Making Roads

Tim Gosling takes a closer look at some of the specialist road-building equipment used by the US Engineer Road Service Companies during World War One

A road compasruck)

World War One holds the record for many things including it being the first conflict where motor transport would undertake a role within the logistical process. Unfortunately, the roads in France which had previously proved quite adequate for the movement of horse-drawn traffic and columns of marching troops were unable to cope with the weight and sheer volume of the mechanical transport that was now using them.

The French Government (through their Ponte et Chaussees department) was responsible for maintaining the roads, but with the arrival of the American Expeditionary Force they were unable to cope with the sudden increase in the amount of urgent maintenance and further expansion, so the United States Army formed engineer road companies to provide assistance.

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