Tooze's Wages of Destruction : An Inquiry

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
Cannae
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Re: Tooze's Wages of Destruction : An Inquiry

Post by Cannae » 24 May 2013 20:51

I read Homze a few months ago, stg, and I thought I'd post what I found from it (seeing that you were away the week that we discussed this):

Problems with allocating funds for the budget, pages 74-75:
Milch's plan changed daily. For example, the initial budgetary request from the Technical Office (Development, Testing, and Production) was 87.6 million RM, but this was doubled by the end of July. Colonel Wimmer estimated that 177.3 million RM would be needed in 1933 to produce 804 aircraft, including 234 front-line warplanes, 52 auxiliary bombers (carried on the books as Lufthansa aircraft), 88 trainers, 2 test models, and 480 civilian airplanes. The magnitude of the new program can be readily seen. Developmental costs in the July request were budgeted at 18.9 million RM, up 4.7 million from the original request, while procurement and factory preparation expenses rose from 66.1 million to 150.9 million RM. Wimmer remarked that the new funds would be approved by the end of July 1933, but the exact amount was still uncertain because of the tentative nature of his production projections. (7)
Even though sizable, the defense expenditures were carefully disguised. Of the original 30.0 million Reichsmarks requested for airframes only, only 5.4 million appeared in the official public budget, while the remaining 26.6 million was carried on the unemployment work program. Wimmer commented that the additional moneys requested would be recorded in the ratio of 1 to 5. In the developmental program a higher percentage of costs were publicly acknowledged; 10.2 million of the 18.9 million RM for 1933 only appeared in the public budget. (8)

(7)haushaltsplan-Gesamtprogramm 1933, C Nr. 1400/33 R, den 21.7.1933, von Rohden document (4376-680), BA/F.
(8)Ibid. The official budget for the RLM was listed at 78.3 million RM for 1933-34 and 210 million RM for 1934-35, although Milch asserted that it was in reality five times higher using the same formula cited here (Irving, Milch, p. 407)
Contracting, pages 89-90
General contracts were another common method used to finance the industry, although firms receiving state funds were not eligible for them. Aircraft contracts were modeled after the munitions contracts of the 1920s whereby the Ordnance Office guaranteed costs and 10 percent profit, plus an interest-free loan to cover the cost of the new buildings and equipment required. In return the company retained ownership of the newly constructed buildings, but the machinery belonged to the Reich and was leased to the firm, which agreed to maintain and replace it. (44) Advance payments on contracts were also made, normally a 3 percent architectural honorarium, paid once plans for expansion were drawn and accepted. But the most useful method was the immediate down payment of from 15 percent for large firms to 30 percent for small firms of the total cost of production project once the contract was let. Then in regular installments the manufacturer received a percentage of the contract until it was completed. This was of great assistance to most firms, since they did not have to borrow money while waiting for payment and could, in fact, finance needed expansion from ongoing contracts. Depreciation allowances, which averaged 4 but in some instances amounted to 25 percent of the cost of machinery, also provided a cushion for rapid expansion.
The most important form of subsidy was the "cost plus" contract. Until 1939 all aviation developmental work and most of the production series airplanes and engines were manufactured under cost plus contracts based on preliminary prices. The final price was arrived at during or after production by the RLM and the factory. The Technical Office recognized that the manufacturers often padded their bills with excessive labor, materials, and machinery costs, but it was assumed that the overcapacity created by the cost plus contracts would be useful in the even of full mobilization. (45)
Beginning in fiscal year 1936 conditions changed. Shortages of foreign exchange, sharp competition between the armed services for defense funds, and bulging domestic spending by the government dictated the need for greater economy. The monetary pinch affected the aircraft firms in many ways; some became parsimonious, others did not. As the Luftwaffe edged toward a firm-price policy, used effectively for some time with the auxiliary industries, direct funding of expansions replaced the cost plus contracts. The Luftwaffe's Economic Office eagerly tried to press the firms into line with comparative statistics, hoping to strengthen the industry through sharp criticism and a firm price-fixing policy which would make it more productive and competitive with foreign concerns. (46)

(44)Karl Nuss, "Einige Aspekts der Zusammenarbeit von Heereswaffenamt und Ruestungskonzernen vor dem zweiten Weltkrieg," Zeitschirft fuer Militargeschichte 4 (1965): 436-37.
(45)Hertel, "Die Beschaffung," p. 197: Obersting. Mix, "Ueber die Gerateentwicklung bei der Luftwaffe," Lw 103/63, DZ/MGFA.
(46)On firm price fixing, see Lt. Col. Ploch's memo to Generalmajor Volkmann, LC Nr. 11779/36 III Geh., Berlin, 12.Dez.1936, von Rohden document (4406-588), BA/F.

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stg 44
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Re: Tooze's Wages of Destruction : An Inquiry

Post by stg 44 » 25 May 2013 16:09

The problem with contracting was that by 1936 it was haphazard. Fixed price multi-year contracts weren't really the standard until 1939 and even then there were still serious issues with the Luftwaffe interfering with industry by demanding special types of aircraft in 1939-41, which kept the work bench methodology was the standard until 1942. You'll notice that by the end of the book Homze criticizes the process from 1936-39 (and beyond) as little more than organized chaos, as Göring and Udet constantly interfered in manufacturing at their whim; Overy extends this study into 1939-41 with his thesis study on aircraft production in this period, which he supplements with his latest book on Göring, while Uziel, using the same title as Homze, discusses the period from 1942-45 in aircraft production, with a look at the early war period included to contrast the different periods. The conclusion is that the Luftwaffe was unable to enforce fixed price contracts until 1942 thanks to Göring and Udet, which let the industry largely continue as it had from 1936 onward: little oversight into their production methods or raw material allocations, while financing unnecessary factory and machine tool expansions during the war at government expense for their post-war production plans. They also were busy devoting engineering resources toward civilian designs for the post war period and were producing civilian goods for the black market and expected post war consumer demand from their war allocations of raw materials off the books. They were even outsourcing engineering of civilian aircraft to the French during the war with government money, which the French ended up using for their post war airliners!

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Re: Tooze's Wages of Destruction : An Inquiry

Post by Cannae » 01 Jun 2013 19:40

You'll notice that by the end of the book Homze criticizes the process from 1936-39 (and beyond) as little more than organized chaos, as Göring and Udet constantly interfered in manufacturing at their whim
Yes, I have the page numbers you are referring to. He has that assessment on pages 262-263:
After 1936 the Nazi management of the aviation industry was not centralized. Udet's Technical Office, the general staff, Göring, Milch, and the aircraft designers vied with one another for control of the aviation program, but in the long run none of them managed to gain the control that Milch had had up to 1936. In that authoritarian state which in essence was more an anarchic-impulsive dictatorship, as Heinrich Uhlig so aptly labeled it, (10) there was no one authority, but many. Instead of a uniform, consistent policy toward the aircraft industry, there was confusion and chaos. Each firm tried to build everything from single-engined trainers to multi-engined bombers, and every effort of the ministry to squeeze them into specialization was successfully countered.

The general staff's and the Technical Office's constant shifting of specifications and introduction of new industrial programs only compounded the problems of the industry. The inability of the general staff to fashion clear-cut technical objectives for the industry meant an enormous waste of priceless engineering skill, time, and materials. While the General Staff was placing confusion and impossibly high technical demands on the ministry and the industry, it was also insistent on adequate equipment for its rapidly expanding operational units. To meet these heavy demands the Technical Office and the firms resorted to promising more than they could deliver. The Technical Office tried to keep pace with the changing technical specifications of the general staff, but its average of three complete production programs a year from 1933 to 1939 would have played havoc with a bicycle firm, much less an airframe plant with its four- to five-year lead time. Of course, some of the constant jockeying of programs was caused by factors outside the control of the Luftwaffe, for example, materials and foreign exchange shortages in 1936. But much of it was their own doing. The desire to protect their labor force and maintain steady industrial production, coupled with the desire to prove the need for more funding, meant that the ministry did a lot of unnecessary shifting from plant to plant despite the obvious inefficiency involved.

An overall assessment of the way the Nazis managed the aircraft industry would have to be negative. Although the industry expanded rapidly, its full capacity in terms of potential for production and development was never reached in the prewar period.
He then states on page 266 that, had the Nazis developed a strategic bomber force, that the results of the Battle of Britain and even the Eastern Front might have been reversed. Is he correct in saying that the outcome of the war might have been changed if the air industry and the economy weren't negligently managed?

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Re: Tooze's Wages of Destruction : An Inquiry

Post by ljadw » 01 Jun 2013 20:18

No: he is wrong . A strategic air force would mean : no tactical air force ,and, I like to see what was better for the Germans in may/june 1940 : a tactical air force,supporting the army,or a strategic air force .

BTW : a strategic air force would not make the difference during the BoB ,because strategic bombers would be as vulnerable /helpless as the bombers the LW had in 1940.

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stg 44
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Re: Tooze's Wages of Destruction : An Inquiry

Post by stg 44 » 02 Jun 2013 03:20

Cannae wrote:
You'll notice that by the end of the book Homze criticizes the process from 1936-39 (and beyond) as little more than organized chaos, as Göring and Udet constantly interfered in manufacturing at their whim
Yes, I have the page numbers you are referring to. He has that assessment on pages 262-263:
After 1936 the Nazi management of the aviation industry was not centralized. Udet's Technical Office, the general staff, Göring, Milch, and the aircraft designers vied with one another for control of the aviation program, but in the long run none of them managed to gain the control that Milch had had up to 1936. In that authoritarian state which in essence was more an anarchic-impulsive dictatorship, as Heinrich Uhlig so aptly labeled it, (10) there was no one authority, but many. Instead of a uniform, consistent policy toward the aircraft industry, there was confusion and chaos. Each firm tried to build everything from single-engined trainers to multi-engined bombers, and every effort of the ministry to squeeze them into specialization was successfully countered.

The general staff's and the Technical Office's constant shifting of specifications and introduction of new industrial programs only compounded the problems of the industry. The inability of the general staff to fashion clear-cut technical objectives for the industry meant an enormous waste of priceless engineering skill, time, and materials. While the General Staff was placing confusion and impossibly high technical demands on the ministry and the industry, it was also insistent on adequate equipment for its rapidly expanding operational units. To meet these heavy demands the Technical Office and the firms resorted to promising more than they could deliver. The Technical Office tried to keep pace with the changing technical specifications of the general staff, but its average of three complete production programs a year from 1933 to 1939 would have played havoc with a bicycle firm, much less an airframe plant with its four- to five-year lead time. Of course, some of the constant jockeying of programs was caused by factors outside the control of the Luftwaffe, for example, materials and foreign exchange shortages in 1936. But much of it was their own doing. The desire to protect their labor force and maintain steady industrial production, coupled with the desire to prove the need for more funding, meant that the ministry did a lot of unnecessary shifting from plant to plant despite the obvious inefficiency involved.

An overall assessment of the way the Nazis managed the aircraft industry would have to be negative. Although the industry expanded rapidly, its full capacity in terms of potential for production and development was never reached in the prewar period.
He then states on page 266 that, had the Nazis developed a strategic bomber force, that the results of the Battle of Britain and even the Eastern Front might have been reversed. Is he correct in saying that the outcome of the war might have been changed if the air industry and the economy weren't negligently managed?
Thanks to the pioneering work done by several other others on the issue of strategic bombers in the LW, the very best that could have been hoped for was having a four propellor He 177 ready by early Summer 1942 in several Geschwader, organized over the winter and spring. There is no way there would have been a strategic bomber force ready prior to that, definitely not in time for the BoB.

Then the problem is getting enough fuel for them. Then there is the problem of Hitler letting them go after critical pressure points in 1942 like Soviet oil in the Caucasus, which Hitler wanted to capture intact, before the Soviets built up their air defenses historically. Then Hitler can't throw them away in the Stalingrad airlift, like he did with the less than functional He 177s that were historically produced. Then he needs to get the LW to hit Soviet power stations around Moscow as planned and then go after targets of strategic opportunity all around the USSR (of which there were many critical ones to hit). Again enough fuel is critical, as they consumed something like 6 tons per mission each.

Having an organized aviation industry though would help, as it would mean more aircraft available, so less grounded pilots for lack of operational aircraft; this is especially critical in the 1939-1941 period when Germany was on the attack, had enough experienced pilots, was experiencing shortages of aircraft AND mechanical fatigue from overflying of aircraft, lack of spare parts, lack of reserve aircraft, etc. All of which would be solved by having a better organized industry. Part of the problem though is structural beyond the aviation industry, as after General Walter Wever's death Göring went through a number of CoS and ended up with one he could bully into doing his bidding, which he couldn't with Wever. That resulted in a number of very poor decisions, including cutting pilot training, which hurt the LW as it lost lots of experienced pilots after the repeated and ill=conceived air campaigns after the Fall of France.

Beyond that Göring was in charge of the rest of the economy by 1936, so badly mismanaged that, one symptom of which was the aviation industry. It also meant that Germany did not have enough fuel for its aircraft, largely because Göring did not build enough synthetic fuel plants and caused vast wastage in the various construction plans for the country, not to mention outright theft and graft that he used to enrich himself. So killing off Göring in early 1936 would save not only the aviation industry, but also just about all of the German economy from serious mismanagement, which in turn would change things. Just saving the aviation industry is not going to change the course of the war, but would certainly help a lot, as Germany could sell some of its surplus to Romania for extra oil and keep a more combat ready LW at the front; still the structural issues of fuel and lack of trained pilots (partially a symptom of fuel concerns) after 1941 largely dampens the effect of a better organized aviation industry.

So the German economy as a whole needed to be saved, which could really only be achieved by Göring's untimely death in 1936. It wouldn't hurt too if General Wever lived past June 1936 either.

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Re: Tooze's Wages of Destruction : An Inquiry

Post by paspartoo » 02 Jun 2013 09:48

How in Zeus’s name could the Germans have built a ‘strategic’ (I guess the meaning is 4-engine bomber) airforce in the 1930’s? They started to build up the aero industry from almost scratch and it took the Anglo-Americans till the period 1943-44 to get their own strategic forces fully operational. Germany with fewer resources is going to achieve more in half the time….
Why not build 100 nuclear bombs in the same timeframe, it is more realistic.

By the way I like the talk about the German economy being mismanaged. The same person was smacked some time ago but I guess being wrong doesn’t count. Just continue posting the same stuff.
A simple economist with an unhealthy interest in military and intelligence history.....
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Re: Tooze's Wages of Destruction : An Inquiry

Post by ljadw » 02 Jun 2013 10:35

:P :lol: :thumbsup:

paspartoo
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Re: Tooze's Wages of Destruction : An Inquiry

Post by paspartoo » 07 Jun 2013 19:08

If someone wants to read more on the German war economy and whether it was ‘mismanaged’, ‘inefficient’, ‘armaments in width not in depth’ etc check the following articles:

1). From Economic History Review:’ Fixed-price contracts, learning, and outsourcing: explaining the continuous growth of output and labour productivity in the German aircraft industry during the Second World War’ By LUTZ BUDRASS, JONAS SCHERNER, and JOCHEN STREB. This is basically the same article as ‘Demystifying the German “armament miracle” but with additional information on outsourcing.

2). ‘Industrial Investment in Nazi Germany: The Forgotten Wartime Boom’ by Jonas Scherner. Google it , it can be downloaded for free.

3). From Economic History Review: ‘‘Armament in depth’ or ‘armament in breadth’? German investment pattern and rearmament during the Nazi period’ By JONAS SCHERNER
A simple economist with an unhealthy interest in military and intelligence history.....
http://chris-intel-corner.blogspot.com/

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Re: Tooze's Wages of Destruction : An Inquiry

Post by ljadw » 07 Jun 2013 21:34

:thumbsup:

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Re: Tooze's Wages of Destruction : An Inquiry

Post by Dili » 09 Jun 2013 05:17

Bombing someone to defeat can only be done with massive quantities that Germany couldn't have a way to have, besides how they would bomb US. Conquer Canada and Mexico?

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Re: Tooze's Wages of Destruction : An Inquiry

Post by AlfonsoHaynes » 05 Dec 2013 06:38

Cannae wrote:I found a few notes from Richard Overy's How the Allies won the war that I would like to present in this thread, as well as in other articles.

As you said stg 44, German machine tools were more general purpose, to take up multiple tasks, whereas the machine tools in the United States and Britain were structured in a division of labor mode of production. Although such a decision by German generals would hinder higher levels of production, it was very resistant to any changes in weapons of choice, modifications, and such. So production was, arguably, concentrated on few weapons system. In short, they sacrificed quantity but gained quality. You're saying, though, that the maintenance of weapons was more difficult since there was less parts for them? Like what parts were difficult to acquire for the Panther or Tiger? German tools tended to last longer than American ones, once machine tools in the US had arrived their replacements were paid for. So while the Germans started off with more machine tools, this was vastly overcome by the rate of American mobilization and their purchasing standard.

In the Soviet Union, labor conditions were very unfavorable to the people as a whole. Overy on p. 187 states that all holidays and leave for workers were cancelled. Generally there was 12-16 hours of work and three hours compulsory overtime. All economic activities were governed by military law. Rationing was even worse. On the same page he gives, for miners and metalworkers, 2 pounds of bread per day along with 5 pounds of meat, a pound of sugar and a pound of fat per month. Food producers only got half a pound of bread and a potato or two each day (p. 188)

Another thing I would like to expand on, is the method of food production and such. Most inputs for the farmers were oxen to plow, since the army took the horses and tractors necessary to increase output. Was erosion or greenhouse gasing common? How much arable land was used in the Soviet Union compared to Nazi Germany? Did the supply of oxen in the Soviet Union fluctuate, and could solar energy help fuel the war effort?

Overy praises the United States' ability to produce, he gives the examples of Liberty ships. They were built in parts, away from the slipway, and then assembled there by modern welding methods. (p. 194) A mile from the shore, vast assembly sheds and storehouses were built. Don't you think there was considerable labor needed on the storehouses, also that they had limited carrying capacity?

The one definitive factory in Overy's account is Opel, but it was a foreign affiliate of General Motors. Not until 1942 were plans for mobilizing the company taking place. What took so long? He references his Göring book on pages 99 and 161 but I don't have those at the moment. There was also Wolfsburg, only twenty percent of it was utilized. (Why the Allies won p. 202)
”stg 44” wrote:Also the workflow of craft work was inherently inefficient, as it utilized benchwork, rather than workflow production
The advantage in benchwork is that it requires little machine tools, but Germany had more stock of it compared to the US until 1944. Was the benchwork technique ever abandoned at one point? Small businesses were employed maybe, because it was less corrupt and decentralized.

Surely, Britain as you said had less subcontractors and larger factories, it's strange to me how the British economies would have no problem since, due to having less subcontractors, there wouldn't be a higher profit rate that would encourage greed.

The article you gave me on page 4 conditions that European machine tools were “typified perhaps by the so-called engine lathe”.

On page 5 he gives the following figures for machine tool stocks:

Table 1. USSBS comparison of machine tool stocks
US STOCK
GERMAN STOCK
US ANNUAL ADDITIONS
GERMAN ANNUAL ADDITIONS
Jan-1940 942,000 1,177,600
Jan-1941 1,053,500 1,305,800 111,500 128,200
Jan-1942 1,246,500 1,437,800 193,000 132,000
Jan-1943 1,529,386 1,554,900 282,886 117,100
Jan-1944 1,770,935 1,656,800 241,549 101,900
Jan-1945 1,882,841 1,737,100 111,906 80,300
Source: USSBS Report 55, p. 3.



He mentions Stephen Broadberry's productivity race, which I found on Google Books here http://books.google.com/books?id=EfKyy2 ... ce&f=false .

Page 7: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/dae/repec/cam ... pe0342.pdf
German machinery and techniques have become popular all around the world.. You have mentioned effective and practical ways which are highly acceptable in our society.

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Re: Tooze's Wages of Destruction : An Inquiry

Post by KDF33 » 06 Dec 2013 08:40

stg 44 wrote:
Cannae wrote:
Having an organized aviation industry though would help, as it would mean more aircraft available, so less grounded pilots for lack of operational aircraft; this is especially critical in the 1939-1941 period when Germany was on the attack, had enough experienced pilots, was experiencing shortages of aircraft AND mechanical fatigue from overflying of aircraft, lack of spare parts, lack of reserve aircraft, etc. All of which would be solved by having a better organized industry.
I have a serious problem with this line of reasoning. The idea that low German aircraft production in the early years of the war was due to disorganization rather than deliberate choice seems unlikely to me. If you look at the aircraft production programs, for instance, you'll note that until Program 222/1 of 21.9.42, they didn't call for much of an increase in aircraft output:

Data is for projected output on 7.41 / 1.42 / 7.42 / 1.43 / 7.43 / 1.44 / 7.44:

Program 19 (15.3.41):

1E fighters: 267 / 375 / 400 / - / - / - / -
2E fighters: 88 / 113 / 120 / - / - / - / -
1E bombers: 60 / 60 / 55 / - / - / - / -
2E bombers: 355 / 404 / 331 / - / - / - / -
4E bombers: 6 / 19 / 42 / - / - / - / -

Program 21/1 (1.11.41):

1E fighters: - / 280 / 340 / 375 / 450 / - / -
2E fighters: - / 117 / 128 / 140 / 140 / - / -
1E bombers: - / 76 / 76 / 100 / 100 / - / -
2E bombers: - / 375 / 444 / 528 / 495 / - / -
4E bombers: - / 10 / 37 / 58 / 75 / - / -

Program 211/1 (15.3.42):

1E fighters: - / - / 340 / 405 / 465 / 445 / -
2E fighters: - / - / 136 / 137 / 140 / 130 / -
1E bombers: - / - / 75 / 100 / 100 / 100 / -
2E bombers: - / - / 438 / 523 / 438 / 410 / -
4E bombers: - / - / 37 / 60 / 82 / 142 / -

Program 222/1 (21.9.42):

1E fighters: - / - / - / 516 / 865 / 1,047 / 1,409
2E fighters: - / - / - / 141 / 177 / 243 / 335
1E bombers: - / - / - / 100 / 140 / 150 / 160
2E bombers: - / - / - / 504 / 532 / 530 / 572
4E bombers: - / - / - / 38 / 71 / 126 / 146

The German aircraft manufacturers more-or-less delivered on those targets, so they can hardly be blamed for respecting the procurement program! Indeed, there is substantial evidence that the German aircraft plants were working way below full capacity. If you create a composite index based on the peak output achieved by the different aircraft plants in 1941, you get this:

Composite index 1941 / Real production 1941 / Production 1942 / Production 1943:

1E fighters: 6,300 / 2,852 / 4,542 / 9,626
2E fighters: 2,016 / 880 / 671 / 2,112
1E bombers: 840 / 476 / 917 / 1,844
2E bombers: 6,744 / 3,816 / 5,371 / 6,254
4E bombers: 84 / 58 / 251 / 491

Now, some might say this is a statistical fluke caused by a shifting of resources between plants, but actually I'm unaware of any evidence of that occurring. Indeed, in 1941 the aircraft industry workforce grew in absolute terms, from 550,000 workers on 31.5.41 to 630,000 on 30.11.41, so it seems unlikely that Peter was being robbed to pay Paul.

Given this production record at individual plants, but also the air procurement programs, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that, far from underperforming, the German aircraft industry delivered to the RLM what was expected.

So, was it an issue of overoptimistic RLM planners, of "victory disease" that kept aircraft output artificially low early in the war? On closer inspection, there were sound reasons for the RLM to demand a limited supply of aircraft: it lacked the fuel to field a larger force structure.

In 1940, total German avgas production amounted to 643,000 tons, to which a further 78,000 tons of exports were added. During the entire year, the Reich consumed a total of 863,000 tons, leaving a shortfall of 142,000 tons. Fuel reserves at the beginning of the year amounted to a mere 511,000 tons, and what forestalled their reduction was the capture of 275,000 tons of French avgas.

In 1941, total German avgas production and imports amounted to 910,000 tons. No significant avgas stocks were captured in the USSR, and total consumption amounted to 1,274,000 tons. Stocks had to be drawn down and fell to a mere 254,000 tons at the end of the year, an historic low point.

In 1942, production and imports reached 1,472,000 tons and consumption 1,426,000 tons, allowing for a slight increase in the fuel stock.

What all this fuel data shows quite conclusively is that, even had the Germans raised aircraft output, they wouldn't have the spare fuel to operate them nor to train the pilots necessary to fly them. The low production was sufficient to maintain the existing force level. Thus, in 1941 the size of the multi-engined bomber fleet varied between 1,339 and 1,481 machines, whereas the single-engined fighter fleet varied between 817 and 1,330. Note that the fighter strength figures are misleading, given that early in the year the Jagdwaffe retired most of the Bf 109Es and reequipped with the F model. For the period of intense combat operations, strength fluctuated between 1,171 and 1,330.

You see the same phenomenon in 1942: bomber force levels fluctuate between 1,147 and 1,393, whereas fighter force levels vary between 1,208 and 1,534.

To sum up, looking at the low early German aircraft output and concluding that it proves their incompetence is misleading. There were barriers to fielding a larger force beyond aircraft production, and mass-producing thousands of extra planes, all without fuel and pilots, many of obsolescent types moreover, would have been an absurd waste of resources.

Regards,

KDF

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Re: Tooze's Wages of Destruction : An Inquiry

Post by stg 44 » 12 Dec 2013 18:14

The problem was that the RLM set goals for 1939-1941 that were much higher than were achieved; they wanted greater output, but were denied due to the massive disorganization of production. I don't have Richard Overy's thesis in front of me where he lays this out specifically, but IIRC there were supposed to be 15,000 combat aircraft produced in 1940, when in fact there were only between 3-4,000 produced (though total aircraft output was about 12,000, mostly non=combat models).
German aircraft production, 1939-42: a study in the German war economy.
Degree: Ph. D.
Date awarded: 1978
Author: Overy, R.J.
Supervisor(s): Stone, N.
University: Cambridge
This is also broached in less detail in "Goering: Hitler's Iron Knight".
I'm not disagreeing that there were limiting factors in being able to use all of those aircraft, but production plans were not being met; I'll consult my copy of "Goering' when I get home later tonight for a page number and quote.

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Re: Tooze's Wages of Destruction : An Inquiry

Post by KDF33 » 12 Dec 2013 22:59

Well, combat aircraft output in 1940 amounted to 7,103 machines.

As for RLM targets, I lack the 1939-40 plans but I have the programs for 1941, and they 1) set rather low targets and, 2) these targets were successfully met. Besides, if disorganization in the industry was such a problem, why then did most German aircraft plants reach their pre-1943 peak early in 1941? Again, here's my composite 1941 index against real yearly production:

Composite index 1941 / Real production 1941 / Production 1942 / Production 1943:

1E fighters: 6,300 / 2,852 / 4,542 / 9,626
2E fighters: 2,016 / 880 / 671 / 2,112
1E bombers: 840 / 476 / 917 / 1,844
2E bombers: 6,780 / 3,816 / 5,371 / 6,254
4E bombers: 84 / 58 / 251 / 491

If disorganization was the problem, how do we account for this? It would imply that German manufacturers went from being disorganized in 1940 to much better organized in early 1941, to poorly organized again in late 1941 and during 1942, before becoming once again better organized in early 1943. This hardly makes any sense to me.

A better explanation, IMO, would be that aircraft production was initially set to expand in anticipation of heavy losses against the Anglo-French, which accounts for the peak production of the early months of 1941. Then, in March 1941 Program 19 ordered cutbacks due to negligible losses in the period following the BoB. Production was then kept at a relatively low level, sufficient to maintain first-line strength, until late 1942.

Hopefully you'll find the RLM programs for 1940 so we can see more clearly!

Edit: Note that, if they were supposed to get 15,000 combat aircraft a year in 1940, then they weren't far off: by early 1941 they had succesfully reached this target, with my composite index giving a total yearly output of 16,020 combat types.

Regards,

KDF

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Re: Tooze's Wages of Destruction : An Inquiry

Post by ljadw » 13 Dec 2013 07:40

Using only the output of combat aircraft,is misleading .

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