In the times of World War II during the campaign in Africa, along with fuel and ammunition, water was one of the most vital supplies to the forces in conflict. The drinking water for human consumption and fresh water were required for the cooling of tank engines, anti-tank guns, command vehicles, communications, patrol, personnel transportation, artillery, all needed water and in the desert, it is precisely the element that is most scarce. At the moment the water was missing, the movements were stopped without the possibility of discussion or decision.
For this reason, the operations were contingent upon the approach, access or capture of water wells and desalination plants, stationary or portable. As it can be deduced, the retreating enemy destroyed water extraction facilities and reservoirs, and in the case of the 8th British Army, they were experts in the chemical decomposition poisoning that made water unusable for both human consumption and engine coolant.
The Afrika Korps had units of water tankers under the command of engineers, senior officers, experts in pumps for the extraction, chemical treatment for purification, as well as in packaging and maintenance of the pipelines and dispensers. It was not unusual for a water supply unit to be under the command of a lieutenant colonel with the wheel insignia identifying him as an engineer, units that also had expert commands in locating closed wells and buried deposits, as well as in locating of parts and pieces used in pumping and purification equipment.
All the found material was transported to mobile and stationary workshops where they were repaired and rebuilt with the same diligence with which the vehicles and the armament were maintained. The responsibility of the commanders of these units was to provide potable water for troops and fresh water as refrigerant. This responsibility for finding, purifying, and distributing water was suddenly increased when four or five thousand prisoners were to be supplied with drinking water.
Each column always had a chemical officer to test the water found or extracted. These professionals not only had to detect the possibility of contamination with sea water but to analyze the chemical pollutant used by the English and then purify it and filter it properly. In the African desert, the best freshwater wells were near the sea which increased the risk of contamination with salt water. However, the experts with seawater detector had to analyze the water from the wells that were drilled in the dunes miles from the coast, but if they did not have the equipment at hand, they had no choice but to drink it with suspicion and trust their experience and good taste.
These uncertain and desperate situations led the invention of jerry cans which are now regularly used by the military as well as engineers working the distant areas. I would suggest you to visit Tridentech Dubai to purchase jerry cans, bladders and BATT tanks and many other related items.