gracie4241 wrote: ↑
13 Apr 2019 15:44
I don't understand this "re-tooling " plants argument. Sure, long term adding extra capacity would be great, but in fact TOOZE in "Wages of Destruction" emphasized the great investment boom 1940-42-at the cost of lower armament production in those years, an important but overlooked factoid-which included a large expansion in tooling and floor space at tank facilities.
Overlooked? No, I think not.
The wartime mobilization expansion, building on the four-year plan, was critical. It brought a large number of additional shipyards into the U-Boote contract pool to increase construction. For the Panzerwaffe, the major investments were the Henschel plant expansion, construction of Nibelungewerke, and the increase in the Panzer III construction pool (facilitated by the design finally getting finalized). The problem was the major investment in the Panzer III went nowhere, which led to the wholesale conversion of the Panzer III plant to Panther construction in 1943. So they were running real fast to stay in place.
The limiting factor primarily on tank production 40-42 was the inability to go to multiple shifts at the existing tank plants for lack of labor and raw materials(steel);
If you want to increase Panzer III production, you first need to have a settled design and then expend the resources and labor to expand the plants. Alkett expanded to construction in June 1940, MNH in early 1941, and VOMAG in mid 1941. And about the time they were happily plugging along building Panzer III they converted to Panther. Nibelungen production of Panzer IV peaked in October 1943 with 331 completed Panzer IV and June 1944 with 371 total chassis, but manufacture began in November 1941, before the plant was even complete.
a wholesale shift of that labor and raw materials TO the tank plants FROM naval programs would have allowed for that relatively quickly(look how quickly ammunition production went up and down because of that at the same plants).
Why yes, but that decision would have had to have been made 1940-1942 when the tank plant expansion occurred, but that was also during the height of the success of the U-Bootewaffe. To make such a shift in priorities required prescience and an ability to walk away from sunk costs, which would be unusual to say the least.
There seems a notion that the same workers would have to stay at the same production facilities waiting for them to be "converted "; not so, the Nazi regime could order workers from one sector and facility to another, and reallocate raw materials at will.
To a degree, yes, but doing so was limited for Reich workers. For one thing, they were in short supply in all industries due to the demands of the military. There was also the problem of housing, families, and morale, all of which factored into the problem as well. That wasn't really alleviated until the wholesale use of slave labor 1942-1945.
Obviously a longer time frame would produce larger numerical results,but if the strategic situation and priorities changed the germans could definitely have produced many more tanks at the expense of U Boats and naval vessels; they chose not to.
Indeed, they made specific decisions at specific points of time in order to follow what they thought then were critical strategic directions. One that they made that had impact was the prewar decision to convert much of the auto industry to aircraft component construction on mobilization, which begs the question of where do the B vehicles to support all those additional tanks come from?
The USSBS as I recall estimated a U Boat cost 20 tanks ( on average depending on the model).That's a lot of tanks(and assault guns)
I've read extensively in the USSBS reports and have never seen such an estimate.
"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