The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

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Roddoss72
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Post by Roddoss72 » 30 Oct 2006 02:27

Jon G. wrote:
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.
But this is my point, Germany had a credible surface fleet Four state of the art Battleships, one Aircraft Carrier and at least two or three battlecruisers, the problem was that Hitler forbade to expose these ships to any danger, the Tirpitz a tragic case in point, she was nothing short of the ultimate white elephant, going from one fjord to fjord just to hide from the RAF, i would have brought her home and scrapped her and used her estimate 45,000 tonnes of steel for panzer production, what i saying if you invest in ship production use them or lose them, they are a luxury, and speaking of Norway, you forget the price the Germans had to pay for that, at least three cruisers and at least 16 destroyers sunk plus many transports and supply ships.

You also speak of distribution of the RN, true but one factor PQ transport (Iceland to Murmansk) were interdicted by U-Boats and Luftwaffe units as far as i have read they were never interdicted by the German surface fleets, PQ-17 in point it was planned to interdict this convoy with the Schannhorst and Gneisenau but was called of because Hitler did not want the ships to be exposed to the RN, and even thought PQ-17 had been torn to shreds and it reinforces my stance that Hitler refused to expose his naval units.

You have made my point with in regards to ship building, yes it takes expertise, but it is wasted if your ship building is continually being scaled down to oblivion, the Germans had reached a X-Roads, build the Z-Plan or U-Boats, they could not do both, one would have to suffer, but one thing did suffer, the construction of a very potent Panzer Arm, deficient of Panzers and replacement parts and and armoured vehicles, The hundreds of thousands of tonnes of steel was wasted on a surface fleet that Hitler had no decisive role for, this could have been directed towards panzer production, but having said that it is moot, you could have all the panzers in the world but without sufficient fuel they are worthless hunks of steel.

And yes i do suggest scrapping the German Surface Fleet, If Hitler was too scared to expose those ships to danger they area waste of space, then scrapping them is a viable option

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Post by alf » 30 Oct 2006 03:00

as far as i have read they were never interdicted by the German surface fleets
There was only one attempt made and it was a debacle.

The Battle of the Barent Seas - Convoy JW51B on December 31, 1942

The heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper, the pocket battleship Lutzow and 6 destroyers attacked the convoy and its much weaker British escort. The escort successfully defended the convoy, the timidity of the German attack being the major reason no merchant ship was lost.

It was that battle that made Hitler so angry that he wanted the German surface fleet scrapped.

http://www.navweaps.com/index_oob/OOB_W ... ts_Sea.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Barents_Sea

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Post by JonS » 30 Oct 2006 03:26

JW55B also saw an abortive (and expensive) German surface sortie.

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Roddoss72
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Post by Roddoss72 » 30 Oct 2006 05:14

The Kriegsmarine was no High Seas Fleet, but it could have been had Hitler not have gone to war in 1939 had he been patient and gone when the Kriegsmarine was prepared for General War in 1944, things may have been different, but i doubt it, the Royal Navy would still have out stripped the German Navy but be that it may, the thread is of Panzer production, again Hitler went too early, had he listened to his Army Generals they advised him that the German Heer would be fully prepared for General War in 1941, but again the problem was that Germany never geared itself for Total War, what made the allies strong was it's capacity on a Total War footing by the introduction of rationing and other tough measures.

Germany did produce some of the finest tanks in the war but they were short in number and got lost with too many variants, plus when Germany did invade it did not take advantage of reconstructing the tank factories they captured using labour to produce en masse their own T34-76 and 85's but up-gunning them with German high velocity 75mm and the potent 88mm, i dont know how this could have eventually worked but at least it is an attempt to supplement home production, or use the captured factories for the express purpose of spare parts manufacture, it seems to me that was the biggest down fall of the panzer arm of the German Army the critical short supply of available spare parts.

Also another failing of the Germans in their panzer production was that they overproduced their panzers a case in point again the Soviet T-34/76-85 was a very simple design easy to build en masse easy to repair and easy to run, and very few broke down, and they ran on diesel which can be produced synthetically, where as the Germans did produce fine tanks Panzer Mk's III and IV in all the reports i have read were fantastic machines, very reliable and easy to maintain, and easilily transportable and recoverable but then we come to the Tiger, Royal Tiger and Panthers each one of them were fantastic machines, but each was rushed into battler while still plagued with major faults, they had to ironed out on the battle ground and not on proving grounds, they were complicated machines, hard to maintain, prone to continual breakdowns, and were predidgeous gas guzzlers as all German Panzer ran on Petrol and that can not be synthetically made it can only come from crude oil, and their faults linked to transport and recovery if and when they broke down.

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Post by Jon G. » 30 Oct 2006 12:40

Roddoss72 wrote:But this is my point, Germany had a credible surface fleet Four state of the art Battleships, one Aircraft Carrier and at least two or three battlecruisers, the problem was that Hitler forbade to expose these ships to any danger, the Tirpitz a tragic case in point, she was nothing short of the ultimate white elephant, going from one fjord to fjord just to hide from the RAF, i would have brought her home and scrapped her and used her estimate 45,000 tonnes of steel for panzer production, what i saying if you invest in ship production use them or lose them, they are a luxury, and speaking of Norway, you forget the price the Germans had to pay for that, at least three cruisers and at least 16 destroyers sunk plus many transports and supply ships...
But you seem to be missing my point, which was that without a fleet the Germans would not have been able to conquer Norway in the first place.Therefore your points about losses during Weserübung and the overall uninspiring performance of the German surface fleet are moot, for they presuppose the existence of the same surface fleet that you want scrapped in order to build more tanks.

As for the Tirpitz, her very existence forced the Royal Navy to escort Arctic convoys heavily, and the RAF to devote considerable resources to finding and destroying her.

With Norway neutral, the Allies may even have been able to get away with sending ships to Murmansk unconvoyed.

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Post by Lars » 30 Oct 2006 12:54

Jon G. wrote:But you seem to be missing my point, which was that without a fleet the Germans would not have been able to conquer Norway in the first place.Therefore your points about losses during Weserübung and the overall uninspiring performance of the German surface fleet are moot, for they presuppose the existence of the same surface fleet that you want scrapped in order to build more tanks.

As for the Tirpitz, her very existence forced the Royal Navy to escort Arctic convoys heavily, and the RAF to devote considerable resources to finding and destroying her.

With Norway neutral, the Allies may even have been able to get away with sending ships to Murmansk unconvoyed.
That´s true. However, if the Germans had decided to use the ressources saved from not building a large surface fleet to build u-boats instead, the u-boats might have brought Britain to the negotiating table.

In other words, while you don´t get Norway you might get a peace with Britain instead.

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Post by LWD » 30 Oct 2006 14:16

Roddoss72 wrote:...

But this is my point, Germany had a credible surface fleet Four state of the art Battleships, one Aircraft Carrier and at least two or three battlecruisers, ...
Could you refresh me on the names of these ships?
By my counting Germany has
2 state of the art BB's Bismark and Tirpitz.
2 weak BB/BC's in the twins.
an older BB (essentially a coastal defence ship)
The only carrier was never operational and coulldn't have been until what 43 or 44?
What are the other ships?

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Post by Jon G. » 30 Oct 2006 14:51

Lars wrote:That´s true. However, if the Germans had decided to use the ressources saved from not building a large surface fleet to build u-boats instead, the u-boats might have brought Britain to the negotiating table.

In other words, while you don´t get Norway you might get a peace with Britain instead.
Sure. But in turn you need a fleet to invade Norway and a tank army to conquer France :wink: Norway was Raeder's brainchild; without it the German blockade would have been less effective. And you also need French Atlantic ports and repair facilities for your U-Boats.

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same as a bove

Post by brodeur » 31 Oct 2006 15:41

I think that many here have a flaw in the logic when they assume that more tanks require more fuel. It depends on how you use them. You can actually consume less fuel if you move the men instead of the tank to say.

That is using the extra tanks as a non operational strategic reserve to some extent. You don’t need to shift your panzer divisions back and fort as much as the Germans skillfully did.

I think they would have won the War bye stepping up in war footing earlier. It’s creates a huge momentum shift.

:wink:

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Post by Andreas » 31 Oct 2006 19:42

Interesting logic, but since the tanks in question still have to move the kilometres to the frontline, I somehow doubt that you save fuel once you actually have them there.

12. PD makes an 830 or so km road march to get up from around Smolensk to Leningrad. Or, you use your strategic reserve to get from Siauliai to Leningrad, 750km. Looks like a wash to me. Or, Panzergruppe 2 goes from Smolensk to Kiev - 610 km. Or, your strategic reserve moves up from L'vov to Kiev - 534km. Pretty much a wash again. Note that both examples put your strategic reserve in the absolutely most advantageous position in terms of distance, already a bit beyond the jump-off position of 22nd June.

But then of course you also need to supply these extra guys and tanks, once they are in theatre. Since they are a net addition, it should be obvious that they will be a net drain on the supply train, even if they are held in reserve once they have done their thing, and that they will consume additional fuel if they are driven anywhere. Prior to that, you need to train the divisions, etc.pp.

If your idea is that the whole equipment should be shipped, and only the men transported from the divisions in action, leaving their kit behind, then I do not think that is how the Germans worked at all. Moving unaccompanied equipment of the level of a full division kit strikes me as a significant extra burden for the Reichsbahn that would need to be accounted for in the number of worker bees available to unload trains.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by Lkefct » 31 Oct 2006 19:43

Carl Schwamberger wrote:"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.
I beg to disagree here. The vast majority of german trucks got bogged in the mud. When this happened, their fuel consumption went through the roof, and they made almost no progress in their advance. Superficially I agree, more trucks helps, but when one factors in the size of the vehicles in question and the tactical situation, tracks win every time in the East. This is also due to teh fact that German trucks are 6x2 or 4x2 truck rather then 6x4 or 4x4. I am not arguing your experince, rather suggesting that the situation was different, including the vehicles in question. US military equipment even in WW2 was much more powerful then that availible to the germans in the east. Also, Germany doesn't have an source fo rubber to make tires out of, so building many more wheeled vehicles makes the rubber supply situation much worse.

Until the rail lines can be converted from single lines to double, there is no way that the germans can supplly their advancing army, due to the capacity of the lines themselves. This is the first thing tthat the Germans did in 1942. Railroad stock is a tricky deal as most of the stockpiled german stock was unsuitible for Russia. Many burst due to the cold. Soviet double hulled designs where adopted, but that took time. The main advantage that the germans faced from their supply difficulties is that the supplies they had on hand for the beginning of Typhoon where stocks that had been delayed, and wher eon hand because of the delays. Once these had been used, there was nothing to keep the armies moving forward as the stock of supplies couldn't be brought forward fast enough until the lines hwere converted to pairs of tracks and with points to turn the trains around. The actual conversion to German guage from Soviet guage was "fairly" smooth, with some lengths operating both at the same time.

The other thing to note about the germans converting to track is that it gives their guns armor, since the vast majority of their tracks are armroed. turning guns to SP units would put the germans best guns under armor. Foot units that had armor attached surrvived massed armrored attacks much better, and had more offensive capability, as I am sure the Marines appritiate as they have organic tanks attached. Given German dotctrine, Panzjerjager and sturmgeshutz are the ww2 equilvivlent of tanks, even if their employment is somewhat different.

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Post by brodeur » 01 Nov 2006 09:42

Andreas wrote:Interesting logic, but since the tanks in question still have to move the kilometres to the frontline, I somehow doubt that you save fuel once you actually have them there.

12. PD makes an 830 or so km road march to get up from around Smolensk to Leningrad. Or, you use your strategic reserve to get from Siauliai to Leningrad, 750km. Looks like a wash to me. Or, Panzergruppe 2 goes from Smolensk to Kiev - 610 km. Or, your strategic reserve moves up from L'vov to Kiev - 534km. Pretty much a wash again. Note that both examples put your strategic reserve in the absolutely most advantageous position in terms of distance, already a bit beyond the jump-off position of 22nd June.

But then of course you also need to supply these extra guys and tanks, once they are in theatre. Since they are a net addition, it should be obvious that they will be a net drain on the supply train, even if they are held in reserve once they have done their thing, and that they will consume additional fuel if they are driven anywhere. Prior to that, you need to train the divisions, etc.pp.

If your idea is that the whole equipment should be shipped, and only the men transported from the divisions in action, leaving their kit behind, then I do not think that is how the Germans worked at all. Moving unaccompanied equipment of the level of a full division kit strikes me as a significant extra burden for the Reichsbahn that would need to be accounted for in the number of worker bees available to unload trains.

All the best

Andreas
Well I am not suggesting “ghost” division with out men just laying around and just moving the troops.

But let say you have panzer academies in France with “training” material, a large strategically reserve some where in eastern Prussia where you assembles your battle ready divisions. This also gives you the possibility to quickly refit existing divisions. You can also have some small amount of reserve tanks close to the operational divisions for replacement of lost tanks.

On top of that you have some more statically deployed panzer divisions not moving but stationed in infantry “hold the line” service. Imagine having 2 panzer divisions stationed near the break true of Romanian forces around Stalingrad.

Don’t mix up movement with fuel consumption, the long range transportation is done bye rail and coal was available as much as wanted.

The point is as long as you use them intelligently and not just cruse around with an additional 1000 tanks a day you will not necessary use more fuel. Or phrasing it a little bit different you can get out much more operational success with the same limited amount of fuel.

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Post by Andreas » 01 Nov 2006 10:00

Any move of additional divisions by rail will eat cargo space that otherwise would have been available to supply formations already at the front. You are overly focused on fuel, while the point here is about the supply capacity of the network as a whole.

Much as I like your thinking, no amount of ingenuity is going to get around the fact that the supply network was the true bottleneck for the German campaign of 1941. So far there has not been a single solution presented here that allows the introduction of additional forces without further reducing the amount of supply available for those already in theatre. Your idea comes closest, but still fails.

The situation changes somewhat in 1942 (although not everywhere, especially in the south the situation was not good). BTW, one Panzerdivision was stationed close to the breakthrough areas, 22nd I think. Much good it did them. If more formations could have been supplied in forward positions along the Don is highly doubtful, considering the supply situation in the sector.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by Carl Schwamberger » 01 Nov 2006 14:08

"I beg to disagree here. The vast majority of german trucks got bogged in the mud. When this happened, their fuel consumption went through the roof, and they made almost no progress in their advance. Superficially I agree, more trucks helps, but when one factors in the size of the vehicles in question and the tactical situation, tracks win every time in the East. This is also due to teh fact that German trucks are 6x2 or 4x2 truck rather then 6x4 or 4x4. I am not arguing your experince, rather suggesting that the situation was different, including the vehicles in question. US military equipment even in WW2 was much more powerful then that availible to the germans in the east."

I was addressing only his misapprehension that tracked units do not required significantly greater logistics support. The trade offs are multitude.

"Foot units that had armor attached surrvived massed armrored attacks much better, and had more offensive capability, "

However if the supply does not reach the AFV they are largely useless. The bottom line is the Wehrmacht, & Luftwaffe, needed more supply transpot, including trucks. Without that transport the extra tanks proposed originally in this thread are of little value.

"Also, Germany doesn't have an source fo rubber to make tires out of, so building many more wheeled vehicles makes the rubber supply situation much worse."

I suspose there is a limit somewhere. A look at several sources is needed. Following this thread & another I've been reminded of the gross differences numbers in the books. :(

"Until the rail lines can be converted from single lines to double, there is no way that the germans can supplly their advancing army,"

No argument there. My point aimed at the transport from the rail heads to the combat units, which fell on the trucks & horse transport.

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Post by Lars » 01 Nov 2006 15:25

The German rubber situation was indeed disasterous. The number of spare rubber tires was ridiculous when Barbarossa started. And even tanks use a lot of rubber.

Logistics was what killed Barbarossa. If one wants to improve on Barbarossa it is indeed more rewarding to discuss humble but boring things like the number of German railway troops, their training prior to Barbarossa, capture more of Soviet rolling stock, etc, than more "sexy" issues like tank production in 1940.

It would have been smarter and cheaper to improve logistics in 1941 than to produce more tanks in 1940.

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