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Ammunition production, total tons

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Guaporense, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. Guaporense

    Guaporense Dishonorably Discharged

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    Hi, I have been doing some statistical research on war production and a have not found statistics on some item that has enormous importance: ammunition.

    How many tons of ammunition the US made per year in 1941-1945?
     
  2. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    This might help;

    Lt. Gen. Levin H. Campbell, Jr., Chief of Ordnance from 1942 to 1946, proudly had this to say:

    "From Pearl Harbor to V-J Day the Industry-Ordnance team furnished to the Army and 43 foreign nations 47 billion rounds of small arms ammunition, approximately 11 million tons of artillery ammunition, more than 12 million rifles and carbines, approximately 750,000 artillery pieces and 3/2 million military vehicles." 25,065,834,000 rounds of just .30 cal. ammunition were produced between 1942-1945, and in that same period 71 million rounds of other ammunition calibers spilled from Army munitions plants; daily.

    Olin`s Western Cartridge Co. Division made "hundreds of millions" of 7.92 mm Mauser cartridges for the Chinese; Winchester made like quantities of .303s for the British. Both made other types as well, bringing their combined wartime ammunition total to almost nine billion rounds.

    Du Pont`s Remington Arms Co. established and operated five new GOCO ordnance plants, Denver, Kings Mills, Lake City, Lowell and Utah, accounting for over 16 billion rounds of standard military ammunition of 33 caliber types.

    Remington supplied a combined total of over 60,000 Model 1 IA, Sportsman and 31 shotguns for aerial training with more than 5,000 traps, millions of clay birds and half a billion rounds of shotshells. Two billion rimfire cartridges and thousands of Model 513-T .22 rifles were also supplied for training.

    Federal Cartridge Co. operated the Twin Cities Arsenal that produced more than four billion rounds of military ammunition,

    Chrysler`s main lines were, of course, devoted to vehicles, but under a GOCO contract it operated the Evansville Ordnance Plant that was the largest producer of .45 ACP ammunition in the war.
     
    See:

    NRA-ILA :: The Great Arsenal of Democracy

    I'm not certain that this includes ammunition production of the large caliber naval guns in the US Navy or not.
     
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  3. Guaporense

    Guaporense Dishonorably Discharged

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    Thanks. For comparison, from the axis history site germany produced 7 million tons of ammunitions between 1942 and 1944.
     
  4. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Is that 7 million tons all inclusive for Germany, or just small arms? If it is all inclusive it is pretty minor, if it is just small arms it isn't as bad. Don't forget that number set I posted only covered the US, not the UK, the USSR, nor the Dominions. There was a major powder/ammuntion facility in the Mid-east for the UK, as well as the Australian/New Zealand sphere.

    I have no idea how one would find those figures for the rest of the allies. Heck, I don't even know where to look for the production levels for Canada, and yet I know full well they had major facilities in operation all through the war.
     
  5. Guaporense

    Guaporense Dishonorably Discharged

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    Well, 7 million tons in total is a lot (i don't know if it is total or not)... Germany produced 2 times the ammunition that the USSR produced in 1944 and in terms of heavy caliber ammunition it was 10 times the amount Britain made in 1944. In fact, I guess that in ammunition germany was in the best relative position to total munition production in ww2.

    1944

    75 mm or above:
    Germany 108 million rounds
    Britain 11.3 million rounds

    Small ams:
    Germany 5.28 billion
    Britain 2.46 billion
    US average of the 4 year period: ~12 billion

    Source: http://books.google.com.br/books?id...resnum=8&ved=0CDAQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=&f=false

    Note that 47 billion rounds of small arms ammunition would weight 7 million tons if each round weights about 170 grams, in small arms that doesn't happen a lot.

    All right, thanks anyway.
     
  6. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Actually, Germany wasn't in very good shape ammunition-wise during most of WW II.

    According to Adam Tooze, in "Wages Of Destruction", Germany ran down her strategic stocks of ammunition during each major offensive and was forced to rebuild them before the next offensive could begin. And this could only be accomplished by switching steel allocations from other programs, such as tank production. This created a continuous see-saw effect in the production of various kinds of armaments. For Germany, steel was always a major problem.
     
  7. Guaporense

    Guaporense Dishonorably Discharged

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    Of course germany had ammunition problems.... I mean, they were at war with 50 countries.... their guns were blazing nonstop for 6 years !!!!!!!!!!!!!! German gunfire killed and wounded about 30 million soldiers.

    In 1944 germany produced more ammunition than anybody. However, they were at war with everybody, so they had to produce more ammunition because they fired their guns more. ;)

    Ammunition production 1944 (for ground forces):

    Heavy rounds:

    Germany - 108 million rounds
    US - 85 million rounds
    Britain - 11.3 million rounds

    All types:

    Germany - 281.1 million rounds
    US - 227.3 million rounds
    USSR - 94.8 million rounds

    tons:

    Germany - 3.35 million tons (for ground and air forces), guess 2 million for ground
    US - 1.45 million tons (only ground forces)

    Small arms:

    Germany - 5.28 billion rounds
    US - 6.57 billion rounds
    Britain - 2.46 billion rounds

    In 1943:

    all types:


    Germany - 217.7 million rounds
    US - 156.9 million rounds
    USSR - 85.8 million rounds

    tons:

    Germany - 2.8 million tons (inclusive)
    US - 0.8 million tons (only ground forces)
     
  8. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Sources pleasee?
     
  9. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    I sincerely doubt the validity of this statement. How about some source citations?

    The problem Germany had to contend with in ammunition production was that producing ammunition, especially artillery ammunition, requires very large amounts of steel and Germany was not able to produce enough steel to fulfill all of the allocations that it's armaments production demanded. In order to produce ammunition, therefore, the Germans were forced to "ration" steel; that is to cut steel allocations to other armaments programs, such as tank production and shipbuilding. This was what I was referring to when I stated that Germany was not in good shape ammunition-wise.


    Yes, please cite your sources, and it would be nice if you could reference statistics with consistent bases.
     
  10. Guaporense

    Guaporense Dishonorably Discharged

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    My sources:

    1. Soviet War Production

    2. Mobilizing US industry in World War 2

    3. British strategic bombing survey
     
  11. Guaporense

    Guaporense Dishonorably Discharged

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    There are various things that germany produced more than the US during the war:

    1- Coal

    2- Artillery ammunition

    3- Ballistic missiles (not quite relevant, but...)

    4- Rifles

    5- SP guns

    6- Heavy tanks

    7- Jet planes
     
  12. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    And they still lost.

    Coal production is a red herring, increased because there was a profound lack of oil production.

    Artillery ammunition. Does this also disregard naval "artillery"?

    Ballistic Missles You're right, minimal effect on the war, especially given the price tag.

    Rifles - okay, they armed men with an old bolt action rifle.

    SP guns - Does this also include the "SP Guns" carried on naval ships? How many SP guns could you make from the material needed to produce a single destroyer, of the nearly 350 built during the war by the US?

    Heavy Tanks - See above and modify the question.

    Jet Planes - And lacking the necessary mineral resources to manufacture parts to make a long lasting engine adversely affected the usefullness of this aircraft.
     
  13. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    I (yes me :D )have found the source for the 3.35 million ton in 1944 :
    The Pinguin Historical Atlas of the Third Reich by Overy (available on AH Factbook )
    2 points :
    I am curious about the sources of Overy
    If the US produced lessthan Germany,whas it because they could not produce more,or because producing more would be useless (maybe they had enough stocks )?
     
  14. Guaporense

    Guaporense Dishonorably Discharged

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    Because the US+Britain+USSR would have produced more everything (except submarines and heavy tanks and jet aircraft and ballistic missiles).

    They produced more than the US but less than the US+Britain+USSR. Yes, when comparing the consumption of energy by countries you should look at all figures. In total energy the US consumed about two times more than Germany.

    Only ground forces ammunitions.

    Not if they had the idea to fill the V rockets with radioactive material! :p

    They were bad, but they made more... :p

    Calm down man...
     
  15. Guaporense

    Guaporense Dishonorably Discharged

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    Maybe because they had only 100 divisions while Germany had 350...

    Also, Germany fought 50 countries in 6 years, while the US fought 2 countries in 4 years.

    And Germany fought on the eastern front...
     
  16. Guaporense

    Guaporense Dishonorably Discharged

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    Total energy consumption of the belligerent powers for the year of 1943:

    A ton of coal has the energy equivalent of 0.612 tons of oil.

    US: 586.2 million tons of coal + 200 million tons of oil = 558.75 MT tons of oil equivalent

    Germany: 554.6 million tons of coal + 7.6 million tons of oil = 347.01 MT tons of oil equivalent

    USSR: 93.1 million tons of coal + 18 million tons of oil = 74.98 MT of oil equivalent

    Britain: 202.1 million tons of coal + 10 million tons of oil = 133.7 MT of oil equivalent

    The USSR used well its rather limited raw material and energy resources...
     
  17. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    I'm sure if you look hard enough you can find even more examples of items that Germany produced more of. Of course they would probably be just as irrelevant as these things; swagger sticks for instance, I'm sure the German military, with it's insistence on useless spectacle produced more of those.

    But total production of the the things that counted, trucks, aircraft, ships was clearly the provence of the US. The following chart illustrates US merchant ship construction and graphically indicates why German U-boats never had a chance of winning the Battle of the Atlantic.

    View attachment 9210

    HyperWar: The Big 'L'--American Logistics in World War II [Chapter 1]

    So I ask, what is your point? The Germans got outproduced by a country that didn't even break a sweat to do so. Not only that, but it was predictable that they would get beaten, so the whole thing was nothing but gross stupidity.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    For the moderator:can I reply to a post of the Cows and horses (US truck production) ?
     
  19. Guaporense

    Guaporense Dishonorably Discharged

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    The US allocated a larger proportion of national resources to industrial production than Germany. In 1943, Germany had only 14% of the labour force in war industries, the US had 19%.
    (in fact the link you posted said that)
    Also, ammunition is hardly irrelevant. In fact, it is maybe the most important thing. Germany produced more of several thing very important to victory in war, like rifles, field guns and heavy ammo rounds. Also, they had a larger army than the US.

    The outcome in WW2 was predictable? Not at all, the Russian people will to resist was too great. And everything in WW2 rested almost only on the Red Army's fighting power against the Wehrmacht.
     
  20. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    The link I posted also said that the US had a lower proportion of total industrial capacity committed to war production than any major belligerent. The Us was alone among the major belligerents in increasing production consumer goods during the war. Germany had fewer workers because it chose to have a larger Army. But again, you are selecting just those numbers that tend to support your argument and ignoring the overall picture.

    My point was that producing more ammunition than anyone else is irrelevant, not that ammunition itself is irrelevant. You keep citing selected isolated numbers and basing your arguments on them. They really mean nothing unless compared with consistent statistics and incorporated into an overall picture.

    Yes. Based on the fact that Germany choose to wage war against a coalition of countries whose combined war-making potential was 70.1% of the world's total, while possessing only 20.4% of the world's war-making potential among herself and her allies. Moreover, choosing to make your plans based your own propaganda (that the slav's were sub-human and the Western Democracies were effeminate and weak) is not very smart. The data was all there for Hitler and his cronies, they choose to disregard it; utter stupidity.

    And no, Germany still would have been defeated without the USSR as a belligerent. The wehrmacht could not project it's power outside of Europe and Europe, even if occupied still did not give Germany the raw materials and productive capacity to successfully challenge the Western Democracies.
     
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