German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

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HistoryGeek2019
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 30 Oct 2019 18:18

Peter89 wrote:
29 Oct 2019 22:53

But if losing ~17% of your fleet is not a problem at all, then what are we talking about?
I'm not sure that percentage of merchant ships sunk is a good measure of U-boat success. It seems that percentage of vital supplies lost would be a better measure. The ship might not be carrying anything when it is sunk. It might be sailing unescorted back to the United States from Great Britain. The ship might have made 100 deliveries of vital war supplies prior to being sunk. Is it really a success if each merchant ship is making 100 deliveries prior to being sunk? I'm not saying that is what actually happened, just that "percentage of merchant ships sunk during the war" seems like a poor measure of U-boat success.

And no worries, btw. I know things can get heated when discussing history! :lol:

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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Peter89 » 31 Oct 2019 09:49

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
30 Oct 2019 18:18
Peter89 wrote:
29 Oct 2019 22:53

But if losing ~17% of your fleet is not a problem at all, then what are we talking about?
I'm not sure that percentage of merchant ships sunk is a good measure of U-boat success. It seems that percentage of vital supplies lost would be a better measure. The ship might not be carrying anything when it is sunk. It might be sailing unescorted back to the United States from Great Britain. The ship might have made 100 deliveries of vital war supplies prior to being sunk. Is it really a success if each merchant ship is making 100 deliveries prior to being sunk? I'm not saying that is what actually happened, just that "percentage of merchant ships sunk during the war" seems like a poor measure of U-boat success.

And no worries, btw. I know things can get heated when discussing history! :lol:
Dönitz's strategy was the so-called "tonnage war" which didn't really aimed at the cargo, only at the shipbuilding capacity.
The theory was that if the KM can sink more tonnage than the British can build, they are going to win the war on the long run. With the US joined the war, it was impossible (I think the sinkings reached the limit of the Allied shipbuilding capacity in a few months only).

Japan didn't really care about the tonnage war in the crucial years of 1940-1943, and later on, Japan itself suffered by a tonnage war.

AFAIK over 90% of the shipment wasn't attacked at all.

You are absolutely right about your assessment regarding the deliveries.

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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by glenn239 » 31 Oct 2019 22:01

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
30 Oct 2019 18:02
Britain has the entire 500 million strong Empire backing it. Once FDR gets re-elected, it also has lend-lease aid from the United States. That is enough for Britain to wage an air and sea war against Germany indefinitely.
If Britain gains no superpower allies then Germany will either win the war or the British will make terms. The things you mention are not going to change that trajectory - Lend Lease was not sufficient and the British Empire was an anachronistic source of weakness, not strength.
How much damage can Germany inflict with each attempted Channel crossing vs. how much damage will Germany suffer? Maybe 10-20 thousand troops will get across with each attempt, with a tiny amount of tanks and artillery. They will quickly run out of supplies and surrender each time. How many casualties can they inflict when the British strategy is defensively focused (manning the GHQ Line)? Optimistically, the Germans inflict 1-3 thousand casualties with each wave before they surrender. That's a war of attrition that Germany is losing. Germany would also suffer devastating losses at sea with each attempt. Their "river barge" fleet would get wiped out on each attempt. Germany didn't have naval construction capabilities anywhere close to what Britain had. Britain could easily rebuild the few destroyers and cruisers lost in each crossing attempt faster than Germany could rebuild its entire landing fleet.
If the Royal Navy concentrates the mass of warships near the Channel needed to defeat an invasion, then in the Atlantic the Axis fleets are going wild. If it moves into the Atlantic to protect its supply lines, then it does not have the ships on alert stand by to repel an invasion. Sealion in conjunction with an Atlantic War in 1941 presents difficulties for the UK. Not in the least because the technical characteristics of a Sealion invasion in 1941 could and would be much improved over 1940.
The British were ahead of Germany in the technology of radar and radar jamming once they figured out how to counter Knickebein and Gerat during the Blitz. From that point on, the Germans could never undertake precision bombing at night. And the British quickly figured out how to engage in night-fighting during the Blitz and were inflicting significant casualties by the end. Britain was also outproducing Germany in aircraft, so trying to bomb Britain is a war-losing strategy for Germany.
The British had the significant disadvantage of being much further from Germany with their bombers from the UK than the Germans were from their targets in France. The best LW strategic targets were coastal, in order to enhance the effects of the sea campaign. Coastal targets, because they were on the coast, could be found more easily. In terms of navigation techniques, after losing the battle of the beams the Germans switched to the use of Freya radars (Egon Verfahren) for the pathfinder force. The advantage of being closer.
Taking Gibraltar and Portugal won't allow Germany to cut off British sea lanes in the Atlantic. The Royal Navy still dwarfed the KM and Italian navy, and would simply take over the Azores and Canaries.
With a Sealion massed in France in the summer of 1941 the British will need 100 destroyers and cruisers on invasion alert. These are not available for the Atlantic - if they break their alert, they cannot stop Sealion. That's the general vulnerability as I see it.
The Axis didn't have the logistics to support a stronger Africa Korps - the British had naval superiority in the Mediterranean, and nothing the Axis could do would change that.
No invasion of Russia and the Germans would have the logistics to support the AK. Not only tens of thousands of more trucks, but also large numbers of purpose built littorial transports, (Siebels, MFP's, K-ships).
The Soviet Union would not have made any more attacks after settling with Finland because Stalin didn't want to go to war with Britain and the United States. He wanted Germany to hand over Bulgaria and bases in the Balkans so that the USSR wasn't confined by the Turkish Straits. Otherwise, Stalin would have slowly improved his position as Britain and Germany bled each other dry.
Stalin was not enough afraid of the United States with the atom bomb to be deterred from China and Korea. The idea that the British Empire in 1940 caused him the slightest degree of concern is completely infeasible.
Britain far outproduced Germany in naval construction throughout the war and was better at naval technology than the Germans. With American lend-lease aid, Britain was never at any risk. U-boats were simply an outdated technology, and Dönitz was living in the past. Even modern submarines can be detected by surface ships. The British would have countered anything the Germans threw at them at sea.
The danger with the U-boats was that they might draw the US into the war. The idea that the British without the Americans could win the U-boat war is not one that would occur to me.

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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 31 Oct 2019 23:38

The Royal Navy greatly outnumbered the Kriegsmarine on every day of the war, and was vastly outpacing German ship production, so it had the resources to cover both the Channel and the Atlantic convoys. It is the puny German navy that couldn't challenge the Brits even if they concentrated everything in one theater. The Royal Air Force and army were also much stronger by 1941, whereas the Luftewaffe was at its weakest point in the war up to that point.

Robert Forczyk wrote a very optimistic appraisal of a German invasion in 1940 or 1941, and even he concludes that the Germans would have eventually run out of supplies and had to sue for peace. But the Brits would have had no reason to accept peace. They could sit back and blockade the continent, shooting down any German bombers foolish enough to try to cross the Channel and sinking Germany's U-boats in the Atlantic with superior surface ships and patrol aircraft.

Germany will be left on the continent with no natural resources, slowly withering away until their regime crumbles from within or Stalin opportunistically invades.

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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Peter89 » 01 Nov 2019 08:35

We can't know for certain what would have happened if Germany had time and will to build up his infrastructure. The Z-plan effectively came to a halt by 1940, the unfinished ships sold or scrapped.

Also, the small KM surface fleet was able to operate with some success up until late 1942, and the U-Boats up until mid-1943.

Regarding the armament spendings, the Reich wanted to mobilize the smallest possible resources for war. It turned out that in 1943/1944 they could produce more with relative ease - even though they lost millions of men and resources. In 1940/1941 Germany didn't even prohibited the civilian use of gas. The satellite Axis nations' economies fared better than in the 30's, oil production evolved, etc.

If we take a look at the strategic history of Germany, it is full of serious mismanagement of limited resources. They diced with the surface fleet, the Luftwaffe and the Heer. And won in France, but lost every time afterwards.

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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Peter89 » 01 Nov 2019 10:49

The naval warfare became a combined arms operation anyway; especially because the ports on each side were inside the range of the belligerents' bombers.

If you take a look at the major naval losses of the RN, you'll see that almost every loss occured between 1939-1942.

1939
RN: Courageous, Royal Oak
KM: Admiral Graf Spee

1940
RN: Glorious, Effingham, Curlew, Calypso (the latter by an Italian submarine)
KM: Blücher, Königsberg, Karlsruhe

1941
RN: Ark Royal, Audacity, Hood, Southampton, Fiji, Gloucester, Calcutta, Dunedin, Galatea.
Plus sunk by Italians: Neptune, Bonaventure, York
Plus sunk by Japanese: Prince of Wales, Repulse
KM: Bismarck

1942
RN: Eagle, Avenger, Naiad, Edinburgh, Trinidad, Hermione, Coventry
Plus sunk by Italians: Cairo, Manchester
Plus sunk by Japanese: Hermes, Exeter, Cornwall, Dorsetshire,
KM: none

By the end of 1942, the KM lost 1 battleship, 2 heavy cruisers and 2 light cruisers. In the same timeframe the RN lost 2 battleships, 1 battlecruiser, 4 aircraft carriers, 2 escort carriers, 1 heavy cruiser, 13 light cruisers to the Germans. And an additional 1 heavy cruiser and 5 light cruisers to the Italians, and 1 battleship, 1 battlecruiser, 1 aircraft carrier and 3 heavy cruisers to the Japanese.

Cumulative losses mounted to 3 battleships, 2 battlecruisers, 5 aircraft carriers, 2 escort carriers, 5 heavy cruisers and 18 light cruisers.

They only lost 3 light cruisers to enemy action in the remainder of the war.

Long story short: we can not predict what would have happen if Germany spends more on the Atlantikschlacht (KM & LW).

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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by glenn239 » 01 Nov 2019 19:50

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
31 Oct 2019 23:38
The Royal Navy greatly outnumbered the Kriegsmarine on every day of the war, and was vastly outpacing German ship production, so it had the resources to cover both the Channel and the Atlantic convoys.
I think you've long held this assumption, but I do not think its correct in the case of the Axis both holding Iberia and devoting major resources to a sea war. Without the US, the situation for the British is not good. Communications to Africa around the Horn will be difficult, Egypt will fall, and with the Med an Italian lake (except for British submarines), much of the Italian fleet could be made available in the Atlantic. With major ports in the Suez and Palestine, the Axis can carry the war into the Middle East using sea communications. The British really need the American in the war to secure the Atlantic, otherwise with powerful Axis surface action groups on patrol, there will be any number of PQ-17 style battles of convoy annihilation. 21kt dreadnoughts just don't cut it against 26-30kt battleships. In terms of building programmes, I don't know how big the German and Italian programmes could be. But with higher priority, surely the Axis cruisers and carriers that were not completed are completed, ships are completed faster, and for types DD and smaller, in far larger numbers.

Robert Forczyk wrote a very optimistic appraisal of a German invasion in 1940 or 1941, and even he concludes that the Germans would have eventually run out of supplies and had to sue for peace.
If, for instance, a bridgehead of 200,000 was established, and required let's say 25lbs per man per day in static positions, that would be 25*200000/2000 = 2,500 tons per day needed. An MFP could carry 120 tons per sortie, a Siebel ferry maybe 80 tons. If by summer 1941 they'd built 1,000 of these in a crash building program started in July or August 1940, then their delivery rate is about 100,000 tons per day assuming 1 delivery per unit. How did Robert Forczyk conclude that a hypothetical force structure theoretically capable of lifting 100,000 tons per day over the beach on paper could not deliver 2,500 tons per day in real life?
But the Brits would have had no reason to accept peace. They could sit back and blockade the continent, shooting down any German bombers foolish enough to try to cross the Channel and sinking Germany's U-boats in the Atlantic with superior surface ships and patrol aircraft.
The British would become increasingly exhausted and make peace not later than about 1945. This assumes, of course, that the USA and USSR do not enter the war for either side.
Germany will be left on the continent with no natural resources, slowly withering away until their regime crumbles from within or Stalin opportunistically invades.
The British may lose their entire empire if they persist in a hopeless war against Germany for too long. Without the US, at some point the British will have to make peace or else their world position would collapse. Alternatively, if the US enters the war then the British will win it. If the USSR attacks Germany and the US is neutral, then the British will have to play balance of power tactics between Germany and the Soviets, (IMO, a Soviet dominated Europe is worse for Britain than one balanced between Germany and the USSR).

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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 02 Nov 2019 00:56

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:I'm not sure that percentage of merchant ships sunk is a good measure of U-boat success. It seems that percentage of vital supplies lost would be a better measure.
As someone who respects your analytical ability, I am completely befuddled by your inability/refusal to grasp the shipping problem and its impact on the war.
Why did the invasion of Italy preclude landing in France during 1943? Because of lack of shipping - the Allies had millions of infantry in 1943 but could support only ~700,000 in Europe (Italy).
Why did it take months for Monty to build up for the El-Alamein battle, which employed <10% of British Army manpower? Because of lack of shipping.
Why did the British Army struggle to contain the Japanese advance in Burma/India, despite being a far-better land force during WW2? Lack of shipping.
Why didn't the U.S. build sufficient landing craft to put its millions of soldiers onto Pacific as well as Atlantic beaches simultaneously? Because lack of shipping compelled shifting resources from landing craft to merchant ships during 1942.

This is all laid out in many sources, for example "American Logistics in World War 2":
The Shipping Quandary
Ocean transport was the sine qua non of logistics in World War II, the arterial link between the productive heart in the United States and the fighting organs in the theaters. The availability of merchant shipping was thus the foundation of all theater planning. It was inescapably linked to the projected rate of troop buildup; and on this rate, all other projections for facilities and supplies were based. If the movement schedule could not be met, the entire BOLERO program would collapse--and with it the Allied grand strategy.
The deficit in shipping was not a theater-unique problem; it was a global problem, a problem of supply and demand. With demand vastly exceeding supply, it was a "seller's market" for shipping; and the competition between theaters was fierce. The Allies' attempts to resolve the thorny problem of allocation of scarce shipping tugged and tore at the fabric of the grand strategic plan. With other priorities contending for scarce resources--British appeals for help in the Middle East, Lend-Lease shipments to Russia, and the demands of the Pacific Theater--t h e prime strategic imperative of "Europe First" seemed more rhetorical than realistic.
https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/BigL/BigL-7.html

Why was the Shipping Quandary so vexing?
The 10 MILLION TONS of shipping sunk by Uboats had a lot to do with it.
This total exceeded the ENTIRE British merchant fleet at the outset of the war. Yes, ships were replaced eventually. But in the meantime the lack of shipping was THE constraint on (Western) Allied activity in every theater of the war.

And it's not simply a linear relationship between available shipping and Allied force projection. Why? Because Churchill throughout the war insisted that British imports be maintained at a level sufficient to support the British economy. All shipping available for the buildup in Europe (Operation Bolero) or any other action was allotted AFTER satisfaction of British economic needs. So while 10mil additional tons of Allied shipping may "only" double Allied shipping capacity, it might effectively quintuple/sextuple/etc. the effective Allied force projection capability.

To argue that the Uboats didn't make a MASSIVE difference in the war, you have to address the following hypo: What would have happened had the Allies possessed ~10mil more tons of shipping during '42-'43? Very likely there would have been 3 million Allied soldiers in Europe by mid-1943; very likely the war ends over a year earlier. The flipside of this equation is German resources spent on Uboats, which never exceeded 10% of war production and a tiny fraction of German manpower.

World War 2 would have been a much quicker, less bloody affair absent the Uboats.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 02 Nov 2019 08:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 02 Nov 2019 03:28

glenn239 wrote:With a Sealion massed in France in the summer of 1941 the British will need 100 destroyers and cruisers on invasion alert. These are not available for the Atlantic - if they break their alert, they cannot stop Sealion. That's the general vulnerability as I see it.
I don't think this is true. Any units on convoy protection duty in the Atlantic are no more than a week's cruise from the Channel.
In fact, the best British move would be to let the Germans land, spend a week concentrating their naval/air assets, then cut off the Channel. Whatever troops have been landed in Britain are shortly to become POW's or dead. There aren't enough Ju-52's in Goering's wildest dreams to supply the invasion force.
If Britain is forced to suspend convoys for a couple weeks or even months in order to bag the entire German invasion force, that's a trade well worth making: Britain always had several months of reserve stocks, even during the worst of the Battle of the Atlantic.

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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 02 Nov 2019 09:02

@HistoryGeek2019

From the same source cited in my last post:
Shipping Losses
German submarines were running wild in the Atlantic, and their toll of lost tonnage--over 6.3 million tons in 1942 [FN19]--was the most serious logistical restraint the Allies faced. Until the Battle of the Atlantic could be won, America's productive capacity and manpower could not be fully brought to bear. Cargo tonnage losses could only be reduced by providing sufficient escorts and patrol aircraft to blunt the U-boat menace. Production of these antisubmarine assets had to be maintained as a top priority.
This highlights twin tolls of the Uboat campaign: direct losses in shipping and indirect losses via the diversion of resources into the anti-Uboat fight. Resources diverted against Uboats had minimal value to other theaters: convoy escort vessels were too slow for fleet actions and obviously of zero value in a land battle.

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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 03 Nov 2019 03:49

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
02 Nov 2019 09:02
@HistoryGeek2019

From the same source cited in my last post:
Shipping Losses
German submarines were running wild in the Atlantic, and their toll of lost tonnage--over 6.3 million tons in 1942 [FN19]--was the most serious logistical restraint the Allies faced. Until the Battle of the Atlantic could be won, America's productive capacity and manpower could not be fully brought to bear. Cargo tonnage losses could only be reduced by providing sufficient escorts and patrol aircraft to blunt the U-boat menace. Production of these antisubmarine assets had to be maintained as a top priority.
This highlights twin tolls of the Uboat campaign: direct losses in shipping and indirect losses via the diversion of resources into the anti-Uboat fight. Resources diverted against Uboats had minimal value to other theaters: convoy escort vessels were too slow for fleet actions and obviously of zero value in a land battle.
Ok, I take your point. But I'm curious why this alleged logistical constraint isn't mentioned more often. How many authors can you cite who argue (analytically, not just in passing) that the U-boats delayed the Allied invasion of France until 1944?

We also can't ignore the Machiavellian approach taken by FDR and Churchill. They wanted the Soviets to destroy as much of the German army as possible before they landed in Europe. Yes, I know FDR advocated for a landing in 1942, but let's not put too much weight on the noble sounding words of a politician.

In any event, Germany had already lost the war by 1943, so a delay of one year doesn't mean anything for the ultimate outcome of the war. To change the course of the war from the OTL, Germany needed to score a crushing victory over the Soviet Union in 1941. All German military planning up until Barbarossa was conditioned on a quick collapse of the Soviet Union, because they knew they could not get caught in a war of attrition against the three most powerful countries on the planet. And to crush the Soviet Union in 1941, Germany needed to put absolutely everything into its land army. The ground forces that launched Barbarossa were in no way up to the task. Maybe a Germany that devoted 100% of its military spending to its army still couldn't have crushed the Soviet Union in 1941, but it would nevertheless have been the best allocation of resources given Germany's overall strategic situation.

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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 03 Nov 2019 05:12

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:I'm curious why this alleged logistical constraint isn't mentioned more often.
Mainstream/popular historians don't discuss logistics much; academic/military historians don't do alternative history.
Everyone knows "D-Day," most Americans a certain age know of Operation Overlord, virtually nobody knows what Operation Bolero is. The historians of the US military, however, rightly place Bolero at the center of Allied grand strategy with Overlord and Neptune as Bolero's codas.
Also it's very common to say that the Torch-Husky-Salerno path prevented a 1943 landing in France; it's just uncommon to go a step further and ask why nations with ~20 million men under arms couldn't invade France because they sent ~3% of their men to Italy.

It's also obvious to everyone that, as you emphasize, we ended up decisively beating the Uboats. Given that ultimate victory, there's probably not as much motivation to look behind the curtain and see what might have gone better for the Allies.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:Ok, I take your point
...shut up already TMP. :)
We also can't ignore the Machiavellian approach taken by FDR and Churchill. They wanted the Soviets to destroy as much of the German army as possible before they landed in Europe. Yes, I know FDR advocated for a landing in 1942, but let's not put too much weight on the noble sounding words of a politician.
It played a role in choosing the soft underbelly instead of France but, again, Churchill can't force such a choice if the Allies have 10mil more tons of shipping.
In any event, Germany had already lost the war by 1943, so a delay of one year doesn't mean anything for the ultimate outcome of the war. To change the course of the war from the OTL, Germany needed to score a crushing victory over the Soviet Union in 1941.
Agreed. But a German decision not to build any Uboats would have lost them the war no matter how well they do in Barbarossa. If the Allies can open a true second front in summer 1942 the SU can be saved even if it takes damage on the level sketched in my "stronger Barbarossa" ATL's.

My point isn't that the Uboats could ever have won the war for Germany; it's that they were a critical element in any strategy where Germany secures Europe before facing the full might of the West.

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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 03 Nov 2019 12:58

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
03 Nov 2019 05:12
If the Allies can open a true second front in summer 1942 the SU can be saved even if it takes damage on the level sketched in my "stronger Barbarossa" ATL's.
Summer 1942? Where did that come from? You said the Allies could have invaded in 1943, in the absence of U-boats. Torch didn't even take place until November 1942. David Stahel, in Chapter 1 of his book on Kiev, notes that Britain ended 1941 with a surplus in shipping. It wasn't until November 1942 that losses to U-boats reached their peak.

You also need to take into account the addition to the Allied merchant fleet generated by the German conquests of Norway and Denmark (Norway's is said to have been the largest in the world), and whether/when the Allies would have built the extra shipping needed to support logistics, on top of economic deliveries, if there hadn't been any U-boat war. It's hard to see the USA starting to mass produce merchant vessels to support its trans-Atlantic logistics prior to its entry into the war in December 1941.

Add in that for the USA to train an army by summer 1942 is fanciful, and that Britain wanted nothing to do with a second front in Europe in 1942. Germany would have been knocking on the door of Persia and Morocco if it had scored a crushing victory over the Soviet Union in 1941, so the Allies would have deployed their limited 1942 forces in those theaters.

And a crushing victory over the Soviet Union in 1941 would have left Germany with troops to spare for defending France, something they already had in the OTL anyway.

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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 03 Nov 2019 19:25

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:Summer 1942? Where did that come from? You said the Allies could have invaded in 1943, in the absence of U-boats.

And a crushing victory over the Soviet Union in 1941 would have left Germany with troops to spare for defending France, something they already had in the OTL anyway.
Even in my Germany+20 divisions ATL, the SU still has ~80mil unoccupied population and fields ~4mil soldiers on the Eastern Front in 1942. There's no feasible logistics path to reach the Volga in strength by the end of Barbarossa.

Germany can spare some troops in the East in "stronger Barbarossa" ATL but it still needs most of the Heer.

The U.S., meanwhile, planned for 71 divisions and 3.6mil men by January 1942. https://history.army.mil/documents/WWII/ww2mob.htm I don't know precisely our strength level in summer 42 but with unlimited shipping 40 divisions in England, ready to cross the channel, at that time seems feasible. The Empire can probably commit another 20 divisions. That's enough for a true second front; unlimited shipping also means the Allies can send practically unlimited LL aid to the SU to hold out.

OTL I don't consider it politically feasible for the Allies to have landed in France in 1942 - machiavelian motives and all that. In an ATL where a larger Operation Sledgehammer would actually have succeeded in saving the SU, rather than being a pointless sacrifice, I could see the Allies launching it. At the very least, Hitler thought so and would have had to prepare accordingly.
David Stahel, in Chapter 1 of his book on Kiev, notes that Britain ended 1941 with a surplus in shipping.
No idea where he's getting that from. Maybe he means Britain produced more shipping in 1941 than it lost? Any glance at British efforts in North Africa, Middle East, and Greece during 1941 will show that their efforts were constrained by shipping space.

Stahel, btw, is a diligent archival researcher but not much more. His writing is execrable - did he even have an editor? 50% of his sentences begin with repetitive transition clauses repeating the preceding thought, as if his reader had forgotten the last sentence and has an infinite annoyance threshold. He writes as if "Nazism is Bad and Stupid" is an innovative thesis that needs exhaustive explication.
It's hard to see the USA starting to mass produce merchant vessels to support its trans-Atlantic logistics prior to its entry into the war in December 1941.
That's exactly what we did OTL from 1940. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_ship

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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Peter89 » 03 Nov 2019 21:16

Any landing before 1943 was unnecessary, because the cut off army in Afrika was a very easy target. Crossing the Channel would mean a serious blow to the German morale, but it wouldn't disintegrate the Axis. Attacking Italy, however, could knock out Germany's most powerful ally and provide a springboard for aerial operations to Romania and Hungary.

Regarding the Atlantikschlacht, the Wallies won by a combined arms strategy, involving technology, code breaking and aerial superiority. The surface fleet was forced to ports, and the traditional U-Boats were traveling on the surface as well. Later designs of fully electrical U-Boats came into service in very small numbers and very late.

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