Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
takata_1940
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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by takata_1940 » 18 Apr 2010 22:26

Jon G. wrote:
takata_1940 wrote: I'm of course in agreement with rising annual figures of car placings... but I can't tell you at the moment why they are climbing without having more detailed data and particularly the details per traffic-area.
Surely we can deduce that car placings rose because overall demand for car placings of all kinds was rising due to war?
Not sure at all. Car placings rose because there is more cars on-hand... But, there is also more tracks (and distance) and more stuff to move around - then not enough car and not enough placings! Proportionally its harder to cope with traffic. Then, there is also all the Wehrmacht burden added to severe winter 1939-40. I'll try to put that on graphics.
Jon G. wrote: Well, it is tempting to conclude that the overall rise in car placings rose early war simply because the Germans, and the Reichsbahn with them, conquered more and more territory, and therefore added more and more railroad track and rolling stock to their inventory. That pattern fits for the 1939 to 1940 rise in car placings.
Yes, every year from 1938-1941 is adding new network and rolling stock (Austria, Czechos. Poland, Luxemburg, Alsace-Lorraine + beute lokos and cars), when 1942 seems to add only great distances into the wild wild East without the corresponding rolling stock.
Jon G. wrote: What we should keep in mind, though, is that the Reichsbahn had already identified weaknesses in its organisation in connection to the Sudeten crisis, and had taken steps to increase its fleet of rolling stock already prior to the war. Also, later fluctuations in car placings do not exactly mirror German conquests - 1943 was the Reichsbahn's peak year, by every parameter, but it certainly wasn't the Germans' best year on the battlefields of Europe.
Right, but 1943 is also the year where rolling stock is starting to fall back into Germany from the east, distances and network are reduced, the Wehrmacht is operating closer to its factories... and, lokos output is better than ever. Also, Reich bombardment is not what it would be the next year.
Jon G. wrote:
You should look at the chapter about coal from the USSBS: http://wwiiarchives.net/servlet/document/149/102/0
Coal car placing rised by 16,500 units between 1937 and 1943; 1 million ton coal/year is 275 unit per day and this increased traffic equal 60 million tons per year placed. As an average of 2/3rd of the coal transited by railway, this mean an output of 90 million tons. If you look at output figures from 1938 to 1943, such a number was certainly possible:
- Bitum. coal: + 81.4 million tons (43/44)
- Brown coal: + 52.9 million tons (43/44)
- Pitch coal: + 17.4 million tons (43/44)
total.........+ 151.7 million tons.
There is still some room for overloading all the wagons by 1-2 tons!
I will admit I am a little lost here.
Well sorry, I do admit it was a bit blured... :D
What I meant was that increase of coal car placings rose to about 16,500 units (10-tons) per day- which equal a space of 60 million tons per year- while during the period, coal output rose to above 150 million tons. As coal was only lifted by rail and barges with 2/3 moving by rail, all transport could not move (on the paper) more than 90 million additional tons without seriously overloading rail-cars. 2 tons added per bulk-car (usually 20-tons car) is 10% overload, then a maximum of 25-30 milion tons added by rail (310-365 days):
78,800 (10-tons units) = 39,400 20-tons cars = 80.000 tons per day = 25-30 million tons per year).

Taking the maximum figure, we'll end with a 60 million tons of added capacity and 30 million tons overloaded = 90 million tons for rail capacity. At 2/3rd ratio with barges = 145 million tons max capacity for an additional output of 152 million tons of coal. It is really short and one may understand why the Germans asked Italy to use its own rolling stock for moving exported German coal.
:D

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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by Jon G. » 19 Apr 2010 13:04

takata_1940 wrote:..l. Car placings rose because there is more cars on-hand... But, there is also more tracks (and distance) and more stuff to move around - then not enough car and not enough placings! Proportionally its harder to cope with traffic.
But that is just the other side of the equation :) More cars, more distance, more stuff to move around, sure - but conversely also increased demand which did not necessarily grow out of Germany's many early war conqests. I.e. more demand for steel, Italian coal shifted entirely to railroad, railroads taking over road-bound traffic, Wehrmacht transports and so on. As you say, we do need regional figures for car placings before we can decide what was chicken and what was egg.

I would contend - and for now it remains only a contention - that the RB did manage to increase inland (or Altreich) goods traffic, in part by introducing various measures (overloading of cars, for example), in part because its inventory of rolling stock and locomotives had been gently rising (though it's nothing compared to what happened later) from 1938 on.
Jon G. wrote: Well, it is tempting to conclude that the overall rise in car placings rose early war simply because the Germans, and the Reichsbahn with them, conquered more and more territory, and therefore added more and more railroad track and rolling stock to their inventory. That pattern fits for the 1939 to 1940 rise in car placings.
Yes, every year from 1938-1941 is adding new network and rolling stock (Austria, Czechos. Poland, Luxemburg, Alsace-Lorraine + beute lokos and cars)
Correct, but can we assume that the additions to the Reichsbahn's assets (more rolling stock, captured locomotives and so on) grew at the same pace that the additions to the RB's obligations (i.e. the obligation to strip conquered countries of their raw materials) grew? For example, the railroads in annexed Sudetenland may well have been laid out to serve centers of production and consumption in Czechoslovakia, rather than in Germany, so being more of a burden than an asset overall. Likewise, can we assume that there were enough captured/confiscated French locomotives and rolling stock to move iron ore from Alsace-Lorraine to the Ruhr, or did the RB have to contribute staff and rolling stock themselves?
when 1942 seems to add only great distances into the wild wild East without the corresponding rolling stock.
Right, but in terms of car placings and assigned rolling stock, the wild East did not count for all that much in the big picture. Part of that, of course, was due to the chaos of first building, then running and protecting long distances of railroads in a short timespan, but in and of themselves, the eastern railroads were just a small part of the big picture.

For example, as of 01.01 1943, daily car placings in the east (excl. the Generalgouvernement) were 13,012 as opposed to 1,575,572 in the Reich (that is, not including occupied Europe), and 3,625 in the 'Gedob' (Generaldirektion der Ostbahn in the Generalgouvernement); locomotive stocks at the same date amounted to 4,671 in the East, 2,088 in the Gedob, and 28,630 in the Reich.

All figures from Kreidler p. 341 corraborated by Potgiesser p. 140-141; as of Jan 1. 1943 the railroads in the East were organized into four Feldeisenbahnkommandos (Pskov, Smolensk, Kharkov and Kaukasskaja) and five Reichsverkehrsdirektionen (Riga, Minsk, Kiev, Dnjepro and Rostov).
Jon G. wrote:...1943 was the Reichsbahn's peak year, by every parameter, but it certainly wasn't the Germans' best year on the battlefields of Europe.
Right, but 1943 is also the year where rolling stock is starting to fall back into Germany from the east, distances and network are reduced, the Wehrmacht is operating closer to its factories... and, lokos output is better than ever. Also, Reich bombardment is not what it would be the next year.
Locomotive output was even higher in 1944. Anyway, my point was that the RB's successes (in terms of ton-miles, car placings and so on) don't follow the same pattern as Germany's conquests. In fact, 1942 seems to have been the Reichsbahn's worst year until quite late in the war, when Allied bombings caused renewed disruption.
Well sorry, I do admit it was a bit blured... :D
What I meant was that increase of coal car placings rose to about 16,500 units (10-tons) per day- which equal a space of 60 million tons per year- while during the period, coal output rose to above 150 million tons. As coal was only lifted by rail and barges with 2/3 moving by rail, all transport could not move (on the paper) more than 90 million additional tons without seriously overloading rail-cars. 2 tons added per bulk-car (usually 20-tons car) is 10% overload, then a maximum of 25-30 milion tons added by rail (310-365 days):
78,800 (10-tons units) = 39,400 20-tons cars = 80.000 tons per day = 25-30 million tons per year).
Umm, I am still a bit lost :cry: It seems to me that you basically mean that the supply of coal car placings has a definite upper limit? I am sure it does, but I don't think you can describe the coal supply:coal car placings relationship linearily [is that a word?]; some expedients could get more bang for the same buck, so to speak, not just car overloading, but also paying premiums to coal consumers for returning cars early, loading and unloading cars on Sundays, more efficient car running schedules and so on. For all we know, the overall increase in coal car placings in 1940 as opposed to the drop in coal car placings in the Ruhr in the same year could denote a conscious effort to shift some of the burden of supplying Germany's industries east.

But I still fear that I misunderstood you :?
Taking the maximum figure, we'll end with a 60 million tons of added capacity and 30 million tons overloaded = 90 million tons for rail capacity. At 2/3rd ratio with barges = 145 million tons max capacity for an additional output of 152 million tons of coal. It is really short and one may understand why the Germans asked Italy to use its own rolling stock for moving exported German coal.
The Italians were only asked to provide their own rolling stock for their coal deliveries from April 1942 on.

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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by takata_1940 » 20 Apr 2010 10:18

Hello Jon G.,
:D
Jon G. wrote:
takata_1940 wrote:..l. Car placings rose because there is more cars on-hand... But, there is also more tracks (and distance) and more stuff to move around - then not enough car and not enough placings! Proportionally its harder to cope with traffic.
But that is just the other side of the equation :) More cars, more distance, more stuff to move around, sure - but conversely also increased demand which did not necessarily grow out of Germany's many early war conqests. I.e. more demand for steel, Italian coal shifted entirely to railroad, railroads taking over road-bound traffic, Wehrmacht transports and so on. As you say, we do need regional figures for car placings before we can decide what was chicken and what was egg.
Simply said, traffic was highly prioritized, meaning that all daily traffic could not be delivered. Yearly global figures don't explain by themself where and why bottlenecks have appeared. On the other hand, the operating area being vaster and rolling stock more abundant, figures for tons moved and car placing rose (to come back to your original remark) but they don't tell us if performance was better or worse than before as the basis changed from one year to another.

Your examples tend to prove that situation was going worse due to added burden on railway from goods that were moved previously by other means, mostly sea shipping. Road-bound German traffic was negligible (in volume, not in value) but international trade of raw material that could have moved otherwise in peacetime was certainly important. On the other hand, war caused also recession in many sectors, so it is not even possible to acertain that demand was expanding above the means or that it was the means that decreased below demand.

My point was that 1940 coal traffic inside the Ruhr was seriously affected, as far as 81% of 1937 level, while steel output went down from 16 million tons to 13 million tons (and it's also 81%) while coal extraction remained stable.
Jon G. wrote: I would contend - and for now it remains only a contention - that the RB did manage to increase inland (or Altreich) goods traffic, in part by introducing various measures (overloading of cars, for example), in part because its inventory of rolling stock and locomotives had been gently rising (though it's nothing compared to what happened later) from 1938 on.
Overloading cars measures are a good indicator of crisis extent. If cars were being overloaded, it means that car number was inadequate but it doesn't explain why it was. Looking at car rotation is a clue. Peacetime traffic rotation rate was 3 days and grew to 6-7 days. Consequently, more than twice the number of car was needed to maintain the same rate of traffic. Then shortage of cars was not directly linked to an inadequate number of cars but to rotation rate. This is a good proof of traffic bottlenecks. Then overloading cars was an expedient resulting from other causes that were not addressed by this solution, neither adding more and more cars would have fixed the problem.
Jon G. wrote: ...can we assume that the additions to the Reichsbahn's assets (more rolling stock, captured locomotives and so on) grew at the same pace that the additions to the RB's obligations (i.e. the obligation to strip conquered countries of their raw materials) grew?
For example, the railroads in annexed Sudetenland may well have been laid out to serve centers of production and consumption in Czechoslovakia, rather than in Germany, so being more of a burden than an asset overall. Likewise, can we assume that there were enough captured/confiscated French locomotives and rolling stock to move iron ore from Alsace-Lorraine to the Ruhr, or did the RB have to contribute staff and rolling stock themselves?
It looks like the Germans pooled everything from "annexed territories" into DRG and completed their means by taxing "occupied territories" railways. So I don't think it might have caused more burden than good. On the other hand, those "occupied territories" railways were only left with the remmants while having to deal in priority with traffic for German economy and the Wehrmacht.
Jon G. wrote: Right, but in terms of car placings and assigned rolling stock, the wild East did not count for all that much in the big picture. Part of that, of course, was due to the chaos of first building, then running and protecting long distances of railroads in a short timespan, but in and of themselves, the eastern railroads were just a small part of the big picture.

For example, as of 01.01 1943, daily car placings in the east (excl. the Generalgouvernement) were 13,012 as opposed to 1,575,572 in the Reich (that is, not including occupied Europe) and 3,625 in the 'Gedob' (Generaldirektion der Ostbahn in the Generalgouvernement); locomotive stocks at the same date amounted to 4,671 in the East, 2,088 in the Gedob, and 28,630 in the Reich.
You meant (including Gedob):
. 17,537 vs 157,572 = 11.12 % of Greater Reich's car placings;
. 6,759 vs 28,630 = 23.60 % of Greater Reich's locomotives;
. 743,832 vs 1,415,569 = 52.54 % of Greater Reich's operating manpower;
. 1,398,613 vs 857,000 = 163 % of Greater Reich's operating kms.

I think this is not "just a small part of the big picture" but something very considerable. Arguably, the number of daily car placed is low but, at the same time, it is clearly disproportionate with all the other means affected to the East. Of course, operating conditions and facilities were definitely not like inside the Reich and East productivity many times bellow: 42.4 men/placed-car (East) vs 9 (Reich).
Jon G. wrote:...1943 was the Reichsbahn's peak year, by every parameter, but it certainly wasn't the Germans' best year on the battlefields of Europe.
Right, but 1943 is also the year where rolling stock is starting to fall back into Germany from the east, distances and network are reduced, the Wehrmacht is operating closer to its factories... and, lokos output is better than ever. Also, Reich bombardment is not what it would be the next year.
Jon G. wrote:Locomotive output was even higher in 1944. Anyway, my point was that the RB's successes (in terms of ton-miles, car placings and so on) don't follow the same pattern as Germany's conquests. In fact, 1942 seems to have been the Reichsbahn's worst year until quite late in the war, when Allied bombings caused renewed disruption.
Well, I'll go further than you: RB's successes (in terms of ton-miles, car placings and so on) were achieved prewar if the relative deduction is made of all networks annexed with traffic and rolling stock. After war breakout, situation degradated in opposite way of military successes: situation was the worse at peak territorial extension (1942) and recovery was due to Wehrmacht losing ground in the East (1943). Next came the bombers and it was over.
Beside, you should verify your data, but deliveries of locomotives and cars peaked in 1943 (by 1944, priority was set about making tanks... :P )
Jon G. wrote:
Well sorry, I do admit it was a bit blured... :D
Umm, I am still a bit lost :cry:
But I still fear that I misunderstood you :?
Not easy to explain, isn't it?
We have to assume that the number of car placings (coal or freight) is an indicator of the maximum efficiency achieved as the economy was clearly rationed. This rationing was due to bottlenecks meaning transport system congestion. As many cars as possible were placed daily and priorities were given to move x while y had to wait until space was made available.

This was certainly not due to track capacity. Rail capacity -in absolute number- was not the problem inside the Greater Reich area. Traffic could be redirected almost at will considering network density.

This may be due to rolling stock problems, like an inadequate number of freight cars, but as the rotation rate increased, this will point to other causes:
1. inadequate number of locomotives;
2. maintenance overburning: less stock -lokos & cars- serviceable (considering the number of foreign stock impressed into DRG service).
3. service manpower (specialists) inadequate;
4. Transbording facilities and manpower inadequate.

My bet would be 3 & 4 as being the main bottlenecks, followed by 1 & 2 as a side effects. If one look at the average distance covered by trains, the result would be that cars were rolling very few km/day during their rotation time. Consequently, they had to spend most of this time waiting for being loaded/unloaded.
Jon G. wrote: some expedients could get more bang for the same buck, so to speak, not just car overloading, but also paying premiums to coal consumers for returning cars early, loading and unloading cars on Sundays, more efficient car running schedules and so on.
They are only expedients to face a limited-time crisis but do not work in the long run. People needs day off -particularly when we are talking about several years effort as the situation was already tense from years before war. Paying premiums was not the solution as finding manpower could not be resolved with money. Overloading was only patching and a subsequent trade off for maintenance issues.
Jon G. wrote: It seems to me that you basically mean that the supply of coal car placings has a definite upper limit? I am sure it does, but I don't think you can describe the coal supply:coal car placings relationship linearily [is that a word?];
Yes in some way, car placing number is the function of something, but linearity is not certain.
Jon G. wrote: For all we know, the overall increase in coal car placings in 1940 as opposed to the drop in coal car placings in the Ruhr in the same year could denote a conscious effort to shift some of the burden of supplying Germany's industries east.
It might also reflect the fact that manpower was more available in Poland and much less in the Ruhr. Then, the stock of cars will end being better used here than there.

S~
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Last edited by takata_1940 on 20 Apr 2010 13:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by LWD » 20 Apr 2010 12:03

takata_1940 wrote:... My point was that 1940 coal traffic inside the Ruhr was seriously affected, ....
Any idea how much impact gathering all the river barges fro SeaLion impacted this?

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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by takata_1940 » 20 Apr 2010 13:32

Hi LWD,
LWD wrote:
takata_1940 wrote:... My point was that 1940 coal traffic inside the Ruhr was seriously affected, ....
Any idea how much impact gathering all the river barges fro SeaLion impacted this?
I was talking about railways and coal car placements inside the Ruhr. It shrinked from the start of the war compared to 1937 level (last year unaffected by military operations). See post above extracts from Mierzejewski's book.

River barge traffic recessed also seriously from peacetime level but I don't know how much specifically in the Ruhr. Sealion's barges were mostly Dutch, Belgian and French IIRC. From september 1939 to July 1940, a good portion of the Rhine, the Moselle, etc. were also closed to river-barge traffic. Excess capacity existed from what could be effectivelly used, but manpower also was a big problem for loading/unloading this traffic. Then, it never recovered peacetime level for the duration of the war: (in tons)
1937 : 133,100,000
1938 : 136,100,000
1939 : 126,900,000
1940 : 89,700,000
1941 : 112,700,000
1942 : 98,500,000
1943 : 82,000,000

in percentage of rail & barges traffic:
1937 : 18.3
1938 : 17.3
1939 : 16.0
1940 : 10.8
1941 : 12.7
1942 : 11.4
1943 : 9.3

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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by LWD » 20 Apr 2010 15:08

takata_1940 wrote:Hi LWD,
LWD wrote:
takata_1940 wrote:... My point was that 1940 coal traffic inside the Ruhr was seriously affected, ....
Any idea how much impact gathering all the river barges fro SeaLion impacted this?
I was talking about railways and coal car placements inside the Ruhr. It shrinked from the start of the war compared to 1937 level (last year unaffected by military operations). See post above extracts from Mierzejewski's book.
...
I realized that but if barges were also being used to move coal then their absence would create additional stress on the rail system as for that matter the rails system being overloaded would tend to shift at least some traffic off to the barges were they available. One of the problems with analysing log systems like this is that usually there are multiple mechanisms each of which has some slack so the true effect of a shortage in one area tends to get masked to at least some extent by capacity elsewhere. The exception of course is when shortages start showing up in most or all areas.

The above is not meant to critize any of your posts or info I was just hopeing to get a little bit broader view on an area that I find interesting but know little about. Indeed I don't think I've ever seen any quantitiative data on the impact of the barge diversions for Sea Lion.

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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by phylo_roadking » 20 Apr 2010 21:29

Any idea how much impact gathering all the river barges fro SeaLion impacted this?
Indeed I don't think I've ever seen any quantitiative data on the impact of the barge diversions for Sea Lion.
I have. Once. And I wish I could remember where...

Apparently German industrialists requested at least TWICE in the Autumn of 1940 that the barges be returned ASAP...for they anticipated an overall reduction in industrial output of some 30%! 8O For of course they weren't JUST carrying coal - but ores, foodstufs, coal for domestic use and electrical generation not just or steelmaking/coking, and of course finished product of all types!

As it was, Bomber Command DID impact (sic) on how many retrurned to riverine service over the winter...and there's the isue too of the cost to converting them BACK to their regular use! Welding up the makeshift bowdoors, removing the ramps and concrete ballasting, etc....
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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by takata_1940 » 21 Apr 2010 16:07

Hi Phylo,
phylo_roadking wrote:
Any idea how much impact gathering all the river barges fro SeaLion impacted this?
Indeed I don't think I've ever seen any quantitiative data on the impact of the barge diversions for Sea Lion.
I have. Once. And I wish I could remember where...
What I've got about Seelion needs, from German staff study:

Seelion, 25th July 1940; requirements with 10% security margin:
155 transport vessels (700,000 GRT) needed:
- 100 from German shipping, 40 from Holland, Belgium, France.
- German Pool: 800,000 GRT used in ore and coal traffic + 400,000 GRT in coastal traffic.

1,722 barges needed:
- 2,000 available from Holland and Rhine traffic.

471 Tugs needed:
- 500 tugs from Germany, Holland, Belgium and France.

1,161 motor boats needed:
- availability not yet determined

phylo_roadking wrote: Apparently German industrialists requested at least TWICE in the Autumn of 1940 that the barges be returned ASAP...for they anticipated an overall reduction in industrial output of some 30%! 8O
Well, this look like a Wiki quote!
Actually, the Dutch were leading Rhine barge traffic; I think they had by far the largest ressources due to their position at the end of the course. For the part (not mentioned above) of German requisitions, they had on hand 6,261 motorized river barges totalling 842,000 net freight tons, and 12,334 un-motorized barges totalling 6,130,000 net freight tons of capacity.

Then, I posted above the part of the River barge freight (10.8 percent) of the total Rail + Barges traffic. Its kind hard to believe that this undetermined number of German barges requisitionned would affect more than a fraction of those 10.8 percent of freight traffic. Beside, Barges were used to ship the same kind of freight as rail freight cars, mostly low value freight which was bulky, heavy and non perishable (see table below).

For an analysis of Seelion impact, I'll need more detailed data (monthly and local details) as it is very difficult to measure anything from German yearly figures. Like for rail, the basis of calculation is changing with conquests and stats are affected (sometime unpredictably) by the variable geometry of "domestic Reich" data. We can see, in the following table, that the traffic data could vary seriously from year to year depending how they were computed (which area was added or not). For barges traffic, it's even worse than railways as the traffic "lifted" or "loaded/discharged" is counted differently: look at 1941 data from two tables from the same source, they are basically the same numbers but one is counting 1940 conquests while the other is not (then shipments from Alsace are "imports", to Luxemburg "export", and traffic inside Lorraine et al. is not computed).
bin1.jpg
bin2.jpg
From those numbers, we might say that war impacted clearly river barge traffic, mostly international traffic, but it's very hard to tell if any disruption was caused by Seelion specifically. I'll presume it caused more burden, but the railway situation was not concerned by Seelion and its traffic was also seriously impacted by the fact of being suddenly at war.
phylo_roadking wrote: For of course they weren't JUST carrying coal - but ores, foodstufs, coal for domestic use and electrical generation not just or steelmaking/coking, and of course finished product of all types!
Right, but what is most interesting to note from table 2 is what was cut down and what was risen. Coal and Construction materials were the winners and all other products were declining. Other stuff non listed included steel plates, fertilizers, etc. but making a very small percentage of the whole. Agricultural products were mostly cereals and vegetables used for making fat.
phylo_roadking wrote: As it was, Bomber Command DID impact (sic) on how many retrurned to riverine service over the winter...and there's the isue too of the cost to converting them BACK to their regular use! Welding up the makeshift bowdoors, removing the ramps and concrete ballasting, etc....
Yes... we all know that Bomber Command achievements were bloody underated!
Hopefully, we have enherited Phylo to rectify it.
:D
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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by LWD » 21 Apr 2010 16:59

From one discussion about Sea Lion it was mentioned that the Germans actually requisitioned on the order of 3,000 barges. After inspection some subset of these were determined servicable. Many were not powered by the way. They were adding engines to some so that (from my rather faulty memory) about 1/3 would be powered. The 1,722 mentioned above coforms to the first wave listings I've seen with additional barges required for subsequent waves and or logistics efforts. I don't know when or if those barges deemed unsuitable were released back to civilian use. The requisition of tugs may also have had some considerable impact on barge traffic. I seem to recall 300 ton and 600 ton barges being mentioned which would fit the size of the unpowered barges listed above better than the powered ones. Here's a thread where it was discussed to some extent. Several other threads related to the barges exist.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... s#p1047902

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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by takata_1940 » 21 Apr 2010 19:15

Hi LWD,
LWD wrote:From one discussion about Sea Lion it was mentioned that the Germans actually requisitioned on the order of 3,000 barges. After inspection some subset of these were determined servicable. Many were not powered by the way. They were adding engines to some so that (from my rather faulty memory) about 1/3 would be powered. The 1,722 mentioned above coforms to the first wave listings I've seen with additional barges required for subsequent waves and or logistics efforts. I don't know when or if those barges deemed unsuitable were released back to civilian use. The requisition of tugs may also have had some considerable impact on barge traffic. I seem to recall 300 ton and 600 ton barges being mentioned which would fit the size of the unpowered barges listed above better than the powered ones. Here's a thread where it was discussed to some extent. Several other threads related to the barges exist.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... s#p1047902
You are obviously insisting into this Seelion's affair while I'm fairly sure that Seelion overall barge requisition could be hardly connected with those 19 percent loss of Ruhr steel production. The related Seelion draft I posted is from 25th July, and even if doubled later, it won't really bother me into making fuzzy statements about Ruhr's coal supply related to barge shortages during Seelion. Domestic freight moved by barges was the same in 1938 and 1940, and 2.7 million tons below 1939 level. Even if all barge freight losses occured in the same place (Ruhr) and at the same time (Seelion), it will account for a maximum of 1,060,000 million tons of coal (40% of cargo) compared with 772,530 tons delivered daily by D-Reichsbahn's coal cars during the same year...
I think the figure is clear enough to conclude that it certainly was not the main problem behind Ruhr's lower steel output during this year even if it could have impacted for a fraction of the losses.

(Edit: for adding Ruhr's steel quarterly production graph with corresponding Seelion's planning period)
Seelion.jpg
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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by bf109 emil » 21 Apr 2010 20:23

Seelion, 25th July 1940; requirements with 10% security margin:
155 transport vessels (700,000 GRT) needed:
- 100 from German shipping, 40 from Holland, Belgium, France.
- German Pool: 800,000 GRT used in ore and coal traffic + 400,000 GRT in coastal traffic.

1,722 barges needed:
- 2,000 available from Holland and Rhine traffic.

471 Tugs needed:
- 500 tugs from Germany, Holland, Belgium and France.

1,161 motor boats needed:
- availability not yet determined
Takata_1940 TY for this data and posting...

firstly...Is there any record of how many of these vessels where destroyed in French ports while assembling due to air attacks, etc.

secondly...what percentage as a total did the removing of these vessels now reduce Germany's war effort or reduction in river/barge traffic alone? I understand the increase in railway traffic helped to alleviate the absence of these barges, but in river traffic, their absence must have lost transport on a certain % scale.

thirdly...with an extra duty now sought by the railroad to deliver and make up these losses by barge traffic to the Ruhr, what if any rail traffic was diverted from other area's of the Reich to make up this loss and thus strain industry in another area, or did Germany have an excess of railcars and this increase in traffic to the Ruhr, with the absence of barges be hardly noticed or felt.

Now finally and this perhaps being a what if and has no merit here, and if so need not be discussed, yet if and had sealion been attempted and failed (as many conclude it might have)....What impact (and again a What if, so holding little merit) would the loss of hundreds of barges if not into the thousand, and tens or hundreds of tugs, and losing of many transport vessels and tonnage, etc. have upon the effect of the Ruhr later in the war? or would German rail traffic simply take up the slack of these missing river vessels, or for how long?

If i overstepped my boundaries perhaps a moderator can remove the last paragraph and add it to a what if section if and has it no value for discussion, yet it is interesting as the returning of these vessels to the Ruhr would have alleviated the increased strain upon the Rail system, similarly the loss of these items would have ensured a drop of river traffic to the Ruhr for sometime until new barges, tugs, transport vessels, etc. could be built. Would these barges have been built in a timely fashion to allow railcars used in the Ruhr to be available only a few short months later to begin assembling troops in Poland and the east for the upcoming Barbarossa, adventures to the Balkans, etc.

Thanks and sorry again for adding a what if, and I have no qualms over it being erased or removed to a what if section or thread..

TY
Jim Snowden (bf109 emil)

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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by takata_1940 » 21 Apr 2010 23:41

Seelion was already addressed in details, feel free to open whatever thread in the relevant forum as I'm not going to speculate further on this subject.

The Dataset I've got is showing for 1940 a drop of 193 unpowered barges with only 1,000 tons less capacity while an average of 480 tons per barge in 1939 vs 487 tons in 1940 was recorded. Data is for January 1st of each year, then mostly due to replacements of old barges with newer ones. By 1.1.1941, stock is rising by 462 units and 345,000 tons, but Austria, Memel and Sudetenland are also added to the inventory at this point (say the table)...
bin3.jpg
Edit: Traffic is Altreich 1937, but 1940 add Reg.-Bez. Kattovitz (and no mention about Austria...)

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Edit: removed inadequate line.
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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by phylo_roadking » 22 Apr 2010 00:07

By 1.1.1941, stock is rising by 462 units and 345,000 tons, but Austria, Memel and Sudetenland are also added to the inventory at this point (say the table)...
Interesting. That's a very low figure; leaving aside the other two....the Danube barge traffic was quite large IIRC. Still is today, hence the demand for so many years for the Rhine-Main-Danube linkup. I don't suppose figures exist separately for Austria for 1938 or 1939?
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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by takata_1940 » 22 Apr 2010 00:45

phylo_roadking wrote: Interesting. That's a very low figure; leaving aside the other two....the Danube barge traffic was quite large IIRC. Still is today, hence the demand for so many years for the Rhine-Main-Danube linkup. I don't suppose figures exist separately for Austria for 1938 or 1939?
I noted: "say the table" as there is another one with Geographical dispatch of the barges (1.1.1939) where obviously, Danube area (Donaugebiet) is included in the total... Then, I'm guessing there might be a bug somewhere [EDIT: no bug. Bavarian Danube traffic stand for the number below]. Obviously, Danube barges were big, almost as big a Rhein ones, but not so numerous. Moreover, Danube traffic was not mostly German/Austrian as also operated by Hungary, Rumania, Yugoslavia.
bin4.jpg
[EDIT: Barges added 1.1.41 accounted for 860 and a capacity of 427,000 tons, including 398 powered and 462 unpowered. Additionnal barges could be counted for replacements as well as for unknow number of German war losses. But it seems to fit Austrian capacity. Previous Bavarian stock operated 252 km of Danube river with 394 heavy barges and Austria added 326 km. This additional stock is also heavy, averaging 747 t for unpowered barges and 206 t for powered ones].

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Edit: corrections.
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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by Jon G. » 22 Apr 2010 10:47

An off-topic post was removed by me.

There's plenty of room for discussion under the broad 'was Germany's war effort badly run'-header, but the nationality of other posters is not part of it.

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