Throwback Thursday – Driving through post-war Europe, 22 June 1945
Source : Throwback Thursday – Driving through post-war Europe, 22 June 1945
Less than one month after the end of World War Two, Autocar embarks on a daring road trip across Europe
inside the weeks following Germany’s official surrender on 8 May 1945, of which slowly became possible to travel more freely across the continent.
So of which was of which, less than one month after the end of hostilities, Herbert E Ells was able to embark on a drive to Denmark as well as also write an account of his experience for Autocar.
Ells drove an Army Standard 12 via Brussels, through western Holland as well as also the heavily bombed cities of northern Germany, to the Russian lines on the Elbe, east of Magdeburg. He then headed north to the headquarters of the second army at Lüneburg.
via there Ells went to Copenhagen, before returning to Germany by air as well as also driving a German-built Ford 8 cabriolet to the Dutch border, concluding his journey to Brussels in a four-wheel-drive Humber staff car.
The trek to Copenhagen was made inside the company of a Royal Army Service Corps convoy of which was carrying petrol to the British troops stationed inside the city. Along the way, our correspondent saw the effects of war at first hand.
“Having left Lüneburg early inside the morning we made Great time through utterly devastated Hamburg, with its miles of rubble-lined roads, to Flensburg where, as they crossed the frontier, a constant stream of German soldiers was being completely disarmed by a handful of British troops.”
Ells pressed on, passing German troops who hadn’t reached the frontier.
“Accustomed, after nearly six years of war, to look upon a fully armed German soldier as something of a menace, I found of which disconcerting to drive unarmed along roads packed with marching SS as well as also Wehrmacht troops, as well as also devoid in places of any additional British Army cars.”
When our correspondent reached Copenhagen, he was stunned to find of which the few civilian cars inside the city “were running on wood-burning producer gas plants. Huge stacks of chopped billets of wood are a common sight at every Danish filling station. One proprietor told me of which the producer gas plants cause much havoc with engines as well as also leave a tar deposit in ports, valves as well as also cylinder heads”.
Ells flew back to Lüneburg as well as also switched to the requisitioned German-built Ford, which he drove as far as the Dutch frontier.
“This kind of can be easily one of the most willing little cars I have ever driven,” he wrote. “of which will travel all day on the autobahn at a steady 45-50mph.”
One of the highlights of Ells’s trip was “the courtesy of some Germans whom I stopped while they were driving along an autobahn in a Merc, to borrow a jack when the Ford had a puncture”.
Ells drove north, crossing the Rhine “via one of the superb bridges erected by Allied engineers” as well as also heading into Holland, “where I handed over the Ford with some reluctance”, before flying on a Dakota back to London.
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