KDF33 wrote:Tooze uses the same breakdown. Each sector's share of overall armaments production for 3rd quarter 1943 amounts to:
For everyone else reading along, Tooze is using Wagenfuhr's breakdown for 3Q '43. He sees W's armaments index as being roughly valid for that period, which is its index/price baseline. Its problems arise from poor deflation backwards in time - particularly regarding the construction industry - and from inconsistent indexing. These factors bias the index downwards for the early war (per Tooze). As all constant-price indices rely on deflation/inflation and consistent indexing, this is a big problem outside 3Q '43.
KDF33 wrote:The first 2 items account for 88.5% of German armaments output. That's where the armaments workers we're looking for would be concentrated.
Generally true but with some significant caveats that have directional valence for our topic: Because Wagenfuhr excludes instruments and optics from armaments*, Tooze and your calculation do too. Bassett's (USSBS non-Wagenfuhr) index sees particularly high later-war productivity gains
in this field, and Tooze shockingly says these gains "may be related to incorporation into Speer's system of Rings and Committees." No Room, p.457. Wait what? Doesn't that contradict like your entire career?
Basset's index is flattened due to no deflation pre-'43 (discussed more below) and insufficient after. The instrument/optic productivity ratio would exceed 200 but for that problem.
*This is especially loony. A logistics truck is armament but the sight that aims guns isn't?
Yes, reader, you heard me right: the armaments index that Tooze advances over Wagenfuhr's HAS NO DEFLATION PRIOR TO 1943
Here's some cost figures for Ju-88:
Per Uziel's Arming the Luftwaffe
In 1941 the price of a Me 109F
was between 50,100 and 62,200 RM, depending on the size of the order. In 1945 unit price
of the heavier and more powerful G and K models of the same aircraft decreased to only
43,700 RM regardless of the size of the order.
Combined, Me-109 and Ju-88 are probably >half of LW production, therefore probably >1/4 of armaments production. Obviously deflation is needed.
To be fair to Tooze, he rhetorically concedes as much, stating "the Bassett figures clearly need to be handled with the same care that is required in interpreting Wagenführ's highly problematic data."
Yet Tooze's broad refereeing between the two shows none of the recommended care:
That said, the general picture painted
by the Bassett figures is surely more plausible than that hitherto taken from
Wagenführ, certainly for the period before 1942. 7.6 billion Reichsmark is
a far more credible estimate for the value of armaments produced in 1939
than Wagenführ's figure of 5 billion, as is a share of 17 percent in industrial
production. The peculiar 'kink' in armaments production between 1940 and
1941, which is the defining feature of the Wagenführ index, disappears
from the USSBS data altogether. T
...basically to Tooze the higher 1939 figure feels right and conforms to the productivity argument he's making - in support of which he offers Bassett's index. The last clause is circular, the first just a gut feeling.
My gut feeling is that 5bn RM on armaments in 1939 - around 100,000 Me-109's at 1943 prices - doesn't seem too low.
I suspect the reason USSBS reports cite Wagenfuhr over their own index (Bassett) is they realized Wagenfuhr's was better.
The most frustrating, confounding aspect of "No Room" is Tooze's treatment of labor usage for civilian purposes within Wehrmacht-contracted firms. To set this up, a brief recap of the landscape in which Tooze is arguing:
Tooze categorizes as "voluntarist" (and wrong) both the Millward under-mobilization thesis and the Overy-Muller (DRZW) inefficiency thesis. The Overy-Muller and Millward theses were formerly opposed; Overy-Muller had largely discredited Millward at the time of Tooze's writing. Both hold that the Nazis could have chosen (voluntarily) to increase production; Tooze says they could not have.
Here's the part I want to emphasize:
In early 1941, engineers employed by Todt's Ministry of
Munitions investigated 3027 armaments plants employing 2.2 million work-
ers, the hard core of armaments production. They found that of those sup-
posedly working on Wehrmacht contracts, 28 percent were actually em-
ployed on low priority contracts, including civilian work.37 This implies that
the number of those actually employed in armaments production in 1941
may have increased by only 66% relative to September 1939, which is less
than the increase in the armaments index over the same period.
After having debunked
the data on which the Blitzkrieg thesis depends, we are therefore left asking
no less serious questions about the plausibility of the 'inefficiency story'
spun by Overy and Müller.
This is some trickery:
Having more workers in civilian production (therefore fewer in military) does indeed diminish the Overy-Muller efficiency thesis. But doesn't it partially revive the Millward under-mobilization thesis? The Todt Ministries are telling us that all those workers we thought mobilized for war were not, as a practical matter, mobilized for war. But Tooze has guided the reader to see infamy in anything redolent of Millward and, lest this bit of evidence cause back-sliding, he reminds us ("having debunked the data on which the Blitzkrieg thesis depends..."). Voluntarism has been debunked in general, therefore an attack on any particular Voluntarist strain should lead one back to Tooze rather to a different strain of Voluntarism.
This is where my theory of "soft under-mobilization" comes in. It rejects the false dichotomy between inefficiency and under-mobilization, seeing them as connected - often indistinguishable - phenomena. Tooze's example (from DRZW) is perfect: Todt's ministry uncovered 616,000 "armaments workers" who were not producing armaments. Whether we consider their non-production "inefficiency" or "under-mobilization" does not matter: it was unproductive German armaments capacity.
From the standpoint of the German state, which allocated these workers to firms for armaments production, their non-production reflects inefficiency in controlling the principal-agent problem between state and firm. From the standpoint of the national account of war vs. civilian spending, the workers' production contributes to the latter and is a significant part of the ~10% difference between British and German mobilization by % of GDP in '40/'41.
Note that the study finding >600k non-producing "war-workers" applied only to those firms contracted with Todt's ministry, which at the time covered only some of Army production. GSWW v.5/1, p.912. There is no good reason to believe that firms supplying the LW and KM were any more honest about their labor deployment. As a result, this factor might alone explain a majority of German under-mobilization through '41, measured by military share of GDP vs. UK.
After the Winter Crisis 41-42, the German state forced firms to surrender unproductive (militarily) labor. It did so via, inter alia, threats to imprison firm officials for misallocating labor. While this penalty was rarely applied, it sent the proper messages to the business establishment. GSWW v.5/1, ch.V. In the background of this were programs to close inefficient businesses and revisions to contract terms with (non-LW) arms suppliers.
In the background of these government policy changes were ongoing learning effects normal to any new workforce and industry, such as was the majority of German arms manufacturing. How to disaggregate the effects of these different dynamics is the decades long debate.
The meta-error I see in that debate is to seek answers based only on top-line productivity trends or by invoking only one of the background trends to explain the top line. Disaggregation is needed and, as stated in my outline post upthread, would probably establish that some form of German systemic policy change is necessary to explain the full story.