Wonderful Engineering

Here’s How German Troops Destroyed Rail Tracks When Withdrawing from Soviet Territory

Have you ever heard of a railroad plough? It goes on by some other names as well, such as; Schienenwold (rail wolf) or Schwellenpflug (sleepers plough) and is a rail vehicle that features a super-strong ‘plough’ that is shaped like a hook. This device is used for destroying rail tracks in warfare, as part of the scorched earth policy to render the enemy unable to make use of the tracks.


Krupp factory manufactured Destroyers tracks back in 1942. The platform that featured the hook that went under the sleepers was hauled using two locomotives working at 7-10 km/h. The destroyer could be placed in position within 6-8 minutes and required a team of 10 persons for it operate. It carried a stock of explosives, anti-aircraft guns and machine guns. The railway tracks were completely destroyed; 100% of the sleepers, the rails were damaged upto 70-93% and the bonding up to 30%. Check out the video below to see this scary machine in action!