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

Any book on Allied and Axis mobilization of manpower in the war?

Discussion in 'Military Training, Doctrine, and Planning' started by JWM72, Apr 16, 2021.

  1. JWM72

    JWM72 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Does anyone know if there is a comprehensive book that discusses Allied and Axis manpower in the war? I'm just curious if there's a book that lays it out strategic (demographics, population, mobilization percentages, conscripted, trained, deployed etc.) through operational (manning, replacements, etc.) and attrition.

    I've read through the through some US work on the "90-Division Gamble," as well as John R. Peatty's excellent dissertation "The British Army Manpower Crisis 1944." I'd really like to read anything that a compares all major belligerents. There has got to be an obscure Oxford University Press book for $100 that could be mine, that surely addresses these subject areas, right?

    Recommendations?

    Thanks.

    J
     
  2. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,109
    Likes Received:
    41
    I would like to learn more about that topic as well. Is that British Crisis available online or is it a book?
     
  3. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,109
    Likes Received:
    41
    How did the British Army only have 100,000 men near the end of 1944?
     
  4. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    14,456
    Likes Received:
    4,101
  5. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    865
    Whatever gives you the idea that was so?
     
  6. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,109
    Likes Received:
    41
    I checked out that dissertation the OP mentioned and he says something along those lines, like 112,000 for the army. I don't understand how that could be if there were 2.9 million men in the British Army in the fall of 44, but only 100,000 were combat troops?
     
  7. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    865
    Since Peaty says nothing along those lines I remain confused as to what you mean?
     
  8. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,109
    Likes Received:
    41
    Page 9 on the Adobe download of the paper. "amounting to only 121,600 infantry" from an Army of "2.75 million men."
     
  9. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    865
    It's page 8. He is referring to the 121,600 infantry reinforcements required in 1944 in order for all the British divisions to be brought up to strength. The "combat strength" of the army would be the total of the combat arms in all divisions and separate brigades, along with corps and army troops. Look at page 333. The number is 1,719,961, the "total teeth" of the Army, which amounted to 62.39% of the total. They need a reinforcement equal to just 7.07% of the total, 121,600 men, in order to bring all formations up to strength.
     
    A-58 likes this.
  10. DarkLord

    DarkLord Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2021
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    42
    Book "The Rise of the GI Army by Paul Dickson" is a good one on US mobilization. There are some factual errors, but the book will give you a good idea of the overall mobilization and how we went from an army of 160K on September 1, 1939...to one of the largest and most well equipped army's in history in under 4 years.

    I was already a huge fan of George C. Marshall and that book just confirms that he was just utterly competent.
     
    A-58 likes this.
  11. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,807
    Likes Received:
    1,637
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Off topic a bit but there’s a great book that covers the WW1 manpower mobilization subject in the US called Pershing’s Crusaders: The American Soldier in WW1. It got to the point where there were no more enlistments allowed in August or September of 1918. Manpower was furnished by conscription or National Guard unit call-ups only. This avenue was taken as to not disrupt the agricultural needs and the rapidly expanding industrial buildup in the war effort. Nothing I’ve read indicates similar practices in WW2.

    That book “The Rise of the GI Army” sounds like a pretty good read. I find myself being more and more interested in logistics, mobilization, the home front and wartime economics lately.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
  12. DarkLord

    DarkLord Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2021
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    42
    Me too!!
    US logistics in WW2 were mind boggling. The scale of the mobilization is astounding. What's even more astounding is how we created a machine that turned out soldiers at all levels who were pretty darned competent....by the hundreds of thousands a month.

    And stupid things like... Pershing tanks saw very little action in Europe because they were too big for many of the bridges. How every item, piece of equipment, etc... has to be able to fit on a rail car, has to be able to be lifted by the cranes not just at US ports, but by various ports in Europe. All the little details that had to be known to pull off such a major military operation 5,000 miles and an ocean away from home.
     
    A-58 likes this.
  13. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,109
    Likes Received:
    41
    I agree with the impressiveness of US mobilization and logistics. The fact that the US had to transport millions of men and materiel across the Atlantic and Pacific, then organize and for the most part invade by sea against harsh defensive arrangements, to me separates all the people who feel that Soviet Union won everything and Germany "barely" used their strength against the West. Russia and Germany were interior land countries and their rear and logistics were available in their respective countries behind the lines. Germany spent around 50% of their entire war effort on the Western Air War. The sea battles also have to be taken into account. If Germany or Russia had to perform the tasks that the USA had to do in order to just make it to the field of battle, I think the war would have been different.

    I apologize for the rant. I was just reading through another topic of whether the Western Allies could have won without Russia and there were some slanted arguments in that post.

    I know I will be corrected about that German Air percentage.
     
  14. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    865
    The best sources for the U.S. personnel and industrial mobilization are Alan Gropman (ed), The Big L: American Logistics in World War II, Marvin Kreidberg and Merton Henry, The History of Military Mobilization in the U.S. Army 1775-1945, Gropman (ed) again, Mobilizing U.S. Industry in world War II, Arthur Hermann, Freedom's Forge, A.J. Baine, The Arsenal of Democracy, and Charles K. Hyde, Arsenal of Democracy.

    Both industrial and personnel mobilization in the U.S. were impressive in terms of speed and industrial output, but not so much so in terms of completeness or thoroughness. Compared to Britain, Germany, the USSR, and Japan, the American mobilization was unimpressive.
     
  15. DarkLord

    DarkLord Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2021
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    42
    The US army went from 160K in 1939 to over 11 million in 4 years. That's pretty impressive in my book.
     
  16. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,109
    Likes Received:
    41
    What about the US effort was not as thorough or complete?
     
  17. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    24,549
    Likes Received:
    1,647
    Location:
    Finland
    The mobilization was impressive. The soldiers mind about what they were doing in Europe was not. Who is Hitler and the nazis? Why are we fighting them? Not impressive.
     
  18. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    14,456
    Likes Received:
    4,101
    Have you read Maury Klein's A Call To Arms?
     
  19. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    865
    That is quite a change in size and was impressive. However, it is not what I referred to. Again, impressive in terms of speed and industrial output, but not so much so in terms of completeness or thoroughness.

    The U.S. by 1943 mobilized 35.4 percent of its working population into war-related work, 19 percent into war-related industry and 16.4 percent into the armed forces.
    The UK? 45.3 percent, 23 and 22.3 percent respectively.
    The USSR? 54 percent, 31 and 21 percent respectively.
    Germany? 37.6 percent, 14.2 and 23.4 percent respectively. It probably peaked in 1944, but data is missing.

    Utilization of NNP for war work?

    The US peaked in 1943 and 1944 at 47 percent.
    The UK? 57 percent in 1943.
    The USSR? 76 percent in 1943.
    Germany? 76 percent in 1943 and its peak was probably in 1944, but data is missing.
     
    Kai-Petri likes this.
  20. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    865
    I may have, but I don't have it in my library, so I can't be sure.
     

Share This Page