ohh, The munition fallacy. I.e.: allies won because they had more munitions.
Production of materiel was not a major problem to the german war effort. In fact, they needed more men and fuel to use the equipment that they produced historically than they had.
ohh!... and what happened to this mighty German army when it reached the Channel coast in 1940?
Here, the nazi just realized that they were short of every means necessary to finish off the British because they had neither the amphibious equipment, neither the fleet or U-Boote, neither an adequate airforce in order to wage a war accross 20 km of hostile sea. At this time, they had all the manpower they needed, about 2.000.000 useless troops, and a great abundance of fuel as they nearly doubled all their fuel stock from the captured French oil reserves. So, they could have paid a full year hollidays to most of their armed force (at French/Belgium/Holland/Poland expenses), sat on top of their milion tons of raw materials and armament captured from the defeated power, in order to watch their aiforce being wasted in the British sky.
In fact, they produced less materiel because they needed less. To take France and destroy the combined armies of France, Britain, Belgium and Netherlands (totaling 3.4 million men and 150 divisions), the Germans lost only 300 tanks. While, to destroy 60-70 understrength German divisions (totaling around 1 million men), in the western front from 1944-1945, the allies lost 12.500 tanks. Do you see why the allies produced more materiel (equipment)? Because they needed more.
In fact, they produced less materiel than they needed when it was critical for them to have more (in 1940-1942) and they still had the ressource to use it at this time, in manpower and fuel. It was just impossible to develop quickly enough what was lacking (amphibious means, strategical aircraft, long range fighters) or to produce much more than what was planned at the time (naval ships, U-boote, tanks, trucks, etc.).
Why produce 55,000 tanks per year (allied production in 1944) if you can destroy 150 allied divisions losing 300? Germany, out of the major powers of WW2, the one that allocated the smallest proportion of their war resources to the production of munitions (specially equipment), and the power that allocated the largest proportion of resources to the army's payroll.
The reason why Germany had so few tanks in 1940 wasn't because she didn't need more of them, but because she couldn't produce everything she needed at the same time at this stage of the war. Armament factories were not growing like mushrooms. Germany was short of steel but spent a lot in the Westwall - was it really needed in 1939-1940?
The flak guns (with their ammo) were in very great abundance but she feared almost nothing from the air - did she knew it in 1940?
While, at the same time, she had almost an useless anti-tank gun and very few tanks - was it forecasted that she will need much more heavier guns, trucks and tanks later for the Eastern war in order to win a decisive victory?
By the end of 1944, Germany had a very powerfull (and fully trained) anti-tank defence. Almost every troops had some means to destroy any tanks, even the most powerfull. This was not the case in 1940 and such a comparison is meaningless.
By the way, in ten days in May 1940, the Panzerdivisionnen had lost about 50% of their tanks and it took 15 days of refitting before they could be launched again during Fall Rot. At this time, the antitank means were not as deadly as they were later and many tanks could be easily recovered if the battleground was not permanently lost.
Another point about the Western campaign is that this attack was certainly the easiest in many way for the German of the whole war, even if the battleground was fully manned:
- They faced four nations with un-coordinated defences, weak continental airforces added to poor anti-air defences.
- Italy was a threatening factor holding many French and British means (air, sea and ground).
- Germany feared nothing from URSS; nothing along the French border from Luxemburg to Switzerland, as she feared nothing from France during the Polish campaign.
- None of the enemy Armies were battle hardened and a very large part of it was barely trained and poorly armed.
- All the German main attack force was veteran from a victorious campaign, fully trained from real war actions.
- The communication network, from Germany to the objectives, was amongst the best in the world.
- Germany had the initiative to concentrate and attack where, how and when she decided.
- Because of the civilian population density, milions of people would be thrown accross the roads to escape the invasion and bombardements and would desorganize any movements and reinforcements.
- the distance from the German border to Amsterdam was 80 miles, to Bruxelles 70 miles, and to Paris 190 miles.
Nevertheless, destroying France, Belgium and Netherlands would not win the war in the West because Germany had to defeat Britain and was proved powerless to do so... because she wasn't equiped to do it!
The major difference in the East was that Moscow was 600 miles far away, with very poor communications including a limited timespan allowed for military operations by the harsh weather. If German military power could be very strong when concentrated and not too far from the German industries, it wasn't able to keep its strengh once projected to a relative long distance, as it was also the case in North Africa or for any attempt to invade Britain. And the reason was all about war equipment which wasn't up to the task assigned: winning the war.
For example, in 1941 Ger spent 10.85 billion RM in munitions, while war expenditures were 71 billion RM. For comparison, in 1943, the US spent 38 billion dollars in munitions, while war expenditures were 79,7 billion dollars. In other words: Munitions accounted for 15% of Ger military outlays in 1941, while for the US in 1943, munitions consisted in 48% of military outlays. Sources: Klein (1959), Wagenfürh (1954), Bureau of the Census (1975), Harrison (1988).
This is kind silly again to compare what it is not comparable. What you are saying is that the German soldiers were better paid than US troops (I'd like to see how it is computed) because Germany spent less in equipment, then German soldiers were much more motivated and more effective! One would wonder if the troops which were left without winter gears in the Russian winter liked better their high payroll than any warm clothes...
The reason why global comparisons on expenditures between US and Germany are meaningless is because the prime factor behind each country war strategy was the Geography!
The USA had to wage war in Europe at 3,500 miles from its East coast and in the Pacific at 6,000 miles from its West coast! It is not difficult to understand that sea powers cannot wage war overseas like a continental power which is like a spider in the middle of its web. Keeping all the world's oceans safe for tens of thousands of vital merchant ships, protected by thousands of naval vessels relying on hundreds of sea bases accross the globe, to be feed and fully manned, will certainly need some extra money in comparison to the infantry/armor strength deployed on the battlefield. Even the airforce cannot fight without all the shipping behind, and the millions of men mobilized to keep it running.
British 6th Army in Egypt barely reached 6 full combat divisions but its LOC extended accross 13,000 miles around Africa to Britain (3 months run) and kept certainly more than 1,5 milion men busy to supply it. A supply ship in the Pacific could make no more than 3 trips a year as an average. So what? this was costly but USA-Britain could do it until they had a sufficient power able to be projected in Europe, which they did, accross the same chanel that the Germans were unable to cross in 1940... because Germany did not have the means to produce the necessary equipment, whatever good pay and elan the German troops had.