Axis trade routes during the war

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
chetanvit
New member
Posts: 1
Joined: 02 Oct 2017 09:13
Location: Asia

Axis trade routes during the war

Postby chetanvit » 02 Oct 2017 10:33

Which sea corridors did Germany use during the war to trade with its ally Japan and to conduct diplomatic missions with them? Did Nazi Germany have any trade relations with the rest of the world at all during the war? I believe the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Arctic ocean were largely controlled by the Allied powers and therefore the Germans would have had to use U-boats for international communication.

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 6274
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: Axis trade routes during the war

Postby Carl Schwamberger » 05 Oct 2017 02:22

Both the German & Japanese sent some cargo via submarine between French ports and Singapore. As the war progressed a increasing number were sunk by Allied ASW. The Germans launched five or six aircraft flights to Japanese occupied Manchuria. One was intercepted by the Soviets. The air missions staged from Bulgaria & refueled at various locations in Afghanistan, the western desert regions in China, and possibly Iraq or Persia. A Japanese navigation reconnaissance mission attempted to fly from Singapore to Afghanistan, but vanished along the way.

Some efforts were made to transfer cargo via neutral nations/ships. British intelligence was able to identify most of those efforts. I am unaware of any that were sucesfull after 1941

User avatar
Gorque
Member
Posts: 633
Joined: 11 Feb 2009 18:20
Location: Clocktown

Re: Axis trade routes during the war

Postby Gorque » 05 Oct 2017 05:21

Hi Carl:

This is very new and interesting to me. What sources are you relying upon for the above? This reads like a spy novel. :)

Knouterer
Member
Posts: 1303
Joined: 15 Mar 2012 17:19

Re: Axis trade routes during the war

Postby Knouterer » 05 Oct 2017 16:40

Many German ships were far away from home when war broke out in 1939 and had to seek shelter in neutral/friendly ports. Vital products from the Far East such as rubber were still imported via the Soviet Union by rail for a time, but after June 1941 the Germans (and the Italians too) undertook a concerted effort to bring their ships home, loaded with strategically important cargoes. Ships were generally disguised as ships from Allied or neutral nations and up to 1943 these Blockadebrecher were surprisingly successful, and brought 75,000 tons of rubber, minerals like tungsten, etc. to Europe, and took 32,540 tons of machinery, chemicals etc. in the other direction to Japan.

In 1943 the Allies devoted more resources to the blockade effort and only rarely did ships slip through the net. In the autumn of that year five German ships left Japan; Rio Grande, Weserland, Alsterufer and Burgenland were intercepted, the Osorno made it to the Bay of Biscay (her captain received the Knight's Cross, the only civilian in WWII to do so). The ship's gunners even shot down a Sunderland.

How important these cargoes were to both sides is shown by the the fact that the Osorno was escorted on the last leg by six destroyers and six large Torpedoboote, while the RAF launched 58 Mosquitos plus some Beaufighters against her, which however failed to find their target. At the mouth of the Gironde on 26 Dec. the Osorno hit a wreck and had to be grounded on the beach. The whole cargo could be salvaged:
4500 tons rubber, 2500 tons zinc, 250 tons tungsten, 50 tons coconut oil and 400 tons wood oïl (needed for some chemical process or other I imagine).

This was the last surface ship to make it from Japan, from then on only submarines made the journey.

For literature, see for ex. "Axis Blockade Runners of WWII" by Martin Brice.
"The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it." Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

User avatar
Gorque
Member
Posts: 633
Joined: 11 Feb 2009 18:20
Location: Clocktown

Re: Axis trade routes during the war

Postby Gorque » 06 Oct 2017 01:40

Thanks for the great editorial as well as mentioning the source. :thumbsup:

Paul Lakowski
Member
Posts: 1141
Joined: 30 Apr 2003 05:16
Location: Canada

Re: Axis trade routes during the war

Postby Paul Lakowski » 06 Oct 2017 01:49

Knouterer wrote:Many German ships were far away from home when war broke out in 1939 and had to seek shelter in neutral/friendly ports. Vital products from the Far East such as rubber were still imported via the Soviet Union by rail for a time, but after June 1941 the Germans (and the Italians too) undertook a concerted effort to bring their ships home, loaded with strategically important cargoes. Ships were generally disguised as ships from Allied or neutral nations and up to 1943 these Blockadebrecher were surprisingly successful, and brought 75,000 tons of rubber, minerals like tungsten, etc. to Europe, and took 32,540 tons of machinery, chemicals etc. in the other direction to Japan.

In 1943 the Allies devoted more resources to the blockade effort and only rarely did ships slip through the net. In the autumn of that year five German ships left Japan; Rio Grande, Weserland, Alsterufer and Burgenland were intercepted, the Osorno made it to the Bay of Biscay (her captain received the Knight's Cross, the only civilian in WWII to do so). The ship's gunners even shot down a Sunderland.

How important these cargoes were to both sides is shown by the the fact that the Osorno was escorted on the last leg by six destroyers and six large Torpedoboote, while the RAF launched 58 Mosquitos plus some Beaufighters against her, which however failed to find their target. At the mouth of the Gironde on 26 Dec. the Osorno hit a wreck and had to be grounded on the beach. The whole cargo could be salvaged:
4500 tons rubber, 2500 tons zinc, 250 tons tungsten, 50 tons coconut oil and 400 tons wood oïl (needed for some chemical process or other I imagine).

This was the last surface ship to make it from Japan, from then on only submarines made the journey.

For literature, see for ex. "Axis Blockade Runners of WWII" by Martin Brice.



thanks for this effort, I will check out the source !!!


Return to “Economy”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot]