The following report gives one example of the problem of supply of troops
operating in the desert. A German tank battalion, leaving Tripoli for El Agheila
in 1941, took the following water supplies for three days' march:
|Headquarters Company|| 122*|| 150|
|5th Company (light)|| 111 || 100|
|6th Company (light)|| 114 || 100|
|8th Company (medium)|| 93 || 100|
| Total|| 440 || 450|
*All figures refer to the number of containers carried by the particular unit; each
container held about 5 gallons.
The above containers were distributed throughout the battalion as follows: one
container per car; two containers per truck, half-track, armored car and
light tank; three containers per medium tank.
This quantity of water represented only one-third of the total amount that
had to be taken. The remainder was carried in a special water column, and
provided about 2 gallons of water per man for the three-day period. The distribution
among vehicles was in proportion to the number of personnel carried.
Each company carried 130 containers with water for cooking. These containers
were carried on the supply trucks which accompanied the field kitchens.
The total amount of water carried by the battalion was as follows:
|Cooling|| || 5,100 gallons|
|Washing|| 2,250 gallons|
|Cooking and Drinking|| 4,465 gallons|
| Total||11,815 gallons|
A comparison of the amounts per man per day between the British and
Germans is as follows: the Germans allow 2/3 of a gallon for
washing, 1 1/3 for cooking and drinking; the British
allow 1 gallon for washing, and 1 for cooking and drinking.