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Trains in WWII


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#1 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 05:18 AM

One of my other favorite subjects. Trains. Troop and especially Armored. :)

German Troop Train Protection Against Air Attack" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following intelligence report on German antiaircraft protection for rail transport is reproduced from the WWII publication Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 5 dated August 13, 1942. For further information on German antiaircraft units and tactics, see also German Antiaircraft Artillery, Special Series No. 10.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]

GERMAN TROOP TRAIN PROTECTION AGAINST AIR ATTACK



The movement of troops by rail is always attended by dangers incident to sudden air attacks. The extent to which these can be successfully warded off, may often determine the final outcome of a battle.
The German Air Force Manual includes a section entitled "Protection of Troop Trains Against Air Attack."
Where trains are to be protected by means of antiaircraft machine guns, the troops transported will furnish 3 antiaircraft sections. Three antiaircraft railroad cars are provided, one at the center of the train, and one at the center of the front and rear halves of the train. There are two types of railroad cars: an open high-sided car with a superstructure or scaffolding, and an open low-sided car. The type of car used depends upon the make-up of the train. Thus in the case of non-motorized units which will use roofed cars for the most part, the guns must be placed at a considerable height in order to get a clear field of fire. Therefore, two high-sided cars with a superstructure are used, and only one low-sided car. This allotment of cars is reversed for motorized units. The high-sided antiaircraft cars are spotted in the train with the roofed cars, the low-sided antiaircraft cars with the open cars. Where possible, the guns are mounted on vehicles when the low-sided car is used.
In conjunction with the antiaircraft machine guns, 20-mm. antiaircraft guns may be used. When the 20-mm. guns are to be used, 2 antiaircraft sections are formed, and 3 low-sided cars, specially designed for antiaircraft use, are provided. One car is placed at the tail-end of the train and another at the center. The third car is placed immediately behind the locomotive so that when the direction of the train is changed, as in switching for example, the tail car need not be shifted; if possible, this car should also be provided with a gun. At least 2 open cars with low loads should be coupled to either side of these special antiaircraft cars in order to give a good field of fire. Additional 20-mm. guns may be used when required.
Care must be taken that the guns are not struck by obstructions, such as passing trains, tunnels, signal posts, etc. For this purpose, lookouts are detailed to observe on each side of the train. When not firing, the 20-mm. guns should be pointed directly to the front or rear depending on their sector of fire. No warning of attacks can be expected, so all antiaircraft personnel must be kept in a constant state of readiness. There are two aircraft watchers, one observing an arc of 180° to the front, the other to the rear. These watchers should be selected from among the best-trained men and relieved frequently. The procedure for firing is as follows: The normal zone of fire of the guns near the front of the train is to the front, that of the guns near the rear, to the rear; these guns will support each other only when there are no planes within their respective normal zones. The guns in the middle of the train support the front or rear guns as the situation may require. When the train is moving, only tracer ammunition will be used since the motion does not permit accurate sighting. Care must be taken not to shoot up signal posts and other installations, and even if under attack no firing may be done where there are overhead powerlines. At prolonged halts, when for one reason or another fields of fire are obstructed, the guns should be dismantled and set up at suitable points in the surrounding countryside.



German Troop Train Protection Against Air Attack, WWII Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 5, August 13, 1942 (Lone Sentry)
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#2 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 07:00 AM

Posted Image
The Armored train Hurban now located and preserved near Zvolen Castle in Zvolen, Slovakia.

The Armored train Hurban was an armored train used during World War II, during the Slovak National Uprising. The Hurban was constructed on September 25, 1944 in the Railway Manufactory in Zvolen, Slovakia, and was the last armored train used in the Slovak National Uprising.


The commander of the train was Captain J. Kukliš, and his assistant was Lt. J. Belko, together commanding a crew of 71 men. Hurban operated in the BreznoČervená Skala area against the 18th division SS Horst Wessel and from October 23 – 24 1944 was the main factor in the fight for the upper flow of the Hron river. Despite suffering a damaged engine, it repulsed all German attacks. It was pulled to Harmanec, where it was abandoned in a railway tunnel, the crew fighting on as a partisan detachment.

Armored train Hurban - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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#3 Za Rodinu

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 07:41 PM

I think this article was mentioned recently by somebody, my apologies to the originator: Deutsche Reichsbahn - The German State Railway in WWII

http://hgs.oxfordjou...reprint/15/1/33
http://www.southerns...m/asncf150x.htm
http://www.one35th.c.../k5/k5_loko.htm

Edited by Za Rodinu, 05 July 2008 - 07:56 PM.

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#4 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 07:49 PM

Cool! Thanks Za!
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#5 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 07:49 PM

"German Railway Flak" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following intelligence report on German railway flak was originally printed in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 17, January 28, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]

GERMAN RAILWAY FLAK



Protection of troop and freight trains is determined by such weapon disposal as best assures the safe arrival of the train with the minimum of losses. The following article, reproduced by permission of the British Air Ministry, contains information which supplements that reported in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 5, p. 7.
a. Equipment for Defense of Trains
The normal Flak gun for the defense of trains is the 20-mm; machine guns are also used. It is possible that the 37-mm gun may sometimes be used, though this is not known for certain. The accompanying sketch shows a 20-mm railway Flak detachment.
Posted Image
An open freight car is the type commonly used for the 20-mm gun according to the German manual. The gun can be accommodated at one end, and the crew under a removable roof at the other; alternate positions are provided at either end of the car so that the gun position and crew shelter can be reversed, if necessary.
The muzzle-brake is removed from the 20-mm gun to reduce the length of the barrel. Safety fences on all four sides of the gun insure that it is not fired below the safety angle. These measures make it impossible for the gun to strike obstructions such as tunnels, signal posts, or other trains. Other safety measures include the posting of look-outs to prevent firing which might damage telegraph wires, signal posts, tunnels, or other obstructions, and a complete prohibition of firing on electrified lines with overhead cables.
Photographic evidence suggests that, in practice, converted passenger coaches and roofed freight cars with part of the roof removed are often used instead of freight cars--a measure probably dictated by the need to economize in specially constructed cars.
b. Employment
It is understood that the allotment of Flak cars per train is as follows:
(1) Three cars mounted with machine guns placed a quarter, a half, and three-quarters of the way along the train.
(2) Three cars carrying 20-mm light Flak guns: one in the middle of the train, one at the rear, and one immediately behind the locomotive. The gun behind the locomotive is not manned, being a spare to permit reversing the train without shunting the guns.
(3) On especially important trains an additional 20-mm gun is carried on a car in front of the locomotive.
In practice the allotment of Flak cars varies considerably, and it is probable that the full allotment is rarely allowed. A recent report stated that on French railroads two Flak cars, instead of the usual allotment of one, were to be run at the rear of all trains in use by the armed forces; on the other hand, in many cases an allotment of as little as one gun to a train is made.
Examples of trains (believed to be military) photographed in France are as follows:
(1) Engine, 5 passenger coaches, 5 box-cars, Flak car, 12 box-cars, 5 flat cars, 3 box-cars, 8 flat cars;
(2) Engine, 4 passenger coaches, 14 flat cars, Flak car, 25 box-cars;
(3) Engine, 23 flat cars, 5 box-cars, Flak car, 3 passenger coaches, 2 box-cars, 16 flat cars, 1 open car, 2 flat cars, and 1 box-car.
It is of interest that, in most cases in these examples, the Flak car is preceded or followed by box-cars, which must presumably hinder somewhat the field of fire.
On the move the guns, continuously manned, are allotted 180° priority arcs as follows:
(1) Forward--the front MG and center 20-mm guns;
(2) Rearward--the center and rear MG's and the rear 20-mm gun;
(3) Forward--the 20-mm gun in front of the locomotive (when carried).
When the train is stopped, the guns may be moved from the cars and deployed on the ground so as to give a better field of fire. The decision to do this naturally depends on the probable length of the halt.
c. Protection of Ground Areas and Lines of Communication
In many parts of Germany and also, it is believed, elsewhere (especially in Russia), mobile heavy and light Flak units are employed with guns on railway mounts. They may be equipped with any of the following calibers: 20-mm (single or four-barrelled), 37-mm, 75-mm, probably 88-mm, 105-mm, and possibly 150-mm. These units move from place to place in special Flak trains, with their own living and kitchen accommodations. The heavy guns are not fired on the move, though no doubt one or two of the light guns are manned for defense of the train. On arrival at their destination the trains are broken up, and the guns and equipment sited on sidings.
Considerable reliance is placed by the Germans on these railway Flak units as a means of providing rapid reinforcement to threatened areas. Air reconnaissance has shown that frequently railway Flak has been moved to ground defense areas after a heavy RAF attack, in the expectation of further attacks on subsequent nights. Instances have also been reported of the employment of railway Flak at objectives where, for reasons of expediency, no permanent Flak protection is provided.
Apart from the reinforcement of ground defense areas, railway Flak units are used, especially in theaters of active operations, for mobile protection of railway communications. For this purpose light guns are apparently considered of most value, presumably since stations, junctions, loading bays, and sidings are particularly vulnerable to low-flying attack.
d. Composition
Heavy railway Flak units identified from air photographs normally consist of four heavy Flak cars, two light Flak cars, and a command group. The command group comprises cars of a special type, often four in number, one of which carries the Kommandogerät (director and rangefinder) and a second, in some cases, equipment for remote fire control. The purpose of the remaining two cars is not entirely clear; one is possibly a plotting and control unit for the use of the gun position officer (battery executive) and the other may in some instances carry a searchlight. In many instances the command group is confined to two cars. These may correspond with the first two cars of the four-car command group, though it is not unlikely that they may be associated with units equipped with the lighter auxiliary fire-control instruments only, one car carrying the auxiliary director and the other the rangefinder. In addition to the operational cars there are several coaches which provide accommodation for the personnel.
e. Siting
So far as the limitations imposed by the railway tracks permit, an effort is made to lay out the gun positions in the normal manner. The heavy Flak cars are usually sited on the unoccupied tracks of a siding at the corners of a rectangle, the long sides of which generally vary from about 40 to 80 yards. The command group is sited at one end of the position, some 100 to 300 yards distant, and the light Flak cars generally at either end of the position. A position of this type is shown in the sketch on the following page.
Posted Image
When only a single siding is available, the heavy Flak cars are sited along it at intervals of 40 to 50 yards, the remainder of the position being similar to the type described above.
f. Construction
There appear to be two main types of heavy and one main type of light Flak cars. Their dimensions and construction are shown in the accompanying sketches; since the measurements are obtained solely from photographic interpretation, they are subject to a margin of error of 10 to 15 percent.
Posted Image
The extension to the center part of the broad-type heavy Flak car (outside the dotted lines in the sketch) is clearly shown by photographic evidence to be a folding flap. It is highly probable that the platform surrounding the raised portions is also capable of being folded or detached when in transit, since the movement of a 15-foot vehicle would be impracticable, except possibly on special sections of a railroad. The raised portions are about 2 to 3 feet above floor level; it is of interest that, whereas they are surrounded by a platform in the broad-type car, they extend the whole width of the narrow type.
g. Organization Railway Flak units are organized into regiments, battalions, and batteries; the precise composition of the units is not known. It is believed that the regimental organization forms a pool from which units may be drawn as the necessity arises, either for mobile defense or for train protection. The unit most frequently met with is the battery, which in mobile defense probably moves and operates as a unit; in the case of train protection, the battery headquarters presumably administers detachments allocated to different trains. Although railway Flak units are part of the German Air Force and are administered through the usual GAF channels, it is probable that train protection detachments are operationally subordinate to the transport authorities; there is some evidence that guns provided for the protection of military trains may in certain circumstances be manned by army personnel.


German Railway Flak, WWII Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 17, January 28, 1943 (Lone Sentry)
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#6 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 08:10 PM

I really fell in love with Armored Trains after reading Steven Zaloga's book on the Polish Campaign. I have 2 German Armored Trains and 1 Polish one for my miniature wargaming.
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#7 Von Poop

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 09:30 PM

Pah,
All these are mere fripperies when compared to the armoured Juggernaut that was...
The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Light Railway:
Posted Image
Guarding PLUTO, with the world's smallest railway.

Cheers,
Adam.
It's only the Internet...

#8 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 09:57 PM

Posted Image
Armored train number 695 of BP-35 type (PR-35 + 2 x PL-37) supported by BA-20 and BA-10 armored cars/railcars
WW2 Rail-road armor
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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#9 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 10:04 PM

The armoured train nr. 11 (former "Danuta") was commanded by Cpt. Bolesław Korobowicz.
The train was initially assigned to co-operate with the 26th Infantry Division.
During the first days of the war, since the early morning of 1 September 1939, it was used mainly on patrol duties, covering the division units in the area of Kcynia town and the Noteć River. On 4 September, enemy planes bombed the train at Szubin town, causing only slight damage. Later that day the train, assigned to the 15th Infantry Div. of the "Pomorze" Army, was bombarding enemy units near Bydgoszcz, at Bydgoski Channel. During 6-7 September, train nr. 11, assigned temporarily to the newly created operational group of Gen. J. Drapella, covered the withdrawal from Inowrocław town. On 9 September it reached Kutno railway junction, but as a result of air raids during the journey, the armoured train lost contact with its auxiliary section. In Kutno it met the armoured train nr. 14.
The first - and last - major battle in which it took part was the battle of the Bzura river - a Polish attempt at a counter-offensive. To make it possible to get to Łowicz, the train's crew spent two days repairing the heavily bombed track, and even partially building a new track with embankment! The train came into action on 14 September, near Łowicz. Its tankettes, acting in reconnaissance, were shot at. One of them was damaged, but the crew was able to repair it and withdraw. On the next day, the train's crew found four 75mm field guns in an abandoned evacuation train - they were manned by the crew and, along with the train's artillery, utilised to repel the attacks of the German 24th Inf. Div. Later that day the train was supporting the Polish 16th Inf. Division.
On 16 September, "Danuta" was still fighting against the German 31st Inf. Rgt (from the 24th Division). The train's artillery, corrected by a forward observer, halted a German attack in open terrain for several hours, while the manoeuvring train was not an easy target. Despite a few hits, the train's crew carried on fighting. Finally, the Germans managed to draw up some AT-guns and hit the locomotive, killing its crew. They also hit one artillery turret. Since the train's ammunition supplies were coming to an end as well, Cpt. Korobowicz ordered the train to be blown up and left. The Germans did not move further that day. Most of the train's crew was taken prisoner on the next day along with the Polish 4th Inf. Division. Only few managed to escape to Warsaw, where they were incorporated into an improvised armoured train.
The train itself was not repaired by the Germans. Only the assault wagon of "Danuta" was used in the German train Panzerzug 21.
Posted Image
This photo most likely shows armoured train nr. 11 ("Danuta") after its final combat. According to the combat reports, the train was blown up, injuring several enemy soldiers. However, the photo does not show that much damage. On the other hand, the photos of a blown-up train below, depict train nr. 12 "Poznanczyk". This issue remains unclear (maybe this description is partially confused with "Poznanczyk"?...)


The armoured train nr. 12 (former "Poznańczyk") was commanded by Cpt. K. Majewski (- a map ).
On 31 August 1939, train nr. 12 was assigned to the 56th Inf. Rgt. of the 25th Inf. Div., guarding the approaches to the small town of Krotoszyn. Since the early morning of 1 September 1939, the train supported Polish units defending Krotoszyn, among others bombarding German infantry at Cieszków (Freyhan). Since 2 September, it was ordered to co-operate with Wielkopolska BK (Cavalry Brigade), and was used mainly on patrol duties.
On 5 September, the train was ordered to Warsaw. It was difficult, however, to drive the train through damaged lines. On 7 September, it became stuck near Sochaczew as a result of lines blocked by evacuation trains, reaching from Sochaczew to Blonie. On 9 September, still in that area, it fought against a German 'task force' of the 24th Inf.Div. trying to capture a ford across the Bzura River in Sochaczew. In the first few minutes, the train destroyed 7 enemy vehicles. When the Germans gathered their artillery, they managed to set one wagon on fire, and the train was forced to retreat to Blonie. Later that day, when the attempted breakthrough to Warsaw failed, because the line was captured by the reconnaissance unit of the 4th Pz.Div., Cpt. Majewski ordered to leave the train and destroy it. Most of the crew broke through to Warsaw. As is evident from the photos, the train was blown up and too heavily damaged to be repaired by the Germans.
Posted Image Apart from the photo below, these photos were previously recognized as "Danuta" wreck... In fact they most probably depict armoured train nr.12 ("Poznanczyk").

Below right: the only photo with the assault wagon visible, which is different, from the one in "Danuta". The 75mm gun turret is visible, a dark shape on the right (above the artillery wagon) is likely a blown up armour strip. Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Nr.11 'Danuta' and Nr.12 'Poznanczyk' - Polish armoured trains
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#10 TA152

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 07:31 PM

Anouther great thread JC :)
I don't know much about trains but during WWII did all European countries use the same gauge track ? Seems like I read that some countries used different track and the cars of one country could not go to anouther country.

Also the pictures reminded me of the troop train from the movie Dr Zarvago.
I need a bailout of only $500,000

#11 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 08:01 PM

You are right the Soviets used a smaller track the most other European countries.
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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#12 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 08:20 PM

Germany made use of armoured trains from the beginning of the Second World War. Extensive use was made of captured material, and new trains were built for the invasion of Russia in 1941. Military success was followed by lengthening supply lines, and armoured trains were needed to protect the railways from partisan activity.
Attack, defence, patrol and maintenance of communications, even artillery support: there was a wide variety of potential roles for the armoured train. In May 1942 the decision was made to create a standard design of train - the BP42 - which, with a few improvements and modifications, was to serve to the end of the war. Eleven BP42 trains were constructed, and several older trains were re-configured to approximate to this standard, using the existing stock. Additional anti-tank firepower was later added, to make the BP44.
Composition
The complete BP42/BP44 train was symmetrical. In the centre was an armoured locomotive. This had an armoured tender behind, and an identical auxiliary tender ATG-2 in front to increase range. Next came artillery wagons ATG-3, each with some accommodation, for kitchen or medical purposes. The gun, a 7.2cm or 10 cm howitzer, was housed in a ten-sided revolving turret. Outside these came two nearly identical wagons. One was the infantry wagon ATG-5, and the other the command wagon ATG-4, nearly identical but distinguishable by minor differences in the roof plates and by its radio aerials. Outside these came an artillery and flak wagon ATG-6. The flak was the 2 cm Flakvierling, and the turret was identical with that of the artillery wagon. Armour for all units was between 1.5 and 3 cm. This extended down to protect the bogies. Articulating armour plates allowed the crew to move between the wagons under cover. The train's armament was strengthened by the addition of two tanks, to enable it to take the fight to the enemy. These travelled in tank-carrier wagons ATG-7 in a central well between the wheels, to give added protection to the running gear. A ramp at the outer end of the wagon enabled the tank to disembark rapidly. Typically two Czech 38T tanks were carried: not a match for the later enemy tanks, particularly in the East, but reliable, and highly effective against partisans. At either end of the BP42 was a pusher car ATG-8. This was essentially a flat car which was more expendable than the rest of the train and would hit trouble first. Facing the tank-carrier car a special automatic coupling enabled swift detachment so that the tank could be deployed more swiftly. The pusher cars were usually loaded with ballast and track-mending equipment.

The BP44 was the improved version of the BP 42, introduced in 1944. The most visible change was the replacement of the pusher cars with Panzerjäger wagons ATG-9. Essentially these were flat cars with a low superstructure carrying the Panzer IV turret armed with the long 7.5cm KwK L/48 as seen on the Mark J. This gave some measure of protection against tank attack. Strengthening of the armour plate was largely precluded by the resulting weight increase. An order was placed for 46 Panzerjäger wagons, but may not have been fully implemented. Where possible the artillery turrets were to be up-armed with the 10.5cm Field Howitzer, or the 15cm howitzer. BP42 and BP44 trains were also provided with two Panhard Armoured Cars, able to operate normally but also supplied with alternative rail wheels for scouting along the tracks. The wheels not in use were typically carried in the pusher cars.
Variations
We have depicted the typical equipment for the BP42 and BP44 types. Variations did exist. As the war progressed, designs of existing cars were simplified. There was also the continuing use of older material, upgraded and re-armed if possible to match the standard of the BP42/44 specification. There were also some later modifications. The 2 cm Flakvierling was in a few cases replaced by the Wirbelwind turret, which improved protection for the crew. At least one train, number 32, mounted 3.7cm flak guns. There were also minor variations between the armoured locomotives. On occasion the Czech 35 T, or the French Somua or Lorraine SP gun were used in place of the 38 T.
Conclusions
The BP42/44 trains were formidable weapons. They had considerable firepower in their own right and their crew of in excess of 130 men was able to launch effective infantry action with armoured support. They were ponderous, and in some situations found difficulty combating the guerrilla tactics of partisans. They were vulnerable to mine-traps, and their great firepower was at times not fully useable. As the tide turned against Germany they proved very effective in the defensive fighting and protection of rail communications from the advancing Russians.

WW2
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#13 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 08:23 PM

Posted Image Posted Image
Armored train "Ufa" of BP-43 type


Posted Image
Armored train of BP-43 type Posted Image
Armored train "Metro of Moscow" of BP-43 type





WW2 Rail-road armor
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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#14 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 08:30 PM

Posted Image
Polish armoured train Danuta from 1939. From the left: artillery wagon, infantry assault wagon, armoured locomotive, artillery wagon.

Posted Image

Posted Image



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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#15 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 04:24 AM

Posted Image
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#16 lebowski

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 11:53 AM

Pah,
All these are mere fripperies when compared to the armoured Juggernaut that was...
The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Light Railway:
Posted Image
Guarding PLUTO, with the world's smallest railway.

Cheers,
Adam.


is this a joke? what's the rationale behind those theme park style mini railway?

#17 Von Poop

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 01:55 PM

is this a joke? what's the rationale behind those theme park style mini railway?

No Joke.
The RH&D railway was an existing miniature railway in Kent (the smallest in the world) that was requisitioned, armed, and armoured as part of the protection for the PLUTO 'Pipeline Under The Ocean' project.
RHDR

Cheers,
Adam.
It's only the Internet...

#18 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 03:15 PM

Does anyone have any info on this?

In Malaya in 1942, an armoured train was part of Operation Krohcol, the British advance into Siam to resist the Japanese attack.

"The last column was an armoured train, with a 30 men from the 2/16th Punjab Regiment and some engineers, advanced into Thailand from Padang Besar in Perlis. This armoured train reached Khlong Ngae, in Thailand, and successfully destroyed a 200 foot bridge before successfully withdrawing back to Padang Besar."

Operation Krohcol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#19 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 03:20 PM

Posted Image (Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch line) (the worlds smallest)
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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#20 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 04:15 PM

Italy

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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#21 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 09:04 PM

The German Class 52 Locomotive" from Tactical and Technical Trends

A review of the German Class 52 railroad locomotive, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 24, May 6, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



THE GERMAN CLASS "52" LOCOMOTIVE



a. General
This is a summary of information and conclusions regarding the much publicized German class "52" locomotive recently adopted as standard to replace the class "50" locomotive. The information has been sifted from various German sources, some of which conflict and many of which are of a propaganda nature. Questionable statements have been eliminated as far as possible.
The evidence points to the conclusion that the earlier class "50" locomotive, for which a program of 7,500 locomotives per year was announced by the Germans in March 1942, was a transition model of a class introduced shortly before the war and was only intended as a stop-gap to tide over a critical period. As proof of this, in the accounts of the class "52" locomotive there are several references to a "transition" model, and the photographs which have appeared in the German press are believed to have been of this simplified class "50" locomotive. Furthermore, technical experts severely criticized the older design from available photographs, particularly on the ground that the frame was light and the cylinder saddle weak. The class "52" locomotive is apparently stronger in these respects. In further evidence that the class "50" locomotive, which was light, was constructed as a temporary expedient to provide means for rapidly increasing production, the German press announced that the first of the class "52" locomotives left the factory early in September--although the design and subsequent production of the model class "52" locomotive is estimated to have required 15 months. Evidently considerable progress had already been made on class "52" at the time that the simplified class "50" was temporarily adopted as a standard model.
b. The Design of the Class "52"
A comparison of photographs of the classes "50" and "52" shows that, contrary to German press accounts, they are lighter models of the class "44," and have the same basic design. In comparison with transition class "50" the new class "52" has a deeper frame, stiffer cylinder saddle, and a welded tender of the modified Vanderbilt, frameless type in place of the riveted type carried on a frame. The bracket for the valve motion has been stiffened by a bridge girder between the bracket and cylinder. A snow plough has been fitted to the locomotive. The smoke deflector plates, the forward steam dome which contained the preheater, the feed pump, and the feed water heater have been eliminated. It is evident that the side and main rods have been redesigned; the brake rigging and similar apparatus are simplified; the locking device on the smoke box has been replaced by a ring of cleats; and the cylinder-exhaust branches are rectangular instead of circular in cross section.
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The class "52" locomotive is claimed to be more effectively protected against freezing than the class "50," by thicker lagging, steam jackets around exposed piping, and transfer of exposed parts to a position nearer the boiler. Although it is difficult to verify all these claims from photographs, it appears that the boiler, cylinders, and exhaust branches are well insulated. The photographs do not indicate which pipes were brought nearer the boiler or which pipes have been steam-jacketed. However, contrary to normal practice the air-compressor valve mechanism at the top of the compressor has been covered by a casing and insulated. It has been reported that a closer fit has been made on class "50" locomotive journal-box covers in order to prevent snow from entering, and, no doubt, this has been done on the class "52" locomotive also. The precautions taken against freezing would adapt the locomotive for service on the Eastern Front. Minor differences noted are the mounting of the headlight generator above the firebox instead of on the smoke box; the replacing of two oil lubricators by a single lubricator above the boiler; and the fact that the sand dome, instead of being separate, is inclosed by the rear steam-dome casing.

If the expected output of 7,500 locomotives per year is attained, 187,500 tons of material would be saved at the 25 tons per locomotive shown in the table. A reduction of 16 tons of the total of 25 is accounted for in the tender. Part of the economy in weight of the locomotive is achieved by the use of drop forgings instead of hand forgings for the whole of the valve-motion gear and side rods, and throughout the brake rigging. Reference is also made in German accounts to economy of material by using plain instead of forked ends in the motion gear, and by the adoption of a "gas tube in place of the firebox wrapper plate" (probably an arched, firebox crown sheet).
According to German accounts, a reduction has been secured in the quantity of non-ferrous metals by using 495 pounds of copper in the class "52" as against 1,600 pounds in the class "50" locomotive. It is claimed that 840 pounds of this reduction has been accomplished by the substitution of steel-backed for bronze-backed bearings for the 2 big-ends of the main rod and for the 10 axle bearings, and that a further saving of 55 pounds of copper is obtained by substituting a steel casing for the former bronze steam-whistle casing.
It is further claimed that 138 pounds of tin were saved in the steel-backed bearings, and 2 pounds of tin in using the steel whistle casing, although the main economy in tin as compared with the class "44" is the result of the replacement of plain by ball bearings for the tender axles.
e. Reduction in Labor Requirements
Careful consideration has been given in the design of the class "52" locomotive to economy in man-hours required for its construction. After comparing various reports, it is estimated that a class "52" locomotive can be built in 24,000 man-hours, representing a building period of about 10 weeks, as against 30,000 man-hours for class "50" and 60,000 man-hours for class "44." The economy of 6,000 man-hours is an estimate based on the prototype model, and not a figure based on actual experience. The 24,000 man-hour figure might possibly be attained in the largest and best-equipped plants, but it is practically certain that well over 30.000 man-hours will be required in many of the smaller European plants.
There is no doubt that a welded tender of the frameless type could be built in about half the time required for the framed type. The wide adoption of drop forgings and changes of design to reduce machining would lead to economy in labor. The following table compiled from data in the German press shows certain features in class "44" and "50" locomotives which have been changed in the "52" class, with the resultant saving in intermediate weight and man-hours.

Reports claim a reduction in machining time of a cylinder block of from 28 to 4 hours, and it is claimed that a further reduction to 1 hour will be attained upon completion of a special machine. A highly specialized tool for machining locomotive cylinders would be very costly to build, and it is doubtful whether the German machine-tool industry is now in a position to accept orders for such a machine. If such tools were manufactured, only a limited number of plants could be equipped with them. Due to the transport difficulties involved, the machined cylinders would hardly be shipped to factories distributed throughout Europe. Too much weight need not be attached to actual figures given; however, they show that every attempt is being made to economize in labor and speed up production.
It is stated in one report that by limiting the finish to one coat of paint, 235 man-hours have been saved.
f. Production of Class "52" Locomotive
A paper entitled "Estimated Main-Line Steam Locomotive Output in Axis Europe," based on the class "50" design, gave an annual output of 3,400 locomotives by the end of 1942, 4,040 by July 1943, and 6,040 by the end of 1943, on the assumption that all class "44" locomotives under construction when the plan was announced would be completed, and that all future locomotives would be of the simplified class "50" design. However, the adoption of class "52" as standard modifies these estimates.
Although the tender or class "52" could be built in about half the time of the class "50" tender, this would not appreciably affect the relative production rates of the locomotives proper. The following points should be considered: (a) modifications in design for greater output, (B) modifications in methods of production, and © extension of subcontracting.
The conclusion already stated on the first two points is that through these modifications, the class "52" engine can possibly be built in 24,000 man-hours as against 30,000 man-hours for the class "50" by the largest and best-equipped works, providing drop forgings are used in place of hand forgings and that they can be obtained without delay. If the locomotives are built in a number of scattered minor works, as appears likely, such forgings will have to be obtained from outside shops in a great many cases. Due to difficulties of regular supply, the economy in man-hours resulting from use of drop forgings will be a maximum of 10 percent and will most probably average about 5 percent. The production of the necessary dies for the drop forgings will lead to some delays resulting in a small drop of the estimated locomotive output in first half of 1943, followed by a rise to about 6,400 instead of 6,040 by the end of the year. If the above assumptions are correct, the chief advantage of the new class "52" design over the class "50" will not be an increase in production, but the substitution of a sound for a defective design as a standard production model.
Considering the last point, there is very little reliable information on which to base an answer to the question whether the Germans can increase locomotive output by subcontracting beyond the present estimated 10 percent. Reports have been received of proposals to convert the leading European locomotive works to assembly plants, with all components made either in other locomotive works or in plants not hitherto engaged on locomotive production. If this is done, the machine capacity of selected plants would be lost or used for purposes for which the plants were not laid out. Also, a carefully synchronized plan would have to be worked out to cover movement of parts over a transport system that is already heavily taxed. Considering that the delivery of locomotives from some leading French works is months overdue owing to various unexpected difficulties, the required degree of synchronization would be nearly impossible to obtain.
Press accounts, apparently referring to the class "50" locomotive, refer to 18 percent of the total man-hours being performed by subcontractors at the present time. Such component parts of locomotives as air compressors, feed pumps, injectors, and parts of the braking apparatus have usually been obtained from an outside firm. Some of the smaller firms obtained even the boiler from an outside source, and it is difficult to deduce whether the figure of 18 percent includes these parts or only parts normally manufactured by the locomotive builder. Some European works have always made a practice of subcontracting locomotive tenders, and a few have subcontracted boilers.
Until it is established that the 18 percent is in fact over and above the figure accounted for by subcontracting before the war, the figure of 10 percent additional output obtained by subcontracting should be used when estimating total output.
g. Utility Value of the Class "52" Locomotive
The conclusion drawn from published data and photographs is that the class "52" locomotive appears to be of sound design throughout, and should have a useful life comparable with prewar engines.
The elimination of the feed water heater at a sacrifice of approximately 7 percent in thermal efficiency will increase fuel costs but reduce maintenance. The elimination of safety couplings and bell, and the use of thin tires, are justifiable in wartime, and there will be no difficulty in changing these parts at a later date. There is no evidence that the class "52" ;ocomotive has been designed for a short working life. The retention of extension piston rods to reduce cylinder wear on class "52" is direct evidence to the contrary. From the viewpoint of normal continental practice the class "52" is a light model of moderate power, suitable for operating branch lines and local services, but not suitable for heavy, main-line post-war traffic in the Reich. From German accounts, the construction of the class "42" is to be initiated in 1944 for heavy service. This class has never previously been built in quantity but it is thought to be comparable in performance to the class "44." It is thought probable that if the class "42" is built, the class "52" locomotives will also be continued in construction.

Lone Sentry: The German Class 52 Locomotive (WWII Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 24, May 6, 1943)
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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#22 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 08:57 PM

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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#23 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 09:55 PM

"Notes on German Rolling Stock" from Tactical and Technical Trends

A report on premature explosions of shells in the German 20-mm quad anti-aircraft gun, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 31, August 12, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



NOTES ON GERMAN ROLLING STOCK



It has been stated that the Nazis have accorded number-1 priority to transportation even to the extent of taking precedence over airplanes. Germany is vitally dependent on the smooth functioning of her transportation system. If this vital system which connects Nazi factories with their sources of supply and with their baffle fronts, is put out of operation or seriously damaged, their whole war effort must obviously be retarded.
Some interesting developments affecting the transportation set-up, tending to reduce the consumption of construction materials and other valuable economies, have been recently reported in connection with the German locomotive and freight car situations.
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As was indicated in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 24, p. 40, it was thought probable that the construction of the class "42" locomotive is to be started in 1944. This new type is said to be a refinement of type "52" (see sketch), has greater tractive power and is designed to meet the requirements of heavy freight traffic.
The same informed technical source responsible for the information mentioned in the foregoing paragraph, states that the dead weight of the railway freight cars now manufactured in Germany has been reduced from pre-war levels by 25 per cent in the case of baggage cars, 34 for refrigeration cars, 29 for flat cars, 38 for box cars. However, the average carrying capacity for all types increased by 10 per cent.
The use of these new cars will provide the following chief advantages: saving of time and labor in manufacture, saving in construction materials, and enabling locomotives to pull additional cars.
The number of types of steam locomotives was reduced by the end of 1942 from 119 to 12. This included locomotives for military and privately operated railways (mostly small gauge), and in the case of electric locomotives, from 11 to 2, and from 97 to 5 for internal combustion locomotives. The manufacture of additional types is continued in former locomotive works in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. The chief types manufactured in 1942 were freight models "50" and "52" (see Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 24, p. 34) with "52" scheduled for almost exclusive production in 1943.


Lone Sentry: Notes on German Rolling Stock (WWII Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 31, Aug. 12, 1943)
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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#24 bf109 emil

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Posted 13 July 2008 - 06:17 AM

My dad's friend Richard Audet was done in by a flak car while strafing trainsRichard Joseph "Dick" Audet
December 29, 1944 - Ace In A Day
The only RCAF pilot of the War to destroy 2 jet fighters


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Edited by bf109 emil, 13 July 2008 - 08:12 AM.


#25 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 13 July 2008 - 06:15 PM

World War II Hospital Trains

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Diagram of military hospital train as used in World War II.
In the 1940s, during World War II, rail was still the most important mode of transportation for longer distances on land. Although Army aircraft were being used for aeromedical evacuation, capacity was quite limited and trains were heavily used for evacuation from Echelon II to and between higher echelons of medical care.
When evacuation was indicated from Collecting Stations or Clearing Stations (Echelon II) to Mobile Hospitals (Echelon III) or rearward to static hospitals (Echelon IV), the patients were brought to the nearest railhead for transfer by hospital train. Transfers between hospitals or from ships returning to CONUS with transoceanic evacuees were also accomplished by these trains. Transfers from interior combat zones, and their Echelon III Evacuation Hospitals, involved using trains to take patients to a coastal port where hospital ships took them onward.
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Col. T. M. Lowry, Port Surgeon, Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation, standing beside Medical Dept. Hospital Ward Car, USA 8906, on Pier 5, Newport News, VA, 29 May 1943. The car is standing by awaiting debarkation of 204 wounded American soldiers from Tunisia. Two of these hospital cars transferred the patients to the Valley Forge General Hospital, Phoenixville, PA.
Hospital trains were ultimately replaced by modern air transportation as higher capacity aircraft became capable of handling the load. The greater speed of air evacuation, beginning to be realized in WW II, and the gradual decline of rail transport in general, made the hospital train obsolete.

WW II HOSPITAL TRAINS
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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.




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