The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 30 Nov 2020 18:12

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
30 Nov 2020 07:20
No I understand that's your argument; I just don't buy all the assumptions behind it.
The first assumption is that Germany had to maintain its emphasis on the Panzer III as the only possible route to an expanded Panzerwaffe. We know that Germany was willing to forego this Pz3-focused "requirement", as Germany expanded the Panzerwaffe via several divisions with improvised Pz38 TOE's. Had it been truly impossible to raise Pz3 production, Germany could have improvised a higher PzIV component via such measures as tooling up and manning Nibelungswerk earlier. [/quote]

Sorry, but the decision to make the Panzer III the primary tank in the Panzer division was a fact, not an assumption. The decision to substitute the Pz 38 (t) was, in the American vernacular, a "substitute standard". Production of the 38 (t) had, if anything, even more limitations built into it. There was effectively zero investment in improving/expanding the CKD/BMM plant, so the numbers were even more tightly limited to historical out put than the Panzer III. BTW, it was so completely a substitute for the Panzer III that the KTB of 7. Panzer in the French Campaign actually referred to them as Panzer III.
The second assumption is that Pz3 production was metaphysically fixed; that production quantity was unresponsive to increases in resources such as labor and machine tools. That Pz3 production was metaphysically fixed doesn't logically follow from the (conceded) premise that Germany encountered unexpected difficulties in production: more resources used inefficiently generally produce more of a good than less resources used with identical inefficiency. Put me on a lathe tomorrow and I'll be inefficient. But put two of me on two lathes and you'll get twice as much of my meager output.
Sorry, but that is not my assumption; you are miss-characterizing what I said. If you may recall, there was in fact no major increase of labor at the assembly plants and the increases were gradual over time. For example, MAN went from 8,836 in 1939 at its final assembly plant at Nurnberg to a peak of 11,261 in 1943, so just about a 50% increase. D-B at Werk 40 went from 3,025 in 1939 to a peak of 5,700 in 1943, so somewhat greater increase, while we don't have figures for MNH, I suspect it was about the same picture. In any case, the increase in production of the Panzer III...Sep 1939-Aug 1940 it was 53.7 per month, Sep 1940-Aug 1941 it was 114.1, Sep 1941-Aug 1942 it was 210 per month, and peaking at 221 in December 1942, was actually unremarkable, especially when compared to American performance from a similar standing start.

In any case, you want to get to the Sep 1941-Aug 1942 production performance a year early, correct? So AFAICS all the decisions and actions made up to then need to be back-dated by a year, which is what takes you back to 1935.
An upswing in Pz IV production gives one potential path to expanding the Panzerwaffe despite Pz3 production difficulties.
Sure, except that then would depend on Nibelungenwerk coming on line faster and managing to ever reach its planned productivity, which it never did, or Vomag coming on line earlier and exponentially increasing its production, or Krupp exponentially increasing its production.
Re the second assumption, I have read the Panzer Tracts series on early Pz3 (thanks for the reference) and see the narrative about slow and uneven production at widely-spread production facilities. Nothing in that tract, however, says that having more workers and more plant would not have resulted in more Pz3's. It doesn't say the converse either but the converse is simply economic common sense against which some compelling proof would be needed to support your thesis that it was flatly impossible to increase Pz3 production regardless of how many resources were thrown at it.
Since that is not my assumption, I don't think I need to rebut it? The issue I mentioned was not adding additional workers and plant, which did increase production, albeit much more slowly than you apparently notice. It was not having a satisfactory production pilot for those additional plants and laborers to replicate until December 1938.
As discussed below, it is likely that a larger Pz3 program would have made production virtuously along the economies of scale curve, addressing some of the issues plaguing Pz3 production.
Now that is actually an assumption. :D
All true but what relevance do these 1930's development delays have to expanding production in 1939-41?
Without a tested and accepted production pilot, the other manufacturers cannot complete tooling, training the labor force in assembly, and producing tanks. At that, even with a production pilot and contracts in place, the additional producers were remarkably slow to get off the starting line.
Surely true as well. Practically all military production has some big chunk of venality, especially absent the direct pressure of a shooting war. We've replaced Goering with Raytheon and their K-street lobbyists.
Yep, except that venality did apparently have an effect on German production in World War II, but not so much on American...Raytheon (General Dynamics is the actual poster child BTW) and the K Street corridor are postwar artifacts in the US.
But again, doesn't logically preclude greater production given greater resources. Goering/Raytheon enrich themselves unjustifiably but they can't capture ALL of marginal military expenditure.
Again, you are comparing wartime Germany to postwar America...Göring's and others greed materially affected Germany's wartime production performance, but not so much America's, which had major difficulties with strikes not seen in Germany.
Agreed. But part of what I see is widely-dispersed production of a low-volume total program resulting in especially low-volume production contracts at individual plants. Economies of scale can be dramatic at the low end of the scale curve; a contract for a few score Pz3's is insufficient to amortize efficient tooling/training/space allocation. As the USSBS reports attest, such production was a small fraction of turnover for the gigantic industrial concerns involved and they probably weren't sending their best at the program. The 1939 cuts to the panzer program probably played a part as well: even if the contracts weren't changed, the politically-connected industrialists who took the initial contracts surely believed - probably were told - they were getting in the door for a growth sector. When that growth prospect was suddenly curtailed, their willingness to plan large capital expenditures for panzer production surely took a hit as well. Remember that the Wehrmacht did not fund capital expenditure for weapons programs at private concerns; such expenditures were expected to be covered by total contract pricing. To a rational firm, the 1939 50% cut to the panzer program was a strong signal that investment in panzer production was not financially wise.
Sorry, I agree to all except for the continued reference to the mythos of a "50% cut to the panzer program". You need to keep reading through the Panzer Tracts series. Number 23 is especially relevant. :D
A larger - and constant - panzer program ameliorates many of these firm-specific problems by assuring firms of ROI for efficient investments and avoiding the signal that panzer production was risky at best.
Okay, but the proliferation of contracts was also earlier than the 1939-1940 time frame.
One might say that the producers should have known by 1940 that panzer production was going to be a growth market but I don't think that's right: How would they know of the panzer's role in Poland, given that not even all of the Heer immediately saw the Panzerwaffe as a decisive force? And after France there was large-scale perception that the war would soon end so only a strong signal from WaffenAmt/Hitler/etc. would negate a tendency to muddle along with the same low-investment, low-efficiency practices caused by the initial panzer production program.

Again, that all changes if Hitler/Heer send a strong signal that panzer production is going to be a long-term profit bonanza. That signal didn't really come through, however, especially given the desultory effort on Nibelungswerk.
Yes, you have to allow the Germans the same hindsight you are working from; I'm glad we agree on that. :D
Again this is an unwarranted denial of the demonstrated German willingness to improvise in order to field stronger forces.
How do you "improvise" a tank and not get a Bob Semple?
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 03 Dec 2020 03:55

Richard Anderson wrote:Sorry, but the decision to make the Panzer III the primary tank in the Panzer division was a fact, not an assumption.
Sorry but that's an entirely specious response - assumption/fact distinctions often are. It's the kind of thing that sounds good at a glance until you think about it for a second.

Any ATL involves changing facts; you're making unjustifiable assumptions about what is feasible to change in an ATL. To wit, you're assuming that any ATL involving a stronger Panzerwaffe has to rely on Pz3 to the same extent as OTL.

It's an unjustifiable assumption because Germany improvised Panzer division TOE's throughout the war and, if confronted with insoluble obstacles to greater Pz3 production, would have similarly improvised. They could have increased PzIV or Pz38 production if really committed to fielding 25 instead of 20 panzer divisions.

Richard Anderson wrote:that is not my assumption
Ok so you disavow the idea that Germany could not have increased 1940 panzer production.

What then is your argument?

Specifically, why was it impossible for Germany to have produced the ~350 more Pz3's necessary to equip 5 more panzer divisions?

If you're responding to this idea:
Richard Anderson wrote: you want to get to the Sep 1941-Aug 1942 production performance a year early, correct?
...you're arguing with yourself or somebody else. Where have I said anything like that?

I have been clear for over a year now that Germany could have won had it fielded 5 more panzer divisions (plus other factors discussed in my ATL's).

5 more panzer divisions is ~500 more medium tanks, not the thousands resulting from your later period.

So what's your argument about the tanks for 5 more panzer divisions?
Richard Anderson wrote:For example, MAN went from 8,836 in 1939 at its final assembly plant at Nurnberg to a peak of 11,261 in 1943, so just about a 50% increase. D-B at Werk 40 went from 3,025 in 1939 to a peak of 5,700 in 1943
You're using aggregate plant-level numbers for firms that began with only a fraction of workforce devoted to panzer production. So it's not a good metric. As the USSBS reports attest, at each of these plants the share of turnover attributable to panzer production increased dramatically as the war progressed. USSBS does not break down firm/plant-level employment by program activity but it's obvious that more of the workers were shifted to panzer production.
Sure, except that [higher PzIV production] then would depend on Nibelungenwerk coming on line faster and managing to ever reach its planned productivity, which it never did,
First, what's to stop Germany from manning and tooling NW earlier if committed to fielding 5 more panzer divisions?

Second, whether NW ever reaches planned production is irrelevant to whether it produces sufficient PzIV's (~100) to equip 5 more panzer divisions.
Richard Anderson wrote:Without a tested and accepted production pilot, the other manufacturers cannot complete tooling, training the labor force in assembly, and producing tanks.
Okay but why is that relevant to whether, after 1938, Germany can equip 5 more panzer divisions?
Richard Anderson wrote:I agree to all except for the continued reference to the mythos of a "50% cut to the panzer program". You need to keep reading through the Panzer Tracts series. Number 23 is especially relevant.
Thank you for the reference. Jentz's detailed work is really extraordinary; I especially appreciate his explicit admission of needed corrections to earlier work.

That said, I see nothing in the book that discusses whether planned panzer production was cut in 1939. What specifically do you think supports your argument?

Elsewhere you've consistently expressed the viewpoint that a change in contracts is needed to substantiate a change in production plans. This is a naive and incomplete view of contract, which is never the same thing as a self-evident promise even when drafted to be so. In this specific context, it's even less clear that contract and planned production coincide.

Jentz provides some more insight into the procurement process:
Inspektorat 6 in the Allgemeines Heeresamt (general army office) - not the Heeres Waffenamt (army ordnance department) - actually controlled the procurement process. Restrained by their share of the annual army budget, In 6 authorized the procurement of Panzers by specific Auftragen (authorizations) to the Waffenamt. The Waffenamt then awarded contracts to the assembly plants to produce a specific number of each panzer type authorized by In 6.
What you consistently assume is that Allgemeines Heeresamt wouldn't have authorized Heeres Waffenamt to award more contracts had the procurement budget for panzers been higher.

It's an obviously nonsensical assumption but has the merit of allowing you to point to OTL contracts and say they didn't change, while strategically ignoring the obvious point that more contracts for more panzers would have been issued had there been more funding for them (pre-war) or more other allocation (steel, labor) during the war.

The distinction between Allgemeines Heeresamt and Heeres Waffenamt instantiates the high-level distinction between particular total funding pool and specific contracts, respectively, that you'd like to pretend doesn't exist.

Had funding for the panzer program not been cut by 50% in 1939, Allgemeines Heeresamt would have authorized twice as much panzer procurement, after which Heeres Waffenamt would have executed contracts for twice as many panzers. Whether H.Wa.A would have double specified quantities in existing contracts or issued further contracts to exhaust its greater funding pool is immaterial.

------------------------------------------

Also note tJentz's table for total Pz3 production. We might be losing the forest for the trees in concentrating on firm-level production hiccups. Total program output followed a fairly even and consistent ramp.

Image
Richard Anderson wrote:Okay, but the proliferation of contracts was also earlier than the 1939-1940 time frame.
Sure but the overall pattern still reflects a basic rationality of developmental production at 1/2 firms for the early batches then expansion beyond them: Production started with 2 firms then moved to 6. Probably (I haven't checked) development delays meant that the development phase extended into the 6-firm period.
Yes, you have to allow the Germans the same hindsight you are working from; I'm glad we agree on that
I appreciate that you're sometimes being affably humorous and I sometimes don't give you appropriate credit for that.

But remarks like this are what sometimes make it impossible to tell.

Specifically, I can't tell whether this is an expression of your general contempt for counterfactual reasoning.
Richard Anderson wrote:How do you "improvise" a tank and not get a Bob Semple?
That's how the full-blown ATL ends. Germany captures Kiwis who reveal the Bob Semple, Germany mass-produces them and improvises floats for its invasion of North America and, ultimately, New Zealand.

Luckily the earlier improvisation regards division TOE's instead of tanks.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Richard Anderson » 03 Dec 2020 20:29

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
03 Dec 2020 03:55
Sorry but that's an entirely specious response - assumption/fact distinctions often are. It's the kind of thing that sounds good at a glance until you think about it for a second.

Any ATL involves changing facts; you're making unjustifiable assumptions about what is feasible to change in an ATL. To wit, you're assuming that any ATL involving a stronger Panzerwaffe has to rely on Pz3 to the same extent as OTL.

It's an unjustifiable assumption because Germany improvised Panzer division TOE's throughout the war and, if confronted with insoluble obstacles to greater Pz3 production, would have similarly improvised. They could have increased PzIV or Pz38 production if really committed to fielding 25 instead of 20 panzer divisions.
Sorry, but the only "unjustifiable assumption" I seem to see is the one that says "Germany improvised Panzer division TOE's throughout the war and, if confronted with insoluble obstacles to greater Pz3 production, would have similarly improvised".

The first part of the problem with that is that we know what the Panzer division T/O&E were and how they changed over time. We also know how the Panzer division T/O&E developed and why. We also know that the tanks were developed to fit into the T/O&E according to what the Germans believed, based on their prewar experimentation and early wartime experience, the tactical and doctrinal requirements were for those tanks. In other words, the two were interdependent and were not created in a vacuum.

So, as of 1 September 1939, the organization of the leichte (KSTN 1171) and mittlere (KSTN 1175) Kompanie was essentially exactly the same as the organization of 1 February 1941 and remained to all intents and purposes the same when reissued 1 November 1941. In fact, not assumption, that organization remained the same until the issue of the first substantial changes, first KSTN 1175a on 25 January 1943, which was the mittlere Panzerkompanie a. equipped entirely with the Panzer IV lang, and then the complete reorganization of the division on 1 November 1943 and then its reissue under the frei gleiderung organization beginning in March 1944.

These were not improvisational changes, but systematic changes based on combat experience. The only improvisational change I can see is the use of the Panzer 35 (t) and 38 (t) as substitutes for the Panzer III in 1940-1941.

Otherwise, the introduction of the 5cm kurz and 5cm lang Panzer III was into the existing organizational structure of the leichte kompanie as was the same for the introduction of the Panzer IV lang.

The second part of the problem is your assumption that the Germans "could have increased PzIV or Pz38 production if really committed to fielding 25 instead of 20 panzer divisions". The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. In fact, not assumption, the Germans were unable to generate sufficient Pz III or Pz 38 production to fully outfit all the existing 20 divisions (plus one leichte division) requiring them in spring 1941. Significantly, all the Panzer regiments in those divisions were intended to have eight kompanien, rather than the six normally found. Only seven of the Abteilungen organized had its full four kompanien.

How do you increase Panzer IV production sufficiently short-term to make up when production plans up to this POD were based upon it only being something like one-in-three of the total production?

Expanding Panzer 38 (t) production is even more of a non-starter. The Germans did not invest in the facilities at BMM and production remained at 25-40 tanks per month through early 1943. At that point investment for production expansion did occur, but the resulting expanded output was not experienced until early 1944.

Anyway, if the Germans were unable to field 20+1 fully equipped Panzer divisions by spring of 1941, despite being "fully committed to it", how are they supposed to field 25?
Ok so you disavow the idea that Germany could not have increased 1940 panzer production.

What then is your argument?

Specifically, why was it impossible for Germany to have produced the ~350 more Pz3's necessary to equip 5 more panzer divisions?
Since I don't believe I've ever said that, I'm not sure why I need to disavow anything? I thought my argument was clear? I don't see a way the Germans could increase the production of the Panzer they need, the Panzer III, to the level they require, unless they start its design about a year earlier.
...you're arguing with yourself or somebody else. Where have I said anything like that?

I have been clear for over a year now that Germany could have won had it fielded 5 more panzer divisions (plus other factors discussed in my ATL's).

5 more panzer divisions is ~500 more medium tanks, not the thousands resulting from your later period.

So what's your argument about the tanks for 5 more panzer divisions?
Okay, so get to 20+1 divisions on 1 June 1941 with an inventory of 2,381 Panzer III/35/38 at what was effectively two-thirds desired strength, required the production of 1,689 Panzer III and c. 1,310 38 (t), and the seizure of 218 completed 35 (t) and 9 38 (t). So 3,226 required to generate 2,381, plus 411 losses, or 2,792. In other words, an overage of 431 was required to achieve that strength.

An additional 768 Panzer III were required for your five extra divisions, not 500. Plus of course the additional Panzer IV. At least there should be sufficient Panzer II.
You're using aggregate plant-level numbers for firms that began with only a fraction of workforce devoted to panzer production. So it's not a good metric. As the USSBS reports attest, at each of these plants the share of turnover attributable to panzer production increased dramatically as the war progressed. USSBS does not break down firm/plant-level employment by program activity but it's obvious that more of the workers were shifted to panzer production.
Sorry, but no, you are assuming that the figures are aggregates. The figures for MAN are for it tank assembly plant at Nurnberg. The figures for D-B are for its Werk 40, its tank assembly plant at Berlin Marienfelde, not for the other non-tank plant operated by D-B at Marienfelde. Similar figures are available for Krupp's Grusonwerke, which was also dedicated to tank final assembly. It employed 7,397 in 1939 and 10,814 by 1944. Perhaps significantly, we do know the total number of PW employed by Krupp as a whole in June 1944 was c. 22,000, but only 778 of the total of 10,724 workers at Grusonwerke in 1944 were PW. We also have figures for MIAG's Ammenwerke, which was its tank assembly plant. During 1939, the Ammewerk employed an average of 4,872 workers. In 1940 that increased to 6,657, shrank slightly to 6,530 in 1941, then began to increase again to 6,681 in 1942, 7,342 in 1943, and then dropped again to 6,808 in 1944, and 5,791 in 1945. Of those, about 2,800 to 3,200 were actual production workers, while 1,800 to 2,600 were “non-productive” maintenance and service workers and the rest were involved in office work. We also know what Henschel's Werk III, its tank (and until late 1942 truck) production facility at Mittelfeld was like, it employed an average of 6,000 workers in 1944. Ditto the employment at VOMAG's "Panzerhalle" at Plauen. In 1940, VOMAG employed 4,096 workers, of which 1,884 were directly involved in production. The workforce expanded to 4,825 (2,244 in production), including 144 foreigners, in 1941. When the Panzerhalle expansion was completed in 1942, the workforce increased to 6,381 (2,999 in production) and increased slightly in 1943 to 6,584 (3,062 in production). At the end of 1944, the workforce was 6,530 (3,036 in production), including 1,978 foreigners, and then contracted in the first three months of 1945, ending with 4,550 on 31 March.

Something less than half were actual "production workers", but that does not mean the others were unnecessary workers.
First, what's to stop Germany from manning and tooling NW earlier if committed to fielding 5 more panzer divisions?
It was manned and tooled. The Nibelungenwerk was the largest and most advanced tank assembly plant of the German Reich. The plant, which was run by Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG, manufactured over half of all Panzer IV tanks produced by Germany during World War II. After the annexation of Austria in 1938, the Heereswaffenamt planned the construction of an armaments center near Linz. It would include manufacture of armor plate at Eisenwerke Oberdonau and a plant for final assembly of tanks near Sankt Valentin. Initially, 65 million Reichsmarks were earmarked for the new Sankt Valentin plant. On 23 February 1940, the Oberkommando des Heeres ordered construction of the plant at Thurnsdorf near St. Valentin and formally named it the Nibelungenwerk. The order allocated up to 78,288,000 Reichsmarks for its construction. By September 1940 enough of the plant was complete that it began rebuilding damaged Panzer III tanks, but the official opening took place in 1942. When completed, the monthly production capacity was intended to be 320 tanks, but it was never achieved. By fall 1941, about 4,800 workers were at the Nibeungenwerk. By the end of 1944 there were 8,500, including prisoners of war and forced labor from France, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, and the USSR. About 600 to 1,500 of the workers were from the Mauthausen concentration camp.

So initial planning began in late 1938, planning completed and funding was allocated in 1939, construction began in February 1940, and it was staffed and began operations in September 1940. The first new Panzer IV produced was in November 1941.
Second, whether NW ever reaches planned production is irrelevant to whether it produces sufficient PzIV's (~100) to equip 5 more panzer divisions.
Five more Panzer divisions required 140 Panzer IV. It was difficult for Nibelungenwerk to produce those if it was not producing Panzer IV. Given it took them 13 months November 1941 through November 1942 to produce 144, despite the crying need for such tanks on the Ostfront IRL, is a pretty solid indicator of how much earlier its dates need to be to achieve that by June 1941.
Okay but why is that relevant to whether, after 1938, Germany can equip 5 more panzer divisions?
Because the German tactical and doctrinal organization developed for the Panzer division from 1935-1943 required large numbers of Panzer III, but were delayed in getting them by roughly a year. It is also relevant that through June 1940, the Germans were planning on ten Panzer divisions with brigades of two regiments. That was revised due to experience in Poland and France and the anticipated requirement for 20+ divisions in 1941. In 1938, any planning for 25 Panzer divisions would perforce envisage a requirement for 50 Panzer regiments rather than 20.

All of which is a bit moot, since in 1938, the Germans were not monolithically fixated on an untried unit type, but were still divided between the merits of the Panzer Division and leichte Division, which issues also were not resolved until the experience of September 1939.

However, the only way that the Germans can base their planning in 1938 on experience gained in 1939 is via prescience.
Thank you for the reference. Jentz's detailed work is really extraordinary; I especially appreciate his explicit admission of needed corrections to earlier work.
You're welcome. The Panzer Tracts are excellent for technical design and production issues. For the tactical and organizational issues you need to refer to his two-volume Panzertruppen.
That said, I see nothing in the book that discusses whether planned panzer production was cut in 1939. What specifically do you think supports your argument?
Well, given that you keep bringing up this supposed "50% cut to Panzer production in 1939", I think it is upon you to support your argument? I am simply stating that I can find no such evidence for such a "cut", but instead see issues with finalizing design, over-expansion of production outside of the prime contractors, and such that affected actual output, but otherwise I see contracted production authorizations from 8 October 1936 that were extended 11 July 1938, but still falling short on actual deliveries as of 1 April 1940.
Elsewhere you've consistently expressed the viewpoint that a change in contracts is needed to substantiate a change in production plans. This is a naive and incomplete view of contract, which is never the same thing as a self-evident promise even when drafted to be so. In this specific context, it's even less clear that contract and planned production coincide.
Um, having worked with government contracting over the course of 28 years, no, I don't think I have a naive or incomplete view of it. :lol: In any case, since I never expressed that viewpoint, I don't think I need defend it. I simply pointed out that the contracts were placed, the Heer planned for deliveries so they could outfit their units, and that shortfalls to planned production existed into early 1940 and beyond.
Jentz provides some more insight into the procurement process:
Inspektorat 6 in the Allgemeines Heeresamt (general army office) - not the Heeres Waffenamt (army ordnance department) - actually controlled the procurement process. Restrained by their share of the annual army budget, In 6 authorized the procurement of Panzers by specific Auftragen (authorizations) to the Waffenamt. The Waffenamt then awarded contracts to the assembly plants to produce a specific number of each panzer type authorized by In 6.
What you consistently assume is that Allgemeines Heeresamt wouldn't have authorized Heeres Waffenamt to award more contracts had the procurement budget for panzers been higher.
Well, yes, but was there a budgetary cut solely to Panzer production in 1939 of 50%? That seems to be what you are alleging, but since you are so sensitive to me assuming what you mean, would you please clarify that is in fact what you mean? And then provide some proof for it? I do know the Wehrmacht budget, like that of the Reich, was a mess in FY 1937-1938 and only marginally recovered in FY 1938-1939, but still haven't seen proof of a 50% cut specifically to the Panzerwaffe production. I know the Luftwaffe defense budget share decreased from 39.4% in 1937 to 34.9% in 1938 and then 33.1% in 1939, but have not seen particulars on specific programs such as tank production. Steel in FY 1938 was also a problem, concerning the AHA, but with regards to ammunition production shortfalls.
It's an obviously nonsensical assumption but has the merit of allowing you to point to OTL contracts and say they didn't change, while strategically ignoring the obvious point that more contracts for more panzers would have been issued had there been more funding for them (pre-war) or more other allocation (steel, labor) during the war.
Given that I was put out of work for six months following Katrina due to DOD budgetary shortfalls to pay contracts when monies were sequestered for relief efforts, I think I am well aware of how budget and contracts work. :lol: I am asking you for some evidence that "panzer production was cut by 50% in 1939", either contractual or budgetary cuts.

I do know that the Heer ordered a new ordnance production plan 28 August 1940, incorporating the wartime experience to date, which replaced the prewar Rüstungsprogramme A (replaced by Plan B, how imaginative :D ), but again no real evidence of anything like a 50% production cut in 1939 has surfaced in my search.
The distinction between Allgemeines Heeresamt and Heeres Waffenamt instantiates the high-level distinction between particular total funding pool and specific contracts, respectively, that you'd like to pretend doesn't exist.
Assumptions on your part again. I know the distinction very well, I'm just asking for some evidence of anything that indicates there was a 50% cut in the contracts or budget.
Had funding for the panzer program not been cut by 50% in 1939, Allgemeines Heeresamt would have authorized twice as much panzer procurement, after which Heeres Waffenamt would have executed contracts for twice as many panzers. Whether H.Wa.A would have double specified quantities in existing contracts or issued further contracts to exhaust its greater funding pool is immaterial.
See, you just said it again...
Also note tJentz's table for total Pz3 production. We might be losing the forest for the trees in concentrating on firm-level production hiccups. Total program output followed a fairly even and consistent ramp.
Why yes, but when you include the trees you might notice that adding firm-level producers did not increase production. In that table the producers actually assigned to produce the Panzer III were:

January-February 1939 - D-B as prime contractor
March-July 1939 - MAN added as sub
August 1940 - Alkett added as sub
September 1939 - FAMO added as sub
April 1940 - MNH added as sub
March 1941 - Alkett and FAMO withdrawn from production pool (Alkett to StuG III production)
Then through April 1943 the pool consisted of just D-B, MAN, and MNH

So what was the effect on output of adding and subtracting resources in terms of additional production facilities and workers?

Oh, and BTW, if the budget was cut by 50% in 1939, what were they thinking adding additional subcontractors? Were they deliberately spreading the butter thinner and thinner? If so, why?

Oh, also BTW, if the budget was cut by 50% in 1939, what were they thinking funding Nibelungenwerk in 1939?
Sure but the overall pattern still reflects a basic rationality of developmental production at 1/2 firms for the early batches then expansion beyond them: Production started with 2 firms then moved to 6. Probably (I haven't checked) development delays meant that the development phase extended into the 6-firm period.
Sorry, but no that is incorrect. D-B was entirely responsible for the development series. MAN began production of the Ausf E in February 1939 and completed its first one in April 1939, as did D-B.
I appreciate that you're sometimes being affably humorous and I sometimes don't give you appropriate credit for that.

But remarks like this are what sometimes make it impossible to tell.

Specifically, I can't tell whether this is an expression of your general contempt for counterfactual reasoning.
No, just affably humorous, which is how I find the presentation of most counterfactual reasoning. It usually starts with "this is what I want my desired end state to be" and then works backwards from there tweaking events as required to get to it, then established a POD and claims everthing working forward from it is now guaranteed to follow. :lol: My general contempt is held back for other things.
That's how the full-blown ATL ends. Germany captures Kiwis who reveal the Bob Semple, Germany mass-produces them and improvises floats for its invasion of North America and, ultimately, New Zealand.
:lol:
Luckily the earlier improvisation regards division TOE's instead of tanks.
Yeah, the problem is the Germans did not improvise divisional T/O&E.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 Dec 2020 02:25

This is the last I want to say on the improvisation topic because it's an ancillary issue that has already taken up way too much time:
Richard Anderson wrote:The only improvisational change I can see is the use of the Panzer 35 (t) and 38 (t) as substitutes for the Panzer III in 1940-1941.
That concedes the entire argument. You recognize that the Germans improvisedly sub'd P35/38's for Pz3's.

They did this because they lacked sufficient Pz3's.

Therefore they were willing to sub other tanks for Pz3's.

Therefore they would have been willing to sub PzIV's for Pz3's.

That's all.

Whether they could have built more PzIV's is a separate issue.
Richard Anderson wrote:How do you increase Panzer IV production sufficiently short-term to make up when production plans up to this POD were based upon it only being something like one-in-three of the total production?
It's only done IF there is a metaphysical restriction on Pz3 production. Which is something I reject and something you have been unable to prove IMO. So it's a side issue, an alternate path to getting around the supposedly inflexible Pz3.
Richard Anderson wrote:I don't see a way the Germans could increase the production of the Panzer they need, the Panzer III, to the level they require, unless they start its design about a year earlier.
I get that's your argument but it makes zero sense. Even you recognize that the development work was finished by late 1938. After 1938, what's to stop the Germans from deciding to produce more Pz3's?
Richard Anderson wrote:you are assuming that the figures are aggregates. The figures for MAN are for it tank assembly plant at Nurnberg. The figures for D-B are for its Werk 40, its tank assembly plant at Berlin Marienfelde
USSBS report on both plants can't be clearer: The plants produced more than tanks; the plant-level employment figures are aggregate plant-level statistics.

This is indisputable.

Here's the MAN-Nurnberg report:

Image
Richard Anderson wrote:It [Nibelungswerk] was manned and tooled.
No, not as well it could have been given different national priorities. As the WaA report (cited upthread) clearly states, it suffered startup problems due to a lack of workers.
Richard Anderson wrote:Well, given that you keep bringing up this supposed "50% cut to Panzer production in 1939", I think it is upon you to support your argument? I am simply stating that I can find no such evidence for such a "cut", but instead see issues with finalizing design, over-expansion of production outside of the prime contractors, and such that affected actual output, but otherwise I see contracted production authorizations from 8 October 1936 that were extended 11 July 1938, but still falling short on actual deliveries as of 1 April 1940.
I'm rebutting your argument which, since at least last year, has been that a 50% cut to the Panzer program during 1939 had no actual impact on production.

Your primary support for the argument is that the "contracts didn't change."

Even if that's true, it fails to account for the likelihood of new contracts given more money. (Also are you certain that the contracts didn't change? Do we have copies of the contracts?)

That's all.

Having rebutted your contract-based argument, we revert to the basic fact that Germany slashed its panzer program by half in 1939.

...a fact that you question:
Richard Anderson wrote:but was there a budgetary cut solely to Panzer production in 1939 of 50%?
Yes:

Image

...from Wages of Destruction. Tooze's footnote cites:
62 Sarholz, 'Auswirkungen', 427-8.
63 BAMA RH15/152, 37.
I'm just beginning to work in the NARA rolls, no idea how to locate that BAMA cite.
Richard Anderson wrote:Oh, and BTW, if the budget was cut by 50% in 1939, what were they thinking adding additional subcontractors? Were they deliberately spreading the butter thinner and thinner? If so, why?
What is the relevance to the directional impact - ATL vs. OTL - of this question?

Very often you are debating whether the Germans were stupid rather than engaging the ATL. Do you want me to say the Germans were stupid? OK fine, the Germans were stupid.

That doesn't MATTER to whether twice the funding would result in more tanks. Even stupid Germans can get more with twice the funding (pre-war).
Richard Anderson wrote:Oh, also BTW, if the budget was cut by 50% in 1939, what were they thinking funding Nibelungenwerk in 1939?
Again maybe the Germans were stupid?

I suspect funding and construction/tooling/training urgency for NW subsided after the 1939 cuts.
Richard Anderson wrote:most counterfactual reasoning. It usually starts with "this is what I want my desired end state to be" and then works backwards from there tweaking events as required to get to it, then established a POD and claims everthing working forward from it is now guaranteed to follow.
That's how I frequently find your response to counterfactual reasoning. You begin desiring to show it invalid, reach for a justification, and sometimes adhere to it regardless of ensuing discourse.

Here that compels you to repeatedly cite events that ended in 1938 as preventing 1939/40 decisions to increase production.

It compels you to deny that a doubling of funding would have resulted in more tank production.

It compels you to question whether a panzer funding cut ever occurred, despite undisputed published accounts.

It compels you to mis-characterize ATL's to make them easier to debunk.

It compels you, in short, to commit all the intellectual errors that you ascribe to others. All in service of the goal you ascribe to others - to confirm pre-existing beliefs.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 Dec 2020 03:16

Avalancheon wrote:"On the basis of experience gained during the Western Campaign, Hitler ordered a tank production of 800 to 1000 units per month. However the Army Ordinance office reckoned that the cost of this program would be about two billion marks, and that it would involved the employment of 100,000 skilled workers and specialists. In view of these heavy expenses, Hitler unfortunately agreed to abandon this plan for the time being." -Panzer Leader, by Heinz Guderian.
As you suggest upthread, Hitler should have followed up on this by proposing a smaller increase in panzer production.

Of course had Hitler provided clear guidance that the Soviet Union was not to be taken lightly, some increase in panzer production would have been planned - albeit smaller than a ramp to 1,000/month. That smaller increase would have derived from a discrete plan to field larger initial forces and therefore would have had buy-in from the military bureaucracy, something that Hitler's larger program clearly did not have - which caused it to fall apart completely once Hitler was discouraged and lost interest.
Avalancheon wrote:So heres the question. If Hitler ordered the tank production increased in July 1940, how long would it take for them to hit their target of 300 tanks per month? What kind of lead time is required for the factories to tool up? Maybe 6, 8, 10 weeks? If they started churning out 300 tank per month in September 1940, then how many extra panzers does this get us by June 1941?
One of the reasons I have been so far extremely conservative in my ATL-making is I don't have a clear answer to the likely slope of a revised production ramp. Accordingly, my current ATL reaches all the way back to mid-1939. That provides plenty of space to get the 500 or so medium tanks required for 5 extra panzer divisions.

Re the discrete impact of 300/month *medium* tank production from September 1940, that'd give 150-170/month more tanks or ~1,400 more medium tanks by June 1941.

One means of attaining that ramp rapidly would be simply to mandate double shifts earlier, while awaiting greater machine tools for normal single-shift production. The USSBS notes industry's ability and willingness to institute double shifts when required by army programs; an appropriate strategic appraisal of Barbarossa would inevitably motivate such a requirement.
Avalancheon wrote:But for the OP of this thread, tank production can only be increased starting in July 1940 (and will not be realized until about September 1940). This reduces the time to 9 months, and requires an increase of 90 tanks per month. This also seems achievable.

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Dec 2020 04:56

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 Dec 2020 02:25
This is the last I want to say on the improvisation topic because it's an ancillary issue that has already taken up way too much time:
Do you have an urgent meeting somewhere? Understanding why and how the Germans armed and equipped the Panzer division is rather a central issue to this discussion. However, if you really want to go back to discussing things with yourself, by all means be my guest. I have a beautiful new baby granddaughter in Palatine to pay long-distance attention to, which might be infinitely more interesting and fulfilling. For me at least. :lol:
That concedes the entire argument.
Summoning my inner tRump, "I concede nothing". :lol:
You recognize that the Germans improvisedly sub'd P35/38's for Pz3's.

They did this because they lacked sufficient Pz3's.

Therefore they were willing to sub other tanks for Pz3's.

Therefore they would have been willing to sub PzIV's for Pz3's.

That's all.
No, they did not "improvisedly" (neat neologism BTW) substitute the Panzer 35/38 for Panzer III, they did it deliberately, because they considered them an acceptable substitute for the Panzer III, but they did not substitute the Panzer IV for the Panzer III. Its 7.5cm KwK was not considered an adequate substitute for either the 3.7cm KwK or the 5c, KwK at the time. It continued to be viewed that way until the 7.5cm KwK L43 and L48 were available and even then they replaced the Panzer IV in the mittlere Kompanie rather than the Panzer III in the leichte Kompanie, until the distinction was eliminated officially in November 1943, it became more and more moot through early 1943.
Whether they could have built more PzIV's is a separate issue.
Indeed it is.
It's only done IF there is a metaphysical restriction on Pz3 production. Which is something I reject and something you have been unable to prove IMO. So it's a side issue, an alternate path to getting around the supposedly inflexible Pz3.
Sorry, I leave metaphysics to the metaphysicians. The restrictions on Panzer III production were obviously real or they would not have had a shortfall to plan in April 1940.
I get that's your argument but it makes zero sense. Even you recognize that the development work was finished by late 1938. After 1938, what's to stop the Germans from deciding to produce more Pz3's?
To be precise, the last of the 70 pre-production series were completed in January and February 1939, two produced in each month by D-B. They then completed the redesign of the production series Ausf E and completed two of those in April 1939, one each by D-B and MAN. The two worked mightly over the next three months and completed 21. Alkett joined them in August 1939 and the three completed 20. And so on. The run up to production was gradual and uninformed by any sort of foreknowledge that war was to break out in September. When war did break out, and with the addition of FAMO all that lackadaisical attitude went by the boards and 40 were produced, which remained the average over the next five months.

Maybe the Germans were just stupid and had no idea how to generate productivity in this sector...or perhaps there were a whole host of issues - such as the disruptions to the supply chain caused by the overnight elimination of virtually all their foreign trade - that meant that your ATL needs to start a year earlier so that they could work the kinks out.
USSBS report on both plants can't be clearer: The plants produced more than tanks; the plant-level employment figures are aggregate plant-level statistics.

This is indisputable.
On the contrary, "on both plants" is disputable. Easily. There is no USSBS report for D-B's Werke 40 at Marienfeld. In fact, there is no USSBS report on any of the D-B plants, plural, at Berlin Marienfeld. D-B Berlin Marienfeld is mentioned in passing in the Tank Industry Summary Report, but that is it. Most certainly Marienfeld did produce heavy trucks, but at Werk 90, not Werk 40. The figures for the workforce were for Werk 40.
Here's the MAN-Nurnberg report:
Very good. From that we may presume that the the proportion of the overall MAN Nurnberg workforce building tanks was probably not far different than D-B.
No, not as well it could have been given different national priorities. As the WaA report (cited upthread) clearly states, it suffered startup problems due to a lack of workers.
Yeah, except that it had at least as many workers as D-B's Werk 40 by the fall of 1941, when it began work repairing vehicles and building subcomponents, but it still had problems turning out new Panzer IV.
I'm rebutting your argument which, since at least last year, has been that a 50% cut to the Panzer program during 1939 had no actual impact on production.
No, my argument since at least last year is that the "50% cut to the Panzer program during 1939" is a myth, based upon your misreading of Tooze. Well, and Tooze's rather inelegant way of putting it.
Your primary support for the argument is that the "contracts didn't change."

Even if that's true, it fails to account for the likelihood of new contracts given more money. (Also are you certain that the contracts didn't change? Do we have copies of the contracts?)

That's all.
Nope.
Having rebutted your contract-based argument, we revert to the basic fact that Germany slashed its panzer program by half in 1939.

...a fact that you question:
Yep.
Yes:

...from Wages of Destruction. Tooze's footnote cites:

62 Sarholz, 'Auswirkungen', 427-8.
63 BAMA RH15/152, 37.
Have you actually read that passage? Seriously, have you read it and thought about it?

The Germans planned cuts in July 1939 to the armaments program for 1939-1940, basically to the April 1939 budget passed for FY 1940. With regards to the Panzer program, they planned on cutting it by 50% of the production from October 1939 to October 1940.

Do you actually think that after 1 September 1939 they actually implemented those cuts? Hell no. Instead, what did they do? They authorized and funded 65 million RM for the building of the Niblelungen plant at Sankt Valentin. They authorized the expansion of Henschel's Werk III at Mittlefeld so they could consolidate all tank production there from the cramped facilities at Werk I. They authorized expenditure to tool up for production of the Panzer III at MNH, which joined the production pool in April 1940.
I'm just beginning to work in the NARA rolls, no idea how to locate that BAMA cite.
It is difficult, but not impossible, to get correlations. I'll see what I can dig out.
What is the relevance to the directional impact - ATL vs. OTL - of this question?
See above.
Very often you are debating whether the Germans were stupid rather than engaging the ATL. Do you want me to say the Germans were stupid? OK fine, the Germans were stupid.
Funny, I keep thinking the same about what you are debating...your solutions are so simple that the only reason the Germans must not have implemented them is that they were dumber than a box of hammers, or at least dumber than you. None of those arguments seem accurate.
That doesn't MATTER to whether twice the funding would result in more tanks. Even stupid Germans can get more with twice the funding (pre-war).
Given the financial straits of the Reich? No, they could not prewar, which is why they planned to cut back armaments production, just as they had been forced to do in FY 1937 and FY 1938.
Again maybe the Germans were stupid?
No, I doubt it, see above.
I suspect funding and construction/tooling/training urgency for NW subsided after the 1939 cuts.
Nobelungenwerk funding was approved after the supposed cuts. A war intervened.
That's how I frequently find your response to counterfactual reasoning. You begin desiring to show it invalid, reach for a justification, and sometimes adhere to it regardless of ensuing discourse.
No, but I do have a bad habit of hoping breadcrumbs might lead a horse to water or something like that.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 Dec 2020 10:58

Richard Anderson wrote:Do you have an urgent meeting somewhere?
My meetings mostly occur in the same chair from which I do AHF, like most folks in these cursed days.

I'm just letting you know that, having listened extensively to your arguments and read your suggested sources, I find they do not support your contentions. The discussion has been interesting, thank you. I'm not trying to end it, just letting you know that I have to limit my time expenditure on them rather than continuing on the circle chase we seem to have reached on this particular subject. Although I have nowhere to go these days, the list of things to do remains long (surely for you as well).
Richard Anderson wrote:No, they did not "improvisedly" (neat neologism BTW) substitute the Panzer 35/38 for Panzer III, they did it deliberately, because they considered them an acceptable substitute for the Panzer III, but they did not substitute the Panzer IV for the Panzer III. Its 7.5cm KwK was not considered an adequate substitute for either the 3.7cm KwK or the 5c, KwK at the time
Are you sure about that? Kurz 7.5cm had at least good penetration at short range and better at long range, compared to 3,7cm ÚV vz. 38.

You might be right on historical German assessment even setting aside the actual penetration stats, in which case I'll be happy to drop this ancillary issue.
Richard Anderson wrote:No, but I do have a bad habit of hoping breadcrumbs might lead a horse to water or something like that.
Your other bad habit is to prize complexity for its own sake.

Previously I've interpreted this as bad faith and that's caused some poor behavior by me. I'm learning that it's a foible but nonetheless it leads you astray, IMO. Leads to piling up points and statistics that, while interesting and helpful to me as a general matter, obscure simpler dynamics that you'd like not to address. Such as Germany increasing panzer production during the war, and the influence of resources on panzer production.

For example, take this statement:
Richard Anderson wrote:Maybe the Germans were just stupid and had no idea how to generate productivity in this sector...or perhaps there were a whole host of issues - such as the disruptions to the supply chain caused by the overnight elimination of virtually all their foreign trade
...which leads to this conclusion:
Richard Anderson wrote: - that meant that your ATL needs to start a year earlier so that they could work the kinks out.
There's a massive jump in logic between those two quotes.

Let's agree the Germans were stupid and couldn't generate better productivity in panzer production (upthread I've suggested numerous reasons why economies of scale would mean higher ATL productivity than OTL, but let's stick with stupid Germans for now - there was no shortage of stupid Germans after all).

Even so, I must repeat the simple point that productivity is matter of outputs from inputs.

So with identically-low productivity, more inputs would mean more outputs. Yes, simple. Simple is often correct, Richard - it is here.

Instead you jump to byzantine solution wherein the panzer timeline shifts up by a year. You don't justify why that jump is the only possible ATL and indeed elsewhere you disavow one possible justification (that Pz3 production was unresponsive to resource expenditure).

It's out of left field but for some reason is the only ATL you're willing to consider, the only jump your logic allows.

Might it be your contempt for the simple? I'm reaching here - really don't understand the thought process.
Richard Anderson wrote:The restrictions on Panzer III production were obviously real or they would not have had a shortfall to plan in April 1940.
Once again you're eliding the distinction between (1) a shortfall in a smaller plan and (2) a shortfall in a larger plan employing greater resources.

(2) produces more panzers, even if the program fails as much as (1), measured against larger goals.
Richard Anderson wrote:There is no USSBS report for D-B's Werke 40 at Marienfeld.
The disputed issue was whether we can point to USSBS plant-level employment figures as figures for tank employment. We can't, so the lack of a USSBS report for D-B 40 is irrelevant to the point.
Richard Anderson wrote:From that we may presume that the the proportion of the overall MAN Nurnberg workforce building tanks was probably not far different than D-B.
Huh? How? We'd have to know what D-B plants were producing besides tanks with at least as much specificity as given in USSBS MAN report.
Richard Anderson wrote:The Germans planned cuts in July 1939 to the armaments program for 1939-1940, basically to the April 1939 budget passed for FY 1940. With regards to the Panzer program, they planned on cutting it by 50% of the production from October 1939 to October 1940.

Do you actually think that after 1 September 1939 they actually implemented those cuts?
You're missing something big here:
  • Cuts to production plans for Oct 39 - Oct 40 would have involved cuts to investment, training, recruting, etc. As you recognize in virtually every other context yet fortuitously forget here, weapons programs have planning horizons.
Tooze points up something I discussed upthread re industrial willingness to invest in panzer production:
As Brauchitsch,
Commander-in-Chief of the army, noted in a letter of protest to Wehrmacht high command, the abrupt and apparently arbitrary cancellation
of orders 'seriously endangers the confidence of the business community
in the state's planning of the economy. The frequent enquiries from
businessmen in recent days . . . make this quite clear.
As I said upthread, the erratic panzer program sent a signal to business that it wasn't a good investment. That likely accounts for a significant portion of the production difficulties encountered: MAN/Krupp et. al. simply weren't willing to do better because it didn't seem a wise investment.

The other big point relates to the priorities evinced in the 1939 cuts (Ju-88 and Plan Z versus army programs). I don't feel like restating the argument.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Of course you will ignore and call "assumption" about business investment rationales; it doesn't suit your purpose.
Richard Anderson wrote:Given the financial straits of the Reich? No, they could not prewar, which is why they planned to cut back armaments production, just as they had been forced to do in FY 1937 and FY 1938.
Again a ridiculously simple point: cuts to armaments weren't evenly distributed and in 1939 some programs had 0 cuts (Ju-88 and Plan Z).

The simple is simple but one has to get it right.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 Dec 2020 12:44

Going to post other Wa.A. remarks on panzer production shortfalls as I come across them, all from T78 R143.

---------------------------------------------------

For February 1, 1941:

Image

Pz3 production: "Disturbances in production due to special action." Wonder what special action?

PzIV: difficult to understand the short abbreviation. Something to do with unbuilt axles?

Pz.B.38 (Panzer 38(t) for artillery observation?): Working hour shortfall due to snowdrifts.

-----------------------------------------------------

From January 1, 1941:

Image

re Pak 38: "Increase delayed by unexpectedly low labor and machine assignment difficulties"
Not exactly Panzer-specific but somewhat adjacent...

Re Pz3: "Production difficulties at MIAG"
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Peter89 » 04 Dec 2020 14:47

Another interesting aspect of the T38 (and Pz IV) situation that Germany actually gave a number of these Panzers to its allies, good for the equipment of approximately a whole division (108 to Hungary alone).

Also, the 22nd PzD was equipped mostly with T38, the 23rd and 25th PzDs (originally) mostly with French and British Beutepanzers, and only the 24th PzD with the mentioned tanks. In the meanwhile, the DAK got real reinforcements for no obvious reasons.

These units (PzD 21-25) could have been or were equipped with some sort of tanks in time, so I do not see a big problem with that concept here.

Another interesting question for me are the 2nd and 5th PzDs, originally held in reserve. A lot of members argue that the Barbarossa was decided in the initial phase of the campaign. I know that the 2nd Pz lost a great number of its vehicles near Greece, but how's it with the 5th?

Was these "surplus" tanks the reason why the Germans didn't put more effort into the increase of their production?
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 Dec 2020 15:39

-------------------------------------
The documents referenced herein come from NARA T78/R143 but don't have a frame number (they're toward the end of the roll).
------------------------------------

On April 23, 1940, Inspektorat 6 of Allgemeines Heeres Amt (Central Army Office = "AHA") wrote to Heeres Waffen Amt ("WaA") inquiring about the reasons for panzer production shortfalls and whether PzIV production could be increased via manning-up Krupp-Gruson. Below is a (poor) translation of WaA's response and the original docs.

Berlin May 22,1940

Reference: AHA (Ag K / In 6, III) No. 17/40 g Kdos from April 23, 1940
Re: tank production


The following comments are made on the individual points of the reference letter:

I.
A. The delivery failures in the last few months are caused by:
1). Disturbances of the past winter, such as coal, gas, transport shortages and so on, are only now having an impact,
2.) Lack of workers, which makes itself noticeable not only in the companies directly given away with Wehrmacht orders, but also in their suppliers.
3. Reduction of the workforce of the production plants by drafting into army service.

It is here s.B. be aware that by disposition 234/40 g Kdos AHA (Ag K / M VI) (VI a) from April 4, 40 a larger number of specialists from the tank companies for the personnel equipment of the A.K.P. 531 were suckled in by the competent Wehrbesirke commandos.

On page 2, item 4 of this decree, it was announced that Ag K, Dept. M should make the appropriate number of well-trained Kfs craftsmen available by way of service obligation, so as not to let the new production drop too much.

In the time that has now passed, not a single replacement specialist has been made available.

It must be stated that this removal of skilled workers must also lead to a reduction in the emission of tanks.

4. Provision of fitters to the troops, who are constantly required to attach additional armor, to carry out changes in shape and to train the troops;

5. Additional special orders, especially additional armor, which strain the capacity of the tank company.

I b) Measures to be taken:
1. Immediate assignment of the acc. Availability 234/40 g Kdos AHA (Ag K / M VI) from 04/04/40 promised replacement craftsman;
2. Obtaining the FM stamp for the successful handling of UK applications. Corresponding applications have been submitted to OKW by WaA.

II. The increase in the Pz. Kpfw. 38 (t) gradually from 25 to 50 pieces per month is supposed to be reached in March 1941. An influence can occur through the demands of the Pazner strengthening.
This increase does not affect the German devices.

III. The increase of the Panzer IV at Krupp-Grusonwerk up to 30 pieces per month is a worker question. All necessary measures have been initiated by WaA. Your success cannot be overlooked for the moment.

In line with the efforts to increase the workforce at the Krupp-Gruson works, WaA would immediately initiate an increase in output by adding new production facilities as soon as the increased demands for Panzer IV became known.

A conversion of the production of the Panzer III to Panzer IV in other plants would not result in any lateral distribution compared to the measures taken.

If the most difficult increase in the number of workers at the Krupp-Gruson works is in good time, an increase to 30 pieces of Panzer IV per month in 1940 is to be expected.

AHA will be informed of the operating weights for armored vehicles separately.
Image
Image
Image


The WaA document clearly indicates that more tank production would have been achieved given sufficient labor - particularly skilled labor.

Critically, WaA emphasizes that, re increased PzIV production at Krupp-Gruson, everything was in place except the workers. Krupp appears to have got the workers as it reached the planned 30/month production rate in August 1940, ~2 months after WaA's letter.

@Avalancheon re your question upthread re the lag between deciding to increase production and achieving it, 2 months was a demonstrated German capability when labor was the limiting issue.

As none of the German tank factories used double shifts at this time, an urgent request to increase tank production can be treated analytically as a matter of workers (and steel allocations).

Once again, there is nothing to stop the Germans from giving the tank plants more skilled labor - if they had been willing to sacrifice elsewhere.

----------------------------------------------------------------

It is noteworthy that the German bureaucracy was able to identify a production need, investigate the means of addressing it, and redress it within a few months. A bit slower than ideal and production was inefficient from a productivity standpoint during 1940, but the broad theme is one in which panzer production was responsive to identified needs.

Had Germany identified a need for further tank increases at this point in the war, they surely could have accomplished it.

---------------------------------------------------------------

I will be looking for more documents that describe the "strategic level" of panzer production during the run up to Barbarossa. Any help appreciated.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 Dec 2020 15:43

Peter89 wrote:Another interesting aspect of the T38 (and Pz IV) situation that Germany actually gave a number of these Panzers to its allies, good for the equipment of approximately a whole division (102 to Hungary alone).
Do you have approximate timeline for 38t deliveries to Hungary? One of the WaA reports references export demands as a reason for Heer 38t delivery shortfalls - but it was during early 1941. Were Hungarians getting these tanks so far ahead of Barbarossa, before they committed?
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Richard Anderson
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Dec 2020 17:02

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 Dec 2020 10:58
My meetings mostly occur in the same chair from which I do AHF, like most folks in these cursed days.

I'm just letting you know that, having listened extensively to your arguments and read your suggested sources, I find they do not support your contentions. The discussion has been interesting, thank you. I'm not trying to end it, just letting you know that I have to limit my time expenditure on them rather than continuing on the circle chase we seem to have reached on this particular subject. Although I have nowhere to go these days, the list of things to do remains long (surely for you as well).
Okay, I agree, I have to limit my time-wasting too. While entertaining I recognize the exercise here is ultimately futile.
Are you sure about that? Kurz 7.5cm had at least good penetration at short range and better at long range, compared to 3,7cm ÚV vz. 38.

You might be right on historical German assessment even setting aside the actual penetration stats, in which case I'll be happy to drop this ancillary issue.
Penetrating other tanks was not the be all and end all of tanks.
Your other bad habit is to prize complexity for its own sake.
Oh, I have many bad habits, you've only discovered a few of them.
Previously I've interpreted this as bad faith and that's caused some poor behavior by me. I'm learning that it's a foible but nonetheless it leads you astray, IMO. Leads to piling up points and statistics that, while interesting and helpful to me as a general matter, obscure simpler dynamics that you'd like not to address. Such as Germany increasing panzer production during the war, and the influence of resources on panzer production.
Indeed, in studying complex systems I enjoy exploring the complexities rather than reducing them to a reductio ab adsurdam.
For example, take this statement:
Richard Anderson wrote:Maybe the Germans were just stupid and had no idea how to generate productivity in this sector...or perhaps there were a whole host of issues - such as the disruptions to the supply chain caused by the overnight elimination of virtually all their foreign trade
...which leads to this conclusion:
Richard Anderson wrote: - that meant that your ATL needs to start a year earlier so that they could work the kinks out.
There's a massive jump in logic between those two quotes.
Perhaps I shouldn't have parodied your tendency to reduce things to the absurd?
Let's agree the Germans were stupid and couldn't generate better productivity in panzer production (upthread I've suggested numerous reasons why economies of scale would mean higher ATL productivity than OTL, but let's stick with stupid Germans for now - there was no shortage of stupid Germans after all).

Even so, I must repeat the simple point that productivity is matter of outputs from inputs.

So with identically-low productivity, more inputs would mean more outputs. Yes, simple. Simple is often correct, Richard - it is here.

Instead you jump to byzantine solution wherein the panzer timeline shifts up by a year. You don't justify why that jump is the only possible ATL and indeed elsewhere you disavow one possible justification (that Pz3 production was unresponsive to resource expenditure).

It's out of left field but for some reason is the only ATL you're willing to consider, the only jump your logic allows.

Might it be your contempt for the simple? I'm reaching here - really don't understand the thought process.
Okay, so then we're back to the Germans being too stupid to realize that all they had to do to increase Panzer production was increase inputs and ignoring the simple fact that they did increase inputs and it took months for production to increase to the levels they desired.

Works for me if it works for you.
Once again you're eliding the distinction between (1) a shortfall in a smaller plan and (2) a shortfall in a larger plan employing greater resources.

(2) produces more panzers, even if the program fails as much as (1), measured against larger goals.
Okay. I'll try to stop eliding.
The disputed issue was whether we can point to USSBS plant-level employment figures as figures for tank employment. We can't, so the lack of a USSBS report for D-B 40 is irrelevant to the point.
Uh, no, the disputed issue is you made reference to a document supporting your argument that does not exist.
Huh? How? We'd have to know what D-B plants were producing besides tanks with at least as much specificity as given in USSBS MAN report.
Sorry, but you appear to be willfully misunderstanding. D-B Marienfelde's history is well known, albeit was not examined by the USSBS. There were two plants there in question, Werke 40 and Werke 90. In 1902, Daimler acquired the Motorenfahrzeug und Motorenfabrik AG at Berlin-Marienfelde, which was a Daimler licensee. Daimler moved most of its heavy truck production to Marienfelde from Cannstadt during 1907-1908. In 1927, D-B moved heavy truck production to Gaggenau and reduced Marienfelde to a repair facility before the Great depression led to its closing in 1929. Marienfelde's Werk 90 plant was then reopened in 1933 to produce aero engines for the Luftwaffe. Werk 40 reopened a year later to produce heavy trucks for the Heer, but in 1935 began producing the Kleine Panzerbefehlswagen on the Pz I chassis, then became the development facility for the Pz III and the Grosse Panzerbefehlswagen based on its chassis. Meanwhile, Werk 40 continued to produce the Einheits LKW LG 3000/4000, but production ended in 1940, leaving Werk 40 to continue to produce tank and other vehicles based on tank chassis.
You're missing something big here:
So are you missing something big here, among them the words "planned", "would have", and "1 September 1939".
As I said upthread, the erratic panzer program sent a signal to business that it wasn't a good investment. That likely accounts for a significant portion of the production difficulties encountered: MAN/Krupp et. al. simply weren't willing to do better because it didn't seem a wise investment.
Okay, so MAN/Krupp et al simply refused to produce tanks to the schedule laid out by AHA, just the same way aircraft firms refused to produce aircraft to the schedule laid out by the RLM, because it wasn't a wise investment? In Nazi Germany where the investors, in many cases were the government. Good to know.
Again a ridiculously simple point: cuts to armaments weren't evenly distributed and in 1939 some programs had 0 cuts (Ju-88 and Plan Z).

The simple is simple but one has to get it right.
And here's another ridiculously simple point, cuts planned in July 1939 to take effect in October 1939 became obsolete overnight on 31 August 1939.
Richard C. Anderson Jr.

American Thunder: U.S. Army Tank Design, Development, and Doctrine in World War II
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall
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Richard Anderson
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Dec 2020 17:21

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 Dec 2020 15:43
Do you have approximate timeline for 38t deliveries to Hungary? One of the WaA reports references export demands as a reason for Heer 38t delivery shortfalls - but it was during early 1941. Were Hungarians getting these tanks so far ahead of Barbarossa, before they committed?
The 38(t) were delivered to the Hungarians in the winter of 1942/1943 to organize the 1st Armored Division, until they could begin production of their domestic Toldi and Turan tanks. They first requested a license to produce the Pz III, but the Germans denied it due to diplomatic pressure from the Romanians, who were not happy with the Germans cozying up with the Hungarians.
Richard C. Anderson Jr.

American Thunder: U.S. Army Tank Design, Development, and Doctrine in World War II
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall
Hitler's Last Gamble
Artillery Hell

Peter89
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Peter89 » 04 Dec 2020 17:58

Richard Anderson wrote:
04 Dec 2020 17:21
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 Dec 2020 15:43
Do you have approximate timeline for 38t deliveries to Hungary? One of the WaA reports references export demands as a reason for Heer 38t delivery shortfalls - but it was during early 1941. Were Hungarians getting these tanks so far ahead of Barbarossa, before they committed?
The 38(t) were delivered to the Hungarians in the winter of 1942/1943 to organize the 1st Armored Division, until they could begin production of their domestic Toldi and Turan tanks. They first requested a license to produce the Pz III, but the Germans denied it due to diplomatic pressure from the Romanians, who were not happy with the Germans cozying up with the Hungarians.
Richard, this was quite off.

- The 1st Armoured Division was established in April 1941.

- The HRA (Hungarian Royal Army) had ~100 Toldi at the beginning of Barbarossa, production started in 1938; the Turán 40M production was started in October 1941.
90 pcs in Weisz-Manfréd gépgyár
30 pcs in GANZ
70 pcs in the MVG (Győr)
40 pcs MÁVAG Budapest

A further contract for 309 pcs was issued in 1941, but only about 50 were actually made (sources differ from 49 to 55).

- The Germans had a tendency to deny licences for Hungarians, most notably the Panther licence, which they priced for 1m RM. (An exception was the Me-109 license.) The cause of this was not so much the Romanians, but the Hungarians' attitude towards German goals.
"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."

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

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 04 Dec 2020 18:55

Richard Anderson wrote:
04 Dec 2020 17:02

Okay, I agree, I have to limit my time-wasting too. While entertaining I recognize the exercise here is ultimately futile.
Time wasting futile and much confusing.

What can to be objective of all tmp topics ?
Answer. Find solution on Germany win war.

But discussion was not for to find solution. Tmp was make up solution on imagination and all topics was for to find what must to change on history for to make tmp imaginary solution.

What can to be tmp imaginary solution ?
Answer. Germany army can to have some more tank and motorized divisions on attack on Rumania front and for attack plan for to last until end 1942.year.

But how can to have more mens more tanks more guns more equipments more trucks more tractors ect ect ect ?
Answer. Can to change decisions on dates before. Must to change economic policy. Must to change labor policy. Must to change industry policy. Must to change war policy.

Tmp was write every change was have different date. Different date on not build aircrafts. Different date on not build ships. Different date on have foreign workers. Ect ect ect.


All topics was be on purpose for to make 1 more tank group on hgs on Rumania front.
All topics was be on purpose for to have long war strategy.

When was decide for to have 1 more tank group on hgs on Rumania front and long war strategy ?

Why i ask ?

Because that must to be first date when can to make decision on change economic policy labor policy and industry policy for to make more tanks more guns more equipments have more mens on army on longer time.

And not can be possible for to consider much decisions on isolation. Example. Process on change policy on make trucks 4 years and process on change policy 1 year. On example maybe have enough tanks for tmp imagination solution until 1 year but must to wait on 3 more years for to have enough trucks for tmp imagination solution.

It seems to me from all tmp topics decision on tmp imaginary solution must to be make on 1933.year or 1934.year or 1935.year. Can it to be realistic for Germany army for to have strategy on long war and decision on 1 more tank group on hgs on Rumania front on that years ?

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