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Albert Speer takes over German War production three years earlier.

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  • Albert Speer takes over German War production three years earlier.

    How would WW2 be affected if Albert Speer would have taken over German War production and initiated his reforms three years earlier ie 1940 instead of 1943 ?

  • #2
    Speer is assasinated three years later by nazis who resent his interferance with their corruption and looting of Europe?

    Three years earlier there was no sense of emergency. It was not clear that something had to be done to increase the supply of war material. In 1940 the seemingly easy victorys and spoils from the conquests masked the warning signs. The businessmen and nazi party leaders were focused on all the new advantages of the Kleptocracy they had created. Some people theorize that Todt was assasinated (a bomb in his aircraft) because he had begain trying to reorganize Germanys industrial policys and anoyed the wrong people.

    In 1943 the reality could no longer be denied and Speer had his back covered from the top.

    But, suspose the nazi political apparatus had been stricken with common sense in 1939, at least as far as industrial plannning. Then yes Germany can provide its armys with more weapons and fuel. But, it still wont be enough. John Ellis in his book 'Brute Force' compared some fifty aspects of Axis and Allied industrial production and resources. Germany was short to many critical items. Alloys, coal and other energy sources and of course oil were far less than that available to any two of the three Allied insdustrial powers. Even grain was a item there was not quite enough of. Skilled and willing labor was allways insuffcient. Particularly after so many tradesmen and factory men died on the Steppes.


    • #3
      I think you are right Carl.
      "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


      • #4
        Nothing. Read Wages of Destruction by Tooze for the details.

        Speer basically took (or was given) credit for the work done by his predecessors.


        • #5
          I almost expected Full Monty to jump in on this one!

          While I have heard much of The Wages of Destruction, I still think that the German economy had not embraced the full war economy that nations like the UK did earlier due to Hitler and the Nazi leaderships confidence/arrogance about victory.

          But even then, its not like 500 more tanks or a thousand more planes would have been the difference between victory and defeat. Germany's real enemy late in the war was resources: oil, manpower, etc.


          • #6
            It might have helped a bit but not much. There are too many variables here.

            First, even with Speer in charge there will still be politics involved. Henkel and Henschel will still be pariah aircraft builders in the eyes of the Luftwaffe. To change that Speer will have to take on Göring, something he is not likely to do in 1940 -41 as but one example of many.

            Second, there is really nothing Speer can do to change the availability of resources to the Germans. Oil will still be in critically short supply. Tungsten will still be in short supply and still be controlled in a monopoly by Krupp.
            The Meister system and worker's unions will still resist using unskilled labor. Assembly lines and large plants in the style used by the Allies will still not be available nor can they readily be built or utilized due to extant German production methods.
            Speer knows little or nothing of such things as industrial engineering and scientific quality control as is becoming the norm in the US.
            Reserach and Development will still lie largely with the various Waffenamt within the military. These departments decide what the military needs in new equipment. But, they are almost entirely staffed by field officers with little or no techincal experiance.

            Aside from that the sheer scale of Allied production simply dwarfs that of Germany. There are just too many problems within German industry, Nazi politics, and the availability of resources to make anything realistically happen to allow German material production to come anywhere close to their opponet's.


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