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Could Germany have won on these conditions?

Discussion in 'Alternate History' started by DerGiLLster, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Sigh...perhaps because your maths - and logic - sucks?

    German combat aircraft production 1941:

    Fighters: 3,696
    Bombers: 3,492
    Total: 7,188

    British combat aircraft production 1941:

    Fighters: 7,064
    Bombers: 4,668
    Total: 11,732

    Ratio British to German: 1.6:1

    German tank production 1941:

    3,256, of which 365 were Panzer II and Befehlspanzer

    British tank production 1941:

    4,873, of which 769 were the nearly useless operationally Covenantor and 706 the only marginally more useful Churchill.

    Ratio British to German: 1.5:1
    Ratio of effective tank production: 1.4:1

    Meanwhile, if we look at 1944:

    German combat aircraft production: 29,220
    British combat aircraft production: 18,607

    German tank production: 16,932
    British (useful) tank production: 4,074

    Yu are confusing production efficiency with mobilization and production capabilities.

    And you would do better to actually read Tooze rather than spout nonsense.
     
  2. albanaich

    albanaich New Member

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    Sigh. .. . . . and 1942?

    What is the point you are trying to make? The German industrial base and manpower was twice the size of the UK.

    And what exactly is the difference between 'Production Efficiency' and and Mobilization and Production Capabilities?

    If you can't see the flaw's in Tooze. . . . . . .then you need to do some more study.

    I could twist the figures in far in my favour by dividing output manpower available . . but I'll let others do that.

    Clearly, very clearly, the German war economy was operating at a fraction of its possible capacity in the early years of the war, before the Strategic Air Offiensive . . . to say otherwise is a simple contradictioh of the facts. The later figures of German production clearly prove the point.

    And by 1944 British war production was winding down. .. . .never mind the Germany's did not have the pilots or the fuel to fly the aircraft they were making.

    Where did Germany go wrong? Failure to mobilise the agricultural and female work force, failure to improve agricultural efficiency, failure to standardise types, failure to concentrate industry and reduce civilian production, failure to control stocks and resouces of raw materials - this in 1939 - 1942 before it came under heavy strategic air attack.

    Of course you could argue that has nothing to do with the 'Mobilisation of the War Economy'. . . . . . and no doubt you will.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    A quick look at wiki list the UK population as over 47 million and the German population as under 70 million. I don't see 2:1 there at all. If you include the Commonwealth the British have several times the population (manpower) that the Germans had. One source I have lists the UK GDP as ~$284 billion (1990 dollars) with the colonies contributing that much again while Germany is listed as having a GDP of ~$351 so even without the colonies or the rest of the commonwealth no 2:1 and if you figure in just the colonies the UK actually has a larger GDP which rather brings the 2:1 industrial base figure to question as well.
     
  4. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    1942? You mean when the only useful British tanks produced were the 2,351 Crusaders...of which 1,405 were obsolescent 2-pdr armed Mark II? Or the 1,973 Valentine...of which 1,728 were obsolescent 2-pdr armed? Or the 2,289 Churchill's, of which only the 391 rebuilt and 138 6-pdr conversions were serviceable?

    ef·fi·cien·cy
    əˈfiSHənsē/
    noun
    noun: efficiency
    the state or quality of being efficient.

    mobilizeverb
    (UK usually mobilise) uk /ˈməʊ.bɪ.laɪz/ us /ˈmoʊ.bə.laɪz/

    to organize or prepare something; to prepare to fight, especially in a war

    Two different things.


    Or perhaps you need to improve your comprehension of certain words?

    So what was the labor manpower available to the British? And Germans? And the allocations to military, industry, agriculture, and services? You might want to explore that a bit.

    You remain confused. I suggest you study the difference between efficiency and mobilization.



    Sigh...the female work force was mobilized...most of it replacing manpower on the farms, because yes, the were historically inefficient, especially compared to British and American farming, but that was something inherent in the system, which made it difficult to make more efficient. A better reading of Tooze on your part might help.
     
  5. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps it is mean of us to continually highlight the difficulty this gentleman has with basic maths?
     
  6. albanaich

    albanaich New Member

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    Perhaps its mean of me to continually highlight the difference between imprecise numbers and the volume of evidence. How do you define the population of Germany, the UK? Do you include Austrian and Czechoslovakia? What about the Volksdetusch. . . . . .its an endless spaghetti pile of numbers and figures.

    But. . . . . at a glance. . . . .its generally pretty easy to see that one pile of spaghetti is twice the size of another one. . . . . .some people need to count the individual pieces, but they are generally pretty detached from the real world. Do half strings of spagehetti count the same as full strings? What about the thickness of the individual strings.

    You can pick any set of the number out of the air to tell any story you like. You might read 'How to Lie with Statistics'

    The German industrial base was twice the size of the UK at the start of the war and even larger after the occupation of France and Scandinaveia. What part of this don't you understant? What are you having problems with?

    Please explain to me how the UK how the British were building more of everything from and economic base and manpower base vastly smaller than Germany. . . . .

    Please. . . . . . .do it. . . . . .
     
  7. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Efficiency?
     
  8. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Talk about thick. And I don't mean the spaghetti.

    Firstly the German production methods themselves were outdated. This is widely known. They made significant improvements in this area, as the war went on, and new factories came on line, once the new factories ironed out their teething problems. But by then, the bombing campaign was starting to get underway, which put paid to that.

    Secondly, the German labour force consisted of a large number of forced labourers, who were inadequately fed, beaten, and were eager to skive off, or abscond into the countryside. Germany had to place checkpoints everywhere, in order to try and recapture thousands of forced labourers each month, as the proportions of people fleeing meant it was inefficient to hunt them down individually. This only got worse as the war progressed.

    Lastly, for most of the war Germany continued to produce a bewildering array of vehicles, which did nothing to improve their production efficiency, and created a logistical nightmare, something which also consumed a considerable number of man hours.

    None of the above prevent the German economy from being "fully mobilised".
     
  9. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps if you gave some indication you understood the difference between "mobilized" and "efficiency" as much as you understand the difference between various pastas, I would be able to?

    In any case, in your example, imagine of you will one nation energetically making war with hand-made fresh pasta against another nation making war with machine-made dried pasta. The fresh pasta tastes ever so much better, but takes more time and effort to produce.

    Which isn't really a good analogy, but what the heck, I'm beginning to think anything deeper may be wasted.

    Capisce?
     
  10. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    For those of you who understand that numbers and statistics don't lie - they can't they are just numbers and statistics - people do, the following may help..

    The British working population as of June 1941 was 21,332,000 of which 3,383,000 were in the armed forces and 198,000 were unemployed. The other 17,751,000 were employed in various civil employments. Of those, only 981,000 were employed in agriculture and fishing, but about 9 million were in "industry" (manufacturing, mining, and construction).

    At the same time in Germany, the working population was 43,698,000 of which 8,254,000 were in the armed forces and 344,000 were Nazi Party officials (apparently not unemployed. Another 35,100,000 were employed in various civil employments...of whom roughly 26% were engaged in agriculture, fishing, and forestry. In May 1941, roughly 9.5 million Germans and 1.5 million Gastarbeiter. Fewer were actually engaged in "industry", just a shade over 10 million, of whom slightly more than a million were Gastarbeiter.
     
  11. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Universal female conscription does not mean, does not result in, a higher level of female working for the war industries.

    You still fail to understand/admit the fact that at the start of the war a higher % of German women had a paid job than women in Britain and the US ,reason being that at the start of the war there was a shortage of workers in Gemany, but still a high level of unemployment in Britain and the US . This difference was that high that Britain and the US never catched up with Germany .
     
  12. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    It seems that you think that additional workers suffice to made more tanks and more aircraft,while this is not so .
     
  13. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    In 1939 51 % of German women of working age (16/60 ) had a job, in Britain it was only 25 %,the reason was that there were still millions of unemployed men in Britain and that these had priority if there were new jobs .available .
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    This is for the British Isles only correct? And the German population does it include Austria or any other conquests? One point I think worth mentioning is by that point in time it was the British Commonwealth that Germany was fighting and the population of the Commonwealth exceeded that of Germany by a considerable margin. I'm not sure how exactly one wants to measure "industrial base" but if GDP is an indicator the GDP of the Commonwealth was also considerably in excess of that of "Greater Germany". Access to resources should also count for something if you are looking at industrial capability and again the British had access to not only the Commonwealth but most neutral countries.
     
  15. green slime

    green slime Member

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    "Craft production” is distinguished by
    1. producing output largely one at a time or in small batches,
    2. high quality,
    3. involving much handwork,
    4. custom fitting of parts,
    5. high costs (because of the highly skilled, labor-intensive nature of the work),
    6. use of general-purpose tools, jigs and fixtures, and
    7. low volume.

    “Mass production” on the other hand is characterized by
    1. little handwork,
    2. interchangeable parts,
    3. specialized tools,
    4. automation,
    5. unskilled or semiskilled labor,
    6. moderate quality,
    7. low cost,
    8. moving final assembly lines, and
    9. high volume.


    Craft production was the norm for thousands of years; mass production was a product of the twentieth century, specifically pioneered by Henry Ford and his Model T between 1915 and 1920.

    Germany was very slow in adopting mass production, as it deemed "unGerman"; there was no pride in producing a lower quality good. It ran contrary to the Nazi ideal.Primarily because the Germans had had to make such an effort to improve the quality of German produced goods after the fiasco of the early 20's, when German goods were the laughing stock of Europe.

    Soviets had eagerly adopted mass production ideas already in 1929, when it was building huge factories designed by the American Albert Kahn who designed Ford's Highland Park plant.

    Comments by Richard Overy;


    “Aircraft production in the early 1930s did not lend itself easily to such methods. Production was usually carried out in workshop batches with workers moving from aircraft to aircraft, carrying out tasks in an unscheduled way on one or two aircraft at a time, using a large degree of handwork."

    On the US:

    "During the war the best practice at the largest American plants resembled that of the major car firms. Flow production methods were introduced, long and narrow factory halls build for moving aircraft from stage to stage of its assembly, while conveyor belts fed parts into the main line at appropriate points. Workers were scheduled carefully to perform particular tasks at particular sites along the assembly line, while general-purpose tools were replaced by special machinery designed for a higher level of automation. A high degree of standardization and interchangeability was introduced and handwork reduced to a minimum.”



    On the UK:
    “British factory practice was still far below that of the most efficient American firms . . ."

    But for Germany the criticism is :
    "In Germany, the aircraft factories were slow to adopt new methods and were permeated by many built-in inefficiencies which it proved hard to overcome. One of the hardest was the degree of handwork involved in producing aircraft. Handworker methods survived through the legacy of the early industry in the 1930s and because of the high degree of skill acquired by the individual Meister (the master-craftsmen) through a long and rigorous apprenticeship. The workforce resisted attempts to undermine the skills or to dilute the workforce by using new methods and semi-skilled labour. Batch production gave way only slowly to line production, while time-and-motion studies on which American practice rested were either not introduced or where they were, proved unworkable because of the traditional methods of work payment and use of skills. Conveyor belt production and rational factory organization developed only slowly and major factories still had little evidence of modern methods even by 1945. "

    It comes down to how the labour was utilized:
    “The fact that emerged most clearly from the experience of labour mobilization was that unskilled labour, provided it was adequately trained and provided that more mechanized and routine production methods could be introduced, was more productive than labour in the pre-war aircraft industry with its high reliance on skilled workers."


    “In Germany the task of dilution was more complicated. First of all the Meisterresisted the reduction in training time and the changes in apprenticeship regulations necessitated by wartime conditions. Second, the aircraft firms had always relied heavily for production on a high degree of skilled work, and the factory methods had been introduced in the expectation that such methods, and the high quality of finish required for aircraft, would be maintained under war conditions . . .
    For the first two or three years of war the skilled labour shortage was combated by every means possible in defence of the high standards of workmanship traditionally associated with German engineering . . . The price paid for a very high standard of finish was a smaller number of aircraft completed.”

    Magenheimer in Hitler's War Germany's key strategic decisions 1940-45, states

    “The lead in productivity that the United States and Great Britain enjoyed over Germany gave the Western Allies an advantage that could not be overcome. What proved to be decisive were their advances in standardizing production methods and their higher per capita productivity. The Germans, who concentrated more on technological flexibility and qualitative superiority, were left behind in mass production.”
    (enphasis my own)



    The militarisation and mobilisation of the economy, has very to do with actual productivity. It is incredible that Germany managed to produce as much as it did with such antiquidated methods of production, but of course, they had enslaved an entire continent, and the important factories were working 24/7.
     
  16. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it is UK versus Grossreich (Germany, Austria, and the "Protectorates"). I understand your point quite well, but try to explain it to the other guy. Anyway, it is part of the explanation for why "British" versus "German" production was so high, despite the population being so dissimilar.
     
  17. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    To be fair, recent scholarship questions the "craft" versus "mass" production importance...or at least refines our understanding of it. Much of German production was highly "mass" produced methods...large numbers of machine tools doing a specific operation. The Panther design was actually optimized for that. Contrast with U.S. production, where a smaller number of machine tools performed multiple tasks, and where things like the Medium Tank M4 had many sub-types, multiple manufacturers and different components requiring essentially "craft" assembly.

    That of course is a different subject from the real problems Germany faced, which was lack of manpower and capital. There weren't enough laborers to run multiple shifts, to construct, expand, or convert factory space, and insufficient capital to pay for such either. Thus first the Gastarbeiter - look at the infusion of Italian metalworkers in Germany as a case study, over 200,000 IIRC in 1941 alone - and their problems, and then the slave labor and their problems. Importing Gastarbeiter reduced the labor pool in those countries, reducing those countries production, which in the case of conquered states had already been raped for raw materiel, machine tools, and the like, so were screwed anyway, and then they created language and cultural barriers on the factory floor - Germans abhorred Italian work and personal habits and vice versa. Then the Gastarbeiter and the slaves had to be fed (something at least in the latter case till they starved to death and were replaced), which put a strain on agriculture, so farmers were imported too, allowing German workers to shift from farm to factory - in theory, except illiterate German farmers didn't make good technical factory workers...and so on.

    It's called a vicious circle.
     
  18. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Germans never reached the same degree of organisation for mass production as the UK, never mind the US. Ford's assembly line and machine tools isn't even half the story. But it is perhaps the most easily recognised / acknowledged.
     
  19. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    In general yes, but it varied by industry...I would hesitate to describe British tank production as "organized" in any way, especially when compared to the German and American. :cool:

    Other problems were unrelated to the mass versus craft production issue. The insane notion of converting most auto and truck production to component manufacturer for other industry taken in 1939 was yet another one.

    It wasn't a single issue. Germany was a mess. :salute:
     
  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I was researching German trucks the other day and was surprised at there being a mix of gasoline and diesel powered vehicles. Since they seam to have mix and matched various makes of trucks did they do the same with gasoline and diesel powered vehicles? If so there's another issue.
     

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