German vs US synthetic rubber

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
historygeek2021
Member
Posts: 425
Joined: 17 Dec 2020 06:23
Location: America

German vs US synthetic rubber

Post by historygeek2021 » 22 Mar 2021 22:25

Does anyone have resources or care to share information regarding the comparative advantages and disadvantages of the U.S. and German synthetic rubber industries in WW2? I know that Germany began planning for synthetic rubber in advance of the war because it anticipated the British blockade, but when did the U.S. begin planning for its massive synthetic rubber industry?

Was U.S. rubber production of better quality and suitable for use on truck and plane tires? I heard on this forum previously that German synthetic rubber ("buna") was only good for "soft" rubber applications such as wiring, but not for trucks.

Also, did Britain rely on U.S. synthetic rubber after the Japanese conquests, or did its other colonies provide enough for it to get by?

Any resources would be appreciated. Thanks!

Tom from Cornwall
Member
Posts: 2623
Joined: 01 May 2006 19:52
Location: UK

Re: German vs US synthetic rubber

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 23 Mar 2021 00:58

Hi,

After the loss of Malaya, it seems that Ceylon became a key supplier of rubber to Britain. I’ll see if I can rustle up some more information on that tomorrow.

Regards

Tom

Tom from Cornwall
Member
Posts: 2623
Joined: 01 May 2006 19:52
Location: UK

Re: German vs US synthetic rubber

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 23 Mar 2021 12:20

historygeek2021 wrote:
22 Mar 2021 22:25
Also, did Britain rely on U.S. synthetic rubber after the Japanese conquests, or did its other colonies provide enough for it to get by?
For Ceylon read Sri Lanka.

Found a little on natural rubber production in Ashley Jackson’s book “Ceylon at War”. It seems that by 1944, Ceylon was producing about 60% of natural rubber available to the United Nations (just under 100,000 tons).

Apparently by 1944, all tyres and inner tubes being used by American forces in the South Pacific were made in Australia using Ceylonese rubber.

Source: Ceylon at War, pp.207-208.

What isn’t clear from this source is whether Ceylonese rubber exports were arriving in the UK for manufacture there or whether they were being used by British empire manufacturing in other parts of the empire.

I hope that is of interest. I’ll see if I can find any sources on rubber use in UK based manufacturing.

Regards

Tom

historygeek2021
Member
Posts: 425
Joined: 17 Dec 2020 06:23
Location: America

Re: German vs US synthetic rubber

Post by historygeek2021 » 23 Mar 2021 18:20

Very interesting, thanks!

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 8705
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: German vs US synthetic rubber

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 27 Mar 2021 14:32

historygeek2021 wrote:
22 Mar 2021 22:25
... but when did the U.S. begin planning for its massive synthetic rubber industry? ...
Federal government intervention started in late 1940 as far as I've found. Production in the US in 1941 was under 300 tons, in 1945 it hit 70,000 tons. Most natural rubber pre1940 imports to the US came from French Indochina. Japanese efforts at occupation of FIC threatened o divert the raw rubber to Japans industry, and to increase price to the US.

reedwh52
Member
Posts: 87
Joined: 31 Mar 2014 20:42

Re: German vs US synthetic rubber

Post by reedwh52 » 28 Mar 2021 01:47

For some US background, see http://usautoindustryworldwartwo.com/fi ... %20war.htm at the US Auto Industry in World War Two site. There are about five pages on the development of sources of rubber and of producing synthetic rubber by one of the major US tire manufacturers,.

historygeek2021
Member
Posts: 425
Joined: 17 Dec 2020 06:23
Location: America

Re: German vs US synthetic rubber

Post by historygeek2021 » 28 Mar 2021 22:39

reedwh52 wrote:
28 Mar 2021 01:47
For some US background, see http://usautoindustryworldwartwo.com/fi ... %20war.htm at the US Auto Industry in World War Two site. There are about five pages on the development of sources of rubber and of producing synthetic rubber by one of the major US tire manufacturers,.
Thanks!

Return to “Economy”