Soviet armoured trains

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Re: Soviet armoured trains

Post by Chronofus » 16 Oct 2023 01:14


I've been puzzling over this one a little while. Two DTR draisines were captured by the Germans, one as part of the 66th NKVD Railroad Security Regiment, the other as part of the 8th Armoured Train Division. The train behind has large circular turrets, which precludes most standard designs such as the VS and OB series. It makes me think it's either a custom, or older/recycled WW1 era train probably? leaning me to an NKVD train as a first thought. Without a reference to the date/location, it's kind of tough to identify on my cobbled together knowledge, but I ended up believing it to be BePo-21.

These are the source images:
Foto-vernichteter-russischer-Panzerzug-an-der-Ostfront-Panzer (4) edit.jpg

The 8th ODBP lost it's equipment in October 1941 in the Martsevo-Besergenovka sector east of Mariupol:
14/10/1941 BePo-14 was destroyed by aircraft. It wasn't this one as it was an adhoc train with coal wagons? converted into mortar carriers.
22/10/1941 (I've also seen 17/10/1941). BePo-45 and the 59th NKVD Railroad Security Regiment train were surrounded and shot to pieces.
BePo-45 - locomotive set on fire and 2 guns were knocked out (one wagon disabled and chassis broken, maybe with internal shrapnel damage?). BP-35 with PL-37 artillery wagons
59th NKVD Railroad Security Regiment train - "destroyed". Both artillery wagons shattered. BP-35 with PL-37 artillery wagons

The small retaining wall in the pic does not appear in pics of the two destroyed trains above.


The 66th NKVD Railroad Security Regiment consisted of a VS-60 type with PT-33 artillery wagons. It was destroyed by its crew 27/9/1941 after they were surrounded and out of ammo, near Romodan station, west-ish of Poltava in Ukraine. There are pics of this destroyed train, which looks nothing like this image. If the DTR was here, it was parked off somewhere else and cut off and captured. I'd suspect the Soviets sabotaged it and without a working motor, this is the one that was mounted without wheels on a flat car as a short cut solution.

This doesn't preclude it being with the replacement train for the regiment, which I have no details of after this incident.


As the train in the background looks nothing like any of these, I wondered if perhaps it's the BePo-16 or BePo-21 trains detached from the 8th ODB to other duties earlier in the war.

BePo 16 I have no details on.

BePo-21 was destroyed 08/01/1942. Here's some pics of the remains looking like it has been tidied up and towed away from the destruction site.
Judging by the hatch on the turret in the 1st and 5th pic, I think these are the same trains, the first 2 pics of the train when captured, the remaining 3 pics of when it was salvaged and relocated.

The original BePo-21 of the 8th ODBP was a VS-60 (Heavy) at the opening of the war, but was transferred to the 7th ODBP on the 23/11/1941.

This particular edition of BePo-21 was built in Tagenrog after that, completed around Mach 1942 when the whole of the division was rebuilt. This might explain it's unusual shape.

A rebuilt BePo-45 became the 1st train of the 8th ODBD.
The rebuilt BePo-21 became the 2nd train of the 8th ODBD.

On 30/7/1942, it withdrew to Tikhoretsk (south of Rostov in Ukraine), and from there it withdrew east to Belaya Glina station with the task of supporting the 14th Tank Corps under Major General Radkevich. On 1/8/1942, having repelled an attack by German tanks and knocked out several of them, BePo-21 was attacked by German aircraft. The tender of the armored locomotive was destroyed by direct bomb hits with the boiler broken. The first artillery wagon was blown open and the second caught fire. With up to 50% killed and wounded, the crew retreated on foot.

I'd be open to thoughts on whether I've identified it correctly or not?
Sturm78 wrote:
12 Dec 2019 21:23

Here another image from Ebay:

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Re: Soviet armoured trains

Post by Sturm78 » 18 Oct 2023 21:11

Thank you very much for your information and additional images, Chronofus
It is not easy to identify the different types and models of Soviet armoured trains...


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Re: Soviet armoured trains

Post by Sturm78 » 24 Nov 2023 20:47

Hi all,

I found this interesting imager on Getty archive webpage.
I think a Soviet makeshift armoured train, using T-28 tank turrets.
Does somebody any additional information and/or images ?

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Re: Soviet armoured trains

Post by Chronofus » 26 Nov 2023 15:02

This looks to be the 2nd BePo of the 48th ODBP, known as the "Dzerzhinets" as it was manufactured around February 1942 at the Dzerzhinsk locomotive and carriage depot. It was formed of an armoured Ov locomotive (No 5783) with 4 artillery platforms built with the turrets of the T-28 tank (wagon numbers 905-908). I have no details on what type of AA wagon it may have had attached at the start of its career.

The 1st BePo of the 48th ODBP, known as "Death to the German Occupiers" was armed with T-34 turrets and an AA wagon with 2x 25mm AA guns.

The 48th ODBP was formed in November 1941, but did not receive these 2 trains until March 1942. The division was then attached to the 59th Army on the Volkhov front where it performed admirably.

Judging by the date and blurb attached to the photo, it would have been taken after the train was recalled for repairs in August 1942. This looks like the mustering out photo as they are about to be sent back to the front with the 59th Army who had gone into reserve. The locomotive in the background could be the 1st BePo also in for repairs at the same time.

By October the division's trains had been formally renumbered so that the 1st BePo was numbered 681 and the 2nd BePo was renumbered to 699. While transferred shortly after to the 4th Army on the Volkhov front, both trains survived the war unharmed and were disbanded around 1946.

Interesting to note there are 17 crew gathered here, the officer? on the left looking incredibly young while the "tankers" all look quite mature in comparison.

A similar T-28 artillery wagon was also attached to BePo 51 (OB-3 style) called "Fascism Fighter" and it's twin BePo 52 (OB-3 style) called "We Shall Destroy the Enemy," both attached to the 6th ODBP and built around November 1941 with a T-28 armed wagon paired with a T-26 armed wagon with 2 turrets on it. While I have good images of the T-26 wagons of these two trains, sadly I have nothing clear to share of the T-28 wagons. The Germans did not use these wagons when they captured them, unlike the T-26 wagons which did go into service. A discussion on these two trains is a few posts back where you put up and image of the damaged T-26 wagons.

UM make a kit of the wagon in 1/72 that is decent if you don't mind photo etch parts, and also a full train kit of Fascism fighter and Dzerzhinets.
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Re: Soviet armoured trains

Post by Chronofus » 28 Nov 2023 08:46

A couple pics for you from this website:

1st BePo 48th ODBP - “Death to the German Occupiers” «Смерть немецким оккупантам»

2nd BePo 48th ODBP - “Dzerzhinets” «Дзерджинец»

Trains of the 6th ODBP showing the T-28 wagons
I suspect this is BePo51, the writing on the loco seems to be their slogan, as indistinct as it is
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Re: Soviet armoured trains

Post by Chronofus » 30 Nov 2023 14:43

UM have released a new 1/72 kit of the NKVD BePo 56 MBV based on the D-2 draisine. So far I've not seen any previews of the contents, so I'm waiting on that before I get too excited about what it might mean. The box depicts a PR-35 loco with 2x D-2 artillery wagons and two control wagons, though the kit only contains the PR-35 loco and one D-2 draisine.
The blurb on the side of the box has this description of the train:

The armored train MBV No. 56 was formed in the USSR in 1939, as part of the 4th railway protection division of the NKVD.

It included an armored locomotive of the PR-35 type, two D-2 motorized armored cars, as well as control railway platforms. The PR-35 armored locomotive was manufactured on the basis of an Ov type steam locomotive (with a four-axle tender), by sheathing the latter with armor plates 8-15 mm thick, was equipped with a 71-TK-1 radio station, an air defense turret was installed on the tender, in which a twin anti-aircraft gun of 7.62 mm Maxim machine guns was installed. The weight reached 130 tons. The crew consisted of 17 people.

The maximum speed is 45-50 km/h with a range of up to 300 km.

The serial motorized armored car D-2 had bulletproof armor (10-16 mm), the movement was carried out by a 90 hp engine (ICE) with a maximum speed of 75 km/h with the possibility to reverse. The armored car had its own 71-TK-1-type radio station.

The armament of each consisted of two 76-mm guns (model 1902 mounted in gun turrets, two 7.62 mm tank machine guns DT (one in each turret) and 4 7.62 mm Maxim machine guns in ball mounts (two on each side). On the roof of one of the gun turrets, a twin anti-aircraft gun of 7.62 mm Maxim machine guns was installed. The ammunition of the armored vehicle was 500 shells and 32,000 rounds. The team consisted of 17-19 fighters.

The armored train participated in the 2nd World War (in a modified composition), distinguished itself in the defense of the city of Kyiv and its suburbs. On August 15, 1941, during a fierce battle with enemy ground forces, it was almost completely destroyed by enemy aircraft at the Kanev railway station. The heroic crew was forced to abandon their broken "armor"! Many fighters of this armored train were awarded military orders and medals. After the war, in 1980, a monument was erected to this armored train in Kanev.

My reservations on this kit are based on already owning a D-2 from them, which is only about 75% of the size it should be at 1/72 and does not include the AA Maxims. That the box says 3D printed parts gives me slight hope the D-2 has been 3d printed to fix this deficiency and the loco is probably the standard PR-35 kit from UM.


So some history of the 56th NKVD BePo MBV and Dyrenkov-2 (D-2) in general, which frankly I am struggling to find information on, as most of it appears to be in Russian language sites and I really struggle with finding things through Google and then being certain I am reading the text the right way. Discussion on NKVD trains appears even scarcer than the regular armoured trains. Anyways:

There were 33 examples of the D-2 draisine built before the program was shut down in 1935: 30 standard D-2; 1 prototype D-2; 1 D-3 with 45mm guns; 1 D-6. ... 0%B2%D0%B0

They were attached to the NKVD for railway protection from 1933 as they started construction and were formed into 11 "trains" supporting the following divisions at the time of Barbarossa (I can't get a solid list of these divisions or even the regiments as numbers vary between sources I have, so I have stuck with the list given in the wiki above):
  • 2nd MBV armoured train attached to the 2nd NKVD railroad security division originally based in Leningrad formed of the 51st, 52nd, 80th and 82nd regiments. Responsible for the territory from the Karelia region through Leningrad to Estonia.
  • 3rd MBV armoured train attached to the 3rd NKVD railroad security division originally based at Mogilev in Belarus, formed of the 53rd, 73rd, 76th and 79th regiments. It was referred to as the 73rd NKVD armoured train. It was disabled in action and captured 30/6/1941.
  • 4th MBV armoured train attached to the 4th NKVD railroad security division originally based at Kiev, and was responsible for the Kiev - Chernigov - Zhytomyr - Vinnitsa - Odessa on the Southern front. Attached to the 55th NKVD Railroad Infantry Regiment.
  • 5th MBV armoured train attached to the 5th NKVD railroad security division operating based at Kharkov around Eastern Ukraine in the South Western Front. The complete MBV armoured train was supporting the 77th NKVD Railroad Security Regiment and was subsequently isolated on a damaged section of rail and destroyed by the crew.
  • 9th MBV armoured train attached to the 9th NKVD railroad security division originally based at Vilnius, and responsible down to Brest. While the division was destroyed, the fate of the train is unclear.
  • 10th MBV armoured train attached to the 10th NKVD railroad security division originally based at Lvov on the South Western Front, formed of the 64th, 66th, 75th and 77th regiments. While the division was destroyed at Kiev, the fate of the train is unclear.
  • 13th MBV armoured train attached to the 13th NKVD convoy forces security division originally based at Kiev and operating around Balti - Bendery - Uman regions covering Moldavia and western Ukraine. While the division was destroyed, the fate of the train is unclear.
  • 24th MBV armoured train attached to the 24th NKVD railroad security division originally based at Minsk then to Smolensk then to Moscow.
  • 27th MBV armoured train attached to the 27th NKVD railroad security division originally based at Khabarovsk operating in the Far Eastern theatre, attached to the 70th, 71st and 72nd NKVD Railroad Security Regiments.
  • 28th MBV armoured train attached to the 28th NKVD railroad security division originally based at Svobodnyi operating in the Far Eastern theatre, formed on the 74th and 183rd regiments plus several other companies.
  • 29th MBV armoured train attached to the 29th NKVD railroad security division operating in the Transbaikalia region in the Far Eastern theatre. This MBV armoured train included the prototype of the Dyrenkov-2, the Dyrenkov-3 (attached to the 67th, 68th, 69th NKVD Railroad Infantry Regiment) and the Dyrenkov-6. This unit did not see combat.
While originally designed to be autonomous with the flexibility to be formed into larger trains, much like the Germans would do with the Le.Sp and S.Sp draisines in 1943, the D-2's power plant and configuration showed glaring deficiencies that required the draisines to operate with an unarmoured steam locomotive as the main power source. This essentially made them no different to a standard armoured train, except there could be 1-3 artillery carriages totaling 6x 76mm guns. Accompanying the armoured train was the usual support train with ammunition wagon, crew quarters, kitchen etc.

The 56th BePo MBV was attached to the 4th Railroad Protection Division operating as part of the south west front. While reading about how D-2 trains were attached, I often get the impression one draisine was nominally attached to each regiment in the division perhaps with it's own locomotive, but 2 or 3 were formed into a "train" as required. For example, the 56th referred to here is sometimes called the 55th, the first regiment in this division. I've not been able to reconcile why these names are done this way, maybe someone more enlightened will clear up my confusion in plain language.

By August 1941, the 4th RRP Division was supporting the Russian retreat across the Dnieper, defending the western side as the battered Russian troops crossed the railway bridge at Kanev. To try and prevent their escape, the German Sturzkampfgeschwader 77 dive bomber wing was tasked with destroying the bridge crossing and breaking the defensive forces.

While they were unable to knock the bridge out before the Russians were able to retreat, they did enjoy a target rich environment that included discovering the 56th BePo MBV firing away near the Kanev railway station on the morning of the 14th of August.

The BePo appears to have been in this configuration on the day, judging by the photos:
  • Lightly armoured locomotive with additional armour to boiler and cabin, but nothing to running gear or tender
  • flat bed wagon
  • D-2 draisine
  • Lightly armoured locomotive with additional armour to boiler and cabin, but nothing to running gear or tender
  • D-2 Draisine
  • flat bed wagon
plus random attachments of birch limbs for camouflage

Around 9am, Stukas of StG 77 bombed the train, disabling both locomotives, but not damaging the D-2 draisines to any extent judging by the photos. They continued to fight on that day, probably adding their artillery support as required.

Later in the afternoon around 4pm the Stukas returned in large numbers and a well placed bomb completely knocked the lead locomotive off the rails, dragging the flat wagon with it off the rails a little. The train continued to offer artillery support until the crew was ordered to abandon the train and take what equipment they could over night.

These photos show the train destroyed on site, contradicting the UM kit saying it was attached to a PR-35 armoured locomotive, and instead clearly showing two lightly armoured Os(?) locomotives.
The D-2 draisines were hauled off into German service.

Incidentally, a monument was made to this train in 1980, which looks nothing at all like the actual train and seems entirely fanciful. ... poezda.htm
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Re: Soviet armoured trains

Post by Sturm78 » 03 Dec 2023 14:50

Thank you very much for your information and additional images, Chronofus :wink:


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Re: Soviet armoured trains

Post by Chronofus » 17 Dec 2023 09:46

In between Polish research, I've been struggling along a bit on researching NKVD trains, which is a nightmare to unravel from conflicting information, patchy lists, poor translations, and general disagreement between some researchers over specific details. As I type all of this up, I thought it might be useful to someone to share the following extra info on the NKVD BePo MBV (D-2).

This is the nominal mobilisation formation of an NKVD BePo MBV (D-2) train. It totals 114 personnel (though I get 113 as 1 position is duplicated), though I have also seen a higher number of 126 quoted. As a formation, it includes no reserves, so 126 doesn't seen unreasonable. I've not seen any ranks listed specifically, but going through crew/KIA/award lists I've nominated some general ranks for positions. I would be grateful for any clarifications/corrections especially as Google translate can do an awful rendition of some terms. I've given general rank titles, for example, lieutenant could be Stárshiy Leytenánt / Leytenant / Mládshiy leytenánt, though any of these could have nominally filled the position probably. The train commander should be a Captain, but was also filled by a Stárshiy Leytenánt at times.

Command Staff - 9 men
  • 1x Commander of the armored train (captain/first lieutenant)
    1x Deputy Commander / Commissar (lieutenant)
    1x Assistant Commander for Technical Affairs (lieutenant)
    1x Adjutant (lieutenant)
    1x Senior paramedic
    1x Sergeant Major
    1x Assistant Sergeant Major (also acted as the commander of the Quartermaster Platoon)
    1x Chemical Instructor
    1x Senior clerk (sergeant)
Reconnaissance and communications platoon - 22 men
Platoon Command:
  • 1x Platoon commander (lieutenant)
    1x Truck driver/mechanic (private)
    Assistant driver/mechanic (motorcycle driver) (private)
  • 1x Truck with trailer
    1x Motorcycle with sidecar
Reconnaissance squad
  • 1x Squad commander (also assistant platoon commander) (sergeant)
    3x Scout (private)
    1x Scout trumpeter (private)
    1x Scout/driver of a motorized trolley - 1 (private)
  • 1x DP light machine gun
    2x Motorized rail trolleys
Radio Squad
  • 1x Squad commander (sergeant)
    4x Radio operator (private)
  • 2x 71-TK Radio (one on the locomotive and one in a scout rail trolley)
    2x 6-PK Radio
Telephone Squad
  • 1x Squad commander (sergeant)
    4x Telephone operator (private)
  • 5x Bicycle
Anti-aircraft machine gun squad
  • 1x Squad commander (sergeant)
    2x Gunner (private)
  • 1x Anti-aircraft machine gun installation (dual Maxim probably in all cases)
MBV Artillery Wagon (D-2 draisine) - 19 crew each, 57 total for train
  • 1x Commander (lieutenant)
    2x Gun commander (sergeant)
    6x Gun crew (private)
    2x Machine gun squad commander (sergeant)
    6x Machine gunner (private)
    1x Radio telegraph operator (private)
    1x Driver (private)
  • 1x 76mm training gun for the whole armoured train
Platoon of armored cars and train crew - 15 men
  • 1x Platoon commander(senior lieutenant)
  • 1x Motorcycle with sidecar
Armoured Cars fitted for railway travel
  • 1x Squad commander (1st vehicle commander) (lieutenant)
    1x Vehicle commander (2nd vehicle commander) (sergeant)
    2x Machine gunner (private)
    2x 45mm gunner (private)
    2x Driver (private)
  • 2x BA-10 armoured cars suitable for rail line travel, each fitted with a 71-TK radio
    Armament each: 45mm gun, 2x DT MG
  • 1x 45 mm gun for training use
    1x DT MG for training use
Train Crew
  • 1x Squad commander(sergeant)
    1x Senior driver (private)
    1x Conductor (private)
    1x Stoker (except for oil-heated locomotives) (private)
    2x Assistant driver (private)
  • 1x Armoured steam locomotive
    4x 2 axle flat wagon
Workshop Services/Tradesmen - 5 men
  • 1x Chief of military supplies (also workshop commander) (master sergeant)
    1x Gun smith (private)
    1x Machine gun smith (private)
    1x Electrician (private)
    1x Store's keeper (private)
  • 1x Workshop car (rail car)
    1x Warehouse/ammunition? car (armoured)
Quartermaster Squad - 6 men
  • 1x Storekeeper/warehouse manager (sergeant)
    1x Tailor (private)
    2x Cook (private)
    1x Shoemaker (private)
    1x Driver (private)
  • 1x Kitchen car (rail wagon?)
    1x Truck 1.5t

All that said, there are some things I got confused over.

This is a nominal mobilisation list, so the AA team, where do they go? As no armoured locomotives were supplied as intended (as far as I can tell, all pics I've seen of MBV trains have standard black locos), there is no standard AA mounting on the tender as would normally happen. Many pics of locos I've looked at don't show an AA gun fitted anywhere, which may be purely a fact they weren't set up at the time, or were stripped if the pic is of a captured locomotive. An image of BePo 82 does show a twin Maxim AA gun set up on the side wall of the tender, as well as on one of the D-2 turrets, so it's entirely possible they put them wherever they could at the time when needed.

Incidentally, command cabins may have also been an adhoc addition to the black locos with a simple extension of the standard cabin rearwards on to the tender and enclosed at the back. Images of several seem to imply such a field adjustment, though with no raised observation tower.
I assume not all trains/regiments received BA-10 armoured cars, as other types are known to be in service.

I have the distinct impression the "base" train (with the workshop, kitchen etc) was hauled by a second black loco. Pics of some armoured trains show a second black loco in use when all 3 MBVs are in the one train, so is it possible one loco could move 2x MBVs easy enough, but may have struggled with all 3?


As I've continued reading/researching, here are some extra notes to the prior post on the D-2.

Prior to mobilisation, D-2s were used nominally as an individual training wagon, or formed in "training" trains for the NKVD Railway Protection regiments. It looks like not all were in service at the time with a fair portion probably in storage or repair. I've taken the draft list of regiments/divisions they were assigned to in the prior post and started correcting it for a future post, as I've pulled more information from Russian sites and found more certainty between conflicting sources. I feel it would be better to have a chronology for each MBV train where I can determine enough information.

For eye candy, here's some pics of captured D-2s being transported by the Germans for reconditioning, all from the same time/location. Of note are the two styles of camouflage.
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Re: Soviet armoured trains

Post by Chronofus » 06 Jan 2024 14:39

I've been sorting random pics collected off the net into what train they are, as pics are often posted without dates or context.

Based on this link for the internet people:
and Luftflotte's post earlier in this topic: viewtopic.php?p=1971889#p1971889
and page 31 of Tank Power Vol 27 Number 251 - Sowieckie Pociągi Pancerne Vol 1 by Maksym Kołomyjec (2006) for the old school paper people:
all saying that the VS-60 train with the 2nd artillery wagon painted with a unique pattern of trees is the first version of BePo-47, I've identified these three photos as also being the same train.
Russischer-Panzerzug-Zug-Lok-Lokomotive edit.jpg
While the second wagon is very hard to discern on this VS-60 train, the vague black pattern on the side walls is roughly suitable, the clincher is the large rail shed in the back ground which matches the 4th photo on the link. Taken after the train had been removed from the capture site to a convenient rail depot.
Soviet armoured railcar captured edit.jpg
Sadly a bit of an unclear photo, there is a black tree on the end wall visible under the turret, with a black splodge to the left. This pattern is vaguely visible on the 2nd pic in the link. Taken long after the train was captured, sometime in late 1941 for it to be snowing. Is it in storage, or attached to a German track protection train? I haven't noticed this type of wagon on German trains in Sawodny's books.
The power lines, open locomotive wheel inspection hatches and the odd metal plates on top of the turrets correspond to this train at the capture point. What's interesting is this side of the front carriage appears to show some very faded black patterns, maybe a poor attempt to paint over them, that never got completed on the 2nd wagon during mobilisation? Or the patterns were started as drafts on the first wagon but were abandoned due to the speed of mobilisation? Open to thoughts

A short story of BePo-47 (VS-60 light) 1st train of the 12th ODBP.

The wagons look to be 1932 vintage, the loco a PR-35? The pic below gives an interesting view of a roofed covering for the twin Maxim AA setting on the tender. Of interest is the random piece of metal with a thin support on top of the front turret on the right hand side, which is also clear in the photo above. This also appears on all turrets if you look hard. Just behind it is what looks like a lifted plate, but is the cover strip next to the hatch hidden mostly by the raised central cylinder on top of the turret. I can't figure out what this random fitting is for and I can't discern it on any other VS-60 wagons on other trains.

Looking at all the pics, I struggled to see any external evidence of the fire damage to either artillery wagon or the damage to the loco aside from possibly a penetration to the driver's cab. However, there is clear shell penetrations to the second wagon under the front turret and front MG housing, and possibly under the front MG housing on the first wagon on both sides. Sadly available pics are too low res to be clear of more.
AT47 VS-60 Type with light wagon_1.JPG
The material for the train was held by the 1st Division in Bryansk as part of its general reserves. With the outbreak of Operation Barbarossa on the 22nd June 1941, the 12th ODBP (3 train formation) was formed from reserve equipment by the 27th of June. It consisted of
1st Train - BePo-47 (VS-60 light wagons with PR-35 loco) commanded by Lieutenant PI Belov
2nd Train - BePo-48 (Vs-60 light wagons with PR-35? loco)
3rd Train - BePo-49 (PL-37 light wagons with PR-35 loco).
These configurations did not have dedicated AA wagons as later trains did.

By the 29th June the division had provisioned and travelled the 250km distance from Bryansk to Smolensk, probably leaving on the 28th?
On the 30th it had arrived at Orsha about 120km west of Smolensk, and then on at the 31st of June it arrived at Borisov (Barysaw) another 120km west again. The division operated on the Barysaw-Minsk line trying to stem the German onslaught, fighting between Zhodzina and Smalyavichy.

On the 1st of July, BePo-47 encountered German vehicles, knocking a few out (from the 39th Panzer Corps?). BePo-48 came in to support it, but it was immediately hit and the locomotive put out of action. It was withdrawn (without any hint of how, or merely the loco was severely "wounded" and had to be nursed out). While BePo-48 was retreating, the attacks on BePo-47 reignited and it commenced retreating. It was hit in the boiler and the loco was put out of action. Being surrounded on three sides with no ability to maneuver, they were sitting ducks to the Germans, but like most disabled Soviet trains throughout the war, the crew kept on fighting as long as they could. Eventually a German shell set ammunition off and one artillery wagon caught fire. As a result, the crew abandoned the train and fled. There are conflicting reports on whether the commander Lt Belov was killed in this action.

BePo-49 entered action on the 7th of July, but due to the wear on its guns they failed after a short while and the train withdrew for repairs.

BePo-48 and 49 went to Bryansk for repairs, and re entered action on the 2nd of August. BePo-49 was permanently out of action on the 5th of August and BePo-48 by the 17th of August, being set on fire and launched off a collapsed bridge into the Iput river. So ended the first incarnation of the 12th ODBP. The remaining crew and base were withdrawn to the 1st Division and with new equipment formed the 21st ODBP in October.

The 12th ODBP would eventually be reformed as a unit in March 1942, the 1st train being another VS-60 light.

I'd be interested if anyone knows much about the actions of the 39th Panzer Corps at this time and whether this tallies with their unit diaries, or perhaps it was another German formation (47th Panzer?) from the southern pincer that encountered the trains.
AT47 VS-60 Type with light wagon_3.JPG
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Re: Soviet armoured trains

Post by Chronofus » 03 Mar 2024 07:04

During a random trawl through Ebay I came across the first attached pic with a vague description of an armoured train after an air attack.
I hunted back through my notes of which and what types of trains were destroyed when, and I believe this to be a previously unidentified picture of NKVD BePo 56 destroyed at Kanev station. This train and the similarly named NKVD BePo 56a have their histories a bit muddled up. As I've mentioned BePo 56 in the D-2 configuration a few posts ago, here is a bit more clarity.

Both trains served with the 4th Railroad Protection Division nominally stationed at Kiev at the outbreak of Barbarossa.

The Kiev protection force included the following trains:
NKVD BePo of the 66th Regiment - VS-60 with PL-35 artillery wagons from the 10th Railroad Protection Division
NKVD BePo of the 55th Regiment - 2x D-2 draisine configuration
NKVD BePo of the 56th Regiment - BP-35 with PL-37 artillery wagons
NkVD BePo of the 57th Regiment - Ex WW1 configuration and updated "General Baklanov"
Plus the hastily raised
NKVD BePo 56a - 2x D-2 draisine configuration from training draisines with 2 black locomotives

Despite the mix up in sources I believe BePo 56 was destroyed at Kanev and BePo 56a was captured at Kiev. One of these trains also included an anti tank gun mounted on a flat wagon and an AA gun (maxims?) on the rear? flat wagon though pictures of both trains don't clearly support this assertion, probably being stripped when the correct train was abandoned.

The second pic is a previously identified pic of NKVD BePo 56 with a scavenger truck hard at work next to the locomotive.
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