Could the Axis nations have pooled manufacturing resources?

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MarkF617
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Could the Axis nations have pooled manufacturing resources?

Post by MarkF617 » 28 Jul 2021 10:53

Hello,

During Ww2 the Allies pooled their manufacturing resources for better efficiency. Some examples:

US sending the SU such things as trucks and railway engines allowing more of Soviet manufacturing to be dedicated to tanks.

US and Britain agreed that Britain would reduce their tank building in order to build large objects such as cranes that were difficult to ship accross the Atlantic. The shortfall in tank production would be made up by US models which were easily shipped accross the Atlantic.

My question is could/should the Axis have done the same? I believe that the smaller Axis nations couldn"t produce heavy tanks could these nations have concentrated on building, for example, trucks, half tracks and other light vehicles allowing Germany to concentrate on heavier vehicles?

While I am sure there are many other savings the Allies made and even more that the Axis could make these are what came to mind whilst writing.

Thanks

Mark.
You know you're British when you drive your German car to an Irish pub for a pint of Belgian beer before having an Indian meal. When you get home you sit on your Sweedish sofa and watch American programs on your Japanese TV.

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Could the Axis nations have pooled manufacturing resources?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 01 Aug 2021 07:52

MarkF617 wrote:
28 Jul 2021 10:53
During Ww2 the Allies pooled their manufacturing resources for better efficiency. Some examples:

US sending the SU such things as trucks and railway engines allowing more of Soviet manufacturing to be dedicated to tanks.
To make this an efficiency argument you'd have to show an American comparative advantage in trucks and locomotives versus tanks. It's a feasible argument but lacks any evidence in your post and any that I can think of.

US subsidy of Soviet fighting was not based on production efficiency. Rather, it was based on the bald fact that only/primarily (depending on date) the Soviets were actually fighting the German army, and that the US had an embarrassment of idle riches while the poor Soviet peasants/workers were dying by millions to pull the West's chestnuts from the fire.
MarkF617 wrote: My question is could/should the Axis have done the same? I believe that the smaller Axis nations couldn"t produce heavy tanks could these nations have concentrated on building, for example, trucks, half tracks and other light vehicles allowing Germany to concentrate on heavier vehicles?

While I am sure there are many other savings the Allies made and even more that the Axis could make these are what came to mind whilst writing.
I understand the intuition behind the question but don't see much missed payout here. If anything, the less-sophisticated economies should have been focused on turning raw materials into less-sophisticated (per weight of input) items like shells and heavier vehicles. The more-sophisticated products (per weight of input) like aircraft, radar, and light vehicles should have been left to Germany.

The planned Iwan Program in occupied Ukraine reflects this logic - Germany intended to outsource there much shell production. As it turned out, Germany lost the Iwan Program's geography and most of its capital expenditure to RKKA just before its investment was scheduled to come online.

Had Germany defeated the SU, circumstances would have arisen in which she would have been able - and almost certainly willing - to ensure Japan's continued diversion of much Allied effort to the Pacific. Germany could have, e.g., sent a small amount of land weapons via TSRR to ensure IJA's conquest of China and possibly India. IJA had only 15,000 trucks in its 1944 Ichi-Go offensive, which nearly collapsed Chiang's government and probably ensured its later loss to the Communists (great irony of WW2 is both anti-communist powers enabled communism to own most of Eurasia). Similarly, German aviation production could have shown massive returns if invested in, e.g., cheap piloted V1's for kamikaze attacks around the Mariana and Ryuku Islands.
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MarkF617
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Re: Could the Axis nations have pooled manufacturing resources?

Post by MarkF617 » 01 Aug 2021 13:58

Not much time to reply at the moment so:

The British building heavy/bulky stuff while using American tanks is not an argument of mine, it was an agreement made between the 2 countries to ease shipping. (The Americans wanted the British to cease all tank building but they, fortunately, refused). They would not have done this if there was no shipping benefit.

I partially agree about Germany building the technical stuff but I read somewhere (sorry don't remember where) that the smaller countries (or at least some of them) could only build light tanks as that was all their industry could handle. In this case it makes sense for them to build the light stuff and Germany the heavy stuff. My main point, as I don't know which countries could produce what, is that production is spread over the Axis countries to ensure maximum production of useful items and limitation of things such as outdated tanks/aitcraft.

One last point is to point out that this is not a what if to give the Axis a victory. No matter what they did they would lose. There would be no victory in the east and no sending stuff over land to Japan. Please stick to what did happen and what could be done within reality. Any improvements made would at most cause more casualties and maybe delay the end by a short time.

Thanks

Mark
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Re: Could the Axis nations have pooled manufacturing resources?

Post by nota » 02 Aug 2021 00:26

could they or would they

I am sure they could IF they wanted to do so

but as the axis was more like a herd of cats
or maybe a bit less organized then that

all that points to real BIG WHAT IF
the axis was as united in aims and ambitions as the allied powers were

my war winning move in that case is
japan's fleet attacks england in late summer 1940 along with all of the euro axis's ships and boats aircraft ect
not so much about who would build what and more about use what we have NOW to best effect at the moment
holding nothing back 100% all in right then
but we know they didnot even think of it

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Re: Could the Axis nations have pooled manufacturing resources?

Post by MarkF617 » 02 Aug 2021 09:48

No. This is not a war winning move this is pure fantasy. Please stick to what is realistic.

Thanks

Mark.
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MarkF617
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Re: Could the Axis nations have pooled manufacturing resources?

Post by MarkF617 » 02 Aug 2021 09:53

I did hear on an audio book (on a knifes edge by Prit Buttar) this morning that 2 reasons Germany didn't supply the satellite nations with too much equipment was that until Stalingrad they thought they would win do it wasn't necessary.
The second being they didn't want to arm potential future enemies. With this sort of thinking no real co-operation is ever possible.

Thanks

Mark.
You know you're British when you drive your German car to an Irish pub for a pint of Belgian beer before having an Indian meal. When you get home you sit on your Sweedish sofa and watch American programs on your Japanese TV.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Could the Axis nations have pooled manufacturing resources?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 02 Aug 2021 11:42

Hi MarkF617,

This was, to a degree, done, though far too late. For example, both Hungary and Romania were producing Bf109Gs by 1944. Hungary was supplying locally built Me210s to Germany and there were plans to use the Romanian Maresal chassis as the basis for a self propelled anti-aircraft gun mount for use by the Germans as well. Bulgaria built dozens of MFP ferries for the Germans in the Black Sea. The Czech and Slovak economies were almost entirely integrated into those of the Reich. Even French factories were manufacturing Fiesler Storchs.

However, the manufacturing bases of most of these countries was too small, even collectively, to make much difference to wider outcomes, no matter how closely integrated with those of the Reich.

For political reasons, Germany never had the same long term dominance over the one ally with a fairly substantial industrial base that might have been of significant use - Italy. Moreover, any transition to manufacturing German equipment would be disruptive and take time. Indeed, in 1945 Kesselring had plans to make the German Italian front almost self-sufficient by continuing to manufacture Italian armaments for issue to locally deployed German troops.

However, all these projects were attempted too late in the war to make any great difference, even where implemented.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Could the Axis nations have pooled manufacturing resources?

Post by thaddeus_c » 02 Aug 2021 12:05

Sid Guttridge wrote:
02 Aug 2021 11:42
This was, to a degree, done, though far too late. For example, both Hungary and Romania were producing Bf109Gs by 1944. Hungary was supplying locally built Me210s to Germany

For political reasons, Germany never had the same long term dominance over the one ally with a fairly substantial industrial base that might have been of significant use - Italy.
I've always thought they could have built a fairly decent aircraft production in Hungary. handed off the HE-123 & Bf-110 to them, as both were being phased out, but as it turns out both continued to be used?

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Re: Could the Axis nations have pooled manufacturing resources?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 02 Aug 2021 13:03

Hi Thaddeus,

While obsolescent aircraft types might go out of production, the machine tools that made them remain useful for building other aircraft. If the machine tools for building the Hs123 and Me110 were sent to Hungary, they couldn't be used to make more advanced types in Germany. The Germans hoovered up machine tools from all over occupied Europe to expand their own production.

Cheers,

Sid.

nota
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Re: Could the Axis nations have pooled manufacturing resources?

Post by nota » 02 Aug 2021 19:21

very much depends on if you want a real possible war winning what if
or just ideas that allow the axis to lose more slowly then in real history

the one and only win is take out the pre-allied nations one by one
before they can put together a united front

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Re: Could the Axis nations have pooled manufacturing resources?

Post by nota » 02 Aug 2021 19:38

as to your basic question
no for japan almost anything they could make would never get to europe
as would any euro product be sunk on the long trip to the far east

long lance torpedo was a good surface ship weapon but not used in subs
euro axis did not have many surface ships to use the long lance on

unless you get the USSR in the axis or semi allied with them to ship thru
no real safe way to get to the far east and back

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Re: Could the Axis nations have pooled manufacturing resources?

Post by MarkF617 » 03 Aug 2021 09:03

This is not meant to be a what if. I will re-itterate that no matter what the Axis powers do they lose. It is meant to be a simple exercise to see how the Axis nations could pulled together to rationalise their production to build more of fewer and better designs. I was thinking of the European Axis as, as you pointed out, Japan was on their own. At best they could swap designs.
As I have since descovered that basic arrogance and paranoia on the part of Germany meant this was never going to happen until a late war panic when they finally admitted to themselves that they were doomed.
This is just another example where the Allies were superior.

Thanks

Mark.
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Re: Could the Axis nations have pooled manufacturing resources?

Post by Peter89 » 03 Aug 2021 17:15

Generally, the Germans did not run an economy which aimed mutual coexistence and prosperity.

I can go into the details about Hungary and aircraft production... but it doesn't really worth the breath. What the Germans actually did was to absorb the highly industrialized parts of the late Austro-Hungarian Empire, and used the rest as raw material sources. The whole area from Finland to Greece suffered from a lack of capital, so it is not really a question whether the "Axis" could have done it better, because they could. The good question here is whether they ever wanted to disperse manufacturing, invest heavily in other nationalities as they spent on themselves, and the answer for that is no.
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Re: Could the Axis nations have pooled manufacturing resources?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Aug 2021 18:54

Hi Peter89,

I would suggest that the Germans did want to invest abroad - provided they controlled and owned the plants and their output. In Romania the Hermann Goering Werke took over the largest industrial group in the country, Malaxa, and renamed it Rogifer. (I think the "Ro" was for Romania, the "g" for "Germania" and "ifer" for the Romanian for iron - "fier".) In Slovakia the HGW also took over all the previously Czech-owned industrial plants. Hungary's largest industrial enterprise, Manfred Weiss, had also been taken over from its Jewish owners by Himmler's SS-Wirtschafts-und-Verwaltungshauptamt by August 1944. (If I remember correctly, its output of aircraft was split 2:1 in favour of Germany since well before this). The Koralovag shipyard in Bulgaria, which produced MFP ferries for the Wehrmacht, was owned by the German Viking Schiffbau-Gesellschaft.

Cheers,

Sid.
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 03 Aug 2021 20:16, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Could the Axis nations have pooled manufacturing resources?

Post by Peter89 » 03 Aug 2021 20:06

Sid Guttridge wrote:
03 Aug 2021 18:54
Hi Peter89,

I would suggest that the Germans did want to invest abroad - provided they controlled and owned the plants and their output. In Romania the Hermann Goering Werke took over the largest industrial group in the country, Malaxa, and renamed it Rogifer. (I think the "Ro" was for Romania, the "g" for "Germania" and "ifer" for the Romanian for iron - "fier".) In Slovakia the HGW also took over all the previously Czech-owned industrial plants. Hungary's largest industrial enterprise, Manfred Weiss, had also been taken over from its Jewish owners by Himmler's SS-Wirtschafts-und-Verwaltungshauptamt by August 1944. (If I remember correctly, its output of aircraft was split 2:1 in favour of Germany since well before this). The Koralovag shipyard in Bulgaria, which produced MFP ferries for the Wehrmacht, was owned by the German Viking Schiffbau-Gesellschaft.

Cheers,

Sid.
They made some investments, there's no doubt about that. As long as it suited their immediate needs, they utilized local industrial capacities. Also, as they conquered Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, etc. they assumed the Austrian, Czech, French, etc. shareholder rights in the major industrial firms and banks in their minor allies' economies.

I am more familiar with the Hungarian and Yugoslav investments. In case of Romania, I only read Romania 1866-1947 by Keith Hitchins, which explicitly states that German capital played little to no part in the country's industry before late 1940, and that Germany did not even recover the positions she held before World War I.

We can make a case here; Germany was really successful in exploiting these countries, if we look on the picture from cost / benefit ratio. The Germans invested only a little and improved their raw material imports very effectively. On the other hand, Germany failed to "pool manufacturing resources", dispersing manufacturing industry or even rationalize raw material, food or semi-finished product production. In case of the Luftwaffe, 5 tons of bauxite produces 2 tons of alumina, which produces 1 ton of aluminum. And what did the Germans do? Transported the bauxite from Greece, Yugoslavia and Hungary to the Reich, although these countries had sufficient electric power, skilled workforce and willingness to build alumina refineries and aluminum foundries.

The same goes for food production. In Hungary, a large portion of the peasantry used scythes in harvesting, etc. there was basically no German investment. But when it came to areas under their administration? They invested into the worst quality lands in order to increase food production in the name of autarchy. What German investments took place in the region from Finland to Greece it always served their immediate interests, and useful local investments were only made when the local leadership insisted.

I could continue the list (what they did in manganese, chrome, oil, synthfuel, etc. production), but the picture is essentially the same as it is written in DRZW I. Their plans were quite eindeutig in the region of Bánát; it could give a hint to both the Romanians and Hungarians what they could expect from the Germans on the long haul.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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