School of Systems & Logistics

Suggested Logistics Reading List

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Logistics in the National Defense

By: Rear Admiral Eccles
Year of Publication: 1959
On List Since: March 19, 2004
Upon retirement Rear Admiral Eccles established residence in Newport, RI and became closely associated with the Naval War College.He lectured frequently and taught several elective courses.During the nearly three decades that followed his departure from active service he wrote and published three of his landmark works on logistics to include out number one pick plus these two: Military Concepts and Philosophy (1965), and Military Power in a Free Society (1979). The #1 pick is a baseline for most logistics taught among all branch services. This is a must read.

The Big “L”: American Logistics in World War II

By: Dr. Alan Gropman
Year of Publication: 1996
On List Since: March 19, 2004
Dr. Gropman, retired USAF Colonel, is a premier officer, author, and academician. His book the Big “L” provides great insight on the history, lessons learned, and considerations of our nation to mobilize and sustain resources required to execute large scale operations. This is a must read for serious logisticians.

The Thousand-Mile War

By: Brian Garfield
Year of Publication: 1969
On List Since: March 19, 2004
Since its first printing in 1969, The Thousand-Mile War has been claimed as one of the great accounts of World War II, Brian Garfield brought his skills as an author of narrative fiction to the history of the Aleutian campaign, putting together careful research and powerful storytelling to produce this compelling account of the battles of the United States and Japan on the bitter rim of the North Pacific. The narrative follows the fifteen-month course of the campaign chronologically, tracing the events that eventually combined to dash Japanese hopes of a quick victory while a surprised America was still reeling from the disaster at Pearl Harbor.

Moving Mountains: Lessons in Leadership and Logistics from the Gulf War

By: Lt. General William G. Pagonis, Jeffrey L. Cruikshank
Year of Publication: 1994
On List Since: March 19, 2004
From Desert Shield to Desert Storm to Desert Farewell, the numbers were staggering: 122 million meals served,1. 3 billion gallons of fuel pumped,12,575 aircraft processed. Here is a firsthand account of the supply effort that led to the dramatic Allied victory in the Gulf, written by the general who spearheaded the remarkable undertaking. In clear, compelling language, General Pagonis recounts the Gulf War from the first fateful telephone call, to the mobilization of 550,000 troops and the shipment of 7,000,000 tons of supplies, to the enormously complex challenge of bringing home a half-million soldiers and their equipment. Numerous leadership and logistics lessons can be gleaned from his experience. Pagonis describes his battlefield innovations, such as the log cell and Ghostbuster squad, as well as his inspirational leadership style. His highly effective management techniques apply to information flow, time management, motivation, customer service, and organizational design. Using historical examples-from Alexander the Great to Rommel to the Israeli Army-and current business practice, he makes a strong case for better leadership and better logistics, both on the military and in the private sector.

Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton

By: Martin Van Creveld
On List Since: March 19, 2004
Why did Napoleon succeed in 1805 but fail in 1812? Were the railways vital to Prussia's victory over France in 1870? Was the famous Schlieffen Plan militarily sound? Could the European half of World War II have been ended in 1944? These are only a few of the questions that form the subject-matter of this meticulously researched, lively book. Drawing on a very wide range of unpublished and previously unexploited sources, Martin van Creveld examines the 'nuts and bolts' of war: namely, those formidable problems of movement and supply, transportation and administration, so often mentioned - but rarely explored - by the vast majority of books on military history. In doing so he casts his net far and wide, from Gustavus Adolphus to Rommel, from Marlborough to Patton, subjecting the operations of each to a thorough analysis from a fresh and unusual point of view. The result is a fascinating book that has something new to say about virtually every one of the most important campaigns waged in Europe during the last two centuries.

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

By: E. Goldratt and Jeff Cox
On List Since: March 19, 2004
In this intriguing, readable business novel, the author demonstrates business process models applicable to military and businesses alike. Thankfully the economic models are demonstrated using everyday examples that make sense.

Practical Software Maintenance: Best Practices for Managing Your Software Investment

By: Thomas M. Pigoski
On List Since: March 19, 2004
The amount of time and expense spent debugging, customizing, updating, and maintaining software far outstrips the amount spent buying it. This book provides a simple and straightforward introduction to software maintenance activities that work. It is the first book to cover software transition--the process of moving the product from developer to maintainer.

Life-Cycle Cost and Economic Analysis

By: Fabrycky, Wolter J., Benjamin S. Blanchard
Year of Publication: 1991
On List Since: March 19, 2004
Explores the fundamentals and applications of economic and cost analysis of products and systems using the life-cycle process. Following a step-by-step methodology, care is taken to emphasize the links between economic competitiveness and analysis.

Lean Six Sigma

By: Michael George
On List Since: March 19, 2004
Time and quality are the two most important metrics in improving any company's production and profit performance. Lean Six Sigma explains how to impact your performance in each, by combining the strength of today's two most important initiatives­­Lean Production and Six Sigma­­into one integrated program.

Lean Thinking

By: James P. Womack
On List Since: March 19, 2004
There's a missionary zeal to this book for corporate managers: it wants to convert companies the world over to the streamlined production process pioneered by Toyota after WWII. Womack and Jones chronicled Toyota's concept of lean production in The Machine That Changed the World, and embarked in 1990 on a tour of North America, Europe and Japan to persuade organizations, managers, employers and investors that mass production was out of date and should be chucked for something better. They formed a network of companies and individuals dedicated to lean production. Network members, whose stories form the basis of the book, gather annually to update procedures and refine theory. Showa Manufacturing, a Japanese maker of radiators and boilers, for instance, pulled itself out of an earnings slump by changing from mass-producing batches of standardized equipment to producing customized small lots. Heavily laden with details, this is for specialists who want to streamline. It makes few references to the larger, global economy.

The Berlin Airlift

By: Ann and John Tusa
On List Since: March 19, 2004
The Berlin airlift, the climax of the first major Cold War crisis, began in 1948 when the Soviets, attempting to force the Allies out of Berlin, imposed a blockade on communications between the American, British and French occupation zones and the conquered city. The Americans and British countered by flying in sufficient food, coal, medicine and raw material to enable the Berliners to survive the 11-month siege. Aside from the details of the operation itself ("a saga of inadequate equipment and sheer slapdashery"), the British authors provide a clear explanation of how the Four Powers came to occupy the city and why it was vital to each of them, describing the initial collective shock experienced by the Western allies when, soon after the 1945 fall of Berlin, the they received their first experience of Soviet intimidation. The book is also a richly detailed tribute to the American and British aircrews and mechanics who kept the "air bridge" in operation against heavy odds, and to the fortitude of the Berliners, who remained cheerfully defiant of the Soviets throughout the ordeal.

Flying the Hump, Memories of an Air War

By: Otha C. Spencer
On List Since: March 19, 2004
When the occupying Japanese cut off China from outside contact during WW II, the Americans quickly established "the Hump," an airlift of troops and supplies over the Himalayas designed to keep Chiang Kai-shek's army in the fight. Spencer, journalism professor emeritus at East Texas State University, who flew the Hump, reveals that enemy aircraft destroyed fewer planes than did such natural hazards as storms and violent winds. He chronicles the successful efforts of Air Force General William H. Tunner to reduce losses by standardizing maintenance inspections and imposing strict regulations about the use of oxygen masks. (Oxygen deprivation was the "silent killer" of many pilots, who considered it a sign of weakness to wear masks below a certain altitude.) Spencer's comprehensive history, a terrific collection of flying stories, profiles pilots, navigators, maintenance men and weather forecasters against the background of Allied strategy in the China-Burma-India theater.

Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army

By: Donald W. Engels
On List Since: March 19, 2004
"The most important work on Alexander the Great to appear in a long time. Neither scholarship nor semi-fictional biography will ever be the same again. . . .Engels at last uses all the archaeological work done in Asia in the past generation and makes it accessible. . . . Careful analyses of terrain, climate, and supply requirements are throughout combined in a masterly fashion to help account for Alexander's strategic decision in the light of the options open to him...The chief merit of this splendid book is perhaps the way in which it brings an ancient army to life, as it really was and moved: the hours it took for simple operations of washing and cooking and feeding animals; the train of noncombatants moving with the army. . . . this is a book that will set the reader thinking. There are not many books on Alexander the Great that do."— New York Review of Books

Naval Logistics

By: George C. Dryer
On List Since: March 19, 2004
No Commentary Available

U.S. Naval Logistics in the Second World War

By: Duncan S. Ballentine
On List Since: March 19, 2004
No Commentary Available