Cost of UBoats

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the submarine forces of the Kriegsmarine.
Paul Lakowski
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Cost of UBoats

Post by Paul Lakowski » 24 Jan 2005 00:45

Can any one tell me how expensive it was for the Germans to build Uboats from 1938 to 1945?

Are their any sites online that explore Uboat construction during this time period?

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Lars
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Re: Cost of UBoats

Post by Lars » 24 Jan 2005 16:15

Paul Lakowski wrote:Can any one tell me how expensive it was for the Germans to build Uboats from 1938 to 1945?

Are their any sites online that explore Uboat construction during this time period?
Paul,

If you are a good German reader, Dietric Eichholz: "Die Geschichte des deutchen U-boot Baus" in two volumes ("The History of the German U-boat Building"), then it is all in there. The price of the VII C was 2 million Reichmarks (April 1943-prices). The prices of the XXIII and the XXI Electro u-boats are also in the book (but I can´t remeber them right now).

Eichholz also gives a very detailed decription of how the unit price of each of the VIIs and the IXs fell fell, until production was stopped (late 1943/early 1944). This he does for both u-boat types, for each ship-yard and quarter-yearly. Amazing :)

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Re: Cost of UBoats

Post by Paul Lakowski » 25 Jan 2005 01:46

Lars wrote:
Paul Lakowski wrote:Can any one tell me how expensive it was for the Germans to build Uboats from 1938 to 1945?

Are their any sites online that explore Uboat construction during this time period?
Paul,

If you are a good German reader, Dietric Eichholz: "Die Geschichte des deutchen U-boot Baus" in two volumes ("The History of the German U-boat Building"), then it is all in there. The price of the VII C was 2 million Reichmarks (April 1943-prices). The prices of the XXIII and the XXI Electro u-boats are also in the book (but I can´t remeber them right now).

Eichholz also gives a very detailed decription of how the unit price of each of the VIIs and the IXs fell fell, until production was stopped (late 1943/early 1944). This he does for both u-boat types, for each ship-yard and quarter-yearly. Amazing :)
Thanks Lars, unfortunatly I don't read German, but I will look for the book any way :| If you ever come accross those other break down on costing info I would sure like to see the basic figures.

Any one know how much an Eboat cost in comparison to a Uboat? What about destroyers cruisers etc?

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Lars
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Post by Lars » 25 Jan 2005 17:19

Paul,

I didn´t - quite - remember correctly. I did a check last night. Eichholz´s comparison of the shipyards is not the price but the (declining) number of work hours spend on the VIIC and IX build by the different German yards during the war. And the figure of 2.0 mio. Reichsmarks per VIIC is not from April 1943 but from late 1943 (see below).

I dug out some more info, so here it comes:

VIIC: By late 1943 the Blohm und Voss shipyard was the cheapest producer of the VIIC. Indeed the B & V was almost consistently cheapest thoughout the war. The price tag of a VIIC from B & V was 1.983 mio. RM. The other shipyards weren´t much more expensive. They used more working hours per u-boat but as 1.4 mio. RM of the VIIC´s price tag was from outside the shipyards and therefore given costs (sub-contractors, steel, electronics, etc), I´d say that 2.0 mio. RM per VIIC by late 1943 is probably correct.

IXC: I´ve not been able to find the price per IXC. However, I´ll give you a good estimate as the same price per tonne on the VIIC and the IXC is an educated guess. So, the VIIC weighed 769t and the IXC 1,120t, givning a late 1943 price of the IXC of 2.9 mio. RM.

XXI: 4.6 mio. RM

XXIII: The first ten boats of a particular German yard cost 0.761 mio. RM, however "Ohne Schussbau". I´m not completely sure what this means but as Schuss can mean rings (and probably does), this is probably the price without the last works on the outer hull. As these first ten boats used a lot more working hours than was expected when production was streamlined, I´d say that 0.8 mio. RM per XXIII in mass production is a fair guess.

Other prices of interest:

G7a torpedo: 50,000 RM

G7e torpedo: About 25,000 RM

V1: 5,000 RM (in mass production)

V2: 225,000 RM (in mass production).

Basically, 20-21 V2s equall one XXI submarine... 8O

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Post by Paul Lakowski » 30 Jan 2005 01:17

As a matter of interest I found the following site and it reports Bismarck cost 71.642.000 RM!

http://www.bismarck-class.dk/bismarck/m ... place.html


Tirpitz is likely to cost more since it took longer to make and based on weight comparison the Scharnhorst & Gneisenau should cost ~ 69% of the Bismarcks cost or about …~ 50 million RM. So in total we have 72 x 2 plus 50 x 2 = 244 million RM. Type VII Uboat cost ~ 1.9 million RM to build so you could buy 128 Type-VII Uboats for the cost of those ships.

Bismarck Tirpitz plus Scharnhorst & Gneisenau required 8300 sailor, while each Type-VII Uboat required ~ 45 personel so exhange should result in staffing for ~184 additional Type-VII Uboats.

Bismarck Tirpitz plus Scharnhorst & Gneisenau required 155085 tons of steel to build, while each Type-VII Uboat required ~ 860 tons, so exhange should result in staffing for ~180 additional Type-VII Uboats.

I wonder how much the Hipper class cost and their crew and weight.

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RE: Cost in todays Euro

Post by Virgil Hiltz » 30 Jan 2005 01:33

What would the approximate price be today in Euros adjusted for the difference in years of course.

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U-Boat Construction Costs

Post by drmessimer » 30 Jan 2005 03:19

Paul: Here are some figures that might be useful to you. They are in Reichmarks for the period 1933-1945, so I have no idea of what the cost would be in today's money market. The per boat cost was:
Type VII: 4,189,000 to 4,439,000; Type IXB: 6,163,000 to 6,448,000.; Type XB: 6,350,000; Type XI; 17,410,000.
Those are the only available figures that I have, but they provide a fair idea of how expensive building U-boats was for the German economy. The source is Erich Grörner, Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe, 1815-1945, vol. 1, München: J. F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1966, pp. 381-420. I hope this is useful.
Dwight R. Messimer

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Post by Paul Lakowski » 30 Jan 2005 08:02

These infos are quite helpful but I just found another site to complicate the comparison.

http://www.german-navy.de/kriegsmarine/ships/index.html
Here are some prices listed from this site!

Bismarck 197 MRm
Tirpitz 181 MRm
Scharnhorst 146 MRm
Gneisenau 143 MRm
Hipper 86 MRm
Blucher 87 MRm
Prince Elgen 105 MRm
other two cruisers 84 MRm each.

I wonder why there is a difference between the prices between these two documents for the Bismarck?

With the above ship building program from 1935-1940, they spent ~1.1 billion RM according to my calculations. Even based on the other UBoat figures they could have bought 183 x Type IXB medium subs or 250 x Type-VII.

The XI where the 'milch Uboats' [supply subs], may be thats why the cost so much?

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Post by Lars » 30 Jan 2005 12:22

Paul Lakowski wrote:These infos are quite helpful but I just found another site to complicate the comparison.

http://www.german-navy.de/kriegsmarine/ships/index.html
Here are some prices listed from this site!

Bismarck 197 MRm
Tirpitz 181 MRm
Scharnhorst 146 MRm
Gneisenau 143 MRm
Hipper 86 MRm
Blucher 87 MRm
Prince Elgen 105 MRm
other two cruisers 84 MRm each.

I wonder why there is a difference between the prices between these two documents for the Bismarck?

With the above ship building program from 1935-1940, they spent ~1.1 billion RM according to my calculations. Even based on the other UBoat figures they could have bought 183 x Type IXB medium subs or 250 x Type-VII.

The XI where the 'milch Uboats' [supply subs], may be thats why the cost so much?
Paul,

The XIs were never mass produced, hence the high price.

Scrapping the aircraft carrier "Graf Zeppelin" when its sister ship was scrapped in early 1940 might have given a two-digit and probably a three digit number of VIICs more in the early war years.

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Post by Paul Lakowski » 30 Jan 2005 22:31

Lars wrote:
Paul Lakowski wrote:These infos are quite helpful but I just found another site to complicate the comparison.

http://www.german-navy.de/kriegsmarine/ships/index.html
Here are some prices listed from this site!
much?
Paul,

The XIs were never mass produced, hence the high price.

Scrapping the aircraft carrier "Graf Zeppelin" when its sister ship was scrapped in early 1940 might have given a two-digit and probably a three digit number of VIICs more in the early war years.
Thanks Lars I didn't catch the carriers until later. Since i forgot about them it definately adjusts the calculation...I'll redo them.

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Post by Paul Lakowski » 31 Jan 2005 00:31

Flugzeugträger 92 MRm [ ~ 20,000 tons]
Graff Zeppelin 93 MRm [ ~ 20,000 tons]
Bismarck 197 MRm [50,000 tons & 2,100 sailors]
Tirpitz 181 MRm [50,000 tons & 2,600 sailors]
Scharnhorst 146 MRm [35,000 tons & 1,800 sailors]
Gneisenau 143 MRm [35,000 tons & 1,800 sailors]
Hipper 86 MRm [16,000 tons & 1,600 sailors]
Blucher 87 MRm [16,000 tons & 1,600 sailors]
Prince Elgen 105 MRm [16,000 tons & 1,600 sailors]
other two cruisers 84 MRm each. [16,000 tons & 1,600 sailors]

Total cost =1,298,000,000 Rm [~ 1.3 BRm] [ @ 6 MRm per Uboat = 217 x Type-IXB Uboats bought]
Steel = 290 ,000 tons [@ 1500 tons per Uboat = 193 x Type-IXB Uboats built ]
Manpower= 16590 sailors. [ @ 50 per Uboat = 332 x Type-IXB Uboat manned]

Looking at ship yard construction & Build rates, Uboats took ~ year to build and the a survey of three major sub yards showed 62 Uboats produced over 5 years prior to WW-II or about 4 x Uboats per ship yard per year. The 9 capital ships listed above would mean 7 large shipyards open for Uboat construction during the same time period –1935-1940. The Carriers and Battleships occupied these yards for two years each, while the Heavy Cruisers were more like two-three years. Comparing such large shipyards to the smaller Uboats, its not hard to imaging three to four Uboats could be built in the same space these capital ships occupy. That’s 16 shipyards /years of construction @ 4 x Uboats per year or ~ 64 new Uboats constructed in place of the capital ship program. If those ship yards were used full time [at the prewar rate] during this 5-6 year span, they could manufacture upto 140-168 Uboats [roughly ½ type VIIB Uboats and ½ Type IXB Uboats].

Consistantly USSBS analysis of the german war economy reveals that most of the essential war industries [ship building, airplane manufacture, tank and automobile industries] were run at ½ to ¼ of capacity at the start of the war and were only ratched up to full capacity after the reversals at Stalingrad at the end of 1942. The automobile production industry was never run at more than ¾ of capacity through out the entire war.

Realising the many people would rather hold on the battle ships at any cost, I reconfigured the above calculation based on removing the heavy cruisers and Carriers from the production schedual instead and focused on a reduced purchase of Type-VII Uboats instead of IXB Uboats.

Flugzeugträger 92 MRm [ ~ 20,000 tons]
Graff Zeppelin 93 MRm [ ~ 20,000 tons]
Hipper 86 MRm [16,000 tons & 1,600 sailors]
Blucher 87 MRm [16,000 tons & 1,600 sailors]
Prince Elgen 105 MRm [16,000 tons & 1,600 sailors]
other two cruisers 84 MRm each. [16,000 tons & 1,600 sailors]

Total cost =621,000,000 Rm [~ 0.6 BRm] [ @ 4.4 MRm per Uboat = 143 x Type-VIIB Uboats bought]
Steel = 120 ,000 tons [@ 900 tons per Uboat = 138 x Type-VIIB Uboats built ]
Manpower= 8000 sailors. [ @ 45 per Uboat = 178 x Type-VIIB Uboat manned]

Looking at ship yard construction & Build rates, we have 5 instead of 7 large shipyards open for Uboat construction during the same time period –1935-1940. The Carriers occupied these yards for two years each, while the Heavy Cruisers were more like two-three years. Going on about four Uboats per capital ship yard and ~ 12 shipyards/years of construction [@ 4 x Uboats per year ] , that’s about ~ 50 new Uboats constructed in place of the Carrier/Cruiser ship program. If those ship yards were instead used full time during this 5-6 year span ,they could manufacture 120 additional VIIB Uboats by the end of 1940.

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Post by Lars » 31 Jan 2005 09:39

Paul,

Remeber that without the surface fleet the Germans would never have taken Norway. Norway came in handy with regards to u-boat bases and putting pressure on the Swedes for iron ore.

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Post by Paul Lakowski » 31 Jan 2005 18:47

Lars wrote:Paul,

Remeber that without the surface fleet the Germans would never have taken Norway. Norway came in handy with regards to u-boat bases and putting pressure on the Swedes for iron ore.
Yes I'm mindfull of this fact too. I was looking at the german navy in general and see that there are other programs to cut instead of the CV programs....like two dozen torpedo boats [Type 35/37 for example]. At twice the cost of a SS they look to be a very poor buy/build indeed.

Question Re Norway. I'm wondering about the scale of that operation. I read that many DD were sunk during this invasion [?], what happened ? Is there a place [URL] I can read about this to back up my book [older] sources?

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Post by Paul Lakowski » 02 Feb 2005 05:54

Lars wrote:Paul,

Remeber that without the surface fleet the Germans would never have taken Norway. Norway came in handy with regards to u-boat bases and putting pressure on the Swedes for iron ore.
While the Hipper class cruisers did carry thousands of troops to Norway during the invasion [~ 3700 total], the germans could always use the cruise ship "Europa" ,which was being used by the germans as a barracks ships and when taken over by USN after the war was said to carry 4500 troops. So the loss of Heavy cruiser carring capability could be offsett?

Yes this ship would be vulnerable , group 5 which had one Hipper cruiser and the Lutzow pocket battleship [which Europa would replace], traveled between Denmark and Sweden into Oslo, which atleast is the most 'sheltered' of the 6 invasion routes. THe Europa would be excorted by the Emden light cruiser and 3 x torpedoboots, while the Lutzow would be transfered to group 2 which worked its way all the way up to Trondheim with 4 x DDs deploying 1700 troops [138 mountain Rgt].

Looks like the Norway invasion force had the following warships and moved 8850 troops , which were the spear heads of two infantry divisions and a mountain division, plus the follow up of two reinforced infantry divisions.

2 x B Cruiser
3 x H Cruiser
4 x L Cruiser
2 x fleet tenders
1 x training ship
14 x DD
21 x DE [torpedoboot]
12 x minesweepers
8 x tankers
7 x supply ships & 24 x other ships [merchants?], these would make three sorties each to transport the logistics of these deployed divisions to allow them to fight over the several months the operation lasted.
28 x Subs as screen?

Plus 500 transport aircraft and 500 bombers and fighters flying in support.

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Post by Duncan » 02 Feb 2005 19:21

Hi
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