IntroductionEnd of the Line – German and French Railways at the End of WW II
is a fascinating and timely book for contemporary modelers. With the burgeoning number of "military scale" (1/35) railroad models available, plus the plethora of potential for established 1/48 (O scale in model railroading) and smaller scales like 1/72 and 1/76 (OO scale in model railroading), and the vast selection of models in 1/87 (HO scale in model railroading), this book is long overdue. Modelers of Trumpter's 1/35 BR52 and BR86 should be especially interested.
End of the Line, German and French Railways at the End of WW II
is a special edition book by Hussar Publications
, catalogued as HSBT 002
. It is the 2nd title of their Detail & Scale series. This soft cover book is authored by Charles Trapani, Jr., and Louis A. Marre. Fifty-six pages present 78 black-and-white photos and 5 color profiles. The ISBN is 9780978109165
“End of the Line – German and French Railways at the End of WW II” offers a unique insight into the locomotives and rolling stock of WW II Europe from the perspective of four U.S. Army soldiers who were the photographers of this equipment. All four of these men were experienced railroad photographers in the United States before the outbreak of WW II. The subjects of the photographs encompass different types of equipment from various eras. The German locomotives include locomotives built in the “Prussian Era” (prior to 1923) and locomotives built in WW II as part of the Provisional War Locomotive program. A number of camouflaged German steam locomotives are of particular interest. French locomotives include a wide variety of types from various eras including some with battle damage. A U. S. Army Transportation Corps (USATC) diesel locomotive with flatcars containing pipe sections for the extension of PLUTO (Pipe Line Under The Ocean) round out the locomotive photographs. Freight cars from Germany, France, Italy, Hungary, Belgium and The Netherlands are interesting examples of an often neglected type of railway equipment. Other rolling stock includes German and French passenger cars as well as several French trolley cars. A brief but informative text complements the photographs. The text explains locomotive numbering systems, different types of steam locomotive tenders and includes a brief history of German and French Railways. This book will be of interest to railway and military historians as well as modelers of the WW II era. - Hussar
ContentEnd of the Line – German and French Railways at the End of WW II
is a fascinating and timely book for contemporary modelers. With the burgeoning number of "military scale" (1/35) railroad models available, plus the plethora of potential for established 1/48 (O scale in model railroading) and smaller scales like 1/72 and 1/76 (OO scale in model railroading), and the vast selection of models in 1/87 (HO scale in model railroading), this book is long overdue.
The book begins with a good informative overview of the RB (Deutsche Reichsbahn
, or German National Railroads)and its rolling stock (locomotives and cars for freight and passengers). France's SNCF (National Railways of France) and the Allies' USATC Transportation Corps are also explored.
The text introduces the reader to the different nomenclatures of identifying steam locomotive types. Railway numbering system for the locos of France and Germany are explained, too. Germany's main types of steam power used during the war is also discussed. Considering that tomes have been penned about specific versions of a particular engine class of specific railroads, this book is a worthwhile primer of those subjects.
The authors present a brief overview of German and French railroads. Their titles, their pedigree, organization, and their background. Again, very informative for a book of this size.
DR locomotives were eventually camouflaged after consulting with military camouflage experts, not with the Heers (Army) as might be expected, but with another branch of the Wehrmacht. Even the type of paint - and thus colors for accurate modeling - is speculated upon.
Hitler's war machine needed a lot of iron horsepower for the war and Germany ordered successive classes of new locomotives. The book discusses the evolving designs and eventual transfer of locomotive erection to Albert Speer. "Austerity" engines were required and simplifying production resulted in the Class 50 ÜbergangsKrieglokomotiven
. Special equipment for the arid Eastern Front required a special tender resulting in the BR-52 KON.
Finally, an overview of shanghaied rolling stock from other countries is touched upon.
The authors lay a firm foundation for the subsequent photographic record of French and German railways in the months before and after VE Day.
Photographs and Graphics
For modelers, dioramaists, historians and artists, with 78 black-and-white photos and 5 color profiles, this book is a feast for the eyes. There are two colorized photos depicting camouflaged locomotives.
Image quality varies. They are from four sources, those four photographers are discussed with brief biographies. Only one is identified as having professional training although the other three were at least enthusiasts who knew their way with a camera.
Image quality varies from clear professional "portrait" shots to "grab shots." I can not say that I saw a photo that is not useful. Most are of operational engines in motion or awaiting the highball. Several are cold locos (not under steam), and a few show war damaged locos and rolling stock. Three photos are fascinating unique cars used, presumably, to transport aircraft structures from France into Poland, a French wine tank car, and a WWII-era intermodal container car. There are also some locomotive oddities included, such as a French electric "mule" used to tow barges along a canal - an intriguing idea for a diorama! Several images show rolling stock presumed to be serviceable, although it is difficult to tell as, under normal conditions at least, seemingly minor things could put a car on the RIP (Repair In Place) track.
These photographs are excellent resources for modelers seeking to create wartime scenes. Both war torn and undamaged sites are shown. The author noted specific terminals and routes the locos were assigned to, when able.
Those black-and-white images are supplemented by the five color profiles:
1. Fully streamlined DR Class 01 4-6-2
2. Class 44 ÜK in three-tone "water pattern" camouflage.
3. Allied Forces Class 44.
4. Class 44, captured and in wartime Allied control, still in a wavy Dunkelgelb wavy pattern of camouflage.
5. Class 52 with rough squiggly green and ocher camouflage.
One other color image is a colorized photo of a damaged 4-6-0 DRG Class 38.10-40, formerly a Prussian Class P 8 of the Prussian state railways. (One of the most numerous 4-6-0 types in the world.) It is missing its front dome and some other apparatus.
The gallery of photos and illustrations are the substance of the book. They are an excellent record of railroads in the waning days of WWII, and the immediate post-war period.
ConclusionEnd of the Line – German and French Railways at the End of WW II
is a fascinating and timely book for contemporary modelers who intend to work Second World War European railroads into their collection. It features an excellent gallery of locomotives and rolling stock in western Europe circa VE Day. The descriptions of the German and French railways and their nomenclature, as well as the USATC Transportation Corps is equally worth obtaining a copy.
I don't have any substantial complaints about this book, and I highly recommend it.
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