Many locomotives passed into Russian ownership after the Second World War. In the U.S.S.R. the class were designated TE (TЭ). Other operators of the type included Poland (as class Ty2) and Romania, Bulgaria, Norway and Turkey. In Yugoslavia locomotives of the type were classified JŽ 33.
Over 6700 locomotives of this type were built, mainly for use on the Eastern Front during the Second World War. It therefore has a claim to being one of the most numerous steam locomotive classes in the world. To achieve such numbers, the German locomotive manufacturers were merged into the Gemeinschaft Grossdeutscher Lokomotivhersteller (GGL), which was a subdivision of the Hauptausschuss Schienenfahrzeuge (HAS) founded in 1942. Key HAS figures were the Reichsminister for munition and armament, Albert Speer and the Reich transport minister, Julius Dorpmüller.
The class 52 was a radically simplified version of the pre-war Reichsbahn class 50 locomotive (produced 1938-1942). The simplified design of the class 52 was intended to reduce the man-hours and skills needed to make it and an adaptation to war-time shortages of materials. Additional design changes gave the locomotives and their crew better protection against the cold winters experienced on the eastern front. Between 1942 and the end of the war in May 1945 over 6300 class 52 locomotives were built. Additional locomotives were built post-war giving a class total of probably 6719 units, delivered by seventeen manufacturers.
The Class 42 was a larger version of the Class 52 and was produced in small numbers.
In the early post-war years the 52s were used by many European countries, the largest user being the Soviet Union which had more than 2100 of this type. Poland was another country with more than a thousand and East Germany had about 800 examples. The type was also quite widespread in most of the other east European nations. West European countries replaced them with more modern locos as soon as possible, with the exception of Austria where they were used until 1976. The simplicity and effectiveness as well as the large production number meant that many east European countries were slow to withdraw Kriegslokomotiven, with Poland using them until the early 1990s. Turkey and Bosnia were also late users of the type.
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In Simbach am Inn, Bavaria - near Austria - stands the DR 52-8034-2 on top of short rails as a memorial before the railstation. Using it as an example for kit-modelling you can see here the fotos :