ORANGE -> RE: WWII boming debate (2/27/2008 8:46:37 PM)
Wirraway_Ace- I not sure I agree with your use of "the numbers" in this way. I am an economist by training, and all this really tells you is that Germany was able to increase production of key weapon systems in spite of the bombing. It doesn't tell you what their potential production was if their industries had been left alone.
Well it would be impossible to put a number on what German production would have been without strategic bombing but we can compare their rate of expansion with someone who wasn´t bombed at all.
Germany, total aircraft produced by year.
So from 42´ to 43´ German aircraft production rose
by around 60%. From 43´ to 44´around 57%
USA, total aircraft production by year.
So their expansion went 54%, from 42´to 43´. Then
from 43´to 44´ they had a growth rate of just
around 1%. I suppose the industrial base was
So as far as aircraft production is concerned I
would think the strategic bombing campaign had
at most a very minor effect if any at all. Germany
was able to expand it´s aircraft production by
actually a larger percentage than the USA who was
not being bombed at all.
I´m thinking what is effecting this a lot also is
simple manpower numbers. Getting pilots.
If you move over to armored vehicles etc, you will
find comparable numbers.
Take strictly tanks. Germany produced give or take
20,000 tanks during the war. The USA produced
61,000. About a 3-1 margin.
So by comparing tank production 3-1 total. Aircraft
production close to 3-1, I would conclude the
strategic bombing had about zero effect on German production, at least in these two categories.
You have Germany being bombed daylight and dark with the USA not being bombed at all and the production figures in these 2 areas, adjusting for the size of their respective industrial bases seems just about identical.
Now this does not take into account every single
item of war, artillery, etc., and I don´t feel like looking it up right now but unless you can show
me something else I still say the strategic bombing
campaign was a waste of resources. It didn´t do
much from what I see as far as reducing war time production.
One could say, well the Allies had to build all those
ships too so that used up a lot of their industrial
capacity but they would have had to build them
I think I got all my numbers right. If not I´m sure I´ll be corrected.
Your numbers do nothing to support what you are trying to say. Comparing German production with US production also does not support what you are trying to prove at all.
You give numbers but not “facts” to support those numbers. The bombing campaign, whether you wish to admit it or not, did effect production and the German war effort. You give numbers but those numbers themselves do not include other factors such as the Germans not going into full war production (i.e.: Working more than a single shift in their factories which in theory should have tripled production but did not) until late in the war after the bombing campaign was in effect which skews your theory, quality not just numbers produced and transportation of the finished product to where it was needed after production. These are just a few points I can think of off the top of my head.
Comparing German production in Airplanes to US production in Airplanes tells us nothing. There are many factors that could have limited US production of Airplanes that have nothing to do with available materials or factory space.
From a timeline for the ME-262 alone:
• Feb. 1944 - allied bombardment of Messerschmitt factories delays initial production by two more months.
• April 1944 - the first production series of the Me-262 is destroyed in another allied bombardment of Messerschmitt factories. The Allies begin to concentrate bombing efforts in destroying the German oil industry.
• Aug. 1944 - Ploesti, Germany's only source of natural oil, is destroyed by systematic bombardments, and then occupied by the Russian army. The shortage of fuel quickly becomes unbearable, and until the end of the war the German Air Force will have much more aircraft than it can actually fly, because of fuel shortage. Furthermore, allied fighters achieve air superiority all over Germany, and will keep it until the end of the war. They also begin to raid German air bases. The Me-262 (bomber version) makes its debut, bombing mostly in France, causing insignificant damage.
• Sept. 1944 - The Luftwaffe's 60 Me-262 bombers are destroyed on the ground by American bombers. The Luftwaffe's first six evaluation Me-262 fighters are scrambled to protect them, but too late. (just imagine what if all the 66 Me-262s were operated by fighter pilots and scrambled..)
From the book Why the Allies Won "At the end of January 1945 Albert Speer and his ministerial colleagues met in Berlin to sum up what bombing had done to production schedules for 1944. They found that Germany had produced 35 percent fewer tanks than planned, 31 percent fewer aircraft and 42 percent fewer lorries as a result of bombing. The denial of these huge resources to German forces in 1944 fatally weakened their response to bombing and invasion and eased the path of Allied armies."
And Admiral Dönitz, noted in his memoirs that failure to get the revolutionary Type XXI U-boats into service was entirely the result of the bombing.
Your cherry picking of numbers does nothing to support your argument to an educated audience who knows better.
At the end of the day the fact remains that there was no need for allied bombing and it was a waste of lives and resources. Too bad that Germany and Japan did not realize this and pursued war and brutality making allied bombing a necessity.
If I could change one thing it would not be the bombing campaign it would be the barbaric cruelty and animal aggression on the part of Germany and Japan that made it necessary.