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1939 European Championship


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#251 Holger Merten

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Posted 21 June 2002 - 11:43

Just following your discussion about 1939, I try to understand the reason of the discussion. So is there the idea that the scoring system changes in the 30's and Lang gets european champion and not müller. or is the idea the ONS claimed lang european champion although the ons wasn't alloud to do that. So it should be an idea of hühnlein. or what. So maybe than I catch the idea of the long discussion.


If somebody could tell me the story in some short sentences? In the evening (GMT +1) I' ve much time to look to my archive, with books and papers (also from that time) copies of internal stuff and many notes I made in the last 15 years. Maybe there is a chance to bring light in that darkness. Or isn't as dark as I feel it.


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#252 Vitesse2

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Posted 21 June 2002 - 12:06

Holger - four basic questions make up the whole:

1 Lang was declared European Champion by the ONS after the war started - the AIACR never declared a champion before or after the war. A British press report from August 1939 is the only other published source stating Lang was champion discovered so far, but this is not reporting an official announcement.

2 According to the scoring system used in 1936-8, Muller should be champion (1935 is a separate problem!).

3 We have evidence that the AIACR almost certainly intended to change the scoring system - but this change would not have been ratified until AFTER the season had finished, so the championship would have been decided retrospectively, although it seems the scoring system was already recognised as being in operation - we have evidence for this system from press reports from Portugal, Belgium and Switzerland.

4 The scoring system which was apparently being considered makes Lang champion with 22 points, but the ONS statement says he scored 23.

:)

#253 Holger Merten

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Posted 21 June 2002 - 12:43

thank you vitesse,

is point 2 also a discussion: which scoring system was used in 1939?
AND DID

Anybody thought about the idea: MB tried everything to get the ONS in the boat to get Lang the champion (and not Müller) Cause Lang would be the better hero than smart HP. Müller couldn't be an idol for the nazi propaganda. As everybody knows, the influence from MB to Korpsführer Hühnlein and the ONS or to Hitler was much more better, than those of AU. Also because Direktor Werlin from MB has the best connections to the NSDAP Party (via Hitler, who pushed him to the MB-board of directors). The influence, as we have seen in the "Rekordwoche 1938", which was held because MB wanted it. And where unfortunenatly Rosemeyer died, because of the weather (and his idea he could drive the car against the storm on some parts of the "autobahn".).

#254 fines

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Posted 21 June 2002 - 14:12

Originally posted by Vitesse2
Holger - four basic questions make up the whole:

1 Lang was declared European Champion by the ONS after the war started - the AIACR never declared a champion before or after the war. A British press report from August 1939 is the only other published source stating Lang was champion discovered so far, but this is not reporting an official announcement.

2 According to the scoring system used in 1936-8, Muller should be champion (1935 is a separate problem!).

3 We have evidence that the AIACR almost certainly intended to change the scoring system - but this change would not have been ratified until AFTER the season had finished, so the championship would have been decided retrospectively, although it seems the scoring system was already recognised as being in operation - we have evidence for this system from press reports from Portugal, Belgium and Switzerland.

4 The scoring system which was apparently being considered makes Lang champion with 22 points, but the ONS statement says he scored 23.

:)

I'd see it a little bit different:

1 - There was (apparently) no Champion officially announced by the sanctioning body (AIACR).

2 - We are trying to find out who would have won the Championship, according to the then (1939) present rules.

3 - We have evidence that the AIACR changed the scoring rules at their meeting during the Reims GP weekend (source: an article in the Portuguese magazine "O Volante").

4 - The AIACR was known at the time to not easily share their wisdom with the public. Thus we have German articles which ignore the new scoring, Swiss articles which are utterly confused and indicate a decision was still to be made about the scoring, and French and Belgian articles which abide by the new rules. All of these articles can be found in this thread.

5 - Finally, we have British sources and the Hühnlein/NSKK statement declaring Lang as champion.

6 - In 1966, William Court mentioned the scoring for the 1931 European Championship in his book "The Power and Glory".

7 - In 1986/7, Chris Nixon did further research and revealed in his book "Racing with the Silver Arrows" and an article in the British mag "Autosport", that this same scoring method was used during the years 1935-38. He also stated that it was in use in 1939, but ignored Müller's result to come to the conclusion that Lang won the championship.

8 - In 1993, Paul Sheldon published Volume 4 of his "Record of Grand Prix and Voiturette Racing", stating that "if the rules were as Chris Nixon states and the qualifying races as listed then there is plainly no argument - Müller won (the championship)".

#255 David J Jones

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Posted 21 June 2002 - 15:14

Michael

Further to your comment regarding the AIACR having changed the scoring system following a meeting at the French GP I would suggest they only discussed it with a view to implementing it.
The fact they did not - nor ratify it in the post war situation - is regrettable.

I personally have nothing against Lang but, in the absence of anyone providing evidence that the AIACR / CSI / FIA have details to the contrary - I personally cannot accept the opinion that Lang is the rightful champion. It should not be unreasonable for the 1938 rule, therefore, to be carried forward - in absentia of the evidence to the contrary. Newspaper reports are merely hearsay

My feelings are:

Firstly because it is a Nazi decree - I do not see why it should be accepted blindly and without question.

Secondly Holger is correct I believe in stating that MB held undue sway with Huhnlein and the ONS. And as AU were effectively 'out of business' post war they had control of the sutuation. Remember none of the 'memoirs' seems to acknowledge Muller as having been in contention

Thirdly Huhnlein himself had the ear of the Fuhrer in these matters as he seemed to be respected as a result of his Nazi party history. Whatever the Korpsfuhrer suggested was rubber stamped. (He had taken part in the Munich putsch and been imprisoned with Hitler and Hess in Landsberg prison).

Just what could the Nazi authorities have held against AU or their drivers? Can it be be in connection with Nazi law as AU had drivers with Jewish connections?

This issue was referred to Motor Sport almost a year ago - has there been any response or am I correct in assuming an embarrassed silence? They couldn't be hoping it will go away will they?

Can we assume that the current motor racing authorities approve of the acceptance of the decree?

#256 fines

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Posted 21 June 2002 - 17:12

If newspaper reports are merely hearsay, then we should immediately stop any further investigation into this subject matter. We don't have anything else! :lol:

Perhaps to a degree you're right, in that newspaper articles should always be viewed with the utmost scepticism. Otherwise we'd be in one helluva dilemma, since the Swiss Automobile Revue contradicts O Volante, and one of the two most therefore be wrong in its assessment. Quite which one is still open to debate, of course, but in view of the tight-lipped AIACR I would hazard a guess it's the Swiss who failed to pick up the news, rather than the Portuguese inventing the story (why should they, anyway?).

Here again is the important sentence in this context: "Tendo-se juntado ultimamente em Reims, quando da realização do Grande Prémio francês, os delegados dos automóveis clubs interessados, foi resolvido adopta para o campionato europeu a fórmula do campionato francês dos condutores"

My Portuguese is not very good, but I think I understand almost every word here, and the important ones are "during the running of the French Grand Prix, the delegates resolved to adopt the formula of the French Drivers Championship for the European Championship". Add to that the evidence of the "conventional wisdom", the articles in "Le Matin", "La Meuse" (sounds "funny" in German, btw) and "The Motor" and the complete silence of those supposedly robbed of their greatest achievement in their professional life... Actually, I wonder why I still spend so much time here on this thread! :D

#257 Holger Merten

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Posted 21 June 2002 - 20:19

Thanks to your replies, don't like to start the discussion once again - but - I saw the score system at the beginning of this discussion.

Couldn't it be possible, that Hühnlein had his own score system? So what we know is. Some of the races didn't count to the European Championship. For example, the Eifelrennen instead of the German GP - rmemeber the dates: Eifelrennen: 21, May,39 and the German GP: 23, July 39. So may, and I don't know the score system very well, if Hühnlein scores his own Grossdeutsches Score System. taking evrything together to count 1 to 1.


And don't forget: Lang was a mechanic with a nice career, who shows in proganda language, everybody could be a hero, so no facts, but think about the money the nazis spent to both MB and AU. MB got more money than AU and the first driver from AU was Nuvolari, which was difficult too. while MB had al those German Heros von Brauchitsch, Lang and Caracciola. But who was that young boy H.p. Müller.

So no facts at this point. But how does the scoresystem works officially. Does anybody know?

#258 Holger Merten

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Posted 21 June 2002 - 21:08

Now I've read the whole story of this case once again, all the discussions and so on. So there is some trouble in my head, cause it's in english, and I try to prefer thinking in german. okay, back to my case. I saw, and that's the best at this forum, you will all work on with sources, so we are "historical correct". ( Not neccesary to say that every source has the possibility to be a lie?)

May we asked MB, what they know about that case. Especially, we know some facts, we know the discussion, we know an interesting fact, which hans is driven by more than 20 years- really a tricky case - and I think there will be an easy solution. But a solution with facts, and here is the problem, hans knows that, which couldn't be founded maybe. Anyway, that case is really interesting.

So I'll will confrontate the Director of the MB Archive with that case. He is intersested very well in the30s and GP driving. And as we know too - MB does actually talk about Lang as the EC, although if I understod correct, it wasn't ratifiziated, and ONS in 1945 OR 46 -please correct me- had any longer a champion called Lang.

#259 David J Jones

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Posted 22 June 2002 - 03:18

Holger

I think you will find that M-B will not want to discuss this topic at all other than to state what we are trying to disprove. It is too delicate and will remind them of a somewhat murky past and a a particularly dark period.

I tried an approach to Audi some time ago but that, for some reason, did not even get the courtesy of a reply from their archive. Marketing wise though I suppose we would be adding a new dimension to the rivalry between M-B and Audi.

I believe that the Germans and their organisations are embarrassed by the period 1933 - 1945 so identification of the facts in this matter from a German source willl be difficult. They have my sympathy but all nations have some distasteful episodes that have to be faced at some time or other.
To ask a major player and benefactor in the scenario will not accomplish anything..........

To suggest to them that they do not know their history or to ask them to prove that their documentation archive is incorrect..........Well!
Just consider how many of the eminent historians / authors have posted an opinion here. What we ask is for them to admit they have been incorrect or to critisize their peers. I believe at the end of the day they will act like politicians and ignore the question.

Perhaps Hans should consider taking the topic to the Atlas F1 Court for an adjudication - the discussion would be fierce and I feel the moral 'high ground' is with the Muller / AU camp.

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#260 Holger Merten

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Posted 22 June 2002 - 07:07

David, I think, you are right. But sometimes you have to try to go the right ways, and to use the right language.

So, maybe it's just a phonecall to somebody you know, talking about the old times, and place a question?.

But I wouldn't thrust on that too. It's just a suggestion. And there are also other ways. For example the universitys, also students are interested in that history of AU and MB.

#261 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 22 June 2002 - 09:17

Holger,
Did you really read the whole thread in its entirety? How many hours did it take you? :)

#262 Holger Merten

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Posted 22 June 2002 - 13:24

4 1/2 (four and a half). My wife was with friends, my daughter slept, and the books were laying arround at the floor, couln't read at that moment. But also with that 1,5 L Auto Union miracle which couldn't be on, cause they never built one. May it's the 3 L D-Type from the AU Prague Showroom, which went to uk in the seventies, or its a 2L post WW2 "AU" from Zwickau. I'll tell you more abouit that interesting "Zentrale Entwicklungsabteilung" and their history after 1945. Which stayed in the same rooms than the AU R&D dept.for the next 54 years.

#263 Michael Müller

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Posted 22 June 2002 - 21:41

Picking up the idea to contact some of the surviving drivers. Propose Hans contacts Mrs. Bärbel Henning, private secretary of Paul Pietsch, at henning@motorpresse.de (believe his German is still perfect even after that long time ...).

#264 Wolf

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Posted 22 June 2002 - 22:16

Holger beat me to it, (re. Hünlein criteria) in saying that maybe some points were awarded/deducted on NSDAP membership? But I would think propaganda machinery would have relished the possibility to claim that every German can be a hero (unless, of course, H.P. Müller was either 'polliticaly unsuittable' or ...).

Since the dark clouds were rising on the horizon in '39, could it have been that kamarad Lang was not expected to be in the racing business once the Europe was blitzed, so the C'ship was 'awarded' to him under pretense that H.P. would get his chance once the war was over?

#265 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 23 June 2002 - 00:56

Originally posted by Michael Müller
.....Propose Hans contacts Mrs. Bärbel Henning, private secretary of Paul Pietsch, at henning@motorpresse.de.....

Michael,
What does Mrs. Bärbel Henning know? I mean you must have some sort of imagination of what she knows about this subject. Can you please clue me in?

#266 David J Jones

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Posted 23 June 2002 - 04:38

I do not think these people will have anything to add on the subject

My reason for saying this is a simple one - if they had got anything it would have already been said and we would not be wondering.

What we are seeking is documentary evidence and I feel that Huhnlein & Nazi organisations, M-B, AU, Muller or Lang would have been in posession of this. I have discounted ONS and the FIA as it appears their records are incomplete.

The answer will be a simple one when it is found. Perhaps as said before Hunlein (it was the anniversary of his death on 18/6) had to appoint Lang because of his outstanding record in 39 or maybe Muller was deemed politically unnacceptable.

It is illogical to assume there is no document recording the event - someone is suppressing it or it is hidden in a dusty archive waiting to be found. Remember details of Swiss banks activities only surfaced recently after much pressure over the years.

Our only problem will be what to do when it is unearthed.

#267 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 23 June 2002 - 04:56

I'll take a vacation to study the love life of the common house fly. :)

#268 David J Jones

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Posted 23 June 2002 - 11:44

Hans

That sounds a very precise and lenghty study - but I do not feel we can do without your attention here.

#269 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 June 2002 - 11:51

If each of us contribute what we already know, Hans can be completed this sideline issue quickly and get back to the more serious job...

#270 Michael Müller

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Posted 24 June 2002 - 21:44

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
Michael,
What does Mrs. Bärbel Henning know? I mean you must have some sort of imagination of what she knows about this subject. Can you please clue me in?

Hans, she knows nothing, but she's the dragon watching Paul Pietsch's correspondence and telephone, there's no way to contact the old man directly. She decides what he gets on his desk, and what not.
Sorry, but my posting was rather unclear on her function.

#271 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 00:20

Originally posted by Michael Müller
.....Propose Hans contacts Mrs. Bärbel Henning, private secretary of Paul Pietsch.....

Done. :)

#272 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 01:28

Michael - my letter was ok but not so the address:

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.
Delivery to the following recipients failed.
henning@motorpresse.de
Reporting-MTA: dns;mail2.motorpresse.de
Received-From-MTA: dns;smithers.pixi.com
Arrival-Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 02:10:15 +0200

#273 Michael Müller

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 22:19

Sorry, my mistake, there's a "b" in front missing:

bhenning@motorpresse.de

#274 TonyKaye

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Posted 27 June 2002 - 16:22

This is a (justifiably) long thread and I think I have read most of it. But in case I have missed or forgotten something, please accept my apologies if the following is mere repetition.

What did Hermann Lang himself say about the 1939 Championship?

In his book "Grand Prix Driver" he states that "The culminating event of the season this time was the Grand Prix of Switzerland. I knew I was leading in the European Championship and the Berne race would be the decisive factor".

This suggests, and why should we doubt him, that he was computing the Championship points tally race by race. It is inconceivable that he would have used a defunct or unofficial points system, Mercedes would have ensured that. But which system would have given him the lead prior to the Bremgarten race?

After the race, which he won, he continued "I had to wait for the official nomination of Champion of Europe, this could only be done by the international sporting commission."

He was convinced that the race victory automatically made him European Champion, even though he could not know that the season would be curtailed by the outbreak of war. Frustratingly, he doesn't state whether the confirmation ever arrived from Berne, even though he was in Berne at the time. A superficial interpretation would be that the 'nomination' did not arrive immediately, but that it DID arrive eventually. If you wait for someting, it usually means that it arrives, but somewhat later than you had expected. He certainly didn't add that it NEVER arrived.

It is also interesting that he avoids all mention of the title emanating from the German club. He is adamant that he was the Champion of Europe "only" according to the AIACR.

How reliable is this account? The book was published in 1953, fully fourteen years after the events in question. However it is a translation by Charles Meisl of an earlier book in German. The forward by Alfred Neubauer is dated Autumn 1952. (For what it's worth, Neubauer also states that Lang was the European Champion in 1939.) But the bulk of the book was probably written during the war under the title "Vom Rennmonteur zum Europameister", which was published in 1943. It would have taken little extra trouble for Lang to have added a chapter dealing with the early post-war years. Does anyone have a copy of this earlier book? Does it report these events at all differently?

If the quotes above were written during the war, any inaccuracies cannot be due to the memory factor. If Muller was or should have been the Champion of Europe in 1939, why is there no evidence to suggest that he felt deprived. I am not aware of a Muller biography, but he survived the war to resume a very successful motor cycling career. There must be biographical articles on such a prominent sportsman. Did he ever make reference to his position in the 1939 Championship?

#275 Vitesse2

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Posted 27 June 2002 - 21:54

Just recapping on an earlier partly unresolved question:

Originally posted by Marcor
The first article of Les Sports was written by a journalist of the newspaper. The second seems to be copied out from a dispatch.

Please read Tuesday 22 August (two days after the race) and not Thursday 22 August...


About the Swiss GP the newspaper reported on Thursday (four days after the race) that the result must be changed as there was an error: Hartmann wouldn't be sixth but seventh and Farina would be sixth instead of seventh.

So who was sixth and seventh ?

Nixon said Farina was 6th, Blight and most of the others said Hartmann 6th and Farina 7th...

About the championship, an interesting source would be one from Switzerland, in French, Italian or Geman...


In their issue of September 1st 1939, The Autocar published a similar correction to the one Marc found in Les Sports:

Order confirmed
There has been a slight muddle about the relative position of the cars in the Swiss Grand Prix, but Farina was definitely sixth ....


Looks like the organizers may have issued an incorrect result at some point.

#276 David J Jones

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 06:19

Vittesse

Seeing your posts in the other thread regarding Germany's ban from International Motor Racing from 1945-49 I find I am more confused on this one now.

It would appear the AIACR or whoever banned Germany did not address the record book in respect of the final season. I would have thought that the Lang declaration was a prime example of Nazis changing sporting rules to meet their own ends.

Have you found any reference post war or - it may be safe to assume - did the authorities and notables give a nod of assent to Adolf's decision?

I have my own feelings on this and find it shameful no-one even today apart from this forum makes comment about the issue. Why I find myself feeling this way I am unsure because there are other issues surrounding WW2 and its history that are hidden away or ignored - so maybe I should not be surprised at all.


Tony Kaye

I believe the history books and autobiographies on this one were written according to the M-B rule book so essentially they are the same. What amases me is that even when either scoring system we have found is applied - Muller is in contention - yet in the books he does not get a mention !!

I am not sure I would have stuck my head above the parapet on this one between 1939 - 1950 - we must remember the Kraftfahrkorps was a part of the NSKK (SS) and bound by its rules of conduct.
I made enquiries in the motorcycling world last year but no one recalls HPM mentioning the issue. I would suppose, though, the champions of his cause were in Russan custody or control so what would have been the point?

Come to think of it - I now find myself looking over my shoulder or peering from behind curtains at night looking for the guys in leather raincoats..................!

#277 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 08:29

Originally posted by David J Jones
.....did the authorities and notables give a nod of assent to Adolf's decision?.....

Adolf Who? Hi or Hü? :confused:

#278 David J Jones

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 12:59

Hans

I meant initially Hu.

But on reflection I guess it must be both since everything Hu would do must have been ratified or sanctioned by Hitler. It is this latter point I guess that gives rise to my objection as to the validity of Langs title. It seems to me to be double standards to allow the war time declaration to stand.

There must have been some flaw in Mullers credentials for it to come about since the evidence from the Swiss GP (with Nuvolari giving way to Muller for the Championship winning fourth position) seems to point to A-U assuming there would be no change in the points scoring rule for 1939.

Whatever as we know the AIACR did not ratify the declaration anyway - so it is, therefore, surely invalid?

I am only looking at this logically. It is unfortunate for Lang but he was not allowed to beat Carraciola in the German Championship.....................

#279 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 13:18

Originally posted by David J Jones
Vittesse

Seeing your posts in the other thread regarding Germany's ban from International Motor Racing from 1945-49 I find I am more confused on this one now.

It would appear the AIACR or whoever banned Germany did not address the record book in respect of the final season. I would have thought that the Lang declaration was a prime example of Nazis changing sporting rules to meet their own ends.

Have you found any reference post war or - it may be safe to assume - did the authorities and notables give a nod of assent to Adolf's decision?

I have my own feelings on this and find it shameful no-one even today apart from this forum makes comment about the issue. Why I find myself feeling this way I am unsure because there are other issues surrounding WW2 and its history that are hidden away or ignored - so maybe I should not be surprised at all.


Not a word David! Walkerley even provided a feature called "The last time we saw racing", which was a recap of the 1939 season published in September 1945. No mention of the championship at all, and in fact it turns out that he had not been in Bern anyway - the (uncredited) Motor report had been provided by Spy George - and, six years on, he (Walkerley) was rather confused over the result, to the extent that he states that the overall winner was Farina! A correction soon came in from Fellowes, but in view of his confusion over the outcome of the Swiss GP, perhaps Walkerley refrained from commenting on something he couldn't back up.

I only had time to use the Motor and Autocar indexes for 1946-7 (1945 is not indexed), rather than a comprehensive trawl, but I could find nothing relevant referenced under Germany between 1/45 and 7/46.

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#280 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 14:49

Originally posted by TonyKaye
What did Hermann Lang himself say about the 1939 Championship?

In his book "Grand Prix Driver" he states that "The culminating event of the season this time was the Grand Prix of Switzerland. I knew I was leading in the European Championship and the Berne race would be the decisive factor".

This suggests, and why should we doubt him, that he was computing the Championship points tally race by race. It is inconceivable that he would have used a defunct or unofficial points system, Mercedes would have ensured that. But which system would have given him the lead prior to the Bremgarten race?


There's a one-word answer to this Tony: neither!

If you refer back to post number 209 in this thread, you'll find my analysis from Muller's point of view. Before the Swiss GP, Muller was leading under BOTH systems. And he did all he could, under both systems, to win the championship.

Under the minus system, he had only to cruise round, completing 8 laps of the final to win the title - where or whether he finished was immaterial, as long as he completed those 8 laps. Under the plus system, he needed help, which was forthcoming from Nuvolari, and also luck, in the shape of the Mercedes breaking down, which was not the case.

So where does this leave Lang's statement? Is it just "selective memory", written 14 years after the event, or does the original 1943 edition contain the same claim? If the latter, then perhaps we have a clue regarding the NSKK scoring, but how the hell you compile a score chart which has Lang leading the championship going into the Swiss GP I can't imagine. And remember we have at least two sources which state categorically that Muller was leading at that point (Motor and Les Sports from memory)

#281 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 15:04

Originally posted by David J Jones
There must have been some flaw in Mullers credentials for it to come about since the evidence from the Swiss GP (with Nuvolari giving way to Muller for the Championship winning fourth position) seems to point to A-U assuming there would be no change in the points scoring rule for 1939.


"Assuming" or "hoping"?

As I pointed out above, David, that fourth position is immaterial in the minus system - he had won under that method by completing eight laps! The fourth place finish is only a factor in the plus system, and in the unlikely event that one or more of the Mercedes had retired then Muller MIGHT have been in a position to take advantage. But I must remind you that the A-Us were three seconds a lap off the Mercedes pace, so he could only win under that method if EITHER Lang OR Caracciola and von Brauchitsch retired.

#282 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 17:39

Originally posted by David J Jones
.....It is unfortunate for Lang but he was not allowed to beat Carraciola in the German Championship.....................

:confused:
David - can you please elaborate on this idea?

#283 David J Jones

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 22:26

Hans

When I said it was unfortunate for Lang I meant that ideally he should have won the German Championship. However despite his outstanding performance during the year as I understand it Carraciola was the Champion.

So I feel Huhnlein awarded the 'European Championship' to Lang to make up for this. Unfortunately this has been accepted post war as being fact (as if the AIACR had awarded it)

We, of course, know they did not and neither was the scoring system changed so the European Championship for that year should be reassessed by all fair minded persons.

I am still searching around for leads as to how Huhnlein may have come to his scores and have determined that post war the British REME were responsible for dealing with the NSKK. I am hoping there may - in their archives - be documentation or indications to the whereabouts of NSKK files.

Vitesse

I must have missed the point about 4th place in the Swiss GP. Would they though have necessarily known this at race time?

#284 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 23:21

Originally posted by David J Jones
Vitesse

I must have missed the point about 4th place in the Swiss GP. Would they though have necessarily known this at race time?


If they were paying attention to both scoring systems we know about, I'm certain they did. The fact that Nuvolari seems to have let Muller through into fourth place indicates to me that A-U were doing all in their power to help him win under both systems.

Perhaps we should not lose sight of the fact that this proposed (de facto?) change was recommended by a Belgian, recommending a French system of scoring. The Swiss reports that the championship would be decided at the green table still leave the outcome open to doubt and therefore there would still be the opportunity for A-U to say to Huhnlein before the AIACR meeting:

"Are we really going to lose this championship to a FRENCH method of scoring? Herr Korpsfuhrer, we beseech you to do all in your power to ensure that the old method of scoring prevails: please make sure that the representative of the Reich votes against the proposal. Our Italian friends can no doubt be relied upon for support ...." etc etc

At the same time they are hoping that something befalls one or more of the Mercedes and it retires - putting Muller in fourth at least gives him a chance if anything should happen.

Mercedes, meanwhile, know that they have already lost under the old system, but that they cannot, barring a total disaster, lose under the new:

"Herr Korpsfuhrer, Daimler Benz feel that the best system for scoring the championship would be the new 10 for a win method and we would urge that the representative of the Reich votes in favour of this new method. Our Italian friends ...." etc etc

#285 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 30 June 2002 - 00:51

Richard,
Congratulations! You are on the right track. Makes all sense now, doesn't it? :D
For already over a year, I am chasing down a similar avenue and hope to get results soon but have no authorization to talk about it yet.


David,
You surprise me sometimes because you place so much emphasis on Hitler and Hühnlein, who both had absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of the German Championship. Therefore I found it misleading to use the quote "It is unfortunate for Lang but he was not allowed to beat Carraciola in the German Championship". It implies that either through team orders applied by Mercedes or otherwise possibly by Hitler or Hühnlein, Hermann Lang was kept from winning the German Championship and otherwise he would have done so. But there is no doubt that Caracciola became the rightful German Champion and Lang did not, since he decided to park his car at the Nürburgring pits to Neubauer's dismay.

However, Hühnlein was one of the key players in making Hermann Lang the 1939 European Champion, but only in his function as ONS President. I cannot see, what the NSKK should have to do with making Lang the European Champion.

But there were other players. If you want to include Hitler in this decision making (1939 European Championship), then you also have to include the big wheels of German automobile industry. The Industrialists always talked to Hitler, even before 1933, also in 1939 and of course during the war.

#286 David J Jones

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Posted 30 June 2002 - 07:45

Hans

My choice of words regarding the German Championship was poor. I would rather say it is a pity Lang was not the German Champion but, of course, he was outscored .
Was there any interference or team orders - I don't know - but were the events at the German GP strange? There was certainly a row about something or other and Lang certainly had a complex about Neubauer / Carraciola which extended through to the Swiss GP according to his memoirs.
I did not mean to imply there was any interference from Hitler or Huhnlein in respect of this.

Concerning the European Championship I firmly believe that Hitler would have had to approve any decision made by Huhnlein and this would be a fact of life in Germany at the time. As to whether Hitler was involved in the decision to adjudicate against Muller - I don't know - it is possible.
I certainly am of the opinion that industrialists in the form of M-B were applying pressure
A lot is made mentioned about Hitler's interest in the two GP teams between 34 and 39 - surely this would have extended to the drivers as well?

Regarding the NSKK - I am only following the link to the Kraftfahrcorps that I understand all the German drivers had to belong to - so I find it difficult to separate party from organizations or from state. I would hope the NSKK records might hold a few clues in the matter since we do not have the ONS records to refer to but I do feel anyway that whatever the ONS decided would have to be approved at party level.

Huhnlein was in my opinion as much a true nazi as Hitler and I believe one who was revered by both the party and its leaders. Whatever he decided for the 'European Championship' is in my mind a political and not a sporting decision. Those who may have lobbyed for it made it so.
Huhnlein was after all a very senior nazi - more senior than I had thought - and much to my surprise I have found he had a march named for him - The Adolf-Huhnlein Marsch - but I am not certain if this was written after his death.


Vitesse

Are you suggesting the Belgians or French were involved in discussions on the outcome of the championship after 1/9/39?
Surely there was no meeting in Switzerland following the Swiss GP (where the championship was to be decided 'around the green table') so I am unsure where this now leaves us.

#287 Vitesse2

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Posted 30 June 2002 - 21:17

Originally posted by David J Jones
Vitesse

Are you suggesting the Belgians or French were involved in discussions on the outcome of the championship after 1/9/39?
Surely there was no meeting in Switzerland following the Swiss GP (where the championship was to be decided 'around the green table') so I am unsure where this now leaves us.


No David, I'm not suggesting that at all - I have no evidence of that. My speculation was to try to get inside the minds of the main players - people and companies. The rivalry between the two teams was such that both would be keen to influence the German vote at the AIACR/CSI meeting, which I am pretty sure would have been arranged to coincide with the normal October end of season congress. I've found nothing to suggest that meeting actually took place and it appears to have been postponed to the following Spring, with results of which we are all too aware.

Returning to August 1939, after the Swiss GP the teams would have expected to have about eight weeks to put their respective cases to Huhnlein, who would have instructed the German representative how to vote. As I posted above, the outcome would be immaterial to the Italians, but they would most likely vote alongside the Germans, so we have the beginnings of a block vote. Once Huhnlein had decided which option to go for, the result of the championship would be decided, so the German teams would have known their fates even before the meeting. It seems to me that A-U's lobbying was unsuccessful ....

#288 VAR1016

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Posted 30 June 2002 - 22:12

Originally posted by Marcel Schot
By accident I stumbled upon something at the Christies website.

Sold on 20 November was this item:


Source : http://www.christies...1938670&SN=6377

Would this Lt. Commander Clinkard be tracable?


As a newcomer to Atlas, I was amazed to see such a long-running thread still extant.

I would very much have loved to read Lt Cdr Clinkard's reprot - I suppose that it is too much to hope that it might be published. After all it is dated 1955 - long after the original BRM fiasco. One would have thought that there might have been "channels" whereby those on the BRM committee might have been given an idea of "how to do it right".

I met "Clink" as he was known, just once I think; he was a prominent member of the Alvis Owner Club. I have a feeling that he has been dead for years. I recall that his son was active in the Club - but this was thirty years ago,

Finally, I know nothing of Muller, but I recall that Lang was something of a "peoples' champion". Was there not that famous anecdote about von Brauschitsch ordering, "Champagne for Carraciola and me and a beer for Lang"? Perhaps there was something political after all?

VAR1016 :smoking:

#289 David J Jones

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 05:10

Vitesse

I am sure you are right in that A-U 'lost' Huhnleins ear on the issue - so to speak if they ever had it.

Is it not strange that the issue does not appear to have been picked up directly after the war?. It is here that I am focussing my area of research. I am sure the issue would not be one conducted by word of mouth in Germany and records must exist to confirm what was happening.

I too have been 'playing the mind game' and have been attempting to understand the issues and influences which would affect the recommendation of the Korpsfuhrer. We should not overlook that Huhnlein would only recommend here - Hitler would decide finally - in my opinion. That would be in line with the way Nazism operated.

Another issue to be checked out is Muller's background to see if there is anything here which would have influenced the decision. My reasoning here is the almost absence of reference to Mullers championship position in the German books. Even those made are somewhat unfavourable eg Lang at the Belgian GP......... ! Surely it cannot have just been his motor cycling background?

The issue at the end of the day is - was the decision a sporting one or a political one? I favour the latter, which is why I have the problem with the post war history books and statements referring to Lang as 'European Champion'

I for one don't have a very high opinion in respect of the way the British motoring press and motor racing authorities failed to address this after the war.

Or perhaps it is not a surprise at all...............!

#290 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 07:13

Originally posted by David J Jones
.....records must exist to confirm what was happening.....

ONS and NSKK records of 1939 -hidden somewhere- should contain part if not all answers because the European Champions were announced in Germany end of November that year.



Originally posted by David J Jones
.....Another issue to be checked out is Muller's background to see if there is anything here which would have influenced the decision.....

It was already done. I also believe this to be a dead end street anyway.



Originally posted by David J Jones
.....was the decision a sporting one or a political one?.....

I would speculate that it was industrial-political, just a hunch.



Originally posted by David J Jones
.....I for one don't have a very high opinion in respect of the way the British motoring press and motor racing authorities failed to address this after the war.....

Dave, that includes the press in all countries and all authors -past and present- except of course the eminent Paul Sheldon and group. Will be interesting to see if at all and then how Karl will handle this thorny subject in his upcoming Auto Union book once it gets published. .....But by then we might have solved this mystery already. :D

#291 David J Jones

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 07:34

Hans

Is Karl writing a book on Auto-Unions? I had not heard of this - the last I saw Karl was writing a book on Professor Walther, who worked in the rocketry field. If one is being produced then how 1939 is handled will be interesting indeed.

Regarding HPM I was wondering if the Nazis could have found some flaw in his credentials under the Nuremburg Laws? It is a thought and one which I do not recall being categorically refuted. Outside of that I can only presume 'snobbishness' against motor-cyclists as a part of the bias against him. Such an attitude was prevalent in British racing circles in the 50's/early 60's.

I am sure if we keep pressing on we will solve the question eventually !!!

#292 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 09:01

Karl Ludvigsen once had mentioned here at TNF thoughts to the effect of a possible Auto Union Racing Cars book similar to his masterwork The Mercedes-Benz Racing Cars.

H.P. Müller and Hermann Lang had both raced motor cycles before their change to grand prix cars.

#293 Doug Nye

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 11:07

Originally posted by David J Jones
Hans

Regarding HPM I was wondering if the Nazis could have found some flaw in his credentials under the Nuremburg Laws? It is a thought and one which I do not recall being categorically refuted. Outside of that I can only presume 'snobbishness' against motor-cyclists as a part of the bias against him. Such an attitude was prevalent in British racing circles in the 50's/early 60's.


While studiously avoiding involvement with this thread may I just point out that within the works team structure of Daimler-Benz - if not AU - in the period in question, there was far more sentiment expressed by prominent team members against former racing team mechanics than against former racing motor-cyclists. Lang scored on both fronts...

If there was a question of prejudice the National Socialist system frowned more upon racial impurity - as Hans and Paula Stuck found. The prominent team members who voiced objection to the common 'jumped up' mechanic Lang with his thick accent would not necessarily - however - have great remaining clout with whoever finally influenced whatever title decision was made. I very much doubt that personality - finally - came into it, although perceived 'racial purity' quite conceivably might...

DCN

#294 VAR1016

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 11:30

Originally posted by David J Jones
Hans

Is Karl writing a book on Auto-Unions? I had not heard of this - the last I saw Karl was writing a book on Professor Walther, who worked in the rocketry field. If one is being produced then how 1939 is handled will be interesting indeed.

Regarding HPM I was wondering if the Nazis could have found some flaw in his credentials under the Nuremburg Laws? It is a thought and one which I do not recall being categorically refuted. Outside of that I can only presume 'snobbishness' against motor-cyclists as a part of the bias against him. Such an attitude was prevalent in British racing circles in the 50's/early 60's.

I am sure if we keep pressing on we will solve the question eventually !!!


Bernd Rosemeyer was also a motorcyclist originally - did he also suffer this treatment?

VAR1016 :smoking:

#295 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 11:57

I don't think the same attitudes maintained in AU as in MB - Caracciola and von Brauchitsch were unmistakably out of the "top drawer" of German society: Manfred's uncle was a Field Marshal.

AU were the upstarts in German racing, with no heritage in the sport except for the NSUs of the mid-20s, whereas MB had been there in some shape or form since the early years, winning GPs by crushing margins before WW1. They were the ones with the money - although Hitler had offered a prize for the construction of German GP cars MB could have probably financed it out of their own resources had they so wished. AU, on the other hand, seem to have lived a bit from hand to mouth, which makes their achievements all the more remarkable.

AU strikes me as much more egalitarian than MB, although there might have been some misgivings about Rosemeyer's Jewish-sounding name. As Doug points out, Stuck had trouble with Jewish connections (his wife's grandfather was Jewish), as did Adolf Rosenberger, an ex-Mercedes driver who was one of the early backers of AU.

David's point about motorcyclists in the UK was, I feel, aimed at what were known as "the blazers" from the jackets they sported in the paddock. From what I gather, a throwback to the "right crowd" attitude at Brooklands - old school tie, etc etc.

#296 VAR1016

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 12:34

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Vitesse2
[B]I don't think the same attitudes maintained in AU as in MB - Caracciola and von Brauchitsch were unmistakably out of the "top drawer" of German society: Manfred's uncle was a Field Marshal.


AU strikes me as much more egalitarian than MB, although there might have been some misgivings about Rosemeyer's Jewish-sounding name. As Doug points out, Stuck had trouble with Jewish connections (his wife's grandfather was Jewish), as did Adolf Rosenberger, an ex-Mercedes driver who was one of the early backers of AU.[quote]



There was a story that Rene Dreyfus was offered a drive as late as 1938/9 - I thought by Mercedes, quite extraordinary.

As for the money, I also read years ago, that Daimler-Benz was allowed to "load" the armaments contracts to provide funding for the racing programme.

VAR1016 :smoking:

#297 David J Jones

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 12:51

Just a quick note - maybe it took a biker to master the Auto-Unions? The technique must have been markedly different for those days.

The impression I get about A-U is that they were more egalitarian in their approach. I must see if I can check up somewhere on NSDAP membership since I understood Rosemeyer was not a party member although he had his SS rank.

Also von Delius is another name that springs to mind?

I think its the upstart about A-U that appeals to me!

#298 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 13:18

Originally posted by VAR1016
There was a story that Rene Dreyfus was offered a drive as late as 1938/9 - I thought by Mercedes, quite extraordinary.


Probably on the strength of his 1938 drives at Pau and Nurburgring, when he made the Delahaye look a half-decent car. But Mercedes offered tests to many drivers, accepting very few. And why extraordinary? With hindsight, there was a war coming, but then they didn't know. And like most professionals, Dreyfus would have probably given his eye teeth to drive for what was then the best team in the world. They employed very few non-Germans - only Seaman, Chiron and Fagioli IIRC - so for a non-German driver to even be offered a test would be seen as an honour.

Originally posted by VAR1016
As for the money, I also read years ago, that Daimler-Benz was allowed to "load" the armaments contracts to provide funding for the racing programme.


The involvement of German industry and the Nazi party was such that MB would not have had to be "allowed", they would just have done it!

And returning to Rosemeyer - he was of course the Nazi Aryan ideal: blond, tall, handsome with the added bonus of an attractive, successful wife. As Nixon points out he, alone among the civilian drivers, was a member of the SS, at the personal invitation of Himmler. All the others were NSKK men. Rosemeyer was also racing adviser to the ONS from 1937, succeeding Caracciola in the post - he was obviously seen as a "better Nazi" than Caratsch.

#299 Rob29

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 13:39

Originally posted by Vitesse2


Probably on the strength of his 1938 drives at Pau and Nurburgring, when he made the Delahaye look a half-decent car. But Mercedes offered tests to many drivers, accepting very few. And why extraordinary? With hindsight, there was a war coming, but then they didn't know. And like most professionals, Dreyfus would have probably given his eye teeth to drive for what was then the best team in the world. They employed very few non-Germans - only Seaman and Fagioli IIRC - so for a non-German driver to even be offered a test would be seen as an honour.



The involvement of German industry and the Nazi party was such that MB would not have had to be "allowed", they would just have done it!

And returning to Rosemeyer - he was of course the Nazi Aryan ideal: blond, tall, handsome with the added bonus of an attractive, successful wife. As Nixon points out he, alone among the civilian drivers, was a member of the SS, at the personal invitation of Himmler. All the others were NSKK men. Rosemeyer was also racing adviser to the ONS from 1937, succeeding Caracciola in the post - he was obviously seen as a "better Nazi" than Caratsch.

I think the point about Dreyfus is that it is a well known Jewish name?

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#300 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 14:12

Originally posted by Rob29
I think the point about Dreyfus is that it is a well known Jewish name?


:blush: :blush:

I must confess to never having considered that Rob, despite the Dreyfus affair! But yes - there he is in the Encyclopaedia Judaica! And from Dennis David's site re Pau 1938:

A French driver with a Jewish name driving a French car beating the Mercedes of Caracciola caused a sensation. Unfortunately it was that same Jewish name that would prevent Dreyfus from ever having a chance to drive for Auto Union or Mercedes unlike his friend Chiron. Dreyfus remembered the situation - "What was happening in Europe now was incredible too. Things were changing cataclysmically, but it seemed as if we were trying to pretend they weren't. In racing circles, we had been aware of, but somewhat apart from, the political situation. Certainly we saw the swastikas, we heard the fascist songs, we were neither blind nor deaf. And during the last year past, because we were often on the road to events in Germany, we could see the movement of troops and we could sense the military buildup. But as drivers, we were simply French, Germans, Italians and British, and we were all friends. ... We didn't talk about the war at Nurburgring. Still it was apparent to me that I was being treated preferentially, by the German drivers, by the officials, by everyone at Nurburgring. A Frenchman with a Jewish name on German soil. I was perhaps a reminder, an omen of what lay ahead. Maybe we all wanted to postpone thinking about it. I was given every courtesy." In his pocket Dreyfus had papers ordering him to report to his Army unit shortly after the race.

So - did he or didn't he get a test wirh Mercedes?