branch.

Now as an aside from a wargamer, so take it as you will, this was a MISTAKE. This is because mech transport, half-track or full track like the universal carrier for the British, is EXPENSIVE, whereas cavalry is relatively cheap, and while armored cars and tanks are the front line recon and breakthrough, cav units are ideal cheap second-order gap fillers that help avoid dreaded traffic jam bottlenecks because they have really good cross-country capacity. They are slower than trucks under ideal conditions but when you’re moving lots of troops very quickly even dry roads get overwhelmed very quickly.

If you use airpower for over the horizon recon so they don’t stumble into picket lines, cav units can very quickly get to the rear and tear into artillery units and other soft units infantry is supposed to screen but there’s never enough infantry to defend everywhere. Cav does local recon, air does long, Bombers pave the way behind the lines, Cavalry overwhelms them before they can get their bearings. Hussar stuff with giant magic dragonflies.

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