(German) Schienenwolf by Malte Sommer

Image of (German) Schienenwolf by Malte Sommer

Builder: Malte Sommer

About (German) Schienenwolf by Malte Sommer

by Malte Sommer

With the end of the German offensive war and the increasing retreat movements, new tasks arose for the German railway pioneering. Rail tracks no longer had to be restored or re-gauged, but their usability had to be canceled by so-called "line closures" after one's own withdrawal. This was initially achieved by blasting stations, bridges, water towers and the like in addition to the actual tracks.

However, since the blasting of tracks was very time- and material-consuming and also quite dangerous. Thus the Heereswaffenamt (Army Weapons Office), in particular the head of the engineer department, Colonel Max Mennicke, developed a railroad plough so that the sleepers of the tracks behind you could be easily destroyed.

A ripping hook weighing several tons was lowered into the ground and slowly pulled through the tracks by one or two locomotives. The sleepers were completely destroyed and the actual tracks were often severely warped.

Each railroad plough could destroy up to 25 km of railway line a day. They were mainly used in the Soviet Union and Italy.

150 to 300 pieces were built by different companies.
Shown here is a still quite light, early version of the Schienenwolf (rail grinder).

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