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sid guttridge wrote:
Allied bombing not only consumed large numbers of innocent German civilians
1) Effect of the Bomber Offensive on the Luftwaffe's offensive potential:
In other words, in order to confront the Allied bomber offensive with the maximum number of fighters, Germany had given up bomber production by the end of the war altogether, thereby crippling its offensive potential at the front.
2) Effect of the bomber offensive on the diversion from the front of high velocity guns suitable for anti-aircraft and anti-tank use:
HV guns used as AAA
3) Loss of Production due to Allied Bombing
production compared with potential
4) Absenteeism in the German workforce due to Allied bombing.
P.263 of Wooton states that absenteeism in the industrial workforce increased from 4% in 1940 to 25% in 1944. Foreign workers, who were under a higher degree of compulsion, showed only a 3% absentee rate in 1944.
Whatever the moral and legal arguments, the terror effect of bombing seems to have been large.
5) The percentage of key armaments branches devoted to aerial defence according to Speer.
(Source: "The Air War 1939-1945" by R. J. Overy, Europa, London, 1980)
p.122. states that, according to Reich Armaments Minister Speer, in 1944 30% of total gun production, 20% of heavy ammunition, 50% of electrotechnical production and 33% of the optical industry were devoted to anti-aircraft defence, "starving the front" of essential communications resources in particular.
6) German human resources absorbed in anti-aircraft defence and clearing up the effects of Allied bombing according to Speer.
Anti-Aircraft defences absorbed some 2,000,000 people.
Clearing bomb damage absorbed some 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 people.
7) How miraculous was the increase of German production under Allied bombing?
(Source: Overy, p.150)
In terms of aircraft production there was, indeed, a massive rise in German aircraft numbers produced in 1943-44. However, this was in part because the production of multi-engined heavier types was drastically reduced and production switched to light, single-engined fighters.
To get a truer impression of the significance of Germany's increase in production it might be instructive to compare the German industry with the British industry (excluding the Commonwealth) at the time. The British continued to produce large numbers of heavy multi-engined aircraft.
Countries - German Reich : UK
Population - 90,000,000 : 47,000,000
Aircraft produced in 1944 - 39,807 : 26,461
Aeroengines produced - 54,600 : 56,931
Weight of aircraft produced - 199 million lbs. : 208 million lbs.
Thus Germany's 1944 air industry production levels, although impressive by its own modest earlier standards, were still no larger than British production levels. In terms of per capita production, Germany was still producing only about half the engines and weight of aircraft of Britain.
I appreciate some of the above is simplistic and completely evades the moral and legal issues surrounding the methodology of the bombing campaign, but I would suggest that whatever its other limitations, it did produce a major military dividend.
r. burns wrote:Soon after the British leveled Hamburg, Speer met with Hitler and warned him that if six other German cities were attacked on that scale it would bring armament production to a halt. Hitler agreed to Speer's plan of dispersing German industry which until that time was highly concentrated. The industries Speer considered vital to the German war effort but also vulnerable to bombing were ball bearings, oil production, synthetic rubber, chemicals, and communications.
In Aug. 1943 the US 8th Air Force bombed Schweinfurt and knocked out 34% of the ball bearing production in one day. Speer claimed if follow up raids had taken place it would have destroyed Germany's ball bearing manufacturing capability. The dispersion of industry had not yet begun. The 8th Air Force returned in Oct. and production dropped by 60% from the levels produced in July. After the August attack the Germans were forced to deplete their stockpiles and were living "hand to mouth". It was a crisis for the Germans.
Speer estimated that if the ball bearing factories in Schweinfurt, Erkner, Steyr, and Cannstatt were all attacked at the same time with attacks every two weeks to halt reconstruction, Germany would be defenseless in four months. Of course the US losses were so heavy it couldn't be done.
They haven't problems (I've checked them now), but are links to rather large PDF documents. You need the free program Adobe Acrobat Reader to see them.Patrick wrote:Your links aren't functional. Could you please repost them? Thanks.