The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

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KDF33
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by KDF33 » 24 Jan 2021 13:37

Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Jan 2021 07:36
Agreed. You just need the workforce, plant, funding, and raw materials available in 1943 moved to 1940-1.
Well, as TMP himself has stated, his point is not that production would be equal to 1943, rather that similar measures would lead to a proportional increase in production.
Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Jan 2021 07:36
The 150 Alkett SdKfz 132 were produced in April and May of 1942. Ursus and Famo produced the 531 SdKfz 131 from July 1942-June 1943. BMM produced all the others.
Thank you for that data.
Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Jan 2021 07:36
Except the weight difference between the Panzer III and StuG/StuH were negligible and I was commenting on your weight counts.
Well, yes, but the production of vehicles with a Panzer III chassis was concentrated at just 2 plants in 1943, whereas in 1942 it was spread across most producers. Therefore the extra output of StuG/StuH came from increased production at Alkett and MIAG, rather than from an overall industry switch from tank to assault gun production based on the Panzer III chassis.

Here's the increase in tonnage by vehicle type for Q2/Q1:

1. Panther : 14,336
2. StuG and StuH : 9,441
3. Ferdinand : 5,850
4. Panzer IV : 4,975
5. Tiger : 2,964
6. Sturmpanzer : 1,692
7. Nashorn : 1,608

Marder tonnage went down by 761 and Panzer III by 2,898 metric tons.
Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Jan 2021 07:36
Sure. And the monthly Panzer production increased from an average of 350 per month on 1942 to 491 per month in 1943. StuG production went from 67 to 270, which was the main numerical gain. However, given that the StuG was a primarily defensive weapon, albeit also an infantry support weapon, its increase would not do much to creating the additional Panzers required.
Yes. In TMP's ATL the Germans would presumably increase Panzer III production, rather than StuG.
Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Jan 2021 07:36
Indeed, I agree, there was no sudden jump to production in 2Q-1943. Rather, there is the illusion of a sudden jump created by the switch in armament...which had the same retarding effect on Panzer III production in 1940-1941.
There was no jump in Panzer IV production. There was definitely a jump in the overall production of AFVs, mainly via Panther and assault/SP gun production.
Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Jan 2021 07:36
And here I thought you just agreed that it is better to look at output numbers rather than tonnage? :D Tonnage distorts the effect caused by the adoption of the Panther.
It doesn't, though. What distorts the picture is a vehicle count, given that producing different vehicles requires varying amounts of raw materials and man-hours.

I don't see how switching to a new, heavier type of tank leads to a vast increase in factory tonnage output at the very beginning of the production run.

One way to settle the debate would be to look at Panzer III production at D-B/Henschel/MAN/MNH in Q4/1942 and compare it to Panther production in Q2/1943, and then look at the number of man-hours it took to produce a Panther at the beginning compared to a Panzer III at the end of their respective production runs.

In the case of MAN, I have some data starting in the second half of 1943:

1943/3: 9,601 man-hours per Panther
1943/4: 5,811
1944/1: 4,886
1944/2: 4,433
1944/3: 3,803

Multiplied by the number of Panthers produced, it shows a steady volume of ~1.6 million man-hours per quarter for the period. This is consistent with the fact that the Germans didn't increase the size of the labor force in the AFV factories in 1944.

We could do the same exercise for raw materials.

To reiterate, one can't just compare total Panzer III and Panther output, because these vehicles don't require the same inputs, whether in terms of man-hours or raw materials.

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Richard Anderson » 24 Jan 2021 20:21

KDF33 wrote:
24 Jan 2021 13:37
Well, as TMP himself has stated, his point is not that production would be equal to 1943, rather that similar measures would lead to a proportional increase in production.
I already know that TMP has zero sense of humor, but I hoped you might have a smidge. That was tongue-in-cheek. Yes, "all" that is required is a proportional increase in production. Of course, in 1940 the critical point was production of the Panzer III, since the delay of its acceptance and the indecision regarding armament, meant the c. 77 leichte Panzer kompanien made do with 349 Panzer III, 228 Panzer 38t, and 106 Panzer 35t, rather than the 1,309 Panzer III desired. Except of course what the Germans already desired was a one-third increase in the number of leichte kompanien, they wanted three per Abteilung, rather than the almost universal two per, and contracting up to August 1940 was predicated on that.

As of 1 April 1940, delivery of the Panzer III was still short to contract by 2,156 vehicles and 65 of those 414 delivered were the pre-production types.

Now, TMP needs wants to increase the Panzerwaffe by 5 "divisions", essentially a 25% increase to the c. 114 leichte kompanien as of June 1941, or an increase to roughly 142.5,which equals 2,422.5 Panzer III (or a substitute). The 35t is a dwindling resource and the 38t a fixed resource, so the c. 959 available is more or less fixed. So 1,463 Panzer III are required. Of course, 1,224 were produced May 1940-May 1941, so only 239 more are required. Just twenty additional per month. Yay!

Why didn't that happen IRL? The shortfalls were there and were well known. In August 1940, the munitions production requirements were recast. Why was it so difficult to get 20 additional Panzer III per month?
Thank you for that data.
You're welcome. I highly recommend Jentz's Panzer Tracts No. 23.
Well, yes, but the production of vehicles with a Panzer III chassis was concentrated at just 2 plants in 1943, whereas in 1942 it was spread across most producers. Therefore the extra output of StuG/StuH came from increased production at Alkett and MIAG, rather than from an overall industry switch from tank to assault gun production based on the Panzer III chassis.

Here's the increase in tonnage by vehicle type for Q2/Q1:

1. Panther : 14,336
2. StuG and StuH : 9,441
3. Ferdinand : 5,850
4. Panzer IV : 4,975
5. Tiger : 2,964
6. Sturmpanzer : 1,692
7. Nashorn : 1,608

Marder tonnage went down by 761 and Panzer III by 2,898 metric tons.
Okay.

The Sturmpanzer figure is interesting, since it is hard to define exactly what it constituted. The 24 early "Stupa" were the Alkett-produced Sturminfanteriegeschütz 33, converted from existing (Henschel-built?) StuG III Fgst from December 1941-October 1942. So technically not "new" construction. The best known Stupa of course was the SdKfz 166 produced by Kfz Werkstatt Wein, as initially conversions from 80 rebuilt Panzer IV chassis and then on 60 new built Fgst, from April 1943 to May 1944. Oddly enough though, 281 Stupa were reported completed in 1943 and 1944...18 were Stürmmörser, but the rest?
Yes. In TMP's ATL the Germans would presumably increase Panzer III production, rather than StuG.
Indeed, robbing Peter to pay Paul.
There was no jump in Panzer IV production. There was definitely a jump in the overall production of AFVs, mainly via Panther and assault/SP gun production.
Again, a large part of that "jump" was a weight "jump".
It doesn't, though. What distorts the picture is a vehicle count, given that producing different vehicles requires varying amounts of raw materials and man-hours.

I don't see how switching to a new, heavier type of tank leads to a vast increase in factory tonnage output at the very beginning of the production run.
It doesn't necessarily, but the addition of 90 Panthers produced almost exactly balances, by weight, the loss of 180 Panzer III not produced.
One way to settle the debate would be to look at Panzer III production at D-B/Henschel/MAN/MNH in Q4/1942 and compare it to Panther production in Q2/1943, and then look at the number of man-hours it took to produce a Panther at the beginning compared to a Panzer III at the end of their respective production runs.
Believe me, I have dug, but sadly it does not appear that monthly production figures for DB, MAN, and MNH for Panzer III production have survived (neither have the earlier figures for the Panzer III produced by Alkett amd Famo). :(
In the case of MAN, I have some data starting in the second half of 1943:

1943/3: 9,601 man-hours per Panther
1943/4: 5,811
1944/1: 4,886
1944/2: 4,433
1944/3: 3,803

Multiplied by the number of Panthers produced, it shows a steady volume of ~1.6 million man-hours per quarter for the period. This is consistent with the fact that the Germans didn't increase the size of the labor force in the AFV factories in 1944.
The MAN labor force actually decreased slightly in 1944. The MAN figures were: 8,836 in 1939 to 9,054 in February 1942, peaked at 11,261 in September 1943, and then decreased to 10,386 in 1944, before declining to 10,122 in March 1945. In 1944, 29 percent were foreigners and 8 percent were prisoners-of-war.

For DB's Werke 40, the labor force was: 3,025 in 1939, in 1940, 4,216 Germans and 362 foreign workers were at Werk 40 (4,578 total), but by 1942 the number of German workers declined to 3,481 while there were 1,568 foreign workers (5,049 total). About 1,200 of the foreigners were forced labor, including Soviet and French prisoners-of-war. Werk 40 employed an average of 3,200 German workers and 2,500 foreign workers (5,700 total) through 1943 and 1944.

Labor data at Henschel is not well documented. By the end of 1944, the company had 8,000 workers laboring in two 12-hour shifts and used slave labor extensively. Werk III, the tank and truck plant, employed an average of 6,000 workers in 1944.

I have not found data for the MNH labor force, nor for Demag. However, the MNH plant does illustrate some of the problems associated with converting existing plant to the production of tanks, especially one as large as the Panther. The primary assembly hall could accomodate about 33 Panthers in various stages of assembly and utilized a hybrid "mass production"/"station" manufacturing technique. About half the hall was devoted to material storage and hull and turret rough assembly. The other half was final machining and finish assembly, minus armament installation. The tanks proceeded through five assembly stations on three parallel tracks, obviously designed to accommodate the building size rather than convenience of assembly. At the end, the tanks went through driving tests and inspections and then entered a separate assembly hall for installation and testing of the turret and armament.

Anyway, I suspect the reduction in labor on the Panther was largely engendered by experience and simplification to a design already optimized for simplified assembly.
We could do the same exercise for raw materials.

To reiterate, one can't just compare total Panzer III and Panther output, because these vehicles don't require the same inputs, whether in terms of man-hours or raw materials.
Very true.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Ружичасти Слон
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 24 Jan 2021 20:29

KDF33 wrote:
24 Jan 2021 05:38
My point is that what TMP is claiming is in the realm of possibility in 1940-1 is what occurred in 1943.
KDF33 wrote:
24 Jan 2021 06:24
The entire discussion for an innumerable number of pages has turned on whether or not the Germans can quickly increase Panzer production "simply" by allocating manufacturers more manpower/raw materials/machine tools. I provided evidence that, when they wanted to quickly increase AFV production in early 1943, that's what they did.
Now topic is on page 33. Tmp was write much times more resources = more tanks. Can you please explain where one person was write more resources ≠ more tanks.
KDF33 wrote:
24 Jan 2021 03:01

The USSBS Tank Industry Report informs us:
d. Despite this insistence by their chief, the "Adolf Hitler Panzer Program" as formulated by Speer and his colleagues aimed at the production of only 1,200 Panzer vehicles per month, and that goal not to be reached until the end of 1944. On 17 January 1943, before the program had been officially approved but when it had already been unofficially announced, Speer and Saur were summoned by Hitler and informed that their program was completely inadequate and must be revised upward. They agreed, but explained that although immediate increases might be achieved in output of assault guns and Mark II and IV tanks, Tiger and Panther output could not possibly be expanded within five months. Dr. Rohland and other officials directly responsible for panzer production considered the new committment - a revised program aimed at 1,500 to 2,100 panzer vehicles by the end of the month - utterly fantastic. What impressed the experts most was the difficulty of expanding production capacity to the extent necessary; they believed that the program could be effected only at considerable expense to other armaments production.
And:
e. The need for fulfilling the Adolf Hitler Panzer Program was so urgent, however, that the required steps were taken. On 22 January 1943 Hitler issued a decree directing that all necessary measures be taken immediately to increase the production of panzer vehicles "even if by these measures other important branches of the armament industry are adversely affected for a time." Specifically, the decree authorized the Reichsminister for Armaments and War Production to provide plants producing panzer vehicles and their components with abundant supplies of technicians, raw materials, machinery and electric power, and for this purpose to draw upon the capacities of other was production industries. The decree also prohibited the drafting of men from the panzer industry and cancelled all drafts made after December 1942.
Bolding mine.

Nobody was dispute more resources = more tanks.

For to make tmp wave on hand plausible tmp or somebody must to explain what more resources was need for to overcome the difficulty of expanding production capacity to the extent necessary. After was have plausible explanation what more resources was need tmp or somebody must to explain when draw upon the capacities of other war production industries what can to be effect on opportunity cost.

On 33 pages everyone can to read tmp wave on hand. Everyone can to read much datas for to understand more resources = more tanks. Everyone can to read much datas what was divert attention from point tmp was not make explains on how much resources and opportunity cost on change resources for to have number tanks necessary on june 1941.year.

On tmp imagination storys tmp can decide what he wants for to write fiction story. He can to make 1.000.000 waves on hands. No problem. For to be plausible must to explain how wave on hand can to work.

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Yoozername » 24 Jan 2021 20:43

Nibelungen and VOMAG, along with Krupp Gruson, had been expanding Pz. IV production at a steady pace since 1942 and show no comparable jump. So it's not primarily a story of new production facilities coming on line.
Nibelingenwerk was just coming online in 1Q 42. Up till then then had just been providing parts and spares in the machine shop hall (completing a few trial builds of panzer IV in 4Q 41). The 'steady pace' is driven by finishing more production halls. Basically each hall is an assembly plant.

As far as labor, they were using POW and forced labor as early as mid-1942.

I suggest everyone get a copy of OKH Toy Factory. Write less... Read more. Less fantasy, More reality. Funny how reality can pop the fantasy arguments.

I am reposting this to give some reality...a primary document. Nibelingenwerk would not drive one Panzer IV out the door for another year and a half. Krupp-Gruson was involved with many contracts for many items.
Berlin, on 22.5.1940

Wa A
76 g 31 c Wa I Rü (WuG6 VIII)
Nr. 173/40 g.Kdos.

Addressed to : AHA (Ag K In 6)

Subject : Production of battle tanks

In relation to the different points included in the reference letter, the following positions are taken:


The low production figures are due to:

The problems of the last winter and that are now beginning to be noticed, such as shortages of coal, gas, means of transport, etc.

A shortage of manpower that is not only evident in the companies that have directly assumed Wehrmacht contracts but also in their suppliers.

Reduction of the workforce of the production companies due to the calls to the ranks of their workers.

In this sense, it should be noted, for example, that based on the directive 234/40 g Kdos AHA (Ag K / M VI) (VIa) of 4.4.40 a high number of workers employed in tank producing companies were recruited to equip personally to AKP 531.

On page 2, figure 4 of that directive it was ensured that the AgK. Abt.N through forced recruitment would make available a certain number of well-trained motor vehicle specialists, thereby preventing a decline in vehicle production.

Until now, not a single one of these specialists has been assigned.

It should be noted that the loss of skilled workers must also lead to a decrease in the production of battle tanks.

Constant dispatches of workers to the front in order to incorporate additional armor into the vehicles or to carry out modifications to the tanks as well as to instruct the troops.

Special orders, especially additional armor, which overload the capacities of tank production companies.

Measures to be taken:

Immediate assignment of those in the directive 234/40 g Kdos AHA (Ag K / M VI) (VIa) of 4.4.40 insured qualified workers.

Secure the FM stamp ( FM-Stempel ) to successfully expedite UK ( UK Anträge ) applications. Relevant WaA requests have already been made to OKW

The phased increase in the production of Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t) of monthly 25 to 50 units would be reached for the moment in March 1941. The demand for armor reinforcement could influence. This increase in production would have no repercussions on the German team.

Increased production of Pz.Kpfw. IV in the Krupp-Gruson company up to 30 units per month depends on the number of workers available. The WaA has initiated all the necessary measures. At the moment it is not possible to forecast the success of these measures.

Once the increased demand for Pz.Kpfw. IV and simultaneously with the efforts made to increase the workforce of the Krupp-Gruson company, the WaA has done everything possible to add new production capacities, especially for the production of spare parts, in order to increase the number of vehicles produced .

Contrary to the measures taken, the transition of the production of Pz.Kpfw. III to Pz.Kpfw. IV in other factories would not be an advantage.

If the more than difficult task of increasing the Krupp-Gruson workforce is quickly accomplished, it might be possible to reach 30 Pz.Kpfw. IV monthly until the end of 1940.

The service weights of armored vehicles will be reported to the AHA separately.

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Yoozername » 24 Jan 2021 21:05

oh yeah, forgot this little dumpling...I think the panzer commanders in the field may also have 'forgotten' it also. I think the Ruhr may be having 'difficulties'. Bottlenecks? More like 500 pound bombs.
Berlin W 35, 25.03.1943

Der Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen
Ia Nr. 211/43 geh.


Addressed to :
Chef Genst Feldheer
Chef H Rüst u BdE (Gen d Mot)

Due to an unexpected situation difficulties have arisen in the production of bathtubs (lower hulls) for the Panzer IV. In order to be able to sufficiently supply the troops with the currently most important battle tank, it is essential, more than it has been until now, to scrap all Panzer IV that is not operational at the front and, although these are damaged, return your bathtubs to industry.

Signed: Guderian

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 24 Jan 2021 21:25

Yoozername wrote:
24 Jan 2021 21:05
Berlin W 35, 25.03.1943

Der Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen
Ia Nr. 211/43 geh.


Addressed to :
Chef Genst Feldheer
Chef H Rüst u BdE (Gen d Mot)

Due to an unexpected situation difficulties have arisen in the production of bathtubs (lower hulls) for the Panzer IV. In order to be able to sufficiently supply the troops with the currently most important battle tank, it is essential, more than it has been until now, to scrap all Panzer IV that is not operational at the front and, although these are damaged, return your bathtubs to industry.

Signed: Guderian
This is exemplary of what I pointed out earlier: AHPP's dramatic upswing in panzer production occurred in the midst of British attacks on the Ruhr that damaged German production. As no such significant effects were felt in 40-41, a smaller earlier version of AHPP would have been that much easier.

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Yoozername » 24 Jan 2021 21:40

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
24 Jan 2021 21:25
Yoozername wrote:
24 Jan 2021 21:05
Berlin W 35, 25.03.1943

Der Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen
Ia Nr. 211/43 geh.


Addressed to :
Chef Genst Feldheer
Chef H Rüst u BdE (Gen d Mot)

Due to an unexpected situation difficulties have arisen in the production of bathtubs (lower hulls) for the Panzer IV. In order to be able to sufficiently supply the troops with the currently most important battle tank, it is essential, more than it has been until now, to scrap all Panzer IV that is not operational at the front and, although these are damaged, return your bathtubs to industry.

Signed: Guderian
This is exemplary of what I pointed out earlier: AHPP's dramatic upswing in panzer production occurred in the midst of British attacks on the Ruhr that damaged German production. As no such significant effects were felt in 40-41, a smaller earlier version of AHPP would have been that much easier.
It wasn't meant for you. But that was exemplary of you to say that.

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Richard Anderson » 24 Jan 2021 22:29

Okay, I guess you're trying so hard you should be allowed to play too.
Yoozername wrote:
24 Jan 2021 20:43
Nibelungen and VOMAG, along with Krupp Gruson, had been expanding Pz. IV production at a steady pace since 1942 and show no comparable jump. So it's not primarily a story of new production facilities coming on line.
Nibelingenwerk was just coming online in 1Q 42. Up till then then had just been providing parts and spares in the machine shop hall (completing a few trial builds of panzer IV in 4Q 41). The 'steady pace' is driven by finishing more production halls. Basically each hall is an assembly plant.

As far as labor, they were using POW and forced labor as early as mid-1942.

I suggest everyone get a copy of OKH Toy Factory. Write less... Read more. Less fantasy, More reality. Funny how reality can pop the fantasy arguments.
Indeed, the problems with the Nibelungenwerk is something I've mentioned any number of times in this and the other convoluted related threads. Yes, Winninger's study is invaluable, but you might also want to look at some of the original factory documentation as found in Steyr-Daimler-Puch, “The Penetration of Steyr-Daimler-Puch by Reichswerke Herman Göring”, in Development of the Composition of Steyr Daimler Puch A.G. [Records of the Allied Control Office: Central Office for Germany and Austria], (Steyr, Austria: Steyr-Daimler-Puch Aktiengesellschaft, Nov. 14th, 1945), n.p. and German Economic Department, Report on Steyr-Daimler-Puch A.G. for GEA Branch,[237], (Allied Control Office: Central Office for Germany and Austria, 10 December 1948), Exhibits 9C, 9D, & 10B.

Reading through those, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that Nibelungenwerk and its associated Eisenwerke Oberdonau, which produced incredibly expensive iron and steel from the low-grade ore of the Salzgitter was originally conceived as an excellent way to enrich the Reichswerke Hermann Göring and the Dicke Hermann himself especially. That may just be my jaundiced view, but still...

The Werk itself was complete enough by September 1940 that it began rebuilding a few of the backlogged damaged Panzer III from the French Campaign, but otherwise began contract work for spare parts (road wheels, suspension assemblies, and other items) as you say in December 1941, items which had been essentially ignored in the run-up to BARBAROSSA (and which continued to reside firmly on the Wehrmacht back-burner for the rest of the war). Otherwise, it worked on the single Pz VI (7.5 cm) Fgst. (VK 30.01 (P), from which it later got the contract to complete the 10 Pz VI P (8.8 cm), May-July 1942, and the 90 other Pz IV P hulls they later completed as the Panzerjäger Tiger (P), April-May 1943. Its first Panzer IV contract was for 13 Ausf F, the first of which was finished at the end of November 1941 (the "practice assembly" you referred to, which is usually recorded as built in December 1941) and the last 6 in February 1942. After a month-long hiatus for retooling it began completing the first of 587 Ausf G in April 1942 (5). Despite the long lead times and the various directives from Hitler, Speer, et al in January 1943, it was May 1943 before production exceeded 100 tanks for the month (115 Panzer IVG). In its first 18 months it averaged 23.3 completed Panzer IV per month, by quarter in the first two years 1Q-42 3.3, 2Q-42 9, 3Q-42 16.3, 4Q-42 33.3, 1Q-43 56.7, 2Q-43 98.3, 3Q-43 138.7, 4Q-43 157.3. Of course, those figures are tempered by the production of the Pz VI P Fgst May-July 1942, but still does not exhibit a dramatic effort to get tanks completed.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

KDF33
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by KDF33 » 24 Jan 2021 23:33

Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Jan 2021 20:21
Okay.

The Sturmpanzer figure is interesting, since it is hard to define exactly what it constituted. The 24 early "Stupa" were the Alkett-produced Sturminfanteriegeschütz 33, converted from existing (Henschel-built?) StuG III Fgst from December 1941-October 1942. So technically not "new" construction. The best known Stupa of course was the SdKfz 166 produced by Kfz Werkstatt Wein, as initially conversions from 80 rebuilt Panzer IV chassis and then on 60 new built Fgst, from April 1943 to May 1944. Oddly enough though, 281 Stupa were reported completed in 1943 and 1944...18 were Stürmmörser, but the rest?
My figure for Sturmpanzer stands for the 60 Sd.Kfz. 166 rebuilds (20 in April and 40 in May) by the Vienna Arsenal.
Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Jan 2021 20:21
Again, a large part of that "jump" was a weight "jump".
Yes. Our main point of contention seems to be this: I see weight as the better measure of increased output, whereas you don't.

My problem with a vehicle headcount is the large variation in cost, raw materials and man-hours requirements between the different models. Admittedly, either price or man-hours would be a better measure than weight, but the available data is either a headcount or weight, so I go with weight.
Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Jan 2021 20:21
It doesn't necessarily, but the addition of 90 Panthers produced almost exactly balances, by weight, the loss of 180 Panzer III not produced.
Well, to restate my argument:

In 1942/4, the Germans produce 651 Panzer IIIs (including 64 Pz Bef Wg). Four of the five Panzer III manufacturers then retool to produce Panthers in 1943/1.

In 1943/1, the Germans produce 227 Panzer IIIs (including Flamm and Bef) and 90 Panthers. MIAG also starts producing StuGs, with 63 finished during that quarter.

In 1943/2, the Germans produce 101 Panzer IIIs and 410 Panthers. MIAG also produces 317 StuGs.

That's 651 vehicles for 1942/4, 380 for 1943/1 and 828 for 1943/2.

If we go with a vehicle count, this looks like steady growth, with a normal dip during the retooling quarter. But the Panther is a significantly larger vehicle than the Panzer III, and despite being designed for mass-production, is merely at the beginning of its production run. The Panzer III, meanwhile, has been undergoing large-scale series production for more than 3 years. Therefore the man-hours necessary to produce the Panthers must have been a multiple of those required to produce a similar number of Panzer IIIs.

Thus, the expansion of the factors of production at those four manufacturers between 1942/4 and 1943/2 must have been very significant. This is also true for MIAG, which alone produced in 1943/2 almost 50% as many StuGs as the five plants produced Panzer IIIs together in 1942/4, plus an undetermined number of the quarter's 101 Panzer IIIs.

Hence, I argue that weight is a better yardstick to gauge production. This gives, for those five plants:

1942/4: 14,973 metric tons of AFVs
1943/1: 10,759 metric tons of AFVs
1943/2: 28,267 metric tons of AFVs

By the way, this is also true of Alkett, where production increased from 304 StuGs in 1942/4, to 458 StuGs/StuHs/Hornisses in 1943/1 and 666 in 1943/2. By weight, this gives:

1942/4: 7,266 metric tons of AFVs
1943/1: 10,951 metric tons of AFVs
1943/2: 15,929 metric tons of AFVs

Production effectively doubled over 2 quarters.

This matches the narrative of the Tank Industry Report indicating that Hitler on January 22nd issued a decree authorizing Speer to "provide plants producing panzer vehicles and their components with abundant supplies of technicians, raw materials, machinery and electric power, and for this purpose to draw upon the capacities of other war production industries. The decree also prohibited the drafting of men from the panzer industry and cancelled all drafts made after December 1942."

In other words, Panzer production jumped because the leadership made it a priority and augmented its resource allocation. Which is what TMP argues they should have done in 1940-1.

Edits: Some of the wording.
Last edited by KDF33 on 25 Jan 2021 00:18, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by KDF33 » 25 Jan 2021 00:15

Yoozername wrote:
24 Jan 2021 20:43
Nibelingenwerk was just coming online in 1Q 42. Up till then then had just been providing parts and spares in the machine shop hall (completing a few trial builds of panzer IV in 4Q 41). The 'steady pace' is driven by finishing more production halls. Basically each hall is an assembly plant.

As far as labor, they were using POW and forced labor as early as mid-1942.
Yes indeed.

Yoozername wrote:
24 Jan 2021 20:43
I suggest everyone get a copy of OKH Toy Factory. Write less... Read more. Less fantasy, More reality. Funny how reality can pop the fantasy arguments.
I can only make sense of this paragraph by assuming you think I'm claiming that the Germans should/could have produced more Panzers at Nibelungenwerk in 1940-1. I'm not.

Yoozername wrote:
24 Jan 2021 20:43
I am reposting this to give some reality...a primary document. Nibelingenwerk would not drive one Panzer IV out the door for another year and a half. Krupp-Gruson was involved with many contracts for many items.
Okay now you're literally making my and TMP's arguments for us. Your document literally states that the low production figures are due to:
  • The problems of the last winter and that are now beginning to be noticed, such as shortages of coal, gas, means of transport, etc.
  • A shortage of manpower that is not only evident in the companies that have directly assumed Wehrmacht contracts but also in their suppliers.
  • Reduction of the workforce of the production companies due to the calls to the ranks of their workers.
  • On page 2, figure 4 of that directive it was ensured that the AgK. Abt.N through forced recruitment would make available a certain number of well-trained motor vehicle specialists, thereby preventing a decline in vehicle production.
  • Increased production of Pz.Kpfw. IV in the Krupp-Gruson company up to 30 units per month depends on the number of workers available.
  • If the more than difficult task of increasing the Krupp-Gruson workforce is quickly accomplished, it might be possible to reach 30 Pz.Kpfw. IV monthly until the end of 1940.
Etc.

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Richard Anderson » 25 Jan 2021 01:00

KDF33 wrote:
24 Jan 2021 23:33
Yes. Our main point of contention seems to be this: I see weight as the better measure of increased output, whereas you don't.
No, it's just a fine measure of increased output, but when the discussion is regarding increasing Panzer III (and to a lesser extent Panzer IV) production between July 1940 and May 1941, the dislocations caused by the changeover may obscure what could have happened in the earlier period. They weren't going to build Panthers after all.
My problem with a vehicle headcount is the large variation in cost, raw materials and man-hours requirements between the different models. Admittedly, either price or man-hours would be a better measure than weight, but the available data is either a headcount or weight, so I go with weight.
Agreed.
Production effectively doubled over 2 quarters.

(snip)

In other words, Panzer production jumped because the leadership made it a priority and augmented its resource allocation. Which is what TMP argues they should have done in 1940-1.
Okay. So Hitler intervenes in October 1940, when he has decided on BARBAROSSA, in order to get enough Panzer for five additional divisions. Concentrating on the Panzer III again, in 3Q-1940, DB, Henschel, MIAG, MAN, and MNH were producing 94.7 per month. If we assume the straight line weight increase for the same set of manufacturers holds true earlier as later, then in 4Q-1940 we get c. 47.35 more per month in 1Q-1941. So plus 142 over reality. In 2Q-1941 we get 94.7 more per month, so plus 284 and an nominal extra total over reality of 426 Panzer III. Congratulations, you have the extra to outfit more divisions...and/or to replace the 35t.

Excellent, it does seem possible for the Germans to build additional Panzers, which has been sort of obvious all along, because they did IRL.

So why does Hitler and his favorite architect intervene in October 1940 when IRL they did not intervene until nearly 16 months later? Is Hitler channeling future Hitler or is he prescient?

What is the driver for him to take action? The OrgAbtl had already implemented plans to double the Panzerwaffe. The shortfall of production in the 5cm KwK in April 1940 was apparently mostly resolved and Panzer III production was already increasing as planned - who cares if some of the rebuilds retained the 3.7cm? No other problems to resolve that might attrit the Panzerwaffe, right? Well, Italy is making a mess of it in North Africa, but we're sure they'll hold the line at Bardia...or Tobruk. Right? Yugoslavia is an ally. Oh, that's right, Italy is screwing up in Greece too. Not our problem.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Richard Anderson » 25 Jan 2021 01:12

KDF33 wrote:
25 Jan 2021 00:15
Okay now you're literally making my and TMP's arguments for us. Your document literally states that the low production figures are due to:
  • The problems of the last winter and that are now beginning to be noticed, such as shortages of coal, gas, means of transport, etc.
  • A shortage of manpower that is not only evident in the companies that have directly assumed Wehrmacht contracts but also in their suppliers.
  • Reduction of the workforce of the production companies due to the calls to the ranks of their workers.
  • On page 2, figure 4 of that directive it was ensured that the AgK. Abt.N through forced recruitment would make available a certain number of well-trained motor vehicle specialists, thereby preventing a decline in vehicle production.
  • Increased production of Pz.Kpfw. IV in the Krupp-Gruson company up to 30 units per month depends on the number of workers available.
  • If the more than difficult task of increasing the Krupp-Gruson workforce is quickly accomplished, it might be possible to reach 30 Pz.Kpfw. IV monthly until the end of 1940.
Etc.
Given that Krupp-Gruson did achieve the goal of 30 Panzer IV per month in October (in fact it doubled output from 10 to 20 from April to May) and that it did increase its workforce, then obviously the problems were eliminated? Although I have to question whether or not forced recruitment was a good method of making available increased numbers of well-trained motor vehicle specialists. However, if those problems were eliminated then why the renewed effort in January 1942 to increase production again?

BTW, the "calls to the ranks of the workers" was endemic in industry in 1940 and is what led to the wholesale work furloughs of the winter...but in the spring many of those personnel were called up again, restarting the problem..after four months of maintaining an output of 30 tanks per month (and January 1941 with 31!) Krupp-Gruson fell back to an average of 29 for three months before dropping to a miserable 16 in May, before recovering again.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by KDF33 » 25 Jan 2021 01:32

Richard Anderson wrote:
25 Jan 2021 01:00
So why does Hitler and his favorite architect intervene in October 1940 when IRL they did not intervene until nearly 16 months later? Is Hitler channeling future Hitler or is he prescient?

What is the driver for him to take action?
Oh, I don't actually think it was likely for Hitler to take action. My argument is really just that the capability was there.

My understanding of the overall picture is that Germany had a similar level of manpower mobilization - either military or industrial - as the U.K. in the period in question. Increasing production meant either radicalizing German mobilization (which they did after Moscow, largely to restore frontline strength) and/or instituting a program of forced foreign labor on the lines of what they did in March 1942.

The impetus to imagine such radical measures was simply absent before December 1941. The Germans even slashed Heer armaments production pretty steeply in the second half of 1941. They were operating under the assumption that Barbarossa was a simple precursor to the partial demobilization of the Heer and the subsequent reorientation of their war effort towards fighting the U.K. and, probably, the U.S.

So although I agree that it was unlikely to happen, the ATL is still interesting inasmuch as it illustrates how the assumptions and decisions (or absence of decisions) of the period from July 1940 to December 1941 had a decisive, shaping effect on the latter course of the German manpower deployment and armaments production.

For what it's worth, my opinion is that, had the Germans realized that Barbarossa was unrealistic as a short campaign, they would have mobilized the resources of Europe in a more broad-based fashion than to just form 5 extra Panzer divisions - and in the final analysis I suspect TMP agrees with this. Then again, Hitler was unlikely to see the need before it stared him in the face, given how wishful thinking was such a core aspect of his personality.

If I allow myself the indulgence to do a bit of pop psychology, I'd even argue that the German leadership needed to see Barbarossa as an easy and brief land grab, given the scope of their predicament if it was otherwise.

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 25 Jan 2021 01:54

KDF33 wrote:For what it's worth, my opinion is that, had the Germans realized that Barbarossa was unrealistic as a short campaign, they would have mobilized the resources of Europe in a more broad-based fashion than to just form 5 extra Panzer divisions - and in the final analysis I suspect TMP agrees with this.
I do agree. The extra 5 divisions is merely an effort to specify minimum conditions for a successful Barbarossa; proper apprehension of the strategic task would likely have motivated changes with far greater consequences (and more beneficial for the Nazi project, probably worse for the Germans and all people ultimately).

Moving general German economic mobilization/rationalization ahead by 18 months, for example, has serious consequences for the air campaigns of 1943 and later.
KDF33 wrote:Then again, Hitler was unlikely to see the need before it stared him in the face, given how wishful thinking was such a core aspect of his personality.
Here I disagree - at least I don't accept the narrative that Hitler was inveterately unrealistic about matching military ends and means. I've already referenced the deep economic underpinning of the French campaign, another example is the extravagant spending on autarky programs to enable Germany to survive a long war. A wishful thinker wouldn't have gone to these lengths. GSWW volume VIII is particularly good at showing that, contrary to popular impression, even after Stalingrad Hitler had a basically realistic understanding of Germany's situation. He generally lied to subordinates about his optimism. Of course the only other option for Hitler later in the war was to shoot himself and he was putting off that eventuality as long as possible.

Barbarossa aside, Hitler was at least as good a grand strategist as the other great power leaders. That's a low bar...
KDF33 wrote:If I allow myself the indulgence to do a bit of pop psychology, I'd even argue that the German leadership needed to see Barbarossa as an easy and brief land grab, given the scope of their predicament if it wasn't.
Just suppose that Hitler is convinced (maybe by a competent Halder, maybe by his own insight) that solving the Soviet problem requires a two-summer campaign. I.e. he believes the Soviet regime may collapse under Barbarossa's weight (it still might have under my version) but realizes that Ostheer must be prepared to finish things against substantial opposition in 1942.

Note that such realization implies that Germany sees in Russia a very powerful state with a massive army, rather than a weak state with a non-threatening army.

What does Hitler do? Can he mobilize for air/sea warfare completely if the eastern frontier needs to be sufficiently strong to deter this more-powerful SU? Does he maybe give in to Soviet demands on Turkey and Bulgaria, hoping to appease Stalin into allowing him to defeat the W.Allies?

I don't disagree that wish-fulfillment figured in evaluation of Soviet strength. Proper evaluation of Soviet strength, however, cannot have led to any decision other than "the SU must be destroyed." The alternative would leave German security at Stalin's whim, an intolerable condition for Hitler.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 25 Jan 2021 02:24, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 25 Jan 2021 02:18

Richard Anderson wrote:So Hitler intervenes in October 1940, when he has decided on BARBAROSSA
Given the PoD is proper evaluation of Soviet strength, the decision for Barbarossa - not necessarily made even in October 1940 btw - can have been made much earlier. In September 1939, for example: Hitler knows that his next move after France is Russia.

Only perceived Soviet weakness allowed room for vacillation over Barbarossa.
Richard Anderson wrote:So why does Hitler and his favorite architect intervene in October 1940 when IRL they did not intervene until nearly 16 months later? Is Hitler channeling future Hitler or is he prescient?
Again I have to recommend reading Germany in the Second World War volumes IV and V (or, for those literate in German DRZW).

To understand why the Nazi regime would behave differently under different perceived conditions, one must understand their rationales under OTL conditions.
Richard Anderson wrote:What is the driver for him to take action? The OrgAbtl had already implemented plans to double the Panzerwaffe. The shortfall of production in the 5cm KwK in April 1940 was apparently mostly resolved and Panzer III production was already increasing as planned
Bingo. As you correctly recognize, German production was, while not without difficulties, perceived as being sufficient for German plans.

Is it really that difficult to see that different strategic plans would require different production plans?

I suspect you are quarreling over something that you know to be obvious, as you have been doing this entire thead:
Richard Anderson wrote:Excellent, it does seem possible for the Germans to build additional Panzers, which has been sort of obvious all along

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