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 05:13

:idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :oops: 8) :P :P :? :roll: :roll: :x 8O :D 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 peter_suciu » 11 Feb 2003 05:33

If he switched to a true wartime economy in the 1930s that might have sent solid messages to the allied powers...who would have done little more than they did. Germany was still producing a LARGE amount of weapons and equipment in the 1930s so I don't know if they could have geared up much more.

The difference would have been a sacrifice of consumer goods and that is not how a fascist government manages to keep power. In Germany the idea was to keep the classes happy, it wasn't like in Soviet Russia where the workers were told they were getting a better deal, which just meant killing the rich. The rich stayed rich for the most part in Germany -- obviously the Jewish rich either fled or were rounded up.

I'm a collector of Germany militaria, including helmets. If you look at an M35 helmet it has craftsmanship that you don't see in an M42 helmet. They look the same from a difference but the M35 has 30+ steps in its production, while the M42 has nine steps. The key was that everything made before the war was labor intensive and took a lot of steps. The MP38 submachine gun was a piece of work but the MP40 worked just as well with stamped parts. The MG34 was a revolutionary machine gun that could be used as a light, medium and heavy machine also was a huge pain to manufacture. Its replacement was the MG42, which was easier to manufacture and was actually more reliable.

The point is that Germany was making consumer goods until 1942. The United States wasn't making as many consumer goods in 1941. Germany also imported oil, steel, food, etc. The point was that the country couldn't meet production of war goods quickly enough. Albert Speer did a great job after he took over from Goering, whose four year plan was a mess.

But here is the bottomline. The populace of Soviet Russia couldn't rise up because the party controlled the military. The populace of Nazi Germany didn't really need to rise up. Things were good, the army was building up and they had plenty to eat, plenty to buy, plenty of money. That changed in September 1939 a little bit but became really worse with the invasion of Soviet Russia. Then Germany couldn't produce enough food to feed its people and its conquered states.

All comes down to guns and butter. Germany couldn't have both and keep its people happy.

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