Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Friday, July 06, 2007


This is coolbert:

"Another significant German weapons advancement of World War Two [WW2] was the Type XXI submarine.

Was a potential war-winning weapon that was not deployed in time or in numbers to be effective."

This must have been one of the instances that Albert Speer had in mind when he wrote in his memoirs that the allied strategic bombing offensive of World War Two [WW2] did hurt Germany badly.

German industry, under the overall direction and command of Speer, did disperse industrial production in an effort to combat the allied bombers.

[dispersal was done across the board. Tanks, airplanes, submarines, etc.]

In the case of tanks, for instance, one plant would build the gun and the engine. A second plant would build the hull and the gun. A third plant would build the engine and the turret. Etc. Parallel modular manufacturing with the final assembly done at several other facilities.

Modular construction such as was used with the Type XXI submarine was successful, but at a cost.

Slower and required greater coordination.

A process that followed this path:

* pre-fabricated sections manufactured in parallel, in distributed works around the country.

* sections to be transported to the shipyard by water (big Type XXI sections).

* final assembly of sections at the shipyard.

"the construction office was housed in a remote location in the Hartz mountains; the boats were built decentralized in modules, which were ferried by barge to a main site only towards the end of construction. Here they were assembled to complete hulls, reducing the period of vulnerability towards air attacks in the shipyard."

According to Speer, German submarine production capacity progressed and was undiminished all throughout the war, BUT WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH GREATER IF NOT FOR THOSE PESKY ALLIED BOMBERS STRIKING DAY AND NIGHT!!

"Speer repeatedly said (both during and after the war) it caused crucial production problems. A particular example comes from Admiral Karl Dönitz, head of the U-Boat arm, who noted in his memoirs failure to get the revolutionary Type XXI U-boats . . . into service was entirely the result of the bombing."


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