Red Ball Express Research Paper

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On June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. After the invasion, Allied Commanders had to confront a problem, “How are the Allies going to sustain one of the largest fighting force ever assembled, moving faster than any Army before it?” The Red Ball Express provides the solution for Allied Commanders. While the success came with a hefty price tag, the desperate need for supplies at the front to sustain Allied Troops in pursuit of the retreating German Army made the Red Ball Express a necessity to continue the war, the strategy required little preparation, and the versatility allowed quick delivery of supplies. …show more content…
The Red Ball Express was largely an impromptu affair due to the limited time for preparation and planning. In the beginning, the Red Ball Express had a shortage of trucks and drivers. The Army raided units that had trucks then formed 67 provisional truck units and four days later reached a peak of 132 companies comprised of nearly 6000 vehicles assigned to the project. Soldier deemed non-critical to the war effort became drivers. The Communications Zone (COMMZ) and Advance Section (ADSEC) transportation officials oversaw the Red Ball Express, but it required the support and coordination of many branches to succeed. Engineers maintained roads, Military Police directed traffic at major intersections while recording pertinent data, and Ordnance units repaired disabled vehicles on the spot or evacuated them to the rear area depots. The first convoys quickly bogged down in civilian and military traffic. As a result, officials established priority route consisting of two parallel highways between the Normandy beachhead and the city of Chartres, France. Round-the-clock movement of traffic required strict adherence to rules. Trucks only travel in convoys of five trucks or more. Officials forbid drivers from passing vehicles. The Soldiers placed markings on each truck showing its position in the convoy and traveled 60 feet apart at 35 mph. The Red Ball Express displayed colorful signs throughout the route …show more content…
Necessity brought upon the Red Ball Express’ creation, simplicity made it easy to implement, and efficiency keeps the Express going past its expected end date. The Red Ball Express furnished desperately needed supplies after the Normandy invasion reducing an unknown number of casualties and decreased the length of the war by years. Finally, the Red Ball Express changes way Army has sustained their troops and laid the groundwork for modern sustainment

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