A few caveats about these numbers:Richard Anderson wrote: ↑27 Oct 2020 18:25Total German aircraft airframe weight produced in 1941 was 67,996,000 lbs. In 1944 it was 174,939,000 lbs, an increase of 2.57 times. Single engine fighters made up 11.2 percent of the total in 1941. In 1944, it was 43.6 percent. Approximately 291,000 employees, including direct contractors, were in the German aircraft assembly industry in July 1941, increasing to 460,000 in July 1944. Production in 1941 pound/employee was c. 233.7 and in 1944 was c. 380.3, an increase of 1.63.
Total US aircraft airframe weight produced in 1941 was 90,482,000. In 1944 it was 1,101,116,000, more than a twelve-fold increase. Single engine fighters were 18.9 percent of the total in 1941. in 1944, it was 18.8 percent. Approximately 203,000 were employed July 1941 and 1,063,000 in July 1944. Production in 1941 was c. 445.7 lbs/employee and in 1944 was c. 1,035.9, an increase of 2.32.
- The relationship between airframe weight and production cost is sublinear. For example, a B-17G weighs ~4.8x a P-51D but in 1944 cost ~3.7x as much. Using weight underrates the increase in German production as fighters became increasingly predominant. It also underrates Germany in comparison to U.S.
- How many workers were in the aviation industries is very difficult to quantify, as discussed further here: viewtopic.php?f=66&t=167018&start=15#p2291189 (and preceding posts). "Direct contractors," for example, doesn't include sub-contractors and some parts suppliers.
Definitely false.Richard Anderson wrote: Part of the German problem was, of course, the bombing campaign, but its significant effects were not felt on the industry until 1944
Tooze sums up bombing's effects in '43 thus:
Bombing was definitely a significant factor before 1944.Between July 1943 and March 1944 there was no further increase in the
monthly output of aircraft. For the armaments effort as a whole, the
period of stagnation lasted throughout the second half of 1943. As
Speer himself acknowledged, Allied bombing had negated all plans for a
further increase in production.37 Bomber Command had stopped Speer's
armaments miracle in its tracks.Wages of Destruction p. 598.
If by infrastructure you mean capital/plant, this is certainly false. The issue isn't the number of factories producing but the amount of capital stock in the industry overall. There's no economically relevant difference between building a new factory and expanding the capital stock of existing factories. German capital investment was massive throughout the war and has been under-estimated until recent economic historians have looked into the matter. https://economics.yale.edu/sites/defaul ... 060329.pdfRichard Anderson wrote: Quite possibly more important was the simple lack of infrastructure. In 1944, virtually the same set of assembly plants were turning out aircraft, while in the US, about half the plants operating in 1944 did not exist in 1941.
As documented in, for example, Daniel Uziel's Arming the Luftwaffe, the LW underwent a shift towards flow production that was planned from the beginning of the war and gathered steam in '41-'42. This shift from general to specific machine tools (operable by less-skilled workers) required massive investment.
Furthermore, each new type of plane required massive investment in type-specific capital such as finely-tuned jigs for assembly.
German early war productivity declined due to the enormous draft of workers, including many from the aviation industry. See Jonas Scherner "Das Ende eine Mythos," discussed and linked here: viewtopic.php?f=66&t=252374#p2295474. This continued throughout the war despite awareness of the need to protect skilled workers. The German bureaucracy wasn't sufficiently efficient to correctly prioritize personnel in all respects (probably no bureaucracy is). The demographics of Germany's aviation industry skewed very young due to long German apprenticeship practices and the youth of the industry. Apprenticing in aviation work simply wasn't an option for Germans much above 30. There was, therefore, no getting around drafting a lot of aviation workers.
Productivity later increased as the mostly-unskilled replacement/expansion workers (mostly foreign) learned on the job. Nonetheless, foreign productivity remained below skilled German in most cases - unsurprisingly. For the most recent meta-analysis of foreign worker productivity, see Johann Custodis' chapter "Employing the Enemy" in Paying for Hitler's War.
German production also suffered from the dispersal of factories, with one internal RLM document estimating production could have been 30% higher without it.
A proper economic evaluation of the German and American aircraft industries must take at least the foregoing factors into account. Germany drafted a far higher proportion of its aviation workforce and replaced them with less-productive unskilled labor. Contrary to some popular narratives, German aviation production did adopt modern production techniques even if they didn't go as far towards Fordist assembly-line methods as the Americans tried. The partial failure of the Willow Run plant, however, demonstrates that aviation wasn't an industry in which Fordism was necessarily the best industrial approach.