German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

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Richard Anderson
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Dec 2019 08:47

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 07:37
I find it amazing that the size of the Luftewaffe's labor force was nearly equal to the Heer's labor force (1 million vs 1.1 million), and the Kriegsmarine's labor force was almost half that of the Heer. The Heer was by far the most important service, but it got the short-end of labor and spending allocations early in the war.
Aircraft manufacture was very labor intensive and involved a large number of subcontractors and parts suppliers. For example, the U.S. aircraft industry in January 1942 employed 618,400 persons, of which 158,000 were subs and parts suppliers, At peak, in November 1943, 2,101,600 were employed of whom 719,000 were subs and parts suppliers. They produced 2,978 military aircraft in January 1942 and 8,787 in November 1943.
"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

Peter89
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Peter89 » 04 Dec 2019 10:09

glenn239 wrote:
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?
There was two problems with the Soviet occupation. It also included the introduction of a local dictatorship (like a satrapy) and a nonsense economical system. The second problem was that the Soviet occupation meant an occupation by a (recently devastated) state extremely poor in welfare products. It fueled large scale robbery, systematic pillage, and in general, the higher losses of civilian property and lives. And also, even though every army committed rapes and massacres, the Red Army in general earned a very bad reputation. The causes of this phenomenon include the average lower quality education and different cultural background of the Red Army's troops. It doesn't mean that every Soviet soldier was a beast (in fact, a Soviet medic saved a family member of mine, when he sawed off his arm with a festering wound caused by an American bombing raid), there are tons of cases where responsible and proud officiers maintained order, or cases when the rank and file soldiers helped the starving locals to eat. But you know, in general, if I have to choose between an occupation by a wealthier, more educated, culturally identical nation which promotes democracy, and an occupation by a nation which is more poor, less educated, culturally different and promotes dictatorship, I would choose the former.


glenn239 wrote:
08 Nov 2019 18:55
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?
Pretty bad, actually. But both cases could be interpreted as a communist victory, so they were not fatal.
glenn239 wrote:
08 Nov 2019 18:55
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?
The Allies hung together no matter what. There was no possible separate peace with the Soviets. But even if there was, the Wallies could defeat Germany nontheless. Stalin knew this, and he wanted to be on the winning side.

The only political solution to this was never to attack the SU. The British naval blockade was largely unsuccessful until the Mediterran Sea (including the Black Sea) and the Soviet trade relations were running in good order. Germany didn't even introduce strict rationing before 1942.

In October-November 1940 there were negotiations with Molotov to enter the SU into the Axis. The only disagreement was about the Balkans & Finland, two unimportant regions in the course of war.

In my opinion, those days carried the highest chance of winning the war by the Nazis. (And Communists, hahahah :lol: )

HistoryGeek2019
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 04 Dec 2019 18:14

Peter89 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 10:09
The British naval blockade was largely unsuccessful until the Mediterran Sea (including the Black Sea) and the Soviet trade relations were running in good order. Germany didn't even introduce strict rationing before 1942.
I don't know why people claim this so often. Look at any table of German imports before and after the British declaration of war. Imports to Germany plummeted once the war began. The amount imported from the Soviet Union was tiny in comparison to what Germany was importing before.

And rationing was imposed in Germany before the war even began. Define "strict".

Peter89
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Peter89 » 04 Dec 2019 22:33

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 18:14
Peter89 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 10:09
The British naval blockade was largely unsuccessful until the Mediterran Sea (including the Black Sea) and the Soviet trade relations were running in good order. Germany didn't even introduce strict rationing before 1942.
I don't know why people claim this so often. Look at any table of German imports before and after the British declaration of war. Imports to Germany plummeted once the war began. The amount imported from the Soviet Union was tiny in comparison to what Germany was importing before.

And rationing was imposed in Germany before the war even began. Define "strict".
People claim this so often because it is the truth. A naval blockade is not successful if it lowers the import / export of the blockaded country. That is the absolute minimum. It is successful when it can starve out the population or cripple its war machine - and no such thing happened. Not even after the Reich attacked the SU.
At the eve of Barbarossa, the Soviet import was equal to 67% of the German stocks of POL, 118% of grain, 136% of rubber. The trade relations with the Balkans and Turkey was still in progress, just as the drain of raw materials from minor axis allies (Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia).

I think a rationing is strict when the average people starve in quantity. About 2000-3000 calories per day (depending on your work) is acceptable (I eat that amount too, but obviously in better quality).

You can read a lot about rationing on this forum:
viewtopic.php?t=159844
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=141802
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=40650
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=168161

However, theory was very different than reality. You might have Marken for the food, but you might get none. Eg. there was no rationing for banana, because you couldn't get any.
The agricultural villages suffered much less than the big cities and mountain settlements. Raising rabbits was the most effective, easy and cheap way to get meat. I even did that myself, when I was a child. Garden veggies, local fruits, etc. were commonplace. Germany's domestic production of foodstuffs reached 83% of the prewar demand. In theory and in 1938, an average German consumed 750g meat per week. It dropped to 500g to 1941, and 250g to 1945. But we know that it wasn't true for every German; a lot of them lived in poverty and ate less. Also, we can make a difference between the meat and the meat. A fresh tenderloin is very different from fatty ribs, which also include bones. Also, the probability to be able to buy your meat ration was around 100% in 1939, and a much smaller percent later in the war.

Most arguments agree that the food situation in Germany during the war could be divided to 3 phases:
- 1939 - mid 1942: about a 30% drop to prewar levels
- mid 1942 - mid 1944: about a 50% drop to prewar levels
- late 1944 - 1945: starving

HistoryGeek2019
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 04 Dec 2019 23:19

Peter89 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 22:33

People claim this so often because it is the truth. A naval blockade is not successful if it lowers the import / export of the blockaded country. That is the absolute minimum. It is successful when it can starve out the population or cripple its war machine - and no such thing happened. Not even after the Reich attacked the SU.
At the eve of Barbarossa, the Soviet import was equal to 67% of the German stocks of POL, 118% of grain, 136% of rubber. The trade relations with the Balkans and Turkey was still in progress, just as the drain of raw materials from minor axis allies (Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia).
That's an absurd definition of success. By your standard, nothing in any war is successful unless it immediately results in the defeat of the enemy.

The fact is that imports of raw material to Germany fell to 17% of their pre-blockade level by January 1940 (source: James Holland, The Rise of Germany). To claim that an 83% drop in imports of raw material is not a successful blockade is laughable. Did Germany immediately starve and its war machine instantly become crippled? No. Was the German war machine much weaker (and its population significantly worse fed) than in the absence of the blockade? Absolutely. And the industry of the conquered territories, which was dependent on imports of raw materials, was to a large extent rendered useless because of the blockade.

You also have to look at the effects of the blockade on German behavior. The WWI blockade (which didn't cripple Germany's war machine nor produce widespread starvation until the last year of the war, but was nonetheless a success) loomed large in Germany's planners between the wars, and led Germany to invest a considerable amount of its resources in autarky measures that otherwise could have been spent on direct war production, as Richard Overy notes in War and Economy in the Third Reich. This again is a success of the blockade. And the biggest success of all was driving Hitler to bet everything on a quick conquest of the Soviet Union in June 1941. While conflict between Germany and the Soviet Union was inevitable, the time and manner in which he did it was a direct result of the British blockade. Germany wouldn't have even needed to keep fighting Britain after the fall of France in 1940 if it weren't for the British blockade, since there was nothing else Britain could militarily do to Germany other than drop bombs at night on empty fields and forests.

Peter89
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Peter89 » 05 Dec 2019 09:48

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 23:19
Peter89 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 22:33

People claim this so often because it is the truth. A naval blockade is not successful if it lowers the import / export of the blockaded country. That is the absolute minimum. It is successful when it can starve out the population or cripple its war machine - and no such thing happened. Not even after the Reich attacked the SU.
At the eve of Barbarossa, the Soviet import was equal to 67% of the German stocks of POL, 118% of grain, 136% of rubber. The trade relations with the Balkans and Turkey was still in progress, just as the drain of raw materials from minor axis allies (Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia).
That's an absurd definition of success. By your standard, nothing in any war is successful unless it immediately results in the defeat of the enemy.
I said nothing of a sort. But if Germany can't import bananas, it doesn't make a blockade successful. Just like to strategic bombing against cities: it caused great damage, but it couldn't help considerably to win the war. You have to target relevant bottlenecks, like the oil industry.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 23:19
The fact is that imports of raw material to Germany fell to 17% of their pre-blockade level by January 1940 (source: James Holland, The Rise of Germany). To claim that an 83% drop in imports of raw material is not a successful blockade is laughable.
No, it is not. In 1940, Europe was the centrum of the world economy.

Foreign trade (Import / Export) had a limited role in Germany's economy:

German GDP in 1938: 375 bn USD
German GDP in 1944: 466 bn USD
German foreign trade in 1938: 4.28 bn USD
Of which:
German imports in 1938: 5449 m RM, => ~2.18 bn USD
German exports in 1938: 5257 m RM => ~2.1 bn USD

Roughly 1%.

http://www.zuljan.info/articles/0302wwiigdp.html
https://library.cqpress.com/cqresearche ... 1939030900
http://marcuse.faculty.history.ucsb.edu ... rrency.htm

I know that this 1% included a lot of items that are not interchangeable with other production - but hey, that's exactly what I'm talking about. Bottlenecks.

The history of the British blockade in WW2 is usually divided to phases. Between 1939 September and 1940 July the blockade was a success. Between 1940 July and 1941 July it was painful, but it had very limited results. Between 1941 July and 1944 June, it had results, but it couldn't stop the Reich's economy growing. Between 1944 June and 1945 May, its effects couldn't be distinguished from the strategic military situation. The first phase was very effective, because Germany was cut off from the mainland Europe's resources. Even Romania sold oil to the British up until May 1940. Everything has changed when Germany occupied Norway, the Low Countries and France. The situation further improved in 1941 by the occupation of the Balkans, and by the establishment of a safe trade route to Turkey. Please note the qualified manpower at home in this period - one of the bottlenecks in the German economy was the manpower. The manpower, which they later sacrificed by the millions on the Eastern Front.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 23:19
Did Germany immediately starve and its war machine instantly become crippled? No. Was the German war machine much weaker (and its population significantly worse fed) than in the absence of the blockade? Absolutely. And the industry of the conquered territories, which was dependent on imports of raw materials, was to a large extent rendered useless because of the blockade.
Define much weaker.
Please argue how much more the German military production could produce if there was no blockade - we just deduct the belligerent nations' - and their colonies - import / export from the equatation (Belgium, Netherlands, France, UK and USA).

The latter part happened on purpose. Had Germany all the resources in the world, they would still diminish, close, etc. the industry of the occupied countries. The statecraft in 1940 had a very different point of view than we have today.

Japan wanted to build her own colonial empire, the so-called Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, the British Empire tried to establish a worldwide alliance of colonies and vassals called the Commonwealth, the USA tried to influence the American continents and break the colonial system, the French tried to compete with the British colonies, Italy tried to colonize the last free part of Africa (Abessina), etc. Long story short: every leading nation in the world tried to occupy territories for raw materials and markets. Thus the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was a huge success, because it removed a major competitor for foreign markets and it destroyed a large number of competitive companies' operations. Every state did that in those colonial times. When Italy occupied Triest, the most important port of Austria since 1382, they simply diminished it to a 17th port of Italy, and the city hasn't recovered ever since. When the SU occupied Central Europe, it implemented an economic policy of the promotion of heavy industry, even in agricultural societies like Poland or Hungary. Thus the occupied countries provided a large amount of raw materials to the SU and became a market for the processed goods. So they paid for the occupation of their own countries.

It was a very much developed (and essentially an American) thing to promote free trade and divide the markets in a new manner (like it is foreshadowed in the early FDR-Churchill agreements).
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 23:19
You also have to look at the effects of the blockade on German behavior. The WWI blockade (which didn't cripple Germany's war machine nor produce widespread starvation until the last year of the war, but was nonetheless a success) loomed large in Germany's planners between the wars, and led Germany to invest a considerable amount of its resources in autarky measures that otherwise could have been spent on direct war production, as Richard Overy notes in War and Economy in the Third Reich. This again is a success of the blockade. And the biggest success of all was driving Hitler to bet everything on a quick conquest of the Soviet Union in June 1941. While conflict between Germany and the Soviet Union was inevitable, the time and manner in which he did it was a direct result of the British blockade. Germany wouldn't have even needed to keep fighting Britain after the fall of France in 1940 if it weren't for the British blockade, since there was nothing else Britain could militarily do to Germany other than drop bombs at night on empty fields and forests.
Wait a minute, if we talk about 1939 September - 1940 January, the blockade was reasonably effective. The German–Soviet Commercial Agreement was signed on February 11, 1940.

HistoryGeek2019
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 06 Dec 2019 01:03

The British blockade cut German imports of raw materials by over 80% (to just 13% of pre-war levels by March 1940). This is a fact.

The threat of blockade led Germany to invest substantially in autarky prior to and during the war - investments that could have been made directly in armaments production and which go a long way toward explaining how Britain was outproducing Germany in nearly every category of armaments production despite having a signicantly lower GDP. This is the conclusion of Richard Overy in War and Economy in the Third Reich.

Germany was unable to cope with the blockade other than by conquering and plundering its neighbors. This is the conclusion of Rolf-Dieter Müller in Germany and the Second World War, Volume V I/A. That Germany was able to successfully conquer its neighbors and to a large extent plunder them was not a failure of the British blockade. It was a failure of the BEF and French armies in 1940.

The British blockade crippled the occupied territories of western and eastern Europe, reducing them to a mere fraction of their pre-war GDP, as demonstrated by Mark Harrison in The Economics of World War 2.

In the words of Müller: "As in the First World War, the Allies could count on slowly but surely starving Germany out." He continues: "The British concept of the war—to gain time so as to allow the economic factors increasingly to develop towards Germany’s disadvantage—had so far been successful. With each month the tight British blockade was having a greater effect on the German sphere of power. Once the captured stocks had been used up, this situation would soon affect the German conduct of the war."

The direct result of this situation was the German decision to invade the Soviet Union, which led to the destruction of the German army. In the words of David Glantz:

"Moreover, Germany was increasingly dependent on raw materials provided by the Soviets, and Berlin was running a serious trade deficit with its eastern neighbor. At the time, Stalin was more than willing to trade raw materials and food for German technology, but the Germans could not expect this relationship to continue indefinitely. Having become accustomed to controlling the economy of both their own nation and the occupied territories, German leaders were irritated by their inability to dictate the terms of their trade with the Soviets. They believed they could extract more resources by occupying European Russia." Glantz, David M. When Titans Clashed (p. 27).

These are facts and opinions of scholars in highly regarded publications, not a back-of-the-envelope analysis of data from a ".info" website hastily googled in response to this thread.

Peter89
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Peter89 » 06 Dec 2019 08:29

I think we are not talking about the same thing.

1.) I never denied that the naval blockade forced out assymetrical responses by Germany (even though I find it strange you argue with that, after our debate about the U-Boats and the Allied response for them).

2.) Please name me any source which denies that the Axis GDP and military production grew steadily up to 1944. My sources are not googled for the occasion, I usually do that when I want to prove something that I consider common knowledge. I have hundreds of bookmarks for various topics. But I think it is irrelevant how I come by to my sources, you should address their content.

3.) But in OTL Germany DIDN't starve out. Not even after the war with SU. Maybe it would starve out some day, but such predictions were very problematic. As long as Germany didn't go war with the SU, its situation was acceptable, its war machine could run for long years.

4.) Germany waged a war where it used up the resources mainly on the Eastern front, where they also lost millions of young men, and invested a stellar amount into logistics. The very idea of starving out Germany without the Eastern front is wrong. Or it means at least a 5+ years blockade with increasing German resistance.

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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 06 Dec 2019 16:41

Germany's trade with the Soviet Union was not sustainable. Running a sustained trade deficit means that Germany wasn't delivering the products that the Soviet Union demanded in exchange for raw materials. Germany could not reach its desired level of war production while meeting the steep price that Stalin negotiated for Soviet raw materials. So Germany decided to invade rather than pay the price, leading to the destruction of the German army and the Third Reich.

This was a direct result of the British blockade that left Germany dependent on the Soviet Union as its principal supplier of raw materials, and was a successful application of the British approach to economic warfare for which I quoted Müller in my previous comment.

Peter89
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Peter89 » 06 Dec 2019 21:01

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
06 Dec 2019 16:41
Germany's trade with the Soviet Union was not sustainable. Running a sustained trade deficit means that Germany wasn't delivering the products that the Soviet Union demanded in exchange for raw materials. Germany could not reach its desired level of war production while meeting the steep price that Stalin negotiated for Soviet raw materials. So Germany decided to invade rather than pay the price, leading to the destruction of the German army and the Third Reich.

This was a direct result of the British blockade that left Germany dependent on the Soviet Union as its principal supplier of raw materials, and was a successful application of the British approach to economic warfare for which I quoted Müller in my previous comment.
Look... I never said that the naval blockade had no effect. Yes, Germany paid a high price in technology for the Soviet imports. And they paid a very funny price for the imports from occupied regions.

With the rapid victories in 1940, Germany had the chance to wage a long war.
What the Germans misread, however, was the real significance of the victory over France in 1940. Their success did not mean that Germany had won the war, as Jodl's memorandum of June 30, 1940, suggested. Rather, it meant that Germany had acquired the economic and raw material resources to fight a long war.
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/AAF ... ffe-3.html

If the Germans decide to focus on the British Empire only, they would have been able to fight on for a very long time, and it wouldn't have mattered how high price should they have paid for the Soviet imports. Btw imports from the SU were not essential for a limited war against Britain.

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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by glenn239 » 07 Dec 2019 17:09

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
06 Dec 2019 16:41
Germany's trade with the Soviet Union was not sustainable. Running a sustained trade deficit means that Germany wasn't delivering the products that the Soviet Union demanded in exchange for raw materials. Germany could not reach its desired level of war production while meeting the steep price that Stalin negotiated for Soviet raw materials. So Germany decided to invade rather than pay the price, leading to the destruction of the German army and the Third Reich.
I want you to provide specific citations from Cold War period of Soviet arms trade and supply to client states, (Vietnam, North Korea, China, Egypt, Syria, etc.) to prove your point that Soviet supply of Germany was "unsustainable".

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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Dec 2019 01:09

Glenn239 wrote:If the Germans decide to focus on the British Empire only, they would have been able to fight on for a very long time, and it wouldn't have mattered how high price should they have paid for the Soviet imports.
The decision of whether to fight the SU wasn't entirely in Hitler's hands; only its timing was.
If Germany keeps paying for oil and grain by building up the SU's advanced engineering industry, they'd be neighboring a superpower by 1943 at the latest.
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't trust Stalin not to do anything with a 9-million man army fielding 15,000 T-34's.

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