The outstanding characteristic of supply in the desert is the vulnerability of supply lines caused in large part by the fluidity of operations. The British have relied on supply dumps to a greater extent than the Germans, who use supply trains. The artillery plays an important role in the defense of both dumps and columns.
Supply trains are close up to maintain the momentum of the attack by supplying fuel and ammunition as required. Recovery crews go into battle with their units.
The Germans usually advance to the line of departure under cover of darkness in the early morning hours. They may give battle early in the morning, pause about midday for refueling and maintenance, and give battle again before dark. Return to bivouac is made after dark; hence the location of his bivouac area is difficult to discover. Whenever possible, tank attacks are made with the sun low behind the German tanks. Movement in the advance is fast--at least 20 miles per hour. The normal distance between halts, if no combat occurs, is about 40 miles. Refueling, replenishing of ammunition, and maintenance are carried out under the protection of artillery, antitank weapons, infantry, and overhead fighter protection. These operations are accomplished in full view of the enemy.