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"Notes on German Rolling Stock" from Tactical and Technical Trends

A report on premature explosions of shells in the German 20-mm quad anti-aircraft gun, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 31, August 12, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


It has been stated that the Nazis have accorded number-1 priority to transportation even to the extent of taking precedence over airplanes. Germany is vitally dependent on the smooth functioning of her transportation system. If this vital system which connects Nazi factories with their sources of supply and with their baffle fronts, is put out of operation or seriously damaged, their whole war effort must obviously be retarded.

Some interesting developments affecting the transportation set-up, tending to reduce the consumption of construction materials and other valuable economies, have been recently reported in connection with the German locomotive and freight car situations.

[German WWII Class 52 Locomotive]

As was indicated in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 24, p. 40, it was thought probable that the construction of the class "42" locomotive is to be started in 1944. This new type is said to be a refinement of type "52" (see sketch), has greater tractive power and is designed to meet the requirements of heavy freight traffic.

The same informed technical source responsible for the information mentioned in the foregoing paragraph, states that the dead weight of the railway freight cars now manufactured in Germany has been reduced from pre-war levels by 25 per cent in the case of baggage cars, 34 for refrigeration cars, 29 for flat cars, 38 for box cars. However, the average carrying capacity for all types increased by 10 per cent.

The use of these new cars will provide the following chief advantages: saving of time and labor in manufacture, saving in construction materials, and enabling locomotives to pull additional cars.

The number of types of steam locomotives was reduced by the end of 1942 from 119 to 12. This included locomotives for military and privately operated railways (mostly small gauge), and in the case of electric locomotives, from 11 to 2, and from 97 to 5 for internal combustion locomotives.

The manufacture of additional types is continued in former locomotive works in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary.

The chief types manufactured in 1942 were freight models "50" and "52" (see Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 24, p. 34) with "52" scheduled for almost exclusive production in 1943.


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