German vs. Soviet production in 1942

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
Blackarrow
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Re: German vs. Soviet production in 1942

Post by Blackarrow » 09 Jul 2015 16:00

Paul_Atreides wrote: There is a nuance - the number of trucks. In 1939: Germany - ~450 000, USSR - ~850 000.
I would dispute these figures - there were more trucks in the Soviet Union than in Germany in 1939? Perhaps the 850,000 figure constitutes the overall number of trucks in both civilian and military service combined in the Soviet Union at that time - while for Germany the 450,000 figure was only for one or the other?

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Re: German vs. Soviet production in 1942

Post by Paul_Atreides » 09 Jul 2015 19:12

Blackarrow wrote:I would dispute these figures - there were more trucks in the Soviet Union than in Germany in 1939?
Yes.

Trucks production in Germany | USSR

1932 - 8 234 | 23 748
1933 - 13 261 | 39 101
1934 - 27 325 | 54 572
1935 - 41 528 | 76 854
1936 - 57 312 | 131 546
1937 - 62 404 | 180 339
1938 - 63 470 | 182 373

Total - 273 534 | 688 533
Perhaps the 850,000 figure constitutes the overall number of trucks in both civilian and military service combined in the Soviet Union at that time - while for Germany the 450,000 figure was only for one or the other?
For USSR it is right assumption, in civilian service only there were 680 000 trucks on December 1938. For Germany I don't know structure of the number.
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Re: German vs. Soviet production in 1942

Post by South » 09 Jul 2015 20:10

Good afternoon Blackarrow,

Welcome to the forum.

Your point re distinguishing civilian service and military service trucks requires establishing what products fit into each category. I'm leading up to the overlap. Bags of cement can be trucked from A to B to help build the orphanage ..........or the military airfield. Ditto: medical supplies.

Warm regards,

Bob

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Re: German vs. Soviet production in 1942

Post by Guaporense » 12 Jul 2015 01:57

Der Alte Fritz wrote:The comparison of the world economies before and during WW2 has been covered in various books before. The most recent that I can find is "Accounting for War" dated 2002 which gives the following GDP figures:
wartime economies.jpg
These do not seem to show the same picture as the GNP figures above.
The difference in economic size of the US vis other great powers is greatly overestimated by these figures you posted.

These are older Maddison estimates (US numbers there are particularly problematic I dealt with that extensively in other threads, also the US economy wasn't that larger than the UK's, a country with 35% of the population of the US and same technology, figures for military expenditures suggest that even in 1944 UK's military outlays were about 27% of the US's). Newer Maddison estimates combined with Kuznets (who won the Nobel for his work on national accounting) estimates for the US wartime GDP corrected for the distortions caused by traditional measures imply in UK GDP levels about 30% of the US in 1944, Germany about 45% (including territories directly annexed, the figures there do not include the territories annexed by Germany much less those under German occupation).

For example, in 1943, the cost of an American 2 engine medium bomber was 125,000-150,000 dollars, while in Germany it was 250,000-300,000 marks, Germany's GNP was 160 billion marks, US's GNP was 190 billion dollars, that would translate to about 380 billion marks. Not 5 times the number as in that figure you attached, but implying Germany's GNP was about 40-45% of US's level. Similarly, in the USSR the cost of producing a T34 was ca. 180,000 rubles while the cost of producing the similarly sized Sherman was 50,000 dollars, USSR's nominal GNP in 1943 was 180 billion rubles, US GNP would be comparatively about 684 billion rubles. So USSR's GNP was about 25-30% of the US in 1943. Even Japan was more than 10% of the US's economic size, more like around 18%: cost of a Yamato class battleship was 250 million yen, while GNP was 44 billion yen in 1941, compared to the cost of a much smaller Iowa battleship for 100 million dollars, price per ton would imply in an exchange rate of about 1.8 yen (1941) per dollar (1944), so US GNP would be about 340 billion yen in 1943, Japan's 1943 GNP was about 10% larger than in 1941, about 48 billion yen (1941 prices) or about 14% of the US's.

The figures I cited there are nominal figures not PPP figures like Maddison's numbers and they are estimated using the method of physical coefficients where the estimated USSR's pre-war nominal per capita income was estimated based on a series of physical per capita consumptions levels to be 23% of the UK's (i.e. estimated that USSR's per capita income would have been 23% of the UK if the ruble was allowed to freely float against the pound), then I plugged these figures into the population and GDP time series.

In this thread (http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 6&t=212909) I discuss extensively the problems of measuring warmaking potential and also the relevance of the various estimations of GDP figures.
Last edited by Guaporense on 12 Jul 2015 03:08, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: German vs. Soviet production in 1942

Post by Guaporense » 12 Jul 2015 02:08

LWD wrote:One of the problems may be in just what is included in the "great power" numbers. In particular does the UK just include the British Isles or are British colonies also included? The GDP of India from at least one source I've seen was over 200 for at least part of this period and it was a colony at that point in time (as oppose to say Canada which was a seperate country). Then there's the question about whether one should just be looking at the UK or the entire British Commonwealth. Similar considerations would exits for other powers as well.
You probably missed this post of mine:
Guaporense wrote:The Economic Irrelevance of India

According to Maddison's estimates, India was by far the most important territory of the British Empire. It's GDP was 5 times that of Canada and slightly larger than France. Let's see how relevant that estimate is in actual terms, using 1939 fiscal year (april-march) government budget data and official exchange rates, in millions of current (1939) dollars (source: World Economic Survey 1942-44):

United Kingdom
Gov. expenditures -- 9,520
---- military --------- 5,705
Revenues ------------- 5,660
National income ----- 28,000

Germany
Gov. expenditures -- 17,943
---- military --------- ca. 14,000
Revenues ------------- 9,430
National income ----- 51,600

India
Gov. expenditures --- 435
---- military ---------- 168
British imperial tax -- 114
Revenues -------------- 403

The money India sent to the UK was less than 1% of Germany's military expenditures and about the same size as the UK's government expenditures. India's economic contribution to the war was completely insignificant.

India's PPP GDP was huge because it had 350 million inhabitants in 1939, and these people had to eat hence it's GDP can be estimated as the cost of feeding 350 million people plus a tiny surplus output. India's government revenues were 7.1% of the UK's, that means we can estimate India's GDP that did not become agricultural subsistence at 21 billion 1990 dollars, while 235 billion dollars was agricultural output for self consumption. Hence, about 90% of India's GDP was subsistence agriculture. Notice that in China the proportion was probably similar considering that they were able to mobilize only 1/11th of the manpower that an industrialized country like Germany or France could.

Notice that Canada actually had larger government revenues than India in 1939, even though it's GDP was estimated at 1/5 of India. Would be nice to do an analysis of government revenues in other countries as well.
The UK constituted about 3/4 of the British Empire tax revenues with Canada+Australia+India+South Africa+New Zealand constituting the other 1/4 of it.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: German vs. Soviet production in 1942

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 12 Jul 2015 11:36

Angus Maddison died in 2010 and you can see his work on his website here: http://www.ggdc.net/Maddison/content.shtml
and the work carried on by the Maddison project here: http://www.ggdc.net/maddison/maddison-project/home.htm

Simon Kuznets died in July 1985 and won his Nobel Prize in 1971.

It would help if you could give proper references for your sources. Would your "newer Maddison" source relate to the Maddison project?

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Re: German vs. Soviet production in 1942

Post by ljadw » 12 Jul 2015 18:31

Guaporense wrote:
According to Maddison's estimates, India was by far the most important territory of the British Empire. It's GDP was 5 times that of Canada and slightly larger than France. Let's see how relevant that estimate is in actual terms, using 1939 fiscal year (april-march) government budget data and official exchange rates, in millions of current (1939) dollars (source: World Economic Survey 1942-44):



The UK constituted about 3/4 of the British Empire tax revenues with Canada+Australia+India+South Africa+New Zealand constituting the other 1/4 of it.

1)Why do you use actual terms ? And what are actual terms?

2)Why do you use the fiscal year 1939 (which incledes 5 peace months) and not the fiscal year 1942?


3)Tax revenues are irrelevant for this thread,which is :German vs Soviet production 1942

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Re: German vs. Soviet production in 1942

Post by Guaporense » 28 Oct 2015 06:40

Der Alte Fritz wrote:Angus Maddison died in 2010 and you can see his work on his website here: http://www.ggdc.net/Maddison/content.shtml
and the work carried on by the Maddison project here: http://www.ggdc.net/maddison/maddison-project/home.htm

Simon Kuznets died in July 1985 and won his Nobel Prize in 1971.

It would help if you could give proper references for your sources. Would your "newer Maddison" source relate to the Maddison project?
No. They are his GDP estimates made around the 1990's. The ones I used in the other thread to show that in 1941 the Axis and Allies controlled territories with comparable pre-war economic size. Harrison makes the same argument as well.

However, Maddison didn't take into account Kuznets more precise estimates for US wartime GDP. I read about Kuznets estimates in two papers: one criticizing the idea that WW2 lead the US out of the great depression and the other was a paper in the book The Economics of WW2.

So I just used Kuznets time series given Maddison's figure for 1939 US GDP. It yields Germany's GDP at about 38-43% of the US in 1943 (counting or not the annexed territories) and Japan at 17%, Italy at 13%, USSR at 26% and UK at 29%. At first I though that Japan's figures were overestimated but it's true that Japan's output of equipment was around 15-20% of the US and not 10% as conventionally though.

The military expenditure figures I have calculated from benchmark PPP's that I computed and I used consumer price indexes to bring then to the same year's values. Thanks to massive exploitation of conquered territories Germany managed to spend about the same as the US did in the war. While UK and the USSR spend 40%-50% of the US's expenditures respectively, Japan was about 16% and Italy's expenditures were only about 5% of the US's. USSR was the most mobilized while Germany's tax rates were higher in the occupied territories than in Germany itself. Still given that I don't know who purchased German bonds during the war which financed 45% of Germany's military outlays I don't know the precise proportion of the relative contribution to the Nazis war effort between Germany and occupied territories.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: German vs. Soviet production in 1942

Post by stg 44 » 02 Nov 2015 02:13

In terms of bonds IIRC banks were forced to invest all savings in war bonds, which would have been problematic after the war if they won.

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Re: German vs. Soviet production in 1942

Post by KDF33 » 16 Dec 2015 08:08

I would question whether Soviet production really outstripped that of Germany in 1942.

I've compiled a list of military output for 1942. Data is Germany / USSR:

Single-engined operational aircraft: 5,658 / 17,891
Twin-engined operational aircraft: 7,043 / 3,896
Three-engined operational aircraft: 634 / -
Four-engined operational aircraft: 250 / 21
Six-engined operational aircraft: 27 / -

Total engines for operational aircraft: 22,808 / 25,767
Total airframe weight for operational aircraft (kg): 82,245,142 / 78,199,371

Liaison aircraft, training aircraft and gliders: 1,748 / 3,432

Tanks and SPGs: 6,180 / 24,649
Armored cars and half-tracks: 3,556 / 2,623

Locomotives: 2,637 / 13
Train cars: 60,892 / 147
Trucks (including unarmored half-tracks): 91,428 / 30,947
Cars: 27,895 / 2,567
Artillery tractors: 7,627 / 3,520

Destroyers and torpedo boats: 9 / -
Submarines: 222 / 15 (includes a few Soviet surface ships)

Pistols: 467,253 / 170,000
Carbines: 1,149,593 / 4,040,000
Submachine guns: 152,683 / 1,560,000
Machine guns: 77,340 /238,200
Mortars: 18,551 / 208,159

20-25mm guns: 8,694 / 236
<45mm guns: 2,583 / 3,896
45-50mm guns: 4,480 / 20,129
75-76mm guns: 7,213 / 22,994
85-88mm guns: 3,052 / 2,761
105-128mm guns: 2,168 / 4,625
150-170mm guns: 1,220 / 1,809
Heavy guns (>203mm): 33 / -

Bullets: 1,340,300,000 / 4,072,200,000
Mortar shells: 9,672,000 / 53,571,000
20-25mm shells: 87,767,000 / 1,230,000
<75mm shells: 42,000,000 / 28,860,000
>75mm shells: 54,450,000 / 38,033,400
Artillery rockets: 2,350,000 / 4,081,000
Aerial bombs (tons): 262,000 / 166,492

A few remarks:

1. Aircraft

When one controls for number of engines and airframe weight, German and Soviet production is roughly equal.

2. Ground vehicles

The large Soviet advantage in AFV output is largely the consequence of the conversion of the Soviet rolling stock and automobile industry. If all allied industries are counted, German output is substantially larger than that of the Soviets.

3. Ships

The Soviets basically stopped producing ships, whereas the Germans produced a large number of submarines.

4. Weapons

Here the Soviet advantage is truly massive, but then infantry weapons are but a small fraction of the overall armaments industry.

5. Guns

The Soviets have an edge, but when one controls for caliber and includes all the German AAA it isn't as prononced as when merely looking at ground artillery tubes.

6. Ammunition

The Soviets have a large advantage regarding bullets and mortar shells, but the Germans substantially outproduce them in artillery shells and aerial bombs. Weighted, the German edge in artillery fire (even including mortar rounds) is even more pronounced than the basic shell count suggests. Note that I lack data for naval ammunition, which presumably would increase the German advantage even further.

All in all, in 1942 the Soviets outproduce the Germans in infantry weapons and artillery, equal them in aircraft production, and are vastly outproduced in ground vehicles, ships and ammunition.

Regards,

KDF

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Re: German vs. Soviet production in 1942

Post by Guaporense » 19 Apr 2016 21:51

By weight the difference in artillery (not mortar) ammunition production was during the (whole) war it was about 3 to 1, which makes sense given the difference in steel allocation (even though the USSR complemented with pig iron) for ammunition production of 3-4 to 1 during the war.

And note that the weight of ammunition production for small guns was insignificant: 4 billion rounds of rifle ammo weights about 40,000 tons of projectile weight while Germany's output of artillery ammo weighted 1.5 million tons in 1944. The economic size of Germany's production of small arms and ammunition was insignificant next to total military expenditures, to make comparisons of economic strength based on output of small arms is foolish.

In terms of overall military expenditures converted to PPP 1990 dollars according to Madison's estimates of PPP conversion for 1939, is roughly 2 to 1 in 1942: German military expenditures were about 100 billion 1939 RM versus 110 billion 1939 rubles for the USSR, I say "about" because German government expenditures from june 1942 to june 1943 were 121 billion RM, of which perhaps around 90% of it went to the war effort directly or indirectly, that's about 350 billion 1990 US dollars for Germany and 180 billion 1990 US dollars for the USSR.

Still, it's incredible that the USSR was able to maintain such huge military outlays because the GDP of the territories they controlled in 1942 was less than 1/3 of the territories Germany controlled (France, Low Countries, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark and Norway in addition to Germany proper). And the level of industrialization of Germany's territories was much higher as well.

The fact that the USSR was losing 5-6 soldiers for each German loss is a good demonstration of the discrepancy in economic strength.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: German vs. Soviet production in 1942

Post by stg 44 » 20 Apr 2016 00:40

Guaporense you're not figuring the impact of Lend-Lease. Even if your remove the total value of imports the results of the raw material LL inputs get counted as Soviet output, not LL, so it skews the numbers. Without LL Soviet numbers based on their own resources would be much lower.

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Re: German vs. Soviet production in 1942

Post by ljadw » 20 Apr 2016 07:39

Guaporense wrote:
The fact that the USSR was losing 5-6 soldiers for each German loss is a good demonstration of the discrepancy in economic strength.

Casualties and economic strength have nothing to do with each other:economic strength and military strength are twi totally different things .

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Re: German vs. Soviet production in 1942

Post by South » 21 Apr 2016 19:51

Good afternoon Guaporense,

Did you actually mean Soviet troop KIA/WIA compared to German troop KIA/WIA is a good demonstration of MILITARY strength and not economic strength ?

Still, it's not.

For example look at the conflict between WWII China and Japan. Look at the Vietnam conflict between Hanoi's PAVN versus the US military.

I completely agree with Ljadw.

Warm regards,

Bob

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Re: German vs. Soviet production in 1942

Post by Stiltzkin » 04 Aug 2016 21:41

Still, it's not.
Military performance and economy are highly inter-linked. What guaporense wanted to say is that the higher the level of industrialization, the better the respective units training and equipment (per capita). You can trace this already back to the napoleonic wars, e.g a British unit could spend more ammo on a single soldier, Britain was the wealthiest country in the world in that particular era, i.e. they could afford a high ratio of practice rounds per soldier in life fire training:
1. British 'Rifles' - 60 rounds and 60 blanks per man
2. Prussian jägers and Schützen - 60 rounds per man (in 1811-1812)
3. British light infantry - 50 rounds and 60 blanks
4. Prussian fusiliers (light infantry in line regiments) - 30 rounds
5. British line infantry - 30 rounds
6. Austrian line infantry - 10 rounds (in 1809)
7. Austrian line infantry - 6 rounds (in 1805)
8. Russian infantry - 6 and less rounds .
Economy is even going to have an impact on health care and the height of a soldier. This is going to play a significant role on the tactical level.

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