If the Nazis Knew What They Would Need?

starman

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
3,743
Connecticut
#11
An old work by Hoyt, The U-Boat Wars, says in ‘42 the allies lost a million tons more than they built, but that took into account losses from all causes not just u-boats. Blair’s vol. 2 indicates Eisbar late in ‘42 was one of the most successful, if not the most successful operation. The Germans by 1943 may have stood no chance of sinking more tonnage than the allies could build, but if their IXs, and occasionally VIIs, had maintained radio silence while transiting to patrol areas, in remote areas, they would’ve continued to bag enough shipping to remain an important factor. They should’ve assumed the allies had made progress reading their mail just like b-deinst had reading allied mail.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
7,686
#12
U-boats did sunk more tonnage than the allies built in ‘42. They may have lost the tonnage war no matter what, but it would’ve helped had they used Type IXs exclusively in renumerative peripheral areas where allied defenses were weakest, and maintained radio silence while transiting to and from patrol areas.

Longer patrols more time spent in transit, less time sinking ships.

Teh problems is that the Allies oculd exaisly divert some very transferable resources into the Battle of Alantic , and always would , long range aircraft, foir exmpale of which they had plenty and only needed to divert a few for a large effect. Where as the Germans to field more sub,arines was a much longer lead time, there was a lot of difference between the well trained pre war crews and later crews. Submarine services don't scale up rapidily.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
7,686
#13
A single Detroit tank factory used by the US produced more tanks then every one of Germany combined.
.
I VERY seriously doubt this is true. us 110,000 tanks/AFVs Germany 50,000. So your saying half of US production came out of a single factory. Seems far fetcd. or are we talking something like a single year.


Of ourcse massive german tank production would be totally pointless. Where would the steel come from what would NOT be built? Where would the Oil come from to run them? Where would the trucks came from to support them? where woudl teh trains came form to move more supplies and materials to the factories. The Germany war ecnomy was constrained in multiple ways, jys increasing one aspect will just hit another constraint harder.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
2,717
Sydney
#14
The German were hindered not only by their concept but by their economic limits ,
the Panzer 1 was a joke , but that's all they could afford , the panzer 4 was in production from the start to the end of the war ,
much modified , up-gunned and over-armored until the poor machine could barely move
the Tiger was OK if a bit on the slow side and ruled the battle ground from early 1943 to mid1944 when the soviet IS-2came on the scene
even then it didn't matter how good the tigers were , there just was not enough of them , ever
same with the ultimate ambush killer of the war , the Jagdpanther , what does it matter how good it is if it's hardly ever were needed
the best German tank was probably the Hetzer ,
not because of it's qualities which were few ....but because of it's quantity which were near adequate

as for tonnage sunk ,
February 1942 saw the "happy time" for the U-boats
the US coast was illuminated allowing them to see the silhouette of ships ,
air patrol was in it's infancy with much patch wars between the coast guard , the Navy and the air force
for the first six months of 1942 losses were so large as to cause Churchill to suspend the Murmansk convoy
since the Soviets were desperately fighting off operation "case blue" at the time
Stalin was quite vocal in expressing his spleen at such a proof of British treachery

following the end of "happy time " the U- boat concentrated on the "gap" with a large amount of success
during March 1943 there were some serious concern that Britain might not be able to keep fighting
the losses were that severe !
However April saw a dramatic change with record number of U-boats sunk
from then on it was a death spiral for the Kriegsmarine ,
the losses of experienced crews were never being made up by untrained newbies , leading to even more losses
by mid 1944 the U-boats were little more than a nuisance
 
Jul 2016
7,353
USA
#15
I VERY seriously doubt this is true. us 110,000 tanks/AFVs Germany 50,000. So your saying half of US production came out of a single factory. Seems far fetcd. or are we talking something like a single year.


Of ourcse massive german tank production would be totally pointless. Where would the steel come from what would NOT be built? Where would the Oil come from to run them? Where would the trucks came from to support them? where woudl teh trains came form to move more supplies and materials to the factories. The Germany war ecnomy was constrained in multiple ways, jys increasing one aspect will just hit another constraint harder.
Detroit Arsenal Tank factory alone produced 22,000 tanks (not counting other AFV) during WW2, from 1941-45. Germany, in total, produced around same amount (according to Coombs), from 39-45. If you actually just count the concurrent months while they were both at war, Detroit wins by far. Even with a multi-year head start, with many of their tanks actually made pre-war, the Germans are essentially tied with a single plant that only produced one quarter of all US tanks.

Detroit was home to American auto manufacturing pre-war, they retooled some car manufacturing factories (the DTAP was formed on the old Chrysler factory), best of all using the preexisting skilled workforce who already largely lived in the area. Pre-war, Germany didn't have a massive auto industry, they weren't the focus of the world on new industrial techniques to speed production and productivity, the United States was. Even the Soviet Union was better than the Germans, and the reason why was simple: the famous engineer architect Albert Kahn, who designed most of the US plants for maximum efficiency, had gone to the USSR in the 20s and helped them set up a few factories. Again, of all of Germany's AFV, only a single one of them used an assembly line. Think about that...

The problem with German tank production wasn't that Germany did have the ability to make more tanks than it did. Every year allocations of resources would be split between services of the Wehrmacht and civilian industry based on a central plan provided by the top Nazi govt (usually idiots like Goering handling it), where quotas would be calculated based not only on operational needs for combat but also on a list of resources ready to build them, and with existing fuel to run them. Going over this was impossible, but that never remotely happened. Because the Germans NEVER CAME CLOSE TO MEETING THOSE DEMANDS. Again, not because of lack of resources, but because of organizational/bureaucratic/industrial/mobilization problems. The closest they came was in late '44, but by then it was too late. They waited until the late summer of 1944 to truly mobilize their industry and society properly, installing full total war measures, when all their opponents had done so since 1940-41. By this point the Germans had lost too many conquered territories losing all those natural resources, it lost too many Germans in battle, the Allied bombing campaign was at its most efficient (though that's not saying too much), and the German borders themselves were on the verge of being breached. The total war decisions made in July-August 1944 by Goebbels had been asked for repeatedly since 1943 when the Reich technically instituted total war measures (but actually didn't do much). Multiple shifts, females in the workforce, etc.

Think about Rosie the Riveter. Absolutely 100% essential for US production. The British had an equivalent, as did the Soviets. Did the Germans? When did they shove their women into factories in the millions, allowing their men to serve in uniform?
 
Jul 2016
7,353
USA
#16
The German were hindered not only by their concept but by their economic limits ,
the Panzer 1 was a joke , but that's all they could afford , the panzer 4 was in production from the start to the end of the war ,
much modified , up-gunned and over-armored until the poor machine could barely move
the Tiger was OK if a bit on the slow side and ruled the battle ground from early 1943 to mid1944 when the soviet IS-2came on the scene
even then it didn't matter how good the tigers were , there just was not enough of them , ever
same with the ultimate ambush killer of the war , the Jagdpanther , what does it matter how good it is if it's hardly ever were needed
the best German tank was probably the Hetzer ,
not because of it's qualities which were few ....but because of it's quantity which were near adequate
The Tiger I didn't own the battlefield, there were barely any of them. W-SS Panzer Divisions had a company each, and there were some separate heavy battalions usually, one per Panzer Army available. Which means they'd generally only be present on the schwerpunkt of the German line, opposite the full might of either Soviet shock armies or else near fully mechanized British or American infantry and armored divisions. Even Soviet IS-2 would be rare on the battlefield, they were designed as breakthrough tanks and weren't even commonly used that way because of operational mobility issues.

Jagdpanther was designed on the same chassis as the Panther, which meant it had all the same problems with transmission and final drive. Great AFV in theory, considering gun, armor, and power to weight ratio. Not so great in reality.

Jagdpanzer 38/Hetzer wasn't a tank, it didn't have a turret, it was a tank destroyer. A tank's primary job isn't killing other tanks, its to kill infantry, bunkers, AT guns, and other tanks while supporting their own infantry. On the attack a casemate style AFV is next to useless. Only a single AFV in the entire war had the ability to pivot turn (turn in place, with one track going forward, the other to the rear), and to do it the Panther transmission was a catastrophe as a result. A casemate gun usually had about 12 degrees of lateral movement, which meant for the gunner to get on target the entire vehicle would have to turn, which meant either advancing or reversing a track. Usually not an issue when sitting in an ambush situation on the defense covering a predesigned avenue of approach for enemy armor, but very bad when attacking an enemy position and having to quickly respond to sideways threats of infantry dismounts, AT guns, bunkers, and other AFVs. German tactical and operational doctrine was formed on the attack, not the defense. Even on the defense the counterattack was highly emphasized, absolutely essential, and casemate tank destroyers are simply not up to the task for that compared to a turreted/armored tank. (This is also why going with a primarily StuG panzer would have been bad).
 
Likes: sparky

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
7,686
#17
Detroit Arsenal Tank factory alone produced 22,000 tanks (not counting other AFV) during WW2, from 1941-45. Germany, in total, produced around same amount (according to Coombs), from 39-45. If you actually just count the concurrent months while they were both at war, Detroit wins by far. Even with a multi-year head start, with many of their tanks actually made pre-war, the Germans are essentially tied with a single plant that only produced one quarter of all US tanks.


German armored fighting vehicle production during World War II - Wikipedia

from 1941-45 Germany produced 44118 tanks . Double the numbers you have given.


Thats side an agree with teh general thrust of your post. I'm just being picky about numbers,.


The US automakers were more concentrated an dthe US had tendacy to fewer bigger factories. Ths US was better at mass production, and did produce alm awful lot of stuff, and scaled up prudction very quickly, aircrfat, tanks, trucks, ships, the US industrial might was pretty awesome. Vast resources and secuity from bombing helped.

The Ger,mans were plauged by criss crossing confused hierarchy a system of patronage , influnce that interfered in teh rationalization of their production generally. The vast collaction of types of trucks , the standardization was a much better approch.
 
Jul 2016
7,353
USA
#18
German armored fighting vehicle production during World War II - Wikipedia

from 1941-45 Germany produced 44118 tanks . Double the numbers you have given.


Thats side an agree with teh general thrust of your post. I'm just being picky about numbers,.


The US automakers were more concentrated an dthe US had tendacy to fewer bigger factories. Ths US was better at mass production, and did produce alm awful lot of stuff, and scaled up prudction very quickly, aircrfat, tanks, trucks, ships, the US industrial might was pretty awesome. Vast resources and secuity from bombing helped.

The Ger,mans were plauged by criss crossing confused hierarchy a system of patronage , influnce that interfered in teh rationalization of their production generally. The vast collaction of types of trucks , the standardization was a much better approch.
I love wikipedia but this is perfect example of why sourcing them is problematic. The article you linked uses Zaloga's Armored Champion as a source. I just happen to have this book sitting open in my lap. Page 297, Appendix 2, the total German tank production 39-45 is 24,733 total, which is only 2,000 more than Bengamin Coombs wrote in his book about British war production (I can't remember name off top of my head).

Side note, I think it was Zaloga that wrote about the one Detroit plant itself outproducing all of Germany. If not him it was another big name historian. I'm not educated enough to have done the background to know that, but I do have the ability to regurgitate what smart people come up with.

My point about German industry was that the common misconception is that they were operating at max efficiency for their abilities. But if that is true it speaks about low abilities as a result of a mix of incompetence and inefficiency at all levels, not all can be placed at Hitler's feet.
 
Likes: sparky

starman

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
3,743
Connecticut
#19
Longer patrols more time spent in transit, less time sinking ships.

Teh problems is that the Allies oculd exaisly divert some very transferable resources into the Battle of Alantic , and always would , long range aircraft, foir exmpale of which they had plenty and only needed to divert a few for a large effect. Where as the Germans to field more sub,arines was a much longer lead time, there was a lot of difference between the well trained pre war crews and later crews. Submarine services don't scale up rapidily.
By 1943 I don’t think the Germans had any good option left but to resort to more long range operations. North Atlantic convoys were so well guarded attacking meant inordinate losses. In addition long range operations, if only made secret by radio silence, would’ve forced the allies to spread vast resources far and wide.
 
Likes: sparky

starman

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
3,743
Connecticut
#20
as for tonnage sunk ,
February 1942 saw the "happy time" for the U-boats
the US coast was illuminated allowing them to see the silhouette of ships ,
air patrol was in it's infancy with much patch wars between the coast guard , the Navy and the air force
for the first six months of 1942 losses were so large as to cause Churchill to suspend the Murmansk convoy
since the Soviets were desperately fighting off operation "case blue" at the time
Stalin was quite vocal in expressing his spleen at such a proof of British treachery

following the end of "happy time " the U- boat concentrated on the "gap" with a large amount of success
during March 1943 there were some serious concern that Britain might not be able to keep fighting
the losses were that severe !
However April saw a dramatic change with record number of U-boats sunk
from then on it was a death spiral for the Kriegsmarine ,
the losses of experienced crews were never being made up by untrained newbies , leading to even more losses
by mid 1944 the U-boats were little more than a nuisance
Churchill didn’t suspend Murmansk convoys until after the summer of ‘42. As Blair pointed out, the German success of March 1943, or the allied predicament then, has been over hyped. Losses amounted to only 8% of convoy ships bound for Britain. A record number of u-boats were sunk in May 1943 not April.
 
Likes: sparky

Similar History Discussions