ISDT 1939 – Germany

Page under construction always……..

Introduction 21st ISDT 1939 Austria

This year the 21st ISDT was held over the 21st to 26th August 1939 and intended to visit Austria, but before it started the National Socialists in Germany had annexed Austria into the Third Reich, resulting in what was probably the most controversial ISDT ever held, at least for GB riders. The controversy started the previous year when the Germans announced changes to the traditional event rules as this article explains. The event started on cue and lasted the six days but saw a large number of riders retire on the 4th and 5th day due to emergency situation that developed by the announcement of the Germany – Russian Pact which saw the taking and splitting of Poland by the two nations and within days Germany and Britain were officially at War. The evacuation of competitors, often with stealth, saw the British military riders being escorted to Switzerland. As the event was an important annual event for European Army Motorcycle riders the British Regiment soldiers competing had then to travel across hostile territory to reach the ports in order to return back to England. The event is now often referred to by those who recall it in detail as ‘the Great Escape’ in deference to the Steve McQueen film of the same name. Although Germany was declared the winner the results stood until after the war the FIM annulled the event and so there was no official awarding of the Trophy or Vase for this event.

Image of scanned cover for official programme of 21st ISDT 1939 held in Salzberg Austria

I am indebted to the excellent Technical Museum of Vienna who, having acquired a small collection of programmes, results, and images from a number of ISDT events, have scanned and loaded them as featured articles on their authoritative web site. You will find a copy here of the full 108 pages of the original programme in high resolution full colour in electronic Issuu format.

image – Front piece of Official Programme ISDT 1939

Image Image of front cover of official entry list of ISDT 1939 (Original seen on eBay)

Reader John Tilsley has helpfully prepared a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet detailing the British Entries to the 1939 ISDT and it can be found to download at this blog post

On the Map

Click on maps to see enlarged images,

Image - routes of days 1 - 5 ISDT 1939 set out on LANDSAT colour image (Google Earth / Speedtracktales)

Image – routes of days 1 – 5 ISDT 1939 set out on LANDSAT colour image (Google Earth / Speedtracktales)

The above image is what the route of this event looked like in a real world setting. There is a full article on our project of the rediscovering of the route to create modern day mapping of the 1939 route here

Image - map of all 6 days route ISDT 1939

Image – map of all 6 days route ISDT 1939

image - scanned map and checkpoint details for day 1 ISDT 1939

image – scanned map and checkpoint details for day 1 ISDT 1939

image - scanned map and checkpoint details for day 2 ISDT 1939

image – scanned map and checkpoint details for day 2 ISDT 1939

image - scanned map and checkpoint details for day 3 ISDT 1939

image – scanned map and checkpoint details for day 3 ISDT 1939

image - scanned map and checkpoint details for day 4 ISDT 1939

image – scanned map and checkpoint details for day 4 ISDT 1939

image - scanned map and checkpoint details for day 5 ISDT 1939

image – scanned map and checkpoint details for day 5 ISDT 1939

image - scanned map and checkpoint details for day 6 ISDT 1939

image – scanned map and checkpoint details for day 6 ISDT 1939

Photo of Photo of unknown motorcycle alongside swastika armband wearing uniformed officials approaching a time check in ISDT 1939 (Caption modified after below comment)

A keen reader from Germany took one look at the above picture with original caption and was able to tell us this:-
First is the photo with the “Kontrolle” banner. This is, without any doubt, an ISDT checkpoint. The uniformed persons with swastika armband were, supposedly, only interested spectators. At that time, these guys did wear their SA, SS, NSKK or whatever uniforms instead of their sunday suite…

Thank you for your interest!, there is much of the story of this ISDT where during the race war is declared causing competitors to be placed in a hostile position to the event home nation. More of this can be found in the History of ISDT to display what happened to whom, in what nowadays could appear unreal, go to the other page to find out the background, being in another country when they declare war can cause more ‘unease’ than can be imagined.

I have written an article listing the entire British Entry in this event. The list is based on the riders appearing in the official results provided by the FIM and includes images of those riders we hold photographs of. In addition the details of all British Riders in the Programme found at the Technisches Museum Wien which can be read here. ISDT 1939 GB entry list

British Team appointment

photo – Scanned ACU team appointment letter 12 May 1939 appointing Tom Whitton to British Team ISDT 1939

I would be keen to find out about any of these riders from anyone who remembers them or if they have direct descendants who would be able to expand on the events of this particular event. Much of what remains is held in press releases such as this

image – Scan of press article re-telling the escape from Germany of the British Riders ISDT 1939

Image of scanned newspaper clip of results of ISDT 1939

Those 1939 Results found by ‘STB’, these were rejected & changed & led to upsets.

Photo of Motorcyclists believed to be at the ISDT 1939 (Courtesy of Rob Miller’s collection)

A squint at the registration plates of these bike would appear to be possibly British. Has anyone got a higher resolution copy of this to check?

Photo of Motorcyclists believed to be at the ISDT 1939 (Courtesy of Rob Miller’s collection)

Rob Miller found these 2 pics, we believe them to be 1939 ISDT, enjoy them & note attention that Military Matchless is getting from a Military youngster & an Italian Machine with ‘I’ on it which we’d love to receive more info about.

Photo of event armband of ISDT 1939

Here we see an armband used by Sweden’s Mr Gunnar Cerne, Grandfather of Hakan Cerne who sent this along, Gunnar Cerne (Grandfather had to return to Sweden from the Event with his friend)   [Hakan was born in 1964 & never met his Grandfather so can anyone provide any info on this Industrie Armband, Thanks to all]

HERE IS FURTHER DATA FROM HAKAN CERNE TO EXPLAIN SOME THINGS in his words:-
I spoke to my uncle who remembered his father’s trip to the ISDT in Salzburg 1939 (but I have not been able to find the pictures yet). My grandfather was invited by two motor sport interested friends, Mr Georg Lind who ran a hardware store (perhaps thats why the word “Industrie” on their armlet?) he also was a car owner, and Mr Hultén who was the photographer/attendant at the astronomical observatory of Lunds University. My grandfather, who was a pharmacist, could speak German and that was perhaps a reason to why he was invited, because he was not particulary interested in motor sport. After just a few days they had to leave in a hurry because the outbreak of war. It was very hard for them to find petrol, but they finally managed to get enough for taking them home. My grandfather sat in the backseat together with tin-cans of petrol smoking his cigar while the car rushed north. Speeding nonstop on the Autobahns, which was a new and impressing experience for them being used to the poor road conditions in Sweden of those days, they saw a lot of troops and military vehicles. When they finally and in last minute reached the port, an arrogant German officer at first did not let them drive on board the ferry to Sweden. This was probably his personal way of showing the ‘new Germany’s power’. These people from a small peace-loving democratic country were glad to get home safe to their families again. Sweden was lucky to stay out of the war even if there were severe plans from Hitler to make an invasion like he did to our neighbours Norway and Denmark. Best Regards Håkan.

What a wonderfully accurate account, passed down family to our Archive for all to enjoy.  Thank you to Håkan.

On the day the event followed a route taking it into the Sudetenland an area of Czechoslovakia annexed by Hitler in 1938, the lunch stop was held in the factory canteen of the Papermill at Potschmule.

Image - Papermill at Potschmule

Image – Papermill at Potschmule

photo -#51 NSKK Ortuf S Hofmann 494 BMW #52 Allen Jeffries 498 Triumph #53 Schirmm S Lück 494 BMW #55 Palois 500 Guzzi from Italy ISDT 1939 (Courtesy Deryck Wylde)

photo -#51 NSKK Ortuf S Hofmann 494 BMW #52 Allen Jeffries 498 Triumph #53 Schirmm S Lück 494 BMW #55 Palois 500 Guzzi from Italy ISDT 1939 (Courtesy Deryck Wylde Collection)

photo -  #63 T Blockley 496 BSA leads #59 J v Poschinger 597 BMW  at the start of a hill climb test ISDT 1939 (Courtesy Deryck Wylde)

photo – #63 T Blockley 496 BSA leads #59 J v Poschinger 597 BMW at the start of a hill climb test ISDT 1939 (Courtesy Deryck Wylde Collection)

photo - #101 Sgt. Fred Rist  496 BSA a stalwart of the ISDT in the pre and post war period ISDT 1939 (Courtesy Deryck Wylde)

photo – #101 Sgt. Fred Rist 496 BSA a stalwart of the ISDT in the pre and post war period ISDT 1939 (Courtesy Deryck Wylde Collection)

photo - #120 NSKK Mann G Keitel 350 DKW leads #121 GN Wood 343cc Triumph on the Grossglockner ISDT 1939 (Courtesy Deryck Wylde)

photo – #120 NSKK Mann G Keitel 350 DKW leads #121 GN Wood 343cc Triumph on the Grossglockner ISDT 1939 (Courtesy Deryck Wylde Collection)

The above images were made available by Deryk Wylde. : Images in this section are protected with a digitally embedded watermark.  Copies, without the watermark, may be available – please contact ‘offroarchive@gmail.com’ for details.

Photo of solo and sidecar motorcycles at Petrol pump ISDT 1939 (courtesy of the Stephen Dolling Collection)

Photo of speed test start (courtesy of the Stephen Dolling Collection)

Photo of officials and people alongside a Bosch flag at ISDT 1939 (courtesy of the Stephen Dolling Collection)

No explanation of why at Hennebrucke the Bosch flag was found to be at Half mast.

Photo of Photo of F Neil and P S Chamberlain at the pre start car park at ISDT 1939 (courtesy of the Stephen Dolling Collection)

Photo of P S Chamberlain and H Pascoe at ISDT 1939 (courtesy of the Stephen Dolling Collection)

Photo of service scene ISDT 1939 (courtesy of the Stephen Dolling Collection)

Photo of rider with British plated bike at Castrol Service stand ISDT 1939 (courtesy of the Stephen Dolling Collection)

A quick check of the entry list suggests bike could be #137 CN Rogers with a 346cc Royal Enfield

Photo of Photo of N P O Bradley at the start with his sidecar outfit at ISDT 1939 (courtesy of the Stephen Dolling Collection)

George Rowley is fettling with his bike [FXM 791] ISDT 1939 (courtesy of the Stephen Dolling Collection)

It was originally thought the above image was from the 1933 ISDT. However, the bike registration number FXM 791 was not released until June 1939 advises blog reader John Tinley.

Photo of Tom Davies’s actual British Team Manager’s Armband from ISDT 1939

The British Team Manager’s Armband then, still around, saved by Andy who kindly provides us with this picture

Photo of Army Motorcycle Sidecar outfit with rear facing mounted machine gun typical of the years leading up to the ISDT 1939 (Caption modified after below comment)

The above photo came with the site but the caption was incorrect as a reader points out below:
Photo with the rearwards mounted machine gun MG 08/15 on the outfit.
The number plate is definitively no German army number plate (would e.g. be WH -Wehrmacht Heer- for Army, WL -Wehrmacht Luftwaffe- for the air force).
The number plate is an old Austrian number from Vienna, not given out after 1930. After 1930, the Austrian number plates were black with white writing. (Wikipedia ;))
Also, the rider doesn’t carry  a German carbine 98k, but an Austrian Steyr M95, he doesn’t wear boots like the German the soldiers did, but laced  shoes as the Austrian soldiers did (“Kamerad Schnürschuh”). I have no idea how long it took to equip the Austrian soldiers with German uniforms and equipment after the annexing, but I doubt that this photo is from 1939.

Far more effective than a brake light on a BMW? thanks to Dave Martin

Photo of British riders and motorcycles gathering at Feldkirk on the Swiss Border in the team evacuation at ISDT 1939 (Courtesy Steven Dolling Collection)

Warnings of imminent War looms, a lot of lads prepare to zoom for borders if and when the frightening rumours become firm.

Photo of car and motorcycles parked on road at ISDT 1939 (Courtesy Steven Dolling Collection)

Staying together within reach of management & around the Hostelry they stay at.

Photo of Photo of a Moto Guzzi being examined with German Military Officers with #67 NSKK rider G Birkhofer’s 494cc BMW waiting behind at ISDT 1939 (Courtesy Steven Dolling Collection)

Photo of#58 Vic Brittain here with his works 490cc Norton [FOG 17?] at ISDT 1939

Photo of British Motorcycle team riders meeting in Germany as news of the British Governments recall of all competitors, before the end of the event, is announced to them at ISDT 1939 (Courtesy Steven Dolling Collection)

An orderly team line-up to be given the news that riders need return home immediatly, the tall chap is Norman Bradley

Photo of British Motorcycle team riders meeting in Germany as news of the withdrawel of the British Contingent fro the event is announced to them at ISDT 1939 (Courtesy Steven Dolling Collection)

The concerns of the potential for war had both encouraged the British Army to take part in the ISDT 1939 as intensive training for its best riders as had been witnessed with the German team over the previous few events and the growing background of the actions of the German Government extending its influence over neighbouring countries likely to extend into hostilities was covered at the time, as it happened, in newspapers such as the reports added here and the originals reproduced in our news review section below.

During this week the world’s most important motor cycle trial, the International Six Days’ Trial, is being held in Germany, and representatives from all motor cycle manufacturing countries astride their own machines are competing.

The course runs through the Bavarian Alps and will pass through Berchtesgaden, where Hitler’s mountain retreat is situated. Britain has held the international trophy during the past three years, but following the advancement made in the manufacture of foreign machines, together with their performances in recent international road race meetings, sterner opposition is expected this year. A number of European military teams, including three from Britain, were to meet for the first time in an international contest, and great interest has been evinced throughout Europe. Fifteen army motor cyclists were selected to undergo a course of training in readiness for the six days’ event and went into a special camp on June 5. Although foreign teams have been similarly trained for several years, this is the first occasion that such training has been undertaken in England. At the end of five weeks’ training, 12 riders were selected to continue the training and the three British army teams were selected from these riders. Physical training has been closely studied, and during the final weeks runs of 200 and more miles, with petrol stops, time checks on “international” lines, trouble tests in between checks, and everything in line with the actual six days conditions, have been held. England’s best scramble and trials riders have assisted and representatives of tyre companies have given instructions in tyre changing. The riders were stopped during their training runs and informed that they had a broken fork-spring, chain, puncture or other trouble, and they were then observed as they carried out repairs. During the final preparation days, the riders visited their respective factories for all information and instructions con- cerning their machines. The trial was arranged to finish on Saturday, when a cross-country test of rough riding was to take the place of the usual speed tests. German officials organised and controlled the competition and elaborate welcomes and entertainments were provided for the visiting motor cyclists.”

Four days of the International Six Days’ Trial had been completed when the English team was ordered to return home. The course set down in German territory for this years event was providing one of the most strenuous trials undertaken. At the end of   the fourth day the British riders were satisfied that they would gain at least two of the major awards: It was disappointing to all when the British riders withdrew. ‘The Six days’ event was in progress in 1914 when war was declared and although the British riders were not in enemy country at the time, they experienced great difficulty in obtaining sufficient petrol to return to England.

The harassing experiences of a party of British motor cyclists in Germany for the International Six Days Trial on the eve of the war are described in an article received recently. This famous trial is held annually in different countries. Germany organised the   event this year running it towards the end of August in the Bavarian Alps near Salzburg. English clubs and manufacturers were represented bv 12 teams and the British Army sent three teams comprising nine of its best motor cyclistsWhen the contest commenced from Salzburg the atmosphere was fairly tense but became more strained two days later when the Russo – German pact was signed. When only two days remained the British contingent decided to do their best to see the trial through. But late that night an urgent message was received stating that the British Consul in Germany had advised all British nationals to leave immediately. Early next morning they set out some for the Swiss and others for the French frontier recieving every help from the German authorities All eventually reached England. The trial finished with Germany as the winner and Italy the runner up. Britain won the trial in 1938

The impact of the difficulty in British Riders evacuating back to Great Britain safely is reflected in the story of Maurice Greenwood’s great escape from France in the ISDT 1914 which is recalled in this site post. This article also includes a link to an interview held by the Imperial War Museum with Maurice about his Wartime experiences and includes some memories of his being at both the 1914 and 1939 ISDT events.

Photo of British Army Team Motorcycles #156 #113 Pte Wood BSA 496cc [EOG 22] #75 Cpl A C Doyle BSA 496cc [EOG 20]  #68 Ltn J F Riley Norton 490cc at ISDT 1939

The two OHV BSAs are M24 Gold Stars with the barrels and heads painted black to make them look a little more ‘conventional’..BSA supplied a small batch to the Army in 1939 for the ISDT. (38 models for practice and the latest version for the event). The canister on the down tube is a compressed gas cylinder for rapid tyre inflation after a puncture and to ease adjustment of tyre pressures for ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ going.

Photo

Photo of BSA mounted Royal Tank Corps team of Paddy Doyle, Fred Rist and Jackie Wood with Joe Acheson and former ISDT legend and now BSA Factory staffer Bert Perrigo

The Army teams for 1939 were specially selected riders and they spent the entire summer training at Aldershot under the command of Major C.V.Bennet. Their specific aim was to capture the prestigious Huhnlien Trophy. After extensive preparations three teams of three were selected…

Sgt.Major B. Mackay…350 Matchless
Sgt. O, Davis…350 Matchless
BQMS E. Smith…350 Matchless

Lieut. J.F.Riley…500 Norton
Sgt. J.T.Dalby…500 Norton
Cpl. G.M.Berry…500 Norton

Sgt. F.M.Rist…500 BSA
Cpl. A.C. Doyle…500 BSA
Pte. J.L.Wood…500 BSA

The Matchless models were standard G3s, The Nortons Trials prototypes of the ES2 and the BSAs M24 Gold Stars….The team were in a leading position when the political situation deteriorated to a point that a swift exit was required…The teams headed across country and escaped to Switzerland before returning later to England…
Information provided by Ian Wright

What a terrible piece of news, to be given to sportsmen & women who did not really feel in conflict with fellow competing folk from other countries.   The hurried exodus by personal choice was about to take place.  My thanks again to Steve Dolling for letting us view into his collection.

What the Papers said!

image - scanned article in 'the Advertiser' Adelaide South Australia 24th Aug 1939 covering the involvement of British Army teams in the ISDT 1939

image – scanned article in ‘the Advertiser‘ Adelaide South Australia 24th Aug 1939 covering the involvement of British Army teams in the ISDT 1939

Image - scanned article from 'the Advertiser' Adelaide South Australia 12 October 1939 reports the abandonment of the British from the ISDT 1939 as the Second War World was commencing.

Image – scanned article from ‘the Advertiser’ Adelaide South Australia 12 October 1939 reports the abandonment of the British from the ISDT 1939 as the Second War World was commencing.

Image - scanner article in 'the Sydney Morning Herald' New South Wales, Australia 20th Oct 1939 reviewing issues affecting the Army teams at the ISDT 1939

Image – scanner article in ‘the Sydney Morning Herald’ New South Wales, Australia 20th Oct 1939 reviewing issues affecting the Army teams at the ISDT 1939

Special thanks goes to Dave Giles who through the VMCC has acquired for Speedtracktales a copy of the report of the event from the German Motorcycle publication ‘Motorrad‘. I have become indebted to blog reader Andreas Holthaus who has been helping with its translation which will slowly add to our appreciation of the history of this event here. Read the translated article in a series of blog posts here

image - cover 'das Motorrad' #35 26 Aug 1939 with review of ISDT 1939

image – cover ‘das Motorrad’ #35 26 Aug 1939 with review of ISDT 1939

image - cover 'das Motorrad' #34 19 Aug 1939 with review of ISDT 1939

image – cover ‘das Motorrad’ #34 19 Aug 1939 with review of ISDT 1939

Here are the images captioned from the magazine.

Photo – Dusty fume and stony boulder give a clear image of the arduousness of this six days trial. The moves of the people reflect the stress, which the riders have all day long.
The two #233 #235 from the Kraftfahrtschule der Luftwaffe [Air Force motoring school], in the foreground of the picture, have won some time [in advance of the schedule], which they now use for some smaller work. ISDT 1939 (das Motorrad)

 

Photo – Here #34 Harold Taylor BSA [EZY 928?] still had been happy and was full of hope, his machine was o.k., and he, as a careful rider and great expert, had nothing to fear from his side. Second man behind him is the Italian #43 Ranieri on a 500cc Sertum, behind him Feldwebel [Sergeant] Grimm from the Kraftfahrtschule der Luftwaffe [Air Force motoring school], a man who took part at such a big event for the first time, and he made it quite good. On the first day, he had been outwitted by so many tyre punctures, that he did earn 35 points, all the other days he remained without points. ISDT 1939 (das Motorrad)

 

Photo – The English Army participants did like the event, and they got along very well with the German Army teams. In this picture one can see #142 Sgt. Major Mackay on Matchless 350cc, together with Colonel Bennet. In the background # 148, Eigtheen, on Matchless 350cc. ISDT 1939 [at that time, no one in Germany distinguished “British” from “English”, all British was seen as English] (das Motorrad)

Photo – The railway crossing gates were such thing. Again and yet again, they were closed when riders did arrive. But, there always were attendants, so that lost time could be credited, if necessary. The pictured riders are: #13 Oberfeldwebel [staff sergeant] Linhardt on BMW R 51. #15 Oberwachtmeister [staff sergeant] Höser (his clutch lever is still o.k!) from the Kraftfahrtschule der Luftwaffe [Air Force motoring school] on BMW R 51, #16 Brunetto on 500cc Sertum, and from Holland #18 C. A. Ridders on BMW R 51. ISDT 1939 (das Motorrad)

Photo – That was the typical terrain at the first day, narrow forest tracks, interrupted by short boulder sections and large bathtubs with mud. Rider is #41 NSKK-Obersturmführer [comparable to 1. Lieutenant] Meinl of the Motorgruppe Ostmark  on BMW R 51.ISDT 1939 [Ostmark was the name for former Austria, after Germany annexed this country] (das Motorrad)

Photo It had been quite hot during the six days trial. Here one can see three thirsty souls as they refill some liquid. The tall one, standing at the outside, is the Swede Hedelin, sitting in the middle is Pierre van Maldeghem, president of the Belgian motorcycle association, and on the right hand side, our [Motorrad magazines] employee Heinz Hahmeyer. ISDT 1939 (das Motorrad)

Photo – Sometimes it became very tough, and this picture shows, how Korpsführer Hühnlein [Head of the NSKK] himself gives a hand to help a stuck sidecar outfit.
The rider is DDAC [Der Deutsche Automobil Club – the German Automobile Club] man #29 Schrimpf on the BMW R 17 outfit. ISDT 1939 (das Motorrad)

In the long run, the Korpsführers help didn’t bring any benefit, as Schrimpf lost ten marks on the first day, and had to retire the second day, as something at the sidecar did break. ISDT 1939

Photo – #49, who may that be, always with some wild expressions [on his lips] and generally going strong, Julius von Krohn and his passenger Dürr on a Zündapp KS 600 outfit. But one can see, that even Julius wasn’t completely happy at this place, and Dürr had to get up from his chair. ISDT 1939 (das Motorrad)

Photo – #110 The NSKK-Obertruppführer [comparable to staff sergeant] Röser, who right at his first appearance at Schönerlinde made people talk of him, did become an excellent off road rider. Here he can be seen with his BMW at a steep climb, on his way to the next to last checkpoint. ISDT 1939 (das Motorrad)

Photo – This was the daily routine for the six days riders, very loose gravel and narrow roads, Additonally this seesaw, one bend after the other. Second man on this picture is the Swede Larsson on BMW R 51. In front Kurt Zimmermann, SS-Untersturmführer [comparable to 2. Lieutenant], on Zündapp KS 500. ISDT 1939 (das Motorrad)

.

Photo – There it did outwit him![*] With all respect for the riding abilities of the English Tommys, but it seems that #101 Sergeant F. M. Rist on BSA [EOG 21], entered by the War Department, will go down to the ground. ISDT 1939 (das Motorrad)

* In the text is a chapter, where the author tells about the German Otto Sensburg, who always had funny sayings. When he fell, he said in his bavarian dialect “da hot’s mi überlisted”, what could be translated as “there it did outwit me”. After that, this became a winged word for the German riders for falling or riding into the hedges.

Photo – This was on the second day, the “5 lakes day, on the road parallel to the Lake “Attersee”. As long as only one solo rider comes along, the road seems quite wide, but imagine how tight it will be, if a sidecar outfit wants to overtake a bus, and they meet up there at the hump!
The pictured rider is #217 NSKK- Truppführer [comparable to Sergeant] Wohlfahrt on Zündapp 245cc, a motorcycle that surprised some people with its performance. ISDT 1939 (das Motorrad)

..

Photo – Here you can see on your own, whether there was much space for the sidecar outfits! The outfit is the 600cc NSU of  #234 NSKK Oberscharführer [comparable to Sergeant] Oettinger. The NSU Team, otherwise belonging to the outmost reliable teams we know in the off road motorcycling, had a lot of trouble with their machines blowing out at the cylinder heads, By the way, only Dunz had been excluded from these damages, as he repeatedly had retightened his cylinder head at the beginning of the event,,,The second man shown is NSKK-Oberscharführer [comparable to Sergeant] Boden from Motorgruppe Sachsen [NSKK Motor Group Saxonia] on DKW 248 cc. ISDT 1939 (das Motorrad)

The event was also covered by the British Motorcycle press

Motor Cycling‘ covered the event and it’s aftermath in the issue of the 30th August 1939

You can read the editorial on the event in this ‘speedtracktalesblog. A copy of the article can be found at our issuu.com library here

image - main report illustration 'Motor Cycling' 30th August 1939 ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

image – main report illustration ‘Motor Cycling‘ 30th August 1939 ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo - Starting on Monday : (Left to Right) the riders are #58 V.N Brittain (Norton) #57 W. Schlichting (BMW) Germany and #56 J.H. Sybrandy (Triumph) Holland  ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales  Archive)

photo – Starting on Monday : (Left to Right) the riders are #58 V.N Brittain (Norton) #57 W. Schlichting (BMW) Germany and #56 J.H. Sybrandy (Triumph) Holland ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo - #34 Harold Taylor (Ariel-4 sc) on the main road near Salzburg ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo – #34 Harold Taylor (Ariel-4 sc) on the main road near Salzburg ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo -  W.T. Tiffin (Velocette) leading J. White (Ariel) through Wolfgang ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo – W.T. Tiffin (Velocette) leading J. White (Ariel) through Wolfgang ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo - A Dutch rider of a British marque in the German Alps. J.F. Fijma (Ariel) sweeping along the road by the beautiful Wolfgangsee during Tuesday's run ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo – A Dutch rider of a British marque in the German Alps. J.F. Fijma (Ariel) sweeping along the road by the beautiful Wolfgangsee during Tuesday’s run ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo - #135 Geo. Rowley (AJS) of our Trophy team followed by H. Kirchberg (DKW) near Salzburg on the first day's run ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo – #135 Geo. Rowley (AJS) of our Trophy team followed by H. Kirchberg (DKW) near Salzburg on the first day’s run ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo - #52 Alan Jeffries (Triumph), British Trophy Team filling up under the eye of N.P.O Bradley , team director and an old hand at "Internationals" ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo – #52 Alan Jeffries (Triumph), British Trophy Team filling up under the eye of N.P.O Bradley , team director and an old hand at “Internationals” ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo - The Italian E Catolini (Guzzi) following F. Mayer (BMW) in Wolfgang on the second day. The picturesque hotel, with overhanging eaves, is typical of the district. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales  Archive)

photo – The Italian E Catolini (Guzzi) following F. Mayer (BMW) in Wolfgang on the second day. The picturesque hotel, with overhanging eaves, is typical of the district. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo - #58 Vic Brittain (490 Norton) swerves a curve on the road approaching Unterwössen, a village near the end of Thursday's route. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo – #58 Vic Brittain (490 Norton) swerves a curve on the road approaching Unterwössen, a village near the end of Thursday’s route. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo - Dusting it up on the Grossglockner Pass. The "racers" are #120 G. Keitel (350 DKW) in the lead with J.H. Wood (343 Triumph following him. Some idea of the glorious scenery can be gathered from the mountains in the background. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales  Archive)

photo – Dusting it up on the Grossglockner Pass. The “racers” are #120 G. Keitel (350 DKW) in the lead with J.H. Wood (343 Triumph following him. Some idea of the glorious scenery can be gathered from the mountains in the background. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo - A typical scene at a time check showing the interested crowds which gather to watch the fun. The rider on the right of the picture is Len Heath (Ariel). ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo – A typical scene at a time check showing the interested crowds which gather to watch the fun. The rider on the right of the picture is Len Heath (Ariel). ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo - "You can lead a horse to water..." ! #101 Sergt. F.M. Rist (496 BSA) passes through the outskirts of Unterwössen. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo – “You can lead a horse to water…” ! #101 Sergt. F.M. Rist (496 BSA) passes through the outskirts of Unterwössen. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo - Another view of the Grossglockner, the riders being #189 W. Reinhardt (597 BMW sc) with another German rider #193 G. Stoltze (248 Puch) as his next astern. The flagstaffs in the background fly the colours of more than 30 nations  ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo – Another view of the Grossglockner, the riders being #189 W. Reinhardt (597 BMW sc) with another German rider #193 G. Stoltze (248 Puch) as his next astern. The flagstaffs in the background fly the colours of more than 30 nations ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo - The finest photograph could not do justice to the wonderful scenery through which the route of the trial passed. Here H.J.Flook (596 Norton sc) on the Grossglockner, with a background of snow-capped crags ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo – The finest photograph could not do justice to the wonderful scenery through which the route of the trial passed. Here H.J.Flook (596 Norton sc) on the Grossglockner, with a background of snow-capped crags ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo - Right on the top of the Grossglockner Pass is the Dolfuss Memorial, the impressive archway through which L.E.C Hall has just passed. It was included in Wednesday's run. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo – Right on the top of the Grossglockner Pass is the Dolfuss Memorial, the impressive archway through which L.E.C Hall has just passed. It was included in Wednesday’s run. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo - The 21st International will go down in history as the occasion the entire British entry retired. The reason for the retirement is given elsewhere in the story and here is a scene during the retreat from Salzburg. It shows part of the contingent arriving at Feldkirk before crossing the border into Switzerland. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo – The 21st International will go down in history as the occasion the entire British entry retired. The reason for the retirement is given elsewhere in the story and here is a scene during the retreat from Salzburg. It shows part of the contingent arriving at Feldkirk before crossing the border into Switzerland. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo - Safe and sound in an allied country, competitors take the opportunity to relax from the tension of the past few days. N.P.O Bradley, Len Heath, and Jack White will be recognized in the group and the Ariel in the foreground #108 is that of W.A> West. They are waiting for Petrol.  ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

photo – Safe and sound in an allied country, competitors take the opportunity to relax from the tension of the past few days. N.P.O Bradley, Len Heath, and Jack White will be recognized in the group and the Ariel in the foreground #108 is that of W.A> West. They are waiting for Petrol. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

the Motor Cycle‘ covered the event over two issues.

These can be viewed online at our library at issuu.com.

the Motor Cycle‘ – 24 August 1939 read at issuu.com

the Motor Cycle‘ – 31 August 1939 read at issuu.com

Images from the above articles are provided below.

Photo - ISDT 1939 (courtesy Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – There is always plenty of activity on the days preceding a six day’s trial, and competitors are loath to part with their machines, in this group George Rowley and GE Eighteen are discussing the week’s prosepects ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo - ISDT 1939 (courtesy Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – A ‘take it easy’ group in the shade with Alan Jefferies and his Triumph Twin the centrepiece, #116 Jack Arnott, the BSA rider, obviously believes in getting as much sun as possible ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo - ISDT 1939 (courtesy Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – George Rowley, who is again a member of the British Trophy Team, looks confident as he poses on his fully equipped A.J.S [XM 791] ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Another British team bike can be seen being fettled in the background.

Photo - ISDT 1939 (courtesy Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – Last minute adjustments outside the Shell depot. The man in the foreground is seeing wether his belt fits him, while HN Toomey (Panther) gives a final look over his controls. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo - ISDT 1939 (courtesy Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – This cheery group of riders are enjoying the brilliant weather while waiting their turn to weigh-out. They are #209 K Pusch (BMW sc) #164 Duckerschein (600 BMW) of the Berlin Motor Group ‘A’ team and #201 K Löffler (245 DKW) ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

This group of NSKK riders from Berlin includes bike #207 a 250cc Triumph of K Löw of a German SS team and possibly #260 another German SS 250cc Triumph ridden by E Hainz

Photo - ISDT 1939 (courtesy Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – Sign writing is a thirsty job in the hot sun, and there’s nothing like a mug of ice-cold German beer to lighten the task. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo - ISDT 1939 (courtesy Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – Off duty. A cheery group of British Army competitors lunching in the pleasant grounds of the Hotel Pitter at Salzburg. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo - ISDT 1939 (courtesy Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – These men are hoping nothing has been overlooked as they wheel their machines into the official shed at the weighing-out. Both solo and sidecar have a high level exhaust system. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

In this image we can see #226 H Thurmshirn, an NSKK rider on a 250cc Ardie, #136 H Kirchberg of ADAC on a works 343 DKW, #175 W Millenkovich of NSKK on 248cc Puch, riding on the German Vase Team who later retired with ignition problems, #194 K Steinberger 600cc Zundapp, #208 W Behrendt of NSKK 250cc Zundapp

Photo - ISDT 1939 (courtesy Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – After his success in the Scottish Six Days Trial FH Whittle was chosen as the sidecar reserve driver for the British teams. Whittle and his passenger were snapped while putting final touches to the Panther outfit at Salzburg. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo - ISDT 1939 (courtesy Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – the two Norton men in the British Trophy Team with their overhead-camshaft models. Nearest the camera is VN Brittain, [TOG 175] an old Trophy team member, while HJ Flook is representing his country as a sidecar driver for the first time. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

The images below appeared in ‘the Motor Cycle‘ report of the event in its 31st August 1939 issue

Photo – A bullock cart awaits while T Mooney (497 Ariel) passes through the village. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – A group of British competitors pose for the camera amid the grandeur of the Grossglockner scenery. #163 is JJ Booker ( Royal Enfield) and #166 Colin Edge (347 Matchless). Behind the latter is AB Bourne the editor of ‘the Motor Cycle’. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

On day 3 the event crossed the Grossglockner High Alpine Road built as a feat of German engineering and opened in 1935, it is the functional highest road in Europe. In its early years the Grossglockner was the home of the Grossglockner Race

Photo – A good idea of the difficulties that the sidecar competitors had to face can be obtained from this picture of #44 K Döbereiner (750 BMW sc) tackling the run into Sudetenland. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – A typical scene at a check with Nazi’s operating the control and a policement looking on #6 is Capt GM Barry of the British Army Norton Team. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – Miles of rough tracks passing through magnificent wooded country were the feature of Tuesday’s run. Here is L Ridgeway (496 BSA) going hard to arrive at the St. Koloman check on time. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – #27 Len Heath (497 Ariel) and #20 HN Toomey (498 Panther), the latter disguised by a crash helmet have a few moments to enjoy the sunshine and a cigarette while waiting their turn to enter the check. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – B Nocchi (500 Guzzi) ploughs his way through the mud that was encountered in the woodland section after the check at Ungenach. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Brigadier B Nocchi was an entrant of the Italian Milizia della Strada

Photo – the wild beauty of the Grossglockner Pass with its magnificently engineered road is seen in this view from one of the resting places provided for the tourists – but not for competitors in the trial ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo of the same view taken in 1997 (Holger.Ellgaard – Wikimedia Commons)

Photo – This is not scramble picture, but merely a shot of the rough going that the international competitors had to tackle. Leading the group are #34 HR Taylor (977 Ariel sc) and #43 J Ramieri (500 Sertum). ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – Near the summit of the Grossglockner, where every tourist stops to admire the magnificent mountain views which are on every hand. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – Where a sidecar is more stable than a solo. #229 H Zuur (600 BMW sc) has to wait to allow #217 L Wohlfahrt (245 Zundapp) to regain an even keel after a fall on the loose stones of the ‘road’. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Zuur is a Dutch club rider, whilst the German is an NSKK entrant.

Photo – This stone hut situated at the summit of the Grossglockner Pass marks the end of the great climb of nearly 8000ft. Inside the building is a tablet to the memory of those whose enterprise it was. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – #52 Allan Jeffries (498 Triumph) wearing his usual cheery smile and #53 S Lück (494 BMW) pose for the camera while officials stamp their time cards. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo –  Good roads again at last, and not far from the end of the tiring first day’s run. L Heath (497 Ariel) leaves the rough stuff behind at Vöklm. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – This party of Hitler Youth and Nazi officials found this a pleasant spot from which to watch the trial. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

The rider is possibly #275 F Nagtegaal, (125 DKW) a Dutch entry from the KNMV

Photo – Near the top of the Grossglockner Pass, with the ‘Fuscher Tori’ mountain hut in the background. The competitor is #177 A Weber (242 NSU) ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo – under the eyes of many other important officials, Major Watling gives a starting signal to #131 BQMS E Smith (347 Matchless), and #130 G Dotterweich (342 Victoria). Behind is #135 GE Rowley (347 AJS) of the British Trophy Team ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

Also seen in the picture is #136 H Kirchberg (343 DKW)

Photo – Typical of many villages through which the trial passed was Hof, seen above. The machines are lightweights – a Puch and a DKW – ridden by #250 P Günther and #233 G Sandküler. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Archive)

AB Bourne, the editor of Motor Cycle added a final story in the 7th September 1939 issue in which he provides an overview of the event and the issues of the abandonment by British riders. A copy of the article can be found in this blog and some of the images included in the article can be seen below

Photo - Miss Marjorie Cottle (249 Triumph), chatting with Obergruppenfuhrer Kraus, president of the International Jury, at the check at the top of the Grossglockner. Miss Cottle made a magnificent performance in the trial ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Collection)

Photo – Miss Marjorie Cottle (249 Triumph), chatting with Obergruppenfuhrer Kraus, president of the International Jury, at the check at the top of the Grossglockner. Miss Cottle made a magnificent performance in the trial ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Collection)

Photo - At almost every corner throughout the trial there were NSKK men on point duty. The riders are H Lodermeier and H luber (494cc B.M.W.s) Note the dust, which was such a feature of the trial. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Collection)

Photo – At almost every corner throughout the trial there were NSKK men on point duty. The riders are H Lodermeier and H luber (494cc B.M.W.s) Note the dust, which was such a feature of the trial. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Collection)

Photo - Much rough going was included in the course. Here is a glimse of a Swedish rider, B. Nilsson (498 Zundapp) and, appearing rather unhappy, an Italian, E. Scatolini (493 Guzzi) dropping down a section of loose stone ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Collection)

Photo – Much rough going was included in the course. Here is a glimse of a Swedish rider, B. Nilsson (498 Zundapp) and, appearing rather unhappy, an Italian, E. Scatolini (493 Guzzi) dropping down a section of loose stone ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Collection)

Photo - Zero hour! A batch of competitors waiting on the starting line at Salzburg for Major Watling to give the signal to set off on the day's run. Left to Right are C.N Rogers (246 Royal Enfield, of the British "B" Vase team, H Kirchberg (343 DKW) and George Rowley (347 AJS) of the British Trophy Team. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Collection)

Photo – Zero hour! A batch of competitors waiting on the starting line at Salzburg for Major Watling to give the signal to set off on the day’s run. Left to Right are C.N Rogers (246 Royal Enfield, of the British “B” Vase team, H Kirchberg (343 DKW) and George Rowley (347 AJS) of the British Trophy Team. ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Collection)

Alpenfahrt

Whilst researching inter-war year events this event appears to be an early pointer to how reliability trials would move towards the sport now known as Enduro as well as the more endurance orientated rallyes that led to events like the Paris Dakar.

Riders racing on the Grossglockner in 1939 on the Alpenfahrt (salvaged from eBay)

Riders racing on the Grossglockner in 1939 on the Alpenfahrt (salvaged from eBay)

The Final Score: Results

Speedtracktales wishes to thank Marc Pétrier of FIM Information Resources who has facilitated the scanning of the FIM archive of ISDT results material and is allowing us to make it available here as a public service. Download a copy of the original Results and Stewards Report at the link below.

Download this file as a pdf

Download Stewards Report for the 1939 ISDT here

We are currently creating content for this section. In order to be able to keep up with our high standards of service, we need a little more time. Please stop by again. Thank you for your interest!

Links

There is a very good history of the ISDT 1939 in a blog post that has been researched and written by Mark Gardinar writing at the bike writer.com blog

Artifacts

Here is a letter of appointment to the British Team that was sent to Tom Whitton from the ACU

Image of Tom Whitton's appointment to the British Team from the ACU ISDT 1939  (Courtesy Whitton Family Collection)

Image of Tom Whitton’s appointment to the British Team from the ACU ISDT 1939 (Courtesy Whitton Family Collection)

Adverts

Image

Image of scanned advert from Official ISDT Programme 1939 featuring German manufacturer Auto Union (Now the Volkswagen Audi Group) manufacturers of the DKW motorcycle

image

Image of scanned advert from official programme ISDT 1939 for Puch. Puch Motorcycles were made by the German Austrian Company Steyr Daimler Puch.

image

Image of scanned advert from official programme ISDT 1939 for Zundapp Motorcycles

Related Blogs

ISDT 1939: closing report and the final sprint for the border
ISDT 1939: Post-Academy Awards Special Backmarker: The Colonel’s Motorcycles
ISDT 1939: The Six Day Affair
ISDT 1939: the event report ‘Motor Cycling’ 30 Aug 1939
The Great Escape revisited: British entrants in ISDT 1939
British Team Selection event Bagshot and Brooklands: ISDT 1939
ISDT 1939: Germany’s Proposed Revision of the “International” Rules
ISDT 1939: Day five & six reports as published in ‘Das Motorrad’ magazine
ISDT 1939: Day four report as published in ‘Das Motorrad’ Magazine
ISDT 1939: Day three report as published in ‘Das Motorrad’ magazine
ISDT 1939: Day two report as published in ‘Das Motorrad’ magazine
ISDT 1939: Day one report as published in ‘Das Motorrad’ magazine
ISDT 1939 Re-ridden 2013
Mapping the ISDT: Germany / Austria 1939
DVD REVIEW: THE 21ST INTERNATIONAL SIX DAYS 1939

Image Gallery

ISDT 1939 Images

19 thoughts on “ISDT 1939 – Germany”

  1. Rodney Burton said:

    What a wonderful site, well done you!
    I searched on the off chance of finding something. I have just cleared out the last of my dad’s bits and pieces from his garage and always remember him reminiscing about the 1939 Salzburg ISDT. He was a mechanic (REME) with the British Army team.

    • iPø∂i$†å said:

      Feel free to tell us more and if you found anything of interest clearing the garage or family photos. Every price of info helps our understanding of this great event.

      • Susan O'Connor said:

        I have just come into possession my Grandfathers copy of Motor Cycling Magazine dated August 30 1939 and there is both an editorial and article devoted to this particular race- as you can imagine it gives a very unique perspective on the literal eve of war. I can scan it if wanted.

      • That would be really generous of you if you could. It would certainly be most useful I will email you.

  2. Julie Powell said:

    My grandfather ‘Wag’ Charles Bennett in the 1939 ISDT Team, and I have a photo of him standing outstanding his german hotel.

    • iPø∂i$†å said:

      Thanks for stopping by to visit our site. Could we get to make the photo available subject to your approval. Thanks.

  3. Interesting stuff my father was John Wood and his motto was “if in doubt open out !”

  4. Susan O'Connor said:

    I have it ready as a pdf

    • Thank you very much I have now added it, the editorial will make a blog as will the report on the retreat which is the first such report I have seen written in the same period

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 893 other followers