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1939 European Championship


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#351 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 23 August 2002 - 17:44

Originally posted by Don Capps
..... I have the feeling that I know where Hans will be heading on his next trip to Deutschland....

Well, not necessarily so. I have already planned at least 8 days hard work in the Bibliothek of Das Deutsche Museum in Munich. I expect that Brun was capable to extract the relevant items we were looking for. If it was not all in the Chemnitz archive, then I hope the other source of mine might have found the ONS point score concoction for 1939. But more about that hopefully next month.

Brun has the floor. We are all waiting in anticipation. :clap: :clap: :clap:

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#352 Brun

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Posted 24 August 2002 - 20:29

Wrong decision! Eoin Young was asking £40 for a photocopy of one of Nuvolari's expenses claims a while back! Perhaps you could finance the next trip that way ....



Sh*t! :lol:

Wow, just got home, having covered the 620 km faster than ever, to find me quite overwhelmed by the response in the forum... thank you, all.

There's really no need for anyone to go rushing off to Chemnitz. I already decided to visit the archives more often, since I do visit the area a lot. My girlfriend's parents live in a nice big house about 15 miles from there, so it's really no hassle and I'd be happy to share any findings here.

I am also thinking about trying to talk local newspapers into doing an article on the 'typ E mystery'. You know, some text boasting about the worldwide interest in Chemnitz automotive history and how hard it is to find sources . There is a newspaper that covers the entire southern Saxionan area, from Dresden to Eisenach, yet they're always writing about local stuff and seem to be short of copy sometimes. Perhaps an AU-story might trigger some reactions from people around there... eye witness reports etc... or maybe their archives might reveal more. Let's try if I can get through
to the editor. Who knows!

Now, some more stuff, translated archive quotes in italic. Something from archive file nr. 7449, Auto Union notes on the 1939 French GP in Reims. AU took part with four cars. Two were 1938-chassis with A-compressor (A-Gebläse), two with 1939-chassis and 'Stufengebläse' (is that a double Roots-compressor? I'm confused here). During training, Nuvolari's cars runs with a different final gear ratio. It gives his car slightly more power, but Nuvolari asks to have the standard ratio installed again, as he fears that he might over-rev the engine, since it reaches 7000 rpm more easily . He races with this standard ratio.

Stuck's car runs bad during training. He complains about lack of power and misfires. His car stumbles into the pits with a severe misfire. Upon disassembly the engineers find a hole in one piston and serious burn damage to most other pistons, suggesting a lean mixture. The next day, July 7th 1939, the pits crew adjust the carburettors several times until they reach a very rich mixture, leaving Stuck satisfied with the performance.

Nuvolari burns 91,2 litres of fuel on 100 km during training. While racing, Müller needs 105 litres for every 100 km, Stück 106 and Meier 100.

And, to end it for the evening, a telegram, dated july 17th 1939:
= hans stuck, reichsstrasse6, berlin charlottenburg =
training nurburgring donnerstag vormittag 9 uhr
= heil hitler dr feuereißen


(to Hans Stuck, don't forget you're training on the Ring next thursday, 9 A.M.)

Too bad that so much of these files have to hail Mr. H...

#353 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 August 2002 - 22:45

Suffice to say that this quest is one of the great things to come from TNF...

To all involved, I offer my congratulations and thanks for your determination and perseverence. If we can overturn history by correcting something as big as this, we have done something worthwhile.

I think, on the subject of local papers, there is every likelihood of turning up people who were involved at the time and who remember things as they happened... this is an avenue to pursue diligently.

Is local radio also a prospect once there is a newspaper article? I have had much success with this method.

#354 ensign14

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Posted 25 August 2002 - 07:52

This is all great stuff. It's ironic, though, given that Lang has long been assumed to have been European Champion because everyone said he was...and now we have the storyline as to how that's almost exactly how he DID become Champion!

#355 Leif Snellman

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Posted 25 August 2002 - 08:19

Originally posted by Don Capps
Hopefully, there will be an effort at some time -- Leif's site? -- to collect all this data, raw and otherwise, so that it can be made avaialbe to future researchers.

It would be a honour to have it on my site. Let's see how things develope.

#356 David J Jones

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Posted 25 August 2002 - 08:22

Brun

Congratulations on your tenacious research bearing fruit in the A-U files. I suspected all along these records existed but when I contacted Audi some time ago on the subject they did not reply. Well done again for going in there and turning the details up.

I still think there is more to come though. At least now we have confirmation that Lang was ONLY a champion appointed by ONS(with Nazi) recommendation.

I have been trying to track down NSKK files - particularly that of Korpsfuhrer Huhnlein but all I have at the moment from British sources is

A precis of the career of Korpsfuhrer Huhnlein
A copy of his obituary
A copy of the surrender document May 1945 - signed in Reims
A directive from Allied Headquarters on the approach to dealing with German organisations including the handling of documatation.

I have not found the documents in a British source but as I was trying to avoid yesterdays football scores here in the UK (my team seems to have a relegation wish already) I turned to a source Don mentioned a long time ago - NARA.
I located in the NARA files a whole section dealing with German Military Documentation and there is within these a section devoted to the NSKK.

According to NARA all these documents have been microfilmed and a copy retained in Washington. The originals have been returned to the BundesArchiv in Berlin. I do not know if these contain anything useful to us - is anyone able to have a quick look as the records do not seem to be online?

#357 Brun

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Posted 25 August 2002 - 09:55

Well, it seems that a visit to the Bundesarchiv is in order then? :-)

As for Audi and cooperation: I too have found Audi Tradition to be quite conservative, i.e. they don't give out information so easily if they cannot make money out of it. It seems that the Chemnitz files are still largely untouched by Audi. It is my goal to get all the valuable nuggets out and onto the web before they start digging and try to put it into another overpriced book.

Now something that fits in this thread: under nr. 7445, there is a BIG file on the Belgian GP, dated June 25th 1939. I haven't copied anything, since it was just too much, but have made a small summary myself. Hopefully, it turns up something new:

It contains lap reports and of course it mentions the tragic Seaman crash. Nothing very new here, it seems. Most of it focusses on the Caracciola issue. As he crashed, Neubauer (head of the MB press office in Berlin), started screaming bloody murder on the grandstand. He told everyone in his vicinity how Müller had tried to stop Caracciola from overtaking him. There is a written testimony in two pages from his secretary, confirming that he spread this rumor amongst bystanders.

In the weeks after the race, AU asks Hühnlein and a certain Dr. Völter (someone help me: who is that?) in writing to correct this rumour. They send him several eye witness reports, which are included in the file. Two members of the AU pits crew independantly ask Caracciola what happened, as he walks through the paddock. C. tells them that he tried to overtake Müller in the corner and hit the brakes too strongly. His front wheel blocked and he went off the track.

Also, Dr. Feuereissen writes that he heard C. tell this story in the hotel lobby, on the following evening.

However, the file also contains another AU statement that Müller had been leading Caracciola by 9 seconds in the previous lap, that he could never have covered that distance in one lap now that the weather was so bad and that he still had to overtake Lang before he got to Müller.

Now, where was Lang in this incident??

Final scores according to this file: Lang (3:20:21), Hasse (3:20:37), v. Brauchit. (3:22:14), Sommer (three laps ), Mazaud (five laps), Gérard (six laps)

#358 David J Jones

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Posted 25 August 2002 - 10:39

Brun

That is an interesting one - Lang also appears to have made the same statement - I think. He dropped back behind Carraciola and Seaman. After the formers exit I believe Seaman took up the chase of Muller.

Now the big question here is - as I see it - had M-B started a witchhunt for Muller which continued all year?

Did Huhnleins Bavarian ancestry influence his judgement at the end of the year? Have we uncovered here just what was being held against Muller?

Hope there is more.

#359 Vitesse2

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Posted 25 August 2002 - 13:36

Dr Richard Völter was Auto Union's Public Relations Director (Nixon p168)

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#360 scheivlak

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Posted 25 August 2002 - 22:12

First of all: fantastic job, Brun! :clap:

Originally posted by Brun
Now something that fits in this thread: under nr. 7445, there is a BIG file on the Belgian GP, dated June 25th 1939. I haven't copied anything, since it was just too much, but have made a small summary myself. Hopefully, it turns up something new:

It contains lap reports and of course it mentions the tragic Seaman crash. Nothing very new here, it seems. Most of it focusses on the Caracciola issue. As he crashed, Neubauer (head of the MB press office in Berlin), started screaming bloody murder on the grandstand. He told everyone in his vicinity how Müller had tried to stop Caracciola from overtaking him. There is a written testimony in two pages from his secretary, confirming that he spread this rumor amongst bystanders.

In the weeks after the race, AU asks Hühnlein and a certain Dr. Völter (someone help me: who is that?) in writing to correct this rumour. They send him several eye witness reports, which are included in the file. Two members of the AU pits crew independantly ask Caracciola what happened, as he walks through the paddock. C. tells them that he tried to overtake Müller in the corner and hit the brakes too strongly. His front wheel blocked and he went off the track.

Also, Dr. Feuereissen writes that he heard C. tell this story in the hotel lobby, on the following evening.

However, the file also contains another AU statement that Müller had been leading Caracciola by 9 seconds in the previous lap, that he could never have covered that distance in one lap now that the weather was so bad and that he still had to overtake Lang before he got to Müller.

Now, where was Lang in this incident??


From Caracciola's autobiography (in Dutch: "Mijn leven als coureur") :
"At the start H.P. Müller gets way ahead of Lang. He takes the lead, with Lang at his heels. Nuvolari is third with Auto-Union, I'm fourth. On lap 4 I'm overtaking Nuvolari, and I'm behind Lang. We drive behind Müller almost wheel to wheel. Lang tries to overtake. He can't get past Müller. This goes on for eight laps. We start to get angry. Lang gives me a sign that I should try to get past Müller. He allows me to get past him and now I want to try if I can succeed with violence instead of waving my arms. However, Müller is so occupied with his car that he doesn't hear or see anything.
I'll get him at the La Source hairpin, I think. Lang waits behind me to pass Müller as well.
La Source corner is too slippery. When I try to pass the Auto Union car on the outside, I slide off the road. Now Lang has let Seaman pass him as well. Seaman has more luck than we had, because in the same lap Müller goes to the pits. Now Seaman enjoys a free game."

It looks like Caracciola thinks that Müller should allow the Mercedes boys to pass him when they're waving their arms... Did they look upon him as a driver from the "Bernoldi league", who shouldn't mess with the big boys?
At the same time Caracciola admits that he made a mistake.

#361 David McKinney

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Posted 26 August 2002 - 05:45

Originally posted by scheivlak
It looks like Caracciola thinks that Müller should allow the Mercedes boys to pass him when they're waving their arms... Did they look upon him as a driver from the "Bernoldi league", who shouldn't mess with the big boys?
At the same time Caracciola admits that he made a mistake.

No. As has been discussed on another thread, 'blocking' was not accepted in those days. If someone behind you was obviously faster, you let him past. The alternative was to make him angry and cause an accident - as is perfectly illustrated by Caracciola's story. This unwritten rule continued until more recent times, when the chances of being killed by Muller tactics became less of a concern

#362 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 26 August 2002 - 08:10

Muller blocking first Lang, then Caracciola? I don’t think so! I wrote the following some years back.

On race day low hanging clouds covered the Ardennes forest with intermittent rain showers. It rained on one side of the circuit and not on the other. Track conditions changed continuously and were unpredictable.

The 1:30 PM start was not carried out with the usual flag but an optical signal. It was raining. The starting area, situated on a downhill slope, had in the past caused cars to roll on the grid in the last seconds before the flag fell. This time it was Farina's 16-cylinder Alfa Romeo creeping forward. At the green light, it was the Italian in the lead, followed by Müller, Lang, Nuvolari, Caracciola, Seaman, and Hasse. An advantage of 35 hp enabled Müller and Lang to get passed Farina's Alfa on the long climb after the start. With an average of 90 mph, Müller finished the first lap in the lead, chased by Lang, Nuvolari, and Caracciola. Farina had fallen back to fifth place, followed by Seaman, Hasse, Brauchitsch, Sommer and Meier. One by one, the silver cars eventually went past the slower Alfa Romeo. Farina fell continuously back, not to play a role in the outcome of the race.

Despite the slippery conditions, the average had risen to 93.2 mph after the second lap. Müller in the lead had Lang glued to his tail. Regardless of the blue flag being shown, the Auto Union used the whole width of the rain slicked road and Lang could not get by. On the third lap Caracciola overtook Nuvolari for third place.

Lang and Müller carried on their battle for first. The Mercedes was covered by the Auto Union's foggy spray. It was a terrible situation for Lang. He was waiting for a better opportunity to get by, then slowed down a bit but was never more than 50 to 100 yards away. When Caracciola and Nuvolari slowed down as well, Seaman went passed the Italian to take fourth place. Now Müller was chased by the Mercedes team in close formation, Lang, Caratsch, and Seaman. Mazaud's and Gerard's Delahayes, making up the rear, had already been lapped on lap four. Despite the rain, which had again become heavier at the start and finish, the average speed had gone up to 94.6 mph after lap four.

Lang, unable to pass Müller, was shaking his fist furiously. The blue flag had repeatedly been shown to Müller but Lang could not get passed him. The Auto Union stayed in the middle of the road and Müller seemed to be quite busy with his car. It was obviously not easy for two almost equally fast cars to pass one another at 150 mph on a 18 feet wide road and this on a tree lined wet circuit with fog like spray reducing vision. Müller, later had to confront the monstrous accusation of blocking Lang and Caracciola. He assured after the race that he had no such intentions and that he couldn't see anything in his dirty mirrors. It was interesting to notice, that even Nuvolari did not drive as fast as Müller, and that Müller's was indeed the fastest Auto Union at that time. He was however handicapped by having the training car's engine, which started to loose power early on.

On lap nine, Lang, tired of following Müller's spray, waved Caracciola and Seaman by. Caratsch tried to go inside Müller at the La Source hairpin, but misjudged the slippery corner and spun off onto the inside grass. The car was undamaged but faced now back towards the hairpin. On top of it, the engine had stalled in the process. Unable to get the car back on the track, Caracciola was the first one to retire and walked the short distance to the pits. After nine laps, the Auto Union was still in the lead, now chased by Seaman and Lang.

At the end of lap ten, under great applause from the crowd, Seaman crossed the line first. Müller, who had been called in to refuel, followed closely. Seaman was now pulling away from Lang. Müller, despite his fuel stop, had retained third place and was followed by Nuvolari and Hasse.

#363 Brun

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Posted 26 August 2002 - 09:27

In the statements I mentioned earlier in this thread, Feuereissen claims that no blue flag was shown.

What is also remarkable, is the fact that these statements claim that Caracciola was 9 seconds behind in the previous lap, a distance that could not have been covered in one lap, since the weather was so bad?

Looks like I have to copy that one too, on my next visit...

#364 VAR1016

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Posted 26 August 2002 - 09:34

Originally posted by Brun
In the statements I mentioned earlier in this thread, Feuereissen claims that no blue flag was shown.

What is also remarkable, is the fact that these statements claim that Caracciola was 9 seconds behind in the previous lap, a distance that could not have been covered in one lap, since the weather was so bad?

Looks like I have to copy that one too, on my next visit...


I recall that Caracciola was known as the "Regenmeister" - rain-master?

Now it would seem that his gander was well and truly up - vide the overtaking move.

And Spa at that time was about 8.5 miles, a good distance.

PdeRL :smoking:

#365 quintin cloud

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Posted 26 August 2002 - 12:35

Originally posted by Leif Snellman

Sorry, Mattijs. It doesn't fit in as Automobil-Revue also included the tables:
Here is the complete article (I hope you don't mind Hans) :
Posted Image



What I have done is translated the artical from German to English, but some words would not translate. :blush: This is using Systran ( http://www.systran.com )

The German version:

Nach der Entscheidungsschlacht
In der Europameisterschaft.

Der Meister unbekannt!

Der Grosse Preis der Schweiz war bekanntlich der letzte von vier läufen um die diesjährige Europameisterschaft. Wenn nun arn tage der entscheidung dennoch keineswegs feststeht wer eigentlich meister geworden ist so kennen unsure leser die Ursachen dieses unmöglichen, unerquicklichen zustandes, närnlich die tatsache dass ein bewertungsmodus offiziell überhaupt noch gar nicht existiert.
Der zufall will es nun, dass dem Ergebnis des schweizerischen grand prix je nach der formel, die man anwendet, Lang oder Müller den title eines Europameisters verdienen würden. Stellt man die Berechnung auf Grund des letztes Jahr Gültig gewesenen Minimalpunktsystems auf, so schwingt Müller obenaus. Folgt man dagegen der französischen wertungsskala, dann hat Lang das europäische champion nat gewonnen. Eine dritte formel endlich will den title nur jenem Fahrer zusprechen, der mindestens zwei Grandes Epreuves siegreich be endigt hat in diesem falle ware Lang der meistertitel wiederum gewiss. Die Entscheidung arn grünen Tisch wird in der Oktersitzung der A.I.A.C.R. fallen und wir können uns lebhaft vorstellen, dass je nachdem Mercedes-Benz oder Auto Union zu recht verschnuplt sein müssen, wenn es den herren delegierten der verschiedenen landesverbände aus diesen oder jenen Gründen einfallen sollte, dem einen Modus ihre zustimmung zu geben und sie dem andern zu versagen.
Wir können nur erneut betonen, wie sehr uns der umstand dass uber bewertung einer Meisterschaft erst dann verhandelt wird wenn sie bereits ausgetragen iet, in höchatem masse ebsurd erscheint. Man kenn nur hoffen, dass es der A.I.A.C.R. gelingen wird, eine für alle Teile befriedigende Lösung zu finden.
Nachstehend geben wir die Schlusaklassements der europameisterschaft nach der Maximal- und minimalformel wieder und weisen nachdrücklich darauf hin. Dass diesen klassements keinerlei offizieller Charakter zukommt.

And the translated version:

After the decisive battle in the European championship.
The master unknown!

The large price of Switzerland was as well known the last of four runs
around the European championship of this year.

If now ARN do not meet to the decision nevertheless by any means is
certain who actually masters became in such a way know unsure readers
the causes of this impossible, unpleasant status, namely the fact that
an evaluation mode officially at all yet at all does not exist.

The coincidence wants it now that the result of the Swiss grand prix
depending upon the formula, which one applies long or Mueller it would
earn the title of an European champion. If one sets up the calculation due
to last year valid the been minimum point system, then Mueller swings
above.

If one follows against it the French valuation scale, then long won
European championship. A third formula finally wants to award the title
only to that driver, to that at least two Grandes Epreuves victoriously
ends has in this falls again certainly commodity long of the master title.

The decision ARN green desk will fall in the Oktersitzung of the A.I.A.C.R.
and we will be able to do us will lively present the fact that ever after
Mercedes Benz or auto union must be rightfully champion, if the
gentlemen delegated it the different regional organizations for these or
those reasons break in should to give a mode their agreement and to
malfunction them the other one.

We can only again stress, as much stood around us that only evaluation
of a championship is only then negotiated if them already delivered yet, in
high breath mass abcurd appear. One know only hope that will succeed the
A.I.A.C.R. to find a solution satisfying for all sections.

Below we show the Schlusaklassements of the European championship
according to the max. and minimum formula and refer seriously to it. That
klassements no official character comes to these.



Max. valuation

					   B	F	D	CH	Total

Lang				  10	1	1	10	  22

Muller				 1	10   6	4	   21

Caracciola			 1	1	10   6	   18

Brauchitsch			5	1	1	5	   12

Nuvolari			   1	1	1	3		6











Min. valuation



					   B	F	D	CH	Total

Muller				 4	1	2	4	   11

Lang				   1	4	7	1	   13

Caracciola			 6	7	1	2	   16

Brauchitsch			3	5	6	3	   17

Nuvolari			   4	7	4	4	   19
Maybe someone can fix the some of the spelling mistakes.

Now this go's back to the point where the October meeting would answered the the question is it Muller or is it Lang ??? and Brun has noted just made things more interesting .


:

#366 Brun

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Posted 29 August 2002 - 05:46

Did some scanning yesterday... here's the telegram. AU archive file nr. 7886. I enhanced the scan a little, since the quality wasn't the best.
Posted Image

Translated:

To Dr Feuereissen at the Bellevue Palace in Berne. Since there are varying viewpoints regarding the European Championship points system we have postponed the decision on the European Championship until the autumn meeting. Motorsports department Berlin.

More to follow soon!

#367 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 29 August 2002 - 22:11

Brun,
This telegram is another proof about the nauseating situation described in AUTOMOBIL-REVUE’s article, posted here by Leif. The contents of this I had translated and posted here around end December 2000 and therefore it states nothing new but proves the accuracy of this article nevertheless. I am curious to find out how you knew the sender of the telegram because it carries no signature.

I am of course eager to learn if you have found anything about the ONS scoring system or the minutes of the ONS meeting in the fall of 1939? Do you have any other German documents, which you want translated into English? I will help you -with the relevant stuff only- and send the translations back, so you can post them. You can e-mail me at hans@pixi.com. Did you find anything concrete, which would explain how the ONS concocted this injustice, and are you bringing it here to the table for us all to read? :)

#368 Brun

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Posted 30 August 2002 - 10:05

The sender of the telegram is 'Kraftfahrsport Berlin', so 'Motorsport Berlin'. I'm not very sure if that's the ONS or the NSKK.

I have made scans of an ONS meeting of november 20th 1939 in Berlin, with (amongst others) Auto Union, Continental and Daimler-Benz. I am trying to make 'em readable, since the quality is so bad. But it doesn't contain anything about the scoring system. Just the last paragraph, that was already mentioned earlier in this thread. The first line is quite clear on the original, I'll have to make better scans. It reads 'Die ONS wird die Europameister 1939 bekanntgeben' (The ONS will announce the European Champions 1939).

Posted Image

Signature is Von Eberan's, the documents are copies from the minutes by Auto Union.

Thanks very much for your offer on translation. I speak both languages myself, so I'll have a go at it :-)

#369 Brun

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Posted 30 August 2002 - 10:27

Earlier in this thread, I also promised to post the French text with the proposed point system for 1939. So here they come... Hope y'all enjoy it :D

Posted Image
Posted Image

#370 quintin cloud

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Posted 30 August 2002 - 10:49

:clap: :clap: :up: :up: :kiss: Excellent Brun :smoking:

#371 Vitesse2

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Posted 30 August 2002 - 12:00

Merde alors!

For the first time ever, we get a clear explanation of how shared drives were to be split, when it has no bearing on the question in hand! :mad: And even the reason behind the rule - so that a team might not favour one of its drivers over the others!

Close scrutiny of this shows that even if the Italian GP had taken place it would definitely not have counted for the Championship, as we had always assumed.

And, as posted above, there is provision for the withholding of the title in the event that the points leader has not achieved a win and second place. Let me go away and think about this .....

#372 Brun

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Posted 30 August 2002 - 12:06

And to top it up, something interesting from the web.

(...) Weil jedoch viele gute Rennfahrer tödlich verunglückt sind, verpflichtet 1939 die Auto-Union Meier auch für Einsätze im Grand-Prix-Rennwagen. Georg Meier ist Feldwebel bei der Wehrmacht und wird gegen seinen Willen gezwungen, Grand Prix zu fahren. Paul Pietsch, der selbst 1938 nach Italien geflohen ist, berichtet von Hermann Lang: Lang wird aufgrund seiner enormen Rennerfolge befördert, wird Sturmführer, obwohl er selbst sich als Sportler fühlt und unpolitisch ist. Lang gewinnt 1939 die Rennen am Nürburgring, das Eifelrennen und wird Europameister (was dem heutigen Weltmeisterschaftstitel entspricht). Das Regime interessiert nicht so sehr der sportliche Erfolg, sondern die damit verbundene Demonstration von Macht und Überlegenheit gegenüber dem Ausland. (...)

Copied from
http://www.wissen.sw...030/bg_ns06.htm, which is the website to a tv documentary from the German broadcasting company SWR. Haven't seen it, but it sure looks interesting, with interviews with Meier and Pietsch.

It describes the Nazi influence on German drivers. Translation:

Although many great drivers were killed, Auto Union has to take part in the 1939 championship. Georg Meier is a sergeant in the Wehrmacht (Nazi-German army) and is forced to drive AU's GP cars, although he does not want to. Paul Pietsch, who escaped to Italy in 1938, tells us about Hermann Lang. Following his enormous success in racing, Lang is promoted to sturmführer, although he does not care about politics and considers himself to be a sportsman. Lang wins the 1939 Nürburgring and Eifel races and becomes European champion (comparable to today's World Championship). The (Nazi) regime is not primarily interested in sport successes, yet concerns itself more with the demonstration of power and superiority to foreign countries.

So, propaganda played a part too. The ONS might have appointed Lang simply because he they saw him as the most 'Arian' of drivers. For this, they chose the point system that suited them best.

#373 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 30 August 2002 - 17:31

Originally posted by Brun
And to top it up, something interesting from the web.....
[I](...) Weil jedoch viele gute Rennfahrer tödlich verunglückt sind, verpflichtet 1939 die Auto-Union Meier auch für Einsätze im Grand-Prix-Rennwagen.....
Although many great drivers were killed, Auto Union has to take part in the 1939 championship.....

Brun,
The first sentence should read: "Since many good racing drivers have crashed fatally, Auto Union directed Meier also for action in the grand prix car." Therefore, it was not Auto Union who was forced to take part but Georg Meier.

Besides this inaccurate sentence in German language (it implies other duties for Meier with Auto Union, which in itself is nonsense since Meier was contracted to BMW -not DKW- to drive their bikes), the article quoted from the internet, seems to be written in sensational and sloppy style. Paul Pietsch did not flee Germany but moved to Bologna in order to be close to Maserati. In 1937, Paul had started again as private driver with the 270 hp, 3.7-liter, 6-cylinder Maserati 6C-34. Pietsch entered in six events, of which his best result was winning the minor German Hohensyburg race in a borrowed 2-liter Alfa Romeo sports car. At the Masaryk Circuit, he seriously crashed during practice and just pure luck saved his life. After spinning the Maserati at over 200 km/h in the left hand turn after the Start-Finish, the car’s tail hit a telegraph pole with undiminished speed. At the impact Pietsch was ejected from the cockpit, flying over a medium tree and landing 30 meters away in a swampy meadow. He remained unconscious for two days and needed several months to recover from the severe concussion of his brain, contusion of his spine and many other injuries but no fractures. The German Racing-Doctor Gläser had attended to him after the crash. The totally demolished car had burned out. Paul Pietsch needed a new drive for 1938. After he had recuperated from his severe crash, he made an agreement with the Maserati factory to drive one of their 150 hp 4CM 1500 and the 165 hp 6CM voiturettes. He even moved to Bologna in Italy, where he rented a hotel room. He did not flee Germany as the internet article tries to imply and I would not give that article to much importance. Do you know the author?

#374 Racer.Demon

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Posted 30 August 2002 - 18:59

Something occurred to me while browsing Brun's photocopies - yes, I have that privilege :)

When confronted with the proposed MB and AU line-ups for the largely cancelled Italian season in 1940, I was immediately struck by the absence of HP Müller. Early 1940, it was agreed that both MB and AU would each try to form a two-car team for the Italian races - with three Formula races being planned, the Coppe Ciano and Acerbo, and the Italian GP. Under immense pressure from Alfa Romeo these were reverted to voiturette races.

MB didn't need to think twice about their line-up - it would be Brauchitsch and Lang - but AU was trying to sway the Korpsführer into letting Nuvolari drive for them again, although he wasn't German. This had apparently become a factor now that the war had started. The reason for AU's plea was that "they had no other top driver". Perhaps Hasse, Meier or Bigalke weren't from the top drawer, but why was there no mention at all of their (near) champion Müller? By all standards he had done exceptionally well in 1939. Stuck also wasn't considered, but then his wife's background might have had something to do with that.

So why this driver embarrassment on the part of AU? Had Müller fallen from grace in any way?

#375 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 30 August 2002 - 20:25

Originally posted by Racer.Demon
..... why this driver embarrassment on the part of AU? Had Müller fallen from grace in any way?

These are good questions, Mattijs.

Auto Union seemed to have quite a bit more driver problems than the Mercedes-Benz team experienced. After Rosemeyer killed himself for Führer und Vaterland, they lacked an experienced driver. Hans Stuck was past his prime for the long races, plus his relationship with Auto Union in 1938 was not that sweet as it had been in 1934 when employed as their top driver. So, they had to hire him back after they had fired him. Nuvolari became then available during the 1938 season and had to get used to the different handling Auto Union racing car. H.P. Müller had come from DKW motorcycles in 1937 and by 1939 had reached Nuvolari’s speed but did not yet have the Italian’s experience.

I hope to receive more bits and pieces some time in September to shed more light on the H.P. Müller saga.

#376 Doug Nye

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Posted 30 August 2002 - 22:23

Very little attention appears to have been paid to the award of a Championship point for every starter in the race, as cited by these Belgian GP provisions, for which thank you Brun, very, very much indeed. If that was commonly applied throughout qualifying races how would that alter the significant driver totals???

DCN

#377 Vitesse2

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Posted 30 August 2002 - 23:07

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Very little attention appears to have been paid to the award of a Championship point for every starter in the race, as cited by these Belgian GP provisions, for which thank you Brun, very, very much indeed. If that was commonly applied throughout qualifying races how would that alter the significant driver totals???

DCN


Doug - the one point for starting is not extra to any points scored in the race:

1 point a tout autre conducteur ayant pris le départ
1 point to every other driver who started



The points tables in this thread reflect that rule. Unfortunately, giving an extra point for starting would bring Lang's total to 24, not 23 as quoted by the ONS. We've been down this road a few times I'm afraid.

#378 FEV

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Posted 31 August 2002 - 00:57

My most sincere bravo to you Brun for digging out this wonderful material ! :clap: :clap: :clap:

#379 quintin cloud

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Posted 31 August 2002 - 15:25

Originally posted by Brun

So, propaganda played a part too. The ONS might have appointed Lang simply because he they saw him as the most 'Arian' of drivers. For this, they chose the point system that suited them best.


That is some thing that I have said in the past in this Thread but to proof it is quiet mission. For all you know it was in a file on the 3rd floor at the end of hall on the left which bombed in the WW2. : Maybe you might have more luck finding info on that one.

:cool:

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#380 David J Jones

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Posted 01 September 2002 - 08:16

I am quite sure that Lang was appointed Champion because he was the most acceptable of the two candidates to the Nazi Government.

I feel we have information from the A-U Files that point in that direction. It is a mystery that Muller would not figure in their plans for 1940 though. Perhaps that too was due to pressure from above.

Maybe the NSKK Files will give some indication. They should contain something as the Nuremburg Trials which would draw on their contents quite clearly declare the Kraftfahrcorps was exonerated from war crimes and it would seem political manipulation. Huhnlein also received mention in that it was due to his influence they had not become involved in such things.

I hope the NSKK files contain his files as they will I am sure finally settle the matter. I wonder if anything of his exists in a Munich Library?

Whatever it was a Nazi decree and should be overturned.

#381 Racer.Demon

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Posted 01 September 2002 - 13:51

David: Brun and I are in the middle of persuading a Berlin-resident friend to dive into the NSKK files at the Bundesarchiv in Berlin, so be patient. We are getting closer...

#382 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 September 2002 - 21:02

Originally posted by Racer.Demon
David: Brun and I are in the middle of persuading a Berlin-resident friend to dive into the NSKK files at the Bundesarchiv in Berlin, so be patient. We are getting closer...


Can I just remind you all that we never managed to investigate the NSKK magazine "Deutsches Kraftfahr". I did find some more reasonably priced copies relevant to our period on sale through another dealer. Despite Hans' best efforts, we were unable to discover from the vendor what the contents are and whether it holds any clues or answers for us. Obviously, we were not prepared to buy "sight unseen" what might have been totally useless paper! However, there MUST be copies in a German library or archive somewhere!

#383 Holger Merten

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Posted 13 September 2002 - 14:29

Yesterday I send a mail to the DMSB (Deutscher Motorsportbund - German Racing Association) the former ONS:

Here is the (babblefish) translation from the letter and the answer:

1939 (!) Hermann Lang on Mercedes Benz was appointed the european champion of the European GP championship

My interests:
1.) When was Lang appointed European champion; 1939 or 1940?
2.) Was he appointed European champion by the ONS?
3.) And depending on which international statutes or rules?



And here is the answer:


Dear Mr. Merten,

I inquired in our organisation department after your problem and must unfortunately communicate to you that all data were destroyed 1949 by a fire. The DMSB has no more possibility to give you the desired information. If you have in addition nevertheless still questions, contact Mr.XXXX (XXXX@dmsb.de) please directly. It can give you otherwise over meetings or placements information.

mfg
DMSB
Renate XXXXX
Technology dept.


So no question, I send a mail again to the given address, but after the fire, I think there is no chance to find out more from ONS, now DMSB

#384 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 13 September 2002 - 16:11

Holger,
Hühnlein had the European Champion decision made public in 1939. I found the announcement made first in the Nazi party daily Völkischer Beobachter from November 30, 1939 and again in the Motorpost No.49, pg. 4 on December 9, 1939.

Must have been a convenient fire for a big German concern. ;)

#385 Holger Merten

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Posted 13 September 2002 - 16:48

Okay, it was made official by NSKK. But who made that statement official from a sport point of view? the ONS? Didn't I read it on this thread? And why......What we know......sory, only a joke

#386 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 13 September 2002 - 23:43

Holger,
I only have an announcement by Korpsführer Hühnlein of the NSKK. I am probably the culprit who brought the ONS into this Game because Hühnlein was not only top man of the NSKK but also of the ONS. Either way, both organizations must have discussed this Championship matter, both were national bodies and neither had the authorization to announce an international decree. In 1939, Nazi-Germany felt on top of the world and such arrogance therefore must have led to the then understandable announcement. The Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz team were both represented in the ONS and therefore both teams had exact knowledge of the proceedings and manipulation of the AIACR rules to -lets call it- National Interests. Maybe the Sächsische Staatsarchive contains copies of the ONS meeting, which must have taken place after the 1939 Swiss GP. But I would not be surprised if that document has conveniently disappeared from that archive. The Mercedes-Benz Archiv has always been praised for their completeness. It would be surprising, however, if their historians would have kept such documentation, interesting possibly to the researcher but poison for public relations.

#387 Brun

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Posted 14 September 2002 - 07:36

Must have been a convenient fire for a big German concern.


Ha, now there's something we should look in to! I'll call the cops at once. Those [censored] Benz people won't know what hit them! :evil:

Maybe the Sächsische Staatsarchive contains copies of the ONS meeting, which must have taken place after the 1939 Swiss GP.


I am 99 percent sure that it doesn't (anymore) : When I was there, I had two items on my to-search list and one was 'everything you can find about the 1939 season'. Of course, there's always the odd chance that I overlooked something. Yet I dug through the index first, which is not only completed two years ago, but is also very thorough and comprehensive. Then I double-checked by going through all files that contained information on the 1939 GP.

There's two more sources to check. One is the National German library, in which I have found some clues to documents that _might_ contain more on the subject. I'll be able to see into it somewhere in october. The second is the Berlin archives. Racer.demon and I have been persuading a friend to go there, yet he is not diving into any archive at all as long as the weather stays as good as it does.

So all off you, pray for weeks and weeks of downpour on Berlin! :lol:

#388 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 September 2002 - 18:57

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
In 1939, Nazi-Germany felt on top of the world and such arrogance therefore must have led to the then understandable announcement.......... Maybe the Sächsische Staatsarchive contains copies of the ONS meeting, which must have taken place after the 1939 Swiss GP.




Originally posted by Brun
There's two more sources to check. One is the National German library, in which I have found some clues to documents that _might_ contain more on the subject....... The second is the Berlin archives.....So all off you, pray for weeks and weeks of downpour on Berlin!


And so, just as at Spa... the outcome of the 1939 European Championship is dependent on the weather?

#389 Don Capps

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Posted 16 October 2002 - 23:50

Should anyone be interested, I just made a *.pdf file of the threads on this topic -- this one, the Happi threads, and the A-U type thread. It is about 2 megs, but easier to play with than going on-line....

Besides, at least there is a backup copy of all this jawing back and forth.....

#390 Holger Merten

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 11:54

:up: Thank you Don, a good idea to handle these threads. :)

#391 Vitesse2

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 17:12

Dammit! :mad: Dammit! :mad: Dammit!! :mad:

Are we all blind??

Reviewing this thread for the umpteenth time, I have just noticed the date on the RACB scoring proposal. It is JULY 18th. Therefore, it must have been prepared for a CSI meeting at the GERMAN GP, not the French. The French GP was on July 9th, the German GP on July 23rd. I, for one, have been looking in the wrong place for this. :blush:

THAT'S WHY the scoring tables do not appear until after the German GP! So did the CSI release this officially, or was it leaked by Mercedes Benz once they had realised that Lang could be champion under the plus scoring method?

#392 Racer.Demon

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 18:27

Ah, Richard, you are pointing at this meaningful question which was never answered:

The text is the internal AU translation in German of an original French document published by the Royal Automobile Club de Belgique, Brussels, on 18 July 1939 (between the French and German GP), and is called Projet d'attribution de points permettant de designer le "champion europeen des conducteurs" pour l'annee 1939. The original French text: "Le titre de champion européen des conducteurs ne peut être attribué que si le conducteur ayant obtenu le plus de points a été classé une fois premier et une fois second sur les cinq grandes-epreuves de 1939." So this is the system already known as the one devised by RACB sports president Langlois. But it's also the most telling document on the 1939 championship that is in this particular AU file.

Of course the word "projet" is the important one here, as it means it was a mere proposal. The mid-July date seems significant too - when exactly was the Italian GP cancelled?


So do we know?

And as to Don's thoughtful PDF file - yes, it is extremely helpful for non-broadband TNF members, but what we really need for some time now is for someone to write a concise, objective and non-judgemental overview article with all the facts, evidence, theories and conjecture, to create some order into all the priceless snippets hidden in these dozens of TNF pages. We may not yet have the puzzle solved completely, but we are on the doorstep of the truth. An article of such calibre would help sort our combined minds and maybe invoke some bright new ideas. Of course, Hans is ideally placed to write such an article, but I wager Richard would do a solid job of it too. (Maybe a combined effort?)

Leif's site seems the right place to publish it but I am also willing to offer a good environment for such a story - it would certainly fit in with the Auto Union articles Brun and Holger are preparing at the moment.

So who is willing to take up the challenge?

#393 Don Capps

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 18:44

Actually, Hans and I wrote something ages ago on this topic which is probably in need of some serious revision and editing at the moment....

#394 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 20:04

Good idea Don. Again, I offer my help in advisory function only to determine what is relevant and what not. The story can be told in less than 2000 words, important really, so people don't fall asleep or run off to fetch some lunch. This would also be an acceptable size for a magazine article.

#395 Holger Merten

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 22:59

Don, Hans, where is that article, "years ago"? I think Racer.Demon is right, we have to construct that puzzle without any problems built by ourself.

#396 Vitesse2

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 23:06

I'm working on an outline .... but I think it will be more than 2000 words! Concise won't be easy ....

#397 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 23:12

Originally posted by Vitesse2
I'm working on an outline .... but I think it will be more than 2000 words! Concise won't be easy ....


Leave out the expletives about Nazi activity?

You blokes are doing, I have to say, a great job with this project. The force that's now contributing to it is incredible when you consider how it all began and what it's all about.

This could well be TNF's crowning glory...

#398 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 23:49

Originally posted by Vitesse2
I'm working on an outline .... but I think it will be more than 2000 words! Concise won't be easy ....

Richard, .....a 2000 words outline? :confused:

#399 David J Jones

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 09:20

Ray

Leave out the expletives about Nazi activity?



What expletives?


I don't see how you can eliminate it considering the documentary set we have still to review is a set of Nazi documents regarding the NSKK.

These may contain the answer to our questions as they appear to relate to Huhnlein's tenure as Korpsfuhrer.

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#400 Brun

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 11:29

Yesterday, I wrote an e-mail to the Bundesarchiv in Berlin asking

(1) if they can tell whether the NSKK files contain anything on the 1939 season
(2) if one/we/I can browse these archives
(3) if yes, how this is arranged.

I'll let you know when they answer me.