We've Built the 'Persia Road' Into Russia

The War Illustrated, Volume 5, No. 130, Page 747, June 12, 1942.

Within the last few months Iran has become a great clearing-house for British and American supplies to the Russian front. Road and rail communications have been vastly improved and increased, and day and night, by iron way and dusty road, trucks and lorries hum with unceasing movement through the romantic land of Omar Khayym.

What were recently little wayside stations are now great marshalling yards, and immemorial caravan tracks have been widened to take fast modern traffic. The opening of a railway from Khorranshah on the Shatt-al-Arab, some fifty miles west of Bandar Shahpur, to Ahwaz, about seventy miles inland, has greatly speeded up supplies. British soldiers are reminded of home and holidays when they see powerful locomotives, with L.M.S. markings, puffing into Teheran, drawing behind them truck after truck of machinery crates.

Then begins a thrilling journey across Persia's northern plateau. The dirt road runs between snowcapped mountains, up and down like a gigantic switchback, with views of magnificent scenery on either side. Hour after hour the convoy of lorries eats up the mileage, the Russian drivers, all of whom are skilled mechanics, keeping their places in the line with only one thought the determination to bring the munitions of war as quickly as possible to their brothers fighting the Fascist foe.

The last stage of the journey is reached when the convoy descends the road to the Caspian Sea with the port of Pahlevi in sight. An important addition to Soviet armament, having travelled thousands of miles, having defied U-boats and Nazi aeroplanes, is now being unloaded by willing hands. Within a few hours empty camions they belong for the most part to the United Kingdom Commercial Corporation, which handles the transit of British supplies for Russia have turned round and are racing back to refill. The "lease-lend" way in ancient Iran has become one of the main highways to victory.