67. "French railroads are a mess. Their equipment is terrible."

     They are.

     The state of the French railroads can be traced to these facts: (1) the Nazis took away most of the best French rolling stock ; (2) we shot up a good deal of the French railway system before and after D-Day.

     After liberation, the French found only 35% of their locomotives, 37% of their freight cars, and 34% of their passenger coaches.

     Before the war France had some of the finest trains in the world, and some of the fastest short-distance runs in the world.

     As in all European countries, France had three classes of accommodations. Their third-class coaches were less comfortable than ours ; but their first-class accommodations were in many respects better than anything we had in America.