RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (Full Version)

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mikemike -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/13/2010 1:30:12 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: mike scholl 1


As for the "Wirtschaftswunder", it is much easier to achieve when all of you industrial plants have been reduced to rubble and you have to re-build from the ground up (especially with the Marshal Plan to pay for it). Britain ironically wound up paying a heavy price for "winning" the war.



Being forced to build up new plants was certainly a factor, but that wouldn't have helped if management and workforce hadn't already been introduced to mass production but had continued to use traditional methods in the new plants, the way it happened in Britain. It wasn't just the Marshall Plan that paid for it, quite a number of factories were rebuilt by their US owners (ITT received compensation from the US Government for the damage US bombers did to their German plants - Lorenz, one of the major suppliers of avionics and radar sets for the Luftwaffe).

As to the rubble German industry was turned into, I have a suspicion that much of the damage was done postwar. I know that the Krupp facilities in Essen were 80% undamaged when British forces occupied the city, but then the Soviets looted everything they could get away with, and the British blew up much of the rest in their quest to turn Germany into Kansas East. Soviet looting was, of course, much more severe in the Soviet Zone (including one track of every double-track railway line).

An ironic side note: a commission of experts from the British motorcar industry examined the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg (in the British Zone) and concluded that the Volkswagen Beetle was technically so obsolete that the plant could be allowed to operate again, they said something like "this car will most certainly never pose a threat to the British car industry". One is tempted to say, "Famous last words".




GoodGuy -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/14/2010 2:01:13 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: mikemike
....
As to the rubble German industry was turned into, I have a suspicion that much of the damage was done postwar.


Well, factories in East Germany, if still functional, were completely dismantled and either rebuilt in Russia or parts/machines were used to upgrade Russian plants. Also, quite some were just melt down and used for new stuff in Russia. The Russians demanded and forced this as reparation. In turn, quite some factory owners in West Germany suffered of the Nazi tendency to move machines and equipment to underground locations or safe regions, with them literally sitting on empty shop floors.
Still, despite the bombing campaign's impact, the Germans were really good at restoring capacities in wartime, where the 1944 raids resulted in some refineries not being able to get back to more than 17%-60% of the original capacity. In retrospect, there was no refinery that hadn't been hit once, at least, and many other industry sectors had been hit too.
Damage was done during the war, not postwar.
There were some factories that could have operated after the war right away, IF the occupying powers would have allowed to do so. Newspaper facilities and textile factories were the first that started their productions again (late 1945, early 1946).

quote:

I know that the Krupp facilities in Essen were 80% undamaged when British forces occupied the city,


An aerial photo taken from an artillery obs plane of Ninth U.S. Army's 79th Division, shortly before 10th of April 1945, when Essen fell to troops of the 17th U.S. Airborne Division:

[image]local://upfiles/20712/5D140F5010BA444FB969DBC105B717F4.jpg[/image]

It doesn't look a bit undamaged, does it? The facilities were hit by a devastating amount of air attacks and arty barrages, as preparation for the assault on the area, where US troops then met little resistance. Krupp had to move their metal and car production (which restarted in 1946) to other places for quite a while, before they could use their main facilities again.

quote:

.... but then the Soviets looted everything they could get away with, and the British blew up much of the rest in their quest to turn Germany into Kansas East.


Actually, the Soviets did not advance any further than Torgau at the river Elbe, which by the way marks a point on the map that's almost on the same latitude as Essen, but 400 kilometers away (and in the East).

In the Ruhrgebiet, the industrial heart of Germany, there were +250,000 slave labourers, many of them Russians. They were not allowed to enter military or public shelters during the Allied bombings, and their living conditions were terrible. The medical care and food supply situation was catastrophic - a detail the Germans did not care about, and, after they had been freed by the US Army, many of them then started to wander around, searching for food, and, somewhat understandabe, started to loot and destroy stuff.

So, in fact, those weren't Russian soldiers, but former slave labourers or KZ-inmates who let loose. Also, they didn't destroy the Krupp facilties, but they looted and robbed places in the Ruhrgebiet's residential areas.

After 3 murders (seemingly committed by some of those ex-inmates) the Brits (who had moved in later on, as the Ruhrgebiet was projected to be part of the British occupation zone) strengthened their patrol units, but which then even led to armed hostilities between British Army units and ex-slave labourers. On top of that, further looting and theft occured, as proper food supply was not established before JUNE 1945, where they then at least issued food stamps and proper clothing to those poor fellas. The Brits were absolutely overstrained there.
Such looting happened in many German regions, pretty much at places where KZ camps or POW camps were located. The looting in the Ruhrgebiet might have been the most severe incident, though.

Now, regarding the Brits blowing up things.... the Brits blew up bunkers (U-Boat docks and shipyards), military installations and bunkers (eg. the massive bunker installation on Helgoland, which resulted in a vital part [and historical landmark] of the isle ending up sinking into the Ocean) all over (in the British zone). The Krupp facilities were not on their list. They just made sure that equipment for armament production was dismantled.




GoodGuy -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/14/2010 2:46:39 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: mikemike

I don't know about infantry units, but most of the heavy CD guns of the Atlantikwall were installed in Norway, including French guns,


Actually, despite the impressive calibre of the French guns, the German guns installed at St. Marcouf, and guns that were either planned to be installed at Point du Hoc or removed in order to protect them from continuous Allied bombings, were quite impressive too. The build-up of coastal defenses at the French coast was actually not very consistent.
This may have been a result of the disagreements between Rommel and Rundstedt in 1944 (but it would have been too late anyways, even if Rommel could have brought forward all of his ideas), but can also be attributed to the fact that the initial expansion of the Atlantic wall was rather sporadic if not "spastic" from 1941 to 1943, as Rundstedt - probably during the last 1.5 years - had determined that an Allied landing anywhere else than in Calais would be unclever and thus should not be expected to materialize elsewhere. Most of 15th Army (~300,000 troops) were stationed at Calais or in the surrounding areas. In contrast, only ~9 divisions were stationed in Normandy, with half of the "French" tank reserves parked behind Normandy beaches (thanks to Rommel insisting on tank support for the Normandy forces), but way OFF the beaches some 20-30 km inbound, IIRC, and at Caen.

The amount of guns and batteries was quite impressive at some places, while other places were rather a collection of makeshift solutions, or even consisted of a set of mines, barbwire, some trenches and a couple of MG nests, only.

Still, besides these few French barrels (if true), the main effort (and the vast majority of coastal defense batteries) was situated in France. If the majority of these few French guns really had been shipped to Norway, then this happened in an attempt to bolster the badly equipped coastal line in Norway. While the Brits probably played through a large-scale landing in Norway quite a few times, the layout of the terrain/coastal line favoured the German defenders, and - with a number of heavy guns and air support - even British battleships could be kept at distance.

quote:

That must have helped Overlord.


There were so many factors that helped Overlord, coincidence, arrogance next to misinformation and bad analysis on the German side, proper distraction and deception from the Allies, lack of German troops, tank reserves at the wrong spots, and lack of completed coastal defenses. Missing French guns wouldn't be on my list, as the coastal defenses east of the landings actually hit a number of Allied warships (at least 1 sunk IIRC, several damaged/knocked out), but failed to deal sufficient damage to the bulk of the Allied naval effort. Keeping in mind the sheer number of Allied vessels on the horizon, some heavy (and slow) high-calibre guns wouldn't have made much difference. Some Rangers woulda been sent after them anyways, most likely. [:D]
If there had been guns at Point du Hoc, then they would have been able to fire at the beaches or at ships for like hm... less than 2 hrs? No difference, if you ask me. Almost the same outcome, imo. Well, Omaha might have been a total disaster, but the other beaches were sufficient to form a beachhead. Plus, the British paratroopers were very effective at silencing coastal guns in their sectors, the night before.




warspite1 -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/14/2010 10:52:39 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: mikemike

As to the rubble German industry was turned into, I have a suspicion that much of the damage was done postwar. I know that the Krupp facilities in Essen were 80% undamaged when British forces occupied the city, but then the Soviets looted everything they could get away with, and the British blew up much of the rest in their quest to turn Germany into Kansas East. Soviet looting was, of course, much more severe in the Soviet Zone (including one track of every double-track railway line).


Warspite1

Nice bit of Brit bashing there.......[8|]




GoodGuy -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/14/2010 1:17:56 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: mikemike

As to the rubble German industry was turned into, I have a suspicion that much of the damage was done postwar.

......the British blew up much of the rest in their quest to turn Germany into Kansas East.


Such kind of plan existed by the way, but it came from American authorities, in particular from the US Ministry of Finance, dubbed the Morgenthau-plan. This memorandum, named after its author treasury secretary Henry M. Morgenthau jr. and authored in September 1944, envisoned a radical deindustrializiation of Germany, along with the transformation into a purely agricultaral country, to make sure Germany would never be able to wage war again.
Both the State Department and the Department of War refused this plan, and even Roosevelt distanced himself from the plan, as it started to stress his election campaign. The plan was dropped in October 1944.
Afaik, the Brits never developed such a plan. They were just more consistent/forceful when it came to dismantle equipment for armament production, they were even almost paranoid, giving people or corporations, that just wanted to produce household supplies or say publish newspapers, a hard time. All newspapers had to cease production at the end of the war.

In the British zone, the few (I think less than 3) publications before 1947 were basically run by British authorities, with a censor and military personnel closely watching stuff. No licenses for printing were handed out before early 1947, afaik.

One of the few early publications, the predecessor of the "Spiegel" magazine (which somewhat followed British News magazines or the American "time" magazine, and started in January 1947), the magazine "Diese Woche" ("This Week", Nov. 1946), had a German chief editor, but was led and controlled by the British military administration. The chief editor was granted a license in January 1947, only because he had managed to get critical articles into the magazine which frankly critized the British administration, so the Brits didn't want to have to do anything with such publication anymore and tried to get rid of the mag that way. Other industry sectors were allowed to restart production or to re-establish around 1946-1949. The reconstruction in Germany became also particularly important during the ensuing cold war. The Russian blockade (of the West sectors) of Berlin in 1947 showed that it was important that the Germans returned to a state where they could feed themselfs and provide sufficient industrial capacity for their own needs. The Western Allies, unlike the Russians, had a strong interest (after initial concerns) in Europe's reconstruction, which resulted in the Marshall-plan in 1948 (loans, raw materials, food, goods).

So, Kansas East looks different, imho.

So your only valid contribution so far was the bit about Coca-Cola's pre-war history in Germany, which I wasn't aware of. [:)]




Widell -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/14/2010 3:59:49 PM)

Being allied with Italy and Japan didn't do much to help. The delay of Barbarossa and getting the US as an active enemy sooner (rather than later) both made the technology choices discussed mere details imho.




NefariousKoel -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (10/27/2010 10:47:20 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

Nice bit of Brit bashing there.......[8|]



You shouldn't wonder why some threads get out of hand with such loose interpretations and the overabundance of Axis-leaning fiction on display at times, here.

I think Brits have every reason to challenge such accusations, as us Americans are subjected to it fairly regularly and and tend to stand up to that spreading of nonsense estimations, guessing, and rewriting of history some are prone to do.




jomni -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (10/28/2010 1:38:27 AM)

One thing good about spammers is that they can revive these old interesting thread.

@NefariousKoel, you replied to a conversation that ended in March.




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