Armored Railroad Vehicles

When Germany was planning for war during the 1930's, the primary responsibility for the movement of supply was given to trucks and other motor vehicles. To this end several superhighways criss-crossed the entire nation of Germany. Hitler remembered the the stalemate of World War I, which he, in part, blamed on the reliance of railroads to transport supply. The problem with rail transport was that once the supplies reached a station, they had to be moved to the front by other means. Therefore the role of railroads was largely overlooked in Germany prior to the war.

Once the campaign in Russia began, it became clear that while the German supply system worked well in an area with high-quality paved roads, conditions in Russia were as far from that ideal as possible. Many roads were not paved, and rains made them nearly impassable. Supply was a problem which would haunt the Germans throughout the war on the Eastern Front.

Once Germany realized the importance of rail traffic on the Eastern Front, the supply situation was complicated by Partisan action against the supply trains. These actions ranged anywhere from sabotage to outright attack. Trains were therefore armored to deter attack. Several independent vehicles capable of movement on rails were also developed to help protect vital war supplies.

Schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Artilleriewagen)

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