Cost to build the Bismarck

Discussions about the history of the ship, technical details, etc.
FrankMcConnell
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Cost to build the Bismarck

Postby FrankMcConnell » Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:47 pm

As a new registrant, let me begin by saying what an excellent web site this is. Thank you for it. I rarely come across such dedication in a site even when the location is truly dedicated to a subject!

I am doing some research for a magazine article I am writing and I was looking for some indication as to what it cost to build the Bismarck. Can anyone help with that?

Frank McConnell

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Re: Help wanted - and Thank You

Postby Tiornu » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:25 am

The cost for Bismarck's construction was 196,800,000 marks. (Source: Groner)

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Cost of the Bismarck

Postby FrankMcConnell » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:51 am

Thanks for your speedy response. I had a feeling that this web site would help me like this. Thanks. I wish you well

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marcelo_malara
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Postby marcelo_malara » Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:20 am

Welcome to the forum Frank.

What is the article about?

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Article

Postby FrankMcConnell » Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:36 am

Good Morning Marcelo

I wished to compare how much people are and were willing to pay for what they wanted or needed. I had read that the people of Liverpool paid the entire cost of one of the battleships which ranged against the Bismarck and therefore wondered where the money had cone from (and how much) for the Bismarck.

These days governments tax people (usually to the hilt) for what THEY want to have whilst (often) ignoring the wishes of the people.

I was fascinated by Otto von Bismarck as a student, (agreed, he ignored a lot of people too!) was brought up after WWII and was fascinated by the film Sink the Bismarck in the 60s. I see the name 'Bismarck' as being a powerful image.

Currently, a publishing house has put a weekly magazine kit of the Bismarck on the market in the UK. This will cost nearly £700 by the time it is finished. There is something quite ludicrous going on in the world! I see a powerful image used for something so frivolous.

197 million marks is a lot of money. I will need to try to convert that to its modern day equivalent.

... and you never know, someone might even publish the article if I get it done. I won't get paid the kind of money I'm writing about here though!

Thank you for your interest.

Frank

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Postby Karl Heidenreich » Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:56 pm

Tiornu:

The cost for Bismarck's construction was 196,800,000 marks. (Source: Groner)


Which was the exchange rate at the time with the US dolars?

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An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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marcelo_malara
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Postby marcelo_malara » Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:35 pm

Remeber that we have already converted the cost of Hood to this day value, and it gave the figure of 500 million dollars if I recall well. Those numbers don´t make justice to the real cost of those ships. They were the strategic deterrent of their era. So it would be better to compare their cost with that of a SSBN or CVN.

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Gary
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Postby Gary » Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:52 pm

Hi all.

If we look at the price tag of the F-18 (what? about 30 Million dollars?) and then consider how many the USN has then suddenly Hoods value in todays money doesnt seem quite so bad.

And how much does the USAF pay for each F-117 Nighthawk (Stealth fighter)?
God created the world in 6 days.........and on the 7th day he built the Scharnhorst

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marcelo_malara
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Postby marcelo_malara » Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:56 pm

I think they pay 50 million for each Strike Eagle.

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Gary
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Postby Gary » Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:31 pm

Ouch
God created the world in 6 days.........and on the 7th day he built the Scharnhorst

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In that case what was the cost of the Bismarck in Dollars

Postby FrankMcConnell » Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:55 pm

Most fascinating Gentlemen,

I can see the argument that these ships should be considered as strategic detterents rather than one-off weaponry. These strategic deterrents were in operation of course and in use in the front line. Many SDs these days are in operation but not necessarily actively deployed.

So does anyone actually know, then , the dollar equivalent cost of building the Bismarck? (rather than the Hood!)

Some of the costs quoted are as frightening as the objects themselves.

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Karl Heidenreich
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Postby Karl Heidenreich » Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:00 am

Marcelo:
I think they pay 50 million for each Strike Eagle.


Gary:
Ouch


For a country to be superpower isn´t cheap. That´s why Europe threw the towel after WWII: too dam expensive.
But it´s not only a question of money and resources but of WILL and commitment. If a country wants to be On The Top then must be willing to do whatever is neccesary to achieve and maintain that position. If a country has a broken will then nothing can be achieved, like the US at Korea, Vietnam and now at Irak. We can see the measure of that resolve at the US at Iwo Jima or at the Bulge... or the Spartans at Thermopylae or Rome at Cartage.
For example: the US Army lost more or less 10,000 men in one afternoon in 1862 at Antietam Creek. Those losses strenghtened the resolve of the Union to win whatever the cost. Nowadays CNN is weeping for 3,000 soldiers in four years. Nope, no victory at sight, only lack of resolve.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

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marcelo_malara
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Postby marcelo_malara » Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:41 am

Frank:

May be the value of a battleship is seen clearly in this way: don´t think of the superpower of those days, that had 10 or 20 in service, but look at the secondary naval powers. My country (Argentina) put just two of them in service, to compete with Brazil, who had two too. You may think, they were just two ships. But those two ships per side maintained the deterrent between both countries, that were looking for the hegemony of South America.
Bear in mind too that Argentina was then a healthy country, I think number 10 in the world. And she had a modern army: Mauser rifles in 1891 when the US had the Trapdoor Springfield blackpowder rifle still in their inventories. But she could afford to pay just for two battleships.
As Karl said, being a superpower is not for anyone.

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Re: Help wanted - and Thank You

Postby Tiornu » Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:17 pm

Frank, have you seen this?
http://www.hist.cam.ac.uk/academic_staf ... ction.html
I'm not sure it's relevant, but perhaps.

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Postby tommy303 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:50 pm

Hi Tiornu,

I believe the exchange rate ca. 1939 was $1 = RM2.5

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.


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