What if the Reichswehr focused on lostics and adjacent tech?

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Re: What if the Reichswehr focused on lostics and adjacent tech?

Post by ljadw » 08 Jun 2023 14:18

thaddeus_c wrote:
08 Jun 2023 01:19
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
05 Jun 2023 14:29
Adding a barrier with registration and flagging through non German companies may not last long either. A important part of the British Nav Cert system was their intelligence operations penetrating exactly that to identify contraband cargos and the businesses organizing them.
that was my understanding, and of course Germany dealt away their relations with the USSR and KMT China, which might have served to obscure some of their operations (even from a superior intelligence gathering operation.)
On 3 September 1939 a German merchant ship was sailing to China with weapons for the KMT, and Britain let it go .

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Re: What if the Reichswehr focused on lostics and adjacent tech?

Post by ljadw » 08 Jun 2023 14:26

T. A. Gardner wrote:
03 Jun 2023 13:46
thaddeus_c wrote:
03 Jun 2023 13:23
T. A. Gardner wrote:
02 Jun 2023 22:01
thaddeus_c wrote:
02 Jun 2023 14:40
not sure if it fits this discussion, but the KM could have focused on oil tankers, they had the Dithmarschen-class design historically.
The Dithmarschen were exactly what the KM needed for at sea replenishment. Sure, they weren't as efficient as a USN oiler or supply ship at transferring oil and supplies to a warship at sea, but they did it all on one hull, and for the Germans that was a big deal. The Dithmarschen were also fast enough to keep up with the fleet so they didn't require independent escorts. Again, with the limited number of hulls and ships the KM had that made sense for them.
my speculation was for commercial use during peacetime, that they might gain some advantage(s) on their huge imports of oil, stockpile a larger reserve than historically.

somewhat the same theme, the KM employed (and lost) dozens of large, modern commercial ships as Sperrbrecher but found much smaller 1,700t trawlers functioned about as well to clear mines.

thus building a fleet of fishing trawlers with features beyond what industry would have constructed would have been a wise effort.
Germany could get oil imported easily enough in peacetime. The two limitations on it then are how much can Germany afford to buy, and where do they store it. If the oil imported is used immediately or in the short term, it does no good come a war.

Also, what kind of 'oil' are they importing? Is it refined products or the raw resource? If the later, then refinery capacity becomes an issue. In wartime, starved of imports, extra refinery capacity does you no good.
What is easily enough ?
Oil consumption in peacetime and in wartime are two different things .
Before the war Germany imported almost all its oil ,imports from South and Middle America and from the US .Not from Romania and the USSR .
During the war Germany produced most of its oil: crude and synthetic .

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Re: What if the Reichswehr focused on lostics and adjacent tech?

Post by ljadw » 10 Jun 2023 06:28

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
03 Jun 2023 17:46
T. A. Gardner wrote:
03 Jun 2023 13:46
... Germany could get oil imported easily enough in peacetime. The two limitations on it then are how much can Germany afford to buy, and where do they store it. If the oil imported is used immediately or in the short term, it does no good come a war.

Also, what kind of 'oil' are they importing? Is it refined products or the raw resource? If the later, then refinery capacity becomes an issue. In wartime, starved of imports, extra refinery capacity does you no good.
Given the quantity of cheap coal in Germany is there any payoff from investment in conversion to liquid fuels. The synthetic fuels for bunker fuels, diesels, or gasoline engines?
There were in 1930 35 refineries in Germany with a capacity of 2 million tons .
Source : Faktor Öl P 163
The fuel consumption in 1932 was 3,306,000 ton
2,281,000 came from imports (69 % )
200,000 came from domestic production ( 6 % )
The other 25 % (825 ,000 ) came from synthetic production
Same source P 166

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Re: What if the Reichswehr focused on lostics and adjacent tech?

Post by ljadw » 10 Jun 2023 11:53

Also from Faktor Öl ( P169 ),it was not "Germany " (NS Regime ) that imported oil,but the oil companies ,especially 3 companies that dominated the German market :Rhenania-Ossag, DAPG and Anglo-Iranian Oil Company : they owned the refineries and the tank stations and decided what kind of oil they would import and this was almost exclusively refined oil .
Between 1933 and 1939 only one refinery was build by a non German company : Eurotank belonging to the US Crusader Petroleum Industries which was owned by Davis &Co .
Crusader Petroleum Industries was in 1939 controlled by the German government and became confiscated in 1941 .

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Re: What if the Reichswehr focused on lostics and adjacent tech?

Post by Destroyer500 » 21 Jul 2023 00:39

T. A. Gardner wrote:
27 May 2023 00:53
As I've posted times before here, and elsewhere, what the Germans needed most was a vastly improved ability to do civil engineering. Rather than neglecting this and relegating it to mostly, almost entirely, manual labor, the Germans adopt to some degree--whatever is possible-- mechanizing their construction engineering and adopting other related engineering in this field.

For example:

They go heavily into prefabrication of system components. This means, like the British and US, the Germans have a series of prefabricated buildings kitted for shipment and use in erecting bases as they advance. The buildings, in their case, could be mostly wood products making them "non-strategic" in materials use.
For railroad repair, they have prefabricated lengths of track with the ties installed and use a flatcar to bring them forward. A crane on another car sets them in place. They have dump cars (bottom or side) that can deliver ballast for the railbed quickly.

Road construction units have at least a proportion of mechanized equipment to include one or more bulldozers, road graders, road rollers, and dump trucks. They don't have to be fully motorized or mechanized, but rather have some equipment to do the heavy lifting alongside manual laborers.

They also have portable sawmills, rock crushing plants that make sand and gravel, etc. You bring these in by rail, set them up, and they go to work making mass materials for construction. They had some historically, here they add more.

For use in Russia, they kit the necessary parts to construct standardized riverine craft that are then assembled using locally manufactured wood (eg., a sawmill making the lumber) to which the parts are added. This means they can make more use of the Russian river system to move troops and supplies.

This really becomes critical in Russia. Imagine the Germans did the above. They could be improving unpaved roads as they go, upgrading them to say, oiled (using used motor oil, etc.) and graveled with a compacted, graded surface with good drainage. Such a road would stand up to the rainy season and mud reasonably well. The few paved roads are maintained better and improved in terms of drainage, etc. Truck losses due to wear and tear are decreased meaning less need for replacements.

Where railroads exist, the availability of prefabricated rail sections and dump cars delivering gravel ballast make it possible to quickly expand a single rail system with sidings or a second track. Prefabricated buildings, tanks, and such allow building coaling and watering stations along with offices for communications rapidly.

Prefabricated buildings mean less waste of supplies sitting outside as you can build warehouses quickly. Troops have more shelter available in winter. Maintenance services have shelter to do their work rather than being outdoors.

Better roads and railroads equate into less wastage of vehicles and materials. This in turn means what supplies are already available are made more readily accessible to the front in a timely manner.

Fewer construction troops can do the same amount of work with the added mechanization meaning more men available for combat units without drafting more men.

Thus, by having improved civil engineering available, the Germans get improved logistical results with the same level of materials and supplies they had historically. There is less wastage across the whole system.
I very much like this idea and was having similar thoughts at some point.

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Re: What if the Reichswehr focused on lostics and adjacent tech?

Post by ljadw » 21 Jul 2023 11:23

The problem is that there are no proofs that what Gardner proposed,was possible .Germany was not the US .Look at the number of cars per 100 inhabitants in both countries .
Europe also was not the US .
I also doubt that paved roads in Russia would stand up to the rasputitza .

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Re: What if the Reichswehr focused on lostics and adjacent tech?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 22 Jul 2023 21:54

ljadw wrote:
21 Jul 2023 11:23
The problem is that there are no proofs that what Gardner proposed,was possible .Germany was not the US .Look at the number of cars per 100 inhabitants in both countries .
Europe also was not the US .
I also doubt that paved roads in Russia would stand up to the rasputitza .
Prefabricated buildings were well known even before WW 2. It's hardly a stretch for the Germans to have had an 'Ah ha!' moment and gone into prefabricated building manufacture. It doesn't have to be on some mass scale initially. Say, the Wehrmacht sees a need for cheap, easily, and quickly erected buildings for their expanding military. They get with one or more companies and architects who design such buildings for various purposes.

Then, when the military has great need, they have this in place and begin mass production for field use in Russia in particular. Others go to N. Africa. All of that doesn't take a major change in what Germany was doing anyway. Mass produced wood frame buildings make sense for them. Non-strategic, relatively lightweight, and easily erected on site.

Road paving would have made a HUGE difference in Russia. This one is more of a stretch. Oiled and graveled roads would make a big difference. The oil is collected, used motor oil, and other waste products from petroleum production. It doesn't have to be asphalt.
The road to be paved is graded slightly below the surrounding surface to give shoulders that will help retain the gravel. That surface is then oiled by spray from a tank truck or trailer. This could even be horse drawn. Once oiled, a bed of several centimeters of gravel is spread on top and compacted using a roller. This packs the gravel down. You try wherever possible to include drainage to side ditches along the road. This could be done almost entirely with horse drawn equipment.

The object of such a road isn't to make a permanent, long lasting surface, but rather to make a reasonably smooth, weather resistant surface to travel on. Such a road would stand up to the rainy season and vehicles wouldn't be driving in axle deep mud.

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Re: What if the Reichswehr focused on lostics and adjacent tech?

Post by Peter89 » 23 Jul 2023 09:40

T. A. Gardner wrote:
22 Jul 2023 21:54
ljadw wrote:
21 Jul 2023 11:23
The problem is that there are no proofs that what Gardner proposed,was possible .Germany was not the US .Look at the number of cars per 100 inhabitants in both countries .
Europe also was not the US .
I also doubt that paved roads in Russia would stand up to the rasputitza .
Prefabricated buildings were well known even before WW 2. It's hardly a stretch for the Germans to have had an 'Ah ha!' moment and gone into prefabricated building manufacture. It doesn't have to be on some mass scale initially. Say, the Wehrmacht sees a need for cheap, easily, and quickly erected buildings for their expanding military. They get with one or more companies and architects who design such buildings for various purposes.

Then, when the military has great need, they have this in place and begin mass production for field use in Russia in particular. Others go to N. Africa. All of that doesn't take a major change in what Germany was doing anyway. Mass produced wood frame buildings make sense for them. Non-strategic, relatively lightweight, and easily erected on site.

Road paving would have made a HUGE difference in Russia. This one is more of a stretch. Oiled and graveled roads would make a big difference. The oil is collected, used motor oil, and other waste products from petroleum production. It doesn't have to be asphalt.
The road to be paved is graded slightly below the surrounding surface to give shoulders that will help retain the gravel. That surface is then oiled by spray from a tank truck or trailer. This could even be horse drawn. Once oiled, a bed of several centimeters of gravel is spread on top and compacted using a roller. This packs the gravel down. You try wherever possible to include drainage to side ditches along the road. This could be done almost entirely with horse drawn equipment.

The object of such a road isn't to make a permanent, long lasting surface, but rather to make a reasonably smooth, weather resistant surface to travel on. Such a road would stand up to the rainy season and vehicles wouldn't be driving in axle deep mud.
It was certainly doable, but I'm not sure whether Germany had the capacity or the will to improve the road infrastructure of the SU. By the end of 1941, they were fighting some 1000 kilometers from their own supply bases, with a demand of a world war. Improving dirt roads to rollbahns - on top of the re-gauging or rail lines, log roads, etc. - would be a major undertaking. The plan was to defeat the Soviets before that project could ever be completed.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: What if the Reichswehr focused on lostics and adjacent tech?

Post by ljadw » 23 Jul 2023 11:41

The essence of Barbarossa was to defeat the Red Army on the border and then to advance with light armored forces to the Wolga and if possible to the Urals .
Such advance could not happen with the use of paved roads , but most troops and supplies would use the railways .
Thus the major importance of paved roads for the success of Barbarossa is questionable .
After Barbarossa the importance of paved roads was also questionable,as more paved roads does not mean a bigger circulation of motorized vehicles :for a bigger circulation, more vehicles are needed .
And the distances would remain a big obstacle :after the fall of Sebastopol units of Manstein's army were transferred to the Leningrad front by railway,through Romania and Poland . Even if there were paved roads to the north, there would be never enough vehicles to transport thousands of men with their equipment over a distance of 2200 km from Sevastopol to Leningrad .
PS : the Red Bal Express did also not much better although it used paved roads .
About prefabricated buildings : the Ostbahn had already the greatest problems to transport the needed supplies to the front ;how would it be able to transport countless additional prefabricated buildings ?
Roads were good only for short distances .
In 1962 ,during the Cuba crisis, a US armored division was going from the Deep South to the coast of Florida for a possible invasion of Cuba. It did not use roads, but railways .

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Re: What if the Reichswehr focused on lostics and adjacent tech?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 23 Jul 2023 18:22

Peter89 wrote:
23 Jul 2023 09:40

It was certainly doable, but I'm not sure whether Germany had the capacity or the will to improve the road infrastructure of the SU. By the end of 1941, they were fighting some 1000 kilometers from their own supply bases, with a demand of a world war. Improving dirt roads to rollbahns - on top of the re-gauging or rail lines, log roads, etc. - would be a major undertaking. The plan was to defeat the Soviets before that project could ever be completed.
It could have easily been sold as a Once we win, we'll still need good roads... project in any case.

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Re: What if the Reichswehr focused on lostics and adjacent tech?

Post by Peter89 » 23 Jul 2023 19:07

T. A. Gardner wrote:
23 Jul 2023 18:22
Peter89 wrote:
23 Jul 2023 09:40

It was certainly doable, but I'm not sure whether Germany had the capacity or the will to improve the road infrastructure of the SU. By the end of 1941, they were fighting some 1000 kilometers from their own supply bases, with a demand of a world war. Improving dirt roads to rollbahns - on top of the re-gauging or rail lines, log roads, etc. - would be a major undertaking. The plan was to defeat the Soviets before that project could ever be completed.
It could have easily been sold as a Once we win, we'll still need good roads... project in any case.
I'm not sure because the transportation network of the SU was evolving in accordance with urbanization, industrialization, etc. The war was making unnatural demands at some places, for example near Leningrad, where the Soviet transport network was quite dense, yet, because of the funny nature of the frontline, both sides used log roads extensively. Also when the mud season hit, it was not recommended to advance along paved roads: they were easily blocked and swept with fire. Thus the net result of building such roads was not as high as we'd expect.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: What if the Reichswehr focused on lostics and adjacent tech?

Post by ljadw » 23 Jul 2023 19:28

From a CIA report :
there were in 1941 1,5 million km of roads in the USSR .How many west of Moscow is unknown .
10 % was surfaced,30 % was dirt but improved and 60 % was natural dirt .
There were also some 1 million vehicles (trucks, buses,passenger cars ) useful for short distances only .
If the number of km of paved roads was sufficient for the 600000 vehicles of the Ostheer , it still did not help the Germans .
If this number was not sufficient, how many additional km of paved roads did the Germans need ?

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Re: What if the Reichswehr focused on lostics and adjacent tech?

Post by Destroyer500 » 24 Jul 2023 15:01

ljadw wrote:
21 Jul 2023 11:23
The problem is that there are no proofs that what Gardner proposed,was possible .Germany was not the US .Look at the number of cars per 100 inhabitants in both countries .
Europe also was not the US .
I also doubt that paved roads in Russia would stand up to the rasputitza .
I can only say that them having at least understood that the infrastructure of Russia was nonexistent,when it comes to the transport network,be that roads,rail lines,airfields and that they would stay longer than expected and work-live in very harsh conditions,would definitely serve them a lot better,coupled with at least some effort to create some of the said infrastructure from zero or be better equipped to repair the already existing one,than not doing it almost at all.While they did repair airfields and regauge rail lines and rebuilt bridges they were never enough for what they needed and its not that with enough coordination,planning and effort they wouldnt have time to built what they needed.
The essence of Barbarossa was to defeat the Red Army on the border and then to advance with light armored forces to the Wolga and if possible to the Urals .
Such advance could not happen with the use of paved roads , but most troops and supplies would use the railways .
Thus the major importance of paved roads for the success of Barbarossa is questionable .
After Barbarossa the importance of paved roads was also questionable,as more paved roads does not mean a bigger circulation of motorized vehicles :for a bigger circulation, more vehicles are needed .
And the distances would remain a big obstacle :after the fall of Sebastopol units of Manstein's army were transferred to the Leningrad front by railway,through Romania and Poland . Even if there were paved roads to the north, there would be never enough vehicles to transport thousands of men with their equipment over a distance of 2200 km from Sevastopol to Leningrad .
PS : the Red Bal Express did also not much better although it used paved roads .
About prefabricated buildings : the Ostbahn had already the greatest problems to transport the needed supplies to the front ;how would it be able to transport countless additional prefabricated buildings ?
Roads were good only for short distances .
In 1962 ,during the Cuba crisis, a US armored division was going from the Deep South to the coast of Florida for a possible invasion of Cuba. It did not use roads, but railways .
I also agree that trains are more important than roads especially for such vast expanses of land.

I once read that the Breitspurbahn had the capability to move the whole of Ukraines yearly food production back in Germany in a weeks worth of time if it was made.Thats the train Adolf wanted to built with the 3 meter broad gauge for those that dont know.Just for the sake of this argument id say that maybe some implementation of this along with all the "we built rail lines as we expand" would help even more with the moving of supplies and resources ? A more practical wonder weapons in a sense.

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Re: What if the Reichswehr focused on lostics and adjacent tech?

Post by ljadw » 24 Jul 2023 20:29

The export of the Ukrainian food production ( a part of it,all was impossible, as otherwise all Ukrainian farmers would die ) was not depending on the Breitspurbahn, but on
the amount of food production by Ukraine ,and this was varying from year to year ,following the weather
the number of locs and wagons that were available
An increase of the Ukrainian food production does not result in an increase of the export of Ukrainian food production and an increase of the number of available locs and wagons also does not mean an increase of the export of the Ukrainian food production .
A few weeks was out of the question : not weeks but months would be needed to transport the products of the Kolkchozs and Sovchozs to the local railway stations and from the local railway stations to the Breitspurbahn .The Breitspurbahn was not a train,but a railway system .The Breitspurbahn was planned to transport after the war German tourists to Crimea .
And the export of the Ukrainian food production to Germany would be a disaster for the regime ,because
if the Ukrainian food was for free,the Germans would stop buying products of the German agriculture, which would cause a general revolt from the German farmers
if it was not for free ,it would cost much more than the products of the German agriculture and no one would buy Ukrainian food .
And '':we built rail lines as we expand would help even more with the moving of supplies and resources'' would depend on how many supplies and resources would be available and would be needed .
If Germany won,would the occupation forces in the East (more than one million men ) need supplies and resources from Germany or would/could they make do with supplies and resources from the occupied territories ?

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Re: What if the Reichswehr focused on lostics and adjacent tech?

Post by Peter89 » 27 Jul 2023 10:23

Destroyer500 wrote:
24 Jul 2023 15:01

I can only say that them having at least understood that the infrastructure of Russia was nonexistent,when it comes to the transport network,be that roads,rail lines,airfields and that they would stay longer than expected and work-live in very harsh conditions,would definitely serve them a lot better,coupled with at least some effort to create some of the said infrastructure from zero or be better equipped to repair the already existing one,than not doing it almost at all.While they did repair airfields and regauge rail lines and rebuilt bridges they were never enough for what they needed and its not that with enough coordination,planning and effort they wouldnt have time to built what they needed.

I also agree that trains are more important than roads especially for such vast expanses of land.
The infrastructure of the Soviet Union was existing; it was developed differently than the Western European one, because of the historically different distribution of the economic activities and the population. The fact that German logistics was developed to wage a Central European war, has nothing to do with the supposed deficiency in Soviet transport network. Besides, different gauges than the standard one were not unique to the SU; Iberia and Ireland had different ones, too. By the time of Barbarossa, the Germans already proved that they were capable of solving some logistical issues, but they had serious limitations. For example, in the Balkans campaign, the Germans made months long preparations and still, part of their logistics was a one-time use (using river barges on the Danube). The point is that Germany was not unprepared to face logistical challenges in the SU.

Even less so, because they fought there in WW1, and by and large knew the lay of the land and its peculiarities. They also knew that the majority of the losses on the WW1 Eastern Front came from diseases, frostbites and the such, not from actual combat. Thus they were fully aware what attrition can the Eastern Front cause on the long run.

If the Germans knew they were facing a campaign that would last years and they have to rebuild the whole transport infrastructure of the European SU, they'd probably never launch Barbarossa in the first place. The reports we know from WW2 indicate that the Germans were looking forward to exterminate a few dozen millions of Soviet population, which they considered a burden on their plans to exploit the country's agriculture. The economic forecast reports indicate that even running the country's agriculture required some 60% of its oil production, especially if the yields were to rise. These numbers were only valid if the economy would be captured relatively intact. With hindsight, we know that if Germany wanted to run Soviet agriculture / economy using these methods, they'd not be successful. In fact, they'd fall into the same pit as they have in 1918 when the actual yield from the "breadbasket of Ukraine" was nowhere near the expected amount.

The food surplus Germany was looking for could be drawn from 3 sources: 1. investment into the agriculture of the minor Axis nations and the occupied territories; 2. increased pressure on Turkey/Persia/Iraq, 3. rebuilding and developing the Iberian agriculture and push for exports there. The expected increase in food income would be in the ballpark of the originally hoped plunder from the Soviet Union (8 million tons), and the cost would be in the same region as the rebuilding of the Soviet transport network. Also do not forget that the year 1940 was a critically bad harvest in Central Europe. Even Hungary was considering importing some foodstuffs, such as corn.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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