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1939 – 1945: War years and destruction

With beginning of war strong restrictions of the enterprise came into force because of the mass collection of personnel to the Wehrmacht. In addition to the blackout, the use of female conductors, who had been forced since October 1939, became more and more apparent, replacing more and more of their male colleagues.


In addition, the Munich public transport companies prepared for the use of the projected ESW. For the new vehicle model, the track center distances were to be widened from 2.55 meters to 2.75 meters, starting with ongoing track renewal and the detour under construction in Laim. At the same time, efforts were made to increase the narrow track radii from 15 meters to at least 20 meters. In October 1940, the last single-track section of the Munich tramway was double-railed as part of the stone road between Kellerstraße and Milky Way.

On October 6, 1940, the first heavy bomb damage hit the Munich tram network in the heart of the old town. For four weeks there were large-scale diversions. Work continued on the expansion of the "Capital of the Movement", including the relocation of the main station to the Friedenheimer Brücke area. With the expansion of the war, the expansion plans of Munich came to a standstill in 1941. Work on the underground suburban railway under construction in the course of the Lindwurmstraße, which was under construction since May 22, 1938, was discontinued, as was the construction of the new main station in Laim.

Due to the growing shortage of other transport vehicles, the tram has been increasingly used for the transport of goods. In addition to fruit and vegetable transport for retailers from the Grossmarkthalle, Expressgut was transported by tram trains to newly built goods sheds in the outer districts. The many used for freight transport work and sidecar (mostly other vehicles from other cities) smell no passengers.

The increasingly onset of air strikes forced the tramcars to be gradually provided with a dark brown camouflage paint. As a result of the scarcity of materials used wood fiber boards and Formica for the outer lining of the vehicles. In the depots it came to the first serious damage. The effects of the air strikes became more and more massive; several heavy bomb attacks destroyed large parts of the depot and workshop facilities. In particular, the heavy air strikes in the nights of 9/10. March 1943 and 2/3. October 1943 hit the public transport companies hard. In addition to the main workshop and depots 2, 5 and 7, depots 1 and 8 in particular were hit so hard that they were no longer repaired and abandoned.

Every effort was made to compensate for the truck failures. So they converted E- and F-railcars to the furnishing company, so that the doubly available doors and drive switches for rebuilding and repairs were available. In the Reichsbahn repair shop in Munich-Neuaubing and in the wagon factory Rathgeber new superstructures of the G and K series were built on the chassis and frames of war-damaged vehicles. By the end of the war, 23 traction and 58 sidecar models of this provisionally constructed series had been put into operation. The K-cars even had only tongue and groove boards as outer cladding! In addition, the allocation of foreign vehicles in the course of the Reichsleistungsgesetz. By the end of the war, 104 motor vehicles and 57 sidecars from Rome, Milan, Oslo, Dresden, Katowice etc. were delivered to Munich, where they could only be used after extensive adaptation work; However, some vehicles turned out to be completely inappropriate and remain parked.

As a result of the air strikes lines had to be divided or completely set. Almost daily, the lines were changed. As more and more Trambahnstrecken were interrupted, on 19 October 1944 for the first time a Güterhilfsbahn was used for passenger traffic. Small field railway steam locomotives and provisionally prepared for the passenger Loren connected on newly laid field railway tracks the Starnberger station with the Steubenplatz. At the end of the war, four such "Bockerlbahnen" or "Raging Gauleiter", as they called the Munich vernacular. As of December 28, 1944, another unusual auxiliary railway was added: Reichsbahn steam locomotives of the 98 series with control cars were used on straight tram sections such as the Ludwig and Leopold streets. A total of three such replacement lines have been set up.

For the first time since 1930, the Munich tramway received new vehicles in November 1944: six wagons and twelve side wagons of the uniform type KSW were delivered by the wagon construction companies Fuchs in Heidelberg and Uerdingen in Krefeld. The sand painted vehicles could not be put into operation because of missing electrical equipment. As in many other German cities, the KSW was also called "Heidelberger" in Munich.

With the invasion of the troops of the 7th US Army, which occupied the Bavarian capital of Munich in the course of April 30, 1945, a time of untold need and great misery came to an end for the population of Munich. In contrast to the First World War, which had no impact on the substance of Munich, the bombing of the Second World War, the city in ruins. In 74 air raids 6632 Munich were killed, about 300 000 people were homeless. 213 000 citizens were evacuated, the population was at the end of the war only 479 000 compared to 824 000 in 1939. In the "capital of the movement" nothing moved. Overall, the rail network had suffered 356 hits in the bombing, the catenary network was even hit at 717 points. At the end of the war, despite all efforts, there were still 59 interruptions to the rail network and 250 damaged overhead lines. 178 members of the public transport had died in military service or during bombing raids.

Translated by Google

Weiter: 1945 – 1956: Zeit des Wiederaufbaus

Auch die Trambahn dient der Propaganda zur Kriegsvorbereitung: Werbung für die Volksgasmaske auf einem A-Wagen, 1938. Archiv MVG münchen tram

Tramway converted for propaganda and war preparation: advertising for " Volksgasmaske" on a typ A car in 1938. Archiv MVG

Zerstörte Fahrzeuge nach einem Luftangriff in der Bayerstraße, 1944. Archiv MVG münchen tram

Destroyed cars at Bayerstraße in 1944.

Archiv MVG

Hilfsbahnlinie in der Arnulfstraße, 1945. Archiv MVG münchen krieg tram trambahn

Substitute railway at Arnulfstraße in 1945.

Archiv MVG

Autor: Klaus Onnich FMTM eV., Leiter Fahrdienst Bus Ost und

stv. Betriebsleiter BO Kraft der Stadtwerke München GmbH

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