Railroad Troops / Armored Trains
During the years of the Civil War, the Red Army had accumulated vast experience in the use of mobile armored train. They were used for fire support troops and to conduct independent, sometimes very bold, fighting in the band of the railway. In this widely used armored trains qualities such as speed of movement and maneuverability, power of fire, a powerful armor protection and the possibility of an armored train as a pulling force for the transport of 15 wagons loaded with special importance. In October 1920, as part of the armored forces of the Red Army had 103 armored train.
At the end of the Civil War, the number of armored trains was dramatically reduced and transfer them to the end of 1923 under the jurisdiction of the Main Artillery Administration not contribute to further improvement, as the agency considered only as an armored artillery on railway platforms.
During the Great Patriotic War, the Soviet-German front, where fighting was a huge territory in underdeveloped road network, namely railway communications played a crucial role, and the struggle for control over them, primarily over the junctions, has been particularly fierce.
During the Great Patriotic War armored trains normally operated within the divisions. For example, an armored train "Kozma Minin", along with the same type of armored train "Ilya Muromets" was part of the 31-th separate individuals Gorky division of armored trains. To support combat operations division were attached black locomotive C-179, bronedrezina [literally, armored car] DB-39, two armored car BA-20, three bikes and ten cars. The personnel of the division with an attached mortar landing a company is 335 people.
Red Army armored trains were used throughout WWII. In addition to supporting infantry units operating in the band of the railway, they were used to destroy enemy forces in the area of important railway stations to protect the coast and anti-artillery. A crucial role in protecting the railway stations of air strikes played anti-aircraft armored, armed with 25-mm and 37-mm anti-aircraft guns and 12.7 mm anti-aircraft guns ANC.
Successful use of armored trains in the early months of the war contributed to the deployment of their construction in the depots of several cities. The design and armament armored trains largely represented improvisation and depended on the presence of steel armor, weapons and technological capabilities of the depot. A significant part was the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the Red Army armored trains was made on the basis of the Bryansk armored trains.
As of June 22, 1941 the Red Army had 53 armored trains , which included a 53 broneparovoza broneparovoza [literally, armored locomotive], 106 artillery broneploschadok [literally, armored platform] 28 broneploschadok defense and more than 160 armored vehicles adapted for movement by rail. There was also a 9 bronedrezin and several armored motor cars. In addition to the Red Army armored trains disposal and operational NKVD troops. They had 25 broneparovozov, 32 artillery broneploschadki, 36 armored cars and motor 7 armored vehicles.
The most common type of armored trains in the second half of the Great Patriotic War was developed in 1942, the so-called armored train of 1943 - BP-43.
As a rule, an armored train BP-43 consisted of broneparovoza PR-43, placed in the middle of 4 artillery broneploschadok PL-43 (2 broneploschadki on both sides broneparovoza) 2 broneploschadok with anti-aircraft weapons defense-4 (at both ends of the armored train) and 2 - 4 control platforms that transported needed to repair the railway track materials. Usually included in the armored 1 - 2 armored car BA-20 or AD-64 adapted for movement by rail.
For the Red Army during World War II was made 21 armored train BP-43. A significant number of armored trains of this type received and NKVD troops.
"Heavy" armored armed 107-mm guns with a range of up to 15 km. Reservations (100 mm) for the protection of vital units of armor-piercing projectiles caliber 75 mm.
On one refueling and water armored train could overcome up to 120 km with a maximum speed of 45 km / h. In the coal used as a fuel (10 m) or oil (6 m). Warhead weight armored did not exceed 400 tonnes.
The crew consisted of a combat unit commanders, platoon control tower with armored car platoon calculations and offices onboard machine guns, air defense platoon, platoon traction and movement and a platoon of armored train, which had 2 light armored car BA-20zhd and 3 medium armored car BA-10zhd adapted to move along the railway. They were used for reconnaissance at a distance of 10-15 km, and as part of care (Watch) on the march. In addition, the platforms cover could accommodate the landing of up to three rifle platoons.
Armored train "Kozma Minin"
The most successful design was an armored train "Kozma Minin", built in February 1942, in the train depot town of Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod).
In this battle of the armored train consisted of: broneparovoz, 2 covered broneploschadki, 2 open artillery broneploschadki and 4-axle control platform. Each covered broneploschadka was armed with two 76.2-mm guns mounted in turrets on the T-34 tanks. Besides paired with these guns 7.62mm machine guns DT broneploschadki had four 7.62-mm machine guns "Maxim" in the ball bearings in the sides. Upcoming artillery sites were separated by length into three compartments. In the front and rear compartments were installed 37-mm anti-aircraft guns, and in the central compartment was launcher rockets M-8. The thickness of the side armor broneploschadok was 45 mm, covered broneploschadki had the upper armor thickness of 20 mm. Protected armor thickness 30-45 mm broneparovoz used as traction only in combat. Hiking and maneuvers used conventional locomotive. At the tender broneparovoza was equipped with a commander's cabin, coupled with the cab door. From this cutting commander of an armored train control actions broneploschadok via telephone. For external communication at its disposal there was a long-range radio PCM. Due to the presence of four long-barreled 76.2 mm cannon F-32 armored train could provide a high concentration of artillery fire and conduct aimed fire at a range of 12 km and launchers M-8 allows it to hit the manpower and equipment of the enemy.
Armored Train "Ilya Muromets"
Armored Train "Ilya Muromets" was built in 1942 in Murom. He was protected by the armor thickness of 45 mm and the entire war not received any holes. Armored train went from Murom to Frankfurt an der Oder. During the war he had destroyed seven airplanes, 14 guns and mortar batteries, 36 enemy firing points, 875 soldiers and officers. For Military Merit 31st separate special Gorky division of armored trains, which included an armored train "Ilya Muromets" and "Kozma Minin", was awarded the Order of Alexander Nevsky. In 1971, Murom was put on eternal parking broneparovoz "Ilya Muromets".
Tomsk armored railway
In early December 1941 on the instructions of the State Defense Committee on the Tomsk railroad began forming three battalions of armored trains. By the employees of the depot was built 11 armored trains: "Railroader Kuzbass", "Soviet Siberia", "Victory", "Lyninec" (named after the driver Nikolai Alexandrovich Lunin) and others.
In July days in 1942 on the site Elec - Kastornaya armored train #704 "Lyninec" took the first fight. Before the commander of the armored train had a task: to land at the rear of the Nazis in the station area Terbuny with important strategic height landing of infantry and support it with fire. The Germans do not expect a rapid roll to his rear, left height. The armored train was attacked 11 Nazi planes. Anti-aircraft gunners staunchly defended steel fortress. Upon reflection plaque was shot down 2 bomber.
September 8, 1942 train was taking on water at the station when swooped down 18 German planes. Ahead bomb destroyed the road. Machinist PA Hursik with sixteen employees regained way. We reverse at that time was the driver MF Shchipachev. Maneuvering on a small segment of the surviving path, he saved the train from Nazi bombs.
On the site of defense of the 13th Army of the Central Front April 27, 1943 were transferred to the armored train #663 "Railroader Altai" and #704 "Lyninec" 49-th separate division. July 6, 1943 in Ponyri 49th armored division entered the fray, supporting shelves 81 th and 307 th Infantry Division. With the active support of armored fire "Lyninec" and "Railroader Altai" army units managed to stop desperate attack of the enemy. Nazi command has developed a special operation to destroy armored trains, in which the main role was given to aviation. When "Lyninec" and "Railroader Altai" came to the selected position for the next fire attack on enemy armored trains were over 36 enemy aircraft. They managed to break the way, depriving armored train "Railroader Altai" possibilities of waste. But crews steel fortresses were firing from all anti-aircraft. The Nazis lost several planes. The crews of armored trains and railroad, railway engineers worked hard all night. They raised broneploschadki, laid rails. On the morning of the 49th ODBP again went on a combat mission.
July 9, 1943 armored train "Lyninec" again opened fire on the enemy. In the south-western outskirts of the village Ponyri, near the railway station, he reflected dozens of attacks fascists. Together with the soldiers of the 4th Guards Airborne Division armored crew carried out the order of the Central Front commander, Army General KK Rokossovskogo "Ponyri not give up!" Day the crew of the armored train did not leave the battlefield. The commander of the armored troops of the 13th Army General MA Queens through the armored commander Captain BV Shelohova expressed gratitude to all personnel. During the fighting in Ponyri soldiers of the 49th Division destroyed more than 800 Nazi soldiers and officers.
After the defeat of Hitler's armies in the Kursk battle your way armored lying on Ukraine. February 13, 1944 49th ODBP under Captain DM Shevchenko order of the Supreme Commander was awarded the honorary title "Shepetovsky." In the battle for Shepetovka crews of armored trains produced 56 fire attack repelled 15 enemy attacks. Armored participated in the liberation of Czestochowa, Piotrkow, Radom. Battle your way division finished in Lower Silesia, in the town of Oppeln.
Armored Train "Baltiets"
July 3, 1941 at a rally in Leningrad, the Baltic electrodepot was decided to build their own train was used for this locomotive Op-7599 and 2 four-axle platform carrying capacity of 60 tons. Rolled steel cladding locomotive put Izhora plant.
The armored train was armed with six 76-mm guns, two 120-mm mortars and 16 guns, including four large-caliber. The name of the armored train - "Baltiets" - gave the workers themselves. The team was made up of an armored train volunteers and staff electrodepot railroad artillery.
Since autumn 1941 the armored train "Baltiets" stand in defense of the borders of Leningrad. He could fire from fifteen firing positions in various sectors of the front: with the position Myaglovo Gora - for MGE; of Coal Harbour - the pine glades and Strelna; from Predportovaya - on Uritsk, Red Sela, Raven Mount; from the standpoint of Levashov Beloostrov, Oselki, Vaskelovo - in areas Lembolovo - Nut.
Armored train "people's avengers"
Armored Train "People's Avenger" was built railroad Leningrad Warsaw-node. Armament armored train were two 76 mm anti-aircraft guns, two 76 mm tank guns, 12 machine guns "Maxim".
Fighting the way the "People's Avenger" started November 7, 1941. At the Warsaw station during the rally handed team railroad trains, 85% consisted of railroad volunteers, the red flag. During his service train was involved in many operations for the protection of Leningrad, smash the enemy in areas Pushkin Alexandrovka, Uritsk, Pavlovsk.
Armored train in the Battle of Stalingrad
In August 1942, when the Nazis came close to Stalingrad, an important role in the defense of the city were called to play an armored train.
Among the first armored trains arriving at Stalingrad, was an armored train #73 NKVD. In September 1942 the armored train is not coming out of the fighting. September 2 from the headquarters of the 10th Infantry Division of the NKVD was warned that the station moves Gardening large group of tanks. Armored train meet them. In retaliation, the enemy unleashed on the train aviation, began to pursue his artillery and mortar fire. Burned all four control platform and armored car BA-20. But the next day the armored train made a surprise attack on the accumulation of the invading troops northwest of Garden Station. Was destroyed three tanks, infantry dispersed. By evening, the crew made two more fire attack near the station experienced.
September 14 was the last day in the fate of the combat armored train #73. At six in the morning there came 40 enemy aircraft. Because of the direct hits in broneploschadki exploded own ammunition. Smoke clouded armored train. Surviving crew took arms and went to the Volga. Mutilated skeleton armored #73 lay at the foot of Mamaev Kurgan. But soon, under the same number went to the front a new fortress on wheels. Created it in Perm former fighters armored #73. They also made a new crew.
On the Stalingrad Front were sent armored 28th division. At the station Archeda July 23 Nazi planes bombed three times our military trains. Armored train #677 took here his baptism of fire: from the anti-aircraft guns had fired, reflecting an air attack. As a result of the raid destroyed the station and railway line. Forces soldiers and armored railroad was rebuilt way. July 25 th identified 677 combat land Kalach-on-Don - Krivomuzginekaya - Karpovskaya - Stalingrad. Was given the task - to support fire from guns and machine guns, our troops, to prevent a breakthrough fascists across the Don, to fight the enemy assault.
August 5th armored train 677 was transferred to the 64th Army in the area Abganerovo-fertility. German tanks broke into the depths of our defense, but then thrown back. Passing "47th kilometer" repeatedly passed from hand to hand. Steel fortress destroyed bunkers, the vast mortar and artillery batteries.
August 9 troops of the Stalingrad Front inflicted counterattack against enemy forces had broken through. On this day, the armored train #677 accompanied by cannon fire attack of the 38th Infantry Division, together with the 133rd Tank Brigade. During the day, the crew rescued eleven air attacks, restoring the railroad, pitted with deep craters from bombs. By the evening of the armored train went off for a semaphore station Tinguta. Reaching the firing line, it all came down to the fire power of the enemy. Nazi bombers peppered him with high-explosive and incendiary bombs. The armored train was over six hundred dents and holes from shrapnel bombs.
On the site of Stalingrad-Sarepta in September 1942 was an armored train #708. Putejtsy station Beketovskaya served 11-kilometer stretch on which the armored train went on combat missions. Plot daily shelled and bombed by the Germans. Just over three kilometers was about 150 damage to the rails apart destruction mound, sleepers, fastenings. To fix all this, railway workers had to work mostly at night.
In September 1942 the armored train 159th separate battalion received orders to depart to Stalingrad, to the site Archeda - Ilovlya - Kotluban. Stalingrad division was subordinated to 22th Mechanized Brigade of the 4th Panzer Army. Battalion task was to prevent the crossing of German troops across the river near the mouth of the Don River Ilovlya, cover station Ilovlya from German air raids, to ensure the safety of the bridge across the river.
September 15 #1 train arrived at the station log, and then Ilovlya, where he was its main car park, which is subjected to daily bombardments. Repeatedly during the night, the train left #1 Ilovlya, went on patrol Tishkino (closer to Stalingrad), which shelled the German positions on the right bank of the River Don.
Acted north of Stalingrad 40th separate division controlled portion Ilovlya - Kotluban. It includes an armored train "Kirov", built in Omsk, and "Severokazahstanets", released from the walls of the Peter and Paul depot. On this site the enemy seized the commanding heights and keep under review a number of advancing echelons. Armored turn out to a comfortable position for firing at the enemy raids. August 23 at dawn "Kirov" was released on direct fire adjustment. Artillery duel ensued, failure was derived three enemy guns, but train was received considerable damage.
On the site Ilovlya - Kotluban, when the invaders went on the offensive, repulsed the attacks of armored tanks and artillery. But from the blows of the enemy projectiles two broneploschadki "Kirov" derailed.
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