The final book of the trilogy on army supply

The final  book of the trilogy on army supply
The third of my books on army supply

Monday 16 January 2023

Waste of War

Controller of Ordnance Service, Major-General Bill Williams, spoke of the waste of war in his speech for Salute the Soldier week in Halifax in 1944:

'Now, war in itself is essentially wasteful and if we are to be victorious we must waste, or what appears to be waste, more than the enemy. This is the cost of war.

'It is rather like a business: you have two courses open to you, either you carry on with your old-fashioned plant and gradually fall behind in the race, or you constantly instal the very latest and best plant, and thus get ahead of your rivals. So it is in war. It is even more essential, in fact it is vital that we should be ahead of the enemy in all of our equipment. Our fire-power must be greater than his. Our tanks must be more powerful, faster, better armoured, in fact we must ruthlessly scrap equipment before it is out of date if we are to win our way to final victory, and that costs money.

'You will realise, therefore, that your money must constantly roll in, but please don't think we in the Army take that money for granted. Believe me, we make it go as far as we can and we only scrap equipment and buy new equipment when we know it is essential and vital for Victory.

'We know that to save it you have to sacrifice many of the little luxuries which in peacetime you have always enjoyed.

'It is our aim to make the most of the equipment at our disposal.

'By the savings of the people in this country, our Empire is now being equipped with the latest and best and deadliest weapons in the world and I am confident that our fire-power is now superior to that of the enemy. We know that our Tommy should be armed with the best and finest weapons obtainable. I am here to-day as I have already told you to ask you to lend even more to fight our way to Berlin and Tokyo.

'I know you all realise that you are getting more for your money than the interest paid on your savings. You are helping to ensure for yourselves and your loved ones, a future which we all sincerely hope will be free from the horrors of war.

'Your pennies, shillings and pounds are building up a rampart against those who would destroy England, or at any rate leave it as a little island off the coast of Europe and not the centre of the greatest Empire that the world has ever known.

'Halifax has its own Regiment, the Duke of Wellington's Regiment., one that I know personally and have had the honour of serving alongside on at least two occasions.This is a regiment with great traditions and a fine record, and I would like you to feel that all that you save will help to give ·your local boys the best possible equipment for their own regiment, and the best possible equipment and fire-power in the Royal Engineers, the Royal Artillery, and the Royal Armoured Corps, to support and enable them to reach their objectives in the field of battle with the minimum loss of life.

'I hear that Halifax holds the War Savings record for any town in the amount subscribed per head. The more heads that lend their money to their country, the greater the chance of beating previous records, in support of your own Regiment and all your gallant boys .

'Let "Salute the Soldier" be the greatest of all your record weeks, and don't forget that this campaign is the personal inspiration of your own great citizen and Chairman of the National Savings Committee, Sir Harold Mackintosh.'

You can read more on this blog and my books about army supply: War on Wheels, Ordnance and Dunkirk to D Day

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