Monday, September 12, 2011

The Arab Revolt in Palestine, Part III
The Railroads, Defending against Arab Attack 1936-1939

Derailed locomotive, 1936
New picture added of hostage on railroad tracks. (January 2012)

The Arab attacks against the Jews and British in Palestine were frequently directed against motor vehicles and railroads. These pictures from the Library of Congress-American Colony collection show the extensive damage to the trains and the special measures taken by the British, including armed escorts.
Derailed train, 1936

The British government's annual reports on the Administration of Palestine and Transjordan lists monthly attacks against the rail system. According to the 1936 report, for instance,

"During June 1936 there were twelve acts of sabotage on the railway, and on two occasions trains were wrecked, one of the derailments near Lydda on the 26th June causing four deaths and considerable damage to the line and rolling stock. In consequence of this act of sabotage, which followed closely upon an organized attack on the Civil Airport at Lydda, a curfew was imposed on the town of Lydda." 
British army guards with machine guns riding in a special
armored rail car
British marines guarding the trains

Arab hostage on flatbed in front of vehicle checking the
tracks for mines. (This photo was miscaptioned in the
Library of Congress collection)
At one point the British army even put Arab hostages on a flatbed in front of a rail car as they checked the rails for mines.
Arab hostages sitting in a rail cart as
 British troops patrol the train
 tracks (1936).  Not from the Library
of  Congress collection

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