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  • #31
    Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
    Oh but it was at a maximum and that's clear by the way armaments production decreased between its first peak in July 1940 and February 1941. It was August 1941 before it matched the first peak. The only way that the first peak was reached was by, as Tooze puts it, ".... the ruthless mobilisation of resources, without regard either for the needs of the civilian population or the future prospects of the war economy. In economic, as well as military, terms Nazi Germany was going for broke" ('Wages of Destruction' - p.347).
    I'd be the first to say that any such expansion and growth of the German industry would not be sustainable for long. The Nazi government really didn't plan for the long term when it came to the economy.

    What you have to factor in is capital investment. An economy can be producing at its maximum one year and then produce more the next. That's because more capital goods are available to increase production. So even if steel production was higher in 1941 it doesn't necessarily point to 'slack' being taken up.
    But with state control over portions of the economy, more "capital" could be created without regards to traditional economics, because the economic vitality of said venture matters less. German could produce more cranes, more lathes, etc. without needing to wonder about the monetary costs of the venture. This could lead to economic and industrial growth, but would cause problems down the road.

    Where would these 'new workers' come from? Population growth is not enough.
    Without needing to increase the size of the Heer or replenish losses in fighting the USSR, Germany would have lots more men available for work in factories. Not to mention that being at peace with many of its neighbors would let them keep their men in factories, which in turn Germany could trade with for goods.

    I think you're in danger of falling into a trap of your own making. You're suggesting Germany can do everything at the same time. It can't (see below).
    Oh, thats why I stated that Germany could only expand the Kriegsmarine by placing those large and costly projects above building numbers of new tanks/artillery pieces/etc. for the Heer, which historically is the reverse of what happened.

    And dont get me wrong here: any expansion of the Kriegsmarine to anything worth fielding against the RN would be a long and costly affair (during which the British wouldn't be sitting idly by ); the original plans called for many of the ships to be finished by around 1945.

    Yes we are. Their foreign exchange reserves were so small that they relied on the pillaged wealth from the areas they conquered to sustain what they actually did. Increased imports, even if allowed, was not an option.
    I agree here too: Germany's economy was not its strong point. I think I remember you making a number of great posts about the frailty of the German economy and how they were going to be facing some serious problems within the next decade or so.

    But Germany wouldn't need to pay with gold, or cash. The USSR was paid in part with advanced machinery and industrial technology, for example.

    Hmmmm, I have doubts. Molotov made some major demands during his visit to Berlin in late 1940, 'turning the screw' on the Germans because the Soviets knew they were dealing from a position of strength. Had the Germans wanted to increase their imports from the USSR they would have paid a very heavy price.
    I agree completly with that last sentence. Stalin wanted peace with Germany, but he was a shrewd politician. Seeing Germany in need, the USSR would be willing to help supply them with resouces, but the USSR would begin to make demands on the German government and force them to honor their deals (like I mentioned previously).

    Stalin did not want to provoke a war with Hitler. That much is evident. But the USSR would see an opportunity when it arose.

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    • #32
      DoD. I could probably rebut most of that post but to what end? Suggest we agree to differ and move on to the naval stuff because we're doing what I sought to avoid.

      If you can come up with a German fleet we can discuss the RN's likely response. Just don't be too outlandish, we don't want KMS Fuhrer wallowing in the North Sea do we.
      Signing out.

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      • #33
        Ja deeper reading into the economics is recomended. As a alternate or supplement to Tooze I' suggest Ellis's 'Brute Force' for its 40+ tables comparing production capabilities and resources available of the principle participants in WWII.

        To return to the main theme of the thread.

        Lets suspose that a general waar had been avoided in 1939 and the KM 'Z Plan' had been brought much closer to completion in 1945 or 46. That is a general war with Britian does not erupt until 1945 or 44 a the earliest. this is what the KM and nazi plans had been loosely based on.

        What would a nearly completed Z Plan fleet look like, and what would the British be likely to place afloat? Would there be a real stratigic value in such a completed Z Plan fleet?

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
          Ja deeper reading into the economics is recomended. As a alternate or supplement to Tooze I' suggest Ellis's 'Brute Force' for its 40+ tables comparing production capabilities and resources available of the principle participants in WWII.

          To return to the main theme of the thread.

          Lets suspose that a general waar had been avoided in 1939 and the KM 'Z Plan' had been brought much closer to completion in 1945 or 46. That is a general war with Britian does not erupt until 1945 or 44 a the earliest. this is what the KM and nazi plans had been loosely based on.

          What would a nearly completed Z Plan fleet look like, and what would the British be likely to place afloat? Would there be a real stratigic value in such a completed Z Plan fleet?

          More importantly, where are the Germans going to get the fuel oil needed to propell all of those surface warships of a greatly expanded Kriegsmarine? They were always on the verge of running out of fuel throughout the war and this created no end of difficulities whenever the Germans massed their troops and vehicles for a major military offensive.
          "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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          • #35
            Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
            More importantly, where are the Germans going to get the fuel oil needed to propell all of those surface warships of a greatly expanded Kriegsmarine? They were always on the verge of running out of fuel throughout the war and this created no end of difficulities whenever the Germans massed their troops and vehicles for a major military offensive.
            they'll have to get it from the USSR. which means the alliance with Stalin will have to be stronger. perhaps Nazism would do it's ideological U-turn ?? after all Nazism is a politic of the left, not the right!

            As for Plan Z, you can really bet the RN to put afloat at least 2 to 3 times the same tonnage in each class to prevent Germany to gain any supremacy.

            also, a war later, means a much more modern France and also a French Fleet, whose plans for the mid 40's was also of more modern battleships, battle cruisers and carriers...

            in fact time was not in germany's advantage.
            "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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            • #36
              Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
              More importantly, where are the Germans going to get the fuel oil needed to propell all of those surface warships of a greatly expanded Kriegsmarine? They were always on the verge of running out of fuel throughout the war and this created no end of difficulities whenever the Germans massed their troops and vehicles for a major military offensive.
              Aw com'on John. You still dont belive in the History Fairy with the magic dust?

              Correct, for the Z Plan to work a relaible source of suffcient oil must be had. I really have no idea what the potiental of th Rumanian source might be. In theory Caucasian oil might do, but there are 'complications'. Other sources in Lybia or Kurdistan are not going to be developed in time. Stashing away a few millions tons of reserve does not sound doable either. That leaves the synthetic oil production, and I have no idea if that would be a viable alternate for ship fuel. Maybe he KM should revert to coal?

              Probablly a combination of Rumanian development, reserve, and synthetic would be the possible solution. But, I am not sure the nazis were smart enough to hit on that one or make it happen.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                More importantly, where are the Germans going to get the fuel oil needed to propell all of those surface warships of a greatly expanded Kriegsmarine? They were always on the verge of running out of fuel throughout the war and this created no end of difficulities whenever the Germans massed their troops and vehicles for a major military offensive.
                Thats one of the reasons I strongly feel that any succesful growth and use of the Kriegsmarine would require Germany not to invade the Soviet Union or declare war on the US. It is not feasible to expect Germany to be able to fuel the thousands of tanks, trucks, and other armoured vehicles fighting a war in Russia along with a larger Kriegsmarine, or hope to deal with the RN and the USN, especially if large numbers of American strategic bombers are laying waste to German ports.

                Like I stipulated, for Germany's Kriegsmarine to ever hope to compete with the RN, Germany would need to give the expensive and lengthy naval projects priority, and instead of rapidly expanding their Panzer forces they would instead focus on stockpiling the needed supplies for the fleet.

                And considering that any German projects would take a few years to really come to fruition, it seems likely that Germany could maintain decent stockpiles from European fields and from synthetic sources to be able to have their ships moving. Especially considering that the Kriegsmarine's main goal would be to threaten England enough to effect a peace treaty or fight the RN in the North Sea, where Germany might be able to use its U-Boats and landbased aircraft to try and overcome any numerical supperiority on the British side.

                But its also worth noting that the UK would be building ships too, and with greater skill and experience I might add. The Kriegsmarine would need to try and draw the RN into a fight on their terms and avoid loosing. Really, as long as there is a strong Kriegsmarine around the UK wouldn't feel secure, so not loosing would be more important to the Kriegsmarine than winning.

                Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg
                Aw com'on John. You still dont belive in the History Fairy with the magic dust?
                And dontcha know, the Germans could use Rhine river barges to carry the troops across the channel and then have U-Boats deliver the supplies safely. It couldn't fail!

                Originally posted by piero1971
                they'll have to get it from the USSR. which means the alliance with Stalin will have to be stronger. perhaps Nazism would do it's ideological U-turn ??
                Thats one of the major things I believe would have to change: Hitler as he was historically would not be willing to work with the Soviet Union for very long. The Nazi idealogy wouldn't have to change (Hitler worked with Stalin in 1939), but Hitler/the German leadership would have to decide that dealing with Britain is essential before any moves against the Soviet Union.

                And such an economic pact between the USSR and Germany is not far fetched. Germany recieved many thousands of tons of essential materials from the Soviet Union before Barbarossa historically. Stalin wanted to stay on Hitler's good side and the Communists shipments were always orderly and on time (even a day or two before the actuall invasion the USSR was still sending supplies over the border to Germany), but what Hitler promised (advanced machinery, etc.) was always late and often of insufficient numbers.

                With Germany needing Russian resources, Stalin would sense the balance of power shift a bit more in Russia's favor and would then be able to put a little pressure on Germany to actually make the correct shipments on time. With Germany focused on the UK (but keeping the Heer in Poland in strong defensive positions just in case), Germany would have no choice but to actually abide by the deals so they can keep the naval programs going.

                also, a war later, means a much more modern France and also a French Fleet, whose plans for the mid 40's was also of more modern battleships, battle cruisers and carriers...
                The scenario I proposed wasn't a later starting war, just that Plan Z wasn't ditched as soon as war began. Germany would need to make the Kriegsmarine a priority, and would also need to cut back on some of the less useful aspects of Plan Z; fewer battleships, for instance, because those resources would be better spend on smaller ships, or CVs, etc.

                One thing that I also forgot to mention was the number of conversion jobs planned by the Kriegsmarine that might have been critical to make up for Germany's need to expand rapidly but lacking the capabilities to lay down numerous capital ships all at once; the Europa and Potsdam from passenger ships, the Seydlitz from a Heavy Cruiser (it was 2/3 done when war broke out: with priority status and access to the resources needed it could easily have been operational within two years or so, hey?), etc.

                Converting said ships would be much easier for the German industry to handle, even if said ships might not be as well built as a purpose built carrier. But they would also be good testing grounds for the Kriegsmarine to explore carrier technology and tactics.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                  If you can come up with a German fleet we can discuss the RN's likely response. Just don't be too outlandish, we don't want KMS Fuhrer wallowing in the North Sea do we.
                  Thats... thats a very large ship.



                  Gotta love the whole Freudian facination Hitler had with very large machines.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by daemonofdecay View Post
                    Gotta love the whole Freudian facination Hitler had with very large machines.
                    Some would suggest it's to do with his (alleged) childhood obsession with his stools.
                    Signing out.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                      Some would suggest it's to do with his (alleged) childhood obsession with his stools.


                      Never heard that one before. Gave me a chuckle though.

                      Alrighty then, in the interest of actually getting some hard data to back up my pretty much fantastical claims and ideas, does anyone have any real information on what Germany's naval production capabilities were before/during the war?

                      I mean, the actually numbers of ships (except U-Boats) would be lower than what Germany could have achieved if the Kriegsmarine recieved priorities (that seems pretty obvious considering how many ships like the Graf Zepplin Germany was building but never fully finished due to other demands) and if they had expanded their industrial/infrastructure capabilities.

                      Of course, me and FM disagree on just how much expansion was available, but I think that we can also agree that there was room for at least minimal expansion of German industry, infrastructure, and effeciency.

                      I was thinking we could look at how many shipyards did Germany have that were capable of building capital ships, how many drydocks did they have capable of servicing said ships, etc.

                      And for comparison, we would need to look at the UK's capabilities to build ships during the war as well. Without the US directly involved (and occupied with a war in the Pacific), the UK would really be on its own except for the odd Destroyer or what have you the US sends Churchill's way. They would have the experience and the bigger shipyards (if I remember correctly), but they would find it a bit tougher to get the resources needed to expand the navy with U-Boats threatening transports to England.

                      It more just conjecture on my part, but I think it quite possible that a Germany not at war with the USA and actually trading with Russia to keep the peace going would be capable of completing a much leaner Plan-Z (especially if the large numbers of BBs, BCs, etc. were cut out) by the time 1945/46 rolled around.

                      A Kriegsmarine with two Graf Zepplin class CVs, plus converted CVs from the Europa, Potsdam, and Seydlitz (the first two being civilian liners, the later a CA) would have been a very impressive force.

                      Of course, being realistic here means that the later ships would not be ready for service until 1945 at the earliest (most likely later considering German naval industry would be hard pressed to build the two Graf Zepplins, convert three other ships, and build the escorts said ships would need to operate effectively).

                      And this date would only be achievable if the Kriegsmarine were to get priority for the resources it needed, if German war industry were expanded to its limits (FM read a book about German industry during the war recently, right?), Germany kept from going to war with any other major powers, and if Germany were able to keep trading with the USSR (and other nations that it didn't invade) to gain the resources it would need to fuel the expansion.

                      All in all its a very tall order indeed. It would require Hitler to have a different mindset about the war first and foremost. As long as Germany was not at war with the USSR or the USA, it strikes me as being just a case of Germany just having to wait a long while until they have a strong enough force to threaten the RN for control of the North Sea.

                      I still believe that any invasion of England would be a pipedream for Germany, even with a stronger Kriegsmarine there. In my mind, the best bet for Germany would be to use the Kriegsmarine to threaten England enough (where the threat of invasion was taken very seriously by the government and military) so a negotiated peace could be reached.

                      Especially if the British people felt that they couldn't very well invade France on their own (no war in Russia to show that the German army wasn't invincible). By the time the Kriegsmarine could even begin to threaten the RN in the North Sea, it would be around 1946. Six years of basically a stalemate war doesn't really inspire much will to keep fighting.

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                      • #41
                        Daemonofdecay

                        In one of my more foolhardy moments, I put forward a scenario from a source, I still utterly respect, that could succeed in defeating Britain in 1940. It was foolhardy in that I did not know all the facts the source did. While I still believe it could have a reasonable, but an outside chance of success, many facts from other threads convinced me it probably could not work.

                        Your theory could work with perhaps a sane man, However, Hitler was going to invade some one. He had suceeded in doing that about one a year after all.

                        However, cut and paste to a 'what if' thread and that would be interesting.
                        How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                        Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                          Your theory could work with perhaps a sane man, However, Hitler was going to invade some one. He had suceeded in doing that about one a year after all.
                          Exactly. Hitler being, well, Hitler basically dooms Germany to failure every time. This entire scenario really depends on Hitler not acting like he did historically. Without that being changed, it wouldn't work.
                          Last edited by Daemon of Decay; 11 Nov 08, 19:52.

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                          • #43
                            Of course, me and FM disagree on just how much expansion was available, but I think that we can also agree that there was room for at least minimal expansion of German industry, infrastructure, and effeciency.
                            Actually we disagree on the time-scale. Historically the German economy was functioning at full tilt from the mid-thirties onwards. As I said earlier, I have no problem suspending this particular reality for the sake of debate, I just wanted to clarify it for the sake of being a pedant.
                            Signing out.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                              Actually we disagree on the time-scale. Historically the German economy was functioning at full tilt from the mid-thirties onwards.
                              See, I knew that one of the reasons Hitler was so succesful at bringing Germany out of the depression was because of massive military buildup creating jobs, putting money back into the system, etc. that begun in the mid-thirties (say '36 onwards?).

                              But I always read that the German economy was never working at its real maximum capacity or effeciency until a few years after the war began; that Hitler and his cronies didn't really feel the need for it after beating Poland and France so swiftly, and it really took the reversal of fortunes in Russia to change their minds.

                              But I think it would be fair to say that German industry could have expanded at least to a minimal degree if there was no war with Russia or the USA. No, Germany would not expand its output by 50%, but a much smaller increase sounds plausible, yes?

                              Plus it seems to me that the number one reason the Kriegsmarine didn't complete any of its projects was because a) it was not given priority over the Heer and Luftwaffe and b) the long term projects would have needed valuable resources and labour right when the war in the East was going sour, compounded with Allied air superiority, strategic bombings, and the eventual invasion of France.

                              As I said earlier, I have no problem suspending this particular reality for the sake of debate, I just wanted to clarify it for the sake of being a pedant.
                              I just find the idea that there was no way at all for Germany to increase, say, the number of steel foundries it had more unrealistic a proposition.

                              I mean, from 1942 to 1943 Germany's Armoured fighting vehicle production rates more than tripled (from 4,136 to 13,657), and this included the fact that Germany was producing bigger and more complicated machines than before.

                              Likewise we see a big jump in Germany's aircraft production in the same years (15,409 to 24,807), although one of the reasons here was because Germany was switching to more single-engined fighters.

                              Germany was increasing output during the war even with large manpower losses in the east, strategic bombings, and a lack of many key resources. I think its fair to say that with the first two completely gone (no war with the USSR and USA) and the third reduced by being able to trade with other nations (minors Germany didn't invade, the USSR, etc.), Germany could find a way to increase production of goods needed to expand the Kriegsmarine.

                              This would not make Germany into a world Naval power in 5 short years. But an increase in industrial capacity (however small) combined with a Kriegsmarine recieving priority for resources and slimmer, more intelligent Z-Plan could have seen a Kriegsmarine that might stand a chance at contesting the North Sea with the Royal Navy. Especially if the Luftwaffe developed some decent long range naval bombers to opperate from land.

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                              • #45
                                DoD, it's all to do with capital investment. The increases we see in production are due to those investments made five years or so earlier. That capital was only there because of the increasing restrictions on foreign exchange and private consumption (Nazi economic policy). One way to get more steel in the mid to late thirties is to lift the restrictions of foreign exchange. But that will reduce investment and so production in 1943.
                                Signing out.

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