Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the start

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

Post by dgfred » 21 Jun 2018 15:50

Good post Carl... thanks!

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

Post by T. A. Gardner » 21 Jun 2018 18:27

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
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.
There was a lot of inefficiency in the German / Nazi economy from the start and little was done to improve much of that. For example, the US and Britain got aircraft manufacturing down where they used less and less material per plane as the war progressed. That is, they were eliminating scrap and rework and finding ways to simplify their designs. The Germans really never did that. Instead, they stuck with craftsmen doing mostly hand work to manufacture their planes. I'd also say there is ample evidence that older airframes were frequently returned to the factory and re-manufactured and then given new werk numbers and issued as "new" aircraft, something the US and Britain didn't do, and I don't think the Soviet Union did.

This film on the 40mm bofors manufactured by Chrysler shows this clearly. The Germans also license manufactured the gun in small numbers.




That the US spent the time and effort to streamline and simplify the production is significant as the Germans didn't do likewise. Certainly, the Wehrmacht never put the effort into quality control and oversight of manufacturing processes the Allies did. The extent to which the Wehrmacht got involved was simply to tell manufacturers what they wanted and point out changes based on use.

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

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Jun 2018 19:58

dgfred wrote:Good post Carl... thanks!
Nice to see you are still around. Retired yet?

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

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Jun 2018 20:13

... Göring was marginalized administratively, and the military were forced to stop constantly ordering upgrades to models, which was badly reducing efficiency in production.
The US found a different route to overcoming the constant change demands. While the demands were reduced production philosophy/management were altered. In simple terms the production line was only stopped for major changes. & whenever possible those were consolidated so several would be made at once. Changes large and small after the order & before the line update were accomplished by teams working on the items between production and shipping. Most of the changes were small niggling things that could be made on a post production item in minutes by one or two trained workers. So its was more efficient to build the tank or aircraft as the line was set up and change out a widget in the preloading storage area.

Hunnicutt in his history of the M4 Sherman tank identified 30,000+ changes to the vehicle & weapons during its prototype-production life. The problem of entering everyone of those on the line is obvious.

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

Post by losna » 22 Jun 2018 10:12

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
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.
I agree that up until 1941 and somewhat later Nazi war planning was heavily short-term and confusional, however:
- Nazi Germany systematically pillaged industrial stocks of occupied countries: no wonder that output per worker fell, if that is the case.
- Steel shortages were a constant feature of German war effort right from the start of the war: this isn't particularly surprising, since the US alone used 20 million tons of steel in 1943 only for the army and the air force. That's equal to the whole production of wartime Germany, excluding occupied territories, and 30% more than the 1941 yearly German allocations of steel to all the war materiel manufacturing.

This is reflected by the gap between allocations and requirements seen in the second table (from Germany and the Second World War, Volume V/I)

Also, as shown in the first table, from 1938 to 1940 armaments were a relatively minor part of industrial output; however they have the lion's share by 1944, at the expense, especially, of construction. It is possibile that construction in the years before was probably devoted to factories producing armaments, since from Tooze it seems that government spending on construction was readily slashed at the war onset.
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Re: Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the sta

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Jun 2018 13:49

losna wrote:
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
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.
I agree that up until 1941 and somewhat later Nazi war planning was heavily short-term and confusional, however:
- Nazi Germany systematically pillaged industrial stocks of occupied countries: no wonder that output per worker fell, if that is the case.
Professor Flannigan was referring specifically to Czech industry & judged the decline he saw as mismanagement. Elsewhere the haphazard looting of machine tools, the forced labor and guest labor programs, and shortages of raw materials were significant
... Also, as shown in the first table, from 1938 to 1940 armaments were a relatively minor part of industrial output; however they have the lion's share by 1944, at the expense, especially, of construction. It is possibile that construction in the years before was probably devoted to factories producing armaments, since from Tooze it seems that government spending on construction was readily slashed at the war onset.
Yes it clear that expanding production capacity was a factor in those years. The US was going through the same thing. There were some gross inefficiencies in the US industrial mobilization at the start. It also appears the US did a credible job of resolving those problems.

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

Post by BDV » 22 Jun 2018 16:57

I have direct experience with Axis war economy inefficiency at the ground level; in particular the anti-semitic laws hit the little producer, the foundation of agricultural economy in former Austro-Hungary and Poland, especially hard.

For Germany proper, some simple extrapolations based on the Kristallnacht fine (1 billion RM) projects an economic impact of the Jewish minority in the 5-15 hundreds of million RMs range.

So what I'm trying to get at is:
- with a leadership so inept on economic issues, expecting them to navigate skillfully the delicate and complicated task of mobilizing the economy effectively is not tenable. You have the Reichsfuhrer himself lamenting in 1943 the wasting in 1941 of hundreds of thousands of labor slaves (soviet POWs). To propose that these decision-makers would come up in 1935, 1937, 1939, with the adequate policies; when in 1941 they were still blundering away up to a million of able bodied laborers just not feasible. Might as well propose that Werner Heisenberg draws up the plans for a workable A-Bomb in 1942.
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Re: Full mobilisation of the German war economy from the start

Post by T. A. Gardner » 22 Jun 2018 18:26

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
... Göring was marginalized administratively, and the military were forced to stop constantly ordering upgrades to models, which was badly reducing efficiency in production.
The US found a different route to overcoming the constant change demands. While the demands were reduced production philosophy/management were altered. In simple terms the production line was only stopped for major changes. & whenever possible those were consolidated so several would be made at once. Changes large and small after the order & before the line update were accomplished by teams working on the items between production and shipping. Most of the changes were small niggling things that could be made on a post production item in minutes by one or two trained workers. So its was more efficient to build the tank or aircraft as the line was set up and change out a widget in the preloading storage area.

Hunnicutt in his history of the M4 Sherman tank identified 30,000+ changes to the vehicle & weapons during its prototype-production life. The problem of entering everyone of those on the line is obvious.
The US was also very good about making kits and parts for many changes, designing these to allow units using the equipment in the field to make the changes themselves rather than rely on the factory. The Luftwaffe did some of this, primarily with armament on planes, but never to the extent the US did. An obvious example is applique armor. Kits were shipped to the field for installation, the unit receiving all the cut plates and a set of instructions for installation.

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

Post by losna » 28 Aug 2018 11:23

T. A. Gardner wrote:
22 Jun 2018 18:26
The US was also very good about making kits and parts for many changes, designing these to allow units using the equipment in the field to make the changes themselves rather than rely on the factory. The Luftwaffe did some of this, primarily with armament on planes, but never to the extent the US did. An obvious example is applique armor. Kits were shipped to the field for installation, the unit receiving all the cut plates and a set of instructions for installation.
No kit whatsoever could've radically changed the outcome of any front where the Wehrmacht fought, except maybe the air war where a inch and a half of armor plating on fighter engines, pilot and fuel tanks could've mitigated the effect of .50 cal machine guns used on bombers and P51.

Overall, the only real game changer(s) would've been the completion or near completion of the Navy's Plan Z, full motorization, 1944 levels of arms production reached by 1941, and maybe about a thousand Uboats at hand at the start of the war.
These things were for the most part achieved by Germany, only too late. By 1944 truck production was around 100k/year: if had it started in 1937 it could've lead by 1941 to full motorization; also by that date Germans produced more than a thousand uboat, most of them in 1940-44.

However, getting into those production levels earlier would've needed more steel than in OT. Steel that could've been obtained only with earlier and more intensive exploitment of the Salzgitter iron ore body or Swedish mines.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 01 Sep 2018 19:00

Hi Guys,

I statistic that always sticks in my mind is that in 1944, even at the height of the so-called Speer revolution in production, the UK (pop. 45 million) produced more aeroengines and greater weight of airframes than the Reich (pop. 80 million).

Sid.

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

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 02 Sep 2018 02:40

Sid Guttridge wrote:
01 Sep 2018 19:00
Hi Guys,

I statistic that always sticks in my mind is that in 1944, even at the height of the so-called Speer revolution in production, the UK (pop. 45 million) produced more aeroengines and greater weight of airframes than the Reich (pop. 80 million).

Sid.
Through 1943 the Brits were outproducing the Germans in engines and airframe weight. In 1944 the Germans pulled ahead in gross number of airframes, by eliminating most bomber production and concentrating production on single engine types. The US also ramping up heavyweight production of models like the B29 behemoth managed 105,000 aircraft accepted by the Army and Navy, while the Germans built 85,000 in 1944. Nearly all light weight single engined airframes.

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

Post by ljadw » 02 Sep 2018 14:25

Sid Guttridge wrote:
01 Sep 2018 19:00
Hi Guys,

I statistic that always sticks in my mind is that in 1944, even at the height of the so-called Speer revolution in production, the UK (pop. 45 million) produced more aeroengines and greater weight of airframes than the Reich (pop. 80 million).

Sid.
This does not prove that the German economy was not fully mobilized from the start .

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

Post by ljadw » 02 Sep 2018 14:29

losna wrote:
28 Aug 2018 11:23
T. A. Gardner wrote:
22 Jun 2018 18:26
The US was also very good about making kits and parts for many changes, designing these to allow units using the equipment in the field to make the changes themselves rather than rely on the factory. The Luftwaffe did some of this, primarily with armament on planes, but never to the extent the US did. An obvious example is applique armor. Kits were shipped to the field for installation, the unit receiving all the cut plates and a set of instructions for installation.
No kit whatsoever could've radically changed the outcome of any front where the Wehrmacht fought, except maybe the air war where a inch and a half of armor plating on fighter engines, pilot and fuel tanks could've mitigated the effect of .50 cal machine guns used on bombers and P51.

Overall, the only real game changer(s) would've been the completion or near completion of the Navy's Plan Z, full motorization, 1944 levels of arms production reached by 1941, and maybe about a thousand Uboats at hand at the start of the war.
These things were for the most part achieved by Germany, only too late. By 1944 truck production was around 100k/year: if had it started in 1937 it could've lead by 1941 to full motorization; also by that date Germans produced more than a thousand uboat, most of them in 1940-44.

However, getting into those production levels earlier would've needed more steel than in OT. Steel that could've been obtained only with earlier and more intensive exploitment of the Salzgitter iron ore body or Swedish mines.
Increase of truck production does not mean full motorization,more Uboats in September 1939 would not be a game changer .Idem for the Plan Z.
There was also no need fot these things to happen earlier, nor would it be possible .

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

Post by Takao » 03 Sep 2018 01:50

Hundreds of thousands of more trucks...1,000 U-Boats...complete or near complete Plan Z

Where is Germany getting the all the petroleum from? Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny?

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

Post by BDV » 03 Sep 2018 11:11

Takao wrote: Hundreds of thousands of more trucks...1,000 U-Boats...complete or near complete Plan Z

Where is Germany getting the all the petroleum from? Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny?
Not a physical impossibility. From a competently run European Economy.

But economically competent Nazis to do this might be as rare as said Bunny
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

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