Strategic Bombing Campaign Impact on German Oil Production

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Ratsel, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. Ratsel

    Ratsel Banned

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    In another thread I read that some say that Allied Strategic Bombing Campaign (SBC) had minimal effect on Germany oil/fuel production. this includes both aviation and all other fuel/oil uses. May I submit:


    In June 1944, just 56,000t of oil had been produced against the planned total of 198,000 tons. Consumption was well above stocks produced since mid-May 1944 so that by the end of June 1944, it had been reduced to a reserve of just 410,000t, a 70% reduction from 30 April 1944. ULTRA intercepts confirmed cutbacks in non-operational flying as a direct consequence. According to Speer, by 21 July 1944 98% of all Axis fuel plants were out of operation. The monthly production fell from 180,000t in March 1944 to 20,000t in November; inventory dropped from 575,000t to 159,000t. The campaign caused huge shortfalls in fuel production and contributed to the impotence of the Luftwaffe in the last 12 months of the war, and the inability of the German Army to conduct counter offensives.

    Based on these facts, I think the conclusion is obvious. The trickle down effect was enormous, the effect on pilot training was huge, the ability to launch intercept missions was severely reduced. Germany may have had equal or technically superior machines and and lots of manpower, however it means nothing without fuel. Germany was finished around the spring of 1944. How they managed to last until May 1945 was a minor miracle.
     
  2. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    In another thread I read that some say the major cause of Axis oil production losses were the oil producing processing facilites being overrun by land armies.
     
  3. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    As others wrote in the Kursk thread, vast majority of LW fuel was produced in Germany in hydrogenation plants, ie was synthetic fuel. And the production of Romanian oil fields was badly hampered by Allied bombing before they were taken by the Red Army and even that what was produced was partly inaccesable to German war machine because of allied air attacks on transport system for ex the mining of Danue

    Juha
     
  4. Ratsel

    Ratsel Banned

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    to add to what Juha already posted, allied bombing of the Oil Campaign targets included attacks on Germany oil refineries, synthetic oil plants, storage depots, and other chemical works. Natural oil was available in Northwestern Germany at Nienhagen (55%—300,000 tons per year), Rietberg (20%—300,000), and Heide (300,000) and refineries were mainly at Hamburg and Hannover.
     
  5. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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  6. Ratsel

    Ratsel Banned

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    so you didn't even read that document before you posted it. interesting.

    :hello2:

    IV.—Aviation Spirit.
    While 175,000 tons of aviation spirit was produced in April,production fell to 12,000 tons, i.e., to two normal days' production in August (1943) due to the destruction of the aircraft fuel installations at Leuna, Poelitz and Bruex which had only recently been restored to working order. For September (1943) production, because of the re-building measures, was still estimated at 101,000 tons even on the 15th August (1943). After the new attacks production will not rise above 10-15,000 tons because of insufficient home defence. With these results the enemy has hit the chemical industry so heavily that only by abnormal changes in the conditions is there any hope for the retention of the bases for powder iand explosives (Methanol), Buna (Methanol) and nitrogen for explosives and agriculture. At the same time the loss in carburettor and diesel fuels is so widespread that even the severest measures will not be able to hinder encroachments on the mobility of the troops at the front. The possibility of moving troops at the front willtherefore be so restricted that planned operations in October will no longer be able to take place. With this fuel situation offensive moves will be impossible.The flow necessary for the supply of the troops and the home country will therefore be paralyzed in the late autumn of this year (1944), since substitute fuels, such as producer gas, are also inadequate to provide the essential help in all sectors.
     
  7. TheMustangRider

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    Donald L. Miller states in his book “Masters of the Air” that even today, no country’s synthetic oil industry can equal Nazi Germany’s peak wartime production of synthetic oil, a critical element to keep the German war machine functioning and engaging efficiently its deadly defensive battles against the Allied forces during the climax of the war in the ETO.
    Although the strategic bombing campaign did not completely wipe out the German war industries and hence did not live up to the prediction of some of its pre-war proponents that strategic bombing alone could bring Nazi Germany to its knees; it did, however, inflict sustained damage and prevented an additional growth to such war industries and therefore aided the Allied land armies in their final thrust into Germany’s eastern and western frontiers.
     
  8. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    Heheheh, no, I didn't. Was one of a number of files I've downloaded from that site, was going to read them all "in due course, when I get to them...."

    :pottytrain2:
     
  9. Ratsel

    Ratsel Banned

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    yep. my guess Is that you read the first few paragraphs where it said " 2,000,000t a year" and figured the the rest would say the same heh-heh-heh. not quite. and.. 2 million tons/ year is nothing, Germany would still need to import oil. hence the annexing of certain eastern block countries, and the push to the Mid East in N.Africa.
     
  10. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    The bombing campaign against synthetic oil had an interesting side effect that the Allies were not so aware - that the materials for making explosives, synthetic rubber (Buna) and agricultural products (ie fertilisers). For the last part of the war many German shells had much less than the normal explosive charges, and had extra filler - like cement - instead.
     
  11. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    Sorry, no, you guess wrong. I didn't read any of it. Simply remembered that it was there, might be of interest, as I posted originally.
     
  12. Ratsel

    Ratsel Banned

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    that, I did not know. that is very interesting information.

    mhuxt,
    my appologies. thanks for the link.
     
  13. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    No worries, hope there's some files over at that location which will be uf use.
     
  14. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Ratsl, can you post your sources?
     
  15. Ratsel

    Ratsel Banned

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    Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer, Minister of Armaments and War Production from February 8, 1942 – May 23, 1945

    Griffith, Charles. The Quest: Haywood Hansell and American Strategic Bombing in
    WWII. Maxwell AFB, ALA: Air University Press, 1999.

    Harris, Arthur. Bomber Offensive. London: Greenhill Books, 1998

    Jacobs, W.A. “The British Strategic Air Offensive against Germany in WWII.” In Case
    Studies in Strategic Bombardment. R. Cargill Hall

    the last paragraph was curtisy of the link provided from mhuxt.

    bits and pieces from Strategic bombing during World War II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  16. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Thanks!

    From "The Last Year of the Luftwaffe 1944-45" By Dr. Alfred Price pg 95 - 96

    "Compared with the 175,000 tons of aviation fuel produced in April, in August there was only 16,000 tons and in September a mere 7,000 tons. Throughout the summer the Luftwaffe kept going on its fat - the reserve of over half a million tons of aviation fuel it had accumulated previously. But with consumption running far in excess of production, by the beginning of September more than half this reserve had been consumed: from a high point of about 580,000 tons at the beginning of May, stocks were only about 180,000 tons at the end of September."
     
  17. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    According to Adam Tooze (Economic history of the 3rd Reich), the cost of the output from the hydrogenation plants in Germany was way more expensive than 'market value'oil by-the-barrel. This was a price the Nazi economists were willing to pay for "self sufficiency". Natural oil from Ploesti must have been much cheaper, I would think.

    MM
     
  18. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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  19. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Economy of Nazi Germany - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    From late 1944 on, Allied bombings were destroying German factories and cities at a rapid pace, leading to the final collapse of the German war economy in 1945 (Stunde Null). Synthetic fuel production dropped by 86% in eight months, explosive output was reduced by 42% and the loss of tank output was 35%.[66] The Allied bombing campaign also tied up valuable manpower, with Albert Speer (Germany's Minister of Armaments) estimating that in the summer of 1944 between 200,000 and 300,000 men were permanently employed in repairing oil installations and placing oil production underground.[67]
     
  20. Ratsel

    Ratsel Banned

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    Your very welcome. This is one of the key aspects to the defeat of Germany, in my opinion.
     
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