Rails of War

Supplying the Americans and Their Allies in China–Burma–India

Steven J Hantzis

Publication date:
May 2017
Publisher :
Potomac Books, Inc.
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781612348537

Dimensions : 230 X 150 mm
This book is available


• American involvement in the China-Burma-India theater is an underexplored chapter of World War II

• First book about the men of the Railway Operating Battalions stationed in the China-Burma-India theater

• The Rails of War is an engaging narrative that includes firsthand accounts and extensive research, providing never-before-heard stories and perspectives on the war

Oppressive conditions, a thankless task, a theater of war long forgotten and barely even known at the time—nonetheless, as Rails of War demonstrates, without James Harry Hantzis and his fellow soldiers of the 721st Railway Operating Battalion, the Allied forces would have been defeated in the China-Burma-India conflict in World War II. Steven James Hantzis's father served alongside other GI railroaders in overcoming danger, disease, fire, and monsoons to move the weight of war in the China-Burma-India theater. Torn from their predictable working-class lives, the men of the 721st journeyed fifteen thousand miles to Bengal, India to do the impossible: build, maintain, and manage seven hundred miles of track through the most inhospitable environment imaginable. This remarkable story of the extraordinary men of the 721st includes the harrowing adventures of the Flying Tigers and Merrill's Marauders, the Siege of Myitkyina, detailed descriptions of grueling jungle operations, and much more as they move an entire army to win the war.


The book provides a good picture of the logistical challenges faced (and overcome) by that great 'Can-do' American engineering spirit…even a technically-useless erk like me found it interesting.
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