There I Was...#83
Published on March 2, 2009 By Big Fat Daddy In Misc

Before the intersection was renovated with overpasses and a traffic circle, the spot in Stuttgart where highways 10 and 27 intersected was called "Mox Nix Corners". It was more than a simple crossroads. There were side streets, access roads, and frontage roads all coming together in an elongated oval with half a dozen traffic lights trying to sort it all out. The streetcar tracks and busstops added to the fun. The GI's referred to it as Mox Nix Corners because it didn't matter which direction you were coming from, you were gonna get lost. "Macht Nichts" literally means "it makes nothing" or as we might say today, "Whatever" or "No big thing". The last time I went through there it was changed a lot from the old days, but it is still a confusing mess. It's like the old hick said to the lost city boy, "you can't get there from here." The first time I encountered MNC, I immediately understood.

We were on a "GreenHound Mission": picking up a unit in a small Kaserne in Zuffenhausen, a suburb of Stuttgart. We would transport their people and equipment to a field site, drop them off, then return in two weeks to pick them up and bring them back. Problem was, no one in my unit had ever heard of Zuffenhausen or Genadier Kaserne. Much later I would learn that this little Kaserne was just down the hill from the main military community in Stuttgart, but we didn't have that precious little bit of information on the day we left Mannheim to pick up this unit.

It was winter and got dark early. We followed our directions to a tee. Then we wound up in a construction zone that obscured the exit we were looking for and then the fun began. We had about 40 trucks on this lift; about a quarter of them were able to find the exit but the rest missed it and took the next one or the one after it. From that point on, it was no longer an organized convoy, it was every man for himself. The problem with strip maps is that once you are off the limited map, you have nothing to refer to to recapture the route. Only the command vehicles have radios so communication is limited. When the three quarters of the convoy who were off the route arrived in Stuttgart proper, it was an unbelievable mess. The command vehicles took off in search of the others.

At one point early in the round up, I came upon Mox Nix Corners from the North. There were no less than six major roads involved in this mass mess of an intersection. I sat at a light on southbound Hiway 27 and there were trucks from our convoy going in every conceivable direction, coming into and out of the intersection, zooming by on access and frontage roads, and one clever fellow sitting still smack in the middle of the intersection awaiting rescue. It was way after 2200 hrs (that's 10:00 o'clock pm for you civilians, and for you marines...) before we had all the trucks safely parked at Grenadier.

Stuttgart was a big city in the sixties and only grew bigger over the years. Later, in the late seventies and eighties I was stationed in one of the suburbs and got to know Stuttgart very well. Every time I passed by Grenadier, I would chuckle over how close we were to "civilization" all along. And swapping tales with other Army truckers over the years, I have often told the tale of the "Battle of Mox Nix Corners" and have been amused at how many Army truckers have had a similar experience with the place.


on Mar 03, 2009

OMG! I laughed because I could just see what you saw sitting at that corner!lol!  I would love to seea photo of this!  Glad you're still writing, it takes me a while to get around these days!

on Mar 03, 2009

What's funny, is I've been through that intersection a number of times.  Even at the best of times, with a real map, it's still no fun.

Glad I'm not the only one that's had difficulty navigating through that particular intersection.

on Mar 03, 2009

10 and 27

This is how it looks today.  Thanks to LH (AKA Dana, my wonderful darlin' daughter) who googled, giggled and sent it to me.

on Mar 03, 2009

Glad you're still writing,

And I am glad you are still reading, seems like a lot of readers have flown the coop.

on Jan 05, 2010

mox Nix - good way to explain it to those who dont know German!

Aber, machts nichts zu mir.

on Jan 05, 2010