Germany Had Switched to a War Economy in 1930's

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R-Bob The Great!
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Germany Had Switched to a War Economy in 1930's

Post by R-Bob The Great! » 11 Feb 2003 05:12

Call me dumb but, I am hearing a lot about Hitler not switching to a war economy until it was too late. What if he did. What would this mean, what does switching to a war economy include? And if he did how much would it have affercted the war. And if he did it in the 1930's would public opinion still be behind him and if it wasn't would it matter.

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Post by Qvist » 11 Feb 2003 10:09

They did, more or less. when war came, the German economy was geared to military purposes to a much higher degree than the adversaries.

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Post by peter_suciu » 11 Feb 2003 16:55

They did, more or less. when war came, the German economy was geared to military purposes to a much higher degree than the adversaries.
Not really. In Russia every man, woman and child worked for the war effort. In Germany during the war women did volunteer but it wasn't until the final stages that men aged 16-65 had to even fight in the people's army. Russian children and old people were digging trenches and working in factories. That is a total war economy.

In the United States women were in the factories, ration books for everything were passed out, children were sent out to collect scrap metal, etc. That kind of thing didn't happen to the same extent in Germany.

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Post by Qvist » 11 Feb 2003 17:02

Not really. In Russia every man, woman and child worked for the war effort. In Germany during the war women did volunteer but it wasn't until the final stages that men aged 16-65 had to even fight in the people's army. Russian children and old people were digging trenches and working in factories. That is a total war economy.

In the United States women were in the factories, ration books for everything were passed out, children were sent out to collect scrap metal, etc. That kind of thing didn't happen to the same extent in Germany.
Yes. But the question was industrial mobilisation before the war. And notwithstanding US, British and Soviet economic mobilisation after the war started, German economy was most definitely on a war footing in September 1939 compared to any other country.

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Post by Qvist » 11 Feb 2003 17:04

And BTW, the percentage of women in the German workforce in 1939 was significantly higher than the peak level reached in the US during the war (But not as high as British and Soviet levels). Beware of myths.

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Post by wotan » 11 Feb 2003 19:44

Hmm... sivilian goods like perfume and other lux items was produced in germany until 1942/43.. Not before after the defeat in stalingrad did the germans go to full war that included hardship on its ppl.

Up until mid 43 the general life quality was better in germany than england who banned the production of such "waist" products much earlier.

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Post by peter_suciu » 11 Feb 2003 20:15

That's my point exactly...civilian goods were being produced in Germany. Those pretty much dried up in England by spring of 1940 and were unheard of in the Soviet Union.

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Post by R-Bob The Great! » 12 Feb 2003 02:05

So if they had stopped producing such consumer goods earlier would it have made an adverse effect on the outcome of the war? and in what ways? faster ship production, more tanks or planes or whatever?

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Post by peter_suciu » 12 Feb 2003 06:56

The point was that Germany was already producing a lot of weapons while also making its people happy. I don't think Germany had a large enough economic base to produce more weapons AND keep its civilians happy too.

Plus, even more arms and weapons need more people. But the most important thing to remember is a lot of German industrial output was wasted. The German craftsmanship was almost too high for too long. High quality guns and helmets when simple should have been the way to go.

Why build battleships when U-Boats would have been better, why use the jet fighter program to build bombers, why delay the introduction of the MP-44 assault rifle? It goes on and on. Wasted resources and production.

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Post by Mark V » 12 Feb 2003 22:19

Hi,

Talking about war-years: For example passanger (even luxury) cars were produced until 1941. Level of civilian consumption in Germany was way too high until 1943-44. Gravest mistake was total failure in use of manpower (one of the greatest bottlenecks in German war-economy), German women were allowed to stay at home, attrocities and other alianating actions in conquered countries, uneffecient use of POW manpower (actually extermination policy toward Soviet prisons), jewish holocaust, etc... Germans lost tens of millions man-years because all these mistakes.

There was subtantial fat that could have been sliced and used for purposes that would benefit military. Hitler was always afraid of what happened in Germany in 1917-1918 - and because of that they did go to the other extremity in early to mid -years of WW2.


Regards, Mark V

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Post by peter_suciu » 12 Feb 2003 22:55

Had Hitler softened on the Jewish issue Germany may have won the war. Imagine three or so million more men that can fight for Germany! Plus all the efforts that went into killing them.

The scary part is Germany came very close to winning.

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Post by Mark V » 12 Feb 2003 23:06

peter_suciu wrote:Imagine three or so million more men that can fight for Germany!
Not forgetting hundreds of brilliant jewish scientist - whose talent Germany lost (on benefit of United States) because their policy...

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Post by R-Bob The Great! » 13 Feb 2003 02:54

that is interesting, the treatment of Jewish people. Thats a different subject though so ill move it too a new thread.

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