Impact of German air defense spending of war effort

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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stg 44
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Impact of German air defense spending of war effort

Post by stg 44 » 07 Jun 2015 20:33

http://www.amazon.com/Flak-German-Anti- ... 435&sr=1-1
According to the above book the German military spent 1/3rd of its budget on FLAK and associated costs since the 4th quarter of 1941 and that percentage roughly held constant for the entire war. From what I can tell that was in Marks, but what about in terms of production resources, labor, raw materials, etc.? What could they have made instead of FLAK if not confronted by the strategic air war? I'm assuming PAK and artillery for one as the tube production would be roughly the same, but PAK and artillery was a lot cheaper and easier to make due to no need for the turn table for things like the 88mm and advanced optics for air targets and recoil system for rapid fire. In terms of weight an 88mm FLAK gun weighed as much as 4-5 PAK 40s or 3 PAK 43s, not as sure about 105mm and 155m howitzers, but AFAIK it was about 2-3 Howitzers per 88 in terms of weight.

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Re: Impact of German air defense spending of war effort

Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 18 Jun 2015 10:24

A third of the budget seems excessive if including the entire military. Does the book quote any numbers, and does it define what 'associated costs' are?

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stg 44
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Re: Impact of German air defense spending of war effort

Post by stg 44 » 18 Jun 2015 11:47

Ammunition would be the associated costs, which made up a large part of the cost. The book does state 1/3 of the Wehrmacht budget, though if varied as time went on going down in 1942 into 1943, but rising again.

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Re: Impact of German air defense spending of war effort

Post by ljadw » 18 Jun 2015 11:57

Comments

1)The "Flak " production was only indirectly related to strategic air defense: the production started already BEFORE the air attacks

2) Even without the strategic air attacks, air defense spending would be needed to counter tactical air attacks against military units

3)It is not so that if there was no air defense spending other productions would go up by 33 % :less Flak does not mean more Pak and more Pak does not mean more allied tank losses

4)It is impossible to calculate the impact of the air defense spending on war effort by calculating how much of the military budget was going to air defense .33% of the budget does not mean 33 % of the war effort,it could be 40 %,it could be 10 % .

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Re: Impact of German air defense spending of war effort

Post by per70 » 19 Jun 2015 20:32

stg 44 wrote: The book does state 1/3 of the Wehrmacht budget, though if varied as time went on going down in 1942 into 1943, but rising again.
It's been a while since I read the book, but if I remember correctly, it states about 1/3 of the Wehrmacht weapons budget, and not 1/3 of the total budget.

Nonetheless, the Flak arm got alot of resources, and represented a big drain on the German war effort.

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Re: Impact of German air defense spending of war effort

Post by Guaporense » 22 Jul 2016 03:30

stg 44 wrote:http://www.amazon.com/Flak-German-Anti- ... 435&sr=1-1
According to the above book the German military spent 1/3rd of its budget on FLAK and associated costs since the 4th quarter of 1941 and that percentage roughly held constant for the entire war. From what I can tell that was in Marks, but what about in terms of production resources, labor, raw materials, etc.? What could they have made instead of FLAK if not confronted by the strategic air war? I'm assuming PAK and artillery for one as the tube production would be roughly the same, but PAK and artillery was a lot cheaper and easier to make due to no need for the turn table for things like the 88mm and advanced optics for air targets and recoil system for rapid fire. In terms of weight an 88mm FLAK gun weighed as much as 4-5 PAK 40s or 3 PAK 43s, not as sure about 105mm and 155m howitzers, but AFAIK it was about 2-3 Howitzers per 88 in terms of weight.
Well, in the January 1943 the expenditures on flak ammunition were 85 million marks, compared to total monthly government expenditures of 10.4 billion marks. So that's less than 1% of total government expenditures, in terms of personnel we know from this:
Larry D. wrote:Of possible interest:

Total Strength of the Luftwaffe – Stand 25.8.1939: 330,000 (of which 12,000 were officers, 11.5% of the total were flying personnel and 28% were Flak personnel.
[Source: NARA WashDC: RG 242/Microcopy T-971 roll 27 frame 561]

Total Strength of the Luftwaffe – Stand 20.5.1941:
Fliegertruppe 526,000
Flak 500,000
Ln.-Truppe 243,000
Lw.-Bautruppen 153,000
Lw.-Landesschützen 36,000
Total: 1,458,000
[Source: NARA WashDC: RG 242/Microcopy T-971 roll 27 frame 1203]

L.
That in 1941 flak personnel was ca. 500,000 in 1941, by 1943-1944 it certainly increased to about 800,000 but I am not sure (look at the growth in number of flak batteries in the book you cited). That 800,000 manpower cost the government about 3.5 billion marks a year for payment and subsistence costs (that's based on comparative evidence from the US military expenditures: in 1944, each unit of personnel in the US armed forces cost about 2,650 dollars and per capita income was 1,350 dollars).

So the cost of flak was about 1 billion RM in ammunition, 3.5 billion RM in personnel/supplies and a few hundred million RM in the weapons themselves. That rounds up to about 5 billion RM as the total cost of flak for all fronts, most of which was spent in the defense of Germany.

For comparison, total government expenditures in the 1942/1943 fiscal year were 124 billion RM. Considering that most government expenditures were military, that means about 4-5% of Germany's military budget went into flak.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: Impact of German air defense spending of war effort

Post by Larry D. » 22 Jul 2016 19:19

Guaporense wrote in part:
That in 1941 flak personnel was ca. 500,000 in 1941, by 1943-1944 it certainly increased to about 800,000 but I am not sure........

Total Strength of Luftwaffe Flak Personnel – Stand 1.8.1944:
Uniformed Officers, NCOs and Men: 662,000
RAD-Flak, Heimat-Flak, Lw.-Helfer: 221,890
Flak-Helferinnen, RAD-Maiden: 128,710
Ausländisches Behelfspersonal: 98,200
Total: 1,110,800
[Horst-Adalbert Koch, Flak: Die Geschichte der Deutschen Flakartillerie und der Einsatz der Luftwaffenhelfer. Bad Nauheim: Podzun Verlag, 1965. Page 303]

L.

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Re: Impact of German air defense spending of war effort

Post by Guaporense » 22 Jul 2016 20:11

Thanks.

1.1 million men would cost a huge amount of money, much more than the ammunition they fired: about 5 billion RM compared to 1-1.5 billion RM in ammunition. Meaning that total costs for flak probably peaked at about 7 billion RM in 1944 considering the cost of the weapons, still total government expenditures during the period 09.43-08.44 were 149 billion RM, so that's ca. 5% of German military expenditures.

Ammunition expenditures peaked in September 1944 when flak cost 142 million RM.

In September 1944 expenditures on ammunition peaked and consisted of:

800 million RM, of which:

560 million in artillery and small arms
142 million in flak
69 million in bombs and aircraft guns
29 million on naval ammunition
[USSBS, Effects of Strategic Bombing on the German War Economy, page 183]

On average flak consisted of ca. 15% of ammunition production during the war.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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