The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Nov 2020 03:02

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
07 Nov 2020 23:39
So I don't think more tanks alone would yield Ostsieg. As I've said elsewhere, it's operational mobility that allowed the potential for Kesselschlachten. Mobile infantry divisions might have done just as well as panzer divisions though likely at higher casualty cost.
Okay, then how do you gain operational mobility for the Infanterie-Division? As mobilized the initial Wellen of divisions not specifically designed as bodenständige were mobile by German standards, but they were not of course motorized divisions. Each had roughly 350-390 "cars" (PKW), c. 600 "trucks" (LKW and Zgkw), and 500 motorcycles. A motorized division had many more.

So then, more motor vehicles can be derived by not converting those elements of the German motor vehicle industry to the production of components for aircraft, tanks, and other things...but then you are cutting production of aircraft, tanks, and other things. Robbing Peter...and et cetera.
Re the 1939 cuts to the panzer program, you've oft opined that it made no difference. Why exactly?
Because what you - and apparently Tooze - seem to think was the problems/cutbacks to the Panzer program are not what you think they were. I explained that to some extent in June of last year and hesitate to repeat myself. In short, armaments funding in 1939 was not cut, Panzer production was not "cut back", they 11 July 1938 contracts were not amended, but productive output was constrained due to the problems with the Panzer III design. Meanwhile major investment was dumped into the Nibelungenwerk for Panzer IV production, and coincidentally the pockets of Herman Göring, but again the lack of factory space producing the tanks was the limiting factor rather than monetary expenditures. That the principal factory was not completed or operational until 1941 is a measure of the realities of capital investment in heavy industry in Germany during the war. Another good measure is that when Alkett Berlin got bombed, they fashioned a new final assembly hall in an existing derelict plant nearby and then hauled partially completed hulls from the original plant to it by horse teams in order to complete assembly.
It's a good question, one that I don't have a precise timeline for as of yet. Again, young discussion.

I see a few points that would yield at least a doubling of LW strength over Germany in '43 though:
(snip)
These factors alone easily double LW Reich defense strength compared to OTL '43.
So demobilized soldiers are all skilled in aircraft machining and assembly?
Why is the VVS weaker in 1942?
Where do the electronics and the skilled pilots and crews for the "repurposed" bombers as night fighters come from?
Who rebuilds the bombers as night fighters? They were not one and the same you know?

We must have a different definition for "easily".
Meanwhile, LW investment program would exceed OTL's by early '42: unlike OTL, where Germany scrambled to undo '41's premature shift away from Heer over winter 41-42, army investment stops and all machine tool production and factory construction resources go to LW. Perhaps no Tiger I production, for example - until later if ever. Aside from the shift in capital investment resources, those resources are greater. As discussed upthread, OTL '42 began a decline in German investment; ATL '42 is the peak and sees massive investment in LW plant. How much additional plant is online in ATL '43? Not sure, need more info on historical German lag time between LW investment and production flow (of course those historical lag times were almost always amplified by construction labor shortages fixed in ATL).
Um, if you halt/reduce "investment" in the Heer in the winter of 1941/1942, how does it win in 1942? Seems to be a bit of a disconnect there?
Yes but with MW performance difference was negligible. Sure it cost some engine lifespan but German fighters won't have very long life spans anyway.
No, performance difference was negligible, at normal power settings. the problem, for the Germans, was their MW and nitrous-oxide boost added weight to the airframe, was required to match performance of the allied 100+ octane engine performance, and like all WEP systems, lowered engine life and increased maintenance requirements, which the Luftwaffe could not afford.
Ah taking out the old Wehraboo hammer again.
No, simply walking the dog to its reductio ab adsurdam.
Distance matters. Samsun to the Danube is ~400 miles, Maracaibo-England >12x longer. Convoying costs ~30% shipping capacity, is not necessary on the Black Sea. So Germany expends ~1/20th the shipping capacity per ton of oil moved, versus the Wallies.
You think I was serious? Who shot off your sense of humor?
There's an obvious difference between hitting an industry embedded in the urban fabric of a large targeted area, versus hitting discrete and relatively isolated points such as Bergius plants. RAF didn't and probably couldn't target specific plants in 1943.
Yeah, except they did and could.
I see Maikop falling in January '42 in a decent Ostsieg ATL, coming online in fall '42. That's ~4mil tons already. Baku falls in mid '42, starts pumping ~6 months later so early '43.
You need to really, really come up with something that negates the actual ebb and flow of the 1941/1942 campaign that projects the German pinprick at Rostov another 350 kilometers forward to Maikop that isn't a wall of text handwave.
(snip)

Can anyone recommend a good reference for W.Allied aircraft losses by theater and month? I'm accumulating statistics from various sources but don't have a single great source.

One frustrating tendency is for sources to give attrition stats by % only, without telling either absolute losses or sortie numbers from which absolute losses could be inferred.
Yes. Do you have thirty years or so of your life to spare? :lol:

Seriously. AFHRA and AFHSO are a good start, but unfortunately, you really need numerous visits to Maxwell, NARA, TNA, and BAMA to start to scratch the surface of the subject, Luftwaffe and/or USAAF. Then there is the RAF and the Red AF. One major problem, and a huge hole in your assumptions, is that in among the general mess that the Luftwaffe records were left in at the end of the war, is that insofar as I know there is an even bigger hole in the records of Luftwaffe training. We have excellent data on the strength of the Luftwaffe combat side for instance, but pretty much zero for the training side, so actually making anything close to reasonable assumptions about what they required to boost the strength of the Luftwaffe is based on effectively ZERO data. The best I am aware of that can be offered is the data on USAAF and RAF training requirements...then extrapolating.

[edited due to distraction of watching Biden-Harris victory speech :thumbsup: ]
Last edited by Richard Anderson on 08 Nov 2020 03:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Nov 2020 03:11

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
08 Nov 2020 02:08
Applying that ratio to ATL:OTL analysis would assume declining on-hand : serviceable ratio for ATL:OTL.
I'm sorry, but you have zero factual basis upon which to anchor that assumption...unless you would like to post some data/sources that support it?
Had serviceability not declined after the war started, 6.21.1941 figure would have been 1440/1264. [of course serviceability declined once the shooting started]
Assumptions again. Jagdwaffe serviceability 1 August 1938 was 70.5 percent. On 1 August 1939 it "climbed" to 80.2 percent. On 30 december 1939 it was 75.2 percent. Und so weiter.
For an ATL/OTL comparison there's little reason to think serviceability rates would be worse than OTL.

Probably certain aircraft were retired as "war-weary" or obsolete.
Assumption.
Assumption.

Since somebody asked David Thompson to ask me for my sources, apparently under the assumption I could not provide same, may I ask you directly for the sources you are basing your assumptions on? Please.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Nov 2020 03:18

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
08 Nov 2020 02:19
I'm describing the model not the data.
So then, you're saying you don't actually have data, you only have a model based upon assumptions?
If we knew the historical combat/training proportion, we could project ATL fuel burn based on projecting a multiple of sorties/training. For that projection we don't necessarily need the sorties data but having it would be nice. I remember seeing it somewhere (gotta remember to bookmark).
Insofar as I am aware, no you can't "bookmark" that data for the Luftwaffe, but it is available for the Allies.
Welp. That's a lot less than I expected. Zamansky shows the predominance of mobile Flak in the East, must have confused those. That mobile Flak would stay with the smaller Heer in its Mideast campaigns, where it would cause significantly higher losses to W.Allies than OTL.
To be precise, that is Luftwaffe Flak and does not include Heersflak, but that is not really an issue until late in 1943 and was never a major issue, since those were almost exclusively with the artillery of the Panzertruppen. So under 80 or so heavy batteries and half that number of light batteries.

Why do you assume that "mobile Flak" would "cause significantly higher losses to W.Allies than OTL"?
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 08 Nov 2020 05:14

Richard Anderson wrote:So then, you're saying you don't actually have data, you only have a model based upon assumptions?
Richard Anderson wrote: Assumption.
Assumption.
Richard Anderson wrote:I'm sorry, but you have zero factual basis upon which to anchor that assumption...unless you would like to post some data/sources that support it?
Oh come on. Are you really this mad about being asked for data? (wasn't me btw) Reminder, it's a good day for the world. 8-)

A model and data are different things. I could, for example, make a model correlating the likelihood of blue Arizona based on blue vote percentage in Florida. That model is informed by background general empirical facts (swing states are correlated, election day is same for both) but the model has to be made before the data even exists (i.e. before Florida votes).

Similarly, one could make a model for total LW fuel consumption based on sorties and total training hours. One can make that model before having the data on sorties and training hours, just as one can make a model inputting Floridian votes before Floridian votes even exist.

In the model-making stage, one should be open to suggestions for tweaking this or that input. E.g. shouldn't the model consider ferrying flights? Well yes and thank you; if data is remotely attainable and it's a statistically significant parameter for total LW fuel burn that sorties doesn't capture, we should it consider it. But while open to such suggestions, a demand for data is inapposite.

Likewise with your production/attrition/serviceability calculation. I don't need any further data to point out that you arrive at a higher production:replacement ratio by using serviceable frames rather than on-hand frames, due to the different serviceability rates. That's just analysis - actually just arithmetic. If there's a flaw in the analysis, point it out.
So demobilized soldiers are all skilled in aircraft machining and assembly?
As I said with citation to Uziel upthread, the primary reason for single-shift factories was the lack of skilled Germans to supervise second shifts. Unskilled labor could have been made available OTL and is even more plentiful ATL. Supervising second shifts does not require the entire Ostheer, only a few/ten thousand supervisors.
Why is the VVS weaker in 1942?
Soviets lose Moscow-Gorky area and everything west of the Don in '41, plus 2-3mil more PoW. '42 Soviet working population is ~2/3's of OTL, therefore output 2/3's, therefore fewer planes produced, therefore weaker VVS.
Where do the electronics and the skilled pilots and crews for the "repurposed" bombers as night fighters come from?
Obviously from factories and training schools. Obviously Germany would increase its output of those items as part of its post-SU shift.
Who rebuilds the bombers as night fighters? They were not one and the same you know?
Richard, I made a specific point of stating "nightfighters repurposed from Eastern Front bombing duty (i.e. producing more nightfighters and fewer bombers and day 2-E fighters)"

I did so you specifically so you would know I'm not rebuilding bombers as nightfighters, rather repurposing production. I get the garrulous thing but maybe give me a break like every other time? I have one of Muller's LW books also open on my desktop, reading that book seems more productive than addressing these kinds of responses all the time.
Richard Anderson wrote:Um, if you halt/reduce "investment" in the Heer in the winter of 1941/1942, how does it win in 1942? Seems to be a bit of a disconnect there?
See above re weaker SU by '42. As Heer production isn't cut in summer '41 and losses during ATL Barbarossa are lower, Heer has accumulated sufficient front/reserve weaponry and doesn't need an upswing in production in '42.
Richard Anderson wrote:In short, armaments funding in 1939 was not cut, Panzer production was not "cut back", the 11 July 1938 contracts were not amended
A cut to planned production doesn't necessarily imply a change to existing contracts, especially if the cut to plans merely effected planned contract execution. One can't sue on a contract once planned but never executed (usually - reliance liability may arise in common law, not sure about German law). Similarly, later historians can't point to a contract modified by pre-contractual changes of plan. But later historians should recognize that plans and contracts are not the same thing.
Richard Anderson wrote:Yes. Do you have thirty years or so of your life to spare? :lol:

Seriously. AFHRA and AFHSO are a good start, but unfortunately, you really need numerous visits to Maxwell, NARA, TNA, and BAMA to start to scratch the surface of the subject, Luftwaffe and/or USAAF.
Nobody's done a Zamansky on AAF/RAF? I hope someone reading this has 30 years of life spare for it; my investment path has me chained to a desk, unable to tally the skies.

What is AFHSO? this:https://www.afhistory.af.mil/? AF seems bitter AF about its past non-independence; I see little on WW2 there.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Nov 2020 06:50

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
08 Nov 2020 05:14
Oh come on. Are you really this mad about being asked for data? (wasn't me btw) Reminder, it's a good day for the world. 8-)
I wasn't asked for data, I was asked for sources. I would think after nearly 20 years that people here would realize that when I present data I can back it with sources. Its silly and a time-waster. The implication that I make up data is also annoying, not to mention libelous.

And, yes, indeed, it is, so far, a good New Year for the United States and the world.
A model and data are different things. I could, for example, make a model correlating the likelihood of blue Arizona based on blue vote percentage in Florida. That model is informed by background general empirical facts (swing states are correlated, election day is same for both) but the model has to be made before the data even exists (i.e. before Florida votes).
To quote the immortal Bart Simpson, "duh uh!"
Similarly, one could make a model for total LW fuel consumption based on sorties and total training hours. One can make that model before having the data on sorties and training hours, just as one can make a model inputting Floridian votes before Floridian votes even exist.
Sorry, but without some real world data to compare it to, such a model simply is modeling your imagination.
In the model-making stage, one should be open to suggestions for tweaking this or that input. E.g. shouldn't the model consider ferrying flights? Well yes and thank you; if data is remotely attainable and it's a statistically significant parameter for total LW fuel burn that sorties doesn't capture, we should it consider it. But while open to such suggestions, a demand for data is inapposite.
Sorry, but this is the sort of imaginary modeling that led the US modeling community down the primrose path many years ago, cf., Paul Davis', the Base of Sand Problem and other similar from c. 1989-1991. What makes it even more irritating, personally, is that this sort of inane pursuit of data-less modelling directly impacted the decision making that has resulted, as of this date, in the insane lack of strategic forethought indulged in by the U.S. since 2001. It's turn the crank, garbage in, garbage out, but who cares, because its an elegant model.
Likewise with your production/attrition/serviceability calculation. I don't need any further data to point out that you arrive at a higher production:replacement ratio by using serviceable frames rather than on-hand frames, due to the different serviceability rates. That's just analysis - actually just arithmetic. If there's a flaw in the analysis, point it out.
Sigh...yet again, I see you utterly missed the point. German serviceability rates were always terrible.
As I said with citation to Uziel upthread, the primary reason for single-shift factories was the lack of skilled Germans to supervise second shifts. Unskilled labor could have been made available OTL and is even more plentiful ATL. Supervising second shifts does not require the entire Ostheer, only a few/ten thousand supervisors.
If it was so simple, and only required "a few/ten thousand supervisors", why didn't the Germans do it? I suspect they transferred at least that many UK-gestellte regularly into critical jobs, so why didn't it work like that?
Soviets lose Moscow-Gorky area and everything west of the Don in '41, plus 2-3mil more PoW. '42 Soviet working population is ~2/3's of OTL, therefore output 2/3's, therefore fewer planes produced, therefore weaker VVS.
Okay, but you still haven's shown how the Germans do that, it simply remains a handwave that "the Heer is more mobile", "the Heer advances faster", "the Heer has more tanks", the Heer captures more Soviet PW", and so on. I keep waiting for something concrete and instead get shibboleths.
Obviously from factories and training schools. Obviously Germany would increase its output of those items as part of its post-SU shift.
Again, from where? RM does not equal technological improvements or electronic equipment production.
Richard, I made a specific point of stating "nightfighters repurposed from Eastern Front bombing duty (i.e. producing more nightfighters and fewer bombers and day 2-E fighters)"
Indeed, but that, insofar as I am aware, didn't happen too often. Those aircraft were generally factory built as such.
I did so you specifically so you would know I'm not rebuilding bombers as nightfighters, rather repurposing production. I get the garrulous thing but maybe give me a break like every other time? I have one of Muller's LW books also open on my desktop, reading that book seems more productive than addressing these kinds of responses all the time.
Oh, okay, sorry, but words matter. You said your were re-purposing bombers when in fact you meant you were retooling factories to produce former bombers as night fighters.

BTW, so glad you have access to good books.
Richard Anderson wrote:Um, if you halt/reduce "investment" in the Heer in the winter of 1941/1942, how does it win in 1942? Seems to be a bit of a disconnect there?
A cut to planned production doesn't necessarily imply a change to existing contracts, especially if the cut to plans merely effected planned contract execution. One can't sue on a contract once planned but never executed (usually - reliance liability may arise in common law, not sure about German law). Similarly, later historians can't point to a contract modified by pre-contractual changes of plan. But later historians should recognize that plans and contracts are not the same thing.
Oh dear god, but I should have drunk more tonight. The Germans did not cut planned production. They did not produce what the production plans called for. In the case of the Panzer III it is because they basically dicked up the design completion, couldn't decide on a final design, and kept tinkering with it instead of pushing forward production. It had zero to do with funding cuts or anything remotely approaching that. It is difficult to produce something when you haven't yet decided what it is that you want to produce.
Nobody's done a Zamansky on AAF/RAF? I hope someone reading this has 30 years of life spare for it; my investment path has me chained to a desk, unable to tally the skies.

What is AFHSO? this:https://www.afhistory.af.mil/? AF seems bitter AF about its past non-independence; I see little on WW2 there.
Breadcrumbs old boy, breadcrumbs, I am not actually your research assistant. :D

No, that is AFHSD, which AFHSO and AFHRA report to. Why the Air Force requires three historical, sorry, four historical agencies, I forgot Wright-Patterson, but they mostly just have cool AF museum displays...highly recommended, but plan on spending a week...and its Dayton, Ohio, so be prepared for the week to feel like a year. :lol:

AFHSO = Air Force Historical Studies Office...home of many books online
AFHRA = Air Force Historical Research Agency...home of the numbered USAAF/AF studies and the von Rohden collection of Luftwaffe documents, some of them online
Maxwell = Maxwell Air Force Base, home to AFHRA, I didn't mention it, but AFHSO is on JBAB = Joint Base Anacostia Bolling, except I'm afraid you can't visit there anymore as I did in the 70s-90s, unless you work at JBAB, are a research nut, and want to have some fun at lunch, which is what I would do occasionally 2011-2015. :D

Sorry, tired, may have celebrated too much, and may be disjointed in my replies again. Cheers!
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Avalancheon » 08 Nov 2020 07:37

The United States Strategic Bombing Survey (specifically, Issue 77) offers many details on the nature of German tank production during the war. When the war began in 1939, Germany relied on six principal factories and no more than 9000 to 14,000 workers total (with only 3000-4000 in the actual factories). The tank plants in question were: Krupp-Gruson, MAN, MIAG, Henschel, Alkett, Daimler-Benz. The small size of the work force was a significant factor behind the low rate of production. The number of labourers steadily increased for every year the war went on, until it reached a peak in 1944.

In July 1940, after the defeat of France and the Low countries, it would be rational for Adolf Hitler to focus on maximising the production of tanks. By this point, he had already raised the idea of invading the Soviet Union; a task which would require a huge fleet of tanks to accomplish. Although his decision to commit to war with the USSR was not finalized until the failure of the Berlin conference in November 1940, Hitler clearly had it in mind that Germany would need to confront the Soviets one way or another. If he had decided to increase tank production in July 1940 (in preparation for an eventual war), this could be achieved by the simple expedient of increasing the number of workers at the factories.


United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Issue 77.
Period of Conquest - Poland to Moscow.

''The basic strategic conception of a short war requiring only limited mobilization of resources governed panzer production in Germany during the first two years of the war. The succession of quick and comparatively easy victories during this period did nothing to disturb this conception. Production rose continuously during the period, exceeding 100 per month in May 1940 when the attack on France was launched, 200 per month at the end of 1940, and 300 per month just prior to the invasion of Russia. This rise was apparently the result of relatively limited expansion of plant facilities during 1939 and 1940, and of increase in the number of workers engaged in panzer production.''

''At the beginning of 1940 a start was made on output of assault guns mounted on the Mark II and IV chassis, but no other new types of panzer vehicles were introduced. Throughout 1940 and 1941 the Mark III tank was the principal type built, accounting for approximately half the total number produced. The remainder were the Mark II and IV tanks, the 38 t tanks, and assault guns. A total of approximately 1,600 panzers were produced in 1940 and 3,800 in 1941. The level of production which existed thoughout 1941 was thus almost insignificant by comparison with the levels subsequently achieved under the pressure of the changed strategic and tactical conditions of the later years of the war.''

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 08 Nov 2020 13:37

”Richard Anderson” wrote: I would think after nearly 20 years that people here would realize that when I present data I can back it with sources. It’s silly and a time-waster. The implication that I make up data is also annoying, not to mention libelous.
I would talk to an attorney before filing that libel claim…

Even David Glantz still finds it necessary to cite sources in his work, 5 decades later. And if he deigned to appear among us on this forum, I’d challenge him on a few things (he adheres to Blitzkrieg economy theory in published work, for example). I mean whatever, I still trot my aging carcass onto rugby pitches when the club is in a pinch – what can Glantz do to me that some 22yo hasn’t already tried?
”Richard Anderson” wrote: And, yes, indeed, it is, so far, a good New Year for the United States and the world.
Hallelujah! [honk] [honk] [honk]
”Richard Anderson” wrote: Oh dear god, but I should have drunk more tonight.
Mmmmmm I’d say about the right amount. If we abbreviate the sage Homer Simpson, it’s the solution […] to all life’s problems.
”Richard Anderson” wrote: Breadcrumbs old boy, breadcrumbs, I am not actually your research assistant.
Breadcrumbs are fine. Whether the old witch survives the battle is a different matter.

Thanks for the explanations re USAAF history sources. Lately it’s been a habit to download military history books in .pdf format and listen to them on my commute (rarely applicable these days) and when doing dishes, walking the dog etc. (old boy gets all he can handle). These are good resources. It doesn’t make you my research assistant but I appreciate the sharing of breadcrumbs. I’ve pointed eager youngsters to good 101 legal sources without claiming to be their mentor or research director. I feel a spirit of intellectual generosity pervading the new post-Trump era.

In quarantine I’ve been trying to (re)-learn German and be able to play some grand old Germans on the keyboard, which I left off a few decades ago for football/rugby (stupid jock I was/am). So German resources are open to me with assistance from Google Translate, assisted by a basic German facility.
”Richard Anderson” wrote: In the case of the Panzer III it is because they basically dicked up the design completion, couldn't decide on a final design, and kept tinkering with it instead of pushing forward production. It had zero to do with funding cuts or anything remotely approaching that. It is difficult to produce something when you haven't yet decided what it is that you want to produce.
This is one area in which I’d like to see the primary docs/cites.
”Avalancheon” wrote: United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Issue 77.
Is this available online? I’ve been picking off random Hathitrust postings since COVID, but the scope of their USSBS holdings isn’t clear from a google search.
”Avalancheon” wrote: By this point, he had already raised the idea of invading the Soviet Union; a task which would require a huge fleet of tanks to accomplish. Although his decision to commit to war with the USSR was not finalized until the failure of the Berlin conference in November 1940, Hitler clearly had it in mind that Germany would need to confront the Soviets one way or another. If he had decided to increase tank production in July 1940 (in preparation for an eventual war), this could be achieved by the simple expedient of increasing the number of workers at the factories.
As GSWW relates, these priority labor/steel allocations were f&**#d but could have been resolved by Hitler had he possessed the requisite strategic vision re Barbarossa. So much turned on his personal view of things. We were lucky he was analytically sub-exceptional and didn’t take the SU seriously.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Nov 2020 16:10

Avalancheon wrote:
08 Nov 2020 07:37
The United States Strategic Bombing Survey (specifically, Issue 77) offers many details on the nature of German tank production during the war.
Since proper referencing to sources is so important, no, I'm afraid it doesn't. USSBS Report No. 77 is the Motor Vehicle Industry report. Report No. 78 is the Tank Industry report.
When the war began in 1939, Germany relied on six principal factories and no more than 9000 to 14,000 workers total (with only 3000-4000 in the actual factories). The tank plants in question were: Krupp-Gruson, MAN, MIAG, Henschel, Alkett, Daimler-Benz. The small size of the work force was a significant factor behind the low rate of production. The number of labourers steadily increased for every year the war went on, until it reached a peak in 1944.
Not only the number of laborers, but most significantly the number of plants and the size of the existing plant increased significantly. The additional laborers required somewhere to work after all.

For example, in addition to Krupp-Gruson, MAN, MIAG, Henschel (with its associated Wegmann Wagonfabrik), Alkett, and Daimler-Benz, as well as Skoda and BMM in the Protectorate, Nibelungenwerk, VOMAG, DEMAG, MBA, Deutsche Eisenwerke AG (three plants at Teplitz, Duisberg, and Sagen), Kraftfahrzeug Werkstatt Wein, FAMO Breslau, FAMO Warsaw, and Lokomotivfabrik Krauss Maffei, all were added as either final assembly or major sub-assembly manufacturers of tanks and other AFV during the war.

BTW, MIAG and Alkett were actually added to the Panzer III production pool in September 1939, so was a relatively late-comer to tank production.

In terms of plant expansion, Krupp's Grusonwerke occupied an area of about 165 acres with the built-up area occupying 66 acres. By 1944, the Grusonwerke included 1,001,530 square feet (93,045 square meters) of floor space devoted to tank production. Krupp’s various enterprises, including the Grusonwerke, employed 22,000 prisoners of war and an unknown number of slave laborers by June 1944. Grusonwerke’s workforce expanded from 7,397 in 1939 to a peak of 10,814 in 1943 largely by impressing foreigners and prisoners-of-war. USSBS, Report No. 91, Friedrich Krupp Grusonwerke, Magdeburg, Germany [Motor Vehicles and Tanks Branch Plant Report No. 13], (USSBS, Munitions Division, Second Edition, January 1947), pp. 8-11; US Military Tribunal Nuremberg, “Krupp et-al”, Judgment of 31 July 1948, in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals, Vol. IX, p. 1375.

At MAN, plant expansion was smaller, but labor force increased from 8,836 in 1939 to 9,054 in February 1942, peaked at 11,261 in September 1943, and then decreased to 10,386 in 1944, before declining to 10,122 in March 1945. In 1944, 29 percent were foreigners and 8 percent were prisoners-of-war. USSBS Report No. 83, Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nurnberg, Nurnberg, Germany, [Motor Vehicles and Tanks Branch Report No. 5] (USSBS, Munitions Division, Second Edition, January 1947), pp. 10-11.

Und so weiter.
In July 1940, after the defeat of France and the Low countries, it would be rational for Adolf Hitler to focus on maximising the production of tanks.
It might be, but those decisions were already taken, prior to 1940. By 1 April 1940, the industry was still struggling to complete the contract extension orders from 11 July 1938. The authorization - and funding - for Nibelungenwerk, the Grusonwerke and Henschel expansion, and the addition of MIAG and Alkett to the production pool were all made by September 1939.
United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Issue 77.
Period of Conquest - Poland to Moscow.
See above. The quote is from pages 5 and 6 of Report No. 78, not 77. I am also curious which second-hand source calls them "issues" when they were clearly numbered reports?
''The basic strategic conception of a short war requiring only limited mobilization of resources governed panzer production in Germany during the first two years of the war. The succession of quick and comparatively easy victories during this period did nothing to disturb this conception.''
More modern scholarship tends to discredit that assumption. MNH and DEMAG were added to the production pool in May 1942, specifically looking forward to the production of the Panther. Vomag was originally contracted in early 1940 as a centralized tank repair and reconditioning facility. It was expanded as a final assembly plant in 1941, but its "Panzerhalle" was not completed and operational until 1943.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Nov 2020 16:31

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
08 Nov 2020 13:37
I would talk to an attorney before filing that libel claim…
:lol:
Even David Glantz still finds it necessary to cite sources in his work, 5 decades later. And if he deigned to appear among us on this forum, I’d challenge him on a few things (he adheres to Blitzkrieg economy theory in published work, for example). I mean whatever, I still trot my aging carcass onto rugby pitches when the club is in a pinch – what can Glantz do to me that some 22yo hasn’t already tried?
Considering that the last time I saw David Glantz was 25 years ago when we were feeding him German data from the KDB, I rarely reference him and then only for Soviet data. He is weak on German sources and information.
Breadcrumbs are fine. Whether the old witch survives the battle is a different matter.

Thanks for the explanations re USAAF history sources. Lately it’s been a habit to download military history books in .pdf format and listen to them on my commute (rarely applicable these days) and when doing dishes, walking the dog etc. (old boy gets all he can handle). These are good resources. It doesn’t make you my research assistant but I appreciate the sharing of breadcrumbs. I’ve pointed eager youngsters to good 101 legal sources without claiming to be their mentor or research director. I feel a spirit of intellectual generosity pervading the new post-Trump era.

In quarantine I’ve been trying to (re)-learn German and be able to play some grand old Germans on the keyboard, which I left off a few decades ago for football/rugby (stupid jock I was/am). So German resources are open to me with assistance from Google Translate, assisted by a basic German facility.
My spoken German is still limited to a few phrases even after living there as a child and taken too many years of it in junior high, high school, and college. I am passable reading German so long as it is more technical military related.

Meanwhile, my regret is not pursuing a career as a Marine Corps officer, so I could have been comfortably retired and double-dipping 20 years ago.
This is one area in which I’d like to see the primary docs/cites.
Panzer Tracts then are in your future. https://www.amazon.com/Panzerkampwagen- ... 0977164349
Is this available online? I’ve been picking off random Hathitrust postings since COVID, but the scope of their USSBS holdings isn’t clear from a google search.
I think Hathitrust's search engine was designed under USGOV contract. It is infuriating that no matter what search terms you use you invariably get the Japanese rather than the German survey reports. It is a fairly complete source, but you simply have to have perseverance to go through all the dross its searches kick up.
As GSWW relates, these priority labor/steel allocations were f&**#d but could have been resolved by Hitler had he possessed the requisite strategic vision re Barbarossa. So much turned on his personal view of things. We were lucky he was analytically sub-exceptional and didn’t take the SU seriously.
You could just as well remake Hitler into Mother Teresa's image. The Winter War basically provided all the pre-digested analysis anyone in the world needed on Soviet military capability. Believing that it was just Hitler whose analysis was "sub-exceptional" skews your own analysis.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Nov 2020 20:00

WRT the problems with the Panzer III development, one thing that has always struck me as odd is the large number of pre-production development vehicles that were authorized. I've always wondered if a bit of padding the D-B accounts was pat of it? In any case, building 100 chassis, all of which were effectively design pilots, seems excessive. Yes, some entered combat, but given the American practice was one design pilot per design sub-type, then one or two additional pilots for engineering and service testing (at APG and the Armored Center), and finally one pre-production pilot per manufacturer, 100 seems a lot. The largest American pre-production order I know of was the 10 T25-series and 30 T26 series, but there a larger number of test pilots was authorized.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Georg_S » 08 Nov 2020 20:58

Have you two forgot what I wrote earlier!?

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Avalancheon » 09 Nov 2020 07:04

Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Nov 2020 16:10
Avalancheon wrote:
08 Nov 2020 07:37
The United States Strategic Bombing Survey (specifically, Issue 77) offers many details on the nature of German tank production during the war.
Since proper referencing to sources is so important, no, I'm afraid it doesn't. USSBS Report No. 77 is the Motor Vehicle Industry report. Report No. 78 is the Tank Industry report.
I am reading from the Motor Vehicles and Tanks Branch, of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey. Report No. 77 is the German Motor Vehicles Industry Report. Report No. 78 is the Tank Industry Report.

Don't crucify me, I just got the numbers mixed up.
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Nov 2020 16:10
Avalancheon wrote:
08 Nov 2020 07:37
When the war began in 1939, Germany relied on six principal factories and no more than 9000 to 14,000 workers total (with only 3000-4000 in the actual factories). The tank plants in question were: Krupp-Gruson, MAN, MIAG, Henschel, Alkett, Daimler-Benz. The small size of the work force was a significant factor behind the low rate of production. The number of labourers steadily increased for every year the war went on, until it reached a peak in 1944.
Not only the number of laborers, but most significantly the number of plants and the size of the existing plant increased significantly. The additional laborers required somewhere to work after all.

For example, in addition to Krupp-Gruson, MAN, MIAG, Henschel (with its associated Wegmann Wagonfabrik), Alkett, and Daimler-Benz, as well as Skoda and BMM in the Protectorate, Nibelungenwerk, VOMAG, DEMAG, MBA, Deutsche Eisenwerke AG (three plants at Teplitz, Duisberg, and Sagen), Kraftfahrzeug Werkstatt Wein, FAMO Breslau, FAMO Warsaw, and Lokomotivfabrik Krauss Maffei, all were added as either final assembly or major sub-assembly manufacturers of tanks and other AFV during the war.

BTW, MIAG and Alkett were actually added to the Panzer III production pool in September 1939, so was a relatively late-comer to tank production.
Yes, I know that. I was focusing on the labour aspect alone, because its the only thing that can be increased in a short timeframe. The thread topic is about how tank production could be increased in July 1940, so that Germany has a larger fleet in time for Operation Barbarossa. Thats a span of just 11 months. New tank factories coming online in 1941 won't be able to boost production in time.

In 1939-1940, many of Germanys tank factories where chronically short of workers, compared to the levels they would reach later in the war. They didn't even have enough labourers to run double shifts. Moreover, some of the factories weren't even devoting all their floor space to the production of tanks. (Henschell continued producing trucks until 1943)
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Nov 2020 16:10
In terms of plant expansion, Krupp's Grusonwerke occupied an area of about 165 acres with the built-up area occupying 66 acres. By 1944, the Grusonwerke included 1,001,530 square feet (93,045 square meters) of floor space devoted to tank production. Krupp’s various enterprises, including the Grusonwerke, employed 22,000 prisoners of war and an unknown number of slave laborers by June 1944. Grusonwerke’s workforce expanded from 7,397 in 1939 to a peak of 10,814 in 1943 largely by impressing foreigners and prisoners-of-war. USSBS, Report No. 91, Friedrich Krupp Grusonwerke, Magdeburg, Germany [Motor Vehicles and Tanks Branch Plant Report No. 13], (USSBS, Munitions Division, Second Edition, January 1947), pp. 8-11; US Military Tribunal Nuremberg, “Krupp et-al”, Judgment of 31 July 1948, in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals, Vol. IX, p. 1375.

At MAN, plant expansion was smaller, but labor force increased from 8,836 in 1939 to 9,054 in February 1942, peaked at 11,261 in September 1943, and then decreased to 10,386 in 1944, before declining to 10,122 in March 1945. In 1944, 29 percent were foreigners and 8 percent were prisoners-of-war. USSBS Report No. 83, Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nurnberg, Nurnberg, Germany, [Motor Vehicles and Tanks Branch Report No. 5] (USSBS, Munitions Division, Second Edition, January 1947), pp. 10-11.
The numbers you are throwing around don't mesh with what I have read from the USSBS.

You cite the USSBS to assert that in 1939, the Krupp-Gruson had 7937 workers, and MAN had 8836 workers. This statement conflicts with what the USSBS said in Report No. 78. They remarked that just before the war, the Germans were only employing 3000-4000 workers in the tank plants and another 6000-10,000 in components and parts manufacture.

According to your cite, there were nearly 17,000 workers at Krupp-Gruson and MAN alone in 1939: This exceeds the number of workers that Report No. 78 says were employed at all six tank factories combined. How can such a disparity in numbers be resolved? Were you including labourers that were employed in roles not directly related to production?

Another question comes to mind. If your citation is true, then it indicates that Krupp-Gruson and MAN only underwent a relatively limited expansion in their workforce during the war. Krupp-Gruson went from 7397 workers in 1939 to 10,814 workers in 1943. MAN went from 8836 workers in 1939 to 11,261 workers in 1943. Thats an increase of just 46% and 27%, respectively. If thats true, then why did these factories wait to 1943 before implementing a double shift?
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Nov 2020 16:10
Avalancheon wrote:
08 Nov 2020 07:37
In July 1940, after the defeat of France and the Low countries, it would be rational for Adolf Hitler to focus on maximising the production of tanks.
It might be, but those decisions were already taken, prior to 1940. By 1 April 1940, the industry was still struggling to complete the contract extension orders from 11 July 1938. The authorization - and funding - for Nibelungenwerk, the Grusonwerke and Henschel expansion, and the addition of MIAG and Alkett to the production pool were all made by September 1939.
The factories clearly weren't meeting their production targets. Hence why Hitler ordered the tank factories to increase production soon after the French campaign was over. He was aiming for an unrealistically high figure of 800-1000 tanks a month, which was a huge increase over their output at the time. Hitler balked when he was informed of the costs of such an increase, and ultimately chose to abandon this program. He could have settled for a more modest increase of tank production instead, something like 300-400 tanks a month. The costs of this program would be eaier to bare, and it would help boost the tank fleet significantly in time for the invasion of the Soviet Union.
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Nov 2020 16:10
Avalancheon wrote:
08 Nov 2020 07:37
United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Issue 77.
Period of Conquest - Poland to Moscow.
See above. The quote is from pages 5 and 6 of Report No. 78, not 77. I am also curious which second-hand source calls them "issues" when they were clearly numbered reports?
Correction noted. To answer your question (and TheMarcksPlan's), I was reading the USSBS report on google books.

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 Nov 2020 17:10

Avalancheon wrote:
09 Nov 2020 07:04
I am reading from the Motor Vehicles and Tanks Branch, of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey. Report No. 77 is the German Motor Vehicles Industry Report. Report No. 78 is the Tank Industry Report.

Don't crucify me, I just got the numbers mixed up.
Wrong "c" word. I was correcting you, not crucifying you. As I noted, proper referencing has become important.
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Nov 2020 16:10
Yes, I know that. I was focusing on the labour aspect alone, because its the only thing that can be increased in a short timeframe. The thread topic is about how tank production could be increased in July 1940, so that Germany has a larger fleet in time for Operation Barbarossa. Thats a span of just 11 months. New tank factories coming online in 1941 won't be able to boost production in time.
Yes, labor is a major aspect, but so is contract and development of a new tank design. D-B was given the task of developing the Panzer III. Calling that development desultory would probably be a kindness. The first production variant, the 5.-serie Ausf. E, pilot rolled out of Werk 40 at Berlin Marienfelde in December of 1938. All one of them. It then took D-B and MAN (beginning c. August 1939), nine months to complete the initial order of 95. Was that due to lack of labor personnel? Unlikely. In 1902, Daimler acquired the Motorenfahrzeug und Motorenfabrik AG at Berlin-Marienfelde, which was a Daimler licensee. Daimler moved most of its heavy truck production to Marienfelde from Cannstadt during 1907-1908. In 1926, Daimler amalgamated with Benz & Companie Rheinische Gasmotoren-Fabrik to become Daimler-Benz AG (DB). In 1927, DB shifted heavy truck production from Marienfelde to Gaggenau and restricted operations at Marienfelde to vehicle repair only. Two years later the Great Depression led to the closing of Marienfelde and it remained unused until 1933 when the prospect of military contracts led DB to reopen it. Its first contracts were from the new Reichs Luftfahrtministerium (RLM) [Air Ministry] to produce aircraft engines at Werk 90, but the original plant, Werk 40, also soon reopened and began producing heavy trucks for military contracts. The Werk 40 plant area covered about 71 acres and included about 800,000 square feet of covered building area. German Economic Department, The Daimler Benz Complex [G.E.D.43/0/27], (Allied Control Office: Central Office for Germany and Austria, December 1945), pp. 1-7 & 27.

By mid-1934, Marienfelde employed 800 workers, almost all of them at Werk 90, but by December 1939, employment reached 5,348, of which 3,025 were at Werk 40. In 1940, 4,216 Germans and 362 foreign workers were at Werk 40 (4,578 total), but by 1942 the number of German workers declined to 3,481 while there were 1,568 foreign workers (5,049 total). About 1,200 of the foreigners were forced labor, including Soviet and French prisoners-of-war. Werk 40 employed an average of 3,200 German workers and 2,500 foreign workers (5,700 total) through 1943 and 1944. Neil Gregor, Daimler-Benz in the Third Reich, (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1998), p. 62; Andreas Krauss, 100 Jahre Daimler Chrysler Werk Berlin, 100 Jahre Solidarität, (Berlin: Daimler Chrysler Werk Marienfelde, 2002), pp. 43-44. http://archiv.labournet.de/diskussion/g ... berlin.pdf

One huge hole we have is the USSBS did not visit D-B at Marienfelde.
In 1939-1940, many of Germanys tank factories where chronically short of workers, compared to the levels they would reach later in the war. They didn't even have enough labourers to run double shifts. Moreover, some of the factories weren't even devoting all their floor space to the production of tanks. (Henschell continued producing trucks until 1943)
They were? All German factories were essentially incapable of running multiple shifts due to lack of labor. As at D-B, the tank operation at Henschel was begun at an existing facility, although Henschel's was not moribund when it was chosen to build tanks. Henschel's Werk I at Mittlefeld was the logical place to begin AFV manufacture, since it was a locomotive assembly plant. That is where they built the Panzer licensed Krupp Traktor, Panzer I and Panzer II. However, that is not where they built the Panzer III. It was built at Werk III, Henschel's truck and bus plant, where funds were allocated in 1939 for its expansion to build the Panzer III. They reportedly began assembling them as early as October 1939, but that conflicts with other sources on the Panzer III production, and the expansion construction continued into 1941. Panzer III production ran side by side with the truck production until August 1942 when the entire plant began turning over to production of the Tiger.

Unfortunately, labor statistics for Henschel are lacking for the earlier period of the war, but it is known that by the end of 1944, the company had 8,000 workers laboring in two 12-hour shifts. The company used slave labor extensively. Werk III, the tank and truck plant, employed an average of 6,000 workers in 1944. USSBS Report No. 85, Henschel & Sohn, Kassel, Germany, [Motor Vehicles and Tanks Branch, Plant Report No. 3], (USSBS, Munitions Division, Second Edition, January 1947), Exhibit F.
The numbers you are throwing around don't mesh with what I have read from the USSBS.
I am not "throwing numbers around". I am citing the figures in the sources given.
You cite the USSBS to assert that in 1939, the Krupp-Gruson had 7937 workers, and MAN had 8836 workers. This statement conflicts with what the USSBS said in Report No. 78. They remarked that just before the war, the Germans were only employing 3000-4000 workers in the tank plants and another 6000-10,000 in components and parts manufacture.
There is an obvious disconnect between the labor figures reported on page 5 of the Tank Industry report and those found in the individual plant reports cited. I suspect the problem was the lack of the use of the word "average" in the Tank Industry report.
According to your cite, there were nearly 17,000 workers at Krupp-Gruson and MAN alone in 1939: This exceeds the number of workers that Report No. 78 says were employed at all six tank factories combined. How can such a disparity in numbers be resolved? Were you including labourers that were employed in roles not directly related to production?
[Edit to correct my misreading of your post] They are the figures found in the references I cited, I suggest you find the citations and judge for yourself.
Another question comes to mind. If your citation is true, then it indicates that Krupp-Gruson and MAN only underwent a relatively limited expansion in their workforce during the war. Krupp-Gruson went from 7397 workers in 1939 to 10,814 workers in 1943. MAN went from 8836 workers in 1939 to 11,261 workers in 1943. Thats an increase of just 46% and 27%, respectively. If thats true, then why did these factories wait to 1943 before implementing a double shift?
I am not aware that either the Grusonwerk or MAN ever went to a second shift. Henschel did by the end of 1944, but no source I found said when they began the second shift.
The factories clearly weren't meeting their production targets. Hence why Hitler ordered the tank factories to increase production soon after the French campaign was over. He was aiming for an unrealistically high figure of 800-1000 tanks a month, which was a huge increase over their output at the time. Hitler balked when he was informed of the costs of such an increase, and ultimately chose to abandon this program. He could have settled for a more modest increase of tank production instead, something like 300-400 tanks a month. The costs of this program would be eaier to bare, and it would help boost the tank fleet significantly in time for the invasion of the Soviet Union.
Do you have a source for that? Meanwhile, WRT the Panzer III, it only became factories plural after the war began, again because of the issues with the design. The plan as early as 1937-1938 was to add factories to the production pool. The factories were available, but a completed design wasn't.
Correction noted. To answer your question (and TheMarcksPlan's), I was reading the USSBS report on google books.
HathiTrust is your friend.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Richard Anderson » 10 Nov 2020 03:39

Let me try to clarify some things.

I think we all agree that the problem with the "Panzer shortage" was the Panzer III. Correct? As redesigned over the winter of 1940/1941, each Panzer division required roughly 30...times 20-21 Panzer divisions that is 600-630. By the end of April 1941 at least 679 had been built or rebuilt, while some had been lost, but there were more or less enough, production for the previous year averaged 31 per month, and it was anticipated the momentary completion of the Nibelungenwerk would solve all problems, since it was supposed to complete 100 per month...except it did not start turning them out until November 1941 and it was May 1943 before its output exceeded 100 per month. Okay, so Nibelungen is a problem, but they also threw Vomag at it, converting it from a repair facility to an assembly plant in mid 1940...but it did not complete its first tank until August 1941, apparently as it cleared up the backlog of repairs from the French campaign, and work began on the Panzerhalle assembly facility, which was not compltely operational until two years later. That of course compares rather unfavorably to the U.S., where the DTA contract was signed 15 August 1940 and it rolled out its first completed Medium Tank M3 in late March 1941 (but then disassembled and reassembled it a couple of times, finally "completing" it on 11 April 1941), just six months later. Why it took the Germans so much longer to get results from investment is unclear...fewer than 4,000 were working at DTA in March 1941, it wasn't until 8 August that the workforce exceeded 4,500, although 6,000 worked there by the end of the month.

The Panzer III is a different problem, partly because there are so many holes in the early production record. There is essentially no monthly data on the production from D-B, FAMO, MAN, and Alkett, but it can be inferred that they made up about 75-95 percent of the output total from September 39-February 41...which only amounted to 41.1 tanks per month. In the same period, Henschel managed a whopping 12.3 per month. Yay Henschel! MIAG? 3.7 per month. Given each typical Panzer division needed 77 of them by June 1941, then that is an enormous deficit. Exactly why it went so wrong is hard to assess. It seems obvious the delay in finishing the design was a major factor, but I am not sure that sharing the contract wealth with so many companies was a great idea, given that it seems obvious FAMO was overstretched and that Henschel, MIAG, and MAN do not appear to have been very serious in expanding production. Meanwhile, it appears that D-B, who was supposed to be the prime contractor, got bogged down building the Gr.Pz.Bef.Wg., essentially building them on a one-for-one basis along with the gun tanks, which seems a bit excessive. That also skews the count a bit, since many sources only count the production of the gun tanks, even though it was a common chassis.

Overall, something seems to have been truly rotten in the production of the Panzer III, but it is not clear to me that throwing money or labor at the problem in mid 1940 would have necessarily helped.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 10 Nov 2020 03:45

Avalancheon wrote:You cite the USSBS to assert that in 1939, the Krupp-Gruson had 7937 workers, and MAN had 8836 workers. This statement conflicts with what the USSBS said in Report No. 78. They remarked that just before the war, the Germans were only employing 3000-4000 workers in the tank plants and another 6000-10,000 in components and parts manufacture.
The Krupp-Gruson plant was a world-leading manufacturer of heavy machinery in addition to tanks, per USSBS. So only part of the plant's labor force worked on tanks (finished and component production). In 1944, total receipts were 44% tank-related; if that was true in '39 also then ~3,500 worked on tanks at equal labor:turnover ratios. It seems possible that this one plant employed ~25% of the German industry, as it built both components and finished tanks.

It's a similar story for MAN: leading heavy machinery producer, also built tanks and components. Unlike KG, it built trucks and engines as well. So probably a lower proportion of its workers were devoted to tank building than KG in 1939, though by '43 tanks and components represented 47% of turnover and by 1944 80%.

Given that the value of tank output was 3.8% of German munitions production in 1939, employing only 9-14k workers in the entire industry seems reasonable. A lot of the embodied value in a tank is in the basic inputs (steel plate, electricity consumed) that aren't considered part of the "tank industry."
Richard Anderson wrote:The thread topic is about how tank production could be increased in July 1940, so that Germany has a larger fleet in time for Operation Barbarossa. Thats a span of just 11 months. New tank factories coming online in 1941 won't be able to boost production in time.
This goes back to the distinction between plant and plants. While it's true that no new tank plants came online until Sankt Valentin in later '41, it's also true that Germany tripled tank production at existing plants in '39-'40. How did this happen? Well first we should look at USSBS's statement regarding pre-war expansion of the tank industry:
the large companies engaged in production had sufficient
space available without expanding the floor area of the plants to any
appreciable degree. There was, therefore, no excess production capacity
available at this time
So there was no excess capacity pre-war, yet production tripled before any new plants came online. Clearly there was an expansion of plant via increases in tooling and the use/conversion of existing floor space in the existing plants of tank producers. The increase of MAN's turnover share of tank building to 80% by 1944, for example, probably came largely from converting existing floor space and acquiring more tank plant (i.e. machine tools) without establishing any new tank plants.

That this is so is supported by USSBS assessment that Avalancheon cited upthread:
This rise was apparently the result of relatively limited
expansion of plant facilities during 1939 and 1940, and of increase in;
the number of workers engaged in panzer production.
So Germany tripled its tank production by expanding tank-focused labor and plant within existing plants.

This makes a "more tanks in Barbarossa" ATL quite easy and straightfoward: Germany simply tools up the tank plants with more plant and labor earlier than it did OTL. There is no need to move up Sankt Valentin's induction or to found any other plants, unless one wants to exceed the June 1941 total tank production (and even then, there was probably additional space at existing plants, whose output continued to rise through 1944).

One possible objection to this straightforward ATL would be the availability of machine tools. As the USSBS report on the machine tool industry states, however, that industry had excess capacity throughout the war and later much of it was repurposed to munitions production. USSBS also notes that producers sometimes adopted second shifts when the army required - a demand for more tanks should have produced that response. So Germany would not have faced serious obstacles to increasing panzer production earlier, had it chosen to do so*.

*Caveat: As Avalancheon notes, Hitler's idea to increase tank production above 1,000/month in 1941 would have required massive new investment.

My +5PzDiv ATL requires ~800 more tanks in Barbarossa. Spread over the preceding 16 months, that's an increase of only 50 tanks/month on average. So the tank portion of the ATL is easily doable if the Germans simply move more labor, steel allocations, and machine tools to the tank producers.

-------------------------------------------

The more difficult portion of my ATL is vehicular production. As I long suspected from analysis of the headline economic figures, achieving the requisite truck output is also doable. As the USSBS Vehicles report recognizes, the vehicles industry contained excess capacity even into 1943, when such excess was largely converted to other production.

But conversion of vehicle-making capacity happened from very early in the war. The report on Adam Opel, for instance, notes that it was Europe's largest vehicle-making plant prewar. It was immediately converted to producing aircraft components for the Ju-88 program. It produced 50% of that program's needs in many critical components and 100% in a few. This output represented 70% of the plant's turnover.

If you're familiar with my "One more panzer group in Barbarossa ATL", you know how fortuitous a condition this is for making my case. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=243557 That ATL proposes a 50% cut to the Ju-88 program, which nicely frees Adam Opel from most of its Ju-88 workshare. As my ATL needs ~20k more trucks in Barbarossa, using the Adam Opel plant over the 16 or so months preceding Barbarossa gets practically the entire required additional output.

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Thanks to Richard and Avalancheon, btw, for showing me to get the USSBS reports off Google and Hathitrust. I wish I had figured that out earlier; would have made my ATL-making much easier. I was formerly visiting my alma mater to get USSBS reports but the library has been closed for COVID. Luckily I can't spill beer on Hathitrust/Google, even if I'm still liable to spill coffee on my computer these days.
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