Panzers instead of U-boats

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
AriX
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Panzers instead of U-boats

Post by AriX » 30 Jul 2018 19:50

Cud German industry increase production of tanks instead of submarines if the war on the West would end (doesent matter why)? Soviets managed to do so on "Krasnoe Sormovo" shipyard.

ljadw
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Re: Panzers instead of U-boats

Post by ljadw » 31 Jul 2018 10:00

The answer is : no .
There were only a few shipping companies who could build U Boats (Voss and Blohm was one of them ) and they could not build tanks .

gracie4241
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Re: Panzers instead of U-boats

Post by gracie4241 » 03 Aug 2018 16:36

OF course the Germans could have produced MANY more tanks! The LABOR(ie workers), raw materials, and some machine tools could have been transferred to the tank manufacturing industry. One of the chronic complaints about production was not enough workers for extra shifts and/or raw material available. When Hitler wanted to bump up panzer production to 10,000 units/year in July 1940, the EXPRESS reason for deferral was that it would come at the expense of the U-Boat program. The USSBS estimated (on average depending on tank type) that 1 U-Boat cost was the equivalent to 20 tanks in terms of man hours, materials etc. Since the Germans actually finished a little less than 1200 U-boats, with another 300 or so under construction or destroyed by bombing. that translates to 30,000tanks!!!!!! Or equipment for 150 panzer divisions!!!! My lord. The impact of the west in terms of resource allocation was IMMENSE in WW2 and in my mind WAS THE SECOND FRONT in many repects.35,000 V1 and V2 rockets anyone?

AriX
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Re: Panzers instead of U-boats

Post by AriX » 05 Aug 2018 10:48

"When Hitler wanted to bump up panzer production to 10,000 units/year in July 1940, the EXPRESS reason for deferral was that it would come at the expense of the U-Boat program."
And its in the year when U-boat production was on the level of 50 , comparing to 250 and more in the future.

ljadw
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Re: Panzers instead of U-boats

Post by ljadw » 05 Aug 2018 11:49

gracie4241 wrote:
03 Aug 2018 16:36
OF course the Germans could have produced MANY more tanks! The LABOR(ie workers), raw materials, and some machine tools could have been transferred to the tank manufacturing industry. One of the chronic complaints about production was not enough workers for extra shifts and/or raw material available. When Hitler wanted to bump up panzer production to 10,000 units/year in July 1940, the EXPRESS reason for deferral was that it would come at the expense of the U-Boat program. The USSBS estimated (on average depending on tank type) that 1 U-Boat cost was the equivalent to 20 tanks in terms of man hours, materials etc. Since the Germans actually finished a little less than 1200 U-boats, with another 300 or so under construction or destroyed by bombing. that translates to 30,000tanks!!!!!! Or equipment for 150 panzer divisions!!!! My lord. The impact of the west in terms of resource allocation was IMMENSE in WW2 and in my mind WAS THE SECOND FRONT in many repects.35,000 V1 and V2 rockets anyone?
NO : estimates of the USSBS are estimates by people ignorant of the German economy .
The firms and workers who built submarines could not build tanks, besides, the Germans needed not more tanks than they had in 1941 to win in the East .
The reason for the deferral of the tank production,was not that it would hurt the production of submarines, as more submarines would not help Germany : it took more than one year to build a submarine and to train its crew .
The increase of the number of PzD AND simultaneously the decrease of the number of army divisions by 20,was dictated by the conviction that very soon the war would be over .
The monthly tank production was in June 1940 some 150,to obtain with this number the total of 10000 tanks would demand 7 years !!

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Re: Panzers instead of U-boats

Post by OpanaPointer » 05 Aug 2018 11:52

100,000 tanks, plus service battalions, fuel acquisition, refining, and delivery...

Nah. The reason most troops are infantry is because they're easier to support.
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gracie4241
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Re: Panzers instead of U-boats

Post by gracie4241 » 09 Aug 2018 15:41

Have not the slightest idea of what you're talking about. The (post war) United States Strategic Bombing Survey EXPRESSLY used testimony from industrial leaders AND the ACTUAL economic and industrial records of German firms: I take it you had no idea what USSBS meant.It was ABUNDANTLY clear that labor(more workers on U Boats from 1940-43 than on Germany's TOTAL AFV program-these are records from Speer's ministry) and raw materials WERE EASILY transferrable. The tank factories did NOT operate on three shifts because they didn't have the workers and/or the raw materials(eg steel) HITLER DID drop his request for 10,000 units PER ANNUM because it would threaten the Uboat program. The WHOLE point was to bump up monthly production from 150/month to 850/month(10,000'yr). For some inexplicable reason you seem to feel that if the U-Boat program for example was de-prioritized it would have NO EFFECT on other armament programs. Get Tooze book "Wages of Destruction" and you'll see the wartime German economy constantly(probably a negative) shifted resources from say ammunition production to aircraft production as priorities shifted .IT is SELF- EVIDENTLY wrong to infer as you do that U-Boat construction could not be stopped or reduced in favor of tank production, or other programs as needed.

ljadw
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Re: Panzers instead of U-boats

Post by ljadw » 09 Aug 2018 16:05

gracie4241 wrote:
09 Aug 2018 15:41
Have not the slightest idea of what you're talking about. The (post war) United States Strategic Bombing Survey EXPRESSLY used testimony from industrial leaders AND the ACTUAL economic and industrial records of German firms: I take it you had no idea what USSBS meant.It was ABUNDANTLY clear that labor(more workers on U Boats from 1940-43 than on Germany's TOTAL AFV program-these are records from Speer's ministry) and raw materials WERE EASILY transferrable. The tank factories did NOT operate on three shifts because they didn't have the workers and/or the raw materials(eg steel) HITLER DID drop his request for 10,000 units PER ANNUM because it would threaten the Uboat program. The WHOLE point was to bump up monthly production from 150/month to 850/month(10,000'yr). For some inexplicable reason you seem to feel that if the U-Boat program for example was de-prioritized it would have NO EFFECT on other armament programs. Get Tooze book "Wages of Destruction" and you'll see the wartime German economy constantly(probably a negative) shifted resources from say ammunition production to aircraft production as priorities shifted .IT is SELF- EVIDENTLY wrong to infer as you do that U-Boat construction could not be stopped or reduced in favor of tank production, or other programs as needed.
Proof for your claim that Hitler dropped his request for 10000 units per annum because it would threaten the UBoat program ?
Proof for your claim that Hitler initially requested the production of 10000 tanks per year ?
Proof that 10000 tanks per year was possible when ordered by Hitler ?
Proof that 10000 tanks per year was needed ?
Proof that more tanks meant less UBoats ?
Self-evidently is not a proof .
About the USSB :they were a group of Americans arriving in Europe ,not hindered by any knowledge, and with as baggage the biased conviction that the outcome of the war proved that liberal capitalism was superior to all other economic systems;to prove this, they used the informations they received from the liar Speer .
Last edited by ljadw on 09 Aug 2018 16:46, edited 1 time in total.

ljadw
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Re: Panzers instead of U-boats

Post by ljadw » 09 Aug 2018 16:45

The production of tanks and submarines was not related : the production of both increased during the war .
1940 :tanks :1888 /UB :50
1941 :tanks : 3623 /UB : 199
1942 : tanks : 5530 /UB : 238
1943 : tanks : 11601 /UB : 286
This proves that it was possible to increase the production of tanks and of UB;the reason was that the firms/workers who built tanks could not build UB, and that those who built UB could not build tanks .
I like to see the proof that ,if in 1942 only 3623 tanks were built,286 UB would be built and not 238 .

Boby
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Re: Panzers instead of U-boats

Post by Boby » 11 Aug 2018 11:56

gracie4241 wrote:
09 Aug 2018 16:31
YIKES!! WOW, a nerve has been struck.I see from the last part of your reply that you are an unreconstructed communist russian fanboy troll. That's OK , because in a liberal capitalist society we have the freedom to express our views openly, as opposed to the Stalinist regime you appear to admire.Therefore its useless to argue facts with you.I'll just conclude(check your blood pressure) that it was VERY fortunate Russia had liberal capitalist nations on its side or Communism would have seen the ash heap of history a half century earlier
Why, instead of all this useless post, start you to post some hard data on KM/Panzer industry, raw material and manpower situation in 1940?

It would be more useful.

gracie4241
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Re: Panzers instead of U-boats

Post by gracie4241 » 19 Jan 2019 21:08

I should visit this site more often .Re the 1940 tank v Uboat programs, see Mercante " Why Germany almost won" p.74 "As late as December 1940 OKH pushed to have tank production increased from 250/month(1941) to 1250/month(1941) but The War department rejected the request because...of" the Kriegsmarine's demand for resources". See further Mueller-Hillebrand DRZW 5/1, 502-522;see further Fuehrer Directive32, June11 1941, and 32(A) july 14,1941 . The latter drastically reducing army production in favor of air and naval armament for prosecution of the war against Britain and its supplier the US was issued THREE WEEKS into Barborossa!!! Why there is this ridiculous claim that labor and raw materials (steel, machine tools) couldn't be transferred TOTALLY escapes me. Program resources were constantly shifted throughout the war. Around the clock production at tank plants could have started with the extra labor and materials instead of the single shifts common in 1940-41. BTW the navy started at 125,000 men on 9/1/39 and by 6/41 was 440,000 and 12/43 just under 780,000; Luftwaffe air home Defense went to 1,500,000 from 400,000(flak, searchlight batteries etc). That's a lot of labor and even soldiers.Tooze overstates the labor problem(see previous), especially if germany had lowered the age of labor at war plants to the Russian's level. The resources were there to dramatically increase tank production(which it did anyway), but foolishly it took the germans awhile to realize they had to

Stiltzkin
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Re: Panzers instead of U-boats

Post by Stiltzkin » 21 Jan 2019 01:12

To address the issue (for the millionth time in this forum), without composing another long essay: This depends on allocations (and also doctrines and organization but we will ignore this here), resource base and labour force. X amount of type A can be the equivalent of Y amount of type B, but do not possess the same tactical and strategic value on the battlefield (or the ocean respectively). If they wanted more tanks, then they would have produced more, whether they could have used them, or if it perhaps resulted in a waste of material, is a whole different question. See it this way, an easy explanation: Each Nation has a different sized cake. The greater the resource base/slices and more potent the economy, the greater the output (if needed). More soldiers translate into more weapons, as necessity rises. Production then compensates for losses.
Whether a suitable weapon system has been found for mass production, depends on effective R & D.
The Soviets allocated about 17% of their rolling mill output for tank production, while Germany allocated 7% of steel production.
So, Panzers instead of U-boats? If they wanted, then yes. This was based on decision making. Resources are flexible and factory floor can certainly be expanded. German rolled steel allocations surpassed Soviet levels by multiple times, almost each and every quarter.
The increase of the number of PzD AND simultaneously the decrease of the number of army divisions by 20,was dictated by the conviction that very soon the war would be over .
Yeah, and the fact that they used them as a strategic tool, they were not a tank heavy army. Not much gain there with a massive increase in tank production. You have to redistribute manpower for support services, weakening other sectors. If you have a replacement pool, this certainly helps, but not if you have to draw from the pool of the front. If they had more manpower, they probably would have done so, then you also have the fuel issues, but that is secondary.
Anyway, note that output is not measured in numbers per se, but total tonnage. Tanks are only one asset of the overall AFV park and do not inflict the majority of casualties. General v. Mellenthin and Balck explained this well in their interview (implications for NATO military doctrine). Small unit tactics including a few tanks, with massive artillery support. Massive Panzer formations, that is the Image of WW2, deeply enrooted in peoples heads. Kind of like Ninjas with masks. :)

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Panzers instead of U-boats

Post by Sid Guttridge » 21 Jan 2019 12:36

The Western Allies would have loved Germany to stop building U-boats.

I have never seen figures on the comparitive cost of building U-boats versus Allied production of thousands of replacement merchant ships and cargoes and masses of escorts and specialist aircraft, but I would imagine that it was massively in German favour. An absence U-boats would accelerate the Western Allied build up for D-Day greatly and make it much cheaper to achieve.

Any switch between U-boats and tanks would take months and would probably make a good number of unadaptable specialist naval machine tools redundant.

Furthermore, the U-boats built only carried one deck gun comparable to the larger tank guns. Where are the other 29,000 coming from? (Indeed, because of the very high risk of surface attacks, the Germans stopped equipping U-boats with deck guns anyway).

U-boats carried no armour. Where are the extra 30,000 armoured hulls coming from, etc., etc.?

In the greater scheme of things, the U-boat and the panzer were both necessary and complimentary to each other.

Certainly abandoning U-boat construction could have boosted tank production somewhat, but at such massive cost strategically that it could never have compensated for the damage inflicted to the balance of the German war effort.

Cheers,

Sid.

Hanny
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Re: Panzers instead of U-boats

Post by Hanny » 21 Jan 2019 14:02

AriX wrote:
30 Jul 2018 19:50
Cud German industry increase production of tanks instead of submarines if the war on the West would end (doesent matter why)? Soviets managed to do so on "Krasnoe Sormovo" shipyard.
Of course it could, a marine engineer could easily produce armoured vehicles. Any trained metal worker/sheet metal worker/welder etc can and does produce whatever the plans call for them to produce. As you mention, SU submarine yard switched to producing T34, and the Turret of the T34/85 was designed by marine engineers there.
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Re: Panzers instead of U-boats

Post by David Thompson » 22 Jan 2019 05:45

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