RAILWAYS AT WAR: THE FIRST WORLD WAR
the first time ever, a comprehensive presentation of nearly 2 1/2 hours of
archive film footage evidencing the central role played by the railways in
meeting the logistical challenges of supplying the battlefronts of the First
World War with the requisite troops, munitions, machinery and stores.
military historian Major Tonie Holt provides a commentary throughout on
sequences of railway footage from the Somme, Mesopotamia, the Palestinian Front
many ways tactical success in the First World War depended on the defence of
the railheads and the narrow gauge railway supply routes, from them to the battlefronts.
railhead was where the warehouses, loco maintenance depots and signal and
control centres were based; they were also often the point of interchange
between the standard gauge national system and the light and narrow gauge
railways that led to the battlefield. Railways were the supply line of choice
and we see the rapid construction, maintenance and running of the lines by the
American Transportation Corps, the American Engineering Corps, the Railway
Operating Division of the Royal Engineers, the Indian Sappers, the Australian
Engineers and the Canadian Engineers.
see the speed of the construction of railway lines by the prefabricated
‘Decauville’ track system and the huge variety of locomotive power brought to
bear, not only steam, but early diesel, petrol and petrol-electric motive
are views of the enormous BEF locomotive works at St. Etienne-du-Rouvry and a
fascinating sequence on the preparation and firing of British and American
railway artillery armoured trains witnessed by Roosevelt himself. The assembly
of locomotives, flat wagons and rolling stock at St.Nazaire.
the armistice, railways were often the only functioning entity in areas of
widespread devastation, for example at Aix-Noulette, Ypres and Verdun. We also
see the mass exodus, by steam locomotion, of troops from the battlefields at
the end of the war back to the French ports and early scenes of the Dunkirk
‘roll - on, roll - off’ train ferry.
RUNNING TIME – 144 MINS REGION 0 - PAL
Release Date: 25/03/2013