German troops on horse carriages near a destroyed Russian airfield, Stalingrad, Russia, Sep 1942

Caption   German troops on horse carriages near a destroyed Russian airfield, Stalingrad, Russia, Sep 1942 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseGerman Federal Archive
Identification Code   Bild 183-B29474
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Battle of Stalingrad   Main article  Photos  
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 26 Dec 2009

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
21 Dec 2010 09:25:09 AM

GERMAN MECHANIZED FORCES, HOLD UP NOT SO FAST The Wehrmacht's pride was in its mechanized equipment. When Hitler invaded Russia, the German Army had over 750,000 horse-drawn guns and supply trains. Motor vehicles accounted for 600,000 and 3,500 armored vehicles. As the operation progressed, it created a supply train 1,000 miles long. During the war on the Eastern Front the Germans lost about 1,000 horses a day due to combat, heart failure, overwork, disease, exposure and starvation. The feed and care needed for the horses, put an enormous strain on logistics. The total number of horses used during the war, is unknown, but the losses must have been over 3,000,000. THE OTHER WORK HORSE Truck losses were heavy, the vehicles worked across the roads and battlefields carrying supplies,spare-parts,fuel and replacements. The Germans never had enough trucks many of these vehicles were driven 24 hours a day, in all types of weather. Maintenance was whenever possible many brokedown and were left for lack of parts. Over 110,000 trucks were lost, this was about 40% of German truck production in the Fatherland, replacements couldn't keep up with losses. The Germans also used captured military and civilian trucks from the occupied countries this also created a spare-parts nightmare working with over twenty or thirty different types of trucks, many of which are out of production. Many were abandoned due to breakdowns, and lack of spare-parts.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
21 Dec 2010 10:26:25 AM

GETTING THROUGH THE MUD No other Army relied on horse-drawn supply than the Germans. During WWII an Infantry Division had 3600 horses and 800 wooden supply wagons. During the early part of the Russian campagin about 10% of the roads in Russia could be used by both motor and horse-drawn supply, but the rest of the roads, were nothing more than dirt paths in the trackless wastes of the Russian landscape. During the dry months mechanized equipment could advance at a fast pace, once the rain and snow started to fall, the advance was slowed and than stopped vehicles got stuck and it was only the horse-drawn wagons that could continue, and even than they too were stopped by the weather. The German Army maintained over 200 companies of Veterinarians, and treated about 1,000 per day and were able to return 75% back to service. 1,000 trucks can do the work of 5,000 horses you need fuel and maintenance for the trucks and also need feed and water for the horses and this has to be carried with them, as well as the supplies for the division. The horse needs 100 lbs of feed plus water a day, how much fuel does a truck use, during the same day.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
21 Dec 2010 05:20:22 PM

Later on many of the horses were slaughtered for food, the logistics train broke down supplies from the Fatherland came to a stop. When winter came, the troops didn't have the necessary winter uniforms many of the troops suffered frostbite and other injuries. Equipment stopped working, engine oil and hydraulic fluid froze the Russian steppes became a frozen hell. Personal note* I ate horse meat only once, it tasted like elk and not like beef at all. I would never eat it again. I'll never eat Lamb, Rabbit, Dear, Buffalo or Ostrich.
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
23 Dec 2010 01:05:56 PM

AN ARMY MARCHES ON ITS STOMACH -Napoleon Bonaparte- The German Army maintained a supply line that was adequate close to Germany. The invasion of Russia created a supply line over 1,000 miles long, most of it through Russia. Tons of fuel, food and other items would leave the Fatherland, and start the long trip across occupied Poland and into Russia. Like any other army, the rear support troops got first pickings air and ground attacks destroyed other supplies and equipment, than you have the Black-Market more supplies are picked off. The front-line troops receive needed food, supplies and equipment. just enough to keep the army in the field for now, after all the Russians are falling back, and its on to Moscow! Deutschland uber Alles! der Erste Zug / IRON RATIONS Field kitchens were assigned to companies and battalions the larger kitchens, could feed 500 troops and the medium size kitchens 125 to 225 troops the smaller kitchens 50 to 125 troops. Most of these field kitchens were horse-drawn usually between two to four horses, some of the larger kitchens, were pulled by light trucks. The diet was black bread and other baked item sausage, beef products, potatoes, cabbage and vegetables, soups, stews fresh milk, eggs and vegetables when available. Later kitchens started to use more powered food items, and food appropriated from the population. Did You Know... During the early part of the Russian invasion troops bought food from local villages and towns, and paid for them with Reichmarks. Troops carried canned food, when field kitchens were not available, due to the tactical situation. Other sources of food were appropriated from farms and local population. Not very good public relations!
5. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
5 Feb 2012 11:28:27 AM

GUTEN APETIT! Typical Wehrmacht food consisted of soups, potatoes, beans, pork, beef, sausages, white and rye breads, coffee, tea or water. When fresh milk or eggs couldn't be supplied powdered milk and eggs were substituted, along with other canned diary products. Vegetables and fruits were provided when it was available. kitchen crews did their best to supply cakes, cookies and other baked items to the troops. Each division had its own kitchen units and its own baking and butcher companies. German industry couldn't supply enough vehicles designed as mobile kitchens Howerer maintenance sections would modify trucks and turn them into mobile, the horse-drawn kitchens and were still in use up to the end of the war. THE GROSSE-FELDKUCHEN Hf.13: This unit was a tweo-wheeled field kitchen with wooden iron-clad wheels. The main(rear) carriage of the kitchen was essentially a moving stove, housing a 200 liter soup pot and a 90 liter coffee maker, with tap dispenser, the stove plate was used to cook potatoes and sausages. The separate front carriage served as a seat for the kitchen crew, food storage, feed for the horses. Afield kitchen could feed up to 200 men. Its strange that despite all the innovations in field kitchens, and the mechanization of the German Army, field kitchens were still horse-drawn. After WWII many of these same units were used to feed the German civilian population in post-war Germany. GULASCHKANONE The German Field Kitchen in World War II By Scott L. Thompson Published by Schiffer Books (2007) ISBN 9780764337673
6. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
5 Feb 2012 01:47:21 PM

HELP YOURSELF,MORE BEANS OVER THERE: During War II the German Army captured Czech, French, British and other Countries field kitchen equipment, and food stocks as it marched across Europe. During the invasion of the USSR, June 1941 the Germans captured Russian field kitchens and put them to use feeding the Wehrmacht. The Russian kitchens were larger than the German ones, some holding 350 liter pots. OTTO, WHATS FOR TODAY, OR MORE OF THE SAME: Early in the war, when the German Army made its advanced across Western Europe, the food system provided hot meals. Delivery of food to troops on the front lines was generally supplied, the closer troops were to the food that was served or delivered, everybody ate, but the further ahead the troops advanced in its attack, the further away it got from its field kitchens. CHOW NOT ALWAYS ON TIME: BETTER,LATE THAN NEVER During the Later part of the war, kitchen crews did the best they could in providing food to the troops. Shortages of supplies and rationing of food cut into front-line food service. Many of the troops went without meals, or the field kitchens arrived late and missed the troops. Every effort was made, to provide daily meals even delivery by vehicle, horse and even by foot! The German Soldier called the field kitchens Gulaschkanone(Goulash Cannons)
7. Mark Prange says:
8 Jun 2013 07:10:42 AM

--One of the ruined hangars at the Stalingrad flight school. The ruined auditorium is to the right of the (still standing in 2013) white building at center right.

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