Wehrmacht Demolition & Mine Field Practice

Discussions on the equipment used by the Axis forces, apart from the things covered in the other sections. Hosted by Juha Tompuri
Richard Stone
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Location: USA

Wehrmacht Demolition & Mine Field Practice

Post by Richard Stone » 09 Jun 2022 21:54

The attached postwar article discusses the methods used by the Wehrmacht for demolition work and for laying mine fields in the late war combat theaters.

The original article was printed in the June 1952 edition of the ‘The Royal Engineers Journal'. This version of it was printed in the October 1952 edition of the USA professional military reference magazine ‘Military Review’.

I’ve included 3 short attachments that discuss the Wehrmacht explosive demolition methods for railway equipment during their retreats in the Italian campaign from the book 'Railroading In Eighteen Countries’ by Major General Carl Gray. These methods were developed in the late 1880s once practical military explosives were developed and the majority of these methods remain in use by many armies today.

In all combat theaters the Wehrmacht's' ability to perform thorough demolition during retreats was dependent on their demolition troops knowledge of the equipment to be destroyed, the speed of their retreat and the availability of their demolition supplies since at many places the damage was limited in scope or non-existent. An example of significant error is given in the first 'Railroading In Eighteen Countries’ attachment.
Combat Notes - Mil Review - German Demo-1.png
Combat Notes - Mil Review - German Demo-2.png
Combat Notes - Mil Review - German Demo-3.png
Combat Notes - Mil Review - German Demo-4.png
Combat Notes - Mil Review - German Demo-5.png
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Richard Stone
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Posts: 370
Joined: 21 Mar 2020 23:27
Location: USA

Re: Wehrmacht Demolition & Mine Field Practice

Post by Richard Stone » 09 Jun 2022 22:02

These are the next series of attachments.
Combat Notes - Mil Review - German Demo-6.png
Combat Notes - Mil Review - German Demo-7.png

These are the attachments from 'Railroading In Eighteen Countries' that discuss railway demolition.
Combat Notes - Mil Review - German Demo-8.png
Combat Notes - Mil Review - German Demo-9.png
Combat Notes - Mil Review - German Demo-10A.png
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Richard Stone
Member
Posts: 370
Joined: 21 Mar 2020 23:27
Location: USA

Re: Wehrmacht Demolition & Mine Field Practice

Post by Richard Stone » 09 Jun 2022 22:08

These are the photos from Railroading In Eighteen Countries that show examples of railway equipment demolition.

This photo shows an Italian steam locomotive that received major damage after the detonation of a demolition charge placed in the firebox. The explosion has blown the firebox and the wrapper plate (wrapper sheet) section of the boiler apart with the top wrapper plate section blown upward. The explosion also may have blown off the smokebox door from the front of the boiler. This locomotive can be repaired, but will require extensive boiler repairs.
Combat Notes - Mil Review - German Demo-12.png



This is an Italian 2-6-2 steam locomotive that received extensive damage from explosive demolition changes placed in the smokebox and on the left cylinder casting. The smokebox section has been blown apart, the cylinder casting is destroyed in addition to the front section of the steam dome being damaged, possibly by shell fire. However, the firebox and boiler were not damaged by a demolition charge. The photo shows the locomotive after it has been stripped of all useable parts to enable the repair of other locomotives, and the damaged smokebox section has been cut away by a cutting torch. This locomotive can be repaired, but will require extensive repairs.
Combat Notes - Mil Review - German Demo-11.png

This photo shows a destroyed passenger car. This car is not suitable for repair due its extensive damage but should have parts of its frame, brake system and running gear that can be salvaged.
Combat Notes - Mil Review - German Demo-10B.png
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