Germany naval factories conversion in tank production

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
Momus
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Germany naval factories conversion in tank production

Post by Momus » 20 Aug 2021 00:04

Hi guys,
With thorough understanding of the depth of such topic overall, trying to get mere answer on production flexibility.
Cant find comprehensive answer in various sources on question: do German shipbuilding companies in ww2 had capacity to convert production from naval weapons such as uboats etc into ground warfare equipment? We know that Soviets managed to organize production of T-34’s Factory #112 which initially was broad spectrum facility producing locomotives, submarines etc. Also they produced some tanks and combat planes airframe at Shipbulding Factory #264 in Stalingrad. Also, British shipbuilding company Hrlamd&Wolff made some 550 tanks as production shortfall recover from other manufacturers.
So, my question so far, can, let’s say, Blohm&Voss, Tyson, Deschimag and other major shipbuilders utilise their production capacity to tank production in terms of machine tool stock, assembly lines materials, workforce etc? I know that aircraft manufacturers surely can, as for example MIAG was aircraft maker before turning to StuG production. But what about shipbuilders?
Thank you

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Germany naval factories conversion in tank production

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Aug 2021 02:42

Short answer is yes. Question is how long it takes to retool, that is change the details of operations and facility to turn out a radically different product. A look at how long it Baldwin or others in the US might have some clues for how it would go with these German firms.

Momus
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Re: Germany naval factories conversion in tank production

Post by Momus » 22 Aug 2021 07:58

Thank you Carl,
Yeah, there is no doubt that rail locomotive companies can make tanks with relative ease, applied to all nations in that time. . But shipyards are different story, not enough sufficient information can be found. There are quite a lot of statistics of workforce and financial expenditures distribution available, for army, Luftwaffe and Keiegsmarine production, but can’t find machine tool and production equipment distribution, Nothing from Tooze, Harrison, Wagenfur.
There is some number of monthly raw material distribution available for early 1942, but this is pretty much it.
Any sources you might think of?
Thank you,

Peter89
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Re: Germany naval factories conversion in tank production

Post by Peter89 » 22 Aug 2021 11:10

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Aug 2021 02:42
Short answer is yes. Question is how long it takes to retool, that is change the details of operations and facility to turn out a radically different product. A look at how long it Baldwin or others in the US might have some clues for how it would go with these German firms.
I read about this recently, with provided examples of the transfer of workers from river shipbuilding to an aircraft factory. It seems that welders, riveters and other metalworking qualifications in shipbuilding were almost directly convertible to aircraft frame production. Even some of the tools - obviously used in smaller ships like barges and MVs, not gigantic seagoing vessels - could be used in frame production. The larger parts of the aircraft controls were also somewhat similarly produced as the corresponding items in smaller watercrafts. There was also something of a similarity between optics and basic measurement instruments. However, aircraft engines and aircraft-specific instruments, which were the most labour- and skill-sensitive parts of aircrafts, required workforce and production tools related to the precision manufacturing industry, which the shipbuilding did not utilized to great extent.

Thus, converting a shipyard to airframe production was somewhat a good idea, but for engine and instrument production, it was roughly equivalent of a newly set up factory with newly trained workers.

Btw historically, the Blohm & Voss produced aircrafts as well.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: Germany naval factories conversion in tank production

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Aug 2021 18:43

Momus wrote:
22 Aug 2021 07:58
... Any sources you might think of?
Thank you,
I don't recall anyone converting ship construction facilities to tanks, so there may be nothing in writing on this.

Sub tasks, like electric wire harness, electric motors, cannon optics, light cannon, rolling steel plate, or smaller cast steel parts, could be directly transferable. & some skills like electric welding of steel plate, ect... would be as well. But assembly of tanks would be more time consuming in setting up. So the short term value may not in the Blom & Voss shipyard, but in the component manufacture factories.

Momus
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Re: Germany naval factories conversion in tank production

Post by Momus » 23 Aug 2021 04:27

Erla was German car and motorcycle manufacturer pre-ww2, however, was converted to mass combat aircraft production too. Recently came across on some armour steel expenditure on German landing craft Marinefährprahm, which were built in number over 700 units. It consumed 175,000 tons or rolled armour steel. Another to build roughly 8,500 Pz-IV

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Re: Germany naval factories conversion in tank production

Post by Peter89 » 23 Aug 2021 08:03

Momus wrote:
23 Aug 2021 04:27
It consumed 175,000 tons or rolled armour steel. Another to build roughly 8,500 Pz-IV
No such direct conversion is possible... the MFPs required magnitudes less skilled work and tools than a Pz IV.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Momus
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Re: Germany naval factories conversion in tank production

Post by Momus » 23 Aug 2021 11:41

No doubts about that, mentioned just as an example of resources consumption.

Peter89
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Re: Germany naval factories conversion in tank production

Post by Peter89 » 23 Aug 2021 18:05

Momus wrote:
23 Aug 2021 11:41
No doubts about that, mentioned just as an example of resources consumption.
Resource consumption is a tricky subject. If a cruiser contained 20kt steel and a panzer contained 20t steel, you can be sure that not these numbers were allocated to the respective industries. Finished products do not tell the story. I know what you mean here, but the product / waste ratio makes most of these comparisons irrelevant. Not to mention amortization and the need of overhauls. In the aircraft industry, despite the cut in aluminum allocation in 1942, the weight of airframes grew.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Germany naval factories conversion in tank production

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 11 Sep 2021 11:52

Momus wrote:
23 Aug 2021 04:27
Erla was German car and motorcycle manufacturer pre-ww2, however, was converted to mass combat aircraft production too. Recently came across on some armour steel expenditure on German landing craft Marinefährprahm, which were built in number over 700 units. It consumed 175,000 tons or rolled armour steel. Another to build roughly 8,500 Pz-IV
What's your source? I've been looking for sources on MFP costs/resources...
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

Momus
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Re: Germany naval factories conversion in tank production

Post by Momus » 15 Sep 2021 06:34

Cant tell you unfortunately, came across in some source while ago and didn’t figure out to save it. Well, if you take in consideration it weighs 220 ton, and over 700 were built, you can get a rough estimate a metal consumption. Do you have any additional info to share? Like a unit cost in RM etc?

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