Date of this Version
Tailored to a unit’s size, scope, and mission, logistics or the practical art of transporting and supplying military forces via air, land, and sea is at the heart of any military operation. During the late nineteenth century the United States became increasingly involved in low intensity conflicts throughout Latin America and the Philippines. The nature of small wars required not only military provisions, but also supplies to help stabilize countries. The 1915 intervention in Haiti by the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy is a prime case study for the flexible bifurcation of logistical efforts to support military and civic operations. Haiti’s nineteen-year occupation showed the juxtaposition of technological innovations, specifically in weaponry and transportation, against Haiti’s rugged terrain, climate, little to no railroads or roads, and penchant for revolution. The varying degrees of intensity in small wars forced logistics networks to utilize every means of mobility. By breaking down logistical elements such as rations or transportation, and focusing on their transformation and adaptation for use in the field, research highlighted the varying degrees of continuity between adoption, practice, dissemination of lessons, and redeployment. Despite technological advancements spanning the occupation, Haiti’s harsh environment forced Marines invariably to default to local procurement and basic pack train transport.
Advisor: Peter Maslowski