Hey guy, who asserted any such thing? German tank production capability is well represented by what its eventual potential was. So is the money, time, and effort that was required to put into it. How they developed it is illustrative.Konig_pilsner wrote: ↑31 Aug 2022 15:30German production capability in the late 30's was exploding, asserting that German tank production capability was representative of its true potential is false. Machines like the Panzer 3's and 4's had never been mass produced before, and there was clearly little will to accelerate the process until 1939 when the Panzer 3 was ready.
Krupp built 855 Leichttraktor, Kleintraktor, Krupp Traktor, and Panzer I from 1933-1937 before they moved on to Panzer IV so they had considerable experience in producing such machines. Yes, its production was exploding but it had insufficient space at Grusonwerk to do it all, which required expanding and opening new factories in Essen to do the work, which required more labor, which had to be trained. Eventually, the Essenwerke was joined by Eisenwerke Oberdonau in Linz, Eisen-und Hüttenwerke in Bochum, and Gebr. Böhler & Co. in Kapfenberg-Deuchendorf in supplying the hull and turret assemblies Krupp initially made itself to the Grusonwerk.
Similarly, MAN had produced nearly 1,000 Panzer I and II from 1933-1937 before they began building Panzer III. Its existing plant at Nürnberg was more than twice the size of the Grusonwerk but required a larger workforce with manpower competition fierce.
Of course "machines like the Panzer 3's and 4's had never been mass produced before" but machines like the Panzer I and II had, so it is clear the Germans were well aware of what was required.
No there was no war in 1937 but there was a bad worldwide recession, which did not hit Germany as badly as the U.S., but it still resulted in majority cutbacks to military expenditures. And of course "just because you order something doesn't mean you need it right away" but contracts usually have delivery dates included and governments get kind of touchy at missed delivery dates. As of 1 April 1940, there was a shortfall in deliveries of the Panzer III of 2,156 against existing orders for 2,621...orders that went back to the initial pilot orders in 1934, the first mass production orders of 1936-1937, the extension order of July 1938, and the initial wartime orders of late 1939.There was no War in 1937, and just because you order something doesn't mean you need it right away.
We come back to the why. Why would it be accepted as the MBT in 1937 when there was no such concept in existence?I have no doubt that had the Panzer 4 been accepted as the MBT in 1937 that production wouldn't have greatly increased until 1939, after which the true benefits would be realized.
Sure but it remains that a what if requires a logical jumping off point and to date no one has produced anything other than airy declarations of belief and faith...that you have no doubt about what might happen is fine but hardly decisive. Meanwhile to stick a 5cm L60 into it requires quite a number of changes to reality, aside from the decision to put the larger gun with less ammunition stowage there was the bottleneck in production of the PaK/KwK 39 as it was in high demand for the Panzerjäger as well.This is a what-if. What if they chose the Panzer 4... What if they made it a priority... What if they stuck a 5cm L60 in it before Barbarossa... Its ok to dis-agree though, and if you think there would be zero production or standardization advantages that is fine with me. (you are just wrong)
Meanwhile, I find straw man arguments irritating at best, so won't bother to respond to your red herring regarding the advantages of standardization.
Instead, perhaps you might consider the disadvantages of changing horses in midstream? By 1938 Daimler and MAN were both tooled for production of the Panzer III, which given the German industrial tooling practice was significant since they designed large machine tools for specific operations rather than building multi-function tools as in the U.S. (U.S. production in World War II was helped significantly by that - one of the best examples was Chrysler's adaptation of an engine boring jig into a tool capable of milling the turret ring of four Medium Tank M4s front simultaneously). Typically in the prewar and wartime German major industry, such as aircraft and tanks, the delay for retooling a plant from one major model to another induced an effective production delay of six months to a year. Then add in the cost of tooling and retooling in the overheated prewar German economy and the likelihood of making such a decision is remote...even if they somehow "thought real hard" and decided to produce the concept of an MBT in 1937.
You see that is the true use of a what of tool, not to create ASB ways to change events but to better understand why events went the way they did. The more you dig into the prewar and wartime German economy and industry the better you understand why some of those decisions that may now seem inexplicable were made.