In the 19th century, the European railway network expanded, reducing travel times between cities. During the American Civil War, trains played a significant role as military assets, facilitating the rapid transport of troops, supplies, and weapons. Some trains were even armored and armed, marking the emergence of a new dimension in warfare.
The early 20th century witnessed renewed interest in military train use as tensions escalated in Europe leading up to World War I. Armored trains and rail guns were developed by various nations. Poland, in particular, entered the scene, launching its first armored train, "PP 1 Pilsudczyk," in 1918, seizing an Austro-Hungarian train during World War I due to regional instability.
The aftermath of World War I saw Poland engaging in a conflict with the newly-formed Soviet Union, lasting from 1919 to 1921. This clash ended in a Polish victory. Pilsudczyk, Poland's armored train, employed a strategy with a main combat section supported by supply sections, and it had the capability to transport light tanks and infantry, boasting formidable defensive firepower with machine guns and artillery.
Year of Service: 1918
Manufacturer: National Arsenal - Austro-Hungary
Support allied forces with direct/indirect fire, attacking forward positions and/or breaking through fortified areas of the battlefield. Special designs developed to fulfill one or more equally special battlefield roles.
Engine: 1 x Locomotive driving multi-car arrangement.
2 x 76mm Armata wz. 02/26 (76mm M1902) field gun
2 x 100mm Haubica wz. 1914/1919 howitzers
19 x Maxim or Hotchkiss machine guns