5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Different Approach,
This review is from: Engines of War: How Wars Were Won and Lost on the Railways (Hardcover)
In writng this book Christian has approached the subject of railways and war from a different perspective to other books on railways in war which tend to deal with the technical running of the railways etc.
His approach is to show how the military had to learn how to use this new tranport medium most effectively. From the small temporary lines in the Crimea to huge systems behind the Western Front Christian charts the learning curve that the military underwent.
In particular he illustrates how the military had to keep re-learning how to make the best use of the railways in each new campaign. Unfortunately the stalemate on the Western Front in WW1 was mostly sustained by the very efective exploitation of the railways by the military on all sides.
He also includes some intersting family history on the use of armoured trains after the Russian revolution.
He illustrates how Hitler's attack on Russia was hampered from the start by the actual physical lack of railways to supply three full armies and the break of gauge at the frontier. These problems being exaserpated the further into Russia the Germans advanced, which greatly contributed to its ultimate failure.
As a final finale to the "Railway Wars" he refers to the effective use of railways by the North Koreans in the defense of their country despite overwheaming American airpower and numerous bombing raids to destroy the lines.
All in all a good read, combining railway and military history in an very interesting way. One small quibble though I too would like more maps.