Military Review

Railway dreadnought. Armored train "Baltiets"

24
Railway dreadnought. Armored train "Baltiets"
Armored train "Baltiets" firing at the enemy

Armored trains entered history of our country primarily as the heroes of the Civil War. Both red and white actively used railways. In total, during the Civil War in the territory of the former Russian Empire, warriors built and used four hundred armored trains in battle. Over the years of the war, the young Red Army gained vast experience in the use of armored rolling stock. This experience was later used already in the Red Army.


Armored trains have proven themselves excellently in providing fire support to the ground forces, as well as conducting daring raids and independent combat operations in the existing railroad strip. By the end of the Civil War, the Red Army had more than 120 armored trains, not counting those that were sent for storage. By the time World War II began, armored trains had not lost their relevance, although their number was reduced. By June 22, 1941, the Red Army possessed about fifty armored trains, a third of which was concentrated in the Far East. Another dozen armored trains were at the disposal of the NKVD, these trains were part of the divisions of the NKVD for the protection of railways formed in the border areas.

Armored trains located in the western districts of the country, from the very first days of the war, took part in battles with the Nazi troops. As the Soviet troops retreated to the internal regions of the USSR, new armored trains began to be created in the country, some of them went to the front in 1941, as happened in the Leningrad and Oranienbaum bridgehead areas. On the bridgehead from autumn 1941 to January 1944 until the complete lifting of the siege of Leningrad, there were two armored trains: the Baltiets and For the Motherland!, Which for over two years supported the heroic defenders of the bridgehead.

The first battles of the future armored train “Baltiets”


Both armored trains, which were at the disposal of the defenders of the Oranienbaum bridgehead, arrived there from the Baltic. According to historians working at the Fort Red Hill Museum, these were the old armored trains of the Latvian army, which managed to break through from the Baltic literally under the nose of the Germans. At the same time, both armored trains were seriously damaged. According to eyewitnesses, the armored trains were in poor condition and were actually broken.


View of the armored areas of the armored train number 7 "Baltiets" KBF. 1942 year. You can see the anti-aircraft gun mount DShK and 45-mm 21K guns with shields of the original design, in the background are platforms with 102-mm naval guns

As far back as June 1941, armored train No. 7, which would later be called Baltiets, was located in the Baltic states, where it underwent major repairs at local enterprises. The armored train was originally part of the coastal defense forces of the Red Banner Baltic fleet. The main armament of the armored train was atypically powerful for Soviet armored trains, the naval specifics were imposed. The armored train was armed with four 102-mm artillery pieces and about 15 Maxim machine guns.

With the outbreak of World War II, the repair of the armored train was promptly completed, and the train received its first combat order on June 23. The command ordered the withdrawal of armored train number 7 in the area of ​​the Vindava station (Ventspils), where he was to participate in repelling the Nazi raids aviation to the airfield located here. It is worth noting that the air defense tasks in those days were often assigned to armored trains. So, from July to October 1941, it was possible to form six anti-aircraft armored trains at once on the Oktyabrskaya Railway, each of which consisted of a steam locomotive equipped with an armored booth, and six armored platforms on which anti-aircraft guns and machine guns were located, as well as storage wagons and fireplaces for personnel .

The future Baltiets armored train fought along with the forces of the 8th Army, participated in battles near Liepaja, Jelgava, Riga, and Tallinn. The armored train left the Baltic states in poor condition, breaking through the stations occupied by the Germans. Therefore, at first the command was going to dismantle it, but in the end the decision was revised. In fact, only the rolling stock remained from the armored train - the OV series armored locomotive of type 0-4-4 with No. 431 (the famous "sheep"). Both armored trains that erupted from the Baltic reached the Lebyazhye station (Krasnaya Gorka Fort), at the disposal of the Izhora coastal defense sector of the Kronstadt Naval Base (KVMB), whose command decides to form two armored trains, strengthening the sector’s defense.

The second life of armored train number 7


The armored train had to be repaired and brought back to life on its own in the face of a shortage of labor, specialists and materials. The trains had to be restored as soon as possible, equipped with new artillery guns, machine guns, a crew was recruited and sent back into battle. They decided to equip armored trains with high reinforced concrete sides. Specialists of the military workshop No. 146 (Bolshaya Izhora) worked on arranging the foundations of platforms and mounts for guns, the work was headed by the chief engineer of the Izhora sector, military engineer of the second rank Zverev, and also the chief of artillery of the sector, Major Proskurin.


Armored train number 8 "For the Motherland!" The Red Banner Baltic Fleet at Lebyazhye station. 1942 year

Today, a few hundred meters from the Krasnoflotsk railway platform, now destroyed, you can still find the remains of slabs covered with various debris, which also did not spare time. These reinforced concrete slabs are the remains of armored cars built in the difficult months of 1941. Sliced ​​armored plates for two armored trains of the Izhora coastal defense sector were provided by workers of the Leningrad Metallurgical Plant. The gunners of Fort Krasnaya Gorka and nearby coastal batteries helped with the supply of guns and their repair. The port of Oranienbaum ended up with the necessary cement reserves, which were used to strengthen the reservation.

According to experts, the armored sites were covered by two sheets of 8-10-mm armor, which perfectly protected except from small arms weaponsbut not from shells. But at the same time, there was a ten-centimeter gap between the two sheets of armor, which was reinforced with reinforced concrete. It was such a reinforced concrete structure that took upon itself the main task of ensuring the survivability of the armored train. Alexander Senotrusov, an employee of the Fort Krasnaya Gorka Museum, notes that there were no analogues of such construction of armored trains in the world. The armored train itself consisted of an armored locomotive, two platforms and four armored sites.

To armor an armored train, two batteries were removed from the second northern fort - the 125th and 159th, both batteries of a three-gun composition. The batteries were armed with universal semi-automatic 45 mm 21K guns located on the pedestal installations. In addition, six large-caliber 12,7-mm machine guns, including 4 DShK machine guns and two recreation centers, as well as 16 Maxim machine guns and three DP machine guns were allocated to the armored train to strengthen the air defense. The main armament of the armored train was two marine 102-mm guns with a barrel length of 60 calibers.

These guns manufactured by the Obukhov plant were installed primarily on destroyers and remained in service from 1909 to the early 1950s. The guns turned out to be very successful and were characterized by high ballistic qualities, which determined the durability of their use and completion in small series over the years. The practical rate of fire of the guns reached 12-15 rounds per minute, the maximum firing range of 16 meters (at an elevation angle of 300 degrees). For the defenders of the Oranienbaum bridgehead, armored trains with similar weapons were of great help.


Armored train “Baltiets” and its commander Stukalov V. D., 1942

Moreover, on January 31, 1942, the armament of armored train No. 7 was strengthened. At the end of 1941, by order of the Izhora fortified area, which is part of the SEC, the armored train was given a new 60-ton four-axle open railway platform. After testing, a 130-mm gun in a turret installation (aft), shot from the famous cruiser Aurora, was installed on this platform at the end of January. 130-mm gun B-13 with a barrel length of 50 calibres provided a maximum firing range of 25 meters. Rate of fire 500-7 rounds per minute. Already by May 8, the execution of the gun will be approximately 1942 percent.

The fighting of armored trains on the Oranienbaum bridgehead


By September 1941, armored train number 7 took part in battles and repel raids of enemy aircraft. In early September, he participated in the shelling of German troops tearing toward the coast of the Gulf of Finland. After the Germans reached the coast of the Gulf of Finland in mid-September and occupied the city of Peterhof on September 23, two armored trains restored in the Izhora sector were cut off along with troops in the Oranienbaum area. The Germans believed that they took a large group of Soviet troops in the ring, calling the entire encirclement area a "boiler." However, the Soviet troops did not plan to lay down their arms.

Meanwhile, armored trains lost the ability to exit to Leningrad for repairs. In August, they were repaired several times at the Leningrad factories, eliminating damage sustained during raids by enemy aircraft. From mid-September 1941, they could only count on local workshops located in the Oranienbaum region.


The position of the front near Leningrad on September 21, 1941

On July 30, 1941, Captain V. D. Stukalov entered command of armored train No. 7. This officer will be the permanent commander of the future Baltiets armored train until the beginning of 1944. A little later, on August 14, 1941, the armored train will be assigned No. 7 on the basis of the order of the commander of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet, and the armored train itself will be included in the Izhora UR. From this moment until the complete lifting of the siege of Leningrad, the armored train will operate on the Oranienbaum bridgehead, which for some time will be the westernmost part of the Soviet Union, which was held by Soviet troops. Since August 15, 1941, armored train No. 7 was transferred to wartime staff, its personnel at that time amounted to 105 people. At the beginning of 1942, the staff will be reconsidered again, bringing the number of personnel of the armored train to 153 people.

To ensure armored trains maneuverability on a relatively small bridgehead (maximum front length 65 kilometers, width 25 kilometers), 50 kilometers of railway tracks were specially laid again. It is about building several new branches, as well as 18 new firing positions for armored trains. Their construction was carried out in the Oranienbaum region and west of the Kalishche railway station (today in the city of Sosnovy Bor). In order to minimize losses from return fire and possible air raids, armored trains went to a position, made a fire raid on troops and enemy defenses, lasting no more than 20-25 minutes, after which they necessarily changed their combat position.

On January 23, 1942, by order of the Vice-Admiral Tributs, commander of the Baltic Fleet, the armored train No. 7 for the valor and personal courage shown by the armored train crew in the fight against the Nazi invaders, was given the name "Baltiets", under which he fought until 1944. The second armored train of Izhora UR received the name "For the Motherland!" It is worth noting that under Leningrad there were two armored trains with the same name. The second armored train, "Baltiets", fought in the surrounded Leningrad as part of the troops of the Leningrad Front. Its main difference was armored cars equipped with two towers, shot from tanks KV-1, which were produced in a city besieged by the enemy.


Classes in chemical defense team armored train number 7 "Baltic", 1942

In total, during the years of World War II, the Baltiets armored train that fought on the Oranienbaum bridgehead held more than a hundred combat exits for delivering artillery attacks on enemy troops and communications, opening fire on the enemy 310 times. According to rough estimates, in the first year of its activity alone, about 5 enemy soldiers and officers were destroyed at the front of the Baltiets’s guns, 13 artillery and 23 mortar batteries were destroyed, 69 dugouts were destroyed, as well as 32 different vehicles with enemy infantry, and two were destroyed enemy tanks, 4 aircraft were shot down, 152 houses with firing points equipped inside were destroyed, and 4 command posts and 4 enemy crossings were destroyed. Over the years of the war, an armored train traveled about 15 thousand kilometers on a small defended heel of native land.

September 4, 1944 began to disband his armored train. On September 7, all surviving artillery and machine gun weapons from Baltiets went to storage.
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  1. Paul Siebert
    Paul Siebert 28 March 2020 07: 30 New
    14
    The Balts compensated for the lack of combat activity at sea by exploits on "railway dreadnoughts". The image of a sailor in a pea jacket on a locomotive platform since the Civil War is an integral character in the minds of our people. Crushed the enemy on water and land!
    It would be nice to revive the topic of the BZHRK - a platform disguised as a regular squad for launching ICBMs.
    What is not an underwater missile carrier moving on rails?
    Hiding in the vastness of our vast homeland as in the darkness of the oceans? wink
    1. Insurgent
      Insurgent 28 March 2020 07: 51 New
      19
      Quote: Paul Siebert
      What is not an underwater missile carrier moving on rails?

      Shock power! yes

      As the armored trains of the Second World War:

      Almost the only duel of armored trains, Soviet and fascist, occurred in the history of wars near the Kovel station (USSR) on June 4, 1944, when our Ilya Muromets and the German train Adolf Hitler met in battle
      Shots from both sides rang out almost simultaneously. But the artillery training of "Ilya Muromets" was better than the enemy. The German armored train was laid from the very first salvo. True, he managed to fire a return volley, but the shells hit the target. The Katyushas of the Soviet armored train completed the rout of the enemy armored train. Soon it was all over. Puffs of steam hung over the armored train. Apparently, the shell hit the boiler of the engine.
      When Kovel was liberated from the Nazis on July 6, 1944, the fighters of the 31st Division visited a broken enemy armored train. He was not removed from the place where he found his end. The soldiers also learned that the enemy armored train was named after the Fuhrer of the Third Reich.
      It turned out to be very symbolic that Ilya Muromets destroyed Adolf Hitler.


      And yet, about the armored trains created in the Donbass during the war:

      The Battle of Donbass [Mius Front, 1941–1943]

      Zhirokhov Mikhail Alexandrovich

      Armored trains in battles in the Donbass


      It is generally accepted that armored trains were an integral attribute of the Civil War, but it is little known that they played a role in the events of the first stage of the war. With the front approaching the Donbass in July - August 1941, transport companies began to urgently build armored trains, armored personnel carriers and armored tires. The benefit of everything needed was, as they say, at hand. Already in September 1941, about two dozen armored trains were built at a shocking pace in the Donbass. They were built by workers and engineering workers of various specialties - metallurgists, railway workers and machine builders of Stalin, Yasinovataya, Krasny Liman, Slavyansk, Voroshilovgrad, Popasna, Mariupol, Volnovakha, Debaltsev, Enakiev, Makeevka and Mushketov.


      All material: https://military.wikireading.ru/15345
      1. cost
        cost 29 March 2020 08: 57 New
        +3
        On September 7, 1944, all the artillery of the armored train, including the Aurora’s B-13-1S, was delivered on a waybill to warehouse No. 705 of the material part of the KBF artillery, which was located in Oranienbaum. The consignment note announced the last armament of the Baltiets:

        130 mm / 50 cl artillery system "B-13-1S" -1 pcs.

        102 mm / 60 cl gun with a case - 2 pcs.

        45 mm / 46 cl. gun "K-21" with covers (approx. number is not specified).

        · 12.7 machine gun "DShK" with a spare barrel - 1 pc.

        · 12.7 machine gun "DK" with a spare barrel - 5 pcs.

        7.62 Art. machine gun "M-4" - 1 pc.

        · 7.62 machine gun "DP". - 4 things.

        · 7.62 machine gun "PPD" - 2 pcs.

        · 7.62 machine gun "PPS" - 8 pcs.

        · 7.62 machine gun "PPSh" - 10 pcs.
        1. cost
          cost 29 March 2020 09: 01 New
          +1
          Commanders of the Izhora armored train "Baltiets":

          Stukalov V.D. Born 1909 Kremenchug, Poltava region, Ukrainian, from a family of peasants. General secondary education, member of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks since 1931. Prior to entering the Navy, he worked as a diesel engineer. In 1931 he entered the VMU BO LKSMU and successfully served in the Navy in various command positions as a gunner. Member of the war with the White Finns of 1939-1940.

          Permsky S.A. Born 1909 Peterhof Leningrad region, Russian, from a family of employees higher education. In 1939 he graduated from the Institute of Civil Engineering as a civilian architect. Member of the CPSU since 1930. He was called up for the mobilization of 1941. Member of the war with the White Finns of 1939-1940.
    2. nikon7717
      nikon7717 29 March 2020 17: 07 New
      +2
      Quote: Paul Siebert
      The Balts compensated for the lack of combat activity at sea by exploits on "railway dreadnoughts". The image of a sailor in a pea jacket on a locomotive platform since the Civil War is an integral character in the minds of our people. Crushed the enemy on water and land!
      It would be nice to revive the topic of the BZHRK - a platform disguised as a regular squad for launching ICBMs.
      What is not an underwater missile carrier moving on rails?
      Hiding in the vastness of our vast homeland as in the darkness of the oceans? wink

      The topic of using the railway platform with the most extensive railway network in the world is very relevant. It’s possible to disguise a container ship as a container, or a refrigerator (I don’t have any ideas here, I have experience with the BZHRK) to install any suitable missiles, means, missile defense systems, air defense systems. I wonder if the Dorons start such a train. It will be a mobile airfield. Fitted and reconnaissance, attack. Everything is complete right away, even the deployment time is not required.
  2. Kote Pan Kokhanka
    Kote Pan Kokhanka 28 March 2020 07: 38 New
    12
    Thank you so much Sergey for the essay! A valuable page in memory of the deed of our fathers and grandfathers!
    Regards, Vlad!
    1. cost
      cost 29 March 2020 08: 56 New
      +2
      There was also another armored train "Baltiets" in Leningrad. No less heroic. Unlike the first, built on the Krasnaya Gorka fort, the home for the second was the electric depot of the Baltic Station. It is noteworthy that it also carried a gun from the Aurora; The personal train "Baltiets" with a stand, departing from the Baltic station, is dedicated to him today.
      1. Alexey RA
        Alexey RA 30 March 2020 17: 13 New
        +1
        Quote: Rich
        There was also another armored train "Baltiets", in Leningrad. No less heroic. Unlike the first, built on the Krasnaya Gorka fort, the home for the second was the electric depot of the Baltic Station. It is noteworthy that it also had a gun from the "Aurora"

        76 mm or 45 mm anti-aircraft gun?
        It's just that the entire Aurora Group of Companies went to battery "A" and Oranienbaum BEPO.
        Nine guns (Obukhov 130/55 on different mounts - judging by the German photos) went to Battery "A".

        Source: https://sergey-ilyin.livejournal.com/204406.html
        One gun (B-13-1S 130/50) was sent to the Oranienbaum Baltiets.
        Total - ten 130-mm guns. Exactly as much as there was before the war on the Aurora.
  3. lucul
    lucul 28 March 2020 09: 38 New
    +2
    Railway Dreadnought

    Interesting information, for general development, thanks.
  4. Lopatov
    Lopatov 28 March 2020 09: 56 New
    +6
    Nevertheless, it is rather a protected railway art. battery than an armored train in its classic form
    1. Insurgent
      Insurgent 28 March 2020 10: 20 New
      +4
      Quote: Spade
      Nevertheless, it is rather a protected railway art. battery than an armored train in its classic form

      Theater DB dictated the configuration and options for using BP.
      In addition, it must be remembered that the appearance of the composition was formed in combat conditions, constrained in means and capabilities.
    2. Proctologist
      Proctologist 28 March 2020 11: 25 New
      +2
      I wonder how the armored train received target designation? Was there a radio station?
      1. Insurgent
        Insurgent 28 March 2020 11: 32 New
        +5
        Quote: Proctologist
        I wonder how the armored train received target designation? Was there a radio station?

        Radio station, and usually powerful,necessarily was !

        In this regard, even a special joke is:

        - Vasily Ivanovich! And do we have a walkie-talkie on lamps or transistors?
        - I repeat for idiots. The radio is on an armored train!
      2. Lopatov
        Lopatov 28 March 2020 11: 59 New
        +6
        Quote: Proctologist
        I wonder how the armored train received target designation? Was there a radio station?

        There were radio stations, but with high probability the main one was still the wire. Telephone and telegraph. It is still a railway

        As far as I read, sailors were primarily attracted to the counter-battery. They operated sound reconnaissance units, observation balloons and spotters. Who specifically can be searched, sort of like met on the Internet
  5. Senior seaman
    Senior seaman 28 March 2020 12: 49 New
    +5
    After testing, a 130 mm gun was installed on this platform in late January in a tower installation (feed)

    I strongly doubt that the installation was "tower".
    1. Freeman
      Freeman 28 March 2020 16: 30 New
      +4
      Quote: Senior Sailor
      After testing, a 130 mm gun was installed on this platform in late January in a tower installation (feed)

      I strongly doubt that the installation was "tower".

      In fact, this is not a "native" weapon for Aurora, that is, not installed on the cruiser during construction.

      Found such information:

      1942. A cannon from the Aurora.
      At the end of 1941, on the orders of the commandant of the Izhora SD, the Kronstadt naval base, the armored train IUR No. 7 was given a special four-axle open rail 60-ton platform “for installing 130 mm. guns shot from the cruiser Aurora. This weapon remained in the Aurora (fodder) until late autumn, then it was taken to the Bolshevik plant. On November 18, 1941, it was proposed that he be returned to the cruiser, but due to a lack of equipment (there were no sights and cylinders with air), it was not accepted on the ship. Gun number - No. 22/24, manufactured at the Obukhov plant in the mid-1930s, and served until 1940 on the Black Sea on the leader of Kharkov. "Aurora" transferred by rotation.

      source:
      https://vk.com/@450663344-arhivnaya-istoriya-legendarnogo-bronepoezda-baltiec-iur-7-ob


      That is, this is a B-13-2s gun mount with a box-shaped shield, which, in some sources, is called a "semi-tower".
      1. Senior seaman
        Senior seaman 28 March 2020 17: 14 New
        +9
        Naturally, not native. Relatives were six-inch Kane, which during the Civil War were sent to Astrakhan to arm floating batteries. Sobsno, the current guns of the "Aurora", although the Kane system, are even more "not native" because they stand on the coastal machines.
        Quote: Freeman
        which, in some sources, is called "semi-tower".

        But not a tower! am
        1. Freeman
          Freeman 28 March 2020 19: 19 New
          +3
          Senior Sailor (Ivan Ochenkov) Today, 17:14
          But not a tower! am

          Do not be nervous. Just point out to the author the inaccuracy in the presentation of the article.

          It seems to me that I understood why this artillery installation, when describing the artillery armament of the armored train "Baltiets", was called "tower" in various sources.

          According to the classification of naval artillery, gun mount "B-13-2s" refers to artillery "Deck-tower type".

          When mounting the gun mount on a railway platform, the ship's deck is not observed. Therefore, the name was shortened to "tower".
          IMHO.
          1. Comrade
            Comrade 29 March 2020 04: 26 New
            +3
            Quote: Freeman
            It seems to me that I understood why this artillery installation, when describing the artillery armament of the armored train "Baltiets", was called "tower" in various sources.

            Perhaps this is because another "Baltiets" is meant. As stated in the article under discussion,
            By order of Vice Admiral Tributs, the armored train No. 7 was given the name “Baltiets”. It is worth noting that under Leningrad there were two armored trains with the same name. The second armored train, the Baltiets, fought in Leningrad as part of the troops of the Leningrad Front.


            The first "Baltiets" had, as you indicated in your commentary, a B-13-2s gun mount with a box-shaped shield

            The second "Baltiets" had two towers from KV-1 tanks.
  6. Freeman
    Freeman 28 March 2020 13: 36 New
    +7
    Quote: Kote Pan Kokhanka
    Thank you so much Sergey for the essay! A valuable page in memory of the deed of our fathers and grandfathers!
    Regards, Vlad!


    Add.

    The armored train team also had its own son of the regiment.
    On August 8, 1941, sailors found a shell-shocked boy, picked him up and sheltered him.
    This 10-year-old boy was Volodya Gavrilov.
    As soon as he got to his feet, he immediately began to help the sailors: he brought food, summoned fighters and officers to the commissar, distributed letters and newspapers to the units.
    The Volodya family was never found, and the boy remained on the armored train. He was enlisted in the crew, given the uniform worn by the Baltic sailors.
    They quickly got used to Volodya and fell in love for kindness, children's simplicity and openness, for the courage that this little fighter showed. Volodya responded to the care and love of his senior comrades with deep affection, a willingness to come to the rescue at any moment.

    Volodya became a real fighter, signalman, telephone operator. Already on July 25, 1943, Order No. 108 granted gratitude to the Red Navy Gavrilov Vladimir Alexandrovich. Vladimir Alexandrovich was awarded the medals "For the Defense of Leningrad", "For the Victory over Germany."

    The son of the regiment Volodya Gavrilov

    source:
    https://leningradpobeda.ru/blog/bronepoezd-baltiec-i-ego-groznaya-slava
  7. Freeman
    Freeman 28 March 2020 15: 16 New
    +7
    Historical newsreel of the armored train "Baltiets".



    The gun from the Aurora is clearly visible. It is placed on the platform at the tail of the train.
  8. Tests
    Tests 28 March 2020 20: 24 New
    +6
    Volnoper (Alexey), many thanks for the documentary footage!
    I was struck by the numbers of railways built. tracks and equipped firing positions of armored trains. It is clear that for a 102-mm naval gun, a roll of 2-5 degrees is not critical, but given that there are too many rivers and streams in the bridgehead, given the need for camouflage of works, ready turnouts and ready new railways the railroad’s work and striking positions are simply amazing!
  9. Yurahip
    Yurahip April 1 2020 17: 19 New
    0
    A small clarification, the engine Ov had a wheel formula of 0-4-0.
  10. Poppy
    Poppy April 7 2020 18: 05 New
    0
    Error on the map: not kBona, but kobona