glenn239 wrote:The only way I see the Axis getting anywhere near what you're suggesting is in alliance with the Soviet Union. Anything else seems fantastical.
Wondering whether I'm running into a point where you'll never consider contrary arguments quantitatively. It's fine if so, we all have those points. Maybe just let me know if so.
I'll give you an abbreviated version of the argument that German aircraft production could have been 4x its OTL peak and then will separately address ATL US production.
- First data point is German industrial+transport labor force in OTL 1944. Including transportation and encompassing Greater Germany, there were no more than 15mil people producing all of Germany's armaments, basic military equipment, and general industrial goods.
- Next data point is Germans drafted into military: 13mil by Sept. 44.
- Next data point is foreign laborers: 7.5mil in Sept. 44.
- Instead of 13mil Germans in the Wehrmacht (or KIA/MIA/disabled), ATL Germany needs only ~100 active divs to defend beaches. Germany would place soldiers on "temporary" armaments leave as it did in '40-'41 and call up a much larger army the Allies somehow secured a beachhead. Payout is only ~6mil Germans on active service and 7mil more German workers.
- Having conquered the SU, Germany has millions more workers to "recruit." Outside the SU, its better war fortunes encourage greater compliance with German "recruitment," whereas in OTL that Germany was going to lose made it harder to ensure compliance by workers who'd rather hide out until Germany was defeated. Doubling foreign labor supply would not have been hard under ATL conditions, especially given ATL specification of earlier foreign labor drive and consequently ensuring most Soviet PoW's didn't die or become too sick/malnourished to work. Payout: +7.5mil foreign workers.
...that's easily enough to double the entire industrial labor force
What implications from doubling industrial labor force?
First, far from all of German industrial production went to armaments. A great proportion went to basic equipment: ~1/4 of military labor force
engaged producing it during '40-'41. Basic common sense tells us that this was overwhelmingly concentrated on the army, as it's field soldiers who need basic military equipment. With the the number of ATL field soldiers drastically slashed, the basic equipment requirements would drastically decline as well.
Second, not all German industrial production went to armaments and basic equipment. Among other things, Germany had to maintain basic civilian needs, poured millions of tons of concrete for fortifications and (in '44) underground factories.
The long and short is that doubling total industrial labor force would easily 2x total armaments labor inputs
From total armaments inputs let's move to distribution
of such inputs.
In mid-44, aircraft's share of armaments output was 46.3%
. ATL it would be ~70% if nearly all ATL:OTL input deltas went to LW [ 1.463 / 2 = 73% ].
Payout: at least 3x the production input to aircraft manufacture.
Now let's move from aircraft inputs to aircraft outputs
by including productivity of inputs
has shown in his tables here
, the ratio of German:US productivity in aircraft manufacture (by weight of airframes) declined by 45% percent between February '43 (when RAF's Battle of the Ruhr started seriously damaging the war economy) and July '44 (when bombing damage/dispersal had become immensely disruptive and drafts
had taken a deep toll).
Given these massively deleterious effects on German aviation industry, it would be conservative to project 33% higher German productivity in ATL conditions where skilled aviation workers aren't drafted and when daylight strikes on specific factories in 1944 are largely stopped (as I think glenn239 concede would have been possible).
Combining 3x the inputs with 33% greater productivity gives us 4x the aircraft production.
Payout: 4x OTL German aircraft production.
Hopefully it's clear that in each of the foregoing analytical steps I have adopted very conservative parameters. 4x OTL German aircraft production is a conservative estimate, IMJ.
I recognize this is a surprising result and understand perceptions that it's fantastic. But I'm following the numbers and would encourage that approach to the issue.
What one should realize is there's a historically unique - superficially fantastic and morally terrible - dynamic underlying all of this: Germany's ability to "recruit" millions of foreigners into armaments production. The only historical analogue is colonial powers' ability to create a world-changing sugar/tobacco/cotton industry by enslaving millions of Africans, but even that took centuries whereas Germany was able to do it in a couple years.
While most people correctly intuit that the American economy was much larger than the German, what they usually miss is:
- The prewar continental European economy was significantly larger than America's and Germany possesses basically all of it in this ATL.
- Germany put more men under arms than the U.S. in WW2; soldiers have a production opportunity cost.
On the issue of greater-than-OTL American aircraft production my answer will be summary for now but, IMO, is sufficient to limit its feasible scope. Main points:
- US/UK almost certainly need larger land armies. US industrial labor force in 1944 was ~18mil. As US division slice was ~60k, raising another 50 US divisions would cost ~3mil men or >15% of US industrial labor force (agriculture can't be cut because soldiers need more food than workers). As a percentage of industrial production after civilian minimum, removing 3mil Americans from industry would cut armaments production significantly more than 15%.
- Because US/UK need larger armies than OTL, the proportion of (smaller) arms production going to aircraft would have to decline.
Taking those two factors together, it is extremely unlikely that US/UK could have produced more aircraft (by value) than it produced OTL. Indeed it is likely they would have produced less value.
As referenced upthread, I concede it would have been possible for US/UK to match German fighter production and total frames by abandoning the CBO.
TMP bookmark: argument summary on ATL German aircraft production