Panzertriebwagen Nr.16 (PzTrWg 16) was a "one-off" armored heavy railway cruiser manufactured by the Germans for service in World War 2 (1939-1945). It appeared in late-1942 and saw service under the German banner until the end of the war in Europe in May of 1945. Its primary use was in patrolling the volatile southwest portions of occupied Poland until the areas were quickly overrun by advancing Soviet troops - it was captured in the Soviet advance during the war's closing days. The train was then assigned to the Polish People's Army in the post-war years where it served communist Polish forces until about the 1960s before it was given up for good.
The heavily armored railway cruiser used a WR550D14 diesel-powered locomotive which outputted 550 horsepower. To this base vehicle was applied armor plating along all visible panels creating a most boxy appearance. The original armament called for 20mm FlaK 38 series Anti-Aircraft (AA) guns to be seated on car sections ahead and behind the locomotive unit. Before the end of 1942, this was changed to feature turreted Putilov 76.2 Mod. 02/30 field guns (one gun to each car platform). The guns came from captured enemy stocks. Firepower was increased during mid-1944 when flatcars mounting complete Soviet T-34 Medium Tank turrets were used at fore and aft positions of the PzTrWg 16.
In 1943, the unit was on patrol in the Polish southwest against rebel forces and, in the early and middle part of 1944, it was pressed into service with Army Group Center and saw action at Rawa Ruska and Lublin. It they patrolled near Radom and participated in the fighting around Kielce before being removed from service for needed repair work. In April of 1945, the unit was back in action and seen at Neuruppin until it fell to the Soviet Sixty-First Army at Neustadt.
Under Polish ownership some modifications were made to the design including the addition of more armor and installation of additional machine guns. After its use in anti-partisan actions the system was retired and passed on to the Railway Museum (Warsaw) where it remains as a showpiece to this day (2015).
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Fire Support / Assault / Breaching
Support allied forces through direct / in-direct fire, assault forward positions, and / or breach fortified areas of the battlefield.
Special purpose design developed to accomplish an equally-special battlefield role or roles.
1 x Diesel locomotive engine outputting 550 horsepower.
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Panzertriebwagen Nr.16 (PzTrWg 16) production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
2 x 76.2mm Mod. 02/30 field guns forward and aft
2 x 76.2mm main guns in T34 Medium Tank turrets on flatcars.
Defensive machine guns mounted as-needed.
(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Panzertriebwagen Nr.16 (PzTrWg 16) - Base Series Designation.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.
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