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What if:--Nazi Germany vs. Imperial Japan

Discussion in 'What If - Other' started by Fire_spit, Sep 9, 2004.

  1. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Oh sorry Bruce my point about German algriculture was it had problems because it was so labor intensive then what was the case in the US but as you allude to mechanisation proves it's efficency far more so when used on large farms versus small farms. One thing is larger farms I'm sure can get investments/loans to buy expensive machinery far more so then smaller farms and of course a nation with a large automotive industry will probably be able to produce far more & cheaper farm machinery. My point on German mechanisation in algriculture was more about the WW1 era but as I understood it not much changed before WW2 in German algriculture .
    I wasn't trying to say the US didn't build new factories only that the US didn't go out and do that near as much as they just converted existing industries over to war time production. An example of consumer industry turning to war time production was a certain juke box manufactorer turning out carbines during the war. A good book on the subject is "The Myth of US Mobolisation in WW2" .
     
  2. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Brian,

    You may have read Adam Tooze's book, "Wages Of Destruction", but if you haven't, it includes an excellent discussion of the constraints the German war economy and war production suffered. Production of food was a problem throughout the war, even after the Nazi's occupied the rest of Continental Europe. This was because of small farms, and lack of mechanization. Coal, especially coking coal for the producton of steel, was in very short supply because of labor shortages and difficult mining conditions in aging mines.

    As someone on another thread pointed out, the Germans ran their economy on the assumption they could produce the materials they wanted by diverting labor resources and raw materials into the appropriate channels. They could generally, but the point that is neglected, is the fact that they could never produce more than marginally adequate supplies of any given materials, and to make even marginal levels of supplies they had to drastically cut the production of other, equally necessary, materials. Furthermore they were constantly changing their production priorities which made it very difficult for their industries to achieve the production runs which generated economies of scale.

    In fact, the Germans never really had a chance in their struggle to match the productive capacities of their enemies. The Soviet Union outproduced them for the most part and proved more than a match for them. The Anglo-American coalition possessed far more productive capacity than the Soviet Union, and fundamentally dwarfed German war production in all it's aspects.
     
  3. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    I have never seen nor read the book mentioned, but I think this is especially false in the case of both tanks, and new bomber aircraft two of the most massive and labor intensive weapons systems built by the US.

    There were NEW plants built specifically for those weapons of war. It is true that we converted many existing plants into weapons production, but America also built massive new ones to fill the needs of ourselves and our allies:
     
    Initial production plans called for 1,741 medium tanks to be built in a year and a half. Soon it was talked about producing ten tanks per day. To achieve these goals it was decided to turn to the experts of mass production, the Detroit automobile industry.

    It took less than a month to design a tank arsenal just outside of Detroit. This became the Detroit Tank Arsenal. It cost $21 million to build. Soon it was producing the required 10 tanks per day.


    See:
    United States' History - World War II Vehicles, Tanks, and Airplanes

    This is a completely new plant is it not?

    As to the bombers, the Consolidated B-24 was also built in new, B-24 specific plants built just for WW2, such as the new plant at Fort Worth Texas and the huge Willow Run plant put up by Ford in Michigan. The Boeing company built a huge new B-29 specific plant in Wichita Kansas as well. Those were new and product specific plants built in the US wer they not?

    We did convert a great many plants to "war production", but we also built massive new plants as well.

     
  4. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Just got to thinking to about the US synthetic rubber industry starting from scratch .
     
  5. Guaporense

    Guaporense Dishonorably Discharged

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    Well, my point is that Germany annexed a lot of territory, with industrial resources, with increased its
    potential from 14.4% to about 22%.

    Germany per capita consumption decreased by 30% from 1939 to 1944.

    US per capita consumption decreased by 10% from 1939 to 1944. Second to Friedman and Schwartz (1963).

    Britain per capita consumption decreased by about 10% from 1939 to 1944.
     
  6. Guaporense

    Guaporense Dishonorably Discharged

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    The soviet economy was way smaller. Coal production in the USSR was about 100 million tons in 1943. German prroduction was 520 million tons.

    The warmaking effort of the USSR was impressive, but the fact is that they had an industry designed for war. With much less resources than any other power, they could make more weapons.

    Sure. Did I say that germany had more capacity than the US?

    Well, germany had way more capacity than britain, 2 to 3 times.
     
  7. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    America didn’t "start from scratch" on synthetic rubber production just for WW2, it started in the twenties in the USA (between wars); Father Nieuwland's neoprene (1923) shows the world that synthetic rubber can be successful, and does not have to be chemically identical to natural rubber to have good properties. In fact, a different structure could give the rubber better properties than the natural product. The following story is about another serendipitous discovery of a material with superior properties.

    In 1922, Dr. Joseph C. Patrick is in his lab in Kansas City trying to make an automobile antifreeze. When he mixes ethylene dichloride and sodium polysulfate, he is surprised to find that instead of antifreeze he has made a milky suspension. When the mix is allowed to coagulate and dry, the product bounces and stretches like raw natural rubber. If this product is heated, it will crosslink without the addition of sulfur needed to vulcanize natural rubber.

    Well, it's not what he's looking for, but Dr. Patrick get dollar signs in his eyes. He knows he has made a marketable synthetic rubber. The raw materials are easy to make, it takes no effort to make the rubber, and it can be made in many different grades. He also finds that, unlike natural rubber, his new rubber has oil resistance. He calls his creation Thiokol.

    Thiokol is put into commercial production by the Thiokol Corporation of Yardville, NJ in 1930 and is sold as a specialty rubber for about $0.30 per pound, or about 2 or 3 times the price of natural rubber at the time. Thiokol's only problems are it's strong sulfur odor, lower elasticity than natural rubber. It also releases fumes that made one's eyes tear, like when you cut an onion, when it is being processed. People are willing to suffer a little, however, and pay the extra cost due to Thiokol's great oil and solvent resistance.

    See:

    This isn't Antifreeze!

    and:

    Reverend Rubber

    and:

    Proof

    Buna came along later in Germany while DuPont was tied in with the German chemical producers, and they obtained a sample of the German type, which they duplicated and improved over time. At that time DuPont and I.G.Farben owned shares in each other's companies. They shared many compounds between them, including atropine (synthetic quinine), and rayon. DuPont never shared nylon however.
     
  8. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Speaking of rubber I was involved in a debate over on warships1.com about the USN versus HSF . It was funny how some thought that if the US was cutoff from all rubber supplies in & around 1914-1918 it's economy would collapse in 6 months ,it didn't do any good reminding them that Germany fought 4 years without access to rubber imports.
    To make a long story short it seems people think that at first sign of any hardship the US will just turn over & give up. It gets really frustrating at times.
    The US got 20% of it's rubber pre-WW1 from Mexico in the form of Guayle Rubber but the plant got scarce in Mexico plus one had the Mexican Revolution however one gentleman did have the foresight to bring 5,000,000 seedlings to the US right after 1911-1912 and it was hoped they start a US rubber industry just in case the Us was cutoof from imports however during WW1 the US had access to South American & S.E. Asian rubber so the project went by the wayside.

    High Seas Fleet Vs USN - Battleship Vs Battleship - NavWeaps Discussion Boards - NavWeaps Discussion Boards - Message Board - Yuku


    The book I cited earlier was "Mobilizing US Industry in World War Two:Myth & Reality" by Alan L. Gropman . I had gotten the title wrong. It does have alot of useful info though. It states that the US originally planned 213 divisions with 61 Armored, 71 Infantry,61 Mechanised Infantry, 10 Airborne, and 10 Mountain. In actuality the US ended with no Mechanised Infantry, 16 Armored,5 Airborne, and 1 Mountain however the manpower numbers ended up about the same ,victory plan Ground forces 6,745,000 & Airforces 2,050,000 while actually GF ended up at 5,980,000 and AF equalled 2,310,000. In case anybody thinks the Us couldn't have possibly fielded 60 some armored divisions one must remember that about every infantry division had maybe one or two tank battalions attached. Furthermore the US figured it supplied it's Allies with enough equipment to equip something like 101 US type divisions.
    Of course the above paragraph would be better in the "Could the allies Win without the Soviet Union " thread but.....
     
  9. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Here is a great site concerning American synthetic rubber production, it also contains this section which ties in with the existing synthetic rubber production from the twenties on;

    Synthetic rubber production, 1942
    .The American rubber industry became the largest and the most technologically advanced in the world. By the late 1930s, the United States was using half the world's supply of natural rubber, most of it coming from Southeast Asia.
     
    See:

    United States Synthetic Rubber Program, 1939-1945


     
  10. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    You are aware that higher production of a single item (coal) does not prove that one country's economy is much larger than another country's economy?

    What point are you trying to make, anyway?

    Germany was bound to lose World War II, by any objective measure. It choose friends and enemies that guaranteed defeat. The myth that Germany's military was somehow greatly superior to other militaries and could have provided the margin of victory is just that; a myth.
     
  11. Guaporense

    Guaporense Dishonorably Discharged

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    It is not a single item: Gemany produced 2-3 times more Steel, Pig Iron and Energy. Also, produced 4 times more Aluminium.

    Several items with very correlated production imply in greater industry. You still think that Britain was an economy comparable to Greater Germany?

    That Germany would easily defeat Japan.

    North Vietnam was bound to lose the Vietnam War by any objetive measure.

    The Soviet Union was bound to lose WW2 by any objective measure after losing her economic heart in Barbarossa.
     
  12. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    COMMENT: Remember the Soviet Union was a very large country you drive 300 miles into France,Germany or just about any other European country you've conquered just about the whole country not so a large country say like the USSR, the US or China. Taking on a country that is large geographically,heavily industrialised ,large population and large economy is a no no.
     
  13. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    But you only cited a single item, and I had to challenge you before you listed others. That really destroys your credibility. So now you're saying Germany produced more Steel, iron, aluminum, energy and coal, than....who? Japan?

    Well, when you present inconsistent numbers and then make unrealistic comparisons, you don't do your arguments any good. If you are going to compare Britain to Grosse Deutschland, it would only be consistent to include the Commonwealth countries which Britain could call upon for economic assitance, just as Germany did with it's occupied territories.

    Well, you're certainly going about it in a strange way. When I first read this thread I tended to agree with you, but after reading your numbers and convoluted logic, I'm not so sure.

    Not sure what that has to do with the cost of a pound of potatoes in Switzerland?

    Well, here we go again. The USSR didn't "lose her economic heart in Barbarossa". The only thing Barbarossa did was demonstrate the weakness of the Wehrmacht. In fact, the USSR increased its munitions production after Barbarossa, and began, in any case, to receive massive aid from Britain and the US.
     
  14. War General

    War General recruit

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    Guys I'm going with the nation many think will lose.... Imperial Japan wins Nazi Germany:D.
    Japan controls the sea which is a valuable asset. German Bombers owns Japanese Bombers but Japanese Fighters owns German Fighters for example the troublesome "Zero" the US had to compete with that dominated the air. Germany vehicles own Japanese Vehicles. Both Infantries are able to adapt very well and formidable though Japanese Infantry fight to the death unlike their German counterparts. Huge amounts of manpower from Japanese controlled China would be more than enough to handle German Soviets and push back German troops.

    So far this is the situation
    Japan controls air
    Japan controls sea
    Japan has higher population due to its control of china asia and north america
    Japan also has an advantage of its Kamikaze planes and Crazed-BANZAI chargers.

    Germany only has
    Vehicle Advantage
    Aircraft Bombers Advantage
    Oil Reserves Advantage

    Coal is debatable due to japans control of china which has plenty and the nation with one of the most largest amount of coal the USA.

    Even If Germany came up with a navy to compete with Japans imagine kamikazes on a very large scale of tens of thousands completely devastating esp. suicudial torepedo planes.

    Japan can isolate Germany from its colonies due to control of Air and sea and take control and shift those resources to them which soon in time will surpass the resources of Germany and with the time of peace so both nations rebuild their military Japan will surely upgrade all of its industries and military equipment and weapons. Steel would be massly produced. And with japan controling germanys colonies quickly increasing the power of its empire tens fold germany is left with its contiental possessions and left to fight land battles. With Japan complete supremicy of Air and sea. Does not look good for germany. Japan defeat germany. Japan enslaves all and soon hitlers voice of aryan supremecy is drowned by the genocide of all its people and now hears the voice of japanese aryan supremecy. Which now Japan begins its Final Solution a dark sad world indeed.
     
  15. holsteredbazooka

    holsteredbazooka Member

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    I think the Germans would've gotten nukes first, and once they saw what one could do, how long before they had so many V-series rockets tipped with an atom bomb flying over the Himalayas that it darkened the ground in Nepal?
     
  16. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Why would Germany necessarily get nukes first? Japan, suprisingly to some people, had fairly advanced research going on in a great number of areas. Their primary blockage to getting stuff into production was simply capacity. The Germans are saddled with Hitler and the Nazi's idiotic bigotry not just on race but on education, science, and in a number of other fields. One of these is physics and, nuclear physics in particular which the Nazi's regarded as "Jewish science."
     
  17. green slime

    green slime Member

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    I think there are several issues here people are forgetting:
    1) The German industry never mobilised all its citizens, in the manner of the Allies. Case in point: Half the nation was expected not to participate in industry (the women!). All the allies utilised women in heavy industry to replace the men recruited. It was a matter of principle for the Nazis. Instead, they tried to utilise slave labour, which is never going to produce quality items, and is asking for sabotage attempts.
    2) Germany delayed actually going onto a "total war" economy until far too late: it was feared by the Nazis that the citizens wouldn't stand for it. Few if any factories were running more than one shift! Production of Consumer goods was nearly as high in Jan 1942 as pre-war. But this is mostly due to Hitler's expectation of USSR's imminent collapse.
    3) Not until Albert Speer started working as Minister of Armaments (Feb 1942), did the industry start to mobilise!
    4) Germany's best production figures were achieved in December 1944. After the loss of BeloRussia, Ukraine, Poland, France,... In spite of the Bombing! But by now they had no fuel to propel their tanks and aircraft, few trained men left, and no hope anyway.
    5) The Japanese could never produce anything without their shipping: there are almost no natural resources on the islands, and not really enough farms either. Allied submarines caused terrible drops in the production values, and food supplies.
     
  18. humancertainty

    humancertainty Member

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    A few things....
    I think Germany would have had the A-Bomb. If they were able to win all that the OP said, they never would have lost the heavy water plant in Norway. A German U-Boat was actually taking something resources to Japan for their A-Bomb program when Germany capitulated.
    Even though this is a what-it scenario, I still can hardly fathom Germany winning against the USSR.
    On that note, Japan would have been far more likely to sign a truce with the USA than conquer them. My understanding has always been that that was what Japan was ultimately aiming for in the Pacific.
    Germany and Japan had no racial strife between the two. The Japanese were declared Honorary Aryans. I can't quote a source, but I seem to recall reading something to the effect that Hitler admired the Japanese culture and their proclivity towards racial purity.
    Really, I think it would result in a stand-off. I can't see either one besting each other. Of course, I can't imagine the circumstances that would exist for them to be at war with each other, either.
     
  19. Vox Dei

    Vox Dei recruit

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    What about the German jet fighters? V-weapons? Late-war super-subs? Superior military command? Separation of die-hard SS from normal Wehrmacht (as opposed to the Japanese, where most every soldier would fight to the death)?
     
  20. Erich Raeder

    Erich Raeder Member

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    In "U-Boat the Secret Menace" by David Mason it says that in June 1943 "five U-boats reached the Cape of Good Hope and made the passage into the Indian Ocean, where they refuelled from a tanker south of Madagascar and spread out over the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, to work alongside eight Japanese Submarienes patroling the area. By the end of the year the U-Boats, with help from their Japanese allies sunk fifty seven ships of 337,169 tons". So maybe this encounter between the two powers could have became hostile and the Japanese subs and German Uboats engaged each other in battle. This event then could have spread into a full war between Japan and Germany for control of the world.

    Ultimatly I think that Germany would win,but only if they have a sizable fleet at the time.

    German Admiral Erich Raeder said that in order for Germany to have "World Power Status" they would need a fleet of 80 battleships, 15-20 aircraft carriers, 100 heavy cruisers,115 light criusers, 500 U-boats and 250 destroyers. Now in 1943 Germany has no where near this, but maybe by 1960 they would be strong enough to fight Japan.
     

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