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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. Wenlock

    Wenlock Well-Known Member Friend

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    It puzzles me somewhat that many people seem to think of freight traffic only in terms of originating, whereas destinations receiving also contributed to the traffic flows.
    The traffics mentioned from south coast ports and Kent coalfield obviously had to be moved, but the heavy freights from other companies included many vehicles to be delivered to stations in the Southern area.
    The cross London transfers mentioned would then have had to be split into trains for Southern destinations, probably in smaller loads which could travel without undue delay to the intensive passenger service. Where complete trains ran to one industrial destination, few of these locations may have had reception sidings capable of handling full length mineral trains. Thus the heavy locos used to shift massive loads slowly were not needed so much as locos capable of moving medium sized trains safely at higher speeds.
     
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  2. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Member

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    both the Griffon and the Merlin were developments of the Type R engine . perversely the merlin in 1939 was achieving a higher HP from a smaller motor , prompting Dowding to tell RR to concentrate on Merlin production . Griffon went into production a bit later Wiki is not precise on dates. the Merlin was the early choice for the Spits partly because it had a lower frontal area which was a benefit to the shape of the aircraft and its high output . later Spits used the Griffon motor
    it is a matter of record that Churchill's order to bomb Berlin caused Hitler to concentrate on bombing London in retaliation , and that took some of the pressure off the airfields.

    the Memorial Flight Spit uses a Griffon engine .not sure about the Lanc.
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Erm ... There are several Spitfires in the BBMF, including both Merlin and Griffon engined types. The Lancaster never had Griffon engines.

    Tom
     
  4. Hicks19862

    Hicks19862 Member

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    And God help the poor blokes flying in Defiants...
     
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  5. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    We'll have to disagree about the ancestry of the Merlin and the Griffon but I must correct you regarding the Memorial Flight. Whilst RR engineers used their experience of the R series when designing the Merlin, I think it's stretching it a bit to say it was a development thereof. Smaller capacity and rotated in a different direction for starters.
    There are several Spitfires on the BMF's strength. From memory there's a Mk.II, a Mk.V, a Mk.IX and Mk.XVI and two Mk.XIX. All are Merlin powered apart from the two Mk.XIX which are Griffon powered.
    The Lanc is Merlin powered too. All Lancs were Merlin powered with the exception of the Bristol powered Mk.2 and those used as engine test beds but I've yet to see mention of any Griffon testing being undertaken by a Lancaster.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  6. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    Thought a few Lancaster’s had Bristol radial engines?
     
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  7. 22A

    22A New Member

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    I read how, having conquered so much territory in the stages of the war, the Germans moved captured locos around.
    Early in WW2, some Dean Goods were taken to France by the British army. These were left behind in 1940. A railway enthusiast who was a PoW wrote in a book how in 1941, he saw a Dean Goods working in Poland.
    Did we ever recover any in 1945?
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  9. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Silly me. Of course they did. Designated the Mk.2. And for some reason flown mostly by Canadian squadrons. Earlier post corrected.
     
  10. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    Don’t know about Dean Goods but a few Jinties were. They were left behind in France after Dunkirk and worked for the SNCF for the next four years, some were returned to the LMS after the war
     
  11. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Until it came to nightfighting.
     
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  12. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I would argue that the fact that the Soviets withdrew their support for the communists in Greece, and did little to support the communists in France and Italy 1945-47, highlights that Soviet intentions were limited. Given the behaviour of the east European states towards the ussr in the interwar period it is reasonable to deduce that the intention was to ensure the removal of a hostile Germany and to ensure supportive neighbouring states. The fact that local non-communist elites in Eastern Europe did not understand the new geopolitical reality in 1945 was a cataclysmic failure.
     
  13. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Getting back on topic, how's about a mention of the WD 0-6-0 Saddle Tank? Not the most aesthetically pleasing of machines but did what was asked and did a decent job post war for the NCB, when was the last one withdrawn?
     
  14. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    What about the JNR D51 class - 1115 built, last one withdrawn in 1975, 170 preserved? The basis for a Thomas character and a transformer (so a deep cultural impact too).

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/JNR_Class_D51
     
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  15. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    I shudder to think how this one would've been voiced, had the character existed in Johnny Morris's day!
     
  16. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Bristolian :)
     
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  17. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Autre Temps Autre Mors................
     
  18. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I’d agree on local elites, but not on your conclusion about Soviet intentions. Rather, I’d suggest that the costs of such intentions were too high to justify significant expenditure, especially once American policy became clear. This also applies to Greece.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  19. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I don't disagree. I just don't think that there was any intention at expanding beyond ensuring that Germany and the USSR's neighbours were no longer a threat.

    As evidence of limited intentions I'd point to the fact that one of the major sources of tension between the Yugoslav partisans and the Soviets was the perception that the Soviets had withheld support and aid from them.

    At the same time, both the French and Italian communist movements had strong domestic support and were largely independent from the USSR thus they could serve as an alternative pole for the left, and hence were ironically a 'threat' to Stalinist hegemony (witness the Stalin-Tito, Soviet-Sino splits whenever a Communist party was deemed to be too independent).

    Given the dysfunctional relationship between Stalin and Tito, I find it hard to believe that Stalin could have co-existed with Togliatti if Togliatti become Italian Prime Minister and then proposed an idea like polycentrism.

    #####

    To move the subject back a few posts to the I would suggest that it might also be worth rethinking the idea of Britain standing alone. I tend to feel that this view does a huge disservice to the role the colonies played in keeping Britain afloat and supplied with food, materials and troops. I find it hard to believe that the UK could have survived without Canadian corn, etc etc. We also forget that Australia was also under threat of invasion from 1942 onwards after Papua New Guinea was invaded, we forget that British colonies such as Singapore did fall. We also need to reflect on the Bengal famine which was largely caused by mismanagement by the imperial authorities but that cost the lives of 2.1 million people in 1942-44 and which is disgracefully almost completely unknown in the UK.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
  20. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    To shift the focus a little bit I’d like to propose a revised question. ‘What was the most strategically important railway line or lines during WW2?’

    I am going to argue that the trans-Canadian railroads and the lines to the Atlantic ports such as Halifax. My reasoning is this. Canada has huge resource which were critical to the western allies, but it has relatively sparse populations and so lacks the dense transport infrastructure of Western Europe and without the railroad the vast quantities of materials could not have been moved.

    You could also point to railways in the ussr as well for many of the same reasons.
     

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