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When did Germany lose the war?

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by David Scott, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Do they have the slips? I don't think so. Do they have the skilled workers? Again I don't think so. If all they are doing is moving resources from the surface fleet to the U-boats what sort of schedule do you think they can keep that will get them 500 U-boats by 39? I can't seem to get to Uboat.net right now but the production numbers are not promising.
     
  2. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    What has to be remembered is that before 1938 Hitler wanted at all costs to avoid a war with Britain, it was only with the realisation by Hitler that Britain would never accept German domination of Eastern Europe by the threats of force, and the actual use of force, that he came to accept that war with Britain was inevitable.
    Therefore before 1938, remembering the effect the naval race had on relations between Britain and Germany before WW1, the build up of the German fleet was aimed towards control of the Baltic sea, and not towards any war against Britain.
     
  3. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    This is really simple, and we've already gone over it. Between 1940 and 1945 Germany built and commissioned over 500 type VIIs alone, and that was under wartime conditions when we were bombing the heck out of 'em. Now LJAD's claim was that you can't compare wartime building with pre-war building, and my answer is I'm not. I'm simply saying it wasn't impossible, which it obviously wasn't or they wouldn't have been able to do it during the war.
     
  4. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    Yes I know, but that is completely irrelavent to the post you cited, and to the discussion at hand.
     
  5. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    How so.
    Politics is always at the heart of any rearmament policy
     
  6. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Yes,you did it :in post 195 (maybe you have forgotten) ,you were saying that it was not impossible for the Germans to build 500 UBoats and train their crews in the 4 years preceding the war,because , during the war, they built nearly 1000 UBoats and trained their crews.
    And,in your last post (maybe you have forgotten) ,you did it again :
    post 223:it was not impossible,or they wouldn't have been able to do it during the war .
    2 times,you compared war production with peace production .
    2 times,you are saying,if the Germans produced 1000 UBoats during the War,they could produce 500 UBoats before the war .
    And,this is rubbish:in 1922,they were 89.200 workers on the German yards,in 1932,9400.In 1933,the German ship-building was almost non existent .You have to prove that this almost non existent ship-building could build (in 4 years) 8 X more (from 63 to 500)UBoats than it did in reality,and could train 8 X more crews .
     
  7. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    The following figures are from UBoat Net:
    Pre War UBoat production
    Type IIA :numbers 1-6 :year 1935
    Type IIB:7-24 :1934-36
    Type IA:25-26:34-36
    Type VIIA:27-36:35-37
    Type IX:37-44 :36-39
    Type VIIB:45-55:36-39
    Type IIC:56-63:37-40
    In 1939,the Germans had 29 ocean going UBoats;it took 10 months to build a Boat (to make him operational,much longer).That means,that, 500 ocean going UBoats (Type VII and IX),the ship yards would need 5000 months =400 years.10 ship yards would need 40 years .
     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The infrastructure that existed in 1940 was considerably different from that existing in 1934. For instance if I remember correctly the yard that built the most Uboats didn't start producing them until 1939. Then there are the completion time issues. The ramping up of production in the late 30's allowed the further expansion in the 40s.
     
  9. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    Try to keep it civil. I'm being civil with you and would appreciate the same consideration.

    I don't see where my position has changed at all. My position on this matter is simply that it would not have been impossible for Germany to have built 500 Uboats before the war. They could have built the slips, they had the material and they could have come up with the labor. The reasons that they didn't were because they did not chose to do so.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    If your position is that they could have built them giving them priority over everything else then you are correct. However it's by no means certain and indeed unlikly that they could have done so by not building the additional surface units and using just those resources to build the Uboats. The latter was what I believed we were discussing.
     
  11. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    I think the problem here is not "what" they could build with their resources, but on which units they could afford to expend them. The surface units were still seen as the "honor" of a nation, while the submarine was viewed with some distrust as a "less than honorable" method of war. A "sneaky attack" or ambush rather than an "honorable" fight. That was one of the reasons the "Cruiser Rules" were adopted for them in the international rules of war, it made them little more than surface units with slow submerged speeds.

    Hitler's new National Socialist Germany was supposed to "restore" the pride and honor of the nation, not plunge it into less honorable methods of fighting. He really had to marshal his funds and resources both before and during the war. Funds and material forced him to suspend U-boat production for tanks just before he invaded the Soviets, and then when he was "sure" they were going to fall, he shifted the focus back to U-boats. The whole German economy was one of a balancing act.

    Just my opinion of course.
     
  12. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    It's what we should be discussing rather than this silly possible/impossible bickering.

    I think that had the Germans known in 1935 what they knew in 1942 they would have certainly built more U-boats. But in reality they didn't, in fact even Donitz overestimated the effectiveness of British sonar and didn't think that submarines would be decisive at all prior to the war.
     
  13. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    This reminded me of something that John Holland, the inventor of the modern submarine, once said. To paraphrase, he said that Admirals would never accept the submarine because there was no quarterdeck in which to strut.
     
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  14. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Put a bullet in the back of Hitler's head. :rolleyes:
     
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  15. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Haven't seen you around too much lately Belasar, good to see you back!
     
  16. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    The best metric for submarine vs. surface ship production is probably good old money. Money is a measure of resources and labor invested in building anything. It's particularly appropriate within a single industry like shipbuilding, where the materials, equipment, and skills involved in building any type ship are broadly similar. Research the cost of battleships, destroyers, submarines, etc. for the best estimate of how many of any type or combination could be built.

    Note also construction time. For example if a battleship costs as much as thirty submarines, and building times are three years and one, you could expect to build ten submarines per year over three years.

    The key constraint on the U-boat force would be crew training rather than construction. There are no "deck apes" on submarines; both individuals and complete crews needed extensive training, which in turn depended on a cadre of experienced men and instructors. Despite Donitz's commitment to proper training, lower experience levels in commanders and crews became evident as early as 1941.
     
  17. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    If my memory serves Germany had 45-48 ocean-going U-boats available at the start of the war, with a relatively low production rate. Despite this Germany came the closest to 'blockading' Britain in 1940-early 41. So it would seem that a force of 100 U-boats at the start with a similar doubling of production might, might do the job. The problem is that the U-boats could only be used against Britain and would seem a long shot compared to Hitler's land based dreams. Why not build amphib's so you can land 3 to 4 divisions on the English coast. Cheaper and easier to build than subs, and 'deck monkee's could man them.
     
  18. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    The "blockading" of Britain is, IMHO,very doubtfull,even a myth :
    The British merchant navy losses in the Battle of the Atlantic were
    in 1939:420.000 GRT
    in 1940:2.200.000 GRT
    BUT,OTOH,
    Britain built in that period 1 million GRT
    and,it received,
    266.000 GRT from Belgium
    2.130.000 GRT from Holland
    665.000 from Denmark
    2.366.000 from Norway
    without Canada AND A VERY BIG amount of captured German and Italian GRT.
    On 1 september,Britain had 17.184.000 GRT
    It lost 2.620.000 GRT
    It gained 5.427.000 GRT
    Thus ,on 1 january 1941,Briton had almost 20 million of BRT=a gain of 2.807.000 GRT in 16 months,or an average monthly increase of 175.000 GRT.
    IMHO,one can reasonably argue that on 1 january 1941,Britain was WINNING the UBoat war ..
     
  19. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    That's an important point on the history as it occured; the myth that the U-boats were starving Britain is just that. For another statistic, in the first ten months of the war, they sank 224 ships, which sounds like a lot until you realize it's not even one per day. The principal impact of the U-boat campaign was simply compelling the British to put their shipping into convoys; this is estimated to have reduced imports by 1/3.

    On the other hand, belasar was hypothesizing 100 ocean-going U-boats rather than the ~27 they actually had on Sept 1 (plus about 30 Type IIs). He says they might do the job, and he also correctly points out the reason they might not; that number of U-boats could only be used against Britain, and Britain could build and man escorts, including the 'non-naval' corvettes, as fast or faster than Germany could build submarines and train submariners.
     
  20. lost knight

    lost knight Member

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    This would not happen. Hitler was a pure amature but up to then a very successful one. His prestige was sky high. The list of Nazi triumphs were still quite impressive and held the generals in awe (and would continue to do so for quite some time). The Rhineland, the Sudentenland and Czech takeover were both opposed by the generals and they were rather impressed by Hitlers success. Most top generals opposed the attack at Sedan in May 1940 and again Hitler was right. The early British disaster at Dunkirk, victory in the East (Poland / early Barbarossa) as well as the sweep through Norway and the Netherlands/Belgium) were all pretty much credited to him. This might not have been true, but it was the party line and universally believed (see Shirer-The Nightmare Years). It took a long time for this to disapate.

    I recall a conversation I had with a lady in the 1960's. 'At first Hitler was good, he put people to work, built roads, and impressive sites. But then the US came and bombed it all flat , so he was really no good.' (I felt it a stunning lack of conscience, and ignored the UK and USSR efforts but it probably reflected an honest view of a wartime civillian).

    He was a monster. but nations usually rally around their leader in wartime. German resistance existed but it was weak and of limited effectiveness. Outside of the bomb plot the closest he came to losing control seems to have been Munich when a group of generals were ready to depose him and then could not act in the face of his success. Incidentally, they were going to overthrow him for fear of a ruinious war that they were suure to lose.
     

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