german aircraft industry.pdf
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the base of the index to exaggerate its own achievements in the following years
(Wagenführ, 1954, p. 211). The decision to calculate the index only for the period when
Albert Speer was armament minister also hid the important detail that German armament
production had already grown significantly between 1938 and 1940 (Wagenführ, 1954, p.
[Insert figure 2 here]
Another deficiency arises from the fact that the index also included armament goods that
were produced in occupied countries.6 Figure 2, for example, shows that in occupied
Poland (Generalgouvernement) armament production for the German armed forces
nearly quadrupled between February 1942 and May 1944.7 It would therefore be
misleading to interpret the armament index as a consistent measure for the growth of
German weapons production within the borders of 1937. An additional shortcoming
resulted from the fact that the index also counted the increasing number of older military
equipment like aircraft that were just repaired after minor damage, which could be done
with much less effort than producing new ones.8 As a result, the index of armament
production depicted in figure 1 might considerably over-state the volume of new weapons
produced within the traditional borders of Germany after 1941.
[Insert table 1 here]
For more details about the role of statistics in German armament planning under Speer’s reign see Tooze,
2001, pp. 253 f.
This fact is explicitly stated in Anmerkungen zum Text des Lageberichts 1943/44, BArch R 3/1965, Blatt
67. See also Lagebericht 1943/44, R 3/1965, Bl. 82.
Poland was of course not the only and not the most important location of armament production for the
German armed forces. The aircraft producer Arado, for example, obtained during the year 1942 several
components and even completed aircraft from firms located in Denmark, France and the Sudetenland. See
audit report 1942, BArch R 8135/7085, p. 4. ATG received wings and steering from aircraft producers sited
in Prague and Amsterdam. See audit report 1942/43, BArch R 8135/2168, p. 3. French firms produced the
aircraft Ju 52 on behalf of Junkers. See audit report 1943, BArch R 8135/7560, p. 26. Our main data source
is the firm-specific annual audit reports of the Deutsche Revisions- und Treuhand AG shelved in the
Federal archives in Berlin. We will discuss this source at length below.
During the accounting year 1942/43, for example, the repair department of Junkers was booming. See
audit report 1942/43, BArch R 8135/7560, p. 10.