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Occupation Forces in Europe Series 1945

Occupation Forces in Europe Series 1945

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Published by: cunningb on Jan 31, 2010
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OCCUPATION FORCES IN EUROPE SERIES
1945
-
Military Railway Services(Source: Transportation. OCCUPATION FORCES IN EUROPE SERIES )On Feb 6 1945, the two existing Military Railway Services (1st and 2nd), which had operatedindependently, were consolidated and a
provisional headquarters
was established in PARIS(
GO#16
, ComZ). A director general was appointed to control of all railway operating units. Thesefunctions were further defined and somewhat modified, insofar as the command responsibilitieswere concerned, on April 3 1945 (
SOP#32
, ETOUSA, subj: "Continental Railways"). The Dir Gen,MRS, was then made responsible for the maintenance of way and equipment and for theoperation of railroads on the Continent.The
Military Railway Service
became an exempted command, responsible to Chief of Transportation, except that the sections of the ComZ had admin authority over the MRS generalcourts martial, financial transactions, and the issue of ordinary supplies. All MRS units, together with some MP units to act as security guards, were assigned to GHQ, MRS, which in turnreassigned them to the
1st
 
and
2nd Military Railway Service
for operations.One of the first acts of the new hqs was to divide the
operating territory
between the two railorganizations. Boundaries were established on April 6, but the fast pace of the last weeks of thecampaign necessitated changes. The areas in effect on V-E Day were roughly north and east of PARIS for the 2nd MRS, and south and west of PARIS for the 1st MRS.Shortly before the end of the campaign, the
2nd MRS
Hqs at BRUSSELS established an
advance echelon
at BRAUNSCHWEIG.
Operating Units
The operating unit of the MRS was a
Railway Grand Division
, usually placed so that its jurisdiction coincided with that of a
base section
. Instead of having a fixed Table of Organization,these divisions were allocated troops on the basis of the track mileage they operated. With theusual assignment of three Railway Operating Battalions (ROB)one Railway Shop Battalion (RSB)one Base Depot CoA Grand Division was normally able to perform
Phase I
operations over 250 to 400 miles.
MRS after V-E Day
On May 19 1945,
MRS
was established as a separate service command under the CG, ComZ.
Technical control
remained with the Chief of Trans, ComZ,
operation
and
admin control
passed, with certain exceptions, to GHQ, MRS, ComZ (Prov), which had been previouslyorganized. (
Cir 70
, ComZ, 19 May 45)
Adv Sec, GHQ, MRS
was established in FRANKFURT on June 4, 1945 (
GO#26
, MRS (Prov), 4Jun 45). The duties of the rear echelon were passed from the 1st MRS to the
Paris Prov RGD
,organized on June 1 1945 (
GO#24
, MRS (Prov), 31 May 45).When HQ ComZ was redes HQ TSFET on Aug 1, MRS, was renamed as
 
U.S. Theater MRS
,and was established as a tech comd under the CG, TSFET (
GO#179
, HQ USFET, 2 Aug 45).Hqs of 
2nd MRS
in BRUSSELS closed on Aug 11 and opened the next day in FRANKFURT.Effective Aug 15, a new territorial division was made between the 1st and 2nd MRS (1):
 
 
1st MRS
AOR: France, LuxembourgParis Prov MRSParis, France
2nd MRS
(2) AOR: Germany, Austria, Italy
 
707th RGD Nürnberg, Bavaria708th RGD Bremerhaven, Bremen Enclave
Belgian District
AOR: Belgium, the Netherlands
 
706th RGD(1)Listing of RGD units might be incomplete. Still doing some research on this.With the reorganization on Aug 15, 1945, the railway operating battalions in Germany under the2nd MRS were supposed to be: 
2nd MRS
(2) Frankfurt, Germany707th RGD Nürnberg, Germany712th ROB (3) Mannheim, Germany inact Dec 9, 1945750th ROB Nuernberg, Germany inact Feb 10, 1946746th ROB Munich, Germany inact Feb 10, 1946708th RGDBremerhaven,Germany741st ROB Hannover, Germany inact Feb 10, 1946734th ROB Bebra, Germany inact Feb 10, 1946766th RSB Frankfurt, Germany(2)Currently doing some research to find out if the "planned" organization was actuallyimplemented.In previous research I have found quite a few additional ROB and RSB units thatserved in the ETO until the end of 1945 or early 1946. However, many of those were probablylocated in France and involved with the Redeployment efforts around several ports of France (LeHavre and Marseille).(3) Based on a poor quality photo copy of the organization chart of the Office of the Chief of Transportation, COMZ (Jul-Sep 1945). Could not make out if the battalion listed was the 712th or 722nd ROB)
Main US Rail Lines inGermany and Austria
Also on Aug 15, the
Belgian District
of MRS wasestablished, which included Belgium and the Netherlands.The district was placed under the jurisdiction of theCommanding Officer,
706th RGD
, who reported directly to theDir Gen, MRS.In an agreement with the British opening the rail
line of communications
from BREMERHAVEN, US traffic wasallocated by the joint Traffic Allocation Committee with the firstpriority to movement of American personnel and supplies. Theline was operated by Germans under American supervisionand control. General operating policy was fixed by the BritishRegional Railway Control Team, which included Americanrepresentatives.It was not until Oct that some admin responsibilities wereturned over to the German Reichsbahn authorities. On Oct 2445, GHQ, MRS was officially closed (
GO#59
, HQ TSFET, 24Oct 45). Shortly thereafter,
1st MRS
was assigned

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