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Carriage No. 4329 from US General Dwight D. Eisenhower's ‘Alive' train in 1942
One of the most important areas in which the GWR was asked to support both the war effort and the US army was in the provision of what was codenamed the ‘Alive' train which was to be used by the US General Dwight D. Eisenhower whilst in Britain making preparations for the invasion of Europe. Much secrecy surrounded both the make up and the operation of this train, although some details have emerged during the years following the war, and we know that carriage No. 4329, featured in this image, was one of the sleeping coaches from the ‘Alive' train. It is understood that the order for the train was issued in June 1942 and that many additions and improvements were subsequently made over the following years, so making the train a fully equipped and self-contained vehicle from which General Eisenhower and his team could operate. During the latter years of the war the ‘Alive' train travelled extensively around Britain, and in December 1944, fully equipped with bullet proof glass, the train was shipped overseas where it operated throughout France and on many occasions travelled close to the enemy line.