Germany Mobilizes Earlier

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Germany Mobilizes Earlier

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 27 Jul 2021 21:56

historygeek2021 wrote:Even after Germany "got serious" in the OTL, it was only able to raise total steel production across Germany and the occupied countries by 8.8% (31,819 in 1941 to 34,644 in 1943 per USSBS Table 72).
There's no reason to increase steel production more than was necessary. This is perhaps a symptom of overemphasizing study of the German war economy and its problems while ignoring a comparative approach. Steel shortages impacted US production as well. The small German increase, combined with belt-tightening, was sufficient to allow massive increases (3-15x) by weight in panzer, MV (inc halftracks), weapons, ammo.
KDF33 wrote:
27 Jul 2021 18:49

German steel allocations, military (3 services + 4-year plan) / total:

1940: 11,508,000 / 23,424,000 metric tons = 49.1%
1941: 12,570,000 / 28,383,000 metric tons = 44.3%
1942: 14,043,000 / 30,747,000 metric tons = 45.7%
1943: 16,368,000 / 31,065,000 metric tons = 52.7%
1944: 15,378,000 / 28,632,000 metric tons = 53.7%

Source: Die Deutsche Industrie im Kriege 1939-45, with data reproduced by Art here
Thanks. Were military allocations at 1944 levels in '40-'41 we'd get annual deltas:

1940: +1,077,500t
1941: +2,668,000t

That easily covers the core panzer+MV programs that enable SU's defeat, before any ATL delta to German steel production.

Per the Tooze table, total direct armaments allocation in '41 was 12,531k tons (what was consumption?); our '44 belt-tightening delta amounts to 21.3%. It would certainly be greater delta to consumption than to allocation.
historygeek2021 wrote:it seems clear that Germany could have only marginally increased military output over the OTL by more strictly rationing steel allocations for non-military uses.
It's not at all clear. Let's count the primary steel consuming components of my ATL program:
  • More tanks: say 1,000 Pz III/IV at 25t/tank. 25k tons - call it 50k for absurdly high wastage.
  • More MV's: say 30,000 at ~3t each (estimated upwards for halftracks) - 100k tons.
  • More submarines: 15/mo, 1,000t each, say 250 more subs over 40-41: 250k tons.
  • More ammo: let's call it one million tons.
  • 20% increase in army weapons production. I'm just gonna throw out 100k tons for this parameter. Making it 200k doesn't change things much.
Sum: 1.5mil tons of steel.

Even if we assume absurd wastage rates, that's easily covered by belt-tightening's ~3.75mil more tons over 40-41 (see above).

But of course it doesn't have to come from belt tightening. As USSBS app table 71 shows, production in prewar Germany in 40-41 was significantly lower than in 38-39. Rhineland/Westphalia alone produced 2,614k tons less in 41 than in 39. To revive production requires labor and more rolling stock (both can be had from Western Europe) plus more ore (can be traded for via OP's general amplification of industrial production from adding 1mil workers by mid-41, and/or mined via more labor).

I don't see the problem. I also don't see why you fixate on relatively low historical increase in total steel production while not recognizing that small increase enabled a massive armaments boom far greater (by '44) than what I've proposed.
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Re: Germany Mobilizes Earlier

Post by historygeek2021 » 27 Jul 2021 22:13

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Jul 2021 21:56

I don't see the problem. I also don't see why you fixate on relatively low historical increase in total steel production while not recognizing that small increase enabled a massive armaments boom far greater (by '44) than what I've proposed.
I'm not denying that Germany could have raised army production by the amount needed to create an extra panzer group for Barbarossa in your ATL.

I'm denying that in the long-run, Germany could have significantly increased armaments output compared to what it achieved in the OTL by 1944. I'm responding to your earlier claims about doubling steel consumption by the Wehrmacht, which you have now retracted. There was a physical limit to what Germany could produce, and Germany was close to that limit by 1944 in the OTL.

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Re: Germany Mobilizes Earlier

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 27 Jul 2021 22:23

historygeek2021 wrote:I'm denying that in the long-run, Germany could have significantly increased armaments output compared to what it achieved in the OTL by 1944.
I haven't made that argument so far in this thread.
historygeek2021 wrote:I'm responding to your earlier claims about doubling steel consumption by the Wehrmacht, which you have now retracted.
Like I said, that was a throwaway argument, doubly retracted. For the OP program I need nowhere near 2x Wehrmacht steel consumption in 40-41 to get more tanks, MV's, weapons, ammo, and submarines. Something on the order of 20%, as discussed in my last post.
historygeek2021 wrote:There was a physical limit to what Germany could produce, and Germany was close to that limit by 1944 in the OTL.
There's always a physical limit. That limit would have been dramatically different in ATL '44 had 40-41 followed the timeline I've so far laid out. But again I haven't got to 44 yet.
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Re: Germany Mobilizes Earlier

Post by historygeek2021 » 27 Jul 2021 22:25

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Jul 2021 22:23

There's always a physical limit. That limit would have been dramatically different in ATL '44 had 40-41 followed the timeline I've so far laid out. But again I haven't got to 44 yet.
Then we shall burry our heads in the appendix tables of the USSBS in eager anticipation of that moment. :lol:

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Re: Germany Mobilizes Earlier

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 27 Jul 2021 22:34

historygeek2021 wrote:
27 Jul 2021 22:25
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Jul 2021 22:23

There's always a physical limit. That limit would have been dramatically different in ATL '44 had 40-41 followed the timeline I've so far laid out. But again I haven't got to 44 yet.
Then we shall burry our heads in the appendix tables of the USSBS in eager anticipation of that moment. :lol:
As a preview - OKW at one point envisioned >80mil tons Grossraum steel production. I'm trying to see if archives flesh out that plan a bit. For my ATL that's not the path as the shift is to aluminum for LW from '42 onwards - but it gives the shape of things.
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Re: Germany Mobilizes Earlier

Post by thaddeus_c » 01 Aug 2021 18:26

what are you speculating be done with the "obsolete" tanks? if there is knowledge or some wariness about the Soviets being stronger wouldn't some of the adaptations such as Wespe and Hetzer be produced earlier?

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Re: Germany Mobilizes Earlier

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 02 Aug 2021 23:09

thaddeus_c wrote:
01 Aug 2021 18:26
what are you speculating be done with the "obsolete" tanks? if there is knowledge or some wariness about the Soviets being stronger wouldn't some of the adaptations such as Wespe and Hetzer be produced earlier?
I'm not advancing a definite viewpoint other than Germany could have produced at least >500 additional Pz III/IV's prior to Barbarossa.

Germany gleaned the Hetzer design from Romania in '44; doesn't seem feasible to dream it up prior to Barbarossa.

Wespe is possible but seems to have been pretty crappy. Some units said they'd prefer towed LeFH's instead.

The most likely course is Germany builds enough Pz III/IV's to cut back on Pz II's and 38(t)'s, using some of those resources elsewhere (e.g. ammo) and/or trading obsolete tanks to Romania for more oil.
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Re: Germany Mobilizes Earlier

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 03 Aug 2021 19:09

Not sure if this is germane to this thread, but thought it might be of interest:

Source: Andrew Boyd, British Naval Intelligence through the Twentieth Century, p.316
Within a year of the naval agreement [of June 1935], the Royal Navy was accelerating out of sight, while Germany struggled to implement its initial construction surge, owing to shortage of shipbuilding capacity and skilled labour, and the technical challenges in manufacturing complex modern warships...The German slowdown was strikingly apparent in their building declaration for fiscal year 1938, passed to the Admiralty under the agreement three months ahead of the April start date. There were no battleships or carriers, three cruisers 'M', 'N' and 'O', and thirteen U-boats, of which two cruisers and eight U-boats were delayed 1937 orders.
He cites Diest, Germany and the Second World War Vol. 1, pp.457-8 and Table III.ii.4; and Adam Tooze 'Quantifying Armaments Production in the Third Reich, 1933-45, an unpublished paper available at Tooze's website.

Regards

Tom

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Re: Germany Mobilizes Earlier

Post by thaddeus_c » 04 Aug 2021 03:36

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
02 Aug 2021 23:09
thaddeus_c wrote:
01 Aug 2021 18:26
what are you speculating be done with the "obsolete" tanks? if there is knowledge or some wariness about the Soviets being stronger wouldn't some of the adaptations such as Wespe and Hetzer be produced earlier?
I'm not advancing a definite viewpoint other than Germany could have produced at least >500 additional Pz III/IV's prior to Barbarossa.

Germany gleaned the Hetzer design from Romania in '44; doesn't seem feasible to dream it up prior to Barbarossa.

Wespe is possible but seems to have been pretty crappy. Some units said they'd prefer towed LeFH's instead.

The most likely course is Germany builds enough Pz III/IV's to cut back on Pz II's and 38(t)'s, using some of those resources elsewhere (e.g. ammo) and/or trading obsolete tanks to Romania for more oil.
they had already built a modified Pz I Panzerjager so possible they could build something like the Hetzer, albeit not exactly the historical one? (mean they don't really need Romania to give them the concept in general)

the Wespe? my understanding they wanted to actually use the Pz III chassis, but that was still a viable tank so they would have diverted production to make 105mm weapon

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Re: Germany Mobilizes Earlier

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 16 Jan 2022 09:44

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
13 Jul 2021 12:07
SU's status at the end of ATL Barbarossa

ATL Spring '42 will see the SU roughly 40% weaker than OTL Spring '42, accounting for greater demographic, military, political, and economic damage. More details here and here.
Adding some research notes on SU's weakening by a non-fatuous Barbarossa... Mostly from Fortress Dark and Stern, an excellent 2021 book on the Soviet homefront.

In the above-linked post, I based the ATL 1942 Soviet population on assuming OTL evacuation rates from the ATL occupied territory. This is, on reflection, far too conservative an assumption. Why? Because ATL Ostheer occupies additional Soviet territory with ~50mil prewar population on the ~same timeline as OTL Ostheer occupied less territory. If evacuation rate stays constant at ~20%, SU needs to evacuate 10mil more people (and attendant material) than OTL in the same timeframe. That's flatly impossible due to transport constraints alone.

An illustrative example:
Officials in the Commissariat of
Railways failed to provide as many boxcars as were needed for the massive
operation. The Voroshilov munitions factory (factory No. 79) [in Dnepro], for example,
required about 200 boxcars per day, but received only about half that
number. Loading proceeded in fits and starts. Boxcars allocated to one
factory stood empty as their workers hurried to dismantle and pack, while
workers in another factory waited impatiently to load the crates they had
already brought to the station. On August 15, the workers desperately tried
to find a crane powerful enough to lift 50 tons of presses. The platform was
jammed with crowds of people waiting to evacuate.
...
But the job was done: between August 8 and 22,
three days before Dnepropetrovsk fell, workers, laboring around the clock,
shipped out 10,000 boxcars, and more than 200,000 people left the city by
rail.
1
The factory and people successfully evacuated because AGS's slow progress in Ukraine enabled two weeks of time, despite inadequate rail resources for the planned (shorter) timetable. Had AGS advanced faster, few of these resources/people get out on the railways. This dynamic recurs nationwide.

A general sense of the Soviet for Evacuation's (SE) tasks:
Throughout the summer and fall, the SE struggled to create order as
bombings, accidents, and blockages on rail lines, at transit points, and in the
ports heightened the fear and pressure. Railroad workers and volunteers
worked around the clock to clear lines and stations and repair and reset
bombed track.71 Railway troops under the Commissariat of Defense,
working under bombardment, helped load and direct military and industrial
transports, civilian evacuees, and wounded Red Army soldiers. They were
also responsible for evacuating the railways themselves, including
equipment in the depots and warehouses, rolling stock, and more than 3,000
miles (5,000 km) of track.
Despite the SE's efforts, railways could not meet evacuation demand and valuable material was lost:
the gap was so great that much
equipment, already dismantled and packed, never made it onto the railroads.
A significant number of enterprises did not get even half of the railway cars
they required. Aviation and ammunition factories, both given high priority
for evacuation, showed the biggest gap between what they requested and
received: sometimes less than 20 percent of their requested number
arrived.179 Armaments factory No. 232 in Leningrad, for example, required
2,950 boxcars for its machinery; only 503 were actually loaded and
shipped.180 This gap between demand and supply made full evacuation of
the targeted enterprises impossible.181
There was a tradeoff between evacuating material and people, the latter wasn't always chosen:
With the rapid loss of territory, the SE was engaged
in desperate triage. The heads of the rail lines were “to sharply decrease the
transfer of people” to enable the shipment of food.86
Even when people were prioritized for evacuation and ordered to do so, they weren't always willing or able to evacuate:
In the immediate wake of the invasion, the SE first targeted children in
threatened areas. It followed with a broader order in the first week covering
all people in frontline zones; families of party leaders, soviet officials, and
military officers; and workers and white-collar employees in industrial
enterprises together with their families.141 But the front moved so fast that
this order proved impossible to fulfill, and many people either chose to stay
or were stranded in the frontline zones.
----------------------------------------------

What's the payout? It's unlikely that SU could have evacuated significantly more people during ATL 1941, resulting in the loss of ~50mil population instead of the OP's posited ~40mil (net of increased evacuations). This reduces the unoccupied SU's ATL January 1942 population to ~80mil, no longer greater than Germany's and already nearly 40% lower than OTL January 1942 (2mil additional RKKA losses would send working population well below 60% of OTL).

This is to reinforce the central point:

A competently-planned Barbarossa would have damaged SU sufficiently to render Ostheer's 1942 campaign a relatively easy mopping up operation aimed at Chelyabinsk and Baku. SU would thereafter make peace or starve; in any case it's militarily impotent.
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Re: Germany Mobilizes Earlier

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 28 Jan 2022 12:03

It's well known that Ostheer's 1942 was compromised by equipment shortfall; ATL conditions more than remedy that. In the below spreadsheet I present the deltas to German stocks of certain critical weapons under ATL conditions of:
  • Maintaining land weapons production at historical pre-1942 maxima (often occured in mid 1940) rather than slashing land armaments programs during Barbarossa.
  • Lower than OTL losses resulting from avoiding the winter retreats and a weaker overall RKKA. Below I've projected 30% lower equipment losses. The OTL loss data, from OKW's KTB, ends with 1941, so understates the case.
Image
Source for production statistics

As you can see (probably need to open in a new tab and zoom), deltas to critical items are massive under ATL conditions. Our 1,476 additional light howitzers and 566 heavy are sufficient to equip ~45 divisions. Extend the table to include Spring '42 (Jan-April) and it's easily 60 divisions.

The howitzer shortfall was particularly limiting for the '42 Ostheer. GSWW v.6, in discussing projected '42 equipment shortfalls:
in January the chief of army ordnance still believed that—other than
for light and heavy field howitzers
—it would be possible to replenish at least
the combat formations. Even this assumption soon proved over-optimistic.
---------------------------------------

The better equipment situation will make the ATL 1942 Ostheer stronger than OTL by even more than the raw numerical delta I've projected upthread based on lower casualties etc.
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Re: Germany Mobilizes Earlier

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 19 Apr 2022 01:39

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
13 Jul 2021 12:07
Ostheer's plan for 1942

Plow ahead to the Urals and Baku, leaving Stalin with a rump state of maybe 50mil population, completely lacking oil resources and major industry. Stalin is expected to make peace to preserve his regime. Otherwise Germany conquers the important parts of Siberia in '43 and spreads insurrection in Central Asia, leaving Stalin an impoverished duchy west of Baikal that falls in '44 (if not earlier).
When I started this thread, I may have envisioned (hard now to recall) a somewhat detailed articulation of a counterfactual 1942 Ostheer campaign building from a non-stupid Barbarossa. The course of such a campaign seems completely contingent on RKKA/German decisions that could take many courses. SU could throw everything at taking back Moscow over the winter, for example, or everything at defending the Caucasus.

What's not contingent, however, is the economic/demographic counterfactual that would arise from a better Barbarossa, as discussed in the OP and subsequent posts: The resultant 1942 Soviet Union has at least 40% less force-generation capability and therefore cannot be less than 40% weaker against Germany unless it wants basically to concede Vladivostok and Primorskiy to Japan and Armenia/Georgia to Turkey. Indeed to maintain a credible deterrent to these other threats would require weakening itself by more than 40% (vs. OTL) on its western front.

I therefore don't anticipate needing or wanting to craft a detailed ATL 1942 narrative, relying instead on the 30,000ft-view of the fundamentals: SU simply can't generate the combat power to stop a stronger-than-OTL Ostheer during 1942. Even less thereafter.

Ostheer's goal is to take the Central Urals and Baku from its winter stop-line around Gorkiy in the center, around Grozny/Stalingrad in the South, and somewhere around Lake Onega-Volga in the north (sketched here).

The most critical advance from ~Gorkiy to Chelyabinsk in the Central Urals is ~1,000km - shorter than the ~1,300km advance from the 1941 border to Gorkiy. German logistics would follow the main Soviet railways along this course, with the overall length of rail movement ameliorated by shipping via a captured Leningrad and onward via double-tracked trunk lines.

In the south, the German advance from around Grozny to Baku is ~500km, which seems fairly easy by September '42 even if it goes more slowly along the narrow Caucasus-Caspian coastal strip. The advance will be assisted at some point after winter by German mountain troops pushing through Abkhazia into the Georgian lowlands, through which runs a rail line from Batumi/Poti.

An SU forced into this impoverished, oil-starved status will no longer intimidate a Japan who was eager either to (1) capture Primorskiye for itself or (2) end the Soviet-German war so its ally could focus on Japan's enemies. Japan will therefore be willing to capture Primorskiye for itself or to cut off Allied shipments via Vladivostok, as it will perceive such embargo to be the death-knell of even weak Soviet power against Germany (Soviet Arctic LL ports are long gone by then) and therefore a great amplification of its own strategic prospects.

If the SU somehow wants to continue fighting after losing Baku and the Central Urals - and after being cut off from Allied aid - and if it somehow avoids internal collapse and starvation, it is such a weak and ill-resourced polity that the Eastern Front ceases to merit much more mention than OTL peripheral theaters like the fight against Yugoslav partisans. I.e. Germany can firmly pivot westwards. This is also a fairly conservative projection in that the SU's political survival/coherence after losing Moscow, Leningrad, Baku, and the Central Urals shouldn't be assumed.

Anyway, a 1942 Ostsieg seems a foregone conclusion if Barbarossa goes as described here.

I'm prompted to pose this proposal to neglect the Ostsieg denouement by a recent question from Avalancheon here, regarding how Germany creates the additional Panzertruppen for one more panzer group. It's a smart question, the mechanics of which I hadn't deeply considered because the topline fundamentals seemed to indicate the feasibility of one more panzer group. Digging more into the issue after the question prompted me to discover new insights, as good questions with smart, interested people on AHF tend to do. Maybe good questions re 1942 Ostheer apply here too.
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Re: Germany Mobilizes Earlier

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 15 May 2022 23:15

Back in the 1MPG thread, I posted a reply giving more detail on ATL pre-Barbarossa truck production. It has always seemed to be an obviously-soluble issue to which I never devoted extensive writing because it seems so obvious. Nonetheless, what's obvious to me isn't necessarily to others and it's good practice fully to justify one's assertions. Copy and pasting the post here:

German Truck Production in 1940 and 1941


This field is perhaps the easiest in which to demonstrate that German failures were voluntary. USSBS is absolutely unambiguous about this. For example:
The problem of the industry during the period 1940 through 1942 was to find adequate utilization of its productive facilities. Motorcycle and automobile production tapered off considerable as civilian production was stopped, while truck production did not exceed 80 percent of the 1939 volume.
Maximum production of the German truck factories had been calculated at slightly over 167,000 [vs. 62,400 produced in 1941], but no attempt had as yet been made to produce at such a rate .
The industry's underutilization is also obvious in the value of production:

Image

It is frankly comical that some AHF'ers still convince themselves that Germany could not have produced many more trucks. They had the industrial plant capacity to produce 100,000 more trucks if they had wanted (though surely not the rubber and maybe not the fuel for quite that many).

Note also that, as with nearly every area of Heer equipment, truck production was allowed to decline as Germany prepared to fight the world's largest army and country:

Image


...and the military as a whole (surely the Army in particular) got an even smaller slice of this declining production:

Image

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

Because so many cannot believe that German defeat was voluntary, they glom on to bad arguments such that German truck production didn't increase much during the war. That's a terrible argument given that German truck output increased by >70% between 1940 and 1943. It only seems small in comparison to other fields like tanks and aircraft.

What this bad historical analysis misses is the relative priority for truck production in later war years. Germany devoted its national resources to things other than trucks and probably for good reason (i.e. fuel limitations had they built 5x the trucks). The MV industry's labor force shrank from 165k in 1940 to 95k in 1944:

Image

There is surely no other major production category that didn't see an increase in workers, let alone a 43% decline.
------------------------------------------------------------

Note that this ATL probably doesn't even need greater German truck production. The foundational aspect of driving Occupied Europe harder (as from 1942) would probably have yielded sufficient trucks from there, as it did during 1942:

Image

As these looted trucks have tires, this solves the rubber issue (either use the looted trucks and don't increase production, or reuse the tires on new German trucks, or some combination thereof).

Besides more trucks from occupied Europe, a Germany taking the SU seriously would have imposed on the domestic economy those truck restrictions it imposed later:

Image

...the later restrictions obviously had sufficient substitution routes, as the German economy was by no means collapsed by greater withdrawals of trucks.

In sum there are MULTIPLE SUFFICIENT routes to the ATL Ostheer truck park, for none of which have I seen a convincing counterargument.

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

What makes understanding these obvious facts so difficult? Those committed to believing that Germany could not have defeated SU think in a circular manner: That the fact of excess German productive capacity is so obvious makes them assume, in tortuously circular reasoning, that some other explanation must explain German's truck production status. It can't be that German defeat was voluntary, so the blindingly obvious must be denied.

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

TMP bookmark: German truck production 1940-41
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