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Chapter XI



Redeployment and Occupation


Redeployment planning, initiated by War Department directives in 1944 when it seemed that victory in Europe might be a reality by November or December of that year, lost some of its vigor as winter approached, and it became obvious that the war would be prolonged. The plan of Maj. Gen. Paul R. Hawley, Chief Surgeon, ETOUSA (European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army), for closing and redeploying medical units of the theater was reviewed in January 1945, and a new plan was submitted in March. War Department "Troop Basis" manifested the types of units that would be relocated, but selection of the specific medical units was accomplished by the Chief Surgeon.1

After V-E Day, 8 May 1945, the plan for redeployment-dividing Army units into occupation troops (category I), transferring troops to another theater (category II), or demobilizing troops in the United States (category III)-presented a new set of supply problems. Before V-E Day, all attention had been focused upon the requisitioning, receipt, storage, and issue of supplies. Redeployment reversed this flow. The changes of function dictated the development of detailed plans and their execution in a relatively short span of time. A conference with all medical depot commanding officers in ETOUSA was held on 6 April 1945. Headquarters, Communications Zone, had promulgated three plans, as follows:

1. The "Basic Plan for Redeployment," covering the general procedures to be followed in redeployment of troops and equipment.

2. POM-RED (Preparation for Oversea Movement-Redeployment), SOP (Standing Operating Procedure) No. 61, comprising detailed instructions for unit commanders whose units were scheduled for redeployment.

3. SPOR (Supplies Preparation for Oversea Redeployment), SOP No. 63, consisting of instructions concerning the movement of supplies and being designed for use by Supply Services headquarters and depots.

Each document underwent several changes.

The basic plan provided that units going directly to the Pacific area would pass through the Assembly Area Command near Reims, France, where

1(1) Letter, Maj. Gen. Paul R. Hawley, Chief Surgeon, Headquarters, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, to The Surgeon General, 6 Sept. 1944, subject: Movement of Hospital Units and Equipment From the European Theater of Operations to the Pacific Theaters After Cessation of Hostilities. (2) Period Report, Operations Division (Planning Branch), Office of the Chief Surgeon, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, 1 Jan.-30 June 1945.


they would draw supplies to eliminate shortages, and pack, mark, document, and ship their own equipment. The first units were scheduled, however, to bypass the Assembly Area Command and were to proceed directly to the staging area at Marseille, France, where the prescribed processing would be performed. Units sent to the Pacific area indirectly and to the United States for strategic reserve were directed to turn in all equipment-except that designated minimal essential equipment-to collecting points stipulated by Supply Services chiefs. This equipment was then shipped to the Pacific area and to the United States, but it was not marked for any specific unit.2


United Kingdom and Northern France

The Supply Division set forth plans to insure that fixed hospitals included the equipment of other services and that all hospital assemblies were stowed in one hold of a single ship. The Chief Surgeon, ETOUSA, sought and was charged with the responsibility of packing, marking, documenting, and shipping hospitals and similar assemblies upon port call.

It was decided to confine, insofar as possible, the packing of general and station hospital assemblies to the United Kingdom because (1) the existing hospitals could be closed out in the United Kingdom more rapidly, and (2) the comparatively short distances permitted the designation of one depot to receive turned-in equipment for reassembling hospitals against the forecast.

General and station hospitals on the Continent were directed to turn in their equipment to the nearest depot.

Each field and each evacuation hospital scheduled for direct shipment would pack its own equipment with the help of the medical supply service. Medical Depots M-409 and M-414, located at Li?ge, Belgium, and Foug, France, respectively, were designated as collecting points for all field and evacuation hospital assemblies and were responsible for assembling such hospitals destined for direct or reserve shipments.

The units would be directed to turn in all other medical equipment to the designated collecting point, Medical Depot M-418 at Mourmelon-le-Petit, France, where the equipment would be inspected, disassembled, and then completely reprocessed into minor assemblies. Units going directly to the Pacific area would turn in their equipment and draw completely processed assemblies. Units going indirectly would turn in their equipment, except for minimal essential equipment.

While many aspects of the redeployment program followed the prechartered course, a few conditions militated against effective and full execution. The equipment turned in was generally in somewhat better condition than had been anticipated. Approximately 90 percent of the hospital-type equipment

2Semiannual Report, Supply Division, Office of the Chief Surgeon, Headquarters, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, 1 Jan.-30 June 1945.


FIGURE 96.-Minor assembly processing line at Medical Depot M-418, Mourmelon-le-Petit, France. Medical Department chests are being disassembled preparatory to restocking.

and 75 percent of the field-type equipment received by depots was either serviceable or repairable. Considerable confusion attended the initial efforts in the U.K. hospital program while a heavy flow of field equipment was processed as planned at Depot M-418 with relative ease. Common to both hospital equipment and field equipment were the factor of urgency, the general shortage of packing and crating materials, and the difficulties of various kinds with marking and documenting shipments (fig. 96).

Although requisitions for packing and crating materials had been submitted to the Zone of Interior in January, supplies were not sufficiently plentiful until after 1 July for the full-fledged program. In the interim, it was necessary to proceed with the small quantities of packing material on hand and, consequently, hospitals assembled during May and June were inadequately packaged and protected.

The varied destinations involved in redeployment made it essential that marking instructions be explicitly carried out and that old marking be obliterated. Unexpected difficulty was encountered because of a considerable shifting of, and loss of, depot personnel incident to their own deployment. These same factors occasioned difficulties in the processing of assemblies and the preparation of accurate documentation. The introduction of a newly designed shipping document for redeployment (modeled after the existing War Department shipping document) compounded the problem.


Finally, and fortunately, Japan's surrender on 14 August 1945 instantly altered redeployment activities in ETOUSA, and energies were directed toward intercepting the movements of materiel that was destined for the Pacific area. Most of the medical units and the equipment which was on the way, or had reached the Philippines and the United States by V-J Day, 2 September 1945, had been processed in accordance with the opening phase of the plan through the huge redeployment processing center at Marseille. Perspectives changed also-no one seemed particularly disturbed that the cherished stocks brought into ETOUSA, many as emergency supplies, would not be shipped against the elaborate plans, but would be disposed of as surplus property.3

Southern France

A complete readjustment in supply handling in southern France came about with redeployment. Requisitioning supplies from the Zone of Interior was adjusted to meet the change. The forward flow to CONAD (Continental Advance Section) receded and then, with redeployment, reversed its direction. Stocks in warehouses reached their peak at this time and then began to decrease as supplies were poured out to redeploying units.

Packing and processing of supplies for the Far East had first priority. Thus, in April 1945, two officers were sent from the medical depot in Marseille to Paris to attend a course in special procedures for tropical packing and preservation of supplies to be shipped to the Pacific area. Anticipating the end of the war in Europe, base section shipping procedures were modified, and only those materials were sent to the fronts in Europe that would not stand reshipment to the East. Also, the conservation of packing cases and materials began before the German surrender. Delta Base Section established a central boxmaking activity, where various standard-sized boxes and crates were made for use by all technical services. When shipments started, various port battalions entered into loading competitions which reached their peak when V-J Day diverted the flow of materiel.

The Delta Base Section personnel-staging program was rapidly developed to provide facilities to accommodate 200,000 troops at one time in three large areas in southern France-Calais, Saint-Victoret, and Arles. It was a monumental achievement accomplished on a tight schedule.

In June 1945, the 231st Medical Composite Battalion, Headquarters, Delta Base Section, was charged with the gigantic task of processing and assembling complete sets of tropically packed T/E (tables of equipment) medical equipment for issue to category II medical units redeployed through the staging areas. Storage and operational space became critical as hospital assemblies and Medical Department kits and chests were processed and held pending shipment of units. Depot strength rose to more than 500 personnel in June 1945, while it operated at peak capacity-processing requisitions for staging

3(1) See footnote 2, p. 380. (2) Report of Operations, Supply Division, Office of the Theater Chief Surgeon, Headquarters, Theater Service Forces, European Theater, 8 May-30 Sept. 1945.


units, filling optical prescriptions, receiving and storing unit assemblies shipped from the north of France, marrying-up assembly components shipped separately from the parent shipment, and concurrently, moving major and minor assemblies to shipside for loading. During July, the deluge of supplies and equipment from the north continued. The major activity consisted of receiving carloads of hospital assemblies while continuing to move processed assemblies from the depot when called for by the port commander. Depot storage space reached the saturation point in July forcing acquisitions of additional space including a large lot, not too distant from the depot, which had been used as a baseball diamond. Supply points were established in each of the staging areas to service deploying units and the areas more directly.

During the first 6 months of 1945, the 231st Medical Composite Battalion received 12,336 tons and distributed 6,116 tons. In addition, it processed or assembled 11 general hospitals, 10 station hospitals, 3 evacuation hospitals, 4 infirmaries, 6 general dispensaries, and 2 medical laboratories. After V-J Day, redeployment continued except that the destination became the United States.4


Depot Activities

At the end of the war in Europe, the medical depots supporting the combat armies were located deep in the heartland of Germany, some in areas soon to be occupied by the forces of other Allied Nations. This led to considerable confusion during May and June of 1945, with the transfer of medical depot sites to the French, British, and Russian forces and a concurrent relocation of United States forces into the area designated as the U.S. Occupied Zone of Germany. During this period, U.S. Army medical depot companies performed commendably, transferring not only U.S. Army stocks, but also the bulk of critical captured medical materiel into dumps in the U.S. Zone (map 27). These captured supplies were destined to be invaluable in providing medical care to vast numbers of displaced persons and prisoners of war who were under U.S. control. By 1 July 1945, transfers of area responsibilities were largely completed, and the medical supply structure to support the occupation was operational, consisting of a medical depot to support each of the separate major commands, which included Berlin, Bremen, the subdivisions of the U.S. Zone (Eastern and Western Military Districts of Germany) and U.S. forces in Austria.

The Weinheim Medical Depot was in operation as a key filler depot in the Western Military District of Germany, Seventh U.S. Army area. Operated by the 30th Medical Depot Company, the depot had originally been established on 1 May 1945 as Medical Depot M-416T with a mission to supply the 6th Army Group and Continental Advance Section. However, 1 July 1945 found

4(1) See footnotes 2, p. 380; and 3(2), p. 382. (2) Semiannual Report, Headquarters, 231st Medical Composite Battalion, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, 1 Jan.-30 June 1945.


MAP 27.-Occupation zones and medical depots in postwar Germany and Austria, 1945.

the company still in the process of getting established and faced with an enormous task of expansion. After V-E Day, units redeploying for the Pacific theater and the United States were turning in their medical equipment and supplies. Again, after V-J Day, the speeding up of redeployment to the United States brought in an ever-increasing amount of excess equipment that had to be checked, repacked, and stored. Designation of the 30th Medical Depot Company as a category I occupation force unit meant that many additional problems of supply and storage would have to be met. Other medical depots, not designated as occupational units, began the process of moving a great portion of their stocks to Weinheim. Thus, the entire activity of the Weinheim Medical Depot for the final 6 months of 1945 was one of constant expansion, always with the cry for space and more space.

The original warehousing facilities at the Weinheim Medical Depot were unsatisfactory and had to be reconstructed to accommodate the storage of


FIGURE 97.-Furth Medical Depot, N?rnberg, Germany, operated by the 33d Medical Depot Company. The E-shaped building was surrounded by a large open storage area on which temporary-type buildings were added progressively to accommodate postwar needs.

6,000 tons anticipated under the occupation. All construction required at the depot was accomplished by medical troops, German civilians, and prisoners of war, with supervisory personnel and heavy construction equipment furnished by other services.

The Furth Medical Depot, in operation as the key filler depot in the Eastern Military District of Germany, Third U.S. Army area, was established by the 33d Medical Depot Company on 26 April 1945 in the waning days of combat in what was a former German Medical Sanitats Parke (Medical Point). Although the structure at this site was not particularly desirable from an issue viewpoint, it did afford adequate covered storage space for approximately 4,000 tons and an abundance of open storage space. The structure consisted of a four-story, triple-winged building with 10-foot ceilings which made forklift operations impracticable. Elevators available in the building made storage more accessible and easier to handle. Road and rail communications leading to this depot were excellent, and necessary docking and ramping facilities made shipping, unloading, and handling a minor problem. As a consequence, the depot was established as a key depot for certain items of medical supply necessary in the maintenance of U.S. forces in the occupied zone. By 31 December 1945, total stocks at the Furth Medical Depot had reached a level of approximately 7,015 tons. Ultimately, in 1946, the Furth Medical Depot was to become the only medical depot supporting the U.S. occupation forces in Germany (fig. 97).

The Bremen Medical Depot, operated by the 70th Medical Base Depot Company at a site near the port of Bremerhaven, served not only as a filler


depot for the Bremen Enclave but also as a base depot for inshipments from both the United Kingdom and the Zone of Interior. Although the depot was small, the troop strength supported directly by it was also small. Moreover, access routes into the depot were excellent. It was decided that, by augmenting the depot's ramp facilities to expedite off and on loading, the depot could continue to serve as a base depot to handle the receiving and shipping functions in support of the occupation forces.

The Berlin Medical Depot, operated by a detachment of the 15th Medical Depot Company, was established in the Berlin Enclave to initially support approximately 50,000 troops. Its site was near the grounds of the 279th Station Hospital located in a small enclosed tennis court. Due to the reduced strength of the Enclave, the depot was shortly inactivated and became an issue point under the 279th Station Hospital.

United States forces in Austria received their medical supply support from the 226th Medical Supply Detachment located in Glasenbach, Austria. This detachment, in turn, requisitioned its requirements from the Furth Medical Depot in the U.S. Occupied Zone of Germany.5

Medical Supply Division, Theater Chief Surgeon's Office

Although the medical depot system in the U.S. Occupied Zone of Germany and Austria was under major subordinate commanders, it was technically supervised by the Supply Division, Theater Chief Surgeon's Office, TSFET (Theater Service Forces, European Theater). From the cessation of hostilities through 31 December 1945, there was a progressive transfer of responsibilities from the TSFET (REAR) office located in Versailles, France, to the TSFET (MAIN) office in Frankfurt, Germany. As of 1 October 1945, Col. Robert L. Black, MSC, was chief of the Supply Division with station in Versailles, and Lt. Col. Louis F. Hubener, MC, Deputy Chief, Supply Division, was acting chief of the Supply Division in Frankfurt. The move of the Supply Division from TSFET (REAR) in Versailles to TSFET (MAIN) in Frankfurt was completed by 7 November 1945.

During the last 3 months of 1945, the Supply Division efforts were directed toward the buildup of (1) a minimum 60-day maintenance level in all medical depots in Germany and (2) a reserve stockpile in Germany sufficient to maintain the occupation forces until 30 June 1949. To accomplish this objective, a comprehensive study was made first of issues in Germany, and then, replacement factors were revised upward on all items on which issues in Germany were higher per 1,000 men per month than the overall theater issues. Likewise, downward revisions were made where indicated. Based upon the revised replacement factors, 60-day maintenance levels and 30 June 1949 levels

5(1) See footnotes 2, p. 380; and 3(2), p. 382. (2) Semiannual Report, Headquarters, 30th Medical Depot Company, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, 1 Jan.-30 July 1945. (3) Annual Report, Headquarters, 33d Medical Depot Company, 1 Jan.-31 Dec. 1945. (4) Annual Report, Headquarters, 70th Medical Base Depot Company, 1945. (5) Annual Report, 15th Medical Depot Company, 1 Jan.-31 Dec. 1945. (6) Annual Report, Office of the Surgeon, Headquarters, U.S. Forces in Austria, 1945. (7) Annual Report, 226th Medical Supply Detachment, U.S. Forces in Austria, 1945.


were computed by using the factors in combination with estimated troop strength for the periods involved.

To maintain a minimum 60-day supply of each item stocked in the theater, monthly maintenance requisitions were placed on the Zone of Interior. Requisitions were based on a 180-day reorder point to allow for a 120-day shipping time. Incoming shipments on such requisitions were received through the port of Bremerhaven by the Bremen Medical Depot, and from this depot, supplies were transferred as needed to other filler depots in Germany.

Each medical depot in Germany was authorized a proportionate part of the 60-day maintenance level, computed on the percentage of total troops served. Based upon information contained in the theater's consolidated stock status report, transfers among the various depots were effected to insure a minimum 60-day stock of each item, except key depot items, in each filler depot. Key depot items were books and blank forms, stocked only by the Furth Medical Depot, and teeth, stocked only by the Weinheim Medical Depot.

The buildup of the 30 June 1949 level from stocks already in the theater was stressed during the last 3 months of 1945. Approximately 10,000 long tons of medical supplies from depots in liberated countries and the United Kingdom were moved into Germany. Arrangements were made also to bring to Germany the so-called luxury items for installation in the larger, permanent medical installations in Germany. Many of these items-for example, large fixed X-ray machines-had been brought to the Continent only in small numbers during combat operations because of the special handling required. The hospitals established on a semi-Zone-of-Interior standard to support occupation forces in Germany brought about a heavy demand for these items.

During the latter part of 1945, the International Business Machines Section of the Stock Control Branch was moved from Paris to Frankfurt. As a result of the damage incurred to the equipment in transit and the difficulties encountered in installing it at the new location, the first consolidated stock status report was not prepared until the middle of December 1945. Among the problems encountered was the understandable unwillingness of French personnel to move to occupied Germany. It was, therefore, necessary to recruit German nationals with electrical accounting machine experience to staff the new section in Frankfurt.6

Medical Maintenance and Repair

With the reduction of medical maintenance and rebuild requirements in liberated areas, transfer was made of necessary equipment and repair parts to the Furth and Weinheim Medical Depots in the. occupied zone. The large maintenance shop, located at Medical Depot M-407 in Paris, discontinued operations at the end of November and moved to Germany. At both Weinheim and

6(1) See footnotes 2, p. 380; and 3(2), p. 382. (2) Report of Operations, Supply Division, Office of the Theater Chief Surgeon, Headquarters, Theater Service Forces, European Theater, 1 Oct.-31 Dec. 1945. (3) War Department Technical Manual (TM) 38-420, Disposition of Excess and Surplus Property in Oversea Commands, September 1945.


Furth, the maintenance shops were staffed not only with U.S. military and civilian personnel, but also with German civilians and prisoners of war.7

Optical Program

The Base Optical Shop in Paris, with small portable units operated at various medical depots, continued in operation during the entire period. Bifocal corrections were accomplished by French contract and proved very satisfactory. To accomplish optical requirements in the occupied zone, small units were established at the Furth and Weinheim Medical Depots as well as a portable unit in Berlin to care for emergency cases.8


In addition to the task of establishing a medical supply system to support the U.S. forces in occupied Germany, the Theater Chief Surgeon was faced with an equally difficult task of providing essential medical supplies to displaced persons camps, prisoner-of-war enclosures, and the German civilian economy. A Civil Affairs Section in the Supply Division had the mission of coordinating and supervising the execution of this mission.

Medical supplies for the U.S. Military Government mission in Germany came from two sources: (1) Civil Affairs stocks brought from the Zone of Interior and the United Kingdom, and (2) captured enemy medical materiel. In the beginning, all civil affairs stock was stored in Medical Depot M-412 at Reims. This stock included approximately 175 basic medical items, including British obstetric kits, British CAD (Civil Affairs Drug) units, and antityphus supplies. Military government authorities decided that 50 of the basic medical items should be transferred to the occupied zone and stocked in occupation depots for military government use in that area. These supplies were issued only upon approved request of military government authorities.

Over 30,000 tons of captured medical supplies and equipment were consolidated in the U.S. Occupied Zone of Germany into nine major supply dumps with locations at Heilbronn, Gauting, Ihringshausen, Neuhof, Straubing, Furth, Heidingsfeld, Treuen, and Bad Mergentheim. This number was reduced to the first six named locations to provide three dumps in each of the two military districts. A minimum of U.S. military personnel operated each dump, and former German civilian supply personnel were utilized as the main source of labor (fig. 98).

Col. Earle D. Quinnell, MC, Director, Medical Department Equipment Laboratory, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., made a special trip to France in early 1945 to inspect captured German field equipment and to arrange to have it sent back to the Zone of Interior for further study.

7(1) Period Reports, Medical Depot M-407, October, November, and December 1945. (2) See footnotes 5(2) and 5(3), p. 386.
8See footnote 6(2), p. 387.


FIGURE 98.-Sorting and stacking captured German medical supplies and equipment.

During this period, a medical supply catalog for captured materiel with a cross-reference in English was prepared, printed, and distributed by the Theater Chief Surgeon to facilitate supply operations. This catalog was compiled from nomenclatures received from a physical inventory of the dumps, from nomenclature manuals printed by German manufacturers, and from all commercial German medical supply catalogs that could be located. The medical supply catalog for captured materiel contained approximately 9,000 items, most of which were in supply at the beginning of the occupation period. This catalog received wide distribution to using agencies to include prisoner-of-war enclosures and hospitals, displaced persons camps, military government supply officers, and German civilian users.

Numerous requests were received through technical channels requesting emergency shipments of medical supplies to military government detachments, particularly in Berlin and Austria, for German civilian use. The breakdown of normal German trade channels had created critical shortages in these remote areas with the result that the Theater Chief Surgeon's Office found itself serving as a retail agent for German civilian demands. To assure best possible


utilization of retail merchandise available in captured stocks to support the German economy, a recommendation was made for the transfer of the dumps and operating personnel, exclusive of military personnel, to the jurisdiction of U.S. military government authorities. This recommendation was ultimately approved and implemented.9


The transition from a dynamic wartime medical supply system to a relatively static peacetime structure to support the occupation forces was accomplished rather expeditiously with minimum waste and confusion. Considering the vast quantities of medical materiel in liberated areas which had to be disposed of, either as excess for return to the Zone of Interior, surplus sale, or forwarded to Germany for retention purposes, the task was accomplished in a comparatively short time. The achievement is even more remarkable when one considers that the period witnessed not only the redeployment of numerous medical depot units, but also the wholesale return of key, experienced depot personnel to the United States. As may be expected, pilferage, stock imbalances, and shortages of sensitive items resulted from a lack of supervision in depth. Yet, the end of the year 1945 in occupied Germany saw the emergence of a reasonably efficient medical supply system, utilizing modern business machine methods and Zone of Interior station and depot supply and accounting procedures. The U.S. Army medical supply system and its personnel once again had met and effectively dealt with a challenging logistical situation.

9See footnotes 2, p. 380; 3(2), p. 382; and 6(2), p. 387.