Old armored cars and trains...

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Mait
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Old armored cars and trains...

Post by Mait » 29 Nov 2002 16:43

Hello...

I tried the subject in WW1 section and got no response whatsoever, so I thought I'd try it here:

I am curious about WW1 Austro-Hungarian armored cars and trains (especially the cars). Has anyone got some information about them (which models were produced, when and in what quantities, what they looked like and how good were they, where were they used, etc).

Perhaps some of these weapons were given to Entente nations as war reparations (Romania, Serbia, Italy)?

I was hoping that forum members from these countries might have some data about them...

(We have almost no books about WW1 Austro-Hungary in Estonia and searching the web I found also nothing) :(

So I most warmly welcome any help :)

Best Regards,

Mait.

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Robert Hurst
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Old Armoured Trains

Post by Robert Hurst » 30 Nov 2002 11:12

Hi Mait

Just seen your post and I thought you'd appreciate the following pics, which I have taken from 'Czechoslovak Armoured Vehicles 1918-1948' by Charles K. Kliment & Vladimir Francev.

I'm a bit pushed for time , so I can't give you much info at the moment, but I will sort something out for next Monday.

I will also sort out some photos of WWI Austro-Hungarian Armoured Cars for you.

Regards

Bob
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Mait
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Post by Mait » 30 Nov 2002 12:00

Thank You Robert.

I am inpatiently waiting for more info from You on Monday :)

Best Regards,

Mait.

PS! I know that Italian armed forces used their armored trains for coast defense in WW1 (as mobile coast defense artillery against Austro-Hungarian naval bombardments) and at least theoretically they used them in WW2 in the same role. I was wondering if the Austro-Hungarians used their trains for the same purpose?

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Csaba Becze
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Post by Csaba Becze » 02 Dec 2002 14:23

Mait,

No. The Italian and Austro-Hungarian coasts were very different, the Austro-Hungarian Army never used this vehicles as a coastal defence forces.
BTW, I am interested in the Austro-Hungarian naval forces too; I didn't find any exact claims, that they had artillery duels with Italian panzer trains. Generally, the warships had bigger guns, and the armored trains had nerer chance against them.

They had Romfeld panzer cars (I have not a scanner and I can't to enclose a picture, sorry)

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Mait
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Post by Mait » 02 Dec 2002 17:12

I believe these Italian armored trains were meant as fast response units against lighter Austro-Hungarian warships bombarding coastal objects. I think their planned enemies were destroyers and maybe light cruisers.

I quite can't imagine that an armored train had any chance of survival against heavy cruisers/pre dreadnought battleships/battleships. The calibers of the guns used in these duels are just not comparable at all...

Best Regards,

Mait.

PS! Damn sorry about the armored cars. I just can't find any pictures about them in net. Could You at least give me some short reference about them (models and numbers produced, their armament and quality, combat history)?

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Mait
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Post by Mait » 07 Dec 2002 15:57

My little research in internet about Austro-Hungarian armored trains revealed some bits of information that i will post here. I'll try to add the authors and web sources to the text.

The first practically used armoured aspect of Hungarian warfare was the armoured train. In septeember of 1914 Schoeber, captain of Austro-Hungarian monarchy, chief of the 15th railway building division built an armoured train in Galicia. He covered the engine with 8-12 mm thick boiler-plates and strenghten the open waggons with rails and thin iron plates. They placed machine-guns in the loop-holes. They didn't use guns at this time. Captain Kossowicz, chief of the 5th k.u. k. railway building division made a second armoured train at the Munkachevo-Stryj line. It consisted of two units, that could fight covering each other, with two 80mm cannons which fired headway. This train was fighting in september-october, and was so successful, that the HQ of the Monarchy (AOK) immediately ordered new trains, builded in factories. The order was placed to the MAV (Hungarian Railway Company), and they started to build in the MAVAG factory (Budapest), and in the Northern Factory 8 trains using engines of type 377. There were two kinds. The heavy type had a built-in gun, while the light one had only machine guns.

The train No I. arrived to Maramarossziget at 5th december 1914, and immediately started to fight. The others were put in service in 1915. The No. IX. which was built later, called "flat" one was put to service in 1916. It has a type 2001. engine, and it's gun-emplacement has an own motor, so it could be used alone. The two trains built by the start of the war got the X. and the XI. numbers. In 1918 there were 9 armoured trains (the two temporary has been broken), five were in continouos service, four were in store.
By the withdraw in 1918. No. II. and No. VIII. has been captured by the Czechoslovak army, and were used by them. No. V. and No III. has given to the new Polish Army by the 2. army division, where they were used for a little more. No IV., VI., VII., and IX. came back to Hungary, while [according to some sources] No. I and III were blown up by its/their crew. New researches show that the old k.u.k. train No. II. was owned by the Wehrmacht in 1939., and fought with German signs in WWII. In Yugoslavia in 1941, then on the Balkan, fate is unknown.
("Hungarian armoured trains" by Gabor Hopocky, http://railwaygun.freeservers.com/armtr ... ungary.htm)
The use and fate of Austro-Hungarian armored train captured by Polish army can be found here:
http://derela.republika.pl/smierc.htm#art
The use of Austro-Hungarian armored trains that remained in Hungarian service is discussed further in the following site:
http://railwaygun.freeservers.com/armtr ... ungary.htm

I will add the drawings of the 11 trains used by A-H army during WW1.
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Mait
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Post by Mait » 07 Dec 2002 16:12

Armoured locomotives series MAV 377 were the standard locomotives of Austro-Hungarian WWI armoured trains. A small freight and shunter tank locomotive series (MAV) 377 was the Hungarian design - 534 were built in four Hungarian and Austrian factories in 1885-1927. The locomotives were armoured in MAV workshops and MAVAG works in Budapest, probably in 1915. They had no armour plating in fact, but they were protected with 12mm steel plates. Since the Austro-Hungarian Army found them too vulnerable to machine gun bullets, the protection was strengthened from the inside with 40mm oak wood layer and second layer of 9mm sheet iron, which showed quite enough against machine guns and splinters. The locomotives were equipped with a special pipe, mounted on the chimney, which, when assembled, was intended to put a smoke near the ground in order to hide the train's presence.

Some more drawings of the standard wagons of these trains (these are what they looked like after WWI in Polish service):
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