T. A. Gardner wrote: ↑19 Oct 2020 04:55Let me illustrate what I mean about this and civil engineering.
According to The German Campaign in Russia-- Planning and Operations (1940 - 1942) US Army historical study 20-261a,
During the winter battles of 1941-42 the Germans lost approximately 75,000 trucks. Between Nov 1941 and March 1942 the Eastern Front received 7.500 replacement vehicles.
180,000 horses died, largely due to exposure, and 20,000 were received in replacement.
Trucks and motor vehicles were wearing out at roughly double the planned rate due to the poor conditions encountered.
Now, we take that and look at civil engineering. The Germans had they been more proficient and mechanized in their construction units building better roads and keeping them in reasonable condition are able to reduce those losses by just 25%, and they get a huge increase in efficiency. Being able to rapidly construct shelters and buildings like the British, and more so the US, could do would have made a huge difference.
https://www.amazon.com/Architecture-War ... 0394709977
Having an all wood prefabricated building in a number of sizes that could be quickly erected would have made a huge difference. Troops and animals are sheltered against the weather and it doesn't require any critical resources. The Germans didn't have anything like that.
If you have better roads that can work in all but the worst weather, and that reduces the wear and tear on motor vehicles even by just 10% you win. That's a massive increase in available vehicles, equal to the replacement rate if the US Army study is to be believed.
That requires a new, and much higher, level of civil engineering competence.
You might note, that the commander of the port of Cherbourg reported to the OKW that his demolition of the port was so thorough that it could never be opened by the Allies. The USN and US Army came in and cleared the port in less than 60 days and in 90 had it operating at a higher rate of tonnage than it did pre-war. It was a level of civil engineering the Germans couldn't even grasp existed.
A bit offtopic note: "the Germans" per se were not bad at civil engineering or engineering application of scientific results. Eg. most of the scientific Nobel Prize laureates came and / or studied in Germany prior WW2, a hallmark of the high quality of education and research there. What really brought down this capacity and its proper application in WW2 was the Nazi regime that conscripted technicians, and led the economy on dire straits, resulting suboptimal solutions, mostly because of the lack of resources and strategy.
It's not that the Allies were way superior in this regard, but they had way superior resources and a complex strategy to win. For example, Germans had a very brittle and weak logistical system in the east, so to employ masses mechanized trucks, buldozers, etc. would have been stupid: they couldn't have supported them with fuel, spare parts, repairmen, etc. But they had ample of slave labor and rear echelon soldiers who could work with local tools and food, presenting little to no logistical burden on their lines. The sad picture of mud-digging Ostheer soldiers is not a sign of civil engineering incompetence, but rather the sign of the sorry state of the logistical network that forced out such measures.