"In large operations, combat divisions are burning 1,000,000+ gallons of fuel per week. Imagine it in Russia. 10's of millions of gallons per day for the armies involved. That is why amateurs talk of tactics and professionals talk about logistics."
By the first week of july '41 the germans had discovered growing discrepancies in their fuel supplies. They had budgeted that the war in the east would consume 2.6m gallons/day. The reality was more like 3.3m gallons/day. The first week of the war had been kind to them, with large soviet fuel dumps falling to them which actually hid the shortfall. Beyond that time 22 tanker trains were getting through a day, where approx 28 were needed.
In western europe an army might expect to advance across or close to a double track railway line all to itself-in the east army group centre had only one such line to support 3 armies and two panzer groups. Add to this the need to repair war damaged track and bridges as the advance continued.
Also in this early phase of the advance all major repair and overhauls of panzers happened in germany, so added to battle losses were the far greater 'absences' to the armoured formations due to wear and tear-which should be predictable-but was woefully catered for.
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