Twelve armoured trains were formed in Britain in 1940 as part of the preparations to face a German invasion; these were initially armed with QF 6 pounder 6 cwt Hotchkiss guns and six Bren Guns. They were operated by Royal Engineer crews and manned by Royal Armoured Corps troops. In late 1940 preparations began to hand the trains over to the Polish Army in the West, who operated them until 1942.
They continued in use in Scotland and were operated by the Home Guard until the last one was withdrawn in November 1944.
A 6-pounder wagon from one of these trains is preserved at the Tank Museum.
I’ve liked the idea of a British Armoured Train for some Operation Sealion games, however the challenge has been one of scale.
I have been painting and building Home Guard forces in 15mm and 28mm, however this makes it challenging to build a British Armoured Train. Yes you can get track from Battlefront for 15mm, but trains you would need to go down the TT gauge route for models, which are mainly kits and difficult to get hold of. With 28mm Bolt Action scale models you could go down the O gauge route for track and rolling stock, but again cost can be prohibitive.
The obvious route with OO gauge works fine if you play 20mm games as they are the same scale. However I don’t want to go down the road of another scale!
I think it will have to remain a pipe dream.
Back in 2005 I blogged some ideas about an Operation Sealion German Armoured Train.
The German occupation forces would use armoured trains to protect the rail network from English terrorists (partizans) and important trains (carrying the ReichsMarshal of Great Britain for example).
Normally it would push a flat wagon with 40mm AT weapon on it and other wagons would include Flak wagons and heavy machine guns.