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The 31 August issue of ‘the Motor Cycle’ carried a 12 page article on the ISDT that never was. Possibly heralded as being the best ISDT of all time, on paper the potential obsessive stage management by the German Nazi regime looking to impress foreign powers of its greatness could well have put on the best event ever. The grant finale of the event rather than a speed test was to be a scramble and surviving vide owe have seen shows it to be a quite remarkable event in its severity of technicl difficulty for the tie. However from arrival at the venue the event was beset with problems, firstly to all it appeared the Germans had been expecting the event not to happen at all, so preparations had been rushed and not complete. Despite a lot of man power being committed there were at times fuel shortages and the German officials tried modifying the traditional rules as the event progressed. The going on the other hand was not far off the most extreme the riders had ever seen, not just because of the Alpine setting in North Austria but also the extensive use of unmade tracks across pine forests that had in cases been cleared just for the event. The event withered for many competitors to a dead stop before the final day after Germany declared a pact with Russia that resulted in the division of Poland and was going to lead to the beginning of the second world war. Even though the Germans finished the six days it was a result devoid of competition and so after the end of the war the FIM annulled the results so the Trophies were never awarded.

photo - top left Miss Marjorie Cottle (249 Triumph) follows K Pogner (248 Puch) through a village typical of the area. Bottom left- Fuscher Törl, a check amid the summer snows high up the Grossglockner pass. Right - A loose narrow winding track where time is easily lost: Sgt JT Dalby (490 Norton) kust behind Forstner (490 BMW) ISDT 1939 ( Speedtracktales Archive)

photo – top left Miss Marjorie Cottle (249 Triumph) follows K Pogner (248 Puch) through a village typical of the area. Bottom left- Fuscher Törl, a check amid the summer snows high up the Grossglockner pass. Right – A loose narrow winding track where time is easily lost: Sgt JT Dalby (490 Norton) kust behind Forstner (490 BMW) ISDT 1939 ( Speedtracktales Archive)

read the full event report in ‘the Motor Cycle’ at our issuu.com library here

The greatest of all International Six Days Trials, that held in Germany last week, was virtually brought to an end last Friday. The cause, needless to state, was the European situation. In Salzburg information as to what was really happening was scrappy in the extreme. The German papers revealed little; those British papers available were two days old; wireless reception of the English news bulletins was next to hopeless.


Scraps of information, garnered in this direction and that, made it obvious on Wednesday, the third day, that there was growing tension between the nations. Was it wise for the British and other contingents to stay? None knew. Maps were examined to determine the quickest way to the frontier. Telephone calls were put through to the Consulates. It was learned the situation was grave, that French nationals had been warned to leave Germany; that as of yet there was no similar advice to British subjects.

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

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

The decision was that the British contingent should carry on with the trial. Both the British Trophy team and the ‘B’ Vase team had clean sheets. All would start, and if the news the following morning was such that it was imperative to leave Germany, an endeavour would be made to get the information through to the lunch stop, which was nearly half the way to the Swiss frontier.

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)

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)

All Thursday there was a search for news. A little before midnight a decision was reached: the British riders would leave for Switzerland early the following morning Lr-Col. Bennett, in charge of the three British Army teams, having no instruction from the War Office, decided that his men should carry on. Later they too left for the Swiss frontier.
The trial, which promised to be the most strenuous held, was virtually at an end.

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 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)

Friday and Saturday

British riders leave for Home: The trial goes on and Germany wins

Early on Friday morning the British contingent , with the exception of the Army riders and four others, collected their machines and packed up. There were a few dissentient voices – people who wished t ostop. The vast majority, however, once they heard the contents of the telegram received by Major Watling, realised that the sane course was to leave the country, doing so by the shortest route to the Swiss frontier.
At 6 am the huge calvacade was off, bound for Innsbruck, Landeck and Feldkirch. This was earlier than the German officials had anticipated. The petrol lorry was fixed for 8 am and obviously would be slower than the motor cycles and cars of the British contingent. Hence the petrol arrangements seemed valueless, and in addition there was no escort car. Although many would without doubt, be able to get to the border without having to fill up, this would by no means apply to everyone, so Major Watling, in company with ‘the Motor Cycle’ representatives Mr Geoffrey Smith (Managing Editor) and Mr Bourne (Editor) searched around Salzburg to ensure there was petrol available near the Tyroler Hof, Innsbruck. This was duly arranged and Innsbruck advised by telephone.
The Bentley car with Mr Geoffrey Smith and Major Watling aboard and Mr Bourne and his Triumph Twin then followed the route taken by the British contingent to act as whippers-in in case any one had trouble.
All went well. Petrol was available at Innsbruck and , incidentally, at one or two pumps on route. The only trouble was a cloudburst encountered near the Arlberg Pass, which soaked many of the riders.
At the Customs, just after Feldkirch, the officials in charge were helpful in the extreme, and all were through and safely over the border into Switzerland in a matter of minutes.
The majority stayed at a village a few miles further on. Here people were kindness itself in finding rooms, and even – at the little hotel where the main contingent pulled up – in hurriedly producing bottles of local wine “on the house”.
Considerable surprise was expressed by members of the British teams that four British Competitors should have stayed behind. Later these and the Army men also left Germany and crossed into Switzerland.
The trial, which in our guide a fortnight ago was called “The Trial That Is Different” was proving very different. It was continuing on, but with a depleted entry and much of it without international flavour.
For the Trophy contest there remained Germany and Italy. The latter had lost marks earlier in the week. Germany too was to loose marks – 30 as against Italy’s 43. Thus there was no race over the scramble course to determine the destination of the Trophy: Germany won on points.
For the Vase, however, there was a tie, and the result of the scramble was that Germany ‘A’ won with no marks lost and Italy ‘A,’ also with no marks lost were the runners up. The Hühnlein Trophy was won by DDAC ‘A’ (no marks lost) with the SS ‘B’ team (no marks lost) as runners-up. The DDAC (Munich) won the club contest for the Bowmaker Trophy.
Thus in a disappointing fashion the 21st trial of the series came to an end.

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 – 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 - 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)

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)

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)

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)

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 – 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 - This party of Hitler Youth and Nazi officials found this a pleasant spot from which to watch the trial. 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)

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 –  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 - #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 – #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 - 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 – 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 - 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)

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)

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 – 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 - 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 – 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 - 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 – 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 - 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)

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)

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 – #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 - 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 – 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)

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