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.
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waldzee
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Re: Badly? Try horrid in areas..

Post by waldzee » 02 Mar 2012 06:23

Jon G. wrote:This has more to do with how the economic effort running up to war was lead, although you could make a point that the German economy was already mobilized well prior to 1939:

[(truncation)
Second: They built 'victory stadia', & threw major circuses when they should have bartered for cheap oil from 1936-1939 - & stored it!
Well, how would you exchange Nürnberg mass rallies and similar with oil? Propaganda, mass rallies &c. were all part and parcel of the Nazi regime, and not things which they could have made away with without consequence. Also, and just like Autobahnen, mass rallies, olympic stadia and the like could be procured, mostly, from domestic resources.
third: they built fragile, experimental synthetic fuel plants that couldn't deliver!
Synthetic fuel is crazy from an economic point of view - unless rearmament is your #1 priority, you have too little fuel to cover your own growing needs, and you need to save as much foreign currency as possible for #1, above - but it did eventually deliver at the end, after massive investments. The Germans didn't lose the war for want of oil.
Despite all that - they won the war in - 1938 & 1940- then threw it away. Invading the Soviet Union was at least a decade pre mature.
That is highly speculative, and also not the subject of this thread.
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Lots of Good points John- will cover them as I get time.

1938- Should be March of 1939, when they occupied Memel & took over the balance of the Czech Republic. At this point the Third Reich has formed ‘Mittel Europa’ & has no need to attack Poland- except blind egos. Any expansion east can wait a couple of decades- or can be ‘financial’,- or persuading Poland into a joint attack.

So I feel that thsi is integral to the tread,as by 1959 , or earlier, advanced jets with glider bombs can wipe out the battleships at Scapa flow...

Thanks
Reg
Last edited by waldzee on 02 Mar 2012 16:37, edited 1 time in total.

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waldzee
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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by waldzee » 02 Mar 2012 13:15

Re synfulel:
considered & rejected in Western Canada & Britian. Plants not 'hardened', are too subject to bombing. Catalytic Process in 1930's /40's
was primitive( pourous iron matrix). Huge amount of tar residue, as hydrocracking not developed until 1950's/
thx
Reg

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waldzee
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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by waldzee » 02 Mar 2012 16:29

Second: They built 'victory stadia', & threw major circuses when they should have bartered for cheap oil from 1936-1939 - & stored it!
__________________________
Jon G requested:

Well, how would you exchange Nürnberg mass rallies and similar with oil? Propaganda, mass rallies &c. were all part and parcel of the Nazi regime, and not things which they could have made away with without consequence. Also, and just like Autobahnen, mass rallies, olympic stadia and the like could be procured, mostly, from domestic resources:
_______________________
We have been workign through this at
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=186692.
I need to read Fredich Schulers new book for a definite answer. In 1937, Goebbels told Hitler that the German people "would wear rags & eat cabbage if it meant final victory"
Thx
Reg

Jon G.
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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by Jon G. » 02 Mar 2012 20:58

With all respect Waldzee, whether synthfuel was turned down in Britain and Canada is not very relevant to this topic. Nor is your 1937 Goebbels quote particularly illuminating regarding the OP question, namely 'Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run'?

Please pay attention to the topic title, stream-of-consciousness posting is discouraged, in this topic as in other topics on this board.

ljadw
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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by ljadw » 02 Mar 2012 22:59

I think that the answer should be :no .
I don't think that the Germans could have improved their war effort substantially,having the means they had .
Of course,with hindsight,one could criticize some strategical decisions,but,that's totally an other thing .And,I don't think that with different strategical decisions,the German war effort could be run better .

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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by steverodgers801 » 03 Mar 2012 00:35

The two things to do was focus on either a land based army or a strong navy, but there was no way to do both. The biggest thing would to have a rationalized economic command much earlier. Too many bosses messed it up.

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bf109 emil
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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by bf109 emil » 03 Mar 2012 02:15

waldzee wrote:Second: They built 'victory stadia', & threw major circuses when they should have bartered for cheap oil from 1936-1939 - & stored it!
how??? Germany needed 9.9 million tons deemed necessary as a war footing (that was for a quick war)...do you know how much this is?? to try and squirrel away, store, ship and if bombed would be the end of mechanical warfare for the Wehrmacht...not easy to hide 64 million barrels of oil, nor the capacity to transport, store almost 2 full years of production from Romania would equal this volume...ever worked on an oil storage facility, little wonder the USAAF had little trouble bombing synthetic plants and tanks once they became priority.

waldzee wrote:I need to read Fredich Schulers new book for a definite answer. In 1937, Goebbels told Hitler that the German people "would wear rags & eat cabbage if it meant final victory"
Thx
Reg
problem is Goebels had no idea in 1937 what the future held in store for Germany, it's direction it would take nor could have known...I'm thinking mein Fuhrer placed him in the dog house for such an outlandish remark...

ljadw
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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by ljadw » 03 Mar 2012 21:55

For those interested in a recent source that's debunking the old theories that full mobilisation only started in 1942,etc

Nazi Germany's preparation for war:evidence from revised industrial investment series
The source is mentioning that the investments in the armament industries were higher in 1941 than in 1943

It is better to read the text (several hundreds of pages) not in the original form but in the available full window PDF

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stg 44
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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by stg 44 » 05 Mar 2012 18:53

ljadw wrote:For those interested in a recent source that's debunking the old theories that full mobilisation only started in 1942,etc

Nazi Germany's preparation for war:evidence from revised industrial investment series
The source is mentioning that the investments in the armament industries were higher in 1941 than in 1943

It is better to read the text (several hundreds of pages) not in the original form but in the available full window PDF
That's not at issue. Overy addressed this in 1976. What is at issue is how inefficient the armaments industry was. The German economy was in 1939 more war based than Britain in 1943. But it was producing fewer materials with this vast allocation of resources than Britain in 1940-1943. That is were inefficiency comes in. Its not about how many consumer goods there were, as there were very little, but rather how many war materials were produced with the resources allocated; the answer is not nearly as many as should have been. Compare 1940 to 1944; using the same resource base and number of factories, German production was over all about 2.5x as much in 1944 as 1940 with less skilled labor (slaves) and under bombardment. Yet they produced much much more. There were obviously some gross inefficiencies in 1940.

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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by ljadw » 05 Mar 2012 19:27

This is a wrong assumption :the 1939 investments in the air force armament plants would not produce results in 1940,but later .The production results of 1942 were determined by the investments of 1939 (or 1940),the production results of 1943,by the investments of 1940,or 1941.Etc ..
Before reaping,one has to sow .
See also my post in the Tooze thread :you can't compare 1940 with 1944,and you can't compare the German economy with the British one .
There is also no way to prove that the Germans could produce more in 1940 than they did in reality ,and,that's the only way to prove inefficiency ,instead of comparing what is not comparable .

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stg 44
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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by stg 44 » 05 Mar 2012 19:34

ljadw wrote:This is a wrong assumption :the 1939 investments in the air force armament plants would not produce results in 1940,but later .The production results of 1942 were determined by the investments of 1939 (or 1940),the production results of 1943,by the investments of 1940,or 1941.Etc ..
Before reaping,one has to sow .
See also my post in the Tooze thread :you can't compare 1940 with 1944,and you can't compare the German economy with the British one .
There is also no way to prove that the Germans could produce more in 1940 than they did in reality ,and,that's the only way to prove inefficiency ,instead of comparing what is not comparable .
The amount of raw materials, labor, and factory floor space (i.e. same square footage meaning no new factories after 1939) were about the same. There were only a few factories completed after 1939 and these were either never used or very badly run for models that never saw combat like the He177.

Yes, we easily can compare those years, because not much changed really. 1944 was somewhat different, but one can still adjust for weight of aircraft produced, as then bombers would be statistically weighted to compare to fighters.

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Re: Was Germany's War Effort Badly Run?

Post by ljadw » 05 Mar 2012 21:13

You are comparing the usual apples with the usual lemons .
In 1940,Germany and Britain were producing different aircraft,using different methods and using different resources .
In 1944,Germany was producing different aircraft from 1940,using different methods and different resources.
In 1942,the US produced 200 % of the British aircraft production,in 1943;300 %,in 1944 370 %.
It's of course impossible that the US were using the same % of resources =in 1942 200 %;in 1943,300 %,in 1944 370 %,that's mean that (following your arguments) the US were,or more efficient than Britain,if they were using in 1942 less than 200 % of the British resources,or less efficient than Britain,if they used in 1944 more than 370 % of the British resources.And,this is of course absurd.
The only way to prove an inefficiency ,is to prove that Germany (or an other) could have produced (in the same year) more,using the same methods,and the same amount of resources .

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Re: Badly? Try horrid in areas..

Post by Nautilus » 10 Sep 2016 23:40

Mostlyharmless wrote:For example, it is hard to see how completing the Volkswagen factory was going to help an air/naval campaign. Also if Germany had defeated the USSR, it would not have needed most of the synthetic oil plants. Hitler was surprised by the British and French declarations of war. The official plan assumed that war was only likely in 1943-44 (the naval Z-plan for example). The synthetic oil programme made sense on that assumption.
The war on land needed small vehicles as well - the VW Kübelwagen.

There are fruits of the same war effort which we enjoy today - synthetic oils, the high-octane additived gasoline and so on.

There is also a remnant of the war production strategies that endured to present day as a "signature" of Volkswagen Group. And this remnant is not a car, nor an industrial machine. It's the modular construction. Which entails a great deal of upgradability, development potential, of a single product. Like in a desktop computer: remove the CPU - replace with 100% compatible part, but with better performance.

The VW KdF / Beetle / Bug / Type 1 by the last year of production doubled the horsepower, gained modern luxuries as AC or fuel injection, increased cubic capacity by 60%, held a reasonable weight and superb reliability. With minor expense, people modded them for racing.

Just as the modern VAG cars: they are designed around a standardized bin of interchangeable modules, which can be combined to give a better product. VW, Audi, Seat or Skoda, the majority of parts are compatible. Need more hp? Change the turbocharger. Need better handling? Change the anti-roll bar, or the shocks, or the steering bushings, or combine them until satisfied. As some thousands of people on VWVortex may proudly show.

The V200 locomotive in the post war years had similar modular construction, with engines, either Maybach or Mercedes, and gearboxes, either Maybach or Voith, different internally but fully compatible. There are many of them running with one Mercedes engine and one Maybach engine, or two different transmissions, or a Maybach engine on a Voith transmission and vice versa.

Which looks suspiciously similar to the way Luftwaffe aircraft were converted in the field with Rüstsätze bolt-on modules. Even more suspicious when the savior of VW, Heinz Nordhoff, had been a former military contractor building standardized trucks for the frontline.

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