Engines of War
How Wars Were Won and Lost on the Railways
By Christian Wolmar.
Cloth with dust jacket, 7x10, 128 glossy pages, b/w photos throughout. 2010.
"From the author of Blood, Iron and Gold: The dramatic 100-year history of how trains became weapons, and transformed forever the nature of war.
"Before the nineteenth century, armies had to rely on slow and unreliable methods of transportation to move soldiers and equipment during times of conflict. But with the birth of the railroad in the early 1830s, the way wars were fought would change forever.
In Engines of War, renowned transportation expert Christian Wolmar tells the story of that transformation, examining all the engagements in which railways played a part from the Crimean War and American Civil War through both world wars, the Korean War, and the Cold War with its mysterious missile trains. He shows that the 'iron road' not only made armies far more mobile, but also greatly increased the scale and power of available weaponry. Wars began to be fought across wider fronts and over longer timescales, with far deadlier consequences.
"From armored engines with their swiveling guns to track sabotage by way of dynamite, railway lines constructed across frozen Siberian lakes and a Boer war ambush involving Winston Churchill, Engines of War shows how the railways - a fantastic generator of wealth in peacetime - became a weapon of war exploited to the full by governments across the world.
"Christian Wolmar is a writer and broadcaster specializing in the social history of railways and transport. He has written for major British newspapers for many years and has contributed to many other publications, including the New York Times and Newsday. He frequently appears on TV and radio as an expert commentator. His most recent books are Blood, Iron, and Gold, The Subterranean Railway, a history of the London Underground, the world's oldest system, and Fire & Steam, the story of Britain's railways. His website is www.christianwolmar.co.uk."