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Research on the German Armed Forces 1918-1945

Eisenbahn-Panzerzug 51


History Eisenbahn-Panzerzug 51 (wide gauge), was initially a Streckenschützzug, or track-protection train, before it was converted to an Eisenbahn-Panzerzug in June of 1942. After Operation Barbarossa began, surplus Soviet rolling stocks were combined to form ad-hoc train units armed with non-repairable Soviet tanks. Eisenbahn-Panzerzug 51 was one of these units. Conversion in this case consisted of adding four Soviet BT-7 tank turrets to its offensive armament. Prior to the conversion, Panzerzug 51 was listed in German records as Streckenschützzug Stettin.

A short while after conversion, Panzerzug 51 was assigned to Heeresgruppe Nord. Its immediate function were to replace the May 1942 damaged Panzerzug 6 (standard gauge 1.435mm) withdrawn from front-line service. Panzerzug 51 found itself in Valga/Valka (Walk) in Estonia in August of 1944 where it was either destroyed in battle or abandoned by its crew.