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By Wilfried Kopenhagen

Proven are Soviet armored trains as used in the course of the Russian Revolution, the Russian Civil battle, and global warfare II.

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May 26, 1942: Colonel Michela and Secretary Page had been gone 48 hours, time enough for the internees to reflect on what had transpired during the short visit.  Even the sight and taste of such delicious foods, however, did not distract the flyers from asking the question that was uppermost on their minds: When were they going to be released?  The hint buoyed the men's spirits.  Never did they dream, however, that their year­long odyssey through the Soviet Union and the Middle East was only in its initial stage.

At sea, the Doolittle crews learned for the first time that their secret destination was Tokyo and other Japanese heartland industrial targets.  According to Doolittle's refined plan, the Hornet would approach within 500 miles of Japan, the bombers would be launched at dusk, they would reach their targets at night, and they would land in China the next day.  Halsey wanted to bring the Hornet as close as possible to Tokyo before being discovered and forced to launch the bombers.  Because of the greater distance, the crews would have to stretch their available fuel to the limit if their bombers were to have any chance of reaching their destinations in China.

They were taken to a railroad siding where a lone railroad passenger coach was waiting.  Each internees was given a separate compartment, and each was provided blankets and a pillow without linens. , 223.  Emmens, Guests of the Kremlin (New York: Macmillan, 1949), 59­60.  They had been locked in their car except for a few times when they were allowed to detrain and pace the length of the coach. Their longest outing was when they went to a track­side shower bath.  After nightfall, the train continued to move westward.

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