German economic collapse in 1944-45

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
histan
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by histan » 07 Apr 2017 23:31

What I am saying is completely consistent.

What I am saying is that the figures are consistent with Allied airpower not achieving some thing that it didn't set out to achieve!

The bomb tonnage figures are "inputs" to the military activity. The target groups show against which targets there military activities were directed.

Looking at the total bomb tonnage dropped between 1 May 1944 and 1 May 1945 shows:
30.5 % [the largest percentage] was dropped on Group III targets - Transportation: communication facilities [Michael Kenny has repeatedly made this point]
20.3 % were dropped on Group IV targets - Tactical: Naval Installations; Airfields and Aircraft; Ground Support

So over half of the bombing effort of the Combined Strategic Air Forces in the European Theatre of Operations was not directed against German Industry.

15.9 % were dropped on targets related to the Oil Industry

A mere 5.8 % were dropped specifically against German Industry

The remaining 27.5 % were dropped against Group I targets - Cities and Areas. I leave it to other to decide how to allocate this - the "Terror Bombing" community will say this was all aimed at killing civilians and destroying civilian property - others will say there was an impact on German industry.

Given that a mere 5.8 % of the bombs were dropped specifically against German industry (other than oil) I think it is fair to conclude that bringing about the collapse of the whole of German industry was not an objective of the combined bombing campaign.

So to repeat - the bombing campaign is being criticized for not achieving an objective that it never set out to achieve.

Regards

John

PS Please don't force me to post the repeatedly changing Allied target priority listings that will show exactly what they were targeting.

Yoozername
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Yoozername » 08 Apr 2017 00:11

The remaining 27.5 % were dropped against Group I targets - Cities and Areas. I leave it to other to decide how to allocate this - the "Terror Bombing" community will say this was all aimed at killing civilians and destroying civilian property - others will say there was an impact on German industry.
I actually wanted to ditch this thread, and even had a contact with the moderator, but it is just too interesting a topic, and the fallacies that the OP is putting out has to be addressed with factual data.

The German industries were within and closely situated around cities/trains. Not only that, the common German worker did not own a car and more than likely commuted to work from a very short distance. Targeting the industry has the unfortunate side effect of killing civilians, but in many cases, they are the ones that work in the industries.

Targeting a city itself, and purposely burning it down, is another thing as far as I am concerned. If that city does not have industries, or seats of Government, it really crosses a line. If your enemy does that to you first, but you are claiming to be the moral one, it just gets into a mess as far as discussion.

The German dispersal of industries and sub-contractors made the transportation targets very lucrative as far as slowing everything down.

Of all the bombing, the oil targeting, even though it was 15%, probably had the most impact at the right time.

Stiltzkin
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Stiltzkin » 08 Apr 2017 00:17

The remaining 27.5 % were dropped against Group I targets - Cities and Areas. I leave it to other to decide how to allocate this - the "Terror Bombing" community will say this was all aimed at killing civilians and destroying civilian property - others will say there was an impact on German industry.
It had an impact on both, but you are just evading the real problem here. The question is about the actual impact on the overall reduction of Industral power. Surely, you are not suggesting here that 70-99% were destroyed by air raids. Guaporense showed that the impact was not as large as people on the Internet think it was, hence he was trying to find out what provoked the collapse at a time where bombing runs were already part of everyday life.

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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Michael Kenny » 08 Apr 2017 00:37

Stiltzkin wrote:[ Guaporense showed that the impact was not as large as people on the Internet think it was, hence he was trying to find out what provoked the collapse at a time where bombing runs were already part of everyday life.
And he came up with the brilliant theory that the German people and army just suddenly decided to give up and rush headlong into the arms of the advancing Allies.
He has 'showed' nothing more than a boundless ability to twist and falsify data. He trawls the net to find obscure 3rd rate blogs with numbers that suit his argument and have no relation to reality. In short he is a man on a mission and nuffink is going to come between him and his fantasy.
Last edited by Michael Kenny on 08 Apr 2017 00:40, edited 1 time in total.

Stiltzkin
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Stiltzkin » 08 Apr 2017 00:39

Alright, substract the ETO, MTO and the EF. Are you really trying to tell me that the strategic bombing campaign alone would have brought the 3rd Reichs Industrial complex to its knees? It is not April the 1st anymore.

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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Michael Kenny » 08 Apr 2017 00:48

Stiltzkin wrote:Alright, substract the ETO, MTO and the EF. Are you really trying to tell me that the strategic bombing campaign alone would have brought the 3rd Reichs Industrial complex to its knees? It is not April the 1st anymore.
I am telling you no such thing. All I am doing is giving the other side of the argument. I see no meeting in the middle on any of the issues and am content to let the reader make his own mind up about who they think made a better case. Let the public decide!

.

Stiltzkin
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Stiltzkin » 08 Apr 2017 00:54

Thats not what it sounds like. The sum of the fronts and bombardment caused the average worker to realize that the war was over. Turning away from the NSDAP reign and switching to subsistence mode and thus saving himself was his highest priority. In WW1, the impact of mobilization and the terrible losses on the EF caused the downfall of Tzarist Russia, people switched to autonomous survival mode. No bomb hit the Russian Industrial complex.

histan
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by histan » 08 Apr 2017 01:22

Stitzkin

No - if anything I am suggesting the opposite!

The bombing campaign did not have as an objective the collapse of the whole of German industry.

It's main objectives were to attack those facilities that would have most impact on German military power. So over half of the effort was directed against Group III and Group IV targets.

Guaporense produced data that showed that the impact of air raids on the reduction in planned man-hours across the whole of German industry was small. But he made a mistake in arguing that the whole allied bombing effort produced this small reduction. I am saying that this small reduction in man-hours was in fact attributable to a much smaller part of the allied bombing effort because most of the Allied bombing effort was deployed elsewhere.

I am further arguing that that part of the Allied bombing effort deployed specifically against German non-oil industry was targeted against a small part of German industry, such as tank and aircraft production and so also was not responsible for the collapse of the whole of German industry.

Some aspects of the bombing campaign - the area bombing of the cities could have an impact as could the attacks on transportation. My impression is that it was not the physical destruction of the factories that was the reason.

So I agree that Guaporense has a valid question.

I also think that he made a mistake in discussing the role that air power might have played and the data he used to suggest that it might have been small. I am suggesting that gathering more data and producing a more detailed discussion would have produced a better case.
To make it worse he made a bigger mistake of suggesting that air power had no effect on the functioning of the German army in the Normandy campaign, based on similar aggregate level data to that he had used in his statements about German industry. That the Normandy claim was so easy to disprove cast doubts on his claim that the collapse of German industry was not due to the bombing campaign.

The resulting debate produced more heat than light.

The reasons behind the collapse across German industry (if there was such a collapse) is a subject for discussion.

Also a "compare and contrast" discussion between the soldiers who kept on fighting and the workers who stopped working (if they did) is also worth having

Regards

John

PS I wrote this before your last post - I think that the reasons you put forward are valid

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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Yoozername » 08 Apr 2017 02:38

The reasons behind the collapse across German industry (if there was such a collapse) is a subject for discussion.
Yeah, the big IF. People discussing something as if it happened somewhere in history instead of just in their heads....Revisionistic fake History....

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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Stiltzkin » 08 Apr 2017 04:29

It's main objectives were to attack those facilities that would have most impact on German military power. So over half of the effort was directed against Group III and Group IV targets.
Yes and it primarily killed civillians. So in the end, the campaign was mostly a failure. It was more about retribution than anything else.
Revisionistic fake History....
So you are argueing that a shattered and devastated country is as productive as a healthy country?
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id= ... 1up;seq=68
There was even a decrease in non bombed areas.
Bombing had a further impact of 10% on overall production in heavily bombed areas, in relation to absenteeism. You can hardly argue that this was 50 or 90%. It looks like the NSDAP had less and less grip over the Reich and bombing was not the only variable in the equation.

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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Guaporense » 09 Apr 2017 07:11

@histan - My statistic on hours lost is by industry and by type. The loss in hours in armament factories and industries related to war production was not significantly higher than in the rest of the economy.

Re-posting it:

Image

Image

In the industries that were 90% munitions for the Wehrmacht like motor vehicles, aircraft, shipbuilding, the fraction of the time lost to bombing was a bit higher than the average of 2.8% but not tremendously higher, it was 3.9% on average for these 3. That's not significant, it's was not effective in it's aim: the stated aim of bombing was to reduce German munitions production. But German munitions production increased steadily during the war, it started to decrease only when the whole Nazi sphere of power began to collapse in the second half of 1944.

The supply of tanks to the Wehrmacht peaked in December 1944, for instance. In may 1944, production of tank-related motor vehicle industry was only affected by 3.5%, aircraft? 4.2%. Not a substantial effect.

In munitions related industries on average the loss was 4.5% compared to 3.9% for all industry in September 1944.
Stiltzkin wrote:Thats not what it sounds like. The sum of the fronts and bombardment caused the average worker to realize that the war was over. Turning away from the NSDAP reign and switching to subsistence mode and thus saving himself was his highest priority. In WW1, the impact of mobilization and the terrible losses on the EF caused the downfall of Tzarist Russia, people switched to autonomous survival mode. No bomb hit the Russian Industrial complex.
And Germany in WW1 had more civilian deaths to the Allied blockade than Germany in WW2 had civilian deaths due to strategic bombing. It appears to be impossible for some people to understand that there were other things happening in WW2 besides strategic bombing.

It's pretty obvious that in the second half of 1944 the whole social order began to collapse, in effect bombing was a flag signalling the end of the war: since it showed the civilians their government couldn't protect them anymore from arbitrary attack.
Yes and it primarily killed civillians. So in the end, the campaign was mostly a failure. It was more about retribution than anything else.
Indeed. Did strategic bombing manage to:

(a) Reduce the supply of munitions to the Wehrmacht?

No. Supply of munitions increased throughout the war until the 4th quarter of 1944. Supply of ammunition peaked in September 1944.

Tonnage of projectiles fired by the German army from artillery guns, AT guns, mortars and rifles:

1942 - 763,941
1943 - 1,197,256
1944 - 1,647,546

A very similar trajectory as described by the Soviet Army:

1942 - 446,113
1943 - 828,193
1944 - 1,000,962

Clearly, bombing in 1943 and 1944 had no impact on the overall trajectory: it obviously failed to reduce the volume of delivery of munitions to the front-lines and hence failed to reduce the fighting power of the Wehrmacht.

(b) Did it cause a decrease in overall industrial production?

Before mid 1944, industrial production was increasing (while industrial production was decreasing continuously in Germany in WW1, by the way: Germany in WW1 was economically isolated by the war and so it's economy started to collapse right when WW1 started. The conquest of Europe by the Nazis in WW2 meant that Germany managed to function better than in WW1, also they acquired huge influx of labor supply from conquered territories). German industrial output started to decrease only after the Nazi sphere of power collapsed (and hence, the trade links with the rest of Europe). So no, bombing didn't affect overall industrial production.

(c) Did it made the Wehrmacht ineffective?

No. Until the end of the war the intensity of Allied casualties suffered did not decrease, in fact it increased: in 1945 the Allies lost more men per month than during the months of Barbarossa in 1941. The main difference was that the size of the allied ground forces fighting the Germans in 1945 was over 3 times larger than in 1941.

It's true however, that air attack had decisive effect on the supply of aircraft fuel. The synthetic fuel industry was apparently more vulnerable to air attack than any other industry. However, the bulk of the tonnage of the bombing was not targeted at that specific industry. So we can conclude that 85% of the tonnage dropped by strategic bombers were wasted munition from a cold strategic standpoint.

Well concluding, and the fact is that strategic bombing by it's very concept is a ineffective strategy: it seeks to weaken the armed forces of the enemy indirectly: through the physical destruction of the society that maintains it. Since the German field army was 4 million men while the country that maintained the army had 90 million people (after all territorial annexations), and since the way strategic bombing worked was by dropping unguided bombs from airplanes 5,000 - 10,000 meters above target areas, it's easy to see that most bombs never hit their targets and that destroying the civilian society that maintains the military force from the air, being much larger than the military, is also much harder to destroy physically than going in the battlefield and shooting directly at the enemy soldiers, "face to face": the closer to the enemy you are, the easier it is to defeat it. Although there is one severe drawback in fighting the enemy's army directly: they shoot back at you. 8O

The WAllies choose to not fight the war directly (until it's last year) and paid as the price for it the transformation of the USSR into a superpower as it conquered half of Europe when it defeated Germany almost alone.
Last edited by Guaporense on 09 Apr 2017 07:41, edited 4 times in total.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Guaporense » 09 Apr 2017 07:15

histan wrote:What I am saying is completely consistent.

What I am saying is that the figures are consistent with Allied airpower not achieving some thing that it didn't set out to achieve!
So what it did set to achieve? Kill civilians for retribution? Because it clearly did not reduce the effectiveness of the Wehrmacht on the battlefield. From the military strategist standpoint it was a waste of resources.
The bomb tonnage figures are "inputs" to the military activity. The target groups show against which targets there military activities were directed.

Looking at the total bomb tonnage dropped between 1 May 1944 and 1 May 1945 shows:
30.5 % [the largest percentage] was dropped on Group III targets - Transportation: communication facilities [Michael Kenny has repeatedly made this point]
20.3 % were dropped on Group IV targets - Tactical: Naval Installations; Airfields and Aircraft; Ground Support

So over half of the bombing effort of the Combined Strategic Air Forces in the European Theatre of Operations was not directed against German Industry.

15.9 % were dropped on targets related to the Oil Industry

A mere 5.8 % were dropped specifically against German Industry

The remaining 27.5 % were dropped against Group I targets - Cities and Areas. I leave it to other to decide how to allocate this - the "Terror Bombing" community will say this was all aimed at killing civilians and destroying civilian property - others will say there was an impact on German industry.

Given that a mere 5.8 % of the bombs were dropped specifically against German industry (other than oil) I think it is fair to conclude that bringing about the collapse of the whole of German industry was not an objective of the combined bombing campaign.

So to repeat - the bombing campaign is being criticized for not achieving an objective that it never set out to achieve.

Regards

John

PS Please don't force me to post the repeatedly changing Allied target priority listings that will show exactly what they were targeting.
Industrial targets are essentially all of these except Group IV targets: dropping bombs on transportation targets reduced the transport of raw materials and intermediate inputs between industries, for example. Dropping bombs on cities was classified as "industrial areas". So 80% of the bombing tonnage was dropped with the stated objective of reducing industrial production: which didn't happen.

Or you do mean the objective of strategic bombing was not to reduce munitions production but to kill civilians?

The other 20% tonnage you posted about were tactical, hence, not strategic, bombing. The bombing tonnage distribution that Stiltzkin posted includes all types of bombing: tactical and strategic.

Out of the 2.7 million tons of bombs, about .8 million tons were dropped by the tactical airforce supporting ground troops. I think you are including these in your calculations.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by antwony » 09 Apr 2017 09:22

Guaporense wrote: So 80% of the bombing tonnage was dropped with the stated objective of reducing industrial production: which didn't happen.
Leaving your continued lack of understanding of what the aims of the strategy bombing campaign were and creating strawmen arguments aside;

Moniékä has three apples on her plate. While she goes to the kitchen to get more, Yitzhak eats some of the apples. Moniékä brings three new apples from the kitchen and put them on her plate which now has four apples. What is the total reduction of Moniékä's apples Yitzhak has effected?

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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Stiltzkin » 09 Apr 2017 10:42

What is the total reduction of Moniékä's apples Yitzhak has effected?
Antwony stole all of them and made an american pie

histan
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by histan » 09 Apr 2017 16:09

What was the objective of the strategic bombing campaign as outlined in the Casablanca Directive that defined the Combined Bomber Offensive:

"1 The mission of the US and British bomber forces, as prescribed by the Combined Chiefs of Staff at Casablanca, is as follows:
To conduct a joint US-British air offensive to accomplish the progressive and dislocation of the German military, industrial, and economic system and the undermining of the morale of the German people to a point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally weakened. This is constructed as meaning so weakened as to permit initiation of final combined operations on the Continent."

So were "combined operations on the Continent" initiated?
Were these combined operations successful?

Regards

John

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