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.
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
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.
"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