WW2 German Production Problems

Jul 2016
9,676
USA
#1
A couple months ago there was a discussion about German production problems in WW2, and the usual argument of lack of natural resources was used by many to give a generalized excuse as to why Germans couldn't remotely keep with with Allied production. In that thread I argued that while I agree that there was no way Germany could ever keep up remotely with the Allies, it could have done a much better job. My chief explanation is they waited too long to fully mobilize their economy and gear it all for speed, efficiency, etc. One argument was the bureaucracy issues, another was simply lack of urgency, especially at the higher levels until too late in the war, after the Germans were never going to catchup to the Allies, who went full speed back in 40-41.

That was the gist of that thread, but I can't find it and I'm not going to spend the time searching, so I'll just start this one. (If you find it, please post a link).

Today I was searching Youtube for various academic lectures on WW2, as I watch (or listen) to it while I'm working. In one of them I'd watched a few times already (Nick Moran's great video on the M4 Medium/Sherman tank) I heard a reference for another video, which I searched and found:

2013 International Conference on WWII - Kursk The Epic Armored Engagement, by the The National WWII Museum

Its a two person lecture. The first is on the Battle of Kursk, by the extremely knowledgeable, entertaining, and all around awesome Robert Citino, who is simply enjoyable to watch give lectures. Well worth watching, if for nothing else than just the basics on a famous battle.

The second person is Jonathan B. Parshall, who normally focuses on the Pacific naval war against Japan, but because so much of his subject is focused on industry, manufacture, production, he decided to research German tank production to, just to juxtapose, to show the problems associated with poor manufacturing.

Parshall starts in at 26 minutes. I'm not going to give a summary on this right now, it might take a bit, I don't have the time at the moment. In the meantime, I recommend anyone interested in this subject to spend the 45 minutes to watch Parshall speak. Really really good stuff.
 
Mar 2019
1,602
Kansas
#3
A couple months ago there was a discussion about German production problems in WW2, and the usual argument of lack of natural resources was used by many to give a generalized excuse as to why Germans couldn't remotely keep with with Allied production. In that thread I argued that while I agree that there was no way Germany could ever keep up remotely with the Allies, it could have done a much better job. My chief explanation is they waited too long to fully mobilize their economy and gear it all for speed, efficiency, etc. One argument was the bureaucracy issues, another was simply lack of urgency, especially at the higher levels until too late in the war, after the Germans were never going to catchup to the Allies, who went full speed back in 40-41.
.
The German economy was really on a war footing from mid 33 onwards. It was one of the reasons they ended up so resource poor once the shooting war started. Because they were exporting so little of their GDP they had no cash reserves to build up reserves needed for the conduct of the war.
 
Jul 2016
9,676
USA
#4
The German economy was really on a war footing from mid 33 onwards. It was one of the reasons they ended up so resource poor once the shooting war started. Because they were exporting so little of their GDP they had no cash reserves to build up reserves needed for the conduct of the war.
I'm not getting into that again. Just watch the video.
 
Jul 2016
9,676
USA
#6
Already watched a long time ago
Right. You watched all those.

Which is why you think Germany went on a war footing at the exact time Hitler took power (mid 1933), two years before the Versailles Treaty was abolished and the Wehrmacht was created (1935), three years before national conscription began (1936), five years before Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia (1938), six years before the war with Poland started and rationing started (1939), ten years before total war was declared (1943), and eleven years before someone was finally appointed to take full control of total war mobilization (1944).

Because you knew all that...

Go rewatch the video.
 
Mar 2019
1,602
Kansas
#7
Because you knew all that...
If you paid attention to the German economy you would understand why the events you listed happened. You would also understand the changes the Nazis introduced into their economy that moved to a war footing. If anything starting in 1933 was what ultimately doomed them from 1942 onwards
 
Jul 2016
9,676
USA
#8
If you paid attention to the German economy you would understand why the events you listed happened. You would also understand the changes the Nazis introduced into their economy that moved to a war footing. If anything starting in 1933 was what ultimately doomed them from 1942 onwards
Wow, this is frustrating.

How are you not aware of the significance in the flaw of your dating? Hitler took over in 1933, didn't fully take over the entirety of the govt until 1934 after Hindenburg died. It would another year before true rearmament even started, or the Wehrmacht was created, the Versailles Treaty was scrapped in March 1935, when the Reichwehr was abolished and the Wehrmacht replaced it, with the branch of the Luftwaffe added (didn't exist before), and the Kriegsmarine massively expanded, as was the Heer. And then none of the other things Germany needs to do to fully mobilize for war, including conscription, rationing, control of industry, labor laws, etc, were done for up to a decade later.

I'm just going to ignore you at this point, you have nothing to add, and you most certainly didn't watch the video.
 
Mar 2019
1,602
Kansas
#9
Wow, this is frustrating.

How are you not aware of the significance in the flaw of your dating? Hitler took over in 1933, didn't fully take over the entirety of the govt until 1934 after Hindenburg died. It would another year before true rearmament even started, or the Wehrmacht was created, the Versailles Treaty was scrapped in March 1935, when the Reichwehr was abolished and the Wehrmacht replaced it, with the branch of the Luftwaffe added (didn't exist before), and the Kriegsmarine massively expanded, as was the Heer. And then none of the other things Germany needs to do to fully mobilize for war, including conscription, rationing, control of industry, labor laws, etc, were done for up to a decade later.

I'm just going to ignore you at this point, you have nothing to add, and you most certainly didn't watch the video.
The first financial package for rearmament was adopted by the Nazi government in June 1933, and it was extremely ambitious. Schacht approved a figure of 35 billion Reichsmarks to be spent on military buildup over eight years.[28] By comparison, the entire national income of Germany in 1933 was 43 billion Reichsmarks, so the government was not merely proposing to increase military spending, but to make military production the primary focus of the national economy

From Economy of Nazi Germany - Wikipedia

Note the date

The Nazi party came to power in Germany in 1933, and all German aviation development was shifted away from long-range civil aircraft types. Hugo Junkers himself was forced to transfer all his patents to the Nazis, who doubted that Junkers (a socialist pacifist) would comply with their plans. Shortly after, his holdings were expropriated and he was placed under house arrest.

From

Junkers - Wikipedia

Note the date


Also a fairly concise explanation of the problems Germany faced in the period under discussion


 

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,297
#10
The German economy was really on a war footing from mid 33 onwards. It was one of the reasons they ended up so resource poor once the shooting war started. Because they were exporting so little of their GDP they had no cash reserves to build up reserves needed for the conduct of the war.
No, the war footing came ten years later. Whilst industry was expanding under Hitler's regime and a re-armament program in place (intended completion in 1943 with his plans for lebensraum to begin the year afterward), the Germans were not that well prepared for WW2. Sounds odd? The fact was Hitler was gambling on smaller scale annexations not causing the somewhat reluctant western powers to react. Remember that in 1939 the Germans were worried about French retaliation - the French had more tanks and heavier ones too, plus a reputation for being the best army in the world however undeserved. The French did in fact invade Germany in 1939, only to advance a few miles in because the French generals were worried about going too far.

However, in the winter of 1942/43 the Germans suffered a military reverse at Stalingrad, and for the first time they admitted to the German people that the war not going quite so well. (in fact, the Third Reich had gone to a lot of trouble to make things appear safe, that Germany was only involved in minor wars, and that the heartland was under threat. Note their consternation when the RAF began bombing German targets). Following Stalingrad, rationing was introduced, Goebbels called for "Total War", and full round the clock production shifts introduced. Now the German knew they were at war.