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1939 European Championship


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#551 KarlOakie Research

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 18:57

It seems puzzling that Motor Sport or any of the other such magazines seem to have taken a pass on this matter. Then again, perhaps since it does not easily reduce itself to a few hundred simplistic words and there are still a few open ends to be resolved so they have no real interest in such a topic.

That the Richard Armstrong/Vitesse2 article has never appeared in print in some form is little short of amazing. And what does Hans Etzrodt have being readied for release at some point in the future? Maybe more of the bits and pieces will surface in the not too distant future.

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#552 D-Type

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 23:41

I am reluctant to introduce my ignorant perspective to a serious historic thread, but this issue is serious. It is a problem that members of TNF frequently comment on. These days Motor Sport is not interested in serious history, or even the proofreading off it's headlines! There just isn't a (British) magazine that takes history seriously. In all seriousness is there one anywhere? Or, more realisttically is there a market for one?
Bring back Historic Racing or Historic Race and Rally.
I suggest that rather than hi-jack this important thread, we carry on any discussion on the 'New Motor Sport ...' thread (sorry, can't remember the name exactly.

#553 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 23:47

And, just to let the newcomers know, the worst example of Motor Sport's negligence is that they never looked up their own expose of the story of the Tripoli GP scandal before publishing the fictitious story as fact.

#554 D-Type

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 23:57

Ray,
I agree 110% with you, but we should not trivialise this thread to discuss it. As I read it, this is one of the things about TNF that was worrying Don.

#555 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 October 2004 - 00:18

You're absolutely right... this thread is the one at the vanguard of those showing TNF's great worth!

Let's just await developments with bated breath...

#556 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 23 October 2004 - 11:08

Originally posted by KarlOakie Research
...That the Richard Armstrong/Vitesse2 article has never appeared in print in some form is little short of amazing. And what does Hans Etzrodt have being readied for release at some point in the future? Maybe more of the bits and pieces will surface in the not too distant future.

A story about the 1939 European Championship from Don Capps and me was turned down by the top 'MotorSport' editor last year. People should remember that it is rather difficult to get one’s own story published in any magazine that employs a large staff of qualified journalists. Therefore I was neither surprised nor disappointed.

The ongoing research in the hunt for the answer of the 23-point question remains in excellent hands with Brun, our Flying Dutchman, who displays a persistence that will be hard to match. I have absolute and full confidence in his abilities. I just returned from a 3-week magazine and book hunt through European libraries but have to confess that I covered the years 1903 to 1932 only. This was my priority, NOT the 1939 issue.

I have not yet researched the 23-point question in the archive of the Deutsches Museum Library in München. My main discouragement derives from the fact that photocopies or digital pictures of documents there are not permitted. Basta! In the meantime I produced in their reading rooms around 5,000 digital pictures of 1903-1928 magazine and book pages, which did not cost me a penny, except the 5,632 MB storage space for around $650.00. The best part: you won't find most of that stuff in any books that can be found and purchased.

#557 Vitesse2

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Posted 23 October 2004 - 11:58

:wave: Hans :)

1903-32 eh? I might have a few Voiturette questions for you ....;)

Like Hans, I have great confidence in Brun's abilities. I'm also still convinced the answer is out there somewhere - even if it's only in the form of a partial "Rosetta Stone" from which we can reconstruct the story.

I've exhausted the available British sources - the only possibilities will be from within Germany, neutral countries and Axis members. Dutch, Belgian, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese sources would be favourite - Swiss we seem to have exhausted too. So come on, folks - winter's coming: where else to spend an afternoon doing a little research than in a nice cosy library? Specialist motoring magazines, general sports magazines, German local and national newspapers ....

#558 Racer.Demon

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Posted 23 October 2004 - 20:08

Originally posted by Brun


Forgive me for quoting myself - I just wanted to keep the small fire of this thread glowing. As it happens, I've spent an enjoyable hour searching the online catalogue of the Royal Dutch library. It turns out they have an more than impressive collection of period newspapers... from the Netherlands and also from Germany. Meaning: a whole new source, only ten minutes away from the place where Mattijs and I work...

So, don't get your hopes up, but don't loose them alltogether either. We're still searching.


I won't let Brun's "we" become a pluralis majestatis, so with our Royal Library just around the corner of our workplace I'm fully willing to share workshifts...

#559 ensign14

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 22:15

Just a quick note to acknowledge Reinhard Windeler, who raised the HP Muller as champ in the correspondence pages in Autosport (30 April 1987), in response to a Chris Nixon article. He pointed out that Muller could not have more than 13 points and so should have been recognized as near, if not at, the top of the Championship (Windeler did not have details of laps completed for all races).

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#560 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 11 November 2004 - 01:51

Originally posted by Vitesse2
:wave: Hans :)

1903-32 eh? I might have a few Voiturette questions for you ....;)

Of course, Richard. Just bear in mind that since my return I could place a title to only about 500 of my 5270 pictures (speak pages) and have not even opened any of my three boxes holding the 1578 AUTOMOBIL-REVUE copies. I can have a peek for you but need an accurate date to find something. ;)

#561 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 09:48

The list below is based on post # 27 of this thread. It explains in rather convincing clarification how the ONS calculation could have arrived at the 23 points mentioned in the NSKK official press release published in several 1939 newspapers.

It is possible that the ONS added only Pau, Eifelrennen and Belgrade. Lang’s score for these three races would have been 1 – 1 – 7 = 9, added to the 14 points from the EC (European Championship) would add up to 23 points total. At Belgrade, Lang retired after 7 laps of 50, which is less than ¼ distance and would give him 7 points. Bäumer took over Lang’s car and retired after it had completed 17 laps.

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Driver	Car		EC	Pau	Eifel	Belgrade	ONS

_____________________________________________________________________

Lang	Mercedes-Benz	[b]14[/b]	1	1	7	[b]23[/b]

Müller	Auto Union	[b]12[/b]	8	4	3	[b]27[/b]

Brauch.	Mercedes-Benz	[b]19[/b]	2	4	2	[b]27[/b]

Nuvolari	Auto Union	[b]19[/b]	8	2	1	[b]30[/b]

Caratsch	Mercedes-Benz	[b]17[/b]	6	3	8	[b]34[/b]

Hasse	Auto Union	[b]20[/b]	8	4	8	[b]40[/b]

Étancelin	Alfa Romeo	[b]28[/b]	3	4	8	[b]43[/b]

Sommer	Alfa Romeo	[b]23[/b]	4	8	8	[b]43[/b]
Remember everybody, that my original question from the first post of this thread has not yet been answered after all those years. Therefore I again bring up this issue for further discussion with the hope of other convincing suggestions. I see, that there are now a lot of new faces here, some rather bright-eyed individuals who might know what the old fellows of the past could not yet figure out. :)

#562 ensign14

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 09:57

Kind of makes sense...given that with the championship mentality people forget that the quality of the field could be good without a title behind the race...and the fields at Pau and the Eifelrennen were as worthy - probably more so - than at, say, the French GP in 1939.

Are there any other political reasons that may be behind Lang being Champ? The fact that he was from the lower ranks, as it were?

#563 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 10:41

Originally posted by ensign14
...Are there any other political reasons that may be behind Lang being Champ? The fact that he was from the lower ranks, as it were?

No, we had dealt with this before and concluded that it was a matter between the two companies who provided the machinery for Müller and Lang. The German NAZI Government of 1939 through the ONS body had decided which company should be favored, although the award itself was given their driver. However, the company could and would use this recognition in their advertisements and historical promotions.

#564 Vitesse2

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 22:34

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
No, we had dealt with this before and concluded that it was a matter between the two companies who provided the machinery for Müller and Lang. The German NAZI Government of 1939 through the ONS body had decided which company should be favored, although the award itself was given their driver. However, the company could and would use this recognition in their advertisements and historical promotions.

... which leads me rather neatly to a point I've wanted to make. With all due respect to DCN, I wonder a bit about his assertion earlier in this thread that the EC was no big deal at the time. While acknowledging that this may have been the case in Britain (although Walkerley and the Light Car's correspondent did their best to hype it up), I've since seen quite a few Mercedes Benz posters and press ads of the era - the word "Europameister" occurs quite often in the German versions and many of these adverts were also produced in (at least) French and English too. I suspect that the paucity of non-English and non-German language sources so far uncovered means that perhaps we have a skewed view of the view of the man in the street (or l'homme dans la rue and whatever the Italian and Dutch versions of it would be!). Certainly the Swiss magazines imply that the French and Italian presses were full of speculation ....

So, yes - this is another attempt to get some of you guys off your butts and down to a library!

Incidentally, I have used the on-line search facility of the New York Times to try to find more on this - unsurprisingly, I came up with zilch, but it's another source checked and discarded!

#565 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 16 December 2004 - 07:43

Originally posted by Vitesse2 ... the EC was no big deal at the time. While acknowledging that this may have been the case in Britain (although Walkerley and the Light Car's correspondent did their best to hype it up), I've since seen quite a few Mercedes Benz posters and press ads of the era - the word "Europameister" occurs quite often in the German versions and many of these adverts were also produced in (at least) French and English too. I suspect that the paucity of non-English and non-German language sources so far uncovered means that perhaps we have a skewed view of the view of the man in the street (or l'homme dans la rue and whatever the Italian and Dutch versions of it would be!). Certainly the Swiss magazines imply that the French and Italian presses were full of speculation ...

Richard – I have the impression that pre-war England was always a bit isolated in GP racing matters until the October 1937 Donington Grand Prix, which was somehow a wakeup call to what really happened in continental Europe. Until this time they may have had also a slightly different view about the European Championship or may not have been really interested at all, even in 1939, into something which did not affect British interests, since Dick Seaman was no more.

German cars and drivers were leading the 1939 European Championship at a time when Germany was not really that popular amongst their neighbors with all the things happening in Germany, their expansionism to Czechoslovakia and Austria plus their irritating constant saber-rattling. Therefore, I can fully understand that this championship was not very popular in France, Italy or Belgium for that matter –why should they cheer the German National Heroes– also since none of their drivers or cars had a real chance in the final outcome. This observation is supported by the fact that very little is found about the European Championship in French or Italian magazines of that time.

But to know for sure, we would require comments by Alessandro Silva or Aldo Zana about the Italian perspective, Jean-Maurice Gigleux to inform about the French angle, Marc Ceulemans for the Belgian view point. OMG, I am forgetting all the other competent people! Holger, Egon and Peter could speak for Switzerland, Mattijs and Jeroen, alias brun representing the Netherlands' view and Don Capps could reflect on the American angle. And what happened to John Humphries who has stuck his nose inside every magazine?
Where are they all? :rolleyes:

#566 Racer.Demon

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Posted 16 December 2004 - 08:38

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
... Mattijs and Jeroen, alias brun representing the Netherlands' view ...

Where are they all? :rolleyes:


They are here - and listening.

And waiting for their day-time job workload to subside (hopefully, and usually, in January) to continue their search in the Royal Dutch Library...

#567 ensign14

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Posted 16 December 2004 - 09:16

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
Richard – I have the impression that pre-war England was always a bit isolated in GP racing matters until the October 1937 Donington Grand Prix, which was somehow a wakeup call to what really happened in continental Europe.

Raymond Mays - 4-1 odds for victory. Oopsie.

#568 ReWind

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 17:32

Look at this:

From 1935 to 1939, the most successful drivers in the most important races received the "European Champion" title - comparable with today's Formula-1 World Champion title (at that time, no important Grand-Prix races were held outside Europe).

The European Champions were:

1935: Rudolf Caracciola in a Mercedes-Benz W 25B
1936: Bernd Rosemeyer in an Auto Union C
1937: Rudolf Caracciola in a Mercedes-Benz W 125
1938: Rudolf Caracciola in a Mercedes-Benz W 154
1939: Hermann Lang in a Mercedes-Benz W 163

(Because of the start of the Second World War on September 1, the international World Automobile Federation at that time no longer proclaimed an official European Champion. The German national sports authority "named" Lang as the winner of the title. However: according to the rules, Hermann Paul Müller in an Auto Union D would have secured the title.)

I don't know who is responsible for this text. But he surely must read TNF.

#569 Vitesse2

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 18:06

*cough* W163!! *cough*

But I agree, it seems to be phrased that way.

#570 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 21:31

The thin end of this little wedge has begun to get in?

How old is that website?

#571 MrSlow

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 23:43

Originally posted by Ray Bell
The thin end of this little wedge has begun to get in?

How old is that website?

The page is last modified: 6 december 2004 07:50:45
It does not mean so much though, there is quite a number of operations that can change modify date without the document is actually being modified.

#572 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 05:01

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
But to know for sure, we would require comments by Alessandro Silva or Aldo Zana about the Italian perspective, Jean-Maurice Gigleux to inform about the French angle, Marc Ceulemans for the Belgian view point. OMG, I am forgetting all the other competent people! Holger, Egon and Peter could speak for Switzerland, Mattijs and Jeroen, alias brun representing the Netherlands' view and Don Capps could reflect on the American angle. And what happened to John Humphries who has stuck his nose inside every magazine?
Where are they all? :rolleyes:


I am afraid that there is a paucity of research material on this topic here in Kuwait.....

#573 Holger Merten

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 13:50

The european championship is dicussed here on TNF nearly since five years. During that time some of us were in contact with the traditiopn dept. of MB and Audi. Never getting a statement about the real situation of the 1939 EC. After the years Audi makes the first effort in the todays press release about HP Müller and his role of the history.



Ingolstadt, 12 July 2005


50 years ago:
H.P. Müller motorcycle world champion for NSU

- 1955 title winner as a privateer
- Runner-up in European Grand Prix championship as early as 1939
In these next few days it will be the 50th anniversary of Hermann Paul Müller’s World Motorcycle Championship title for NSU. Müller, who answered to the name “Renntiger” (race tiger), was the first privateer to win the World Championship in the 250 cc class. He recorded over 200 victories – not just on two wheels – and was one of the German motor racers who were prevented from enjoying a truly great career by the Second World War.

H.P. Müller, born in 1909 in Bielefeld, moved to Zschopau (Saxony) in 1935 in order to drive for DKW as a test driver and as a works driver at Auto Union AG. He had already become German motorcycle champion before he switched to racing cars in 1937 and became one of the heroes of the legendary supercharger era. Having matured alongside Bernd Rosemeyer in the DKW motorcycle team, Müller was earmarked as Rosemeyer’s mid-term successor in the Auto Union Silver Arrow after the hero of this time suffered a fatal accident in 1938. H.P. Müller won the French Grand Prix in 1939 and was leading the season’s European Grand Prix championship – the predecessor of what is now the Formula One World Championship – when the war broke out. Tragic for H.P. Müller: no more races took place and the National Socialist government named the 1939 European Champion – Hermann Lang of Mercedes-Benz. Lang had won more races; H.P. Müller, being the great sportsman that he was known to be, never uttered a single complaint.

When the war was over, H.P. Müller had to start from scratch – and this also meant in the financial stakes. He recommenced racing in motorcycle championships as a privateer and had won seven championship titles in every single class by his final season. Meanwhile, the end of the career of works drivers at NSU appeared to be sealed in 1954. After the death of Rupert Hollaus in an accident during a race, the world champions from Neckarsulm retired from motorsport and offered their works drivers so-called production racers – enhanced road motorcycles. Müller, soon to be 46, once again took the risk and competed privately in the 1955 World Championship on a 250 cc Sportmax. The exceptionally gifted mechanic and innovator went on to write a chapter in motorsport history: he was the first privateer to become world champion. After 26 years as a racing driver, the “Renntiger” bowed out at the pinnacle of his career. A sensation was still to follow: NSU nominated him in 1956 to carry out world record attempts at a salt lake in the US state of Utah. Hermann Paul Müller set 38 new world records here. He died on 30 December 1975 in Ingolstadt – where he is also buried – just after his 66th birthday.

The four rings of the Audi badge symbolise the brands Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer, which were later combined under the umbrella of Auto Union. Auto Union and NSU, which merged in 1969, made many significant contributions towards the development of the car. AUDI AG was formed from Audi NSU Auto Union AG in 1985. Together with the two traditional companies Auto Union GmbH and NSU GmbH, Audi Tradition nurtures and presents the deep and diverse history of Audi. The Audi museum mobile at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt is open from Monday to Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


See the lucky man after the race, as well as his lucky team-manager to his right.

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#574 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 21:43

I wonder if the research done for this thread has influenced them to produce this wording?

Or if they do have the eagerly sought files after all...

Thanks for posting that, Holger. I still await the conclusion of this research, it must stand as one of the great beacons of light that emanate from this forum.

#575 Alan Lewis

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 23:31

Originally posted by Holger Merten
See the lucky man after the race, as well as his lucky team-manager to his right.

Posted Image


After the race? With overalls that white and spotless?

APL

#576 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 23:53

Originally posted by Ray Bell
I wonder if the research done for this thread has influenced them to produce this wording?

Or if they do have the eagerly sought files after all...

If one or both conternders (speak manufacturers) have 'the eagerly sought files', they would not release them but probably destroy them. It is not in those companies’ interest to get involved in such negative matters connecting them in a deal with the third Reich Government. It would be foolish and plainly bad publicity.


@ Holger - thanks for that strange article and this new (to me) picture of HP with the Feuerfresser.

#577 David McKinney

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 05:07

Originally posted by Alan Lewis
After the race? With overalls that white and spotless?

That's what you get when you race rear-engined cars ;)

#578 gerrit stevens

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 10:03

Originally posted by Holger Merten



H.P. Müller won the French Grand Prix in 1939 and was leading the season’s European Grand Prix championship – the predecessor of what is now the Formula One World Championship – when the war broke out. Tragic for H.P. Müller: no more races took place and the National Socialist government named the 1939 European Champion – Hermann Lang of Mercedes-Benz. Lang had won more races; H.P. Müller, being the great sportsman that he was known to be, never uttered a single complaint.





When Müller was leading the standings and no more races were to be run, how is it possible another driver wins the lot.


Gerrit Stevens

#579 ensign14

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 10:10

He didn't win it, he was named Champ. Subtle difference.

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#580 Vitesse2

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 10:28

Originally posted by gerrit stevens


When Müller was leading the standings and no more races were to be run, how is it possible another driver wins the lot.


Gerrit Stevens

Audi have phrased this badly, Gerrit. Müller won the GP de l'ACF, but there were two further GPs run - the German and Swiss, in both of which he did comparitively badly. He went into the Swiss race leading under both points systems.

I understand what Audi are trying to say, but it sounds as if they don't want to step on M-B's toes .....

#581 Vitesse2

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 23:34

Originally posted by Ray Bell


Let's just await developments with bated breath...

Well, after 66+ years, Motor Sport has finally said it!

Mark Hughes' article on Lang in the February 2006 issue contains the following:

There never was an official '39 European drivers' champion.


It goes on to explain some of the "why" as well.

Perhaps this will finally bring this story out into the open.

#582 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 16:55

Originally posted by Vitesse2

Well, after 66+ years, Motor Sport has finally said it!

Mark Hughes' article on Lang ...

I read this with satisfaction. So, finally the message has filtered through the cracks into the offices of Motor Sport. This Lang article could form the basis for a Motor Sport story about the 1939 European Championship. They already have Don Capps' and my story in their drawers to give them guidence. So, go for it lads! ;)

#583 Vitesse2

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 11:40

Somewhat belatedly :blush: , I have updated the 8W article to include the French sources which Alessandro found and Reinhard's contributions.

http://www.forix.com/8w/ec1939.html

#584 Henk

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 16:28

Meanwhile, with due reference to this forum, the story of the 1939 championship has been summarized by Eberhard Reuß in his new book Hitlers Rennschlachten - Die Silberpfeile unterm Hakenkreuz (Hitler’s Racing Battles - The Silver Arrows under the Swastika; Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin, 2006).

A remarkable study that helps to break down some of the obstinate myths surrounding the German racing scene of the 1930s. One may find a lot of interesting details, confirming that the German racing colour of the period was essentially brown.

I was surprised to learn, for example, that Hermann Lang was a member of the NSDAP. After the war he was interned, and in a statement to the denazification tribunal he claimed that his party membership should be regarded as an inevitable consequence of being the 1939 European champion.

Lang must have been astonishingly confident about his skills and future success, because he was registered as a NSDAP member as early as May 1937.

#585 Holger Merten

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 19:25

Yes, some TNF-members discussed and enjoyed already, that Reuss made a well done summary with support for example from this TNF- thread. (As well as others on TNF). :D

#586 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 05:38

Yes – it is true that Eberhard Reuß has learned from this thread. So have many others. That is how it was intended. As the initiator I am surprised that the question I placed in the first post has not yet been answered. Probably it’s not as simple as I thought.

The late Chris Nixon and later Paul Sheldon worked on the 1939 controversy. After acquiring Nixon’s Silver Arrows book in 1987, I became interested in the European Championship and found back-up information in German magazines from the thirties. Then I did my own spread sheets of calculations and found several discrepancies with Nixon’s figures, especially those of 1939.

I sent Paul Sheldon my findings about the 1939 European Championship outcome, showing H.P. Müller in the points lead. Paul knew about this dilemma and was later the first to publish this 1939 injustice in one of his famous black books. He had published his findings about the 1935 and 1936 Championships in 1992 and his 1937-1939 figures came out the following year.

Once I found the Nostalgia Forum six years ago, I brought the 1939 question up for debate, at a time when we had many pre-war topics on our daily platter here. Although we carried out lively discussions, my basic question of how exactly the ONS manipulated the figures were never found or proven equal to our own calculations in this thread (post 3 and 27).

So, keep on hunting, it's not over yet...

#587 David J Jones

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 14:23

I still believe the answer to your question will turn up Hans unless it was a misprint or a typo in the ONS statement.

I also believe that the records around in archives have been edited to obscure the truth but thanks to the persistence of yourself and others in this thread what happened has been revealed.

#588 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 21:54

Originally posted by David J Jones
. . . I also believe that the records around in archives have been edited to obscure the truth . . .

Yes, of course, that is a possibility and the thought has crossed my mind during my various library searches. But it does not make a great difference now, really. There are just no records to be found. At least not yet...  ;)

#589 mark f1

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 08:06

Photo taken last week at the new Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart. Very interesting that Mercedes do not proclaim Lang as 1939 European Champion. The word has definitely spread!!!

Mark

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#590 Vitesse2

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 22:12

Well, b*gger me! Thanks Mark! :up:

Sadly, they are still perpetuating the paint-scratching story on the website for their forthcoming Brooklands exhibit ..... :

#591 Vitesse2

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 11:04

A small aside from Chula's biography of Dick Seaman.

He points out that although the Gold Star seemed more relevant to British enthusiasts, the EC was by no means unknown, being referred to "by its high-sounding German title of Europameister ... the rules governing its award were so complicated that I have not met anyone who understood them." :lol:

Henk: that's just another example of Lang's selective memory .... :rolleyes:

#592 David J Jones

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 10:12

Ah

Perhaps someone there knows of the existence of a document relating to the issue?

Pity they cannot make public the reason for their apparent change of position. Has anyone asked?

#593 Holger Merten

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 10:51

I did two or three years ago. Reread this thread carefully, Hans Etzrodt posted some of the answers of the DCC dept. into this thread. :rolleyes:

#594 David J Jones

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 17:09

Holger

Thanks for the reply - I must have forgotten something - so i will go back and see what Hans said.

#595 LB

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 16:08

This is a bit arbitrary and from out of left field but isn't it possible that the German authorities just awarded everyone one point for the defunct Italian GP therefore giving Lang 23 and Muller 22 under the 'French' System?



#596 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 17:34

Possible but unlikely. This is a truly arbitrary thought, while the general thinking connected with events that took place.

#597 Vitesse2

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 11:37

Two more pieces of the jigsaw, which seem to offer further evidence that either some sort of announcement of the position after the Swiss GP was made by Mercedes Benz or that details of M Langlois' scoring method had been made available to the Press. In the Sports Jottings column by “The Blower” in the September 22nd issue of Light Car, mainly concerned with the unresolved destiny of the various British championships, there is a short note regarding the European title:

“Whilst on this subject of end-of-the-season honours, I might as well add the position with regard to the European Championship. As I pointed out a week or two back, only one event counting for the 1939 title has not yet been run. This is the Italian Grand Prix which had already been called off when war started and certainly isn't likely to be reinstated now.

Presuming that fairly obvious fact, Hermann Lang, the brilliant Mercedes driver, is the 1939 European Champion: and (giving honour where honour is due and all that) I can only say I'm glad. Lang has been most astonishingly successful this year but it looked at one time as though – owing to the curious working of the marking system – a less successful driver might have gained the title.

Runner-up to Lang is Muller, with 21 points to Lang's 22, and third is Caracciola with 18.”

The Light Car had previously published these scores on September 1st. Was “The Blower” the only British journalist who had copies of them? They never appeared in any other British publication. Note also the definite “is” rather than an equivocal “will be” or “should be”.

Just over three months later, in his end-of-year racing review, “The Blower” returned to the theme. Part III of his article, published in the issue of January 6th 1940, includes the following:

“In the sphere of racing, the outstanding figure is, without question, the brilliant young German driver, Hermann Lang. His title of European Champion for 1939 alone entitles him to first consideration, but this honour alone is not all. Indeed, the peculiarly restricted system of marking for the Championship almost bestowed the title elsewhere. It is Lang's overall racing record this season that earns our respect.

Think back. He won his first event of the season, the Pau GP, at record speed. He won his second, the 1500cc Tripoli GP, also at record speed for this size car and also set up a new 1½-litre lap record. He won the Formula race at the Eifel meeting, yet again at record speed. His fourth race of the year, the ill-fated Belgian GP, he also won. After retiring in the French and German Grands Prix he annexed the German Hillclimb Championship at the Grossglockner and won the Swiss GP. All in Mercedes, of course.

This brilliant season seems to have ended unluckly [sic] for him, as he crashed in the last Formula race to be held – the GP of Bucharest, which took place the very day Great Britain declared war on Germany. Details of this event are obscure, but I believe he was not seriously hurt.

Runner-up to Lang for the European Championship was Auto Union's No 1 driver, Muller.”

Obviously “The Blower” was somewhat confused by Eastern European geography, mixing Bucharest and Belgrade: this was an error often repeated in British sources after the war.

However, taken together, these two pieces make it fairly clear that he was aware of the controversy over the scoring method and that he believed that the Langlois system would be adopted by the CSI.

#598 uechtel

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 13:25

Originally posted by Vitesse2
[B]Two more pieces of the jigsaw, which seem to offer further evidence that either some sort of announcement of the position after the Swiss GP was made by Mercedes Benz or that details of M Langlois' scoring method had been made available to the Press. In the Sports Jottings column by “The Blower” in the September 22nd issue of Light Car, mainly concerned with the unresolved destiny of the various British championships, there is a short note regarding the European title:

So was this published before or after Hünlein´s decision?

#599 Vitesse2

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 14:15

Before. Or at least before the ONS statement. Hühnlein had a full three months to concoct his points table between the Swiss GP and the ONS meeting. But Light Car was in fact reiterating the information it had already published on September 1st.

I'm convinced that Mercedes released the details of the Langlois system to the British press. Or at least to selected members of it: Light Car was the only magazine which published the points scores, but both Autocar and Motor had only junior reporters in Bern. Robert Fellowes took Rodney Walkerley's place and I'm honestly not sure who (if anyone) was there from Autocar. Both Walkerley and Sammy Davis ("Casque") were already back in the forces and John Dugdale, who would normally have covered for Sammy's absence was returning from America after reporting on John Cobb's successful attempt on the LSR.

Fellowes might have received the statement in Bern, but his brief report (a page, where Walkerley would usually produce four or five) is frustratingly poor. It's also known that he didn't return immediately to Britain - I believe he actually went to Germany - so he might have just filed the press release and thought no more about it!

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#600 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 18:15

So, apparently it is still more of the F. Scott Fitzgerald "And so we beat on, boats against the current, drawn back ceaselessly into the past," sort of thing with each enigma being accompanied by an equally challenging puzzle....

Perhaps the only documents with the possible answer(s) being sought were reduced to ashes in the distant, dark past....