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orion-list Macedonian Army Water Needs


To back you up, Appendix 5, Table 3 0n p. 145 of 
Donald W. Engels, "Alexander the Great and the 
Logistics of the Macedonian Army" Berkeley: U.
California Press, 1978, gives The Army's Grain,
Forage and Water Requirement for One Day 

Personnel  - 3 lb. grain, 
             1/2 gal.(5 lb.) water

Cavalry, Baggage and Provision
 animals   - 20 lb. grain and forage
             8 gal. (80 lb.) water

He based his numbers on RAOC sources from just
before WW I, based, as was Gen. Fuller's personal
experience, on the Royal Army Ordnance requirements
set down on the Northwest Frontier in India.

On pp. 57-8 he describes the formidable problems
Alexander faced moving from Tyre to Gaza, even
given the August harvest time date.  Access of
the troops and animals to the water courses 
appears to be a nightmare. 

The siege of Gaza was the worst of all, solved
by his fleet, now available after Tyre, coasting
along beside his walking assets, carrying grain,
fodder and water.

We moderns would not like to be downwind or
downwater of the 60,000+ men and 6,000+ war


Tom Simms

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