History of transport – part 39. How car transport has become a political issue

You can read this article in 3 minutes

Governments were the arbitrators in the struggle between the car and railway. Their perspectives depended on the development prospects of both modes of transport. In Germany, the Weimar Republic’s government predicted the use of the railways in the future war. Over the years, the military has appreciated the car transport and convinced Hitler and politicians from his entourage that the car has an important role to play in the plans for German conquests.

For the automotive industry to meet military plans, the factories had to constantly develop the products and release thousands of cars annually. The restrictive policy towards road hauliers was detrimental to the strategic interests of the state and was changed when Hitler came to power in 1933. Car transport took on a political dimension.

Hitler’s government eased restrictions on car carriers. In August 1936, the Road Transport Act was issued, which for the first time recognized long-distance car transport as a separate branch of the transport industry.

Along with the economic improvement in Germany, transport by car grew rapidly. The number of transport orders in 1936 increased by 150 percent compared to 1932. At the same time, the work of the railway has increased by 100 percent. In contrast to the nationalized railways organized into one Reichsbahn company, the car carriers belonged to small entities. Only 2.5 percent out of 8179 registered carriers had more than 4 cars in 1938 in Germany.

Despite the small size of enterprises, their importance in domestic transport was increasing. Thei growing presence was noted even in transports of East Prussia through Poland.

In the next episode of Transportation History in Trans.INFO:

How the construction of motorways contributed to the eradication of unemployment in Germany.

Previous episodes:

From military surplus to civilian use, or how the bus industry was born

A half of cheese – bribes given to German customs officers 90 years ago

How the German road transport developed at the beginning of the 20th century

How buses quickly conquered the transport market

What was the difference between pre-war American buses and European ones? 

How farmers contributed to the development of trucks in America 

How sellers benefited from trucks

How the railway lost its orders for transport for the benefit of trucks 

Why the hump yards were too expensive for the railways 

How trucks broke railway monopoly 

How clever company president persuaded carriers to use pneumatic tyres 

Through the continent without a flat tyre

Where did the idea of three-axle trucks come from? 

Golden years of steam locomotive

Where did the car transport licenses come from?