One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by historygeek2021 » 10 May 2022 23:27

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
10 May 2022 17:03

Another member shared an excellent article on Germany's actual rubber supply viewtopic.php?p=2407539#p2407539.

Upshot is that Germany's rubber supply was 50-80% higher than every other history has acknowledged.

Germany consistently used less of its rubber supply than did the Allies, well into 1944. Rubber is definitely not an issue for this counterfactual.
Thanks for the article. To conclude that rubber was not an issue, we would need to know:

1. How many additional vehicles would be needed for your ATL?
2. How much rubber would that require?

Note that rubber was also used for the wheels on panzers at this point, and for other ancillary purposes like wiring.

Then we can compare the amount of rubber demanded by your ATL with the amount that could be supplied.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 11 May 2022 14:54

historygeek2021 wrote:
10 May 2022 23:27
1. How many additional vehicles would be needed for your ATL?
We've already discussed this but it is a long thread: ~23k MV's.
historygeek2021 wrote:2. How much rubber would that require?
Let's do the most cautious analysis and assume the following parameters. For each MV:
  • 6 tires per MV [edit]
  • 50lbs of rubber per tire
  • x2 for spares during Barbarossa
=6,300t of rubber.

Each of those parameters is purposely on the high side (IMJ).

Call it 7,000t including tank road wheels. Call it 10,000t if you'd like. Even 50,000t is doable (see below).

German real rubber supplies and coverage ratio (consumption/supply):
German rubber supply - coverage ratios vs US.png
As you can see, Germany had ~80k tons of rubber over consumption in 1941. Germany was being conservative in its use of strategic materials, building large stocks as discussed re the new Scherner article. The new research by Scherner and Schmelzing sheds light on a previously-discussed USSBS conclusion:
There is no evidence that the shortage of rubber
ever handicapped the Wehrmacht or essential
industries.
Rubber simply isn't an issue here. German defeat in the East was voluntary.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by historygeek2021 » 11 May 2022 15:40

There are a few issues with the article.

First, it spreads out imports of natural rubber from the Soviet Union perfectly evenly over 1940 and 1941, but also cites a source claiming that virtually the entire import of rubber came on a single train just a few hours before Barbarossa commenced. Rubber that arrived shortly before the invasion won't be able to be used to produce vehicles in time for the invasion.

Second, the article appears to be double counting production of rubber in occupied western European countries. There is no indication in the article that western European countries were producing synthetic rubber, so the production in these countries was not an input (synthetic rubber) but an output (vulcanized rubber).

Third, the article fails to provide numbers on the amount of rubber suitable for tire production in 1940, although it does note that a considerably higher proportion of natural rubber was needed for this purpose at this point in the war, and natural rubber was a critical shortage in 1940.

Fourth, per footnote 27 in the article, the amount of rubber required per tire in a truck was 67 kg = 147.7 pounds, not 50 as you claimed.

According to Figure 2 on page 53, the German coverage ratio for rubber was only 56.6% in 1940 - they were using more rubber than they were producing. Given the uncertainty of future natural rubber supplies, which would depend on ocean blockade runners after the invasion of the Soviet Union, and the need to produce large amounts of rubber for non-military purposes (e.g., spare tires for civilian trucks, wiring, etc.), it's still not at all clear that Germany had an abundance of rubber with which it could have churned out an extra 23,000 motor vehicles.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 11 May 2022 15:44

historygeek2021 wrote:the amount of rubber required per tire in a truck was 67 kg = 147.7 pounds, not 50 as you claimed.
Just a quick note for now, busier day...

6 tires @50lbs each = 300lbs/MV so I overestimated even if all MV's were 6-wheel trucks. Many (most?) were 4-wheel cars though, so that's a double over-estimate.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by historygeek2021 » 11 May 2022 15:54

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
11 May 2022 15:44
historygeek2021 wrote:the amount of rubber required per tire in a truck was 67 kg = 147.7 pounds, not 50 as you claimed.
Just a quick note for now, busier day...

6 tires @50lbs each = 300lbs/MV so I overestimated even if all MV's were 6-wheel trucks. Many (most?) were 4-wheel cars though, so that's a double over-estimate.
And 6 tires @147.7 pounds each = 886.2lbs/MV, so I fail to see how you overestimated.

Per this post, the majority of vehicles needed would be trucks, not cars:

viewtopic.php?p=2330206#p2330206

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 11 May 2022 17:28

historygeek2021 wrote:Per this post, the majority of vehicles needed would be trucks, not cars:
MV's organic to mech divs given by Askey here. As stated, converting an ID into a Mot.Div requires an additional 700 trucks and 500 light transports. Panzer division requires 1,522 trucks and 782 light transports.
historygeek2021 wrote: 6 tires @147.7 pounds each = 886.2lbs/MV
You're right, I read "per tire" as "per truck."

---------------------------

Let's redo the calculation:

MV's required:
  • 5 PzDiv's @ 1,522 trucks and 782 light = 7,610 trucks, 3,910 light
  • 5 ID's --> Mot.Inf. @ 700 trucks and 500 light = 3,500 trucks, 2,500 light
  • 5% delta to Service of Supply columns (299,912 trucks, 42,328 light) = 15,000 trucks, 2,000 light
  • I chose 5% delta because five more divs is only ~3% of Barbarossa committed strength, plus a fudge factor for division types.
  • Sum: 26,000 trucks, 8,500 light transports [note - higher than my previous estimates]
Rubber required:
  • Truck = 886.2lbs
  • Light = 600lbs
  • Sum= 12,800t
Call it 15,000t for additional tank road wheels and motorcycles. Or call it 26,000t (see below). Or perhaps 50,000t.
historygeek2021 wrote:
11 May 2022 15:40
According to Figure 2 on page 53, the German coverage ratio for rubber was only 56.6% in 1940
That's Streb's figure based on 38,500t supply, against which the author is arguing.
historygeek2021 wrote: the entire import of rubber came on a single train just a few hours before Barbarossa commenced. Rubber that arrived shortly before the invasion won't be able to be used to produce vehicles in time for the invasion.
The paper lays out a conservative case for 23,500t rubber via rail from Russia in 1940-41:
A conservative estimate for imports by railway from Russia between January and June 1941–which assumes that the daily figures suggested by Treue (1955) for March 1941 represent peak figures that were only met by 50 percent in the preceding months –yields 23,500 tons–a number in line with fragmentary evidence presented in other accounts (Cf: Goralski and Freeberg 1987, 66; Treue 1955, 182). This figure also assumes that a further 6,000 tons of natural rubber already destined for the Reich in mid-March 1941 did not reach the German border in time before the outbreak of war and was consequently lost.
He is plainly suspicious of - at least doesn't incorporate - the 21k single train:
it has been suggested that a single train hours before the launch of Operation Barbarossa delivered a final 21,000 tons of natural rubber across the Russo-German border (Goralski and Freeberg 1987, 66).
As the author states:
One account focusing on Indian-sourced rubber imports from Russia between April 1940 and June 1941 puts the overall figure at 15,000 tons (Schwendemann 1995, 162).
...so either all Indian rubber was on that one train (plus 6,000t more) or the author's estimate of Russian-shipped rubber is too conservative (he plainly thinks it is and he's almost certainly right).
historygeek2021 wrote:Second, the article appears to be double counting production of rubber in occupied western European countries. There is no indication in the article that western European countries were producing synthetic rubber, so the production in these countries was not an input (synthetic rubber) but an output (vulcanized rubber).
What do you mean by the input/output distinction here?

Anyways, here again is the author's tally of rubber supplies not listed in the usual stats.

Let's table for now whether "producing factories" are double-counted and leave them aside.** In the West alone that leaves 14,000t additions in 1940 and 25,000t in 1941 - say 12,000 available before Barbarossa. That's 26,000t additional rubber from the West alone.

That alone is sufficient to cover ATL requirements estimated at 15,000t. Even if I'm off by 70%, it's still sufficient.

-------------------
**Elsewhere the author states that Italian production is listed net of Buna deliveries. It's conceivable the author forgot to add that caveat re French 1940 production. Even more conceivable is that, as Michelin was so eager to make tires for Germany, Nazi authorities left its stocks of rubber and the French 1940-41 production came from these stocks. The main Michelin plant was in Clermont-Ferrand and therefore not subject to the "wild looting" of the initial occupation period.
-------------------
historygeek2021 wrote:There are a few issues with the article.
I've also noted issues with the article.

Nonetheless, no article is perfect and the issue here regards actual German capability rather than whether the author made mistakes. Some of what you identify as "issues" are superficial contradictions between the author being conservative and his mentioning upside cases (the 21k-ton train) that he doesn't incorporate into a conservative estimate. The author's core point is basically bulletproof: that the default source - Statistisches Handbuch - fails to capture massive rubber stocks transferred by German authorities outside of the normal import channels. It's a point I've made elsewhere about the proceeds from occupation. Given the chaos of Nazi administration, this should always have been obvious. The author's core point alone uncovers unnoticed rubber in excess of ATL requirements.

Note also that I have entirely different and sufficient arguments that I relied on before seeing this article.

The article is in some sense only an explanation of something that seemed clear to me from the stocks numbers - that Germany could have been using rubber more aggressively than it did, had it chosen to build more MV's (aircraft being a small portion of rubber demand, as the author quantifies). The article explains why German stocks continued rising during a period when most histories (but not the USSBS) claim rubber was a major constraint.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by historygeek2021 » 11 May 2022 18:22

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
11 May 2022 17:28

That's Streb's figure based on 38,500t supply, against which the author is arguing.
Where does the article state that the 1940 coverage ratio in Figure 2 is based on a total rubber supply of 38,500 tons? 38,500 was the Statistches Handbuch estimate for synthetic rubber production in Germany in 1940, not total rubber supply. Even the author of this article accepts the 38,500 figure.

The author's argument is that imports of rubber in 1940 amounted to 50,051 tons instead of the Statistches Handbuch estimate of 18,696 tons. To get there, the author adds:

12,000 from "producing factories" in the west, which by the author's own admission is double counting, since on page 41 he states that the western factories were supplied by synthetic Buna S rubber.
12,000 from "producing factories" in the east, which is never mentioned in the body of the article and seems to be a clear case of erroneously duplicating the 12,000 figure from the western section of the chart above.
11,750 from the Soviet Union, which the author obtains by simply dividing total cumulative deliveries in half.

If we eliminate the two 12,000 figures, which appear to be obviously erroneous, then the author's total estimate of imports for 1940 is only 26,051, which is only 8,000 higher than the Statistches Handbuch estimate of 18,696 tons of rubber imports, for a total 1940 rubber supply of 64,551.

If Streb bases his 56% coverage ratio on a total rubber supply of 57,500, then with a total rubber supply of 64,551 per this article, the coverage ratio was still only 63.5%. Even if the 12,000 figures aren't erroneous, it would mean that Germany would still have consumed more rubber than it produced in 1940, which likely explains why USSBS Table 46 (page 84) lists total German natural rubber stocks at the end of 1940 as a mere 1,862 tons. Germany was burning through its rubber supplies in 1940. It did not have rubber to spare.

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id= ... &q1=rubber

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 May 2022 01:40

historygeek2021 wrote:Where does the article state that the 1940 coverage ratio in Figure 2 is based on a total rubber supply of 38,500 tons?
On what else would Streb's article be based, writing a decade prior to our article?
historygeek2021 wrote:12,000 from "producing factories" in the west, which by the author's own admission is double counting, since on page 41 he states that the western factories were supplied by synthetic Buna S rubber.
It's actually impossible that French factories produced entirely from German supplies: USSBS gives only 5k tons of synthetic exports for 1940. At the very least, there's a net 7k gain for Germany from Western production (assuming all Buna went to France in 1940, which is surely not true).

Page 41 addresses 1941, not '40. As already stated, it's probable that Michelin worked off existing stocks in 1940 (at least) because it immediately agreed to work for Germany and - being in unoccupied France - was not subject to wild looting.
historygeek2021 wrote:12,000 from "producing factories" in the east, which is never mentioned in the body of the article and seems to be a clear case of erroneously duplicating the 12,000 figure from the western section of the chart above.
You're right that the author leaves some questions open here. As I noted when the article was first raised to me, it's not a perfect analysis.
I'm going to send him an email requesting clarification. It is indeed odd that he doesn't discuss Eastern production imports for 1940, despite discussing them re SU (with some obvious flaws but also revelatory research).
historygeek2021 wrote:total German natural rubber stocks at the end of 1940 as a mere 1,862 tons.
That's natural rubber only. The unrecorded imports in this article suggest there were unrecorded stocks as well: it's impossible that the Handbuch (USSBS's source) was correct on stocks when it underestimated imports. As common sense dictates and as USSBS notes, "increased reliance on synthetic rubber [] probably led to some deterioration in the quality of rubber goods." p. 84. I.e. there's substitution routes even if they have qualitative costs.

-----------------------------

TBH I "read" this article via audio program on my phone+headphones while watching my nephew's teeball game. So not super closely. My main impression regarded the incompleteness of German occupation stats, given the chaos/rivalry/multiplicity of German bureaucracy. That contention stands even if the author has made some errors.

That was my main impression because, even before reading the article, I'm just not that concerned on the rubber issue. We know that German truck stocks increased by ~50k during early 1942**, after they began putting the screws to occupied Europe more. That's the ATL Plan A, which remains independently sufficient regardless of Schmelzig's article.

**There's an ancillary issue here, which is that the "truck" stats we're using here - Askey's - don't align with the Wehrmacht's definition of truck. Askey was probably using a PKW/LKW distinction that only approximately tracks "Truck" and "Light Transport." He therefore credits Ostheer with more real trucks than it had, which causes my Askey-derived ATL projection to be an overestimate. I've been aware of this discrepancy but haven't pointed it out because I'm only concerned with meeting necessary conditions and judge that I can do so even with exaggerated assumptions about ATL rubber requirements.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by historygeek2021 » 12 May 2022 02:58

The article is unclear on all these points. It needs to be rewritten to address them. Until then, it tells us next to nothing about the state of Germany's rubber supply in 1940.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 May 2022 04:16

historygeek2021 wrote:
12 May 2022 02:58
The article is unclear on all these points. It needs to be rewritten to address them. Until then, it tells us next to nothing about the state of Germany's rubber supply in 1940.
That's a very online, combat-only viewpoint on a piece of scholarship. The unrecorded German imports - even your critique doesn't reduce them to zero - contribute to our understanding of WW2. That's true regarding the meta-point (USSBS stats are a fallible secondary source) and on the specific rubber point. Good on Schmelzing for putting in the work.

And good on you for reading critically.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by historygeek2021 » 12 May 2022 06:05

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 May 2022 04:16
even your critique doesn't reduce them to zero - contribute to our understanding of WW2.
They very well could be reduced to zero if enough of the Soviet imports actually arrived in 1941 instead of 1940.

The article is honestly one of the worst I've ever read. I'm surprised it got published.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Huszar666 » 14 May 2022 11:24

Morning,

Could someone please enlighten me, where in the "East" it was possible to produce 12.000 tons of rubber? The SU had only one rubber plant at that time (Yaroslavl), the Hungarians didn't even have capacity for their own needs, etc.

21.000tons of rubber on only one train? How is that even possible? As far as I know, trains ran with around 800 tons of cargo at that time...
5 PzDiv's @ 1,522 trucks and 782 light = 7,610 trucks, 3,910 light
5 ID's --> Mot.Inf. @ 700 trucks and 500 light = 3,500 trucks, 2,500 light
5% delta to Service of Supply columns (299,912 trucks, 42,328 light) = 15,000 trucks, 2,000 light
This is a joke, right? 26.110 trucks and 8410 light vehicles total?
While there were only around 90.000 vehicles, including small cars, light truck, medium truck, heavy trucks and all the unarmoured halftracks produced in all of 1940? The figure for 1941 is 93.600...
So you want to build more than a third more vehicles than it was possible in reality. Remember: a lot of divisions went to the East with captured French (etc) vehicles - which fell apart in the first six month.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by PunctuationHorror » 14 May 2022 13:26

I see no problem with producing 40.000 more trucks - provided there was better planning for this campaign. If they had decided in autumn 1939, after start of the war, that they want 40.000 more trucks by 1941, they would have shifted production accordingly and could have built them. Maybe spend their funds on facilities for truck/vehicle production instead of spending them on other projects. Heavy ships like Bismarck, Tirpitz, Zeppelin, or thousands tons of steel and concrete for fortifications come to my mind.

If they started planning in peacetime for x Pz and y Mot Divs by 1941, they could have imported the needed rubber for these divisions.
Remember: In OTL the available stocks of rubber in France and other occupied countries lasted up to ~ 1944. Then rubber and tires became scarce goods. That's almost four years of looting and combing through the available stocks of rubber and tires in the occupied countries combined with increasing restrictions for civilians. This means that there were no critical shortages of rubber in 1940 which were prohibitive for 40.000 more trucks.
With enough allocations of ressources even the (relative) costly, resource-consuming production of synthetic rubber could be expanded to yield enough tires for these trucks. Just order/pay IG Farben to increase syn rubber capacities. Heavy investment in 1938 and 40.000 additional sets of truck tires and production capacities for more are done by 1941.

Rubber is not an issue for this ATL proposal.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Huszar666 » 14 May 2022 13:53

Morning,

If you start planning 1939 or even earlier, sure, x Pz and y mot Divisions would be possible. However, Hitler assured everyone, that no war would come till 1942 (or 1943). A war 1939 was NOT planned as it were. If you plan on having a war not earlier than 1942 (or 1943), there is no issue for 1942 (or 1943), you can have a shitload of Pz and mot Divisions at that date.

However.

As I understand this thread, the idea was that another PzArmy should be build up after MAI 1940.
THAT is not possible, on multiple grounds.
Not even mentioning the little bit of problem, that the SU haven't entered the picture till November-December 1940. The planning till then was against the UK, and for that you don't need another PzArmy. The ones you already got are more than enough.
So, if you want another PzArmy against the SU, you have to build it between December 1940 and June 1941 - i.e. in SIX MONTH.

As I wrote earlier, the vehicle production 1940 and 1941 was a bit above 90.000 pieces (counting EVERYTHING) - so around 45.000 pieces for half a year. For the 5th PzArmy you would need 34.500 vehicles, that is 76% of the production of half a year. You can not rise the production by 76% from one day to another, even if you have enough rubber.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by historygeek2021 » 14 May 2022 15:21

PunctuationHorror wrote:
14 May 2022 13:26

Remember: In OTL the available stocks of rubber in France and other occupied countries lasted up to ~ 1944. Then rubber and tires became scarce goods. That's almost four years of looting and combing through the available stocks of rubber and tires in the occupied countries combined with increasing restrictions for civilians. This means that there were no critical shortages of rubber in 1940 which were prohibitive for 40.000 more trucks.
Source? The article we've been discussing says that French tire factories were supplied with Buna-S rubber.

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