Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Production numbers

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by JBark, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. JBark

    JBark Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    21
    I recently finished reading Richard Overy's The Air War 1939-1945 in which he discussed, among other things, the production of the various combatant nations in WWII. I have always read with interest discussions on forums like this where Germany is credited with tremendous achievements in wartime production, focusing particularly on their increases of 1944. Many use these numbers to indicate that the strategic bombing campaign had little notable effect on German industry. Having a particular interest in armor I have read that while Germany was able to increase tank production in '44 they sacrificed production of parts and necessary logisitic support so the increase did little. In Air War Overy shares the numbers of war production influence the air war. Overy provides some numbers which clearly indicate that Germany's increase was no increase at all.
    First some background:

    Population-
    US- 141,940,00
    USSR- 170,400,000
    UK- 47,600,000
    Ger.- 79,200,000

    Labor Force
    US- 52,000,000
    USSR- 70,000,000
    UK- 22,900,000
    Ger.- 36,200,000

    % of world manufac
    US- 32.2
    USSR- 16.5
    UK- 9.2
    Ger.- 10.7

    Aircraft Production - 1944
    US- 96,318
    USSR- 40,300
    UK- 31,036
    Ger.- 39,807

    No# of Aircft Engines- 1944
    US- 256,912
    USSR- 52,000
    UK- 56,931
    Ger.- 54,600

    Prod by Weight(m lb.)- 1944
    US- 951.6
    UK- 208
    Ger.- 199

    Most know that Germany showed an increase in production in 1944 (15,0000 aircraft) but a closer look shows that they had dedicated their production to fighters and were outproduced in number of engines and weight of airframes (Indicating production of multi-engine aircraft) by Britain which had a smaller workforce and population.
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    Is the labor force the total labor force or the numbers devoted to aircraft production?
     
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    17,317
    Likes Received:
    2,037
    Location:
    Alabama
    Looks like total. 52 million is over 1/3 of the total of 141.9 million in the US lines.
     
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks, I should have seen that. Where's the embarrassed emotocon?
     
  5. JBark

    JBark Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    21
    Don't worry, no such thing as a dumb question...until you've worked retail.
     
  6. tikilal

    tikilal Ace

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    66
    I am lost, why are you saying that the increase was not an increase?

    Germany never really produced large aircraft in great numbers. By 44 I do not think that Germany was too concerned with strategic bombing or anything else that required large planes.

    Help me understand please.
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    I think the point was that if you measure aircraft production by weight or number of engines or overall effort shifting to single engine aircraft means that although the numbers of planes may go up the other measures may not and in fact may go down. It then becomes a matter of how you measure things and why.
     
    LJAd likes this.
  8. JBark

    JBark Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    21
    I spent the day trying to think of a way of explaining it. First is the method I already used, a comparison to armor. The Germans increased tank production by using the facilities that would normally make parts to make tanks and ended up with a shortage of parts (I'm sorry I don't recall my source for this.) The result is the inability to repair tanks in the field, essentially no increase at all but a decrease.

    Think if we compared two combatant nation's numbers of wheeled vehicle production and one of the numbers was for 40,000 jeep like vehicles while another country produced 10,000 jeeps, 20,000 4 wheel drive trucks and 8,000 armored cars. Which country produced more for their war effort.

    Germany never had a strategic bombing capability, thus the problem with the use of their air force. At best their air force was a tactical support for their army and barely much more. Their production in multiple engine aircraft decreased as they concentrated on defending the homeland from our bombers and thus losing the air war over the battlefields of both the eastern and western fronts.

    Look at the number of engines. How many replacements have they left themselves? Their "increase" left them with no ability to fight offensively and not much ability to fight defensively.

    I'm not always good at this type of thing, I hope this helped. I strongly recommend the book for the data it offers; not the easiest read though.
     
  9. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    From E .Hooton (the Fall of the Luftwaffe,appendix 19)the following figues for 194O
    Single-engine fighter :1870
    Twin-engine fighter :1840
    Twin-engine bomber:2744
    Four-engine bomber :38
    Stuka-Schlacht :611
    Transport :763
    Trainer :1328
    Other(inc.gliders):1632
    1941(types are replaced by numbers:singl-engine fighter =1,etc)
    1) 2852
    2)1880
    3)2816
    4)58
    5)476
    6)969
    7)889
    8)1836
    1942
    1)4542
    2)2422
    3)3620
    4)251
    5)917
    6)1265
    7)1170
    8)1369
    1943
    1)9626
    2)4100
    3)4266
    4)491
    5)1844
    6)2033
    7)2076
    8)1091
    1944
    1)25860
    2)5025
    3)3063
    4)518
    5)909
    6)1002
    7)3063
    8)348
    While the gross figures fromOvery are right,they are not giving a comparison withe the other years,and,no comparison of the different types .
     
  10. JBark

    JBark Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    21
    Overy gave a comparison of other years, I did not. You make the same point, the Germans made nearly 5 times more fighters than any other type of aircraft. You might recall that by Germany's classification the Me-262 was a twin engine bomber, so "types" don't always paint a clear picture. I did not offer all the years because of the ridiculous way it would look on the page.
     

Share This Page