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Author Topic: Armored rail cars in Vietnam  (Read 1800 times)
Terry Toenges


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« on: September 17, 2013, 11:25:19 AM »

I was never in Bien Hoa so I never saw these over there.
Bien Hoa 1969.

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If an angel came to see you, would you make her feel at home?
Terry Toenges


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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2013, 11:26:36 AM »

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If an angel came to see you, would you make her feel at home?
jbrock27

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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2013, 12:36:57 PM »

Looks like the short guy is holding a Thompson sub machine gun.
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GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2013, 03:57:58 AM »

The poles are for camouflage netting correct? Antenna? For a second I thought they were juicers. (wishful, but doesn't make much sense for a war train aye?)
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Skarloey Railway

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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2013, 05:03:59 AM »

camouflage ?

Maybe, though the presence of a large 'tree' growing on the railway track might be a tad conspicuous!

Perhaps parked at the end of a siding they might pass unnoticed.
Colin
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GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2013, 05:21:40 AM »

camouflage ?

Maybe, though the presence of a large 'tree' growing on the railway track might be a tad conspicuous!

Perhaps parked at the end of a siding they might pass unnoticed.
Colin

Not all camo looks like a tree! Roll Eyes
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Doneldon

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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2013, 07:01:38 AM »

[Not all camo looks like a tree! Roll Eyes

GG1-

True. But no camo looks like railroad right-of-way.

                                                                  -- D
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jbrock27

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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2013, 10:07:31 AM »

I can't say that I know this for sure, but it would seem reasonable to me that the poles could be there to support netting that would typically be used as camo for vehicles and such to hide targets from the air.
I can't tell for sure from the pics, but it looks like the overhead wire lines are too far in the background to part of where the rail cars are.
I could be mistaken, it has happened once or twice before Wink
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Desertdweller

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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2013, 11:23:57 AM »

I've always wondered how effective something like that would be in combat.

The car itself would be armored against attack, but what about the track?  Obviously, the way to attack one of these things would be to disable the track.

Pretty hard to sneak up on someone with one of those.  The track again will predict its course.

Were they self-propelled?

Les
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Doneldon

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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2013, 01:17:43 PM »

I've always wondered how effective something like that would be in combat. The car itself would be armored against attack, but what about the track?  Obviously, the way to attack one of these things would be to disable the track.Pretty hard to sneak up on someone with one of those.  The track again will predict its course.Were they self-propelled?

Les-

I don't think that armored trains were thought of as offensive weapons. Rather, they were fortified to resist attack and possibly had special cars for defensive purposes like ground attacks (going back to the Civil War) or air attack (both World Wars, especially World War Two). As such, they didn't need to be stealthy. Interrupting rail traffic could certainly waylay them, but that would only be done because of the supplies or troops carried in the trains. A few armored cars with soldiers or AAA wouldn't pose enough of a threat to be actual targets themselves.
                                                                                                                                                    -- D
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Loco Bill Canelos

Beautiful Downtown New Truxton, Missouri


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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2013, 01:19:29 PM »

When I was in Nam, I worked in the port area and worked with the Vietnamese National Railways in Qui Nhon (not sure of spelling)moving cargo out of the port area and moving tons of gravel to build the US airbase at Bong Song.   We used armored cars like this one and also another type which was not self propelled but pushed in front of the loco  We had several French B+B diesels,oldies but goodies. Those babies could really pull.  We also brought in Export GE U8 B's which gave reasonable service.  Steam service had just ended before I got there, and the dead line had lots of them just rusting away. 
We even went into enemy territory to recover flat cars, which we hauled out by truck. Loaded the body on one flatbed and the trucks on others.  In all the time I was there The VC never tried cutting the track, but we always sent out an armored car to check the right of way.  In the entire time I was there we never had an attack on an operating train, even though part of the trip was through so called "no man's land"

I do a presentation called "Railroad at War-Vietnam"  for any interested group.  I only ask for transportation food and lodging expense to do it, but do accept donations.   I get incredible response when doing it and include the human side of what was involved.  Viewers are often moved to tears when I do it.

It was a stupid useless war Sad, but as a young Army Captain I gave it my all and got to play with real trains Cool!!

Bill
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
Loco Bill Canelos

Beautiful Downtown New Truxton, Missouri


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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2013, 01:28:56 PM »

Forgot to mention, we never worried about camo, because we had air superiority.   The track was also patrolled by attack helicopters fairly routinely.   The VC were experts at camo, on one occasion, I was on the ground along the right of way watching the train run by me.  A few days later one of the Korean units from the White Horse division found camo spider holes not 75 feet from where I had been standing.  It was very sobering to say the least, why they never attacked the trains I will never know. 
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
jbrock27

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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2013, 05:38:16 PM »

I find this kind of information very interesting.
Glad you got back in one piece Bill!
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GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2013, 06:48:13 PM »

[Not all camo looks like a tree! Roll Eyes

GG1-

True. But no camo looks like railroad right-of-way.

                                                                  -- D

camouflage ?

Maybe, though the presence of a large 'tree' growing on the railway track might be a tad conspicuous!

Perhaps parked at the end of a siding they might pass unnoticed.
Colin

Camo curtains, for side camouflage, was my initial thought, not overhead. Then, looking like a tree or bush, might be effective. I looked as best I could at 400% zoom. There appears to be no obvious indicators of insulation on the poles, or wires coming down the poles, which is why I don't really believe its an antenna. If it were electrical pickup I would think it would not have the wiring parallel to the track.
It may very well not be for camo, but I don't really don't see any better suggestions as to what else could it possibly be for, so I think Ill stick to my opinion till proved wrong;)   
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2013, 10:38:52 PM »

To Terry, Bill, and others who served;

Thank you for your service to our country. 

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik
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If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
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