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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Weider Hosting > RKKA (The Russian Army) in World War II

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RKKA (The Russian Army) in World War II Discuss the Russian armed forces in World War II. Hosted by our resident Russian expert, AMVAS. Please visit his RKKA in WW2 Website.

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  #31  
Old 10 Jan 13, 21:44
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I never really knew that things got that close with Leningrad and how the roads played a part in it...thanks for the info.
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  #32  
Old 10 Jan 13, 22:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karri View Post
Didn't they use a different rail gauge anyways? So both sides would have to convert the railroads...
Yes but that's pretty quick for the long distances. Just a bunch of nails, essentially. A bit more expensive where switches were present.

Also, if you captured equipment, too, then you could use the fitting rolling material.

I also wouldn't blindly assume that the higher number of larger freight cars necessarily meant higher throughput. The Germans had more sophisticated engines which made for more maneuverable trains. If your railroad is single-track for extended periods then you need to organize trains passing at passing stations, and higher acceleration and better braking can speed this up quite a bit. Not to mention the size of the passing stations limits the length of the train.
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  #33  
Old 10 Jan 13, 23:07
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Command magazine had an article on the rail situation in the Soviet Union. It is not just a matter of moving the rails in a bit. The Soviet engines were bigger and simpler. That means the stations were further apart than say in Germany or France. The maintenance yard, switching yards and other support bases were also further apart. I am also recalling that some engines in this area ran on a petroleum byproduct that the Germans did not have.

While the Germans never ran out of engines, they did not capture enough Soviet engines to help them out. The base of the rails was laid roughly in many places. In West Europe you laid down a gravel base and your engine could move fast. The Soviet rails did not always have this base, the rails were a bit loose and the turns were not graded (slow down or flip the train!).

While Soviet engines were fine, the box cars usually carried less than similar Western cars. This may have been more due to the bad tracks.

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  #34  
Old 11 Jan 13, 10:08
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Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
Command magazine had an article on the rail situation in the Soviet Union. It is not just a matter of moving the rails in a bit. The Soviet engines were bigger and simpler. That means the stations were further apart than say in Germany or France. The maintenance yard, switching yards and other support bases were also further apart. I am also recalling that some engines in this area ran on a petroleum byproduct that the Germans did not have.

While the Germans never ran out of engines, they did not capture enough Soviet engines to help them out. The base of the rails was laid roughly in many places. In West Europe you laid down a gravel base and your engine could move fast. The Soviet rails did not always have this base, the rails were a bit loose and the turns were not graded (slow down or flip the train!).

While Soviet engines were fine, the box cars usually carried less than similar Western cars. This may have been more due to the bad tracks.

Pruitt
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  #35  
Old 11 Jan 13, 11:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
Command magazine had an article on the rail situation in the Soviet Union. It is not just a matter of moving the rails in a bit. The Soviet engines were bigger and simpler. That means the stations were further apart than say in Germany or France. The maintenance yard, switching yards and other support bases were also further apart. I am also recalling that some engines in this area ran on a petroleum byproduct that the Germans did not have.

While the Germans never ran out of engines, they did not capture enough Soviet engines to help them out. The base of the rails was laid roughly in many places. In West Europe you laid down a gravel base and your engine could move fast. The Soviet rails did not always have this base, the rails were a bit loose and the turns were not graded (slow down or flip the train!).

While Soviet engines were fine, the box cars usually carried less than similar Western cars. This may have been more due to the bad tracks.
Soviet locomotives could not be converted to standard gauge, so Germans gave them to Finns.
Other problem for german locomotives was that they couldn't be run on soviet coal, so they had to bring in some of their coal and mix it. Bigger problem on first winter was they were not suited for sub zero temperatures - uninsulated boiler would bive too much heat, and outside pipes would froze and burst.

Railroad cars could be converted, bet strangely after such conversion they couldn't be used on non-converted lines (ie in Europe).
Soviets still had lot of Tzarist era single-axle cars, but they had lot of newer one double-axis which had bigger capacity.

On carrying weight also influenced weight of railroad tracks.

Mentioned gravel base was bad, and in lot of cases it was just dirt.
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  #36  
Old 11 Jan 13, 11:56
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Usually there was a zone ahead of the German conversion troops that you could run the old Soviet engines in. The Germans did use the Soviet engines here. Soviet coal was better quality than the Brown Coal used by the Germans!

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  #37  
Old 11 Jan 13, 12:01
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What a logistical nightmare, German loco's built for german fuel, russian Loco's with russian fuel. Tracks to change over and put back together, and all this, with a manpower shortage, a resolute enemy, etc.
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  #38  
Old 11 Jan 13, 12:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
Soviet coal was better quality than the Brown Coal used by the Germans!
Although I saw data that confirms this, it seems Soviets didn't always use their best-quality coal for locomotives.

Here is described problem with coal, as well as other german problems with rails:

Quote:
Soviet coal was not of optimal quality locomotives even by Soviet standards. A number of the larger Soviet rail yards contained coal-processing plants which soaked the Donets coal in (bunker) oil before it was suitable for use in locomotives. Frequently, wood was used as a substitute for coal, especially in the northern regions of the Soviet Union.
http://www.feldgrau.com/dreichsbahn.html
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  #39  
Old 11 Jan 13, 13:26
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Strangely enough, I recognize this quote from Feldgrau! German Brown coal was pretty bad.

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  #40  
Old 11 Jan 13, 15:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
Strangely enough, I recognize this quote from Feldgrau! German Brown coal was pretty bad.
That's probably because they were using all the high quality coal in steel production or converting it to synthetic oil.
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  #41  
Old 11 Jan 13, 16:38
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I believe all the Coal in Germany was soft, Brown Coal. It took massive amounts to make synthetic fuel, but also heated houses and fueled electricity generation. I am not sure what other types of coal was captured or where they were used.

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  #42  
Old 11 Jan 13, 22:59
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This is really weird. A five page discussion with much educational information, no trolls, and no anger

I did spot a bit of irony in two of the remarks. First I read how the Soviet workers saturated the low grade coal with oil, then another reminded us of the Germans making oil from their low grade coal
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  #43  
Old 12 Jan 13, 00:23
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You use what you have the most of! The Soviets had extra oil and the Germans had extra coal.

Several years ago we had quite vigorous discussion on Soviet Railroads. That guy is gone, but I learned a lot from him!

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  #44  
Old 12 Jan 13, 03:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
I believe all the Coal in Germany was soft, Brown Coal. It took massive amounts to make synthetic fuel, but also heated houses and fueled electricity generation. I am not sure what other types of coal was captured or where they were used.

Pruitt
Coal from Silesia was soft, brown lignite coal and was used for heating, generating electricity, fueling locomotives, etc. Coal from the Ruhr was much less abundant and is hard black bituminous coal with a much higher energy rating used mainly for smelting. I believe that the coal refined into petroleum was lignite coal, but I may be wrong.

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  #45  
Old 12 Jan 13, 11:08
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It was Lignite Coal.

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