The British Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee Final Report of Team 2651 who visited Germany September-October 1946
B.I.O.S. Final Report No. 1748
These photos and drawings were taken from a little booklet with 60 pages of text and 30 pages of illustrations that the British published on very cheap paper and poor quality type. It appears that after the war the British sent many teams of scientists and engineers to interview everyone in Germany who had done chemistry, engineering, industrial processes, or aeronautical design. There are nearly 200 of these reports produced at that time.
In the 1930’s Abner Doble spent several years in England designing coal fired steam engines for Sentinel, the steam powered truck manufacturer. Of course the British passed a very high tax on trucks by weight making a steam powered truck uneconomical to own thus effectively outlawing them and this just before WWII when petroleum was in short supply; remarkable short-sightedness in light of fuel shortages during the war.
Abner’s brother Warren Doble spent several years during the 1930’s in Germany doing similar design work with Henschel making trucks and railcars using the Doble technology. This booklet is the result of interviews with everyone who worked with or knew about steam vehicles.
The Introduction says this: Purpose of the visit:
“The main object of the trip to Germany was to investigate the war time developments in the design, fabrication and use of small, high pressure steam generators, particularly of the size and type used for steam driven road vehicles and railcars. It was known from published work that a number of units, based on the Doble design had been built by Henschels of Kassel. These were oil fired, but it was understood that experiments had been carried out using solid fuel. In addition, Krupps of Essen and the Borsig Lokomotive-Werke Berlin had also been interested in the design of steam railcars fired with solid fuel and it was proposed to visit these firms.” … “In one way the results of this section of the investigation were a little disappointing since none of the pre-war high pressure steam vehicles were in actual operation. This was mainly due to the high cost of fuel oil.”
It appears that the Doble brothers sold the exclusive rights to their patents to everyone they did business with. These patent rights were already owned by William Besler when he took over the Doble factory in Emeryville. The value of this booklet is that it is the only written record of work on steam in Germany. There was neither the time nor resources to develop anything during the war to a state of practicality.
Drawings are of the research of:
B.I.O.S. German Developement of Steam-Driven Road Vehicles and Railcars
Title page and page 2