Engines of War: How Wars Were Won & Lost on the Railways [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 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 ...
See more details below
Engines of War: How Wars Were Won & Lost on the Railways

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price
(Save 35%)$16.99 List Price

Overview

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 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.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Publishers Weekly
“Wolmar writes with an authoritative tone and solid research on how railroads, with their ability to move vast numbers of troops, made "industrial-scale carnage possible." 

Library Journal
“Very accessible and likely to be popular with readers of general military history.”

Library Journal
Railroad historian Wolmar (Blood, Iron, and Gold: How the Railways Transformed the World) provides a detailed review of the role of railroads in some of the conflicts in which they played a major role from the mid-19th century through the mid-20th century. The author's thesis is that as railroads were a crucial part in a century of industrialization and economic expansion, they were also a crucial part in the economic contests and military disputes between nations. He notes that after World War II war became less industrial and mass armies no longer debouched from railcars. Western countries in particular became less tied to the railroad, using as well all modes of transportation. Very accessible, and likely to be popular with readers of general military history.
Kirkus Reviews

A history of the impact of the railroad on warfare.

Transportation historian Wolmar (Blood, Iron, and Gold: How the Railways Transformed the World, 2010, etc.) argues that, by moving large numbers of men and their supplies over long distances at a speed previously unimaginable, railroads made war possible on an industrial scale. Their dominance began roughly with the Crimean War in 1850 and came to an end in the Korean War, just over a century later. The author notes that the era was marked by clashes between the generals and the railway men, each convinced that they knew the right way to put the new tool to use. Officers in all wars liked to commandeer empty cars after their arrival at the front, using them for everything from storage to headquarters. Meanwhile, railway companies disliked turning over their rolling stock to the war effort, fully aware that it might not come back. Engineer Herman Haupt, who supervised the Union railway program in the Civil War, devised solutions that maximized the delivery of men and supplies to the front, as well as tools for destroying enemy rail lines. Future military leaders who ignored Haupt's principles did so at their peril, as Wolmar shows with examples running from the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 to World War II. In particular, the lesson that the railways give the advantage to a defender was missed by the generals of World War I, leading to bloodbaths like Passchendaele and Verdun. A little-known detail is the wide use of miniature trains to supply the trenches, a technique adopted by both sides on the Western Front. Wolmar also provides perspective on topics from the effective use of railways in the British colonial wars to the prolongation of the Korean War by the North Koreans' skill at keeping their trains running despite constant American bombing. The author spices the narrative with odd sidelights such as the Russians' predilection for armored trains or Hitler's fascination with rail-mounted giant artillery pieces.

A meaty, informative book for railroad buffs as well as students of military history.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586489724
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 11/2/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,088,360
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

Christian Wolmar is a writer and broadcaster specializing in the social history of railroads and transportation. 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, about how the railroads transformed the world; The Subterranean Railway, a history of the London Underground, the world's oldest system, and Fire & Steam, the story of Britain's railroads.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Military History - railroads

    Good history of railroad use in modern war

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)