Begleiter der Eisenbahn!!
Let's take a look at this real "railing tank", an ingenious solution to an old problem: it's time to know and see the Artilleriewagen s.Sp. (schwerer Schienenpanzerspähzug) (heavy armored scout train).
|Artilleriewagen s.Sp. (schwerer Schienenpanzerspähzug) under construction!!!|
This photo was the reference to the drawing above...
In the war against the Soviet Union, the rearward railways became increasingly important as supply lines for the combat troops. To defend against the sabotage and partisans the Wehrmacht ran armoured trains drawn by armoured steam locomotives on the railway lines.
Steyr-Daimler-Puch was assigned the task of developing a family of light and heavy armored scout railway vehicles in the winter of 1943. Also included standardized rolling stock for the trains of heavily armored scout cars each driven by its own engine (Steyr air cooled engine, rated at76 hp). The first two heavy armored scout trains were put into service in November 1944.
The armored train (heavy scout car) consisted of twelve rail-wheeled armored scout cars with varying equipment. One command car (company, troop, radio and medical personnel), one tactical car for the infantry column (troops, built-in machine gun), two infantry cars (each with one built in machine gun, plus a total of one heavy and four light machine guns and two 8cm grenade throwers).
Also one engineer car (one built-in and two additional machine guns, flame-thrower), one tactical car for artillery column (one machine gun), four gun cars (Artilleriewagen) with Panzer III/N or IV turrets and short 7.5cm KwK L/24.
|Artilleriewagen under construction - Steyr plant - 1943.|
Toward the end of the war, two of these "tank-cars" were armed with 8cm or 12cm grenade throwers because of a lack of tank turrets. Also included in the composition two anti-aircraft cars with quadruple 2cm guns (in the first trains also 3.7cm twin anti-aircraft guns).
|Heavy scout armored train leaving the plant, lead by one Artilleriewagen|
At the end of the train there were also tank carrying cars with Praga 38(t) tanks and pusher cars, as well as a Panhard 38(f) scout car as a reconnaisance vehicle.
|Possible "short" composition of a heavy scout armored train|
The individual cars had 20mm armor and a gross weight of about 18 tons (varying depending on equipment). They were powered by the same 76 hp Steyr motors as the lighter vehicles (le.Sp.). Because of this weak powerplant, the heavy scout cars could only attain a speed of 40kph. The maximum range (with speed cut to 20kph with its own engines) was almost 700km.
|Artilleriewagen with the 20mm front armor removed for engine maintenance|
Each schwerer Schienenpanzerspähzug would have been deployed with 12 of these self-propelled vehicles: two Flak, four artillery, and six command vehicles. plus supporting control wagons and other equipment.
These units could operate as a single train, but were intended to be operated independently or in small groups depending on the mission. Sixteen of these units were planned but only six were formed starting in May 1944, numbered 201 (sSp.) to 206 (sSp.) and became operational from November 1944 to April 1945.
The Schwerer Spähzug (s.Sp.) Artilleriewagen was a single, self-propelled draisine, railcar/ railway wagon, equipped with a 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24 low-velocity gun in a PzKpfw III Ausf N turret, without the rear stowage bin.
The turret was also equipped with a coaxial MG 34 Panzerlauf and four Maschinengewehr 34 (MG 34) on four firing ports around the hull. There were also a number of additional firing ports, which the crew could use to fire their personal weapons (MP 40s).
|Schwerer Spähzug (s.Sp.) Artilleriewagen|
The s.Sp. Artilleriewagen” could either be employed alone or be attached to other wagons or locomotives, to form an armoured train. Its main purpose was patrolling railways to discourage any kind of sabotage, as well as engaging partisans caught red-handed. It was also meant to escort convoys. They were often used as scouts, making sure that the tracks had not been sabotaged by preceding the convoy on its route.
|Type||Heavy scout railcar|
|Place of origin||Germany|
|Used by||Nazi Germany|
|Wars||World War II (ETO)|
6.895mm (with bumpers)
|Crew||commander, driver, main loader + 4 gunners|
|7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24 gun and|
7.92 mm MG34 Panzerlauf
|4x7.92 mm MG34 (hull)|
Steyr air-cooled gasoline engine - 76 hp
|700 km at 20 Km/h|
|Max. Speed||40 km/h|
This article is based in the Revell kit (#03035) Artilleriewagen (s.Sp.), made in German. I bought this kit built and painted by a bargain, in an eBay auction, many years ago. And as she was in terrible conditions of painting, was getting forgotten in my shelf, for who knows I would like to do some conversion or adaptation with her, which never ended up happening...
|Revell box art|
Therefore, I do not have photos of her construction , but by the build instructions I found on the internet, it really is very simple ...
The kit, in my shelf:
|The kit, with old paint ... very strange ...|
|New tones and colors...|
|In good company: Kriegslokomotive Br 52...|
|Weathering in progress...|
And my little girl was ready: Artilleriewagen (s.Sp.), East front, Winter - 1944.
East front, Winter - 1944
|Artilleriewagen (s.Sp.) with Kojak, for size comparisom|
And Rover, the dog.
|Good friends! Artilleriewagen (s.Sp.) and Br 52 Kriegslokomotive East front, Winter - 1944|
|Artilleriewagen (s.Sp.), East front, Winter - 1944|
See you later, friends !!!