German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
Richard Anderson
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Richard Anderson » 06 Nov 2019 03:40

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
06 Nov 2019 00:22
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Nov 2019 22:48

Uhhhhhh wrooooonnnggg. If Hitler hadn't slept in on D-Day we'd all be speaking German right now.
:lol:
Oh, Hitler slept in on D-Day/ Who knew? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

glenn239
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by glenn239 » 06 Nov 2019 20:08

Peter89 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 08:48
I am not fan of theories like "Stalin got angry, so he attacked", "he was too stubborn" and such. I think Dönitz had no different option than to continue. In my opinion, the whole German High Command was aware in 1943 that the war was lost.
The war was lost in terms of industrial production of the two camps, which is why a thread based on the premise of irrationalities in German production priorities in a war that could not be won by production seems a bit misplaced.

But the war in 1943 was not lost politically because the Allied coalition had to hold together long enough that Germany was partitioned. To do that Germany had one - and precisely one - possible play; that Stalin was a stone cold sociopath. Because only a sociopath could even consider not finishing Germany off after the brutality of Barbarossa. The ice cold strategic conclusion for Germany, as bizarre as it sounds, is that in 1942 after Torch and Stalingrad, when it was apparent that the war was lost, the strategy had to switch from military to political objectives, with the only valid political objective being one that would contribute to the objective of breaking the Allied coalition by way of splitting the Soviets off.

That's easy to type, but when you start looking at translating it to real operations, any German strategy that stood a chance of succeeding would have looked much different after 1942. Even bizarre from any logical or ordered consideration of 'proper' conduct.

HistoryGeek2019
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 06 Nov 2019 20:14

glenn239 wrote:
06 Nov 2019 20:08
Peter89 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 08:48
I am not fan of theories like "Stalin got angry, so he attacked", "he was too stubborn" and such. I think Dönitz had no different option than to continue. In my opinion, the whole German High Command was aware in 1943 that the war was lost.
The war was lost in terms of industrial production of the two camps, which is why a thread based on the premise of irrationalities in German production priorities in a war that could not be won by production seems a bit misplaced.
Yeah, Germany was hopelessly outproduced. So let's not even bother to discuss how Germany chose to spend its limited resources ...

:roll:

HistoryGeek2019
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 06 Nov 2019 20:16

Peter89 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 08:48

I am not fan of theories like "Stalin got angry, so he attacked", "he was too stubborn" and such. I think Dönitz had no different option than to continue. In my opinion, the whole German High Command was aware in 1943 that the war was lost.
It wasn't Dönitz' decision to make. He could and should have told Hitler that the U-boat war wasn't working, so Germany should stop wasting steel and labor and sending young sailors to an underwater grave.

glenn239
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by glenn239 » 06 Nov 2019 20:53

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 19:14
I'm sorry but that is simply nonsense. The Royal Navy dwarfed the Kriegsmarine.
The size of the three navies was one facet of the situation, (don't forget the Italians, whose navy was key to making up numbers in any sea war against England alone). The quality of the RN after 1941 relative to the Axis in terms of surface gunnery was another point in favor of the UK. (Odd that the Axis navies never figured out how to jam fire control radar). The third advantage - most crucial of all - was the United States. In any game on this topic, the US entering the war is basically the British automatic victory condition.

Britain's big disadvantages were geographical, reliance on sea communications, a comparitively small army, and the political weakness of its empire. Much of the strength you list (over 100 destroyers) were tied down guarding convoys against the submarines you dismiss. 12 out of the 15 battleships you list (the "R's", "QE's", "Nelsons") were too slow for an Atlantic war and were therefore useless against the Axis battleships they faced. The carriers were vital, but too few in number and their survival tied directly to British prospects, (considered Britain's poor situation in the Atlantic and Med if she loses her carriers). The British Med position was a house of cards that the Axis could have kick the door in on in 1940/41 without the useless distraction of Barbarossa.

The Axis formula is to use Britain's weak geographical position against her by stretching her fleet to the breaking point - Axis interior lines of communication vs. RN exterior lines of communication. To do that, the Axis need to construct a 1941 Sealion using MFP's and Siebels, (far more dangerous than Rhine barges), take Iberia, take Egypt (preferably before Italian East Africa fell), and emphasize fleet production. Politically, move the Soviet Union to ally from neutral associate and initiate an Axis "Lend Lease" with Stalin. (Stalin "lends" the Axis powers oil, wheat, and war material, and in exchange, the Axis Powers cooperate to allow Stalin to "Lease" Finland, Turkey, Iran, and India).

It seems within the realm of plausibility, if the Heer had been better equipped and made fewer strategic mistakes (Smolensk, Moscow, Stalingrad) that Germany could have forced the Russians into a stalemate on the Eastern Front. But this would still tie down millions of German soldiers and leave Germany vulnerable to attack by the Western Allies, so Germany is still doomed.
The only way to make the Eastern Front go dormant is for Stalin to want it to go dormant. Otherwise, as Peter says, Germany is going to lose because sociopaths like Stalin do not quite. You know Finland, 1944? Stalin wanted that front to go inactive. How can Germany get Stalin to do what he actually did for Finland, except for Germany in Poland?
I don't know why everyone thinks in terms of tanks when considering "how else could Germany have allocated its resources"? Far more important than tanks was artillery, infantry equipment, trucks, logistics, etc.
It doesn't matter whether we're talking 8,000 more Panthers or 25,000 more 88's, or 100,000 more trucks. The answer is always the same; no matter whether Germany built U-boats or not, there was never going to be any major weapon in which the Allied production didn't dwarf German production.
Last edited by glenn239 on 06 Nov 2019 20:58, edited 1 time in total.

TheMarcksPlan
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 06 Nov 2019 20:56

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:It wasn't Dönitz' decision to make. He could and should have told Hitler that the U-boat war wasn't working, so Germany should stop wasting steel and labor and sending young sailors to an underwater grave.
Or maybe he could have anticipated that Allied tech and strategies would change instead of planning to produce the exact same U-boats over half a decade. Had he done so - had he commissioned more studies into next-gen Uboat earlier - the Type XXI's might have started coming online in 42/43 instead of 2 years after the Uboats' defeat and in the literal last few days of the war. Raeder/KM bears responsibility for this too: they neglected the Uboat-waffe prewar; it shouldn't have been on Donitz alone to ensure strategic competence in long-term naval planning. [How do you get your umlauts btw?]

Consider the following situation:

1. Hitler beats Stalin - either through peace, collapse, or driving the SU beyond the Urals (leaving it with <25mil population, no oil, no ability to do more than tie down 20% of Germany's army).

2. Germany commits 20% of its empire's resources to Type XXI Uboats. At ~5.7mil RM, 20% of Germany's ~100bil RM GDP produces 3,500 Type XXI boats per year. Call it 2,500/year just to be conservative.

If the Type XXI boats sink 50,000 tons per boat lost that's 125,000,000 tons of shipping - nearly twice the size of the entire world's merchant fleet (71mil GRT) in 1946. And that's just one year's production of Uboats in this timeline. To sink the entire world's merchant fleet in 1946 you'd need 2,500 Uboats to sink ~28k GRT each, half that if you trade two years of Uboat production.

As my link upthread demonstrates, to say the economic attrition ratio of the Uboats was 10:1 is conservative. If the Type XXI maintains that economic attrition ratio, and Germany puts 20% of its economy into Uboats, then the Allies will lose/spend 2x Germany's economy fighting the Uboats. That means that if Allied:Axis resource ratio approaches 3:1 even after the defeat of the SU (far-fetched but just for argument), the Uboats even the score economically.

It's clear that the Type VII/IX Uboats were decisively beaten. What's not clear is whether the Allies could have decisively beaten the Type XXI/XXIII. They're not invincible but even if traded at late-1942 rates when the Allies started sinking large numbers of Uboats, their impact would be massive.

This opinion appears to reflect the post-war military consensus as well: while nobody built Type-VII-style submersibles after the war, every nation started building designs based on Type XXI principles and many nations continue to employ diesel-electric submarines today.
The "ignore user" function is essential to AHF/internet sanity and I use it liberally. Feel free to raise another poster's point if I've ignored them.

glenn239
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by glenn239 » 06 Nov 2019 21:03

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
06 Nov 2019 20:56

It's clear that the Type VII/IX Uboats were decisively beaten. What's not clear is whether the Allies could have decisively beaten the Type XXI/XXIII. They're not invincible but even if traded at late-1942 rates when the Allies started sinking large numbers of Uboats, their impact would be massive.
Agree with all you've said. But it was more than just the XXI. It was combined arms. Successful convoy defense relied on airpower, and the airpower far from shore was projected from escort carriers. Escort carriers were vulnerable to damage and sinking from air attack. Part of the defeat of the U-boats was failure to push submarine technology. But another part was not addressing the escort carrier tactic by sinking the escort carriers as the first step of any convoy battle.

TheMarcksPlan
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 06 Nov 2019 21:20

Glenn239 wrote:But another part was not addressing the escort carrier tactic by sinking the escort carriers as the first step of any convoy battle.
Airpower isn't decisive against Type XXI's. They don't need to cruise on the surface; radar detectors would enable them to dive from Schnorkel depth before being sunk at night. While it would be nice to sink all escort carriers before a convoy battle, that's largely impossible. The carrier can be hundreds of miles from the convoy battle and still intervene; the Uboats operational view is far smaller than that. Plus the Allies could increasingly cover most of the sea lanes with long-range aircraft even absent the carriers. Using the B-29's, for example, in ASW role, closes the Newfoundland-Iceland air gap. It'd be massively expensive but worth it to keep the convoys going if airpower were decisive against Type XXI's.
The "ignore user" function is essential to AHF/internet sanity and I use it liberally. Feel free to raise another poster's point if I've ignored them.

HistoryGeek2019
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 06 Nov 2019 22:02

glenn239 wrote:
06 Nov 2019 20:53

It doesn't matter whether we're talking 8,000 more Panthers or 25,000 more 88's, or 100,000 more trucks. The answer is always the same; no matter whether Germany built U-boats or not, there was never going to be any major weapon in which the Allied production didn't dwarf German production.
As I've been saying all along in this thread, this is true in the long-run. But on the Eastern Front in 1941, the Heer could have been much better equipped and much better supplied if Germany had allocated its resources appropriately. David Stahel writes:
The economic foundation of Operation Barbarossa remains one of the most tenuous in military history. As Colonel-General Fritz Fromm remarked on 16 August 1941, the needs of the army demanded that the high command come ‘out of the current cloud-cuckoo-land and down to reality’.59 The economic basis of Operation Barbarossa was only suitable if the campaign could be concluded, as its planners anticipated, in a short and decisive victory. Even if the factories had had sufficient supplies of raw materials and manpower, they were neither tooled up for army production, nor endowed with the capacity to cope with the new demands of the war in the east.
INB4 @TheMarcksPlan doesn't like Stahel's writing style.

HistoryGeek2019
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 07 Nov 2019 02:52

glenn239 wrote:
06 Nov 2019 20:53
12 out of the 15 battleships you list (the "R's", "QE's", "Nelsons") were too slow for an Atlantic war and were therefore useless against the Axis battleships they faced.
Nelson Class Battleship Rodney sinks the Bismarck.

AHF poster: "Useless"

:roll:

Peter89
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Peter89 » 07 Nov 2019 07:26

glenn239 wrote:
06 Nov 2019 20:08
Peter89 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 08:48
I am not fan of theories like "Stalin got angry, so he attacked", "he was too stubborn" and such. I think Dönitz had no different option than to continue. In my opinion, the whole German High Command was aware in 1943 that the war was lost.
The war was lost in terms of industrial production of the two camps, which is why a thread based on the premise of irrationalities in German production priorities in a war that could not be won by production seems a bit misplaced.

But the war in 1943 was not lost politically because the Allied coalition had to hold together long enough that Germany was partitioned. To do that Germany had one - and precisely one - possible play; that Stalin was a stone cold sociopath. Because only a sociopath could even consider not finishing Germany off after the brutality of Barbarossa. The ice cold strategic conclusion for Germany, as bizarre as it sounds, is that in 1942 after Torch and Stalingrad, when it was apparent that the war was lost, the strategy had to switch from military to political objectives, with the only valid political objective being one that would contribute to the objective of breaking the Allied coalition by way of splitting the Soviets off.

That's easy to type, but when you start looking at translating it to real operations, any German strategy that stood a chance of succeeding would have looked much different after 1942. Even bizarre from any logical or ordered consideration of 'proper' conduct.
The Casablanca Conference demanded an unconditional surrender in January 1943. From that point on, their only sensible approach would be the damage control: to save the population and hold the line on the eastern front as the Wallies occupy Europe.

Stalin might have been a sociopath, but he was very careful with the Western powers. He knew that the SU can only fight a successful war outside its borders, because a defeat would question his power. See Afganisthan. The SU would not stand down or go against the Western powers at any point in WW2.

glenn239
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by glenn239 » 08 Nov 2019 18:36

Peter89 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 09:31
The Germans once again failed the to recognise and nurture the rift between the French and the British. They should have removed their troops except some LW and KM personnel from France and all but restore France's independence to secure their support.
There is something to be said for a complete evacuation of France by Germany after the Battle of France with a full peace treaty in which France loses and pays nothing, but Germany holds on to its key military equipment and the Maginot Line while the war continues. Germany would not be responsible for supplying France, and if Britain blockaded France, France's navy.

glenn239
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by glenn239 » 08 Nov 2019 18:43

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
07 Nov 2019 02:52
glenn239 wrote:
06 Nov 2019 20:53
12 out of the 15 battleships you list (the "R's", "QE's", "Nelsons") were too slow for an Atlantic war and were therefore useless against the Axis battleships they faced.
Nelson Class Battleship Rodney sinks the Bismarck.

AHF poster: "Useless"

:roll:
So if the 23kt (and therefore useless) Rodney hadn't been there, the POW, KGV, Renown and a couple dozen cruisers and destroyers couldn't have finished Bismark off with two fleet carriers in support?
Last edited by glenn239 on 08 Nov 2019 18:57, edited 2 times in total.

glenn239
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by glenn239 » 08 Nov 2019 18:55

Peter89 wrote:
07 Nov 2019 07:26
The Casablanca Conference demanded an unconditional surrender in January 1943. From that point on, their only sensible approach would be the damage control: to save the population and hold the line on the eastern front as the Wallies occupy Europe.
So, there are three basic cases.

1. Historical - fight on both fronts equally, go down in defeat as Germany is overrun from each side.
2. Your suggestion. Fight assyemtrically on the Eastern Front while allowing the Western Allies to liberate most of Europe.
3. The opposite of your suggestion. Fight assymetrically on the Western Front while allowing the Soviets to conquer everything in Europe that isn't Germany.

I think we agree that (1) will not work. But you're saying (2) is golden and (3) is not. Why?
Stalin might have been a sociopath, but he was very careful with the Western powers. He knew that the SU can only fight a successful war outside its borders, because a defeat would question his power. See Afganisthan. The SU would not stand down or go against the Western powers at any point in WW2.
Before Afghanistan there was Vietnam and Korea. How'd they'd go for the Soviets?

The war is certainly lost for Germany militarily with Torch-Stalingrad. But geographically, Germany is at its high water mark in Russia. Since the war cannot end but in unconditional surrender if the Allies hang together, and the Allies will stay together unless the Soviets fall out with the others, then how does Germany exchange its territorial buffer in Russia for the splitting of the Grand Alliance? That's the specific political question that impacts strategy. When the sorting tool is used for German war strategy after 1942, what are the specific operational possibilities to split the Allies? That is to say, Germany's military undertaking offensive operations, not aimed at its enemies directly, but aimed at their political cohesion?

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