German Railways in the East (Wartime Documents)

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
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Re: German Railways in the East (Wartime Documents)

Post by GregSingh » 19 Feb 2015 23:12

M.i.G. - Militärbefehlshaber im Generalgouvernement
W.Trsp.Ltg.Ost - Wehrmacht Transportwesens Leitung Ost
If we become increasingly humble about how little we know, we may be more eager to search.

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Der Alte Fritz
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W.Trsp.Ltg.Ost - Wehrmacht Transportwesens Leitung Ost

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 20 Feb 2015 09:19

W.Trsp.Ltg.Ost - Wehrmacht Transportwesens Leitung Ost

Lexicon der Wehrmacht:
In July 1941 the Transportation-Service z.b.V.became the Armed Forces-Transportation-Management East (Wehrmacht Transportwesens Leitung Ost) in Lemberg from September 1941 its work increased. Simultaneously, the old Armed Forces-Transportation-Management North East went east as armed forces-transportation-management moved from Lodz to Warsaw. In December 1941, the Armed Forces-Transportation-Management West was dissolved, personnel and material were used for the formation of the Armed Forces-Transportation-Management Nord in Riga. Furthermore, after September 1941 no other Armed Forces-Transportation-Management z.b.V was used until another one was set up in the year 1943.
In August 1942 the Armed Forces-Transportation-Management East was transfered east to Dnjepropetrowsk and was renamed in Armed forces-transportation-management Ukraine. The Armed Forces Transport Management Northeast became the AFTM Weichsel and the AFTM Nord becamse the AFTM Ostland in Minsk.
With the creation of the General des Transportwesen,(in 1942 following the winter transport crisis) the position of the AFM changed significantly as they handed over their responsibility to the new staff for the front line areas and in the West even larger parts of their previous authority.
These staffs handled the transportation administration behind the front in the area of the Army Group, which had little role in either transport or supply in 1941. The Bv.T.O were based at the Army headquarters and provided the same command function in the Army Rear Areas and the front line.
In terms of the railway the W.Trsp.Ltg controlled the HBD/RVD and the Bv.T.O controlled the FEDko.

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Der Alte Fritz
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Traffic in August 1941

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 20 Feb 2015 10:09

Traffic in August 1941
To put this in some kind of context lets take AOK.6. This comprised 18 Infanterie Divisions, 1 Motorised Division and SS LSSAH Motorised Division which would need 200 tons per ID and 300 tonnes per Motor.D per day. So for the month August this adds up to a consumption of 4,200 tonnes a day. According to the first document from September the commanders were aiming for 5 trains a day for AOK.6 or 2,500 tonnes a day (with each train carrying 450 tonnes net load) and the balance would be provided by the lorries of the Grosstransportraum or taken from the local population in the form or requisition. During August they are meeting this target with an average of 5.6 trains a day, 170 trains in 30 days.

Likewise the September target for Supply District South was 5 trains a day (1 supplies and 4 of fuel) and in August they are meeting that target with 156 trains. But 5 trains a day was not going to build up a reserve for a forward fighting advance given that the front line was now beyond the Dniepr. The intention was that from September the Grosstransportraum would ferry the supplies from the Supply District South to the front line and that the railway would provide the capacity to fill the Supply District. So as the armies move out of range across the river, the railway would deliver more to the Supply District South.

But note that the plan for September does not match the overall consumption, there would still have to be local requisitioning and a certain amount of living off ones hump. Likewise unless capacity increases significantly there is no room for troop trains to carry replacements for the heavy casualties suffered to date (only 22 trains in August) nor equipment for OT (2 trains) to repair the bridges over the major rivers, or any of the other occupation needs.

August shows very much a minimum service; 30 trains a day for HGr Sud, the Luftwaffe and the railway is not much for 2 major rail routes (3 if you include the Transistria one).

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Der Alte Fritz
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Re: German Railways in the East (Wartime Documents)

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 20 Feb 2015 10:24

NARA T311 R296 Frames 434-5
Traffic Summary for April 1942
00434 Traffic summary April 1942.jpg
00433 Traffic summary April 42.jpg
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Der Alte Fritz
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Re: German Railways in the East (Wartime Documents)

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 21 Feb 2015 08:58

Page 1:
Train Situation in the month of April 1942
In the month of April were found the following 3139 Trains

Month of April Month of March
220 Munition trains of which 22 Army trains 7% (220 of total)
Operational Supplies
Rations
Various Supplies
Troops Army
Troops Luftwaffe
Railway

Total 3139

To split the Army gives the following picture:

Month April Month March
Command HGr Sud
AOK 6
PZ.AOK 1
AOK 17
AOK 11
AOK 2
Various Recipients
Troops Army
Troops Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Railway

Total 3139

Page two

Notes
The 473 trains foe Various Recipients that are not sent to the Armies are distributed as follows:
Economic
Organisation Todt
Quartermaster Black Sea
Commander Ukraine
Commander Rearward Army Area (Koruck)

Total version
Total train situation 1st July 1941 to 30th April 1942 (ie 10 months)
Munitions
Operational supplies
Rations
Various Supplies
Troops
Railways

Divided between the Armies gives the following picture:
Headquarters South
AOK 6
Pz,AOK 1
AOK 17
AOK 11
AOK 2
Different recipients
Troop trains
Luftwaffe
Railway
Last edited by Der Alte Fritz on 21 Feb 2015 09:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Der Alte Fritz
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Re: German Railways in the East (Wartime Documents)

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 21 Feb 2015 09:07

The first set of documents from August 1941 represents the start of the supply battle during Operation Barbarossa, then this represents the end in April 1942. The winter transport crisis is over, normality is being restored and the build up for Fall Blau is starting. There is a large increase in traffic from March with large increases in rations and in economic traffic. But all is not well, the following month Dorpmuller will go to Hitler and say that he can no longer guarantee the traffic in the Reich and then be Ganzmueller will take over and Speer set up the Vehicle Committee and start the production of new locomotives. Early Summer was traditionally the quiet time for the railways before the holiday began but Dorpmuller could see from his inspection tour of the East in March what a huge job needed to be done in the East and how little resources he had been given to accomplish this in terms of steel, manpower etc. The crisis in the winter had drawn motive power into Russia and although the DRB had received some help from French vehicles and other occupied countries, its reserves had gone east and with new challenges facing it during wartime, Dorpmuller could forsee future crises on the horizon.
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Re: German Railways in the East (Wartime Documents)

Post by Jeff Leach » 21 Feb 2015 09:11

I hope there is a book in the works Fritz. It would be a shame to see all your good work disappear.

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Der Alte Fritz
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Re: German Railways in the East (Wartime Documents)

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 23 Feb 2015 08:59

There are other supporting figures that can be used alongside these ones. So from Kreidlers "Die Eisenbahnen" we have the cross border traffic for most of 1942.
Kreidler 1942 Cross Border Rail Traffic.jpg
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Der Alte Fritz
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Re: German Railways in the East (Wartime Documents)

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 23 Feb 2015 09:43

As you can see HGr Süd has 46 trains a day crossing the border from the GG when in the Gen des Trnsp. table it has an average of 78 trains a day for the month of March from which we can conclude 32 trains came from within the GVD Osten area, probably the Ration trains and part of the other categories were traffic that started and ended in Russia.

April shows an increase in cross border traffic 46 trains a day over two main lines (so roughly 24 trains a day per line) and 6 additional trains on the Rumanian controlled line to Odessa of which a proportion of the 53 economic /railway trains go to HGr Süd.
According to the HGr Süd table it has 104 trains a day averaged over the month:
7 Munitions
4 Operational supplies
13 Rations
35 Various Supplies
20 Troop trains
4 Luftwaffe
21 Railway

so of these 52 are coming from with GVD Osten so half the traffic begins and ends within Russia. This represents the H Gr 'normal' demand, AOK 6 is getting 7 trains a day. Compare this with August and you can see how thin the supply situation is with just 27 trains a day but AOK 6 in August 1941 is still getting 7 trains a day.

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Re: German Railways in the East (Wartime Documents)

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 01 Mar 2015 09:27

Loading Summary for part of an Infantry Division June 1942
NARA R311 T264 HGr Sud General des Transportwesens
0591 loading of an ID.jpg
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Der Alte Fritz
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Re: German Railways in the East (Wartime Documents)

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 04 Mar 2015 18:33

One interesting area is to understand the size of these various commands and units. The K.St.N for these are held in T78 and there is this index for them:
Index T78 R391 Army Higher Commands Transport a.jpg
Index T78 R391 Army Higher Commands Transport b.jpg
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Der Alte Fritz
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Re: German Railways in the East (Wartime Documents)

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 04 Mar 2015 18:44

The highest level of Command is from November 1942 until the end of 1943 and is the General des Transportwesens Southern Russia who has command over both the Wehmacht Transport Leitung Sud and Ost but also the Generals des Transport HGr Sud, A and B, The role is to co-ordinate and ration all the differing requirements of the Army Groups and manage these from the border right through to the front line.
T78 R391 Gen des Transport Sudrussland a.jpg
T78 R391 Gen des Transport Sudrussland b.jpg
T78 R391 Gen des Transport Sudrussland c.jpg
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Re: German Railways in the East (Wartime Documents)

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 05 Mar 2015 08:33

The next layer down was the Wehrmacht Transport Leitungs Ost/Ukraine which was the main command organ of the General des Transportwesen Gen Rudolf Gercke over the railway company in Russia, GVD Osten and its associated Haupteisenbahndirektion (HBD or later RVD) in the Ukraine.

As you can see this Weh.Trsp. Ltg comprises 29 officers, 1 official and 24 NCOs which is on the small size for commanding these large areas of railway.
T78 R391 Wehrmact Transport Leitung a.jpg
T78 R391 Wehrmact Transport Leitung b.jpg
T78 R391 Wehrmact Transport Leitung c.jpg
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Re: German Railways in the East (Wartime Documents)

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 05 Mar 2015 08:47

The next or equal step was the Generals des Transportwesens who were the commanders at Army Group level although their remit extended over the FEDko the Wehr. Trsp. Ltg. behind them to an extent. The problems in late 1942 were that there was no way of resolving the competing demands of several HGr when using the limited railway network behind them which led to the creation of the creation of the Gen des Trsp Sudrussland to oversee the whole area and balance these merits of the demands one with the other.

Again with just 9 officers and 16 NCOs with 6 vehicles these were tiny organisations. The bottom of page 'a' onwards shows the additional troops required to turn a Gen des Trsp. into a Wehr. Trsp. Ltg
T78 R391 Gen Des Transportwesen July 43 a.jpg
T78 R391 Gen Des Transportwesen July 43 b.jpg
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Re: German Railways in the East (Wartime Documents)

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 05 Mar 2015 08:56

The units we have looked at so far have been command units but the next level, the Feldeisenbahnkommando provided both command and operations personnel and so was considerably larger.
T78 R391 FEDko 1944 a.jpg
T78 R391 FEDko 1944 b.jpg
T78 R391 FEDko 1944 c.jpg
T78 R391 FEDko 1944 d.jpg
T78 R391 FEDko 1944 e.jpg
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