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"How many factories captured by Germans were kept producing?" Topic


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748 hits since 7 Oct 2018
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Comments or corrections?

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2018 6:57 a.m. PST

The Germans used a lot of "captured" equipment during WWII.
How much of what we call "captured" tanks etc were really manufactured in the same factories long after that country was captured?
Were the original factory workers kept employed?

Tony S08 Oct 2018 7:08 a.m. PST

If memory serves, Le Creusot, Renault, Peugeot and some others all continued to produce vehicles and aircraft for Germany. After the war, a lot of those companies were nationalized by the government for collaborating with the Germans.

Martin Rapier08 Oct 2018 7:54 a.m. PST

Skoda went on producing stuff for the entire war, as did FN in Belgium.

Germany also took over the Italian arms industry after 1943.

I'd be surprised if many/any Russian factories were in a fit state to be used after capture if they hadn't been evacuated.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2018 8:06 a.m. PST

Renault, Citroen, and Peugeot continued to produce cars and trucks. FN continued to make Browning Hi-Powers. I am not aware of the French continuing to make AFVs after the Fall of France. The Germans captured and used something like 3,000 UE carriers, as well as a lot of tanks (I don't know the number). One aircraft factory also produced JU 52s under license.

French and Belgian workers continued on in their factories. Renault's defense was that he was not collaborating with the German's but, rather, he was keeping his native countrymen in France rather than risk their deportation to German factories.

donlowry08 Oct 2018 8:12 a.m. PST

IIRC, France produced some Panhard armored cars for Germany.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2018 8:51 a.m. PST

Limiting the question as Winston does to newly-manufactured tanks, I think the answer is "only the Pz38t" all of which are normally called "booty panzers" no matter the production date.
The Vichy French made an offer of a new tank design with production split 50-50, but somehow Hitler didn't trust them. There are detailed accounts of disposition of captured French tanks, and the numbers aren't high enough to include any further production. (Also I think only the Somua would have been tempting.) Wouldn't go bail for parts, though--especially things like carburetors which might have civilian applications.
Captured British and American tanks were used, and for the British at least parts were warehoused, but of course the Germans never got near the factories.
The Soviet factories were evacuated ahead of the German advance, but there was a plant near Kiev which briefly reconditioned captured T-34s for German service. Not new production, though.
The Italian factories were under German management, and did produce AFVs for German service, but if memory serves the only new production was Semovente and armored cars. The Germans don't seem to have been thrilled by Italian tank design. Can't think why.

I'd still love to see more material on German use of captured AFVs--remodelling and reconditioning especially, but also the release of some tanks back to France for use in North Africa following Mers el Kebir. (There's a history of French armor in Tunisia--in French, of course--that I've seen reference to but never seen.) For that matter, I'd like to see more stuff on damaged German tanks sent back to the factories for repair/maintenance. Plenty of books on panzer aces. Not much on the people who provided them with tanks.

deephorse08 Oct 2018 1:06 p.m. PST

For that matter, I'd like to see more stuff on damaged German tanks sent back to the factories for repair/maintenance.

‘Repairing the Panzers' vols. 1&2 should give you a fair bit of information on this subject. I only have vol.1 currently, but whilst reading it in response to your comment I found that a special level of maintainance called a K-Werk was set up to deal with very badly damaged equipments. Unfortunately it seems that vol.2 contains most of the information on K-Werks and so I've just ordered a copy.

In summary, for as long as the front lines were near Germany vehicles that were too badly damaged to be repaired at the various levels of field workshops were sent back to the factories. However, come late 1941 into 1942 the distances involved were too great for this to be a practical measure. So the K-Werks were set up in Riga, Smolensk and Dnepropetrovsk. Essentially the factories were moved towards the front line. Vol.1 doesn't go into much further detail on K-Werks, saving it for vol.2, so I await its arrival.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2018 6:31 p.m. PST

Thank you Deephorse! Looking forward to your report.

catavar09 Oct 2018 8:26 a.m. PST

According to the Encyclopedia Of German Tanks Of World War Two 100 Italian P40 were produced after September '43.

FatherOfAllLogic10 Oct 2018 5:12 a.m. PST

I read somewhere that all of France produced 2500 airplanes for Germany. Also that tens of thousands (?) of French workers were sent to Germany, but eventually returned.

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