Manhour required to produce armament

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
Jon G.
Member
Posts: 6647
Joined: 17 Feb 2004 01:12
Location: Europe

Re: Manhour required to produce armament

Post by Jon G. » 03 Dec 2010 12:19

Well, ultimately it is a question of quantity of industry, square and simple. The Germans built quite a large number of tanks, although their production was dwarfed by the Soviets and the Americans.

And while there is little wonder that the Americans could out-build anybody, in any category, it is maybe more surprising that the Soviets could build so many more tanks than the Germans did.

In terms of production, the Soviets had the twin advantages of a more monochrome war than the Germans (i.e. they didn't have to keep a U-Boat campaign running, for example, nor did they have to worry about an ongoing battle for air supremacy over Europe), and also the benefit of Lend-Lease, which allowed them to concentrate their industrial effort towards serving their needs on the Eastern Front more than otherwise would have been the case.

For example, Soviet production of railroad rolling stock fell to virtually nothing after 1942 because L-L covered Soviet needs in that area adequately. The Germans didn't quite have that advantage - illustrated, and quite well, by the Tiger example, where Henschel apparently only devoted part of its efforts to building tanks, because there was an ongoing need for railroad stock, which is what Henschel was known for building.

Specifically in the case of Tigers, this tank had to be contracted to a railroad manufacturer because the Tiger was so heavy, and only a RR manufacturer could be expected to have the heavy cranes etc. needed for handling such heavy objects as Tigers in its factories. If the Tiger had been in the 20-ton range, for example, odds are that it would have been built in larger numbers, by more producers, than the heavy and complex vehicle which it actually was.

Another more 'airy' argument could be that much of Soviet industrialization was quite recent (from the 5-Year Plans of the late 20s and 30s), quite centralized (thanks to Communist ideas about the benefits of a planned economy) and, as a result, much easier to turn around and devote to the same common direction of turning out tanks and guns than the more diversified and mostly privately-owned German industry, which originally been more regionalized.

Remember, Germany had been split into a plethora of smaller states until quite recently; by the time Hitler came to power Germany had only been unified for a couple of generations.

User avatar
LWD
Member
Posts: 8584
Joined: 21 Sep 2005 21:46
Location: Michigan

Re: Manhour required to produce armament

Post by LWD » 03 Dec 2010 13:22

If you are looking at overall numbers of tanks it's also woth remembering that the Soviets continued to build a considerable number of light tanks all the way through the war. Might be intersting to compare the tonnage of tanks produced by the various countries.

User avatar
Zebedee
Member
Posts: 341
Joined: 24 Feb 2005 05:21
Location: Manchester UK

Re: Manhour required to produce armament

Post by Zebedee » 07 Dec 2010 10:44

Figures taken from Table E5, Harrison, Accounting for War, Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Year/hours worked per unit of output

Pe-2 bomber: 41/25300, 43/13200
Il-4 bomber: 41/20000, 43/12500
Il-2 fighter-bomber: 41/9500, 43/5900
KV heavy tank: 41/14600, 43/7200
T-34: 41/8000, 43/3700
152mm howitzer: 41/4500, 43/2400 or alternatively 41/4370, 44/3170, 45/3128
divisional gun [unspecified]: 41/2200, 43/600
76mm regimental gun: 41/1200, 43/800
large-calibre machine gun [unspecified]: 41/642, 43/329
rifle [unspecified]: 41/12, 43/9
TT cartridge (per 1000): 41/13, 43/10.8 or alternatively 41/11.4, 42/11.5, 44/10.6, 45/9.7

What's intriguing (and is one of the points Tooze raises in Wages of Destruction) is how well the the time savings were predicted by every industrial nation prior to the war.

User avatar
Guaporense
Banned
Posts: 1866
Joined: 07 Oct 2009 02:35
Location: USA

Re: Manhour required to produce armament

Post by Guaporense » 19 Dec 2010 01:36

What's intriguing (and is one of the points Tooze raises in Wages of Destruction) is how well the the time savings were predicted by every industrial nation prior to the war.
These time savings are obvious considering that these products were only in mass production during the war. As result, when industry converted to war production, productivity would increase fastly, as result of learning. Them, the speed of learning falls down and industry reaches it's equilibrium productivity (they never did, since the war lasted only 5-6 years).

Armen Alchian invented the concept of learning curve when working for the US airforce and measuring the number of working hours for producing aircraft. (profile on this educational site: http://homepage.newschool.edu/het//profiles/alchian.htm)
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

User avatar
Guaporense
Banned
Posts: 1866
Joined: 07 Oct 2009 02:35
Location: USA

Re: Manhour required to produce armament

Post by Guaporense » 19 Dec 2010 01:51

LWD wrote:If you are looking at overall numbers of tanks it's also woth remembering that the Soviets continued to build a considerable number of light tanks all the way through the war. Might be intersting to compare the tonnage of tanks produced by the various countries.
I had produced estimates for german and allied tank tonnage (metric) production:

(numbers from memory from my previous posts)

--------- germany ----- ussr -------- usa
1943 --- 330,000 ----- 550,000 --- 960,000
1944 --- 550,000 ----- 750,000 --- 550,000

The USSR always produced more tank tonnage than Germany. The US produced 3 times more tanks in 1943 in tonnage, but in 1944 the tank tonnage was equaled, as the US had accumulated vast reserves of tanks and they focused more on aircraft production.

The USSR managed to produce so many tanks, surpassing Germany's production and equaling the US's, because they focused a larger proportion of their resources on tanks than either country. According to Art's post, (http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 6#p1051836), 16.5% of the Soviet rolling mill output was used in tank production, while German AFV production consumed 6.5% of their steel production.

Germany also produced a greater diversity of AFVs beyond tanks. While the USSR made their T-34s with handles so that they could carry soldiers on them, since they didn't have infantry carriers.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

User avatar
Zebedee
Member
Posts: 341
Joined: 24 Feb 2005 05:21
Location: Manchester UK

Re: Manhour required to produce armament

Post by Zebedee » 20 Dec 2010 21:08

Guaporense wrote: Armen Alchian invented the concept of learning curve when working for the US airforce and measuring the number of working hours for producing aircraft. (profile on this educational site: http://homepage.newschool.edu/het//profiles/alchian.htm)
Alchian's work came later. Wright proposed formulae for predicting a learning curve for aircraft production in the mid-30s. There is similar work from around that time from other countries too.

nebelwerferXXX
Member
Posts: 1256
Joined: 31 Jul 2010 06:39
Location: Philippines

25 Tigers & 100 Panzer Mk IV

Post by nebelwerferXXX » 03 Sep 2017 09:49

nebelwerferXXX wrote:November 1942 monthly production figures:
---25 Tiger tanks
---1,000 T-34 tanks
October 1942 figures.
100 Panzer Mark IV Specials
900 T-34 tanks

nebelwerferXXX
Member
Posts: 1256
Joined: 31 Jul 2010 06:39
Location: Philippines

Allied Flexibility

Post by nebelwerferXXX » 14 Oct 2017 04:10

0ne US B-24 four-engined bomber by 1944 @ Willow Run facility = 0ne hour only.

source:
German Weapons of World War II, page 149

Hanny
Member
Posts: 708
Joined: 26 Oct 2008 20:40

Re: Manhour required to produce armament

Post by Hanny » 10 Dec 2018 09:37

1943 Germany built 649 TigerI at a single factory, it roughly employed 8000 people at the plant in Kassel, working 12 hour shifts, so 96000 man hours per day. 8000*365 hours= 35040000 man hours per year/649tanks=54,0000 man hours per tank.

1943: 160000 total workforce employed in AFV production
160000*12*365=700800000 yearly man hours.
Of which Tiger I required 5%, leaving 95% of man hours to produce the rest.

300000 manhours was mentioned for tiger production, 300000*649=194700000 hours required, and Kassel takes over 5 years to make them in 43 when it did it in one year, or used up 28% of the years entire manhours of all 160000.
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Paul Lakowski
Member
Posts: 1352
Joined: 30 Apr 2003 05:16
Location: Canada

Re: Manhour required to produce armament

Post by Paul Lakowski » 11 Dec 2018 02:38

I thought the Tiger tank figures were for the Japanese Tiger and was representative of inefficiency of low rate production. Also Banderas et al figures on LW production show the resources employed by factory to produce weapons are the main driver for weapon production rate.

Hanny
Member
Posts: 708
Joined: 26 Oct 2008 20:40

Re: Manhour required to produce armament

Post by Hanny » 11 Dec 2018 09:03

Tiger I sold to japan, by Heschell, same cost to Germany was 300,000RM for exact same thing, radio/ammo ready for use, cost japan 645,000 RM inc delivery, it got as far as Bordeux and could not be sent by blockade runner ( mostly rubber from japan comming in ) and was instead loaned back to Germany and joined the SSPzAbt 101 and was lost in Normandy. It was 1 straight of the production line, it just got sold to different purchaser. Tiger II took 300,000 hours
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Paul Lakowski
Member
Posts: 1352
Joined: 30 Apr 2003 05:16
Location: Canada

Re: Manhour required to produce armament

Post by Paul Lakowski » 12 Dec 2018 03:14

I'm not sure were you are going with this but Henschel made tons of different weapons etc during the war

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henschel_%26_Son


http://www.alanhamby.com/factory1.shtml

Are you suggesting they build 6000-12,000 tiger tanks, instead of every thing else?\

Guess I'm confused?

Hanny
Member
Posts: 708
Joined: 26 Oct 2008 20:40

Re: Manhour required to produce armament

Post by Hanny » 12 Dec 2018 09:19

Henshel made 21 AFV, variants, plus other items, during ww2, but not all were in serial production at the same time. While Tiger I was in production it was converting Pzr III to flame tanks and producing a short run of Panthers for example. This we can see by the model and monthly outputs numbers, hence for 5 months in 43 Tiger I output is 90+ when other production runs had been completed, and Tigers the only serial run, while as low as single digets when not.

We know for the year its output was 649 ( varied by month as other production runs were completed), we know a max number of production hours exist in the year,8000*12 *365 = 35040000 man hours per year/649tanks=54,0000 man hours per tank, as you said, they also produced other items, moving labour between production runs, which will mean the 554000 is the max upper manhours it can have taken as that number requires the entire workforce output in hours and we know it was also producing other items, and therfore a lower value of 33000 per unit of output (when only Tigers were produced for 5 months) could be used. There was also the loss of 70 odd tigers, and hours spent on them, from bombing over 3 months.

I agree that your post show a degree of confusion.
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Return to “Economy”