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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 118 (November 1947)

Karlsruhe Harbor,   pp. 5-[6] PDF (1.3 MB)


Page 5


THE RHINE PORT of Karlsruhe is
undergoing an ambitious repair
and reconstruction project. The towns-
people who are working on it
are spurred on by the realization
that the port not only is of particular
importance to Karlsruhe and the
immediate vicinity, but also is of con-
siderable value to Land Wuerttem-
berg-Baden. With Germany's other
transportation facilities heavily over-
burdened, Karlsruhe provides a gate
through which necessities such as
coal from the Ruhr can enter.
In furtherance of the project, which
has been encouraged by Military Go-
vernment in accordance with the
policy of the United States to help
raise Germany to a self-supporting and
economically sound state, the Karls-
ruhe city council recently earmarked
RM 493,000. The money will be used
to speed dredging, repairs, and clear-
ance.
Today, although much work remains
to be done, the port has taken on the
appearance of busy activity. The two
tugs owned by Stadt Karlsruhe (the
only ones permitted to operate in the
port area) tow in 15 boats or barges
a day. The tug captain receives RM 20
for each tow job - the only charge
made to boats unless cranes or other
equipment are used. Piled on the
embankments are heaps of scrap metal
to be sent to the Ruhr valley for
smelting and re-use. Bark hauled by
truck to the port from the Black Forest
will go to leather factories for use in
tanning leather. Wood, also trucked
in from the Black Forest, will be taken
to the Netherlands by barge. Four
hundred carloads of lumber are stacked
near-by - deliveries for the British
Isles. Iron from Reingshein, near Lahr,
in the French Zone, is destined for
the Ruhr valley. Coal briquettes from
south of the Ruhr is stored for distri-
bution to Karlsruhe, middle and upper
Baden, Wuerttemberg, and Bavaria.
Grain from the United States is kept
in a 4,000 ton capacity warehouse for
the population of Karlsruhe.
One warehouse, occupied by the
EUCOM Surplus Depot, contains sur-
plus goods, most of which have been
sold to Greece. The goods will go to
Antwerp by barge and then be placed
on larger vessels there for the re-
mainder of the journey. They include
candelabras, crates of matches, canned
heat, mess trays, naval raincoats,
trench tools, wash tubs, and medical
supplies. In another area, miscella-
neous tools, tires, and steam boilers
are being loaded for transportation to
Poland. At anchor are some 20 LCM's
and Security Patrol boats which Uncle
Sam has up for sale.
PORT RESTORATION at Karlsruhe
started more than a year ago when
citizens of the city decided to make
it a community project. Thousands
pledged to donate time and effort in
this direction. City officials and plain
citizens - young and old - went to
work one Saturday afternoon, and
one of their first jobs was the tedious
task of raising submerged vessels
from the harbor basin. Unreclaimable
rubble from the ruins of the city was
trundled to the marshy land near the
port to provide firm foundations when
new buildings could be constructed.
The Port whose primary function is
to supply Karlsruhe and the immediate
10 NOVEMBER 1947
TWO VIEWS of the port at Karlsrul
(Photos by Capt. C. R. Harlin)
vicinity with Ruhr coal, wood, gravel,
and sand, handled 600,000 tons of
cargo during the first six months of
1947, or 15,000 to 20,000 tons each
eight-hour working day. This was
accomplished in spite of a serious
shortage of tugs and critically low
water in the Rhine due to a prolonged
drought. In contrast, 2,957,439 tons of
cargo passed through the port in 1941.
Then 47 raids by Allied planes demo-
lished or severely damaged 30 per
cent of the port, while the sinking of
boats and barges in the harbor crip-
pled it even more seriously. The port
was in such bad condition that, except
for 2,500 tons of cargo moved in 1945,
it was closed from 4 December 1944
to January 1946.
KARLSRUHE HARBOR really con-
s sists of two ports, Karlsruhe and
Maxau. The port of Maxau was con-
structed in 1862 in the hope of chang-
ing Karlsruhe into an industrial
center. In 1898 the port of Karlsruhe
was started, and its first installations
were ready for use in 1901, when it
handled 75,700 tons of cargo.
Gradually the   harbor  facilities
were   expanded   until the   out-
break of the war. They included
46 cranes, a ship elevator, a pneu-
matic device for lignite briquettes
(brown coal), six tanking installations,
and 31 miles of railway track along
the banks of the port's five basins.
There were corn silos, warehouses for
general cargo, and a warehouse for
(Continued on Page 6)
WEEKLY INFORMATION BULLETIN
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