PIBWL presents:

German armoured train Panzerzug 21 - the gallery

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  © Michal Derela, 2000 Revised: 1. 03. 2002

This page is a supplement to the pages about Polish armoured trains, especially armoured train (PP) nr. 54 "Grozny". It contains additional photos depicting Polish wagons in German service in armoured train nr. 21 (Panzerzug 21). See also our pages about Panzerzug 22 and Panzerzug 10b (11).

German armoured train nr. 21 (Eisenbahn Panzerzug 21 - PZ 21) was put into service on 10 June 1940. The whole train was created of the rolling stock captured in Poland in 1939. The photo below shows almost a full length of Panzerzug 21, in a state between 1940 - October 1942.

Panzerzug 21
[Photo - source 2]

The train consisted of (on the photo - from the left):

The armoured train was initially armed with two 100mm howitzers - 10cm FH.14/19(p) - Polish 100mm wz.14/19P (a data) and three 75mm guns - 7,5cm FK.02/26(p) - Polish 75mm wz.02/26 (a data). 75mm guns might have been replaced later with captured Soviet 76.2mm guns M.02/30 - German designation: 7,62 cm FK 295/1(r).
All armoured wagons were also armed with non-fixed machine guns. Apart from these wagons, the train had two flatcars on both ends. From spring 1941 the train received two flatcars with 20mm (2cm) FlaK-38 AA guns.

small artillery car of Panzerzug 21 The close-up of a so-called "small artillery wagon" from Panzerzug 21, armed with 7,5cm FK.02/26(p) (Polish 75mm wz.02/26) gun in a turret. This peculiar wagon most likely came from Polish training train. Most likely it looked initially like an old artillery car of "Bartosz Glowacki" (see the photo) and was modified by the Polish before the war by "cutting off" the corners to fit four MG ports. This wagon still retains typical Polish cyllindrical mountings for 7.92mm wz.08 (Maxim) heavy machine guns, removed later by the Germans. The same wagon was included into Panzerzug 22. [Photo - source 2]

Panzerzuge 21 and 22.

Both armoured trains created of ex-Polish stock together: Panzerzug 21 on the left, and Panzerzug 22 on the right, in Cracov, summer 1940. From the left, visible are:
- (PZ 21) locomotive Ti3-13; an assault wagon from former train nr. 54 "Grozny"; an artillery wagon from former train nr. 52 "Pilsudczyk";
- (PZ 22) a flatcar; the other artillery wagon from "Grozny".

The Panzerzug 21 armoured train.

Another shot of Panzerzug 21. From the right: the artillery wagon from PP. 54 "Grozny"; the assault wagon from PP. 11 "Danuta" with aerials removed; locomotive Ti3-13; the assault wagon from "Grozny" and the artillery wagon from "Pilsudczyk" (PP. 52). Most likely the former assault wagon from "Grozny" became Kommandowagen - command wagon, while the former assault wagon from "Danuta" became Infanteriewagen, that is why the Germans removed the original aerials from the latter.

The Ti3 armoured locomotive in German Panzerzug 21 train.

Panzerzug 21 - the armoured locomotive 54 654 (former Polish Ti3-13 of train nr. 52 "Pilsudczyk"). On the left the assault wagon from former "Grozny" , on the right the assault wagon from former "Danuta". The photo is taken about 1940-41, because the Polish mountings for HMG's in assault wagons are not removed yet. Click to enlarge.

Artillery car of 'Pilsudczyk'.

Excellent view of the artillery wagon of former Polish train nr. 52 ("Pilsudczyk") in Panzerzug-21 in German camouflage. The end MG casemate and side cyllindrical MG mountings are not removed yet. The right turret is 100mm howitzer's. Click to enlarge.

Panzerzug 21

Panzerzug 21 served on the Eastern Front mainly (except for a short "vacation" in France between April and July 1941). Here we see PZ 21 on the way from Smolensk to Kursk in February 1943, wearing winter painting. The artillery wagon from former PP. 54 ("Grozny") is on the right. Since November 1942 the train had German tank engine (Br.93 series?).

Panzerzug 21

Panzerzug 21. The scene is similar to the previous photo. Note Flakvierling-38 quad 20mm AA gun on the small artillery car, replacing 75mm gun turret from November 1942. The second Flakvierling-38 gun was carried on a flatcar. The artillery wagon from former "Grozny" is right behind. Further - the assault wagon from former "Danuta" and German tank engine (the train is heading left).

Panzerzug 21

The assault wagon of nr.54 'Grozny'

(Up) PZ 21 near Vassilyevitschi, Eastern Front, September 1943. The command wagon from the former "Grozny" is clearly visible (with its significant seven masts in two rows of clothes line aerial). On the left there is the artillery wagon from former "Pilsudczyk", on the right is German engine.

(Right) The assault wagon of former Polish train nr. 54 "Grozny" in Panzerzug 21. The Germans had replaced original cyllindrical HMG mountings with simple MG ports.
Click to enlarge.

Panzerzug 21

On 7 October 1943 and 23 June 1944 Panzerzug 21 was damaged by a mine. The photo shows the latter accident, with former "Pilsudczyk's" artillery car visible. As is evident, the Germans replaced the MG casemate at the wagon's end with a door. The visible turret is armed with 75mm (or 76.2mm) gun.

On 30 October 1944 the train was captured by the Soviets in Mozheiki (Mazeikiai, Lithuania). Its further fate is not known.

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All corrections and additional information or pictures are welcome!

Our Thanks to Our Friend, who made this page possible!

All photos came from source [1] (unless marked otherwise) - buy the book to have them bigger, better and more.

See also Panzerzug 21 at The other side of the tracks site for further information.

1. W. Sawodny, "Die Panzerzüge des Deutschen Reiches"; EK Verlag, Freiburg, Germany
2. H. & W. Trojca, "Panzerzüge 1 - Pociagi pancerne cz.1"; Militaria, Warsaw 1995

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