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> Armored train with AAA, part of Ploesti defence
Iamandi
Posted: December 17, 2004 07:53 am
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Any info or/and pictures about/with the armored train who participate in defence of Ploesti zone?

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dragos
Posted: December 17, 2004 08:23 am
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dragos
Posted: December 17, 2004 08:24 am
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Victor
Posted: December 17, 2004 10:21 pm
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The armored flak train was nicknamed the "Caterpillar". It had 10 wagons and one engine. It had 36 light and medium AA guns on board and was camouflaged as a freight train. The wagons had fake walls, which would come down to reveal the arsenal inside. The most deadly pieces onboard proved to be two 4x20 mm guns, which could rotate 360 degrees. Out of the 10 wagons, only 6 were firing platforms. The rest were sleeping quarters, kitchen and mess hall, communications center and even a club wagon. Everything it needed. It was put under the command of Hauptmann Joseph Brem.

General Gerstenberg had ordered the Caterpillar to be positioned north of Ploiesti in order to catch the bombers, which would have just come out of the target area by surprise. Instead it caught by surprise the 77 B-24Ds of the 93rd and 98th bomber Groups approaching Ploiesti from the north, as planned. "Killer" Kane, the CO of the 98th (CMO), estimated he lost 7 aircraft to the flak train and many other were damaged. A bomb took out the train's engine and it eventually derailed.

After 23 August 1944 the train retreated northwards from Ploiesti firing on the oil wells in its way. It was stopped by a 7 men team, which blew it up near Baicoi.
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alexkdl
Posted: December 18, 2004 11:54 am
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Victor its a very interesting point you made......therefore I need to pose the quotestions:

- Was there any knowledge or previous intelligence reports at the Roumanian
and German INTEL sides about the possibility of an attack at the magnitude of
the Tidalwave but perhaps was no specific knowledge about the date and hour ?

- From all my records it looks that US Intelligence was aware about the flack trains
though not as sophisticated as you stated ( 360 degree movement)

- From what you state it looks that HAIL COLUMBIA with his group was flying straight into it ?

- I still find it incredible that TEGGIE ANN carrying wasnt discovered , attached
or intercepted

Finally is there any chance you would post some larger photos on the flack camouflaged train?

Many thanks again

Alex
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alexkdl
Posted: December 18, 2004 12:17 pm
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Hello Victor

I looked into my records of the Tidalwave and I found a very interesting photo I didnt pay much attention to before . It says the gunners of TEGGIE ANN of the 376th Bmb fire at a train carrying tanks .....I looked a little better , it doesnt look to me that the trains were carrying tanks, could it be the caterpillar ...what is your opinion ? The photo is from THE BLACK SUNDAY ...were the caterpillars equipped with radars or linkend to the radar sites for track and aquisition purposes.....I guess the trains were mainly for very low altitude targetting rather mid , also do you have any details or photos on the 7 planes lost to it by the Pyramiders ?

Let me know thanks
Alex

This post has been edited by alexkdl on December 18, 2004 12:51 pm

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D13-th_Mytzu
Posted: December 18, 2004 12:45 pm
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I think that train is a fuel train - the weagons look round exactly like the ones that transport oil - they also have a "capac" on the upper side just like the fuel wagons.

This post has been edited by D13-th_Mytzu on December 18, 2004 12:45 pm
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alexkdl
Posted: December 18, 2004 12:48 pm
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This what I was thinking too ( Tren Cisterna, Tren Petrolifier) though I am not certain is one

Alex

This post has been edited by alexkdl on December 18, 2004 12:49 pm
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D13-th_Mytzu
Posted: December 18, 2004 01:01 pm
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I have one question related to this photo: can you see the corn or "grau" on the ground (the one on the left side) - does it look like that because the picture is fuzzy or because of the propeller thrust ? (don't know if it is the correct term)
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alexkdl
Posted: December 18, 2004 01:14 pm
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from the original photo looks like prop effect .....though is an old photo and I might be wrong
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alexkdl
Posted: December 18, 2004 02:03 pm
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Here is a AA Defense chart drown in the comemoration of the TIDALEWAVE to honour the commander of the German/Roumanian flack batteries who defended Ploesti .The drawing depicts the shooting down locations of 31 Liberators and the aproximate crash sites of all 31 Liberandos . It was drawn by a Luftabwehr Unteroffizier Schutze later on for its commanding officer before leaving Roumania .

From German language " Zum Befelshaber seine Flakartilerie zu Gedenken an die erfolgreiche Abwehr des Grossangriffes amerikanischer Bomber auf Ploesti am 1.8.1943 ( abschuss von 31 Liberators) .

Alex

This post has been edited by alexkdl on December 18, 2004 02:37 pm

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D13-th_Mytzu
Posted: December 18, 2004 02:28 pm
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Alex do you have a larger picture ?
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alexkdl
Posted: December 18, 2004 02:34 pm
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Yea send me by PVT your EMAIL address I gonna send it in large scale

ALEX

This post has been edited by alexkdl on December 18, 2004 02:36 pm
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Victor
Posted: December 18, 2004 06:13 pm
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Here is what "Killer" Kane told Ioan Grigorescu in an interview about the "Caterpillar"

QUOTE
We did not expect something like that! It was the ignorance of our intelligence services, that made the Piramiders pay a heavy toll. The people in Benghazi only saw in Ploiesti "one hundred"! One hundred guns, one hundred captive balloons, one hundred fog generators, one hundred searchlights. But an armored train, perfectly camouflaged, with a deadly efficiency in case it was placed on our trajectory they did not see! And it had cost us dearly! At least 7 airplanes shot down at Ploiesti fell prey to this train... We fired all the ammo in it, but could not stop it until one of the bombers managed to put a bomb under the locomotive, derailing it. It wasn't me and I can't say who did it. Probably someone who was later shot down, otherwise we would have known. And after we passed over the immobilized train, I noticed the second surprise: my target had been bombed by someone else! I thought that the sky was cloudy and that there was thunder and flashes, because we had just come out of a pouring rain, which we encountered between Floresti and Ploiesti. But what we saw, as we were closing in on the city, was smoke and fire and explosions. And there were also those devils in their green Liberators, the guys from the Traveling Circus, who had stolen our cake, and whose asses I was planning to kick when I got back to base. But then they could have kicked my ass, because they were coming directly at us at the same altitude. Only a miracle prevented you from sweeping us off the streets of Ploiesti.


Source: Bine ati venit in infern by Ioan Grigorescu, Nemira, 1995
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alexkdl
Posted: December 18, 2004 07:52 pm
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Victor many thanks, did I.Grigorescu wrote a book about Tidalwave? where and when was it published and how and when did he manage to interview "Killer" Kane when in fact he died many years ago and when Roumania was still under Ceausescu at that time .Where this book can be obtained

Thanks
Alex
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