Germany and Oil

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
Jon G.
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Post by Jon G. » 21 Jun 2005 14:15

Hi Andreas and Lars,

Your points about Fall Blau are all well taken. I understand that this operation did not ultimately fail due to poor or over-stretched logistics, but rather due to faulty assessments of Soviet force levels. I was merely comparing the 1942 operation with Barbarossa, whose logistical problems can be identified in the railroad conversions going too slowly.

You might reasonably say that while the Germans underestimated the distances that they had to cover in 1941, they underestimated the Soviet forces opposing them in 1942?

If we put oil into context, it must have been easier to transport oil from Romania to the southern front than to, say, Leningrad, where Manstein's planned 1942 offensive never materialized.

@ Topspeed: I think the majority of the Luftwaffe had to soldier on using 72 octane avgas as early as the Battle of Britain. The 100-octane juice was reserved for reconnaissance units.

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Post by Andreas » 21 Jun 2005 14:21

Shrek wrote:1) You might reasonably say that while the Germans underestimated the distances that they had to cover in 1941, they underestimated the Soviet forces opposing them in 1942?

2) If we put oil into context, it must have been easier to transport oil from Romania to the southern front than to, say, Leningrad, where Manstein's planned 1942 offensive never materialized.


1) I would fully agree with that.

2) OTOH, the fight at Leningrad was unlikely to be very fuel intensive. Rail connections to AG North were probably the best of all, there was secure shipping up to Tallin at least, IIRC, and the whole operation would have taken place over much shorter distances (tens of kilometres, instead of thousands), relying primarily on infantry, not armour.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by Lars » 21 Jun 2005 14:41

The Soviets had something to do with the failure of Case Blue as well, of course. The German plan depended on destroying the opposite nine Soviet armies piecemal and taking about 700,000 prisoners. In the two small preliminary German operations Wilhelm and Fredericus II in June 1942 before Case Blue proper started, the Soviets experimented with a new tactics. When encirclement looked likely, the Soviet troops asked Stavka for imidiate withdrawal and got the permisson. In Case Blue this tactics was deployed large scale and the Germans were very slow in recognizing this change in Soviet tactics so the core of the nine Soviet armies escaped German encirclement and survived to fight another day.

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Post by Paul Lakowski » 21 Jun 2005 18:45

Shrek wrote:Even if we put considerations about oil aside for a moment, Germany's auto industry was certainly not large enough to motorize the entire Heer.

I quoted Halder's KTB entry from February 1940 a little unclearly above - it was 1000 trucks that were allocated to the army each quarter; i.e. 4000 trucks a year, which was a quarter of total production. No doubt this number rose later during the war, and other arms would be allocated additional trucks; I would assume Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe truck allotments to be modest, but the Waffen-SS had a much higher degree of motorization than the Heer.
.




Huh! German auto industrial capacity for truck production was ~170,000 trucks per year from 1939 on! The industry was run at 1/4 capacity during the first years and 1/2 capacity by late war period , but the bulk of the truck produced were sold to the civilian sector! That kind of crap didn't happen when 'total war economy' was kicked into by late war and was not tollerated in other countries from the start. Hitler didn't call for a maximum push until late 1942 and the industry didn't respond until after that...cause it wasn't asked to do so. There was no plans to institued massive production so none was implimented. No nite shift, no standardised production, no fixed unit pricing , and wastful mangament practices resulted in much lower out put that was possible with a well run industry under a "Total War Economy". They certainly were capable of producing more than enough vehicles to motorize the Heer by 1941....and as I already pointed out they produced 450,000 vehicles in 1939 and 250,000 in 1940.

You see this also with the aircraft industry. With 90% of the work force and 120% of the resources , the war economy in 1944 produced 4 times as many planes as it did in 1941...all by eliminating wastage and instituting fixed pricing and adding nite shifts etc etc...total war economy... it should be a no brainer for a dictatorship.

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Post by Paul Lakowski » 21 Jun 2005 21:00

The oil from Romania only represented a fraction of the german oil supply. The bulk was synthetic fuel and the 'oil products' would mostly have been made in germany.

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Post by Jon G. » 22 Jun 2005 18:51

Hi Paul,

Where are your truck production numbers from? I will admit that Halder's figure seems low, but on the other hand your numbers seem rather high.

The Heer had difficulty keeping its transport companies up to strength right from the Polish campaign onwards. The 50% losses I mentioned earlier that were suffered in Poland were not primarily due to enemy action, but simply due to wear and tear caused by the poor state of Polish roads. That problem of course got a lot worse during Barbarossa, but even the campaign in the west in 1940, fought over one of the densest road networks in the world and in perfect weather led to such high losses from wear and tear that Wagner was forced to conscript civilian vehicles on May 20th.

Few German trucks were built to military specifications - IIRC the Einheitsdiesel design was abandoned as too costly, and the impressed civilian designs that were predominantly used instead broke down at alarming rates. By the time of Barbarossa the OKH Quartermaster had a million different spare parts in stock, such was the variety of types used.

A full war economy might have meant more trucks for the army, but I think there were good reasons why Hitler did not enforce a total war economy right away: he may himself have been a victim of the myth of the 1918 'stab in the back' that cost Germany WWI. The blitzkrieg doctrine envisaged wars to be short and decisive, allowing Germany to have an economy with generous civilian allowances and comparatively few sacrifices made by the homefront that at least the Nazis thought collapsed in 1918.

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Sources of Oil production in 1000 tons per year

Post by Paul Lakowski » 23 Jun 2005 01:57

_____HomeCrude__HomeSynthetic____import____total___used_in_year
1939____888_______2200__________5165_____8353________?
1940___1465_______3348__________2075_____6888_______5856
1941___1562_______4116__________2807_____8485_______7305
1942___1686_______4920__________2359_____8965_______6483
1943___1883_______5748__________2766____10497_______6971
1944___1681_______3962___________961_____6504_________?
"WORLD WAR II A STATISTICAL SURVEY" ISBN 0-8160-2871-7

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Post by Paul Lakowski » 23 Jun 2005 02:20

Shrek wrote:Hi Paul,

Where are your truck production numbers from? I will admit that Halder's figure seems low, but on the other hand your numbers seem rather high.

.


USSBS ...

http://orbat.com/site/sturmvogel/motvehrep.html

Table 6
Production of Motor Vehicles 1940 Through 1943
(Greater Germany, including Austria and Western Czechoslovakia)

Product 1940
Total
Automobiles 67,561
Motorcycles 116,081
Trucks Up to & incl 1.5-ton 6,912
3-ton 50,345
4.5-ton & up 6,039
Caterpillar Truck (RSO) 0
3-ton Mule 0
4.5-ton Mule 0
Total Trucks
63,296
Half-tracks and Special Vehicles 6,435
Motorcycle Half-tracks 0
Tractors Not available


Product 1941 Total
Automobiles 35,165
Motorcycles 74,167
Trucks Up to & incl 1.5-ton 9,504
3-ton 43,800
4.5-ton & up 9,096
Caterpillar Truck (RSO) 0
3-ton Mule 0
4.5-ton Mule 0
Total Trucks 62,400
Half-tracks and Special Vehicles 8,821
Motorcycle Half-tracks 420
Tractors Not available



Product 1942
Automobiles 27,895
Motorcycles 53,083
Trucks Up to & incl 1.5-ton 14,436
3-ton 51,804
4.5-ton & up 11,952
Caterpillar Truck (RSO) 1,452
3-ton Mule 1,635
4.5-ton Mule 0
Total Trucks 81,279
Half-tracks and Special Vehicles 10,733
Motorcycle Half-tracks 985
Tractors Not available


Product 1943 Total
Automobiles 32,238
Motorcycles 33,733
Trucks Up to & incl 1.5-ton 21,666
3-ton 48,877
4.5-ton & up 11,567
Caterpillar Truck (RSO) 14,010
3-ton Mule 12,771
4.5-ton Mule 594
Total Trucks 109,085
Half-tracks and Special Vehicles 17,535
Motorcycle Half-tracks 2,450
Tractors 3,097

Table 10
Production of Motor Vehicles 1944

Product Quantity
Trucks up to & incl. 1.5 ton 22,383
3-ton (incl "Mules") 43,052
4.5-ton & up (incl "Mules") 10,771
Caterpillar truck (RSO) 11,942
Total 88,088
Half-track and special vehicles 17,736
Automobiles 21,656
Motorcycles 30,372
Motorcycle half-tracks 4,490
Tractors 1,013


Note that Halftracks includes SPWs...also note on other charts just how little of that production actually went to the army during the early years [most went to civilian].

Re total War economy, read Overys numerous books on this topic and its clear that the socalled 'blitzkrieg economy' is more of a 'notion' of JPTaylors and Millwards in their books on the subject written back in the 1960s. Now that much more information is available the evidence points in the opposite direction. Hitler planned for a 10 year war starting in 1939 including a "Total War Economy" . All the military chiefs drew up plans accordingly, but since Hitler never could never settle on a clear strategic plan, the industry ignored him until such time as these plans took shape in 1941-42 and was finally implimented by Speer in 1943-44. Most of the other combatants [UK USSR USA], had formulated their total war plans in the 1930s, and where thus able to impliment them right away, once they joined the war. USSR went from peace time production to total war production plateau from mid 1941 to begining of 1943. Germany went from peace time production at the end of 1939 to total war economy at the end of 1943 and even by 1945 there was still room for growth so their production plateau was never actually reached.

Re cost ; once total war econmies are implimented ,the cost per unit weapon plumets [ often to 1/4 of the price], so you are spending only marginally more each year as production skyrockets. Small production runs on wide variety of specialised weapons at the begining of the war are horribly expensive and it was recognised that ~ 3.3 times as many weapons could be manufactured for the same number of manhours of effort/cost, provided the weapons were designed for mass production. It was recognised that this would yeild a weapon with 90% of the capability of the 'specialised version'.

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Post by Jon G. » 23 Jun 2005 09:01

These are interesting figures, and it's a bit embarrassing that I did not pay closer attention to the USSBS section dealing with the motor industry since I linked to another part of the USSBS earlier on this thread.

However, while the large number of total trucks produced can hint at much greater motorization levels theoretically being withing reach for the Wehrmacht than the case was historically, you need to consider that most trucks produced - for civilian and military purposes alike - were probably built to replace older vehicles and thus not available to expand the overall German motor pool. For example, the Heer's transport columns suffered c. 50% losses in the Polish campaign.

If we concentrate only on the 20,000 tons capacity (not truck weight) Grosstransportraum (=extra-divisional transport units tasked with bringing supplies up from railheads to frontline units), that translates into 10,000 tons worth of transport lost in less than three weeks of sustained warfare. If you extrapolate that figure to cover the entire war, or even just the war on the eastern front, where the Grosstransportraum was three times larger, it is clear that just ordinary losses would eat away all German trucks produced, even if they were all reserved for military use. I think that is better expressed in the overall German motorization level of one four-wheeled vehicle per 70 inhabitants in 1939, rather than in raw numbers.

That's also what Halder suggests when he says that the vehicles allocated to the army were not even enough to replace worn out vehicles, and that is also why the Germans were in fact forced to de-motorize their infantry divisions partially in 1939/1940 - the 950-odd motor vehicles in ordinary infantry divisions' supply units were reduced by half (although division size was also reduced) and replaced by horse-drawn carts.

A comparatively modest truck production increase of ~30% from 1941 to 1942 would certainly not facilitate motorizing larger parts of the Wehrmacht, especially not when you consider that the three Grosstransportraum available to the three army groups on the eastern front were cut in half from losses in a matter of months.

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Post by Gothard » 30 Jun 2005 16:43

Shrek wrote:Hi Paul,

Where are your truck production numbers from? I will admit that Halder's figure seems low, but on the other hand your numbers seem rather high.

The Heer had difficulty keeping its transport companies up to strength right from the Polish campaign onwards. The 50% losses I mentioned earlier that were suffered in Poland were not primarily due to enemy action, but simply due to wear and tear caused by the poor state of Polish roads. That problem of course got a lot worse during Barbarossa, but even the campaign in the west in 1940, fought over one of the densest road networks in the world and in perfect weather led to such high losses from wear and tear that Wagner was forced to conscript civilian vehicles on May 20th.

Few German trucks were built to military specifications - IIRC the Einheitsdiesel design was abandoned as too costly, and the impressed civilian designs that were predominantly used instead broke down at alarming rates. By the time of Barbarossa the OKH Quartermaster had a million different spare parts in stock, such was the variety of types used.

A full war economy might have meant more trucks for the army, but I think there were good reasons why Hitler did not enforce a total war economy right away: he may himself have been a victim of the myth of the 1918 'stab in the back' that cost Germany WWI. The blitzkrieg doctrine envisaged wars to be short and decisive, allowing Germany to have an economy with generous civilian allowances and comparatively few sacrifices made by the homefront that at least the Nazis thought collapsed in 1918.



Wow!
Shrek I'm used to some very well thought out posts from you and this has taken me a bit by surprise.
with all due respect I'd like to examine your post a bit more closely.

Einheits Diesel.
This was merely a standardised chassis. and the pogram was vey succesful.
It takes 9 months for a factory to retool- adding specialized machinery to build a specific vehicle.
the Einheits program ensured that all the major manufacturers had the specific tools ready to build einheits or standard components for a specific model.
thus if a factory was bombed another factory could immediately switch to building the componets necessary to maintain the flow of production while the bombed factory was under repair.
while the production run was short the vehicles produced were outstanding and enabled the germans to continue production . later in the war vehicles like the maultier were produced using einheits components. it also enabled the germans to disperse production more efficiently.

the failure of the einhiets diesel itself was based on economic factors... the same factors that created the panther tank.
the german synthetic fuel industry used a specific process that resulted in a large amount of petroleum. im not clear on the exact figures but i think it was nearly 200,000 workers @ 2 years to build a synthetic oil plant. there was simply no feasible source for large amounts of diesel. Most of the german diesel fuel was acquired from estonia thru shale extraction. therefore the germans used petroleum.
another major factor was the lack of alumniun alloys used for diesel engines. the germans simply didnt have the necessary raw materials to build these engines on a large scale large enough to provide the power yet light enough to allow for adequate offroad capability. one of the reasons for the excessive weight being the heavier engines. einhiets trucks ( the 10,000 produced ) were also complex and required excessive maintenance.

Ive posted already on the forums the german laws passed allowing for seizure of private vehicles.. this was an integral part of german military policy from day 1.
civilian vehicle production ceased in the early 30's and all german manufacturers were forced to build vehicles to military specs for just this contingency. trucks were standardized at 1.5, 3.0 and 4.5 ton load ratings. these trucks werent standardized tho, despite similar outward appearance. and the einheits program was simply a way to ensure uniform tooling. a mercedes cab was built to fit on an opel truck etc.... It was due only to the ambitious Schell standardization program that any standardization occured at all but youre looking at a reduction from 100 to roughly a dozen types of trucks pre-war. surely not as bad as you claim.

Belgium had a very powerful automotive industry. czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Austria had large automotive production capability and France contribitibuted vast quantities of military trucks to the wehrmacht.

roughly 1/3 of the prewar truck production was military capable. ( meanining it could be seized for military use ) with prod of roughly 300k units per year that meant maybe 100k trucks could be seized. total military production of trucks not including those manufactured in foreign countries was about 450k during world war 2.
somewhat less than 100k per year. I can get more accurate figures if ya need them.

German units were raised at a rapid pace and the motor vehicles reflected where they were raised.
the units formed in czechoslovakia, austria and france for instance were equipped with vehicles from those countries. automobile industries were active in each and manufacture of both trucks and spares was adequate.
the usa had many manufactuaring and repair plants in europe and parts were readily available for ford, chevy and GM vehicles. I think theres a lot of myth involved int he great german truck crisis ive heard so much about.

The key issue isnt the models available or the supply of parts to the german army by manufacturers.
the issue is the ability of the germans to transport these parts to the frontline in a timely manner. Automobile manufacture was just comining into its own in the id 30's and the majority of the vehicles were discussing were a: relatively new. b: tested by the german military extensively to ensure that they were accepteable for military uses. German workshop units were very professional and adequate sources for spares were researched before the vehicles were seized.

once again the blame falls on the german railroads for not getting the goods to the front and to german military planners for not planning adequate repair facilities.
as the war progressed and german military repair facilities became more adept and parts and fabrication facialities became more readily available most of these issues were resolved vis a vis foreign and civilian vehicles.
amazingly tho it was the newer vehicles that began to have more problems as the german industry sought to pad production vigures by eliminating spare part production and allid bombing of factory parts warehouses and military parts warehouses further eroded the stocks of spares.

technically a german division using 20 types of foreign trucks in 1941 ( civilian vehicles selected by units during a year of occupation - well maintained with factory acess and stocked with adequate spares for 6 months or so )

were in much better shape than a 1944 division with 5-6 standardized types of new manufature with no access to spares.

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Post by Jon G. » 02 Jul 2005 11:47

Hi Gothard and thanks for your compliment. I'll try and live up to it, even if we are arguably warping this thread somewhat away from its original subject.

As I understand it, the Einheitsdiesel was originally a 6x6 truck built to 100% military specifications laid down by the Waffenamt in 1936. It was intended to eventually replace the 6x4 types (roughly resembling the Opel Blitz) that had been in use since the late 1920s. However the design was abandoned as part of von Schell's standardisation program. The program was indeed successful in dramatically cutting down the number of truck types used, but the standardisation program also had to take into account the civilian applications of trucks produced, i.e. civilian users rarely need complex AWD trucks which consume more fuel and are more expensive to maintain than more straightforward 6x4 types.

Then as now Opel was a GM subsidiary. Compare the 2 WD Blitz to the incredibly rugged deuce-and-a-half GMC 6x6 truck, many of which can still be found in working order today, and I think you get a good picture of the sacrifices the Germans needed to make in order to get trucks built in sufficient quantity. Standardisation worked two ways: the reduced number of types probably benefitted military users more than civilian users, but cost considerations and scarce strategic materials meant that many compromises had to be made.

Other einheits programmes worked well: there were einheits cabs, einheits truck bodies etc. which facilitated truck production greatly as you say, however the basic mechanical configuration stayed the same rear wheel drive for the vast majority of German trucks. That made German trucks frail vehicles under war conditions. AWD trucks would have been mighty helpful on the dirt roads of Russia, but the German economy could not deliver such vehicles in sufficient quantities.

To make matters worse, not even enough reduced specs trucks were built to cover the needs of the Wehrmacht; as I've mentioned in previous posts the OKH Quartermaster-general was forced to conscript civilian vehicles quite early on. No doubt it was very helpful that the civilian trucks thus enlisted were of similar types to the vehicles already used by the Wehrmacht, but the very price for this standardisation was that the trucks the Wehrmacht already had on strength were unsuitable for extended military use. That problem was of course made worse by the use of captured vehicles built to entirely different specifications.

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Post by Paul Lakowski » 02 Jul 2005 21:38

According to the late 1945 inital version of the USSBS the following trucks were in the army inventory over time.

1940/41= 160,000
Mid 41 = 190,000
1941/42= 240,000
mid 42 = 325,000
1942/43= 400,000
mid 43 = 380,000
1943/44= 400,000
mid 44 = 280,000
1944/45 =250,000

Cars and staff cars are as follows..

1940/41= 125,000
Mid 41 = 150,000
1941/42= 190,000
mid 42 = 250,000
1942/43= 280,000
mid 43 = 270,000
1943/44= 280,000
mid 44 = 140,000
1944/45 =130,000

I don't have figures for motorcycles but estimate the following based on production...

1940/41= 150,000
Mid 41 = 170,000
1941/42= 150,000
mid 42 = 130,000
1942/43= 120,000
mid 43 = 80,000
1943/44= 80,000
mid 44 = 70,000
1944/45 =60,000

A panzer army used ~ 55,000 vehicles while an infantry army used about 22,000 vehicles but late war period this would drop to about 12,000-13,000 vehicles. There were more than enough vehicles , but too many divisions etc . By the end of the war to do anything other than equip each division to 1/2 strength [ mid 1944 thats ~ 500,000 vehicles, when what was needed was about 800,000 vehicles].

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Opel trucks

Post by Oracle » 03 Jul 2005 20:05

My page

http://clubs.hemmings.com/clubsites/che ... o1944.html

lists total wartime Opel truck production. In addition there with the Daimler-Benz built Blitzes.

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German oil

Post by Bronsky » 07 Jul 2005 14:46

Nice thread, though as it's going a bit all over the place, I'll split various remarks in two posts. Here's the one on the German oil situation.

1. Dependence on overseas imports

In peacetime, peacetime economics apply. Oil from the gulf of Mexico was cheap, other sources of oil were uneconomic. Also, the Germans knew that war was coming and were building up stocks. This means that the prewar import levels overstate the dependency of Germany on overseas oil imports. It seems to me that the article quoted in the beginning of the thread makes the same mistake in this regard as Allied planners in 1939-41 who foresaw German economic collapse for that reason.

Regarding squeezing more oil out of Romania, I'm not sure where it would be coming from.

Romanian Oil Production, Thousand Tons and Exports in tons
columns are year / Crude Oil production / Drilling (km) / Refinery Runs / Domestic Consumption / Exports to Czechoslovakia and Germany / Exports direct to the German Army / Exports to Italy and Albania.

1938 / 6610 / 288 / 6228 / 1674 / 999,240 / nil / 560,475
1939 / 6240 / 256 / 5837 / 1785 / 1,285,153 / nil / 629,350
1940 / 5810 / 235 / 5472 / 1862 / 1,429,807 / nil / 342,943
1941 / 5577 / 253 / 5255 / 1811 / 2,885,229 / 34,351 / 761,667
1942 / 5655 / 339 / 5237 / 2098 / 1,822,207 / 369,452 / 862,179
1943 / 5266 / 344 / 4903 / 2007 / 1,795,555 / 715,749 / 391,354

What this shows is total production declined due to exhaustion, and the share of Romanian national consumption increased. Some other imports are not factored in, e.g. to Turkey (266 bpd) and Switzerland (2,000 bpd) but these were to countries with economies effectively integrated in the Axis war effort so starving them of oil would have to be paid for in other areas.


2. German oil situation and Barbarossa and Blau.

It's perfectly true that German consumption outstripped supply in 1941, on the other hand the supply pipeline broke down first so in practice Barbarossa was not stopped because German oil stocks had been exhausted. Similarly, the fact that the pipeline broke down first meant that when the low stocks had forced a drastic - if temporary - curtailment of shipments to the front there was enough remaining stock in the pipeline itself (which hadn't been moved due to the transportation / logistic crisis) to tide the Ostheer over for a while.

The crisis was solved by a combination of 1/ increased supply, 2/ reducing the allocation to the German economy, 3/ reduced demand.

Point #3 was itself caused, in no particular order, by:

a/ the effective end of the very fuel-intensive surface naval operations, as compared to the pre-Barbarossa raider forays in the Atlantic, some successful and some not. One U-boat carried 100 tons of fuel, so with say 6 sorties per year this is 600 tons of diesel per U-boat and per year. By comparison, filling up the tanks of 2 Bismarcks and 2 Scharnhorst would amount to roughly 30,000 tons. The U-boat arm was not fuel-intensive.

b/ the seasonal reduction in other fuel-intensive activities like the Luftwaffe (due to bad weather & redeployment of Luftflotte 2) and the Italian navy resupply of North Africa,

c/ demotorization of the Ostheer in particular, and the German army in general.


As a general comment, Germany had - or could have - enough oil to wage a low-tech war, which is exactly what it ended up fighting. It never came close to the levels of oil required to wage a high-tech war, with intensive naval operations, strategic bombing campaign, the works. That's where the bulk of the Allied oil supply went to. The same applies to the Soviet Union. I disagree with Lars (not for the first time :wink: ) that capturing / interdicting Baku would put a crimp on the Soviet war effort, because 1/ the Soviet Union was also undergoing a fuel crisis and as a result waging a low-tech war, particularly at that point, and 2/ the Soviets effectively lost most of the Baku output as things were, and that was for the duration of the war because they didn't have the technology to restore the oilfields to working order - see the figures on e.g. Jason Pipe's page to which links have already been provided in this thread.

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German trucks

Post by Bronsky » 07 Jul 2005 14:56

The problem with trucks is that the Germans couldn't do without them because they were needed at the sharp end, and specifically to support mechanized operations: flexibility, all terrain ability, and so on.

That's why the Grosstransportraum were specifically allocated to the panzerkorps during Barbarossa. The Germans tried to replicate this for Blau but ran into problems with insufficient railway network and a lower truck stock overall. I don't think that the Axis inventory of trucks in North Africa would have helped all that much, as IIRC PanzerArmee Afrika only had some 12,000 trucks overall - many of them British captures - so counting the fact that not all of them could have been redeployed even in the best of case I don't see this truck park as making the difference between success and failure in the Caucasus.

Regarding the German truck situation in March 1942, from table VI.I.I. of "Germany in the Second World War", vol.6 the Ostheer were down (total writeoff's and vehicles not repairable within 5 days) 3,774 artillery tractors, 53,149 trucks, 35,572 staff cars and 50,165 motorcycles from their Barbarossa inventory. The gains - new production, with captures in parentheses - were 503 (18) artillery tractors, 17,165 (5,109) trucks, 4,578 (890) staff cars and 4,391 (603) motos - so much for those German bikers.

While many of the lost trucks were captured European booty many of which were relatively light (1t and so) stuff, most of the captures were older 1.5t GAZ trucks which is what the Soviets had in greatest quantity in the overrun areas and the type of truck that tended to break down the most easily. Also, some of the "new production" came from occupied Europe some of which consisted of light trucks.

- edit: some of my figures were turned into smileys by the program so I'm disabling the things, this is a poker-faced post -

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