• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Nazi war production in the years 1939-45 was essentially inefficient. How far do you agree with this view?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

UNIT 9 ‘Nazi war production in the years 1939-45 was essentially inefficient.’ How far do you agree with this view? (30) (June 2014 Paper)- Arguably the biggest downfall behind the German defeat in the Second World War was the failure to create an efficient wartime economy and production process. Without the strong implementation of these basic factors it was always going to be a near impossibility to be successful in a total war, especially given the fact the Allies had much greater military outputs. Nazi war production in the years 1939-45 was essentially inefficient due to the lack of raw materials and the shortage of labour; however, the organisational structure of the regime also had an impact on efficiency. The factor that, more than any other, shaped Nazi war aims and plans was Germany’s lack of natural resources, iron, coal, oil and other materials, that it needed for a sustained war effort. Perhaps above all else it lacked reserves of high-quality iron ore. The attempt to compensate for this led to attempts at the huge Reichswerke Hermann Göring to develop the production of low-grade ore for manufacturing purposes. Yet, this could never meet the demands of the expanding military needs, thereby making Germany in part dependent on imports, in particular from Sweden; during the war, the amount of ore imported from Sweden remained constant at approximately 5.4 million tons a year. ...read more.

Middle

The use of foreign labour became of even greater importance once all the able bodied German men were called to the front. From 1943 to the end of the War, 2.5 million extra foreign workers were employed. However, in an attempt to increase production, Fritz Sauckel, Plenipotentiary General for Labour Allocation, attempted to improve the situation. In March 1944, all eastern workers were given the same rate of pay and benefits as other foreign workers. These attempts were too little, too late, however, as thousands died on projects such as the V2 rocket production for want for basic food and shelter. As a result of such poor treatment, the recruitment of millions of forced labourers failed to solve Germany’s labour problems. In addition to this, Germany also failed to utilise the female workforce in Nazi war production. The restriction on women labourers during World War II may seem to some minor, trivial and unimportant, but it emerged as a significant factor in Germany’s failure as a dominant power and their inefficient war production. Between 1939 and 1944 Germany was suffering from a large labour shortage and only an extra 200,000 women entered the workforce. Hitler’s view of the women’s role revolved around ‘Kinder, Küche, Kirche’ (children, kitchen, church); this encouraged women to leave work and spend their days concentrating on the three Ks, as this was considered to be their place in society. ...read more.

Conclusion

In addition to this, Speer, wherever possible, encouraged industrialists to join his ministerial team and excluded military personnel from the process. Speer was vital in coordinating and rationalising the Nazi war production process and implemented many new initiatives such as; employing more women in the arms factories, making more effective use of concentration camp prisoners as workers and preventing skilled workers being lost to military conscription. Speer?s importance was shown in the figures produced: tank production increased by 25 per cent, ammunition increased by 97 per cent and total war production increased by 59 per cent. However, despite the vast improvements, the Allies still out produced Germany. Although the appointment of Speer enormously improved the efficiency of Nazi war production, it was still not enough to change the course of war. Overall, it is clear that the German economy did not expand sufficiently to meet the demands of ?total war? and Nazi war production in the years 1939-45 was essentially inefficient. This was primarily due to the shortage of raw materials and the shortage of labour. The key to this economic failure was the fact that the conquest did not make up the shortfall in these two essential components of any industry. Yet economic development was also hindered by other influencing factors such as the lack of restructuring, which reflected the pre-war period and the conflicts between the impulses of an ideologically destructive regime and one for economic growth. Although the rationalisation process did increase productivity, it was not enough to override the fundamental problem of the lack of raw materials and labour. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Hitler and the Nazi Regime - revision sheet.

    stayed out of politics - so most Catholics were happy to accept the Nazi regime. Protestants and Jehovah's Witnesses - if they opposed the Nazis - were sent to concentration camps. 7. Racism The Nazi regime was from the start based on anti-semitism. The Racial Purity Law (15 September 1935)

  2. Vietnam war

    to North Vietnam, while perhaps 1,000,000 Vietnamese moved from north to south. One of the leading Communists in the South, L� Du�n, returned to Hanoi to urge that the Vietnam Workers' Party (VWP) take a firmer stand on national reunification.

  1. Hitlers Germany

    Many observers have commented on how the Nazis, regardless of the size of their local group, seemed to do more in election campaigns than all the other parties combined. The mass meetings of the election campaigns were carefully organized to the smallest item.

  2. In the years 1933 " 1945 the German Churches supported and collaborated with the ...

    This attempt to control the Protestant had failed and produced an extreme group opposing Nazism, and Hitler distanced himself from Bishop Muller. Following the unfavourable of his attempt to control the Protestant Churches, Hitler recognized that being a stronger-willed and more totalitarian establishment Catholicism would be even more of a challenge to control.

  1. How had Hitler been successful in his war campaign up until the Battle of ...

    In fact, Hitler was still debating whether to invade Britain or Russia first. The first German bomber attack over the Channel came on July 10, 1940. Yet even as late as July 19, Hitler made a last-minute speech advocating peace with Britain, presumably trying to buy time.

  2. Albert Speers Role as German Armaments Minister during the War

    Speer?s most impressive and memorable production/design was that of the 1934 Nuremberg rally. He surrounded the parade grounds, capable of holding 240 000 people, with 130 anti-aircraft searchlights. This simulated the effect of a ?cathedral of light? or a ?cathedral of ice? as it was called by the British Ambassador.

  1. "A society of onlookers and bystanders. How far do you agree with this description ...

    majority would not have wanted to publicly break it, there was a lack of strong ideological anti-Semitism within the 'centre-ground' of society as there existed at the extremes. Whilst early anti-Semitic policies may have been supported, as illustrated by the generally positive reaction to the Law for the Restoration of

  2. The handling of the economy was poorly coordinated and this accounts for the weakness ...

    The Nazi state was therefore too chaotic, with too many competing agencies and power blocs for any consistent policy to be formulated. There were also a number of groups responsible for armaments: the office of the Four Year Plan, the SS bodies and the different branches of the armed forces (Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe and navy).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work