The Great War Part 86, April 8th 1916

BRITISH ABOUT T O REP ELAN ATTACK A T DAWN ALONG THE U G AND A RAIL W A Y.On January 17th 1916 enemy attacks on the Uganda Railway were repulsed b they British forces operating in East Africa. This picture gives a graphic impression of the manner in which these numerous surprise Early in October came another great achievement of the French railways. The plan had been formed of transferring the entire British force then locatcd near Soissons on the Aisne to St. Omer and other points near to Western Belgium with a view to carrying out a wide sweeping movement which would turn the right of the enemy who foiled in his dash on. Paris was now preparing to outstretch his line towards the'coast in support of the threatened march on Calais. In the circumstances it became a matter of the greatest importance that the transfer of the British troops with horses guns kit and transport, should be effected with the utmost despatch. The distance to be covered— allowing for a wide detour via Amiens Abbeville Boulogne and Calais— was about 180 miles and although the operation involved the running of over 600 trains with about 16,800 carriages and waggons, and had to be carried out “almost under the nose of ”the enemy it was completed with con­spicuous success in six­teen days. The cavalry, who started on October 3rd Were in contact with the enemy to the south of St. Omer on October nth .The Second Army Corps arrived in the RAIL WAY SAND MUNITION TRAN SPORT .Part of a siege-gun in process of manufacture being hoisted onto a truck for trans­ference to the finishing shop of a French munition works. assaults were resisted. Along certain parts of the railway the lines overrun an embankment slightly raised above the surrounding country and the excavations at the sides of the lines provided excellent shelter. evening of the same day and took up position beside the cavalry. The Third Army Corps detrained Omer also on the nth and the First Army Corps reached the same destination on the 19th. Thanks to the railways the race for the sea Was won by the Allies and although the contemplated turning of the enemys flank was not accomplished an effective check was put to the realisation of his designs on the Channel ports. Under the conditions of trench warfare demands made upon the French railways settled down mainly into the less exciting though scarcely less exacting continuous transport of French, British and Belgian troops of vast quanti­ties of food supplies and of heavy guns, munitions and other war material to the western front together with the conveyance therefrom of sick and wounded of men on leave and of prisoners of war. Nor must one omit to men­tion also the very con­siderable masses of postal matter carried by the French railways to and from the trenches or the obligation which de­volved upon them to provide as well as they could for the needs of the civil population. In Great Britain the R 141
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