This railway completed the rail link between Bangkok and Rangoon, Burma. The line was closed in 1947, but the section between Nong Pla Duk and Nam Tok was reopened ten years in 1957, forced labour was used in its construction. More than 180, 000—possibly many more—Southeast Asian civilian labourers and 60,000 Allied prisoners of war worked on the railway,12,621 Allied POWs died during the construction. The dead POWs included 6,904 British personnel,2,802 Australians,2,782 Dutch, no compensation or reparations have been provided to Southeast Asian victims. In early 1942, Japanese forces invaded Burma and seized control of the colony from the United Kingdom. To supply their forces in Burma, the Japanese depended upon the sea, bringing supplies and troops to Burma around the Malay peninsula and through the Strait of Malacca and the Andaman Sea. This route was vulnerable to attack by Allied submarines, especially after the Japanese defeat at the Battle of Midway in June 1942. To avoid a hazardous 2,000 miles sea journey around the Malay peninsula, the Japanese began this project in June 1942.
The project aimed to connect Ban Pong in Thailand with Thanbyuzayat in Burma and its route was through Three Pagodas Pass on the border of Thailand and Burma. 69 miles of the railway were in Burma and the remaining 189 miles were in Thailand, the movement of POWs northward from Changi prison in Singapore and other prison camps in Southeast Asia began in May 1942. After preliminary work of airfields and infrastructure, construction of the began in Burma on 15 September 1942. The projected completion date was December 1943, most of the construction materials, including tracks and sleepers, were brought from dismantled branches of Malayas Federated Malay States Railway network and the East Indies various rail networks. The railway was completed ahead of schedule, on 17 October 1943, construction gangs originating in Burma and working south met up with construction gangs originating in Thailand and working north. The two sections of the line met at kilometre 263, about 18 km south of the Three Pagodas Pass at Konkuita, the Burma railway was an impressive accomplishment.
As an American engineer said after viewing the project, What makes this an engineering feat is the totality of it, all of that makes this railway an extraordinary accomplishment. The total freight carried during the war was 500,000 tonnes,12,000 Japanese soldiers, including 800 Koreans, were employed on the railway as engineers and supervisors of the POW and rōmusha labourers. Although working conditions were far better for the Japanese than the POW and rōmusha workers, Japanese soldiers are widely remembered as being cruel and indifferent to the fate of Allied prisoners of war and the Asian rōmusha. Many men in the railway workforce bore the brunt of pitiless or uncaring guards, cruelty could take different forms, from extreme violence and torture to minor acts of physical punishment and neglect
Decauville was a manufacturing company was founded by Paul Decauville, a French pioneer in industrial railways. Decauvilles major innovation was the use of sections of light, narrow gauge track fastened to steel sleepers. The first Decauville railway used 400 mm gauge, Decauville refined his invention, starting in 1875, his company produced track elements and cars. Those were exported to countries, in particular to the colonial possessions of European powers. Decauville track was used during the French military expeditions to Madagascar, tracks inside the fortresses went from the munitions entries in the rear all the way up to the fighting blocks, where ammunition loads were transferred to forward magazines using overhead monorails. Similar feldbahn equipment was used in German South-West Africa where Otavi Minen- und Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft built the 600 mm gauge Otavibahn, by the First World War, the Decauville system had become a military standard and the French and British eventually built thousands of miles of trench railways track.
The Germans had a system, with normalized engines. Decauville railways were used in construction yards, farms, cane fields. The company produced road vehicles and construction engines, Decauville tram installations for henequen plantations in the Mexican region of the Yucatán, were so extensive that the system became the de facto mass transit system for the region. Some ex-haciendas of the still have small operating, usually burro powered. Decauville designed the steam tramway and cars used in Saigon in 1896, two Portuguese beaches have seasonal tourist trains in Decauville system totalling 10 km. M. Decauville. A paper read before the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, http, //www. decauville. nl Map of Decauville railways in the Yucatan, Mexico Light Railways April 2013, has an article with illustrations on portable railways such as Decauville
This land is sometimes called the Chaco Plain. The Gran Chaco is about 647,500 km² in size and it is located west of the Paraguay River and east of the Andes, and is mostly an alluvial sedimentary plain shared among Paraguay and Argentina. It stretches from about 17° to 33° South latitude and between 65° and 60° West longitude, though estimates differ, locals sometimes divide it today by the political borders, giving rise to the terms Argentinian Chaco, Paraguayan Chaco and Bolivian Chaco. The Chaco Boreal may be divided in two, closer to the mountains in the west, the Alto Chaco, sometimes known as Chaco Seco, is very dry and sparsely vegetated. It has an open savanna vegetation consisting of palm trees, quebracho trees and tropical high-grass areas. The landscape is flat and slopes at a 0.004 degree gradient to the east. This area is one of the distinct physiographic provinces of the Parana-Paraguay Plain division. The areas more hospitable to development are along the Paraguay, Bermejo and it is a great source of timber and tannin, which is derived from the native quebracho tree.
Special tannin factories have been constructed there, the wood of the palo santo from the Central Chaco is the source of oil of guaiac. Paraguay cultivates mate in the part of the Chaco. Large tracts of the central and northern Chaco have high fertility, sandy alluvial soils with elevated levels of phosphorus. Soils are generally erosion prone once the forest has been cleared, in the central and northern Paraguay Chaco, occasional dust storms have caused major top soil loss. Prior to national independence of the nations that compose the Chaco, the Gran Chaco had been a disputed territory since 1810. Officially, it was supposed to be part of Argentina and Paraguay, Argentina claimed territories south of the Bermejo River until Paraguays defeat in the War of the Triple Alliance in 1870 established its current border with Argentina. Over the next few decades, Bolivia began to push the natives out and settle in the Gran Chaco, Bolivia sought the Paraguay River for shipping oil out into the sea, and Paraguay claimed ownership of the land.
This became the backdrop to The Gran Chaco War between Paraguay and Bolivia over supposed oil in the Chaco Boreal, in the end, no oil was found in the region. Mennonites immigrated into the Paraguayan part of the region from Canada in the 1920s, more came from the USSR in the 1930s and these immigrants created some of the largest and most prosperous municipalities in the deep Gran Chaco. The region is home to nine million people, divided about evenly among Argentina, Brazil
Eighteen years of war resulted in the joint-rule state of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, a condominium of the British Empire and the Kingdom of Egypt. Following the invasion by Muhammad Ali in 1819, Sudan was governed by an Egyptian administration, because of the heavy taxes it imposed and because of the bloody start of the Turkish-Egyptian rule in Sudan, this colonial system was resented by the Sudanese people. Throughout the period of Turco-Egyptian rule, many segments of the Sudanese population suffered extreme hardship because of the system of taxation imposed by the central government. Under this system, a tax was imposed on farmers and small traders. In bad years, and especially during times of drought and famine, fearing the brutal and unjust methods of the Shaiqiyya, many farmers fled their villages in the fertile Nile Valley to the remote areas of Kordofan and Darfur. The jallaba were known to be slave trading tribes, by the middle 19th century the Ottoman Imperial subject administration in Egypt was in the hands of Khedive Ismail.
Thus an ever increasing British role in Egyptian affairs seemed necessary and this commission eventually forced Khedive Ismail to abdicate in favor of his son Tawfiq in 1877, leading to a period of political turmoil. Also in 1873, Ismail had appointed General Charles Chinese Gordon Governor of the Equatorial Provinces of Sudan, for the next three years, General Gordon fought against a native chieftain of Darfur, Al-Zubayr Rahma Mansur. Upon Ismails abdication in 1877, Gordon found himself with dramatically decreased support, exhausted by years of work, he resigned his post in 1880 and left early the next year. His policies were soon abandoned by the new governors, but the anger, another widely reported potential source of frustration was the Turco-Egyptian abolition of the slave trade, one of the main sources of income in Sudan at the time. In the 1870s, a Muslim cleric named Muhammad Ahmad preached renewal of the faith and liberation of the land, soon in open revolt against the Egyptians, Muhammad Ahmad proclaimed himself the Mahdi, the promised redeemer of the Islamic world.
In August 1881 the then-governor of the Sudan, Raouf Pasha, the captains of the two companies were each promised promotion if their soldiers were the ones to return the Mahdi to the governor. Both companies disembarked from the steamer that had brought them up the Nile to Aba Island, arriving simultaneously, each force began to fire blindly on the other, allowing the Mahdis scant followers to attack and destroy each force in turn at the Battle of Aba. The Mahdi began a retreat to Kordofan, where he was at a distance from the seat of government in Khartoum. This movement, couched as a progress, incited many of the Arab tribes to rise in support of the Jihad the Mahdi had declared against the Turkish oppressors. Another Egyptian expedition dispatched from Fashoda was ambushed and slaughtered on the night of 9 December 1881, the Mahdi legitimized his movement by drawing deliberate parallels to the life of the Prophet Muhammad. He called his followers Ansar, after the people who greeted the Prophet in Medina, and he called his flight from the British, the hijrah, after the Prophets flight from the Quraysh.
The Egyptian administration in the Sudan, now thoroughly concerned by the scale of the uprising and this force approached the Mahdist gathering, whose members were poorly clothed, half starving, and armed only with sticks and stones
Trench railways represented military adaptation of early 20th century railway technology to the problem of keeping soldiers supplied during the static trench warfare phase of World War I. Reconstruction of conventional roads and railways was too slow, and fixed facilities were attractive targets for enemy artillery, Trench railways linked the front with standard gauge railway facilities beyond the range of enemy artillery. Empty cars often carried litters returning wounded from the front, France had developed portable Decauville railways for agricultural areas, small scale mining and temporary construction projects. France had standardized 600 mm narrow gauge Decauville military equipment and Germany adopted similar feldbahn of the same gauge, British War Department Light Railways and the United States Army Transportation Corps used the French 600 mm narrow gauge system. Russia used Decauville 600 mm narrow gauge and 750 mm narrow gauge systems, unskilled labourers and soldiers could quickly assemble prefabricated 5-meter sections of track weighing about 100 kilograms along roads or over smooth terrain.
The track distributed heavy loads to minimize development of muddy ruts through unpaved surfaces, small locomotives pulled short trains of 10-tonne capacity cars through areas of minimum clearance and small-radius curves. Derailments were common, but the rolling stock was relatively easy to rerail. Steam locomotives typically carried a length of flexible pipe to refill water tanks from flooded shell holes. Steam locomotives produced enough smoke to reveal their location to enemy artillery, steam locomotives required fog or darkness to operate within visual range of the front. Daylight transport usually required animal power until internal combustion locomotives were developed, large quantities of hay and grain were carried to the front while horses remained an essential part of military logistics. Fodder for horses constituted the single biggest commodity exported from Britain to France during the war, French equipment was largely designed on the initiative of Artillery Captain Prosper Péchot beginning in 1888.
The 10-tonne Fairlie articulated 0-4-4-0T Péchot-Bourdon locomotive was named for him, prior to outbreak of war 150 km of military 60 cm track were stockpiled at Toul, along with 20 locomotives and 150 wagons. The French military had 62 Péchot-Bourdon type built between 1888 and 1914, Baldwin Locomotive Works built 280 more during the war. The Système Péchot as it is named in French became the dominant system for trench railways with an estimated 7,500 km of track built by the 5th engineer regiment,250 8-tonne 0-6-0T of Decauvilles Progres design were built for military service. 32 0-6-0T of American design and 60055 kW gasoline mechanical locomotives were purchased from Baldwin Locomotive Works, the Maginot Line employed a 600 mm gauge supply system of petrol-powered armoured locomotives and underground electric locomotives pulling cars of World War I design. Two Péchot-Bourdon locomotives were preserved in the museums of Dresden. A portion of the Somme battlefield railway continued in operation and has preserved as the heritage Froissy Dompierre Light Railway.
Orenstein and Koppel GmbH manufactured portable track, krauss designed a 0-6-0T Zwillinge intended to be operated in pairs with the cabs together
Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener
His term as Commander-in-Chief of the Army in India saw him quarrel with another eminent proconsul, the Viceroy Lord Curzon, who eventually resigned. Kitchener returned to Egypt as British Agent and Consul-General, in 1914, at the start of the First World War, Kitchener became Secretary of State for War, a Cabinet Minister. Kitchener died on 5 June 1916 when HMS Hampshire sank west of the Orkney Islands and he was making his way to Russia in order to attend negotiations when the ship struck a German mine. He was one of more than 600 killed on board the ship, Kitchener was born in Ballylongford near Listowel, County Kerry, in Ireland, son of army officer Henry Horatio Kitchener and Frances Anne Chevallier. His father had recently bought land in Ireland under a scheme to encourage the purchase of land after selling his commission. They moved to Switzerland where the young Kitchener was educated at Montreux, at the Royal Military Academy, pro-French and eager to see action, he joined a French field ambulance unit in the Franco-Prussian War.
His father took him back to England after he caught pneumonia after ascending in a balloon to see the French Army of the Loire in action. Commissioned into the Royal Engineers on 4 January 1871, his service in France had violated British neutrality, and he was reprimanded by the Duke of Cambridge, the commander-in-chief. He served in Palestine and Cyprus as a surveyor, learned Arabic, Sir Walter Kitchener, had entered the army, and was Governor of Bermuda from 1908 to 1912. In 1874, at age 24, Kitchener was assigned by the Palestine Exploration Fund to a mapping-survey of the Holy Land, replacing Charles Tyrwhitt-Drake, who had died of malaria. Conder and Kitchener’s expedition became known as the Survey of Western Palestine because it was confined to the area west of the Jordan River. The survey collected data on the topography and toponymy of the area, as well as local flora, the results of the survey were published in an eight-volume series, with Kitchener’s contribution in the first three tomes.
This survey has had an effect on the Middle East for several reasons, The ordnance survey serves as the basis for the grid system used in the modern maps of Israel. The collection of data compiled by Conder and Kitchener are still consulted by archaeologists, the survey itself effectively delineated and defined the political borders of the southern Levant. For instance, the border between Israel and Lebanon is established at the point in upper Galilee where Conder and Kitchener’s survey stopped. In 1878 having completed the survey of Western Palestine, Kitchener was sent to Cyprus to undertake a survey of newly acquired British protectorate. Then in 1879 he became vice-consul in Anatolia, in 1883 Kitchener became a Freemason. On 4 January 1883 Kitchener was promoted to captain, given the Turkish rank bimbashi, Egypt had recently become a British puppet state, its army led by British officers, although still nominally under the sovereignty of the Khedive and his nominal overlord the Sultan of Turkey
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war in the former Russian Empire immediately after the Russian Revolutions of 1917, as many factions vied to determine Russias political future. In addition, rival militant socialists and nonideological Green armies fought against both the Bolsheviks and the Whites, eight foreign nations intervened against the Red Army, notably the Allied Forces and the pro-German armies. The Red Army defeated the White Armed Forces of South Russia in Ukraine, the remains of the White forces commanded by Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel were beaten in Crimea and evacuated in late 1920. Lesser battles of the war continued on the periphery for two years, and minor skirmishes with the remnants of the White forces in the Far East continued well into 1923. Armed national resistance in Central Asia was not completely crushed until 1934, there were an estimated 7,000, 000–12,000,000 casualties during the war, mostly civilians. The Russian Civil War has been described by some as the greatest national catastrophe that Europe had yet seen, many pro-independence movements emerged after the break-up of the Russian Empire and fought in the war.
Several parts of the former Russian Empire—Finland, Latvia, the rest of the former Russian Empire was consolidated into the Soviet Union shortly afterwards. After the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the Russian Provisional Government was established during the February Revolution of 1917, Political commissars were appointed to each unit of the army to maintain morale and ensure loyalty. In June 1918, when it became apparent that an army composed solely of workers would be far too small. Former Tsarist officers were utilized as military specialists, sometimes their families were taken hostage in order to ensure their loyalty, at the start of the war three-quarters of the Red Army officer corps was composed of former Tsarist officers. By its end, 83% of all Red Army divisional and corps commanders were ex-Tsarist soldiers, a Ukrainian nationalist movement was active in Ukraine during the war. More significant was the emergence of an anarchist political and military movement known as the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine or the Anarchist Black Army led by Nestor Makhno, some of the military forces were set up on the basis of clandestine officers organizations in the cities.
The Czechoslovak Legions had been part of the Russian army and numbered around 30,000 troops by October 1917 and they had an agreement with the new Bolshevik government to be evacuated from the Eastern Front via the port of Vladivostok to France. The transport from the Eastern Front to Vladivostok slowed down in the chaos, under pressure from the Central Powers, Trotsky ordered the disarming and arrest of the legionaries, which created tensions with the Bolsheviks. The Western Allies armed and supported opponents of the Bolsheviks, many of these countries expressed their support for the Whites, including the provision of troops and supplies. Winston Churchill declared that Bolshevism must be strangled in its cradle, the British and French had supported Russia during World War I on a massive scale with war materials. After the treaty, it looked like much of material would fall into the hands of the Germans. Under this pretext began allied intervention in the Russian Civil War with the United Kingdom, there were violent clashes with troops loyal to the Bolsheviks
The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom. As of 2017 the British Army comprises just over 80,000 trained Regular, or full-time and just over 26,500 trained Reserve, or part-time personnel. Therefore, the UK Parliament approves the continued existence of the Army by passing an Armed Forces Act at least once every five years, day to day the Army comes under administration of the Ministry of Defence and is commanded by the Chief of the General Staff. Repeatedly emerging victorious from these decisive wars allowed Britain to influence world events with its policies and establish itself as one of the leading military. In 1660 the English and Irish monarchies were restored under Charles II, Charles favoured the foundation of a new army under royal control and began work towards its establishment by August 1660. The Royal Scots Army and the Irish Army were financed by the Parliament of Scotland, the order of seniority of the most senior line regiments in the British Army is based on the order of seniority in the English army.
At that time there was only one English regiment of dragoons, after William and Marys accession to the throne, England involved itself in the War of the Grand Alliance, primarily to prevent a French invasion restoring Marys father, James II. Spain, in the two centuries, had been the dominant global power, and the chief threat to Englands early transatlantic ambitions. The territorial ambitions of the French, led to the War of the Spanish Succession and the Napoleonic Wars. From the time of the end of the Seven Years War in 1763, Great Britain was the naval power. As had its predecessor, the English Army, the British Army fought the Kingdoms of Spain and the Netherlands for supremacy in North America and the West Indies. With native and provincial assistance, the Army conquered New France in the North American theatre of the Seven Years War, the British Army suffered defeat in the American War of Independence, losing the Thirteen Colonies but holding on to Canada. The British Army was heavily involved in the Napoleonic Wars and served in campaigns across Europe.
The war between the British and the First French Empire of Napoleon Bonaparte stretched around the world and at its peak, in 1813, the regular army contained over 250,000 men. A Coalition of Anglo-Dutch and Prussian Armies under the Duke of Wellington, the English had been involved, both politically and militarily, in Ireland since being given the Lordship of Ireland by the Pope in 1171. The campaign of the English republican Protector, Oliver Cromwell, involved uncompromising treatment of the Irish towns that had supported the Royalists during the English Civil War, the English Army stayed in Ireland primarily to suppress numerous Irish revolts and campaigns for independence. Having learnt from their experience in America, the British government sought a political solution, the British Army found itself fighting Irish rebels, both Protestant and Catholic, primarily in Ulster and Leinster in the 1798 rebellion. The Haldane Reforms of 1907 formally created the Territorial Force as the Armys volunteer reserve component by merging and reorganising the Volunteer Force, Great Britains dominance of the world had been challenged by numerous other powers, in the 20th century, most notably Germany
World War I
World War I, known as the First World War, the Great War, or the War to End All Wars, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. More than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history and it was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, and paved the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved. The war drew in all the worlds great powers, assembled in two opposing alliances, the Allies versus the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. These alliances were reorganised and expanded as more nations entered the war, Japan, the trigger for the war was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. This set off a crisis when Austria-Hungary delivered an ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia. Within weeks, the powers were at war and the conflict soon spread around the world.
On 25 July Russia began mobilisation and on 28 July, the Austro-Hungarians declared war on Serbia, Germany presented an ultimatum to Russia to demobilise, and when this was refused, declared war on Russia on 1 August. Germany invaded neutral Belgium and Luxembourg before moving towards France, after the German march on Paris was halted, what became known as the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, with a trench line that changed little until 1917. On the Eastern Front, the Russian army was successful against the Austro-Hungarians, in November 1914, the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai. In 1915, Italy joined the Allies and Bulgaria joined the Central Powers, Romania joined the Allies in 1916, after a stunning German offensive along the Western Front in the spring of 1918, the Allies rallied and drove back the Germans in a series of successful offensives. By the end of the war or soon after, the German Empire, Russian Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, national borders were redrawn, with several independent nations restored or created, and Germanys colonies were parceled out among the victors.
During the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the Big Four imposed their terms in a series of treaties, the League of Nations was formed with the aim of preventing any repetition of such a conflict. This effort failed, and economic depression, renewed nationalism, weakened successor states, and feelings of humiliation eventually contributed to World War II. From the time of its start until the approach of World War II, at the time, it was sometimes called the war to end war or the war to end all wars due to its then-unparalleled scale and devastation. In Canada, Macleans magazine in October 1914 wrote, Some wars name themselves, during the interwar period, the war was most often called the World War and the Great War in English-speaking countries. Will become the first world war in the sense of the word. These began in 1815, with the Holy Alliance between Prussia and Austria, when Germany was united in 1871, Prussia became part of the new German nation. Soon after, in October 1873, German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck negotiated the League of the Three Emperors between the monarchs of Austria-Hungary and Germany