Author: V. M. MOSKOVCHENKO, G. E. NOSKOV
Maj. Gen. V. M. MOSKOVCHENKO Doctor of Economic Sciences
Maj. Gen. G. E. NOSKOV Candidate of Military Sciences
The experience of past wars is among the factors with an active impact on progress in military affairs. A source of various aspects of military science and its most important component, military art, it is embodied in a better organization of the Armed Forces and their Rear Services, as well as in better manuals, regulations, statutes, instructions, orders and other official documents issuing from the Ministry of Defense.
"Without history's lampion, tactics is darkness" is a well-known saying belonging to the great Russian general A. V. Suvorov, which is as relevant today as it was in his day and age. It sounds like a behest to the posterity and keeps its topicality in all spheres of present-day military activities, meaning that regardless of the aims, character, scale and methods of military operations, one should not only take into account the modern conditions but also skillfully use the experience accumulated by our predecessors.
Let us turn to the experience of rear services support in military events that took place both in the past and in modern Russia.
Chief supply officer for armies of a front was in charge of catering to the armies comprising a front in the Russian army during World War I (1914 - 1918). Apart from controlling the supply services, he supervised military transportation, the transport, sanitary and veterinary services, the treasury, as well as the military districts and civilian directorates present in the territory of the front's rear area. In effect, the chief supply officer was the chief of rear services. At that time the functioning of this complex machine was to be coordinated with the operation of the General Quartermaster's service, to wit, the front's operational department.
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