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U.S. Marine Corps - Small Wars Manual (1940 Edition)



General					3-18
Railroad transportation			3-19
Motor transportation			3-20
Tractor-trailor transportation		3-21
Transportation pools			3-22
Aviation transport			3-23
Water transportation			3-24
Animal transportation			3-25
Important points in packing		3-26
Pack mules				3-27
Pack horses				3-28
Pack bulls				3-29
Phillips pack saddle			3-30
McClellan saddle			3-31
Pack equipment				3-32
Native packers				3-33
Marines as packers			3-34
Bull carts				3-35
Trains with combat columns		3-36

3-18. General.-a. The types of transportation used in small wars operations will vary widely, depending upon local conditions such as roads, terrain, and distances to be covered. In some cases the seasons of the year will be a controlling factor.

b. During small wars in the past every possible type of transportation known to mankind has been used, from railroad, aviation, and motor transportation to dogs, elephant, camel, and porter service.

c. It is safe to say that the type of transportation most suitable to any specific country isbeing utilized there. A study of these local methods, together with the local conditions, will aid the commander in determining the type of transportation to be used by the intervening forces.

d. In countries where small wars usually take place, the roads are generally bad and exist in only a few localities. When there is a season of heavy rain, it is most probable that practically all roads and trails will become impassable for trucks and tractor-trailer transportation. For that reason other means of transportation must be utilized. This may mean that railroads and air transport, where they are available, will have to be used for very short hauls. Animal, cart, boat, or porter transportation will have to be used where there are no passable roads, trails, or railroads.

319. Railroad transportation.-a. Normal principles of loading and transporting troops and supplies will apply as they do in similar movements elsewhere, making use of whatever rail facilities the country has to offer.

b. For the use of railroads for movement inland see chapter 5, paragraph 3, Movement by Rail.

3-20. Motor transportation.-a. This type of transportation should be under the direction of officers specially qualified in its uses. It is not always known exactly what road conditions can be found in the field, and the motor transportation officer, knowing the capabilities and limitations of this type of transportation, considering the conditions of the roads, the road net, and the seasons of the year, will have to use ingenuity in carrying out the task assigned to him.

b. Trucks should be of uniform type generally, but sturdy enough to stand heavy usage. The U. S. Marine Corps equipment tables provide for 1/2- and 2-ton trucks; these seem to be best for our purposes.

c. Motor transport assignment varies according to the situation. Motor transportation is attached to the force by sections, platoons, or companies, as the case may be. In the case of an independent regiment, a section or more of motor transportation is usually attached.

d. Motorcycles, with or without sidecars, are of very little value in small wars. They require good roads and have some value for messenger service.

e. When needed, native-owned transportation can be used to great advantage. Native chauffeurs, mechanics, and laborers are used when practical. Sudden demands made on the native type of transportation will usually exceed the supply, resulting in very high costs for transportation; but this cannot be avoided.

321. Tractor-trailer transportation.-a. In certain localities it is likely that where the roads stop, there will be trails and terrain that are passable for tractors with trailers, where motor trucks will be unable to go.

b. Tractors maybe available in four sizes. The lightest will weigh approximately 2 tons and run on wheels, using "Jumbo" tires, with small wheels in front and large ones in rear. The other three sizes will weigh approximately 3 tons, 5 tons, and either 7 or 8 tons. All of these are to be the track-laying types.

322. Transportation pools. -a. Certain organizations habitually requiring transportation have vehicles along with their operators and supplies attached to them as a part of their organic organization. Other organizations request transportation as it is needed.

b. In some instances it will be more economical to operate a transportation pool. This is done by placing all transportation in the force under the Force Motor Transport Officer, who will assign the different vehicles to the different tasks as they are required.

3-23. Aviation transport -For transportation of supplies and troops by aircraft, see chapter IX ("Aviation").

324. Water transportation.-a. In some intances river boats and lighters can be used to transport troops, animals, and supplies from the port of debarkation inland.

b.Where lakes or other inland waterways exist within the theater of operations, a most valuable method of transportation may be open to the force, and every effort should be made to utilize all water-transportation facilities available.

c.Boats for this purpose and outboard motors should be carried if it is expected that they will be needed. (See ch. X, "River Operations.")

325. Animal transportation.-a.The use of animals for the purpose of transporting supplies has been one of the most generally used methods of transportation in small-wars operations.

b.Without the pack animal, operations far into the interior of a mountainous and unsettled area, devoid of roads, are impracticable if not impossible. However, the use of pack animals is not a simple or always a satisfactory solution of a transportation problem. Crude or improved pack equipment, unconditioned animals, and the general lack of knowledge in the elementary principles of animal management and pack transportation will tend to make the use of pack transportation difficult, costly, and possibly unsatisfactory.

c.The effeciency with whick the pack train is handled has a direct and material effect on the mobility of the column which it accommodates. With an inefficient pack train the hour of starting, the route of march, and the amount of distance covered are noticeably affected. On the other hand, with conditioned animals, good modern equipment, and personnel with a modicum of training in handling packs, the pack train can accomodate itself to the march of the column and not materially hamper its mobility.

d. If time permits it is highly important to have the animals that are to be used for transporting supplies accustomed to the firing of rifles and automatic weapons, so that they will not be frightened and try to run away if a contact is made. This can be done by firing these weapons while the animals are in a place with which they are familiar and preferably while they are feeding. The firing should be done at some distance first and gradually moved closer as the animals get accustomed to the noise. In a short time the animals will pay no attention to the reports when they find that it does not hurt them. If this is impossible, and an animal carrying important cargo, such as a machine gun or ammunition, is frightened and tries to bolt, the animal should be shot to prevent the loss of these supplies and to prevent them from falling into the hands of the opposing forces.

e. Pack animals mustbe conditioned before being taken on an extended march or heavy losses of animals will result.

f. The march should begin immediately after the last animal is packed.

3-26. Important points in packing. -a. Loads and distances traveled must be adjusted to the condition of the animals. Pack animals must not be overloaded.

b. In packing up, the time interval between placing the loads on the first and the last animal should be reduced to an absolute minimum, This time interval should never exceed 30 minutes.

c. All equipment should be assembled neatly and arranged the night Every single item should be checked, otherwise needless delays will result in the morning.

d. All cargoes should be weighed, balanced, and lashed up the night before a march is to begin.

e. A standard system should be established for stowing all pack gear and cargo loads at each halt for the night. This facilitates the checking of equipment after the halt and greatly reduces the number of lost pieces. A satisfactory system is to place the pack saddles on the ground in a row just in rear of the picket line or, if the animals are pastured at night, place them on a line in a space suitable for packing up in the morning. The harness, lash ropes, and all other gear that belong to that particular saddle and its load should be placed on top of each saddle. The loads should be placed in a row parallel to the saddles; each load in rear of the saddle on which it is to be packed. Only by careful planning and by systematic arrangement can delays in packing up be averted.

3-27. Pack mules.-a. The mule is the ideal pack animal for supply trains, pack trains with foot patrols, and pack trains with detachments mounted on mules. The mule has certain advantages over the horse which fit him for this work, namely: (1)The mule withstands hot weather better, and is less susceptible to colic and founder than the horse. (2) A mule takes better care of himself, in the hands of an incompetent driver, than the horse. (3) The foot of the mule is less subject to disorders. (4) The mule is invariably a good walker. (5) Age and infirmity count less against a mule than a horse.

b. Pack mules are habitually driven and not led. However, pack mules carrying weapons and ammunition will, for purposes of safety, be led in column by having the leader of each mule drive the mule His mule will, in turn, be driven by the man that precedes him. next in rear of it.

3-28. Pack horses.-a. Any good riding horse of normal conformation, good disposition, and normal gaits can be used as a pack horse. The pack nimals of a detachment mounted on horses should always be horses. This is necessary in order to maintain the mobility of the mounted detachment. Each pack horse is led alongside a ridden horse. On very narrow trails and at any time when it is impossible for two horses to travel abreast, the pack horse is led behind the ridden horse.

b. Horses properly packed can march at the same gaits as the ridden horse.

3-29. Pack bulls.-a. Under certain conditions, bulls can be used to good advantage as pack animals. A pack bull with its wide spreading hoof can negotiate mud in which a mule with its small hoof will bog down. While slower than mules, bulls can carry heavier cargoes than the mules usually found in most small war theaters. Good pack bulls can carry from two hundred (200) to two hundred and fifty (250) pounds of cargo. They can make about fifteen (15) miles a day loaded but, after 5 days march, they will require a rest of from five (5) to seven (7) days if they are to be kept in condition. In employing pack bulls it is advisable to hire native bull keepers to handle them.

b. Mixed pack trains of bulls and horses do not operate smoothly due to their different characteristics.

330. Phillips pack saddle.-a. The Phillips pack saddle was developed to supply the need for a military pack saddle of simple but scientific design- a saddle that could be handled by newly organized troops with only a short period of training. The characteristics of this saddle make it ideally suited for small wars operations. It is manufactured in one design in four sizes, and all sizes are suitable for either horses or mules.

PHILLIPS PACK SADDLE, PONY SIZE - Correctly positioned and harness properly adjusted
Correctly positioned and harness properly adjusted.

(1) Cargo-artillery type. 75-mm. pack howitzer units are equipped with this size. It is designed for the large American pack mule.
(2) Cavalry type.-A size designated for the average American cavalry horse.
(3) Pony type. -A size designed for the Philippine and Chinese pony.
(4) Caribbean type. -A size designed for the Central American mules.

b. This saddle is designed for either hanger or lash loads. Hangers for all standard equipment such as the Browning machine gun, the 37-mm. gun, ammunition in machine-gun boxes, some radio sets, and the pack kitchen can be obtained with these saddles. These hangers consist of attachments which can be quickly and easily attached to the saddle. The loads for which they are designed are simply placed in these hangers and held firmly and rigidly in place with gooseneck clamps which can be instantly secured or released.

Browning Machine Gun Load on Phillips Pack Saddle, Pony Size

331. McClellan saddle. --In addition to the regular pack saddles, McClellan saddles may be used in emergency for packing. The tree of a McClellan saddle has most of the characteristics of a pack-saddle tree, and fair results may be obtained by tying the two side loads together across it and running the lashings under the quarter straps or through the cinch strap rings, spider rings (at lower part of quarter straps), or the quarter strap D-rings to hold the load down.

332. Pack equipment.--a. The types of pack equipment in common use by the inhabitants of countnies where pack transportation forms a basic part of the transportation system vary in different countries, and sometimes within a country in different areas.

Browning Machine Gun Load on Phillips Pack Saddle, Pony Size - A complete unit of gun, tripod, ammunition, and spare parts roll. Quick release devices on each item of load.
Browning Machine Gun Load on Phillips Pack Saddle, Pony Size
A complete unit of gun, tripod, ammunition, and spare parts roll. Quick release devices on each item of load.

This native equipment, though crude, can be converted to military purposes and, when no other equipment is available, must be used. Such native equipment invariably has one or more of the following defects:

(1) Highly skilled specialists are required to use it satisfactorily.
(2) Due to its crude construction it is very injurious to animals.
(3) It cannot be adjusted easily on the trails.
(4) Many military loads are extremely difficult to pack on this equipment.
(5) The pads, cinches, and other attachments wear out rapidly under constant usage.
(6) Packing and unpacking require a comparatively great length of time.

b. The advantages of Native Equipment area:

(1) Generally available in quantities in or near the zone of operation.
(2) Relatively cheap.
(3) Light in weight.

Browning Machine Gun Load - Tripod side
Browning Machine Gun Load
Tripod side.

c. These advantages are the only reasons which might justify the use of native pack equipment in preference to the Phillips pack equipment. However, the cheapness of native equipment is overbalanced by the high percentage of animals incapacitated by its use; its light weight is not necessarily an advantage as an equal or greater pay load can be carried on heavier modern equipment with considerably less damage to the animal.

d. The aparejo, or primitive pack saddle, has many shapes, being made of leather with sometimes a wooden tree or back pieces to stiffen it and padding placed either in the leather skirts or between the leather and the animal's back, or both. This type is rather hard to pack, as it requires a complicated hitch around the load and saddle.

e. Another form in general use by civilians is the sawbuck type.

Browning Machine Gun Load on Phillips Pack Saddle, Pony Size - Seven hundred and fifty rounds on each side with space on top of saddle for additional equipment.
Browning Machine Gun Load on Phillips Pack Saddle, Pony Size
Seven hundred and fifty rounds on each side with space on top of saddle for additional equipment.

It consists of a wooden tree formed of two bars fitting the saddle place (bearing surfaces) and four straight wooden pieces which form two crosses, one at the pommel and one at the cantle, fastened to these bars. This type maybe used with flat straw pads or blankets or both. It has the advantage of absolute rigidity in the frame ortree, requires little skill to construct of materials easily available, and less skill to pack than the aparejo described above.

333. Native packers.-- Native packers have been used to good advantage. Two natives experienced in packing are generally hired for every 10 animals, since two men are required to pack each animal and hence work in pairs. A good system is to hire a competent chief packer and allow him to hire the necessary number of packers. With such an arrangement, all orders and instructions should be issued through the chief packer and he should be held responsible for the handling of the cargoes of the animals.

334. Marines as packers.--a. The average marine can be trained in a fairly short time to pack mules more securely and more rapidly than the average native mule driver, and in regions where pack transportation is used, every marine should be taught to pack. The use of marines as packers has the effect of decreasing to some extent the combat strength of the column, but it has many advantages.

Browning Machine Gun Load - Showing space on top of saddle for additional equipment
Browning Machine Gun Load
Showing space on top of saddle for additional equipment.

b. In some cases it may be undesirable or impracticable to include native packers in a combat patrol. The hiring of native packers always gives the populace warning that the column is about to move out.

c. The train is more efficiently handled by marines, thus obviating the necessity of issuing orders to the train in a foreign language. Ammunition and weapon loads should always be led by marines, The adoption of the rather than herded or turned over to natives. Phillips pack saddle, coupled with the ease and rapidity with which marines can be taught to use it, will warrant a greater use of marines as packers in future operations.

3-35. Bullcarts.--a. In some localities the bull-drawn cart is the principal means of transporting bulky articles, and when large quantities of supplies are required, the bullcart may be the best means of transportation available. It is a suitable means of transport when motortrucks or tractors are impracticable and when, the time element does not equire supply by the faster methods. Supplies shipped in bullcarts will ordinarily arrive in good condition, if properly loaded and protected. Weapons and munitions so transported should be constantly under special guard.

The New Cavalry Pack Cooking Outfit on the Phillips Saddle - This outfit is made up of many standard ustentils nested to form two side loads. Each troop of cavalry is to have one pack cooking outfit
The New Cavalry Pack Cooking Outfit on the Phillips Saddle
This outfit is made up of many standard ustentils nested to form two side loads. Each troop of cavalry is to have one pack cooking outfit.

b. If it can possibly be avoided, bulls should not be purchased for Government ownership. Private ownership is more feasible and less expensive. Furthermore, it is unlikely that good animals can be purchased at a reasonable price; natives are willing to part with their aged and disabled animals, but rarely sell their good ones.

c. Whenever possible, a chief bullcart driver should be secured or appointed. He should be a man in whom the other native drivers have confidence, and through whom general instructions can be issued.

d. A definite contract should be drawn up with the native owners before the movement begins. All details of pay, rationing of native drivers and animals, breakage, and damage should be clearly set forth; it is necessary to be assured that the native contractors thoroughly understand the terms of the contract. Contracts should be made on the basis of weight or bulk delivered at the destination, and the natives should not be paid until the service is completed. Deductions can be made for losses or damage to supplies en route. In some casesit may be necessary to advance small sums for the feeding of the animals en route.

Diamond Hitch Load on the Phillips Pack Saddle - The usual lash cinch is not required on this saddle
Diamond Hitch Load on the Phillips Pack Saddle
The usual lash cinch is not required on this saddle

e. Much that is associated with the handling of bullcarts must be learned from experience. The following information, is followed by the inexperienced bullcart commander, will greatly lessen his difficulties:

(1) The bullcart is a simple outfit, but it requires an experienced bullwhacker to guide and man it.

(2) Two thousand pounds is a maximum load for a cart drawn by two yoke of bulls. If the going is bad, from one thousand (1,000) to one thousand six hundred (1,600) pounds is a sufficient load. A load of over two thousand (2,000) pounds is dangerous, regardless of road conditions or nunber of bulls per cart, as it is too great a strain on the cart and will cause break-downs which are almost impossible to repair on the trail.

(3) When such break-downs occur, new carts should be secured in the immediate vicinity of the break-down, or the load of the broken cart should be distributed among the remaining carts. If neither of these makeshifts is possible, sufficient of the least valuable cargo should be discarded and the loads of carts rearranged to carry all important or valuable cargo. This rearrangement of loads should be made by the chief bullcart driver under the supervision of the escort commander, if there is one.

(4) It is difficult to tell whether one pair of bulls is stronger or weaker than another. Some carts will have to be loaded lighter than a others, and only an expert will be able to decide this.

(5) It is better to arrive safely with all carts, cargo, and bulls in good condition than to gamble on overloads with their resultant delays, broken cargo, and injured bulls.

(6) The weight of all military ammunition and supplies can be estimated, and ration containers are usually accurately marked with their gross weight. Thus proper loads can be assigned to all carts.

(7) When streams are to be crossed, carts should be loaded so that the top layer contains perishable cargo, such as sacked flour and sugar, thus preventing or lessening losses by wetting.

(8) In loading carts the native cart driver should be permitted to distribute and lash his load as he sees fit, insofar as is practicable. However, the driver should not be permitted to say when he has a sufficiently large load or he will start off with as light a load as possible. He should be given his share of the cargo and such assistance as he needs in loading it. He will balance his load with a slight excess weight to the front to prevent the tongue from riding upwards when underway. He will test the loading by lifting the tongue before the bulls are hitched to it, to estimate the strain on the bulls when they are attached to the cart.

(9) On the first day's march, the best cart drivers should be noted. This can be done by personal observation and careful spotting of the carts that are slow, and those that cause most delays. On the morning of the second day, or sooner if it can be done without undue delay or confusion, poor carts should be placed at the head of the train, leaving the best carts in the rear. This will assist in keeping the column closed up, thus making supervision, protection, and control of the train much less difficult. When the train consists of so many carts that a mental list of drivers is difficult, the carts should be numbered with painted numerals before departure, and a written list made of each cart by number, driver, and owner.

(10) By having a few officers or noncommissioned officers mounted, much time can be saved in checking up and clearing delays on the trail. If all trouble has to be cleared on foot, needless delays will result.

(11) Train guards must keep a careful watch on cargo to prevent drivers from breaking containers and consuming unauthorized rations en route and in camp. In camp, carts should be arranged in a park convienent for guarding and for the next day's departure.

(12) Extra bulls should be provided for a train, especially in hot weather, to facilitate getting carts out of difficulties, advancing carts up steep grades, and replacing casualties among the bulls.

(13) Any interference on the part of marines with the function of the native drivers, other than that absolutely necessary, will probably work out disadvantageously.

(14) Cargoes, especially those of rations and ammunition, should have a protective covering-such as ponchos or canvas.

(15) During hot weather, bulls cannot be worked in the heat of the day. A good schedule to follow at such times is to start the day at about 3 a. m., and travel until about 9 a. m., then give the bulls a rest until 3 p. m., when travel can be continued again until 9 p. m. In this way the carts can cover from 15 to 20 miles per day, depending upon the conditions of the roads.

(16) A marine officer in charge of a train should cooperate to the fullest extent with the native chief of the bull-cart train in allowing him to set his own schedule. The trip can be materially speeded if this is possible, and the schedule of the marines made to conform to that of the bull-cart train.

(17) In traveling through barren country, it may be necessary to carry food for the animals and, if this is the case, the pay load must be lessened in proportion. As soon as responsible natives can be found and when the route along which the supplies have to be transported is safe, it is wise to allow the train to proceed without escort. The natives, if held strictly responsible for losses, will probably not proceed if there is danger that the train will be captured, as they will have been warned of this danger before the marines. Escorting supplies by such a slow method is very tedious and costly in men. However, ammunition and weapons must be escorted.

3-36. Trains with combat columns. --a. Pack trains which carry the supplies, baggage, ammunition, and weapons of combat columns should be made as mobile as possible. Both the number of animals and the cargo loads should be as small as is consistent with the absolute needs of the column. If there is a choice, it is better to increase the number of animals than to increase the individual cargo loads.

b. In general, the pack loads accompanying a combat column should not exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the weight of the pack animal which, for small mules and horses, would mean a maximum pay load of about one hundred and thirty (130) pounds. One hundred pounds is considered an average load. This is a general rule and the load must be varied to `meet the condition of trails and the condition of the individual animal. Some combat loads will exceed this percentage, and it will be necessary to select the strongest and best conditioned animals to carry these special loads.

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