Non-armaments and non-pay items of Wehrmacht budget

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Non-armaments and non-pay items of Wehrmacht budget

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 13 Jul 2021 09:24

From Harrison's Resource Mobilization in World War 2 and other sources we can estimate, broadly, the percentage of German military spending that went to armaments, as opposed to non-armaments military equipment, soldier's pay, and services provided to the military. There's a couple possible routes to estimating these values; here's my first estimate.

Edit: This calculation is for 1941.

Path 1

Resource mobilization gives us a ratio of soldier's pay and munitions:


Goldsmith's The Power of Victory gives us a crude estimate of German munitions output in 1944 dollars; something like prewar exchange rates (~2.5 : 1, RM: USD) gives us an RM value.


~= 15bn RM munitions production.

Back to Resource Mobilization's appendix C, where we get German net national product:


...note that NNP estimated to be ~8% lower than GNP.

Combining the foregoing we get:
  • Armaments + Soldier Pay = (1.8 / .8) * 15bn = ~34bn RM
  • Total Military spending = 71bn RM
  • Military spending on non-armaments production and military services = 71-34bn = 37bn or 52%.
  • Armaments as % of Total Military = 15/71bn = 21%
  • Armaments as % of GNP at factor cost = 15 / (126 / .92) = 11%
  • Soldier pay as % Total Military = 19/71bn = 26%
For the large residual non-arms/pay term, we'd need further data to break it down into non-arms military equipment and other items like military services. An indication of the size of the non-arms equipment term is discussed here and in following posts. Its productive workforce was perhaps 40% of armaments-producing workforce.

One big chunk of military services purchased would come from Wehrmacht payments to the Reichsbahn at .2 RM per axle-kilometer. History of the German National Railways by Mierzejewski. Total DRB revenue was 9bn RM in 1941; Wehrmacht must have paid a big portion of that.

Food and uniforms were probably the biggest single items in the residual budget for 1941.
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