"Wood crisis": about the major crisis of railway transport in the USSR during the Great Patriotic War

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"Wood crisis": about the major crisis of railway transport in the USSR during the Great Patriotic War

Transport historian Sergei Sigmachev in the framework of another conversation with the host of the channel "Digital story» Yegor Yakovlev spoke about the biggest crisis in the northwestern railways of the USSR that broke out at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War.

According to the historian, the disaster, which he called the "wood crisis", happened at a time when the country's authorities had not yet had time to deal with the so-called "Kuibyshev plug". At the same time, Sigmachev emphasized that, unlike the latter, this crisis was not man-made.



We are talking about a sharp shortage of coal after the USSR lost control over the Donbass, where the front was already passing in the fall of 1941. At the same time, the historian recalled that in 1940 Donbass provided more than 60% of the total needs of the Soviet Union in coal.

In this situation, it was decided to prioritize the supply of fossil fuels to power plants and industrial enterprises. At the same time, an acute shortage of coal was observed on the northwestern railway transport arteries.

According to Sigmachev, they decided to correct the situation by replacing coal for diesel locomotives (steam locomotives) with firewood, which was a huge mistake.

First, as the historian explained, even properly harvested wood has a much lower calorific value than coal. As a result, the capacity of diesel locomotives fell by almost half.

Secondly, as mentioned above, this wood had to be properly harvested, in particular, dried, which could take months. Naturally, in those conditions it was impossible, which directly affected the work of the railway.

Ultimately, all this led to a massive disruption in the schedule of movement of military and supply echelons, which in turn directly affected the situation at the front.

At the same time, the expert once again stressed that this crisis cannot be called man-made. Meanwhile, in his opinion, it was partly aggravated by the human factor. The thing is that at that time, People's Commissar Lazar Kaganovich, who was still in his post, decided not to report “upstairs” about the deplorable situation and tried to correct the situation on his own. First of all, he pinned his hopes on the coal reserves prepared at the railway stations in case of war. However, they only lasted a couple of months. As a result, the crisis was only gaining momentum, and precious time for its solution was lost.

Andrey Khrulev, the new People's Commissar of Railways of the USSR, coped with the "wood crisis".

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11 comments
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  1. +6
    24 May 2023 16: 55
    "by replacing coal for diesel locomotives" - for diesel locomotives ??? During WWII? good Where are we heading...
    1. -1
      24 May 2023 17: 19
      Quote: Sergey Valov
      for diesel locomotives During WWII?

      And if you still watch the film: "Communist", then in general the brains will go upside down.
    2. 0
      25 May 2023 16: 29
      Quote: Sergey Valov
      "by replacing coal for diesel locomotives" - for diesel locomotives ??? During WWII? Where are we heading...

      How can you doubt? After all, this is the transport historian himself broadcasting. laughing laughing laughing laughing I remember one "historian" answered me: "... if I wrote this, it means that it was so ..." Well, think for yourself, burning coal or firewood, after all, they emit heat !!! Here is the locomotive... laughing laughing laughing
  2. 0
    24 May 2023 17: 13
    What nonsense... This and I can be a historian. I personally unloaded 5 tons of coal, which was given to my grandfather for free in the eighties.
    1. 0
      25 May 2023 16: 31
      Quote: Mordvin 3
      That and I can be a historian. I personally unloaded 5 tons of coal,

      Ha, then I am an academician, I somewhat supervised the unloading of coal from the wagons that came to our unit. laughing laughing laughing
  3. +1
    24 May 2023 17: 26
    Transport historian and railway expert Sergey Sigmachev
    Source: https://fine-news.ru/kujbyshevskaja-probka-pervyj-transportnyj-krizis-v-sssr-v-hode-velikoj-otechestvennoj-vojny

    I watched this program before, and who said that he is a historian and an expert in this field. Where is his work on this subject? Who knows, tell me.
  4. The comment was deleted.
  5. 0
    24 May 2023 18: 41
    they decided to correct the situation by replacing coal for diesel locomotives with firewood, which was a huge mistake.


    First, as the historian explained, even properly harvested wood has a much lower calorific value than coal. As a result, the capacity of diesel locomotives fell by almost half.


    And this is an expert? laughing laughing
    Diesel locomotive on coal or wood?
    I remember in the Crocodile magazine there was a heading "You can't imagine it on purpose."
    So this "expert" goes straight to Crocodile magazine!
    1. +1
      27 May 2023 13: 45
      Try to watch the video instead of reading the text
  6. The comment was deleted.
  7. +1
    26 May 2023 09: 02
    Quote: Sergey Valov
    "by replacing coal for diesel locomotives" - for diesel locomotives ??? During WWII? good Where are we heading...

    I don’t know where you personally go there, but if you watch the video, then Sergey never talks about diesel locomotives on wood or coal, all complaints are against the one who wrote the description.
  8. 0
    29 May 2023 13: 25
    It's a good idea to watch the video before commenting.
  9. 0
    30 May 2023 15: 19
    This comparison is now and then. That then they were also mistaken, but they were not offended by Stalin. Didn't even try. And now the leader is not touchy and he does not need to talk about it.

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