What is “army shop“? I Remember, was... or perhaps and now is, such TV - the program: “Army shop“. I do not know, incidentally so called or knowing about similar concept from military history. Stories, I not about shop with cartridges - the concept used and now.
Though the same idea - storage something. Only “shop“ of the weapon contains ammunition, and earlier so called a food warehouse. Or an intermediate warehouse between the main shop and army. By the way, still warehouses (more probably, large, stationary) were called garrisons. There also troops to which passed a present word meaning could be located.
The constant army which is contained in a peace time appeared in New centuries. Mass armies arose earlier (the Swiss infantry in 15 century; English archers, Flemings, hussites even earlier). But it still the militia which after war was going home. And in defensive wars in the territory it is simpler to provide supply. And in campaigns the army or is supplied, or it lives at the expense of the population. Plunders more often. To force soldiers to pay for supply, other discipline is necessary!
In the territory the population often obliged to contain the army placed on houses, taxing other population on its contents. For example, at Peter I. And in Prussia military units quite often were “the city-forming enterprises“.
But we will return to shops.
Durability of a chain is defined by the weakest link. Speed of advance of army directly depends on supply opportunities. Hungry you will not do some fighting! When armies were followed by huge wagon trains, rate of the movement was corresponding. And how without wagon train? In the territory it is possible to adjust food at the expense of the population, and that not always. On others - to plunder, so far is that. And supply with ammunition? When Napoleonic soldiers began to carry part of stocks on themselves, speed at once increased. And in 17 century the French army with the best organization of the back could begin spring campaigns before the opponent.
How? Due to preparation and transportation of fodder. Rivals waited for emergence of a grass.
Development of so-called five-transitional system became top. Perhaps, blossoming it reached Frederick II in Prussia. At distance 3 - x days of traveling from the main warehouse of flour and 2 - x days from troops arranged bakeries. To them brought flour, further - bread. The distance is limited to period of storage of bread, loading time - unloadings, to need to have on supplies a stock of food and fodder on the road there - back. Here and 5 transitions!
I will repeat: it is top of system of supply! The system counted and made. At least, the best at those technical capabilities was not thought up!
Organized also transport on the rivers. But all tricks allowed to extend if necessary, one-time, distance at most to 7 transitions. And that to Prussians with their organization and training!
For wars it was required to organize supply in the beginning. To put warehouses, to tighten the back to army in process of advance. It was favorable, without giving big battles (both parties fraught with big losses from - for specific tactics), to break others communications. And in 18 century art of war of maneuvre, the opponent`s forging reached top. The army which is cut off from supply loses fighting capacity and is forced to come back for protection of the back.
And it is difficult to keep in secret such preparation for campaign. And the movement of army is limited to expansion of the back. To the railroads distant supply could be carried out, perhaps, only on the rivers.
The following stage of development of systems of supply is connected with revolutionary and Napoleonic France. The role was played by new psychology, plus progress in agriculture and distribution of crops of potatoes.
Prompt advance of Napoleon in 1812. in the beginning it was provided with a wagon train (20 - a dnevny reserve of flour and bread in satchels for 4 days), then the emperor planned to pass to requisitions. Campaign was assumed short and, probably, it was assumed that wagon trains will lag behind. It was norm for new French army. Even in revolution, at a fair mess in the back, it was necessary to look for new ways of supply. Only people were others. Not robbers - mercenaries of times of transition to the state supply, and much more conscious citizens . And partial withdrawal from store system to more seemingly archaic supply with local means allowed to reduce wagon trains significantly. And now, at the new level, the old system made army much more movably. And in other country or other situation the plan of the great commander would work. And in Russia supply with local means was (in particular, from - for counteractions of the population and guerrilla activity) difficult...
At the same time and the receding Russian army lacked the food. Supply was broken, the enemy got a lot of things or were destroyed. Resorted to the active help of the population; reorganized, significantly having increased the staff, system of supply.
As a result at counterattack supply was conducted from in advance organized shops. With transition of border passed generally to the centralized purchases through local administration. Requisitions if necessary (small and controllable) happened only in France. As the winner. But generally the food was bought by the Russian parts! If it did not help, used store stocks.
Usually in military history of all interest campaigns, battles, feats … At most, tactics and strategy. The organization, formation and completing of army are often underestimated. Just forget about logistic support … And do some fighting - naked and hungry! The event with Napoleon`s army clearly illustrates it. By the way, French felt an essential lack of fodder even at approach, having reached Smolensk!
No, not for nothing the most experienced fighter Frederick the Great spoke: “Not I order here, and bread and fodder“...
Not for nothing as a result of war the system of supply (as it appeared, before underestimated) in the Russian army was in many respects rethought and reformed. But in general, the essence of store system remained, apparently, before emergence in the middle of 19 century of the developed network of the railroads. The new system of warehouses was created, but also here from a score warehouse products were tightened to the smaller warehouses on nodal points containing 5 - 6 - day stocks. From here in the railway and river tracks the allowance arrived to field army; the last stage of a way was overcome by a cartage.
As want, and all this continues to remind me all touches old store system! Let already and not five-transitional!