During the Russian Civil War, both the Reds and the Whites relied on trains to move troops and equipment across Russia’s vast expanses. Many of these trains were armed and armored for defense, while others were more heavily equipped to provide active support in battle. Armored trains play an important part in the novel.
On both sides of the conflict, armored trains varied greatly in design and armaments. Some had only light armor and weapons, while others carried multiple layers of armor and large-caliber naval guns. Most also carried dedicated detachments of cavalry and infantry, and some even could deploy hot air balloons for reconnaissance.
In this photo, a White armored train is equipped with naval cannons mounted on the flatcars as well as with smaller guns in the turreted boxcar.
Despite being heavily armed, armored, and protected, these trains weren’t invulnerable. It wasn’t uncommon for a train to be captured by the opposing force, modified, and put back in service, and sometimes re-captured again.