Need industrial strength breakdown by country

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
konig15
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Need industrial strength breakdown by country

Post by konig15 » 06 Aug 2010 20:50

OK, I've all over the Internet, but I don't know the terms of what I'm looking for.

I saw, years back, a breakdown of the industrial capacity by country of every nation on earth either right before WWII or during it. It was a pie chart, I believe it was the crux of a 1937 report published by the US military. Like Japan was 3% of world production, Germany was 13, USSR 12, British 10, America 34%. I need this info cause I'm about to get into a huge argument over the state of the German war economy, and in that kind of argument, GDP is irrelevant, as it whatever government policy effects the war economy. I need raw numbers of what the German economy was CAPABLE of, not what they actually produced. And their Soviet counterpart.

So what on earth do you call a pie-chart breakdown of world industrial capacity by country? Google has not been my friend on this one. But thanks for any help! Please write quickly...

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GDP

Post by Dave Bender » 06 Aug 2010 22:53

I recommend using GDP. That information is readily available at the below link. Download the GDP spreadsheet to your home computer for a handy reference.
http://www.ggdc.net/maddison/

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Re: Need industrial strength breakdown by country

Post by Guaporense » 06 Aug 2010 23:18

Well, there are several different estimates for industrial capacity of different countries at the time of World War 2. I have done some research and found several different estimates.

The GDP estimates of Angus Maddison are, in my judgment as an economist, the worst possible estimates for comparing warmaking potential, for several reasons, including the following:

1- They are estimates of GDP, not industrial production or industrial capacity. Hence, if you have one economy, let's call it Germany, with is industrialized and a producer of heavy equipment, and hence has as a large stock of machine tools (with is the tool used for producing munitions during the first world wars), and another country with the same GDP, let's call it Russian Empire, but whose economy is mostly peasant agriculture. Clearly, the industrialized economy has an advantage over the other in terms of warmaking potential as this is not show in GDP figures.

2- They use PPP and don't have benchmarks for the time period in question (~1938), that's means that they use GDP benchmarks from other times and regress them to the desired year by using time series of GDP growth. Since relative prices change over time, a benchmark comparison between the major powers in the 1930's is needed before making gdp comparisons.

3- Maddison's PPP GDP estimates are different from World Bank PPP GDP estimates for 2008. That's because he tried to put all historical GDP's into a single huge table, with had the effect of necessitating some distortions of contemporary GDP measures.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

konig15
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Re: Need industrial strength breakdown by country

Post by konig15 » 06 Aug 2010 23:44

What am I looking for? None of the links get me anywhere. Is it a spreadsheet, a pie graph a what? And what year is it for. As is I can't find anything.

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Re: Need industrial strength breakdown by country

Post by Guaporense » 06 Aug 2010 23:49

Some industrial capacity share estimates for the pre-war era:

Bairoch, International Industrialization levels, (1982), "total industrial potential":

*Western Europe - 37.3%
US - 31.4%
Germany - 12.7%
UK - 10.7%
USSR - 9.0%
Japan - 5.2%
France - 4.4%
Italy - 2.8%

Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1987), "warmaking potential" for 1937:

US - 41.7%
Germany - 14.4%
USSR - 14.0%
UK - 10.2%
France - 4.2%
Japan - 3.5%
Italy - 2.5%

Raymond Goldsmith, The Power of Victory (1946), munitions production in 1944, in 1944 dollars:

US - 42 billion dollars
Germany - 17 billion dollars
USSR - 16 billion dollars
UK - 11 billion dollars
Japan - 6 billion dollars
Canada - 1.5 billion dollars

Some actual data on physical production:

Steel production thousands of metric tons, 1937-38:

USA – 51,400
Germany – 23,300
USSR – 17,800
UK – 13,200
France – 7,901
Japan – 5,630
Italy – 2,323

Sources: USA, Germany, USSR and UK, USSBS, Report on the German War Economy, appendix on steel data, page 246. France, NBER: Macrohistory, production of commodities, Japan and Italy, the Economics of WW2.

Pig Iron production, thousands of metric tons, 1937-38:

USA - 37,700
Germany - 18,600
USSR - 15,000
UK - 8,600

Source: USSBS, Report on the German War Economy, appendix on steel data, page 246.

Machine tool stock 1940:

Germany - 1,177,600
USA - 942,000

Source:
USSBS, Report on the German War Economy, appendix on steel data, page 241.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Guaporense
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Re: Need industrial strength breakdown by country

Post by Guaporense » 06 Aug 2010 23:58

konig15 wrote:What am I looking for? None of the links get me anywhere. Is it a spreadsheet, a pie graph a what? And what year is it for. As is I can't find anything.
It is an excel spreadsheet. Don't have the trouble and use the data I provided in my last post.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: Need industrial strength breakdown by country

Post by konig15 » 07 Aug 2010 00:10

Thank you Guaporense! Confirmed my just of how things went down. Thank you so much! :D

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Re: Need industrial strength breakdown by country

Post by The_Enigma » 09 Aug 2010 19:39

Armaments production 1940-43 (in billions of 1944 dollars)

Country - 1940 - 1941 - 1943
US - 1.5 - 4.5 - 37.5
USSR -5 - 8.5 - 13.9
UK - 3.5 - 6.5 - 11.1

Germany - 6 - 6 - 13.8
Japan - 1 - 2 - 4.5
Italy - 0.75 - 1 - N/A
Source Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, 1988, p. 355

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Re: Need industrial strength breakdown by country

Post by Gooner1 » 10 Aug 2010 14:19

Bairoch, International Industrialization levels, (1982), "total industrial potential":

Germany - 12.7%
France - 4.4%

Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1987), "warmaking potential" for 1937:

Germany - 14.4%
France - 4.2%
Given that between 1914 and 1918 French armaments production was not far short of that of Germanys despite losing an important chunk of territory those figures seem dubious to me.

Did not France have a bigger motor industry than Germany 'tween the wars?

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Re: Need industrial strength breakdown by country

Post by Guaporense » 14 Aug 2010 01:29

Gooner1 wrote:
Bairoch, International Industrialization levels, (1982), "total industrial potential":

Germany - 12.7%
France - 4.4%

Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1987), "warmaking potential" for 1937:

Germany - 14.4%
France - 4.2%
Given that between 1914 and 1918 French armaments production was not far short of that of Germanys despite losing an important chunk of territory those figures seem dubious to me.
French armaments production was smaller than Germany's between 1914-1918 but it is true that it wasn't 30% of Germany's production. But Germany's economy grew more than France and UK between 1918 and 1938. And France also imported a loot of raw materials in WW1, like steel from the US, while Germany had to make everything herself.
Did not France have a bigger motor industry than Germany 'tween the wars?
India has a bigger concrete industry than the US today. But US industrial production is 10 times the size of India's (in 2008).

At the between wars period UK and France had a bigger motor vehicle industry than Germany, but at the time the motor vehicle industry wasn't very large and Germany's motor vehicle industry didn't rise to the country's industrial potential.

In terms of steel production, Germany produced 3 times the amount of steel France produced in the 1937-1939 period, for example. With fits nicely with the estimates that Germany's industrial capacity were 3-3.5 times France's.
Last edited by Guaporense on 14 Aug 2010 01:52, edited 1 time in total.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: Need industrial strength breakdown by country

Post by Guaporense » 14 Aug 2010 01:35

The_Enigma wrote:Armaments production 1940-43 (in billions of 1944 dollars)

Country - 1940 - 1941 - 1943
US - 1.5 - 4.5 - 37.5
USSR -5 - 8.5 - 13.9
UK - 3.5 - 6.5 - 11.1

Germany - 6 - 6 - 13.8
Japan - 1 - 2 - 4.5
Italy - 0.75 - 1 - N/A
Source Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, 1988, p. 355
Actually these numbers came from Goldsmith 1946 estimate and have dubious quality, he didn't write the data using such figures as 13.9 for the USSR and 13.8 for Germany, but 14 for the USSR and 13.5 for Germany. He didn't pretend to give the illusion of precision. That's because he made these estimates using the quantity of aircraft produced in 1944 in terms of numbers and simply regressed the numbers from the US 1944 benchmark using the countries respective indexes of war production.

That's how he estimated:

In 1944 the US made 96,000 aircraft, Germany made 40,000, USSR made 36,000 and UK made 26,000.

So we indexed US's war production at 100, Germany's was 40, USSR's was 35, UK's were 25. Since in 1944 the US produced 42 billion dollars in armaments, he concluded that the USSR produced 16 billion, Germany 17 billion and UK, 11 billion. Then we get their respective indexes of war production and regressed their 1944 numbers for other years.

The 1941 numbers of 8.5 for the USSR, 6 for Germany and 6.5 for UK are particularly problematic. Considering the fact that Germany's production of artillery and mortar ammunition were much greater than the USSR's, as well as their explosives production.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: Need industrial strength breakdown by country

Post by Guaporense » 14 Aug 2010 02:08

One problem with Goldsmith's estimates are his USSR number's, he estimated that between 1940 and 1944, the USSR produced 56 billion dollars in armaments, while Germany produced 51 billion. His US estimates are good, 106 billion dollars to 51 billion for Germany's are realistic, but not his USSR's estimates.

Compare:

production -------------- Explosives, thousands of tons ----- Powder
Germany (1940 - 44) -- 1595.5 ------------------------------ 829.97
USSR (1941 - 45) ------- 505 --------------------------------- 399.8

Sources:
Germany: http://www.sturmvogel.orbat.com/ussbsappd.html
USSR:
Art wrote:The Soviet production of exposives and powder was much smaller then German one, overall capacity of chemical industry being the principal bottleneck. The most reliable figures I've seen are from I.Vernidub's book - 505 thousands tons of TNT and other individual exposives and 399,8 thousands of smokeless powder produced during the war. There is some conflicting informaton about the amount of import. The most common figure is 317 - 320 thousands tons of exposives and powder, but but including 46 thousands tons of dynamite wich was not used in ammunition production. There are different variant of breakdown of the rest part of import. Simonov ("Soviet military-industrial complex in 1920s-50s") gives 163,8 thousands of powder and 105,3 thousands tons of exposives imported, allready mentioned Vernidub -140 thousands tons of powder (that doesn't include powder and exposive in imported ammunition). It seems that the sum of powder and explosive import - about 270 thousands tons can be taken as more or less reliably known.
Ammunition production (with is depended on explosives and steel supply) are too strongly favorable to Germany.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: Need industrial strength breakdown by country

Post by Gooner1 » 14 Aug 2010 13:12

Guaporense wrote: French armaments production was smaller than Germany's between 1914-1918 but it is true that it wasn't 30% of Germany's production. But Germany's economy grew more than France and UK between 1918 and 1938.
Was Germany's greater economic growth enough to compensate that Germany in 1937 was smaller than Germany of 1913 whilst France was bigger?
And France also imported a loot of raw materials in WW1, like steel from the US, while Germany had to make everything herself.
Steel is not a raw material. Germany also depended upon importing raw materials.
In terms of steel production, Germany produced 3 times the amount of steel France produced in the 1937-1939 period, for example. With fits nicely with the estimates that Germany's industrial capacity were 3-3.5 times France's.
And Germany's steel production depended on imported iron ore. So what's the difference between France importing steel and Germany importing iron ore?

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Re: Need industrial strength breakdown by country

Post by ljadw » 14 Aug 2010 17:02

Guaporense wrote:One problem with Goldsmith's estimates are his USSR number's, he estimated that between 1940 and 1944, the USSR produced 56 billion dollars in armaments, while Germany produced 51 billion. His US estimates are good, 106 billion dollars to 51 billion for Germany's are realistic, but not his USSR's estimates.

Compare:

production -------------- Explosives, thousands of tons ----- Powder
Germany (1940 - 44) -- 1595.5 ------------------------------ 829.97
USSR (1941 - 45) ------- 505 --------------------------------- 399.8

Sources:
Germany: http://www.sturmvogel.orbat.com/ussbsappd.html
USSR:
Art wrote:The Soviet production of exposives and powder was much smaller then German one, overall capacity of chemical industry being the principal bottleneck. The most reliable figures I've seen are from I.Vernidub's book - 505 thousands tons of TNT and other individual exposives and 399,8 thousands of smokeless powder produced during the war. There is some conflicting informaton about the amount of import. The most common figure is 317 - 320 thousands tons of exposives and powder, but but including 46 thousands tons of dynamite wich was not used in ammunition production. There are different variant of breakdown of the rest part of import. Simonov ("Soviet military-industrial complex in 1920s-50s") gives 163,8 thousands of powder and 105,3 thousands tons of exposives imported, allready mentioned Vernidub -140 thousands tons of powder (that doesn't include powder and exposive in imported ammunition). It seems that the sum of powder and explosive import - about 270 thousands tons can be taken as more or less reliably known.
Ammunition production (with is depended on explosives and steel supply) are too strongly favorable to Germany.
About "the SU produced 56 billion in armaments between 1940-1944 ":I think that's meaningless,and wrong :the Rouble being not convertible,there was no way to state that X billion roubles would be aequal to 56 billion $

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Re: Need industrial strength breakdown by country

Post by konig15 » 15 Aug 2010 02:42

One should know Germanys WWI losses were unimportant to it's industry, just more dependant on foriegn iron. Likewise the extreme losses of the eastern third of Prussia hardly dented German industrial power...well as soon as they rebuilt it. Germanys industrial heart is the Rhineland.

The point of the WWI munitions numbers show that Germany WAS starving for foriegn imports. Thing is about steel production is that France in WWI was importing steel to compensate for it's smallish domestic steel industry. In peacetime this would be prohibitive and therefore France's parity with Germany was not truly there, in peacetime the true numbers came out as extraordinary circumstances were not in play

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