Panzer-Programm after Barbarossa

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Boby
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Panzer-Programm after Barbarossa

Post by Boby » 09 Jul 2021 19:19

In July 1941, Hitler ordered 36 Panzer Divisions and 18 Motorized Infantry Divisions to be ready by 1 May 1942.

In Bernhard Kroener contribution to GSWW V, Part I (pp. 986-1000) there is a summary of these plans, described as out of touch with reality, illusory and impossible.

Overy, on the other hand, gives the planned Panzer force in May 1942 as 15,400, breakdown as follows: 4,608 Pz. II, 7,992 Pz. III and 2,160 Pz. IV. Rest not given. (Overy, War and Economy in the Third Reich, p. 280, n. 71)

So, on the original assumption that Barbarossa would end quickly, followed by disbanding of divisions and leaving in occupied SU occupation forces (ca. 60 plus 12 Panzer) with reduced battle strenght, and given the state of tank production in mid-1941 (they needed to increase monthly production to about 900-1,000), was all of this just wishful thinking or was mostly attainable?

Boby,

KDF33
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Re: Panzer-Programm after Barbarossa

Post by KDF33 » 20 Jul 2021 03:55

Boby wrote:
09 Jul 2021 19:19
So, on the original assumption that Barbarossa would end quickly, followed by disbanding of divisions and leaving in occupied SU occupation forces (ca. 60 plus 12 Panzer) with reduced battle strenght, and given the state of tank production in mid-1941 (they needed to increase monthly production to about 900-1,000), was all of this just wishful thinking or was mostly attainable?
If Barbarossa went according to plan? Yes, IMO it was attainable.

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Re: Panzer-Programm after Barbarossa

Post by Paul_Atreides » 22 Jul 2021 08:50

Boby wrote:
09 Jul 2021 19:19

Overy, on the other hand, gives the planned Panzer force in May 1942 as 15,400, breakdown as follows: 4,608 Pz. II, 7,992 Pz. III and 2,160 Pz. IV. Rest not given. (Overy, War and Economy in the Third Reich, p. 280, n. 71)

Pz.II — 4 608
Pz.III — 7 992
Pz.IV — 2 160
Pz.Bef. — 684

Total — 15 444

That is 429 machines (128 Pz.II, 222 Pz.III, 60 Pz.IV, 19 Pz.Bef) for each from 36 panzer divisions.
There is no waste, there are reserves (Slogan of German Army in World Wars)

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Re: Panzer-Programm after Barbarossa

Post by Vquak » 30 Jul 2021 22:27

KDF33 wrote:
20 Jul 2021 03:55
If Barbarossa went according to plan? Yes, IMO it was attainable.
How would Barbarossa going according to plan help with tank production? Or better stated: How did the failure of Barbarossa hamper the german tank industry?

Even if the germans succeeded with Barbarossa, they would still have a production strategy that was unfocused, they would still have strained manpower resources fighting two other superpowers, they would still have raw material shortages, the factories wouldn't suddenly utilize three eight-hour shifts, the procurement system still would be a mess unsuited for war-time. According to Ranki in The Economics of the Second World War, the massive investments in machinery that Germany needed didn't even happen until 1942, way too late to reach Hitler's deadline.

The reason why Germany underproduced and the problems their production faced were deep-rooted, and winning a single campaign wouldn't have solved the issues. On the contrary, only by consistent defeat did they copy allied production strategies.

Salvrakos' "A re-assessment of the German armaments production during World War II" is a good and quick read on the issues Germany had.

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Re: Panzer-Programm after Barbarossa

Post by KDF33 » 31 Jul 2021 04:20

Vquak wrote:
30 Jul 2021 22:27
How would Barbarossa going according to plan help with tank production?
It would help with the production of every category of armaments, by giving Germany access to far more labor.
Vquak wrote:
30 Jul 2021 22:27
Or better stated: How did the failure of Barbarossa hamper the german tank industry?
It drained German manpower.
Vquak wrote:
30 Jul 2021 22:27
Even if the germans succeeded with Barbarossa, they would still have a production strategy that was unfocused
How was German production more 'unfocused' than that of the other belligerents?
Vquak wrote:
30 Jul 2021 22:27
they would still have strained manpower resources fighting two other superpowers
No.
Vquak wrote:
30 Jul 2021 22:27
they would still have raw material shortages
It is questionable whether raw material shortages limited German output. It certainly did not in the case of tanks.
Vquak wrote:
30 Jul 2021 22:27
the factories wouldn't suddenly utilize three eight-hour shifts
With more manpower, yes, they would.
Vquak wrote:
30 Jul 2021 22:27
the procurement system still would be a mess unsuited for war-time.
It is questionable that the German procurement system was any more of a mess than those of the other belligerents.
Vquak wrote:
30 Jul 2021 22:27
According to Ranki in The Economics of the Second World War, the massive investments in machinery that Germany needed didn't even happen until 1942, way too late to reach Hitler's deadline.
He is wrong.
Vquak wrote:
30 Jul 2021 22:27
The reason why Germany underproduced and the problems their production faced were deep-rooted, and winning a single campaign wouldn't have solved the issues.
The German production difficulties can be summed up in two words - labor shortage. The labor shortage can in turn be explained by two more words - Eastern Front.
Vquak wrote:
30 Jul 2021 22:27
On the contrary, only by consistent defeat did they copy allied production strategies.
I'm afraid this is incorrect.
Vquak wrote:
30 Jul 2021 22:27
Salvrakos' "A re-assessment of the German armaments production during World War II" is a good and quick read on the issues Germany had.
I read it. I am unimpressed.

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Urmel
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Re: Panzer-Programm after Barbarossa

Post by Urmel » 31 Jul 2021 14:42

'The Allies'... does that include the British, who continued to manufacture obsolete 2-pdrs and put them into tanks well into 1942, who went through tank models faster than a toddler goes through diapers, before coming up with a great one that arrived too late for combat in the war, who were incapable of putting a genuinely competitive fighter into the Middle East until the middle of 1942, all the while depending on their ally for medium bombers because they were incapable of producing a decent model, who thought in early 1942 that the Gloster Gladiator would do well in the Far East? Those allies? Or are there other Allies you keep thinking about?

I mean, sure, Germany's wartime economy was the proverbial sh*tshow. But they weren't alone in that. How many iterations did the Churchill take before becoming useful? How much work did the Crusader require before becoming reliable (which it did)? How many Covenanters and Rams were produced that never fired a shot in anger?
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Panzer-Programm after Barbarossa

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 01 Aug 2021 01:54

urmel wrote:I mean, sure, Germany's wartime economy was the proverbial sh*tshow. But they weren't alone in that
Exactly. US's Feasibility Crisis reflected completely unrealistic planning and a lack of strategic focus. SU nearly collapsed in '42 because it was too focused on armaments and insufficiently on raw materials-energy-transport-food. Japan - well I don't know a great deal there but obvious planning catastrophes (e.g. merchant shipping).

I am extremely worried by a meta-trend in many WW2 domains - economics, tactics/operations, logistics - where modern "revisionists" try frantically to prove Nazi/German incompetence. It's as if the Nazis being bad in a technical/managerial domain is essential to proving they were evil.

It's as if a modern world that has elevated technocratic meritocracy to the height/equivalence of all human virtue must cast the Nazis as lacking these virtues, lest they lose the ability to see the Nazis as evil.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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Urmel
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Re: Panzer-Programm after Barbarossa

Post by Urmel » 01 Aug 2021 13:51

I'm not sure about that. I think at least some of this has to do with addressing Speer and his Selbstbeweihräucherung in his memoirs. Also, the Nazis did have the 'yeah but they did get the job done on the economy' myth going at least until the 80s, so work by e.g. Tooze was hugely important in correcting that, with facts, and re-setting the narrative. I am not sure similar economy-level work has been done for the UK?

None of which however has anything to do with Boby's question.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Panzer-Programm after Barbarossa

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 08 Aug 2021 14:52

Urmel wrote:
01 Aug 2021 13:51
I think at least some of this has to do with addressing Speer and his Selbstbeweihräucherung in his memoirs.
Of course and understandably so. One part of my gripe is that Gitta Sereny did it better - and on the more relevant moral issues, versus managerial/technocratic - than did Tooze. I go to Tooze for data-driven economic analysis.

Tooze's emphasis on Speer's managerial/technocratic merits raises the question of who gets credit for increasing German production. Todt? Fromm? Milch? Saur? All war criminals. Even if we accept Tooze's thesis that Germany's "armaments miracle" was no different from other countries' wartime trends, WW2 was a world-historical and global production miracle so within each country somebody displayed at least an elite level of managerial/technocratic skill to make that happen. Demoting Speer (or whichever Nazi gets the credit) from "#1 worldwide" to "one of the 100 best worldwide" is not exactly a humiliating takedown.
Urmel wrote:I'm not sure about that.
On my far-reaching thesis re collapsing managerial/technocratic and moral appraisals of the Third Reich, fair enough. I suspect it's part of what Tooze is doing but the broader internet trend is probably more about fandoms that I'm overthinking. As an anonymous internet persona I can afford to go out on a limb with "drive by" postings (as you recently characterized older posts on Crusader in a podcast episode teasing your much anticipated book - preordered by me whenever I can).

But you came to the thread looking for one thing and have been served another, as annoyed me with Tooze:
Urmel wrote:None of which however has anything to do with Boby's question.
Satisfying the May 42 target would have required producing ~10,000 more panzers (depending on projected Barbarossa losses). Over, say, 8 months (1,250/mo) and assuming 18t/panzer (many were PzII's), that's 22,500 tons of panzer production per month.

Under the 1943 "Adolf Hitler Panzer Program" Germany increased its monthly panzer output by ~23k tonnes between February and May '43. [USSBS Germany Overall report, app. table 105]. Germany was producing ~6k tonnes/month in Summer '41 so we need only ~16k t/mo production delta to meet the target.

So that seems entirely feasible as a matter of pure industrial potential.

As a matter of politics and strategy, however, it's probably not feasible. Had Barbarossa gone to (ridiculously stupid) plan, Germany would have been focused on LW/KM production rather than Heer. The AH Panzer Program required raiding skilled labor from aircraft industries; that wouldn't have happened with a defeated SU.

I suspect the post-Barbarossa panzer target was a marker laid by the Heer for post-Barbarossa resources. In the then-prevailing atmosphere of inflation in priorities, allocations, and rhetoric, a Wehrmacht service actually needing X had to howl that 3X was the barely tolerable minimum. They probably didn't expect the program actually to be fulfilled (though it could have been) but didn't want to be ignored just because Lebensraum had been achieved.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
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Re: Panzer-Programm after Barbarossa

Post by Terry Duncan » 26 Aug 2021 09:17

A post from Vquak was removed by this moderator.

Vquak, name calling is forbidden on this site, please avoid insulting other members in the future or your time here will be short.

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