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The Main Artery of the Empire: Railways, the Heavy Transporter of the German Army in World War II

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

Adapted from War Park Weibo News Release 2021-12-27 12:53

As a traditional European land based country, Germany's rail transport is undoubtedly the core of her national operations and military transportation. Since the mid-19th century, a well-developed railway network had been built in Germany. As the Third Reich continued to expand outward, this rail network stretches across the European continent and strongly supported the logistics and strategic mobility of the German army in World War II.

All railways and trains in the Third Reich were managed and operated by the Reichske Bahn, part of the Reichstal Ministry of Transport. During the invasion of Western European countries, the use of European standard gauges in the occupied areas facilitated the continuous integration of these small railways into the Imperial railway network of the German Imperial Railway Company, in essence, through the plundered resources from the occupied countries.

At the time of the invasion of the Soviet Union, the Soviet railway gauge was wider than the European standard gauge and this hindered the German invasion. In order to meet the massive material demand on the Eastern Front, the German Reichsbahn had to build about 16,000 kilometers of European standard gauge railways in the Soviet Union.

During World War II, German armored units were transported by rail to the vicinity of the battlefield. This is more efficient, and tank vehicles and personnel can also be brought into the battle front, in well prepared condition. The German army, in general, uses the following three kinds of railway flatbed transporters, as show in the figure above from top to bottom:

1. 30-ton Ommr double-axle flatbed transporter, mainly transporting Panzer 3, light vehicles, etc.;

2. 50-ton TSSys four-axle flatbed transporter, mainly transporting Panzer 4, Panther tank, etc.;

3. 80-ton SSyms six-axle flatbed transporter, mainly transporting Tiger, King Tiger, Ferdinand and other heavy equipment.

This 80-ton SSyms six-axle flatbed transporter transporting King Tiger tanks.

This 80-ton SSyms six-axle flatbed transporter transporting a Ferdinand tank destroyer.

The Tiger tank is a giant beast that is wider than the width of a flatbed transporter. Before long-distance journeys were made, the outer load wheels are usually removed and replaced with narrower transport tracks. Above picture shows the factory hoisting a brand new Tiger tank onto a six-axle flatbed truck. It is be seen that the outer load wheels have been disassembled and the tracks are transport tracks.

The replaced combat tracks will usually be tiled under the tank as shown above.

However, there are also cases whereby direct transportation using combat tracks are done due to tight timeline contraints. In the picture above, it can be clearly seen that the load wheels on the outside of the Tiger tank have not been disassembled, and the outer side of the tracks extends beyond the flatbed body.

Close-up of the tracks of the Tiger tank when the combat tracks were not replaced for transport tracks.

This month War Park unveiled the 80-ton six-axle flatbed transporter and the railroad platform diorama base. When making your decision, please note that two diorama bases are needed to fit one flatbed transporter. Three diorama bases can accommodate two flatbed transporters. Please do check the dimensions.


A single six-axle flatbed + two rail platforms, the flat plate is 440mm long, and the two scenic bases are 600mm long.

Config 2:

Two six-axle flatbeds + three rail platforms, two plates are 880mm long and three scenic bases are 900mm long.

Original Weibo Chinese text follows:


战争公园 战争公园 2021-12-27 12:53




















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