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Polish armored trains form I and II World War


dani 4 | 8
10 Mar 2010  #1
Hi

Does anyone now something about this vehicles? I found short info and pics here Armored trains photos and I'm really interested in this topic. I wonder if such trains were important and in real use during wars. I thought that not, cause of limited raillroads, but in this article they say that armored trains were popular. So I'm a little confused.

no one knows nothing? :(
so maybe I share what o found: tankmuseum.ru/train.html compedium about this vehicles

but still, I'm wondering, how usefull armored trains were during battle.
Torq 26 | 2,368
10 Mar 2010  #2
derela.republika.pl/armtrain.htm
wildrover 98 | 4,452
10 Mar 2010  #3
I'm wondering, how usefull armored trains were during battle.

Most nations seem to have had armoured trains , but i have not heard of any significant battle that was influenced by an armoured train making an appearance on the scene....

No matter how good your armoured train was , it was restricted in where it could go by where the rail tracks went , and if somebody bombed the tracks , your mobile armoured train suddenly became a not very mobile pillbox that was probably in the wrong place...

I think such trains were more effective in the first war , but in the second war they were much more vunerable to guns and air power and were of limited use...

Didn,t stop most nations from using them though...
king polkakamon - | 544
10 Mar 2010  #4
One famous armoured train that worked with spectacular results was this of Red Army during Trotsky's rule.This train really spread terror when it arrived.
wildrover 98 | 4,452
10 Mar 2010  #5
Yes this is true...it had great success as a way to terrorise simple peasants when it turned up in their town...but against a well armed enemy they were not so great....
aligator_s - | 77
10 Mar 2010  #6
I wonder if such trains were important and in real use during wars. I thought that not, cause of limited raillroads, but in this article they say that armored trains were popular. So I'm a little confused.

they were intended to be used as mobile bunkers however their high profile meant that they could be seen from miles away and avoided.

in the second world war, developments in air warfare made them a liability
still if you don't have anything else they are better than nothing

there was one at the Warsaw rail museum if I remember well
wildrover 98 | 4,452
10 Mar 2010  #7
but in this article they say that armored trains were popular. So I'm a little confused.

Yes , they were very popular , and seen as great symbols of power...but like the battleship they were big targets for any well equipped enemy to home in on and destroy...
OP dani 4 | 8
11 Mar 2010  #8
Thank You for all answers and for a link.

You says that armored trains were like battleships. I like this metaphore. I think, that nowdays such trains won't be very usefull. To easy to see and to hard to get into the battle. Evan as long range artillery its better to use guns on wheels rather on railways.
Gregrog 4 | 100
11 Mar 2010  #9
"The northern assault was carried out quickly. Under the cover of heavy fire, the German tanks, which made up of a mixture of Panzer I and Panzer II type-tanks, managed to break into the forest and secured a road leading across the railway line to the village of Izbiska Duże, to the north of the Polish headquarters. At 1030 the Polish 4th squadron of the 19th Regiment was attacked from behind and pushed out of the forest. This threatened the Poles with separation of 19th and 21st Regiments. Colonel Filipowicz ordered the 19th Regiment to withdraw to the other side of the railway, but the way was already occupied by German tanks and the unit was effectively surrounded. However, the Polish defence was reinforced by the arrival of the Armoured train No. 53, known as Smialy, which arrived to the battlefield in the very moment the German tanks were crossing the railway line. It stopped in the middle of the German column and opened fire with both of its 75mm guns and its heavy machine guns. The German column was dispersed and retreated with heavy losses, losing a number of Panzer I, II, and III tanks destroyed or knocked out, while the 19th Regiment crossed the rail road under cover of the armoured train. Although it suffered heavy losses, it managed to regroup on the other side.

Simultaneously, an attack on the main positions of the 21st Regiment near the village of Mokra was started. German tanks managed to outflank the 4th squadron of the Regiment from the north, at the same time attacking it frontally. In the result, the Polish defenders were pushed out of the forest and heavy fights for the village itself started. The Germans lost four tanks to the Polish 2nd Artillery Battalion firing from across the rail road, but the 4th battalion was in retreat, fighting for almost every house in the village and suffering heavy losses. Again the day was saved by Smialy (Armoured train No. 53). It arrived to the area just on time and opened fire from the distance of almost 2.5 km, which was beyond the effective range of all contemporary German tank guns of the time, destroying or knocking out more Panzer I and II type-tanks. Also, the 12th Uhlans Regiment was moved to the area to reinforce the 21st."

Battle of Mokra
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mokra
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
11 Mar 2010  #10
Yes this is true...it had great success as a way to terrorise simple peasants when it turned up in their town...but against a well armed enemy they were not so great....

Rubbish, they were so extremely effective that after facing them in Poland Germans adopted an armored train as a new kind of weapon in their army, a single train could stop an entire brigade for hours.
Harry
11 Mar 2010  #11
Such a pity that Poland didn't have more of them: you could have made the Nazis fight for a couple of months before occupying your country instead of just a few weeks.
Torq 26 | 2,368
11 Mar 2010  #12
Too bad French and British didn't have more of them in 1940 - maybe you could last
for a couple of months too :-)

In 1939 Poland was surrounded by enemies - attacked from the West, South and North
by Germany and from the East by Soviet Union - September Campaign was one big
encirclement battle, that's what it was. France was attacked only by Germany from
the East.

Still, fighting against Germany only and having larger and better equipped armies, France
(with the help from their British friends) didn't hold for much longer than Poland.
Yeah - imagine if we had more of those trains! (or at least if we didn't stop the mobilization
of our army shortly before the war, so the British and French could "negotiate").

Looking back I sometimes wish Poland was allied to Germany - the war would have ended
in the same way for us (with a Soviet occupation) but at least we would have avoided
most of the civilian losses among ethnic Poles.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
11 Mar 2010  #13
poland tank

polishrail.wordpress.com/2009/02/
wildrover 98 | 4,452
11 Mar 2010  #14
Battle of Mokra

Well... it seems i was mistaken when i said i did not think any armoured train had made a difference to any battle...i was not aware of this incidence in the Poland battle....

I know the Germans did use quite a few captured trains that they got from the French and Polish invasions , but this is the first i knew of any train making a big impact on a battle...i stand corrected...
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
11 Mar 2010  #15
armoured train had made a difference to any battle

If you think about it though, they didn't have to make a direct difference, being able to supply the troops is half the battle and what quicker, safer and more efficient way was there but by armoured train?

I suppose air-drops, can you air-drop bombs for your own troops to use? I suppose you can deactivate some of them?
OP dani 4 | 8
11 Mar 2010  #16
I heard that Germans used armored trains in Africa. Is this true?
Ozi Dan 26 | 569
12 Mar 2010  #17
Such a pity that Poland didn't have more of them: you could have made the Nazis fight for a couple of months before occupying your country instead of just a few weeks.

Pip pip Hazza - bad day in Poland again eh what? Why don't you remove from your mouth that long hard cylindrical object you're constantly sucking on (your asthma puffer I mean), get outside and do some junk mail runs with your tourist flyers. Maybe you could even do a spiel in your flyer on Polish armoured trains and include the above quoted witticism?

And/or, how about instead of wasting your time posting these silly comments you check out some of my recent posts and give some responses? You being a Plastic Pom and all, it will probably behove you to challenge some of my points... actually, no, don't worry, there's no point really - I've owned you in every 'debate' we've had, haven't I Harry...

[quote=SeanBM]

Thanks for the piccies mate - I had no idea the Polish army had such an effective armoured train contingent.

In the Rising, I think the Gerries used these types of trains to pound Warsaw with high calibre artillery. I suspect that armoured trains were best used in a more static role. Catch you round champ.
aligator_s - | 77
12 Mar 2010  #18
Pip pip Hazza - bad day in Poland again eh what?

well said Sir
wildrover 98 | 4,452
12 Mar 2010  #19
I think armoured trains were a fine idea if you had control of the sky above the tracks , and were running the trains through area,s that your forces controlled , but in other circumstances they were very vunerable to air attack , and a partisan with a handfull of explosives could easily destroy a small piece of track and turn your lovely armoured train into a tangled wreck...

In the last year of the war the Germans found that losing control of the sky meant that nothing bigger than a handcart could move in daylight without having a fighter bomber attacking it , and a train was a favourite target...Several hundred tons of steel moving at speed and chucking out clouds of smoke and steam could be seen for miles , and once spotted were pretty well doomed...During this time the armoured train made a bit of a comeback , as the Germans attempted to protect the trains with some armour and guns to fend off air attacks , but very few trains once spotted got away intact...

It wasn,t long before the rail systems in all occupied countries ground to a halt as the allies bombed the tracks , bridges , rail yards and junctions , and the partisans joined in , derailing trains on a regular basis....

As a matter of fact my interest in the second war , and model railways had me making a model of an armoured train quite a few years back , all hand built from scratch , as you could not get any such models in those days...Now , you can get several models of such trains....
Gregrog 4 | 100
12 Mar 2010  #20
Air attack seems to be good way of destroying trains. But it wasn't as high effective as you think. During September Campaign only one ar-train was damaged by plane by direct hit of bomb. After destroying or damaging guns and other stuff, the crew abandoned vehicle. Most of trains was abandoned by their crews during that campaign.

Many people think that it was easy to immobilise ar-train by destroying rail road. It's not true, mainly because this trains had special carriage with elements of the track and some crew was engineers who was able to fix damages of the track.

Main problem of Polish armoured trains during last war was small fire power of anti-air defence. The had only 2 machine guns, while trains of other countries was much better equipped with such a weapon.

Ar-trains were used mostly as highly mobile heavy artillery. The were much faster than others means of transport. Ability of direct fire made them deadly enemy for tanks(as was under Mokra).

I find this:
The only one regular armoured train destroyed by Luftwaffe during September Campaign was train No.13 Generał Sosnkowski.

No.13 General Sosnkowski
Pibwl - | 50
12 Mar 2010  #21
Air attack seems to be good way of destroying trains. But it wasn't as high effective as you think. During September Campaign only one ar-train was damaged by plane by direct hit of bomb.

Right. Not many German or Soviet armoured trains of World War II were destroyed by the airforce as well.

Many people think that it was easy to immobilise ar-train by destroying rail road. It's not true, mainly because this trains had special carriage with elements of the track and some crew was engineers who was able to fix damages of the track.

Small gaps of destroyed track were easily repairable. Bomb craters could be filled with earth, what took more time, but it also could be done. In addition, not many of regular infantry troops, that encounter an armoured train, carry explosives or merely tools to disconnect rails ;-)

In the Polish Campaign there were several cases, when the armoured train halted German advance for a day (the mentioned Nr. 53 Śmiały at Mokra, Nr.54 Groźny at Wyry) or was a core of the Polish defence for several days (Nr.52 Piłsudczyk). The German soldiers, describing encounters with armoured trains in diaries, were usually quite impressed... ;-)

Check already mentioned site - you'll find there combat usage of most of the Polish trains in 1939
derela.republika.pl/armtrain.htm
Harry
12 Mar 2010  #22
In addition, not many of regular infantry troops, that encounter an armoured train, carry explosives or merely tools to disconnect rails

A mortar shell placed under a join in the rail and then set off with a rifle shot would most probably do the trick.
Gregrog 4 | 100
12 Mar 2010  #23
Yea, but firstly you have to dig a little hole - in situation when ar-train is coming fast it's quite impossible. Everyone near the track is very visible. If German infantryman wanted to stop train they had to know that ar-train is coming to them and that it is far enough. The needed time and element of surprise is very problematic during wartime.

They damaged track - with so thin shell it wouldn't do much. Then, the crew tries to fix it. If Germans want to stop if for a longer, then they have to encounter with this great fire power of train. I don't think the would stand it. Of course, if the danger would be too big, at-train would turn back easily.

Such a situation can happen, but the ar-trains wasn't used as assault weapon mostly. Most of their actions were in defence. When they were in assault they were as infantry support.
Pibwl - | 50
12 Mar 2010  #24
Naturally, I don't mean, that armoured trains were invincible - but it was really not easy to fight them, especially for infantry. A battery of machine guns in a train discouraged from raising a head.

Anti-tank guns were best option, but they were not always available, especially in forests - and not all hits could stop the train anyway.
Even a Tiger company had some difficulty with a Soviet train "Moskovski metropoliten" armed with 76 mm guns, at Kursk battle.
Harry
12 Mar 2010  #25
^ Hmm, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armoured_train

"They were mostly used during the late 19th and early 20th century, when they offered an innovative way to quickly move large amounts of firepower into position. Their use was discontinued because modern road vehicles became much more powerful and offered more flexibility, and because armoured trains were too vulnerable to track sabotage as well as attacks from the air."

And/or, how about instead of wasting your time posting these silly comments you check out some of my recent posts and give some responses? You being a Plastic Pom and all, it will probably behove you to challenge some of my points... actually, no, don't worry, there's no point really - I've owned you in every 'debate' we've had, haven't I Harry...

I do so love your silly lies! Let's actually look at the threads in which we have interacted:
I replied tothis post of yours here; you haven't replied. I replied to this post of yours here; you haven't replied. I commented on this post of yours; you haven't replied. I replied to this post of yours; you haven't replied. I replied to this post of yours; you haven't replied

That goes as far back as February last year, how much further would you like me to go back champ?
Gregrog 4 | 100
12 Mar 2010  #26
Their use was discontinued because modern road vehicles became much more powerful and offered more flexibility

Not in September Campaign.

well as attacks from the air.

but in Poland the air forces wasn't so deadly for them.

were too vulnerable to track sabotage

It's not so easy to sabotage something which can fix damages easily:)
Pibwl - | 50
12 Mar 2010  #27
" Their use was discontinued because modern road vehicles became much more powerful and offered more flexibility, and because armoured trains were too vulnerable to track sabotage as well as attacks from the air."

It wasn't quite true in case of World War II. Of course, post-war main battle tanks and precise jet aircraft strikes made armoured trains obsolete in full scale conflict, but in World War II they were still useful and formidable opponents. Note, that Germany had less than 10 half-improvised armoured trains in 1939, much weaker, than the Polish ones, but they evaluated the idea as useful one, and from 1941 until the end of war they operated several dozens of armoured trains, most of them newly built. The Soviet Union operated roughly counting 100 armoured trains during the war, also most of them newly built.

From among German trains, there was not one destroyed by the aircraft (while on the move, at least - one was bombed in Kovel). In case of Soviet ones, there were more destroyed by the aircraft, but still it wasn't great number.

While it is true, that probably most trains were lost being cut off from main units and surrounded (due to destroyed bridges or time needed to repair a track), a sabotage was not a great threat. The train wasn't moving fast, so in case of derailment or impact mines, only a front flatcar was derailed or damaged. Remote mines were used by partisans rather, than regular troops - but they would have to know, that the armoured train would ride that way, and when (it's much easier to blow up a regular train). All in all, it would probably be an occupied area, and the damaged train could be recovered.
Gregrog 4 | 100
14 Mar 2010  #28


youtube.com/watch?v=pEppBVRLmwg
frd 7 | 1,399
15 Mar 2010  #29
I have to say I didn't know that Poland had ANY armored trains at all.. I thought it was all carts and horses... I wonder if I should be feeling ashamed..
wildrover 98 | 4,452
15 Mar 2010  #30
Ozi Dan

Which armoured train are you refering to...its not clear from your saga...?


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