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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 50 (July 1946)

[Highlights of policy],   pp. 5-[17] PDF (7.8 MB)

Page 13

many areas before thecessation of hostilities,
the Allied armies tackled  the  problem.
'Military engineers spanned the waterways
with temporary bridges to reopen major
highway and rail routes. Floating pontoon
bridges with removable sections to permit
passage of craft were flung across the nav-
igable rivers and canals. Under the direc-
tion of the Engineer officers, German wreck-
ing crews with cranes and salvage equipment
started cutting away the wreckage and
hoisting huge sections of damaged bridges
out of the river beds so as to permit through-
navigation. At the same time Germans under
the direction of transportation units, port
companies, marine repair and harbor craft
companies went to work on the port facil-
ities, tugs and barges. Damaged piers were
repaired and wrecked cranes were disas-
sembled and cannibalized to make one
serviceable unit out of parts of several
damaged ones. Sunken craft were raised,
hulls were patched and engines were re-
During  the summer and fall of 1945
progress was achieved by the US Army
Engineers and Transportation Corps troops
in their work to restore the waterway system
in the US Zone of Occupation. On 7 August
1945, the first barge was able to come up the
River Rhine from Wesseling to Mannheim.
On 21 October 1945, the first Liberty ship
was berthed at Bremen to discharge Army
E~  15 September 1945, the Danube'
,navigation throughout the entire
I   protin of 'Geimany. Bakge
delivery of 'oad from the Ruhr mines to the
U. S. Zone rose sharply from approximately
54I"hs in August to approximately 95,000
is6 i:December 1945.
1Or*ilV February 1946, a major change in
0    an 'policy was initiated' with the
O~Fq'r of rresponsibility for operation and
>$tnce of waterways in the US Zone7
to ~German civilian engineering, barging and
towirng agencies and companies' under the.
ifp6nanid- policy 'control of MG. This
┬žig~i~htaht nmove  increased  the  duties;
PfiMlibiliti6s and authority , of denazified'
German officials, permitting a greater
degree of self, government and administra-
tion. In February this policy was expanded
to include WVTeser River ports in the U. S.
Enclave at Bremen.
The responsibilities of the Transport
Division, OMGUS, with respect to the Ger-
man water transport system, are now con-
fined to formulation of policy, and making
certain that such policies are carried out by
the Germans. However, the scope of the
water transportation problem and its effect
upon practically every phase of economic
activity in Germany and even in Europe as
a whole is so far-reaching, that water
transport policy makers find their duties
almost unlimited by geographical, political,
or industrial boundaries. The responsibilities
of Col. D. R. Neff and his Water Transport
staff range from internationalization of Rhine
and Danube waterways to establishment of
marine courts at Bremen; from restitution
of craft seized by the Nazis to selection of
fuels for efficient operation of tugs; from
conferences on a diplomatic level to al-
location of steel for repairs to vessels.
Concerning the success of the water trans-
port phase of Military Government in Ger-
many, physical accomplishments to    date
speak fof thfemnelves  All of the 'prilhary
waterways in- the. US Zone which were for-
merly navigable are cleared of wreckage and
obstriictions8  Aproximately 1,300 barges
end 250 tugs are lepaired and available for
transportation of cargo for the US Zone.
More than 12,000 tons of such cargo per
day are 'moving by water transportation.
The facilities of' Weser River ocean ports
are sufficient to handle up to 20,000 tons of
cargo 'daily. Inland  water and- - coastal
shipping has been successfully implemented"
to permit 'interzonal movements. Barges
loaded in Bremen can proceed all the way
to "Rhine ports such 'as Manfnheim ol inland
waterways, a distance of 655 kilometers, .in.
10 days;
(Continued on Page 15)

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