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Cost of WW2 weapons


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#1 Wolfy

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 11:28 PM

Interesting find!

Currency Conversion Rates.

1 USD = 5.31 Poland zloty.
1 USD = .21 British pound.
1 USD = 37.7 French frank.
1 USD = 2.5 German mark.
1 USD = 5.3 Russian rubles. Pegged artificially low. Actual rate should be about 1 USD per 10 rubles.
1 USD = 4 Swedish krona in 1935. This exchange rate bounced around a bit.

Small Arms.
$13. Luger P08 9mm pistol.
$15. M1911 .45cal pistol. This is a WWI price.
$24. MP40 SMG.
$26. MP44 assault rifle. This is a late war price when production costs were lower.
$26. M1917 Enfield rifle. WWI price.
$28. 7.92mm Mauser 98k rifle.
$31. 7.92mm wz.29 bolt action rifle (Poland).
$70. Thompson SMG. Spring 1942 price.
$83. M1 Garand rifle. Price is for July 1942 Winchester.
$100. MG42 machinegun. Late war price.
$105. M14 rifle. 1960 price.
$131. MG34 machinegun. The tripod costs an additional $160.
$270. 7.92mm wz.28 BAR (Poland).
$396. 7.92mm wz.30 HMG (Poland).

Anti Tank Guns.
$2,292. 3.7cm/45 Pak36.
$4,240. 5cm/60 Pak38
$4,800. 7.5cm/48 Pak40.

AA Guns.
$2,400. 2cm Flak38 (single barrel).
$13,440. 8.8cm Flak18.

Field Artillery.
$32. 105mm howitzer shell.
$14,400. Sd.Kfz.7 half track prime mover.
$324. 8cm mortar Gr.W.34.
$480. 12cm mortar Gr.W.42.
$6,560. 10.5cm leFH18 howitzer.
$15,400. 15cm sFH howitzer.

Armored Vehicles. These prices include weapons and other normally installed equipment.
$9,024. Sd.Kfz.7 medium half track (3 ton / infantry squad).
$20,000. Panzer MkIIC tank. 10 tons. 20mm autocannon. 15mm armor.
$34,181. 7TP light tank. 10 tons. 37mm main gun. 17mm armor.
$37,096. R35 light tank. 10 tons. 37mm main gun. 43mm armor.
$40,000. Panzer MkIIIG (and later) tank. 50mm main gun. 30mm armor.
$46,000. M4 (Sherman) tank. 35 tons. 75mm main gun.
$46,387. Panzer MkIVG (and later) tank. 75mm main gun. 50mm armor.
$60,000. Panzer MkV (Panther) tank. 75mm/70 main gun. 80mm armor.
$119,920. Panzer MkVIE (Tiger) tank. 88mm main gun. 100mm armor.

$30,943. T-34/76 tank. 164,000 rubles. Official exchange rate. Real USD price is roughly twice this amount.

Aircraft.
$23,000 P-36 fighter.
$50,000. F6F Hellcat fighter.

price data for 1941 for some German aircraft types, via Olaf Groehlers GdLK, 1910-1980:
Without engine / with engine, in Reichsmarks (RM)
Bf 109E : 58 000 / 85 970
Bf 110C : 155 800 / 210 140
He 111H : 203 900 / 265 650
Ju 88A : 245 200 / 306 950
Ju 87B : 100 300 / 131 175
Ju 52 : 125 800 / 163 000
Do 17 : 185 500 / 235 00

Type VII U boat. 2.5 million marks.
Lancaster heavy bomber. 42,000 pounds sterling. 1943 price. This price is not verified.

1940 Man hours required to build airframe.
4,000. Me-109 fighter.
10,300. Hurricane fighter.
15,200. Spitfire fighter. Another source states 13,000 man hours.
20,000. Ju-88 medium bomber.

1942 Man hours required to build airframe.
3,500. Me-109 fighter.
5,400. Fw-190 fighter.
12,000. P-51A fighter / dive bomber.
30,000. He-219 night fighter.

Aircraft Engine Prices.
$25,000 Packard built RR Merlin engine.
$19,000 Allison V-1710 engine.
$16,500 Wright R-2600 engine.
$ 11,188 DB601 engine. (27,970 marks)
$10,000 Wright R-1820 engine.
45,000 to 65,000 marks for a BMW801 engine during 1942.

$2,765,000 for a Gato class submarine.
$2 million for a Libety ship.
$10,800 for a DUKW
$12,500 for a LCVP.
2.5 million marks for a Type VII U boat.
48 million Yen for an Agano class CL.

Axis History Forum • View topic - I ask that cost of weapon.

#2 Wolfy

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 11:38 PM

Interesting to see how expensive the M1 rifle really was compared to the K98 and the Enfield bolt action rifles. Also interesting is how expensive the Thompson is compared to the MP40/MP44 automatics.

$24. MP40 SMG.
$26. MP44 assault rifle. This is a late war price when production costs were lower.
$26. M1917 Enfield rifle. WWI price.
$28. 7.92mm Mauser 98k rifle.
$70. Thompson SMG. Spring 1942 price.
$83. M1 Garand rifle. Price is for July 1942 Winchester.
$100. MG42 machinegun. Late war price.
$131. MG34 machinegun. The tripod costs an additional $160.

#3 Wolfy

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 11:38 PM

Just for fun= US rifle section (1 BAR, 9 garands) = $1,017

German infantry section (1 MG42, 2 MP40, 6 K98) = $ 316

Those expensive M1 rifles...


#4 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 01:01 AM

I've seen the US military price for a Thompson listed as $26 and the M3 Grease gun at $11. That is why the later was adopted.

#5 Wolfy

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 01:32 AM

hmm, that's different from this batch of info.

#6 brndirt1

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 01:56 AM

hmm, that's different from this batch of info.


That is why it is difficult to take info from one spot at face value.

An M1A1 could be produced in half the time of a M1928A1, and at a much lower cost. In 1939 Thompsons cost the government $209 apiece. By Spring of 1942 cost reduction design changes had brought this down to $70. In February of 1944 the M1A1 reached a low price of $45 each, including accessories and spare parts. But by the end of 1944, the M1A1 was replaced with the even lower cost M3 "Grease Gun".

See:

The Unofficial Tommy Gun Page

I have seen productions costs for the M3 and M3A1 varying from $22 at the start; to $15 near the end of production runs.

I had earlier (figuring out L/L values) found that in early March of 1940 (a year before L/L was approved), the British government took the decision to peg the value of the pound to the dollar, at $4.03 where it remained though out the war years.


That said, a B-24 cost about $296,000 (RM 750,000), while a B-17 ran about $240,000 (RM 600,000). And then compare those to the "Mosquito". In his autobiography, Sky Fever, Sir Geoffrey De Davilland said, "Four to five Mosquitoes could be built for one of the heavy bombers, thus saving enormous effort, expense, and man-hours."

And in Mosquito: Wooden Wonder, Edward Bishop stated, "Freeman's staff produced a paper which explained that the Lancaster cost 2.8 times as much as the Mosquito to produce in terms of standard man-hours..."

But a cyber-friend of mine (R. Palmer) also found this in his reference books as well; "here is an exact figure for the Lancaster, from Harry Holmes's Combat Legend, Avro Lancaster"; "The average cost per aircraft was £58,974 which included airframe, engines, propellers, and flight systems, but not government equipment such as guns, radio, radar, and bombsight."

Add in that an early-war Merlin-powered Halifax cost £42,000.

Then there is this; "The cost of building a Mosquito was £9,829..." - from Britain 1939-1945: The Economic Cost of Strategic Bombing, by John Fahey.

Fahey got the info from the Ministry of Aircraft Production's wartime Price Books (which I've never seen). Assuming that's correct, it looks like Sir Geoffrey was just about right - a Lancaster cost six times as much as a Mosquito. Considering that a Spitfire was £8,000, and used one Merlin engine compared to the Mossie's two Merlins, that seems a bit on the cheap side as an estimate.

EDIT: Reading further in Fahey, he points out that the costs given in the MAP Price Books are significantly less than what one would expect given other sources. For example, for the Lancaster, he quotes a price of £31,985, rather than the £58,974 given by Holmes. Other aircraft also seem cheap - the Halifax at £23,354 as compared to the £42,000 given elsewhere. He states that the Price Books quotes may be up to 50% low, and don't reflect the true cost after government subsidies and capital grants provided to the manufacturers are taken into account, while other sources do.

Given that, the true cost of a Mosquito appears to come out at somewhere in the neighborhood of £18,000, which seems somewhat more reasonable, and about one-third as expensive as a Lancaster. Instead of a six to one (as per Sir Geoffrey's estimate), but more closely a ratio of three to one; DH98's to Lancasters.

Working out the subsidies, the equipment on each aircraft, and which variants were being compared might also muddy the water considerably as to cost of production per unit. I don’t think a "blanket" number can be assigned to each weapon, or weapon system because of this type of "off the books" financing/funding.

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Happy Trails,
Clint.

#7 lwd

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 04:34 PM

While interesting one has to be extremly careful drawing conclusions from numbers such as these in particular if comparing from one country to another. Some (by no means all) of the problems that can confound things:

1) Exchange rates. Germany in particular manipulated their prewar exchange rates (see Wages of Destruction). Even if exchange rates are not manipulated they are rough aproximations for many uses. For instance the one time I got over to GB and stopped into a grocery store I noticed that many groceries had approximatly the same number on their price tags even though the pound was worth ~$1.5. Once could perhaps look at the cost of certain raw materials and calculate an exchage rate based on that. For instance the cost of a ton of steel. But even this has problems if the price of the comodity is regulated.

2) How are the numbers calculated? Are they the price at a point in time? or the Average over all the systems produced? Or the yearly averages?

3) What's in the equipment price? Is it fully equipped or without GFE? Does it include delivery costs? For instance the prices of at least some US equipment included money to offset the constrution of the factory as a good percentage of US factories were built just prior to or during the war.

4) Labor costs are also problematic especially if slave or forced labor is involved. One can look at manhours required if the number exist but how do you want to handle differences in productivity?

5) Then do you want to include support costs? Spare parts? Transportation?

If the numbers were produced for a specific purpose they may be useful for that purpose but as the old maps used to say "Here there be dragons"

#8 FhnuZoag

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 02:24 AM

$30,943. T-34/76 tank. 164,000 rubles. Official exchange rate. Real USD price is roughly twice this amount.


This is hugely late, but this is mistaken. First, the price in rubles is for the T-34/85. Secondly, if the ruble was pegged artificially low, and should be 10R/$ instead of 5R/$, then the apparent US$ is actually too *high*, instead of too low. In short, the T-34/85 has an actual US$ price in the range of $15k.

Which probably squares with what we expect, since a T-34 certainly didn't cost 50% more than a Sherman and the same as a Panther!

#9 Old Schoolr

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 09:07 PM

Wouldn't the war time prices of German weapons reflect the reduced labor costs of using slave labor?

#10 noelchan127

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 03:11 PM

Finally someone posted something about production cost.

Btw I thought the F6F only cost $35,000?

#11 ValkyrieKatrina

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 01:11 AM

Interesting to see these cost figures in particular the German ones.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility:but when the blast of war blows in our ears,then imitate the action of the tiger;stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;then lend the eye a terrible aspect. William Shakespeare

#12 luketdrifter

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 05:20 AM

I wish I'd pay only 83 clams for my Garands these days. They cost more because they were titanically better guns. Still are. Thats why you can pick up a Mauser for 400 and a Garand is 1000 or better.
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#13 sf_cwo2

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 05:35 AM

Auto Ordnance got into trouble after the war for the higher M1 cost. They refunded the gov't $200/Thompson for the "inflated" price. That basically bankrupted the company.

#14 Proeliator

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 05:53 AM

I wish I'd pay only 83 clams for my Garands these days. They cost more because they were titanically better guns. Still are. Thats why you can pick up a Mauser for 400 and a Garand is 1000 or better.


This has to do with availability more than anything else. The Mauser was produced in far larger numbers the Garand and in many different versions from many countries as-well. And when something is more readily available then it becomes cheaper. Thats the reason for the difference in price, it has nothing to do with which weapon is better.

As an example you'll definitely end up paying over twice the amount of the most expensive Garand out there if you manage to find a genuine G41 in excellent condition, and that simply because it's much rarerer.

#15 luketdrifter

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 06:25 AM

Well, you may be correct. I own 4 Mausers, all German built, all very nice shooting guns. I own 2 Garands, one collector, one a shooter, with one more shooter on the way. Average cost for the Mausers = about 375.00
Average cost for the Garands, including the one I haven't received yet= about 1200. I did pay quite a bit for a very nice collectible with scope (not WWII) that has rifling as nice as if it was produced yesterday.
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#16 Proeliator

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 07:36 AM

The average price of a P-08 Luger in good condition is 6,500 dollars, and the ones in mint condition you don't even wanna know what cost :D

#17 marc780

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 07:46 PM

$119,920. Panzer MkVIE (Tiger) tank. 88mm main gun. 100mm armor.


I saw one documentary that said one Tiger cost as much as 3 fighter planes.
These figures are interesting, but someone said an M1 garand cost $81 in 1942 - that seems quite high unless the cost was adjusted for inflation.

I talked to a guy who did procurement in the US army, in the last 20 years, he said a modern frag hand grenade cost $54.

#18 brndirt1

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 08:34 PM


These figures are interesting, but someone said an M1 garand cost $81 in 1942 - that seems quite high unless the cost was adjusted for inflation.




Well that $81 is close for 1940, but I wouldn't doubt that the cost to the government decreased as production ramped up, although if I'm not mistaken only two armory facilities actually produced the Garand. Others may have produced components, but I think Winchester and Springfield were the only "production centers" for the Garand, while the M1 .30 Carbine had a multitude of production outlets.

See:

Page Title

For a break down of the "delivered cost" with spare parts and accessories very early on.
Happy Trails,
Clint.

#19 sf_cwo2

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 04:46 PM

I saw one documentary that said one Tiger cost as much as 3 fighter planes.
These figures are interesting, but someone said an M1 garand cost $81 in 1942 - that seems quite high unless the cost was adjusted for inflation.

I talked to a guy who did procurement in the US army, in the last 20 years, he said a modern frag hand grenade cost $54.



I still have my microfilm NSN catalog (they never asked for it back). I'm not sure if AAPs are included but I'll go to the library and use their reader to check grenade prices.

#20 OhOgain

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 03:20 AM

Does anyone know the cost of a Madsen Light Machine Gun?

#21 eaglestar78

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:17 PM

Does anyone have man hours on the production of these weapons?

#22 eaglestar78

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:29 PM

Madsen LMG $37,000 USD 2012 for a regestered weapon.
$1800 world arms market price
see machinegunpriceguide.com
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#23 eaglestar78

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 03:13 PM

M-1 Garand  $70 USD 1942, $31 USD 1945

M-2 BMG  $1560 USD 1945

M-2  4.2" Mortar $834 USD 1945

M1919A4  $579 USD 1945

M1918A2 BAR  $319 USD 1945

Mk II Sten  $10 USD 1942

Mk 2 Hand grenade $1 USD 1942

 

P-51  $50,985 USD 1945

B-17  $240,000 USD 1945

B-24  $296,000 USD 1945

B-29  $750,000 USD 1945

Norden and Sperry bombsights  $15,000 USD 1942

US Balao Class sub $2,750,000 USD 1945

Mk 13/14/15 Torpedo  $10,000 USD 1940

 

V-1  $600 USD / RM 1500 1945

V-2  $40,000 USD / RM 100,000 1944, $20,000 USD / RM 50,000 1945

 

Atomic bomb $30,000 USD

 

 

Interesting find!

Currency Conversion Rates.

1 USD = 5.31 Poland zloty.
1 USD = .21 British pound.
1 USD = 37.7 French frank.
1 USD = 2.5 German mark.
1 USD = 5.3 Russian rubles. Pegged artificially low. Actual rate should be about 1 USD per 10 rubles.
1 USD = 4 Swedish krona in 1935. This exchange rate bounced around a bit.

Small Arms.
$13. Luger P08 9mm pistol.
$15. M1911 .45cal pistol. This is a WWI price.
$24. MP40 SMG.
$26. MP44 assault rifle. This is a late war price when production costs were lower.
$26. M1917 Enfield rifle. WWI price.
$28. 7.92mm Mauser 98k rifle.
$31. 7.92mm wz.29 bolt action rifle (Poland).
$70. Thompson SMG. Spring 1942 price.
$83. M1 Garand rifle. Price is for July 1942 Winchester.
$100. MG42 machinegun. Late war price.
$105. M14 rifle. 1960 price.
$131. MG34 machinegun. The tripod costs an additional $160.
$270. 7.92mm wz.28 BAR (Poland).
$396. 7.92mm wz.30 HMG (Poland).

Anti Tank Guns.
$2,292. 3.7cm/45 Pak36.
$4,240. 5cm/60 Pak38
$4,800. 7.5cm/48 Pak40.

AA Guns.
$2,400. 2cm Flak38 (single barrel).
$13,440. 8.8cm Flak18.

Field Artillery.
$32. 105mm howitzer shell.
$14,400. Sd.Kfz.7 half track prime mover.
$324. 8cm mortar Gr.W.34.
$480. 12cm mortar Gr.W.42.
$6,560. 10.5cm leFH18 howitzer.
$15,400. 15cm sFH howitzer.

Armored Vehicles. These prices include weapons and other normally installed equipment.
$9,024. Sd.Kfz.7 medium half track (3 ton / infantry squad).
$20,000. Panzer MkIIC tank. 10 tons. 20mm autocannon. 15mm armor.
$34,181. 7TP light tank. 10 tons. 37mm main gun. 17mm armor.
$37,096. R35 light tank. 10 tons. 37mm main gun. 43mm armor.
$40,000. Panzer MkIIIG (and later) tank. 50mm main gun. 30mm armor.
$46,000. M4 (Sherman) tank. 35 tons. 75mm main gun.
$46,387. Panzer MkIVG (and later) tank. 75mm main gun. 50mm armor.
$60,000. Panzer MkV (Panther) tank. 75mm/70 main gun. 80mm armor.
$119,920. Panzer MkVIE (Tiger) tank. 88mm main gun. 100mm armor.

$30,943. T-34/76 tank. 164,000 rubles. Official exchange rate. Real USD price is roughly twice this amount.

Aircraft.
$23,000 P-36 fighter.
$50,000. F6F Hellcat fighter.

price data for 1941 for some German aircraft types, via Olaf Groehlers GdLK, 1910-1980:
Without engine / with engine, in Reichsmarks (RM)
Bf 109E : 58 000 / 85 970
Bf 110C : 155 800 / 210 140
He 111H : 203 900 / 265 650
Ju 88A : 245 200 / 306 950
Ju 87B : 100 300 / 131 175
Ju 52 : 125 800 / 163 000
Do 17 : 185 500 / 235 00

Type VII U boat. 2.5 million marks.
Lancaster heavy bomber. 42,000 pounds sterling. 1943 price. This price is not verified.

1940 Man hours required to build airframe.
4,000. Me-109 fighter.
10,300. Hurricane fighter.
15,200. Spitfire fighter. Another source states 13,000 man hours.
20,000. Ju-88 medium bomber.

1942 Man hours required to build airframe.
3,500. Me-109 fighter.
5,400. Fw-190 fighter.
12,000. P-51A fighter / dive bomber.
30,000. He-219 night fighter.

Aircraft Engine Prices.
$25,000 Packard built RR Merlin engine.
$19,000 Allison V-1710 engine.
$16,500 Wright R-2600 engine.
$ 11,188 DB601 engine. (27,970 marks)
$10,000 Wright R-1820 engine.
45,000 to 65,000 marks for a BMW801 engine during 1942.

$2,765,000 for a Gato class submarine.
$2 million for a Libety ship.
$10,800 for a DUKW
$12,500 for a LCVP.
2.5 million marks for a Type VII U boat.
48 million Yen for an Agano class CL.

Axis History Forum • View topic - I ask that cost of weapon.



#24 lwd

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 06:17 PM

An interesting counter point to:

...

V-1  $600 USD / RM 1500 1945

...

According to:

http://aupress.au.af...ise_missile.pdf

page 69 a JB-2 costs the US about $8,620 since it was almost identical to a V-1 something seems a bit fishy here.

On page 76 the cost is listed as $8,080 (less warhead) and 1,047 man hours.

...

Atomic bomb $30,000 USD

??? I'd like to know where this came from and how it was calculated.  It seams awfully low.

 

Given the differences between the MK 13, MK 14, and MK 15 torpedoes I find it odd that they all are set to one prices as well.


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#25 LRusso216

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:30 AM

lwd, I think you're correct. I found this website that gives the costs of things in 1945. http://www.brookings...apons/manhattan


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image001.png

Lou





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