The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

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Lkefct
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Post by Lkefct » 19 Oct 2006 16:30

THere are several thing that could be done to decrease the logistical requirements. First would be to self propell more of the guns and At weapons. 1941 many of these weapons is being towed. replacing a weapon with a self porpelled gun does not really increase the logistical need that much.

As for increasing production, I woudl suggest that one of the big problems with the german military production initally was that they where very material inefficient. A lot of material was not utilized to make the best use of what was avalible. Speers did substatntially better when he took over, but various writers have exposed how inefficitent the Nazis war mahcine was.

Going along with it, while it took Germany several years to ramp up their production, allied nations took substatially less time to make more radical changes to the economy. THe US and Soviets had huge obsticales to face, yet both where producing massive quantities of material by the end of 1942, less then a year for each. One would presume given a totalitarian state could do just as well or better given the different motivations that could be applied to a work force.

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Tim Smith
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Post by Tim Smith » 19 Oct 2006 16:48

I think we are basically getting back to the old issue of Germany not going to a full war economy in 1939, which they should have done given their terribly vulnerable strategic situation at the time - after all, in 1939, the OKW could not even guarantee a German victory over France, let alone Russia!

Even democratic Britain went to a full war economy in mid-1940. Hitler's outdated ideas about a woman's place being in the home prevented a massive expansion of German military production in 1940 and 1941.

Given the Nazi mismanagement of the German war economy, the German Army did very well even to beat France in 1940.


As far as fuel goes, maybe Germany could have bought more fuel from Russia before Barbarossa. Personally I'd seriously consider selling the new battleship Bismarck, the cruiser Prinz Eugen, and the unfinished aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin to the USSR in late 1940, in return for 10 million barrels of oil.

This is equivalent to Germany's entire oil production in 1940!

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Post by Lars » 19 Oct 2006 20:41

Tim Smith wrote:As far as fuel goes, maybe Germany could have bought more fuel from Russia before Barbarossa. Personally I'd seriously consider selling the new battleship Bismarck, the cruiser Prinz Eugen, and the unfinished aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin to the USSR in late 1940, in return for 10 million barrels of oil.

This is equivalent to Germany's entire oil production in 1940!
Was this deal ever seriously considered? 10 mio. barrels of oil - the equivalent of a years production or so from either the Maikop or the Grozny oil fields - for 3 ships?

Om going into total war mode in 1939: I may venture into amoral what-if grounds here but I´ll try anyway: What if the German government had decided to "punish" the undesireables (Jews, gypsies, etc.) by introducing, say, a 60 hours work week in September 1939 for everybody over 16 years both male and female, instead of eliminating them?

When I think of the boost the 0.5 mio. Italian POWs meant to the German war economy in 1943 after the Italian surrender, then I wonder what millions of "undesirables" working in the German war economy from 1939 onwards would have meant to German war production.

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Post by Deans » 20 Oct 2006 06:37

If the Germans had increased their rate of armament production after the fall of France (particularly tanks), downgraded their Navy and stockpiled oil, it would have been
pretty clear to Stalin (even in his state of denial) that Hitler would attack the Soviet
Union next.
What if, in response, Stalin had focussed more on T-34 prodn, (which he could have
done by switching from older models), pulled back about 30-40 underequipped and
untrained divisions from forward positions to East of the Stalin line and increased his overall state of readiness?

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Post by SOVRAN » 23 Oct 2006 10:05

Increasing Tank production and putting German industry on a War Time Footing in 1940 would have helped significantly. It would have increased the amount of Tanks participating in Barbarossa at least by a moderate amount, and in 1940-41 Germany could have afforded a few hundred more Tanks , enough to make a difference. MORE IMPORTANLY , the Wehrmacht would be able to replace its Tank losses more rapidly. Hell , with German industry on War Footing Status, Germany could have replaced its vehicle, artillery , and aircraft losses more rapidly as well. Sure there are logictics involved in transporting these things to the front and training soldiers to drive them etc, etc,.......,but Germany had to fucking do that shit anyway.

Lets not nitpick on Tank Models. On an overall scale , German Tanks did what they were suppose to do in Barbarossa, penetrate deep into enemy territory and encircle Soviet Armies. The distance and weather were the main enemies of German Tanks in 1941, not the T-34. Shit, the Russians didnt even know how to use Tanks effectively for the T-34 to have made a decisive impact in the early stages of the war.

Oh, I have a saying for you. " SMART PEOPLE study tactics and logistics!!" "STUPID PEOPLE study one but not the other!!" So , both the amateurs and the professionals from that statement in Andreas' post are stupid!!!

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Post by Andreas » 23 Oct 2006 11:07

SOVRAN wrote:Oh, I have a saying for you. " SMART PEOPLE study tactics and logistics!!" "STUPID PEOPLE study one but not the other!!" So , both the amateurs and the professionals from that statement in Andreas' post are stupid!!!
You are welcome to your opinion - since I never indicated anything about the mental capabilities of either group, I fail to see how it is relevant.

You are however not welcome to use foul language on this board. I suggest editing your post. Further posts violating the guidelines are subject to deletion.

Thanks.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by Lkefct » 23 Oct 2006 17:44

One of the things not clear to me is whether or not the idea os to create more Pz div or just more tanks? More tanks could mean that you want more more divisions with fewer tanks, which is largely how Hitler approached the invasion by doubling the number of divisions. There was not a great increase in the number of vehicles, just essentially cut the number per division, when he increased the number of divisions from 10 to 20.The tredn in everyone armies where towards fewer tanks anyway form teh pre-war establishment.

I am still not clear how having many more at the begnning gives you that many more at the end? Tanks break down and are destroyed at an al`arming rate. The vast majority can be put back into action after time. But in Barboirossa, the supply lkines are so far behind, that they are never going to get the spares to get those vehicles back into action, at least until it is too late. You are still going to lose a large percentage of vehicles before Tyuphoon kicks off. Unless the Pz II and IV are substaintially more reliable then the light tanks that where being used, I don't see how they are still running in mass after going all the way to Moscow? Certainly some will, but the vast majority will have broken down, as many of them did historically.

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Post by Roddoss72 » 26 Oct 2006 03:11

Tim Smith wrote:I think we are basically getting back to the old issue of Germany not going to a full war economy in 1939, which they should have done given their terribly vulnerable strategic situation at the time - after all, in 1939, the OKW could not even guarantee a German victory over France, let alone Russia!

Even democratic Britain went to a full war economy in mid-1940. Hitler's outdated ideas about a woman's place being in the home prevented a massive expansion of German military production in 1940 and 1941.

Given the Nazi mismanagement of the German war economy, the German Army did very well even to beat France in 1940.


As far as fuel goes, maybe Germany could have bought more fuel from Russia before Barbarossa. Personally I'd seriously consider selling the new battleship Bismarck, the cruiser Prinz Eugen, and the unfinished aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin to the USSR in late 1940, in return for 10 million barrels of oil.

This is equivalent to Germany's entire oil production in 1940!
You have given me a thought, Germany should haves scrapped it surface fleet and concentrated on subs and those ship scrapped could have been turned into tanks, releasing hundreds of thousands of tonnes of steel towards the production of tanks, at fifty tonnes a piece the Graf Zeppelin alone would have contributed to the construction of 380 tigers or 760 Panzer Mk IV, my point is the sheer folly of Germany keeping ships like the Bismarck, Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, Gniesanau, Graf Zepelin (Completed but never equipped).

And speaking of Fuel, the Germans could have solidified there holding of the Maykop oilfields and once oil was flowing and being refined for petrol and have a sufficient stockpile then go after Baku oilfields but trying to do both buggered up the Germans, which had to abandon hundreds or thousands of vehicles which simply ran out of fuel.

But we have the meddlining of Hitler in all of this, had Hitler concentrated all of his panzers in one armoured fist towards Moscow Germany might have won the day in the Soviet Union.

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Post by JonS » 26 Oct 2006 03:16

Roddoss72 wrote:Germany should haves scrapped it surface fleet and concentrated on subs and those ship scrapped could have been turned into tanks, releasing hundreds of thousands of tonnes of steel towards the production of tanks, at fifty tonnes a piece the Graf Zeppelin alone would have contributed to the construction of 380 tigers or 760 Panzer Mk IV, my point is the sheer folly of Germany keeping ships like the Bismarck, Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, Gniesanau, Graf Zepelin (Completed but never equipped).
It is a little tricky to make tanks in a slipway.
speaking of Fuel, the Germans could have solidified there holding of the Maykop oilfields and once oil was flowing and being refined for petrol and have a sufficient stockpile then go after Baku oilfields ...
LOL. Good one :D :lol:

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Post by Jon G. » 26 Oct 2006 14:42

Roddoss72 wrote:You have given me a thought, Germany should haves scrapped it surface fleet and concentrated on subs and those ship scrapped could have been turned into tanks, releasing hundreds of thousands of tonnes of steel towards the production of tanks, at fifty tonnes a piece the Graf Zeppelin alone would have contributed to the construction of 380 tigers or 760 Panzer Mk IV, my point is the sheer folly of Germany keeping ships like the Bismarck, Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, Gniesanau, Graf Zepelin (Completed but never equipped)...
Without a credible surface fleet it is not likely that the Germans would have invaded Norway, or that they would have been successful if they tried. Sealion would become a utopian proposal instead of just an unrealistic possibility, and with no German surface fleet to speak of the Royal Navy could have deployed more ships to the Mediterranean and/or Singapore, with possible consequences for other Axis powers. With Norway neutral the Murmansk convoy route would be much safer with possible consequences for the Germans on the eastern front.

Also, if you want the expertise and the man-hours instead of just the steel, most of the German surface fleet would not have been constructed in the first place - in turn, that could have meant no German-British naval treaty of 1935 which, with German focus strictly on land and air rearmament, might have meant that Britain became antagonist to Hitler's plans earlier than the case was historically.

In other words, your suggestion that the Germans scrap their surface fleet would greatly increase Allied strategic possibilities while somewhat reducing German strategic options long before a German attack on the Soviet Union even got underway.

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Post by Lkefct » 27 Oct 2006 06:31

Without a fleet, Germany doesn't need to take Norway.

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Post by Deans » 27 Oct 2006 13:00

The keels of most of the larger German ships were laid down before 1939, in accordance with the Z plan, which did seek to build a credible surface fleet. If the Germans had changed their mind about the Navy when war broke out, they would not have been able to salvage all that much steel by building fewer warships.

I believe Norway was important to the Germans. It's occupation helped secure Swedish Iron Ore. It provided bases for U boats and enabled the Luftwaffe to interdict Russian convoys. The mere presence of German
surface ships in Norweigen fiords, tied up several Royal Navy capital ships.

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Post by Lkefct » 27 Oct 2006 19:58

Swedish iron ore only goes through Norway during the winter. As soon as the war became imminent the germans increased imports to offset the potential loss of that supply. That alone at least would suggest that it is not just the supply of ore, but what is done with it. German industry can only utilize the iron so quickly. Simply shifting industrial resources from Naval to Army production is not the entire story. However, if you look back, the resources in re-starting the German Naval arms production facilities could have been divereted to other types of production. It is not a direction I would necessarily go, but it is possible. The German surface Navy was probably much bigger then it needed to be. More Uboats would have made more sense.

Had the Allies gone to war against the Scandinavian countries (the plan was to take the Swedish ore fields) and not succeeded, they would have solidified the Germans position and even a small force from Germany would have been able to move in and do dso unopposed. Given teh difficulties the Allies faced in doing the same, it is hard to see them being able to take Narvik.

Germany did need Norway, but if they where not emphasising their sea power, they would not necessarily need to. Norway made it much easier for the fleet to get out into the Atlantic. It was initally a fairly important base for Uboats.

AS far as more and better tanks, the limting factor for the heavier models of tanks seems to be the development of them more so then the lack of production facilities. German tanks, even teh light ones did fairly well in France and Russia. Only later after the longer stop in October did the Soveits have the chance to stop and regroup, and then the t-34 and KV start to have much of an effect. Prior to the stop, light german tanks where able to avoid the isolated numbers of heavy soviet armro that was spread out piecemeal.

Getting more heavy armro there are a couple of ways that I can think of to acceelerate the process for 1940/41. First is to only develop 1 battle tank, rather then 2. The Pz III was intended to be the battle tank with a high velocity gun, and the Pz IV was intended to provide supporting HE fire with the lower velocity 75mm. The thing that strikes me is that it would be possible to simplfy development by sticking to one design and use 2 versions, one wiht the high velocity gun, one with a lower velocity HE gun. Alternatively, could the german military justify using a medium to high velocity 75mm gun earlier? Spending 100,000 RM for a tank that only has a 37 mm gun seems like a waste of an oppurtunity to have a bigger gun that might accomplish things, rather then a smallish gun that cannot accomplish all missions.

The other justification might be made that the lighter tanks could bswitched over to being SP guns, used mainly a sassualt guns to support the pz and infantry formations. While not a nice as a dedicated SP, it would give them mobile forepower that has a usseful HE content. But by concentrating on fewer new vehicles, it would give the Germans a longer period to get them in production.

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Post by Jon G. » 28 Oct 2006 15:20

Lkefct wrote:Without a fleet, Germany doesn't need to take Norway.
Yes, but without a fleet Germany may not be in a sufficiently secure strategic position to launch Barbarossa in the first place. As I wrote above, British convoys to the Soviet Union would be much safer. If there are no U-Boats either the American build-up in Britain may have progressed faster. The Allies would have been able to open secondary fronts at their leisure pretty much anywhere outside of the Mediterranean. Etc.

In other words, if you remove the German navy in order to field more tanks, you also alter the strategic situation fundamentally.

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Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 Oct 2006 19:53

"First would be to self propell more of the guns and At weapons. 1941 many of these weapons is being towed. replacing a weapon with a self porpelled gun does not really increase the logistical need that much."

From a military career with direct experince with both towed & self proppeled tracked weapons I can say there is a large difference. The tracked battalions required a significantly larger logistics tail than the towed. In the 1980s the USMC abandoned tracked artillery for exactly this reason. The supply cost was not worth the tactical advantages for us.

As I posted before the advantage could have been better gained by the provision of more trucks and railroad equipment for Barbarosa. Extending the logistics reach beyond the 700 or 800 kilometer zone planned for would have ensured much better odds of capturing Lennigrad & Moscow. Increasing truck production would have been less of a strain on the manufactoring economy. And, there would have been a residual benefit after the war with surplus trucks and railroad stock avialable for the business economy.

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