JAG13 wrote: ↑
01 Dec 2019 17:40
But wasnt Nibelungenwerk designed for the PzIV and produced most of the PzIVs in spite of opening in 1942?
The Nibelungenwerk was the largest and most advanced tank assembly plant of the German Reich. The plant, which was run by Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG, manufactured over half of all Panzer IV tanks produced by Germany during World War II. After the annexation of Austria in 1938, the Heereswaffenamt planned the construction of an armaments center near Linz. It would include manufacture of armor plate at Eisenwerke Oberdonau and a plant for final assembly of tanks near Sankt Valentin. Initially, 65 million Reichsmarks were earmarked for the new Sankt Valentin plant. On 23 February 1940, the Oberkommando des Heeres ordered construction of the plant at Thurnsdorf near St. Valentin and formally named it the Nibelungenwerk. The order allocated up to 78,288,000 Reichsmarks for its construction. By September 1940 enough of the plant was complete that it began rebuilding damaged Panzer III tanks, but the official opening took place in 1942. When completed, the monthly production capacity was intended to be 320 tanks, but this was never achieved.
The total plant area was 123.5 acres with 861,113 square feet (80,000 square meters) of floor space in buildings. The plant was heavily bombed and by the end of the war about 50% of the floor space was destroyed or damaged. During the Soviet occupation of Austria, the remaining machine tools were removed from the plant and shipped to the USSR.
By fall 1941, about 4,800 workers were at the Nibeungenwerk. By the end of 1944 there were 8,500, including prisoners of war and forced labor from France, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, and the USSR. About 600 to 1,500 of the workers were from the Mauthausen concentration camp.
All early models of Panzer IV were manufactured by Krupp but from the Ausf F production was extended to Nibelungenwerk and later also included Vomag. In December 1941 Krupp’s factory was diverted to manufacture the Sturmgeschütz IV, and in the spring of 1944 the Vomag factory began production of the Jagdpanzer IV, leaving Nibelungenwerk as the only plant still assembling the Panzer IV.
Nibelungen completed its first Panzer IV from parts produced by Krupp in November 1941 - one of them in the month. From November 1941-October 1942 it completed an average of 9.3 Panzer IV per month. From November 1942 to October 1943 an average of 94 per month. From Noevember 1943 to October 1944 226.8 per month.
In contrast, the Detroit Tank Arsenal completed 7 Medium Tanks M3 its first month of operation in July 1941 and averaged 241.7 per month over the next 12 months. It completed its last full month of M3 production in July 1942 with 317 as it transitioned to building the Medium Tank M4, completing 2. In August it completed its M3 production, 26, and 167 M4. It averaged 543.1 medium tanks completed per month July 1942-June 1943. From July 1943 to June 1944 it completed an average of 342.3 per month as production contracts were reduced and it branched out to produce multiple types (M4 "Composite", M4 105mm, M4A3 105mm, and M4A3 76mm) and so on. From July 1944-June 1945 they averaged 360.6 per month, albeit M4A3 105mm production ended in April and M4A3 76mm production ended in May. Instead, 251 T26E3/T26E5 were completed March-June 1945.
AFAICT, Nibelungen utilized partly assembly-line and partly station manufacturing methods and had essentially a single "line". DTA used true assembly-line methods, with three parallel lines in operation initially (why the switchover to the M4 was so quickly accomplished) and eventually at peak in late 1942 and through 1943 up to five lines running simultaneously.
"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