Photo from The Armour Journal.
Yes, there were a total of 11 armored trains built during the war. This example is either #3 or #7. The reliable MAV377 lokomotiven provided the power. ( Hungarian Railway works in Budapest. )
I had a strange experience with a photo of one of these Austrian trains...in my 30 years of collecting materials about armoured train issues I got a photo of this train from an Austrian archive and a friend enlarged it to 20"x 45". It hung in the front of my shop in Menlo Park, CA for several years. One day an old gentlement stopped on the sidewalk and then came in. He asked where I got it, and then proceeded to tell me that he had lived on that train for almost a year in 1919-20 in Munich during the "Red" scare times. I was surprised that it had survived and went to his house to look at his photo album and spent an interesting time sharing his memories. Unlike most people I've contacted over the years in Europe and Asia, he was not willing to let me photograph the photos in his album. Most people like to share their memories, but not all. I contacted a man in Japan (through a retired General in the Armor Association) who actually designed the armored trains built in Manchukuo for useagainst the Russsians if the decision had been to move west rather than south), This guy absolutely refused to share his documents, drawings, blueprints, everything. The retired General made every effort to convince him that the secret nature of these trains was no longer important...I even offered to let him edit anything I might eventually write, or even write it himself. No. The contrast most often was eager assistance. When I discovered that there was an original blueprint of an armored trolley built in Palestine/Israel...they actually just sent me the original blueprint. Happy to get rid of it I suppose.
A most interesting post, Alfred. Your contacts observations are"head-scratching" though. Perhaps he confused the German armored trains with these KuK units. It's extremely unlikely any of them would have been in Bavaria in 1919 as that period of time found them in use by the Hungarians and the new Poland. However, You must of other rich information gleaned over the years to share!
He was certain and had several interior photos (which, I suppose have disappeared). I don't think you could live in something like that for a year and not have a fairly good memory of it. What they were concerned with at the time was solely civil unrest. I think one of these weapons probably found itself in Galicia and retreated with German forces back to the "homeland". I've often wondered about a reference that I had that indicated that at least one armored train was hidden away in the early 20's, hidden in a tunnel from the Allied inspectors, for "eventualities". None of my German contacts, including a fellow who commanded 2 different trains in WWII and was later the head of the a/t replacement center and another rr expert who served on the staff of the a/t command at Hitler's staff knew anything about it. I also had an interview with the "referant" (a Major) for armoured trains after the Commander (a Colonel) was "questioned folow the attack on Hitler. I could find no record of it. As a matter of interest...even though German record-keeping is often renown, not many actual action reports and other tactical details of the use of these trains survived. I well remember sitting across from the amrored train Technical Officer who served originally at Hitler's Headquarters, Franz Englberger, at my dinner table. When I pushed about what could have happened to all the detailed records he told me suddenly that at his orders, the records were stacked in the courtyard at his order and burned. Of course, they had their reasons. What a shocker that was. Similar to one I had with the archive of the American Railroad Association, which printed a typescript index of their holdings involving military trains (not specific). I found a copy of this at the Hoover Institution and immediately wrote to the librarian and got a regretful reply that they had recently deposited all that "stuff" in a dumpster. Historian's major enemy I guess - the urge to tidy up the archive.
Alfred, Sounds as if you're residing in California. I'm sure this exchange is boring to some members here. You can contact me off forum if you wish to discuss further: firstname.lastname@example.org//
Hi! Some information is published in Polish: Armored train Brave summary in English Steven J. Zaloga. From Poland Krzysztof.
gemsco wrote:Alfred,I am preparing a deep study on the armoured trains used around Antwerp around September 1914. Both the heavy Anglo-Belgian trains equiped with British naval guns ,loaned thanks to Churchill, as well as the Belgian lighter armoured trains armed with the 57mm gun. If you are knowledgeable on that subject, please contact me off forum. GEMSCO
Alfred,I am preparing a deep study on the armoured trains used around Antwerp around September 1914. Both the heavy Anglo-Belgian trains equiped with British naval guns ,loaned thanks to Churchill, as well as the Belgian lighter armoured trains armed with the 57mm gun. If you are knowledgeable on that subject, please contact me off forum. GEMSCO
Great, when will it be published? Will it be an article or a book? Only in French or also in English?
And by the way, same questions about a book you're preparing about Belgian armoured cars.
Plus I sent you a private message