German ammunition at the end of September Campaign 1939

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RedRight
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German ammunition at the end of September Campaign 1939

Post by RedRight » 23 Mar 2017 14:32

I have read that on 6th October Wehrmacht had ammunition reserves for only two weeks. How large were in fact German ammunition reserves and how much were they able to produce?

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Re: German ammunition at the end of Septmeber Campaign

Post by Poot » 23 Mar 2017 16:29

RedRight, are you referring to the end of the Polish campaign in 1939?
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Re: German ammunition at the end of Septmeber Campaign

Post by RedRight » 23 Mar 2017 17:16

Poot wrote:RedRight, are you referring to the end of the Polish campaign in 1939?
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Yes.

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Re: German ammunition at the end of Septmeber Campaign

Post by RedRight » 25 Mar 2017 14:53

I found out that the Germans predicted they will use 1/6 of their ammunition reserves during the September Campaign and they were close to surpass that level. That's the reason of the myth that Wehrmacht was running out of ammunition. In fact they had huge reserves and kept producing.

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Re: German ammunition at the end of Septmeber Campaign

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 25 Mar 2017 15:38

Sources?

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Art
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Re: German ammunition at the end of September Campaign 1939

Post by Art » 25 Mar 2017 16:07

In short the German army had quite ample stocks of artillery ammunition (except certain weapons such as infantry mortars or 210-mm heavy howitzers) and production capabilities were considerable. Expenditure in the Polish campaign was about 10-15% of the stocks. There was no reason to see ammunition situation as dangerous

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Re: German ammunition at the end of September Campaign 1939

Post by Poot » 25 Mar 2017 20:04

I couldn't find anything on exact numbers, but with regard to small arms ammunition it sounds like pre-war produced/captured Polish ammunition was simply sorted and re-lableled and then distributed to the Wehrmacht for general use.
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Re: German ammunition at the end of September Campaign 1939

Post by Knouterer » 25 Mar 2017 21:37

The Luftwaffe expended about 60% of its stock of bombs, including almost all general purpose SC 50 and SC 250 bombs. If there had been any strong military reaction from France and Britain, that would have been a problem; luckily for the Germans, there wasn't.
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Re: German ammunition at the end of September Campaign 1939

Post by JAG13 » 26 Mar 2017 06:41

Knouterer wrote:The Luftwaffe expended about 60% of its stock of bombs, including almost all general purpose SC 50 and SC 250 bombs. If there had been any strong military reaction from France and Britain, that would have been a problem; luckily for the Germans, there wasn't.
Just the usual level of LW Incompetence...

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Re: German ammunition at the end of September Campaign 1939

Post by Art » 26 Mar 2017 09:26

Ok, according to Müller-Hillebrand German Army's stock of ammunition in September 1939 stood at (thousand rounds):
81-mm mortars - 1865
75-mm infantry guns - 3506
150-mm infantry guns - 212
105-mm light field howitzers - 16036
150-mm heavy field howitzers - 2882
105-mm field cannons - 821
210-mm heavy howitzers (Mrs.18) - 9

Expenditure during September was:
81-mm mortars - 490
75-mm infantry guns - 415
150-mm infantry guns - 25
105-mm howitzers - 1448
150-mm howitzers - 315
105-mm cannons - 94
210-mm howitzers - 0.12 (120 rounds)
As noted in the book there was also a large stock of unfilled shells which were filled with explosives after Sept 39.

For comparison, expenditure in the West campaign (10.5-20.6.40):
81-mm mortars - 459
75-mm infantry guns - 381
150-mm infantry guns - 82
105-mm howitzers - 1463
150-mm howitzers - 640
105-mm cannons - 249
210-mm howitzers - 16

So stocks were generally large enough to provide for several months of intensive fighting. Which didn't happen in reality, it must be remembered.

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Re: German ammunition at the end of September Campaign 1939

Post by Paul_Atreides » 01 Apr 2017 16:13

Knouterer wrote:The Luftwaffe expended about 60% of its stock of bombs, including almost all general purpose SC 50 and SC 250 bombs. If there had been any strong military reaction from France and Britain, that would have been a problem; luckily for the Germans, there wasn't.

Oh, really? 60%?

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Re: German ammunition at the end of September Campaign 1939

Post by Paul Lakowski » 01 Apr 2017 18:43

Paul_Atreides wrote:
Knouterer wrote:The Luftwaffe expended about 60% of its stock of bombs, including almost all general purpose SC 50 and SC 250 bombs. If there had been any strong military reaction from France and Britain, that would have been a problem; luckily for the Germans, there wasn't.

Oh, really? 60%?

http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/paul_atr ... iginal.jpg
looks more like 18% reduction in stocks compared to prewar stocks but that includes new production in between those periods.

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Re: German ammunition at the end of September Campaign 1939

Post by Knouterer » 01 Apr 2017 20:07

No idea where those numbers come from but they don't look particularly reliable to me, especially the mysterious increase of some types of ammunition, such as 250 kg. bombs, between 1.5.1940 and 1.6.1940, in spite of heavy fighting.

Wolfgang Fleischer, Deutsche Abwurfmunition bis 1945, Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 2003, p. 69 (my translation): "Rather more serious was the fact that in the three weeks of this campaign (Poland) almost all 50 kg and 250 kg bombs had been expended. Before the start of the war stocks had been just over 20,000 (? Possibly refers to 250 kg bombs). By the end of September 1939, only incendiary bombs B1E and 10 kg. fragmentation bombs were still available in significant numbers."

Ferenc A. Vajda & Peter Dancey, German Aircraft Industry and Production 1933-1945, Airlife Publishing, Bath 1998, p.51: " Most critical was the fact that after only 22 days of combat the Luftwaffe had exhausted 60% of its bomb stocks. This rendered further attacks impossible in the immediate future, including any in the West."

By the time the Battle of Britain got underway, the Luftwaffe had not actually run out of bombs, but there certainly was a shortage. Bomb casings were made of lower grade steels, welded instead of cast or extruded in one piece, causing bombs to break up on impact instead of penetrating (although this was only a problem against "hard" targets, not so much when bombing cities), captured Polish bombs were used, and so were concrete bombs with a relatively small explosive charge, normally only used for training.
Last edited by Knouterer on 01 Apr 2017 20:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: German ammunition at the end of September Campaign 1939

Post by Knouterer » 01 Apr 2017 20:17

I might add that the 600-, 700- and 800-kg bombs in that list did not even exist, as far as I know.
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Re: German ammunition at the end of September Campaign 1939

Post by Paul Lakowski » 01 Apr 2017 20:31

Knouterer wrote:I might add that the 600-, 700- and 800-kg bombs in that list did not even exist, as far as I know.
they are not on that list until the invasion of the west and even then their were "less than 1000"?

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