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The steam loco that brought down a German plane in WW2

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Corbs, Mar 20, 2015.

  1. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    http://ryesown.co.uk/german-bomber/

    [​IMG]

    What I find incredible about this story is that the loco blew up in November and was back in service in March!
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    It took so long because there was a war on!
     
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  3. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Anorak moment; describing the Fw190 as a 'bomber' is about as accurate as describing the D3 as an express loco :)
     
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  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    They built 'em strong in Brighton!

    Looking at the photo, if the shells mostly hit the top of the boiler (as they would if being attacked from above) there would be a lot of blast and shrapnel going upwards, but relatively little damage to the underframe, except that the loco would be thrust down on its springs very hard.

    An aeroplane attacking at, say, 300mph and opening fire at, say, 440 yards would have scarcely 3 seconds before flying over the target. Allowing a second or two before accurately aligning on the target and the pilot would find the target exploding in front of them with only a second to react and at a range of maybe 150yards: easy to understand how in the circumstance the plane could be caught in the lethal blast without any time to take avoiding action. [Edit: Or may crash as a result of taking avoiding action: see below]

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
  5. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    There's a clip I've seen somewhere of what is probably a P47 or P51 strafing a loco, hitting the boiler and a large plume of steam coming out. I'll see if I can find it.
     
  6. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    @Corbs - I looked up the loco involved. It was built (as 365 "Victoria") in July 1892, the third of the D3 class, and eventually scrapped in December 1952, having run 1,760,235 miles, an average of about 29,000 miles per year for 60 years! This was the highest mileage of any D3, though all but one went past a million miles and quite a number passed 1.5million.

    Bradley suggests that the German fighter misjudged his altitude after the attack and his left wing hit the cab roof, causing the fighter to crash about 100 yards from the track. Bradley notes that the damage was a pierced boiler, displaced left hand tank and battered chimney. Interestingly, repairs were carried out at Ashford, rather than Brighton, with a replacement boiler fitted.

    Finally, a personal note: between August 1902 and February 1904, the locomotive's assigned driver was George White of Brighton shed, who was the driver subsequently involved in the accident that killed my Great Grandfather!

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
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  8. 4468BenV

    4468BenV New Member

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    Wasn't there another incident similar to this during the Battle of Britain when a 109 went down after a train on the RHDR and ended up flying into the ground near Dungeness. Not knowing it was a 15" gauge railway was probably the reason. He would have thought he was further away than he was and misjudged his height.
    I believe the gunners claimed it but whether they did hit it with their light mgs is another matter.
    Cannot remember where I read this from.
     
  9. andalfi1

    andalfi1 Member

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    Sounds plausible....
     
  10. 22A

    22A New Member

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    The FW190 was technically a bomber that day as it was carrying an underslung bomb and was flying a hit & run sortie.
    Another aircraft is definitely recorded as crashing whilst strafing the RH&DR due to the pilot not realising it was narrow gauge.
     

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