This week Combat Trains takes a look at Nazi railways of WWII and how important these were for the war and their monstrous plans.
Ever since their invention railways have been one of the most important elements of major military campaigns and wars. From transporting troops to the front line to keeping forces supplied, they allow the efficient transportation of large volumes at relatively low cost.
In WWII the Nazi war machine made extensive use of trains to do both of these and also created various mobile command posts, helping make up for their loss of air control. Large artillery pieces were also transported this way and some trains were even armoured.
However, trains became infamous during WWII for an even darker reason than total war. They were used by the Nazis to carry out their final solution, there systematic murder of millions of Jews, Gypsies and disabled people. These groups of people were treated worse than cattle as they were shipped to labor and death camps in order to be processed.
The railways proved deadly efficient in delivering their innocent victims to the gas chambers and ovens of the death camps and surely will always remain a symbol of man’s inhumanity to man.
Combat Trains airs on Mondays at 8:00 PM on Smithsonian Channel.