Ministry of War Transport

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The Ministry of War Transport (MoWT) was a British shipping and transport agency. It was founded in May 1941 and replaced by the Ministry of Transport in 1946 . The authority was responsible for military transport tasks of all kinds during the Second World War .


After the end of the First World War , the Ministry of Shipping was dissolved and its tasks were transferred to the Transport Department within the Mercantile Marine Department of the Board of Trade . The Transport Department, which was formerly only part of the British Admiralty , was given a dual function as a department of the Admiralty and the Board of Trade. In 1939 the organization called Sea Transport Division was subordinated to the Ministry of Shipping, together with the Mercantile Marine Department, before it was merged with land-based transport departments to form the Ministry of War Transport in 1941/42.

The MoWT carried out the troop transports for the three British armed forces, the Army , Navy and Air Force . One focus of the work was the procurement, operation and coordination of merchant ships with which transports were carried out. The range of tasks also included transports for troops from the Soviet Union and Malta , the operation of various auxiliary ships from the Royal Navy to armed merchant ships or the provision and use of hospital ships . In addition, the MoWT was also responsible for the provision of labor, in particular the civilian crew of the ships.

In April 1946 the agency was renamed the Ministry of Transport .

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