The last armoured trains of the Soviet Army

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by jim30, Jun 10, 2012.

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  1. God bless the Russians and their ******* crazy ideas!
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  2. The pic I don't understand is that there appears to be a steering wheel at the operators position. Steering a train? Seems odd but someone here may be able to explain what it is.
  3. (my bold)

    Yep, I was wondering WTF. Anyway, besides that, pretty interesting site. Cheers jimbo.
  4. Perhaps to operate some sort of parking brake?
  5. As a train driver the two same questions I have been asked numerous over the years when asked what I do and I shit you not
    1.Have you killed anyone with your train.
    2.Do trains have steering wheels!!!
  6. Well don't keep us in suspense.
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  7. Interesting blog that, there's Words from a Bosnian Survivalist on life during a siege.
    He gives some survival tips at the end.
  8. This is good as well A Letter from the Pinsk Partisans to Adolf Hitler
  9. As a guess, the wheel will be for applying and taking away the power from the engine, rather than the more common power handles. I've driven German Loco's with this set-up, so it would be quite logical for the Russians to have had the same system.

    I would also expect those two switches on the cab wall to the right, to be the loco brake and the train brake - again, similar as some German units I've driven
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  10. Aside from the use of very long range artillery pieces, Big Bertha for example, I've never understood the logic in creating armoured trains. No matter how much armour is fitted, the weak point has to be the track bed - and the heavier the train, the less damage needs to be done to the track bed to halt the train.

    The pics show a ballast wagon with repair materials pushed in front of the train. Optimistic? Four lengths of rail and some sleepers - when the ballast needed beneath them will be scattered around the countryside. All very well to say that tracks and ballast can be removed from behind the train, but that doesn't bode well for a hasty retreat.
  11. It probably only ever made any sense in the huge expanses of Russia prior to WW2, when most military transport was horse drawn, air cover didn't exist and both sides wanted to make use of the tracks for shifting their men and materials.

    Part of Von Schlieffen's cunning plan involved givng the French a comprehensive shoeing first before turning on the Russians, because the Russian rail network was poor, it would take longer for the Tsar's armies to reach the border and, once they got there, they'd have to revert to roads because they used a different rail gauge.

    But I agree it was a profoundly weird thing to anyone who's not a Russian.
  12. This strange outlook might in part be due to the Russian view that trains 'walk'...
  13. The wheel is the regulator, similiar method on the Deutz 360 (V360) as used by 79 Railway Sqn up to the late 80's.

    The lever under the regulator is possible the forward/reverse lever.

    Braking system to the right? Left of the seat.

    The old German loco's that 79 had were basic namely the 110's, 225's & 360's and mosts of the controls were mechanical but squaddie proof.

    See the 79 Railway Squadron Association page on facebook to see how 79 Railway Sqn did it.
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  14. I'd suggest that the Russian fetish for such things was due to the Bolshevik experiences in the 1918-21 civil war - All the rail lines extend outwards from Moscow in a direction towards the various white armies, and with Dzerzhinsky's Cheka 'keeping the peace' in the centralised area of control held by the Bolsheviks, they had little to worry about in regards to sabotage on the tracks. So why armour them? Well, Russia being the size it is and rails being the massive advantage that they were due to lack of other options, its only natural to assume that the Whites were as desperate to nick them off the Bolsheviks were to keep them - a true strategic asset (think the reverse of the UK's current train system...). Thus, the threat to the trains is people trying to a) capture them, leading to the arming and armouring, and b) people trying to steal things from them, such as food which was in critically short supply. Never underestimate the Russian ability to shoot their own people!

    EDIT: Putting the hand for general mongness, only started to read the article after replying!