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NukePL91

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Seeing developing discussion in neighbouring thread about German imports of oil, I've decided to write small elaboration about other important resource for German war machine - iron ore. In vanilla Darkest Hour if Germany doesn't control Narvik, it can't trade with Sweden. Is it historically correct? Let's see.

Since 1933 German iron ore yearly consumption had risen from almost 7.5 mn tons to about 37.3 mn of tons in 1938*. This enormous growth was obviously caused by rearmament of Germany. However, Germany itself wasn't able to provide such vast amount of iron ore - German domestic production was about 3 mn of tons in 1933 and had risen to 12.3 mn of tons in 1938. As you can see these numbers stand for about one third of German pre-war consumption of iron ore. The rest was compensated by imports, mostly from Sweden, which provided about 30% of German pre-war consumption. Though Germany was able to quadruple its domestic production of iron ore, it doesn't change share of imports - during the period in question Germany had to buy about two thirds of needed iron ore from other countries.

I skipped German exports of iron ore, as it was negligible before war and dropped to zero after 1939.

1595344334583.png


Wartime yearly consumption of iron ore remained at the level of about 34 mn of tons. At the same time German domestic production had risen to ~16 mn of tons per year (on average), which stood for more or less half of German demand. Nevertheless, Sweden remained the most important foreign supplier of iron ore - imports from that country stood on pre-war level of about 9 mn of tons per year.

From the Swedish point of view Germany was the most important buyer of iron ore - between 1933 and 1938 Germany bought about 70% of Swedish iron ore and since 1941 Germany was in practice the sole buyer. After invasion of Norway, Sweden was cut off from other exports directions - mostly Great Britain, which stood for about 15% of Swedish pre-war exports of iron ore - therefore total Swedish exports fell to the level of exports to Germany.

1595511023105.png


Before the war more than half of Swedish iron ore was exported via Narvik. However, in 1940 share of Narvik naval port in exports of iron ore fell to 14% and to 8% in 1941. Narvik's share had risen to 21% in 1943, but it didn't even come close to the levels from 1938 and before. Even though Germany controlled Narvik, it didn't become major route for iron ore again. At the same time German imports of Swedish iron ore remained at similar level of about 9 mn of tons.

1595511055423.png


It may also be interesting to look at the origin of Swedish iron ore. Since 1935, on average, more than 70% of the ore exported came from Norrland (in DH it would be Kiruna and Lulea). Especially since 1941, this means that about 70% of the Swedish ore delivered to Germany came from there (as all of Swedish ore exports went to Germany). However, while before the war most of the ore from this region was transported by rail to Narvik, from 1940 this raw material was sent to the port of Lulea.

1595511065719.png


As you can see, the importance of Narvik as a vital transport route for Swedish iron ore is overestimated. Trade between Sweden and Germany also continued during the Battle of Narvik. During this time (April-June 1940), about 0.4 mn of tons of ore were shipped to the port of Lulea per month. Of course, that doesn't mean the fight for Narvik made no sense. Keeping Narvik by the Allies might have been a springboard to seize Kiruna and cut off the Germans from accessing most of the Swedish ore. However, the struggle for Norway itself should not block trade between Sweden and Germany, but at best limit the amount of iron ore available for purchase, which would reflect the need to reorganize transport and limited capacity of the Baltic ports.

*All data come from article Sweden's iron ore exports to Germany, 1933–1944 by Rolf Karlbom. As sources he used Swedish, Norwegian and German statistical yearbooks, so I believe data above are correct.
 

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Eginhard 38

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I think the importance of Narvik in Swedish iron ore export was seasonal: back then the Baltic Sea was generally frozen during the winter months, which greatly impaired shipping from Swedish ports. On the other hand, thanks to warm currents Narvik is ice free all year round; thus, exports from Kiruna were diverted towards Narvik in winter (the railway line is also shorter to Narvik than to Lulea, which might be significant when the track had to be cleaned continuously from snowfall).

Anyway, "cutting the road to Swedish iron ore" was a somewhat loose post facto strategic choice, as the expeditionary force was originally assembled to support Finland in the Winter War, which ended shortly before the entire force set sail.
 

NukePL91

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It's true that port of Narvik was more convenient way to transport ore during winter, but apparently not for Germany. Between September 1939 and March 1940 Sweden exported about 5 mn of tons of ore to Germany, but only 0.8 was transported via Narvik. The rest was shipped via Lulea (in autumn) and ports in southern Sweden. Moreover in these months ore shipments from Norrland to Narvik stood at 1.9 mn of tons, while shipments to Lulea (and from there to southern Sweden) stood at 2.6 mn of tons. So it was possible to provide shipments of significant amount of ore without Narvik during winter months. Of course, as I wrote above, taking Narvik out of equation should hamper Swedish capabilities to supply Germany.
 

Eginhard 38

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It makes sense. Anyway, this solid data* makes the Allied strategy in Scandinavia look even dumber. Like "we've got this expeditionary force at hand, let's use it for whatever we can find".

*which is even more significant when one keeps in mind that the winter of 1939-1940 was especially cold (which means even more ice in the Baltic Sea)
 

VTs

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In creating a planning staff for WESERUEBUNG Hitler anticipated the next Allied step by less than a week. After the Commander in Chief of the Finnish Army, Field Marshal Carl Gustaf Mannerheim, appealed for help on 29 January, the Allied Supreme War Council decided to send an expedition timed for mid-March. The French wanted to blockade Murmansk and attempt landings in the Pechenga region, and they talked of simultaneous operations in the Baltic* in addition to the occupation of parts of Norway and Sweden."" The British plan which was adopted was more modest. While ostensibly intended to bring Allied troops to the Finnish front, it laid its main emphasis on operations in northern Norway and Sweden. The main striking force was to land at Narvik and advance along the railroad to its eastern terminus at Luleå., occupying Kiruna and Gallivare along the way. By late April two Allied brigades were to be established along that line. Two additional brigades would then be sent to Finland. 21
P 70 CMH_Pub 70-7-1 *Original text says "Balkans" which makes no sense in connection with this topic
 
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Nick3210

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Note.
It is not correct to summarize ore from different deposits/countries without "equivalent coefficients".
Fields have different "density" of ore.

For example, Swedish ore is the highest quality and has 58-60% Fe
German ore of the lowest quality, on the verge of profitability, has only 27-30% Fe
1 Swedish ore = 2 German ores

Therefore, before summing these ores, we should bring them to the same equivalent, for example, to 100% (ore concentrate) or 45% (average value)
If to count ore correctly, taking into account its quality, then the German (equivalent) ore will take an even smaller share in the total consumption of ore in Germany.

According to my calculations, in 1938 Germany produced 150 conditional units of ore (150 "Hoi-2 metal" on Map), Sweden - 320.
 
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NukePL91

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Yeah, I'm aware of that (I've read your posts about resources in HoI games - very informative!), but I didn't want to create additional confusion since it doesn't affect the question of how Swedish ore was transported to Germany - and this is the clou of this topic.

I've found another source (Swedish Iron Ore and German Steel 1939-40 by Martin Fritz). According to it between September and December 1939 Sweden exported 2.8 mn of tons of iron ore via ports of Narvik and Lulea and 1.8 mn of tons was shipped via Lulea. On the other hand between January and April 1940 Sweden exported 1.3 mn of tons via Narvik and none via Lulea (which clearly shows that Lulea port was out of use during winter). After that Narvik was out of use for the rest of 1940 and all Swedish iron ore was transported via Baltic.
 
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Eugenioso

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Question: what is the relation of this to the game? Reduce the penalty of Narvik to 0.5% instead of 2% dissent? Im certain that can be easily edited.
 

Lord Rommel

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I think Nuke wants to get ride of the Swedish trade blockade event.
It would be nice to get a kind of "trade modifier" to reduce the incoming trade resources by event - instate of the trade blockade.
 

Eugenioso

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You can fix that by events then, creating an automatic permanent trade agreement versus a smaller trade agreement if Narvik falls, or through the Baltic if at least Konigsberg is held.
 

Nick3210

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There is another question about Swedish ore waiting for his the researcher.

I don't understand why the frozen sea should completely block access to Swedish ore, if all Sweden had a developed railway network?
Yes, transportation by sea is undoubtedly cheaper than transportation by rail.
But if there is an urgent need, why can't we transport ore to Malmo (or may be to more northerly ports that still are not frozen) by rail?

It would be interesting to find out, to conduct research on this issue - how much the cost of ore could increase by rail delivery, compared to sea delivery?
If we know how much ore delivered by rail would become more expensive, we could easily make events for not to completely block trade with Sweden, but to buy Swedish iron ore at a more expensive price - with delivery by rail.

Now I don't have time to study this question, but if NukePL91 is so interested in Swedish ore - it is a good topic for research and implementation in the game! :)
 
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NukePL91

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@Eugenioso you've got answer for your question in the first paragraph of this topic and in @Lord Rommel post: Swedish embargo on trade with Germany in case of Narvik in Allied hands is simply historicaly incorrect. Germany was able to import iron ore from Sweden in April-June 1940 (so during war with Norway), in fact didn't use port of Narvik between July and December 1940 and used this port to a very limited extent in the following years of the war. Lack of Narvik (especially combined with winter months) should only hamper Swedish ability to export iron ore to Germany, not forbid it completely.

I've made preliminary events in the last version of Reichs Expansion Pack which artificially limit mining of Swedish iron ore in the situation described above (though I'd probably review and recalculate it given new data I've found). Nevertheless, I wanted to gather my thoughts about that once again and discuss it, hence this topic.

@Nick3210 It's interesting concept. However, I think we usually forget about mining region in central Sweden - Bergslagen. I'll check tomorrow exact numbers, but I recall that they provided for exports about 2-3 mn of tons of iron ore yearly - so if Kiruna magically disappears, Sweden still would be able to supply Germany with pretty significant amount of ore. Moreover, Bergslagen is close to ports in Gävle, Oxelösund and finally Stockholm. Intuitively I think that Germany would be able to survive one quarter in year without shipments from Kiruna, e.g. in 1939 Germany imported from Sweden about 1.5 mn of tons of iron content quarterly.
 
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Nick3210

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However, I think we usually forget about mining region in central Sweden - Bergslagen.
True!
I don't have exact data about regions, I made a rough proportion like 60/60/200 Oerebro/Lulea/Kiruna.
If in your thick book there is an exact proportion of ore production in Sweden regions, then show it, it is very useful information.
 
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NukePL91

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I've checked data for 1933-1944. The biggest ore shipments via Narvik Railway (railway connecting ports of Narvik and Lulea with mines in Kiruna and Malmberget) were in 1937 and stood for 10.8 mn of tons (82% of Swedish exports in that year), which should be more or less close to maximum level of mining from northern Sweden. Yearly Swedish exports in 1933-44 was about 9.4 mn of tons (on average), 6.8 mn of tons came via Narvik Railway (roughly 72%). On the other hand, the biggest shipments from other sources (namely Bergslagen) were in 1941 and stood for 3.3 mn of tons (38% of Swedish exports in that year).

Of course you should multiply these values by 0.6 to get amount of iron content, but you get the idea.

According to UN statistical yearbook the biggest production of iron ore in Sweden happened in 1937 and stood for 9.1 mn of tons of iron content (so about 15.2 mn of tons of iron ore). Swedish exports in that year stood for 13.1 mn of tons of iron ore.

Putting that together, I would estimate that maximum production of iron ore in Sweden should stood for ~9.1 mn of tons of iron content, of which 7.5 mn of tons should be from mines in northern Sweden and 1.6 from mines in central Sweden.
 
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Nick3210

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Putting that together, I would estimate that maximum production of iron ore in Sweden should stood for ~9.1 mn of tons of iron content, of which 7.5 mn of tons should be from mines in northern Sweden and 1.6 from mines in central Sweden.
lol, then it seems my rough proportions (60/60/200 Oerebro/Lulea/Kiruna) were absolutely correct. Perhaps I was able to find this data once, I don't remember it anymore.
18% in central Sweden looks not much to cover all the current needs of Germany..

Of course, we could add a command to game-event for a one-time purchase of this 18% - 60*120 = 7200 metal.
But no one prevents the player from buying a stock of metal on their own, so there is probably no point in such an event deal.

Hmm... perhaps I will make a separate decision that will be available during the action of the event to freeze ports.
Then, if desired, if the player does not take care of a sufficient supply of ore, he can buy these 7200 metal in Sweden.
In multiplayer game, it is not always possible to guess what stock of metal you will need before you capture Narvik :)
 
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NukePL91

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18% in central Sweden looks not much to cover all the current needs of Germany..
Not for whole year, but for one quarter, given that yearly output from central Sweden = quarterly export to Germany? :D Anyway, it's purely theoretical question - in practice Sweden would simply transport ore from Kiruna to Lulea and then to southern ports.

I think about different solution based on what I did in REP:
- Western Route (via Narvik) would be closed if Narvik is in Allied hands or if UK launch Operation Wilfred, but it wouldn't cause any reprecussions itself;
- If Western Route is closed and it's period between December and April, then iron ore mines in northern Sweden would be limited by X% (I would simply decrease amount of metal units available from Kiruna and Lulea);
- If Western Route is open and it's period between December and April, there would be no restrictions;
- After reopening Eastern Route Sweden would restore its ability to fully exploit northern mines and would gain free metal units for winter period (150*(number of metal units in Kiruna and Lulea)*X%)

In this way, two things will be achieved:
- Swedish-German trade would be pretty historically copied
- Germany would be forced to invade Norway to restore full capacity of Swedish mines during winter seasons.
 

Nick3210

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- If Western Route is closed and it's period between December and April, then iron ore mines in northern Sweden would be limited by X% (I would simply decrease amount of metal units available from Kiruna and Lulea);
Theoretically, this is correct..
But in practice, Sweden has a sufficient reserve of metal, so that this temporary reduction in production does not affect its exports.
That is, in practice, Germany will buy the same amount of metal in Sweden as before the restrictions.
Sweden's AI will break the deal only when the stock of metal in Sweden becomes too small, but this will not happen in 3 month, I think. (although all this depends on your settings for stocks limits in the Misc-file)
Also, nothing will prevent the player from buying all this Swedish metall stock during winter by one-time deals.
 
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NukePL91

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I think I can override it with permanent trade deals between Sweden and Germany/UK, which should prevent Sweden from building significant stockpile. Sweden on average sold more than two thirds of its maximum output from mines (in 1937 even ~85%), so it would be pretty historical. After capturing of Narvik by Germany Sweden would embargo UK, so taking over British share would be another prize for Germany.
 

Cohen

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By how HOI works - to be honest - the whole ordeal whould be ditched and an event should get down there where Norway instantly surrenders and German troops spawn in ports.

Why? Because otherwise the Brits will forever sit in Narvik with massive shore bombing in defence.
Invasion of Norway is something always tricky to duplicate because if the Allies are allowed in - it turns into Fortress Narvik. With silly outcomes.
Thus either there is no 'Sweden Embargo' and then ... somewhen the Allies may invade Sweden (assuming they can declare war) ... or Narvik turns in a province as many others, of scarce interest.

Still thinking it'd be favorable for a decision where Germany pays X supplies, Y manpower, Norway turns German and German division appears.