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German troops on horse carriages near a destroyed Russian airfield, Stalingrad, Russia, Sep 1942

Caption     German troops on horse carriages near a destroyed Russian airfield, Stalingrad, Russia, Sep 1942 ww2dbase
Photographer    Unknown
Source    ww2dbaseGerman Federal Archives
Identification Code   Bild 183-B29474
More on...   
Battle of Stalingrad   Main article  Photos  
Added By C. Peter Chen

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Licensing  Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License (CC BY-SA 3.0 DE).

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
21 Dec 2010 09:25:09 AM


The Wehrmacht's pride was in its mechanized
equipment. When Hitler invaded Russia, the
German Army had over 750,000 horse-drawn guns
and supply trains.
Motor vehicles accounted for 600,000 and 3,500 armored vehicles.

As the operation progressed, it created a supply train 1,000 miles long.
During the war on the Eastern Front the Germans lost about 1,000 horses a day due to combat, heart failure, overwork, disease, exposure and starvation.
The feed and care needed for the horses, put an enormous strain on logistics. The total number of horses used during the war, is
unknown, but the losses must have been over 3,000,000.


Truck losses were heavy, the vehicles worked across the roads and battlefields carrying supplies,spare-parts,fuel and replacements. The Germans never had enough trucks many of these vehicles were driven 24 hours a day, in all types of weather.

Maintenance was whenever possible many brokedown and were left for lack of parts.
Over 110,000 trucks were lost, this was about
40% of German truck production in the Fatherland, replacements couldn't keep up with losses.
The Germans also used captured military and civilian trucks from the occupied countries this also created a spare-parts nightmare working with over twenty or thirty different types of trucks, many of which are out of production.
Many were abandoned due to breakdowns, and lack of spare-parts.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
21 Dec 2010 10:26:25 AM


No other Army relied on horse-drawn supply
than the Germans.
During WWII an Infantry Division had 3600
horses and 800 wooden supply wagons.
During the early part of the Russian campagin
about 10% of the roads in Russia could be used by both motor and horse-drawn supply, but the rest of the roads, were nothing more than dirt paths in the trackless wastes of the Russian landscape.

During the dry months mechanized equipment
could advance at a fast pace, once the rain
and snow started to fall, the advance was
slowed and than stopped vehicles got stuck
and it was only the horse-drawn wagons that
could continue, and even than they too were
stopped by the weather.

The German Army maintained over 200 companies
of Veterinarians, and treated about 1,000 per
day and were able to return 75% back to service.
1,000 trucks can do the work of 5,000 horses
you need fuel and maintenance for the trucks
and also need feed and water for the horses
and this has to be carried with them, as well
as the supplies for the division.
The horse needs 100 lbs of feed plus water a day, how much fuel does a truck use, during
the same day.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
21 Dec 2010 05:20:22 PM

Later on many of the horses were slaughtered
for food, the logistics train broke down
supplies from the Fatherland came to a stop.

When winter came, the troops didn't have the
necessary winter uniforms many of the troops
suffered frostbite and other injuries.
Equipment stopped working, engine oil and
hydraulic fluid froze the Russian steppes became a frozen hell.

Personal note*

I ate horse meat only once, it tasted like elk and not like beef at all. I would never
eat it again.
I'll never eat Lamb, Rabbit, Dear, Buffalo or Ostrich.
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
23 Dec 2010 01:05:56 PM


-Napoleon Bonaparte-

The German Army maintained a supply line that
was adequate close to Germany.
The invasion of Russia created a supply line over 1,000 miles long, most of it through Russia. Tons of fuel, food and other items
would leave the Fatherland, and start the long trip across occupied Poland and into Russia.

Like any other army, the rear support troops
got first pickings air and ground attacks
destroyed other supplies and equipment, than you have the Black-Market more supplies are picked off.
The front-line troops receive needed food, supplies and equipment. just enough to keep
the army in the field for now, after all the
Russians are falling back, and its on to
Moscow! Deutschland uber Alles!

der Erste Zug / IRON RATIONS

Field kitchens were assigned to companies and
battalions the larger kitchens, could feed 500 troops and the medium size kitchens 125 to 225 troops the smaller kitchens 50 to 125 troops.

Most of these field kitchens were horse-drawn
usually between two to four horses, some of
the larger kitchens, were pulled by light trucks.
The diet was black bread and other baked item
sausage, beef products, potatoes, cabbage and
vegetables, soups, stews fresh milk, eggs
and vegetables when available.
Later kitchens started to use more powered food items, and food appropriated from the

Did You Know...

During the early part of the Russian invasion
troops bought food from local villages and towns, and paid for them with Reichmarks.

Troops carried canned food, when field kitchens were not available, due to the tactical situation.
Other sources of food were appropriated from farms and local population. Not very good public relations!
5. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
5 Feb 2012 11:28:27 AM


Typical Wehrmacht food consisted of soups,
potatoes, beans, pork, beef, sausages, white and rye breads, coffee, tea or water.
When fresh milk or eggs couldn't be supplied powdered milk and eggs were substituted, along with other canned diary products.
Vegetables and fruits were provided when it was available. kitchen crews did their best to supply cakes, cookies and other baked items to the troops.

Each division had its own kitchen units and its own baking and butcher companies.
German industry couldn't supply enough vehicles designed as mobile kitchens Howerer maintenance sections would modify trucks and turn them into mobile, the horse-drawn kitchens and were still in use up to the end of the war.


This unit was a tweo-wheeled field kitchen
with wooden iron-clad wheels. The main(rear) carriage of the kitchen was essentially a moving stove, housing a 200 liter soup pot and a 90 liter coffee maker, with tap dispenser, the stove plate was used to cook potatoes and sausages.
The separate front carriage served as a seat for the kitchen crew, food storage, feed for the horses. Afield kitchen could feed up to
200 men. Its strange that despite all the innovations in field kitchens, and the mechanization of the German Army, field kitchens were still horse-drawn. After WWII
many of these same units were used to feed the German civilian population in post-war Germany.

The German Field Kitchen in World War II
By Scott L. Thompson
Published by Schiffer Books (2007)
ISBN 9780764337673
6. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
5 Feb 2012 01:47:21 PM


During War II the German Army captured Czech, French, British and other Countries
field kitchen equipment, and food stocks as it marched across Europe.
During the invasion of the USSR, June 1941
the Germans captured Russian field kitchens
and put them to use feeding the Wehrmacht.
The Russian kitchens were larger than the German ones, some holding 350 liter pots.


Early in the war, when the German Army made its advanced across Western Europe, the food system provided hot meals. Delivery of food
to troops on the front lines was generally supplied, the closer troops were to the food that was served or delivered, everybody ate, but the further ahead the troops advanced in its attack, the further away it got from its field kitchens.


During the Later part of the war, kitchen crews did the best they could in providing food to the troops.
Shortages of supplies and rationing of food cut into front-line food service. Many of the troops went without meals, or the field kitchens arrived late and missed the
Every effort was made, to provide daily
meals even delivery by vehicle, horse and
even by foot! The German Soldier called the
field kitchens Gulaschkanone(Goulash Cannons)
7. Mark Prange says:
8 Jun 2013 07:10:42 AM

--One of the ruined hangars at the Stalingrad flight school. The ruined auditorium is to the right of the (still standing in 2013) white building at center right.

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