The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

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Mark in Cleveland, Tn.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Mark in Cleveland, Tn. » 01 Feb 2021 02:35

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

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 01 Feb 2021 20:20

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
01 Feb 2021 02:21
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).
Which does seem extraordinary given the percentage by cost of weapon production.
German Weapon production by arm.JPG
But then again it [the USSBS] also says this on p.179:
Nevertheless, ammunition stocks accumulated and were at their peak for the entire war just prior to the attack on Russia in June 1941.
So, given the level of delusion about war in the east, it is perhaps not as surprising as at first sight.

I'm also curious about the 'cost' of naval weapons during 1940 - 1941. I'm looking myself but does anyone know if there is a definition of 'naval weapons' in the report? It talks a bit about torpedoes and 'naval guns' but not sure if that is all it includes. If so, it seems extraordinary that the navy allocation for 'naval guns' [given pretty steady torpedo production throughout the war] was so high during this period. I also wonder if mines were included under ammunition or weapons?

My point about the seeming lack of impact of the priority supposedly given to aircraft production in late 1940 is reinforced by the chart of aircraft production in USSBS p.150:
USSBS p.150 - German aircraft production.JPG
Regards

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

Post by KDF33 » 01 Feb 2021 23:14

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
01 Feb 2021 20:20
My point about the seeming lack of impact of the priority supposedly given to aircraft production in late 1940 is reinforced by the chart of aircraft production in USSBS p.150:
German aircraft production is artificially deflated in 1941 because (1) they retooled almost their entire fighter plants (both single- and twin-engined) and (2) they virtually shut down the Ju 87 production line at Tempelhof before restarting it when Barbarossa failed.

The goal was to phase out both the Bf 110 and Ju 87, and to relegate the Bf 109 to a minority share of the Jagdwaffe. The mainstay fighters for 1942 would have been the Fw 190 and the Me 210.

The Me 210 project was a failure and led to restarting Bf 110 production. As mentioned previously, the reverse in front of Moscow led to renewed orders for the Ju 87. Lastly, Messerschmitt's Regensburg plant also re-re-tooled away from the Me 210 and back to the Bf 109.

Let's look at Regensburg's output for 1941-2 to see the kind of impact this had (by quarter):

1941/1: 16 Bf 108, 75 Bf 109 = 91 aircraft
1941/2: 4 Bf 108, 64 Bf 109 = 68 aircraft
1941/3: 13 Bf 108, 60 Bf 109, 5 Me 210 = 78 aircraft
1941/4: 23 Bf 108, 4 Bf 109, 27 Me 210 = 54 aircraft
1942/1: 29 Bf 108, 1 Bf 109, 47 Me 210 = 77 aircraft
1942/2: 29 Bf 108, 157 Bf 109 = 186 aircraft
1942/3: 150 Bf 109 = 150 aircraft
1942/4: 178 Bf 109 = 178 aircraft

Compare to WNF's plant at Vienna, which focused on long-term production of a single type:

1941/1: 120 Bf 109
1941/2: 187 Bf 109
1941/3: 246 Bf 109
1941/4: 283 Bf 109
1942/1: 280 Bf 109
1942/2: 253 Bf 109
1942/3: 361 Bf 109
1942/4: 403 Bf 109

Also note that bomber production, whose plants were undisturbed by similar retooling in 1941, saw continuous growth in deliveries.

Source is USSBS.

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 02 Feb 2021 02:21

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
01 Feb 2021 20:20
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
01 Feb 2021 02:21
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).
Which does seem extraordinary given the percentage by cost of weapon production.

But then again it [the USSBS] also says this on p.179:
Nevertheless, ammunition stocks accumulated and were at their peak for the entire war just prior to the attack on Russia in June 1941.
So, given the level of delusion about war in the east, it is perhaps not as surprising as at first sight.
Pre 1939-1940, the Heer established its ammunition requirements based upon Great War expenditures and were pretty panicked come 1 September 1939, when they saw shortfalls of 60% in leFH, 45% in sFH, and 79% in very heavy artillery ammunition, especially since production since 1938 had been affected by the steel shortage. Imagine their relief when the expenditures in Poland and France were so low...

So they recast their requirements taking 10 May-20 June 1940 expenditures as their baseline "major combat month", which worked well because the current stockpile suddenly became sufficient for any purpose - no shortfalls overnight. That was perfect, because it enabled them to essentially curtail all ammunition production in favor of other projects. Yay!

Of course, the reality of what then happened resulted in yet another new ammunition production plan, 10 January 1942.
I'm also curious about the 'cost' of naval weapons during 1940 - 1941. I'm looking myself but does anyone know if there is a definition of 'naval weapons' in the report? It talks a bit about torpedoes and 'naval guns' but not sure if that is all it includes. If so, it seems extraordinary that the navy allocation for 'naval guns' [given pretty steady torpedo production throughout the war] was so high during this period. I also wonder if mines were included under ammunition or weapons?
In the late-war (April 1945) Speer "Schnell Berichte", naval items included "Marine-Artillerie", "Marine-Artillerie-Munition", "Torpedowaffe", and "Schiffbau", but there was no section for naval mines.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 02 Feb 2021 17:42

KDF33 wrote:
01 Feb 2021 23:14
German aircraft production is artificially deflated in 1941 because (1) they retooled almost their entire fighter plants (both single- and twin-engined) and (2) they virtually shut down the Ju 87 production line at Tempelhof before restarting it when Barbarossa failed.

The goal was to phase out both the Bf 110 and Ju 87, and to relegate the Bf 109 to a minority share of the Jagdwaffe. The mainstay fighters for 1942 would have been the Fw 190 and the Me 210.
Thanks, I suppose these were decisions made in response to the vulnerability of the Bf110 and Ju87 against modern British fighters during the Battle of Britain.
KDF33 wrote:
01 Feb 2021 23:14
Also note that bomber production, whose plants were undisturbed by similar retooling in 1941, saw continuous growth in deliveries.
But not a particularly dramatic increase?

Regards

Tom

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

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 02 Feb 2021 17:46

Richard Anderson wrote:
02 Feb 2021 02:21
Of course, the reality of what then happened resulted in yet another new ammunition production plan, 10 January 1942.
Although the USSBS says that German generals didn't complain of a lack of ammunition in 1941-42.
Richard Anderson wrote:
02 Feb 2021 02:21
In the late-war (April 1945) Speer "Schnell Berichte", naval items included "Marine-Artillerie", "Marine-Artillerie-Munition", "Torpedowaffe", and "Schiffbau", but there was no section for naval mines.
Thanks, I'll have to have a look into the cost of "Torpedowaffe"! :D

I suppose the Marine-Artillerie include coastal defence batteries - I wonder if there was a surge in those during this period. As far as I understand previously, there would have been comparatively little new ship-building during this period so not a great requirement for large numbers of ship-borne guns.

Regards

Tom

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 02 Feb 2021 18:11

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
02 Feb 2021 17:46
Richard Anderson wrote:
02 Feb 2021 02:21
Of course, the reality of what then happened resulted in yet another new ammunition production plan, 10 January 1942.
Although the USSBS says that German generals didn't complain of a lack of ammunition in 1941-42.
"5.c. In addition to the first issue (1. Ausstattung), an ammunition stockpile six times as high as the monthly utilization based on the Eastern Campaign (utilization August 1941) is to be achieved, at least with the major weapons, referenced to the ideal per-weapon issue of the field army of 1 Apr. 1942."

In other words, six times the figures that were revised upwards two months into the campaign, when it was discovered the figures calculated based upon the French Campaign were inadequate.
Thanks, I'll have to have a look into the cost of "Torpedowaffe"! :D
One of the more costly and labor-intensive items.
I suppose the Marine-Artillerie include coastal defence batteries - I wonder if there was a surge in those during this period. As far as I understand previously, there would have been comparatively little new ship-building during this period so not a great requirement for large numbers of ship-borne guns.
Yep, but most coast artillery were redundant pieces dating back to the Great War or earlier.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by KDF33 » 02 Feb 2021 18:36

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
02 Feb 2021 17:42
But not a particularly dramatic increase?
Hi Tom,

Well, the increase was significant. Twin-engined bomber output rose from 762 in the 1st quarter to 1,027 in the fourth, a 35% increase. Besides, last quarter output was below growth trend, because 2 of the 10 bomber plants retooled: Dornier (Wismar) from the Ju 88 to the Do 217, and Arado (Brandenburg) from the Ju 88 to the He 177.

Nothing compared to what occurred at the fighter plants, but not insignificant either. Accounting for it, real capacity growth must have been something on the order of 40%+ between 1941/Q1 and 1941/Q4.

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

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 02 Feb 2021 20:13

Richard Anderson wrote:
02 Feb 2021 18:11
"5.c. In addition to the first issue (1. Ausstattung), an ammunition stockpile six times as high as the monthly utilization based on the Eastern Campaign (utilization August 1941) is to be achieved, at least with the major weapons, referenced to the ideal per-weapon issue of the field army of 1 Apr. 1942."

In other words, six times the figures that were revised upwards two months into the campaign, when it was discovered the figures calculated based upon the French Campaign were inadequate.
Thanks, but I also noted:

"On the other hand, the field commanders in Russia agree that there was no shortage of ammunition in 1942, and stocks of artillery ammunition, at least, increased throughout the year".
USSBS - p.181.pdf
That is also the page that says that there "was no increase in the output of torpedoes [by Nov 42], but otherwise all categories of weapons shared in the rise."

Also perhaps notable that although "the production of bombs also increased, but at not time - either in 1942 or later in the war - surpassed its July 1940 peak."
Richard Anderson wrote:
02 Feb 2021 18:11
Yep, but most coast artillery were redundant pieces dating back to the Great War or earlier.
Which makes the % of weapons production by cost assigned to Naval weapons a conundrum as far as I can see.
KDF33 wrote:
02 Feb 2021 18:36
Hi Tom,

Well, the increase was significant. Twin-engined bomber output rose from 762 in the 1st quarter to 1,027 in the fourth, a 35% increase. Besides, last quarter output was below growth trend, because 2 of the 10 bomber plants retooled: Dornier (Wismar) from the Ju 88 to the Do 217, and Arado (Brandenburg) from the Ju 88 to the He 177.
Thanks again for that clarification. I guess there is a direct link between twin-engined bomber output and the need for plenty of tactical air support for the army during its campaign in the east.

I also would suggest that the difficulties that German industry had in transferring production between similar types of aircraft doesn't bode well for rapid and major changes in transferring production priorities between different services. Not impossible obviously, but perhaps not that simple either.

Going back to David Stahel's 'Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East' can anyone help with my query about the point that he makes here in bold and underlined:

[p.115]
21 Panzer Divisions existed in summer 1941; two were in Africa, 17 were designated to Barbarossa and two more were 'being reorganised and refitted'.

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.
Has anyone seen a source which refers to these training shortcomings? I wonder if it was to do with late re-organisation, late issue or lack of equipment, or lack of training facilities at all levels up to division?

Regards

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

Post by KDF33 » 02 Feb 2021 22:20

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
02 Feb 2021 20:13
Thanks again for that clarification. I guess there is a direct link between twin-engined bomber output and the need for plenty of tactical air support for the army during its campaign in the east.
AFAIK, it was mostly directed against Britain. Germany was expanding capacity for both bomber and fighter production - it's just that in the case of fighters they wanted to transition out of what they perceived as their obsolete types. Except for the Ju 87, they didn't feel the same pressure with regards to bombers.
Tom from Cornwall wrote:
02 Feb 2021 20:13
I also would suggest that the difficulties that German industry had in transferring production between similar types of aircraft doesn't bode well for rapid and major changes in transferring production priorities between different services. Not impossible obviously, but perhaps not that simple either.
We should be careful here. It's not clear at all that Germany had any unique difficulty "re-tooling" compared to other belligerents. AFAIK, no one else ever attempted to do something similar during the war. Presumably, a comparable drop in output would have occurred in, say, Britain, had they tried re-tooling half their aircraft industry at once.

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 02 Feb 2021 23:34

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
02 Feb 2021 20:13
Thanks, but I also noted:

"On the other hand, the field commanders in Russia agree that there was no shortage of ammunition in 1942, and stocks of artillery ammunition, at least, increased throughout the year".
Yes, it is an interesting disconnect. Consumption was so high it resulted in high-level re-evaluation of the production program twice in the space of five months and yet at the army-level there was no perception of a shortage?
That is also the page that says that there "was no increase in the output of torpedoes [by Nov 42], but otherwise all categories of weapons shared in the rise."
In 1941, the monthly average of the two types produced was 1,181.
In 1942, the monthly average of the two types produced was 919.
In 1943, the monthly average of the two types produced was 969.
In 1944, the monthly average of the three types produced was 1,316.
Also perhaps notable that although "the production of bombs also increased, but at not time - either in 1942 or later in the war - surpassed its July 1940 peak."
Sadly, I do not have that data for 1940.
Which makes the % of weapons production by cost assigned to Naval weapons a conundrum as far as I can see.
Indeed, it is pretty odd.
Going back to David Stahel's 'Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East' can anyone help with my query about the point that he makes here in bold and underlined:
...
Has anyone seen a source which refers to these training shortcomings? I wonder if it was to do with late re-organisation, late issue or lack of equipment, or lack of training facilities at all levels up to division?
Probably. The organization dates for 18. and 20. Panzer were 26 and 15 October 1940 respectively. Only 19. Panzer (and 21., but that was a different matter since it was initially a different organization) was organized later, on 1 November 1940. However, 19. Panzer was formed essentially from the motorized parts of the 19. Infanterie-Division (less IR 59., which went to 20. Panzer, so the division was fairly cohesive and its 27. Panzer-Regiment seems to have organized quickly, so had some time to train with the rest of the division.

OTOH, 20. Panzer was a bit of a dogs breakfast, put together from bits and pieces of various divisions and with a Panzer regiment that was not fully organized and equipped until 3/4 April, so had little time to train with the other elements of the division. Worse, its wheeled vehicles were a hodge-podge of German, French, and Polish civilian and military types, which apparently give it no end of trouble.

18. Panzer was also put together with odds and sods, and its Panzer Regiment (built from two Tauchpanzer battalions and a battalion from PR 28.) was incomplete until 1 March. On top of that, the Tauchpanzer continued to train for its specialized river-crossing mission and had little chance to train with the rest of the division.

I would have to dig into the conversion of the Inf-Div to (mot), but I suspect it may have been similar issues. 16. and 60. Inf-Div was converted in August 1940, while 3., 10., and 18. were October, and 25. was November.
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Re: 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 Peter89 » 03 Feb 2021 12:23

Richard Anderson wrote:
02 Feb 2021 23:34
OTOH, 20. Panzer was a bit of a dogs breakfast, put together from bits and pieces of various divisions and with a Panzer regiment that was not fully organized and equipped until 3/4 April, so had little time to train with the other elements of the division. Worse, its wheeled vehicles were a hodge-podge of German, French, and Polish civilian and military types, which apparently give it no end of trouble.
Exactly... this phenomenon was more like a hallmark than an exception of the German mechanized unit operations.

Too many types and variants, insane amount of tinkering.... In order to use captured equipment, the Germans needed captured spare parts, specialized or highly trained mechanics and whatnot. The number of ammunitions alone was insane in 1941. These different types and variants put an increased burden on the already overburdened logistical system. In the natural absence of these extras, the combat readiness fell as a result, and the net profit from a change or a few hundred extra vehicles soon diminished to zero or below.

It was just slightly better in case of aircraft operations, where the Germans paid little to no attention to the ground facilities, spare part supply, and to the employment of minimum types / variants in order to increase combat readiness, flight safety, etc.

If the Germans were able to produce more modern equipment in 1940/1941, what they should have done instead of creating new divisions is to re-equip existing ones, eliminating dangerously stupid ideas like the L/42 gun for the Pz III, and the large-scale employment of T-38 and Pz II, which types were unsuitable for the task already.

But the truth is that Germany never really considered these measures in time. The maintenance of the armoured units became addressed no earlier than the summer of 1942, and that of the Luftwaffe, no earlier than 1944. The general direction of the development and equipment of the Wehrmacht was different. Not as if later it would change substantially: on average every sixth Tiger had received a modification, so there was a good chance in Kassel that the Tiger on the end of the line was different than the one at the start of the line.
The supply system, particularly in Russia, no longer functioned effectively. Milch in a visit to the eastern front discovered that hundreds of inoperable aircraft were lying about on forward airfields. They had either broken down or been damaged in combat, and spare parts were not flowing forward to repair these aircraft.Because supply and maintenance were separate from operational units, a wide gulf had grown up between frontline units and their logistical support establishment in the Reich. Furthermore, the Luftwaffe's organizational structure divorced supply and maintenance from operations, thereby hindering vital communications between these two divisions. More often than not, the special needs of one were not meaningfully addressed by the other.
Image

Image

It is where most calculations lose their sense because there was no "average motorized / panzer division", especially not after the fight has started and different kind of reinforcements were pouring in and were being repaired and redeployed. Whole trains were misdirected, for Christ' sake...

So now, we need to understand that it was one thing to throw more vehicles on the Eastern front, and it was another of how much additional combat value did they mean in reality. An increased panzer production, if any, would make a real difference only - especially on the level of the Eastern front - if the Germans had considered a lot of aspects of mechnized warfare, or in other words, if they possessed a hindsight which they obviously didn't and couldn't.

If I take a look at the German situation in 1940 / 1941 regarding production and resource allocation, my first thought is that the Germans should have reorganized their production and logistics system from the start line, phase out outdated models, standardize and streamline production, supply and deployment, and under no circumstance should they attack the SU.

But all these decisions would also require a hindsight how strong the SU actually was and how weak the Wehrmacht actually was... so it is highly doubtful that the Wehrmacht, that was set out to do a few months of campaigning in the SU would ever consider such necessities. I guess they wouldn't, as they considered none when they deployed the DAK to Africa.
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by ljadw » 03 Feb 2021 13:28

3 points
1 Barbarossa was a must : the alternative was unconditional surrender
2 The Germans disbanded at least 3 PzD : 17, 18, 22
3 In several cases it was better to continue the production of the existing models, as the production of new ones would take too much time, which Germany did not have : General time was their worst and unbeatable enemy .

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

Post by Peter89 » 03 Feb 2021 16:38

ljadw wrote:
03 Feb 2021 13:28
3 points
1 Barbarossa was a must : the alternative was unconditional surrender
2 The Germans disbanded at least 3 PzD : 17, 18, 22
3 In several cases it was better to continue the production of the existing models, as the production of new ones would take too much time, which Germany did not have : General time was their worst and unbeatable enemy .
There were countless number of alternatives of Barbarossa, ranging from doing nothing to a peripherial strategy.

By early 1941 the British dropped the gauntlet, the Germans could have taken it. There is also no solid proof for a Soviet invasion against Germany before 1942/1943 and the Germans could have profited much more from a relative peace between mid-1940 and mid-1943. In fact any alternative was better than the Barbarossa. The Barbarossa - the way the Germans planned it - could have never been successful, the RKKA and the political system of the SU were too strong, and the Wehrmacht was too weak.

Back to the topic at hand, the Germans started to gear up for 2 or 3 different kind of wars, starting from a land-based campaign with tactical air support, then they changed to an aerial-naval warfare, then they changed again to a land-based warfare, then they changed to retribution / wunderwaffe warfare. By prioritizing panzer / motor vehicle production, Germany would lose all hope to defeat the Wallies.

Hitler had one bullet in his rifle and he shot it at the wrong target.

The Germans only had to continue production of obsolete models because they had a huge demand on the Eastern front. The Eastern front absent, they could have phased out the already obsolete types and thus not wasting raw materials, production capacities, training, crews, fuel, ammo and whatnot. Same goes for the captured equipment and the problems that came with them: theyy were unnecessary if there was no Barbarossa.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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