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|© Michal Derela, 2020|
The page contains a walkaround gallery of Polish World War II armoured train Nr.11 (former "Danuta"), destroyed and abandoned by the crew during the battle of the Bzura on 16 September 1939 near Jackowice village. The train halted an advance of the German 31st Infantry Regiment in an open terrain. Finally, the Germans managed to pull anti-tank guns and scored two hits on the locomotive, killing the crew. Since the train was running out of ammunition, Cpt. B. Korobowicz ordered to abandon the train. According to one crewman's report, the wagons were blown up by the crew, but German photographs, revealed mostly only in the 21st century, do not confirm it... Judging from a number of photos, that keep being revealed in the Internet from private collections, apparently it was the third most often photographed Polish armoured train (after Nr. 13 and Nr. 12 trains).
The photographs come from different sources, and were mostly taken by anonymous German soldiers. They are published in non commercial educational and research purpose, arranged in order and annotated by us. A quality of many photographs, as presented here, is not best, but they all give valuable insight. Most of photos can be enlarged. We are looking for new photos, or better scans of exisitng ones - contributors will be credited.
|Unique photo of the destroyed armoured train Nr. 11 – one of few color photos from the 1939 campaign. The burned down front artillery wagon and tender with command tower are clearly visible. On a march, Polish armoured trains tended to drive the tender forward, which provided the commander with better observation of the foreground, although it obviously depended on actual possibility. In combat conditions the train drove in either direction. Judging from shades, the train was apparently photographed (and attacked) from the south. During the last fight, it was maneuvering on the right track, leading from Łowicz to Kutno (to the left), it is not known in which direction when it was destroyed.|
The armoured train consisted of – from the right: combat flatcar, leading twin-turret artillery wagon, armoured locomotive Ti3-12 with the tender and commander's turret, assault (infantry) wagon with radio, second artillery wagon and second combat flatcar.
Below: a view of the same side, from the rear. The leading wagon is still burning.
|Below: poor quality photograph showing the train from longer perspective from its left side (click for a wider scene).|
|Photos of the train's right side, from the front. |
Burning train. Visible are spoked wheels, differing from Nr. 12 train's wagons of the same type, which had full wheels.
|The burned out wagon. Visible is 100 mm howitzer wz. 14/19 in the closer turret and 75 mm wz. 02/26 cannon in farther turret. In the middle of the roof, there is a turret with a 7.92 mm wz. 08 Maxim machine gun. A wagon of this type had a total of eight machine guns in the walls and corners and one anti-aircraft machine gun.|
|Close-up of the burned-out wagon with paint peeled off. The rear door of the artillery turret is apparent in this shot. A 7.92 mm wz. 08 Maxim machine gun in a side drum mounting is well visible. On the side there is Polish national Eagle emblem (a purpose of its base is not clear).|
|Close-up view of the Ti3-12 locomotive from the rear. The top of the door is open and shaded, making it invisible. The lightning symbol on the cover of the steam collector was used on locomotives of the 1st Armoured Train Unit from Legionowo and was to warn of the traction wires in Warsaw Railway Junction.|
|Close up of the driver's cab. Interestingly, compared to the photo above, there is no burnt paint and there is only one hole in the armored shutter - perhaps the already captured train was used as a target for further shooting?|
|A closer view of the burned leading wagon with German soldiers. The other 7.92 mm wz. 08 (Maxim) in a drum mounting is visible. The bicycle-powered trolley could have been transported on the flatcar.|
|The tender and smoky artillery wagon.|
|A view of the locomotive and artillery wagon from a perspective. The locomotive has peeled off paint on the cab.|
|Earlier photograph of Ti3-12 locomotive and smoky wagon.|
|A selfie as above, with assault wagon visible.|
|Well visible details of the assault wagon, like roof aerial, doors in end wall, a window with a shutter (not typical in Polish wagons), and a shape of undercarriage covers.|
|A farther photograph.|
|A view of the assault wagon and the rear artillery wagon. Significant barrels of Maxim wz. 08 machine guns are visible. It is worth noting that the dark brown color in the photographs of this train is particularly contrasting, when compared to the photos of most other Polish trains (possibly differences in the paint?).|
|A view of the assault wagon (with open shutters) and rear artillery wagon.|
|Well visible 75 mm wz. 02/26 cannon in higher turret and 100 mm wz. 14/19 howitzer in lower turret. On the flatcar there is a hand pump.|
|A view of the rear artillery wagon. The rear flatcar was ordinary Pdks class, mobilized by PKP Polish State Railways, presumably in brown color. The leading flatcar, not visible well on photographs, was modified with equipment boxes.|
|...the train was very popular among "tourists" – if anyone had seen German armoured train of that period, Polish unit was much more impressive and powerful. Polish-built Type II artillery wagons of Cegielski Works were among largest wagons in World War II armoured trains, anyway.|
|As it shows, the German Army had cavalry as well...|
|The machine gun has been removed from corner mounting on this photograph.|
|A view from the same right side, but the train has been moved to some unidentified station – more tracks are visible.|
|A view from the front in the same place. The eagle emblem from the artillery wagon has been collected by some "souvenir hunter" (the same on the photo above).|
|Partly obscured, one of very few photographs showing the train in its place from the left side.|
|An aerial photograph – we are looking for bigger version.|
All additional photos (or exisiting ones in better quality) and comments are welcome
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All photos and pictures remain the property of their owners. They are published in non-commercial educational and research purpose.
Text and arrangement copyright to Michal Derela.