The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 29 Jan 2021 09:48

KDF33 wrote: The British focused on growing the size of the Army before the fall of France:
My point only applies up to the fall of France; after that there was no use for a massive land army until/unless engaging Germany with larger allied armies was possible. Otherwise the British Army's prospects outside of peripheral theaters were the same as the KM's: show it could die with honor.

Before France fell, Britain had a good chance of making the difference between holding and losing in France with a larger army. Could anyone well-versed in WW1 doubt that the French Army couldn't stop Germany except with major allied assistance? In 1914 the small BEF had arguably made the difference; in 1939 it should have been obvious (it was to Lloyd George) that Germany would not have a second front and therefore a larger initial BEF was necessary.

So if Britain wanted an anti-Hitler coalition excluding Stalin - for all practical purposes this was Chamberlain's wont - then it had to step up and provide a substitute for Russia or France would be beaten. Germany was, after all, about twice as large in population and economy as France in 1939. It was simply inexcusable for Britain to have contributed only 10 divisions to that fight.

It was excusable if one accepts that Britain needed to focus on air/sea forces to keep its boot on the necks of 500 million black/brown people worldwide, especially when others (i.e. Japan) wanted to replace the British boot with their own. But I don't accept that excuse, especially as weighed against the necessity of stopping Hitler.
KDF33 wrote:I'd say it looks like being kicked off the continent led to a change of focus.
And appropriately so after France fell.
KDF33 wrote:I don't know that we should.
Crystal clear that we shouldn't. I was wrong in my recollection about 1941 locomotive production.
KDF33 wrote:Growth appears stable for most of the war, with focus in 1940-2 on raising railway car output, then in 1943 on locomotives.
A caveat to this picture: German loco production did expand massively after and in response to the transport crisis of winter '41-'42, during which 70-80% of German locos sent East to support the Ostheer were stranded there when damaged by the cold and/or lack of water stations. For the problem, see Most Valuable Asset of the Reich by Mierzejewski:
. Because the DRB locomotives had been designed with the milder
German winters in mind, their water pipes, pumps, and control mechanisms
were mounted on the outside of their boilers, exposing them to the extreme
cold of the eastern winter. Soviet locomotives had these devices placed under
the boiler jackets or at other locations where they remained warm. The Reichsbahn was aware of these problems and instituted programs to rectify them. But there were not enough heated locomotive sheds available in the east to thaw
frozen engines or make the necessary modifications on them. This confronted
the DRB with the difficult task of returning the damaged locomotives to Germany for repair while sending more engines to the east to replace them. The result was a net decline in the number of locomotives available in the Reich itself,
causing operating problems in Germany. The immobilization of engines in the
east led to the loss of freight cars as well. p.102-3
For the response to the crisis, here's GSWW v.6:
an ambitious production programme, ranking
for the first time as an armaments project, was embarked upon: this envisaged
a technically simplified uniform locomotive type, adapted to war requirements
in the east. During the current year [1942] manufacture was to run at 200 railway
engines per month, to increase to 400–500 per month in 1943. But since this
new programme would, at best, become effective in the autumn... p.880
...so German loco production had a peak between autumn '42 and mid-'43 that is somewhat obscured by annual statistics. As Germany lost territory its rail transport needs declined, thus the emergency priority for locos was later abandoned and loco production lost urgency.

Anyway that's why I recalled '42 loco production far exceeding '41; I forgot that the '42 ramp to loco production didn't bear fruit until autumn.

...but I also don't see my mistake changing the basic picture of Britain outproducing Germany in total real war production in 1941, as adding "trains" to "guns and small arms" doesn't obviate Britain's advantage in all the other categories I listed. Furthermore, even were trains to push Germany over the top marginally in total 1941 war production, it's hard to judge it sufficient to explain away Germany's edge in total economic size even after the military personnel differential.
KDF33 wrote:I also don't think the "NAM" category is representative of military production potential, given that Germany's larger population would have required, for a similar level of mobilization, a larger number of people working to sustain its civilian economy than Britain's.
But we should be talking proportions instead of absolute numbers. There's no reason to think that Germany needed a larger proportion sustaining the civilian economy at similar levels of mobilization.*

*except that the NAM sector had to support a larger number of ag workers. Then again German farmers were poor peasants (and criminally-deprived Zwangsarbeiter) who didn't consume much.

In fact, there's some relief to the civilian economic burden by mobilizing more men: soldiers don't spend as much at grocery stores, furniture shops, and cinemas: their provisions, housing, and amusements are generally placed on the military accounts. The predominance of soldier pay and of soldier provisioning in German early-war military expenditures probably conceals a further aspect of under-mobilization, in that the German civilian economy was mostly relieved of feeding/housing/amusing millions more men when these burdens were transferred to the military.
KDF33 wrote:If you use non-agricultural workers neither serving in the armed forces nor producing for them in the metalworking industries, you get the following respective shares of total population for June 1941:
Your German population stats appear to be for prewar Germany rather than Greater Germany+Protectorate. The geographical delimitation of the Reich is a statistical issue that a lot of the historiography ignores but shouldn't. For example, here's a graph from GSWW v.5/1 showing the intensity of Wehrmacht drafts based on underlying employment, where darker colors proportionately represent more drafts:

Image

The lighter colors aside newly-acquired lands outside prewar Germany represent, per GSWW and economic common sense, intensified efforts to exploit the coal/ore deposits of Lorraine and Silesia (Districts V, VIII, and XII particularly relevant). The Wehrmacht drafted fewer men from these more economically important regions than in less industrially-important regions.

In other words, Germany was shifting its employment to the periphery of, and beyond, the Altreich in a rational response to its territorial gains and newly-acquired raw materials. So the importance of Greater Germany vs. Altreich should loom larger than is commonly given credit by even generally good analyses like the USSBS's. Greater Germany's workforce was substantially larger than USSBS's stats for prewar Germany (as documented in my cite last post).
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 29 Jan 2021 13:15

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Jan 2021 09:48
in 1939 it should have been obvious (it was to Lloyd George) that Germany would not have a second front and therefore a larger initial BEF was necessary.
It was to the War Cabinet; hence the decision of the Land Forces Committee to plan to raise a 55 division army (32 UK, 14 dominion, 4 Indian + equipment for 5 allied divisions). Of course, what Britain couldn’t be certain of is that they wouldn’t have to face a multi-front war.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Jan 2021 09:48
Could anyone well-versed in WW1 doubt that the French Army couldn't stop Germany except with major allied assistance?
Why all those books about the Strange Victory of Germany over France in 1940 then?

Obviously, unlike us, the British War Cabinet didn’t have omniscient hindsight of the future. They had to make choices over resource allocation with only partial knowledge of threat capability and intentions. The Land Forces Committee plan could not be met without impacting on the other services programmes. Spitfires or guns, battleships or tanks, destroyers or medium guns...
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Jan 2021 09:48
It was simply inexcusable for Britain to have contributed only 10 divisions to that fight.
It didn’t.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Jan 2021 09:48
It was excusable if one accepts that Britain needed to focus on air/sea forces
Given the world-wide threat to the British system, I guess they had to plan for a world-wide response for which air/sea forces were essential. As a casual glance at a map would show. :x :lol:

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

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 30 Jan 2021 20:39

Hi,

Just read this in David Stahel's 'Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East' (p.51) - not sure if it is relevant but thought it might be:
The disassociation from reality not only affected the planning stages of the campaign but pervaded most levels of the Wehrmacht's organisation including its armaments programme. The large expansion in the number of infantry and motorised divisions forced such large production demands that they could not be met without everything being subordinated to the army. The result was a prioritisation of equipment with the army favouring its much needed Mark III and Mark IV tanks in addition to the new 50 mm anti-tank gun. Yet, even in this narrow selection, estimates for production capacity differed greatly from actual output, indicating that an immense effort needed to be made in order to lift production. In July 1940 a monthly goal of 380 tanks was envisaged, but by August this figure was revised down to 200. In September 1940 a mere 121 tanks were produced in the course of the month. This, however, did not stop new targets being set on 14 September which aimed for the extraordinary figures of 2,000 Mark III and 800 Mark IV panzers to be delivered by 1 April 1941, requiring a monthly output of 466 tanks starting immediately. The absurdity of such projections is another plain confirmation of the regime's tendency towards delusional practices, forming a chief impediment to realising the extent of its limitations and responding accordingly.
From p.105 - 117, he also describes the inherent weaknesses of the German panzer arm and how dysfunctional were the attempts to prepare it for Barbarossa. Worth a read if you are interested in real world problems facing any attempt to further increase the panzer arm's size.

I'm no panzer expert, clearly, but he also describes [p.115] that 21 Panzer Divisions existed in summer 1941; two were in Africa, 17 were designated to Barbarossa and two more were 'being reorganised and refitted'. I've also read somewhere over the last couple of days that several of the Barbarossa panzer divisions had relatively short and inadequate training periods but now can't find that quote again, sorry. All suggests that there would have been a multi-dimensional challenge to the theory that more tanks = more panzer divisions.

Edited to add: Found it. :D

Same source, p.113:
In fact, the preparation of the German motorised and panzer divisions was far from perfect, with Halder noting in his diary five weeks prior to the campaign: 'we will be lucky if we're finished with their equipping; the training of the last equipped divisions will in any case be incomplete. Ultimately, shortcomings in training affected no fewer than six of the 13 motorised infantry divisions and two of the panzer divisions (20th and 18th, both committed to Army Group Centre.
Regards

Tom

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

Post by KDF33 » 31 Jan 2021 04:27

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Jan 2021 09:48
My point only applies up to the fall of France; after that there was no use for a massive land army until/unless engaging Germany with larger allied armies was possible. Otherwise the British Army's prospects outside of peripheral theaters were the same as the KM's: show it could die with honor.
Agreed.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Jan 2021 09:48
Before France fell, Britain had a good chance of making the difference between holding and losing in France with a larger army.
In a general sense I agree, but my impression is that after the DoW, Britain was scaling up its ground component as quickly as it could. To deploy a larger BEF in 1940 would have required different decisions in the mid to late 30s.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Jan 2021 09:48
Could anyone well-versed in WW1 doubt that the French Army couldn't stop Germany except with major allied assistance?
Here I must disagree. The French mobilization of 1939-40 was massive, and on 1.5.1940 the French armed forces numbered 5,096,629 men, of which more than 4 million were stationed in metropolitan France.

For comparison's sake, the Germans had 5,600,000 men in the Wehrmacht on 31.5.1940.

IMO, France's defeat was very much contingent on planning and operational decisions.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Jan 2021 09:48
In 1914 the small BEF had arguably made the difference; in 1939 it should have been obvious (it was to Lloyd George) that Germany would not have a second front and therefore a larger initial BEF was necessary.
Given that Britain only introduced conscription in May 1939, I'd argue that until quite late the British were planning to avoid the outbreak of war.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Jan 2021 09:48
So if Britain wanted an anti-Hitler coalition excluding Stalin - for all practical purposes this was Chamberlain's wont - then it had to step up and provide a substitute for Russia or France would be beaten. Germany was, after all, about twice as large in population and economy as France in 1939. It was simply inexcusable for Britain to have contributed only 10 divisions to that fight.
It's not clear to me that Britain wanted an anti-Hitler coalition until Prague. After that, they had just one year to begin forming their ground component from scratch.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Jan 2021 09:48
It was excusable if one accepts that Britain needed to focus on air/sea forces to keep its boot on the necks of 500 million black/brown people worldwide, especially when others (i.e. Japan) wanted to replace the British boot with their own. But I don't accept that excuse, especially as weighed against the necessity of stopping Hitler.
I don't think the necessity of stopping Hitler was self-evident from the vantage point of British politicians of the era. I'd even argue that stopping Hitler through war was not, in fact, necessary, and that Britain's decision to extend a guarantee to Poland was a mistake.

To clarify on that last point: I am not basing that on Buchanan's dumb, immoral book.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Jan 2021 09:48
...but I also don't see my mistake changing the basic picture of Britain outproducing Germany in total real war production in 1941, as adding "trains" to "guns and small arms" doesn't obviate Britain's advantage in all the other categories I listed. Furthermore, even were trains to push Germany over the top marginally in total 1941 war production, it's hard to judge it sufficient to explain away Germany's edge in total economic size even after the military personnel differential.
I half remember seeing a table showing Britain's armaments/munitions output at 6.5 billion international dollars in 1941, and Germany's at 6.0.

Anyone has it?

More generally, the military personnel differential, combined with the much higher share of German population employed in agriculture, seems like a satisfactory explanation to me. IMO, the very similar share of their respective populations employed in the non-agriculture, non-military, non-armaments sector buttresses the demonstration.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Jan 2021 09:48
But we should be talking proportions instead of absolute numbers. There's no reason to think that Germany needed a larger proportion sustaining the civilian economy at similar levels of mobilization.
Well, I did:

Germany: 22,301,000 / 80,245,500 = 27.8%
United Kingdom: 14,208,700 / 48,216,000 = 29.5%
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Jan 2021 09:48
In fact, there's some relief to the civilian economic burden by mobilizing more men: soldiers don't spend as much at grocery stores, furniture shops, and cinemas: their provisions, housing, and amusements are generally placed on the military accounts. The predominance of soldier pay and of soldier provisioning in German early-war military expenditures probably conceals a further aspect of under-mobilization, in that the German civilian economy was mostly relieved of feeding/housing/amusing millions more men when these burdens were transferred to the military.
My calculation does not account for just the German civilian economy, though: it's a simple count of the labor force not employed in agriculture, metalworking industries producing for the armed forces (primarily, but not exclusively, weapons and ammunition), and the armed forces themselves.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Jan 2021 09:48
Your German population stats appear to be for prewar Germany rather than Greater Germany+Protectorate.
They are, I can confirm. Sadly I've never seen a series with data for the Greater Reich. In fact, your data point for 1943 is the first time I ever see one that shows more than the labor force for the territories held before 1.9.1939.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Jan 2021 09:48
The geographical delimitation of the Reich is a statistical issue that a lot of the historiography ignores but shouldn't.
I agree in a general sense, but I don't think it much changes the picture here.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Jan 2021 09:48
Greater Germany's workforce was substantially larger than USSBS's stats for prewar Germany (as documented in my cite last post).
Well, here's the data from USSBS for the pre-war borders (closest dates to your document):

31.5.1943: 36,527,000 workers
31.5.1944: 35,831,000 workers

The document you linked to shows a total of 41,132,000 workers for the third quarter of 1943. That's a difference of 4,605,000 - 5,301,000, which is in line with an annexed population of roughly 10 - 12 million (annexed Polish territories, Alsace-Lorraine, Eupen-Malmedy and Luxemburg).

If we dig into the details, we see that a majority - 2,732,000 to 2,848,000 - are employed in agriculture and forestry, i.e. are primarily Polish peasants essential to the food supply.

294,000 to 608,000 are working in various administrative and service roles. Presumably the share from the population of the territories annexed in the West and from the Volksdeutsch minority would be higher here.

In terms of industry, we have data for pre-war Germany dated 30.9.1943. A comparison gives us 287,000 miners for the annexed territories, almost a quarter of the total workforce. This is consistent with other data showing the importance of Polish Silesia to bituminous coal output.

For steel production, the difference is also significant, 117,000 out of 552,000, or one-fifth. Again, this is consistent with other data showing that Polish Silesia, Alsace-Lorraine and Luxemburg accounted for a growing share of German steel production (~17% in 1941 and ~19% in 1942, the last year for which the data isn't included in a pre-war area).

As would be expected, all that extra production required significant transport assets. Thus, the difference for transport is 282,000 - 247,000, i.e. ~10% of the total for areas including a similar share of the population.

Finally, the metalworking industries differential is only 107,000, 2% of the total. This is in line with the rest of the picture: the annexed areas were essentially providing raw materials to the Altreich in the form of food, coal and steel.

If we add ~2 million non-agricultural workers to our previous balance, we get for mid-1941:

Germany: ~24,301,000 / ~91,245,500 = 26.6%
United Kingdom: 14,208,700 / 48,216,000 = 29.5%

Again, this gives us little reason to assume that Germany was under-mobilized compared to Britain in 1941. Now, I agree with you that they could have done more in preparation for Barbarossa, but IMO their mistake lay mainly in not systematically mobilizing European manpower before the campaign petered out in front of Moscow.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 31 Jan 2021 07:41

KDF33 wrote:To deploy a larger BEF in 1940 would have required different decisions in the mid to late 30s.
Agreed but the British post-WW1 aversion to large land armies was operative in the '30's as well.

I'm not, btw, unsympathetic to that disposition. WW1 was an insane, nearly civilization-destroying event and only someone as insane as Hitler would have wanted a do-over.
KDF33 wrote:The French mobilization of 1939-40 was massive, and on 1.5.1940 the French armed forces numbered 5,096,629 men, of which more than 4 million were stationed in metropolitan France.

For comparison's sake, the Germans had 5,600,000 men in the Wehrmacht on 31.5.1940.

IMO, France's defeat was very much contingent on planning and operational decisions.
I've been praising France all along; IMO they did basically all that could be expected of them and I don't buy the Vichy-tinged explanations that French culture - "Gide and Proust" - were responsible for their loss. They built more and better tanks than Germany; the Maginot Line did what was intended and did it well.

There's some contingency in the rapidity of French collapse but not, IMO, in France losing rapidly to Germany absent more allied help (say by the end of 1940 at the latest). Germany was more effective, per man, in WW1 and should have been expected to be so in 1940. That the French mobilized manpower was close to German reinforces the picture of overall inferiority (plus the British didn't know that - certainly not around 1937/8 when rearmament started).
KDF33 wrote:Given that Britain only introduced conscription in May 1939, I'd argue that until quite late the British were planning to avoid the outbreak of war.
Yes, there's an argument that Chamberlain still hoped to avoid general warfare in the West as late as April/May 1940. IMO appeasement lasted well into 1939; Chamberlain rebuffing a Soviet alliance was part and parcel of that. Good discussion in "End of the Low Dishonest Decade": https://www.webdepot.umontreal.ca/Usage ... honest.pdf
KDF33 wrote:It's not clear to me that Britain wanted an anti-Hitler coalition until Prague. After that, they had just one year to begin forming their ground component from scratch.
It's not clear to me that many in the British establishment - particularly Chamberlain - ever wanted an anti-Hitler coalition. The article I cited contains hints - that's all that could be said though those in the game would have known - that Chamberlain hoped to divert Hitler to fighting the SU. There's little insight into Chamberlain's gaurantee in the historical record; it seems an impulsive action taken by someone temporarily wishing to remove the stain of humiliation.
KDF33 wrote:I don't think the necessity of stopping Hitler was self-evident from the vantage point of British politicians of the era. I'd even argue that stopping Hitler through war was not, in fact, necessary, and that Britain's decision to extend a guarantee to Poland was a mistake.
Agreed insofar as Hitler could have been stopped by an explicit collective security agreement including the SU. This is what Stalin wanted all along.

Curious what your non-war path to stopping Hitler (or avoiding such necessity) would have been. (and yes, Buchanan's book is ridiculous)
KDF33 wrote:I half remember seeing a table showing Britain's armaments/munitions output at 6.5 billion international dollars in 1941, and Germany's at 6.0.
International prices is a dicey measure of war production but in broad terms that's ballpark for the differential I see. Again, my impression is based on Britain being able even to match German output, let alone exceed it.
KDF33 wrote:IMO, the very similar share of their respective populations employed in the non-agriculture, non-military, non-armaments sector buttresses the demonstration.
At base I doubt we have sufficient resolution to say with high precision what portions of the non-ag, non-military sector can properly be defined "non-armaments" because of the complexity of flows into the armaments factories and difficulties in defining even armaments employment (touch labor only? administrative staff? Re admin, what portion counted if a firm builds military and civilian goods? sub-subcontractors included? - Speer's ministry couldn't get a handle on that factor even with a large staff...).

I've referenced the problems with properly identifying armaments workers several times and referenced Tooze, here's a longish quote from his Statistics and German State:
Over the summer of 1944, the Planungsamt worked feverishly on a
second draft of the Gesamtplan, the aim being to finish the historical
analysis of 1943 before going on to a comprehensive plan for the first
half of 1945. The result was an expanded version of WagenfuÈhr's early
draft, which was much more comprehensive in its coverage of inputs.85
The labour force was divided between industry and the craft sector.
Lignite and coal consumption were specified separately. There was a
column for gas inputs. Lead, zinc, copper and aluminium were all
accounted for alongside steel. Wood requirements were specified. There
was also a double column recording levels of investment in machinery
and buildings and a complex breakdown of transport requirements. In
all, 23 categories of inputs were itemized for each line of production.
However, the fundamental problem remained unsolved. Labour was
still counted only at the final assembly stage. The only components
accurately accounted for were those produced in tied sub-contracting
relationships. Huge volumes of labour directed towards armaments
production remained unmeasured. The DIW itself sought to provide a
check on the physical accounts using the method of national income
statistics.86 On a rough estimate, it seemed probable that at least 20 per
cent of German national income was being spent on armaments in
1943. Yet the Gesamtplan for 1943 recorded only 4.6 per cent of the
workforce as being involved in the final production of weapons and
ammunition.
[Tooze is a good scholar, btw, only when he's making ideological points do I see him falling flat]

As I'm focused on a missing 4% of GDP, the normal variance of these factors seems likely to drown out the signal - which is one reason that two folks looking at the same data might draw different conclusions.

It's also central to my argument that German inefficiency and under-mobilization are not, as much historiography has it, two separate categories. The Germans were inefficient into mid-war because the same pre-Moscow political attitudes that prevented ending prestige building projects (very small factor) also prevented the combing out of labor and other production rationalization (very large factor). German labor inefficiency partially resulted from prewar makework programs aimed as much at unemployment as rearmament. The Germans knew this and didn't fix it; the British didn't have such a prewar dynamic (any sources, btw, on British closures in the civilian economy?).

A focus on inputs as measures of relative performance will of course not address the efficiency with which those inputs were used.
KDF33 wrote:I agree with you that they could have done more in preparation for Barbarossa, but IMO their mistake lay mainly in not systematically mobilizing European manpower before the campaign petered out in front of Moscow.
Four main sources, IMO, of "could have done more" for Barbarossa:

1. Slightly higher input mobilization.
2. Rationalization/efficiency measures adopted later but discussed extensively earlier by Todt, Thomas, et. al. (GSWW v.5/1)
3. Shift of resources from LW/KM to Heer.
4. Mobilize Europe sooner/better.

So far our discussion has mostly focused on #1 but I've only ever argued a 10% differential there and I remain skeptical of our ability - my ability at least - properly to trace that differential through sectoral employment stats.

#2 is the most important but the most difficult to describe.

Any of the foregoing would be sufficient; that you disagree on #1 doesn't change our conclusion on the thread topic.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Yoozername » 31 Jan 2021 08:08

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
30 Jan 2021 20:39

I'm no panzer expert, clearly, but he also describes [p.115] that 21 Panzer Divisions existed in summer 1941; two were in Africa, 17 were designated to Barbarossa and two more were 'being reorganised and refitted'. I've also read somewhere over the last couple of days that several of the Barbarossa panzer divisions had relatively short and inadequate training periods but now can't find that quote again, sorry. All suggests that there would have been a multi-dimensional challenge to the theory that more tanks = more panzer divisions.

Edited to add: Found it. :D

Same source, p.113:
In fact, the preparation of the German motorised and panzer divisions was far from perfect, with Halder noting in his diary five weeks prior to the campaign: 'we will be lucky if we're finished with their equipping; the training of the last equipped divisions will in any case be incomplete. Ultimately, shortcomings in training affected no fewer than six of the 13 motorised infantry divisions and two of the panzer divisions (20th and 18th, both committed to Army Group Centre.
Regards

Tom
A major issue, not sure if it has really been touched on in this thread, is that the E-F-G 'versions' of the Panzer III used a transmission that was really questionable. Sort of another case of a 'High Church' design decision. Since these versions were the initial 'high' production attempts at this AFV. And that major component was dropped in the later H+ models (and it was not something easily upgraded like the 5,0 cm L42 gun), we have another recipe for disaster. I have read that the last G models (some 200) were canceled. So much for Summer of 1940 for them. There is some discussion as far as these E-F-G models and what they actually ended up as since it was pretty loose on the contract lines what the latest mods were. Perhaps better discussed elsewhere.

The variorex setup featured 10 speeds forward gears. This would give the Panzer III a capability of supposedly 70 Km/h speeds. Unfortunately, the tracks and wheels could not maintain this for any period of time. And the SOP was that the 2 top gears are just a means to increase fuel economy by lugging along at a low RPM and keeping the speeds down! Given that the Panzer III used a torsion bar suspension, perhaps not only the 10 speeder was not needed, but also not the torsion bars? Certainly the uparmoring and upgunning also added weight to the frisky panzer III.

The H 'model' (and later) went with a 6 speed normal tank transmission, and this actually makes an issue of what model Panzer III you have, and spare parts for a major component. I suspect the Panzer III fleet had versions with 3,7 cm guns as well as 5,0 cm, and also different transmissions, but hopefully common motors? I would assume that earlier A-D models were not in the PD, and were used for training or target practice.

They say the Devil is in the details. They say only dogs smell a skunk twice. But the Germans could not help themselves and the Panther probably was an attempt to get all the bells and whistles in also.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 31 Jan 2021 09:27

Some passages from GSWW vol.4 document the relaxed attitude towards equipping the Ostheer in 1940:

There was,
however, thanks to an accumulated stockpile in certain areas, some latitude in
light weapons, ammunition, and army equipment, so that production efforts
could be focused on areas o f deficiency. Because the Army High Command
did not consider a major effort necessary for the campaign in the east
, the chief
of ground-force armaments accepted the new armaments programme,
labelled ‘B ’, which only slightly exceeded the programme of 9 July 1940, now
named ‘A ’ . In his deliberations, therefore, he did not proceed, from an ideal
target for equipping the 1941 field army:, instead, the army weapons department
examined manufacturing facilities to determine what production could
be accomplished by 31 March 1941. Next, the army’s general department was
to examine ‘to what extent the shortfall can be made good by drawing on
booty or by a cut in equipment’ .3
The chief of land-force armaments therefore saw no reason for antagonizing
the other Wehrmacht services
, even though the production programme
worked out by him39’ was based on the optimistic assumption that production
capacities would be fully taken up and that an appropriate allocation of raw
materials and manpower was possible. Provided the army asserted itself more
forcibly in the valid system of priorities, and provided no major capacities were
lost as a result of enemy air raids, he estimated that the material prerequisites
for the wartime army demanded by Hitler could be ‘essentially’ fulfilled by 1
May 1941. A few gaps would admittedly have to be expected in meeting the
targets for weapons and equipment, but these might be offset by a reduced
level of equipment of the units. The ammunition situation also seemed to him
to present no problems. Even if the twelve-months’ stockpile on top of the
initial issue was not achieved by the stipulated date, there would at least be
sufficient stocks to bridge such time as it took for current production to catch
up with expected consumption.
Even after production problems emerged - largely owing to OKW's inability to deliver sufficient raw materials to army producers - there was still no sense of urgency:
Immediately following the conclusion of Molotov’s visit Hitler summoned
those responsible for land-force armaments to report to him. He wanted to get
an idea of the present state and the prospects of armaments production. By
then there was no question that drastic intervention was necessary,4'6 Although
he took note of the fact that only about half o f the 300,000 servicemen he had
ordered to be released had in fact been made available by the army for the
armaments industry, Hitler did not wish to make any changes to the scale of
the programme. He merely gave orders that, wherever stocks and consumption permitted, the target dates were to be postponed. Hitler also believed that
by switching more civilian production to the occupied territories he could free
an additional 100,000 workers for munitions.
At the same time he once more called for the production of specific weapons
to be increased, such as the 88-mm. anti-aircraft gun
...instead of ordering more resources to army production to redress production shortfalls, he ordered an increase to Flak production.

...because German leaders WERE NOT WORRIED about Barbarossa.

More from OKW during December 1940:
Since the backlog in the army’s equipment for the eastern
campaign was not regarded either by Hitler or by the Army High Command
as sufficiently serious to warrant special steps
for the preparation and execution of that campaign,
the Wehrmacht High Command encountered no
opposition when it demanded priority for Luftwaffe and naval armaments at
the expense of the land forces. Top priority was to be given, in Jodi’s view, to
anything needed for the ‘ siege of Britain: U-boats, torpedoes, mines, and light
naval forces, bombers, and air-dropped ammunition’; next came the strengthening of
air defences in Germany, while the army’s requirements came only in
third place.*'* In Jodi’s opinion the operations in the east could be ‘easily
conducted’ with the material strength available.
Of particular relevance to this thread:
The consequences of that decision, needless to say, also affected the army’s
main programmes, even though they were included in the top priority class.
Thus, tank production alone was short of over 6,000 skilled workers in January
1941
Did the Heer object to being so sidelined in advance of facing the world's largest army? No, of course not:
the Army High Command saw no reason to call for
greater weight to be given to it in overall armaments production...

The Army High Command therefore confined itself to releasing some
manpower and raw materials through rearrangements within programme В—
mainly through cut-backs in the production of ammunition and artillery
pieces
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 31 Jan 2021 09:38

Tom from Cornwall wrote: David Stahel's 'Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East'
The result was a prioritisation of equipment with the army favouring its much needed Mark III and Mark IV tanks in addition to the new 50 mm anti-tank gun.
Stahel has no view of the administrative picture here. Panzer and KwK prioritization was an intra-army matter: the army moved resources from ammo and art'y towards tanks [see last block of text in previous post].

What was needed, by contrast, was more resources in army hands - not a shuffling of small resources within army production.

The context that Stahel is missing is set forth in GSWW volumes 4 & 5/1 and the documents cited therein.

As one of the most popular current writers on the Eastern Front, Stahel is poisoning minds with a superficial and selective reading of the German sources.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 31 Jan 2021 09:46

KDF33 wrote:I half remember seeing a table showing Britain's armaments/munitions output at 6.5 billion international dollars in 1941, and Germany's at 6.0.
Great recall. Reproduced in GSWW v.4:

Image

...there's a reason I'm arguing about 1941 instead of 1940: German ammo production in 1940 (first three quarters) was excellent. What's more, it happened because Hitler decided it had to happen and set someone up to do it for him (Todt). Just as with the later Adolf Hitler Panzer Program. For all the Nazi regime's inefficiency and infighting, if Hitler concentrated on making a thing happen everybody else pretty much fell in line.

Every country - belligerent or not - saw a great upswing in 1941 production except Germany, which didn't notice its strategic situation until nearly 1942.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 31 Jan 2021 10:04

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
31 Jan 2021 09:27
The Army High Command therefore confined itself to releasing some
manpower and raw materials through rearrangements within programme В—
mainly through cut-backs in the production of ammunition and artillery
pieces
Just want to emphasize again that the several folks in this thread who deny any fungibility of resource commitments between different weapons are completely ahistorical, completely wrong.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 31 Jan 2021 12:22

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
31 Jan 2021 09:38
Stahel has no view of the administrative picture here. Panzer and KwK prioritization was an intra-army matter: the army moved resources from ammo and art'y towards tanks [see last block of text in previous post].

What was needed, by contrast, was more resources in army hands - not a shuffling of small resources within army production.

The context that Stahel is missing is set forth in GSWW volumes 4 & 5/1 and the documents cited therein.
TMP,

Interesting points, thanks. Of course, I would suggest that the rebuilding of the LW after Battle of France and Battle of Britain was also essential to Barbarossa but the devil of the detail for LW priorities would be how far the perceived need to compete in Air-Naval warfare diminished the resources allocated to Air-Land warfare, if at all in the period in question. Does O'Brien comment on this period?
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
31 Jan 2021 09:27
...instead of ordering more resources to army production to redress production shortfalls, he ordered an increase to Flak production.
Those pin-prick raids by RAF Bomber Command in autumn of 1940 certainly paid a useful dividend then.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
31 Jan 2021 09:27
...because German leaders WERE NOT WORRIED about Barbarossa.
Agreed, and in hindsight enormously baffling.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
31 Jan 2021 09:27
Top priority was to be given, in Jodi’s view, to
anything needed for the ‘ siege of Britain: U-boats, torpedoes, mines, and light
naval forces, bombers, and air-dropped ammunition’; next came the strengthening of
air defences in Germany, while the army’s requirements came only in
third place.*
Is that priority recommendation actually visible in the production statistics across the various armaments sectors?
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
31 Jan 2021 07:41
(any sources, btw, on British closures in the civilian economy?)
I think it was a bit of a mixed bag. There were vast new Royal Ordnance Factories (i.e. government built and owned) and also 'shadow factories' for aircraft engine production, for example, that were owned by the government but run by car makers. The most recent secondary source that I can think of is David Edgerton's 'Britain's War Machine' (pp.200-201 for above) but it has been ten years since I read it. Anecdotally, British tanks were built by organisations such as locomotive works and car makers, and early models used bus engines, so there was clearly some diversion going on!

Regards

Tom

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

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 31 Jan 2021 14:12

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
27 Jan 2021 17:40

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Jan 2021 08:04
OTL WW2: Britian wins with ~1/3 of the losses but France will lose, 6mil Jewish deaths in the Holocaust, ~40mil more global deaths than last war, etc.
So, are you saying the outcome of WW2 was the UK’s fault? And the Holocaust? And the French Army’s planning for and conduct of the defence of France in 1940? And the Soviet Union’s conduct of both its foreign policy and military planning and conduct? And the decisions made by the leaders of Italy and Japan?

Sweet!!
Why must we to make Britain guilty on holocaust when not prepare big army for to defend France on 1940.year ?

Everything what tmp was write can to be change on Amerika.

I wonder whether others share the following intuition:

A genie presents Amerika/John Dow with a choice of two wishes:

1. 1939-1943 will be 1914-1918 all over again. You will help stop Germany east of the Seine but will lose 900,000 men.

2. OTL WW2: Amerika wins with ~1/3 of the losses but France will lose, 6mil Jewish deaths in the Holocaust, ~40mil more global deaths than last war, etc.

...it seems obvious that the Amerika would choose #2

Amerika had spent enough on rearmament to build a strong army in France - another 20 divisions or so and they likely hold long enough for the Red or Britain armies to intervene or for Empire material to make the difference. But Amerika had no appetite for such a contribution to the war, was willing to bet on the dubious proposition that war profiteer would be decisive they made themselves believe a theory of warfare that suited national interests over coalition interests

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

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 31 Jan 2021 20:20

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
31 Jan 2021 09:38
The context that Stahel is missing is set forth in GSWW volumes 4 & 5/1 and the documents cited therein.
Thanks, been reading GSWW Vol 4 'The Equipment of the Eastern Army' (pages 199-224) which covers this subject in some detail. In fact so much detail that it will take quite a few readings to get to grips with.

Had a very quick look at the section about the German air force and (p.354) whatever priority was given to LW production doesn't seem to have had much of an impact on planned production figures. Interesting stuff. Looks like the LW was excessively complacent too.

Regards

Tom

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 31 Jan 2021 22:22

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
31 Jan 2021 14:12

Everything what tmp was write can to be change on Amerika.
Absolutely not.

My country did almost nothing.

Britain at least made a serious contribution of lives and treasure.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 01 Feb 2021 02:21

Tom from Cornwall wrote:I would suggest that the rebuilding of the LW after Battle of France and Battle of Britain was also essential to Barbarossa but the devil of the detail for LW priorities would be how far the perceived need to compete in Air-Naval warfare diminished the resources allocated to Air-Land warfare, if at all in the period in question.
Re diminishment of land warfare resources, the evidence adduced in this thread seems overwhelming. For example, the upthread USSBS chart showing that army share of ammo production dipped to 22% in 4Q '41 (versus 58% in 1Q '40 and 63-67% from '43 onwards).
Tom from Cornwall wrote:Does O'Brien comment on this period?
Not that I recall. HWwW is more broad-strokes - a strength and weakness. It wouldn't suit O'Brien's thesis on the relative insignificance of land warfare to note the variance of German shares devoted to it, as this would raise uncomfortable questions about potentially decisive alternative outcomes.
Tom from Cornwall wrote:Those pin-prick raids by RAF Bomber Command in autumn of 1940 certainly paid a useful dividend then.
Possibly but entirely sure about that. As Westermann's Flak discusses, Hitler was committed to Flak as central to air defence from before the war. As his armaments program was blase about air defense in 1943, it's hard to believe that a few minor attacks directly caused him to divert resources from army to air defense ahead of Barbarossa. More likely it reflects the inertia of the prewar plan to enhance Flak plus a complete lack of concern over Barbarossa in 1940 (in Spring 1941, however, Hitler began having some second thoughts).
Tom from Cornwall wrote:Is that priority recommendation actually visible in the production statistics across the various armaments sectors?
Again I have to reference the evidence already discussed in this thread, such as the KM getting 28% of German weapons production in '41. The picture is obvious to me, not sure what else would be convincing.
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