description about the Lokomotive used form the K5E :
Extracted from the
book : Leopold by Jan Coen WIjnstok / ISBN-83-920254-5-8)
Railway batteries equipped with K5 had two guns each. Operating these
guns required large numbers of people and a lot of equipment. Gun cres
consisted of 42 personnel, 25 of whom were employed in operating the gun.
Eight of the gunners were stationed on the loading platform and were
involved in hoisting up the round and loading the gun. The rest were on
stations around the gun. A further eight were employed in setting fuses
and transporting the projectiles and propellant charges to the gun. Three
specialists are on hand to operate the generator and maintain the
electrical system. Non-commissioned officers oversee aiming, the generator
and the ammunition. And of course there are officers in charge of each
gun. Beside the gun crews a battery need a staff, administrative
personnel, drivers and mechanics to operate and maintain the trains and
motor vehicles, cooks etc.
It took three complete trains to transport a railway battery : one for the
staff, one each for the guns. Normal transport used steam locomotives,
probably Baureihe 50 or 52, the latter was a war version, designed
to be built economically, both in material and production time. For
deployment, the railway battery used diesel locomotives (WR360C14),
since the smoke from steam locomotives tend to give away their position.
These steam locomotives may habe only been used to pull the trains to
their destination. Since they were Reichsbahn equipment, they would have
been re-assigned. Even the cars making up the train were partly Reichsbahn
The staff train had the following composition :
Steam Locomotive plus tender, passenger cars, special boxcars with
ammunition, box cars with food and field kitchen, a box car with railway
equipment, a diesel locomotive, flatbed cars with vehicles, equipment and
anti aircraft guns. The train consisted of 34 cars, including locomotives,
with a total length of 374m. The gun trains differed slightly from one
another. They consist of 24 and 23 cars with a length of 294 and 278 m
respectively. They had both steam and diesel locomotives, a K5, A
Munitionszubringerwagen, which was used to transport the generator unit, a
set of three box car for the ammunition, a flatbed car with field kitchen,
anti aircraft guns, a special car for the firing bed (Schiessbettung) and
a car with a crane and turntable parts. The longer train had four, instead
of three, passenger cars and a box car with food. The shorter one had two
box cars for the armourer (Waffenmeister). In combat configuration, most
of the passenger cars and cargo cars would be uncoupled from the train. On
a drawing of 24 August 1937 combat configuration was as follows :
Diesel locomotives, two flatbed cars, K5, ammunition supply car with
generator, ammunition car 1, ammunition car 2, a box car with temperature
control and auxiliary generator, equipment car and a workshop. These are
of course official compositions.
Whether or not they were followed to the letter in practice is unknown.
This smaller train was shunted into its firing position with the diesel
locomotive. The turntable was prepared beforehand.