50 YEARS AGO (1944)

The following extracts are from the ‘Tanganyika Standard’ in the early part of 1944.

A rather angry farmer wrote to the Editor on February 26, 1944: ‘1 think some of the officers in the Moshi area need a refresher course in good manners. A few don’ts:

1) If a farmer has given half his farm to the military authorities free, don’t behave like a boor; at least send your Adjutant to find out what will and what will not constitute a nuisance on the remainder of the farm;

2) When route marching through private property, maintain march discipline and don’t let men fall out and help themselves to grapefruits and pawpaws;

3) If you wish to train your men in bush fighting don’t do so in a coffee plantation as coffee branches are easily
broken !

The Chief Mechanical Engineer was quoted on May 27 1944 as having described some of the work done by the Marine, Civil and Mechanical Departments of the Tanganyika Railway and Port Services since the beginning of the war in 1940. ‘The first order’ he said, ‘was for stars and crowns for the locally recruited officers of the armed forces. This caused considerable difficulties and the task almost had to be given up, until it was learnt that an expert coiner had just been released from prison. He was sufficiently good at his illicit trade to have earned a ten-year stretch but he was soon put to work to produce hundreds of stars and crowns. The Works had also been engaged in conversion of heavy passenger-carrying planes into fighting machines …. Tanganyika Railways also collected, treated and supplied 100 old Krupp railway axles for trench mortars. Several thousand machined parts were made for land mines and 50 river pontoons complete with decking and hinged connectors were also made.. … Other items included 500 five-ton lifting jacks, 80,000 pairs of head and toe plates for army boots and 60 sets of mine and depth charge launching gear.. ..We have made an active contribution to the war’ the Chief Mechanical Engineer said.

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