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Fritz Todt doesn't die.

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  • Fritz Todt doesn't die.

    On 2/8/42 Fritz Todt, Armaments minister for the Reich died in a plane accident. Albert Speer was appointed his replacement. This accident, and Speer's appointment caused a massive shift in armaments production in Germany for the better. What if this didn't happen and Todt continued to run war production for the Reich as he had? With lower production numbers, slower introduction of new equipment, and more chaos, if you will, how much sooner would Germany have collapsed?

    This really makes a big difference to war production for the Reich. I could easily see production (outside aircraft an area Speer didn't get control of) reduced by as much as 25 to 35%, possibly more, over what was historically produced simply because Todt was far less efficient and ruthless at managing the system.

  • #2
    Kursk not possible, nor the Bulge?

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    • #3
      I have to disagree : there is no corelation between the appointment of Speer and the increase in German war production : after the war Speer claimed that he was responsible for this increase, but it was not so ;it would be as justified to claim that Todt was responsible for the increase .

      One exemple : the increase of the LW production was caused by the prewar decisions /policy . (see the paper by Professor Jonas Scherner) .

      The appointment of Speer coincided with the increase of the war production;it did not cause the increase .

      There was no Speer miracle .

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      • #4
        There's a theory that Todt may have "whacked" because he apparently argued with Hitler that Germany wasn't quite ready yet materially to take on Russia. Some have suggested that openly contradicting the Fuhrer on his dream goal was rewarded with a fatal plane crash.
        You'll live, only the best get killed.

        -General Charles de Gaulle

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        • #5
          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          On 2/8/42 Fritz Todt, Armaments minister for the Reich died in a plane accident. Albert Speer was appointed his replacement. This accident, and Speer's appointment caused a massive shift in armaments production in Germany for the better. What if this didn't happen and Todt continued to run war production for the Reich as he had? With lower production numbers, slower introduction of new equipment, and more chaos, if you will, how much sooner would Germany have collapsed?
          .
          You should read "Wages of Destruction" by Adam Tooze. The answer is clearly laid out in excruciating detail.

          The answer is NOTHING significant changes. The armament expansion came from capacity expansion that was coming online coincidentally with Speer's appointment. Speer took credit for it and far too many ill-informed people believed him. It's one of these persistent myths that just won't die even though it has been proven false.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
            You should read "Wages of Destruction" by Adam Tooze. The answer is clearly laid out in excruciating detail.

            The answer is NOTHING significant changes. The armament expansion came from capacity expansion that was coming online coincidentally with Speer's appointment. Speer took credit for it and far too many ill-informed people believed him. It's one of these persistent myths that just won't die even though it has been proven false.
            There are some potential differences such as Speer backing the A-4 / V-2 far more than Todt did.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
              There are some potential differences such as Speer backing the A-4 / V-2 far more than Todt did.
              EXACTLY.

              Todt was an economic rationalist, rather than a daydreamer liker speer, or his daydreamer boss, Adolf.

              both of their fantasy's pushed German wartime experimentation far away from the practical, and into the realms of the "super weapon" that could win the war in a single, technologically impressive masterstroke. What folly.

              Little could they concieve that such hubris would need so much insudtrial effort for so little return.

              Had they been even close to developing "The Bomb", there is no question they would have used it. It was the ultimate "daydreamer" weapon, and their fission experiments alone were childishly absent of the collective "thinktanking" needed to even concieve the bomb on paper, let alone the industrial honesty and commitment to actually build a working model.

              What bothers me about speer is his tranperancy in the many lies he told after the war of his own lack of knowledge of the camp system. An even bigger bother is that the allies swallowed it, and eventually let him free, after only 15 years in detention. Speer really did deserve the hangman.

              the number of slave labourers mobilixed by Speer to push forward his "daydreamer" projects told of a deep knowledge of the final solution right from its conception. The bland assertions postwar were suprising only for the number of allied politicians that were prepared to look past Speers involvement.

              But, maybe they were subconsciously thanking speer. A better organiser of real workers, (not saves) would have maintained a far more robust industrial effort, rather than the arrogance and contempt for human life that speer managed to consider was "not his department".

              Speer's mismanagement doomed the technical and scientific extablishment in Germany to chasing rainbows, rather than trying to come up with battlefield products that would give their soldiers an edge. For this, I supppose, the allies were more than grateful, IMOH.

              This could be why speer was freed so soon. Funny how most Germans lionize him.still. He was as much a product of the goebells Fantasy as anything else, just as Rommel was the Propaganda General that was going to save the war effort in a few "masterstrokes", so speer was the organisational "genius" that was going to alter the fortunes of the moribund Reich with all these "good ideas".

              Funny how Speer came to prominence at the same general time that "total war" was an officially preachable entity. Total War was, in fact, a gigantic admission that the meausres adopted so far had been a failure in every respect. People like Fritz Todt were most certainly the scapegoats for it. A conspiracy theory as to the cause of his plane crash would seem logical, given that someone had to take the blame.

              Drusus
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              • #8
                Speer would simply plant a bigger bomb
                Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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