Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


This study examines the campaigns of Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte and William T. Sherman. By analyzing the influences of the logistics policies and practices employed during these campaigns common underlying logistics principles are identified. The resultant logistics principles are then codified into a logistics paradigm to be used when developing and managing operational level logistics. Using an analysis schema that employs inductive reasoning, principles of historical analysis and critical thinking, each of the three campaigns is analyzed to identify events of interest. The events of interest are specific occurrences during the campaign when what occurred was directly influenced by logistics or logistics policies and practices were influenced by what occurred. Using a modified version of the Threads of Continuity approach to the study of history, four key logistics principles are identified: centralized control/decentralized execution, flexibility, the proper application of technology, and understand the environment. The four principles are then codified into a general logistics paradigm. The viability and the application of the paradigm are discussed. Additionally, previous logistics principles from different authors are described and compared to the paradigm offered in this thesis.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Logistics and Acquisition Management of the Air Force Institute of Technology