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Thread: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Germany/Road to Doom's Day

  1. #21
    Lt. General Mico94's Avatar
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    can't wait for the gameplay updates
    nice AAR
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  2. #22
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post
    Seriously, thanks, and I'll see if I can't at least get the "Pillars of Germany" (military, industry, science/education/research) completed before I head home next week. Then comes "Opening Moves." I'm kind of excited about this one.
    I can't wait to read them.
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  3. #23
    2. Industry



    GOVERNING TRENDS

    The struggle in German industry from Versailles to the January 30th Revolution was dominated by two trends. The first trend was towards corporate leviathanism. The second trend was the conflict between trade unions and the industries which supported them. While the Party favored the monopolies, it decisively ended the trade unions' disruption.

    German industry, especially in the raw-materials sector, tended towards the formation of "communities of interest" (Interessieren Gesellschaeften, or IG, hence "IG Farben," roughly translated as "Chemical Combine" - trans.). While this trend was not limited to the Reich - indeed, Krupp, Thyssen, and many other names in German steel and coal manufacture were part of the international Raw Steel Association (Rohstahlgemeinschaft - trans.) founded in 1924 - the trend as the 1920s wore on and French reparation demands continued to intrude on industrial production was to centralize within Germany itself. In 1925, Germany's four main chemical firms - BASF, Bayer, Hoechst, and Afga - agreed to form a single overarching entity, IG Farben, in the face of similar foreign competition. The German coal and steel industries did not carry measures so far as to form a unified corporation; however, the firms involved in the Ruhr were on far better and more cooperative terms with each other than with the trade unions.


    Figure 34: KdF-Wagen, modern restoration


    The trade unions were the bane of German industry from Bismarck onward. They agitated incessantly for higher wages and excessive benefits, aiming at the fattening of the working class beyond its capacity to work. The NSDAP's original platform, devised before the Fuehrer arrived to guide the Party, generally sided with the trade unions in their clamoring for the dissolution of German industry into anarchy; however, the Party resolved these issues by the economic collapse of 1929-1930. The Party moved decisively after the January 30th Revolution, disbanding the trade unions and coordinating worker-corporate relationships through the Strength Through Joy (Kraft durch Freude or KdF - trans.) agency and the Economic Ministry. The benefits that had long been the battle cry of the labor unions were provided now by the State, silencing the labor movement, and the Fuehrer reached farther by promising both to provide the German worker, as fine a worker as any in the world, with an automobile at least as fine as Ford's famous Model T. KdF continues to provide workers with access to entertainments and relaxation made affordable by State control.

    MAJOR INDUSTRIES

    The industries where Germany was strongest in the 1920s and 1930s were raw-materials industries, steelworking and coal mining. Germany had essentially no domestic petroleum industry despite the extensive chemical combine IG Farben; given the petroleum-rich nature of modern warfare, rectifying this was one of the first goals of the Party upon assuming power. The Fuehrer had no such restrictions when it came to the steel and coal industries; rather, it was a race to expand production to the same level which it had been at prior to the Great War. Damage due to French rapaciousness in the 1920s had lowered production, much of the Ruhr Valley's steel machinery had been carried into France after the war, and restrictions placed on Germany by Versailles had reduced output considerably. Nevertheless, it required only a short period of economic stability starting with the January 30th Revolution to bring production to the appropriate levels and begin growth.

    Germany's fine-detail industries, such as electronics and machined parts, were among the world's best at the time of President Hindenburg's death. A key advantage for such companies as Siemens and Bosch was their overseas work; this was unaffected by the Versailles treaty, and the vast expertise which Siemens accumulated in the construction of hydroelectric facilities overseas would prove useful in such places as the mission to Afghanistan in the late 1930s. Indeed, without Bosch and Siemens, it is unlikely that Germany would have completed the air defense networks which proved so crucial to the Reich's protection in the War Years.


    Figure 35: Messerschmitt manufacturing line, 1938


    The youngest industries in Germany were among the fastest-growing: aircraft and automobiles. Both of these were in their infancy as of Versailles, and were not as severely impacted, though the venerable Albatros aviation firm of the Great War was absorbed by Focke-Wulf in 1931, which gave Focke-Wulf the eminent aircraft engineer Kurt Tank. Focke-Wulf and Willy Messerschmitt's Bavarian Aviation Works (Bayerische Flugzeugwerke, or Bfw - trans.) were the two main competitors in Germany's small-aircraft industry; Messerschmitt designed a series of successful racing aircraft, while Focke-Wulf did not achieve commercial success until the mid-1930s, apparently fully eclipsed by Messerschmitt. Germany's large-craft aviation industry, meanwhile, was dominated by firms which traced their lineage back to the Great War: Junkers, which was nationalized because of its founder's communist beliefs, Dornier, and newcomer Heinkel. These companies between them produced a wide variety of aircraft, varying from Junkers's insistence on rugged, sturdy construction to Heinkel's fairly radical elliptical-wing designs.


    Figure 36: Auto Union Typ C racer, 1935


    Automotive manufacture in Germany in the period was synonymous with engine manufacture; unlike American firms during this period, which were obsessed with producing ever-cheaper cars for the masses, German engineers preferred to focus on quality and performance. The Bavarian Motor Works (Bayerische Motorwerke, or BMW, one of the few German companies that exports equivalent-production models outside Germany today - trans.), the Daimler-Benz family, and Adam Opel GmbH formed the three main competitors in the German automotive industry; of these, only Opel accepted significant foreign investment*. Additionally, Germany had, and has, a thriving specialized racing industry. Both BMW and Daimler-Benz sponsored racing teams; Dr.-Ing. Ferdinand Porsche acted as a consultant on several of their engine designs, before his discovery by the Reich for the development of the KdF-Wagen.

    * Opel was severed from General Motors in 1934 as one of the few measures the Germans were able to take surrounding the Austrian Crisis. - Trans.

  4. #24
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Interesting background info about some of Germany's tech teams.
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  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    Interesting background info about some of Germany's tech teams.
    Which gets a little awkward with RDD, which has IG Farben and Bayer as separate and simultaneous teams. Of course, it also has two Siemens, Siemens and Siemens AG, and both Robert Bosch and Blaupunkt...

    I generally reconcile this in my head by saying that these companies are so damn big that it's quite possible that they're simultaneously and with equal vigor pursuing both construction engineering and radar for Siemens and Siemens, or machine tools and mechanized agriculture.

    In the meantime, a musical interlude!

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  6. #26
    3. Science


    Figure 37: Attendees at the 1930 Solvay Conference; KWI-Physik Director Einstein is center, seated


    Germany had a commanding lead in both theoretical and applied science in the 1920s, and held on to that lead through the January 30th Revolution. This was due in part to the Reich's tradition of universities stretching back to the Holy Roman Empire, and in part to the charter under Wilhelm II of a series of dedicated research institutes, the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gemeinschaft (KWG). The directors of the Institutes that made up the KWG included such men as Albert Einstein, who won the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics, and Fritz Haber, who won the 1918 Nobel for Chemistry. Nobel laureates were common among the members, including Debye (Chemistry, 1936) and Heisenberg (Physics, 1932). The Fuehrer spoke in the warmest possible terms of the KWG's efforts on behalf of German science during a visit to the Berlin headquarters of the Physics Institute in 1935:

    We cannot overstate the impact which you gentlemen have had on the Reich. Individually, you have contributed to your fields; collectively, you are a gift to the nation as a whole. There will be no debate, I am certain, when I say that you are instrumental to the Reich's future.
    It is recorded that Doctor Einstein, who was at the time the KWG's chair, was uncomfortable at this meeting; he continued in his post, however, until his emigration, and acted as host for many of the meetings of the so-called "Uranium Club" of physicists who believed that the atom could be split. They were supported in this belief by a great body of work conducted in Berlin during the early 1930s; unfortunately, in 1934-1935, the Chancellor was simply not ready to listen to arguments for or against their proposals. Rather, though he did praise them fulsomely, he was a man of practical interests, which made Major-General Walter Dornberger's research of much greater interest to him.


    Figure 38: Staff officers of the German military rocketry project; Dr.-Ing. von Braun in civilian clothes


    Dornberger was director of rocketry and ballistics research at Kummersdorf south of Berlin, where he had successfully tested a liquid-fueled rocket as early as 1934. Dornberger's chief assistant was Dr.-Ing. Wernher von Braun, whose entire doctoral thesis was classified until 1962. Von Braun and Dornberger attracted just sufficient attention throughout the early years of the Reich to secure funding; most thought among the few officers who knew of the Kummersdorf installation at the time considered them to be probably harmless, but just potentially dramatic enough to be worth pursuing. Von Braun and Dornberger agitated continuously for funding; however, without the ability to make the thousands of calculations required to justify their efforts into something tangible, the Reich instead concentrated its efforts on resolving the economic disaster inherited from the Weimar Republic.

    ---

    When I started this off, I had completely forgotten the brain drain of the 1930s. I suspect that I'll have to edit in a couple things, and I found a minister I need to add in. Long and short of this is that there's WAY too much to German science and research in the '30s that changes because suddenly Germany isn't chasing away physicists willy-nilly for being Jewish. Hence, shorter post.

  7. #27
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Good technology shunted aside by domestic concerns...
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    Good technology shunted aside by domestic concerns...
    As usual, alas...
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  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    Good technology shunted aside by domestic concerns...
    Gotta admit, when your divisions are all operating at 10% strength, and your army is just strong enough to send a messenger back to Berlin if Poland invades, you have more immediate concerns than rockets.

    Besides, there are some in-game events in 1936 that I haven't described yet because they haven't happened. The "without the ability make calculations" bit in the description of the Dornberger group is important. Fun fact: Konrad Zuse designed the Z1 because he hated endlessly repeated calculations by hand.

  10. #30
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post
    Gotta admit, when your divisions are all operating at 10% strength, and your army is just strong enough to send a messenger back to Berlin if Poland invades, you have more immediate concerns than rockets.
    True...but rockets can help.

    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post
    Besides, there are some in-game events in 1936 that I haven't described yet because they haven't happened. The "without the ability make calculations" bit in the description of the Dornberger group is important. Fun fact: Konrad Zuse designed the Z1 because he hated endlessly repeated calculations by hand.
    Hey, I don't blame Zuse.
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  11. #31
    Hey, you're preaching to the choir - I'm about halfway into an engineering doctorate here. Point is that the required machinery to make the German rocket industry a going concern isn't there... yet.

    What follows is the beginning; it will not be properly completed until I have access to the game because of the mass of hiring and firing decisions that come with startup. I've been pimping Zuse and Becker enough that I might as well put 'em on display, and I doubt anybody will be surprised that I'm researching the computing machine tree...

    (And no, Becker is for the moment a background character, since 1936 is going to be an industrial research year.)

    ---

    IV. Opening Moves

    1. Personnel Decisions


    Figure 38: Guests arriving at Hermann Goering's estate, Carinhall


    THE ZUSE MACHINE

    On Christmas Day of 1935, General Hermann Goering hosted his annual banquet for the luminaries of German aviation at his newly-completed country estate, Carinhall. Goering's new wife, Emmy, played hostess to a group that included men as well-known as Willy Messerschmitt, and as obscure as Army general Dornberger, as usual begging for funding. Though the Goerings had carefully and artfully arranged the seating to mix industry, civil, and military guests as thoroughly as possible, they naturally congregated in their respective groups. One of these groups consisted of young engineers, recent Hochschule graduates who in most cases had more in common with each other than with their employers. In one group, a young engineer vented his frustration with his employers, Henschel & Sohn. According to his later memoirs, Konrad Zuse was frustrated with what he saw as the staid, static thinking at Henschel. He was speaking to a classmate within hearing of General Karl Becker, head of the War Ministry's research and testing office.

    General Becker was an unusual figure in the German military of the period. Many of the Reichswehr's leadership were very well-educated and very well-traveled; however, their educations tended to focus on military applications, and their travels tended to be professional in nature. Becker, a Great War artillery officer, had spent the immediate post-war years on the Reichsheer reserve list while he completed a program of study at Technische Hochschule Berlin, from whence Zuse also had graduated. In 1922, Becker earned a doctorate in engineering for his chemical and metallurgical studies, and was posted to the Army's Ballistics and Ammunition Department starting in 1924. This allowed him to sponsor and establish a military chemistry and physics research institute, the Central Office of Army Physics and Chemistry, in 1926. In 1932, he was further honored with an appointment as a professor of physics at Technische Hochschule Berlin, where he was also made head of the military science program. Beyond this, he was a fellow of the Prussian Academy of Sciences and on the supervising board of the KWG; he was, in short, a thoroughly scientific soldier, distrusted by some in the Reichswehr because of his academic "contamination," and distrusted by some in academia for his military background, viewed as too "pragmatic" by the pure-theory physicists who surrounded him. He was passingly acquainted with Zuse from his studies at the Hochschule, but no more than any other civil engineering student who had passed through the program.

    Reliable witnesses say that Zuse was expounding on his idea for a large-scale calculating machine; Becker, who was one of the few people actively aware and in full comprehension of both the physics work being done by men like Einstein and Heisenberg, and the rocketry experiments under Dornberger at Kummersdorf, almost immediately seized upon its potential applications, and pulled Zuse aside for what Zuse would later describe as "the most exhilarating interrogation ever endured." He thought nothing more of it at the time, though certainly the patronage of a figure such as Becker was all that a young engineer and Berlin graduate could hope for at such an early stage in his career.

    On the morning of December 28, 1935, Konrad Zuse arrived at the Henschel works in Kassel to find an envelope on his desk. The contents of the envelope were authorization for transport on an RLM Ju-52 from Kassel to Berlin, and a short note from Becker.

    My dear Herr Zuse,

    I recall our conversation at the Air Minister's Christmas gathering with great interest. Please proceed at your earliest convenience to Berlin; I wish to speak with you in relation to our last conversation, and, should you be interested, am amenable to a continuation of your work. This note, and the attached travel authorization, are all that you will need. I have taken the liberty of contacting your superiors; please give my regrets to Herr Dr. Wagner that we are borrowing one of his engineers on such short notice.

    With warmest regards,
    BECKER
    Major-General

  12. #32
    Dauphinois la Noix Karaiskandar's Avatar
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    Hmm very interesting and informative.
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  13. #33
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    I hope that the next update from you will be an update in which you have unpaused the game. But keep up the excellent work.

  14. #34
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post
    Reliable witnesses say that Zuse was expounding on his idea for a large-scale calculating machine; Becker, who was one of the few people actively aware and in full comprehension of both the physics work being done by men like Einstein and Heisenberg, and the rocketry experiments under Dornberger at Kummersdorf, almost immediately seized upon its potential applications, and pulled Zuse aside for what Zuse would later describe as "the most exhilarating interrogation ever endured." He thought nothing more of it at the time, though certainly the patronage of a figure such as Becker was all that a young engineer and Berlin graduate could hope for at such an early stage in his career.
    Hey! A promising start!
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  15. #35
    You sir are a wonderful writer. Great background and historical research; it really shows quality.

  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by MidEvil View Post
    I hope that the next update from you will be an update in which you have unpaused the game. But keep up the excellent work.
    Unpausing would require that I start the game. That's three days away - one last day with in-laws, one day in the air, and one day where I play catch-up at work. So expect a real post, or rather, an edited, expanded version of the last post, with screenshots evening of 5th, morning of 6th January Texas time.

  17. #37
    I promised an update around now, so here it is. This is unofficial, since I am at work today (somewhat unexpectedly). I've played through August 1936, and this is what Dr. Keppler will be telling you in more detail later:

    1. Germany was highly unstable in 1936 (Dissent at 19 and change for most of spring).

    2. 1936 was a building year. The Reichsheer added six infantry divisions, the Luftwaffe four fighter squadrons, and the research focus for the year was unapologetically industrial. This brings the Heer to about half of what von Blomberg believes it needs.

    3. Zuse, with Becker's funding, may finish work on the Z4 and open up the possibility of electromechanical computers in the very near future.

    4. Because of the Franco-Soviet Pact in February, Rear Admiral Canaris has taken an unexpected early retirement in favor of General Eugen Ott of the Reichswehr's political intelligence division. Field Marshal von Blomberg has been instructed that his first task is not the maintenance of German industry (that's Party Treasurer Franz-Xaver Schwarz's job) but the reconstruction of the Reichswehr.

    5. Oh yeah, and PzDiv. 1-3 are "blacks."

    Details and screenshots to follow, now back to MATLAB.

  18. #38
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post
    5. Oh yeah, and PzDiv. 1-3 are "blacks."
    What does this mean?
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  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    What does this mean?
    No idea.
    Btw first time I hear about General Eugen Ott, is he an actual possible minister in this Mod?
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  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    What does this mean?
    1st Panzerkorps is commanded by Paul Hausser, who is the liaison between SS and Reichsheer for tapping SS men for military service. "Black" divisions are divisions with a strong pure-SS component, "green" is a border police formation that is really an infantry division, and "gray" is a proper division, based on uniform colors. It's a few posts back. By 1936/1937, there are SS/Army distinctions, but the Army/Police distinction is really mostly service culture.

    Regarding Eugen Ott - he was the military attache, then ambassador, in Tokyo during the war years. He's a playable military leader, as is Karl Becker, which allowed me to track down their leader headshots. I've added them into the mod, Ott as foreign minister (General Staff) and intelligence (Political) options, and Becker as an armaments minister. However, given that I'm apparently the German guy for the mod now, I'm probably going to agitate to have them added in full-time, and to add Georg Thomas, the Wehrmacht economic office guy, an intelligence leader (Industrial), ditto Becker (Research), to reflect the degree of cross-pollination of appointments.

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