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 TheMarcksPlan » 26 Jan 2021 07:50

@KDF33: I hinted at a longer response but tonight have downloaded several books relevant to the discussion, have been going back through others, and probably won't finish reading/typing before bedtime (or the week/month?). I'm not deeply read on the British wartime economy; it's an open vista for exploration. So an interstitial response...
TheMarcksPlan wrote:Even on your figures, however, we still have a smaller British economy at least matching the larger Germans in most air/land categories
In my earlier haste I read your table as Germany/UK rather than UK/Germany. :cry:
KDF33 wrote:Odd. It shows:
Yep. Didn't scroll down to the IG's, mountain guns, etc. Was going to point out my error but you beat me to it. :)
KDF33 wrote:Machine guns: 39,340 / 79,212
Having gone back to the British digest I have to say you're right on these aspects of British production. Maybe Harrison was quoting Imperial production stats?

[you answered after I drafted this part but leaving it to suggest Harrison's Imperial alibi]
KDF33 wrote:Artillery, 75mm +: 13,661,000 / 9,400,000 rounds
Heavy AA, 75mm +: 4,413,000 / 15,400,000 rounds
This was surprising to me. I would have thought the Germans out-paced British ammo production always and by miles. German average shell weight was higher but still... One of these countries is fighting the world's largest army, one is barely fighting on land. Again it shows the fatuous strategic underpinning of Barbarossa. I've highlighted elsewhere the 1941 German (army) ammo production decline but this really puts a button on it.

As an aside re German ammo production decline in 1941, it's not clear that Hitler was aware of the Army's accession to massive cuts in its output during Barbarossa. He probably believed they would only happen after Barbarossa. Discussion in GSWW v.5/1 (or v.4), will try to track down a cite.
KDF33 wrote:Note that Germany completely retooled its fighter production in 1941. If you control for that, output is effectively tied.
True - FW190 was spooling up; Me-109F was functionally a new plane (wing, engine, empennage all new; it was as much different from Me-109E as is 2018's A330NEO from 1975's A300).

Nonetheless, German fighter production was a fairly small part of the LW story in 1941, as your point about AC weight recognizes. German bomber production had just matured - especially Ju-88 - while the British were spooling up their production of heavies.
KDF33 wrote:I wrote a long, detailed and sourced answer that was disgustingly erased because I timed out and forgot to save before pressing preview.
Aargh! I once lost ~15 billable hours of work to a similar mistake. Still have PTSD over that one. I copy and paste into a Word document before sending anything for business or pleasure.
KDF33 wrote:The cliff notes version is that Harrison is comparing apples and oranges: his British figure for mortars includes smoke mortars for tanks, but only infantry mortars for the Germans, and even then omits the latter's numerous 5 cm light models.
That makes sense; as mentioned up-post I checked the Digest and you're right on MG's and mortars for Britain. While I'm revising my impressions in this discussion, German/British production is still close in these land weapons (and far closer in land ammo than I believed), is at least equal in the air, and a massive naval/merchant disparity remains. For instance, from GSWW v.5:

Image

...trucks and (non-tank) armored vehicles stand out. That said, the impression that the chart would have left yesterday is blunted today.

So let's get to the sea:
KDF33 wrote:Well, the Germans built 219 submarines in 1941, with a surface displacement of ~200,000 tons. Total British warship output (down to landing craft) was 437,200 surface displacement tons in 1941. The Germans also commissioned the Tirpitz in 1941, which adds a further ~50,000 tons. With miscellaneous ships, the ratio can't be much higher than 1.5-to-1 in favor of the British.
There was very little industrial work on Tirpitz in '41 - it had been launched in 39 and fitting-out was completed in February '41. Probably a matter of fine-tuning installed systems in the last weeks, maybe some auxiliary machinery installation...

From O'Brien's How the War was Won
The 914,000 workers in
Admiralty-controlled munitions production, while half as many as
those working in aircraft production, were probably equal to the
numbers producing for the entire army. p.45
Never in Raeder's wettest dream would he have had as many workers producing for the KM as for the Heer.

...and that's just for naval munitions. For merchant shipbuilding? Per O'Brien (p.53), USA spent 8.5% of military-controlled production budget on merchant shipbuilding in 1942 - that's gotta be ballpark for Britain's share. 8.5% is more than twice the share of panzers in Germany's military production in 1941. I don't have figures on German merchant shipbuilding but I'd be surprised if it exceeded the contemporary American spending share on hair retention treatments.

German rolling stock production was on the order of 1% of production. Maybe a bit higher in '43.
KDF33 wrote:If the Germans had allocated their manpower in the same manner as Britain, it would give us:

Germany, 31.5.1941: 4,452,730 armaments workers + 5,474,270 Wehrmacht personnel = 9,927,000
Britain, June 1941: 2,666,300 armaments workers + 3,278,000 Armed Forces personnel = 5,944,300

This illustrates a point you've previously made on other threads (maybe also this one?): German production was constrained by the size of the Wehrmacht.
Yes, that has been my argument.

It's also been my impression that the apples-apples "value" of British ordnance production exceeded Germany's in this period but it's not been essential to any of my ATL points and I haven't read that deeply on it. Mostly I have been going from comparative tables such as Harrison's and GSWW's. I still lean toward Britain>Germany given the maritime factor (and Britain's surprising ammo output) but it's closer than I thought.

One thing to be careful of is whether we have the same definition of armaments workers here. As Tooze documents in Statistics and the German State, not even Speer's well-staffed ministry could come up with a respectable estimate of war workers by armaments branch. viewtopic.php?f=66&t=167018&start=15#p2291189 Just as there's room for good historians to muck up the armaments comparisons, so there's room to conflate definitions of war workers.

If, however, the output "value" was identical across the Channel, as was the labor input, then that's most of the production story.
KDF33 wrote:Well, I'd argue it was more a British advantage than a German disadvantage. Even the U.S. had a large share of its workforce employed in agriculture during WW2, to say nothing of the Soviet Union. The British really stood apart from all others.
There's a big range here. British ag labor productivity probably still lagged American even after the remarkable war-time productivity surge. U.S. had about as many farm workers as Germany (~10mil); it just produced a lot more. https://1940census.archives.gov/ Soviet Union had ~55% of its workforce in agriculture prewar. In China it was probably 90%? In Ancient China 99%.

Britain was better off than Germany but still needed food imports for the desired level of activity/luxury (though not for survival). Germany was far better off than Russia, which barely missed a food catastrophe.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 26 Jan 2021 09:22

Richard Anderson wrote:Arguably, at the end the Feldheer was in much better shape than it was in May 1940, but it only partially resolved the problem with exempting key personnel to industry and the disruption the mobilization caused to industry.
There's nothing factually false here; dubious is the implied faulting of an army mobilization and personnel exchange program for failing to solve the problem of employment friction. This is like faulting butter for not solving the guns problem.
Richard Anderson wrote:Allied bungling and lack of will.
Bungling was universal; will was continental. The French mustered a ridiculous portion of their nation into arms and, even after Fall Gelb had made the outcome plain, died fighting by the tens of thousands along the Seine and beyond (taking many Germans with them).

Britain lacked the will to make the second BEF as strong as the first; it should have been obvious that Germany (+Austria) would defeat two countries that barely held Germany alone in a two-front war - especially if one of the two former victors barely participated in the second fight.

That's not hindsight:
Chamberlain explained privately to Lloyd George
that Hitler would never risk war if he had to fight on two fronts. 'Where is the second
front to be?', asked Lloyd George. Poland, the prime minister responded. Lloyd
George 'burst into laughter and began to jibe Chamberlain
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by KDF33 » 26 Jan 2021 15:17

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Jan 2021 07:50
This was surprising to me. I would have thought the Germans out-paced British ammo production always and by miles. German average shell weight was higher but still... One of these countries is fighting the world's largest army, one is barely fighting on land. Again it shows the fatuous strategic underpinning of Barbarossa. I've highlighted elsewhere the 1941 German (army) ammo production decline but this really puts a button on it.
Yes, it is remarkable. Compare to 1940:

Artillery, 75mm +: 6,877,000 British / 20,290,000 German rounds
Heavy AA, 75mm +: 2,138,000 / 3,664,000 rounds

Or 1942:

Artillery, 75mm +: 22,740,600 / 32,500,000 rounds
Heavy AA, 75mm +: 4,452,000 / 16,700,000 rounds
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Jan 2021 07:50
As an aside re German ammo production decline in 1941, it's not clear that Hitler was aware of the Army's accession to massive cuts in its output during Barbarossa. He probably believed they would only happen after Barbarossa. Discussion in GSWW v.5/1 (or v.4), will try to track down a cite.
I was unaware of this. It's very interesting and tells me I have to push myself to read GSWW in full.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Jan 2021 07:50
True - FW190 was spooling up; Me-109F was functionally a new plane (wing, engine, empennage all new; it was as much different from Me-109E as is 2018's A330NEO from 1975's A300).
Yes. Germany started 1941 with 10 fighter plants (4 for 2-engined fighters, 6 for 1-engined fighters). The year saw the following changes:
  • Messerschmitt Augsburg: Bf 110 / switch to failed Me 210
  • Focke-Wulf Marienburg: Bf 110 / switch to Fw 190
  • Luther Braunschweig: Bf 110 / switch to failed Me 210
  • Gotha Gotha: Bf 110 / production virtually shut down, but didn't deliver a single Me 210 by the end of the year
  • Messerschmitt Regensburg: Bf 109 / switch to failed Me 210
  • Arado Warnemünde: Bf 109 / switch to Fw 190
  • Erla Leipzig: Bf 109 whole year
  • Fieseler Kassel: Bf 109 / stops producing fighters altogether
  • WNF Wien: Bf 109 whole year
  • AGO Oschersleben: Bf 109 / switch to Fw 190
Only two plants (Erla and WNF) out of ten maintained a stable production line during the year. Contrast to the British, who kept all their main types in production between 1940 and 1941. In fact, I am unaware of any belligerent so completely discontinuing and retooling such a large proportion of its aircraft production at any other point during the war.

See source here.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Jan 2021 07:50
Nonetheless, German fighter production was a fairly small part of the LW story in 1941, as your point about AC weight recognizes.
Well, it depends when. On a weight basis, fighters represented 32% of German combat aircraft output in 1941/Q2, but just 18% in 1941/Q4. The big re-tooling began in June, ie. when Barbarossa began. Although this may well be coincidence, the result was that, apart from bombers, tanks and submarines, Germany was reducing armaments and ammunition output across the board in the second half of 1941.

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

Post by KDF33 » 26 Jan 2021 18:08

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Jan 2021 07:50
...trucks and (non-tank) armored vehicles stand out. That said, the impression that the chart would have left yesterday is blunted today.
Yes, that was an area where the British edged past the Germans. Motor vehicles, especially.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Jan 2021 07:50
There was very little industrial work on Tirpitz in '41 - it had been launched in 39 and fitting-out was completed in February '41. Probably a matter of fine-tuning installed systems in the last weeks, maybe some auxiliary machinery installation...
Yes, but Statistical Digest of the War calculates output on the same basis. It counts 2 battleships with a combined total of 70,000 displacement tons as produced in 1941. These are the Prince of Wales (commissioned 19 January) and the Duke of York (commissioned 4 November).
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Jan 2021 07:50
From O'Brien's How the War was Won
The 914,000 workers in
Admiralty-controlled munitions production, while half as many as
those working in aircraft production, were probably equal to the
numbers producing for the entire army. p.45
Never in Raeder's wettest dream would he have had as many workers producing for the KM as for the Heer.
O'Brien's figure is odd, and doesn't match primary sources.

The digest shows 272,300 workers employed by the shipbuilding industry in June 1943, of which just 167,500 were working on warships, the rest on merchant vessels. On the same month, the German shipbuilding industry employed 143,000 workers, mostly on U-boats.

Does O'Brien provide a date for his figure? The highest I find is 806,500 in December 1943 for overall workforce on Admiralty orders. This compares to 483,000 on Kriegsmarine orders for the Germans in the same month. The German peak was 620,000, attained in December 1941, when the comparable British figure was 676,400.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Jan 2021 07:50
...and that's just for naval munitions. For merchant shipbuilding? Per O'Brien (p.53), USA spent 8.5% of military-controlled production budget on merchant shipbuilding in 1942 - that's gotta be ballpark for Britain's share. 8.5% is more than twice the share of panzers in Germany's military production in 1941. I don't have figures on German merchant shipbuilding but I'd be surprised if it exceeded the contemporary American spending share on hair retention treatments.

German rolling stock production was on the order of 1% of production. Maybe a bit higher in '43.
I don't think the British spent a similar share of their resources on merchant vessels as the Americans did. In 1942, the U.S. finished 5,316,000 gross tons of merchant vessels, the British 1,301,000. I doubt the Americans had four times the overall military production of the U.K. in 1942.

Also compare workforces: Britain peaked at 104,800 people working on merchant vessels in June 1943. The German rolling stock industry employed 98,600 people in January 1944.

The focus of British war industry was the air force, central to which from 1942 was the heavy bomber. AFAIK, only Japan had a comparable focus on sea forces as the U.S.

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

Post by KDF33 » 26 Jan 2021 19:07

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Jan 2021 09:22
Britain lacked the will to make the second BEF as strong as the first; it should have been obvious that Germany (+Austria) would defeat two countries that barely held Germany alone in a two-front war - especially if one of the two former victors barely participated in the second fight.
I don't know about this, though. The BEF in WWI grew gradually over the course of the war, and was also pretty small in 1914. In fact, it took Britain a full year to grow the force to a million men in France, inclusive of all rear services.

At the beginning of Fall Gelb, the 2nd BEF had ~400,000 men, but that was just 8 months after the DoW. I really don't think it can be said that the British lacked the will to build a strong force in France.

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

Post by Yoozername » 26 Jan 2021 23:48

Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Jan 2021 22:29
Okay, I guess you're trying so hard you should be allowed to play too.


If you mean that I am trying so hard to keep on topic, Thanks!

I noticed you mentioned that you thought TMP was humorless. I would have to agree. But the PM I sent you, and that you reported, was meant as a jestful aside. In any case, I apologize if it hurt your feelings.

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 27 Jan 2021 00:17

Yoozername wrote:
26 Jan 2021 23:48
If you mean that I am trying so hard to keep on topic, Thanks!

I noticed you mentioned that you thought TMP was humorless. I would have to agree. But the PM I sent you, and that you reported, was meant as a jestful aside. In any case, I apologize if it hurt your feelings.
You didn't hurt me feelings, but it didn't strike me as funny, more like bizarre. Maybe I've got a different sense of humor, but I'll watch out for yours in future. Anyway, apology accepted, thank you.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Yoozername » 27 Jan 2021 00:25

KDF33 wrote:
25 Jan 2021 00:15

Okay now you're literally making my and TMP's arguments for us. Your document literally states that the low production figures are due to:

Etc.
I suspect you jumped into the thread and have not read it through.

The Panzer IVs were only being made by one production 'line' (more like a batch-house) at the time of that report. They were (here it comes) CONTRACTED to only 30 a month, and there were excuses...er, I mean 'issues'. looking at all the different PD that went into barbarossa, I am sure all would have liked to have 30 as some had. But I doubt anyone would know how many would actually be needed in the future.


IF you want to increase any item, the way it works is that the base items (read 'bathtub' or lower hull), is the driving need to be contracted for. Engines, guns, transmissions...all need to ramp upped first. That means they need to get contracts signed and give lead times and the usual things happen that people that might have experience in these ACTUAL world matters know. I believe that Mr. Anderson has expressed this. So, to ramp up Panzer production in the summer of 1940, you better get all the contracts out in the Spring!

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

Post by Yoozername » 27 Jan 2021 01:00

If we look at the following data from Nibelungenwerk, we see a contract that stipulates OKH spec., and Maximum Program A. Basically make the smaller number or the guys with long leather jackets come and get up in your business. Max. program A is a contracted ceiling they can expect perhaps with an extra cookie attached to the check.

Given the predicament the Germans had put themselves in in early 1942, I can't see any reason why they would not go for the bag of cookies. That is, they needed KWK 40 armed Panzers ASAP. They had developed the KWK 40 in record time, had designed a world class AP round, and they hoped upgunned Panzer III and Panzer IV would be the edge. 1942 would tell.

Unfortunately in a matter of 6 months in 1941, all the panzers that might be produced in Summer of 1940 or up till June 22, 1941 could not turn the tide. They were technologically outclassed, and they had no idea how badly outclassed they were in production too. The German Intel for barbarossa did not even include the Soviet vehicles in production, just older models.

Postpartum...the Germans did have issues making the KWK 40 in the increasing numbers...but just as well...they couldn't produce the Pzgr 39 rounds in sufficient quantities anyway! Contract or no Contract!
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by T. A. Gardner » 27 Jan 2021 01:09

KDF33 wrote:
26 Jan 2021 18:08
The digest shows 272,300 workers employed by the shipbuilding industry in June 1943, of which just 167,500 were working on warships, the rest on merchant vessels. On the same month, the German shipbuilding industry employed 143,000 workers, mostly on U-boats.

Does O'Brien provide a date for his figure? The highest I find is 806,500 in December 1943 for overall workforce on Admiralty orders. This compares to 483,000 on Kriegsmarine orders for the Germans in the same month. The German peak was 620,000, attained in December 1941, when the comparable British figure was 676,400.

I don't think the British spent a similar share of their resources on merchant vessels as the Americans did. In 1942, the U.S. finished 5,316,000 gross tons of merchant vessels, the British 1,301,000. I doubt the Americans had four times the overall military production of the U.K. in 1942.

Also compare workforces: Britain peaked at 104,800 people working on merchant vessels in June 1943. The German rolling stock industry employed 98,600 people in January 1944.
You have to consider the productivity per worker here too. I'll use as an example one that I know demonstrates this. A USN CB battalion has just over 1000 men in it. It has dozens of bulldozers, earth movers, dump trucks, etc., assigned to it. It can easily do the work of 10,000 men in construction regiments using almost all hand tools like shovels and wheelbarrows.

In ship construction the US shifted largely to welding and even automated welding during the war. I don't know what the manhours per say, linear foot of hull would be compared to riveting but I'd suspect it's much lower. You don't need strongbacks for welded plates nor do you need to punch the plates for rivet holes. There is no need for heating rivets and no need to QC check each rivet for tightness. So, it's almost certain that shifting to welding saved lots of time. Watch these two videos and consider which shipyard was probably more efficient.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kmo898W ... e=emb_logo[/youtube]

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUm6xjX ... e=emb_logo[/youtube]

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 27 Jan 2021 04:12

KDF33 wrote:I have to push myself to read GSWW in full.
It remains indispensable, IMO, for the sheer info content. But Vol.5's 2,500 pages are unnecessarily padded with a blow-by-blow of German bureaucratic wrangling. I tend to listen to it via a voice reader app on my phone while doing other things and periodically zoning out. I bookmark info-rich passages and return to the text later. Today I spent an hour shoveling snow and revisiting some sections, which reminded me:
Richard Anderson wrote:So much so, that Inf.-Div. all except the cadre personnel of the 81., 82., 83., 88., 93., 94., 95., 96., 98., 205., 206., 207., 213., 218., 221., 239., and 246. were sent on the "Arbeitsurlaub" from late July/early August 1940 until February 1941 when they were called back.
...
Altogether I estimate about 400,000 persons went back into industry, along with about an equal number of individuals released from other units.
Per GSWW this far overstates the reality of the "armaments holiday" (Arbeitsurlaub) workers. The individual units severely resisted the program at local levels:
Once again, opposition took the form of deliberate administrative and technical delaying tactics of
the kind already employed successfully since the outbreak of war. As a result,
most of the soldiers due to be granted leave did not arrive in the factories in
October, as anticipated, but only in the following January. Furthermore, only
100,000 were involved instead of the anticipated 300,000
Is Richard's estimate a straight extrapolation from the units involved or is there other research, post-dating or missed by the GSWW authors, that shows 400,000 were involved?

One fundamental mistake of Nazi historiography is to take at face value government proclamations, to apply a naive concept of dictatorship in which orders were always followed. The Nazi state did not function like that, one has always to check realities against leadership's wishes.
KDF33 wrote:If the Germans had allocated their manpower in the same manner as Britain, it would give us:

Germany, 31.5.1941: 4,452,730 armaments workers + 5,474,270 Wehrmacht personnel = 9,927,000
Britain, June 1941: 2,666,300 armaments workers + 3,278,000 Armed Forces personnel = 5,944,300
Returning to this after sleeping on it...

IMJ the proper reference isn't [armaments workers] + [military personnel] but rather the entire non-ag employment sector, with military subtracted being "NAM" workers (non-ag/military).

Each armaments worker (assuming we have apples-apples definitions of those) required workers in coal, steel, transport, power generation, etc. - plus a massive administrative apparatus to coordinate the needed flows (the SU's administrative/coordination problems in 1941 being a cogent example of the military necessity of efficient administration). Each also required some minimum of workers producing basic necessities.

While the Wehrmacht's larger share of Germany's labor pool diminishes its expected armaments output, relative to Britain, the effect in 1941 is significantly smaller when taking the NAM view rather than the narrower direct armaments workforce view:

British non-ag labor force 1941: 20,351k
German non-ag labor force 1941: 25,000k

Then subtracting the military personnel-

British NAM labor: 17,073k
German NAM labor*: 19,526k [25,000 - 5,474]

*Note that the German NAM workforce stat from USSBS is for pre-war Germany only. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id= ... 4&size=125

Before getting to the Greater Germany and Grossraum implications, however, note that Germany already has 14% larger NAM workforce.

I don't have stats at hand for Greater Germany in 1941 but a document from Speer's ministry gives 27,411k NAM workers in Greater Germany (minus Protectorate) in 3Q 1943 - 40% greater than USSBS's 1941 figure for prewar Germany. https://i.imgur.com/wtJq63O.png

Between '41 and '43, foreign workforce increased from 2.14mil in September 1941 (see GSWW vol.5/1, p.1095) to around 5mil. [for some cites to the general trend, see viewtopic.php?f=11&t=243557&start=45#p2216965. Herbert gives a figure of 5.7mil in August 1944]. But the Wehrmacht increased to 9.5mil by that time and had lost around another million since 1941 (we can dig up more exact stats but I'm skipping some steps because the a million or there won't change the topline point).

Also note that neither the Speer Ministry stats nor the USSBS stats include the Protectorate, where basically 0 Czechs were in military service and which had a 1941 population of ~5mil, implying ~2.5mil additional workers (say 2mil non-ag). Of course the Czech workers matter because we know they were producing for Germany.

Working from the 1943 Greater Germany figure, plus Protectorate, minus the residual of foreign worker increase and '41-'43 Wehrmacht drafts, I'd estimate Greater Germany + Protectorate to have had ~29mil NAM workers in 1941.

On that basis, Germany's NAM labor force in 1941 would exceed Britain's by ~40%.

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

But that's not all. As I've discussed elsewhere, Germany was able to import ~25% of her wartime production from occupied territories - contrary to narratives like Tooze's. https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/b ... 85-006.pdf [English summary at the end, btw]

It's unrealistic to expect Germany to have ramped up outsourcing 1941 to its '43/'44 levels but, nonetheless, there were already significant extractions from Western Europe occurring - not least in import substitution to free up consumer goods production capacity for mobilization. If the effect is "only" 15% in 1941 that's still significant.

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

So while you're right to point out the larger economic opportunity cost of Germany's larger armed forces, the effect was not sufficiently large in 1941 to nullify Germany's significantly larger manpower resources - especially when considering Greater Germany and occupied Europe's role.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 27 Jan 2021 06:18

KDF33 wrote:O'Brien's figure is odd, and doesn't match primary sources.
Here's the two pages from HWwW explaining the interpolated calculation: https://i.imgur.com/QPDaetx.png https://i.imgur.com/LzFShSD.png

It appears there was a shift towards RN in '42-'43 (panic over the BoA and resultant over-investment in escorts and shipping on both sides of the Atlantic) so that diminishes my point.
KDF33 wrote:The digest shows 272,300 workers employed by the shipbuilding industry in June 1943, of which just 167,500 were working on warships, the rest on merchant vessels. On the same month, the German shipbuilding industry employed 143,000 workers, mostly on U-boats.

Does O'Brien provide a date for his figure? The highest I find is 806,500 in December 1943 for overall workforce on Admiralty orders. This compares to 483,000 on Kriegsmarine orders for the Germans in the same month. The German peak was 620,000, attained in December 1941, when the comparable British figure was 676,400.
What's your source for monthly workers on Admiralty/KM orders? Always looking for data... I see the shipbuilding labor stats in the Digest.

You may be right; I may need to substantially revise my picture of the relative British/German resource commitment seaward in 1941. Particularly this USSBS table - I've seen it before surely - seems surprising:

Image

Gun to my head I would have guessed 10% for KM share of weapons production in 1941... [Ok - picture revised already]

[aside - Doesn't that LW weapons share appear low? And doesn't LW ammo seem high? (note that AA ammo is already separate out) Did Germany really spend ~50% more on bombs than army ammo during Barbarossa? Something seems off about this chart - but then again maybe I'm off.]

Before conceding too much I would also like to compare 1941 maritime outputs on a better apples-apples basis. By using the Digest, we're giving credit for two BB's to UK and one to Germany. But RN was also building for post-'41 commission three more BB's (Anson, Howe, Vanguard) , two very large CV's (Indefatigable, Implacable), three Crown Colony-class cruisers, three Dido-class cruisers, two Minotaur-class cruisers, and massive numbers of smaller vessels (submarine and destroyer displacement commissioned nearly doubled in '42, most real production occurred during '41).

By contrast, Germany was done building anything larger than a destroyer.

Also look at RN shell production. 1941's 5,674k shells is 42% of the army total by count but might be equal in weight. For Germany, naval ammo was ~1/3 of army by expense and for everything (torps, mines).

While the gross displacement of all warships is "only" ~2:1, German merchant building was negligible while for Britain it occupied ~40% of dockyard labor and produced ~1,200 major vessels annually.

So while the maritime spending differential is less than I expected, the output differential remains dramatic. It contributes to the overall impression of Germany being out-produced - at least matched - by a country that possessed smaller productive resources.

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

To recap:

German advantage:
Small arms
Guns

British advantage:
Aircraft (numbers and weight, though only by 18% on the latter)
Tanks
Armored vehicles
Trucks
Warships
Merchant vessels

Ammo - perhaps a wash over combined army/AA/naval though probably favoring Britain.

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

It's hard to see this performance being justified by the economic fundamentals, even when adjusted for ~3mil more Germans at arms. Germany still had a ~40% bigger non-ag/military workforce and German economic productivity per worker was equal to British outside of agriculture. My impression is one of undermobilization and/or inefficiency (of course I think those two are connected). The topline GDP stats show only a 10% mobilization delta; inefficiency appears to be the biggest disparity driver.
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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 27 Jan 2021 08:04

KDF33 wrote:I don't know about this, though. The BEF in WWI grew gradually over the course of the war, and was also pretty small in 1914. In fact, it took Britain a full year to grow the force to a million men in France, inclusive of all rear services.
This is less fully-formed counterfactual thinking but...

BEF was small in 1914 because Britain had no need, theretofore, for a large army. WW1 demonstrated that need; WW2 was obviously a similar conflict (i.e. the British army was needed to check Germany or, phrased differently, to maintain a continental balance.) Britain therefore didn't have the 1914 excuse for a small army.

Why didn't they build a larger army? Again from HWwW:
As Churchill and others made
perfectly clear to the Americans right after the re-election of Franklin
Roosevelt in 1940, the British believed that the era of mass
infantry armies was at an end. This was a belief stemming from both
self-interest and diminished expectations.
I wonder whether others share the following intuition:

A genie presents Churchill/Chamberlain/John Bull with a choice of two wishes:

1. 1939-1943 will be 1914-1918 all over again. You will help stop Germany east of the Seine but will lose 900,000 men.

2. OTL WW2: Britian wins with ~1/3 of the losses but France will lose, 6mil Jewish deaths in the Holocaust, ~40mil more global deaths than last war, etc.

...it seems obvious that the British would choose #2 (maybe not Attlee and other leftists).

Britain had spent enough on rearmament to build a strong army in France - another 20 divisions or so and they likely hold long enough for the Red or American armies to intervene or for American material to make the difference. But Britain had no appetite for such a contribution to the war, was willing to bet on the dubious proposition that airpower would be decisive. Like the U.S., they made themselves believe a theory of warfare that suited national interests over coalition interests.
KDF33 wrote:I don't think the British spent a similar share of their resources on merchant vessels as the Americans did.
Yeah you're right. As stated in my last post though, British merchant building amplifies the impression given by its 2:1 edge over Germany in 1941 in warship building (an edge that is understated by real 1941 work on ships launched later).
KDF33 wrote: Britain peaked at 104,800 people working on merchant vessels in June 1943. The German rolling stock industry employed 98,600 people in January 1944.
A few points:
  • As a proportion of NAM workforce (17mil vs. 27mil), UK's merchant dockyard workforce is still 68% higher.
  • Dockyard workforce isn't the whole industry (engines, cranes, furnishings all delivered to dockyards for installation); "rolling stock industry" probably is. For Admiralty workforce as a whole, dockyards held ~30% of workforce. Maybe half is the ratio for merchant ships?
  • Britain built 344 locomotives in 1941. I spent some time looking for German 1941 production, couldn't find it. IIRC around 1,000? 1942 it expanded greatly to 200/month in an emergency program after the '41-'42 winter crisis (GSWW v.6 p.880). Germany was certainly under-producing rolling stock in 1941; probably had lower employment than in January 1944. See Most Valuable Asset of the Reich by Mierzejewski for discussion of underinvestment in 1940-41 - great book but unfortunately doesn't say how many locos/cars produced in 1941.
If we take British rolling stock employment/production at 1/3 of Germany's in 1944, and assume Germany's 1944 employment was same as 1941, and assume dockyard employment is half of merchant shipping employment, then combined merchant+rolling stock employment is:

Britain: 242.5k
Germany: 98.6k

As a proportion of NAM workforce, Britain's "big movers" employment share is 3.4x Germany's.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by KDF33 » 27 Jan 2021 15:24

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Jan 2021 08:04
BEF was small in 1914 because Britain had no need, theretofore, for a large army. WW1 demonstrated that need; WW2 was obviously a similar conflict (i.e. the British army was needed to check Germany or, phrased differently, to maintain a continental balance.) Britain therefore didn't have the 1914 excuse for a small army.
Well, Britain did raise a large army during WW2. It just took time.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Jan 2021 08:04
But Britain had no appetite for such a contribution to the war, was willing to bet on the dubious proposition that airpower would be decisive. Like the U.S., they made themselves believe a theory of warfare that suited national interests over coalition interests.
I don't know about that. The British focused on growing the size of the Army before the fall of France:

30.9.1939: Army = 70.6% of the manpower of the Armed forces
31.12.1939: 72.4
31.3.1940: 73.9
30.6.1940: 74.6 (French capitulation)
30.9.1940: 72.2
31.12.1940: 71.6
31.3.1941: 70.1
30.6.1941: 67.8
...
30.6.1944: 60.4 (D-Day)

I'd say it looks like being kicked off the continent led to a change of focus.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Jan 2021 08:04
Britain built 344 locomotives in 1941. I spent some time looking for German 1941 production, couldn't find it. IIRC around 1,000? 1942 it expanded greatly to 200/month in an emergency program after the '41-'42 winter crisis (GSWW v.6 p.880). Germany was certainly under-producing rolling stock in 1941; probably had lower employment than in January 1944. See Most Valuable Asset of the Reich by Mierzejewski for discussion of underinvestment in 1940-41 - great book but unfortunately doesn't say how many locos/cars produced in 1941.
It's 1,918 locomotives and 44,845 railway cars in 1941, rising to 2,637 and 60,892 respectively in 1942. Growth appears stable for most of the war, with focus in 1940-2 on raising railway car output, then in 1943 on locomotives. See this source.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Jan 2021 08:04
If we take British rolling stock employment/production at 1/3 of Germany's in 1944
I don't know that we should.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Jan 2021 08:04
As a proportion of NAM workforce, Britain's "big movers" employment share is 3.4x Germany's.
I also don't think the "NAM" category is representative of military production potential, given that Germany's larger population would have required, for a similar level of mobilization, a larger number of people working to sustain its civilian economy than Britain's.

If you use non-agricultural workers neither serving in the armed forces nor producing for them in the metalworking industries, you get the following respective shares of total population for June 1941:

Germany: 22,301,000 / 80,245,500 = 27.8%
United Kingdom: 14,208,700 / 48,216,000 = 29.5%

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

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 27 Jan 2021 17:40

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Jan 2021 08:04
This is less fully-formed counterfactual thinking but...
And tells us more about you than the historical period you claim to be talking about. :roll: :roll:
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Jan 2021 08:04
BEF was small in 1914 because Britain had no need, theretofore, for a large army. WW1 demonstrated that need; WW2 was obviously a similar conflict (i.e. the British army was needed to check Germany or, phrased differently, to maintain a continental balance.) Britain therefore didn't have the 1914 excuse for a small army.
WW2 was absolutely not “obviously similar” for the UK in so many ways that I assume you are just being deliberately provocative... :welcome: :roll: Or are making childish comments to spark interest in your thread.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Jan 2021 08:04
Britain had spent enough on rearmament to build a strong army in France - another 20 divisions or so and they likely hold long enough for the Red or American armies to intervene or for American material to make the difference.
Is that the clairvoyant British leaders who could see into the future and assume that Hitler would invade his ally (the Soviet Union) and that one of the UK’s other likely foes would launch a “mad-dog” attack on the USA? If only all our leaders were allowed such a level of foresight, how easy grand strategy would be.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Jan 2021 08:04
But Britain had no appetite for such a contribution to the war, was willing to bet on the dubious proposition that airpower would be decisive. Like the U.S., they made themselves believe a theory of warfare that suited national interests over coalition interests.
Britain aimed to create a mass Army in WW2 - circumstances conspired to stop that happening to the extent it was originally planned. As it was, by spring 1941 a large air and maritime component was essential to ensure survival and to inflict pin pricks on the Nazi empire while waiting for something to change (as it fortunately did). Even so, attempts were being made to establish a large (for the UK) land component. How exactly would having a very large army based in the UK, and unable to leave it, have helped its coalition partners in say the spring of 1942?
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Jan 2021 06:18
panic over the BoA and resultant over-investment in escorts and shipping on both sides of the Atlantic
Panic? Reality, more like. Oh, of course, it was “panic” as they should have had your omnipotent hindsight. :welcome:
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Jan 2021 08:04
OTL WW2: Britian wins with ~1/3 of the losses but France will lose, 6mil Jewish deaths in the Holocaust, ~40mil more global deaths than last war, etc.
So, are you saying the outcome of WW2 was the UK’s fault? And the Holocaust? And the French Army’s planning for and conduct of the defence of France in 1940? And the Soviet Union’s conduct of both its foreign policy and military planning and conduct? And the decisions made by the leaders of Italy and Japan?

Sweet!!

Regards

Tom

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