Was the German war effort badly run?

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
Boby
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Re: Was the German war effort badly run?

Post by Boby » 08 Sep 2016 10:08

How many AFV, aircraft and U-Boats produced Germany in WW1? xD

Yes, they can concentrate on weapons, bombs and ammo basically.

But again, if you can post basic info of the ammo industry 1939-45 it would be helpful. How many factories, how many workers, how many machine tools, how many raw materials, etc, etc

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Re: Was the German war effort badly run?

Post by ljadw » 08 Sep 2016 10:26

All these are easily available on the net, but they are irrelevant for the OP : was the German war effort badly run ?

There is no proof that the Germans could have produced more when it was needed .

Some people argue that they produced not enough between june 1940 and june 1941, but they fail to understand that there was no need to produce more during that period .

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Re: Was the German war effort badly run?

Post by Boby » 08 Sep 2016 11:37

ljadw wrote:All these are easily available on the net .
Where??? :idea:

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Re: Was the German war effort badly run?

Post by ljadw » 08 Sep 2016 11:52

3 exemples :

Industrial mobilisation of WWII : a German comparison (M.Harrison )

Comparison of American and German economies in WWII (AHF)

WWII Myths : The German war economy was mismanaged (Christos military and Intelligence Corner )

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Re: Was the German war effort badly run?

Post by Boby » 08 Sep 2016 12:06

Thanks

ljadw
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Re: Was the German war effort badly run?

Post by ljadw » 08 Sep 2016 12:08

And also

A German Soviet military -economic comparison (feldgrau, but with wrong conclusions)

Demystifying the German armament miracle

Paying for Hitler's war:the consequences of Nazi economic hegemony for Europe

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Guaporense
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Re: Was the German war effort badly run?

Post by Guaporense » 10 Sep 2016 03:23

Oil and German munitions output: a comparative perspective

One interesting parallel is comparing output between Germany and the UK from 1940 to 1944 of stuff that needs oil to run and stuff that does not.

Stuff that does not need oil to run:

------------------------------------------ Germany ------- UK
Guns (over 75 mm) ------------------- 128,000 -------- 38,400
Thousands shells (over 75 mm) ------ 312,000 ------- 72,000
Thou. Rifles & machine guns -------- 10,947 --------- 6,176
Locomotives --------------------------- 12,096 --------- 3,106

average ratio Germany/UK: 333%

Stuff that needs oil to run:

---------------------------------------- Germany -------- UK
Aircraft ------------------------------ 100,400 ------ 111,400
Tanks --------------------------------- 43,000 ------- 26,900
Trucks ------------------------------- 341,000 ------ 414,000 (from 1941-44 only)

average ratio Germany/UK: 111%

I estimated that German military expenditures during the war were about twice the British, these figures suggest, also, that German allocation of resources was focused more on stuff that doesn't need oil to run because of their high constraint in oil. Also notice that the stuff that doesn't need oil was actually much more important for warfare at the time: locomotives were the main logistical tool in WW2 and supplied tens of millions of tons of supplies to the various fronts, while shells and guns were the main tool to inflict casualties on the enemy as they corresponded to the bulk of all casualties while small arms are weapons required by infantry to hold territory, which is the most fundamental task of armed forces.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Guaporense
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Re: Was the German war effort badly run?

Post by Guaporense » 10 Sep 2016 05:26

Boby wrote:How many AFV, aircraft and U-Boats produced Germany in WW1? xD
In WW1, Germany built:

351 U-Boats
48,381 aircraft

Compared to about 1,000 U-Boats and 100,000 aircraft in WW2, although WW2 aircraft were on average several times bigger. Also note WW1 lasted way less times (50 months versus 70 months for WW2) and Germany controlled territories in WW1 with about 300 billion 1990 dollars in GDP compared to 900-1,100 billion dollars in GDP for territories under German control in WW2.

This was a British tank factory in WW1:

Image

Not very different from an American tank factory in WW2:

Image

The idea that "Americans invented" mass production is complete nonsense.

Anyway, here is a link for WW1 munitions production and military expenditures and 1913 GDPs for the great powers that I computed:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... output=pdf
Yes, they can concentrate on weapons, bombs and ammo basically.
So did Germany in WW2:

Image

WW1 steel allocation probably looked the same for 75% of the steel allocation categories, but with less steel for tanks and motor vehicles.
But again, if you can post basic info of the ammo industry 1939-45 it would be helpful. How many factories, how many workers, how many machine tools, how many raw materials, etc, etc
Well according to the USSBS workers:

1943 - 568,500
1944 - 608,500

Rolled steel allocation, tons per month:

1943 - 300,000
1944 - 400,000

I don't have data for machine tools but I would guess about 250,000 machines given it's relative size in the whole metal-working sector. Although the problem is not output for 1943 and 1944 in my opinion but the low output in 1941-1942. Thing is, output was low because after the Battle of France, Hitler though that the war on the ground was already won (now they only needed to defeat the Third World Country called USSR), so ammunition production decreased 70% between July 1940 and November 1941. They started increasing ammunition production again after the USSR showed to the world it was still alive and kicking in the Battle of Moscow.
Last edited by Guaporense on 11 Sep 2016 03:28, edited 1 time in total.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

Boby
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Re: Was the German war effort badly run?

Post by Boby » 10 Sep 2016 08:19

Thanks for the info. Very Interesting data.

Boby

Pd: I was unaware of the huge output in aircraft in ww1 8O

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Re: Was the German war effort badly run?

Post by Boby » 10 Sep 2016 08:53

It was not "badly run" if you are saying that the NS-Leadership thought there was no reason to continue the ammo production levels for Barbarossa.

I remind you there was a real crisis in the First half of 1940, resulting in the appointment of Dr. Todt as munitions minister in March.

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Re: Was the German war effort badly run?

Post by ljadw » 10 Sep 2016 11:07

Boby wrote:It was not "badly run" if you are saying that the NS-Leadership thought there was no reason to continue the ammo production levels for Barbarossa.

I remind you there was a real crisis in the First half of 1940, resulting in the appointment of Dr. Todt as munitions minister in March.

There were 3 reasons why the ammo production was not increased for Barbarossa


1 ) The ammo consumption in may/june 1940 was lower than expected, resulting in a surplus of stocks

2 ) As Barbarossa was planned, calculated, expected as a short campaign of a few weeks (not much more than Fall Gelb/Fall Rot ) there was no need to increase the ammo production


3 ) The war against Britain/US had priority over Barbarossa and already on 20 june 1941, Hitler had given the order to decrease the ammo production for the army, in favour of the production for the LW .

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Re: Was the German war effort badly run?

Post by Boby » 10 Sep 2016 11:20

ljadw wrote:[2 ) As Barbarossa was planned, calculated, expected as a short campaign of a few weeks (not much more than Fall Gelb/Fall Rot ) there was no need to increase the ammo production .
Do you mean the border battles? Hitler and Fromm expected 3-4 months.

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Re: Was the German war effort badly run?

Post by ljadw » 10 Sep 2016 13:50

The decision would be obtained in the border battles,the war as such would last 5 /6 months ;in july Halder wrote in his diary that the war was won, but wasn't over,the mopping up /pursuit would take several months, but the ammo consumption would be minimal .

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Re: Was the German war effort badly run?

Post by Guaporense » 09 Oct 2016 02:06

Conclusion

I have been studying WW2 for more than 7 years now, my desire to study in it deep were actually derived from my perception that the German war effort was badly run, a perception mainly derived from the low output of tanks and aircraft in the early years of the war.

I have reached some conclusions by now:

The German war effort was not badly run, it was actually, by far, the most efficient war effort of all great powers. On a per capita basis, the Germans were as a country, far more militarily effective than any other major power during the war. They used their effectiveness in their attempt to impose Hitler's will onto the world. The world fought back, the world won. These were some countries that declared war on Germany or were under a state of military confrontation with Germany from 1939 to 1945:

Czechoslovakia
Poland
France
UK
Belgium
Netherlands
Norway
Denmark
Luxembourg
Yugoslavia
Greece
Romania
USSR
Italy
China
India
USA
Canada
Australia
Brazil
Mexico

The fact is that although the GDP of territories under Axis control was of similar magnitude to the GDP under Allied control, the fact is that most of the GDP under Axis control was still resisting German occupation and Nazi racist ideology made the 180 million people in regions under Nazi occupation in Europe de-facto enemies who caused hundreds of thousands of military casualties on the Wehrmacht. While the Wehrmacht itself had it's manpower mostly restricted to the 90 million people in the Greater German Reich. So, WW2 was effectively: a country of 90 million people at war with 330 million people in the US, UK, USSR, Canada and Australia, plus having to hold over 180 million people in occupied countries. While Germany's Allies were mostly ineffective as well. Strategically speaking, the conditions of the US and UK were easy: the USSR had to defeat Germany while their had to defeat Japan and Italy, which were quite weak although Japan was extremely fanatical in the end it's economic and technological inferiority relative to the Western world meant that it's defeat was still relatively easy in the hands of Western technological and doctrinal superiority.

The main factor in the outcome of WW2 was a combination of demographics and morality: there were too few Germans so they couldn't effectively enslave the rest of Europe and by enslaving most of Europe and killing millions of innocent civilians made the Nazi regime an extremely dangerous criminal organization which meant that the World was fully committed to it's elimination.

So the puzzle to be explained was not that they lost the war but why it took the Allies so long a time and with such difficulty to win. If the Allies were intelligent they could have won in 1939 when the Nazis invaded Poland or even earlier.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: Was the German war effort badly run?

Post by Stiltzkin » 09 Oct 2016 02:44

I have been studying WW2 for more than 7 years now
It took you 7 years to realize this?
If the Allies were intelligent they could have won in 1939 when the Nazis invaded Poland or even earlier.
Yes, Tooze stated the same thing, standing idle while Poland was being attacked.
The main factor in the outcome of WW2 was a combination of demographics and morality:
How would you sum up the economical factors, most literature I have absorbed usually stated that they did not have the means to fight a prolonged war (besides demographics/thus workers etc.), others occasionally stated that the WAllies negated the advantage of "industrialization levels" and did not allow to evolve the conflict in such a way.

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