High-level analysis of W.Allied vs. German manpower resources

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 2784
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

High-level analysis of W.Allied vs. German manpower resources

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 27 Aug 2020 07:55

In many threads I find myself repeatedly explaining that I have a high-level view of WW2 that differs fundamentally from the mainstream view of the war (that Allied resources so far outmatched Axis that the outcome was determined). I've decided to start spelling out that view here so that in the future I can refer folks to this post rather than rewrite the argument in multiple threads.

This is analysis of a conventional war; the A-bomb is a separate topic IMO.

Short version of my view is:

1.Germany should have defeated the SU and only lost because Hitler assumed a quick campaign.

2. After defeating the SU, the resource balance might actually favor the Axis and,

3. A relatively-small W.Allied resource advantage would give an insufficient margin for Allied total victory in a conventional war given (a) cost of distance for U.S., and (b) Allied offensive posture, German defensive.

I've said enough about the Eastern Front elsewhere, for example: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=243557. So I'd like to concentrate on the post-SU aspects of my view.

In this post I will start by explaining point (2). Later I'll get to points (3)(a) and (3)(b).

High-level statistics on relative non-agricultural, non-military manpower track with high-level war production statistics.

Manpower is the ultimate production bottleneck (womanpower included in manpower); everything else is downstream of manpower with few exceptions (oil, certain rare metals being obvious ones - basically if you don't have geographical access to something you can't get it regardless of manpower).

In most early-20th Century societies, food production occupied a huge portion of the labor force by our standards. Most of the world's population was farmers. Even in relatively-advanced Western/Central Europe, rural populations occupied nearly a third of the labor force. In Eastern Europe agriculture remained a majority occupation.

For countries in a total land-war the next biggest labor group was the active military, specifically the army. Britain and the U.S. were exceptions to this.

War production and civilian subsistence comes from the labor force remaining after subtracting agriculture and military shares of the workforce.

To put some numbers on it, a comparison of German and W.Allied manpower deployment in late-'43:

Image

Sources:
For Germany my main source is Adam Tooze's Statistics and the German State, 1900-1945 (see table on page 277).
For US my main source is the U.S. census. https://www2.census.gov/library/publica ... 45-chD.pdf
For UK/Dominions I've approximated by Western labor force participation rates and Tooze's comparative agricultural stats.
For all active military personnel and casualties I've used general reading/knowledge - feel free to quibble on the details but IMO they're ballpark correct.
Greater Germany is 1943 boundaries plus the Czech Protectorate. Population estimated by adding Warthegau, Prussia, Silesia, Czechia, Alsace-Lorraine to Germany+Austria populations.
1944 populations projected from 1938 by assuming 6% growth where stats not on hand.


"NAM" in column Q is "non-agricultural/military." "NAM% -> war goods" means the percentage of workers producing for the military. For this figure I used figures for war mobilization as a % of GDP. (These figures vary somewhat between different reputed sources).

The table gives the W.Allies a ~3.8:1 advantage over Germany in total NAM manpower. The ratio NAM war-workers is ~3:1 (Germany was more heavily mobilized). This ratio is in the ballpark of the relative war expenditures of each nation. https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics ... tprint.pdf

As the W.Allied advantage in total populations was only ~2.4 : 1, one can see the effect of three fundamental dynamics:

1. As a proportion of their populations, the W.Allies in 1943/44 had fewer military personnel (including permanent casualties) than Germany: ~8.6% and ~14% for Germany.

2. Germany's unfavorable NAM position was somewhat ameliorated by its ability to "recruit" foreign labor on a large scale - something that was a rounding error for the W.Allies (mostly Mexican Braceros).

3. W.Allied agriculture was far more efficient than Germany's (See Tooze's Wages of Destruction for a good discussion). An extra ~15% of Germany's labor force was devoted agriculture compared to W.Allies.

****************
A brief note on productivity: There were certainly disparities within the field of NAM workers. German mining, for example, was less productive pre-war and remained so throughout it. It's a disputed field, however, and for the ease of this post I'm setting it aside. At the highest level, Germany appears not to have performed too inefficiently (in 1944) given their relative NAM labor endowment. The proportion of German production attributable to net imports (more on that below) somewhat reduces that favorable appraisal.

****************


Thus far my analysis comports with the mainstream view that W.Allied resources so far outstripped Germany's that her defeat was over-determined. With nearly 4x Germany's NAM labor, it was only a matter of time before the W.Allies buried the Reich by weight of ordnance.

So how might I swerve to a minority view that Germany stands a chance? Well the NAM resource balance would vastly different post-SU:

First, the three NAM labor dynamics described above shift dramatically in Germany's favor if it defeats the SU (by the end of '42 or so).

Second, Germany's net imports of war production - her ability to extract resources from occupied Europe - would also have markedly increased post-SU.

Third, don't forget Japan.

Let's analyze the first reason first.

-----------------------------------------------------------


Reason #1: Germany's non-agricultural/military ("NAM") labor force if it defeats the SU

Here's one version of the manpower/NAM picture in 1944 if Germany has defeated the SU:

Image

As you can see, Germany's NAM workforce is ~equal to America's in this version, while the overall W.Allies:Germany NAM ratio has declined from 3.8:1 to 1.37:1. Hopefully one can see that Germany's European allies/exploitees, plus Japan, could feasibly close this resource gap - but that gets ahead of things. First I have to explain why the above NAM ratio is a reasonable appraisal of the strategic picture.

Before doing so, one note on the territorial/strategic picture: If the SU falls in '42 then Spain either joins the Axis or is conquered in '43. The Med is therefore inaccessible to W.Allied merchant shipping via Gibraltar; shipping would constrain W.Allied moves via Suez (if W.Allies hold it) to relatively small forces.

I'll take each of my three NAM workforce dynamics separately:

Germany's far better position on relative portion of active military personnel, post-SU.

Obviously a victory of an Eastern Front in 1942 would allow Germany to demobilize much of its army and would mean far fewer casualties in the East. In this model I've given Germany 5mil active military personnel - slightly less than in 1939 - and postulated 600k permanent casualties. The reasons for the latter are, again, in my detailed Eastern Front ATL's. (short version: <75% of OTL 41-42 Ostheer deaths of 820k)

The smallish size of the German army would relate to the "distance" factor negatively impacting the U.S.: Germany would be defending beaches and/or conducting campaigns in places like the Middle East where the W.Allies don't have the shipping capacity to deploy and supply large armies. The German strategic posture would be to post only enough forces in Western Europe to contain and bloody a W.Allied landing, after which she would mobilize divisions from a cadre base. These forces could be assembled on a WW1-ish mobilization timeline, flooding France with millions of German soldiers within a month or so of a landing (their material would be posted forward - sufficiently inland to avoid capture in a landing but sufficiently close to enable final deployment marches measured in days).

The second spreadsheet specifies the U.S. raising another 100 army divisions at 50,000 divisional slice, raising total military personnel to 16.4mil. I haven't changed British military personnel. Had the U.S. maintained its "90-division gamble" after the SU's fall, the W.Allies probably wouldn't have been able to defend anywhere. The mere hint of Sealion's revival - whether real or not - would have compelled retaining larger ground forces in England.

This is the flipside of American distance from the battlefields: Germany could shift forces along interior lines; any Wallied response would be measured in months. The W.Allies would have to maintain in or near each potential/actual land theater forces sufficient to contain a sudden shift of German divisions.

In truth I believe the W.Allies would need an additional 300 or so divisions to win a conventional war but for this version of the strategic analysis I assume only 100 additional.

Increased German employment of foreign labor

OTL the Germans peaked at ~7.6mil foreign workers around August 1944. For this figure and other analysis/figures discussed below, see another post (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=243557&start=45#p2216965) and the cites therein.

The OTL peak is far below what Germany could have employed, had it defeated the SU.

First, Germany under-emphasized foreign labor early in the war - especially during the critical pre-Barbarossa army production drive. Fritz Sauckel's appointment as Labor Plenipotentiary increased recruitment from mid-1942. By the time Germany was seeing its greatest recruitment results, however, the war had turned clearly against her and she had lost many of the territories from which laborers would have been recruited.

After the SU's fall, however, Germany has a much bigger population from which to recruit and would face less resistance to such recruitment (OTL resistance increased as Germany's fortunes fell, especially after Stalingrad).

The second spreadsheet specifies 16mil foreign workers. I arrived at this figure basically by doubling OTL foreigners. It's conservative IMO.

Germany's share of agricultural workers

The second spreadsheet doesn't reduce Germany's absolute number of agricultural workers. As the number of people residing in Germany would increase, however, the share has decreased. There are several reasons this would happen: German net food imports would increase. The SU would obviously yield more food than the 0 it supplied in 1944. The return of German chemical plant to fertilizer production from explosives would increase yields across Europe. Germany would be able to supply fuel for agriculture after taking Russian/Middle Eastern resources.


Reason #2. The (at least partial) revival of occupied economies after Germany defeats the SU; increased contributions to Wehrmacht

I'm not going to do a full post on this topic tonight. Just note that retaining all of Italy would increase Axis output. As would demobilizing Romanian/Hungarian armies. As would Germany and its allies having the free resources to quell Yugoslavian partisan warfare (and geographically close the aid pipelines on which partisans relied). And of course the occupied SU.

Reason #3. Don't forget about Japan.

Also forthcoming. A few notes:

1. With SU gone, Kwantung Army is free from '43, meaning a much-stronger Ichi-Go a year earlier, the marginalization/defeat of Nationalist China, increased threat to India.

2. German ability to support Japan becomes feasible.

3. With Japan deep into China, the Manchurian industrial base is safe from B-29's. OTL Japan planned moving much of its production to this area to relieve bombing/shipping vulnerability but American bombers from China ended this plan.

In a conventional war, the earliest Japan gets knocked out is 1946. That means no full focus on Germany until 1947.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 2784
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: High-level analysis of W.Allied vs. German manpower resources

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 27 Aug 2020 08:59

TheMarcksPlan wrote:Short version of my view is:

1.Germany should have defeated the SU and only lost because Hitler assumed a quick campaign.

2. After defeating the SU, the resource balance might actually favor the Axis and,

3. A relatively-small W.Allied resource advantage would give an insufficient margin for Allied total victory in a conventional war given (a) cost of distance for U.S., and (b) Allied offensive posture, German defensive.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:So how might I swerve to a minority view that Germany stands a chance? Well the NAM resource balance would vastly different post-SU:

First, the three NAM labor dynamics described above shift dramatically in Germany's favor if it defeats the SU (by the end of '42 or so).

Second, Germany's net imports of war production - her ability to extract resources from occupied Europe - would also have markedly increased post-SU.

Third, don't forget Japan.
As these two quotes look similar, let me clarify the analytical structure of how they relate:

The first quote is from a perspective that encompasses the whole war: relative resources, strategic posture (offense/defense), relative combat power, relative geography.

The second quote is subsidiary to the first as it addresses the relative resources picture only. As some of the relative resources picture relates to strategic posture and geography, both the subsidiary (resources) and the global perspectives discuss them.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

Ружичасти Слон
Member
Posts: 465
Joined: 24 Jan 2020 16:31
Location: Изгубљени

Re: High-level analysis of W.Allied vs. German manpower resources

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 28 Aug 2020 23:54

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Aug 2020 07:55
In many threads ...

Short version of my view is:

1.Germany should have defeated the SU and only lost because Hitler assumed a quick campaign.
Yes. Mostest short and much short on your over reaching.

On other topic you was decide for to win Soviet union invasion Germany must to start change on economy on about 1933.year must to have political different leaders what was make perfect decisions on 15 years and different military leaders what was make 100% perfect decisions.

On other side France Britain Soviet union and so on must to change nothing on history.

Very easy explain only lost on stupid hitler. :lol: :lol: :lol:
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Aug 2020 07:55

2. After defeating the SU, the resource balance might actually favor the Axis and,

...

War production and civilian subsistence comes from the labor force remaining after subtracting agriculture and military shares of the workforce.

To put some numbers on it, a comparison of German and W.Allied manpower deployment in late-'43:

Image
Yes.

Very easy for to make more workers on Nazi Germany when you was decide not to count British empire and make much assumption that always good for to help tmp theory.

Max Payload
Member
Posts: 574
Joined: 21 Jun 2008 14:37

Re: High-level analysis of W.Allied vs. German manpower resources

Post by Max Payload » 30 Aug 2020 08:30

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
28 Aug 2020 23:54
On other topic you was decide for to win Soviet union invasion Germany must to start change on economy on about 1933.year must to have political different leaders what was make perfect decisions on 15 years and different military leaders what was make 100% perfect decisions.

On other side France Britain Soviet union and so on must to change nothing on history.
One of the problems with ATL threads is that of deciding at what point the clock starts ticking. The further back in time it is set, the more hypothetical the ATL becomes. I assume from the initial post that the clock starts ticking in July 1940 - the point at which Hitler ordered planning preparations for an invasion of the Soviet Union.
Clearly a great deal of work had been put into Point 2 of the initial post, presumably on the assumption that it is not merely an academic exercise but has some relevance to what may have been possible. However, as acknowledged by TheMarksPlan, the ATL is dependent upon Point 1 of the post - that is, that the Soviet Union could have been defeated or reduced to a position where it was no longer a threat to Germany. This requires that in the ATL one of three things would have been needed.
1. That after the 22 June 1941 different operational decisions had been taken that would have led to a successful outcome for Germany.
2. That prior to the summer of 1941 and the commencement of the operation, a different and more successful Barbarossa plan had been prepared.
3. That Hitler could have been persuaded that the operation be postponed until Germany had acquired a more highly mechanised army with the logistical support necessary for it to be able to successfully pursue the Red Army deep into the interior of Russia in one largely continuous operation.
All of these points have been discussed in previous threads (the last point of which raises a host of issues relating to pre-invasion ATL events in 1941 and 1942) and I am unconvinced that any of them would have resulted in Germany being left in a significantly more favourable position by 1943.
Consequently, it seems to me that the substance of the initial post is a calculation based on a hypothetical scenario that could never have occurred, in which case the validity of the data does not, unfortunately, seem to merit critical study.

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
28 Aug 2020 23:54
Very easy for to make more workers on Nazi Germany when you was decide not to count British empire and make much assumption that always good for to help tmp theory.
Since India provided the largest volunteer army of WW2, it does seem rather one-sided to have left out Empire manpower and resource from the calculations.

User avatar
Sheldrake
Member
Posts: 3184
Joined: 28 Apr 2013 17:14
Location: London

Re: High-level analysis of W.Allied vs. German manpower resources

Post by Sheldrake » 30 Aug 2020 11:12

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Aug 2020 07:55
3. A relatively-small W.Allied resource advantage would give an insufficient margin for Allied total victory in a conventional war given (a) cost of distance for U.S., and (b) Allied offensive posture, German defensive.
High-level statistics on relative non-agricultural, non-military manpower track with high-level war production statistics.

Manpower is the ultimate production bottleneck (womanpower included in manpower); everything else is downstream of manpower with few exceptions (oil, certain rare metals being obvious ones - basically if you don't have geographical access to something you can't get it regardless of manpower).
Your manpower figures only include Britain's Dominions and not its much larger non European colonial population. The Middle East, India and Africa were major sources of military and civilian manpower. India provided two million volunteer soldiers

More here http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/ ... ed%20there.

Ружичасти Слон
Member
Posts: 465
Joined: 24 Jan 2020 16:31
Location: Изгубљени

Re: High-level analysis of W.Allied vs. German manpower resources

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 30 Aug 2020 13:28

Max Payload wrote:
30 Aug 2020 08:30
Ружичасти Слон wrote:
28 Aug 2020 23:54
On other topic you was decide for to win Soviet union invasion Germany must to start change on economy on about 1933.year must to have political different leaders what was make perfect decisions on 15 years and different military leaders what was make 100% perfect decisions.

On other side France Britain Soviet union and so on must to change nothing on history.
One of the problems with ATL threads is that of deciding at what point the clock starts ticking. The further back in time it is set, the more hypothetical the ATL becomes.
Tmp was not write topic on imaginations storys part of forum. Tmp was write topic on real history discussion part Germany strategy.

Tmp want make tmp imagination idea on Nazi win war mainstream history fact.

Topic was base on
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Aug 2020 07:55

This is analysis of a conventional war; the A-bomb is a separate topic IMO.

Short version of my view is:

1.Germany should have defeated the SU and only lost because Hitler assumed a quick campaign.
Tmp was not write explains why Germany should have defeated SU.
Tmp was not write explains why only lost because Hitler assumed a quick campaign.

Tmp was want everybody for to accept tmp opinions and desires was be historical fact.

And for to make discussion tmp was also deny atomic bomb on real history and British empire on real history for mainstream tmp imaginary story.

Tmp was also mislead about what was problems on real history for make tmp imagination story. On other topic for to make Germany army win on Sovuet union tmp was change political leaders military leaders foreign policy economic policy industrial policy manufacture policy. Everything was must to change on begin 1930.years.

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 2784
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: High-level analysis of W.Allied vs. German manpower resources

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 30 Aug 2020 18:58

Max Payload wrote:3. That Hitler could have been persuaded that the operation be postponed until Germany had acquired a more highly mechanised army with the logistical support necessary for it to be able to successfully pursue the Red Army deep into the interior of Russia in one largely continuous operation.
I've never suggested that.

I'm happy to discuss the Eastern Front issues with you in more detail but please consider appending such discussion to one of my Ostheer ATL's or another thread.
Sheldrake wrote:Your manpower figures only include Britain's Dominions and not its much larger non European colonial population.
Max Payload wrote:it does seem rather one-sided to have left out Empire manpower and resource from the calculations
Two main responses.

First, the analytical framework easily accommodates colonial labor. Just add how ever many Indians/Africans you'd like to the British under column "foreign labor" - we can re-title it "Foreign/Colonial Labor." If this additional labor is to be considered part of the "NAM" labor force, however, some percentage of it has to be producing war material for Britain/Empire. There was little industry in India/Africa and no plans for a massive investment/training program there, so Indian/African labor has to be imported to Britain. There should, however, be some argument for why Britain accepts large-scale immigration of Indians/Africans and for how many of the native population was willing/able to move to Britain to work in industry/services. If such migration was historically feasible, why didn't it occur OTL? It's not as if Britain had no reason for worry in OTL '40-'42.

Second, only three non-Dominion colonial divisions fought in the ETO. The Indian Army is largely covered by point 3 under resource analysis - Don't forget about Japan.

Nonetheless, you are correct that I improperly excluded some colonials from the W.Allies ETO resources. To correct that error would require adding ~100k to Britain's total working population. As that is a rounding error in the analysis, I hope you'll forgive my oversight.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 2784
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: High-level analysis of W.Allied vs. German manpower resources

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 30 Aug 2020 19:23

TheMarcksPlan wrote:If such migration was historically feasible, why didn't it occur OTL? It's not as if Britain had no reason for worry in OTL '40-'42.
BTW - were I to write a preferred version of WW2 history with post-France PoD, one beautiful outcome might involve a 2020 historian writing something like this:

--------------------------------------

Hitler's armies crushed the Soviet Union in a rapid campaign in 1941, killing approximately 3 million Soviet soldiers including war dead. In the ensuing occupation, another 5 million perished - 8 million total Soviet war dead across the whole war. A truly gruesome struggle with few historical precedents.

Occupation of the Soviet Union and Japan's entry gave his coalition temporary resource parity with the Allies' homelands (US+UK+Dominions).

As with France, however, Hitler's victory was short-lived. The Axis powers did not anticipate the moral revolution they inspired: Realizing what it would take to beat Hitler and Japan, the Western countries underwent in a few years a complete transformation of their societies. Millions of Africans and Indians streamed into Britain and Canada for war work; millions more migrated from Latin America to the United States. Liverpool became majority South Asian by 1943; Chicago majority Hispanic and Black by 1944. There were some racial tensions then and a few remain now, but we can trace the contemporary multi-racial and cosmopolitan West - characteristics no major political party has opposed since the 1970's - to the mass migrations of WW2. The worldwide effort to crush Hitler and his Allies engendered cross-racial/cultural solidarity in a way that perhaps no other event could have. It is entirely conceivable that, absent this watershed moment, Western countries like the U.S. would maintain racial segregation and explicitly racist immigration laws into the 1960's (continuing to allow Southern states to deny black people voting rights, for example). It is conceivable that even today we would have politicians winning elections on promising to roll back the "invasion" of the West by non-white ethnic groups.

By eliminating the Soviet Union, meanwhile, Hitler mightily assisted democratic socialism and/or social democracy in its worldwide rise to dominance. Prior to WW2, right-leaning politicians were able to "Red-Bait," using the specter of communism to scare away voters who were otherwise friendly to policies like universal health care and labor rights. With Stalin dead at Hitler's hands, even countries like the U.S. enacted basic social justice programs by 1960. In an alternate universe, the new U.S. superpower may have used anti-Communism as an excuse to replace left-leaning governments outside the West by covert or overt force.

------------------------------------


That's the world I'd like to have seen. I don't think it's today's world, much less the world of 1942. Britain and America were too racist to import millions of black/brown workers but not racist enough to use Nazi-style exploitation of these workers in camp-like conditions.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

Ружичасти Слон
Member
Posts: 465
Joined: 24 Jan 2020 16:31
Location: Изгубљени

Re: High-level analysis of W.Allied vs. German manpower resources

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 30 Aug 2020 22:01

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
30 Aug 2020 18:58


First, the analytical framework easily accommodates colonial labor. Just add how ever many Indians/Africans you'd like to the British under column "foreign labor" - we can re-title it "Foreign/Colonial Labor." If this additional labor is to be considered part of the "NAM" labor force, however, some percentage of it has to be producing war material for Britain/Empire. There was little industry in India/Africa and no plans for a massive investment/training program there, so Indian/African labor has to be imported to Britain.
Mr tmp

Many times on forum you was get angry when peoples was not accept tmp changes to history for to make tmp imagination story.

But it seems to me tmp is incapable on accept that peoples on real history was can to change decisions when have different real context.

In real history Britain was have policy for not to build big armys and big industrys on empire. It was policy for to keep biggest control on London. Britain like adult and Dominions and Empire countrys like children what was dependent on adult.

When was start ww2 Britain was not change that policy because they was expect to have economy industry manufacture and manpower with France and Amerika bigger on Germany. When France was defeat Britain was still expect to have economy industry manufacture and manpower with Amerika bigger on Germany.

At any time context was can change Britain can for to decide on build biggest armys on Afrika and India and other Empire mens.

At any time context was can change Britain can for to decide on build biggest industrys and manufactures on Afrika and India and Dominions and other Empire countrys.

But on real history context was not need to make change on decisions like that so was not make change.

Because not make change on real history not mean impossible for to change.

It sees to me like so many imaginations storys by tmp Nazi Germany was can change anything for to make win war and everybody else must to stay exact same as real history because tmp was decide it must to be impossible for to change.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 9545
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: High-level analysis of W.Allied vs. German manpower resources

Post by Sid Guttridge » 31 Aug 2020 08:30

Hi TMP,

The premise of your idea seems to be that if things had been different, outcomes would have been different.

This seems a bit if a truism.

Why should we address your alternative scenario any more than the literally infinite number of other alternative scenarios?

Cheers,

Sid.

Peter89
Member
Posts: 1248
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: High-level analysis of W.Allied vs. German manpower resources

Post by Peter89 » 01 Sep 2020 08:28

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
30 Aug 2020 19:23
TheMarcksPlan wrote:If such migration was historically feasible, why didn't it occur OTL? It's not as if Britain had no reason for worry in OTL '40-'42.
Occupation of the Soviet Union and Japan's entry gave his coalition temporary resource parity with the Allies' homelands (US+UK+Dominions).
How did you calculate that?

The occupation of the Soviet Union does not mean that 100% of its production falls into German hands. It doesn't work like that. Besides, German occupation was not paricurarly popular, and huge groups of resistance survived and flourished, so we should take into account the sabotage as well. With complete control of the sea and the skies, the Wallies would be able to attack the soft underbelly of Europe, as they did OTL. The turncoat Italians, the occupied France and the hostile Balkans were all prime targets for an amphibitious assult.

With complete naval, aerial and technological superiority, the Wallies would have been able to seal the deal by 1945 the latest.

Japan had a stalemate war against China (!!!), completely lost the edge in naval warfare by early 1943, even before the reinforcements of the USN started to arrive in numbers. Besides, they had to protect their shipping lanes, which they could not. So Japan's GDP was doomed to diminish if they couldn't control the seas. And they couldn't.

Germany's GDP had more room to improve if they were able to exploit their allies and neutral countries, but they were also exposed to large-scale Wallied bombings. The Axis was nowhere near economical parity, and the occupation of the SU would not solve that issue (on the contrary, actually - because the Germans had to lose a significant amount of personnel and matériel if they were able to occupy the SU, and they have to spend a substantial amount of resources to make the local economy operational again).
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Max Payload
Member
Posts: 574
Joined: 21 Jun 2008 14:37

Re: High-level analysis of W.Allied vs. German manpower resources

Post by Max Payload » 01 Sep 2020 10:30

Peter89 wrote:
01 Sep 2020 08:28
The Axis was nowhere near economical parity, and the occupation of the SU would not solve that issue (on the contrary, actually - because the Germans had to lose a significant amount of personnel and matériel if they were able to occupy the SU, and they have to spend a substantial amount of resources to make the local economy operational again).
Generalplan Ost recognised that in order to fully exploit the economic potential of the eastern territories, massive investment of capital and labour would be required. In the 1942 version of the plan (costs split between state funding and private capital) the cost estimate had risen to an incredible 67 billion RM - two-thirds of Germany’s entire 1941 GDP (Tooze, tWoD p472).

Peter89
Member
Posts: 1248
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: High-level analysis of W.Allied vs. German manpower resources

Post by Peter89 » 01 Sep 2020 11:16

Max Payload wrote:
01 Sep 2020 10:30
Peter89 wrote:
01 Sep 2020 08:28
The Axis was nowhere near economical parity, and the occupation of the SU would not solve that issue (on the contrary, actually - because the Germans had to lose a significant amount of personnel and matériel if they were able to occupy the SU, and they have to spend a substantial amount of resources to make the local economy operational again).
Generalplan Ost recognised that in order to fully exploit the economic potential of the eastern territories, massive investment of capital and labour would be required. In the 1942 version of the plan (costs split between state funding and private capital) the cost estimate had risen to an incredible 67 billion RM - two-thirds of Germany’s entire 1941 GDP (Tooze, tWoD p472).
Yep yep, I am familiar with that. But to be honest it was obvious that it made more sense from an economic perspective to occupy Germany's allies and neutral states than the SU.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 2784
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: High-level analysis of W.Allied vs. German manpower resources

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 01 Sep 2020 12:45

Peter89 wrote:How did you calculate that?
The main theme of this thread so far is "NAM manpower" ( Non-Agricultural/Military) - manpower in the industrial/services sectors.

The historian I imagined in my fantasy post was using NAM manpower and "resources" interchangeably. That was a bit careless but manpower is by far the biggest part of the resource story.
Peter89 wrote:Japan had a stalemate war against China (!!!)
I haven't said much about Japan yet, that's forthcoming. Quick notes:

1. Japan had 1.1mil facing Russia in '42.
2. In 1944, Japan's Ichi-Go offensive took important parts of China and shook the legitimacy of the Nationalist regime.
3. Japan launched Ichi-Go while simultaneously reinforcing islands with strong IJA divisions in a desperate bid to hold them.
4. If Russia's gone by the end of '42, then Japan can launch a stronger Ichi-Go in '43, as it's not wasting as many troops in the Pacific.
5. Japan's war in China will be significantly strengthened by Russian cooperation (under threat of obliteration) in German shipment to Japan. A few thousand Panzer II's and III's would be very useful, as would some thousands of MG42's and their ammo.
6. Historically Japan provided very little to its armies in China, even during Ichi-Go. The army supported itself mostly, including by restarting production in China. I've heard as low as 6% of Japanese GDP went to China. Japan devoted ~80% of its production to air/sea war.

The economic/resource picture of the Chinese front is something of which most Westerners have little idea. I'm just getting a picture of it myself. It was cheap in yen despite being unimaginably bloody.
Max Payload wrote:Generalplan Ost recognised that in order to fully exploit the economic potential of the eastern territories, massive investment of capital and labour would be required. In the 1942 version of the plan (costs split between state funding and private capital) the cost estimate had risen to an incredible 67 billion RM - two-thirds of Germany’s entire 1941 GDP (Tooze, tWoD p472).
This is Tooze Wehraboo-hunting again. The Plan was for the cost of complete long-term reconstruction in the East for German settlement (also includes Poland). The cost of all envisioned railway and electric power investment is 3bn RM. Just addressing those two factors would go a long way to making the SU productive for Germany. Add a million tons of fertilizer and you've got a nice exploited colony.

Do you really think Germany was going to spend 9bn on "urban housing" and 2bn on "urban cultural institutions" in Poland/SU before the war ended?
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

Peter89
Member
Posts: 1248
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: High-level analysis of W.Allied vs. German manpower resources

Post by Peter89 » 01 Sep 2020 13:48

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
01 Sep 2020 12:45
Peter89 wrote:How did you calculate that?
The main theme of this thread so far is "NAM manpower" ( Non-Agricultural/Military) - manpower in the industrial/services sectors.

The historian I imagined in my fantasy post was using NAM manpower and "resources" interchangeably. That was a bit careless but manpower is by far the biggest part of the resource story.
Peter89 wrote:Japan had a stalemate war against China (!!!)
I haven't said much about Japan yet, that's forthcoming. Quick notes:

1. Japan had 1.1mil facing Russia in '42.
2. In 1944, Japan's Ichi-Go offensive took important parts of China and shook the legitimacy of the Nationalist regime.
3. Japan launched Ichi-Go while simultaneously reinforcing islands with strong IJA divisions in a desperate bid to hold them.
4. If Russia's gone by the end of '42, then Japan can launch a stronger Ichi-Go in '43, as it's not wasting as many troops in the Pacific.
5. Japan's war in China will be significantly strengthened by Russian cooperation (under threat of obliteration) in German shipment to Japan. A few thousand Panzer II's and III's would be very useful, as would some thousands of MG42's and their ammo.
6. Historically Japan provided very little to its armies in China, even during Ichi-Go. The army supported itself mostly, including by restarting production in China. I've heard as low as 6% of Japanese GDP went to China. Japan devoted ~80% of its production to air/sea war.

The economic/resource picture of the Chinese front is something of which most Westerners have little idea. I'm just getting a picture of it myself. It was cheap in yen despite being unimaginably bloody.
Max Payload wrote:Generalplan Ost recognised that in order to fully exploit the economic potential of the eastern territories, massive investment of capital and labour would be required. In the 1942 version of the plan (costs split between state funding and private capital) the cost estimate had risen to an incredible 67 billion RM - two-thirds of Germany’s entire 1941 GDP (Tooze, tWoD p472).
This is Tooze Wehraboo-hunting again. The Plan was for the cost of complete long-term reconstruction in the East for German settlement (also includes Poland). The cost of all envisioned railway and electric power investment is 3bn RM. Just addressing those two factors would go a long way to making the SU productive for Germany. Add a million tons of fertilizer and you've got a nice exploited colony.

Do you really think Germany was going to spend 9bn on "urban housing" and 2bn on "urban cultural institutions" in Poland/SU before the war ended?
A. The Third Reich's manpower management was one of the worst of its time.
B. Not at all, because the manpower was one thing and the industrial base another. The latter decided the war, not the former.
1. How many soldiers and with what equipment the Soviets possessed?
2. And Hannibal won at Cannae, the legitimacy of the Roman Empire shook. It didn't matter. The Japanese were not able to crush the Chinese.
3. They've lost the Pacific War completely, and they couldn't even hold / recapture / reinforce an island in 1942.
4. Because you assume that the IJA loses nothing by defeating the Soviets.
5. The Germans were not interested in helping out the Japanese, especially not with "a few thousand" Pz II. and Pz III. - to be honest, I think they didn't even have that much tanks of these types by 1944.
6. It doesn't really matter because even at the end of the war, Japanese troops were all around the Pacific, China, Korea, etc. If you cut the supply lines to the Home Islands, the game is over. And it was over by 1945, and it should have been over anyway. As an island nation like the British, the Japanese had to control the seas - and they've lost control of it by 1944 for many-many factors.
C. The reconstruction costs of the East must have had include some housing projects as many cities and towns were partially or largely destroyed. Also the destroyed bridges, factories, oil wells, refineries, ports, etc. had to be repaired too. Then they had to move the resources from the colonies to the industrial heartland of the Reich, which was also costly and economically unfeasible. Besides, it is very much questionable whether the Germans have lost the war because of the lack of raw materials or food? It doesn't seem so.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Return to “German Strategy & General German Military Discussion”