Railway Preservation News

Military Railway Service of the US Army
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Author:  Dougvv [ Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:37 am ]
Post subject:  Military Railway Service of the US Army


Over on interchange there is a thread that was about getting the military to help museums. I got a tangent there about trying to find out about how railroads helped with the logistics of WWII.

I have started this railfan thread to mention some of the items I found while reading "

First is a link to my post about the WP&Y over on NGDF. http://ngdiscussion.net/phorum/read.php?1,324667,324667#msg-324667

I have now read about the North African Campaign and the railroads supporting the troops. One thing I never heard about was that when the Germans attacked at Kasserine Pass and pushed back the USA, the one part of the MRS ended up between the German front lines and the US front lines with meter gauge equipment trying to get back to Allied lines.

Amazing story.

One item I noticed was the acronym NATOUSA. Being raised in the 1960s and 1970s, I think of NATO and the Warsaw Pact. But this acronym is North African Theater of Operations US Army. The headquarters of the campaign was called AFHQ (afque) which was Allied Forces Headquarters.

Once again I see that understanding the general feel of the era is paramount to understanding the entirety of the railroads serving as the logistics tail to support combat. Some know I seemingly deviate from the topic at hand but a better understanding of the whole era puts (for me) the railroads (or military) into a better focus and understanding.

I never realized that the USO girls were close to the front. However the interesting part was the realizing at the time that the MRS could not be gotten to by trucks cause an Italian car to be rebuilt and named the "Yankee Dipper". to serve coffee and doughnuts to the MRS people who were not close to roads.

The railroaders of what eventually became part of the Transportation Corp. did amazing feats in rebuilding bombed out bridges, shops, track, yards, and so forth to provide the fighting men at the front what they needed to break through.

It is a small footnote to the entire WWII effort but it is important also.

Thanks for providing me a link "Railroading in Eighteen Countries" to better fill the WWII effort against the Germans and the Japanese.

Doug vV

Author:  p51 [ Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Military Railway Service of the US Army

RR buffs know that railroads helped save the country in WW2 but they usually mean stateside.
The soldier-railroaders is not a well known story even among RR buffs.
I've been collecting artifacts from WW2 RR units for years and reading about them, but there's not much written about them since the late 40s...
Most people think railroaders in the war zones were civilians, when many weren't.

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