Information on railroad building in wartime

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
charwo
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Re: Information on railroad building in wartime

Post by charwo » 23 Oct 2020 09:25

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Oct 2020 15:39
charwo wrote:
20 Oct 2020 07:55
... BTW, while I've spent a lot of time studying the human element in World War II Germany, but getting hard and fast calculations on costs per military unit and limits on raw materials. Even someone like Tooze his figures on planes are only cost per plane, not the total cost of equiping an air wing, with all it's logistical support, money to train pilots, mechanics, etc. ...
Back in 1979 I took a university course from a old professor named Flanagan. His original PhD subject had been the viability of the Chezchoslovakian economy of the 1940s. Just weeks before he was to complete it Hitler ordered the occupation of Bohemia and separated the Slovakian state from the Czechs. Thus wiping out Flanigans several years of research and analysis. He said his US Army serve in Europe was a personal vendetta. But, to get to the point; In the 1950s Flannigan returned to Czechoslovakia to do a bit more research. In the course of that some local academics discussed how during nazi administration the productivity of factories declined significantly in terms of output per labor hour. This was not part of the class work so Flanagan did not produce data or anything, but I've kept it in mind as a illustration of the complexity of analyzing economic and industrial power production, capacity, potential.
Cool ,cool, sorry about the misunderstanding,

Hey you're a biut older than me, so given everything I know about the Nazi vampire economy, why did people into the late 60s beleive that Nazi Germany was a model of efiencency? I thinking of that Star Trek Nazi Land episode. I guess I shouldn't be that surprised that regimes in Germany and Russia that wasteful of human life would also be wasteful of other resources, oh the scale of the stupid is astounding. I'm wondering when and how that perseption changed and if it was still in process in the late 70s?

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Re: Information on railroad building in wartime

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 23 Oct 2020 16:56

charwo wrote:
23 Oct 2020 09:25
...

Hey you're a biut older than me, so given everything I know about the Nazi vampire economy, why did people into the late 60s beleive that Nazi Germany was a model of efiencency?
During the 19th Century the German culture acquired a reputation for efficiency. Where a individual was valued for their ability to execute tasks well and rapidly. Vs cultures that first valued a individual for their personal, political, or business connections, and technical ability second. Thats the stereotype if there is one. A variant of that aimed at early 20th Century imperial era Germany might be the plumbing works great but the leaders are politically inept. Following all that the nazis appear to have been riding on the reputation and ability of the tradition of 'German Efficiency'. The view of the NSDAP & Hitler clique leaderships as efficient Germans started to break down in the 1980s, but was not broadly examined until the 1990s or later. Tho there were those like Flannigan who were pointing out flaws in the earlier view decades back.

It must be said the nazi leadership were not all incompetent dolts. Goering while a poor long range planner was a skilled operator in the moment. He did execute a number of industrial military projects that showed much needed progress 1933-1939. Todt & Speer did some heavy lifting keeping up with demands for military/industrial infrastructure. Still there was a lack of coherent unified and long range planning, and many lapses in execution of detail.

charwo
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Re: Information on railroad building in wartime

Post by charwo » 23 Oct 2020 23:16

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
23 Oct 2020 16:56
charwo wrote:
23 Oct 2020 09:25
...

Hey you're a biut older than me, so given everything I know about the Nazi vampire economy, why did people into the late 60s beleive that Nazi Germany was a model of efiencency?
It must be said the nazi leadership were not all incompetent dolts. Goering while a poor long range planner was a skilled operator in the moment. He did execute a number of industrial military projects that showed much needed progress 1933-1939. Todt & Speer did some heavy lifting keeping up with demands for military/industrial infrastructure. Still there was a lack of coherent unified and long range planning, and many lapses in execution of detail.
I dunno., I know Speer and Todt were good but for God's sake they should have converted all the Type 7 U-Boats they had at the beginning of the war into Merchant subs and rn the blockade that way. According to wiki just three trips to the US, with a 700 ton capacity, prolonged German Industry for almost a year.

About the Duetchland trips in 1916:
"The profit from the journey was 17.5 million Reichsmarks, more than four times the construction cost,[2] mainly because of the high prices of the patented, highly concentrated dyes, which would have cost 26,844 US dollars per pound adjusted for inflation.[3] In return, the raw materials brought back covered the needs of the German war industry for several months.[2]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchant_ ... rld_War_II

I get the notion of the shrinking markets problem and thus trade is bad in the long term, but...they needed stuff right then, stuff they couldn't get in Europe. I know Tooze says the hyperinflation was inevitable, but I don't believe it based on his evidence. It was the kinks in the hose of the economic supply chain that started hyperinflation in 1945, a better defended industrial base AND merchant subs operating at least earlier in the war could have made 1944 plateau not appear.

But among WW2 people and counterfactualists, I'm the weird one who believes/understands wars are politics by other means and thus peace is ALWAYS on the table in practice if it's not worth the blood and treasure to conquer. I don't believe in this unconditional surrender bullshit. Even with Hitler still in charage.

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Re: Information on railroad building in wartime

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 25 Oct 2020 01:10

charwo wrote:
23 Oct 2020 23:16
... I dunno., I know Speer and Todt were good but for God's sake they should have converted all the Type 7 U-Boats they had at the beginning of the war into Merchant subs and rn the blockade that way. According to wiki just three trips to the US, with a 700 ton capacity, prolonged German Industry for almost a year.

About the Duetchland trips in 1916:
"The profit from the journey was 17.5 million Reichsmarks, more than four times the construction cost,[2] mainly because of the high prices of the patented, highly concentrated dyes, which would have cost 26,844 US dollars per pound adjusted for inflation.[3] In return, the raw materials brought back covered the needs of the German war industry for several months.[2]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchant_ ... rld_War_II
Todt & Speer had zero influence over submarine construction or use. They were given the requirements for production and had to work out what they could do with that. But what to produce was a decision largely out of their hands. Beyond that the blockade was much more than a ring or cruisers around Europe. Those were the last and least of it. Read up on how the Navigation Certification system worked and how the Brits, with US support interfered with anyone selling anything to Axis purchasing agents anywhere. The ability of the Axis to purchase much of significance anywhere in the Americas or Asia in 1941 was near zero. Even the uber powerful in the neutral US were having problems getting their oil or alloys to neutral Spain.

charwo
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Re: Information on railroad building in wartime

Post by charwo » 25 Oct 2020 05:51

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
25 Oct 2020 01:10
charwo wrote:
23 Oct 2020 23:16
... I dunno., I know Speer and Todt were good but for God's sake they should have converted all the Type 7 U-Boats they had at the beginning of the war into Merchant subs and rn the blockade that way. According to wiki just three trips to the US, with a 700 ton capacity, prolonged German Industry for almost a year.

About the Duetchland trips in 1916:
"The profit from the journey was 17.5 million Reichsmarks, more than four times the construction cost,[2] mainly because of the high prices of the patented, highly concentrated dyes, which would have cost 26,844 US dollars per pound adjusted for inflation.[3] In return, the raw materials brought back covered the needs of the German war industry for several months.[2]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchant_ ... rld_War_II
Todt & Speer had zero influence over submarine construction or use. They were given the requirements for production and had to work out what they could do with that. But what to produce was a decision largely out of their hands. Beyond that the blockade was much more than a ring or cruisers around Europe. Those were the last and least of it. Read up on how the Navigation Certification system worked and how the Brits, with US support interfered with anyone selling anything to Axis purchasing agents anywhere. The ability of the Axis to purchase much of significance anywhere in the Americas or Asia in 1941 was near zero. Even the uber powerful in the neutral US were having problems getting their oil or alloys to neutral Spain.
Goggle is not being my friend on this one. I can't find anything WOrld War II related called Navigation Certification and I've never been been albe to find ANYTHING on smuggling and blockade running in world war II not related to the holocaust

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Re: Information on railroad building in wartime

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 25 Oct 2020 13:53


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Re: Information on railroad building in wartime

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 26 Oct 2020 06:58

Carl Schwamberger wrote:It must be said the nazi leadership were not all incompetent dolts. Goering while a poor long range planner was a skilled operator in the moment. He did execute a number of industrial military projects that showed much needed progress 1933-1939. Todt & Speer did some heavy lifting keeping up with demands for military/industrial infrastructure. Still there was a lack of coherent unified and long range planning, and many lapses in execution of detail.
Goering was decent until 1941 or so, when he seems to have retreated into his hunting lodges and wine cellars.

It's de rigeur to portray the Nazi regime as inefficient but it's a facile analysis. Yes, there were organizational problems but same with every other country trying to manage total war. The U.S., for example, far overestimated its productive capacity and had to cut the army from 225 to 91 divisions in late 1942. The SU had serious problems supplying its factories.

Germany drafted probably the highest proportion of its workforce into the military and eventually managed to replace/augment them with mostly unskilled foreign workers, increasing its GDP despite all this and blockade/bombing. That's a fairly remarkable achievement. Of course every country did remarkable things in WW2 - the key is not to make the Germans more or less than what they were.
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