Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the start

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BDV
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Re: Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the start

Post by BDV » 24 Aug 2016 13:55

Guaporense wrote: What the Wehrmacht do with more equipment?
(excuse my bluntness) Kill the men of RKKA.

and bring all Wehrmacht and the Auxilliaries' fighting units to 1941 standards of equipment (~2 zoll high velocity AT guns, and ~2 zoll gunned tanks); so that the Heer does not go through one year worth of replacements in three months..

Historically the Wehrmacht was fighting really well in 1939-1941, which means they did not suffer from shortage of basic equipment and ammunition.
yes 1939 and 1940, not so in 1941.

Maybe if their ammunition production was higher they would have more firepower (that's a good point), but overall the failure to finish the USSR off in 1941 was mostly due to geography and manpower and not scarcity of equipment.
Is combination. Not from nothing did concepts like "heeresanklopfgerät" arise out of. But then, Wehrmacht was still using 25,000 Panzerbuchse 39 in 1941. That tempers one's desire to criticize the Pak35, but shows the severe equipment deficiencies of 1941 Wehrmacht (Axis Auxilliaries were even worse).

Bottom line, the lack of firepower had to be supplanted by blood.
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Re: Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the start

Post by Guaporense » 25 Aug 2016 02:22

I didn't have the impression that the Wehrmacht was not property equipped in June 1941. I had the impression that increases in output before June 1941 would have only resulted in that large quantities of equipment would be in stock and would not be used by the field army: it would only be a waste of resources and wouldn't have resulted in an improvement of the armies firepower.

Now, the anti-tank rifle Panzerbüchse 39 was effective against the bulk of Soviet tanks used in 1941 (only 5% of the Soviet stock was of T-34's).

For instance, in July 1941, according to the USSBS Report on the German War Economy, the stocks of guns over 100 mm of the army were about 12,000 guns and actually slightly larger than January 1944 stocks:

Image

If Axis Auxiliaries were not properly equipped because they lacked the equipment then it was a major mistake for the Nazis to not allow them to purchase equipment from Germany or occupied countries.

Overall, I should point out that sales of weapons were only 170 million RM per month in 1943, a very small proportion of total military expenditures. If there was a need for more army weapons, more could be easily produced. And indeed, output was very flexible.

Output historically responded to the perceived needs of the armed forces:

Image

With a peak of ammunition output in mid 1940 during the Battle of France, followed by low output of ammunition in Barbarossa (it was expected to be a short war), then by early 1942, ammunition output exploded, until reaching a plateau in early 1943 as the needs of ammunition were meet, then in mid 1943 ammunition output expanded again as the need for ammunition was felt as the Red Army began it's series of offensives in Ukraine. It peaked only in late 1944 when the war was obviously long lost.

Overall, it appears that their only major mistake was that ammunition output should have been in an increasing trajectory from early to mid 1941 onward instead of early 1942, a mistake due to their arrogance in not planning for the contingency of the failure of Barbarossa.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the start

Post by Stiltzkin » 25 Aug 2016 02:43

Not from nothing did concepts like "heeresanklopfgerät" arise out of
Because its a myth. The Soviets made good use of AT rifles up till the end of the war (Schürzen were made for a reason). A damaged tank is a tank that has to be repaired (logic).
http://www.operationbarbarossa.net/the-door-knocker/
Operation Barbarossa: The Complete Organization and Statistical Analysis, and Military Simulation, Journal of Slavic military studies

Causes of T-34 losses

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9akj09lxra449 ... s.jpg?dl=0

TECHNICAL REPORT FROM THE 10th TANK DIVISION, AUGUST 1941

[...]

T-34 part: 2. For the T-34:

a) Hull armor is penetrated at 300 to 400 meters by a 37-mm antitank round. Side armor is penetrated by a 20-mm antitank round. When crossing ditches the low set of the vehicle causes its nose to dig in, and traction with the ground is insufficient due to the relative smoothness of the tracks.
b) With a direct hit by a shell the driver’s front hatch collapses.

c) The vehicle’s treads are weak—any round takes them off.
d) The main and side clutches break down.

All defects of the KV and T-34 tanks, along with recommendations, were reported in detail to the chief of the Main Automotive-Armored-Tank Directorate [nachalnik Glavnago avtobronetankovogo upravleniya], Lieutenant General of Tank Troops Fedorenko, and the chief of the Automotive-Armored-Tank Directorate of the Southwest Front, Major General of Tank Troops Morgunov.


Techincally it should be safe from 37mm fire from these distances, when using DeMarres equation for penetration. Exaggerations, misjudgement of the calibre might have been the reason but quiet frankly the poor quality of manufacturing was probably the real issue.

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Re: Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the start

Post by Michael Kenny » 25 Aug 2016 03:18

Guaporense wrote:I didn't have the impression that the Wehrmacht was not property equipped in June 1941. I had the impression that increases in output before June 1941 would have only resulted in that large quantities of equipment would be in stock and would not be used by the field army: it would only be a waste of resources and wouldn't have resulted in an improvement of the armies firepower.
The main German tanks were the Pz 1/II. Entire Panzer Divisions had to be built around captured tanks and supplies were being carried by French Trucks. There was no surplus of anything.

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Re: Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the start

Post by Guaporense » 25 Aug 2016 03:48

I should point out that armaments were never a large fraction of the German economy, that meant that production could be increased if there was need. I quote the USSBS Report on the German War economy:

Image

In 1940-1941, armaments were about 7-8% of national product and 15-20% of military expenditures.

In my opinion perhaps the greatest production failure for Germany was their failure to foresee the increase in fighter production that they would need to maintain aerial superiority in Europe. Well, that and their failure to plan for the contingency of the failure of Barbarossa by increasing ammunition production. Although in the case of fighter production the mistake had greater consequences because enemy aircraft could easily bomb out the airfields in continental Europe and destroy any increase in German production.

In January 1942, a total of 274 fighters were accepted by the Luftwaffe, in August 1944, 30 months later, 3,020 fighters were accepted by the Luftwaffe. Output increased more from early 43 to mid 44, in 19 months from January 1943 to September 44, fighter output rose 6.5 times from 512 machines to 3,375 machines. This implies that it was relatively easy for Germany to quickly increase fighter production as this was a relatively cheap type of aircraft. This increase was mainly caused by the increased demand for fighters to protect Germany from the threat of strategic bombing: from early 1943 to September 1944, the strategic airforces of the WAllies dropped 1 million short tons of bombs over Europe, with the heaviest bombing of the war being in 3rd quarter of 44.

Indeed, fighter output in 3rd quarter of 44 was about 80% of the combined total of the US and UK at the same time. However, that was too late: by that point the air war was completely lost and supplies of aircraft fuel were 10% of their peak levels a few months earlier. This increase in fighter output from march 1944 onward was strategically meaningless.

If they property anticipated the threat of Allied strategic bombing they would have increased fighter production earlier and also provided air crews with adequate training: in late 43 only 10,000 tons of fuel per month were allocated for training, then Milch noticed how little training new pilots had and increased the fuel endowment to 50,000 tons per month. That showed how badly organized the German pilot training programs were.

Fuel consumption by fighters was also not much: internal fuel capacity of a FW-190 was 500 kg. While the WAllies' strategic flew about 60,000-70,000 strategic bomber sorties per month, responding to WAllied bomber sorties with equivalent number of interceptors would require about 30,000-35,000 tons of fuel per month, which was about 1/5 of German aircraft fuel output at the time. Consumption of fuel in the Eastern front by medium bombers was higher than that already in 1943.

Overall, it's my impression that it was the failure of properly anticipating and preparing for the scale of the WAllied strategic bombing offensive that allowed them to bomb Continental Europe so easily in 1944-45. Not any inherent scarcity of resources (even aircraft fuel).
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the start

Post by Stiltzkin » 25 Aug 2016 04:50

The main German tanks were the Pz 1/II. Entire Panzer Divisions had to be built around captured tanks and supplies were being carried by French Trucks. There was no surplus of anything.
Actually it is more evenly distributed
https://www.dropbox.com/s/auzf6ly77hxmn ... y.jpg?dl=0

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Re: Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the start

Post by BDV » 26 Aug 2016 20:15

A few points:

If Wehrmacht upgraded PzIII to 50 mm gun because there was a perceived need. To me, the loss rate of 37 mm armed PzIIIs in the first weeks of Barbarossa proves that perception as being correct.

By 1941 PzIIs and even Is were not completely out of line-of-fire duty. These were meant as training vehicles, 2 years after start of war still fighting!?!

The upgrade of the main infantry AT gun from 37 mm to 50 mm was also due to a perceived need. The difficulties Germans (and Auxilliaries) had with the sovjet main tanks proves them right.

OTOH production in 1943-44 would not have been as high without the investments of 1940-1941, which in turn meant less production in 1940-1941.

It is tempting to criticize the Nazis as incompetent, but there was method to madness. Result was ignoble failure, so the madness angle gets the main coverage.
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Re: Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the start

Post by Guaporense » 28 Aug 2016 07:23

That's the Tooze conjecture: output of armaments was low in 1940-1941 because resources were focused on industrial investment. His conjecture is wrong however.

First, expenditures on munitions were government expenditures while investment in industrial capacity were private expenditures: private firms decided to invest in industrial capacity in expectation of future demand for armaments and also to accumulate savings in the form of capital equipment (because private firms expected hyperinflation after the war like in WW1).

Second the economic costs of industrial investment were not high: around 6 billion RM per year, compared to 100 billion RM in military expenditures per year on average. These capital expenditures were not competing for resources with munitions, as both were a small portion of total output in the Grossraum.

Also German industry was always operating with great spare capacity in WW2: capital equipment was plentiful and Germany had 3 times more machine tools than Britain in 1943, while 92% of all factories were running on a single shift. There was no scarcity of capital equipment to increase production of munitions for Germany at any point in WW2.

Its pretty clear that low levels of output in 1940-1941 were caused by choice because there was no continuous warfare before Barbarossa and hence no demand to replace losses in equipment and consumption of ammunition. Output of munitions started to really explode after December 1942 when demand for munitions exploded with the active fighting in the Eastern front.

Also, in WW1 German output of ammunition was like this:

1915 - 40 million shells
1916 - 72 million shells
1917 - 108 million
1918 - 132 million (annualized)

WW2 German output of arty and AA shells:

1940 - 27 million
1941 - 27 million
1942 - 56 million
1943 - 93 million
1944 - 108 million

In WW1 the trajectory was of almost continuous increase, in WW2 it started to increase after the failure of Barbarossa.

There was no underlying restriction on the level of output in the years of 1939-1940-1941. It was low by choice because the battle of France was a surprise and munitions production collapsed just after it and only started to take a trajectory of increase after the failure of Barbarossa, which was expected to be a short war (and yes, it was very arrogant of their part of CUTTING ammunition production in the second half of 1941 over the first half.

Some people say that Germany's effort in WW1 was much more efficiently run, indeed it appears to be.
Last edited by Guaporense on 29 Aug 2016 00:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the start

Post by Guaporense » 28 Aug 2016 21:58

Also, this is an interesting review of the USSBS report on the German war economy:

http://www.jstor.org/stable/1925424?seq ... b_contents
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Re: Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the sta

Post by tramonte » 18 Jun 2018 06:25

stg 44 wrote:
Carl Schwamberger wrote:I'd recommend folks who raise this question go read Tooze 'Wages of Destruction' and John Ellis 'Brute Force'. Both tend to contradict the people, like Speer, who claim there was a large unused capacity in German industry 1939-42.
But there were large resources in manpower and raw materials that was tied up building factories and other capital resources that were ultimately never completed. Also the Germans entered the war with major administrative chaos.
Have the Nazis actually complete a their labor and economic mobilization plans prior to September 1939 and Germany can achieve peak efficiency far earlier. It wasn't until about June 1940 that they actually worked out who was supposed to issue production orders and who commanded labor. It took until the end of 1941 and the rise of Albert Speer that the economy was finally centralized under one authority, Göring was marginalized administratively, and the military were forced to stop constantly ordering upgrades to models, which was badly reducing efficiency in production.

Well, well well.... once again backing the myth of Speer as wonder man. Instead than giving Speer the highest praise we should focus that "production miracle" mostly as rather natural thing: first you invest, use capital and then you enjoy the results. It's the same with German productivity. Learning curve caused it. Not some Speer. Let's not forget that from 1935 to early 1940's Germans had to first invest to production to be able produce later. German armor, weapon and aircraft production growth in 1942-43 was very very natural result of that early investment policy. And Speer played not any kind of crucial role.
"Military history is nothing but a tissue of fictions and legends, only a form of literary invention; reality counts for very little in such affair."

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Re: Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the start

Post by tramonte » 18 Jun 2018 06:55

Guaporense wrote:
Also, in WW1 German output of ammunition was like this:

1915 - 40 million shells
1916 - 72 million shells
1917 - 108 million
1918 - 132 million (annualized)

WW2 German output of arty and AA shells:

1940 - 27 million
1941 - 27 million
1942 - 56 million
1943 - 93 million
1944 - 108 million

In WW1 the trajectory was of almost continuous increase, in WW2 it started to increase after the failure of Barbarossa.

There was no underlying restriction on the level of output in the years of 1939-1940-1941. It was low by choice because the battle of France was a surprise and munitions production collapsed just after it and only started to take a trajectory of increase after the failure of Barbarossa, which was expected to be a short war (and yes, it was very arrogant of their part of CUTTING ammunition production in the second half of 1941 over the first half.

Some people say that Germany's effort in WW1 was much more efficiently run, indeed it appears to be.
Comparing WW1 and WW2 munition production is meaningless and these figures below will tell it why.

German munition production, divided in type, July 1944:

-Aircraft....................48.3%
-Ammunition............24.0%
- Weapons................9.3%
-AFV (panzers).........7.8%
-Naval vessels..........4.5% ( record lowest point in this period, in 1940-41 it has 3 times higher share)
-Motor vehicles.........2.4%
-Half-tracks...............1.6%
-Powder....................2.1%

Source: Phillips Payson O'Brien, 2015, p. 27. USSBS European Report 3, p. 145

Germany: weapons production distribution by armed service and quarter 1942


.........................1Q/1942.......2Q/1942.....3Q/1942.........4Q/1942
Army....................48%.............52%...........51%..............50%
Luftwaffe................6%..............7%.............5%................8%
Navy.....................22%............17%...........16%..............15%
Anti-aircraft...........24%............24%..........28%..............27%

Germany: ammunition production distribution by armed service and quarter 1942

.........................1Q/1942.......2Q/1942.....3Q/1942.........4Q/1942
Army....................27%.............44%...........54%..............59%
Luftwaffe..............30%............25%...........23%..............21%
Navy.....................12%............10%..............6%...............5%
Anti-aircraft...........31%............21%...........17%..............15%

Source: USSBS, European Report 3, p. 284

As those figures are telling, German ammo and weapon production in 1942 went just about 50% to army while combination of air-sea took that another 50%. Until mid 1942 German AFV production was actually less than 4% of munition production and during second half 4-7%. Inevitable in 1942 Germany used just about 1/4 of its munitions to land war and later not more than 30-33%. Quite surprisingly result isn't it.
"Military history is nothing but a tissue of fictions and legends, only a form of literary invention; reality counts for very little in such affair."

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Re: Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the start

Post by Sid Guttridge » 18 Jun 2018 10:37

Hi Guys,

By the standards of most of its competitors (the USSR being the obvious exception), the German war economy was very fully mobilized from the start. Indeed, it had been rearming as fast as possible for several years before the start of the war.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the sta

Post by T. A. Gardner » 18 Jun 2018 20:53

tramonte wrote:
stg 44 wrote:
Carl Schwamberger wrote:I'd recommend folks who raise this question go read Tooze 'Wages of Destruction' and John Ellis 'Brute Force'. Both tend to contradict the people, like Speer, who claim there was a large unused capacity in German industry 1939-42.
But there were large resources in manpower and raw materials that was tied up building factories and other capital resources that were ultimately never completed. Also the Germans entered the war with major administrative chaos.
Have the Nazis actually complete a their labor and economic mobilization plans prior to September 1939 and Germany can achieve peak efficiency far earlier. It wasn't until about June 1940 that they actually worked out who was supposed to issue production orders and who commanded labor. It took until the end of 1941 and the rise of Albert Speer that the economy was finally centralized under one authority, Göring was marginalized administratively, and the military were forced to stop constantly ordering upgrades to models, which was badly reducing efficiency in production.

Well, well well.... once again backing the myth of Speer as wonder man. Instead than giving Speer the highest praise we should focus that "production miracle" mostly as rather natural thing: first you invest, use capital and then you enjoy the results. It's the same with German productivity. Learning curve caused it. Not some Speer. Let's not forget that from 1935 to early 1940's Germans had to first invest to production to be able produce later. German armor, weapon and aircraft production growth in 1942-43 was very very natural result of that early investment policy. And Speer played not any kind of crucial role.
In part it was Speer. He decided to release most or all of Germany's strategic reserves of materials stockpiled to industry in 1944 allowing a surge in production to occur. The problem with that was had the war lasted into 1946 there would have been a precipitous plunge in production as all that material ran out.

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Re: Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the sta

Post by losna » 19 Jun 2018 14:54

T. A. Gardner wrote: In part it was Speer. He decided to release most or all of Germany's strategic reserves of materials stockpiled to industry in 1944 allowing a surge in production to occur.
Point is that this is not consistent with data about steel production and its allocation.
https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=119848
Actually steel used in military production in 1944 was less than in 1943... and total production as well. Furthermore production and allocations follow the same descending trend from 1st quarter to the 4th as in 1943.
The most consistent explanation is still the steel-demanding investments theory. Another thing to note is that in 1939/1940 tank, light weapons and artillery tractors factories were running at 80% capacity. This suggests that early in the war there weren't simply not enough factories, at least for some categories of weapons.

EDIT: The only way I can think Germany could have boosted its war production would've been to make some deals with Sweden very early (1933-1935) to allow German companies to expand Swedish iron mines, boosting production of, say, 20 million tons in exchange for provisions of free coal and fertilizers. Or, put in another way, to buy mining rights or LKAB (the company that run Kiruna mine, that in the 1930s wasn't government-owned).

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Re: Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the sta

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Jun 2018 12:19

losna wrote:
T. A. Gardner wrote:...
EDIT: The only way I can think Germany could have boosted its war production would've been to make some deals with Sweden very early (1933-1935) to allow German companies to expand Swedish iron mines, boosting production of, say, 20 million tons in exchange for provisions of free coal and fertilizers. Or, put in another way, to buy mining rights or LKAB (the company that run Kiruna mine, that in the 1930s wasn't government-owned).
There is a question of if a more efficient use of resources couldn't have increased gross capacity. The points generally raised concern things like skilled & well compensated labor vs semis skilled or unskilled conscript labor, inefficient allocation of machine tools, nazi corruption and maladministration in general. This goes beyond the usual internet tropes we see. A professor I studied under in 1979 (Flannigan. Purdue University) had wrote his original PhD thesis on the Czechoslovakian economy in the mid 1930s. When he returned to Prague in the 1950s for a follow up study he looked at the industrial economy of the nazi era. He noted a clear and marked drop in output per labor hour from the start of nazi administration. He remarked on several reasons for this, but felt that at the core of it the nazi party hacks & senior leaders (Heydrich among others) simply were not that good as managers. They lacked experience of any depth, and had trouble grasping long term planning & operated on a inefficient short term emergency basis in their decision making.

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