Magazine Supply System

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Magazine Supply System


a method of supplying troops from state magazine-depots in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The magazine supply system appeared in the second half of the 17th century in the French Army and was later adopted in other European armies. With an increase in the size of regular armies, difficulties arose in providing them with food and forage during war. With the economic devastation of Central Europe during the frequent wars of the 17th and 18th centuries, it became almost impossible for troops to supply themselves, desertion increased, and discipline among the troops deteriorated. This made it necessary to supply the troops from state magazines, which had stocked products ahead of time. The magazine supply system enabled troops to move 100-150 km—that is, five days march—away from base and was thus called the five-day march system.

The introduction of mobile magazines increased the distance troops could move from bases to 200-250 km, which gave troops much greater freedom of action. At the same time a danger arose that the enemy would disrupt lines of communication, which now became especially important. This led to a limitation on the strategic objectives of a war (selecting the axes of attack and the scope of military actions) and on the possibilities of pursuing the enemy. All this led to the appearance of what was called cordon strategy.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.