"Lieutenants think tactics. Generals think logistics."
As it is now at Deir ez-Zour so was it too at Stalingrad and Dien Bien Phu?
In both cases [Stalingrad and Dien Bien Phu] a besieged garrison for which overland resupply impossible. Air lift and air drop thought and hoped to provide adequate provisions but this never being the case.
1. Stalingrad, 1942.
"The airlift statistics."
"During the 72 days and nights between Nov 24th, 1942 and Feb 3rd, 1943, the Luftwaffe had carried or dropped to the encircled troops a total of 8350.7 tons of rations, fuel and ammunition, or an average of 117.6 tons a day."
"The Army [6th Army German] needed 300 tons a day, the absolute minimum amount. (To keep 6th Army operational, the army needed 500 tons a day)"
"Only a few times the daily goal was reached. The most successful day was Dec. 7th, 1942. 362 ton supply was flown in."
German troops besieged at Stalingrad manhandling supplies as being as being unloaded from a Ju-52. Ice and snow and normally conditions hardly conducive to aviation. A sledge better at moving that stuff rather than a wheeled cart? That delivery of supply to the Sixth Army during the siege only about 1/3 of the MINIMUM to sustain the troops, NOT to speak of providing as beyond normal during combat operations!! Many German transport planes and the best pilots also lost during resupply operations the destination of which was Stalingrad.
Indeed, the German Chief of Staff Zeitzler having: "reduced his food intake to the level of Stalingrad rations as a gesture of solidarity with the besieged troops, he lost more than 25 pounds in two weeks".
2. Dien Bien Phu.
"The French garrison needed approximately 150 tons of supplies daily; but the French Air Force, lacking the assets, crews, and ability required for such an operation, only delivered an average of 100 tons per day. Of the 100 tons delivered, as much as forty percent would fall into the hands of the enemy force."
LESS than half of the needed amount as actually delivered on target to the French besieged garrison at Dien Bien Phu. In addition, of that remaining amount, A PORTION as demanded, commandeered and consumed by INTERNAL DESERTERS. Soldiers who given up the fight, no longer participated in combat, just sat back and watched the disaster in a passive manner until the final end.
Viet Minh anti-aircraft-artillery [AAA] at Dien Bien Phu worse according to some pilots than that encountered in the skies over Berlin during World War Two!! Transports having to fly high, their drops less accurate.