Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Could the Western Allies Win Without the USSR?


  • Please log in to reply
553 replies to this topic

#1 Guaporense

Guaporense

    Dishonorably Discharged

  • Dishonorably Discharged
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 189 posts

Posted 11 November 2009 - 07:01 PM

My view:

Why the Western Allies Could Not Win the War Without the USSR


About the effectiveness of the bombing option:

1- First, how much tonnage of bombs would have to be dropped on germany and its european empire to win the war? 2.7 million tons in 2.5 years didn't work out (only reduced armament production by 32% second to Speer). Lets assume that 5 million tons would do the trick in the same period of time (i.e.: lets assume that the nazis would surrender if they dropped 5 million tons of bombs in 2.5 years).

How many heavy bombers the Anglo-Americans would have to make to win the war? Historically they made about 45.000 heavy bombers in WW2, and lost about 15.000 (almost all against Germany).

Before they achieved aerial superiority in may 1944, the average loss rate for a bombing raid was 5.5% (after, it was 1.5%). With this loss rate a heavy bomber with delivers 4 tons of payload per mission would last 14 missions on average, before being destroyed. This means that a heavy bomber dropped 56 tons of bombs in average. To droop 5 million tons, we would need 90.000 bombers, twice the number made.

So, we conclude that without achieving aerial superiority over Germany the bombing effort could not win the war on its own.

2- So we need to calculate if the allies could achieve aerial superiority of Germany allocated the same proportion of their resources towards that end.

What was the military budget of germany in the 1943/1944 fiscal year (09/1943-08/1944)? It was 112 billion reichmarks.

What was the military budget of the united states in 1944? It was 79 billion dollars.

Assuming that japan doesn't exists and that the military budged of britain was equivalent to 25% of the united states (20 billion dollars). The total anglo-american military budget was equivalent to 100 billion dollars in 1944.

What was the price of a Fw-190? About 55.000 RM.

What was the price of an B-17? About 240.000 dollars.

If germany allocates the same proportion of their resources countering the bombers as the western allies invested in the bombers, then we would see 5 german fighters for every allied bomber. What happened to the bomber raids that were intercepted by a large number of opposing fighters? They sustained very large casualties, the number of casualties that would make the strategic bombing offensive impossible (by point 1).

#2 Sloniksp

Sloniksp

    Ставка

  • TrusteeOKF Trustee
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,432 posts

Posted 11 November 2009 - 11:51 PM

Bombs alone can not win a war, unless we are talking about atom bombs.....
The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. -Adolf Hitler


#3 brndirt1

brndirt1

    Saddle Tramp

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,709 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 12:33 AM

"Guaporense"; before you start trotting out "military budgets" it would be wise to remember that during the war years (1940-44) the RM had been pegged at 4.2 RM=1USD by the Swiss in value. Which makes the US budget equal to 331.8 billion RMs.

Just before the war ended in 1945 the Swiss had set the exchange rate for the RM and 1200=1USD. Keep that in mind when working out whose budget was worth "what".

Happy Trails,
Clint.

#4 Kai-Petri

Kai-Petri

    Kenraali

  • ModeratorsOKF Moderator
  • 20,295 posts

User's Awards

2   

Posted 12 November 2009 - 12:42 PM

If you remember just that the eastern front caused 80% of the German losses, you could "roughly" count that without Barbarossa the Germans would have had 400% more troops, planes and tanks in the west....
Posted Image

#5 LJAd

LJAd

    Ace

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,492 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 01:00 PM

the SU eliminated ,would mean that Overlord was impossible .And I doubt very much that without the SU,there would be a war between the US and Germany ,because Germany would be strong enough(raw materials and food )to have Britain surrender .That does not mean that the SU was indespensable ,it does mean that all three were indespensable to defeat Germany .

#6 ickysdad

ickysdad

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 536 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 04:15 PM

If you remember just that the eastern front caused 80% of the German losses, you could "roughly" count that without Barbarossa the Germans would have had 400% more troops, planes and tanks in the west....


Not necessarily...Maybe in troops but planes ??? I'm thinking that 60-75% of the Luftwaffe's fighter force was in the West to stop the Strategic Bombing Campaign. Furthermore there were far more Wermacht Divisions in the East then the West but the disparity in number of tanks wasn't near that ratio.

#7 ickysdad

ickysdad

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 536 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 04:19 PM

the SU eliminated ,would mean that Overlord was impossible .And I doubt very much that without the SU,there would be a war between the US and Germany ,because Germany would be strong enough(raw materials and food )to have Britain surrender .That does not mean that the SU was indespensable ,it does mean that all three were indespensable to defeat Germany .



I doubt the British would surrender they couldn't afford to. Hitler had his only very,very remote chance in 1940 ,by the time of Barbarossa it was too late.

#8 DissidentAggressor

DissidentAggressor

    Dishonorably Discharged

  • Dishonorably Discharged
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 36 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 05:57 PM

From my reading it seems that the Red Army simply overwhelmed the Wehrmacht, fighting a massive war of attrition. The Red Army commanders seemed to have no qualms about throwing thousands upon thousands of men into the teeth of the German guns, until the Germans had lost enough men that they could be defeated.

This complete disregard for the lives of their men allowed the Red Army commanders to achieve victory where the Brits and Americans would have failed.

So my answer would be "No". It required the enormous sacrifice of Russian troops to wear down and defeat Germany.

#9 lwd

lwd

    Ace

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,101 posts
  • LocationMichigan

Posted 12 November 2009 - 06:16 PM

the SU eliminated ,would mean that Overlord was impossible .And I doubt very much that without the SU,there would be a war between the US and Germany ,because Germany would be strong enough(raw materials and food )to have Britain surrender .That does not mean that the SU was indespensable ,it does mean that all three were indespensable to defeat Germany .


Not really. There is little perchase Germany can find to use her full might vs Britain so surrender is unlikely. Overlord doesn't become impossible it just takes more time to set up. The combined sea power of the US and Britian means that eventually they will take North Africa and control the med. From that point they can do things such as take back Norway and land at various points in the med some the Germans just don't have enough strength to garrison them all and once there the allies can gradually strengthen them and the Germans will have to allocate more forces to protect vs that. Eventually the A-bombs will settle the issue though.

#10 Guaporense

Guaporense

    Dishonorably Discharged

  • Dishonorably Discharged
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 189 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 06:38 PM

"Guaporense"; before you start trotting out "military budgets" it would be wise to remember that during the war years (1940-44) the RM had been pegged at 4.2 RM=1USD by the Swiss in value. Which makes the US budget equal to 331.8 billion RMs.

Just before the war ended in 1945 the Swiss had set the exchange rate for the RM and 1200=1USD. Keep that in mind when working out whose budget was worth "what".


1- I didn't compare the dollar to the RM in my argument. As you can see, a used the RM cost of a german fighter plane and the dollar cost of a american bomber in relation to their military budgets. You argument makes no sense to my own, since I didn't compare military budgets in relation to one another.

If the exchange rate of 4.2 RM for 1USD is correct, them the P-47, with costs 85.000 dollars, would cost 357.000 RM, with means that you could buy 7 Fw-190 G-6 for the price of a single P-47! This only shows that the real budget of the US was not equivalent to 330 billion RM.

2- The exchange rate between the RM and the dollar was 0.402 dollars for RM in 1939. Since inflation was higher in the US (25% between 1939 and 1944, to 7% in germany between 1939 and 1943), a exchange rate of 2 RM for 1 dollars seems more realistic to me (this makes the Fw-190 valued at about 27.500 dollars, with is still quite cheap, since a P-51, a smaller airplane, cost 51.000 dollars).

In fact, if I define the exchange rate as the price of tonnage of ships, or ton of aircraft we get a exchange rate much more favorable to the RM.

Them a 4,900 kg kg plane like the fw-190 for 55.000 RM, compared to an 7,938 kg kg plane like the p-47, for $85.000, implies in a exchange rate of $1.048 dollars for RM. I think that this exchange rate is flawed, since it would mean that the combined military budgets of the Soviet Union, the US and Britain would be smaller than the budget of Germany, but it gives and idea that the Germans weren't in a so hopeless position agaisn't the allies as many think.

#11 brndirt1

brndirt1

    Saddle Tramp

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,709 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 06:41 PM

Not really. There is little perchase Germany can find to use her full might vs Britain so surrender is unlikely. Overlord doesn't become impossible it just takes more time to set up. The combined sea power of the US and Britian means that eventually they will take North Africa and control the med. From that point they can do things such as take back Norway and land at various points in the med some the Germans just don't have enough strength to garrison them all and once there the allies can gradually strengthen them and the Germans will have to allocate more forces to protect vs that. Eventually the A-bombs will settle the issue though.


That is the "fly in the soup" of a German victory, the atomics. They would still be developed since fear of the Nazis getting them first was the driving force behind the work. Dropping them on Germany was the idea all along, and if they had still been in the "fight" they would have been used.

Germany couldn't defeat the British, nor force them to sue for peace. And America would not stay out, Pearl Harbor or no, we had decided before Pearl that Nazism and democracy were incompatible and neither could tolerate the existance of the other. Our Gallup polls leading up to Dec. 1941 clearly showed that the American voting age public, both genders were no longer isolationist.

The American public understood full well that Hitler and Nazism were a threat to civilized society, and could NOT be allowed to expand. The Japanese were also understood to be becoming too powerful in the Pacific, and must be halted even if it meant war. Keeping the former SU out isn't going to keep America out, and after that happens, the Axis fate is sealed.
Happy Trails,
Clint.

#12 Guaporense

Guaporense

    Dishonorably Discharged

  • Dishonorably Discharged
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 189 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:05 PM

The Importance of the Soviet Effort

Lets do some number crunching, comparing the military losses of the Soviet Union with the production of the US:

The Soviets lost 96.5 thousand tanks in the war, the US produced 88.41 thousand tanks in the war.

The Soviets lost 29 million men and women in the war (military casualties), the US mobilized 16.4 million men and women.

The US and British empire forces dropped 2.7 million tons of bombs in nazi Europe. The Red Army fired about 10 million tons of ammunition in the war.

The Soviets lost 90.000 combat aircraft, the US made 200.000 (45% of the American production).

The Soviets lost 218 thousand artillery pieces, the US produced 512 thousand guns between 1941 and 1944.

In the eastern front, the Germans lost 5.4 million men between 1941 and 1944, in the western front, in 1944, they lost 400.000 men. For the same period (06/1944-12/1944), the Soviets inflicted 1.25 million casualties on the germans.

#13 brndirt1

brndirt1

    Saddle Tramp

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,709 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:11 PM

The Importance of the Soviet Effort

Lets do some number crunching, comparing the military losses of the Soviet Union with the production of the US:

The Soviets lost 96.5 thousand tanks in the war, the US produced 88.41 thousand tanks in the war.

The Soviets lost 29 million men and women in the war (military casualties), the US mobilized 16.4 million men and women.

The US and British empire forces dropped 2.7 million tons of bombs in nazi Europe. The Red Army fired about 10 million tons of ammunition in the war.

The Soviets lost 90.000 combat aircraft, the US made 200.000 (45% of the American production).

The Soviets lost 218 thousand artillery pieces, the US produced 512 thousand guns between 1941 and 1944.

In the eastern front, the Germans lost 5.4 million men between 1941 and 1944, in the western front, in 1944, they lost 400.000 men. For the same period (06/1944-12/1944), the Soviets inflicted 1.25 million casualties on the germans.


And your point is? Are you glorifying the former Soviet Union? If so no need, their contribution is well understood. Are you saying that without their sacrifices the Allies couldn't have won? If so you are incorrect. It may have taken a bit longer, but not beyond August 10th of 1945 by more than a few days.

So that extends the life of Nazi Germany by about four months.
Happy Trails,
Clint.

#14 Guaporense

Guaporense

    Dishonorably Discharged

  • Dishonorably Discharged
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 189 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:18 PM

Germany couldn't defeat the British, nor force them to sue for peace.


The chances of Britain avoiding surrender against Germany are the same of Japan avoiding surrender against the US. The difference in resources of both sides were that great in 1941!

The American public understood full well that Hitler and Nazism were a threat to civilized society, and could NOT be allowed to expand. The Japanese were also understood to be becoming too powerful in the Pacific, and must be halted even if it meant war. Keeping the former SU out isn't going to keep America out, and after that happens, the Axis fate is sealed.


The US had more industrial capacity than any individual country, but they didn't have more industrial capacity than the whole of Europe. Much less capacity of transforming their industrial power into fighting power (in this regard they were the second most incompetent after Italy).

Note that the US never won a war against a great power in history in with they bore the lion share of the effort. In ww2 the US was responsible for 10% of the german casualties, maybe less, in ww1, 1%. The US didn't have much military tradition in 1939 and money alone doesn't win a war, in fact, in 1939, Britain, Poland and France had a combined GDP 50% larger than Germany's, and lost anyway.

#15 Guaporense

Guaporense

    Dishonorably Discharged

  • Dishonorably Discharged
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 189 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:21 PM

What about the economic fundamentals?

Lets get to the data:

Germany controlled by 1941 most of Europe. With its satellites and occupied countries, Berlin administered a population of 280 million people and a GDP of 1.05 trillion dollars (pre war, 1938 in 1987 international dollars, source: Harris, The Economics of WW2). This territory had the installed industrial capacity to produce 42 million tons of steel (23 million in germany plus 19 million in conquered territories), 650 million tons of coal (brown and black types of coal) and 400 thousand tons of aluminum.

Germany itself plus the territories that were annexed to the reich by July 1940 had a population of 90 million, a GDP of 450 billion dollars (in 1938), a industrial capacity to produce 33 million tons of steel, 300 thousand tons of aluminum and 450 million tons of coal. They controled most (70%) of the industrial heart of europe.

Britain had a population of 50 million, a gdp of 280 billion (in 1938). They produced 12.5 million tons of steel, 60 thousand tons of aluminum and 200 million tons of coal.

The USA had a population of 135 million, a gdp of 800 billion (1938). The country produced 50 million tons of steel, 450 thousand tons of aluminum and 400 million tons of coal.

As you can see, they didn't have much more resources than germany. In fact, the difference in industrial might between Britain and the Axis territories in Europe was nearly 4 to 1, nearly the same as the difference between Japan and the US (with was 5 to 1). And note that the controled territory had a gdp of 1.05 trillion, compared to 1.08 trillion of USA and Britain put together, produced 650 million tons of coal, compared to 600 million of USA and Britain put together.

One of the reasons that germany lost was that they failed to utilize the economic potential of the conquered territories, in part because of strategic bombing, in part because of lack of time to convert the european economy to a integrated military industrial complex and in part because of the inefficiency of the nazi economy.

#16 Guaporense

Guaporense

    Dishonorably Discharged

  • Dishonorably Discharged
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 189 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:26 PM

And your point is? Are you glorifying the former Soviet Union? If so no need, their contribution is well understood. Are you saying that without their sacrifices the Allies couldn't have won? If so you are incorrect. It may have taken a bit longer, but not beyond August 10th of 1945 by more than a few days.

So that extends the life of Nazi Germany by about four months.


You severely superestimates the military capabilities that the united states had in 1940.

My point is that Germany destroyed more men and materiel in one front than the US could make during the same 4 year period. How they are going to win?

And the US was in a very weak position to attack anybody, since they are thousands of kilometers from the action, with means that the cost in resources of maintaining a military force in other continents make up for their advantage in industrial capacity. An advantage that would turn in disadvantage if you count the entire Europe in the hands of the Axis.

Why glorifying? WW2 was the war between Germany and the USSR. The outcome in that front determined the outcome of the war.

#17 Guaporense

Guaporense

    Dishonorably Discharged

  • Dishonorably Discharged
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 189 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:48 PM

Not really. There is little perchase Germany can find to use her full might vs Britain so surrender is unlikely. Overlord doesn't become impossible it just takes more time to set up. The combined sea power of the US and Britian means that eventually they will take North Africa and control the med. From that point they can do things such as take back Norway and land at various points in the med some the Germans just don't have enough strength to garrison them all and once there the allies can gradually strengthen them and the Germans will have to allocate more forces to protect vs that. Eventually the A-bombs will settle the issue though.


1- In fact, I think that it would be possible for the western allies to win. But it would be quite improbable. The most probable outcome would be Britain occupied, and the US enters in a Cold War with 3 military powers, Gemany and the URSS.

2- Why didn't the US destroy the USSR in 1945 them?

#18 brndirt1

brndirt1

    Saddle Tramp

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,709 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:55 PM

You severely superestimates the military capabilities that the united states had in 1940.

My point is that Germany destroyed more men and materiel in one front than the US could make during the same 4 year period. How they are going to win?


WW2 was a conflict principally of competing economic potential, coupled with how that relates to; War Making Potential. And as such (pre-WW2)-1939 the percentages stood thus.

United States 41.7%
Germany 14.4%
USSR 14.0%
UK 10.2%
France 4.2%
Japan 3.5%
Italy 2.5%

These numbers were generated by Hillman (World in 1939) and reused by Kennedy in The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. I believe Hillman/Kennedy was referring to weighted percentage taking into account population, industry, access to raw materials, scientific/technical acumen and access to financial capital.

When you consider the Axis combined pitted less than 20% of this capacity against 65% (and the Allied coalition had access to additional raw materials in neutral South America, Africa, etc...), it's a foregone conclusion as to the winner. I don't think we need much more discussion about "why Germany lost."

Now I am transferring this from an old file of mine, but it was compiled by another poster with the username "mekozak" on that lame THC board a few years ago. I was so impressed with the data that I filed it away. All this in italics is his work, not mine.

1. Q: As a percentage of national income, in what year did the Soviet Union reach its maximum wartime effort? What was the percentage?

A: Defense outlays per year as a percentage of GNP or national income (includes domestic product plus net imports) yields the following: 1940 - 17%, 1941 - 28%, 1942 - 61%, 1943 - 61%, 1944 - 53%. Therefore 1942 and 1943 tie at 61%.

2. Q: Also as a percentage of wartime national income, how did the maximum wartime effort compare with its primary rival Germany?

A: The German wartime military burden peaked at a higher level than did the Soviet military burden. The German numbers are as follows: 1940 - 49%, 1941 - 56%, 1942 - 66%, 1943 - 71%.

3. Q: What was the Soviet Gross National Product (GNP) of the Soviet Union as a percentage of the United States GNP in 1940 (the last measured pre-war year)? What was the same percentage in 1944, the last full year of the war?

A: Note first the data for GNP for the US, USSR, and Germany. Data is in billions of dollars at 1985 economics:
.............................1940...........1941..............1942.............1943.............1944................total 40-44
GNP
US........................851..............1001..............1190..............1407.............1522...............5971
USSR...................345................297................227................252...............300...............1421
Germany..............273................290................294................300...............308...............1465

Note therefore that the Soviet Union had a GNP 40.5% that of the US in 1940 and only 19.7% that of the US by 1944 - the peak war year with respect to production. Note too that the Soviet numbers include net imports (including lend lease) as a part of the total. We shall see the impact of lend lease in a later quiz question. Further, you can see that the combined economies of Germany and the Soviet Union decrease from approximately 73% to 40% from 1940 to 1944 respectively. The US was therefore 2.5 times that of the economy of both Germany and the Soviet Union at peak wartime production levels. But what were the peak production levels? We noted the wartime burdens for Germany and the Soviets above. For the US the numbers are: 1940 - 3%, 1941 - 14%, 1942 - 40%, 1943 - 53%, 1944 - 54%. The following table will show the respective US, Soviet and German absolute military output for the years 1940 through 1944. Data is again in billions of dollars at 1985 economics:

.............................1940...........1941..............1942.............1943.............1944................total 40-44
Military Output
US............................26..............140................476...............746...............822................2209
USSR.......................59................83.................138..............154...............159..................593
Germany................134...............162................194..............213...............219 (est)...........922

The numbers can bring forth a series of conclusions. Based on military output only, it can be readily seen why the Soviet Union numbers plus the US numbers (and the UK numbers not included here but equal to typically 70-80% of German military outlays) were enough to overwhelm Germany. In any hypothetical conflicts, it may also be indicative of the result of any US versus Germany conflict (US producing 2.5 times that of Germany for the total war and 4 times Germany at peak production), Germany versus the Soviet Union without the US/UK alliance (Germany may very well have triumphed if they fought a more efficient war). These numbers may even show the relative power of the US versus both Germany and the Soviet Union together (US having a 50% military surplus over Germany and the Soviet Union combined - without considering the potential maximum output for the US given that the US was never "maxed out"). [emphasis mine]

4. Q: As a percentage of Soviet GNP and by full war year (1942, 1943, & 1944), what was the effect of Lend Lease on the Soviet economy?

A: The following numbers are listed in billions of rubles. Note that for the Soviet economy, net imports are synonymous with Lead Lease:
.............................1940...........1941..............1942.............1943.............1944

GNP.....................253.9..........218.7.............166.8...........185.4.............220.3
Net Imports..............0.0.............0.3..................7.8.............19.0........ ......22.9
Total Demand.......253.9.........219.0..............174.5...........204.4.............243.2
% of GNP..................0%...........0%.................5%..............10%...............10%
% of Demand.............0%...........0%.................4%...............9%.................9%

It can thus be demonstrated that Allied aid made a significant addition to the Soviet economy based on direct measurements of imports and national product. The allied added another 10% to the war economy starting (on average) from mid 1942 (assuming very little in early 42 ramping up to the sustained levels shown in 1943 and 1944).

5. Q: What is the relative ratio of American Lend Lease to the British versus to the Soviets?

A: 69% of US aid went to the UK, 24% went to the Soviet Union. The ratio of aid throughout the war is thus 2.9 to 1.

6. Q: For gross output of the Soviet Union and compared with 1940, what was the percentage increase of the Soviet Defense Industry? The Agricultural/Food Industry?

A: The following chart shows the growth of the Soviet Defense industry versus 1940. Also shown is the Agricultural industry versus 1940 as a comparison.

.............................1940...........1941..............1942.............1943.............1944...............1945
% Impact versus 1940
Defense..................100%..........160%.............367%............455%............498%.............350%
Agriculture.............100%............63%...............39%..............44%..............65%..............68%

It can therefore be shown that the Soviets clearly favored guns over butter during the war (Duh!). The dramatic effect shown here is just how low food production became early in the war and why so many people throughout the Soviet Union either starved to death or went though extremely hungry times. I would estimate that the additional food supplied by the American Lend Lease effort was enough to keep as many as 10 million additional Soviets from starving to death during the war. This may have been the greatest effect of American Lend Lease. While the majority of American food was used by the Soviet military, it allowed the Soviets to transfer much of the internal food production to civilian needs.

7. Q: What was the percentage of steam locomotive production change from 1940 to 1942? Grain combines? Rail freight cars? Bearings?

A: The production changes are as follows:
Steam locomotive production 1940 - 914, 1942 - 9; Percentage change = 99% loss of production
Grain combines 1940 - 12756, 1942 - 0; 100% loss of production
Rail freight cars 1940 - 30880, 1942 - 147; 99.5% loss of production
Bearings (millions) 1940 - 45, 1942 - 22; 51% loss of production

This numbers illustrate the devastation that the German invasion elicited upon the Soviet Union. Rail capability was needed for both defense and civilian requirements. Loss of grain combines ( as one example) in the Ukraine and the cessation of production limited the efficiency of food production throughout the Soviet Union. And bearing production, essential to a mechanized war, was chopped in half.

8. Q: What was the efficiency improvement (in percentage of hours worked) for the production of the T34 tank?

A: Prewar it took 8000 hours per unit output. By 1943, each T34 required 3700 hours to produce. The efficiency improvement was therefore nearly 54%. Just as a quick comparison to how efficient US manufacturers were in producing weapons. The Soviets improved large caliber machine gun production efficiency from 642 hours worked per gun produced in 1941 to 329 hours worked per gun in 1943. The US adopted the Bofors 40mm gun from the Swedes who took 450 hours to produce each one. Chrysler, which produced the gun for the US, reduced the number of hours required to produce each gun to just 10 hours!

9. Q: Based on consumption per head, what was the reduction in the standard of living for the average Soviet citizen?

A: The reduction in standard of living for the average Soviet citizen from 1940 to 1943 was 42%. This approximates an economic level first attained in the Soviet Union in 1922.

10. Q: From a purely economic/demographic perspective, which war was more devastating to Russia/Soviet Union - the conflicts from 1914 to 1921 or the conflict from 1941 to 1945?

A: Both wars, WW2 and the WW1/Revolution saw a demographic losses roughly equivalent of about 12% of the total population (though the WW2 losses are greater in the absolute being roughly 26-27 million versus 18 million for the conflicts from 1914 to 1921). However, the economic losses for WW1/Revolution were worse than during WW2. The standard of living trend line for 1928 is 27% lower than that expected assuming WW1 and the Revolution did not take place. WW2 trend lines for GNP growth were 11% below what would have been expected by 1950. GNP per capita levels were still not up to 1913 levels by 1928 seven years after the conflicts ended. For WW2 the GNP per capita levels exceeded 1940 levels by 28% a mere 5 years after the conflict had ended. Thus to the average Soviet citizen, recovery was far quicker from WW2 than from the earlier conflicts.

Conclusions

Economically speaking, by examining the data above has led me to the following conclusions:

1. Because Hitler attacked the Soviet Union before finishing the UK, enough resources would be taken from the conflict with the Soviets to doom Germany. Thus, Germany didn’t have a chance at defeating the Soviets regardless of American participation in the war.


2. Had Hitler been able to face the Soviets alone (with no UK/US participation or support), he likely would have prevailed based upon the German economic preponderance. That being said, the faulty logistical assumptions of trying to penetrate too deep into Russia (as historically) would not have been helped by the additional men and material available to him. Therefore, the Soviets would probably have repeated the Moscow and Stalingrad victories with a stalemate attained soon after.


3. American participation into the war, based upon the Lend Lease offered to the Soviets (and the actual participation in the conflict) had no impact on the final outcome of the war, but did shorten the conflict by at least 2 full years. Additionally, I estimate that American Lend Lease and combat participation (primarily the former) saved at least 10 million lives from starvation and an additional 2-3 million lives from combat.


4. Though American participation and help was primarily from their factories, when calculating relative power between America and either the Germans or the Soviets (or even both) it would not be wise to over look the economic and military output of that time period coming from the US especially when considering that the growth of the US economy and production levels attained by 1944.

References:

Most of the material for the questions and answers comes from the following sources:

1. Accounting for War by Mark Harrison (published by Cambridge)
2. The Economics of World War II : Six Great Powers in International Comparison (Studies in Macroeconomic History) by Mark Harrison
3. Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century by G. F. Krivosheev
4. Statistical Survey of WW2 by John Ellis
5. Detroit goes to war, by Dennis V. Wrynn

And let's not forget that the US produced this material, and a two ocean Navy, fought on all fronts, and transferred their material, weapons, and manpower over the entire GLOBE. The Soviet Union fought on one front (large no doubt), in their front yard and could drive or take the train to the front or walk there. Entirely different set of logistics involved.

BTW in the area of a few of America's major weapons systems.

Each B-17 cost $238,329 (average cost over production run); we built 12,731 of them.

Each B-24 cost about $336,000 by 1944; we built 18,188 of them.

Each B-25 cost about $ $96,000; we built 9,984 of them.

Each B-26 cost about $227,000; we built 5,266 of them.

Each B-29 cost $605,360 (average B-29 unit cost in 1944); we built 3,960 of them. Not counting the 50 more expensive "Silverplate" versions for carrying the atomics (only 46 were actually completed and delivered before war’s end).

Each P-38 cost about $97,100 by 1944; we built 10,082 of them.

Each P-51 cost about $51,000 by 1944; we built 14,855 of them.

The most advanced P-47 cost $83,000 in 1945, the cost went up from the start of about $57,000 to the end per unit cost of $83,000; we built 15,600 of them.

Each M4 Sherman cost $33,500 on average; we built over 54,500 of them in its many variants.

Edited by brndirt1, 12 November 2009 - 08:32 PM.

  • JagdtigerI, ickysdad, applevalleyjoe and 1 other like this
Happy Trails,
Clint.

#19 Guaporense

Guaporense

    Dishonorably Discharged

  • Dishonorably Discharged
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 189 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:59 PM

Bombs alone can not win a war, unless we are talking about atom bombs.....


But, aerial superiority is necessary for any amphibious invasion. I showed that if the germans devoted the same proportion of their resources to fighters, the allies would not obtain aerial superiority.

#20 brndirt1

brndirt1

    Saddle Tramp

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,709 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 08:07 PM

But, aerial superiority is necessary for any amphibious invasion. I showed that if the germans devoted the same proportion of their resources to fighters, the allies would not obtain aerial superiority.


Instead of what exactly? The Nazis had stretched themselves to the point they could build fighters, but couldn't fuel or man them. Making things that just sit around doesn't win wars either.
Happy Trails,
Clint.

#21 brndirt1

brndirt1

    Saddle Tramp

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,709 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 08:15 PM

1- I didn't compare the dollar to the RM in my argument. As you can see, a used the RM cost of a german fighter plane and the dollar cost of a american bomber in relation to their military budgets. You argument makes no sense to my own, since I didn't compare military budgets in relation to one another.

If the exchange rate of 4.2 RM for 1USD is correct, them the P-47, with costs 85.000 dollars, would cost 357.000 RM, with means that you could buy 7 Fw-190 G-6 for the price of a single P-47! This only shows that the real budget of the US was not equivalent to 330 billion RM.

2- The exchange rate between the RM and the dollar was 0.402 dollars for RM in 1939. Since inflation was higher in the US (25% between 1939 and 1944, to 7% in germany between 1939 and 1943), a exchange rate of 2 RM for 1 dollars seems more realistic to me (this makes the Fw-190 valued at about 27.500 dollars, with is still quite cheap, since a P-51, a smaller airplane, cost 51.000 dollars).

In fact, if I define the exchange rate as the price of tonnage of ships, or ton of aircraft we get a exchange rate much more favorable to the RM.

Them a 4,900 kg kg plane like the fw-190 for 55.000 RM, compared to an 7,938 kg kg plane like the p-47, for $85.000, implies in a exchange rate of $1.048 dollars for RM. I think that this exchange rate is flawed, since it would mean that the combined military budgets of the Soviet Union, the US and Britain would be smaller than the budget of Germany, but it gives and idea that the Germans weren't in a so hopeless position agaisn't the allies as many think.


The 4.2 exchange rate was the Swiss exchange setting, and only comparing money to money. In America the problem wasn't inflation in the Depression, it was deflation. The dollar bought more in the US than a mark bought in Germany. A loaf of sliced bread was 8 cents, a pound of steak was 33 cents. Another problem for Hitler was that the Krupp works wouldn't accept anything except gold in payment for their products, they wouldn't take a Reich Mark, only gold transferred to their Swiss and Swedish accounts.

BTW, the P-47 started out at under $60,000 and only ended up in the $80,000 range for the most (and least produced) expensive model. And read and digest my post which includes "mekozak's" data to get a little less slanted opinion of the German economy, and its dire straits.
Happy Trails,
Clint.

#22 TiredOldSoldier

TiredOldSoldier

    Ace

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,726 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 08:56 PM

Stating that without the Soviet Union the war would end in 1945 anyway is ridiculous.
a) Hitler will never surrender so the A bomb doesn' have the psycological effect it had on Hiro Hito, it remains a better WMD than HE or fire bombs but that's all.
B) Without the losses in the USSR a Germany that concentrates on fighters may still be contesting the air over Europe in 1945.
c) The German army broke it's back in the USSR long before there was a second front, the invasion of Sicily came after Kursk and by Kursk the German army was a shell of it's former self.
d) Without an Eastern front a lot of the "soldiers" would be in the factories and German production would significantly increase or at least have better QA.
e) Hitler is fighting for his survival, after 1940 Britain is not and the US is definetly not, guess who will suffer war weariness first?

IMO with no combat in the East Germany's position in Europe is nearly unassailable, The western allies may attempt to land in Spain or Norway but they can't win against 150+ German divisions backed by a million of allied troops with the forces they historically mobilized. Without France's manpower pool, and with Britain's limited population, the US would need the bear the brunt of a WW1 type attrition and I don't think they have the stomach for it especially without a Pearl Harbor to bolster the war's popularity (the Japanese will not attack without Germany at the gates of Moscow).

The Germans can't invade the British Isles and the allies can't invade mainland Europe, an air war of attrition favors Germany, the relative cost of bombers compared to fighters and the higher crew losses due to operating over enemy territory will be hard to compensate.

Looks more like a probable stalemate with Stalin holding the balance than an allied victory in 1945.

Edited by TiredOldSoldier, 12 November 2009 - 09:03 PM.

  • Sloniksp likes this

#23 brndirt1

brndirt1

    Saddle Tramp

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,709 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:06 PM

"TOS"; I remember that Hitler transferred the 4th Panzer from Kursk to Italy to counter the Sicily operation before the final battle at Kursk, so they happened at the same times, and that removed a number of panzers 1000+ kilometers from the fray.
Happy Trails,
Clint.

#24 Guaporense

Guaporense

    Dishonorably Discharged

  • Dishonorably Discharged
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 189 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:07 PM

WW2 was a conflict principally of competing economic potential, coupled with how that relates to; War Making Potential. And as such (pre-WW2)-1939 the percentages stood thus.

United States 41.7%
Germany 14.4%
USSR 14.0%
UK 10.2%
France 4.2%
Japan 3.5%
Italy 2.5%

These numbers were generated by Hillman (World in 1939) and reused by Kennedy in The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. I believe Hillman/Kennedy was referring to weighted percentage taking into account population, industry, access to raw materials, scientific/technical acumen and access to financial capital.

When you consider the Axis combined pitted less than 20% of this capacity against 65% (and the Allied coalition had access to additional raw materials in neutral South America, Africa, etc...), it's a foregone conclusion as to the winner. I don't think we need much more discussion about "why Germany lost."


1- Well, you actually put a decent argument (for the first time). I too though like you (that the US was invincible those days) a few years ago, until a started reading military history.

2- I have already demonstrated that you need more than simply "more industrial capacity" do win a war. First, the objectives of the US were more difficult to achieve: They wanted to invade and occupy a country, while Germany wanted to only defend itself and kill the jews (with wasn't that difficult, before they invaded the soviet union) ;).

For example, a bomber cost a lot more than a fighter, with countered it.

3- I know these numbers, they are based on 1937 data.

They are correct, but, germany had much more territory in 1941 than in 1937. In fact, its steel production capacity nearly doubled, so her warmaking potential jumped from 14.4% to about 25-30%. And 40% doesn't defeat 25% when the side with only 25% is defending and has superior military skills.

And let's not forget that the US produced this material, and a two ocean Navy, fought on all fronts, and transferred their material, weapons, and manpower over the entire GLOBE. The Soviet Union fought on one front (large no doubt), in their front yard and could drive or take the train to the front or walk there. Entirely different set of logistics involved.


Thats my point! The US didn't have the logistical capacity to deploy a force thousands of kilometers away that is strong enough to defeat Germany.

#25 Guaporense

Guaporense

    Dishonorably Discharged

  • Dishonorably Discharged
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 189 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:13 PM

Instead of what exactly? The Nazis had stretched themselves to the point they could build fighters, but couldn't fuel or man them. Making things that just sit around doesn't win wars either.


With the limited amount of fighters they had operational, they destroyed 30% of all bombers made by the US.

Imagine if they had 10 times that! (they could have if they weren't fighting the big war ever with the soviets).




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users