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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 56 (August 1946)

[Highlights of policy],   pp. [4]-[17] PDF (8.0 MB)

Page [4]

G i W A Y S
T he existing higway transport system of
Germany has an estimated capacity of
more than 2,000,000,000 kilometer-tons an-
nually, which should be sufficient to serve
the needs of the approved essential German
economy.   However, the transport capacity
of the existing fleet of vehicles is approaching
the highest point it can be expected to attain.
Whether highway transport can long main-
tain its present capacity depends on the abil-
ity of German production to supply new
vehicles, spare parts and tires in sufficient
quantity to keep the present fleet rolling.
The need for highway transport, always a
vital factor in Germany's transportation
system, became even greater in the months
immediately following the end of the war.
Rail and water transportation were handi-
capped by destruction of fixed routes but
highway transportation was not so severely
affected. With long distance traffic curtailed,
the emphasis was on purely local hauling
essential for economic survival. As a result
the demand for local motor transport was
even greater than normal and, in addition,
highway transport had to fill in the gaps in
the rail and water systems until destroyed
tracks and navigation channels could be
The situation on V-E Day was far from en-
couraging for operation of the highway
transport system was practically at a stand-
still. The German organization to direct,
control and coordinate highway transport no
longer existed. Most of the more than 100,000
trucks, buses and cars in the US Zone were
inoperable. A large part had been confis-
cated by the Wehrmacht for its use in the
closing days of the war and these were
promptly impounded as captured enemy
material. The same was true of stocks of
spare parts and tires. Vehicles remaining in
private hands were either mechanically unfit
or could not be operated due to lack of fuel
or tires. Many of the repair shops had been
destroyed.  Others were required for the
maintenance of US vehicles.
To meet the situation, Military Govern-
ment established a Road Branch within its
Transport Division and made it responsible
for rehabilitation of the German highways
and highway transport system in the US
Zone. The first step was the establishment
of an organization of MG and German author-
ities to supervise and control German high-
way transport. From the very outset Mili-
(Below) A stretch of the autobahn between Munich
and Stuttgart; (below right) a repaired bridge between
Niederursel and Oberursel which was built by German
contractors under the supervision of a US Army en-
gineer battalion.            Signal Corps Photo

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