Strategic bombing during World War II

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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Post by RF » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:10 am

boredatwork wrote:
But the RAF, who had been developing a "Strategic Bomber" force for years couldn't have achieved the wholesale destruction that was visited upon Hamburg, Dresden, or Tokyo in 1940 either so it seems kind of biased to single out the Germans for lack of foresight, given that they had a heavy bomber comparable to the British heavies in hand, at a similar stage of design.
''In 1940'' isn't really what I was getting at. The Germans had started with the ideas of Douhet as soon as they became known, but only paid lip service to it. Had they fully mobilised their economy to total war with the efficiency portrayed in their propaganda then it would have been possible to have had a force of heavy bombers available, though not as large as the RAF and USAF used later on.

The point I am making is the use of heavy, four engined bombers for carpet bombing of civilian areas. The Germans did make attempts on saturation fire bombing of London in late December 1940, and did come close to creating a firestorm, only they had insufficient incendiaries. Just a few hundred four engined heavy bombers could have achieved the weight of attack that was required.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Post by RF » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:18 am

lwd wrote: Indeed I'm not sure a "strategic" bomber force was in strategically in Germany's best interest. Looking at her potential enemies i.e. the USSR and to a lesser extent France Germany needed to win a quick victory. Even at the time it was far from clear that a strategic bomber force could win such a victory. Indeed the only case I can think of was vs Holland and that was combined with a very potent ground forces as well. Given that and Germany's limited means the production of a strategic bomber force would likely have come at the expence of the support to the Heer which would have slowed down German ground offenses.
I would take the view, as a German strategist, that what was needed was maximum firepower with maximum reach. Strategic heavy bombers would be one such instrument I would pursue.

To the list of enemies, surely Britain has to be at the top? France poses a problem with the Maginot Line and the USSR didn't even have a land border with Germany until after WW2 started. As a German strategist pre-WW2 I would doubt whether a quick victory was possible and be concerned that Germany couldn't bring the heartland of the expected enemy countries under sustained heavy fire. That is why I would go for heavy bombers. And with the adoption of blitzkrieg I would even propose using such bombers for interdiction attacks.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Post by RF » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:33 am

boredatwork wrote: While undoubtably Germany made poor production decisions, given the lack of large scale armament production coupled with the effects of the depression it doubtful if any government could realistically have done much better pre-war.
Speer achieved a great deal once he had the authority over armaments production. He quadrupled outputs of weapons at the same time Germany came under sustained bombing attack.

Had Speer started instead in 1933, together with a team of economists, engineers and logistics experts, and had a combined armed forces general staff to co-ordinate closely the efforts of all three armed forces (to standardise weapons and prevent competing projects) then Germany could have matched the later efficiency of the Allies. What would be required above all is a Fuhrer who is politically savvy and capable of using diplomacy to cover up the scale of Germany's re-armament and conceal Germany's real intentions.

That I believe could have been done. Germany was fully capable of rapid economic growth without inflation from the Depression; Germany managed to rise from a much worse situation post 1949 under Adenauer. But then Adenauer was a believer in private enterprise, initiative and hard work. Unlike Hitler.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Post by lwd » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:56 pm

RF wrote: .... Had they fully mobilised their economy to total war with the efficiency portrayed in their propaganda then it would have been possible to have had a force of heavy bombers available, though not as large as the RAF and USAF used later on.
But at what cost? Even if they had the course of WWII suggest it wouldn't have been enough.
RF wrote:
lwd wrote: Indeed I'm not sure a "strategic" bomber force was in strategically in Germany's best interest. Looking at her potential enemies i.e. the USSR and to a lesser extent France Germany needed to win a quick victory. Even at the time it was far from clear that a strategic bomber force could win such a victory. Indeed the only case I can think of was vs Holland and that was combined with a very potent ground forces as well. Given that and Germany's limited means the production of a strategic bomber force would likely have come at the expence of the support to the Heer which would have slowed down German ground offenses.
I would take the view, as a German strategist, that what was needed was maximum firepower with maximum reach. Strategic heavy bombers would be one such instrument I would pursue.
But to what purpose? If you are looking at a war with France or the Soviets which Germany was a dive bomber can represent more effective firepower than a heavy bomber with far greater flexability. Even vs Britain that may well be the case especiallly if you consider that fewer and larger bombers represent bigger targets for the defenders.
To the list of enemies, surely Britain has to be at the top? France poses a problem with the Maginot Line and the USSR didn't even have a land border with Germany until after WW2 started.
No. Whether it should be or not is another matter but Hitler certainly didn't consider Britain to be one of his chief foes. Indeed a strong case can be made for it being in Germany's interest to keep Britain from becoming an enemy as building a military capable of forcing a conclusion with her is a very daunting proposition at that time especially if France has to be taken out as well.
As a German strategist pre-WW2 I would doubt whether a quick victory was possible and be concerned that Germany couldn't bring the heartland of the expected enemy countries under sustained heavy fire. That is why I would go for heavy bombers. And with the adoption of blitzkrieg I would even propose using such bombers for interdiction attacks.
If Germany can't win a quick victory in a war in the 30's or 40's vs France and Britian she will loose in the long run. So they needed to either invest in the tools for such a quick victory or do all they could not to get in said fight. The first was beyond German capability the second Hitler proved incapable of.
RF wrote: ... Speer achieved a great deal once he had the authority over armaments production. He quadrupled outputs of weapons at the same time Germany came under sustained bombing attack.
Had Speer started instead in 1933, together with a team of economists, engineers and logistics experts, and had a combined armed forces general staff to co-ordinate closely the efforts of all three armed forces (to standardise weapons and prevent competing projects) then Germany could have matched the later efficiency of the Allies. What would be required above all is a Fuhrer who is politically savvy and capable of using diplomacy to cover up the scale of Germany's re-armament and conceal Germany's real intentions.

That I believe could have been done. Germany was fully capable of rapid economic growth without inflation from the Depression; Germany managed to rise from a much worse situation post 1949 under Adenauer. But then Adenauer was a believer in private enterprise, initiative and hard work. Unlike Hitler.
I suggest you take a look at Wages of Destruction. Your assumptions of both Speer's capabiltiy and that of the German economy seem to be rather misplaced.

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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Post by RF » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:51 pm

The book ''Wages of Destruction'' focuses on the actual record of the Germans conducting their war and the inefficient way in which they did it.

I have focussed on alternative scenario's where better oganisation and ideology could have dramatically led to very different outcomes. The key is in the management of the resources that were available, in the allocation and utilisation of those resources, together with a more sensible and co-herent plan of military action. That means proper economic planning and foreign policy. It also means proper incentivisation and organisation of the German labour force, including women.

Had matters been done ''properly'' - in particul;ar in taking on one enemy at a time - then the whole run of WW2 would be so totally different to what actually happened that the ''Wages of Destruction'' would have to be re-written and re-titled.

Germany was and is a major economic power. Post 1945 West Germany was far wealthier and productive than any of its predecessors and it is the production possibilities shown up by that on which I judge this matter.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Post by RF » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:03 pm

lwd wrote:
To the list of enemies, surely Britain has to be at the top? France poses a problem with the Maginot Line and the USSR didn't even have a land border with Germany until after WW2 started.
No. Whether it should be or not is another matter but Hitler certainly didn't consider Britain to be one of his chief foes. Indeed a strong case can be made for it being in Germany's interest to keep Britain from becoming an enemy as building a military capable of forcing a conclusion with her is a very daunting proposition at that time especially if France has to be taken out as well.
Hitler was completely contradictory about his atitude to Britain, and to an extent the USA. At times he wanted Britain as an ally, at times he saw Britain as a ''Jew ridden democracy'' ripe for destruction. Whichever you take it didn't really influence his decision to build up a massive surface fleet for prestige purposes and not even consider that the British might react to it......
Really it exemlplifies the whole problem with Nazi Germany. A brutally strong dictator with no centrally co-herent policy or plan of action, everything done ''off the cuff''. What he achieved through the efforts and loyalties of his people was incredible. But it was all unfocused and that was his undoing.

The issue over Britain should have been simple for the Fuhrer. Whether he liked it or not, Britain would be hostile. So deal with it. Hitler didn't face up to it and failed. When Britain declared war his comment to Goering of ''what now?'' just about says it all.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Post by Paul L » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:47 am

The reason why most people have such divergent dogmatic views on German's potential in WW-II stems from their inability to resolve the strategic paradigms that Germany /Hitler faced in the late 1930s. This in turn is based on their own background in strategic thinking, which often devolves from people’s cultural & the extent of their historical background. The View from Moscow is always going to be different from the view from Beijing, London, Paris, Berlin or Washington. etc etc. And yes every one is biased , embrace the horror, you can't be dogmatic about history. That’s for religion.

Tooze does a reasonably good job examining the pressures on Germany/Hitler prior to war in his book and summarizing in this article below. But be mindful of how much all this discussion hinges on HITLERS POV, especially his racial POV, which is completely different from Germanys historical POV based on the traditional 'risk theory'.

http://www.historytoday.com/adam-tooze/ ... 99s-gamble
It was America’s increasingly obvious alignment with the Western democracies, an alignment that was more ideological than practical at this point, which gave such extreme urgency to the question of the arms race. In May 1939 the leading economic expert of the Wehrmacht compiled an assessment of the overall armaments effort of the major global powers which showed that with the United States expending a mere 2 per cent of its national income on armaments, the ‘three democracies’ were already outspending Germany and Italy combined. To a conventional strategic thinker this kind of calculation might suggest that any large-scale war was a losing proposition for Germany. But Hitler’s reaction to the economic difficulties of 1939 cannot be understood in such terms. He viewed the situation through the lens of his racial ideology. And this dictated that conflict was inevitable. He might have wished, as he suggested in the famous Hossbach memorandum of November 1937, to fight a ‘big war’ against Britain and France at a moment of his choosing at some point in the early 1940s, but by early 1939 the pace of events had rendered such long-term plans impractical. With America, France and Britain appearing to draw ever closer together, there was no time to lose. If Hitler’s sworn enemies were improvising, so would he. It was time, as he famously put it to Goering in August 1939, to play vabanque, to wager everything. Otherwise, faced by a global coalition animated by its implacable Jewish enemies, Germany would face certain ruin.

Reading through Tooze book he ignores issues of economy of scale that Overy champions with tantalizing examples in his history of German economy at War. Which has been backed up recently by German historical research into LW mass production. “Demystifying the German “Armament Miracle” during WW-II”
http://www.econ.yale.edu/growth_pdf/cdp905.pdf

Overy also has tantalizing examples of waste within the reamament phase, which seems to be backed up by evidence from Ulrich Hensler in "German Industry in the Nazi Period".

Wilhelm Deist shows in “The Wehrmacht and German Rearmament” That rearmament began before Hitler got in power. He also details Blomberg efforts to get mass production brought into achieve rearmament targets set when the initial demand was for a peace time army of 21 divisions and field army of 63 divisions by 1938. I gather Hitler was against mass production arguing it was fine for toasters but no good for armaments.

Truth is you can’t focus solely on one historian to gain a good understanding of Germany in WW-II you need to read them all..... Tooze, Deist, Overy, Milward, Kershaw etc etc.

German could have had a fleet of 400 multi engined long range bombers by wartime plus a fleet of a dozen Panzerschiffe and thousands of tanks leading a motorized field army. The question is at what cost would this be. Since the actual spending on armaments within the entire rearmament drive cost only 5.9 billion RM [McNair],out of estimated 45-90 billion RM expenditure, there is plenty of wiggle room. This is especially true if Speer is right about their being 25 billion RM wasted on nazi construction projects plus billions more wasted on Westwall and other projects like Autobahn at the expense of Reichsbahn.

We need more information.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Post by lynn1212 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:31 am

coming into this late but its my impression that the very real limits to germany's supplies of strategic materials are being ignored to a certain extent . there's a long list of things that germany had to import in order to rearm and bauxite was near the top of the list. from my reading i understand that a major reason that heavy bombers were largely ignored was the simple fact that it took several times the aluminum to build a bomber that it took to build a fighter. add in the increased requirements a bomber needs in fuel, manpower, engines, manufacturing capabilities, larger and more robust airport faculties, and overall maintenance requirements and its easy to understand why the heavies got shortchanged. the same is true to a certain extent for almost everything needed to fight a war. germany may have had the knowledge base to built massive ships and super tanks but she lacked fuel , nickel [ for armor ], nitrates and fats [ for propellents and explosives], good deep water ports and large graving docks [ needed to support a heavy fleet], even steam coal was limited forcing the use of lower grades such as lignite. there was a shortage of copper which meant brass, bronze, and other necessary materials needed to be allowed for. even carbide for tooling or shot cores was well below basic needs. carbide tooling can work metals that are harder or work softer ones faster, last longer and require less coolant [which was mostly fat based then, see fat shortage above] and go longer between sharpenings. this meant that the best AT shot could not be used since it required enough carbide to make hundreds of tool bits for one shot. how many tank crews or AT gunners did this shortage alone cost? how could germany afford big bombers, super tanks, and a fleet of bismarcks when it could not afford to provide its 90% of its land forces truck transport.

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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Post by RF » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:02 am

Paul L wrote:The reason why most people have such divergent dogmatic views on German's potential in WW-II stems from their inability to resolve the strategic paradigms that Germany /Hitler faced in the late 1930s. This in turn is based on their own background in strategic thinking, which often devolves from people’s cultural & the extent of their historical background. The View from Moscow is always going to be different from the view from Beijing, London, Paris, Berlin or Washington. etc etc. And yes every one is biased , embrace the horror, you can't be dogmatic about history. That’s for religion.
I don't think my views on Germany are particulary dogmatic, as I come from an academic background and am ready to change my views in the light of new hard evidence.
The problem with the above quote is the phrase ''strategic paradigms.'' It complicates matters. What are these paradigms?

I take things at a much simpler level and look at the attainable strategic objectives, stripping away political ideology. That then will take into account Germany's central position in Europe. Any policy of expansion must first neutralise any opposing alliances between the countries of central Europe and then taking on oppents one by one. Roughly the policy Bismarck followed in the 1860's. That is my own view. It isn't fixed, it isn't based on being from any particular country or culture or historical background.

The rest of the post offers evidence backing up my assertion that Nazi Germany was not properly organised for war. The remarks about Hitler's atitude to mass production show just how ignorant and incompetant a dictator he was. No different really than from Saddam Hussein, except Hitler had a modern European state at his disposal whereas Saddam ran a third world country.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Post by wadinga » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:30 am

All,

This thread has drifted off into a lot of pointless speculation about whether the bunch of psychotic cut-throats whom the German people allowed to run their country through the Thirties and early Forties could have run things better if they if had been sensible, logical, well adjusted people instead of..erm .. ah...oh yes... umm... I see what you mean.
Meanwhile, back at the plot, various perceptive posters have weighed in against the preposterous initial thread premise that the Allies were engaged in a war of aerial genocide whilst the Nice Nazis never targeted the civilian population. If they ever did, it was only because they, the victims, were too stupid to get out of the way whilst the Wehrmacht had a nice clean battle in their homes in Rotterdam, Warsaw etc.

The first bombing attack by Germany on British soil took place against a highly strategic vegetable patch on Christmas Eve morning 1914 on the outskirts of Dover when Leutnant Karl Caspar in a Friedrichshafen FF29 wounded Mr Tommy Terson whilst he was cutting holly. Mr Terson was luckier than the three Parisian citizens killed when Germany set the city-bombing business in motion in August 1914. Germany also attacked Antwerp with Zeppelin-dropped bombs in August, and early in January 1915 killed several people in villages in East Anglia. Throughout the rest of the war, Zeppelins and later the Gotha and Giant bombers dropped high explosive all over London and other British cities, as well as the Brandbomben. Yes, the incendiary for city destruction was another German invention, further developed as the Elektron. The bombers alone dropped 105,000kg on British soil and killed 836 and wounded 1,965 in World War I. See First Blitz by Neil Hanson for more detail. No wonder Stanley Baldwin was horrified by the prospect of aerial bombing. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Baldwin - take note of the words of his “The bomber will always get through” speech and see later how Nazi propaganda twists his words to distort the truth.

As well informed posters have observed, Nazi Germany was very keen on the idea of strategic bombing in the 1930s but when Wever was killed, the man with the vision was gone, thank goodness, and Goering just kept Hitler happy with large numbers. Just like the early toothless Panzerkampfwagens, small bombers were cheaper, and could be built in larger numbers and could still reach Paris or Warsaw as required. The Ju89 and Do 19 four engine types were not pursued after 1936 and the new Bomber A specification had (bizarrely) to be capable of dive bombing so needed low drag (only two engines). The He 177, when it arrived, tried to jam four engines into two nacelles and the result was prone to self immolation, performed poorly and took forever to get into service. The development programme for a proper strategic bomber had been strangled at birth.

Dr Robert Knauss had given a major study to Erhard Milch, State Secretary in the German Air Ministry, as early as May 1933, recommending a fleet of 400 four-engine bombers to act as a deterrent and threaten France, Czechoslovakia and Poland. The fear of such a force would allow Nazi Germany to rearm her other services without intervention. However Milch spent most of the Thirties fighting with successive Luftwaffe Chiefs of Staff Kesselring, Stumff and Jeschonnek and other ex-Reichwehr officers , all obsessed with Army co-operation, under the disorganised, non-technical comic-opera star Goering, (see para one above). Knauss went on to become the Head of the Air War College in Gatow from whence a coherent plan for strategic bombing was made, but Nazi inefficiency brought it to nothing. Knauss believed that the totalitarian Nazi state would obviously withstand terror bombing better than effete democracies. See The Luftwaffe by Williamson Murray.

Nazi Germany got its first taste of terror bombing on the 10th of May 1940 when bombs rained down on the undefended town of Freiburg-im-Breisgau, killing 57 including 22 young children, and German propaganda was still citing this as the start of the murderous Allied assault on civilians in 1942 and 1943. See http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/cologne.htm for the scurrilous Nazi propaganda which some may find difficult to differentiate from some posts in this very thread. Except of course, as David Irving describes in The Destruction of Dresden, it was lost Luftwaffe bombers that had done the killing as Goebbels and his professional liars had known all along from the bomb fragments. Incidentally, this is the Irving of the Sixties, writing a reasonably well balanced book, with a foreword by Harris’ deputy, Saundby, a troubled man convinced he had helped in the greatest feat of concentrated killing yet perpetrated by humankind. This is the same Irving who compares the agony of the Dresden victims with that of the Extermination Camp inmates and lays the blame for Germany’s suffering squarely at the Fuhrer’s feet. It is not the Holocaust denier Irving, of our latter times, who has spent too much time with old (and new ) Nazis, has had his mind twisted by their evil poisonings and has eventually been forced to concede that a much lower death total for Dresden is likely. :cool:

As Tommy 303 has pertinently pointed out, Nazi Germany had switched to remote-controlled urban attack with the Fi 103, first flight in mid 1942, later known as the Doodlebug, and the more sophisticated, unstoppable ballistic missile, the A4, later known as V2. Neither had any ability to differentiate between military or civilian targets. :clap:

American views on the RAF’s area-bombing campaign had been critical at the time and have been so since, partly from a moral stance, and partly on an overestimate of their ability to accurately hit military targets in built-up areas. “Edificated areas”, as British studies called them, reveal the real intent of the campaign, not necessarily to kill civilians, but to render them homeless and incapable of working effectively in Germany’s war effort. It also has to be said that Americans had never felt the impact of German bombs on their soil, as the British had, nor seen the blood of civilians seeping into it. They didn’t have the thirst for vengeance that drove Harris and his men to both experience and dispense Hell night after night, and perhaps couldn’t understand it until the 11th of September 2001.

It is for responsible posters on sites like this to keep the twisted interpretations of some revisionists at bay and to debunk them ruthlessly. :wink:

All the best

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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Post by Byron Angel » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:14 am

..... I largely accept the essence of your argument, but will point out that the 7th of December 1941 ignited sufficient passion here in the USA.

B

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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Post by RF » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:05 pm

This is an interesting post by Wadinga. There is little to disagree with.

One observation I would make is the dichotemy between propaganda and reality that was so common with Nazi Germany; stategic bombing endorsed as part of a wish list of supposed goals but again very little in reality being achieved. At least by 1939.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Post by Dave Saxton » Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:07 pm

Paul L wrote:. And yes every one is biased , embrace the horror, you can't be dogmatic about history. That’s for religion.

.
A good point. Agree or not with particular perspectives, with out an enviroment of acedemic freedom the study of history suffers and it becomes something else. It's getting to the point in some corners of the net that one cannot even explore a new angle to a hypothisis and discuss them openly, even conditionally, without running afoul of some self appointed Cotton Mathers of WWII historical orthodoxy and being labelled a revisionist witch. This doesn't mean that if you disagree that you should not express so in a rational and relatively unbiased manner, and hopefully devoid of blantant nationalism, nonetheless. Let us keep an atmosphere of open and free historical disccussion, be it strategic, tactical, or technical.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Post by Paul L » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:20 am

lynn1212 wrote:coming into this late but its my impression that the very real limits to germany's supplies of strategic materials are being ignored to a certain extent . there's a long list of things that germany had to import in order to rearm and bauxite was near the top of the list. from my reading i understand that a major reason that heavy bombers were largely ignored was the simple fact that it took several times the aluminum to build a bomber that it took to build a fighter. add in the increased requirements a bomber needs in fuel, manpower, engines, manufacturing capabilities, larger and more robust airport faculties, and overall maintenance requirements and its easy to understand why the heavies got shortchanged. the same is true to a certain extent for almost everything needed to fight a war. germany may have had the knowledge base to built massive ships and super tanks but she lacked fuel , nickel [ for armor ], nitrates and fats [ for propellents and explosives], good deep water ports and large graving docks [ needed to support a heavy fleet], even steam coal was limited forcing the use of lower grades such as lignite. there was a shortage of copper which meant brass, bronze, and other necessary materials needed to be allowed for. even carbide for tooling or shot cores was well below basic needs. carbide tooling can work metals that are harder or work softer ones faster, last longer and require less coolant [which was mostly fat based then, see fat shortage above] and go longer between sharpenings. this meant that the best AT shot could not be used since it required enough carbide to make hundreds of tool bits for one shot. how many tank crews or AT gunners did this shortage alone cost? how could germany afford big bombers, super tanks, and a fleet of bismarcks when it could not afford to provide its 90% of its land forces truck transport.

I wish there were facts to back this up because any system of consumption has to be viewed from differing angles to get a better idea of what was possible and not. Claims of shortages can point to problems but can also be politically motivated and not really critical when viewed in the larger context. We need more information not less and to do that we need more discussion and sources not less. So we need to check the egos at the door.

Here are some facts I have encountered in my readings. Overy points out that LW contracts assigned 16,000lb aluminum per plane regardless of if it’s a fighter needing 1500lb or a bomber needing all 16,000lb. I gather that the companies pocketed the difference to gain extra profit building products for the civilian market, which was their primary bread and butter. Ulrich Hoschle reports that many armaments companies only got weapons contracts to allow quotas of resources that they then hoarded, causing artificial bottlenecks in the system, triggering political backlashes. These resources were used to fill civilian contracts before the military ones.

According to BH Klein, Germany acquired more machine tools than any of her adversaries. Prewar they produced twice as much as the UK. Infact reportedly by 1943 Germany had inventory of over 2 million machine tools compared to 2.2 million for USA and UK combined. However Germany only averaged about two machinists per tool compared to 4 machinists per tool in the allied industries. The under utilization of the German heavy industry is a problem others have reported, including Overy.

Further allot of the shortages reported related to the prewar German ‘rearmament phased’ can be put down to a couple of perspectives over estimating consumption and politics. If you read the text on Z Plan much is made out of the need for 6 million tons of bunker fuel per year and how impossible this would be. Even Tooze makes this claim. However O Hara et al, report the same prewar calculations predicted that the 1939/40 naval fuel consumption would be 137,000 tons bunker fuel per month, when the actual war consumption was only 1/2 of this, around 60-70,000 tons through 1943 with additional 19,000 month going to Italy.

The Wehrmacht was originally planned for a 63-division field army that was expanded to about 83-division field Army by 1939/40. Most building plans for armaments and especially barracks and depots were based on this target. It was also around this target that the motorization of the Heer was planned. But in 1936 Hitler scrapped this plan and replaced it with a further demand for more infantry divisions, which boosted the field army to 103 divisions by wartime expansion to 140-150 divisions by 1940. This forced the Wehrmacht to crash build barracks bases and depots for another million troops by war time alone….all in the span of a couple of years. Motorization of the Heer had to be cancelled and all the calculations on consumption had to be through out the window. This also meant that stockpile the reserve munitions and fuel was scrapped, as all this was needed just to commission the above expansion. This expansion was soo costly the navy had to delay all warship construction by 1 year on average [Deist] , while the LW expansion stagnated for a couple of years right around the time the bomber fleet was to be built[Deist].


RF ;I was not suggesting you are dogmatic, but that most such discussions are. I apologies for this if it was miss communicated.Unfortunately internet communications can be like this. But the basic perspectives from each side are always going to be different and judging from a postmodern western perspective can be very misleading and dangerous.

And a thanks to Dave for acknowledging the importance and need for ongoing discussions and research. What’s that line …’I may not agree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it’.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Post by RF » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:40 am

Voltaire, I believe.
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