German Railways in the East

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Der Alte Fritz
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Re: German Railways in the East

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 28 Jan 2014 04:47

This is the Soviet railway map available at http://www.soldat.ru and this detail is taken from the Stalin's Train Railway Division map. It clearly shows the railway line crossing both rivers, just as the German map does.
Stalins Train.jpg
From Wikipedia:
Dnieper railway bridges[edit]
The location of the Kichkas Bridge was in the flood zone upstream of the hydroelectric dam. Initially, it was planned to disassemble it and rebuild it in another location. But expert advice was that this was not cost-effective as it was cheaper to build a new bridge.[13]
The building of the hydroelectric dam meant that a new bridge was required to take the railway over the Dnieper. Instead of having a single bridge, as before, it was decided to take the railway over the island Khortytsia. The wide part of the river between Khortytsia and the city is known as the New Dnieper, and the narrower part between Khortytsia and the suburbs on the right bank of the river is known as the Old Dnieper.[13] The New Dnieper was crossed by a three-arch two-tier bridge. Each of the arches spans 140 m. When the approach spans are included the total length is 715 m weighing 8,480 tons.[13] The Old Dnieper was crossed by a single span arch bridge with a total length of 370 m; the arch spans of 224 m and was then the largest single span bridge in Europe. This bridge weighed 5,220 tons.[13] Both bridges were designed by Professor Streletsky. They were made of riveted steel, and had two tiers: the upper tier for rail traffic and the lower tier for road traffic and pedestrians. They were assembled by a combination of Czechoslovakian and Soviet workers under the direction of a Soviet engineer named Konstantinov. The arches are steel made by the Vitkovetskom steel plant in Czechoslovakia, other steelwork was made at the Dnipropetrovsk Metallurgical Plant. The new bridges opened on 6 November 1931. The Kichkas Bridge was demolished afterwards.[13]

The Donbass – Stalingrad and Moscow – Crimea railway lines through Zaporizhia were an important supply line for the Germans in 1942–43, but the big three-arch Dnieper railway bridge at Zaporizhia was blown up by the retreating Red Army on 18 August 1941, with further demolition work done during September 1941.[13] and the Germans did not bring it back into operation until Summer 1943.[26][27] "As a result all goods had to be reloaded and tank-wagons carrying petrol could not go through to the front."[26]

13 The bridges of Zaporozhye (Мосты Запорожья), by L Adelberg (Адельберг Л), pub RA Tandem st, Zaporizhia, 2005. (Russian)
See here for pictures: http://zaporozhye-tour-service.com/sigh ... ng_bridges
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Der Alte Fritz
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Re: German Railways in the East

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 28 Jan 2014 06:01

MANPOWER CONSIDERATIONS
Col Hermann Teske Chief Transportation Officer of AG Mitte gives the following account in "Railway Transportation" in Steve Newton Kursk the German View.

Chief Transportation Officer of AG Mitte
Plenipotentiary officers of the army headquarters at Third Panzer,
Fourth, Second Panzer, and Ninth Armies; these officers served as liaison agents and also as consultants and directors of transport operations in their own districts.
Transportation Headquarters Minsk; (HBD) this office served as liaison with the civilian Reich Traffic Administration Minsk.
Transport Groups of Field Railroad Commands (FEDko) 2 (North) and 3 (South); these headquarters served as liaison agencies to the military
field railroad authorities and military specialists in transportation in their districts. Under their jurisdiction fell the outlying posts of the unloading commissars and of the railroad station headquarters in important unloading areas.

If local or traffic conditions warranted, special provisional administrative centers could be established, such as:
The outlying post of Field Railroad Command 2 in Bryansk, which controlled all incoming and outgoing transportation in the Orel salient.
Plenipotentiary Commissar for Transportation Orel, who assumed responsibility for evacuation of that area.
The manpower assigned to the transportation could be broken down as follows:
Within the individual army sectors Field Railroad Command 2 and 3, each consisted of 22,000 men.
In the rear area of Army Group Center (extending to our boundary with the Riechkommissariat Ostland), the civilian
Reich Traffic Administration Minsk (HBD Minsk) had a strength of 7,000 civil officials, 14,000 German, and 65,000 native railroad workers.
Construction and demolition tasks devolved on the 14,858-man-strong 2nd Railroad Engineer Brigade, (Eisenbahnpioniere Bde Stab 2)
which attached a railroad engineer commander at each army headquarters to work in accordance with orders from that army's plenipotentiary officer for transportation.
Security for railroad signal communications in the theater of communications was provided by a railroad signal regiment of two battalions— about 1,200 men.
Security of the roads themselves and the installations along them rested with the armies or the army group responsible for a
particular area, but that of the transportation system proper fell to me. To accomplish this task I had the Transport Security Regiment Ostland (8,617 men) and the Railroad Transport Flak Detachment (600 men) at my disposal

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Re: German Railways in the East

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 28 Jan 2014 06:06

Summary and Comparisons
The following tables make comparisons possible and illustrate the development of operations, as well as the delays caused by the enemy. Specific explanation of cases is to be found in the preceding month-by-month narrative. Army Group Center, during August, consisted of 1,665,800 troops and 374,650 horses. The railroad network comprised 12,909 kilometers at the beginning of the movements described.
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Re: German Railways in the East

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 28 Jan 2014 06:14

On Bridges
In mid-March Soviet partisans blew up both Desna River bridges southwest of Bryansk near Vigonichi. Approximately 100 men of a partisan band inhabiting the Bryansk woods, led by a Red Army officer, carried out this work of destruction. They blew the bridges only after a heavy and costly combat that annihilated the regional defense company assigned as bridge guards. This attack temporarily eliminated the important double-track stretch between Gomel-Bryansk. At the time, the situation
this interruption created appeared quite serious, especially because we all believed the Kursk attack was imminent, and the Desna constituted a serious strategic obstacle. Repairs were complicated by the fact that both bridges (respectively 8,640 meters and 9,620 meters long) rose to a height of 1,050 meters. In spite of this difficulty our railroad engineers succeeded in restoring the southern bridge in five days by refilling the blown-up field with a log crib, and the northern bridge in twelve
days through the use of emergency bridging equipment. This occurrence represented only a single instance of a remeditated Soviet plan for constructing obstacles along our railroads in accordance with greater strategic objectives; the following months provided numerous additional examples

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Re: German Railways in the East

Post by LWD » 28 Jan 2014 15:40

Der Alte Fritz wrote: ...
By which I think he means that when a route is captured, they start with Russian broad gauge locos, replace these German broad gauge ones as the Russian ones wear out and become unservicable (quite a common problem) ...
Do you think the way they were operating the Soviet locomotives could have been part of the servicability problem? I.e. if the Soviets designed them as relativly low speed locomotives and the Germans were running them at significantly higher speeds ...
Might it also impact the distance between coaling and water supplies as well?

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Re: German Railways in the East

Post by ljadw » 28 Jan 2014 16:35

This thread should deliver the author the title of member of the month . :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

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Re: German Railways in the East

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 28 Jan 2014 17:57

LWD wrote:
Der Alte Fritz wrote: ...
By which I think he means that when a route is captured, they start with Russian broad gauge locos, replace these German broad gauge ones as the Russian ones wear out and become unservicable (quite a common problem) ...
Do you think the way they were operating the Soviet locomotives could have been part of the servicability problem? I.e. if the Soviets designed them as relativly low speed locomotives and the Germans were running them at significantly higher speeds ...
Might it also impact the distance between coaling and water supplies as well?
Pottgeisser specifically mentions that they wore out broad gauge locomotives quite quickly but does not say why other than German operating practices and lack of familiarity with broad gauge locomotive. Technically there is no difference between a broad gauge and a standard gauge locomotive but getting the best out of a steam locomotive does take a lot skill and knowledge - ask any heritage railway volunteer. In the early 1920's Sweden and Germany built and delivered 1,200 odd Soviet Type E locomotives - which were common freight types on the Western Roads - so I do not think there were huge technical differences. But there were operating differences, Soviet locomotives used lower steam pressures, had much larger fire boxes and burnt coal or wood or other low grade fuels - so keeping the fire going and keeping it fierce was more of a difficulty, they did not have so many gizmos to help the driver. So to a German driver this seemed very old fashioned and 'lo-tech' and they made mistakes and so wore out the locomotives, also as you correctly point out, Soviet loco ran considerably further distances on their standard load of fuel and water and you can imagine German drivers misjudging this, being less fuel efficient and this causing problems. The Soviets by and large used the older E and O types on the Western Roads and these were often of considerable vintage, so breaking old locos is easier than new ones. They did capture some IS and FD types on the trunk roads (there are photos in Knippings book of these) but the also captured a lot of venerable old puffers on the low capacity (and axle weight) branch lines and of course old ex-Polish locos as well. I will try and post some of these photos tonight.

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Re: German Railways in the East

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 28 Jan 2014 18:03

ljadw wrote:This thread should deliver the author the title of member of the month . :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Thank you. It is these little posts that keep me encouraged and tell me that people are actually reading this stuff.

I just think that anyone who wants to study the Russo-German War needs a good grounding in railway lore because it is so vital to our understanding of events and just like horses / horse drawn vehicles, these things are no longer part of our lives anymore - and we simply do not have the understanding of them. Modern railways are very different to ones in the 1920s.

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Re: German Railways in the East

Post by LWD » 28 Jan 2014 18:23

Understanding that the ones of the 20s, 30s, and 40's varried as much geographically as they did is a critical insight that you have surfaced (at least for me). I'm seldom in complete agreement with ljadw but his post above is one of the exceptions.

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Re: German Railways in the East

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 30 Jan 2014 10:31

Here is a (badly translated - sorry) extract from the 1942 Dr. Georg Garbe article that GregSingh mentioned earlier. See our new (Wartime Documents) thread that Jeff Leech has started. The thing to note about this article is that it substantially correct and modern writers would not disagree with much of it.
Overloading of the Soviet railway networks
An increase in performance, as in the second of the implementation Five-year plan set production program demanded by the railways, both the route network and the fleet was no match. Although the production of locomotives and freight cars rose in the second five-year plan firmly on, but remained the fleet always in a threatening extent behind the growth of traffic back because the growing shortage of vehicles even with greatly increased production did not resolve so rapidly for years. In addition to the inadequacy of rolling stock but also the much too weak compared to the growth of traffic construction activity has contributed to an overload of the railway network. As a result of the rapid growth of bulk transport , the stock of railway facilities soon proved to be too low , which makes it often led to serious interruptions in the freight cars circulating in the local operating lines.
How much of the traffic was compressed to the Soviet railways in the post-war period , it is clear from the fact that the transported Quantity of goods at the end of the second five-year plan was about four times higher than in the period before World War II , the kilometric tons performance was increased even more than five times the pre-war performance. However, the railway network of the Soviet Union was in the same time has not even been extended by half.
Comparatively it is noted that the barrel kilometric performance of Russian Railways already at the end of the First Five Year Plan ( 1932) - the absolute values ​​for - about four times the performance achieved in the German network was , while the railway network of the Soviet Union was larger by only about half than that of the Deutsche Reichsbahn.

In particular, the construction of double-track routes, the beginning of the second five-year plan only 19,000 km accounted for, was strongly been neglected. Since in many cases just had to be dealt with on single sections, the extensive bulk transport, this fact has also not contributed little to the operational difficulties.
To be sure, can the temporary failure of the railways during the second five-year plan by the growing traffic density alone maybe completely explain . Have operational changes , lack of staff training, insufficient experience with the new operating organization and erroneous nature of the delivered materials and equipment in the years 1934/35 become known abuses at least as heavily in debt .
First, we examined the processing operation on congested Routes to improve by restricting the movement of persons. Even these drastic measure but did not in the long run the desired relief . Since the technical equipment of the railway facilities for such a swollen bulk cargo simply no longer sufficient , the routes were still clogged ; numerous train accidents were the result. According to press reports up to 60 000 derailments per year have been observed . Train hazards are thereby often caused by excessive wear of the rails or by deficient mounted track systems . Also the delivered construction material had temporarily obviously a significant deficiency .
1935 should , for example, at a rail supply of about 625 000 t 172 000 have been t Committee . According to Erofejew (1 "crises of the railways of the USSR", Eastern Economic,
Issue 2, 1938.) were still in 1936 after the so-called " basic repairs " on the Donets Basin railway: 34%, on the Stalin railway: 40 % , on the Dzhershinski railway: 54% regarded to be as insufficiently safe track systems .

Radical reform of the railway sector .
Because of the ever-increasing traffic with the backward railway facilities and the lack of car parking could no longer be met , an extensive modernization action was initiated under Kaganovich under the Second Five-Year Plan , which brought the tracks a number of technical improvements. Foremost among these is to call with air brakes , the equipment of freight cars , which allowed an increased travel speed and thus a considerable performance increase in freight traffic. Early 1936 was equipped with air brakes , almost half of all freight cars. The construction of heavy freight locomotives made ​​at that time considerable progress . The procurement of high capacity freight cars, which were provided with self-discharging , also contributed significantly to the relief of the masses freight movements . Train formation was further accelerated by equipment of wagons with self- coupling .
In particular, the performance of the network was lifted by the introduction of self- blocking , which partly enabled a doubling of the sequence of moves . Even through improved organization of train services and by concentration of the bulk transport on the most efficient routes, the capacity of the tracks could be substantially increased. Finally they also built the busiest lines from little by little.
The introduction of technical innovations initially , however, often led to new difficulties , as the railway staff had become accustomed to it the changed operation . After overcoming these teething problems but it is managed with the help of the new operating organization to increase car circulation and utilization of the freight fleet in the second five-year plan again solid . The car position is increased , for example, in the years 1933 to 1937 a further 75% after they had already increased in the first five-year plan by 60 %. The turnover rate of the freight fleet was again by approx. 20 % can be increased so that at the end of the second five-year plan was almost twice as high as 1928. The extent to which the overall performance of the Soviet railways could be increased by the imposition of modernization under the Second Five-Year Plan, proven by the fact that it has the goods transported quantity in the years 1933 to 1937 almost doubled the ton kilometric performance is grown even slightly stronger. - due to rising middle distance traveled - Of course, the management of traffic in the following years, in spite of many that have occurred in the course of technical renovation success is still remained a constant concern of the Soviet railway administration. A comparison of traffic volume and vehicle fleet can readily see that the overload of Russian Railways apparently could not be eliminated during the second five-year plan.

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Re: German Railways in the East

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 02 Feb 2014 08:22

Reconstruction of bridges
All these images are taken from "Knipping Schulz - "Die Deutsche Reichsbahn 1939-1945" http://www.amazon.com/Die-Deutsche-Reic ... 3613712997

Blown up railway bridge across the Dnieper below the dam at Dnepropetrovsk
Img_0543.jpg
Img_0542.jpg
Before the Wehrmacht on 28.08.1941 reached the all-important railway junction at Dnepropetrovsk, the beautifully designed bridge over the largest stream Ukraine, was blown up by the Red Army. It could be put back into operation on 06.11.1941. During the Reconstruction, the Siemens- Bauunion was active, as the trailer shows up in center of the picture. As of 27.12.1941 the northern terminus of the Crimea was for the first time achieved on standard gauge over this bridge and continue on the southward route. On 25.10.1943 the Wehrmacht had to quit Dnepropetrovsk for good.



Destroyed Railway Bridge in the East
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Img_0544.jpg
If only minor works are required then the spreader good fortune for this great river bridge is that at least one track is passable again. The floating barge, which had been used for a floating makeshift factory and support for the bridge repair can now be removed once the tracks are connected
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Re: German Railways in the East

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 02 Feb 2014 08:41

Img_0545.jpg
The Restored Railway Bridge on the Route Kiev - Poltava

Before the Dnieper River could be crossed at sufficiently at many points on standard gauge, broad gauge operation had to be maintained to the east of the stream. Therefore, here we have the single-track reconstruction of this bridge on the Ukrainian line Kiev - Poltava (_ Kharkov) first laid as a four-rail track for trains of both gauges. For a three-rail track, as are known in examples of combinations of standard and meter gauge, the difference between standard and broad gauge is too small.

On the bridge, this category also have constraint rail, (third rail on the left) which is in case of derailment prevent the outbreak of the vehicles.
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Re: German Railways in the East

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 03 Feb 2014 09:08

Img_0550.jpg
A stress test on the ornate wooden pier bridge was made ​​with a Kreigslok number 52 with condensation tender. The chimney cap indicates the first embodiment of the Condenser locomotive. The design of the wooden bridge crossing the waters of the Bug at Trichatz is reminiscent of the pioneer days of the railways in the U.S.
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Re: German Railways in the East

Post by GregSingh » 03 Feb 2014 11:35

Nicely done!
I assume it's in Ukraine, but I am having problem locating Trichatz.
Do you know on which rail line it was?
If we become increasingly humble about how little we know, we may be more eager to search.

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Re: German Railways in the East

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 03 Feb 2014 12:41

I think it is this place: German Settlements in the Odessa District (Particularly the Western Part of the Cherson Province) which is taken from this site:
http://library.ndsu.edu/grhc/history_cu ... arabia.htm

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