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1939 European Championship


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#51 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 03 January 2001 - 21:57

Originally posted by David J Jones
Hans...Did you manage to get info from Manfred von Brauchitsch during your recent Euro visit?...

No, I did not have his address to request a meeting or phone conversation with him.

Instead I pursued other avenues, which led to the information that after the Swiss GP on 20 August 1939, the new European Champion was definitely still unknown. This unprecedented, impossible situation was to be settled "at the green table" during the next A.I.A.C.R meeting in October 39. It never took place because the countries involved were at war with each other. (Main Source: AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1939, No.68, pg.10)

The next A.I.A.C.R meeting, which took place on 12 May 1940 at the Bellevue Palace in Bern (capital of neutral Switzerland), failed to settle the 1939 European Championship. Altogether, only 18 delegates attended and from the ones making up the Sporting Commission, only the Italian engineer Furmanik was present. Under these conditions a meeting was not to be considered. (Source: AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1940, No.20, pg.1)[p][Edited by Hans Etzrodt on 01-04-2001]

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#52 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 January 2001 - 23:42

I'm so ashamed... I nearly tripped over Nixon a dozen times at the weekend, if I'd been on the ball I could have badgered him immensely about this topic!

#53 David J Jones

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Posted 04 January 2001 - 08:28

Don

Yes I would make myself available if such an invitation occurs.

Being a sceptic, though, I am unsure exactly what would be found in the magazines. I will try to persue the other areas at the same time

It won't hurt to have a look though

#54 Marco94

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Posted 04 January 2001 - 08:28

For all you library enthusiasts here is link to the Gabriel gateway to European national libraries. Enjoy!

Marco.

#55 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 04 January 2001 - 09:14

Marco,
Thank you, I will check it out soon.

#56 TonyKaye

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Posted 05 January 2001 - 17:12

The book 'Motorsport Almanach 1953' (thanks Hans) was published in East Germany and lists both the European and German champions before the war. In the latter category, under Strassenmeister, as opposed to Bergmeister, it gives the following:
1934 Stuck
1935 Caracciola
1936 Rosemeyer
1937 Caracciola
1938 Stuck
1939 Caracciola
Without looking up the year's results I was surprised by Stuck's championship in 1938.

In the 'Europameister' table Lang is shown as champion for 1939, which has been well documented in this thread. What is much more interesting is the inclusion of a European Champion for 1946, as if the championship series had continued officially after the war. There are no other entries after 1946, which gives the appearance that the 1946 Championship was simply the last of the official series which began in in 1935. If it had merely been a journalist's homespun calculation, surely he would have computed Champions for 1947 through 1952 as well.

I realize that there is absolutely no evidence supporting the existence of an official European Championship in 1946. But if it's not official, why does it appear in a list, all the other items of which ARE official?

Who was the 'European Champion' in 1946. Coeur de Lion of course! And that's not Nigel Mansell!

#57 fines

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Posted 06 January 2001 - 11:20

Strangely enough, I had found something similar many years ago, in a sports encyclopedia. It had European Champions for the years 1934 (Stuck) to 1939 and 1946 (Sommer)! Later I bought a little book of Czech origin on racing cars, which detailed ECs from 1931 to 1939, with Louis Chiron winning in 1931 (sic!) and Tazio Nuvolari in '32/33 as well as Stuck in '34! Of course, they all had Lang the winner in '39.

Now there's still a lot to be unearthed here...

#58 David J Jones

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Posted 06 January 2001 - 12:11

Hans / Don

I enquired with the British Library regarding the magazines they might have available. They were able to quote they had records from date of inception (to date) of the following

Motor Sport
Motor
Autocar

I have not yet asked for paricular issues but will do this I hope next week. They did state that there is no guarantee that the particular issues I might wish to see are available as it is possible that there may be breaks in the archive

But we will keep our fingers crossed....




#59 Don Capps

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Posted 06 January 2001 - 14:41

David,

Keep me posted. If there is a break in the Motor Sport issues, then we can go to Paul.

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#60 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 06 January 2001 - 17:40

David,
I found out that persistence pays.
Good luck.

#61 David J Jones

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Posted 12 January 2001 - 19:49

Hans / Don

I just received a reply from the British Library. They confirmed they have copies of the AutoCar for the period Jan 1939 to December 1949 (which was the timespan I called for) but could not do the same for Motor Sport or The Motor.

They have given me URL to check out for myself in respect of the latter and I will try to do this over the weekend


#62 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 12 January 2001 - 21:36

David,
I am interested in any copies, in case you make photocopies, make some for me please, I will pay you later.

I am following now another track to find missing information about the outcome of the 1939 Championship. But because living people are involved, I cannot mention any names at this time, except that it is in Germany.

#63 David J Jones

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Posted 13 January 2001 - 09:45

Hans

Good luck with your lead. I understand, I think, your line of reasoning and the need for care.

Do you know which of the Allies questioned Hermann Lang after the war?
Also do you have details on H P Muller's Luftwaffe career such as the units he served in? Was H P Muller also questioned at the end of the war?
I am thinking of trying the English Public Records Office and the details Don supplied in H P Muller thread.

I have a vague theory and am looking for details like the above to get me started

It may be that access to the British Library archive will give the info you need. I will see what is available and let you know







#64 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 13 January 2001 - 10:38

David,
I don’t know which of the Allies questioned Lang. As far as I can remember, the Stuttgart area belonged to the French zone after the war and since Lang lived in Stuttgart, the French must have questioned him.

About Müller I only know that he was a lieutenant at the Luftwaffe and as such was active in the aero engine factory in Litzmannstadt. He was not flying.

At the end of the war in 1945, he went back to Chemnitz (East Germany) to Auto Union, where he had to do prisoner work, which was better than being deported to Siberia. He then worked as a woodcutter, sent his Family (wife and two sons, 3 and 1?) to Bielefeld (West Germany) where he arrived separately in December that year.

#65 David J Jones

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Posted 17 January 2001 - 19:24

Hans

I have had confirmation from the British Library that they have uninterrupted issues of the three journals
Motor Sport
The Motor
Autocar
in their catalogues for the period 1939 - 1949

All I have to do now is to make some time available to inspect them. May not be right away but I will keep you posted on my progress. (London is 150 miles away and rail access is pretty hairy at the moment)


#66 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 17 January 2001 - 20:37

David,
This sounds wonderful. Good luck in hunting down the information. I would love to join in your project if I had the time and money. I am sure, you will find information in case it's in one of those three magazines.

#67 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 19 January 2001 - 13:30

David,
I had written in the thread about the 1935 European Championship the following:

On 29 October, in No.87, appeared a report that Caracciola went from Paris to London on the occasion of the Auto Show where he turned up as speaker at several banquets.

This is a great opportunity for those of you, who have access to several British magazines, which must have reported about this news (Motor Sport, Speed and others?). Hopefully someone will come up with a British magazine or newspaper report about the 1935 European Championship. We need more input to find out, on what account Chris Nixon removed two Grandes Épreuves from his 1935 Championship account.

It would be just wonderful if you could include this in your research trip.


#68 David J Jones

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 09:37

Hans

Yes I will add those 1935 items to my list of research items for 1939.

I am currently preparing documentation to take with me and it is possible I will need to divide the topics into a number of searches over several visits.

I am though going to write to MotorSport again as I feel that we will find that the AIACR did not ever appoint a champion for 1939. I do feel that this is the crux of the issue and is important in the interests of clarity on the matter





#69 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 17:10

David,

I thought you were aware of the fact that the A.I.A.C.R. never appointed a champion for 1939. I wrote so in my post of 18 December and again in January.

Nobody, except Chris Nixon, has made a diligent effort to look through the 1939 British magazines to tell us what was reported there about this issue. Therefore we need that information next and I think it is very nice of you that you want to check up on that. When are you leaving for London?

#70 David J Jones

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 18:33

Hans

I was aware of your posts - my frustration is that in his reply in MotorSport Chris Nixon did not state this fact and alluded that Lang was European Champion without question but had no source to cite to back this up.

I do not know yet when I will be going to London to look up the magazines but I expect it will be in the Spring.

Have your researches turned up any new details?

#71 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 19:59

Originally posted by David J Jones
...Chris Nixon did not state this fact and alluded that Lang was European Champion without question but had no source to cite to back this up...

David,

That is precisely the point why someone else has to check for information from the British sources. Chris Nixon may not have known the details we know now. All these little snippets we are collecting to complete this mosaic were not uncovered until recently. Only persistence and constant search will bring us ahead. Information might be found in contemporary newspapers and magazines. I checked the German language publications, which leaves English, French and Italian sources still to be thoroughly combed for evidence.

My latest research has not turned up any new details and it may be a one-way street. Time will tell.

#72 David J Jones

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 23:17

Hans

I am proposing to also cover the immediate post-war years in the search. I feel that they may possibly contain references back to the situation in 1939.

#73 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 28 January 2001 - 01:43

David,

You have to do whatever you think is proper and whatever works best for you. If you cannot locate information between the 1939 Belgian GP in June and the Swiss GP in August, then someone may have written a report after the release of the ONS statement on 30 November in the Völkischer Beobachter, the NAZI party’s newspaper. Immediate post-war period is also a good idea.

#74 TonyKaye

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Posted 29 January 2001 - 19:20

I thought it would be worthwhile checking the magazines of 1949. There was a possibility that when the inaugural World Championship was announced, presumably sometime in 1949, the racing mags would dredge up the results of the pre-war European Championships.

To cut a remarkably unproductive evening short, I could find absolutely no mention of the fortcoming championship in any of the 1949 issues of Motorsport. Maybe early in 1950, before the season got underway.....nothing! In fact it wasn't until after the last race of 1950 that Motorsport even mentioned the World Drivers'Championship. What has come to be the most important competition in international motor racing seems to have been ignored for almost a year by the primary racing magazine in Britain. Amazing!

On the basis of that, I don't hold out too much hope for uncovering anything about the European Championship in earlier issues.

#75 David J Jones

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Posted 01 February 2001 - 20:21

Tony

This was the line of thought I had. However although 1949/50 does nnot appear to throw any light we must not get discouraged - maybe the earlier years hold the answer?

I am not that optimistic though!

#76 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 February 2001 - 00:12

Anyone thought to ask Bill Boddy?

After all, he was with Motor Sport during the war, wasn't he? And he has both the memory (apparently) and the archival material to chase this up...

#77 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 02 February 2001 - 04:43

Ray,
When David wrote to MotorSport, the Editors decided to have Chris Nixon provide the answer and not BB. (Ray, this stands not for Brigitte Bardot :lol: )

#78 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 February 2001 - 04:52

Even more I regret not talking to him when he was beside me in Adelaide the other week!

What about chasing him up personally in Wales?

#79 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 03 February 2001 - 16:40

Ray,
Go for it.

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#80 David J Jones

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Posted 03 February 2001 - 20:23

Hans

I suspect that Wales is a little far away from Australia - however if an address is available it is not that far away from me.




#81 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 February 2001 - 22:02

Or Barry Boor... ?

Anyone got a phone book?

#82 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 04 February 2001 - 03:09

Originally posted by David J Jones
...if an address is available it is not that far away from me.

David,
Please contact me at hans@pixi.com. I have something on this subject you might be interested in but I don't have your address.

#83 TonyKaye

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Posted 06 March 2001 - 01:01

Wanting to find out more about the meeting in Bern in May 1940, I searched through the Swiss newspapers. The only one that I found with a report on the meeting was Der Bund which was published in Bern itself. By omission it confirms what Hans has already stated, namely that the commission for racing did not meet. However it does mention that the Secretary General gave a report for 1938/1939, though frustratingly it doesn't refer to the content of his report. It is possible that he may have alluded the sport, if only in passing.

Trivia lovers will be delighted to learn that Bolivia and Slovakia applied for membership during the meeting. One would have thought that representatives of the latter would have had more serious matters to attend to at the time.

I am sending the German text to Hans, who may be able to wring a little more out of it. Incidentally, it was a bonus to find a brief report on the 1940 Tripoli Grand Prix on the same page.

#84 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 06 March 2001 - 09:57

Tony,
Thank you very much for your great effort. This dispute seems to take more time to clarify. I have also been fortunate in tapping a new source and with a bit of luck we might find out more about this subject.

#85 quintin cloud

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Posted 30 March 2001 - 10:33

I was just thinking the other day about the ’39 EU Championship and few thoughts came to mind,:confused:
1 we all know that Auto Union and Mercedes Benz were sponsored by the Nazi party in Germany, with Mercedes Benz getting the larger cut of the money. Now we all know that Hitler had no interest in motorsport but the sponsorship was that of propaganda towards the German nation.
2 all photos and video footage that I’ve seen on workings of Nazi party is that Mercedes Benz’s were cars that used by Nazi’s.

Now some questions spring to mind:
1 What was the involvement of Major a. D. Adolf Hühnlein of ONS who also was the Chairman, is it not possible that the ’39 championship was a propaganda plot by the Nazi’s?
2 With WW2 starting at the time did and the Italian GP not been able be raced and so causing problem were is a dispute in who is the champion, question I have is again on the propaganda side is that having two Nazi sponsored cars fighting for the EU Championship , use the WW2 as way to get more support from the German Nation by having a Mercedes Benz the championship and use the symbol that Hitler is driven around in a Merc and a Merc won the championship ?
3 What truly happened at the meeting in Switzerland, is there a element of black-male where members lives are threatened because of Major a. D. Adolf Hühnlein and the SS?

Now I’m sure that I have pissed on some peoples batteries now :evil: , but is it possible that may have been the story ??


#86 David J Jones

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Posted 30 March 2001 - 14:49

Interesting thoughts !

It is my belief that the propaganda value does come into play on this one - in that Lang was seen as a more suitable candidate than Muller.

Lang appeared to have a more 'umble background. More suited to the image of having risen to success through his efforts and the chance given to him by the Nazi Party

Maybe Mercedes were more involved than we think and presented the more popular vision. Although I am confused here because the picture I had was that the M-B team was anti-nazi

Some other thoughts

Maybe Lang would have not been champion if Seaman had not crashed?

Maybe Huhnlein was nuts and lost the plot in a big way reinventing recent history in way no one can unravel (what happened to him anyway )

Maybe the war was because the nazis did not want an A-U championship season again

I am getting ideas for novel with interesting eve of war themes


#87 Rob29

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Posted 31 March 2001 - 07:54

Have never heard this argument before I found this thread. I think all those involved had more important things to worry about at the end of 1939!
I read somewhere that the result of the Yugoslav GP held on Sep 1 '39 was not discovered in Britain until after WW11.

#88 David J Jones

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Posted 31 March 2001 - 11:19

Rob29

There is also another thread on Herman Paul Muller if you are interested.

The amazing thing about this subject is that outside of Atlas and the Nostalgia Forum - no one seems to want to know about this topic.

My personal view is that they are too embarrassed at not having done anything in the immediate aftermath of the war.

I also am beginning to think that no documentary evidence supporting in support of a 1939 Champion exists although there was an AIACR meeting in Switzerland in 1940 at which the subject was discussed.

Is it the case that all records were lost during the war ??



#89 quintin cloud

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Posted 02 April 2001 - 14:36

I read somewhere that the result of the Yugoslav GP held on Sep 1 '39 was not discovered in Britain until after WW2.


Rob maybe this is another one of the those misteries of WW2 in that what war always has lots of hidden facts and horrors that might be rediscovered with time , :up:

David

Maybe the war was because the nazis did not want an A-U championship season again

I think that with WW2 starting at the time that it did the Nazi's used used the war as a way to get into all walks of society and motorsport was no expression but that is just my view :drunk:

#90 David J Jones

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Posted 02 April 2001 - 17:33

Quintin

I was being a little light hearted in the last three thoughts - the topic is a frustrating one to say the least - as you will understand.

However having said that there does appear to be a bias in favour of Mercedes - in most of the published histories.
I vaguely remember hearing something about the Muller injustice in the motor cycle world in the 50's but I have not been able to uncover it.

I do think - as I have said before - that converted motorcyclists were frowned upon in comparison to straight car drivers and it seems that in the main these were the only drivers who came to terms with the Auto-Union which was well ahead of its time.
For A-U to turn to motorcyclists may sound strange at first but DKW was part of the company.

I hope we will uncover it at some time but when ......I could not possibly guess.










#91 FLB

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Posted 02 April 2001 - 18:13

Originally posted by David J Jones

Maybe Mercedes were more involved than we think and presented the more popular vision. Although I am confused here because the picture I had was that the M-B team was anti-nazi

Some other thoughts


IIRC, in The Mercedes Racing Cars, Ludvigsen notes that Mercedes wasn't subsidized much by the Nazi's for it's racing (far less than previously thought), but was "rewarded" with war contracts and other "benefits", such as forced labour :(

Bernd Rosemeyer was quite a-political. He found politics uninteresting. Herr Doktor Porsche was, of course, under contract to develop the Volkswagen.

Both AU and MB were part of a system. Rosemeyer could be a-political because of his stature. Others couldn't.



#92 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 27 May 2001 - 22:45

Originally posted by David McKinney
.....A friend in Germany has been doing a lot of research recently on Brazilian racing before the war, and came across reports in a Portuguese magazine which throws new light on the subject of the 1939 European Championship. As he’s not online at home. I’m sure he won’t mind me passing on his findings.
Apparently the suggestion was made at the October 1938 meeting of the CSI that the French championship system should be adopted for the European series, ie 10 points for first place, 6 for second, 5 for third, 4 for fourth, and 3 for fifth, with every other finisher getting one point. No decision was made then, but at another meeting in July it was decided this new system should be adopted, and applied retrospectively to the 1939 races already held......

David,
Although your above statement is of great interest, it cannot be used as evidence, because
First, this statement has never been proven to be correct and
Second, a copy of this article cannot be furbished.
Therefore, at this time, it is just another theory or speculation that this ruling supposedly got approval in July of 1939.

Judging by the articles written in the AUTOMOBIL-REVUE during 1939, I doubt that this ruling got approval because AUTOMOBIL-REVUE would have reported so and written differently about this topic in their 1939 articles. Unfortunately, I don't have any 1938 A.-R. magazine copies, which might possibly include a report about the October 1938 C.S.I. meeting. Also, don't forget that C.S.I. members as well as A.I.A.C.R. representatives had the reputation of being tightlipped about their meetings, a fact, which annoyed many journalists of the day. There was no report about the 1939 July meeting in the magazines or I must have overlooked it. Since I was searching for exactly such kind of information bits and pieces, it seems inconceivable that I passed over it, just alone for all the planning, time and money that went into my last research trip.

#93 David McKinney

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Posted 28 May 2001 - 18:59

My information is from page 13 of issue no.483 (15 August 1939) of the Portuguese journal O Volante. I can probably get you a photocopy (but I don't have a scanner)



#94 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 28 May 2001 - 20:42

David,
It is good to know that a copy of this article could be furbished, if need should arise. But what is probably of much greater importance, is to prove the validity of this Portuguese statement, which says something to the effect that this new ruling was approved by the C.S.I. in July of 1939. We need to find other news clippings to support this statement.
However, against it we already have the AUTOMOBIL-REVUE reports, which carry a lot of weight.

Here in essence is what the Swiss AUTOMOBIL-REVUE (22 August 1939, No. 68, pg. 10) wrote about this topic. The article points out the fact that the classification plans (below) were not official at all. It was also explained that assessment rules still did not existed. Müller would have won if the calculation had used the 1938 system. If one followed the French assessment method, then Lang would have won the championship. A third formula was to give the title only the driver, who had been victorious in at least two "Grandes Épreuves". The decision at the green table was to be made at the October meeting of the A.I.A.C.R.......

Note: The lists are best read when selecting the small/smallest Text Size from the View menue.
The old minimum (or minus) evaluation (1935-1938)

[b]Driver	B	F	D	CH	Total[/b]

Müller	4	1	2	4	11

Lang	1	4	7	1	13

Caratsch 6	7	1	2	16

Brauch.	3	5	6	3	17

Nuvolari 4	7	4	4	19



The new maximum (or plus) evaluation (1939?)

[b]Driver	B	F	D	CH	Total[/b]

Lang	10	1		1	10	22

Müller	1	   10	   	6	 4	21

Caratsch	1	1	   10	 6	18

Brauch.	5	1	1	 5	12

Nuvolari	1	1	1	 3	 6



#95 Marcel Schot

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Posted 30 May 2001 - 06:53

Hans,

David's system, however, brings a rather interesting championship table in view:


Driver			BE FR DE CH Total

Lang			  10  0  0 10 20

Muller			 0 10  6  4 20

Caracciola		 0  0 10  6 16

von Brauchitsch	5  0  0  5 10

With Lang having 2 victories over Muller 1, this could have declared him the champion. So this could technically be a way in which the ONS calculated.

#96 Vitesse2

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Posted 30 May 2001 - 11:33

Technically, yes, Marcel - but it still doesn't tell us how the total of 23 points is arrived at, unless fastest laps are taken into consideration and count 1 point each. Lang set FL in Belgium, France & Switzerland. But this is where we came in isn't it?

Oh, and just a small correction - the Yugoslav/Belgrade GP (take your choice of name) was held on September 3rd 1939, not September 1st.

#97 David J Jones

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Posted 30 May 2001 - 16:42

I have found the recent details concerning proposed changes to the scoring for 1939 interesting.
However they are merely heresay unless evidence can be produced from the AIACR end.

It is my belief that the situation we have for 1939 is as follows-

We have an ONS champion ....... Lang

We have an uncrowned AIACR European champion ...... Muller

The above I feel is the situation because the AIACR was not able to meet before the war started.
Although we now the ONS declared Lang its champion in December 1939 the AIACR was not able to ratify this. If they had we would know.
I do not believe changes to the scoring system made between 3rd September 1939 and 7th May 1945 are acceptable but had the AIACR - CSI - or FIA reviewed the situation in 45 or 46 and announced a decision all would have been clear and above board.

They do not seem to have done this so I am taking a pragmatic attitude regarding 1939 which is set out above. If the authorities dispute it then it is up to them to provide the evidence to the contrary.



#98 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 31 May 2001 - 04:24

Originally posted by Marcel Schot
.....David's system, however, brings a rather interesting championship table in view:.....

It is very interesting and good for thoughts, no question. What we have to figure out is the scoring system used by the ONS, which gave Hermann Lang the championship crown. We were very much closer at one time and are still looking for some documentation explaining the ONS evaluation.

.......... and David (J. Jones), I do not expect the FIA to ever look into the 1939 matter, when most probably they are relying on their historian who stated that the FIA was founded around 1904. I could be off a year or two, but it was total rubbish. What could their historian find out? Another distortion?

#99 David J Jones

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Posted 31 May 2001 - 07:17

Hans

As one who is interested in historical topics I have a number of other mysteries I would like to see solved from the period 1936 - 1949.

I have found that authorities when questioned about this period either hide behind the Official Secrets Act (in the UK) or maintain a veil of silence. When this happens one has to make a judgement based on the known facts and simply keep stating the obvious. In such a case the onus of providing proof shifts to the authorities. Eventually pressure builds up for the truth to be made known.

Somewhere someone has the answer to the 1939 problem and is reluctant to make it public. Until that time I will keep plugging away with the simple statements -

Lang was the ONS Champion and Muller the uncrowned AIACR European Champion.

As far as the ONS scoring seems to go this is a mystery since it
clearly involves events outside the the AIACR designated European Championship. For that reason I regard it as purely an internal German matter.
We must solve how their scoring system worked and I think it can only be done by a process of deduction.
However since it involved decisions made between 3rd Serptember 1939 and 7th May 1945 it cannot IMHO be regarded as the criteria for the European Championship for 1939.













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#100 Marco94

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Posted 31 May 2001 - 10:46

I am not sure if anyone has mentioned this already, and time is in to short supply to search all three pages. But who where the people responsable for the decisions? In the ONS, AIACR. The ones that attended the meetings. If you know them, one could try to contact them or their relatives to interview them. See what that would uncover.

Marco.