Operational Intelligence Report,
24 September 1911

This report, recently discovered in the Luxembourg National Archives, may provide some insight into the levels at which operational intelligence was received prior to the Great War. The document, on Prime Minister Eyschen's office stationery, stands alone among the other records in that it was not typewritten but handwritten. It does not contain any of the normal formalities of such a report made at ministerial level, and while the reporter's name, 'Lefort' and profession - 'engineer' is given, there is no indication as to the proximate cause for the investigation.

The topic however is clearly that of railroads.

Images of the Original

The line from Andernach to Mayen is a double line. That from Koblenz to Mayen as well as that from Mayen to Gerlostein is a single line. The construction of a new single line between Daun (line from Mayen to Gerolstein) and Adenau is projected. The Minister of German railways has promised the population of Daun that this line will be finished by August 1913. In any case, the construction seems assured because they are shortly going to start extending the station at Daun with a view, obviously, to installing the new line to Adenau. The submissions have been made. Another line; also single, is projected between Wittlich (line south of the Moselle) and Gerolstein. It will have a great strategic importance. A third is that from Mayen to Korben (line on the Moselle).

Lastly, the submissions have been made for a new line between Polch (from Mayen to Koblenz) and Munstermaifeld, a line which it is projected to extend to the Moselle.

A new double line is being constructed from Hillesheim to Pelm. At Hillesheim it is connected to the line being constructed from Junkerath to Duempelfeld (double line); at Pelm to that from Daun to Mayen and from Treves to Euskirchen. Gerolstein and Pelm will soon be connected into a single concentration station, which should become, from what I have heard, the biggest military station in Germany. Two large platforms for loading and unloading are being built there; there is enough space available to put them, amongst many others. The access routes to these as well as the line from Hillesheim to Gerolstein are joined from the west side after having used the upper diggings of the works on the permanent ways. All these works are very large scale and must be very expensive; they will also be finished next year in the Spring.

At Lissendorf on the line from Treves to Euskirchen the new line under construction from Duempelfeld to Junkerath goes over the railway on a higher level. This line is almost finished; they are busy with placing the rails. Between Lissendorf, which has a large military loading platform and Junkerath the two lines run parallel, giving the impression of four lines. The station of Junkerath is being totally transformed. The lines are lifted; they have established there a platform for military loading and new platforms of such a length that they can easily be used for the loading and unloading of troops. On the north west side they are working on the joining of the new double line there to Weywertz. This line is almost finished; they are putting down the rails.

At the station of Blankenheim on the line from Treves to Euskirchen, they are working on the connection of a new single line which will connect Blankenheim to Ahsdorf on the line from Junkerath to Duempelfeld. This line where the terracing is being built at this moment joins at Blankenheim also from the west side by a high level crossing. The installations at the station of Blankenheim will be very stretched out, but the connection is at present too rudimentary to be able to say exactly what it will be. But in every case, there will be a loading platform.

Between Kall, which has a large military platform and Hellenthal, the line is single. It will not be lengthened; the new line between Junkerath and Weywertz having made useless any lengthening. It is only absolutely exceptionally that the line from Hellenthal will serve the camp at Elsenborg. Between the station and the camp is a 5 hour march. A small military railway with a gauge of 50 cm joins the camp to the station of Sourbrot (on the line from St. Vith to Aachen) a distance of 2 km. Sourbrot junction has a large military loading platform and many very stretched out platforms. The line from Aachen to St. Vith is a double line. At Weywertz there is a connection of the new line coming from Junkerath. The present station of Buetgenbach and Waimes each possess military embarking platforms . In the same way the station of St. Vith also has such platforms, as well, large stocks of coal. At St. Vith the single line to Prum-Gerolstein leaves.

All the works being executed are being pushed forward. They are working at all points simultaneously so as to have done the bulk of the work next year with a view to having a complete strategic set of railways between the Belgian frontier on one side and the Rhine and the Moselle on the other.

Luxembourg 24 September 1911

LEFORT, Engineer

Created: Sunday, August 09, 1998, 10:00
Last Updated: Sunday, August 09, 1998, 10:00