Steel: Compare Soviet and German Productions

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
Boby
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Steel: Compare Soviet and German Productions

Post by Boby » 27 Apr 2007 16:01

One of the most outstanding achievements of the Soviet Industry during world war 2 was the absolutely superior production numbers. His weapons were robust, mass-produced and with a minor cost with his german Counterpart.

Steel Production (In million Tons): Year, Germany, URSS
1941 31; 14.5
1942 32; 10
1943 34; 8
1944 28; ?

In 1943, Germany produced 4.25 more times Steel than URSS, but the URSS produced more, more weapons than Germany.

¿Why?

Art
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Post by Art » 29 Apr 2007 17:14

I think the most simple answer is that the distribution of steel in Germany and USSR was different and the larger part of steel in USSR was used for the production of the some types of armament. I'm not ready to make the comprehensive research, but here are some numbers I've got on hand.
The distrubution of German steel production (in thousands tons per month):
Quarter/ Directly used in military industry/other usage/total/percentage of steel used in military industry
Ist 1939 859/-/-
1st 1940 924/911/1835/50.4%
2nd ....... 979/905/1884/52.0%
3rd ........ 909/976/1885/ 48.2%
4th ........1024/1180/2204/ 46.5%
1st 1941 1058/1200/2258/ 46.9%
2nd........1033/1342/ 2375/43.5%
3rd ....... 1167/1352/ 2519/ 46.3%
4th.........932/1377/ 2309/ 40.4%
1st 1942 1154/1490/2644/43.6%
2nd ........1174/1603/2777/42.3%
3rd .........1100/1117/2217/49.6%
4th..........1253/1358/2611/48.0%
1st 1943 1414/1240/2654/53.3%
2nd ........ 1475/1421/2896/50.9%
3rd.........1298/1133/2431/ 53.4%
4th ........1269/1102/2374/ 53.5%
1st 1944 1338/1224/2562/52.2%
2nd .......1363/1237/2600/52.4%
3rd.........1246/1082/2328/53.5%
4th ........1179/875/2054/57.4%
In 1943 53.8 % of overall consumption of ferrous metals was used for the production of armament and war materials including:
Ammunition - 11.6%
Common equipment - 7.3
Tanks and halftracks - 6.5
Railway cars and locomotives - 6.0
Automobiles - 6.0
Aircrafts - 4.4
Artillery and small-arms - 4.0
Ships - 3.2
Electrical equipment - 2.4
Sea mines and torpedos - 1.2
Exposives production - 0.8
Precise mechanics and optics - 0.4
Source of the data - "Die Deutsche Industrie im Kriege 1939-45"
At the same time the distribution of the rolled metal production in USSR looked as follows in mln. tons:
Year/Total consumption/Including military sector/ Percentage of the military consumtion
1940 12.41/1.6/12.8%
1941 10.96/2.4/22.2%
1942 5.55/2.7/49.2%
1943 6.02/2.8/ 46.4%
1944 7.77/3.6/ 46.2%
1945 8.59/1.7/20.2%
The production of rolled metal was lower than the total production of steel. The latter was:
1940 18 317 thousands tons
1941 17 898
1942 8 070
1943 8 475
1944 10 887
1945 12 252
From the presented figures it doesn't appear at first glance that the higher percentage of steel was allocated for military produstion in USSR than as it was in Germany. However, it should be borne in mind that the correspondence between those parts of industy that were rated as military in Germany and USSR is not entirely perfect. For example, the comissariats inculded in the military sector of the Soviet industry produced civilian commodities, at the same time the significant part of military commodities was produced outside these comissariates.
It's interesting to look at the distribution of rolled steel between different part of military industry. The People's Commissariat for Aircraft production consumed
In 1940 - 266.3 thousands tons of rolled irons
1941 - 423.0
1942 - 198.9
1943 - 164.5
1944 - 273.6
1945 - 217.0
Commissariat for Ammunition:
1940 - 676.9
1941 - 929.4
1942 - 763.4
1943 - 913.4
1944 - 1286.6
1945 - 836.7
Commissariat for Armament (Artillery, small-arms production, aircraft armament)
1940 - 497.9
1941 - 589.2
1942 - 573.4
1943 - 574.6
1944 - 617.6
1945 - 518.8
Commissariat for tank industry:
1940 - Didn't exist
1941 - 340.5
1942 - 1060.8
1943 - 963.5
1944 - 1237.8
Commissariat for mortar armament:
1940 - 148.4
1941 - 152.5
1942 - 134.9
1943 - 165.0
1944 - 174.4
1945 - 163.7
All figures from the handbook "The economy of USSR in 1941-45"
I need to emphasize that the names of the commissariats don' t give the full idea of the variety of their production. For example in 1941-45 Commisariat for mortar production produced 157 thousands mortars, 116 mln. mortar shells, 6180 rocket launchers, 2.7 mln rocket shells, 191 thousands air bombs, 11 mln. artillery shells, 829 thousands of sub-machine guns. So the soviet figures quoted give much more approximate idea of distribution of steel for production of certain types of armament than the german ones. However, it appears that for in USSR much bigger part of steel production was used for production of AFVs. the relevant percentage of rolling ditribution in 1943 is 16% in 1943 and 16 % in 1944, while the same percentage for Germany in 1943 was 6.5% - that is more than two times lower. If to remeber that the Soviet tank indusrty used iron cast in significant scale (turrets of T-34, turrets and hulls of IS-2) then the difference must be even greater. So at least the disparity in tank production can be explained using these figures.

Boby
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Post by Boby » 30 Apr 2007 11:15

Wow, thanks very much for the detailed reply Art.

Regards

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Post by Gothard » 09 May 2007 10:06

youre looking for ore content and carbon consistency. Theres a few factors you need to take into account - The russians had access to higher ferro-content ore than the Germans. The russians had access to unlimited Manganese - which is really a core element. Take a look at the population to vehicle index and you'll see that Russia never really pushed too hard in the automotive industry. In addition - railroad expansion and Truck manufature were provided by outside parties. Going into 42-45 you had the russians overtaking the germans - Scrap cant be underestimated in production. In addition the air shelters, bunkers and permanent fortifications as well as the weapons and ammunition for the air defense dissipated german production. The russians were lucky enough to start the war with 2 tried and tested vehicles - with almost no modification they flew thru the production process - whereas german production was constantly held in check by upgrades, updates and new models. This slowed the utilization rapidly. The nature of germany industry warrants close examination - Germany is a broken country dotted with hundreds of small communities. These provided a very large share of german total production. Russia on the other hand had vast - wide open agricultural centers stocked with forced labour and were able to concentrate their industry. As late as 42 the germans were working single shifts 5 days a week... the russians worked 3 shifts 24/7. German dietary problems also contributed to a drastic decline in production in heavy industry. Take those figures and give me a per head per shift number and we can work from there. Was the German more productive or the russian ? Net ore consumption is also a base for comparison - germans were forced to work double the ore for the same Pig. Russia had no machine tool industry - the nature of russian industry was based on that - when you only have 1 tool everyone works it around the clock - going into total war they were already in the right mindset - whereas the germans had an overabundance of tools and figured they could spread the work around so everyone got a little piece of the action. This was mostly in response to the WW1 profiteers - it became an ingrained german trait to avoid being labeled a profiteer. It also fell in with german geographical limitations. Another is the madatory stockpiling due tot he raw material shortages. A factory would have to shut down despite large stocks of material because they werent allowed to go under a certain stock.

Art
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Post by Art » 19 May 2007 16:11

Gothard wrote: In addition - railroad expansion and Truck manufature were provided by outside parties.

By the way here are the figures of rail production ralis production in USSR.
Broad gauge rails in thousands of tons:
1940 - 1173
1941 - 752
1942 - 87
1943 - 70
1944 - 63
1945 - 151
Narrow gauge rails
1940 - 187
1941 - 122
1942 - 25
1943 - 45
1944 - 66
1945 - 157
According to B. Sokolov's article in Journal of the Slavic Military Studies, 1994, vol. 7, No 4, len-lease deliveries of rails consitiuted 622 thousands tons.
Just for comarison - the production of armor plates in USSR, thousands of tons:
1940 - 75
1941 - 294
1942 - 527
1943 - 446
1944 - 588
1945 - 510
I think the trend is so telling that it doesn't need any comments.
And another couple of figures: in 1943 1825 thousands of rolled ferrous alloys were consumed in USSR for ammunition production. In adition 550 thousands of pig-iron was consumed for the same purpose in average each year. Together they make up 2375 thousands of ferrous alloys consumed in 1943. Compare with the analogous German figure - 3600 thousands of stell used for ammunition production in 1943 (calculated from the fugures given above). The difference between Soviet and German figures is not as great as the diffeecne between the figures of stell prodauction, however the German figure is still higher and that is rather strange.

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Post by angeljoanes » 06 Jul 2007 16:56

As I could remember about what I already read, Roosevelt also send weaponry to the USSR at the 1943, right?

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Post by Gothard » 13 Jul 2007 15:21

Weaponry wasnt a major issue - Russians utilized "licensing" to a great degree.. the former Berlin Ford Plant shifted to the "licensed " production of copied jeeps in ww2 for instance.

One major factor not taken into account when comparing Russian and german ammunition production is the ENORMOUS german outlay for anti aircraft ammunition alone - this figure was nearly the same as the outlay for the entire army. Russia didnt manufacture anti aircraft ammunition on the same scale - which is why you see the startling disparity between Russian and German artillery and artillery ammunition production.

The barrels were there but germans were direct firect fire High velocity whereas the russians used theirs for high explosive indirect fire delivery platforms.
Add to this the hopeless situation of German artillery developement.

THey went into war in 1939 with a ton of artillery designs that were crafted at the end of ww1 and in the early 20's. THey used European weapons which were bulky and awkward to transport as well as complicated and difficult to to tool and mainatin. Shell tolerances were much tighter and this together with inconsistent explosives and a lack of key alloys in the ammunition created a much higher wear on german barrels. In addition the guns were hopelessly outranged as early as 1939 by the russian 122 and 152s which were more mobile. A key german advantage - fire control and optics was offset by sheer numbers and eventual command and control.

Art
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Post by Art » 17 Jul 2007 16:29

Gothard wrote:One major factor not taken into account when comparing Russian and german ammunition production is the ENORMOUS german outlay for anti aircraft ammunition alone - this figure was nearly the same as the outlay for the entire army.

I've compiled a small table in Excel showing the weight of antiaircraft shells produced by Germany in comparison with the weight of shells for field howitzers (the main type of German field artillery pieces):
Image
The first part shows the monthly averages for AA shells production ( in thousands) taken from this page:
http://sturmvogel.orbat.com/ussbsord.html
and the total weight of shells produced for the respective years (in tons).
The second part - the figures of howitzer shells production (in thousands) taken from here:
http://sturmvogel.orbat.com/GermWeapProd.html
and the weight of shells produced.
The following weight of a shell was used:
20 mm AA - 0,12 kg
37 mm AA - 0,65 kg
88 mm AA - 9,4 kg
105 mm AA - 15 kg
128 mm AA - 26 kg
105 mm howitzer - 14 kg
150 kg howitzer - 43,5 kg
The conslusion is that the weight of shells for field guns was in general (except may be 1941) higher than the weight of shells for antiaircraft guns. One can expect that the consuption of steel was more or less proportional to the net weight of shells.
A key german advantage - fire control and optics was offset by sheer numbers and eventual command and

At least in terms of ammunition consumption the German Army was not particulary inferior to the Soviet. 5 300 thousands of tons of ammunition were consumed by German land forces on the East by 1st November 1944 at the same time the net expenditure for Red Army for the whole war (incuding airforces) was about 10 mln tons.

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losna
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Re:

Post by losna » 26 Feb 2018 09:45

Art wrote:
Gothard wrote: One major factor not taken into account when comparing Russian and german ammunition production is the ENORMOUS german outlay for anti aircraft ammunition alone - this figure was nearly the same as the outlay for the entire army.
I've compiled a small table in Excel showing the weight of antiaircraft shells produced by Germany in comparison with the weight of shells for field howitzers (the main type of German field artillery pieces):
Image
The first part shows the monthly averages for AA shells production ( in thousands) taken from this page:
http://sturmvogel.orbat.com/ussbsord.html
and the total weight of shells produced for the respective years (in tons).
The second part - the figures of howitzer shells production (in thousands) taken from here:
http://sturmvogel.orbat.com/GermWeapProd.html
and the weight of shells produced.
The following weight of a shell was used:
20 mm AA - 0,12 kg
37 mm AA - 0,65 kg
88 mm AA - 9,4 kg
105 mm AA - 15 kg
128 mm AA - 26 kg
105 mm howitzer - 14 kg
150 kg howitzer - 43,5 kg
The conslusion is that the weight of shells for field guns was in general (except may be 1941) higher than the weight of shells for antiaircraft guns. One can expect that the consuption of steel was more or less proportional to the net weight of shells.
A key german advantage - fire control and optics was offset by sheer numbers and eventual command and
At least in terms of ammunition consumption the German Army was not particulary inferior to the Soviet. 5 300 thousands of tons of ammunition were consumed by German land forces on the East by 1st November 1944 at the same time the net expenditure for Red Army for the whole war (incuding airforces) was about 10 mln tons.
Hello Art.
Do you still have the tables and the data that were in this post? Now they have mostly disappeared.
Also, do you have data for German steel distribution per armament category for 1940-1941-1942-1944?

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Re: Steel: Compare Soviet and German Productions

Post by gracie4241 » 15 Aug 2018 17:12

I dispute ABSOLUTELY the contention that Soviet Military production was higher than germany's,certainly from late 42 . The Russians concentrated overwhelmingly on a narrow range of items . Basically their rolling stock /rails production stopped and was converted. The germans produced @20,000. How do you compare 35,000 V-1 and 2 missles to zero Soviet? How do you compare millions of tons of Concrete and steel for fortifications along the entire west coast of Europe, or the radar stations every 10 miles along the coast. 25,000 APC to zero for Russia?Much larger production of ammunition(2x plus soviet Domestic production),and motor vehicles.1600 Uboats built or under construction v basically zero Russian, plus the bombproof pens to protect them.How about the german production lost directly from Allied bombing , or indirectly from forced dispersal of industry(why german production flatlined from mid 43 to jan 1944 (see Overy, and Tooze) Even in the areas of Soviet concentration, such as tanks and aircraft 30-50% of the aluminum, inc the plane AND tank engines both used,or the specialty steel, or even more basically the machine tools that produced them and which were concentrated in the aviation and tank industries,the Russians had massive help.Think of If the situation were reversed and Germany got this help and Allied bombers devastated , say, the Caucasus oil wells?.Might make a difference? Germany had according to Bellamy("Absolute War' )a GDP from 42 -44 AT LEAST 50% higher than Russia's, so this should be no surprise. The other elephant in the room, inherently unprovable admittededly. is all those arguing in favor of Russian production superiority ACCEPT Russian figures as true blue accurate.Historically with the Russian history of fabrication and exaggeration(how's the SU-57 doing again? ) I don't and estimate their figures to be 25% high to begin with

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Re: Steel: Compare Soviet and German Productions

Post by Hiryu- » 18 Aug 2018 19:52

gracie4241 wrote:
15 Aug 2018 17:12
I dispute ABSOLUTELY the contention that Soviet Military production was higher than germany's,certainly from late 42 . The Russians concentrated overwhelmingly on a narrow range of items . Basically their rolling stock /rails production stopped and was converted. The germans produced @20,000. How do you compare 35,000 V-1 and 2 missles to zero Soviet? How do you compare millions of tons of Concrete and steel for fortifications along the entire west coast of Europe, or the radar stations every 10 miles along the coast. 25,000 APC to zero for Russia?Much larger production of ammunition(2x plus soviet Domestic production),and motor vehicles.1600 Uboats built or under construction v basically zero Russian, plus the bombproof pens to protect them.How about the german production lost directly from Allied bombing , or indirectly from forced dispersal of industry(why german production flatlined from mid 43 to jan 1944 (see Overy, and Tooze) Even in the areas of Soviet concentration, such as tanks and aircraft 30-50% of the aluminum, inc the plane AND tank engines both used,or the specialty steel, or even more basically the machine tools that produced them and which were concentrated in the aviation and tank industries,the Russians had massive help.Think of If the situation were reversed and Germany got this help and Allied bombers devastated , say, the Caucasus oil wells?.Might make a difference? Germany had according to Bellamy("Absolute War' )a GDP from 42 -44 AT LEAST 50% higher than Russia's, so this should be no surprise. The other elephant in the room, inherently unprovable admittededly. is all those arguing in favor of Russian production superiority ACCEPT Russian figures as true blue accurate.Historically with the Russian history of fabrication and exaggeration(how's the SU-57 doing again? ) I don't and estimate their figures to be 25% high to begin with
Do you have any source proving that Germany had a much larger ammunition production than the USSR?

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Re: Steel: Compare Soviet and German Productions

Post by gracie4241 » 05 Dec 2018 17:59

Sorry for delay. Haven't been on the site recently. The British did their own equivalent of the USSBS, called the "Strategic Bombing of Germany 1939-45" edited by Air Marshal Beetham i believe, in reference to German ammunion production. I believe, though am not sure , that the USSBS has similar numbers. BTW, when one considers "ammunition" production, you have to account for the direct transfer of ammunition to the Russians( which i am certain they classify as their production (ie a double count), but also the chemicals/explosives , copper, etc supplied under LL that showed up in shells, bombs etc made in the USSR..Ive seen large percentages (30-50%) for these. With a steel output during the War barely a third of Germany this makes sense overall. Including specialty , rolled steel that Zhukov mentioned after the war as critical to their tank production (also, the aluminum used in their tank engines.

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Re: Steel: Compare Soviet and German Productions

Post by gracie4241 » 16 May 2019 16:48

Is it accepted that notwithstanding the gross disparity in steel production that the USSR ACTUALLY produced more weapons??Their steel production on its face seems to say-no way- as 'limited steel was always described as a limiting factor re german armament.Apart from not taking Soviet figures as the gospel truth(which i don't but most here do), their production was basically limited to tanks,guns, and tactical aircraft.As an example they essentially zeroed out locomotive production by converting their rolling stock industry totally to tank(self-propelled gun) production whereas the germans produced thousands.How many Uboats, radar stations, searchlights, trucks,tons of explosives and ammunition, Armored personnel carriers.Concrete and steel fortifications, V-1 and V-2 rockets etc did the russians make (unassisted)? either basically none, or much fewer.If a tank is produced at a "soviet" plant using US machine tools, Canadian aluminum for its engine, specialty rolled steel from the US, as well as an American radio, and US ammunition(or the chemicals or explosives therefore) was it REALLY a RUSSIAN tank?No such question applies to the germans .BTW the Russians centralized their production efficiently in huge plants, whereas for fear of Allied bombing the germans had to bear the costs and inefficiency of dispersing their production(never mind direct loss from bombing itself). Tooze points out that german armament production, rapidly rising from June 1942 until June 1943 FLATLINED from june 1943-January 1944 because of this reason alone.The russian armament effort in its totality, under the circumstances described, is overrated on its own vis a vis Germany

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Re: Steel: Compare Soviet and German Productions

Post by gracie4241 » 17 May 2019 20:12

As an addendum to the above you might want to read O'Brian,PP "How the war was won(654 pages):Air-Sea Power and Allied Victory" You will find data that shows for the entire german Army-not just that on the Eastern Front-the Army was lucky to get 30-35%of germany's total armaments/industrial effort at maximum.This should put into context some of the above

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Re: Steel: Compare Soviet and German Productions

Post by Stiltzkin » 22 May 2019 20:05

s it accepted that notwithstanding the gross disparity in steel production that the USSR ACTUALLY produced more weapons??
The USSR did not produce more weapons. Selected items do not reveal the entire war effort, which is measured in capacity and volume, as well as expenditures (for the trillionth time in this forum). Why do you think the Soviets suffered such enormous casualties? The Soviet economy was dwarfed by the German war machine, which however could at best alleviate the difficulties encountered on the eastern front. The quantity of small arms or tanks and guns was just larger because:
a) Production is a function of losses and allocations
b)The RKKA was larger and also sustained larger losses, hence had to compensate more.
c) As for tank production, the Soviets invested a larger share of their overall smaller resources for AFV production (6.8-9% of rolled steel), it is simple as that.
In the early period the output appears small, because they already hit their predetermined goals, until the strategy had to be changed, according to the situation.
The German output rises subsequently due to: a) greater material losses sustained past 42 (battlefield control allows for better salvaging and managing of equipment), b) the emergence of new fronts c) learning effects (and not some architect, who turned into a self proclaimed Rüstungsgenie). This applies to all belligerents.
GermanandSovietrolledsteelallocations1944.png
Here once again, I think this was posted frequently in the economy section.
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