2. The Rebuilding after the War (1945-1956)

 

After the end of the war, Otto A. Ottmüller, the eldest son of Otto Franz Jacob, joins the company as personally liable associated partner. Friedrich Sauerland dies in July, 1952 and Gert Ottmüller becomes member of the board in August 1952 being a personally liable associate as from the following year.

On April 30th, 1946 OAM is put under the surveillance of Captain Abott by the British Military Government and Mr. Taurek from the Schiffahrt und Kohlenhandelsgesellschaft is appointed trustee. OFJ is not allowed to do business for 18 months due to his designation for chief administrator of the English coal industry in case of a German occupation. The insurance payments for the sunken trawler "DR. EICHELBAUM" enable OAM to order a new ship.

The rump built in 1944 is discovered by the authorities in 1946 in the reeds of the river Weser. With the support of Deutsche Werft, OAM has the building finished and the steamtrawler "THETIS" is successful in deep sea fishing until the Dutch assert their claims for compensation in 1948. The situation turns out rather dramatic and the Dutch finally send destroyers to Cuxhaven forcing OAM to give up on the vessel without compensation As an alternative, OAM charters the US-motortrawler "DELAWARE" and buys the steamtrawler "KAPITÄN SCHRÖDER".

Until the currency reform in 1948 ruins are transported, rubble is broken, stumps and firewoods are sold for heating purposes and later, old customers are being supplied with coal and brown coal briquettes.

 

 

In 1950, OAM sells the premises at Grosse Elbstrasse 174 to the city of Hamburg, re-renting it and carrying on with handling on rented ground. The money received for this sale is put into new shipbuilding activities. The same year, OAM gives the necessary support to one of its former employees to finish the building of a 750 tdw coaster that was under construction in 1945 putting it to work under the name "HANS HOTH". Having revised the military government the restrictions for shipbuildings in 1950, OAM orders two singledeckers of 999 BRT/each with a loading capacity of 1450 tdw at the Howaldtswerke: MV "GRETCHEN MÜLLER" sailing in 1951, and MV "ELSE MÜLLER" in 1952.

The distribution channels for coal regularized since 1939 are finally liberated in 1951. Endusers and traders are free to choose their suppliers. Hence, prices for fuels decrease. OAM now visits its customers on a regular basis, supports its salesmen with moderate advertising and hires the services of an independent surveillance institute for market research.

The same year, the British mines under the National Coal Board re-start their deliveries to Germany. Besides domestic coal which is no longer of high demand due to an adaptation from high-volatile coal of British origin to low-volatile coal coming from Ruhrkohle, OAM now supplies coal to HEW, Metallhüttenwerk Lübeck, Nordwest-deutsche Kraftwerke and other customers. Some American coal is imported as well.

The MS "FRIEDRICH S. MÜLLER" (1350 tdw), bought in 1953, is sold after only three years due to its apparently unprofitable construction. Another vessel ordered in 1955 at the Kremerwerft in Elmshorn and with 850 tons conceived to serve SchwarzhÜtten/Oste is enlarged while still under construction up to a capacity of 1300 tdw sailing as MS "ORTRUD MÜLLER" in 1956. The vessels mainly ship coal from Goole to Hamburg, Kiel and Lübeck returning in ballast.

 

 

In the middle of 1956, OAM retreats from importing American coal, and puts emphasis on importing coal from privately owned mines not under the control of the National Coal Board, thus being saved from the disastrous consequences of the market collapse.

The total tonnage of imported coal per year - 20 mio tons in 1955 - is limited by the German government to 5 mio tons in an attempt to guarantee sales of domestic coal. Predictions of the develop-ment of the energy market prove true: most customers now use fuel oil for heating purpose as does for example Breitenburg Portland Cement factory in Lägerdorf. For the transportation of heavy fuel oil over the Elbe, the Stör and the Breitenburger chanal OAM orders the building of three tankers of 150 tdw each shipping 80.000 t per year with good economic results to Lägerdorf, being the total tonnage 1 mio until 1972.

 

 

 

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