Where did the resources of occupied Europe go?

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
Pods
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Where did the resources of occupied Europe go?

Post by Pods » 30 Jun 2020 23:23

During 1940-42 Germany occupied large amounts of territory from the Atlantic to Moscow and made a ruthless plunder, yet its GDP only grew slowly, even below the Allies.

Image

The economy of the occupied territories collapsed and was only able to provide a paltry amount of weapons and ammunition.

So my question is, why did economies of considerable size contribute so little to the Nazis?

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Re: Where did the resources of occupied Europe go?

Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 01 Jul 2020 07:27

The production of the occupied nations wouldn't contribute directly to Germany's GDP, nor would plundering. In addition, many men switched to relatively low-paying employment in the armed forces, and production increasingly switched to armaments.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Where did the resources of occupied Europe go?

Post by Sheldrake » 01 Jul 2020 08:18

Pods wrote:
30 Jun 2020 23:23
During 1940-42 Germany occupied large amounts of territory from the Atlantic to Moscow and made a ruthless plunder, yet its GDP only grew slowly, even below the Allies.

Image

The economy of the occupied territories collapsed and was only able to provide a paltry amount of weapons and ammunition.

So my question is, why did economies of considerable size contribute so little to the Nazis?
The figures are problematic.

The figures only include one occupied power - France. Do they relate to: 1) France 1939 borders? Vichy France? Vichy France + Occupied France - annexed territory (Alsace, 1/2 Lorraine and Savoy)?

The GDP of most of occupied Europe and Germany's allies is not shown. Not the most industrialised countries but all with some economy. (Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium & Luxembourg, Poland, Rumania,(and its oil), Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Finland, Greece etc.)

How do these figures treat the GDP from countries partially occupied by each side? Between 1941 and 1944 the USSR war partially occupied by Germany and Q4 1943-45 Italy was split between the Allies and Axis, the the benefits of economic activity split.

National Output = National Expenditure (Aggregate Demand) = National Income These all imply some form of money economy. In a command economy the numbers have less meaning. There is an old quote about life under communism. "They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work". What is the value of the output from building an IL2 Aircraft or V2 SSM using slave labour? I am sure it is possible to make some estimates based on the cost of a P40 built under capitalism, but there are a lot of assumptions.

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Re: Where did the resources of occupied Europe go?

Post by paulrward » 01 Jul 2020 21:18

Hello All :

To Mr. Sheldrake and Mr. Pods :

First, I want to thank you for posting this excellent table of GDPs of the various Allied / Axis Nations in the
WW2 period. However, I feel it does not make certain things plain, and in fact, distorts certain things. For this
reason I have taken the table, re-organized it, and changed some of the math. I present it here :
World Wartime GDP by Nation - 2.jpg

As may be seen, I have first organized the nations into two blocks, the Allies and the Axis. Then, I have chosen to
eliminated or reduce the effective size of the GDP of the United States, firstly to zero in the 1938 - 1940 time frame, as I feel this reflects a more accurate picture of the initial neutrality, and then to only appx 20 % of it's total GDP, during the Lend Lease Period of 1941, and then the U.S.'s total wartime mobilization of it's economy to the War Effort.

I have also chosen to eliminate the USSR's GDP from the Allied column during the 1938-1940 time frame, as the USSR was essentially part of the Axis under the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact. While this did NOT, in my view, increase the GDP of the Axis, it also did not contribute to the Allies. When, in 1941, Barbarossa began, the USSR's GDP goes into the Allied Column.

France, on the other hand, begins the war in the Allied Column, and then, starting in 1941, and continuing until
the beginning of 1944, contributes to the total Axis GDP, until 1944, when essentially France's GDP drops out of the
war as France is forced to rebuild from both German occupation and the depredations of the Allied Invasions.

The key element in my table is the Ratio of Allied to Axis GDP, which, in my revised table, suddenly makes the
entire course of WW2 painfully obvious to anyone who gives the table even a cursory study. It can clearly be seen
that, in the period up until the entry of the United States into the war at the beginning of 1942, the Axis had a
significant advantage in GDP for the period of 1938 - 1940, and even in 1941, with the USSR in the war, the Axis
still possessed a narrow edge in terms of GDP.

In some of the 'What If' threads on this Forum, I have expressed my opinion that, in WW2, had the Axis succeeded
in keeping the USA out of the war in 1942, and had succeeded in destroying the USSR, the war would have ended
much differently. I feel that anyone who looks at this table can see this quite plainly.

Please feel free to comment on my thesis.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Re: Where did the resources of occupied Europe go?

Post by paulrward » 01 Jul 2020 22:05

Hello All :

I am going to expand on my above posting, to show something of an extrapolation. Here is what happens IFF
the United States is kept out of active participation in the war, and the Soviets are defeated by Q4 of 1942.

World Wartime GDP by Nation - 3.jpg

As a result of this:

1. there is NO Operation Torch, or Husky, or Overlord.
2. there is NO Daylight Bombing Campaign of Germany,
3. Italy, Austria, and France continue in their contributions to the Axis GDP unhindered and undamaged,
4. Starting in 1943, the Axis can extract GDP from the conquered portions of the former USSR
at a rate of about 1/3 of the normal GDP rate.
5. Japan is essentially undamaged by the USN Submarine and USAAF Bombing Campaigns, which do not take place,
as the USA is NOT in the War.


As can be seen, after the end of 1942, which would be the high water mark of the Allies when their GDP approximated the Axis, with the loss of the USSR and with an Axis that is essentially undamaged by bombing, the remaining Allies, Britain and the USA, are unable to match the Axis with the USA only contributing as a ' Lend-Lease ' member and the USSR now planted in the Axis Column.

What is even worse for the Allies, by 1944, Britain's economy was starting to come apart at the seams, GDP was falling, and this would only get worse as time went on. On the other hand, with Germany dominating all of Europe and the USSR, and probably a big chunk of North Africa and the Middle East, and Japan quietly putting the finishing touches on the GEACPS, the position of the USA and the British Empire going forward is not a pretty one. At this point, it would be a race to see who would be able to develop a nuclear weapon first......


And yes, this IS my nightmare..



Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Pods
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Re: Where did the resources of occupied Europe go?

Post by Pods » 02 Jul 2020 08:51

Sheldrake wrote:
01 Jul 2020 08:18
The figures are problematic.

The figures only include one occupied power - France. Do they relate to: 1) France 1939 borders? Vichy France? Vichy France + Occupied France - annexed territory (Alsace, 1/2 Lorraine and Savoy)?
I don't think they are problematic. In the case of France, the table refers to the whole of France.

The point is that Germany received a much smaller increase than the French economic reduction in 1940-44.

So, France had to produce a large quantity of weapons and ammunition, but it didn't, why?

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Re: Where did the resources of occupied Europe go?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 05 Jul 2020 07:13

Pods wrote:
02 Jul 2020 08:51
...

The point is that Germany received a much smaller increase than the French economic reduction in 1940-44.

So, France had to produce a large quantity of weapons and ammunition, but it didn't, why?
John Ellis addresses this in 'Brute Force'. No surprise there were multiple reasons. Dislocation of labor, insufficient raw materials/blockade, nazi mismanagement were some reasons discussed.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Where did the resources of occupied Europe go?

Post by Sheldrake » 10 Jul 2020 22:26

paulrward wrote:
01 Jul 2020 21:18
Hello All :

The key element in my table is the Ratio of Allied to Axis GDP, which, in my revised table, suddenly makes the
entire course of WW2 painfully obvious to anyone who gives the table even a cursory study. It can clearly be seen
that, in the period up until the entry of the United States into the war at the beginning of 1942, the Axis had a
significant advantage in GDP for the period of 1938 - 1940, and even in 1941, with the USSR in the war, the Axis
still possessed a narrow edge in terms of GDP.

Paul R. Ward
What you posted is the details behind the British position and one of Churchill's most famous speeches
What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their Finest Hour.’
Churchill's policy was KBO - Keep B*ggering On - keep going until something turned up. In the meanwhile do everything to get the Americans into the war.

One country missed from the list was China. The Japanese war in China was like Napoleon in Spain - morass that sucked in troops and resources.

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Re: Where did the resources of occupied Europe go?

Post by pugsville » 11 Jul 2020 07:22

Pods wrote:
02 Jul 2020 08:51
Sheldrake wrote:
01 Jul 2020 08:18
The figures are problematic.

The figures only include one occupied power - France. Do they relate to: 1) France 1939 borders? Vichy France? Vichy France + Occupied France - annexed territory (Alsace, 1/2 Lorraine and Savoy)?
I don't think they are problematic. In the case of France, the table refers to the whole of France.

The point is that Germany received a much smaller increase than the French economic reduction in 1940-44.

So, France had to produce a large quantity of weapons and ammunition, but it didn't, why?
GDP is a blunt measure. Not all resources are interchangeable. France as part of the allies had access to resources which occupied France did not. Much of Regions occupied by Germany were short of the same resources as Germany.

Germany plunder mentally greatly reduced French production. Removal of much of the railways, and motorized transport greatly impacted the productively of the French economy. Late of petrol and trucks menat cows milk could not be effectively collected from many farms. Juts all sorts of knock on effects.

There is also without willing co-operation effective exploitation is problematic and often the results are quite poor. See the whole Germans in Ukraine in 1918.

And of course anything managed by Nazis was poor done. They really were really bad mangers. Conflicting self indulgent personal empires and corrupt to the bone.

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Re: Where did the resources of occupied Europe go?

Post by Futurist » 12 Jul 2020 21:08

pugsville wrote:
11 Jul 2020 07:22
And of course anything managed by Nazis was poor done. They really were really bad mangers. Conflicting self indulgent personal empires and corrupt to the bone.
Highly ironic given the stereotype of Germans as productive, industrious, and efficient!

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Re: Where did the resources of occupied Europe go?

Post by Peter89 » 13 Jul 2020 01:55

Futurist wrote:
12 Jul 2020 21:08
pugsville wrote:
11 Jul 2020 07:22
And of course anything managed by Nazis was poor done. They really were really bad mangers. Conflicting self indulgent personal empires and corrupt to the bone.
Highly ironic given the stereotype of Germans as productive, industrious, and efficient!
Exactly, but Nazism was against the German culture. A thing that a lot of people tend to ignore.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: Where did the resources of occupied Europe go?

Post by Futurist » 13 Jul 2020 02:16

Peter89 wrote:
13 Jul 2020 01:55
Futurist wrote:
12 Jul 2020 21:08
pugsville wrote:
11 Jul 2020 07:22
And of course anything managed by Nazis was poor done. They really were really bad mangers. Conflicting self indulgent personal empires and corrupt to the bone.
Highly ironic given the stereotype of Germans as productive, industrious, and efficient!
Exactly, but Nazism was against the German culture. A thing that a lot of people tend to ignore.
Ironic considering that the one efficient thing that the Nazis did was, in fact, the Holocaust. :(

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Re: Where did the resources of occupied Europe go?

Post by pugsville » 13 Jul 2020 06:03

Futurist wrote:
12 Jul 2020 21:08
pugsville wrote:
11 Jul 2020 07:22
And of course anything managed by Nazis was poor done. They really were really bad mangers. Conflicting self indulgent personal empires and corrupt to the bone.
Highly ironic given the stereotype of Germans as productive, industrious, and efficient!
Efficiency can be much over valued as thing, it;s a third order concept. If your doing the wrong thing does matter how well you are doing it?

The German Army gets such a wrap for it;s operational , tactical abilities. Well if your strategically dumb, logistically challenged in denial about it, non entities and yes men in the top positions, make fragile organizations with relentless pursuit on front line numbers over spares, repairs, training and maintenance, and have intelligence that produces the answer you want to hear,

Well how good are you in a long war,

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Where did the resources of occupied Europe go?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Jul 2020 07:41

This thread is beholden to one of the great myths of WW2: that occupied Europe contributed little to the Nazi war effort. The OP is apparently (?) under the impression that French contributions to the German war effort would have been reflected in German GDP numbers... Not true.

Some of the scholarship that corrects this myth is discussed in another Economy thread: viewtopic.php?f=66&t=245879#p2239034
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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Re: Where did the resources of occupied Europe go?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Jul 2020 07:47

Futurist wrote:
12 Jul 2020 21:08
pugsville wrote:
11 Jul 2020 07:22
And of course anything managed by Nazis was poor done. They really were really bad mangers. Conflicting self indulgent personal empires and corrupt to the bone.
Highly ironic given the stereotype of Germans as productive, industrious, and efficient!
No remotely serious account of WW2 can abide those stereotypes of Germans (which are post-war ideas anyways). The German war economy was dominated by inefficiency, despite many of its leaders' understanding the nature of - and remedy for - such inefficiency.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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