The three-axle models of the second Henschel post-war generation started with the DH 390 and shortly afterwards the weaker DH 360. Soon the engine power was increased to 440 and finally 500 hp thanks to new engines. The engine used in the DH 440 was the MAN W 8 V 17.5/22 A with a displacement of 42 liters and eight cylinders, which reached its rated output at 1,100 rpm. The DH 500, on the other hand, received the Mercedes-Benz MB 836 Bb with a displacement of just under 30 liters from six cylinders, which, however, with 1,500 rpm was already one of the high-speed engines and was turbocharged.
The DH 440 only reached a quantity of six, half of which went to various companies and half to the Danish State Railways. However, the latter had 120 copies built by Frichs as MH (II) without licensing. The DH 500 was offered from 1956 as a „Hüttenlok” (smelter locomotive) because it was a suitable locomotive for the narrow tracks of the metallurgical works with sufficient power for the heavy loads. This was partly thanks to the shorter overall length due to the smaller engine. It could anticipate some improvements that led to the DH 500 Ca from Henschel's third generation.