|Chapter I||Summary and Conclusions|
|Chapter II||The German Aircraft Industry|
|Chapter III||Government Controls and Programs|
|Chapter IV||Target Selection for Strategic Bombing|
|Chapter V||Attacks on the Aircraft Industry|
|Chapter VI||Effects of Bombing on Aircraft Production|
|Chapter VII||Aero-Engine Production|
|Chapter VIII||Materials and Aircraft Components|
|Chapter IX||Report on V-Weapon Production|
1. In September 1944 the US Strategic Bombing Survey was organized under Presidential directive to conduct a survey of the effects of strategic bombing in hastening the German defeat. The Amercian public is well aware that no small part of the cost of the European war can be charged to the Allied aerial offensive against strategic industrial installations. To them an accounting must be given.
2. Strategic bombing is a highly scientific process. It is aimed at the systematic destruction of those resources which will most weaken the enemy by denying him the materials or weapons he needs to prosecute the war. Targets are selected only after a careful balancing of their significance to the enemy economy against the capabilities of the attacking force. To be successful, any strategic attack must cost the enemy many more man-hours lost than are expended in the attack.
3. During the war it was impossible to asses the real significance of this type of warfare. A limited amount of information on physical damage to industrial plants could be obtained from aerial photorgraphs. Ground intelligence from agents inside Germany made an important contribution and some German prisoners of war also told what they knew. It was impossible, however, to know with certainty whether or not the effects of air activity against the Reich justified the effort expended. The final accounting could only be made only after a careful on-the-spot investigation of the targets that had borne the brunt of the attack.
4. This report deals with the specialized but highly important part of the total strategic bombing effort - the attacks on the German aircraft and V-weapons industries. The destruction of this group of industries was considered of vital importance in support of the Allied air effort against Festung Europa. A number of key points in the industrial pattern were selected as objects of attacks. In this report an attempt is made to assess objectively the merits of the choice. It analyzes the German aircraft industry as it was before bombing and as it reacted to our attacks. Chapter One presents the summary and conclusions of the entire investigations. One of the most important effects of strategic bombing, plant dispersal, has been given special treatment in Chapter Two. Throughout the report, wherever the available data have permitted, comparisons are drawn between American and German production methods.
5. The report is based on field team investigation of a selected list of key targets in Germany, on interrogations of important German aircraft officials taken into custody after the collapse, and on analysis of government records of aircraft programs and production found hidden in caves, cellars and attics throughout Germany.
6. Reference should be made to Exhibit VII for detailed information on the history of the Aircraft Division, the persons who engaged in this study and the documents available to supplement this report.
7. The report was prepared under the editorial leadership of Colonel Carl H. Norcross, formerly managing editor of Aviation Magazine. The group responsible for the perparation and the analysis of the German aircraft industry included: W. G. Friedrich, head of the Aeronautical Engineering Dept., North Carolina State College; N.W. Gilbert, Professor of Business Economics, California Institute of Technology; Jerome Lederer, Chief Engineer and Assistant Manager, Aero Insurance Underwriters; C.W. Miller, formerly Director, Planning and Airframe Supply, British Air Commission, Washington, D.C.; Myron A. Tracy, Acting Director, Aircraft Resources Control Office, Aircraft Production Board, Washington, D.C.; and Stephen Zand, Director, Vese Memorial Aero Lab., Sperry Gyroscope Company.
1. This report deals with the effects of strategic bombing on the German aircraft industry.
2. Strategic bombing bears the same relationship to tactical bombing as does the cow to the pail of milk. To deny immediate aid and comfort to the enemy, tactical considerations dictate upsetting the bucket. To insure eventual starvation, the strategic move is to kill the cow (with apologies to Mr Franklin D'Olier).
3. It is not always a simple matter to distinguish between strategic and tactical effort. For example, the heavy attacks against the German airframe assembly plants early in 1944 failed as a strategic effort because they produced only a mild indisposition in the great industrial "cow" that fed the Luftwaffe. "Bossy" refused to stay dead, and eventually succeeded in refilling the pail again and again. But in a tactical sense the results were tremendously important. Hundreds of aircraft that might otherwise have opposed Allied landings in Normandy were left battered and twisted in the smoking ruins of Marienburg, Augsburg, Wiener Neustadt and Dessau. They were not available at the time the enemy needed them most.
4. Neither is it a simple matter to differentiate between the results of direct attack against strategic targets and indirect effects of attack against other segments of the enemy economy. Clearly, if all means of surface transport are wrecked to the point where deliveries of raw materials to factories for the manufacture of finished products become impossible it is of little consequence where the factories themselves are destroyed or remain intact. So, also, if a complete electrical power failure could be brought about by bombing, what happens to plants that are dependent upon power to produce is only a question of academic interest.
5. To cut off the flow of usuable aircraft to Hitler's fighting squadrons, the Combined Bomber Offensive applied every known form of attack. The Royal Air Force bombed cities and industrial areas by night to disrupt and demoralize labor and destroy such factories as might be located in the target area. The US Army Air Forces bombed airfields and factories by day to destroy as many finished aircraft as possible and to cripple further production. At the same time, rail centers, bridges and marshalling yards were under constant attack by both air forces and tons of bombs rained down on oil refineries, synthetic fuel plants and fuel dumps. In the end the total weight was too much. Germany's industrial machine could not endure such punishment and finally collapsed.
6. How much each form of attack contributed to the end result is impossible to determine. Counting up the totals, however, and contrasting their potential capacity with actual accomplishment, it appears from this study that some 18,000 aircraft of all types were denied the German Air Force in the period of intensive attack between July 1943 and December 1944. (Reported production for the same period totalled 53,000 aircraft.)
7. Of the estimated production loss, roughly 78 percent or 14,000 aircraft were fighters. (Total reported fighter production for the period, 45,800.) Whether or not the German Air Force could have used all these additional aircraft effectively (because of shortages of fuel or of pilots), it is obvious that the attacks against the German aircraft industry paid dividends. By keeping such a number of defensive fighters out of the air at times when the air war was critical, the job of wrecking Germany's manufacturing industries, her transportation system and her cities, was rendered that much easier and the war was probably shortened by some months.
8. The question is still open, however, as to how many of those accomplishments resulted from the direct attacks against the aircraft industry. The records which are presented in detail in this report point up the tremendous recuperative powers of Germany's aircraft production. Paradoxically, aircraft production, appears, at first glance, to have been stimulated rather than retarded by the attacks. It must be remembered, however, that the great upswing in production that took place in the spring of 1944 had been planned and provided for during the six to nine month's period preceeding. How much higher the production curve would have risen had the attacks not been made is only a matter for conjecture. It was not until the fall of 1944, after the aircraft industry per se had ceased to be a primary target for the Combined Bomber Offensive, that production began to lag. Airframes, engines and parts were being manufactured in increasing numbers in the vast network of dispersed and concealed factories, but it was only after transportation was disrupted and supplies of fuel dwindled that deliveries of finished aircraft to the GAF finally approached the vanishing point.
9. The quantitive study of the results of the strategic bombing of the German aircraft industry occupies the bulk of this report. Figure 1, which is not to be considered as a statistical presentation, is a composite picture of the trends of capacity, planning and production during the war years. The curves have all been "faired" and any quantitive vertical scale has been deliberately omitted. The relationship of the various elements of the chart, however, is in close agreement with the facts as disclosed in the detailed study that follows. (A more complete discussion of the meaning of the chart appears on the facing page.)
10. If strategic bombing did nothing but force the dispersal of the aircraft industry it would have paid its cost. The disruption to production occasioned by the physical movement of goods and machinery, the resulting loss of efficiency due to the dilution of management, the increasing load on an already overtaxed system of transportation were all factors in the final result. In the end, dispersal defeated itself, because once transportation systems failed, it became impossible to keep final assembly points fed with the necessary components parts and subassemblies to produce finished aircraft.
11. It was largely after that system failed that dispersal went into reverse. It was finally recognized that re-concentration of plants was necessary for efficient and economical operation. Concentrating plants above ground was obviously impossible. The only answer was to go underground. This decision came too late to be effective in the German war programs, but the cost of the effort added tremendously to the strain on the national economy. The millions of man-hours that were drained away from the available total to prepare such huge underground workings as those at Nordhausen and Neckar-Els may be credited directly to the account of strategic bombing.
12. Prior to the end of 1944 there is little evidence that lack of engines or of necessary equipment or of basic materials led to any critical shortages of finished aircraft. Even the widely publicized attacks against the ball bearing industry, which were supposed to pinch off a vital accessory to the building of aircraft and aircraft engines, failed to produce even as a temporary setback. The costly raid on Schweinfurt did cut heavily into ball bearing production. The stock bins and pipelines to airframe and aircraft engine plants, however, were so well filled, redesign of equipment to eliminate ball bearings progressed so rapidly, and the increased output of unbombed bearing plants was so great that the situation never became critical to the point of denying finished aircraft to the GAF.
13. It now appears that the most vulnerable points in the aircraft production pattern were not given the attention they deserved by target selection people or by operational groups. Apart from purely tactical considerations, attacks against the industry would have been more effective in the end if they had been made further back in the manufacturing process rather than against final aircraft assembly points. Hindsight indicates that the aero-engine manufacturing plants were far more vulnerable than our intelligence might have been dealt with more profitably. For example, if shops housing fuselage assembly jigs could have been eliminated, if forge shops making crankshafts could have been put out of business, and if the manufacture of propellor blades could have been disrupted, the effects on final production would have been immediate and persistent. It was recognized only late in the
war that certain foundries, which made certain highly complicated and specialized castings for jet engines, were the "Achilles heel" of the jet fighter complex. By taking out but a few such key shops, the production of the fighters on which Germany was depending to break up our long-range bombing attacks might have been seriously hampered.
14. Failure of British and American intelligence to disclose such vital targets was responsible in a larger measure for our failuer to attack them. Through 1943, intelligence regarding German aircraft industry was reasonably good. After the industry dispersed, however, the quality of our intelligence deteriorated. We not only did not know the locations of many important units in the dispersal pattern, but we seriously underestimated the production capabilities and recuperability of the German industry. A high degree of optimism was injected into the estimates of production as a result of faulty interpretation of air-cover photographs and of reliance upon intelligence from unreliable sources. We underestimated almost by one-half the total aircraft production for 1944. Official estimated predicted a total of 22,440 aircraft. The records show, however, that 39,807 machines were delivered to the German Air Force during that same period.
15. Physical damage studies point to the fact that machine tools and heavy manufacturing equipment of all kinds are very difficult to destroy or damage beyond repair by bombing attacks. Buildings housing such equipment may be burned down and destroyed but, after clearing away the wreckage, it has been found, more often than not, that heavy equipment, when buried under tons of debris may be salvaged and put back into operation in a relatively short time and with comparatively little difficulty. Electrical equipment associated with heavy tools suffers most severely. A good fire in the vicinity of such equipment will destroy motors, control equipment and so forth. It has been generally observed, therefore, that incendiary attacks against airframe and aircraft engine parts are more effective than the equivalent amount of HE on the target.
16. There appears to have been some decline in the quality of German aircraft as a result of strategic bombing coupled with resultant dispersal. Certain items, possibly of superficial importance were neglected as the pressure to produce went up. There is little doubt that operations under dispersed and disrupted conditions presented unusual difficulties, but, throughout, inspection standards appear to have been generally well maintained. Greater-than-average losses in performance or losses of aircraft due to mechanical or other failures were undoubtedly experienced, but in the overall were relatively unimportant. One high ranking US Air Force officer has gone so far as to state that, except for their long range capabilities, we could have traded fighter aircraft with the Luftwaffe and still have beaten them in individual aerial combat. Our greatest advantage lay in the skill
of our fighter pilots and not in any decisive technical superiority of equipment.
17. Looking at the picture as a whole, at the beginning of the war and as long as the initiative was theirs, German industrial planning was good. During the late 1930s, the aircraft industry had been built up to a point consistent with supposed military requirements. Early successes against untrained and under-equipped air forces, coupled with the fact that the losses in these early campaigns were far less than expected, developed a degree of overconfidence and resulted in pushing aircraft requirements well down the list of wartime priorities. Not until 1944, after the overall military situation had been reversed, were aircraft, particularly single-engine fighters, put back at the top of the priority schedule. By that time, however, a certain degree of desperation was in evidence, which eventually led to the deterioration of the aircraft industry and the GAF.
18. Hitler frequently interfered with the aircraft planning program because of his belief in the effectiveness of "secret" or "wonder weapons". Although no great percentage of the V-1 or the V-2 production was directly subtracted directly from the aircraft industry, Hitler's insistence on such weapons interfered seriously at times with material and labor supplies to the aircraft industry and caused dissension and disputes with respect to the relative importance of the two classes of weapons on the priority schedule.
19. All evidence concerning the later phase of the war points to a considerable amount of internal dissension, lack of coordination, and reliance on emergency measures to achieve results. One indication of this condition constantly comes to light during interrogation of topside personnel. Every one of them engaged in a considerable amount of "buck passing" and was obviously making an effort to justify his own position and to prove that what happened to the German Air Force was not his particular fault.
20. During the period from 1941 to 1945, the relative position of German avaition planning and Allied aviation planning reversed itself. In the beginning, the planning for Germany's air effort was consistent and coordinated, while Great Britain and America were fumbling their way toward a plan and a program. From late 1943, however, German production planning became increasingly confused and muddled as Allied effort took shape and gained strength.
21. Strategic bombing of the German aircraft industry caused a direct and indirect loss of production amounting to appoximately 18,000 airplanes between July 1943 and December 1944.
22. The best estimate that can be made distributes this loss of
production about evenly between direct losses caused by destruction of airframe plants, and indirect losses caused by dispersal and by inefficient operation under dispersal conditions.
23. If the German aircraft industry had not been dispersed, it is probable that an equal or even larger production loss would have been suffered.
24. The great rise in the number of airplanes turned out during the first half of 1944 was not so impressive when measured in terms of weight of airframe produced. In the end (1944) the overall efficiency of the German aircraft industry was less than 50 percent of that attained in the United States.
25. The German aircraft industry had at least a 100 percent excess capacity of plant and equipment before the Combined Bomber Offensive. This is indicated clearly by the fact that single-shift operation of most facilities was normal procedure prior to 1944.
26. The pardoxical increase in the rate of production following the heaviest attacks is explained by the fact that earlier planning programs were then on the point of producing maximum results. All pipelines were full and flowing. Also, because of the urgency of the situation, extraordinary expediting of shortages was carried out under the authority of the Speer Ministry, and political terrorism was occasionaly resorted to through the Gestapo to increase output.
27. More attention should have been given earlier in the period of the Combined Bomber Offensive to attacks against aero-engine plants.
28. The quality of German aircraft tended to decline during 1944 because of the difficulties which attended dispersal operations, and because the inspection system began to operate less efficiently under high pressure. The extent of the decline in quality cannot be measured. It probably resulted in only a slight loss of performance for individual aircraft.
29. The alibis used by many German officials and industrialists blaming their failure to produce on a multiplicity of models, excessive progam and engineering changes, can be discounted. Their situation in this regard was no more difficult than that which pertained in the United States.
30. The basic error made by Germany was probably Hitler's failure to increase the aircraft program at the time the Allies began the Combined Bomber Offensive. It is known that accurate information as to the plans and programs for building of aircraft in the United States was available to him, but he and Goering
dismissed the figures as false and impossible, and thereby underestimated their eventual requirements to meet Allied attack.
31. The decision to abandon offensive action by long-range bombers against Allied industry and shipping, and to rely on the defensive capabilities of fighter aircraft proved also to be a strategic error of the first order.
The chart gives a picture story of what happened to the German aircraft industry from the beginning of the war through to the final defeat. It is not a statistical presentation. It is intended to give a qualitative picture of the trends of capacity versus production, particularly during the period of expansion and attack.
Until early 1943 less than half the available capacity was utilized. The industry was coasting along on a one-shift per day basis. The big push for expansion started in 1943 when the High Command realized the potentialities of the Allied air attack. The realization came too late. The weight of attack that was delivered late in 1943 and early in 1944 set back production plans by many months and denied the German Air Force some thousands of aircraft at a time when it needed them most.
By the end of 1944 disintegration of the entire economy had set in. Transportation was disorganized to the point that essential materials could not be delivered to the manufacturer, nor could finished products be taken away. Airframe assembly plants, though relatively invulnerable to direct attack because of dispersal and underground installations, could not get deliveries of engines, accessories, or subassemblies. Centralized planning broke down completely. Production of aircraft fell precipitously to a point far below the normal requirements of the GAF. By war's end the manufacture of aircraft was at a standstill.
1. Prewar Background
a. In 1933 when Hitler came to power there were a number of small aircraft companies in Germany which had had some experience with aircraft design and production. The Treaty of Versailles had forbidden the construction of military aircraft. Only sport and transport airplanes, and a considerable number of gliders, could be built. The companies which constituted the airframe section of the industry at that time were Arado, Dornier, Erla, Fieseler, Focke-Wulf, Heinkel, Junkers, Klemm, Messerschmitt and Rohrbach. The plant and equipment of most of these concerns were very small. Their capital investment was comparitively insignificant.
b. The accession of Hitler marked the beginning of the expansion of the aircraft industry which built the Luftwaffe. Goering, appointed Air Minister by Hitler, ordered the immediate increase in production of existing airplanes, and initiated the development of new military types. The purpose of the first action was to provide the companies with manufacturing experience, and to have something to fly to impress the German people. The second action involved two basic steps: 1) design and development, and 2) the expansion of the manufacturing capacity.
c. The design and development of high performance military aircraft was undertaken by leading aeronautical engineers along lines laid down by the Air Ministry (Reichsluftfahrt Ministerium). The Messerschmitt Me 109 and Me 110, the Junkers Ju 52 and Ju 87 and the Heinkel He 111 were the principal successful model which resulted. These planes were combat tested in the Spanish Civil War.
d. The expansion of the industry was accomplished 1) by extension of existing aircraft plants, 2) by bringing concerns engaged in other industries into aircraft manufacturing by converting some of their plants, and 3) by constructing new plants. The principal concerns from other industries which took on the manufacture of aircraft before the war, were as follows:
|Company||Location||Engaged in the Manufacture of:|
|Allgemeine Transportanlagen GmbH||Leipzig||Cranes, mining and transport|
|Blohm & Voss||Hamburg||Shipbuilding|
e. Funds for the expansion were provided principally by the Air Ministry directly or through bank credits guaranteed by the Air Ministry. The arrangements were liberal enough so that by close cooperation between the government and the aircraft companies it was possible to repay loans quickly and thus build up the ownership of the expanded facilities. The Air Ministry owned Junkers and Arado, and the Saxony State Bank controlled Erla. The management of those concerns, however, carried on operations with little interference from the government. Allgemeine Elektrizitat Gesellschaft controlled Focke-Wulf, Mitteldeutsche Stahlwerke controlled ATG, and Krupp controlled Weser.
f. From the first, the keynote of the organization of the German aircraft industry was "rationalization". Competition was discarded as a matter of policy. Patents and designs were pooled. Only a few of the more competent goups were encouraged to carry on engineering development. Several companies were regarded as satellite or "shadow-plants" for concerns with strong design organizations, such as Junkers and Messerschmitt. Henschel entered the aircraft industry of its own accord in 1933 and made a substantial investment of its own funds. At first it was not welcomed by the Air Ministry and it was refused contracts. Shortly, however, this attitude was reversed. Henschel developed several new designs, but its principal contribution was the production of airplanes designed by other companies.
g. The new combat designs were put into line production in the expanded aircraft facilities and a substantial output resulted. The actual yearly production of combat and non-combat types from 1933 through 1944 is shown in Figure VI-1. The types of aircraft that were being built in 1939 as Germany entered the war are shown in Table VI-1, Chapter VI.
2. The Aircraft Complexes
a. A distinctive feature of the organization of the German aircraft industry was the system of complexes, which was an extension of the rationalization principal adopted so generally by the Hitler regime. The original was the Junkers complex. It's purpose was to control manufacturing operations carried on in "shadow-plants" and in the plants of subcontractors. Junkers maintained rigid control over engineering design, provided at least the basic tools, administreed inspection, and took care of materials and facilities requirements. In addition Junkers controlled the manufacturing methods, operations sequences and machining methods employed by subcontractors and licensees. Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf eventually built up similiar complexes.
b. This system was reorganized in 1942. The idea of the complex was applied to any manufacturer who held a direct contract from the Air Ministry for the production of an airplane model under license
from the designer. The Speer Ministry recommended at that time that Special Committees be established for each principal design concern, to coordinate the several complexes engaged in production of a particular model. The committees were resident in the main office of the design company. They were manned by people from industry but were responsible to the Main Committee for Airframes (Figure III-2). When the Fighter Staff (Jagerstab) was formed in February 1944, the Special and Main Committees were made responsible to it in the Speer Ministry (Ministry of Armaments and War Production).
c. The complexes and Special Committees constituted centralized organizational groups which could draw upon expert technical staffs to handle engineering, tooling, material expediting and other emergencies arising out of bombings. In addition, they were able to arrange interchanges of materials and components among the several manufacturers of the same articles and products. For example, when Focke-Wulf's sole source for empennage assemblies at Posen was bombed out in May 1944, the Special Committee for FW-190s could divert enough identical assemblies from the reserves of licensee complexes, Arado and Fieseler, to supply Focke-Wulf assembly operations while Posen was being set up in dispersed locations.
3. Location of the Industry
a. The aircraft industry in 1939 was scattered over most parts of central Germany. There was no concentration of production in a single region. The principal plants lay along an approximately north-south axis from Bremen to Munich. The new plants built between 1934 and 1939, furthermore, were built in the open country, well outside of the towns and cities.
b. The industry was thus originally well protected against bombing attacks. During the war two other steps were taken to improve the situation: 1) removal eastward to get out of range of heavy bombers based on Britain, and 2) dispersal to scattered locations which offered less concentrated bombing targets, a point which will be treated at greater length later. The location of the German aircraft industry at the beginning of the war, and again in 1944, is shown in Figure II-1 and II-2.
4. Changes in the Industry During the War
a. Except for the eventual dislocation of the aircraft industry brought about by strategic bombing, there were no important changes during the war. In 1940-41, the Air Ministry built a large plant at Wiener Neustadt, Austria, to produce Me 109 airplanes. This plant, operated by the Wiener Neustadter Flugzeug AG, was owned by the Air Ministry. Several other plants were built during the war.
Several new ones were established in Czechoslovakia. Others were set up to balance the operations of individual companies, but there was no need for a general expansion of plant capacity.
b. The prewar concept of multiple integrated production operations, eventually was abandoned. Sometimes the manufacture of subassemblies was separated by several hundred miles, and the parts brought together at two or more widely separated places for final assembly. This shift was necessitated by bombing. The organization of the operations of the Erla Maschinewerk as of the last months of the war provide an example of the changed situation. The Erla operations are shown in Figure II-3.
c. The companies which constituted the German aircraft industry in October 1944, are given in Table II-1. The total number of workers employed by each, and the estimated floor space utilized are listed to provide a rough measure of size. The floor area figure became very difficult to appraise after general dispersal had been undertaken in 1944.
Number of Persons Employed and Floor Area in German Airframe Plants
|Company||Number of Persons||Floor Area|
Parent & Dispersal Plants
in 1,000 sq. ft.
|Parent & Dispersal Plants||Sub-Contractors||Grand Total|
|Blohm & Voss||2083||2510||4593||467||145||5205||650|
|Wiener Neustadt Flugzeugbau||7438||11,935||19,391||2724||906||23,021||2,061|
|Land & See||587||728||1315||132||128||1575||792|
|Markischer Metallbau, Oranienburg||792||795||1587||128||141||1856||196|
N.R. Not Reported: On the assumption that the proportion of persons employed by subcontractors for the plants in this category is roughly the same as for the plants reporting this item, it is estimated that a total of 425,000 persons were employed in German airframe industry during October 1944.
5. Types of Factory Buildings
a. The aircraft industry was exceedingly well housed as a result of the expansion of facilities between 1934 and 1941. Most of the buildings were of steel frame. Some were of hangar type with wide clearances. Others were the monitor-style type with overhead cranes and monorail systems. Saw-tooth roofs were also widely used. There were no blackout type buildings.
b. The prinicipal of local dispersal was applied to the layout of new aircraft plants. As a precaution against bombing the Air Ministry restricted the total ground area covered by individual buildings, except in rare cases, to about 75,000 sq ft. This meant that the usual plant consisted of several buildings distributed over an area of 30 or 40 acres. An example of such a plant is given in Figure II-5, which shows the arrangement of the buildings which made up the Heinkel plant at Oranienburg. Even before the war this plant was equipped with an elaborate system of underground bomb shelters (See "Hitler Wasn't Bluffing", Saturday Evening Post, 19 February 1939).
c. When manufacturing operations were dispersed it was necessary to make use of a miscellany of structures such as converted textile plants and car barns. Many of the new buildings built during the war, including the great Ostmark engine plants, had wooden roofs. Metal shelves and storage bins were not available, thus increasing fire hazard.
d. The plant structures utilized by the aircraft industry
varied widely in this vulnerability to bombing attacks. The most easily wrecked were the mill type buildings, where brick walls and wooden posts carried the roof. These were easily destroyed by 500-lb bombs and by incendiaries. Many of the early shops of the pre-Hitler industry, and some of the buildings into which operations were dispersed were of this type. Steel structures were less vulnerable. Five hundred pound HE bombs would blow off sections of the roof, dig craters in the floor, and damage equipment within a few yards, but unless there was a direct hit on a girder or column, the building usually did not collapse. Blast effect was reduced by leaving windows open during alerts and by installation of blast walls. Sections of blown-off roofs showed plainly in photo reconnaissance cover, but could be replaced in a matter of a few days. Steel buildings were vulnerable to incendiary bombs if they contained combustible material in which extensive fires could be started.
6. Types of Machine Equipment
a. The airframe industry did not make extensive use of machine equipment. In this regard it is conspicuously different from aircraft engines and accessory manufacture, which will be considered later. The principal machine equipment was used for fabrication of parts: hydraulic presses, stretchers, punch presses, power brakes, metal shapers, shears, routers, and a varied assortment, but not a large number of machine tools for machining forgings and castings. German practice corresponded rather closely with American practice. The capacity of the largest German presses was far greater than that of America. There was not a large excess capacity of these heavy presses. Some were operated in multiple shifts long before the airframe plants as a whole.
b. This equipment was not highly vulnerable to bombing attacks. The large items were too large to be damaged by anything except a direct hit, but their electrical control equipment was highly vulnerable. The smaller pieces of machine equipment could be protected by blast walls. They were vulnerable to a considerable degree to incendiary bombs. Even the most massive equipment is destroyed by fires.
7. Types of Assembly Jigs
a. The manufacture of airframes on a line production basis requires elaborate assembly tooling. Jigs and holding fixtures are necessary to insure that the many structural parts, ribs, longerons, stiffeners, and skin, are put together accurately in the desired aerodynamic form. German practice as to such equipment was well advanced. The production of the principal German planes, especially the FW 190 and the Me 109, by several licensees would have most difficult, and interchangability of parts would not have been possible,
if the assembly tooling problem had not been solved.
b. Two basic types of assembly tooling were used by aircraft manufacturers: The Dornier system which minimized the use of assembly jigs, and the Aircraft Manufacturers' Association "standard" system. The latter system, used by all but Dornier, was operated as follows: Sets of production jigs were made from a master jig. Each plant or licensee was provided with a set of production jigs and also a master jig with which to keep the production jigs in adjustment. The complex also maintained a master control jig to which the several master jigs were sent regularly to be checked for accuracy. This system is similiar to the American practice where several plants made the same airplane. Molding fixtures frequently were of the rotating type, which permitted maximum convenience as to accessibility of work.
c. The dispersal system made heavy demands on the tooling control system. As transport became difficult, it was not always possible to circulate the master tools readily. If a plant was damaged by bombs, delays resulted from the inability to replace and prove substitute jigs. The principal use of assembly tooling was in connection with the production of wings, ailerons, flaps, tail surfaces, and fuselage sections. These units were well suited to dispersal, so raids on the final assembly plants seldom hit the tooling used to make subassemblies. For example, a plant at Frankenburg, 40 miles from Kassel, which made FW 190 wing panels, was not bombed at all.
d. German assembly tooling was almost entirely of the universal type. The frames were made of heavy steel members which were bolted together, and the check points on the jig which determined the shape of the part to be built were bolted to the frame. This type could be adjusted withing limits to premit fairly wide changes in design. Universal jigs of this type were not so vulnerable to bomb damage as special purpose jigs because injured sections could be replaced by bolting in new sections. They were not set permanently in the floor, so that they could readily be moved to new locations.
e. German techniques were generally line production similiar to American techniques, with the notable difference that operations were broken up among several buildings in the same location or dispersed over a wide area. Not only was it common to have fabrication, sub-assembly and final assembly in separate buildings, but also to carry on each type of operation in at least two places. In 1944, when dispersal was carried out energetically, the multiplicity of establishments performing the same production operation was carried still further. Line production of this type was not closely articulated, as in most American aircraft plants, so that any one unit or assortment of units could be destroyed by bombing without stopping the flow of production. But production efficiency, of course, suffered.
f. The segments of the breakdown of the airframe structure into subassembly segments roughly paralleled the American practice. The smaller size of most German airplanes noted as a limiting factor in this regard, but a point of maximum advantage was reached which was well suited to the isolation of production in scattered plants. This high degree of segmentation of production was adopted by German manufacturers before the war, when the Me 109, 110, Ju 87 and He 111 first were put into line production in newly constructed plants, but it was carried still further after 1942 when the declining quality of the working force made necessary a still further simplification of work.
g. The use of mechanized assembly lines and mobile jigs was common but not universal in German plants. Such installations were vulnerable to bombing, but since the usual practice was to have two or more installations in separate plants for each assembly or subassembly, another line could be operated double shift until the damage to the first could be repaired. Moving belts, with the work along them carefully planned at definite stations, were a part of German practice, but they have little bearing on the matter of vulnerability to strategic bombing.
8. Capacity of Plant and Equipment
a. The aircraft plants built by Germany in the years immediately preceding and in the first two years of the war had a capacity, on a single-shift basis, adequate to supply the aircraft requested by the General Staff. This fact had a very important bearing on strategic bombing. Theoretically half of the plant capacity could have been destroyed and the other half, by working, two shifts, could have produced just as many planes as before. There was no problem of a major expansion of aircraft manufacturing capacity during the war, therefore, as there was in the United States. In 1943 and 1944 strategic bombing made necessary the provision of alternate plant capacity in dispersed locations, but it is probable that the plant and equipment which Germany possessed in 1941, if undisturbed, could have produced the quantity of aircraft turned out in the peak months of the war. (Figure I-1).
b. Not only was plant capacity exceedingly large at the beginning of the war, but production tooling had been built for a scale of operations much greater than that actually carried on in 1938 and 1939. German manufacturers had made an intensive study of aircraft tooling during the thirties, and had evolved techniques of "series" or line production for the industry averaged 700 airplanes a month, only one shift of 40 hours a week was worked. Holidays were observed, and most models stood high on the learning curve. These facts as to the capacity and advanced conceptions of German aircraft factories had been noted by visited and had been reported in magazine articles in the United States
and Great Britain long before the war.
c. Plant capacity apparently was at no time a limit on aircraft production. For at least the first three years of the war there was a substantial excess of capacity. Until 1943-44 the General Staff of the Air Forces was content with programs which constituted a light load on the industry. The existence of excess capacity and the practice of having several plants manufacture the same model with production tooling controlled by master tools, increased the difficulty of the strategic bombing attacks against the industry.
9. Use of Aircraft Plants in Foreign Countries
a. During the war Germany incorporated the aircraft industry of captured countries in her total program. After the surrender of Italy, the Air Ministry tried to integrate the Italian aircraft industry with the German. By 1943 almost all training planes and a large number of transports were being manufacturered in France, Holland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. The models made were entirely of German design. The list of principal plants outside Germany engaged in the production of completed aircraft is given in Table II-2. This table shows the yearly output of each model for each plant for the period 1941-1944. In addition to completed planes, a considerable number of subassemblies were made outside Germany, but never more than a small precentage of the total.
b. The Vichy government of France declared itself unwilling to produce aircraft for direct military purposes. This position did not conflict seriously with German plans, however, since there were advantages in having the tactically important types produced in Germany and Austria. As the Allied armies advanced in France, Holland and Hungary, machines and tool were brought back into Germany.
Production of Aircraft for GAF at Principal Plants Outside of Germany
By year 1941-1944
|Country||City||Manufacturer||Model||Number of Airplanes Produced|
|St. Nazaire||SNCA||Ar 196||-||13||10||-|
|Les Moreaux||Morane||Me 108||-||50||108||12|
10. Extent of Bomb Damage to Aircraft Plants
a. The damage to aircraft plants was much greater than to aircraft productionl. There is not statistical measure of the extent of factory floor space destroyed or damageed over a specific period of time. In a later chapter an estimate is given of the loss of aircraft production which can be attributed directly indirectly to the Combined Bomber Offensive. The damage to individual aircraft plants is covered in detailed in the reports of the field teams of the Aircraft Division of the US Strategic Bombing Survey.
b. An overall estimate of damage to aircraft plants was made by Saur, formerly Chief of the Fighter Staff. He said that up to 1 March 1944, 75 percent of the factories producing airframes and engaged in main assembly work had been damaged. The extent of the damage ranged up to 75 percent on buildings and 30 percent on machines and tool
installations. At a meeting in the Air Ministry in February, 1944 Dr Tank, General Director of Focke-Wulf, stated that Allied attacks had made necessary the expenditure by his company of an estimated 3,000,000 man-hours on the construction of jigs and other production tooling.
c. When the war ended most of the principal buildings of Germany's prewar industry had been destroyed or damaged. Production was being carried on, however, in sections of buildings that could still be occupied, in dispersed locations all over Germany, and, increasingly, in underground forest and bunker-type facilities.
11. Strategic Bombing Forces Industry Dispersal
a. The Combined Bomber Offensive was as effective in forcing the dispersal of the German airframe, engine and accessory industries as it was in the direct damage of factories. It may well be that more aircraft were lost out of production because of dispersal than because of direct bombing.
b. The principal of local dispersal has already been referred to. The arrangement of the buildings at the Heinkel plant at Oranienburg as shown in Figure II-5 is typical. There was a great difference, however, between the planned dispersal the Air Ministry ordered before the war and the frantic scattering of production operations all over Germany undertaken so energetically in 1944. Examination of the maps (Figures II-1 and II-2), which show the location of the principal airframe plants in 1944, indicates only in part the extent of the effort to avoid strategic bombing. It was not practical to show the many small plants involved on small scale maps.
c. The first important airplane factory to be dispersed was the Focke-Wulf plant in Bremen. The British bombing of Bremen during 1940 and 1941 convinced Dr Kurt Tank, president of Focke-Wulf, that he should move his manufacturing facilities eastward, beyond the range of British-based bombers, and that production operations should be broken up among several plants in different cities. He selected Marienburg, Posen, Cottbus, and Sorau, which were east and southeast of Berlin.
d. The Air Ministry prepared a study of the problem of dispersing the entire aircraft industry which was completed in 1942. Nothing official, however, was done than to put the plan into operation. The defensive character of the proposal did not appeal to the High Command, and industrialists opposed dispersal as inefficient and costly. In April 1942, however, as a result of a British attack, the Air Ministry had ordered aircraft concerns to disperse their material stores into neighboring towns.
c. Early in the war, Messerschmitt believed that his principal plants at Augsburg and Regensburg were beyond the range of British-based bombers. It was not until 1943 that he realized his error. It was then that the German people became fully disillusioned as to Goering's promise that "No enemy bombs shall ever fall on the Reich".
12. The Decision to Disperse
a. The official general order to disperse the aircraft industry was not issued until February 1944. Previously, however, a good many individual dispersals of critical war industries, such as ball bearings, had been ordered. The official decision undoubtedly was delayed too long. Beginning in August 1942, American bombers based in the United Kingdom had demonstrated their ability to do precision bombing against continental targets, but it was not until January 1943, that such raids were made on Germany itself. The impression was widely held in Germany that American bombers would not dare to penetrate the Fatherland.
b. Beginning in July 1943, after the decision at Casablanca to conduct the Combined Bomber Offensive against German industry, the Eighth AF began its long campaign of heavy attacks on selected targets within Germany. The Messerschmitt plant at Regensburg was heavily hit. In November, when the Fifteenth AF based in Italy hit the Wiener Neustadt plant near Vienna, Germany no longer could have been in doubt as to the ability of Allied bombers to reach her vital war industries. A detailed analysis of bombing attacks made by the Eighth and Fifteenth AFs against aircraft targets is given in Chapter V. A diagramatic idea of the dispersal of the plant facilities engaged in the production of the Me 109 airplane is given in Figure II-6.
c. The climax to the suprise given the German High Command came in February 1944, when for several successive days large bomber formations attacked targets deep in Germany, with fighter escort all the way. There was no longer any doubt as to what German industry must do in order to maintain the flow of its war materials.
13. The Dispersal Patterna. The plan of dispersal provided for the breaking up of production and the establishment of multiple sources for each part, subassembly and even final assembly. Saur, who, as chief of the Fighter Staff, was in charge of the dispersal of the aircraft industry, said that he had set up a program whereby the 27 main airplane plants would be dispersed to 729 small plants. When the war ended the actual number of small plants into which aircraft production had been moved was about 300. The big plant idea with its efficient use of fully integrated line-production methods, was definitely a thing of the past. In the aircraft engine industry, about 51 plants, some of which were already the result of earlier dispersal, were scattered to 249 locations between
April and August 1944.
b. Manufacturers had to find their own plants to which to disperse. They were guided by the original Air Ministry plan and were given what assistance was possible. The extreme urgency attached to the aircraft production prgram after February 1944, however, made it relatively easy to find and arrange for plant space.
c. The dispersed plants were normally operated as branches, not as subcontractors. The real difficulty arose in tooling up the new facility and in building up a working force. It was common practice for the Air Ministry or the Main Committee to order workers of a plant being dispersed to go to the new locations. This was done whether they were German or foreign workers. Because the original working force was used in the dispersal, loss of production on that account was reduced to a minimum.
d. The actual transfer of operations from one location to a number of other locations, itself was a threat to production. In most cases, however, it was possible by operating multiple shifts, to build up a cushion of parts or subassemblies before moving. In a few cases an excess of machines or tooling was available which could be set up in the new locations without disturbing production operations in the plants to be dispersed. Normally, however, dispersal caused a temporary setback to production. The Junkers company had stated that it expended approximately RM 50,000,000 in dispersing its operations, and that the removal of engine manufacturing operations to the tunnels at Nordhausen set back production by three months.
14. Difficulties Resulting From Dispersion
a. Industrialists and government officials were fully aware that costs would rise as production units were broken up and scattered. It is not clear, however, whether it was realised in advance that the situation would become intolerable, and that centralized operations underground or in huge concrete bunkers would be the ultimate step. The principal difficulties encountered as the result of the energetic dispersal of the aircraft industry were as follows:
(1) Transportation: The dispersal of industry to avoid bombs ran head on into the fact that transportation upon which dispersed operations depended was itself highly vulnerable to bombing. Furthermore, some locations to which operations were moved were not adequately served with transportation. The actual process of dispersing main factories constituted a heavy burden on transportation facilities. The network of transport on which the Augsburg assembly
plant of Messerschmitt is shown in Figure II-7.
(2) Management: Dispersal made necessary a tremendous dilution of supervisory and technical talent. On top of the heavy manpower demands that were being made by the army, the shortage of persons capable of running the dispersed plants was acute.
(3) More Indirect Workers Required: Dr Frydag estimated that 20 percent additional workers, including those engaged in transportation, materials handling, inspection, production control and expediting were required because of dispersal.
(4) Engineering and Program Changes: These matters were difficult enough to handle when production was concentrated. When the number of production sites was multiplied as a result of as drastic a dispersal program as that directed by Saur, it became practically impossible to make engineering and program changes efficiently. Dr Heinkel stated that he was convinced that Saur carried dispersion much too far.
(5) Scale of Operations: Dispersed operations reduced the size of plants and shortened the production runs that otherwise would have been possible. Milch made a particular point of this as explaining in large part the low efficiency of the German aircraft industry.
(6) Bottleneck as to Tooling: The bombing of aircraft plants placed a heavy load on tool and jig builders. The additional load which resulted from having to tool up a large number of small branch plants resulted in a critical bottleneck which explains in part the failure of aircraft production to increase according to schedule during the second half of 1944. Efforts were made, without success, to return tool and jig workers from the armed forces to meet the emergency.
15. Underground Plants
a. In August 1943, after the RAF attack upon the V-weapon research station at Peenemunde, the Special Committee for the V-weapon project was instructed, probably by Hitler, to set up operations in an underground location. This decision also followed closely after the successful daylight attack upon Regensburg. It preceeded the general dispersal order of February 1944. Hitler apparently was ready to gamble that bombing attacks would not be too serious a factor against German
war industrial capacity, but he evidently wanted to be sure that the development and production of his secret weapons were safe from bombing attacks.
b. At the same time that the general dispersion corder was issued, a governmental agency was established to locate existing underground sites and to prepare them for industrial use. Mine galleries, railway tunnels, salt mines, and fortifications were surveyed and many eventually utilized. Industrialists had regarded such facilities as undesireable for manufacturing operations, but the frequency of air raid alerts and attacks resulted in so much loss of time that underground facilities, by comparison, were a welcome alternative. The government paid the cost of going underground.
16. Underground Plant Problems
a. Few of the German underground plants afforded what might be regarded as good working space and conditions. Some were entered through vertical shafts where elevators constituted a limiting factor both in handling workers and materials. Others were entered through horizontal tunnels, but the danger of a cave-in was usually so great that only relatively narrow working spaces could be afforded.
b. Ventilation, heating, lighting and sanitation usually presented special problems. The underground facilities in most cases were not located satisfactorily as to labor supply, so that barracks had to be built nearby and workers moved in.
c. Bussing, a licensee of Daimler-Benz, moved a part of its aircraft engine manufacturing operations into a salt mine. Because of difficulty with ventilation the humidity became so high that serious corrosion of the precision machine tools resulted. Some of the machines, furthermore, were damaged while they were being moved into the mine. The elevator shaft was not large enough to handle the larger units, with the result that some machines had be extensively dismantled. Few of the interior of the underground facilities were lined with concrete, so that dust conditions, seepage of water, and breaking off of overhead rock frequently resulted in unsatisfactory and unsafe conditions.
d. The Junkers underground plant at Tarthun, near Magdeburg, occupied about 200,000 sq ft in a salt mine. Subassembly and some final assembly operations were conducted on the Ju 88, and FW 190, and He 162. Approximately 2,400 wokers were employed. The management of the plant had no complaint as to the working space. The moisture absorption qualities of the pure salt walls of the corridors and adeqacy of the ventilation system, resulted in satisfactory working conditions. A serious difficulty was the limited capacity of the elevator. Shifts of workers had to be continually on the move in order to go up and down
to the 1600 ft level. This factor undoubtedly interfered with production efficiency.
17. Priority of War Production Moved Underground
a. V-weapons, especially the V-2, were the first moved underground. the tunnels into which they were moved, operated by the Mittelwerke Company, are described in some detail in Chapter IX.
b. Jet aircraft, especially the jet engine of the Me 262, were next to be moved underground. Aircraft engines for fighter aircraft followed. The Junkers company moved the production of its jet engine, the TL.004, and its latest conventional engine, the Jumo 213 into the north end of the set of tunnels at Nordhausen, the rest of which were occupied by the Mittelwerke. The Junkers operations were called the Nordwerke.
c. Daimler-Benz moved part of its principal plant at Genshagen, south of Berlin, into a gypsum mine near Heidelburg, called the Goldfischewerke (see below), Skoda, in Czechoslovakia, a licensee of Daimler-Benz, moved part of its engine production into a granite quarry at Kobanya, near Budapest. In June 1944 Bayerische Motoren Werke undertook to move into a railroad tunnel at Markirch, near Strassbourg. By September the move had been completed, but before significant production could be stated, Allied armies forced the abandonment of the project, and production tooling and machines were returned to dispersal locations in the vicinity of the principal plant at Munich.
d. Fighter aircraft, especially the jet Me 262, were next to be moved underground, Messerschmitt planned to produce this airplane entirely underground in converted mines at Kahla and Kammsdorf, near Weimar. All tools had been installed and production was scheduled to begin in March 1945. A monthly rate of 1000 was to be reached by the end of the year. This establishment was the largest underground production complex in Germany. It had scarcely started when the war ended.
e. In addition to the great Kahla plant, Messerschmitt had a number of small underground plants. Junkers made a few components in a small salt mine at Stassfurt, and Ago, a licensee of Focke-Wulf, operated a small underground plants near Aschersleben. Henschel built Ju 88 subassemblies in an unfinished subway tunnel 2200 ft long in the outskirts of Berlin.
18. The "Goldfisch" Planta. The Daimler-Benz installation at Neckar-Els, near Heidelberg, provides a good example of an underground plant operation.
It was planned to produce such parts as crankshafts, cylinder heads and connecting rods for the main Daimler-Benz plant at Genshagen, which was to assemble the complete engines. The move to the gypsum mine on the Neckar was ordered in the spring of 1944.
b. About 500,000 sq ft of the mine could be utilized satisfactorily. A working force of 7000 was planned, and 2500 machine tools were to be moved in. The entrance to the works was bout 100 ft up a hillside. It could be reached only by a primitive road.
c. The preparation of the plant was the responsibility of the Special Committee which had been set up in the SS organization to move critical war industries underground. It was necessary to level off ground surfaces and install ventilation, electricity and sanitation equipment. An underground source of electrical power was planned but not built. The plant used the power system which supplied the local community. A separate water supply system was planned. A pumping station on the Neckar River was started, but not completed.
d. Transportation facilities had to be provided. The nearest depot for loading and unloading railway cars was at Neckar-Els. A spur later was built to a point halfway between the river level and the entrance to the tunnel from which point goods could be carried up by elevator into the plant. The elevator was not completed until the beginning of 1945. Storage sheds were planned but not completed. The original entrance to the tunnel proved inadequate to handle the flow of workers and materials, and a second one had to be built.
e. The working force was housed in nearby towns. Barracks at the underground location were planned, but not completed. The underground kitchen to supply workers with hot meals was not completed until January 1945.
f. Special problems arose in the actual operation of the plant. The power supply was not adequate, and there were frequent interruptions when the local electric plants were damaged by bombing. Working conditions became unbearable because of high humidity over a long period of time. The dampness was detrimental to machine tools. It was necessary to use unheated air for ventilation, frequently leaving tunnel entrances open. The drafts were most uncomfortable and resulted in much sickness among the workers. In one tunnel the loosening of overhanging rock caused loss of life and damage to machines. Under such conditions it was almost impossible to carry on precision work on aircraft engine parts.
g. The air attacks during the winter of 1944-45 led to interruptions in the supplies of raw materials and parts because of tranportation. It was difficult to maintain efficient relations with the assembly plant at Genshagen. The low-level air attacks in the spring of
1945 on local rail and road transportation finally made work entirely impossible. The heavy bomber attack on 23 March 1945, directed against the railway bridge near the plant damaged the power cables, the main water plant and the access road, as well as the railway. A number of bombs fell on the hill above the mine excavations and a few rocks were disloged in the tunnels, but no serious internal damage was done.
h. Daimler-Benz officials in charge of the plant summarized their experience with the underground plant as follows: "More and more it became clear that even a subterranean plant cannot function during air attacks in a satisfactory way unless it had at least its own power and water supplies, forge and foundry. It should also carry on its own assembly operations. There should be underground means for transporting both workers and materials. Unless these conditions are complied with, working underground is a hopeless undertaking, as proven by the experience in the spring of 1945.
19. Forest Factories
a. One of the most interesting and effective dispersal methods developed by the Germans was to hide plants in forests. Such plants were necessarily small but they were quite large enough for the production of subassemblies for fighter aircraft. They were constructed principally of wood, hence they were cheap and could be erected quickly. In many ways forest factories were Germany's most successful form of dispersal. Only a few were built, however, and they were available only in the last months of the war.
b. Messerschmitt used the forest plant idea extensively. Such buildings played an important part in the production of the Me 262 jet fighter. Messerschmitt had had a considerable amount of experience with the common types of dispersal and with the operation of underground plants. It concluded that factories hidden in the woods near its plant at Augsburg offered the best possibilities for a quick solution to the problem of evading Allied bomber attacks. More than a dozen such installations were built near Leipheim, Kuno, Horgau, Schwabisch Hall, Gauting and other places. A diagram of the Kuno plant is given in Figure II-8.
c. The plant at Horgau, about seven miles west of Augsburg, on the Autobahn, is typical of the forest factories built by Messerschmitt. It assembled wing panels, nose and tail sections for the Me 262. A nearby forest plant attended to final assembly, and the Autobahn was used for flight tests. The Horgau plant had 21 separate wooden buildings, including seven barracks in which workers lived. The total floor space was approximately 25,000 sq ft. The wing assembly was 300 ft long and 50 ft wide. The roofs were painted green, and as the tops of the trees met overhead the locations could not be detected from the air.
Access roads to the Autobahn were easily hidden. The Horgau plant employed 845 workers on a two-shift basis.
20. Comparison Forest vs Underground Plants
a. The Messerchmitt company made a comparison of forest and underground installations principally as to construction details. The following table, compiled by company officials at the request of the Bombing Survey, shows the significant comparative data:
Cost Comparison - Forest vs. Underground Dispersal
|Forest Factory at Gauting||Underground Plant at Kematen|
|Productive Area||Planned||60,000 sq ft||45,000 sq ft|
|Actual||60,000 sq ft||27,000 sq ft|
|Unproductive Area||Planned||100,000 sq ft||41,600 sq ft|
|Actual||100,000 sq ft||0 sq ft|
|Construction Time||Planned||2 months||8 months|
|Actual||2 months||10 months*|
|Cost of Plant||RM 700,000||RM 4,076,000|
|Productive Labor Force||1,200 workers||729 workers|
|Lost time because of raids||50 hours per month||None|
* Still unfinished
b. The Research Institute Herman Goering, at Voldenrode, near Brunswick, planned much of the scientific development of Germany and carried out certain projects. Its buildings, which included libraries, administrative offices, wind tunnels, engine laboratories, living quarters and an armament development center, were located in the forest which surrounded the airport. The institute was not bombed at any time during the war.
c. The success of forest factories is demonstrated by the fact that the exact location of none of them was discovered. The use of the Autobahn as a runway was detected by photo interpreters, and Allied
fighters destroyed a large number of Me 262 airplanes half hidden along the highway, but the places of production in the forests were not attacked.
21. Bunker Plants
a. The highest development of the idea of a structure in which manufacturing operations could be conducted free of enemy bombing attacks was the bunker-type plant. This structure was an adaption of the submarine pen protected by slabs of reinforced concrete. Difficulties with dispersed operations and with underground plants had convinced the High Command that production eventually must be centralized in large measure in above-ground structures that would withstand the heaviest known bombing attacks. At the end of the war two bunker-type structures each of about 1,000,000 sq ft, were about 50 percent completed (at Kauffering and Muhldorf/Inn) and three more projected. Shortage of steel and cement in the last months of the war delayed the program.
b. These bunker-type plants were designed as great dome-shaped structures about 80 ft high containing from three to four stories. The thickness of the top and sides of the dome was to be between 20 and 30 ft. The curved surfaces were intended to deflect bombs and to minimize blast effects.
a. The dispersal of the aircraft industry was successful from one point of view. Targets were scattered and so difficult for intelligence to locate, that it became almost impossible to reduce Germany's capacity to produce aircraft by direct attack.
b. Dispersal eventually defeated its own purpose because it was entirely dependent on transport. Rail, water and highway transport were all vulnerable to bombing and, especially, to tactical operations as the front advanced.
c. Dispersal, because of the difficulties it presented, led to reconcentration. When the war ended Germany was making desperate efforts to centralize critical war industries underground and in bunker structures.
d. Perhaps the greatest tribute that could be paid to the effectiveness of Allied bombing was the herculean effort made by Germany's war industries to escape it. The aircraft industry was blasted out of its well planned plants in established industrial centers and forced to disperse to hundreds of makeshift factories all over Germany. It burrowed under the ground, fled to wooden sheds in the forests, and finally, at the end of the war, was in the process of covering itself with mountains of reinforced concrete.
1. With the accession of Hitler to power the aircraft industry became a tool in his hands with which to attain the objective of National Socialism. The development of aircraft types, the expansion of production capacity, the provision of capital investment and the placement of orders for aircraft production depended upon the government. The organization formed for this purpose, the official programs for aircraft production given the industry, the coordination of the aircraft program with the rest of the German war production effort are the subject of the present chapter. These matters must be understood in order to appraise the effect of strategic bombing on the production of aircraft.
2. Organization of the Air Ministry
a. Hitler appointed Goering Commander-in-Chief of the German Air Forces and also Air Minister. The jurisdiction of the Air Minister extended to production of civilian aircraft as well as military, and to the operations of the Lufthansa commercial airlines. In his capacity as Air Minister, Goering appointed a Director of Aircraft Procurement (General Luftzeugmeister) who was charged with the procurement of aircraft for the German Air Force. General Udet occupied this position until his death by suicide in November, 1941. Field Marshall Milch, who had been serving as State Secretary of the Air Ministry, took over Udet's office.
b. The overall organization of the Air Ministry as it existed throughout most of the war is given in Figure III-1, which also shows the Ministry's relationship to the General Staff of the German Air Force, to Speer, to Goering in his several capacities, and to Hitler.
c. Milch served as director of Aircraft Procurement until the Air Ministry became formally associated with the Speer Ministry for Armament and Munitions in February 1944 and was finally dissolved a few months later. Milch had requested that the initial association be arranged. He had enjoyed the friendliest relationships with Speer. The overwhelming problems with which the Air Ministry was confronted in the winter of 1943-1944 as a result of heavy bombing of aircraft targets, the general dispersal order, and the desparate need for increased fighter production, could only, Milch believed, by getting the direct action on materials, machine tools, manpower, and construction which Speer was able to supply.
d. The transfer of the Air Ministry and its subsequent dissolution have been interpreted as an admission of its weakness. It was manned by Air Force officers, some of whom, at least according to Speer
and others, were not well qualified for their positions. The general in charge of production in the Technical Office, for example, was a reserve officer who had been a judge. He knew little about industrial production. Few of the responsible officers in key positions in the Air Ministry, both reserve officers and professional army officers, proved to be effective. Milch, himself, was reasonably competent. He knew enough about engineering and production in relation to aircraft to defend the industry against unreasonable requests by the General Staff of the German Air Force, but he failed to be an effective leader of the Air Ministry in handling critically important engineering and production matters.
e. The point of friction which caused Milch to go to Speer for help dealt principally with the supplies of raw materials required for the aircraft program. Milch, under interrogation, put the situation as follows: "During the winter of 1943-1944 the supplies allocated to the Air Ministry were reduced more and more. The Speer Ministry was mainly concerned with supplies for the Army, as that was its responsibility. Thereupon I started weekly conferences between members of my staff and members of Minister Speer's staff to correct the situation. Speer wanted to be helpful, but his assistants took a different view. After a two - three month trial, I saw that these conferences were doing no good. I spoke to Speer, who was ill at the time, and suggested that we start along new lines since the production of fighters must be increased. Speer realized the difficulty of the situation, and agreed to the situation. As a result the Fighter Staff was formed." It was in this way that the Air Ministry first became identified with the Speer Ministry.
f. Milch was the first chief of the Fighter Staff, but Saur, at Milch's suggestion was made deupty chief. Saur had previously been in charge of the Technical Office of the Speer Ministry, in which capacity he had jurisdiction over the allocation of war materials. He had just made a successful record by increasing the production of tanks. Saur had caused Milch considerable difficulty because of inadequate allocations of steel forgings to the aircraft program. Milch and Speer knew that Saur enjoyed the personal favor of Hitler and that he was in daily touch with him.
g. Milch did not expect that he would be displaced by Saur. Within a few days after the Fighter Staff was set up, however, Saur was made its chief. The production functions of the Air Ministry were carried on energetically by the Fighter Staff, and in June 1944 the Air Ministry as such was dissolved. The Speer Ministry assumed full responsibility for the aircraft program. The technical functions of the former Air Ministry were transferred to the Chief of Air Armaments in the office of the High Command for Air, which had been set up late in 1943, and the procurement functions were absorbed by the Speer Ministry.
h. The Fighter Staff continued until 1 August 1944 when it became an Armament Staff (Rüstungstab) with jurisdiction over other principal war equipment in addition to aircraft. Saur served as its head until the end of the war.
3. Organization for Program Planning
a. At the beginning of the war Udet carried on direct negotiations with aircraft manufacturers as to production plans. When Milch took Udet's place later in 1941, however, he set up an organization in the Air Ministry whose sole task was to plan the aircraft program. This group was part of the Technical Office, not the Planning Office. The latter group was concerned with the planning of materials, facilities, and manpower required by the aircraft program.
b. The planning work on aircraft programs by the Air Ministry was carried on with the advice and assistance of the Main Committees for airframes, engines and accessories. (See "Relationship between Air Ministry and Aircraft Industry" below.) These committees were inspired by by Speer when he became Minister of Armaments and Munitions in 1942, and were outgrowths of the Industry Advisory Council which Milch and Udet had formed in May 1941. The Main Committees were made up of leading people from industry. Throughout the war they represented a definite industry point of view. Before the Air Ministry went over to the Speer Ministry the Main Committee was responsible to the Air Ministry. Subsequently they came under the Speer Ministry. When the Air Ministry was dissolved in May 1944, its planning functions were transferred to the Main Committee.
c. The procedure for program planning, while it was undertaken by the Air Ministry, was as follows: 1) The General Staff of the Air Force originated the requirements by type, approximate numbers and delivery schedules. 2) The Air Ministry received the request from the General Staff and the planning group in the Procurement Division undertook the preparation of studies aimed at the fulfillment of the requirements. 3) The planning group consulted the Main Committees for airframes, engines and accessories, and the divisions of the Speer Ministry which had jurisdiction over materials, machine tools, and other matters which were basic to the proposed aircraft plan. 4) The planning group sent its completed study to the General Staff of the Air Force. If accepted it became an official plan; if not, a new study was made. Goering personally approved each official program, presumably after consultation with Hitler. After the Air Ministry was transferred to the Speer Ministry, the procedure remained substantially the same. The planning group was transferred to the Main Committee for Aircraft (established in the late fall of 1943) which had become part of the Speer Ministry.
d. Several aspects of the planning function are not revealed
in the following description. The Air Ministry was under considerable pressure from the Air Forces General Staff to find ways to include in the program airplanes and modifications of existing airplane types which met the individual whimsy of famous fighter pilots. Some of these erratic requests could be traced to aircraft manufacturers who wished to secure the adoption of an improved design or a new technical idea.
e. The personality of Goering does not show through the description of planning procedure that has been given. He was always ambitious for his Luftwaffe, but he would not oppose Hitler on any point. There are strong indications that Goering did not really understand engineering and production matters in relation to aircraft procurement, and that he was often impatient with such details.
4. Master Planning of the Aircraft Program
a. A distinction is made in the present discussion between formal series of offical programs issued to aircraft manufacturers, and the broad thinking that was behind them. In this latter light there appear to have been three stages: 1) The prewar program, from 1933-1939, when the plan for the establishment of the aircraft industry was conceived, executed, and sufficient airplanes were produced to fight the war through its first successful stages; 2) The period 1940-1943, when the dominant attitude toward the aircraft program appears to have been one of neglect; 3) The frantic effort beginning in 1944 to get fighters with which to save the homeland.
b. The nominal responsibility for initiating the requirements of the Luftwaffe lay with the General Staff of the German Air Forces. Actually Hitler and Goering were the dominating personalities in the picture. The General Staff officers owed their appointments to Goering. They included a number of young officers who had met with great success in combat, but who were not qualified necessarily to originate the procurement of aircraft which involved complex industrial production and technical design considerations. Since the average tour of duty was three months there was no opportunity to learn through experience.
c. In addition to the general failure to do anything to increase the aircraft program, a conflict existed throughout the war among high officials as to the relative desireability of bombers and fighters. Hitler and Goering favored bombers because such airplanes could carry the offensive to the enemy. Other high-ranking Air Force officers were insistent that the only answer to the Combined Bomber Offensive was fighters. Fighters were defensive weapons and Hitler was opposed to that type of thinking. When Allied bombs were raining down on Germany in the winter and spring of 1943-1944, Hitler personally ordered a cut in the fighter program in order to make material available for a small four-engined bomber program and the conversion of the
Me 262 to a fighter bomber.
d. In justice to the Air Ministry, it should be noted that it was not responsible for the weakness of the master planning of the aircraft program on Air Force General Staff and higher levels. The Air Ministry was an administrative agency. Milch repeatedly tried to arouse interest in expansion of aircraft programs. Under interrogation he stated that Goering on one such occassion told him point blank that he and not Milch was running the German Air Force. Since the General Staff would not raise its conception of requirements, and material and other things were difficult to get from the Speer Ministry for programs which had been adopted, it is a little wonder that the Air Ministry had a poor reputation.
e. In a partial explanation of the neglect of Germany of adquate planning of the aircraft program during the first years of the war, two points may be mentioned. 1) There is considerable evidence that Hitler regarded the war in the west as over in October 1940. The Air Ministry made a study based on the assumption that the war was over (a chart to that effect was found in the documents of the Air Ministry) calling for the building up of aircraft production for another war in 1947. 2) In October 1941 with the Wehrmacht at the gates of Leningrad and Moscow, Hitler concluded that the war in the east had been won. The Russian campaign became one largely between ground forcers, and Hitler turned his principal attention to tanks and other mechanized ground equipment.
f. The background of thinking in 1942 as to aircraft requirements is reflected in the following statement by Milch. Under interrogation he recited a conversation that had taken place among Goering, General Jeschonnek (Chief of the General Staff, German Air Force), and himself. It is paraphrased as follows:
Milch: Herr Reichsmarschall, I have now studied the matter. Your total demand is for 360 fighters a month. I don't understand. If you were to say 3600 fighters then I would have to say that against America and England combined, 3600 are too few, you must produce more. But to demand 360 fighters --!
Goering (to Jeschonnek): What do you think about it?
Jeschonnek: I do not know what I should do with more than 360 fighters.
g. Germany had declared war on the United States in December 1941, and the following month Winston Churchill stated that soon American bombers would be operating from British bases. With American tacticians favoring the use of heavy bombers it would have seemed obvious for the German Air Force to start preparations for the defense of
the homeland by building up a mighty fighter force. But the declaration of war on the United States apparently did not cause a ripple of attention in the direction of increased aircraft requirements for the German Air Force. The Air Ministry and certain designers of heavy bombers were unable to get the support of the General Staff for the development and production of heavy bombers with which to supplement German submarines in the war against Allied shipping.
5. Relationship Between Air Ministry and Aircraft Industry
a. The formation of the Industry Council by General Udet in May 1941 has already been mentioned. This group, made up of principal members of the aircraft, engine and accessories industries, served in an advisory capacity to the Air Ministry. The Director of Aircraft Procurement served as chairman. Milch continued this Council. In March 1942 however, when Speer succeeded Todt as Minister of Armament and Munitions the Industry Council was reconstituted into three Main Committees, one each for airframes, engines and accessories. The council continued in nominal existence but the Main Committees were active throughout the war. Speer established similiar committees for each major war industry. The organization of the Main Committee for Aircraft as it existed in 1944 is shown in Figure III-2.
b. The function of these committees in the aircraft industry was to advise the Director of Aircraft Procurement and the Air Ministry on production matters. They served also as a buffer against unreasonable requests from the General Staff, in cases where Milch, because of his military position, was unable to take a firm stand. Because they represented the industry point of view, Speer referred to them as "parliaments."
c. In addition to the main committees, there were Special Committees for each of the principal aircraft companies, with offices at the head office of the company, and Special Rings for each of the industries which supplied the aircraft industry. Under the Industry council there had been 104 Special Committes and Rings. When the Main Committees were formed, however, Speer took 52 of the Special Rings into his organization because they served other important war industries as well as aircraft. This was the beginning of the dependence of the Air Ministry for the flow of vital materials and items of equipment.
d. The Special Committees were especially important in the cases of the principal complexes, such as Junkers, Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf. They funnelled the requirements of the parts of the complex as to materials, facilities and workers. They also coordinated engineering and tooling matters.
e. In the fall of 1943 the Main Committee for Airframes at Speer's request was made the Main Committee for Aircraft. It centralized
the requirements and functions of the entire industry. Dr. Frydag was director of the Main Committee for Airframes and later, Aircraft, throughout its life. He appears to have been accepted both by the ministry and the industry in general. He was a strong moderating influence (along with Dr. Werner and Dr. Heyne, directors, respectively of the Main Committees for Engines and for Accessories) on the purely military demands made by the Air Force General Staff, and he was of major help to the Air Ministry, which was weak with respect to production matters.
f. The Main Committees were important in an advisory capacity between the industry and the Air Ministry and the Speer Ministry, but the direct relationship of leading individual aircraft manufacturers with leading persons in government, Hitler, Goering, and members of the General Staff especially continued to be an important factor throughout the war. All too often, from the point of view of the Air Ministry, manufacurers dealt directly with Goering and Hitler. There were instances where some industry leaders were in bad favor with Luftwaffe officials, and instances where others were in such good standing that they received special favors. The fact that Dr. Frydag, who, while Chairman of the Main Committee for Aircraft, was also serving as director of both Heinkel and Henschel, created a situation which was open to the criticism of other aircraft company directors. Dr. Frydag appears to have enjoyed the confidence of his associates quite generally, however, because of his recognized ability and pleasing personality, although friction developed between him and Messerschmitt during the winter of 1944-45, over the Me 262 and He 162 jet airplanes.
g. Any appraisal of the particular attitudes of individual aircraft manufacturers toward Luftwaffe and Air Ministry officials, depends largely on statements that border on gossip. The following observations hav been gained from interrogations:
(1) a. Professor Messerschmitt expressed himself as highly critical of Goering and Milch for failing to provide the workers, materials and machine tools required by the expanded programs given the industry in August and October 1943. He complained also of the fact that the German Air Force suffered from deficient leadership. One of his principal complaints was that young pilots who had distinguished themselves in combat had been placed in positions of great responsibility. These men were largely incompetent at least insofar as production problems were concerned. Front-line men had been considered only as mechanics. He also criticized Goering and Milch for failing to see the need to construct a fleet of long-range bombers to supplement submarine warfare in the Atlantic. This
failure was part of the general failure to determine which of the 35 types of aircraft in production should be curtailed in order to make a place for four-engine bombers. Messerschmitt's poor opinion of the Air Ministry caused him to suggest to Saur in 1943 that the Speer Ministry take it over.
(2) b. Dr. Tank of Focke-Wulf became critical of the Air Mininstry in 1940, when, after the Battle of Britain he tried to direct attention to the need for a high-altitude fighter. He was told to forget the matter, that the war was being won on the ground. Tank confirmed Messerschmitt's statements as to Goering's General Staff. He referred to General Molders as having no capacity for the job, to Gen. Storp as incapable, and to Gen. Peltz as a dud. Gen. Galland, he said was excellent and the only exception. Dr. Tank criticized Gen. Pasewalt, head of the Technical Office in the Air Ministry, for suggesting that the four-engine bomber, He 177, be made a dive-bomber. Dr. Tank complained that when the Air Ministry was turned over to the Speer Mininstry and Saur was made director of the Fighter Staff, no thought was given to anything but numbers.
6. Production Planning Prior to September 1942
a. The successive official aircraft programs do not fall into clear-cut groupings. For present purposes, those dated between the beginning of 1939 and the middle of 1942 will be considered first. During this period there were 14 separate plans no including minor revisions.
b. It was characteristic of this period that the sights of the aircraft program were kept low. The aircraft industry was allowed to operate at substantially less than capacity, even on a single-shift basis. Actual production of the leading combat types (fighters and bombers) followed closely and sometimes exceeded figures in the official plan (Figure III-3 and Exhibit I.) Program totals tended to exceed actual production because they included hoped-for production of new types especially the Me 210 and the He 177.
c. The average monthly production of combat types of aircraft during the period 1939-June 1942 was as follows:
|1942 (to June)||391||329||720|
These figures reflect the limited scope of the German aircraft program during the first three years of the war. They are the leading combat types only (Me 109, 110, 210, Ju 87, 88, He 111, He 177, and Do 217), and are not to be confused with total aircraft production which included trainers and other types.
d. Throughout this period, Milch and Udet tried to increase the aircraft program, but the General Staff of the Air Force did not support them. In 1941, they put forward two expansion programs, the Elch and Goering Plans, but neither was approved. Both plans provided for new construction of factories and the Goering Plan projected an approximate doubling of production by the end of 1943. Goering was always ambitious to incerase the scope of the operations under his command, but he appears to have been a weak salesman of such projects to Hitler. It is noteworthy that he seldom took Milch with him to see Hitler in spite of the fact that Milch understood the necessity of advanced planning in the case of aircraft. There is a possibility that Milch might have gotten further with Hitler than did Goering.
e. A modest expansion program did come out of Milch's and Udet's efforts in 1941, however, and the Air Ministry undertook the the erection of several large plants, principally in Austria and in Czechoslovakia. They included plants at Wiener Neustadt, Vienna (Ostmark), Brno and Steyr. The General Staff of the Luftwaffe authorized no significant overall increases in aircraft schedules in connection with this expansion.
f. The Air Ministry failed also in the development of new types of aircraft during the first years of the war. Germany began the war with the Me 109, 110, Ju 87, [Do 17] and He 111, all of which were in substantial production. Volume deliveries of the Ju 88 were just beginning in 1939. The FW 190 was added shortly thereafter. These models and improvements of them remained the backbone of the Luftwaffe of the Luftwaffe throughout the war. In 1944, the He 177 design difficulties finally were solved and it was getting into volume production just before it was cancelled to conserve fuel and to divert productive effort to fighters. In 1944 the Me 262 also came into production, but it had sufficient operational experience to provide a convincing test of its merits.
g. Dr. Frydag stated that the Air Ministry had a reputation for meddling in problems of design, and that usually the results were unsatisfactory. It is difficult to authenticate this comment. There appears to be no doubt that the technical staff of the great airframe and engine companies were far more competent than the engineers in the Technical Office of the Air Ministry, and that the function of the
ministry was to indicate the direction of desired new developments and improvements, not to meddle in working out the assignment. The manufacturing companies were prohibited from carrying on experimental and development work not specifically directed by the Air Ministry.
h. The weakness of the leadership of the Air Ministry on production matters is illustrated vividly by the experience of the Henschel plant at Schoenefeld. In 1940-41 that plant was engaged in the production of Ju 88 airplanes. The Air Ministry authorized it to change to the Hs 129. When production tooling was about 50 percent completed the project was cancelled. The company was then directed to tool up for the production of the Ju 188. This was 100 percent completed, but before production started the project was cancelled in order to make a place for production of Me 410s at a rate of 400 per month. This was only 80 percent tooled up at heavy cost when the project was cancelled and Henschel was directed to produce the Ju 388. Altogether some 300,000 to 400,000 man-hours had been expended on tooling for this project when the bomber program was cancelled, and the company ended the war making wings for the Ju 88 as a night-fighter.
7. Programs Subsequent to September 1942
a. Nine separate programs were set up between September 1942 and the end of the war. They are shown in chart form in Figure III-3. The data for these charts are given in Exhibit II. Actual production curves are shown on these same charts. The comparison of the successive official schedules with what actually was produced throws light on the hopes and desires of those responsible for planning the aircraft program.
b. A summary table which brings out the principal features of these plans is given in Table III-1. It shows a comparison of the successive plans as to single-engine fighters, twin-engine fighters, bombers, and total airplanes, as of six-month intervals, 1941-45. Actual production as of those check points is given for convience in making further comparisons.
c. The first three plans reflect the decision to do nothing about expanding the aircraft production program. The peak conception of needs for single-engine fighters was 465 a month, bombers 683 a month, and all models 1732 a month. These programs included several new designs, such as the Me 210 and He 177, which were still in the stage of development, so the General Staff of the Air Force had no assurance that it would get production. In such cases it is usual to keep other models in the program as insurance.
d. The next two plans, those dated 21 Sep 1942 and 15 April 1943, show the first indications of increased schedules as to aircraft requirements. The increase was almost entirely in fighter types, but the rate of increase was much less than that of which the industry was capable.
Comparison of Official Programs
Selected Types and Total
(Also Showing Actual Production Selected Months, 1941-1945)
|Program No.||Jul 41||Jan 42||Jul 42||Jan 43||Jul 43||Jan 44||Jul 44||Jan 45||Jul 45|
|15 Mar 41 19||267||375||400|
|1 Nov 41 21/1||280||340||375||450|
|15 Mar 42 21u/1||280||340||405||465||445|
|21 Sep 42 222/1||374||516||865||1047||1409|
|15 Apr 43 223/1||894||1356||1863||2212||2623|
|15 Aug 43 223/1||1113||1646||2822||3440||2853|
|1 Oct 43 224/1||1679||3327||4150||3228|
|1 Dec 43 225/1||1421||2933||2770||2200|
|15 Jul 44 226/2||2591||4750||4220|
|15 Sep 44 226/2||2593||4602||4400|
|15 Dec 44 227/1||3625||4015|
|16 Mar 45 228/2||880|
|15 Mar 41 19||88||113||120|
|1 Nov 41 21/1||117||128||140||140|
|15 Mar 42 21u/1||112||135||137||140||130|
|21 Sep 42 222/1||59||141||177||243||335|
|15 Apr 43 223/1||162||245||439||916||990|
|15 Aug 43 223/1||232||275||562||1158||1660|
|1 Oct 43 224/1||283||577||1172||1750|
|1 Dec 43 225/1||283||531||838||1354|
|15 Jul 44 226/2||341||850||1135|
|15 Sep 44 226/2||330||750||1070|
|15 Dec 44 227/1||397||1160|
|16 Mar 45 228/2||800|
|15 Mar 41 19||411||483||428|
|1 Nov 41 21/1||460||556||386||670|
|15 Mar 42 21u/1||456||550||683||620||652|
|21 Sep 42 222/1||556||642||743||806||868|
|15 Apr 43 223/1||653||746||783||756||648|
|15 Aug 43 223/1||668||696||743||832||772|
|1 Oct 43 224/1||705||737||853||913|
|1 Dec 43 225/1||704||601||646||848|
|15 Jul 44 226/2||771||621||952|
|15 Sep 44 226/2||759||401||695|
|15 Dec 44 227/1||406||504|
|16 Mar 45 228/2||125|
|15 Mar 41 19||1,257||1,353||1,262|
|1 Nov 41 21/1||1,288||1,465||1,632||1,732|
|15 Mar 42 21u/1||1,110||1,429||1,602||1,651||1,705|
|21 Sep 42 222/1||1.302||1,698||2,295||2,619||3,250|
|15 Apr 43 223/1||2,575||3,254||4,937||6,384||6,616|
|15 Aug 43 223/1||2,248||2,946||3,850||4,826||5,465|
|1 Oct 43 224/1||3,238||5,404||6,995||7,063|
|1 Dec 43 225/1||2,962||4,811||5,035||5,331|
|15 Jul 44 226/2||4,168||6,650||6,817|
|15 Sep 44 226/2||4,133||6,252||6,620|
|15 Dec 44 227/1||4,696||6,174|
|16 Mar 45 228/2||1,815|
e. The two plans which followed, dated 8 Aug and 1 Oct 1943, made possible the build-up in production in 1944. Single-engine fighter requirement were raised to 4150 a month, and twin-engine fighters to 1740 a month. The rate of increase was a realistic maximum. Bombers were kept in the program at existing production rates.
f. The plan dated 1 Dec 1943, is of special interest because it reduced the program for both types of fighters drastically in order to make way for the He 177, a four-engine bomber. Supplies of materials were not adquate for both. This was done at the personal direction of Hitler. Instead of a peak rate of 4150 single-engine fighters, a peak of 2933 was substituted, and twin-engine fighters were reduced correspondingly. This plan did not make material changes in the short-run interval. The earlier plans, because of the flow-tine factor, controlled the flow of materials into the productive process which resulted in the rise in output during the first half of 1944.
g. The next three plans, date 15 July, 15 September, and 15 December 1944, might be called "fantasy" programs. They reflect an atmosphere of desperation. Fighter requirements were restored to levels even higher than before Hitler had cut them. Bombers, except for the defensive night fighter types, were cut out. The rate of climb prescribed for the immediate months (Exhibit I for monthly figures) in each of these plans was far too steep to be realistic. Great hope was placed at that time on the new Heinkel jet airplane, the He 162, called the "Volksjager". Design work began 23 Sept 1944, the first flight was made 4 Dec 1944, line production was undertaken immediately, and by March 1945, 100 airplanes had been built. Dr. Frydag who directed this effort, claimes that this is a record. It was a small airplane with a single BMW-003 jet unit mounted above the fuselage. It was abandoned two months later because of technical difficulties and the ending of the war.
h. The last plan, dated 16 Mar 1945, was as realistic as it could be under the rapidly disintegrating condition of Germany's industrial economy. With Allied armies crossing her borders at several points, all programs were cut drastically. The end was in sight.
8. Standardization of Airplane Models
a. The multiplicity of airplane models has been cited as factor explaining in part the troubles of the German aircraft industry. There is no question that a large number of models was in each successive official program, at least up to the last threee, but it is equally significant that the overwhelming proportion of German aircraft production was in a relatively small number of models. In this last respect
Germany probably was in a better position than the United States, where a considerable number of second and third line models were in substantial production. The amount of production effort absorbed by the large number of models which comprised the bulk of the German list, cannot have been large.
b. There were several conspicuous examples of indecision as to whether a particular model was to be included in the program or not, but this reflected confusion in planning rather than an undesireable number of available models. The failure to develop new and successful models except for the Me 262 in spite of many attempts, was an experience shared by the United States.
c. Germany's success with the improvement of existing models was also similiar to United States experience. The use of the same basic model for several purposes introduced a complicating factor in final assembly installations and equipment. Leading pilots were accustomed to go to aircraft plants and specify individual arrangement of such things as seats, instruments and controls. The Air Ministry was foreced finally to issue a specific rule against this practice.
d. An important step to reduce the number of models in production was taken in the summer of 1944. The emergency emphasis given the fighter program by the formation of the Fighter Staff in February 1944 resulted in the pushing of bombers into a poor second place. In July this situation was formalized by striking out bombers as a group from the official Air Ministry program. Saur claimed that in February 1944 there were 45 models in the aircraft program. By June he said that he had cancelled 25, and by September 11 more, with the result that only nine models were left. This was a drastic reduction, indeed, but the actual records do not support Saur's claim. The elimination of bombers from the last three programs, beginning with 226/2 dated 15 September 1944 certainly resulted in a reduction of the number of models. In August 1944 Dr. Frydag ordered the immediate transfer of 20,000 production workers from bomber plants to places where fighters were being produced.
e. It is not strictly accurate to count the Me 109 and the FW 190 as single models. There were alphabetical sub-type designations, numerical series for each sub-type, minor variations as to equipment and structure for each numerical series, and a further numberical series designation for each modified veriation. These subdivisions were the result of design improvements and of different tactical requirements, the Me 109, for example, was used for training, reconnaissance, high and medium level fighting, and other special purposes.
f. In the case of the Me 109, nearly all those built in 1943-44 were of the G series. Only 754 of the K series were built. There were six numerical subdivisions of the Me 109G (2, 4, 5, 6, 10, and
14) built in the period, and three equipment and two minor structural modifications of the Me 109G-6. During 1944 the number of sub-types of the Me 109 and the FW 190 increased from five to ten and four to eight respectively. In spite of this large assortment, because of dispersal it was usual to have each plant concentrate on one sub-type.
9. Coordination With the Overall War Effort
a. This subject comes under the divisions of the Bombing Survey which treat the broader aspects of the German war effort. Only brief consideration will be given it here.
b. The outstanding incident was the necessity for the Air Ministry to come to the Speer Ministry in February 1944 to get sufficient power to meet the tremendous obstacles with which it was confronted. This action reflects unfavorably on the previous effectiveness of the Air Ministry. Although Speer and Milch were friends, there was friction between their respective organizations and time was lost because of red tape in clearing important matters having to do with materials, tools, manpower, and bomb damage repair.
c. The priority position of the aircraft industry is an important factor in the coordination of the total German war production effort. There does not appear to have been any formal listing of priority positions. The statements of responsible officials are not in agreement. Dr. Frydag has stated that aircraft always were in first or second priority position. Directors of aircraft manufacturing concerns which had to compete with other industries for materials, insist that aircraft were often in fifth, sixth or seventh position.d. The explanation appears to be that the priority position of an industry depended more on the power of governmental officals than on any objective rating. In the early years of the war Goering exerted his influence when he wanted to get favorable attention for the aircraft industry. Sometimes he was successful, and sometimes not. The Ju 88 program was given a special priority in 1939 because it held such great promise. The same situation obtained in other industries. On top of the composite of forceful personalities in charge of submarine construction, V-weapons, tanks and other war equipment, was Hitler himself, who by special action could and did establish a priority for anything he wished without reference to any priority system. When the Fighter Staff was formed late in February 1944 there appears to have been no question that fighters were given first priority. The priority position of the aircraft industry in the German war effort, however, does not appear to be so important as might be supposed, because aircraft manufacturers unanimously agree there was never a critical shortage of materials for their use.
1. A highly efficient intelligence organization is a clear prequesite for strategic bombing. Before German war industry could be bombed out, it was necessary to develop a clear idea of the location and nature of important targets. In the light of the knowledge which was developed as to targets, the specific bombing missions of the Combined Bomber Offensive were planned, and the tactics to be used were evolved.
2. Organization for Target Intelligence
a. The Eighth Air Force began operations against Germany approximately two years after Great Britain had started its attacks. It was natural and desireable that the American organization for air intelligence hsould work closely with the established RAF organization, and to benefit from its longer experience. This was done. Officers of the USAAF and the British Air Ministry engaged in joint intelligence activities throughout the Combined Bomber Offensive.
b. The central joint organization for target selection was the so-called "Jockey" committee. It was formed in the summer of 1943 at the beginning of the offensive, and was charged with the duty of continuously studying German industry and operations, and with recommending weekly target priorities to the Chief of the Air Staff. The Committee was composed jointly of British Air Ministry specialists, and Intelligence Section officers of the Eight AF and VIII Bomber Command. It was in charge of target selection during the period of the war in which the main objective was the defeat of the German Air Force. In September 1944 the Jockey Committee was merged into an enlarged organization, the Combined Strategic Targets Committee, in order to cover more effectively several major target priority systems.
c. The Jockey Committee had nothing to do with the grand strategy of the Combined Bomber Offensive which had been decided at Casablance, in January 1943. The basic policy of the great air offensive was to be "the progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial and economic system... to a point where... capacity for armed resistance is fatally weakened." Within the general directive there were changes of emphasis, from the aircraft industry to synthetic oil and to transportation, for example, according to the decisions of the Allied Command. Even among aircraft targets there were shifts from one point of emphasis to another.
3. Sources of Target Information
a. Basic information concerning the German aircraft industry
had been gathered by the usual intelligence organizations of the United States and British governments. Detailed information was available on most of the prewar industry, which served as a good point of departure for photographic reconnaissance, prisoner of war interrogations, espionage, and other information gathering activities. During the war the technique of photographic interpretation became very highly developed. Information was secured both as to the nature of industrial production and as to bomb damage assessment.
b. As a general matter, the task of the Jockey Committee was not made difficult by inadequacy of information of major target systemsm such as airframe and aircraft engine plants. The situation as to smaller components was a different matter. In only a few cases, such as ball bearing, was enough information on hand to warrant placing such plants on the list to be bombed. After the summer of 1944, furthermore, it was difficult to follow industries which had been dispersed.
c. The typical information in the target folders prepared by the intelligence sections was as follows:
(1) A careful identification of the target geographically, with special notation as to landmarks.
(2) A detailed listing of the work carried on in separate buildings which comprised the target.
(3) The latest estimates of the volume of production carried on in the plant, and its importance in relation to total German production.
(4) The latest information as to the production interrelation of the target plant and other plants. Such information sometimes revealed a situation where bomb damage to one plant would interrupt the production of a network of plants.
(5) Records of bombing raids made, with photo reconaissance interpretation of each.
4. Jockey Committee Priority Lists
a. The committee met weekly, and established a priority list of aircraft targets which was recommended to the Combined Chiefs of the Air Staff. The members of the committee were in almost daily association with each other, so that work on the preparation of the list was practically continuous.
b. The purpose of the priority list was to direct bombing attacks, insofar as operational factors permitted, on the targets that
were considered most important at the time. It was not feasible to issue rigid directives as to what was to be bombed or when. Weather considerations always had to be reckoned with. To cope with changing weather conditions, it was necessary to have secondary targets slong the route of the mission and a target of last resort. A variation in targets was desireable in order to make enemy air defense more difficult. All the targets on the list were eligible for attack in the light of what promised to be the most practical and effective mission, and all things considered.
c. The representative of the Eighth AF Headquarters on the Jockey Committee gave to the Combinded Operation Planning Committee, which was charged with directing the daily bombing missions, the reasons behind the placement of specific targets on the priority list. While a particular mission to a high priority target was being planned opportunities frequently were afforded to suggest lesser priority targets which could be bombed if necessary.
5. The Effect of Dispersal on Target Selection
a. The air attacks on German aircraft plants in the summer and fall of 1943 hastened the dispersal of those plants. This development altered the entire intelligence problem, and made the priority list of the Jockey Committee more difficult to prepare. Fortunately, the compulsory dispersal order was not issued until late in February 1944, so up to that time and for a month or two thereafter, intelligence was reasonably good.
b. In general, German officals and industrialists who have been interrogated have expressed their amazement at the accuracy of Allied intelligence as to strategic targets. If extensive bombing of the aircraft industry had been undertaken after the summer of 1944 and, consquently after extensive dispersal, there is considerable doubt that the information available would have been adequate. Low-level searching by photo reconnaissance planes would have been effective but seldom was practical because of enemy fighters and anti-aircraft defenses.
c. After dispersal, there were periods when relatively little was known about what was taking place in some parts of the German aircraft industry. It was seldom possible to identify more than the main outlines of any of the complexes.
6. Aircraft Target System
a. The aircraft industry was made up of four main target systems: airframes, engines, propellers, and accessories. The complete disruption of any one of them would have stopped the flow of airplanes to the Luftwaffe. The production organization of the main divisions of the industry is described at considerable length in Chapters II, VII
and VIII. For the particular purpose of target selection, Allied intelligence organizations were continually studying the separate parts of the industry to determine the vulnerability of each to bombing attack.
7. Airframe Plants
a. Vulnerable features: Prior to the dispersal the plants were easily identified. Usually they were large so they were easily hit. The loss of production of completed and partly completed planes was immediate. The types of buildings usually were vulnerable to 500-lb high explosive and incendiary bombs. Airframe subassembly plants contained elaborate jigs and other production tooling which, if damaged or destroyed, were costly and difficult to replace.
b. Invulnerable features: Final assembly plants seldom contained many machine tools or fixed equipment installations and, if heavily bombed, production could be resumed in any improvised space. Blast damage to the usual airframe plant from 500-lb bombs was easily repaired unless structural damage resulted. Most airframe plants were of steel. Production tooling could be replaced without lengthly delay because of the master tooling practices followed. Until 1944 there was considerable excess capacity in Germany's airframe industry.
8. Aircraft Engine Plants
a. Vulnerable features: The manufactuing process made use of a large number of precision machine tools. Engine plants required test stands with complicated instruments and electrical control installations. Excess capacity, especially for certain engine models, was less than in the case of airframes.
b. Invulnerable features: Fequently, aircraft engine plants were multi-storied reinforced concrete structures which were not seriously damaged by 500-lb bombs and incendiaries. Machine tools could be protected by blast walls. Dispersal of equipment was relatively easy. Throughout the war Germany had adequate supplies of standard machine tools.
9. Propeller Plants
a. Vulnerable points: Production of propellers, especially for fighter-type airplanes, was concentrated in a very few plants. German manufacturing technique made use of very heavy hydraulic presses. These presses did not have much surplus capacity. The finishing operations on propellers made use of special precision machine tools, which if damaged could not easily be replaced.
b. Invulnerable features: Intelligence did not have sufficiently complete information of propeller targets to warrant the Jockey Committee placing them high on the priority list. This was especially true after a certain amount of dispersal had occured. Unless the heavy press equipment received a direct hit or a fire was started, it could not be damaged.
10. Aircraft Accessory Plants
a. Vulnerable features: There was but a single source for a few important parts and equipment items long after the Combined Bomber Offensive had started. Many articles required specialized precision machine tools which were damaged by falling ceilings and fires. Frequently factories which produced accessories were not modern and were easily destroyed by 500-lb bombs or incendiaries.
b. Invulnerable features: In general, Germany had a large productive capacity for accessories and equipment used in aircraft manufacture. Where there were single sources it would have been difficult to develop others. It was almost impossible for Allied intelligence to locate and strengthen strategically important accessories targets. Reserve stocks of practically all items usually were large enough to tide over a bombing emergency.
11. Conclusions as to Target Selection
a. The statistical breakdown of the aircraft industry targets actually attacked is given in Chapter V. The figures give a rough indication of the divisions of the industry which were in the upper portion of the Jockey Committee priority list at various times during the Combined Bomber Offensive.
b. The Allied decision to concentrate its bombing attacks on airframe plants has been criticized. In this connection it is important to differentiate between attacks, the principal purpose of which was to reduced the number of airplanes that would be available to the Luftwaffe in the months immediately to follow, and those which were intended to destroy the ability of the industry to produce airplanes six months or more later. The heavy raids on final assembly plants beginning in February 1944 were a part of the pre-invasion effort to weaken the Luftwaffe, and as such, should not be judged on the basis of whether or not they crippled the industry. Because they reduced the number of airplanes which the Luftwaffe had operational in June 1944, the airframe assembly plants were wisely selected as targets.
c. Certain German military and industrial leaders have stated that aircraft engine plants should have been attacked rather than airframe plants. Goering commented: "As between airframe and engine factories, priority should definitely have been given to the latter.
Attacks on airframe factories were effective, but concentration on engine factories would have crippled the German Air Force much sooner."
d. Speer said: "We were suprised for a long time that you attacked the airframe production and not the motor production. We were always worried that you would attack Bayerische Motorenwerke (FW 190 engine) and the others. There were only a few big factories... If you had attacked the motor factories at first and not the airframe, we would have been finished."
e. On the other hand, Werner, Chairman of the Main Committee for Aircraft Engines, presented a slightly different point of view. If the Allies could have destroyed the engine industry, according to him, it would have stopped aircraft production more surely than attacks on airframe plants. The 500-lb bombs used, however, were too light. He recognized that heavier bombs might not have been available, and even if they had, the number of very heavy bombs that could have been employed would have been small, and the chances of hitting the engine plants would not have been great.
f. The decision not to bomb propeller and accessory plants was an inevitable one. It was too much to expect intelligence to identify adequately the hundreds of scattered concerns that were vital to the aircraft program. Area attacks on large industrial concerns were the only practical way to destroy the thousands of small sources for the many parts, components and small subassemblies which go into aircraft production.
1. A brief statistical analysis of the attacks on the German aircraft industry is given in the present chapter. Emphasis is placed on quantitive factors, especially the number of tons dropped and the number of missions flown. Only incidental mention is made of qualitative considerations. It is realized that but a few of the bombs dropped will hit the intended target, and only a single one actually may hit a vital point. the fact that German officials in charge of the aircraft production program state that the Allied bombing campaign of early 1944 destroyed or seriously damaged 75 percent of aircraft plants is a sufficiently clear indication of the effectiveness of at least a substantial part of the bombs dropped.
2. The Overall Picture
a. The proportion of total tonnage dropped on aircraft industry targets by the American and British Air Forces is shown in the following table:
Bomb Tonnage Dropped on Aircraft Industry by British and United States Air Forces
|Tons on Aircraft Industry||Total Tons||%||Source of Data|
|RAF||29,000||1,060,000||2.75||Air Ministry News converted to short tons|
|Eighth AF||47,671||691,470||6.87||Eighth AF Statistical Summary|
|Fifteenth AF||14,000||545,000||2.55||"Air Power in Mediterranean" USAAF|
On the basis of the above figures the German aircraft industry received approximately four percent of the total weight of bombs dropped. The Eighth AF expended almost 7 percent of its effort on the aircraft industry, while the Fifteenth AF and the RAF expended between two and a half and three percent of their efforts.
3. Monthly Distribution of Attacks on Aircraft Targets
a. The monthly breakdown of the total tonnage dropped by the Eighth and Fifteenth AFs is given in Table V-2. The Fifteenth AF began operations approximately six months after the Eighth, but in other respects the course of attacks roughly followed the Eighth. In general, only about 20 percent of the tonnage dropped by the Fifteenth AF was classified as strategic.
b. The distribution of the tonnage dropped by the Eighth AF among airframe, aircraft engine, and components targets is given in Table V-3. The total tonnage figure does not agree with that for the Eighth AF in Table V-2. The smaller figure was taken from the data prepared by the Tabulating Unit of the Bombing Survey, and included only those tonnages which were known to have been dropped on aircraft targets by visual check. The discrepancy is large, but for the purposes of the present analysis the absolute magnitude of the tonnages is not highly significant.
c. The monthly distribution of the number of missions flown against aircraft industry targets by the Eighth and Fifteenth AFs is given in Tables V-4 and V-5. Airframe targets are broken down into two groups: the FW 190 and Me 109, and all other. These data supplement the straight tonnage figures given in Tables V-2 and V-3, and they provide a statistical point of reference for the analysis of bombing attacks which follows in the present chapter.
d. The montly tonnage figures indicate the gradual build-up of the Combined Bomber Offensive, and the sustained pounding given the aircraft industry during the first three-quarters of 1944. Approximately 60 percent of the total weight dropped by the Eighth AF was on airframe plants, and 20 percent on aircraft engine plants. The Fifteenth AF made about two-thirds of its attacks against airframe targets and one-third against engines. The comparison of the relative tonnages dropped on aircraft targets by the Eighth and Fifteenth AFs cannot be made with any degree of accuracy from the data presented in the current analysis.
4. Detailed Record of Attacks
a. The record of each attack made by the Eighth and Fifteenth AFs on aircraft industry targets is given in Table V-5. The names and locations of the plants attacked are listed, classified as far as was possible by type of airplane or engine manufactured, and the dates upon which attacks were made are noted. This statistical material has been used as the basic data for much of the analysis which follows.
Total Tonnage Dropped by Eighth and Fifteenth Air Forces on Aircraft Industry
Monthly Data, Apr 1943 - Apr 1945
|8th Air Force||15th Air Force||Total|
|Before Apr 1943||162||162|
Source: 8th Air Force Statistical Summary; and for 15th Air Force, Tabulating Section, USSBS.
Tonnage Dropped on Airframe, Engine and Component Plants by Eighth Air Force
Monthly Data, Apr 1943 - Apr 1945
|Airframe Plants||Engine Plants||Component Plants||Total (including others)|
|Before Apr 1943||280||0||0||280|
Source: Tabulating Section; USSBS.
Number of Missions Flown Against Aircraft Industry by Eighth and Fifteenth Air Forces
Monthly Data, Apr 1943 - Apr 1945
|FW 190, Me 109 Airframes||Other Airframes||Total||Engines||Grand Total|
Dates of Individual Attacks on Aircraft Industry Targets
A. Eighth Air Force
1. FW 190 Targets
|Code No.||No. of Attacks||Dates of Attacks|
|a. Focke-Wulf Plants|
|Posen||3||20/2/44, 9/4/44, 29/5/44|
|b. Arado Plants|
|Tutow||GU-4155||4||20/2/44, 9/4/44, 13/5/44, 29/5/44|
|c. AGO Plant|
|Oscherleben||7||8/7/43, 11/1/43, 20/2/44, 22/2/44, 11/4/44, 30/5/44, 29/6/44|
|d. Fiesler Plants|
|Kassel/Bettenhausen||GY-4766A||3||28/7/43, 30/7/43, 19/4/44|
|e. Dornier Plants|
|f. Kurt Kannenburg Plants|
|g. Miscellaneous Plants|
|Total: FW 190 Attacks||49|
2. Me 109 Targets
|Code No.||No. of Attacks||Dates of Attacks|
|a. Messerschmitt Plants|
|Regensburg/Prufening||GY-4828||3||17/8/43, 25/2/44, 21/7/44|
|Regensburg/Obertraubling||3||22/2/44, 25/2/44, 21/7/44|
|b. Erla Plants|
|Leipzig/Heiterblick||GY-4796||4||20/2/44, 29/5/44, 29/6/44, 7/7/44|
|Leipzig/Mockau||GY-4825A||4||20/2/44, 29/5/44, 7/7/44, 20/7/44|
|c. Repair Plants|
|Total: Me 109 Attacks||21|
3. Airframe Targets Other Than Fw 190 and Me 109
|Code No.||No. of Attacks||Dates of Attacks|
|a. Me 110 Plants|
|Brunswick/Neupetriter||GY-4842||3||20/2/44, 5/8/44, 3/3/45|
|Brunswick/Waggum||GY-4776A||5||11/1/44, 15/3/44, 8/4/44, 5/8/44, 24/8/44|
|Brunswick/Wilhelmitor||GY-4775||8||30/1/44, 20/2/44, 15/3/44, 23/3/44, 29/3/44, 8/4/44, 26/4/44, 5/8/44|
|Furth||GY-4756A||3||25/2/44, 10/9/44, 8/4/45|
|Gotha||GY-4765A||3||20/2/44, 24/2/44, 20/7/44|
|b. Me 410 Plants|
|Augsburg||GY-4752A||3||25/2/44, 13/4/44, 19/7/44|
|Oberpfaffenhofen||GY-4759A||5||18/3/44, 13/4/44, 24/4/44, 7/7/44, 9/4/45|
|c. Ju 88 and 188 Plants|
|Ascherleben||GY-4818||3||22/2/44, 29/6/44, 7/7/44|
|Bernburg||GY-4835||4||20/2/44, 22/2/44, 29/6/44, 7/7/44|
|Dessau||GY-4670C||4||28/5/44, 30/5/44, 20/7/44, 16/8/44|
|Halberstadt||GY-4822||5||11/1/44, 20/2/44, 22/2/44, 11/4/44, 30/5/44|
|d. He 177 Plants|
|e. He 111 Plants|
|f. Do 217 Plants|
|g. Klemm Plants|
|Total Attacks on Non-Jet Airframes||58|
4. Me 262 (Jet Fighter)
|Code No.||No. of Attacks||Dates of Attacks|
|a. Messerschmitt Plants|
|Total Attacks on Jet Airframes||9|
5. Engine and Propellor Targets
|Code No.||No. of Attacks||Dates of Attacks|
|a. Bayerische Motorenwerke Plants (BMW)|
|Eisenach||GY-4679||3||9/2/44, 20/7/44, 13/9/44|
|Munich/Allach||GY-4662A||4||11/7/44, 13/7/44, 21/7/44, 31/7/44|
|Berlin/Genshagen||GY-4671||3||6/3/44, 21/6/44, 6/8/44|
|Kothen||GY-4672||3||29/6/44, 20/7/44, 16/8/44|
|Magdeburg||GY-4675||3||29/6/44, 5/8/44, 16/8/44|
|Total Attacks on Non-Jet Engines||30|
|d. VDM (Propellers)|
|Total Attacks on Propellors||1|
|e. Jet Engines|
|Dessau||4||28/5/44, 30/5/44, 20/7/44, 16/8/44|
|Keil/Walther||5410E p. 8||4||18/7/44, 4/8/44, 6/8/44, 12/9/44|
|Kile/Walther||5410E p. 9||1||24/8/44|
|Leipzig/Tauche||GY-4673||3||29/6/44, 7/7/44, 28/7/44|
|Meschede||3||19/2/45, 28/2/45, 23/3/45|
|Total Attacks on Jet Engines||23|
B. 15th Air Force
1. Me 109 Targets
|Code No.||No. of Attacks||Dates of Attacks|
|a. Messerschmitt Plants|
|b. Wiener Neustadter Flugzeugwerke Plants|
|Wiener Neustadt||GY-4808||6||13/3/43, 1/10/43, 2/11/43, 12/4/44, 10/5/44, 24/5/44|
|Bad Voslau||GY-4854||3||12/14/44, 23/4/44, 34/5/44|
|c. Hungarian Wagon & Machinery Works|
|Saigetszentmikolos||BH-93||3||3/4/44, 13/4/44, 30/7/44|
|Total Attacks on Me 109 Targets||32|
2. Other Airframe Targets
|a. Me 410 Plants|
|b. Do 217 Targets|
|c. Me 262 (Jet Fighter)|
|Total Attacks on Airframe Targets||9|
B. 15th Air Force
2. Engine Targets
|Code No.||No. of Attacks||Dates of Attacks|
|a. B.M.W. Plants|
|Munich/Allach||5||13/6/44, 19/7/44, 12/9/44, 22/9/44, 23/10/44|
|Budapest/Manfred Weiss||2||2/7/44, 27/7/44|
|Steyr||GN-3834||4||23/2/44, 24/2/44, 24/3/44|
|Wiener Neudorf||GY-4690||5||30/5/44, 16/7/44, 26/7/44, 23/8/44, 19/11/44|
|Total Attacks on Engine Targets||21|
5. The Two Bombing Attack Campaigns
a. The Combined Bomber Offensive, insofar as aircraft targets were concerned, was divided into two periods: the first half, from the beginning in April 1943 through May 1944, which is best described as the High Priority Campaign, because during that period the German aircraft industry held joint preeminence with U-boat bases as a strategic target; and the second half, June 1944 through April 1945, which is best described as the Low Priority Campaign because the aircraft industry during that period never held better than third priority as a strategic target.
6. The High Priority Campaign
a. This portion of the Combined Bomber Offensive was directed primarily at airframe plants, with special emphasis on single-engine fighter production. This campaign consisted of four separate groups of attacks.
b. First Phase, April Through October 1943
(1) During this interval, 13 attacks were made on factories engaged in the manufacture of Me 109 and Fw 190 fighters, and one attacks was made on an engine plant. This period also included the raids on the ball bearing plants at Schweinfurt. The attacks during this phase of the campaign were made on targets that made use of the extreme operational range of the bomber aircraft, and without benefit of fighter escort to and from the target. In the raid against Regensburg on 17 August, the bombers of Third Air Division, Eighth AF, flew on to North African bases. A raid on 9 October against the FW 190 final assembly plant at Marienburg, East Prussia, was the longest that had been flown up to that date. It was successful. The plant was wrecked.
(2) The first phase of the High Priority Campaign ended with no immediately discernable results. In the first raid against Schweinfurt and Regensburg 60 bombers were lost; the same number was lost in the second raid on Schweinfurt 14 October. As a result of these battles, the Eighth AF temporarily lost air superiority over the target areas of Germany. The necessity for full fighter escort all the way to the target became painfully obvious. All penetration beyond the range of fighters as then equipped ceased until the fighter range extension
program could be completed in the aircraft factories and modification centers of the United States. But the Luftwaffe itself suffered heavy losses of fighters in the first phase of the strategic bombing air battle. The damage done by Allied bombs was high in these early raids because the targets had not yet been decentralized by extensive dispersal. These facts were of great importance in the conduct of subsequent strategic air activity over Germany.
c. Second Phase, November 1943 through January 1944
(1) During this interval practically no bombing of aircraft targets was done. The long range fighters were awaited, and the Eighth AF was built up to its full strength of heavy bombers. Weather was bad.
d. Third Phase, 20-25 February 1944
(1) During this short interval 23 airframe and three aircraft engine plants were hit; the weight of bombs dropped on aircraft targets was only a little less than the total dropped on that industry up to that time. Plants producing all types of aircraft were hit. Plants producing all types of aircraft were hit. Six of the 25 attacks made during this period were by the Fifteenth AF, all on fighter plants.
(2) These concentrated attacks had a very damaging effect on the German aircraft industry. During the last days of February there was a special reorganization of the German Air Ministry to handle the emergency. A Fighter Staff was formed, with full power from Hitler, to push the production of fighters with which to stop Allied bombing.
(3) In this third phase fighters escorted Allied bombers all the way. Losses were heavy, but not so high as in the Schweinfurt raids during the first phase of the High Priority Campaign. The Luftwaffe opposed the raids in large numbers, but suffered serious losses. The Eighth AF claimed 432 German aircraft as destroyed, 124 as damaged, and 219 as probable. According to military opinion, the assurance of Allied air superiority was obtained in these attacks.
e. Fourth Phase, March through May 1944
(1) During this interval the heaviest bombing of aircraft targets of the whole campaign was carried out. Ten attacks were made on aircraft engine plants, but the bulk of attention continued to be given to airframe plants. Late in April, synthetic oil plants began to disperse aircraft factories as strategic targets.
f. Statistical Summary of the High Priority Campaign
(1) The number of attacks by the Eighth and Fifteenth AFs on airframe and aircraft engine plants during each of the four phases of the High Priority Campaign, is shown in Table V-6.
Summary - Attacks Against Airframe and Engine Plants
|FW 190 & Me 109||Others||Engine Factories||Grand Total|
|8th AF||15th AF||8th AF||15th AF||8th AF||15th AF|
|1st Phase Apr-Oct 43||11||2||1||14|
|2nd Phase Nov 43-Jan 44||1||2||3||1||1||8|
|3rd Phase Feb 20-25 44||10||2||11||1||2||26|
|4th Phase Mar-May 44||23||21||19||8||2||73|
(2) Allied intelligence greatly overestimated the extent of the setback that had been given German aircraft production during the third and fourth phases of the High Priority Campaign. Actually, it was learned later, fighter production increased tremendously.
It was increasingly apparent, however, that regardless of German aircraft production, the Luftwaffe was beaten. From the spring of 1944 the Allies enjoyed air superiority. The question repeatedly was asked, "What has become of the German Air Force?"
7. Low Priority Campaign
a. The transfer of the aircraft industry to a lower priority position did not mean that all attacks were abandoned. Between June 1944 and the end of the war, almost as many attacks were made on aircraft targets as during the High Priority Campaign. They were made, however, as secondary targets and targets of last resort. The extensive dispersal of the aircraft industry during the first half of 1944 had reduced the quality of the aircraft targets substantially.
b. In September 1944 the Jockey Committee placed jet airplanes in a priority position second to oil. Jets remained in a high position throughout the rest of the war. The Eighth AF listed 18 attacks against jet engine or component plants. Little damage was done because of the large extent to which the jet project had been set up in underground locations.
c. On 24 October 1944, the weekly target priority list of the Jockey Committee stated: "In view of the reduced priority of aircraft industry targets in the general strategic bombing plan, it has been decided to reduce the number of targets and to confine them to one list under five main subheadings, namely:
A. Jet airframe and jet engine factories,
B. Conventional aircraft engine factories,
C. Fighter airframe factories,
D. Airfields associated with jet aircraft,
E. Airfield having concentrations of fighter aircraft.
8. Persistency of Attacks
47 were attacked once only
30 were attacked twice
20 were attacked three times
11 were attacked four times
6 were attacked five times
4 were attacked six times
4 were attacked seven times
4 were attacked eight times
4 were attacked eleven times
The degree of persistency indicated by these figures is greater than was actually the fact. In some cases, the attacks were widely spaced, and in others second attacks were made because of the failure of the first to be effective.
b. Interrogations of German military and industrial leaders have revealed that persistent attacks were greatly feared. Goering stated, "Nothing is more terrible than an attack which is made on the same target three times in a row. That really undermines the resistance of the people." The raids on Dresden in February 1945, Goering said, "were the most dealy, most demoralizing and therefore most effective series of raids of the war."
c. Speer stated, "The first serious air raid on Hamburg in August 1943, was extraordinarily impressive. We were convinced that the quick repetition of such an attack on six other German cities would necessarily lead to a lessening of the will to continue armament and war production.... The air raids were not repeated to such an extent, however, and in the meantime the population was able to get accustomed to the air raids and, together with the armament industry, were able to collect valuable experience."
d. The attacks on airframe plants often resulted in more structural damage than damage to essential machinery and installations. Plant managements were fearful lest there be a follow-up attack before machines and equipment could be removed from the debris.
9. Effectiveness of Bombs Used
a. The Eighth AF Statistical Summary gives the following figures for the types of bombs dropped on aircraft industry targets, from August 1942 to the end of the war:
|Tons||% of Total|
The greater proportion of the high explosive bombs used were the 500-lb general purpose types, and most of the incendiaries were of the magnesium type.
b. The distribution of the bomb types used has been criticized principally because of three points: 1) the 500-lb high explosive bombs were too light to wreck important factory buildings, 2) they were fuzed so that they dug craters in the floors of the typical steel frame structures used in the aircraft industry, but did little other damage, and 3) more incendiaries should have been dropped.
c. The conclusion of the field teams of the Aircraft Division of the Bombing Survey tend to support these criticisms. It is appreciated that a wide assortment of sizes and types of bombs was not always available and that it may have been necessary to use the fuzes that were on hand even though their timing was not exactly what was desired. The loading arrangement for bombs in bombers early in the Bomber Offensive, furthermore, was such that only light loads could be carried if only small bombs were used. This condition was remedied in 1941.
d. The effectiveness of high explosive bombs depended greatly on the fuzes used. British and American technicians were agreed that the maximum structural damage to buildings resulted when the explosion occured just below the roof. To accomplish this, two sensitive and reliable fuzes were required, and .01 sec tail fuze and a .015 sec nose fuze. Not until the second half of 1944 were limited quantities of the desired fuzes available. In the meantime .01 sec nose and tail fuzes, which were not as sensitive nor as reliable as necessary, were used. For this and other reasons quite a few of the bombs dropped were duds.
e. German officials and industrialists have commented variously as to the types of bombs that were most effective. Speer was greatly impressed by the damaging effect of the bombs dropped by the RAF. Most of the larger RAF bombs were light-case types which required instantaneous fuzing to prevent breaking up on landing. The blast effect of these bombs is outward rather than upward, and no crater is dug. Schubert, the production manager of Focke-Wulf, suggested that a large number of small high explosive bombs might be especially effective against airframe plants. They would penetrate roofs of typical airframe plants and they would damage assembly work in process, machines, and production tooling. Werner, chairman of the Main Committee for Aircraft Engines, was convinced that only two-ton and larger high explosive bombs, mixed with incendiaries, would be effective against the multi-storied reinforced concrete buildings frequently used in the aircraft engine industry.
10. Accuracy of Bombing Attacks
a. The bombing attacks on aircraft industry targets resulted in tremendous damage and destruction, but a standard for the measurement of the degree of accuracy is lacking. Two points stand out as a
result of the analysis that has been made: 1) Practically all of the bombing attacks during the High Priority Campaign were made under visual conditions. As a consequence, they were more accurate than they would have been if blind bombing assisted by radar aids had been employed; 2) the accuracy of bombing fell off rapidly as the number of attacking planes increased beyond approximately 60.
11. Assessment of Bomb Damage
a. The results of attacks were made available in a succession of three reports. The first, called the Strike Assessment Interpretation Report, was issued within 24 hours after the receipt of strike attack photographs. It included information on the targets attacked, the bomber force, and bomb loadings utilized, the time of the attack, and when visual conditions permitted, a description of hits on specific structures. Bomb plots were provided when available. The second report, called the "Intermediate Interpretation Report", was prepared as soon as reconaissance aircraft obtained pictures of the results of the attack. This report described the damage in greater detail than the first; the photographs were not obscured by the dust and smoke caused by the bomb bursts. The third report, contained further and more complete information as to the target attacked, as revealed by later photographic cover.
b. A check on the accuracy of the attack interpretation work has been possible, through the field teams of the Bombing Survey, which have been visited many of the aircraft industry targets bombed. As to structural damage done to airframe plants, the reports of the field teams show that 80 percent of the estimates made by the section were to engine plants, the estimates were not so good; field team reports classify 50 percent as good, 25 percent fair and 25 percent poor.
c. As to the estimates of damage done to equipment, the field team reports reveal major discrepancies. For airframe plants, over 60 percent of the estimates were poor, and for engine plants, 50 percent were poor. Field investigation and the statements of German plant managers substantiate the fact that in most cases of severe structural damage, machines and equipment suffered only light damage.
d. The Strike Assessment Section confined its activities to the interpretation of strike attack data, especially the estimating of damage to plant and equipment. This information was used by various agencies. For example, the Jockey Committee based the suspension of targets from the priority list largely on the findings of the Strike Assessment Section.
12. Assessment of Production Loss
a. The most difficult part of the determination of the extent of bomb damage before the occupation of Germany made possible an accurate check, was the assessment of the effect on aircraft production. There was a natural tendency on the part of those who were making the evaluations to overestimate the degree of destruction accomplished and to underestimate the ability of the Germans to recuperate from attacks. A comparison of Allied intelligence estimates of German aircraft production with actual production determined from German Air Ministry records, for the period January 1942 through June 1944, indicates the extent of the discrepancies. These data, broken down by single-engine fighters and total aircraft production, are given in Table V-7.
Comparison of Allied Intelligence Estimates of German Aircraft Production with Actual Production
(Average monthly figures for six month intervals)
|Single-Engine Fighters||Total Aircraft Production|
|Allied Intelligence Estimates||Actual||Allied Intelligence Estimates||Actual|
|1st half 1941||325||244||1575||880|
|2nd half 1941||360||232||1725||870|
|1st half 1942||410||323||1820||1115|
|2nd half 1942||435||434||1880||1341|
|1st half 1943||595||753||2030||1985|
|2nd half 1943||645||851||2115||2172|
|1st half 1944||655||1581||1870||2811|
b. The estimates of total production were almost double the actual figures for 1941, and 50 percent too high for 1942. They were astonishingly accurate for 1943, but in the first half of 1944, Allied intelligence grossly overestimated the effect of strategic bombing on production. Average monthly production was almost a thousand airplanes, or 50 percent greater than estimated.
c. The estimates for fighter production were slighly optimistic for 1941 and 1942, but beginning in 1943 the situation was reversed and in the first half of 1944 estimated monthly production was only slightly more than 40 percent of actual production. Almost the whole of the error in estimated production was in the single-engine fighter group.
1. At the beginning of the Combined Bomber Offensive it was known that heavy bombers would be required to go beyond the range of their fighter escort, but it was hoped that they would be able to take care of themselves reasonably well against enemy interceptors by their own heavy defensive firepower. This hope faded after the second raid on Schweinfurt in October 1943, when about 20 percent of the attacking force was lost. Such losses could be justified only against a few highly important targets. In the meantime, the range of American fighters had been extended, and in February 1944 tremendous raids were made deep into Germany with fighter escort throughout. The losses suffered in these attacks were smaller, but German fighter opposition continued to be a serious factor. The Allied air groups took up the assignment of destroying the German aircraft industry with special spirit. Every successful bombing raid meant fewer fighters in the sky against their next mission.
2. From February through August of 1944 very heavy raids were made on the German aircraft industry by both the Eighth and Fifteenth AFs, and by the RAF. The analysis of the American attacks is given in Chapter V. It is the purpose of this chapter to analyze the German aircraft production record, and to determine the effectiveness of the Combined Bomber Offensive in stopping or reducing the output of airplanes.
3. Types of Aircraft Produced
a. The type designation and descriptions of the principal German airplanes produced are given in Table VI-1. Performance data are shown for each model; name and horsepower of the engines used, gross weight and weight of the airframe, and the maximum speed at altitude. The companies engaged in the manufacture of each model during 1944 are named. Thirty-six models in all are listed; of these only 20 were produced in significant quantities during 1944, and three models, the Me 109, FW 190 and Ju 88, 188, 388 consitituted 74 percent of the total number produced in that year. The monthly output of each model by each manufacturer for the period 1941-1944, is tabulated in Exhibit III. The summary of these data is given in Exhibit III-A. Airframe weight produced is summarized in Exhibit IV by type, model and month.
Model Designation of German Aircraft
|Type||Design Manufacturer||Model||Manufactured During 1944 by:||Engine||Weight||Maximum Speed at Altitude|
|Bomber 4 engine||Heinkel||He 177||Heinkel, Arado||DB 610||2820||24,000||68,100||290||18,000|
|Focke-Wulf||FW 200*||Focke-Wulf||BMW 801||18,000||50,200||235||13,000|
|Bomber 2 engine||Arado||Ar 234||Arado||Jumo 004B||1980 lbs||6,600||19,800||490||20,000|
|Dornier||Do 217*||BMW 801A||1495||11,500||34,500||310||17,000|
|Heinkel||He 111*||Heinkel||Jumo 211F||1400||10,000||30,800||250||14,000|
|Junkers||Ju 88*||Junkers, ATG, Siebel, Henschel||Jumo 213A||1750||12,000||29,000||370||24,000|
|Ju 188||Junkers, ATG, Siebel||Jumo 213A||1750||11,000||31,500||345||25,000|
|Ju 388||Junkers, ATG||BMW 801F||1810||13,000||32,350||362||40,300|
|Bomber 1 engine||Ju 87*||Weser||Jumo 211F||1260||3,400||12,600||255||13,500|
|Fighter 2 engine||Focke-Wulf||Ta 154||Jumo 213A||1750||5,000||19,500||420||26,000|
|Dornier||Do 335||DB 603||1800||5,500||23,000||445||23,000|
|Heinkel||He 219||Heinkel||DB 603A||1750||9,000||27,300||395||22,000|
|Messerschmitt||Me 262||Messerschmitt||Jumo 004B||1980 lbs||3,640||13,200||530||27,000|
|Me 210||DB 603B||6,200||20,500||370||21,000|
|Me 110*||Gotha, Luther||DB 605B||1275||5,500||18,000||360||21,000|
|Me 410||Messerschmitt, Dornier||DB 603A||1750||6,300||23,000||395||22,000|
|Fighter 1 engine||Me 109K*||Messerschmitt, Erla, WMF, Gyor, [Illegible]||DB 605D||1275||2,600||7,400||420||25,000|
|Me 163B||Klemm, Junkers||RII 211||3300 lbs||2,000||9,100||600||25,000|
|Focke-Wulf||FW 190||Arado, Fieseler, AGO||BMW 801F||1810||3,400||9,350||405||17,000|
|(Ta 152)||Focke-Wulf, Dornier||Jumo 213E||1800||3,400||9,580||460||34,400|
|Heinkel||He 162||BMW 003E|
|Transport 4 engine||Junkers||Ju 290||Junkers||BMW 801||1800||31,000||90,000||250||18,000|
|Transport 3 engine||Ju 52*||Junkers, ATG, Amidt, Pirt||BMW 132A||1000||8,000||28,500||175||3,000|
|Ju 352||Junkers||BMW 323||940||12,000||42,900||220||13,000|
|Dornier||Do 24*||Avolonda, SNCA-N||BMW 132||760||10,500||29,700||195||5,900|
|Transport 1 engine||Fieseler||Fi 156*||Mraz, Morane||As 10C||240||1,133||2,900||110||SL|
|Messerschmitt||Me 108*||As 10E||270||1,200||3,090||195||SL|
|Trainer 2 engine||Siebel||Si 204||BMM, Aero, Bourges||As 411A||575||5,750||12,340||172||12,500|
|Trainer 2 engine||Arado||Ar 96*||Avia, Letov||As 10C||240||1,800||3,300||155||5,000|
|Bucker||Bu 131*||Bucker, Fokker, Zlin||HM 500A||105||770||1,760||97||SL|
|Not Elsewhere Classified||Arado||Ar 196*||As 410A||360||1,800||3,650||200||10,000|
|Blohm & Voss||BV 138||Jumo 205C||600||10,000||26,200||N.A.||N.A.|
|Focke-Wulf||FW 189||As 410||450||2,600||7,500||N.A.||N.A.|
|FW 58*||As 10C||240||3,500||6,400||N.A.||N.A.|
* Airplane in production in 1939
N.A. Not Available
[Editor's note: no attempt has been made to update the information in this table and it should be regarded as unreliable with the possible exception of airframe weight.]
b. The annual production of aircraft broken down by type is given in Figure VI-1. The figures are annual totals from 1939-1944. For the preceding period 1933-1938, only the cumulative total is given. Prior to 1939 the breakdown is by combat and non-combat types; thereafter it is by single-engine fighters, twin-engine fighters, single-, twin-, and four-engine bombers, transports, trainers, gliders and miscellaneous. In the period 1939-1944 the proportion of combat to non-combat types, computed on the basis of numbers of airplanes, rose from 57 percent to almost 80 percent. In brief, this chart shows the following:
|Combat Types||All Types|
|Number||Index/% Increase||Number||Index/% Increase|
4. Detailed Production Record
a. The monthly record of German aircraft production is given in Figure VI-2. It shows the total production by number and by airframe weight, and the average unit airframe weight. The period covered is 1941-1944.
b. The principal points revealed by this chart are: 1) the dramatic increase in output especially in numbers of airplanes between February and July 1944 at the very time when the greatest tonnage of bombs was being dropped on the industry, 2) the marked decline in the average unit weight of German airplanes especially in 1944, and 3) the slow build-up of production in 1940, 1941, and 1942. The rapid increase in 1944 amounted to 109.4 percent from February to July measured in number of airplanes, but 97.6 percent measured in airframe pounds.
c. The distribution of German aircraft production among fighters, bombers, transports, and others, is given in Figure VI-3. The data are on airframe weight basis, monthly, 1941-1944. The chart shows the decided shift to fighters beginning in 1943 and continuing through 1944. It shows also the extremely small proportion of transports, trainers, and other types. Fighters constituted 18.1 percent of the weight produced in December 1942, but 71.9 percent in December 1944. Bombers constituted 10.8 percent of the weight produced in December 1942, but 25.4 percent in December, 1944.
5. Analysis of the Production Record
a. The size of the principal German airplanes must be comprehended in order to understand the problem involved in producing them. In Figures VI-4 and VI-5 [Editor's note: not included in the interest of conserving space] diagrams are given to scale which compare the principal German types with their nearest American counterparts. The production task roughly is a function of the weight of the airplane. However, it has been proven by several US agencies that the cost of a pound of airframe in a smaller airplane is less by the inverse ratio of weights to the one-third power. Actually (although not so derived in making this estimate) this means that airplane costs vary as their weights to the two-thirds power.
b. The total monthly production of the German aircraft industry, measured in airframe pounds, never exceede twice the peak monthly output of the Ford Willow Run plant. The combined airframe weight output, on a monthly basis, of three other plants in the United States, Boeing-Seattle, Douglas-Long Beach, and Consolidated Vultee-San Diego, far exceeded the peak output of Germany and the countries it occupied. Making allowance for variations in airplane types, the following plants in the United States roughly equalled the German industry, when compared on the basis of airframe weight: North American Aviation plants at Inglewood, Kansas City, and Dallas "A", Republic Aircraft plants at Farmingdale and Evansville, Lockheed Aircraft (including Vega Division) at Burbank, and Douglas Aircraft at Santa Monica.
c. The comparison of total German and American aircraft production on the basis of number of airplanes and of airframe weight, is given in Figure VI-6. The great difference in weight of sharpest rise in the American production curve preceeded the period of sharpest rise in the German production curve by approximately two years. Once American production reached its peak, it continued at a high rate for a period of seven months, while in Germany production fell sharply almost immediately after it reached its peak.
d. The failure of Hitler and of his high command for the German Air Force to take cognizance of the air offensive that was being mounted against Germany by the Allies, is difficult to comprehend. Documents in the files of the German Air Ministry prove that German intelligence knew that American and British production figures. Hitler and Goering were said to have characterized these reports as false and impossible. Milch tried to have the aircraft programs increased in 1941 and 1942, but he did not succeed until the second half of 1943. Messerschmitt pointed out to Hitler in 1943 the necessity of a larger aircraft program, and the limitations of V-weapons.
e. The record of total production, production by major types and production of four principal models for the period 1941-1945 is given in Figures VI-7-8-9. Included are the applicable composite curves for planned production in each case. The planned curves are composites of segments of successive official programs. Every point is a figure taken from an official plan. The resultant program curve is believed realistic. Dr. Frydag volunteered the opinion that they could have been attained except for the direct and indirect effect of bombing.
f. These charts serve two purposes, they show the way in which actual production fluctuated during the war, and the loss of production compared with planned production. These two points will be covered in detail.
6. Production vs Program, General
a. The principal points revealed are the slow rise in 1941-1942, the beginning of a faster rise in 1943, a sharp setback during the early winter of 1943-1944 caused by bombing, a rapid rise from March through July 1944, and then a substantial decline to the end of the war. Comparison with the composite plan curve reveals a failure to meet schedule in 1941 by a small amount, principally as a result of design troubles with the Me 210. In 1942 and until the bombing attack in the fall of 1943 production was substantially the same as the plan. From the last quater of 1943 and throughout the remaining period of the war, however, actual production failed to meet schedules; after the summer of 1944 the spread became very wide.
7. Production vs Progam, by Type
a. The principal points revealed are the following: a) the curves for single-engine fighters are roughly similiar to the curves for the totals, since that type formed such a large proportion of the totals; b) the curve for single-engine fighter production rises for three months longer than the total; c) the twin-engine fighter curves indicate the hope entertained in 1944 that the Me 262 would come into
substantial production; d) curves for all types other than fighters, and bombers used as night fighters, reflect the decision in 1944 to concentrate on defensive types. Planned production falls off drastically during the second half of the year.
b. The Me 109 began the period at a production rate of about 250 a month and production exceeded planned output for approximately a year. The raids on Regensburg, Leipzig, and Wiener Neustadt caused serious losses during the fall and winter of 1943-1944, but production was reestablished and a rapid rate of build-up was accomplished in 1944. The losses were never made up, however, and at the end of the year production was falling off in face of schedules which called for larg increases.
c. The FW 190 was a new type, designed for superior performance at high altitudes, which first was produced in 1940. The build-up of production approximated the planned increas until late in 1943 when raids on Focke-Wulf's eastern plants, Marienburg, Posen, Sorau and Cottbus, caused a small loss of production in relation to plan. The recovery of production early in 1944 with an approximated 1400 FW 190 airplanes a month was reached in August and September. As in the case of the Me 109, production fell away during the winter of 1944-1945.
d. Production of the Me 262 did not begin until 1944. Plans were optimistic when compared to actual production, but an appreciable rate was attained during the winter of 1944-1945. This plane was set-up for production in underground facilities, both engine and major portions of the airframe, so there was no direct loss of production because of bomb damage.
e. The Ju 88, 188 and 388 were modifications of the same basic type. The Ju 88 was first put into line production in 1939, and, in general, it and its improved versions, continued in the program at stable rate throughout the war. In 1943 an attempt was made to increase the program by bringing in Henschel, but the decision was reversed even after a great tooling outlay had been made. The fall in the production curve in 1943 was caused by bombing attacks on Bernburg.
8. Estimates of Production Loss
a. Due to the effects of the Combined Bomber Offensive, it is the conclusion of this report that the airplanes denied to the enemy totalled approximately 18,500. The differences between actual and planned production, shown in Figure VI-10 are summarized in the following table:
Loss of Aircraft Production Directly and Indirectly Caused by Bombing
July 1943 - December 1944
|Four-engine Bombers||No Loss||-|
|NEC and Gliders||461||3|
8. Efforts of Offset Production Loss
a. The key to the understanding of what happended in the German aircraft industry during the first half of 1944 is the belated German decision that the only way to stop strategic bombing was to put a great many more fighters into the air. High-performance interceptors were a specific counter-measure to the Allied bombers. The production of greatly increased numbers of fighters in the shortest possible time became a "must", a national project. The emergency was so acute that Field Marshal Milch swallowed his military pride and asked Speer's civilian ministry to set up a special organization to handle the problem. The Fighter Staff was formed late in February to manage the all-out effort to get more fighters. Saur, one of Hitler's closest henchmen, was put in charge, so the Fighter Staff added to the efforts of the Air Ministry the industrial power of the Speer Ministry and the personal power of the Führer.
b. The Figher Staff had to handle two very different problems at the same time: increased production of fighters and dispersal. The two were in conflict, but there was no choice because of the continuing weight of bombs being poured on the industry. The methods employed by Saur included: a. The work-week was increased from between 50 to 60 hours, to 72 hours, and whenever production was behind schedule workers were not allowed to stop for Sundays or holidays. During the period between March and September 1944 all plants operated on a seven day week. Time and one-quarter was allowed for work over 48 hours, and time and one-half on Sundays.
c. Employees working 72 hours were given extra and special rations, including an increase in meat from one-half to one and one-half pounds a week, plus such luxuries as cognac, cigarettes and chocolate. This had a very stimulating effect on production when output depended on the performance of individual workers.
d. Double shifts were worked to get higher output from the plants and equipment no damaged by bombs, and to build up cushions of subassemblies and parts with which to maintain production while operations were being dispersed. Second shift operations compensated largely for the loss of plant capacity caused by bomb damage.
e. Material shortages were expedited by the application of emergency priorities. Couriers were used to rush shipments of materials and equipment. In the case of steel forgings, for example, including tapered steel spar caps for the wings, Saur had the Ruhr mills so terrified because of their earlier experiences with him that the bottleneck was completely broken.
f. Flying brigades were ready in Berlin to go immediately to bombed aircraft plants to rally the management and to take emergency steps to resume operations under the best possible circumstances.
g. Saur placed personal representatives in plants where there was any suspicion of the management. Arrests were made for failure to meet schedules. In March 1945 when production was becoming impossible, the Nazi party took over many aircraft plants to improve their management. They failed completely as plant managers. Things went from bad to worse.
h. The steps taken by Saur and the Fighter Staff were impossible, and even his enemies conceded that he did a good job. The suggestion, however, that he performed a miracle is hard to accept. It is completely unrealistic to believe that the production of anything so intricate as an airplane can immediately increase by leaps and bounds because of a new administration takes charge, unless the production pipeline of work-in-progress and fabricated parts was adquate to support that production.
i. The basic reason for Saur's success was the fact that on 15 August and 1 October, months before he came into power, the aircraft industry was given official programs as shown in Exhibit II which provided for important increases in production. Materials had been ordered on the basis of these accelerated schedules and shop releases had been made or were scheduled to be made which would keep the pipeline full. The bombing raids in later fall of 1943 had hit final assembly operations principally. The effect was to cause an excess amount of parts and work in process to accumulate in the pipeline. The Fighter Staff, by its expediting efforts, which included the use of threats to send plant managers to Dachau, released this accumulated potential. It succeeded in attaining the rate of build-up called for in the October 1943 plan beginning in March 1944 instead of January.
j. The natural tendency of a campaign such as that conducted by Saur and his Fighter Staff was "to bleed the line of production", that is, to transfer effort from earlier stages of production to the later stages in order to make a good showing in finished airplanes. This was undoubtedly done, and the favorable resultes attained in March and April probably can best be explained that way. In the meantime, however, aircraft manufacturers, assisted by the emergency priority given their requests by the Fighter Staff, were successful in getting additional quantities of materials in process, so that the rise in production continued through July. Fighter production maintained a high level until October, although total aircraft production declined after July.
9. The Efficiency of the German Aircraft Industry
a. The efficiency of the German airframe manufacturers can be measured within rough limits by comparing the number of workers engaged in the industry with the airframe weight produced. In this analysis no allowance has been made for differences in difficulty of production between bombers and fighters, and for the cumulative number of each model produced. The curves for the two series are given in Figure VI-11. The data for the number of workers include those employed in aircraft production in conquered countries. The data for airframe weight produced include an allowance for spare parts of 25 percent during 1941-1942; 20 percent in 1943; and 15 percent in 1944.
b. The chart shows that in 1941 approximately one pound of airframe was produced each day by each worker. The highest point was reached in the summer of 1943, when approximately 1.5 lbs, were produced each day by each worker. The Bomber Offensive of 1943 was accompanied by a decline in the figure. The Fighter Staff campaign in the first half of 1944 increased the daily output only to 1.4 lbs per worker in July. After July there was a substantial decline in productivity which for the most part can be attributed to to the fact that the flow of materials and fabricated parts broke down under the
dispersal system because of the overload placed on transportation.
c. Continuous series showing monthly employment and floor space for each manufacturer were not found, so detailed analysis of the efficiency of each company cannot be found. The breakdown of the total employment figure by company as of October 1944 is given in Table II-1, together with the best measure of floor space for each that could be found. The source of this information in both cases were Air Ministry and Main Committee for Aircraft records. They afford, however, only the roughest basis for measuring efficiency as to manpower and floor-space utilization.
d. A comparison of German and American efficiency in the field of aircraft production during the war is shown in Figure VI-12. To make the data more nearly comparable they have been adjusted for airframe size and production quantities. The data for this analysis are given in Appendix V. The comparison shows that American production was between 20 and 40 percent more efficient than German from 1941-1943, and about 110 percent more efficient in 1944. In 1944, principally because of Allied bombing, German efficiency declined while American almost doubled.
e. The relative inefficiency of the German aircraft industry has an important bearing on strategic bombing. It consitituted a tremendous potential for improvement, which made it possible by better management, to maintain and even increase the volume of output in the face of severe bomb damage. When the Speer Ministry took over the Air Ministry in February 1944 the aircraft companies were put under terrific pressure to increase their output. The details of this national effort have already been noted.
f. The explanation for this relative inefficiency of the German aircraft industry lies in two areas: general economic factors causing inefficient labor utilization, and specific operating difficulties caused by the war. These will be noted.
10. Inefficient Labor Utilization
a. The German economy normally made use of relatively large amounts of labor because of its cheapness. During the war, the ordinary wage rate was one mark an hour. At the exchange rate which existed before the war, this was about 25 cents an hour, or about one quarter of the corresponding American rate. Although German and American production techniques were roughly similiar, the German tendency was to use a large number of workers.
b. Normally the German economy was not highly competitive, and under Hitler it was rationalized (planned) in economic groups. In some cases there were important opportunities for greater efficiency through rationalization. The tendency was, however, for second-rate Nazis to become heads of these economic control groups with unfortunate results. When Speer was given the Ministry for Armament and Munitions in 1942 he endeavored to remedy this situation by subsituting industry committees for the economic groups. A background of competition would have increased the efficiency of the aircraft industry. Fieseler, of the Fieseler Company, stated that he considered the complete lack of competition to be one of the greatest shortcomings of the German aircraft industry. The result was that quite often the manufacturer himself became indifferent to his plant. Manufacturing techniques had not reached the point where rationalization could take over without loss of efficiency.
c. Aircraft manufacturers operated for the most part under cost plus a percentage of cost contracts. In other parts of the German war effort including the aircraft engine industry, successful efforts were made beginning in 1943 to substitute group standard fixed prices which, if a manufacturer accepted, would give him an advantageous tax position. Ordinarily, however, the German cost plus a precentage of cost basis did not contribute to efficient labor utilization.
d. The German totalitarian state before and during the war gave no recognition to the conception of personal freedom of workers or of freedom of enterprise. American experience has demonstrated that a free economy is a highly productive economy.
11. Operating Difficulties Caused by War
a. Dispersed operations reduce the opportunities for the attainment of maximum efficiency. The German industry established before the war was broken up into separate buildings as a precaution against bombing. Dr. Frydag estimated that in 1936 that such plants reduced efficiency by 20-25 percent below that which would be possible in large building.
b. The emergency dispersal of aircraft production operations during the war resulted in further reduction in efficiency. Dr. Frydag estimated that indirect workers rose from a little over 40 percent to something over 50 percent of the working force.
c. The airframe industry failed to design and develop high production, special purpose tools. Milch expressed himself bitterly on this point and blamed the head of the Main Committee for Machine Tools, Otto Lange, for obstructing such a program.
d. The quality of the working force declined. Germany's best workers went into the military services. Their places were taken by women and older men, foreigners, prisoners of war and part-time workers. The proportion of these several groups for each company as of October 1944 are shown in Exhibit IV. The proportions for the total working force were as follows:
|(a) German Men and Women||52%|
|(b) Prisoners of War and Jews||12%|
e. Not all of the foreigners were "slave" workers. A large number came voluntarily to Germany to take an active part in Hitler's New Order. As a general matter, however, they were considered less efficient than the Germans. Many foreigners were coerced by devious means into coming to Germany; these were the "slave" workers. They were less efficient than the voluntary group. The Dutch were the least cooperative, the Belgians and French were somewhat better, and Russians, especially Ukrainian women, reasonably well regarded.
f. It must be noted that the German aircraft industry never made as extensive use of women as did the American. The propaganda put forth by Goebbels and by Sauckel, Minister of Labor, was that foreigners should be used. A good many foreign women were employed as house servants prior to 1944 to make the lives of German housewives easier.
g. Air raids caused a loss of less than 5 percent in worker time.
h. Air raid precautions, such as the erection of blast walls and shelters was not a significant factor in reducing efficiency.
i. Repair of air raid damage was not charged to the industry and accordingly not reflected in the efficiency of the industry. The Todt Organization and the Speer Ministry attended to major repairs.
j. The frequency of the program changes was referred to repeatedly by Germans under interrogation as a principal difficulty of their industry. A study of these program changes does not reveal a situation substantially different from American program changes.
k. The frequency of engineering changes also has been pointed to by Germans in explanation of the difficulties under which they worked. A study of these changes does not support this complaint although chopped up operations because of dispersal complicated the matter. The same attitude has been expressed by American production men. Frequent engineering changes, especially in wartime, are inherent in aircraft. German production tooling, furthermore, was better suited than most American to the introduction of engineering changes.
l. Speer commented on the quality of management of German aircraft firms: "Due to the rapid growth of the airplane industry, we did not have first class men. In addition, we suffered in the airplane industry because aircraft designers were also general managers. We have Messerschmitt, Heinkel, Tank. A man like Messerschmitt is an artist. One should never put an artist at the head of such a large firm. We remedied that only very late and then only partially."
m. The fact that the output per German worker was only about half that of American workers might indicate that the German aircraft industry can only be compared unfavorably with the American industry. This is not the case. The German industry enjoyed at least two important advantages:
(1) The supply of competent mechanics in the German labor market was much greater than that available to American aircraft manufacturers.
(2) The bulk of German aircraft production was concentrated on a small number of models, so that a tremendous background of production experience was accumulated in each. It is true that in 1943 and 1944 the actual operations were broken up considerably and scattered geographically, but the manufacturing experience in tooling and production engineering was continuous. Points were reached further along the learning curve than were reached by any American models.
12. Effects of Strategic Bombing on Quality of German Aircraft
a. If strategic bombing caused a reduction in the quality of German airplanes, the effect was as injurious as if aircraft plants had been damaged or destroyed. Airplane performance depends upon excellence of design and of production. The present section considers the effect of bombing on the quality of German airplanes.
b. The design and development offices of the German aircraft companies were not selected as bombing targets, although several were hit in raids on plants. The case of the successful attack on the Peenemunde group engaged in V-weapon research was an exception, but it was not engaged in aircraft work. In general, however, bombing did not interfere seriously with the engineering work that was being done on new airplanes.
c. The improvement of existing aircraft and engines was affected in a few instances by bombing. The work of engineers engaged in the making of design improvements was made more difficult, and in several cases the work on test installations was interrupted or destroyed. The dispersal of operations to avoid bombing made it very difficult to introduce engineering changes into line production. The introduction of the latest design DB 603-type engine was delayed by bomb damage to the high altitude test stands. The replacement of the Jumo 211 with the higher performance Jumo 213 was delayed by difficult conditions caused by bombings. The Me 262 was put into production in dispersed and underground locations. If it could have been set up for production in an established Messerschmitt plant with a production organization accustomed to working together, time could have been saved and design problems could have been worked out more easily.
13. Effects of Bombing on Quality of Production
a. The manner in which an airplane design is carried out in the factory determines by at least a small margin the quality of its performance. Strategic bombing, by multiplying production difficulties, undoubtedly tended to lower the quality of German airplanes. In spite of this fact, however, there is no conclusive evidence that there was a more than 5 to 10 percent reduction in performance because of factors attributed to production. Even this, however, is an important amount. At the end of the war, an American commander indicated his respect for German models by stating that except for the limited range of German fighters, he would have been willing to trade airplanes for individual combat.
b. Some of the ways in which the quality of the production job was affected directly and directly by bombing are as follows:
(1) Especially in the case of high performance aircraft the tolerance of the airfoil must be kept very close. German practice with production tools was excellent for this purpose, but it depended upon the circulation of master tools and checking fixtures. This circulation was interrupted and eventually stopped when transportation broke down.
(2) Dispersal was not accomplished smoothly as to complete items of manufacturing equipment, and frequently operations had to be resumed in the dispersed locations with inadquate, or unproven, tools and equipment. In the case of such facilities as heat-treating equipment, the proper physical qualities of structural aluminium parts sometimes were not attained.
(3) During the summer of 1944 the shortage of fuel caused a reduction from two hours to one-half hour in the final run-in time on engines. The shortage of ammunition caused the discontinuance of test firing of guns. Pilots were warned by a tag to be careful when making the first shots.
(4) Workmanship became inferior for many reasons, one of which was bombing. In the case of the finish of the skin, which affected the drag, gaps were often found where sheets came together. The Main Committee for Aircraft arranged to have wing panels of American planes sent around to German factories to show the relative superiority of American workmanship in this regard, and serve as an incentive to do as well.
(5) The maintenance of manufacturers' inspection became very difficult with dispersal. There were not enough competent inspectors to place in each location, and the administrative problem of coordinating and enforcing inspection standards was greatly increased.
(6) In so far as bombing interrupted the flow of materials and components, emergency substitutions sometimes were necessary. Such substitutions, though approved by qualified engineers, gave support to the comment by German pilots toward the end of the war that the airplanes they flew were "backyard" airplanes. This comment could have been an alibi to cover up inadquate pilot training and competency.
14. Air Ministry Inspection
a. The responsibility for acceptance of aircraft and their principal components lay with the Inspection Office (Bau Aufsichts Leitung). This office was part of the Technical Office of the Air Ministry, and coordinated with the Production Division of the Ministry.
The head of the Technical Office was responsible for the accomplishment of engineering, production and inspection functions. the head of the Inspection Office was under no pressure to lower his standards to permit the Production Division to make a better showing, unless directed by the head of the Technical Office. There is no indication that any such instructions were given, even when bombing was causing (directly or indirectly) rejections and consequent loss of airplane production.
b. The Inspection Office had representatives in each of the main aircraft, engine and accessories plants. The inspector in charge supervised the inspection of products made in the main and branch plants of the company. The professional standards of this organization were high. Throughout the war the Inspection Office stamp of acceptance was held in high respect. Dispersal, however, presented a serious problem. During the winter of 1943-1944, along with serious inroads caused by the drafting of men into the army, it became necessary to provide inspectors for several times the number of plants. It was an impossible assignment. An arrangement was made whereby the Inspection Office deputized the company inspectors to make detailed acceptance. This worked satisfactorily. Production managers complained that standards were higher on this basis than when the Inspection Office representative inspected. When Saur became chief of the Fighter Staff in March 1944 he insisted that the Inspection Office discontinue the deputizing of company inspectors. Officially this was done, but the same arrangement continued, because the Inspection Office did not have a sufficient staff to do the whole job. It is not surprising under such circumstances, if the number of rejections and spoiled parts increased.
c. Goering stated that under dispersal, quality suffered considerably. Fittings sometimes did not meet tolerances. Because there was more than one source for each component and subassembly, there was not satisfactory interchangeability. Goering gave as an illustration that landing gear wheels did not always match. It was this situation that contributed in part to the decision to concentrate production in single underground plants.
d. The inspection of purchased parts, such as rivets and bolts, was carried on by the Aircraft Manufacturers' Association. This non-governmental organization had established standards for such items, and employed inspectors who covered all producers of those items. In addition to the high professional code of these inspectors, civilians who passed faulty parts or materials were subject to special courts-martial as saboteurs.
15. Effect of Declining Quality on Operational Losses
a. The greatly increased production of fighter airplanes in 1943-1944 was not reflected in a conspicuous increase in the operational strength of the Luftwaffe. This general problem is considered in the report of the Operations Division of the Survey. Leading officials of the Speer Ministry Armament Staff and of German aircraft companies stated that they could not understand the discrepancy. Dr. Frydag said that he had raised the question repeatedly as to why the aircraft industry should make such strenuous efforts to produce airplanes when the number in operation appeared to remain the same. The present analysis is concerned only with design and production considerations which might throw light on the puzzle.
b. Fighter and destroyer types, which included the Me 109, 110, FW 190 and Ju 88, did not decline in quality. The only plausible factor relating to production which might explain a high operational loss rate, has to do with spares. It is known that in 1944 Saur minimized the diversion of parts and subassemblies as spares in order to maximize the score of his production record of new airplanes.
c. The case of the Me 262 jet fighter is a particular one. Its great speed consitituted a great threat to the Combined Bomber Offensive and a great hope for the German Air Force. From the production point of view, however, several design difficulties that were encountered must be noted:
(1) The Me 262 was forced through its developmental stages at such a speed that many design problems were not adquately solved.
(2) The engine for the Me 262 was not ready for line production until June 1944 and even then the engine starter and fuel regulating mechanism were not fool-proof. Pilots were continually opening the throttle too quickly with the result that the engine stopped or burned up.
(3) Goering stated that the landing gear and brakes were poorly designed and, unless operated carefully, caused ground loops.
(4) Repair parts, especially turbine blades, were not in good supply. Saur insisted that the line requirements have first claim. (The life of turbine blades ranged between 25 and 36 hours.)
16. Conclusions Regarding Production Quality
a. Design and inspection standards were not substantially lowered.
b. The inspection organizations of the manufacturers and of the Air Ministry had a difficult time coping with production and operations under dispersal conditions, and administrative control of the situation was lost. There is no evidence, however, that manufacturers took advantage of the situation.
c. Production under dispersal conditions created serious problems as to interchangeability of parts.
d. The continuous effort that was expended on the improvement of design resulted in better performance of a magnitude at least equal to the loss caused by reduced quality of production.
e. Tentative conclusions from actual tests of the performance of German aircraft conducted in England in 1945, indicated that quality was maintained up to the last. Wood was used in the empennage assembly of the Me 109, in the flaps of the FW 190 and in several places on the Me 262. This substitution apparently did not affect performance.
1. The aircraft engine industry presents some special considerations with reference to strategic bombing. As it was only a little smaller in size than the airframe industry, it deserves seperate and specific analysis. Several German officials, under interrogation, have stated that the engine industry was more vulnerable to bombing than was the airframe industry.
2. Engine Manufacturing Companies
a. As in the case of aircraft companies, there was practically no aircraft engine industry in Germany before 1933. Hitler's newly appointed Air Ministry undertook to build one, as a part of the general armament program. The same pattern was followed as in the airframe industry. Selected concerns with design experience were used as the nucleus of the industry. Existing plants were expanded, and new facilities provided either under the management of the primary companies, or under other selected industrial concerns. The plan offers another good example of German prewar "rationalization" of industry.
b. The basic design, development and production companies were Junkers, Daimler-Benz and Bayerische Motorenwerke (BMW). Junkers had become well established in the aircraft engine industry, but Daimler-Benz and BMW had been leading performers in the high-performance automotive field. The Air Ministry purchased Junkers in 1935, but the other two remained privately owned. The basic designs were pooled and the lines of research for each company were outlined by the Air Ministry.
c. The Air Ministry brought additional industrial concerns into the aircraft engine production field, as licensees under Junkers and Daimler-Benz. This was done principally before the war, so most of them were equipped with machines and had some experience with the particular problems of aircraft engine manufacture. BMW did not license other companies until late in the war, when Klockner of Hamburg was licensed. The Junkers and Daimler-Benz licensees were as follows:
|Junkers:||Mitteldeutsche Motorenwerke (subsidiary of Auto Union)|
|Pommersche Motorenwerke (subsidiary of Stöwer)|
|Daimler-Benz:||Henschel & Sohn|
|Niedersachsische (subsidiary of Büssing NAG)|
d. The location of the aircraft engine industry is shown in Figures VII-1 and 2, at the beginning of the war and in 1944. The situation toward the end of the war was much blurred by dispersal. As in the case of airframes, there was no concentration of the industry geographically, but locations near the eastern and western borders were avoided. During the war, production was extended to several centers in Czechoslovakia, to Strasbourg and its vicinity, and in 1941, a huge plant, the Ostmark, was built in Vienna.
3. Surplus Capacity in the Engine Industry
a. The capacity of the industry was more than adquate for the aircraft program during the first years of the war with the result that production rates in individual plants were below an economic level. This excess capacity, however, turned out to be valuable insurance. Two of the engine designs upon which important programs depended did not work out on schedule: the Jumo 213 and the DB 603. These engines, with higher performance than their older counterparts, the Jumo 211 and the DB 605, encountered design problems, with the result that great factory space was tied up unproductively for considerable periods of time.
b. The Ostmark plant, planned for large scale production of the DB 603 engine, was an outstanding example. This plant was the most expensive one in the Air Ministry program and covered an area of approximately 3,000,000 sq ft. Because of design, programming, and other difficulties, however, it was probably the greatest failure of the war. Begun in 1941, it delivered its first engine in May 1943, but by the end of the war had produced only some 3,000 engines in all. The Nazi party took over the management of the plant in 1944 but was unable to improve the situation. The existence of other productive capacity for the DB 605 engine made it possible to meet the requirements, in spite of the failure of the Ostmark plant.
c. Because of the frequent changes in the aircraft program, mention of which has already been made, the existence of extra capacity was a fortuante thing for the German aircraft industry. In all significant cases, there were two or more plants in production on a given engine model. This permitted flexibility of production when program changes were made on short notice. This situation also had an important bearing on the effectiveness of strategic bombing. Within fairly broad limits, capacity lost through bomb damage could be taken up by increasing the working force and by operating a second shift.
4. Plants and Equipment
building except in the area directly hit. Care was taken to leave the windows of such structures open during an alert, to reduce the blast effect on the walls and roof. Incendiary bombs against this type of building were very effective. Heat treating installations were highly vulnerable to both high explosive and incendiary bombs, and they could be put into operation again only after lengthy delay.
d. Reinforced concrete buildings, the type usually used to house the large batteries of precision machine tools, were less vulnerable to attack. Five hundred pound high explosive bombs usually were stopped by the top, or the next to the top floor and damage was restricted to that area. Incendiaries fell on the concrete roof and did no damage. Only very heavy high explosive bombs were effective against such structures. The Henschel plant at Kassel and the BMW plant at Munich are examples where heavy bombs effectively wrecked reinforced concrete buildings and caused the upper floors to collapse on the machine tools. Incendiary bombs dropped after heavy high explosive bombs are effective against this type of structure.
e. Bomb damage to aircraft engine plants was much greater than to the machine tools used in them. Dr. Werner reported in September 1944 that up to that time only about five percent of machine tools equipment had been destroyed by bombing. It was possible to disperse and to put underground as many of the remaining machines as desired.
f. A distinctive part of an aircraft engine plant is the structure housing the test stands. This equipment is a critical part of the manufacturing operation, and includes elaborate instruments and electrical equipment. The stands are mounted in concrete, but the structure might be anything from frame to reinforced concrete. If hit by any type of bomb, the damage done could be serious and months might be required to repair it. Makeshift arrangements could be made for ordinary testing, such as running engines in on airplanes, but for special high performance testing, including high altitude conditions, such improvisation was not possible. A bomb dropped on a target of opportunity hit the high altitude engine test chamber for the double supercharged DB 603L engine. The consequent delay was an important factor in the postponement of the use of that engine in the Me 109.
5. Dispersal of the Engine Industry
a. The concern of responsible officials over the vulnerable position of the aircraft engine industry caused them to order its dispersal, and later, to give it a high priority in the program to go into underground facilities. In the case of the Junkers and Daimler-Benz operations, and those of their licensees, the program was carried out without serious mishap. Reserves and manufacturing capacity were sufficient to tide over the period during which operations were disrupted.
In the case of BMW, however, serious difficulty was encountered, and more production of engines was lost during dispersal than had been caused by earlier bombings. The plan was to remove the aircraft engine operations from the Munich-Allach plants to an underground facility at Merkirch in Alsace. The decision was made in March 1944, the actual moving began in June, and was completed in September, in the face of great transportation difficulties. The advance of the Allied armies, however, precipitated a decision to return to dispered locations in Munich. This was not completed until November.
b. Dispersed operations proved to be unsatisfactory because of the dependence upon a rapidly disintegrating transportation system so haste was made to bring operations together in underground facilities. V-weapons were given a special priority in this move, but early action was also taken on aircraft engines. The Jumo 004 engine for the Me 262 was set up in the Nordwerk, which was the north end of the tunnel complex occupied by the Mittelwerke, near Nordhausen. (Description in Chapter IX). The Daimler-Benz production operations at Genshagen were transferred in large part to an underground location near Heidelburg, called the Goldfische plant. (Description in Chapter II). The eventual plan was to centralized manufacturing operations in a few underground and bunker type facilities. The war ended before satisfactory conditions had been attained.
6. The Production Record
a. The production of the main types of German aircraft engines for the period September 1939 through December 1944 is shown in Figure VII-3. This series cannot be compared directly with the curve for aircraft production because of the varying proportions of single and multi-engine airplanes that were being produced. In 1944, for example, there was a drastic shift of production to fighter types, mostly single-engine types. The chart shows the persistent rise of production thoughout the Combined Bomber Offensive until April 1944 when the direct and indirect effects of the attack resulted in the beginning of a substantial production decline. From April until the end of the war no additions were made to engine reserves, and deliveries of spare engines were in greatly reduced volume. The reduction in production of multi-engine airplane types which began early in 1944 lessened requirements with the result that the reduced supplies of engines did not seriously interrupt the production of aircraft.
b. The production of engines was based upon the plans for the production of aircraft which have already been described (Chapter VI). The normal load time for engine deliveries in advance of airplane completion was one month, with an additional two weeks required for powerplant ("power egg") assembly. A reserve supply of one month's requirements was maintained when possible. The time required to get
an engine into production was longer than that for airframes. Engine manufacturers, as a result, complained even more bitterly than did airframe manufacturers of the frequency and multiplicity of program changes, and of delays in clearing important engine projects for high production.
c. The cushion for aircraft engines is shown in Figure VII-4, the totals of the principal engine types produced for practically all combat airplanes are given, compared with the engine requirements of those airplanes. Figures were not readily available for the individual engine models and the airplanes into which they went. The significance of such a detailed check was reduced because different engines types could be used, within limits, in the same airplane. The situation for different engine types varied considerably. In the case of the DB 605, for example, used principally in the Me 109, probably there was always sufficient cushion to tide over the ordinary bomb damage emergency. In the case of the BMW 801, however, used principally in the FW 190, the situation was frequently critical.
7. Effects of Bombing on Engine Production
a. The weight of bombs dropped on the aircraft engine industry has already been shown in Chapter V. The effect of these attacks on engine production will be noted briefly.
b. The overall situation for the supply of engines for installation and spares has been shown in Figure VII-4. It shows the engines required for actual production of aircraft and the production of engines, monthly for the period 1941-1944, with the cumulative changes in the cushion position. Only the relative changes in the cushions are significant, since it was not possible to determine the size of the cushion at the beginning of the period. This chart reveals the fact that the engine supply did not become critically short until the second half of 1944. The total monthly production of BMW and DB types of aircraft engines in each factory is shown in Table VII-1.
German Aircraft Engine Production
BMW and DB Types
September 1939 - December 1944
|BMW Types||Daimler-Benz Types|
|Argus||Allach-Munich||Klockner||Spandau||Eisenach||Zuhlsdorf||France||Pomd-Stettin||Marienfelde||Bussing Brunswick||Henschel Kassel||Manfred Weiss||Steyr Plant||Avia Prague||RLM Plant Austria||Genshagen|
|Date||801||132||323||132||603||601, 606, 603||601, 605, 606, 610||601, 605||605||605||603||603||601, 605, 606, 610|
c. Individual analysis of the effect of bombing on the production of the major engine types follows:
(1) BMW 801: The production curve for this engine is shown in Figure VII-5. Monthly data are given for each plant for the period 1942-1944. A raid on the Munich-Allach plant in March 1943 caused a loss of approximately 400 engines, or one month's production. Another attack in December 1943 caused a loss of about 200 engines. In May 1944 there was a heavy attack, but the effect cannot be distinguished from losses caused by dispersal. These losses mounted to several thousand engines. As a result of a raid in
the summer of 1944 on the Klockner plant at Hamburg, licensee under BMW, operations were removed to Brno, Czechoslovakia. The attendant loss in production was approximately 700 engines.
(2) DB 605: The production curve for this type is shown in Figure VII-6. Monthly data are given for each plant for the period 1940-1944. This engine used principally on the Me 109 was produced in several plants which were bombed. The principal plant at Genshagen was hit in July 1944, but production did not fall below 40 percent of the peak rate that had previously obtained. The machine shop for this plant was removed to an underground location late in the summer of 1944. This arrangement proved to be exceedingly awkward and the production rate rose only to 70 percent of the pre-raid rate. Attacks on Büssing, a licensee, in April and August 1944 were not important in reducing production because of successful dispersal. The attacks on the Henshel works at Kassel were somewhat more effective, but through dispersal the rate of operation in December 1944 was as high as it had ever been. The operations at Pommersche Motorenwerke at Stettin were not on a large scale. An attack in March 1944 interrupted production, but by the end of the year the rate was higher than it had ever been. The total curve for DB 605 engines does not show a serious decline in production in connection with bombing or dispersal.
(3) Jumo 211: The production curve for this engine is shown in Figure VII-7. Monthly data are given for the period 1940-1944. It was used principally in the Ju 88, and was produced in three plants: Junkers at Kothen and Magdeburg, and Mitteldeutsche Motorenwerke at Taucha. Peak production was reached in November 1942. The aircraft program had limited requirements for this type of engine at that time. It was intended to substitute the higher performance Jumo 213. The transition was not accomplished smoothly because of design difficulties, and production declined gradually through November 1943. By that time the combined production of Jumo 211 and 213 types had begun to rise. A bomb attack on the Taucha plant in July 1944 caused a loss of production of about 800 engines, but by November 1944, as a result of dispersal, the previous peak production rate had been reached, and in December a new peak was attained. The completion
of the Jumo 211 program in August 1944, and the removal of the production operations of the 004 jet engine to the Nordwerke caused a serious drop in output. By December 1944, however, the combined output of all Junkers type powerplants was the highest it had ever been.
8. Jet Engine Development and Production
a. The Air Ministry initiated jet engine development in the winter of 1938-1939 according to Dr. Schelp who was in charge of the project in the Air Ministry. Junkers proceeded along one line, and the TL 004 was the result. BMW proceeded along another line and the TL 003 was the result. Heinkel had undertaken research independently two years earlier.
b. Technical development followed their usual course. Slow progress increasing the thrust, discouragement and threat that official support would be withdrawn, sufficient success to warrant trial installations in an airplane, then tenacious working out of unexpected problems. In 1941 an airplane equipped with a conventional engine and a jet unit made its first flight. On 18 July 1942 the first Me 262 with two TL 004 jet engines made its first flight.
c. It was not until 19 May 1943 that Gen. Galland flew the Me 262. He reported enthusiastically about it and on 5 June the Air Ministry approved the project for line production. Officials of the Messerschmitt company have expressed themselves bitterly on the failure of the Air Ministry to give the Me 262 the attention it deserved. On the basis of the airframe alone this criticism might have been well founded, but the engine in spite of all that the Junkers company could do was not ready for line production until June 1944. Volume deliveries to Messerschmitt began in October and by the end of the war approximately 6,000 had been built of which about half had gone to Messerschmitt. The balance had been used for test purposes, for spares and for the Arado Ar 234 airplane for which expectations were high.
d. The development of the BMW TL 003 followed a similiar pattern. It was used on the He 162 which was given a top priority during the winter of 1944-1945.
1. The present chapter deals with the effect of strategic bombing on certain airframe and engine materials, accessories and components. The treatment is not intended to be exhaustive. It does not cover the situation as to the basic supply of steel and of the light metals since those targets are the subjects of other reports (see report "The Light Metal Industry of Germany", Aircraft Division, USSBS). The equipment industry is covered in greater detail in the report of the Equipment Division, USSBS. Brief attention is given to the special case of ball bearings because of a time they were thought to be critical. Such a relatively superficial treatment is justified in this report because at no time during the war was there evidence that aircraft production was seriously impaired by shortages of materials and components due to any inability of the manufacturers to produce them. It was only when the producers could not deliver them to the consumers because of the breakdown of rail and other transport that the situation finally became acute.
2. Airframes are principally made of duralumin, and engines of aluminum and steel; both make use of a relatively small amount of magnesium. The steels used are almost entirely the alloy types, although toward the end of the war interesting use was made of ordinary carbon steels. The substitution problem came up repeatedly during the war as the result of dwindling stockpiles, loss of conquered lands and changing trade relationships with neutral countries.
3. Materials - Aluminum
a. During peace Germany normally used a disproportionately large amount of aluminium as compared to countries that had copper resources or access to copper in the world markets. Aluminium was used in many ways as a substitute for copper. The basic supply situation for the aircraft industry therefore was excellent.
b. The various forms in which aluminum was used in the aircraft industry were duralumin sheets, forgings, castings, extrusions, plate, rolled sections and products such as bolts and rivets. German metallurgical and industrial practice was well advanced in all of these lines. There were numerous sources and adquate equipment to produce them in all the larger industrial centers. The principal equipment used - heavy rolling mills and presses - was not particularly vulnerable to bomb attack except by direct hit or by fire. The lighter items, especially the forging equipment and the patterns and dies used in foundry operations, were highly vulnerable. They were not concentrated in large plants, however, and it was common practice to maintain duplicate dies. The plants were vulnerable to incendiary bombs and when large
fires were started the equipment, even if heavy, was destroyed. Furnaces used for heat treating were vulnerable to both types of bombing.
c. Germany carried the use of secondary aluminum further than did the United States through the force of circumstances. Homogeneous scrap, such as milling ships, were remelted and used as primary metal. Refining methods for scrap were improved to a point where secondary aluminum could be used in many places as a substitute for primary aluminum. Scrap from salvaged Allied aircraft never was an important source of material for German airplanes.
d. The amount of aluminum available for aircraft depended on the priority situation. The only time when the supply of the metal may have been a problem was in 1944-45, when bauxite sources in France, Yugoslavia and Hungary first were threatened and then were lost, and when electrical power had to be rationed. In that period, however, the aircraft program enjoyed the highest priority position and was never starved for materials.
e. During the first years of the war, 1939-1941, the method of allocating aluminum may have been a limiting factor on the aircraft requirements set by the Air Force General Staff. The German priority system provided for the issuance of requisitions for the materials required to manufacture each order. Under this system supplies of materials necessarily were committed well in advance of deliveries. General Udet, in the first years of the war, tended to overestimate the materials requirements of the aircraft program. Ambitious orders were given, for example, for the production of the Me 210 and the He 177, and materials for these programs were allocated, but both projects were delayed for a long time because of design difficulties and were eventually cancelled. The net result was that the most effective use was not made of the materials. They were partially immobilized.
f. Allocation procedures were subordinated to direct action beginning in 1944 when Saur took over the Fighter Staff and later the Armaments Staff. Materials were supplied expeditiously where most needed. This worked as long as the materials lasted, but when Saur, near the end of the war, was pressing for production of all armaments at the same time, it became necessary to prepare aircraft programs which required quantities of materials far in excess of the amounts that could be supplied. There is little doubt that had the war continued into the summer of 1946, the supply of aluminum available to the aircraft industry would have become critical indeed.
g. During the Fighter Staff period when the work-week had been lengthened to 72 hours and two shifts were being worked, shortages of parts and materials were threatened but never became critical. Workers, eager to get extra rations, frequently spread the work so they
would not run out of parts or materials. It is significant to note that the extensive dispersal carried on during the first half of 1944 required larger amounts of materials than when production was more concentrated. It was necessary to have stocks of materials in each of the dispersed locations. Dr. Cambeis of Junkers complained that dispersal of the aircraft engine industry had been carried too far.
4. Materials - Magnesium
a. Technical research in the uses of magnesium had progressed far in Germany before the war. Knowledge of the art of working the metal was widespread. German aircraft designers generally used greater quantities in their aircraft than did American and British engineers, but magnesium did not play an important part in the German war effort principally because of insufficient supplies. Shortages of steel prevented the expansion of capacity for making the quantities of magnesium that could have been used by industry. By making more extensive use of installed capacity and by utilizing sources made available in captured territories, output was approximately trebled over pre-war levels; but, at that, the supply fell far short of the potential demand. Airplane designers fell back on the more readily available aluminum alloys and the magnesium shortage never created any serious bottleneck.
5. Materials - Alloy Steels
a. Special high strength steels depended on the availability of the alloying metals, and in the last months of the war, upon the supply of power for the electrical furnaces in which the alloy steels were made. The size of Germany's stockpiles of nickel, molybdenum, vanadium, tungsten, chromium, manganese, and wolfram at the beginning of the war have been questioned. General Thomas, of the Central Planning Office, stated that they were not very large. German successes early in the war opened important sources for several of these metals. Toward the end access to many of these sources was lost, and the supply situation became acute.
b. The principal use of alloy steels in aircraft were in the spar caps of wing panels, in the oleo struts of the landing gear, in engine crankshafts, connecting rods and gears and in various fittings and accessories. Sources for alloy steels were numerous in German industrial centers, and the techniques for working on them were highly developed. The fabrication of parts out of alloy steel was widely scattered among aircraft, aircraft engine and accessory plants. The bombing of the Ruhr interfered to a small extent with the basic supply. Area bombing of industrial cities and towns frequently caused temporary set-backs in many items, but little airplane production was lost as a result because adquate cushion stocks existed from which emergency supplies could be drawn.
6. Accessories and Components
a. The German aircraft industry was far advanced in the standardization of aircraft components before the war. Industry-wide acceptance of standards was an effective cushion against strategic bombing, since, in case of emergency, stocks of parts could be interchanged.
b. The importance of aircraft accessories in the German aircraft industry in indicated by the following figures for the breakdown of the man-hours represented in 29 models of German airplanes in September 1944:
c. As a general matter the sources for aircraft accessories and components were adquate throughout the war, and few delays to aircraft production were caused by shortages.
d. One of the principal manufacturers of accessories and components was the Vereinighte Deutsche Metallwerke, A.G. at Frankfurt-am-Main. They produced a considerable percentage of the metal propellers, landing gears, radiators, hydraulic components, etc., for the industry. It offers a typical example of the growth and scattering of the accessory business generally. Figure VIII-1 [not scanned for lack of space] shows the dispersal pattern from the original single plant in 1934 to some 19 scattered factories in 1945. It is easy to see why accessory supplies became more and more difficult to hit by bombing as the war progresses.
e. Figures VIII-2 and VIII-3 are included to show the course of VDM's prodution of propellor blades and landing gear wheels during the latter war years. Increases in production were continuous, even during periods of bombing and of plant dispersal. It was only when transportation began to fail in the last months of the war that any serious decline in the production of these items occured.
f. The Main Committee for Airframes was responsible for seeing that each of the Special Committees for a particular airplane complex covered its requirements for airframe accessories and components. The Main Committee for Engines was responsible for seeing that each of the Special Committees for a particular engine manufacturing complex covered its requirements for engine accessories. Accessories, especially armament, not included in the jurisdiction of the airframe and engine committees, were covered by a third Main Committee. The
purchase of spares was the responsibility of a special government corporation, the Luftfahrtbedart, A.G.
g. Requirements for accessories and components were computed upon the basis of production orders for finished aircraft. These requirements were given to the Special Committees for each accessory or component type, such as electrical cables, radio equipment, hose fittings and optical equipment. These committees were responsible for seeing that the manufacturing capacity was adquate to meet the program requirements.
h. Shortages of individual items were handled by an Equipment Commissariat in the Air Ministry. The emergency techniques used were diversion of articles in short supply to where they were needed most, and allocation of all output of certain items until the shortage had passed. The commissiariat acted only with reference to short items. After the Fighter Staff was formed this office was empowered to raid spare accessories and components in depot stocks of the German Air Force. The General Staff provided the Equipment Commissariat with a list of aircraft in the order of tactical urgency to permit the delivery of short accessory and component items first to the aircraft most needed.
i. The pre-war planning for accessories and components was not of the same quality as for the airframe and engine industries. In general, German industry was qualified technically and had ample productive capacity to supply the needs of the aircraft program, but for certain items there were single sources, and much of the plant and equipment were vulnerable to bomb damage. For example, the production of optical glass was concentrated in one plant. Bosch of Stuttgart was practically the sole source of aircraft engine magnetos and certain other electrical equipment. If it had been bombed before September 1943 the aircraft program might have been delayed several months. Similiar situations existed for electrical plugs and connectors, switches and condensers.
j. In the fall of 1943 because of Allied bombing, steps were taken to remedy such vulnerable situations. The Air Ministry ordered that two or more sources be established for each item unless the the plant was underground. A short time later the general dispersal order was issued. Bosch removed part of its operations to Silesia and then to Moravia, and the operations at Stuttgart were scattered into 70 shops in the immediate neighborhood.
k. In spite of protective steps several particularly vulnerable spots in the field of accessories and components persisted into 1944. Propellor-feathering mechanisms were critically short for several months because of loss of production during the removal of Vereingte
Deutsche Mettalwerke operations due to bombing, from Hamburg to Marburg. Plexiglass was short during the first half of 1944 as the result of a successful daylight bombing attack on Darmstadt. Argus at Karlsruhe remained the sole final producer of armored hose, used in all types of aircraft throughout the war.
l. The vulnerability of plants and equipment to bombing attacks varied widely. In the case of propellers and landing gear much of the equipment was exceedingly heavy, and special toools were protected by blast walls. In the case of optical equipment and other items where a high degree of skill was required, workers could be transferred to new locations without serious loss of time. Of instruments Dr. Frydag estimated that there was always a 20 to 30 percent reserve stock in addition to requirements. This reserve was adequate to tide over bombing emergencies.
m. It can be said, in conclusion, that although certain vulnerable spots existed in the accessories and components supply chains, they were so widely scattered that it was almost impossible to intelligence to pin-point them as targets. The Air Ministry worked constantly to provide more than one source for each item required, and to disperse any operation that might offer a likely target.
7. The Special Case of Ball Bearings
a. The Eighth Air Force bombed Schweinfurt, the ball bearing production center of Germany, in August and again in October 1943. On the morning after the October raid, Goering called a meeting to appraise the situation and to take necessary action. It was found to the surprise and alarm of some people in the Air Ministry that the ball bearing industry had not been dispersed.
b. A plan for dispersal of the industry had been drawn up the previous year but had never been put into effect. Some months earlier the aircraft industry had been ordered to redesign with an eye to reduce the number of ball bearings used. The ball bearing manufacturers had oversold the designers, and, as a result, many ball bearings were used where they were not really needed.
c. The following emergency action was directed:
(1) The ball bearing industry was ordered dispersed. It was found that a few of the machine tools had been destroyed. They were removed and set up accordingly to the plan that had already been drawn up.
(2) All stocks of ball bearings in the hands of manufacturers, distributors, and large users were confiscated,
and reallocated to users on a hand-to-mouth basis. This procedure turned up an astonishingly large amount of ball bearings.
(3) Dr. Kessler was appointed special commissar to handle the emergency, and was given a special letter from Hitler which gave him full power. He had previously handled successfully two other special emergencies; 1) a shortage of hand grenades, 2) a complete abscence of supply of packing cases with which to parachute supplies to besieged forces at Stalingrad.
(4) The users of ball bearings were ordered to redesign and to remove ball bearings where they were not necessary. Practically no reduction was made in numbers used in aircraft engines, but in airframes up to 80 percent were removed.
d. Although the production of ball bearings dropped because of the Schweinfurt raids, it was almost normal again in three months. Meanwhile, there were no critical shortages for the aircraft industry. The allocation of bearings from the pooled stocks proved to be more than adquate to meet the then current demand.
1. Vergeltungswaffe. "Get Even" weapon, or Wunderwaffe, (abbreviated Wuwa) "Wonderweapon", was among the more spectacular developments of the war. The original objective was the destruction of London, but they were also used against cities on the continent.
2. Two fundamentally different weapons carrying about the the same weight per head, - 1 metric ton (2200 lbs) - were put to use by the Germans. Detailed descriptions, technical or in the popular style, can be found in many British and American magazines or newspapers. This chapter contains only a brief review of the two types, the V-1 (a pilotless airplane), and the V-2 (a rocket) that were in production and in use at the end of the war. Other more elaborate weapons were in preparation, but the war was over before they could be produced and put into use.
a. The V-1, called the flying bomb, buzz bomb, doodle bug etc, is a mid-wing monoplane of a gross weight of approximately 5700 lbs and 18-foot span. It is propelled by a pulsating engine of unusual simplicity, resembling in principal a gasoline blowtorch. The stability, altitude, attitude and azimuth of this aeroplane is maintained by a two-control system, rudder and elevator receiving their settings from a pneumatic, gryomagnetic automatic pilot. The range is controlled by means of an airlog. It is launched from an erectable catapult, actuated by power supplied by a H2O2 unit. The speed of the V-1 is between 350 and 450 miles per hour and its maximum range is some 140 to 150 miles.
b. The design lent itself readily to mass production. Little precision work was required and but small quantities of critical materials were used. Approximately 800 man-hours were required to build one missile without warhead.
c. The success of the V-1 was great. Although the accuracy of the individual bomb was not of a high order, the statistical average of hits was good, evidenced by the fact that no district in London was spared. Some 200,000 dwellings were destroyed. Total casualties killed and injured were approximately 60,000.
4. Counter Measures
a. About 40 percent of V-1s approaching England were
destroyed in the air by pursuit aircraft, about two or three percent by barrage balloons and some 13 percent by anti-aircraft fire. Close to 6000 missiles landed in Great Britain.
b. As early as the summer of 1943, photo reconnaissance indicated the existence of launching ramps called "ski-sites" scattered along the Pas de Calais area.
c. Bombing attacks against launching sites on a large scale began in December 1943 and continued throughout the winter and spring. The "ski-sites", of which nearly 100 were under construction, were all neutralized and extensive damage was done to larger installations at Sottewast, Siracourt, etc. More than 200 attacks were made on such installations before 10 June 1944 by the Eighth Air Force alone, while the The Tactical Air Forces and RAF also put forth a considerable effort.
d. The objective of these attacks was to delay or prevent, if possible, the beginning of launching operations and also to decrease the potential weight of attacks which could be delivered in a short period of time.
e. It has been estimated that all the "ski-sites" observed under construction would have provided a launching potential of more than 1000 V-1s in 24 hours.
f. As a result of bombing attacks, the "ski-sites" were abandoned and more modest "modified sites" devised and constructed. Many of the latter were also constructed.
5. Production Facilities for V-1
a. The German Air Ministry undertook the design of a flying bomb as early 1936. General Udet, Director of Aircraft Procurement, was actively interested in the project. Late in 1941 Field Marshall Milch also became enthusiatic about the V-1. Design and development work was carried in the Air Ministry Division of the Peenemunde research station. Fiesler and Messerschmitt co-operated in the design of the airframe structure. Argus developed the propulsion equipment which was based on the invention of a Dr. Schmidt, and several companies, including Siemens, Lorenz, Askaina, and the Gyroscope Apparatus Company designed and developed the control equipment.
b. By September 1943 tests had reached the point where serious production could be started. The monthly rate planned originally was 6000 units, but in September 1944 Hitler ordered the productive capacity be set at 9000 units per month. The highest rate attained was about 3000 units per month.
c. Since the Combined Bomber Offensive was already underway, the plan provided for at least three sources for each subassembly. Initially, these were to have been the Volkswagenwerke at Fallersleben, Wiener Neustadt Flugzeugwerke at Vienna, and Bruns Werke at Stettin. On the first of these three companies actually produced V-1 weapons in large volume. A few hundred were assembled at Bruno and also by Fiesler.
d. The Volkswagen plant at Fallersleben was attacked four times between April and August 1944. The presses used to form the skin sections of the V-1 were damaged, but the Vokswagen company utilized similiar presses in the plant at Ichönebeck near Magdeburg, and no production of finished articles was lost. The assembly line at Fallersleben continued to operate until February 1945. The reinforced concrete structure of the plant withstood the high explosive bombs dropped, and production was possible on the ground floor. The Air Ministry decided, however, to move assembly and some production operations into the tunnels of the Mittelwerke company at Nordhausen. (For a complete description of the manufacturing facilities and the organization of the Mittelwerke, see below).
6. Production Estimates
a. The estimated monthly output of V-1 weapons at the Volkswagen and Mittelwerke plants is given in Table IX-1. The figures are taken from the records of the Speer Ministry are given for comparison. The discrepancy between the two is not large.
V-1 Production Estimates
|Month||Estimate by Director Rickhey||Production according to|
|VW Plant at Fallersleben*||Mittelwerke||Total||Speer Ministry Figures|
|1944||Jan to June||10,000||-||10,000||-|
b. The maximum rate of output of both plants together was about 3000 units, as against planned output of 6000 to 9000. Production capacity was available for the full plan but supllies of steel sheet were limited. The shortage of steel sheets was a matter of priority. Even in the final stages of the war, the Ruhr was producing large quantities of sheets and Hitler could have allocated enough to build the full program if he had considered the V-1 weapons sufficiently important. By that time, however, the transportation system throughout Germany had broken down to the point where such materials could not be shipped to the manufacturing plants.
c. Assembly schedules were set up according to the rate the missiles could be fired, since accumulation of finished units were not readily stored and constituted vulnerable targets. Bombing of launching sites and difficulties with the training of launching crews limited the number fired.The estimated distribution of the 30,000-odd V-1's built during the war is as follows:
|Used for experimental development||6-8000|
|Damaged enroute to launching sites||4-5000|
|Destroyed while being launched||5-6000|
|Number being launched against Britain||7500|
|Number launched against Antwerp||6550|
|Destroyed by Germans and others at the end of the war||Unknown|
a. The V-2, (called by the Germans Project A-4), is a rocket, without wings, propelled by a reaction jet motor. It is a projectile type tube some 45 feet long, about six feet in diameter and its total launching weight exceeds 13 tons. The propulsion motor, fed with alcohol, burns in an atmosphere of oxygen. The mixture is pumped to the jet by a steam turbine, which obtains its steam from a mixer in which calcium permanganate and 80 per cent hydrogen peroxide are introduced.
b. There is enough fuel for about one minute of power flight. During this time, the rocket ascends first vertically, then by means of fins located in the jet stream, its trajectory is changed to a controlled parabola terminating in a curve tangent to a line 42 degrees to the horizontal. Control during the ascent is by a gyroscopic accelerometer, an electronic system of great ingenuity and considerable complexity. After the fuel is exhausted, the rocket continues its upward motion, reaching an altitude of about 55 to 60 miles. The descent follows a ballistic parabola like an ordinary projectile. A terminal velocity is reached of some 3,000 feet per second. The maximum range of the V-2 is about 210 miles.
c. A schematic diagram of the V-2 is given in Figure IX-2. The principal structural subassemblies which made the V-2 included: (1) the nose, which was made of wood, (2) the center section and (3) the tail section which included the fins. The latter was made of formed sheet steel, .035 thick, welded or riveted. The combustion chamber was made of formed and welded steel sheet. Small serve gyroscopic control units in the fins directed the missile in flight. There were eight such units in each weapon, two on each fin. The ones on the outer edges actuated the control tabs, and those on the inner edges operated a control surface in the jet stream.
d. The tail assembly was by far the most difficult unit to build. The sheet metal work was not especially complicated by the small control devices in the fins required precision workmanship and instrument shop working conditions. These parts were the most difficult and troublesome to manufacture. Rejections were high. Saboteurs found it easy to let dust get into the delicate apparatus.
8. Efficency of the V-2
The success of the V-2 measured in terms of casualties produced per man-hour to produce one missile was small. Roughly, a thousand rockets landed in the London area, killing about 2,700 people. Some 6,500 were seriously injured and about 15,000 more were slightly hurt, making total casualties just short of 25,000. Had the Germans started the V-2 campaign a year before the actual use (September 1944) and with 10 times the quantities involved, the story of London might have been considerable different as there was no known counter measures, except the bombing of launching devices which are portable, small and easily camouflaged.
Production Facilities for the V-2
a. The origin of the V-2 is identified with rocket research in Germany, which goes back at least 15 years before the war. Dr. von Braun was the outstanding scientist in the development of the electrical control mechanism, although various other scientists had important parts in the solution of the many problems which were encountered. In 1939 the resources of several universities were put to work on the project. The German Army had taken over the military application and had established a research center at Peenemunde on the Baltic.
b. On 16 March 1942 sufficient progress had been made on the V-2 to warrant Hitler requesting Speer to investigate the possibilities of producing enough fuel to permit the firing of 3000 rockets a month. In October 1942 Hitler told Speer that he wanted 5000 rockets available when the weapon was introduced operationally. In January 1943 he directed that the V-2 be used against London, and that technical improvements be made gradually in order to keep ahead of enemy effort at defense and counter action.
c. By the summer of 1943 the problem of launching and control had been mastered, and on 8 July Hitler ordered the V-2 into series production. A rate of 2000 a month was projected. Dr. George Rickhey, Director General of the Mittelwerke Company, has expressed the opinion that the weapon was not ready for use at that time. Because the missiles lacked sufficient control to permit aiming at specific strategic targets he believed that the damage caused by random hits would not justify the cost of the weapon. He was overruled.
d. Pilot plant operations were set up at Peenemunde. This remote location had been selected for reasons of security. After the raids on Peenemunde in July and August 1943, which killed two key scientists and a large number of workers, the High Command allocated to the V-weapon committee the tunnels at Nordhausen, which were being used by another government agency for the storage of critically important supplies.
10. The Mittelwerke Underground Plant at Nordhausen
a. The Mittelwerke Company was formed to operate the underground plant. Enough space was ready in February 1944 to permit starting manufacturing operations. Dr. Rickhey was made general director in April 1944. The original intention was to carry on only assembly operations, but the difficulties caused by heavy Allied air attacks on practically all German industrial centers made necessary the building of the complete V-2 units except for the pump and turbine, fuel tanks and electrical and mechanical control units. The plant was ready for full time production in August.
b. Eventually, the huge underground installation were engaged in the manufacture of both the V-1 and V-2, as well as the Junkers Jumo 213 aero-engine and the Jumo 004 turbojet unit. Although expansion was taking place, the usuable plant area at the end of the war was approximately 1,200,000 sq ft, and the physical layout was such that mass production could be achieved within the limitations inherent in all underground establishments.
c. Aero-engine production was carried on in approximately half of the factory space by Junkers under the codename of Nordwerke. V-weapon production was located in the other half of the plant under the direction of the Mittelwerke, a state-owned company under the immediate direction of the SS.
d. V-2 production began in February 1944. Prior to that time the weapons were manufactured for testing purposes at the experimental station in Peenemunde. Orders for all components had been issued to various sub-contractors in the fall of 1943. V-1 production was taken over from the Volkswagenwerke, Fallersleben, in July 1944. It was the intent at this time to begin placing all V-1 production in underground sites and since no other places were available, Mittelwerke became the main production plant for the V-1 also. Other rocket programs were being formulated for production at Mittelwerke but no other units were produced by the end of the war.
e. On the V-1 and V-2 projects Mittelwerke employed approximately 3100 German workers in the office and plant and 6,000 slave laborers. The slave laborers were kept at the notorious Nordhausen
camp, which is located immediately outside one of the main entrances to the underground plant. There, under SS guard and behind electrically charged fences, the bulk of the laborers of the Mittelwerke were imprisoned. Living conditions for the 20,000 people housed there were intolerable, the death rate was high, and, consequently, the labor turnover in the factory was very great. Production standards were difficult to maintain. The factory operated 24 hours per day, seven days per week, with a few units working only two shifts and with an average of 70 hours per working week per individual. The labor force, as evidenced in the prison camp, was composed largely of people from eastern Europe, although many nationalities were represented, including many German political prisoners. The SS was in direct charge of the camp as well as the workers when they were in the factories.
f. The physical plant layout consists of two approximately parallel tunnels driven through soft mountain rock, with an overburden of 140 to 200 feet. Each tunnel is approximately 5,700 feet in length, curving as indicated in Figure IX-3. Forty-seven cross tunnels, more or less evenly spaced, connected the two main tunnels and served as an area for the machining and subassembly of parts that are fed into the final assembly in one or another of the main tunnels.
g. The cross connecting tunnels, 20 through 47 inclusive and the corresponding section of the main tunnels were devoted to the production of the V-1 and V-2. The rest of the plant, not discussed in this report, was under the management of Junkers for the manufacture of aero-engines.
h. Standard-gauge railroad tracks led into the entrances of both main tunnels and continued for some distance within, so that assembled products could be loaded directly into railroad cars without observation from without.
i. Many of the characteristic features of the Mittelwerke installation may be seen in the accompanying photographs.
j. construction of the tunnels was started in 1936 by a private company and the first use was for the emergency storage of mineral oils and gasoline. Only minor changes were necessary when the decision to adapt it to V-weapon production was made. In September 1943, the installation of tools was begun, necessary partitions were erected, and power systems were constructed. To insure secrecy special arrangements were made in the organization of the plant to avoid the interchange of information among the various activities it housed. The construction of other tunnels in nearby hills as auxiliary manufacturing points was begun but was never completed.
k. The average dimensions of the two main tunnels were 35 feet
in width and approximately 25 feet in height. The cross-connecting tunnels were slightly smaller in size, being about 30 feet wide and 22 feet high. Some of the cross-connecting tunnels were deepened for special uses, such as the work on the subassemblies of the V-2. For a distance of about 800 feet from the entrance of the main tunnels the walls and ceilings were faced in concrete. The remainder of all wall and ceiling areas in the plant were painted white with a paint that provided a highly illuminative reflection surface, as well as waterproofing the rock. In some tunnels second floors were constucted of 2 inch X 8 inch planking resting on stringers supported by 12 inch I-beams laid transversely to the tunnel and in turn supported by 12 inch X 12 inch brick columns built against side walls, as well as a line of Lally-type steel pipe columns running down the center line of the tunnel. Spare parts pertinent to the piece being manufactured in each connecting tunnel or "stolle" were generally located on the second floor section of such tunnels nearest the position were the part was required for installation.
l. In contrast to the relatively poor quality of the rest of the installation, excellent ventilation and lighting facilities were provided. For ventialtion, large metal ducts carried a forced draft of temperature-controlled air to all the tunnels. Electric lighting was furnished by rows of lamps along the walls and overhead. Individual electric lights were provided at each machine where needed.
m. A program for expansion of the activities in the plant was evidently underway when it was captured. Construction had begun of an off-shoot to one of the main tunnels. In it were certain newly installed machines as yet inoperative, and a certain group of excess machinery as yet uninstalled. The original part of the plant was of good design and well constructed. The temporary part of the work had obviously been erected against time and fell far short of accepted standards of safety, good appearance, and efficiency.
n. One of the few essential units outside the plant proper was the electric power system, which was fed by stations at Bleicherode and Sondershausen about 10 miles away. Transformers were installed in and near the tunnels.
o. Because so much of the installation was underground, the plant was almost invulnerable to air attacks. In spite of the exposure of the railroad lines leading to the plant, the tunnel entrances, the worker's barracks and the power transformers, it is probable that no attack, however well executed, would have had more than a temporary effect. No direct attacks were attempted. Indirect effects on production were caused by the bombing of component producers however, and late in the war the bombing of transportation facilities upon which the plant was greatly dependent slowed up production materially.
11. V-2 Production Problems
a. Because of the threat of heavy bombing attacks on component manufacturers feeding the final assembly plant, three sources were planned for each component produced outside of the Mittelwerke. The capacity of any two was to be adquate to take up the production if the third were bombed out. This plan was carried out in each case except for the pump and turbine unit. A factory at Jenbach, Austria, was the sole source and thus constituted a highly vulnerable point for strategic bombing. These components required the use of highly specialized precision machines of which few were available, and this type of work called for exceptional skills and production "know how".
b. The V-2 project encountered design difficulties early in 1944, when it was discovered that about 80 percent of those fired burst in the air before reaching their target with the result that almost no damage was done. It took three months to correct this detail. Dr. Rickhey estimated that about 3,000 V-2 units were used experimentally in efforts to make the weapon operational.
c. Dr. Rickhey estimated that the man hours required to build V-2 weapons after the Mittelwerke plant was tooled up for line production would have followed a declining curve. The one hundredth unit was estimated at 17,000 man-hours, the thousandth at 7500 and the ten thousandth, only 3500 man-hours. At this stage each V-2 would have cost approximately RM 56,000. At the pilot plant at Peenemunde the time per unit ranged from 20,000 down to 10,000 man-hours each.
d. The monthly output of V-2 weapons at the pilot plant in Peenemunde and at the Mittelwerke is given in Table IX-2. The breakdown between the two plants was estimated by Dr. Rickhey. The figures taken from the records of the Speer Ministry vary somewhat but the discrepancy between the two can probably be accounted for as indicated in the footnotes.
e. The maximum rate of output attained was about 900 a month. Dr. Rickhey stated that this was the goal which was then set. In June 1944 because of the bursting of the missiles, Hitler had ordered production cut to 156 units per month until the problem was solved. After successful tests he ordered the rate built up to 900 units. The explanation for the reduction in plan probably was that only limited quantities of sheet metal, oxygen and alcohol could be made available for V-2 weapons. The breakdown in transport in the last months of the war became a serious limitation on the program, both in the receipt of parts and materials, and in the delivery of the bulky units to the launching sites.
V-2 Production Estimates
(Estimate by Director Rickhey)
|Peenemunde||Mittelwerke||Total||Speer Ministry Series|
|Jul 44||15||250||265||Before Sep|
12. Rocket Fuels
a. Provision was made in 1943 for supplies of propellant fuels. In October the V-weapon committee directed that two plants be built or the production of liquid oxygen, one of Schmeidebach in Thuringia, and the other at Puckheim in Austria. Ordinarily, liquid oxygen was produced in connection with the hydroxygenation of coal, but cause of the larger number of bombing attacks on these plants, Hitler ordered that the V-2 weapon program be protected by having separate sources. Alcohol was produced all over Germany, especially in the east where most potatoes were grown. The requirement of 80 percent saturated H2O2 was small, since it was used in the V-2 only to run the turbine which ran the pump which forced the alcohol and oxygen into the combustion chamber.
b. Production of the fuels was not affected directly by bombing. The loss of Poland and East Prussia to the Russians reduced the supplies and the quantities that could be made available at the launching sites were limited accordingly. Because of this factor alone, Hitler's request that the use of the V-2 begin with the firing of 5000 missiles, according to Dr. Rickhey, was impractical. To insure the continuance of adequate supplis of oxygen, equipment was being installed in tunnels near Nordhausen when the war ended.
13. Summary of Attacks against V-Weapon Production
a. The high points of the bombing missions directed at V-weapon research and production are as follows.
(1) There were four raids, one by the RAF and three by the Eighth AF. The latter were in July and August 1944. The extent of damage has not been ascertained by field survey. Interrogation of Speer, Milch, Galland and Rickhey revealed that at least two key scientists and 40 to 50 draftsmen and readily replaceable persons were killed. The design and development of the V-1 and V-2 were so far advanced that the basic program was not affected. Perhaps two months were lost because of the bomb raids in working out the technical problems which held up the V-2 during the spring and summer of 1944. Work on several of the other projects being carried on at Peenemunde was retarded for much longer periods, not only because of loss of personnel but because of damage to drawings and laboratory installations. The hydrogen peroxide plant at Peenemunde was damaged.
(1) The Eighth AF raided this plant four times. Considerable damage was done, but V-1 production occupied only a small part of the plant. The reinforced concrete structure was still usable on the ground floor and although the presses for forming the skin were damaged, the Volkswagen company was able to use similar presses in its plant near Magdeburg, and assembly operations continued at Fallersleben.
d. Other Attacks
(1) The RAF and the Fifteenth AF made three raids on V-weapon parts made at Friedrichshafen. Although damage was done, other sources maintained the flow of parts so no production loss resulted. A hydrogen peroxide plant at Hollriegelbreuth was attacked by the Eighth AF, but the V-weapon program was not set back as a result. Other attacks hit points which played minor parts in the production of V-weapons, but the dispersed and underground locations in which most production was carried on were nearly invulnerable.
(2) Bombing was not a direct factor in interfering with the production of V-2 weapons. It is probable that the bombing of Peenemunde set the development program back as much as two months, although opinions vary on this point. The production program was well planned with reference to defense against bombing. The multiple sources for components and the underground operations at Nordhausen presented practically a bomb-proof situation. Allied intelligence failed to discover the vulnerability of the Jenbach plant which produced the pumps. If the electric power plants which served the Mittelwerke had been destroyed production would have been interrupted for a while. The workers' barracks was vulnerable, but none of these installations were touched by bombs.
14. Conclusions and Comments
a. Strategic bombing had little direct effect on the production of V-weapons. The manufacturing facilities presented different targets. The production of components parts was, from the beginning, widely dispersed, and main assembly plants were largely underground.
b. The destruction of the experimental facilities at
Peenemunde, heralded in the British and American press as "one of the decisive blows at the German 'V' weapon industry", proved to be of relatively small importance, as it was done too late — the V-1 and V-2 were already developed and ready for mass production.c. The attack on the assembly plant at Fallersleben was less effective than anticipated
because it was executed after production had been partially moved underground at Nordhausen.
d. The indirect effect of strategic bombing on the production of V-weapons can be estimated as being about 20 percent caused by sporadic shortages of sheet metal, obtained from mills in the Ruhr, and by difficulty in shipping components to the assembly plants.
e. The final collapse of production was caused by failure of the transport system early in April 1945. By that time neither the weapons nor the fuel could be shipped to the launching sites.
f. The British and American production estimates of V-weapons were within 10 percent of the figures quoted in the Speer Ministry files. Intelligence, however, failed to disclose the one or two most vulnerable points in the production chain, the destruction of which might have been a considerable deterrent in the program.
g. Friction between the German Army which developed the V-2, and the German Air Force which developed the V-1, resulted in serious confusion and delays on a high program level during the years 1942-1944. Not until January 1945 was the situation remedied.
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