Wartime economy

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  • Created by: pav_ys
  • Created on: 23-04-18 19:32
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  • Wartime economy and the work of Speer
    • Economic Problems
      • Despite the 4 Year Plan of 1936: the German economy did not reach a state of full mobilisation until 1942.
        • This resulted in shortages of weapons and equipment 1939-1941, which was not a problem during the Blizkrieg but by 1941 the supply problems hindered German war effort.
      • Economic and military plans in 1936 were based on the assumption that Britain and France would accept the German invasion of Poland
        • War in 1939 interrupted the 4 Year Plan: Germany was supposed to expand its iron&steel production, investing in machine tools and developing artificial alternatives to oil and rubber.
      • Structural weaknesses: production of many different types of weapons was expensive and required highly skilled labour
        • Proportion of the labour force increased from 21% (1939) to 55% (1941), but supply of weapons grew slower
    • Policies to increase production
      • How successful?
        • A production miracle?
          • 1941-1943: German aircraft production increased by 200%
            • tank production increased by 250%
            • production of the Messerschmidt Bf 109 (one of Germany's main aircraft fighters) concentrated in 3 factories rather than the 7 previously used
              • its production increased from 180% a month to 1000% a month
        • Speer was given executive power, established the Central Planning Agency and and coordinated and controlled the whole production process with the support of Hitler. no interference from the military and the full cooperation of private companies.
        • Largely successful!
      • Rationalisation of production
        • concentration of production in fewer factories and on a narrower range of standardised products
        • central coordination of the allocation of labour, equipment and materials to armaments factories
        • greater use of mass production
        • more shift working to keep factories open 24hr a day
    • Policies to increase supply of labour
      • How successful?
        • Mobilisation
          • the labour forced was mobilised but the Nazis; ideological considerations prevented them from treating women workers the same as men
            • had they mobilised more women it would have been more successful
        • Foreign labour
          • very successful - 14 million foreign workers was a lot
      • Mobilisation of the labour force
        • reduced number of workers employed in consumer goods and increase in workers employed in munition factories
        • Decree for the Comprehensive Deployment of Men and Women for Reich Defence Tasks
          • a small committee established to oversee the  mobilisation of the labour force for the war effort
          • All men aged 16-65 and women aged 17-45 had to register for work with their local labour office
          • small businesses not essential for the war effort were to be closed & their employees transferred to more essential work
          • conscription of labour became a reality as
      • Foreign labour
        • June 1940 - spring 1942:foreign workers mainly for W European occupied territory
        • after Operation Barbarossa: dramatic increase of prisoners of war (POWs)
          • Oct 1941: Hitler agreed that Russian POWs could be used as slave labour
            • by Dec 1941: 4 million foreign workers employed in Germany.
        • Plenipotentiary General for Labour Allocation 1942: centralisation of the allocation of foreign labour.
          • department headed by Franz Sauckel, a ruthless Gauleiter
            • rounded up and transported 2.8 million workers to Germany from E Europe
        • by 1944: 7 million foreign workers in Germany + 7 million wrokers in occupied territories doing work for the Germans (=14 million foreign workers)
  • Pavlina Yordanova Sotirova


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