Tangled ruins of Marne Bridge blown up by Germans and Red Cross train wreck


Tangled ruins of Marne Bridge blown up by Germans and Red Cross train wreck


After the Germans were defeated on the Marne in 1914 they did everything consistent with a hasty retreat, to hamper the pursuing French. In this case they have wrecked a railway bridge to cut what would otherwise be the route of the supply trains for the French army. The fact that a Red Cross train was on the bridge was not considered of any consequence. The "Nord" one sees on the engine is the French word for "North," and alludes to the railway system to which it belongs, the Chemin de Fer du Nord. There are only six great railway companies in France and the systems of the Northern and Eastern companies are the ones whose lines cover the country which was devastated in the war. But without them neither the Allies nor the Germans could have carried on the war or supplied their vast armies as they did. After gaining possession of large portions of these systems, the Germans repaired them and kept them in a high state of efficiency. It was a combination of some of the double track main lines of the Chemin de Fer du Nord and the Chemin de Fer du l'est running from Metz to Lille which connected the whole central and northern sections of the German battle front and enabled them to shift their troops rapidly from one place to another as they might be needed. When the first American Army attacked in the Meuse-Argonne in 1918, it struck at the portion of this line lying between. Metz and Sedan, and before the armistice came it had forced its way to Sedan and broken the line there, literally splitting the German armies in two.

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1 stereograph : b&w
1 gelatine silver print stereograph (8 x 15 cm) mounted on card (9 x 18 cm)


Copyright. The Keystone View Company
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World War through the stereoscope

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Keystone View Company, “Tangled ruins of Marne Bridge blown up by Germans and Red Cross train wreck,” Monash Collections Online, accessed May 29, 2024, https://repository.erc.monash.edu/items/show/25389.

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