TheMarcksPlan wrote: ↑
10 Jun 2019 06:03
I'm not surprised that in your mind this conversation is about who is smarter. That your motivation here is to show how smart you are and how much you know. I invite you to engage substantively with my proposals.
I was using it in the adjectival form: very clever or ingenious. I was not making "this conversation...about who is smarter", but rather I was commenting on the lack of cleverness or ingeniousness in your what if. It is neither clever nor ingenious and has been done to death all too many times, sometimes by those exhibiting considerably more knowledge of the actual history.
Do you think it historically implausible and economically impossible (1) for Germany to have shifted '38-'41 production and investment from LW/KM to Heer, and (2) for it to have mobilized more resources early in the war?
You seem to answer "yes" to both questions, but haven't said so explicitly.
Oh, indeed, good guess.
If I'm right in that guess, then what's your argument? In particular, why couldn't Germany have made different cuts to its armaments programs in early 1939, such as avoiding Plan Z in favor of ramping up Heer programs that were cut, most notably a 50% cut to planned tank building? Surely you're aware that the crisis that caused these cuts was financial, such that spending between the services was essentially fungible at that particular point.
Well, for a start my argument is that you need a better grounding in the real world before you start building your fantasy. Exactly what do you think was invested in "Plan Z" that you could "avoid" in order to "favor...ramping up Heer programs that were cut"? Schlachschiff H was laid down at Blohm u. Voss 15 June 1939 and J at AG Weser on 15 August 1939...and all work halted in them on 10 October 1939. At most, the keels were laid and probably not even that work was completed on J. The little work done was scrapped 25 November 1941. Similarly, Kreuzer M and N were planned for keel laying beginning 1 November 1939...but it never happened. The rest? Nada. Zip. Zilch. Now of course material was allocated for them, but where do you think it went when work halted?
Nor was the "50% cut to planned tank building" quite what you, or rather Adam Tooze who you are likely taking it from, think it was and it was not a problem solvable by throwing more "GDP" or "steel" at it. Quite simply, the more pressing problem was the state of the Panzer III program. After producing 70 pre-production vehicles between May 1937 and November 1938, before a workable production variant could be settled on...except by 11 July 1938 contracts for 2,155 Panzer III had been granted...and 115 completed by 1 September 1939. The situation for the Panzer IV was not quite as bad only 640 contracted for and 211 completed, but overall the Panzer acquisition process was a mess. In any case, although the planned production of medium tanks (Panzer III and IV) October 1939-October 1940 was halved in the 1939 Rechnungsjahre plan from 1,400 to 700, 1,046 were actually produced, plus 340 38t. Nor was investment necessarily reduced, because, as I pointed out before, 65-million RM were allocated to the expansion of the Panzer program via the Nibelungenwerk. In addition, plant expansions were funded at Henschel's Mittelfeld plant, MAN, MIAG's Ammewerk, Alkett, and DB.
Why couldn't Germany have appointed a "Plenpotentiary for Labor" immediately after war began, with broad powers to induct foreign and domestic workers?
Foreign workers? They were already there as paid, prewar Gastarbeiter, many of whom likely went home on the declarations of war. You want more? You have to conquer them first, incorporate them into the Reich, and put them to work as Zwangsarbeiter. Domestic workers? Germany was at full employment and over-mobilized, having to release soldiers in the fall of 1940 to keep the economy running.
I can see several facially valid responses to these questions but all of them arguably are overcome if Hitler has a different strategic conception of the coming war with the USSR. For example: "Greater demands will inspire greater resistance among the French and Polish." Sure, but with a bigger war looming Hitler's probably more willing to make more risks and throw his weight at allies and the conquered.
What is "facially valid"? So far you seem to be using farcical validation. Anyway, WRT the history of the Gastarbeiter and later Zwangsarbeiter you need to do some work. Resistance among all the occupied territories (Poles, Czechs, Belgians, Norwegians, Dutch, French, Yugoslavs, Greeks, and Soviets) existed from the get go, while others (Spaniards, Hungarians, Romanians, and other neutrals too) that remained nominal Gasterarbeiter were soon seeking to return home as well.
We can get down to brass tacks of how the greater forces are "paid for." But we'd have to adopt a different tone and be more explicit about our priors.
Yes, please, by all means could you begin to be more explicit about your priors?
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018