The BR50 was developed from 1937 onwards as a powerful goods hauling standard locomotive for use on branch lines. With a total of 3164 locomotives, produced by almost all German builders between 1938 and 1945, the BR50 was one of the most widely used steam locomotive classes in Germany. Due to the war, the last series was technically simplified and designated BR50 UK (Umbau Kriegslokomotive). The BR50 was developed to replace obsolete steam locomotives on branch lines. At 16t, the low axle load of the BR50 made it suitable for universal use.