Tank Battalion Supply Function
from War Department Field Manual
Battalion Supply Officer (S-4)
B. In the discharge of his duties the S-4 deals with:
1. G-4 of the divisional staff.C. In performing his duties the S-4, and his assistants, frequently move independently of the rest of the staff in order to maintain personal contact with the supply officers of the higher units and the various supply installations serving the battalion. When with battalion headquarters, the S-4 operates from the administrative half-track, which has a radio in the higher headquarters administrative net and another in the battalion net.
A. The commanding officer of the service company who is assistant S-4 in addition to his other duties. This officer controls and coordinates the activity of the supply personnel and takes care of their administration, mess, supply, and maintenance. He commands the combat trains of the battalion in combat.
B. The commander of the battalion supply and transportation platoon, the battalion transportation officer, assists the service company commander and usually is battalion ammunition officer. Under the supervision of the service company commander he controls the activity of his platoon, moving forward with it on its resupply missions.
C. The warrant officer in the service company is an assistant S-4 in charge of the small battalion supply section of the supply and transportation platoon. His duties are largely clerical and administrative and, with his assistants, he takes care of the field trains in the absence of the service company commander and transportation platoon leader.
IV. Battalion Supply and Transportation Platoon
A. THE FUEL AND LUBRICANTS SECTION handles fuel, oil, and grease and is capable of hauling at one time enough of each to move the battalion for approximately 60 miles.
B. THE AMMUNITION SECTION can haul in one trip about half of the battalion combat vehicles' basic loads of ammunition of calibers greater than 37-mm, and one-quarter of their basic loads of small arms ammunition.
C. THE RATION SECTION.
D. THE WATER SECTION. There is an extra 1-ton trailer in the platoon which may be used by either this section or the ration section, whichever has the greater need of it.
E. THE BATTALION SUPPLY SECTION.
V. Ration Supply
B. The number of rations issued to the battalion is based on its daily strength report, which is included in the division's daily telegrams. However, the time intervening between the dispatch of any one daily strength report by the battalion and the receipt of the rations issued in accordance with the report is from two to five days. Adjustments are made at time of issue. Whenever troops are attached to the battalion without prior notice, the S-4 makes special arrangements to obtain rations for them for the first few days of their attachment.
C. Ration resupply is usually accomplished at night.
D. Messing may be accomplished in any of the following ways:
1. Whenever possible, the kitchen trucks move with their respective companies, serving three hot meals daily. This is seldom feasible in combat.VI. Water Supply
Water is obtained from water distributing points operated by the engineers. Other sources of water supply are to be avoided, unless approved by a surgeon or adequate measures have been taken to purify it (FM 100-10).
Fuel and Lubricant Supply
1. An officer, usually the battalion ammunition officer, prepares and presents a transportation order (a written order authorizing the movement of a given amount of ammunition between two points) to the division ammunition officer (DAO) at the ammunition control point. There one authenticated copy is returned to him as authority to draw that amount of ammunition.B. If at all possible, each ammunition vehicle carries a proportionate amount of all the different types and calibers of ammunition used by the battalion. This limits the total loss of one type of ammunition.
1. Combat trains, which are required for the immediate mission of the combat elements. They normally include the company and battalion maintenance sections, the ammunition section, the fuel and lubricant section, and the medical detachment. On occasion, the kitchen trucks and the water and rations sections may be included.
B. These divisions are given as guides only. A high degree of flexibility is required in all operations involving armored troops. The disposition and duties of train vehicles may change rapidly.
C. The battalion field trains are usually attached to the combat command or division trains when the battalion goes into combat, being released when the battalion comes out to rest and refit.
B. The tank companies cooperate fully with the service elements. information from them as to routes and road conditions and their exact locations is essential. They can post guides to meet supply trucks and speed up the unloading and release of supply vehicles which reach them. At all times they keep the S-4 advised as to the current status of their supplies.