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How well did the Nazi state copes with the demands of War? The expansion of the Nazi economy 1939 – 1941 Hitler was determined to avoid the the mistakes.

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Presentation on theme: "How well did the Nazi state copes with the demands of War? The expansion of the Nazi economy 1939 – 1941 Hitler was determined to avoid the the mistakes."— Presentation transcript:

1 How well did the Nazi state copes with the demands of War? The expansion of the Nazi economy 1939 – 1941 Hitler was determined to avoid the the mistakes of Germany in WWI when the Germany economy was ill prepared for a drawn out war. Despite the successes of the German Blitzkrieg, Hitler wanted to be prepared for a major and perhaps extended war. How was this going to be achieved? 1. Hitler issued a series of war economy decrees in December 1939 for every possible aspect of war production, e.g. submarines, aircraft etc. 2. In real and percentage terms German military expenditure doubled between 1939 and Food rationing was introduced from the very start of the war and the German labour force was rapidly mobilised for war. By the summer of 1951, 55% of the workforce was involved in war related projects.

2 What difficulties might a country face successfully mobilising its economy for war... In general? Specifically in Nazi Germany?

3 The limitations of economic mobilisation Despite the Nazi’s intentions, production of armaments was relatively low, particularly in certain areas including aircraft and tanks. Year No. of aircraft in the Luftwaffe8,29010,780 When Hitler was drawing up plans to attack Russia in 1941 he was shocked to discover that the Nazis only had 3,500 tanks available. Only 800 more than they had used to invade the West.

4 What caused this failure? The mobilisation of the Germany economy was marred by inefficiency and poor co-ordination. The Ministries of Armaments, of Finance, of Economics and of Labour all worked to control the economy and were often at odds with each other. There were lots of different organisations responsible for arms production: the office of the Four-Year Plan, the SS bodies and the different branches of the armed forces. There was political infighting between leading Nazis – for example the Gauleiters tried to benefit their region at the expense of the national effort. Other reasons Military requirements had to compete with other plans like Hitler’s public building programmes. Lack of standardisation across the armed forces. Different branches used different equipment. Women not employed in factories because this did not fit with Nazi ideology.

5 To what extent did the Nazis fail to mobilise the economy during the war? ForAgainst

6 Total War 1942 – 1945 By the end of 1941 Germany was at war with Britain, the USA and the USSR, yet its armaments production was inferior to that of Britain alone. How was this changed? 1941 – Hitler issued ‘Rationalisation Decree’ which was intended to eliminate waste of labour and materials – The biggest change came with the appointment of Albert Speer as Minister for Armaments in February Speer was a trained architect, an efficient technocrat and had an excellent relationship with Hitler. YearNo. of tanks producedNo. of aircraft produced 19401,60010, ,80011, ,30014, ,10025, ,00039, ,900N/A

7 How did Albert Speer mobilise the German economy for Total War? Speer rationalised and coordinated the process of war production and was able to make the most of Germany’s resources and workforce. Because of his relationship with Hitler, Speer was able to cut through the mass of competing interests to implement his policies. He introduced the Central Planning Board in 1942 which he headed. This allowed for more centralised coordination. He also freed industrialists from certain Nazi party restrictions giving them more freedom and allowing them to be more efficient. Speer tried to exclude military personnel from the production process as much as possible. The economy was focused on only producing goods that were essential for the fighting of the war. Employed more women in factories and made effective use of concentration camp prisoners as workers. Speer tried to limit the disruptive autonomy of the Gauleiter.

8 How did Speer mobilise the German economy for Total War? Problem in the German economy How Speer tried to tackle it


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