Slovak armored trains
Former IPV 40 (Imrovised Armored train) of Czechoslovak army built in time of mobilization in 1938, operated for infantry regiment in Lucenec (40th Border Region) with garrison of train in Zvolen
Engine 310.422was fully armored, also cars U-7.76290 a U-7.17369. Train had 1 80 mm canon vz.17, 7 heavy machine guns Schwarzlose vz. 24 and 1 light machine gun ZB vz. 26. Used probably as a reserve during war with Hungary (as it was impossible to get in the area of fights becouse all railway tracks to the area were after Munich-Vienna agreements on Hungarian territories.
After war with Hungary train was in depot in Spisska Nova Ves where it was disarmed. Engine and machine gun car were sent for repairs to Zvolen. In summer engine and MG car returned to Spisska Nova Ves and Armored train was completed but without armament.
During preparation on war with Poland Armored train was moved to Poprad and came under command of Tank regiment in Martin. Regiment sent the men for crew of the train and armament, ammunition and other supplies. taht's when train was named "Bernolak" with cover name "Hrdlicka" Crew was 46 men including railway men, officers and NCO's
According to others sources train was in this time armed with AT gun vz 37, 7 heavy machine guns Schwarzlose vz. 24, 2 light machine gun ZB vz. 26. Soldiers had their personal weapons and 150 hand grenades type Skoda.
Train had station in Margecany where it was as a reserve till September 18th 1939 when it was moved to Krompachy and later Poprad where it was disarmed and in October 1st moved to Spisska Nova Ves where it stand till May 1940 when it was taken out of inventory of Tank Regiment.
I don't know about any existing picture but there could be some in SLovak archives.
Slovak IPV Soviet Union
Slovak Security Division put together Improvised Armored train in May 1942 because of lack of Manpower as it has to sent all manpower from I/102 battalion and 2nd Pioneer Company to Fast Division and no replacements from Slovakia came. Commander of 102nd Regiment had to solve problem how to patrol area under his responsibility and on 8th May 1942 for use on Pinsk-Gomel railway.
IPV had 5 components and was double ended for equal protection for rides in both directions.
In the center was engine, then from both sides of engine were armoured cars with 3 MG. These were later insulated against cold. On the both ends were flat cars loaded with sandbags as a protection against mines. Commander of the train Mjr. Strapak served in the area during WWI and was recognized by locals. Crew was in total 51 men.
According to other sources had on 1 car tank BT-2, but in turret heavy MG Schwarzlosse vz.24. It had also AT gun 37mm vz.34 or 37, 2 MG Schwarzlosse vz.24 (I don't know if one in the BT-2 (5) is counted, 5 MG ZB vz.26, 1 mortar 8 cm vz.36
For picture I will use the link from http://beute.narod.ru/Beutepanzer/su/Slovakia/slovakian.htm.
If I understad correctly owner of the web is member here so I hope he will be not mad at me. Picture is from Slovak wartime photographic book Od Tatier po Kaukaz.
Slovak National Uprising Armored trains
During Uprising Golden age of Slovak armored trains started.
Altogether 3 were built.
Order to start building of Improvised Armored trains was issued on September 4th 1944 but problem was lack of any documentation. Trains were built in railway depot Zvolen. Czechoslovak army norms for building of Improvised Armored trains was used and as a new part Tank car was added but construction of Tank cars had to be solved first. Tanks unable to move LT-35 from Slovak tank regiment were used.
In 14 days firs was built and named “IPV I - Gene-ral M. R. Stefanik" ( 5-19 September 1944)
Second “IPV II - J. M. Hurban" was done in 11 days ( 19 - 30 September 1944)
Third and last “IPV III - T G. Masaryka" which was technically best because of experience from building of IPV I and II was used. (30 September - 12 October 1944)
All Armored trains had actually two trains. Fighting Armored train and supporting train with living part for crew and supplies.
Armored train had:
flat car, gun car, tank car, armored engine type 320.2, tank car and MG car.
All three Armored trains differ only in number of tank cars used.
Stefánik had 3 tank cars (1 was actually reserve), Hurban 3 and Masaryk 4 (2 of them were reserve tank cars).
3rd tank car in the armored train was usually in front of the engine or behinde the MG car.
not armored engine, living cars, kitchen, medic car and amunition car. this train was during action staying in closed railway station.
All used cars had 2 axes and around the wheel had metal sheet protections.
Stefanik had camouflage of green, brown and white but it was good visible from aicrcafts so was repainted to green.
All others trains were green from start.
On October 12 1944 last of trains was finished.
Trains were put in actions usually by order of commander of 1st Czechoslovak Army in Slovakia (Official name used during Uprising) to most endangered areas.
Stefanik was put in action in October 5th (commander F. Adam) near Stara Kremnicka and it supported Slovak contra attack against Germans pushing towrds Sv Kriz nad Hronom. After front was stabilized train was moved on railway Zvolen - Krupina, where he took arts in fight around Dobra Niva and was few times attacked by enemy planes. At the end of October it operated on railway Zvolen - Krivan. During last retreat to Slovak mountains after Uprising was defeated and army was retreating to continu in partisan way of fighting Stefanik was covering movement of the trains from Zvolen and Banskaj Bystrica to Ulmanka (Ulanka). Here the armaments was disabled, train was abandoned and crew retreated to mountains. Crew app 40 men.
Hurban - under cpt. M. Duris-Rubansky was out in action on railway Hronska Dubrava - Ziar nad Hronom. After German general attack which aim was to fight way to Banska Bystrica through Maly Sturec train was on October 4th moved on railway Banska Bystrica - Diviaky. And same day it helped repell attack in area Cremosne. In this fight few members of the crew were wounded and 2 were killed. Train had 2 tank cars demagedand had to go for repairs to depot in Zvolen. After repairs it opertated on railway Banska Bystrica - Diviaky, area Cremosne. On end of the October helped on railway Brezno - Cervena Skala. It ended after retreat to mountains on railway station Horny Harmanec (Harmanec jaskyna) where it was disabled and crew retreated to mountains. Crew app. 50men
Masaryk - under cpt. J. Kukliš was fighting on railway Brezno - Cervena Skala where it was supportin Slovak - Czechoslovak troops. During Slovak counter attack on Cervena Skalu October 21st was demaged and after repairs put back to action. During German offensive from direction of Cervena Skala on October 24th in fight near Pohorelska Masa its engine got directs artillery hits. Engine crew J. Pavlik and J. Krkoska were killed and J. Garaj was wounded. Armored train was not repaired becouse of German advance. it was moved near station Horný Harmanec and disabled. Crew 52 men.
Armament of the trains was 1 canon 8 cm, 2 - 3 cannons 3,7 cm and 9 - 10 MG 7,92 mm
Disabled trains were probably later repaired by Germans and later again captured by Czech insurgents durin May Uprising of Czech people in 1945.
Ing. Ladislav Kmet: Povstalecke pancierove vlaky
Tomas Klubert: Obrnene jednotky v SNP
Mark Axworthy: Axis Slovakia
Slovak wartime photographic book Od Tatier po Kaukaz.
and various Slovak and Czech websites
Slovak IPV with BT-5 somewhere in Soviet Union:
Slovak Armored trains during Uprising:
Slovak tank car used by Germans near Brno, 1945:
Tank cars from Uprising after war (1947 or 1949):
Tank car from Slovak National Uprising. It have full tank LT-35 on the car with additional armored plates built around the tank. Unserviceable tanks LT-35 were used for this and in total 3 Slovak armored trains were build in September 1944. The car is now in town Zvolen in depot of Slovak railways:
Machine gun car from Slovak National Uprising. Located in Museum of Slovak National Uprising:
And the last Slovak armored train build in 60-tie or 70-ties. Purpose? Filming a movie about Slovakian National Uprising. Turrets from T-34 were used. Or whole tanks? God knows: