In my earlier haste I read your table as Germany/UK rather than UK/Germany.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
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:Odd. It shows:
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?KDF33 wrote:Machine guns: 39,340 / 79,212
[you answered after I drafted this part but leaving it to suggest Harrison's Imperial alibi]
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.KDF33 wrote:Artillery, 75mm +: 13,661,000 / 9,400,000 rounds
Heavy AA, 75mm +: 4,413,000 / 15,400,000 rounds
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.
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).KDF33 wrote:Note that Germany completely retooled its fighter production in 1941. If you control for that, output is effectively tied.
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.
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:I wrote a long, detailed and sourced answer that was disgustingly erased because I timed out and forgot to save before pressing preview.
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: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.
...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:
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...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.
From O'Brien's How the War was Won
Never in Raeder's wettest dream would he have had as many workers producing for the KM as for the Heer.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
...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.
Yes, that has been my argument.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.
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.
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%.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.
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.