The battles for Sevastopol were one of the most difficult and dramatic in the history of the Great Patriotic War. Both sides suffered colossal losses, and none of them thought to retreat. However, among other weapons, the Red Army had a force that the Wehrmacht feared like fire. We are talking about the "Green Ghost" - a Soviet armored train, which turned out to be one of the most formidable opponents of the German army.
Armored train number 5, or "Zheleznyakov" was built in November 1941 at the Sevastopol Marine Plant. It consisted of four armored wagons armed with 76, 2 mm and 76 mm cannons, 34-K artillery mounts and 82 mm mortars. In addition, 16 machine gunners could fire simultaneously from the train. The train was pulled by the El-2500 freight locomotive, the main task of which was to ensure sufficient maneuverability on the rise in the Sevastopol region.
Interesting fact: the composition was named in honor of the sailor Anatoly Zheleznyakov, who commanded an armored train during the Civil War.
The Zheleznyakov conducted its first combat raid on November 7, 1941 more than successfully: it successfully fired on the Wehrmacht forces in the area of the Crimean Tatar village of Duvanka, the Germans were taken by surprise. There, for the first time, combat tactics were used, which ensured the glory of a formidable enemy for the armored train: the train was leaving one tunnel at full speed and rushing rapidly into another, opening heavy fire at the same time.
The Germans, in fact, in most cases did not even have time to start returning fire when the train was already out of sight, leaving the defeated enemy. Even aviation could not cope with "Zheleznyakov" - Soviet machine gunners also knocked out air targets. The Wehrmacht was seriously afraid of this deadly armored train, they even began to call it the "Green Ghost". Under this small nickname "Zheleznyakov" and went down in the history of the Great Patriotic War.
In just an eight-month period of hostilities, Zheleznyakov carried out 140 raids, almost each of which was marked by success in destroying enemy forces. The Wehrmacht was frankly angry at the inability to cope with the deadly armored train. And yet, they succeeded, albeit not the first time.
In order to eliminate such a formidable force, the Germans had to resort to the help of a squadron of fifty aircraft. They were able to destroy the base of the armored train - the Troitsky tunnel. However, the Red Army men from the surviving part of the composition fired for 24 hours. Only when both entrances to the tunnel collapsed on June 27, 1942, did the soldiers remove the surviving weapons and continued to fight as part of other units. As for the train itself, only an auxiliary steam locomotive of the E series remained from it, which continued to operate until 1967.
Not all armored trains were equally successful: Unjustified hopes: why the bet on armored trains did not play during the Spanish Civil War