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.
Michael Kenny
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Michael Kenny » 09 Apr 2017 16:35

histan wrote:
"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."
The ill-informed poster has already told us that ''undermining of the morale of the German people'' was am overwhelming success. Did he not inform us that the Germans realised the game was up and they ran in their millions to the comfort of Allied POW cages?

Wait for the 'Yes but.......'

histan
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by histan » 09 Apr 2017 19:10

Before anyone asks, this is the source of my "Casablanca Directive" post.
Casablanca 1.jpg
Casablanca 2.jpg
Regards

John
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Richard Anderson
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 Apr 2017 19:23

Guaporense wrote:From the military strategist standpoint it was a waste of resources.
Perhaps from your point of view, but then you are not a military strategist. However, from the point of view of actual military strategists, and in particular those directly affected - the Germans - it was an effective use of resources. Or didn't you bother to read the quotes provided by John?
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.
Perhaps it would be best if you stop displaying your superficial understanding of the subject.

Transportation targets included canals struck by bombing and mines, harbors attacked by bombing and mines, coastal waterways attacked by bombing and mines, highways and highway bridges, railroad lines and railroad bridges, rail yards and marshaling areas, and railway repair depots.

Dropping bombs on cities was classified as "city" and was usually reserved for night missions by Bomber Command. "Industrial areas" were generic industrial districts within cities, but other industrial targets were specifically identified by type.

For example, for May 1944, there were a total of 222 missions directed against the Reich (Germany and Austria) with 12,629 bombers participating. They struck at "cities" 40 times, 39 by Bomber Command, and once by 15th AF during the day at Weiner Neustadt. Industrial areas were targeted 28 times. Airfields were targeted 28 times. Specific aircraft industrial targets were struck 22 times. AFV industry was struck once and chemical production eight times. Marshaling yards were struck 26 times and other rail targets once. Sea mining missions were executed 13 times.

Out of 972 missions by 37,882 aircraft.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Sid Guttridge
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Sid Guttridge » 09 Apr 2017 22:05

Hi Guaporense,

You are missing some important points that go beyond man-hours-lost and direct damage. Actual German production was far below what was planned for a number of reasons, including

1) German industry underwent a massive dislocation in order to hide itself from Allied bombing. Moving factories severely disrupted planning and production costing weeks or months of output.

2) The air war distorted production priorities. The equipping of the Reich with tens of thousands of flak guns could only be done at the expense of other uses to which such high velocity barrels could be put, such as anti-tank guns. During 1944 it also forced the almost exclusive production of fighters at the expense of bombers and other types.

3) Not everything that was produced even reached the front due to the increasing aerial disruption of the rail and water transport networks.

4) Finally, when the remainder did reach the front its use could be constricted by fuel shortages brought about by Allied bombing.

In haste, Sid.

Yoozername
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Yoozername » 10 Apr 2017 18:07

Harris had his own 'directive', he thought he could bring Germany down (surrender) by Christmas 1943. Given that Roosevelt announced the surrender condition at Casablanca (Unconditional Surrender) in January 1943, that was a tough job for Harris. Harris certainly had his own view of what strategy he would use. It didn't work, of course, and the war went on.

Without a doubt, the methods used by Harris could be deemed 'Area' attacks. The shift during 1944 to more focused attacks on strategic industries, such as oil, were more realistic and palpable to the effects on the fighting efficiency of the Germans. The bombing alone could not end the war and make the Military or factory workers quit. The slave labor and POWs didn't have much options.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Sid Guttridge » 11 Apr 2017 12:49

Hi Guys,

I found the following on the Tiger II

"Only 12 or less, depending of the sources, were delivered at the end of the month at Kassel. 377 came out from January to December 1944 and 100 more until March 1945, for a grand total of 489 to 492 (with prototypes) tanks in four batches (420500, 420530, 420590 and 420680). It was believed that production could be gradually improved in order to reach 125 tanks per month in the summer of 1945, which never occurred.

Production was severely disrupted several times by shortages of labor, material and because of unrelenting bombing raids on the main plant at Kassel.

In all, five raids severely affected the plant between 22 September and 7 October 1944: 95% of the floor area was destroyed. The estimated loss ranges around 657 Tiger IIs from that alone. Full production peak was attained in mid-1944 and it was sustained until the end of the war.
"

In other words, although 489-492 Tiger II's were completed, some 657 others could not be because of Allied bombing, etc.

Of course, the figure of 489-492 does not tell us how many actually reached their designated units.

Allied bombing was most damaging in terms of unrealized production and it took a further toll by disrupting deliveries.

Cheers,

Sid.

Michael Kenny
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Michael Kenny » 11 Apr 2017 14:22

The ill-informed poster has been caught out fabricating a source in another thread:

viewtopic.php?p=2072806#p2072806
Guaporense wrote:I think I read in that book but I might have read it in some other source.
This is the same tactic he used earlier in this thread:

viewtopic.php?p=2071779#p2071779
Guaporense wrote:
I read it a long time ago. I think it was based on assuming 85% of bomber crews losses which were about 140,000 were deaths.........................
I think that facts matter little when you know you are 'right'

Yoozername
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Yoozername » 11 Apr 2017 15:17

Postby Guaporense » 26 Jul 2010 00:57

Okyzm wrote:
. How comes, the us papers knew so much about the outcome of the war right at the beginning.

Perhaps they compared the population, industry, GDP of powers Germany attacked and Germany itself.



They didn't. International comparisons of GDP only became common after WW2.
If that is true, then why is the OP comparing GDP? And how can he determine when German workers ran out into the street screaming..."OH MINE GOT! Da GDP is Falling! LET US ALL SURRENDER!!!!"

histan
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by histan » 11 Apr 2017 19:09

The argument made in this post is that the economy collapsed when the German civilian workers knew that the war was lost.

In a thread in another section however there is the following post:

Guaporense wrote:
CJK1990 wrote:
Does anyone know for sure about what time the German public began to realize that the war was lost?
Second to Overy's Why the Allies Won, when they made a poll about it in early 1942, only 30% of the people thought that Germany was going to lose. They made the same poll in early 1944, only 30% thought that Germany was going to win.
So, around the time of Stalingrad and Kursk that most Germans though that the war was lost.

And in another post he says:
Most civilians though that the war was lost even before Germany started to lose control over Western Europe. That's because of the tremendous propaganda value of strategic bombing.

In that thread it is argued that most Germans knew that the war was lost in 1943.

Unfortunately, the economy didn't collapse in 1943 -1944, so the trigger for the German economic collapse in 1944-1945 can't have been because they suddenly knew that the war was lost.

Regards

John

histan
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by histan » 11 Apr 2017 22:07

This is the extract from the US Strategic Bombing Survey - German Morale that is the original source of the 1943 statement:
German Morale.jpg
Regards

John
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Stiltzkin
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Stiltzkin » 12 Apr 2017 07:58

This is the extract from the US Strategic Bombing Survey - German Morale that is the original source of the 1943 statement:
Yes and it absolutely supports his thesis.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Sid Guttridge » 12 Apr 2017 12:04

Hi histan,

You write, "so the trigger for the German economic collapse in 1944-1945 can't have been because they suddenly knew that the war was lost."

Has anyone suggested that it was?

Clearly the disillusionment was cumulative, not sudden.

Because there are so many interrelated factors involved, the role of declining morale is difficult to isolate. Clearly it must have had some effect, but equally clearly it cannot be the whole answer.

Cheers,

Sid.

histan
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by histan » 12 Apr 2017 12:55

Hi Sid

This is the quote in the original post:
"why work hard if there is no point, since victory is no longer feasible?"

My point is that they knew that victory was no longer feasible in mid 1943 yet continued to work hard and increased production throughout the rest of 1943 and until the autumn of 1944.

Here is one possible hypothesis:

They knew that the war was lost but were not sure what that would actually mean to them when the end happened. The idea of unconditional surrender and what that might mean to them didn't seem acceptable. Perhaps something other than unconditional surrender might be possible if Germany kept fighting and they kept working hard to support the men at the front. By September 1944 the allies were at Germany's borders and the end was actually approaching. Perhaps it was not an acceptance that the war was lost but an acceptance that the war was lost with unconditional surrender and all that that implied and that this was better than continuing to live and work under their current conditions. I think this has been summed up as something like - an end with terror rather than endless terror.

There is also a mass of evidence that the bombing campaign - in particular the attack on transportation also had a significant impact.

Regards

John

Sid Guttridge
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Sid Guttridge » 12 Apr 2017 18:59

Hi John,

Which brings us back to an earlier point - were Germans really working that hard? After all, to take one example, in 1944 Germany, with a population of some 80 million people and the machine tools of a continent at its disposal, only produced about the same number of aero-engines and weight of airframes as the metropolitan UK, which had little more than half the population.

Might it not just be that German industry was not particularly efficient earlier in the war and that Speer's "production miracle" of 1944 just brought Germany up to international norms?

Cheers,

Sid

Stiltzkin
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Re: German economic collapse in 1944-45

Post by Stiltzkin » 12 Apr 2017 19:23

Might it not just be that German industry was not particularly efficient earlier in the war and that Speer's "production miracle" of 1944 just brought Germany up to international norms?
http://economics.yale.edu/sites/default ... 040929.pdf
http://economics.yale.edu/sites/default ... 060329.pdf

I wonder why some people actually comment in the economy section, without knowing much about economy in the first place, reading about the "Speer myth" in the AHF in 2017...

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