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"Paved roads in 1940" Topic

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Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP29 Apr 2022 12:47 p.m. PST

I have a scenario for 1940 France which calls for paved roads. I am having some trouble picturing this. Are they two lane roads one going one way and the other one going the other way or just one lane and one car has to pull over to let the other get by?

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP29 Apr 2022 1:39 p.m. PST

If you Google the appropriate images as a start point, you will see that the main roads were definitely wide enough for two vehicles to pass each other whether tarmac or pavé . More minor roads vary in width of course so you can choose what you need.

Thresher0130 Apr 2022 9:23 a.m. PST

Were there a lot of paved roads in France and Europe during WWII?

Obviously some, but I would love to know the general ratios of those throughout Western Europe, and/or the various countries there if anyone has info for that, e.g. for France, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany, for paved, gravel, and dirt roads.

For the Cold War period, I've made some paved roads that are two-lane, as well as a small, rural, essentially single lane roads for back country areas (some have solid white-line markings, and others don't have any at all).

Grelber01 May 2022 8:59 a.m. PST

After World War II, the United States Army realized it might be called on to fight all over the world, so they set about creating a set of topographic maps of much of the world in 1:200,000 scale. Sending out crews to map would take a lot of time and money, and their solution was to update other people's maps (which were sometimes copied from somebody else's map!).
The maps have their individual histories at the bottom. The one I just pulled out is for Edremit, the entrance to the Dardanelles in turkey. It was published by the Army in 1942, copied from a map made by 512 Coy. Royal Engineers in 1941, which in turn was based on a Turkish map from 1930, updated to include road classifications from a 1938 Turkish map. Road classifications include Reputed Metaled Road, Road Lined with Trees, Road Partly Constructed, Cobbled Road, Village Road, Cart Track, Bridle Track, Path, and Trail (I would imagine the maps of Western Europe would have a larger selection of types of paved roads than this mountainous section of Turkey).
So, this series would give you much of the information you want, and some ideas as to roads that might have been upgraded during the War.
Eventually, the Army made sets of these maps available to depository libraries in the United States. Usually, these are the libraries of big universities and major cities. They may also have made them available to some libraries in allied countries.
So, if you are in the US, visit a depository library--they may have an extra-large photocopy machine and can copy the entire map for you (I got my copies made at the University of Utah). If you aren't in the US, you might contact the US embassy and see if they can point you in the direction of the maps. Alternatively, in the UK, you could track down the 512 Coy, R.E. the US map was based on. Many of the coastal maps were based on Admiralty charts.

Hope that helps.


Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP04 May 2022 2:41 p.m. PST

Were there a lot of paved roads in France and Europe during WWII?

I think a good rule of thumb is that paved roads become rarer the further one goes east. Paved roads were common in France, very rare in the Soviet Union. This is why so many requisitioned western trucks broke down during Operation Barbarossa – they were designed for paved roads, but the Russian dirt roads just destroyed them.

williamb09 May 2022 11:48 a.m. PST

Paved roads were fairly common in France during 1940. Google images link

Germany started construction of the Autobahns in 1933 These were roads with two lanes in each direction separated by a median. Pr

Prior to asphalt roads there were paved Macadam roads. These were constructed during the 1820's and 1830's

UshCha25 May 2022 1:28 a.m. PST

Not sure what you mean.

Definition of 'paved'
1. (of a road, path, etc) covered with a firm surface suitable for travel, as with paving stones or concrete.

I have a few 1980 Tactical maps (1" to 1 mile") its legend has an enry "Summer roads" of which there are quite a lot even to significant villages.

These I assume are of dubious use betwwen winter and summer but rthat transition is swift round Berlin, Summer to winter in 4 weeks approx.

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