German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 05 Nov 2019 00:28

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:In many respects the Germans got lucky in the early years of the U-boat war due to poor Allied tactics in countering them. Dönitz' staff told him in December 1941 that the U-boat war was lost, but he was too stubborn to admit it (source: Levine, Alan J. (1991). "Was World War II a near-run thing?". In Lee, Loyd E. (ed.). World War II: Crucible of the Contemporary World).
There's some truth to this but it wasn't until airborn radar capable of finding a Uboat developed that Donitz was truly F'd with his existing boats (IIRC that's around the time of your quote). OTOH the Allies got lucky in that the Germans didn't deploy true submarines (as opposed to submersibles) until the last days of the war. Most of the tech for a Type XXIish boat was there from 1940 or so.

Peter89
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Peter89 » 05 Nov 2019 08:27

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Nov 2019 00:28
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:In many respects the Germans got lucky in the early years of the U-boat war due to poor Allied tactics in countering them. Dönitz' staff told him in December 1941 that the U-boat war was lost, but he was too stubborn to admit it (source: Levine, Alan J. (1991). "Was World War II a near-run thing?". In Lee, Loyd E. (ed.). World War II: Crucible of the Contemporary World).
There's some truth to this but it wasn't until airborn radar capable of finding a Uboat developed that Donitz was truly F'd with his existing boats (IIRC that's around the time of your quote). OTOH the Allies got lucky in that the Germans didn't deploy true submarines (as opposed to submersibles) until the last days of the war. Most of the tech for a Type XXIish boat was there from 1940 or so.
That would only force out another bigger response from a nearly endless resource pool, so in his sense, it would be also an exercise in futility :milwink:

TheMarcksPlan
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 05 Nov 2019 08:44

Peter89 wrote:That would only force out another bigger response from a nearly endless resource pool, so in his sense, it would be also an exercise in futility
This is circular reasoning. If you believe that Allied resources were endless and opposition to them futile, then of course anything the Germans do can't work.

Peter89
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Peter89 » 05 Nov 2019 08:48

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
04 Nov 2019 23:48

In many respects the Germans got lucky in the early years of the U-boat war due to poor Allied tactics in countering them. Dönitz' staff told him in December 1941 that the U-boat war was lost, but he was too stubborn to admit it (source: Levine, Alan J. (1991). "Was World War II a near-run thing?". In Lee, Loyd E. (ed.). World War II: Crucible of the Contemporary World).
I am not fan of theories like "Stalin got angry, so he attacked", "he was too stubborn" and such. I think Dönitz had no different option than to continue. In my opinion, the whole German High Command was aware in 1943 that the war was lost.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
04 Nov 2019 23:48

The main thing I wanted to do in this thread is call attention to the way Germany allocated its military expenditures among the different branches, and affirm, in my belief, that this was an irrational allocation given Germany's strategic situation.
I agree with the rest of your comment 8-)

Peter89
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Peter89 » 05 Nov 2019 09:31

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Nov 2019 08:44
Peter89 wrote:That would only force out another bigger response from a nearly endless resource pool, so in his sense, it would be also an exercise in futility
This is circular reasoning. If you believe that Allied resources were endless and opposition to them futile, then of course anything the Germans do can't work.
Well, it's not my theory. :D
I can't argue for it.

My theory is that the Reich could compete with the British Empire on its own, and I believe that between June 1940 - December 1941 they had the opportunity to bring the war to a different conclusion. Economical, political, military, etc. possibilities were all present for a prolonged campaign against the British, despite their continental blockade. But they screwed it because of their very low level of statecraft.

IMO the Anglo-Iraqi war and the Operation Exporter (the Syrian and Lebanese campaign) were waaay more important than, let's say, Minsk or Tallin. It could encourage the disintegration of the British Empire, which was underway anyway. In India, the independence movement was on its peak during the Second World War, and Churchill strongly opposed Gandhi's ideas. Mutinies were commonplace and the Indians even had an army which fought alongside with the Japanese (Indian National Army). On the Christmas Island, the Indians killed or captured the British on the island, and handed it over to the Japanese without a gunshot. Conflicts in Africa were plenty as well. The Germans once again failed the to recognise and nurture the rift between the French and the British. They should have removed their troops except some LW and KM personnel from France and all but restore France's independence to secure their support. A few ports, airfields and beneficial trade agreements were all they needed. In fact, the Battle of Dakar showed that Vichy troops might fight against the British.

The US was interested to overthrow the colonial powers of Europe in exchange for help; so they signed the Atlantic Charter on 14 August 1941. The Germans were nowhere as flexible or crafty as the British. But had they speeded up the disintegration of the British Empire, they might have had some cards to play with in international politics.

What did they do instead? Declared war on the USA days after the major Soviet counterattack was launched at the gates of Moscow, which was so successful only because the Soviets could redeploy most of their Far Eastern Front units for the attack. So the Japanese left them fighting on their own at the most critical point, and in one week, the Germans joined them to fight against another superpower.

HistoryGeek2019
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 05 Nov 2019 16:46

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Nov 2019 08:44
Peter89 wrote:That would only force out another bigger response from a nearly endless resource pool, so in his sense, it would be also an exercise in futility
This is circular reasoning. If you believe that Allied resources were endless and opposition to them futile, then of course anything the Germans do can't work.
Allied resources were endless (relative to Germany). Opposition to the Allies was futile. Anything the Germans did would not have worked.

:lol:

glenn239
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by glenn239 » 05 Nov 2019 18:33

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
04 Nov 2019 18:09
It should also be made clear that the Heer was actually capable of defeating the Red Army when it was properly equipped and supplied, as demonstrated in 1941, but that the Heer couldn't keep itself properly supplied due to poor logistics and low armaments production. In contrast, the war at sea was always a losing proposition. German naval losses were large from the beginning of the war, and they never stood a chance of gaining naval superiority or disrupting Allied sea lanes for more than a few months or years.
The war at sea was a losing proposition once the US entered the war. Before that, the Axis Powers could win that war. It makes no sense for Germany to plan prior to WW2 to fight the Americans, and it makes no sense for Germany to not build a navy.

In terms of not being defeated, the Germans could not negotiate with the United States, the British were held in position by their more powerful US ally no matter what. Who does that leave except the Soviets to make a deal with? So then, the question is more narrowly focused - were there even conditions under which Germany and the Soviet Union, if not actually reaching a peace deal, could sort of peter out the fighting on the Eastern Front like in 1917?
It was also far cheaper to equip the army than to build ships, even U-boats, which my charts make clear. For a fraction of the cost it took to construct and operate the U-boats, Germany could have fully equipped its 50+ divisions in France to repel any Allied landing in 1942.
A U-boat displaced around 750 tons. A Panther tank weighed 45 tons. 500 fewer U-boats mean 8,000 more Panthers. Given that the Allies were cranking out maybe, what, 100,000 tanks per year what difference does 8,000 extra Panthers make?

glenn239
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by glenn239 » 05 Nov 2019 18:40

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Nov 2019 00:28
There's some truth to this but it wasn't until airborn radar capable of finding a Uboat developed that Donitz was truly F'd with his existing boats (IIRC that's around the time of your quote). OTOH the Allies got lucky in that the Germans didn't deploy true submarines (as opposed to submersibles) until the last days of the war. Most of the tech for a Type XXIish boat was there from 1940 or so.
I'd mentioned earlier how Donitz had really dropped the ball on the technology race. He made the same mistake as Tirpitz did before WW1 - going for sheer numbers when Germany required quality. In terms of the XXI, it was designed to gut convoys in submerged attacks. I've read of the one instance where this type actually made contact with a late war Allied ASW hunter-killer group, on about the last day of the war. It was not to be trifled with.

The British in WW1 experimented with the K Class fleet boats. These were retired due to high operational losses, but many of those involved collisions during fleet maneuvers. 24kt surfaced would have really made a difference for wolfpack tactics, and part of the K Classes problem with submerge time (and speed) could have been rectified with snorkel. Did the KM miss out by not having something like a more polished version of the British K's, or where they too fiddly and prone to accident?

HistoryGeek2019
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 05 Nov 2019 19:14

glenn239 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 18:33

The war at sea was a losing proposition once the US entered the war. Before that, the Axis Powers could win that war.
I'm sorry but that is simply nonsense. The Royal Navy dwarfed the Kriegsmarine. In "The Rise of Germany", James Holland writes:
The Royal Navy was comfortably the world’s largest, with 15 battleships, 7 aircraft carriers, 15 heavy cruisers, 49 light cruisers, 192 destroyers, 73 escort vessels, 9 patrol vessels, 52 minesweepers, 2 gun monitors and 62 submarines. Only the USA, which was not in the war, had anything like this number of vessels. And there was a lot more shipping on the way; in shipyards from Belfast to Glasgow to Tyneside, more ships were already being built as Britain entered the war: 19 more cruisers, 52 destroyers, 6 battleships, 6 aircraft carriers and 11 more submarines, to list just some of this building programme.
Every Reichsmark that Germany spent trying to challenge this behemoth may as well have been thrown into the North Sea.

You then ask:
So then, the question is more narrowly focused - were there even conditions under which Germany and the Soviet Union, if not actually reaching a peace deal, could sort of peter out the fighting on the Eastern Front like in 1917?

It seems within the realm of plausibility, if the Heer had been better equipped and made fewer strategic mistakes (Smolensk, Moscow, Stalingrad) that Germany could have forced the Russians into a stalemate on the Eastern Front. But this would still tie down millions of German soldiers and leave Germany vulnerable to attack by the Western Allies, so Germany is still doomed.
A U-boat displaced around 750 tons. A Panther tank weighed 45 tons. 500 fewer U-boats mean 8,000 more Panthers. Given that the Allies were cranking out maybe, what, 100,000 tanks per year what difference does 8,000 extra Panthers make?
I don't know why everyone thinks in terms of tanks when considering "how else could Germany have allocated its resources"? Far more important than tanks was artillery, infantry equipment, trucks, logistics, etc. Obviously Germany could not defeat the United States, no matter how it allocated its resources. That isn't the point of this thread. The point of this thread is to call attention to an aspect of WW2 that is rarely discussed: the relatively tiny amount that Germany spent on its army relative to its air force and navy. Given that WW2 was primarily a land war, and Germany's army proved unsuccessful at anything other than quick battles of encirclement in the early years of the war, I think the information presented in this thread helps to explain why the war took the course that it did.

Peter89
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Peter89 » 05 Nov 2019 20:26

It seems within the realm of plausibility, if the Heer had been better equipped and made fewer strategic mistakes (Smolensk, Moscow, Stalingrad) that Germany could have forced the Russians into a stalemate on the Eastern Front. But this would still tie down millions of German soldiers and leave Germany vulnerable to attack by the Western Allies, so Germany is still doomed.
2

NO.
The totalitarian regimes worked in a different way.

Why do North Koreans live in a terrible communist dictature as we speak? Don't they know all their lives are screw'd by a system? Don't they know that they could actually be a shining star of Asia with their southern brothers? OMFG ofc they know it. They just don't know how to translate it into their everyday lives. What can they do to change it? Who the hell wants to be in the first line of a protest, risking to be shot?

The Soviet regime would fight until the bitter end.

HistoryGeek2019
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 05 Nov 2019 21:50

Peter89 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 20:26

The Soviet regime would fight until the bitter end.
I didn't say anything about the Soviets not fighting. I said stalemate, i.e., the front settling down into a long line of trench warfare à la WWI, that neither side would be in a position to break.

Peter89
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Peter89 » 05 Nov 2019 22:07

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 21:50
Peter89 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 20:26

The Soviet regime would fight until the bitter end.
I didn't say anything about the Soviets not fighting. I said stalemate, i.e., the front settling down into a long line of trench warfare à la WWI, that neither side would be in a position to break.
Yes, and I believe that was impossible. A-A line, Volga-Murmansk, D-D line, whatever. It was impossible to fight a phoney war with the SU in 1941.

TheMarcksPlan
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 05 Nov 2019 22:48

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:Allied resources were endless (relative to Germany). Opposition to the Allies was futile. Anything the Germans did would not have worked.
Uhhhhhh wrooooonnnggg. If Hitler hadn't slept in on D-Day we'd all be speaking German right now.

HistoryGeek2019
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 06 Nov 2019 00:22

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Nov 2019 22:48

Uhhhhhh wrooooonnnggg. If Hitler hadn't slept in on D-Day we'd all be speaking German right now.
:lol:

Max Payload
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Re: German armaments spending in WW2 by sector

Post by Max Payload » 06 Nov 2019 00:29

Peter89 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 20:26
Who the hell wants to be in the first line of a protest, risking to be shot?
It depends on how angry and desperate you are. History is replete with examples of people who were.

Peter89 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 22:07
It was impossible to fight a phoney war with the SU in 1941.
‘Stalemate’, which is what was being referred to, and ‘phoney war’ are not synonymous.

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Nov 2019 22:48
If Hitler hadn't slept in on D-Day we'd all be speaking German right now.
Of course we would. It’s all so obvious when you stop and think about it.

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