Drawings: Artillery Wagon
These artillery wagons originated from Russian heavy armoured train captured during Finnish Civil War in year 1918. Both of the two captured artillery wagons were included among the wagons that had been captured year 1918 and selected for the two armoured trains, which Finnish Army formed for its own use. Each of the new armoured trains received one of these artillery wagons, which can well be noted as the most advanced armored train wagons in Finnish use at that time. Shortly said were better armed and armoured than other armoured train wagons available. Period photos show these wagons being used as the first wagons in front of the two Finnish armoured trains at that time. However as mentioned in Part 7 of these pages these two armoured trains were not issued first to Finnish troops. But they were in fact first given to German troops stationed in Finland and remained in their use until Germany lost World War 1 and German troops left Finland in end of year 1918.
As can be seen in these drawings the main weapon of these wagons was 76 K/02 field gun placed in rotating turret. Due to way the turret was placed the firing sector of this gun was likely less than 270 degrees. Besides the field guns weaponry of the wagon contained also several Maxim machineguns, for which it had eight loopholes. Six of these loopholes were located in sides of the wagon (three on each side) and the other two were near the turret and could fire along it. Originally both area near the turret and roof of the wagon had fencing to make increase security of the crew members working there while the train was moving. Both middle part of the wagon roof and turret roof had hatches. While not visible in any period photos the non-turret end of the wagon almost certainly had a door or at least entrance of some sort.
Modifications made immediately after Civil War (these are visible in photos taken year 1919) indicate that fencing had been removed from roofs of the wagon and fixed turrets had been build in their place. Presumably these turrets had been included as observation posts, which allowed making observations without needing to go outside on roof of the wagon. The two wagons were equipped with turret, which were not similar. In fact the difference between the observation turrets build on them is so obvious that from this on the trains can be even identified from these turrets. These observation turrets were rather simple fixed steel boxes build by riveting them. The rivets used for this job seem to have also been notably larger than what the Russians had originally used for building these wagons.
76 K/02 field guns of these wagons were replaced with 76 VK/04 mountain guns in 1930's. Armoured Train 1 went through this modification already in 1931 - 1932, but Armoured Train 2 didn't receive its 76 VK/04 mountain guns until sometime 1937 - 1939. As mentioned also machineguns used were replaced several times before World War 2. Already year 1918 the original Russian 7.62 mm x 54R calibre Maxim machineguns were replaced with German 7.92 mm x 57 JS calibre MG-08 medium machineguns and MG-08/15 and MG-08/18 light machineguns. Early 1930's these German machineguns were again replaced with 7.62 mm Maxim when Finnish military was getting rid of 7.92 mm x 57 JS calibre weapons.
After Winter War main weaponry of armoured trains was modified suitable to their new use - anti-aircraft duty. This meant replacing main weaponry of these wagons also. So 76 VK/04 mountain guns placed in turrets of these wagons were swapped to 40 ItK/39 B anti-aircraft guns. This required also removal of the original closed gun turrets - as the anti-aircraft guns needed placement open from the top for using them to be practical. After these modifications had been made these wagons seemed to have remained the same until end of their career.
PICTURE: Artillery Wagon of Russian heavy armoured train painted with colours that it likely had when captured in 1918. Notice railing and the weaponry. Colour of the wagon is based on a best possible guess - Russian Army green, which quite possibly had not been yet repainted over with anything. CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (43 KB).
PICTURE: Artillery Wagon of Russian heavy armoured train after being captured and painted with German insignia. Its quite possible that the wagons still remained "Russian Army green" at this point. Notice the observation turret added to roof of the wagon and fencing removed from there. CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (40 KB).
PICTURE: Artillery Wagon painted like it presumably was when used by Finnish Army in 1920's - the paint was known as "field grey". Notice difference in shape of observation turret when compared to previous drawing. CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (40 KB).
PICTURE: Artillery Wagon of Armoured Train 1 during Winter War. As normal the wagon has been painted with whitewash. Notice Maxim machinegun used as anti-aircraft machinegun installed inside observation turret of the wagon. CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (51 KB).
PICTURE: Artillery Wagon of Armoured Train 2 during Winter War, also this wagon was painted with whitewash to give it winter camouflage. Armour screens had been added to both sides of door in end of the wagon to allow movement from one wagon to another while train was under fire - this modification was presumably done in 1930's. CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (52 KB).
Continuation War era drawings of this wagon will become available later.
PICTURE: Artillery Wagon of Armoured Train 1 in summer of 1942. The new main weapon of this wagon is 40 ItK/39 B anti-aircraft gun placed in open turret. This armament change was made sometime during interim peace in 1940 - 1941. CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (52 KB).