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Engines of War: what steam locos changed WW2?

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by S.A.C. Martin, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Ahem. :)
     
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  2. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    How about the ROD 2-8-0's?
     
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  3. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    did they serve in WW2? I think it was planned to send them abroad again but this was cancelled after the fall of France and then the Staniers were ready and they weren't needed
     
  4. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    :oops:
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    ;)

    Tom
     
  6. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    I'd never seen the photos of load testing the repair, so many thanks for posting those.

    I can't recall how long it took to get the line back into sevice, but it was certainly done quickly.
     
  7. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Of course they served, maybe not for the army but they still did a job, look how far they went too, there's still some in Australia.
     
  8. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Active Member

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    you should include the Robinson 2-8-0s , which served at home and abroad in both wars .Also, the Urie 4-6-0s and their derivatives for special mention . they could handle 800 tons . freight ,troops , evacuation trains ,they did it all , and yes , the Southern performed miracles keeping the traffic moving

    it is a little ironic that the surfeit of routes in kent and sussex made it impossible for the enemy to hinder the railway in any meaningful way .

    the repair to the viaduct in Brighton is still visible today if you look closely , but it is Preston rd ,not London rd .

    also , remember the railway works , turning out huge quantities of material for our forces .

    preston rd viaduct today - lighter cloured brickwork shows the repair . the wonky bit is google , not the repair preston rd.jpg
     
  9. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Hey, in my defence I was trying to avoid the whole "best engine" debate.

    Trying...!
     
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  10. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Active Member

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    deleted . already answered
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  11. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Whilst the location is precisely as you say, I've been down 'ere for yonks and have only ever heard the structure ( I lived with it at the bottom of my garden for a few years in the 90's and which crosses an entire valley, not merely one road) referred to as 'London Road Viaduct', though I'd grant you 'Preston Road Viaduct' is no more or less accurate.... as differentiated from the long demolished (single track) Lewes Road Viaduct on the erstwhile Kemp Town (or Kemptown - take your pick!) branch.
     
  12. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    I don't think it would be necessary to qualify what I said, but I referred specifically to the Dean Goods serving abroad in both wars , obviously every single loco that could turn a wheel served in WW2
     
  13. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    The two world wars were actually the only time Lawson Billinton's K class got to show what they could really do ..... which was shifting 1000 ton trains unaided. The levels of traffic generated during both conflicts was far and above the norm for 'The Brighton'/Central Divn.

    I doubt the Port of Newhaven was ever busier than during those dark years.
     
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  14. Chris86

    Chris86 Active Member

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    What about the GW panniers, 56xx/28xx etc.

    Must have made a pretty big contribution in the coalfields- also I get the impression that the GW marshalling yards bore a lot of the brunt of the traffic making its way south.

    Chris
     
  15. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Member

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    I tend to dislike questions that attempt to reduce complex issues down to a monocausal explanation ‘the x that won the war...’ One of the key historical discussions about ww2 is the way in which resources were used rather than who had the most resources. For example what do you spend on civilian or military, how do you make good war damage, especially considering that ww2 was the first real example of total war.

    As this film (apologies for the poor quality sound) from 1942 about uk agriculture shows, the war effort was a combined effort - individuals, the state increasingly becoming directly involved in action, the emphasis on science and technology to replace outmoded ways (we can add in its role as an example of propaganda to avoid divisions between town and country during chronic shortages of food due to rationing)



    My point is that railways were part of a wider system, no locomotive is singularly pivotal, or is any one individual or group of people.

    Regarding the role of railways in the Holocaust - I visited Hartheim castle which was used as an extermination centre - they bused victims up from Linz and estimates are that 30,000 people were killed (locals knew something was going on as the buses left full and always returned empty). Hartheim was quite a small extermination camp/gas chamber. To me this suggests that whatever technology was available would have been used irrespective of whether that was railways. One of the current debates or areas of study in holocaust studies is how systematic the Holocaust was. The evidence seems to suggest that in some places the practice of the Holocaust was very systematic in which railways were central and in others there seems to be not systematic at all.

    I would also suggest that the original list is a little bit anglocentric and perhaps we might also want to consider the role of railways in the Soviet Union given the war in the east.

    Something I would be interested in seeing is data for number of locos, rolling stock, etc lost due to war damage across Europe. Ralph Wedgewood is remembered perhaps because it was an exceptional loss.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  16. Cartman

    Cartman Active Member

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    British loco losses in WW2 as far as I know were a Hall, A4, B16,J17 and one of those Drummond 4-6-0s from the South Western. Any more?
     
  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    If we are talking "the engine that won the war", then how can you overlook LBSCR D3 No. 2365, which took on an FW 190 and survived the ordeal to run another day, unlike the Luftwaffe fighter-bomber ...

    https://ryesown.co.uk/german-bomber/

    Tom
     
  18. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    GWR 1854 class pannier tank 1729.
     
  19. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Have to say chaps, everyone is on top form today for critical thinking. Reading through all of this I am reminded that my subconscious bias as a self confessed brit does come to the fore with railways. An excellent suggestion to examine the eastern front locomotives too.
     
  20. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Member

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    You can ask an interesting question - to what extent did war conditions force a technological 'leap' onto UK steam engine design - thinking here about how labour intensive pre-war designs are and then the Ivatt/Bullied/Riddles designs that sought to minimise labour.

    War conditions asked loco designers a very different set of questions than they had been asked in the late 1930s.

    I think Bill Harvey's memoirs in the LNER 150 book (they are a sidebar) about Neasden shed, show just how many problems the railways had 1945-46 in terms of labour shortages (footplate and fitters), lack of coal and so on and so forth. The ability of what we might term middle managers to run the railway in the face of these problems is every bit as critical.

    For anyone interested, the only recording of Hitler speaking in his normal voice was recorded in a Finnish railway carriage with Mannerheim. The key section is at about 7 minutes when Hitler talks about the importance of controlling the Romanian oil wells. Which is obviously an important resource when it comes to running your steam railway system but even more important for more modern forms of transport like tanks and aircraft. Which perhaps contextualises the importance (or diminishing importance of railways).



    We might also consider the role of railways in Japan, China, we can not of course escape the Burma-Thailand railway in which 102,000 civilian labourers and POWs died. The fact that it was considered to be vital for the Japanese war effort and carried 500,000 tonnes of material.

    Which actually takes onto another question about the use of railways - in that we often think about the war in terms of tanks, guns, battles and deaths, but at the same time, cities need to be fed, people still need to be moved around, so the railways were a vital cog in maintaining civilian life.

    As a side note, I know someone who is now well into her 90s. Her father was a station master in modern day Moldova which was annexed by the Soviets in 1940. The railways were the main way of evacuating civilians and it was his job to do this and he left on the last train (and never did return).
     
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