Why Did Germany Lose World War Two?

Unfortunately, a lot of fascist mood remains in Germany. Merkel is supporting Islamofascism because she is also supporting German neoliberal fascist mood, and sees in Islam a common soul. And United States are no different. US plutocrats had long seen a common fascist mood in Germany, starting with when they gave Hitler ability to produce synthetic fuel, which allowed him to launch World War II; I wrote this post about US imperialism some time ago:
https://defenseissues.net/2016/04/16/history-of-us-imperialism-2/

And many of them remained allied with Hitler throughout World War II, even when US res publica was fighting the Nazism, and US youth dying in war (albeit it was USSR that actually contributed most to defeat of the Nazi Germany, followed by the British Commonwealth – that is, Empire plus Dominions; despite what US national mythology wants you to think, US were comparatively a minor player). IG Farben and Vereinigte Stahlworke, produced 95% of German explosives in 1937-8, using capacity built by US loans and partly US technology. IG Farben had cooperated with Standard Oil, which gave it monopoly on German gasoline production. On beginning of World War II, IG Farben was largest chemical manufacturing enterprise in the world, with vast influence, something which was only made possible by Wall Street capital. IG Farben was also tasked by Hitler to make Germany independent from imported resources – rubber, gasoline, lubricating oils, magnesium, fibers, fats and explosives – by utilizing vast German coal reserves. Processes were developed or acquired abroad – such as iso-octane process, acquired from United States. Two largest tank producers in Germany were also Opel, a subsidiary of General Motors (which had 100% of ownership in it), and Ford A G, subsidiary of Ford company in Detroit (Ford himself was decorated by Hitler for his services to Third Reich). Bendix Aviation helped create German aircraft industry – in 1940, it supplied complete technical data for diesel engine starters to Robert Bosch, and before it it supplied data on automatic pilots to German Siemens&Halske A G.

Through German Ford, Germany imported various war materials. In late 1930s, Ford-Werke AG was transformed into German company, which exported automobiles to rest of Europe and US; any required foreign supplies were procured through American Ford Company. During war, Ford transferred modern US production and sales methods to Germany; information about that was promptly buried by Washington. French Ford produced 20 trucks a day for Wehrmacht. While US Bombing Command did not bomb European plants owned by Wall Street interests, UK Bombing Command apparently did not receive note. When RAF bombed Ford plant in Poissy in France in 1942, Vichy Government paid Ford 38 million francs as compensation for damage. Its primary function was manufacture of light trucks and spares for trucks. And it was trucks, not tanks, that enabled German blitzkrieg through France – even though tanks did play important role, army can only move as quickly as its logistical support allows it to. Germany failed in invasion of USSR partly because only few of its elite divisions were entirely motorized, while rest were entirely foot-slogging or, at best, horse-bound.

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Because the nasty don’t deserve anything else, of course. But there is much more to say, bearing on the astounding way all too many Germans, starting with their crippled, not to say creepy, finance minister find normal to treat part of Europe, even today.

Salvador Dali pointed out that Germany launched World War Two, just to lose it. The same German sadomasochism is fully obvious with all Germans who proposed to throw Greece out of the Eurozone. Indeed, violent ones, explain to me what to do next with the Greeks? Use German high tech to displace Greece east of New Zealand?

Thankfully, Germany is not Europe’s hegemon (contrarily to what superficialists believe). The French Republic leads a coalition with more economic power than Germany, and (hopefully) is determined to keep Greece under its wing. France is also flouting the restrictions on deficit (Germans can go fight in Africa and the Middle East, to…

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16 thoughts on “Why Did Germany Lose World War Two?

      • Historians say the Reichs synthetic fuel industry was led by german inventions and processes
        “German scientists and engineers invented and developed two processes that enabled them to synthesize petroleum from their country’s abundant coal supplies and to establish the world’s first technologically successful synthetic liquid fuel industry
        Friedrich Bergius (1884-1949) in Rheinau-Mannheim began the German drive for energy independence with his invention and earlydevelopment of high-pressure coal hydrogenation or liquefaction in the years 1910-25 .
        A decade after Bergius began his work Franz Fischer (1877-1947) and Hans Tropsch(1889-1935) at the Kaiser-Wilhelm
        Institute for Coal Research (KWI) in Mülheim, Ruhr, invented a second process for the synthesis of liquid fuel from coal.
        Several breakthroughs contributed to the success of coal hydrogenation, the most significant of which were the sulfur
        resistant catalysts and the two stage liquid-vapor phase hydrogenation that Matthias Pier (1882-1965) at IG Farben developed in the late 1920s. For the F-T synthesis, the cobalt catalysts that Fischer and his co-workers prepared in the
        1920s-30s were crucial to its success
        Coal hydrogenation produced high quality aviation and motor gasoline, whereas the F-T synthesis gave high quality diesel and lubricating oil, waxes, and some lower quality motor gasoline
        Germany’s Synthetic Fuel Industry 1927-1945
        http://www.caer.uky.edu/energeia/PDF/vol12_5.pdf
        by Anthony N. Stranges Department of History Texas A&M University as published by University of Kentucky Centre of Applied Energy research in 2001.
        The synthetic fuel research started long before the nazis as it was realised they would be very important strategically. While it doesnt rule out some US processes it was largely a german invention led and industrialised by major german companies such as IG Farben and Rhurchemie.

        • Germany may have had the knowledge, but there is huge difference between having a theory, turning that theory into a process, and implementing that process in practice. You may know the theory of how the painters paint, but that doesn’t mean you will be a good painter. My understanding is that the US corporations gave Germany practical knowledge and resources needed for the fuel production.

  1. It appears that ‘iso-octane’ process wasnt used by Germany, it just used too much fuel stocks. Opel and Ford didnt produce Tanks for Germany, but were of course under german control during the war.
    The Pre war tank designs Panzer I, was a match of Daimler Benz and MAN design, Panzer II & III was DB design. None of the later tanks were designed by Opel or Ford, but like the US car/truck assembly plants could be turned over to war production.
    Even half-track production doesnt seem to have involved Opel and Ford to anything other than very minor extant. Lenin used Rolls Royce Silver Ghost (another was modified with a rear half track, now in a museum) that doesnt make RR a part of bolshevik revolution.

      • Your reference says that Ford and Opel were the largest tank producers just isnt true, the specialist WW2 tank websites dont say that at all.
        panzer III Daimler Benz
        eg Panzer IV was built by Krupp,Vomag, Nibelungenwerke. 13000 built.
        Panzer V( Panther) MAN, Daimler-Benz,Maschinenfabrik Niedersachsen, Henschel and later Auto Union Siegmar 6500 built.
        Nowhere can I find an specialist tank site that includes either Ford or Opel.
        of course others provided the guns such as Rheinmettal or the engines such as Maybach.
        Their SP artillery was built using tank chassis such as the Sturmgeschütz (StuG) which was built by DB in Berlin, Alkett in Berlin,MIAG in Braunschweig and Krupp Magdeburg
        (http://www.stugiii.com/manufacturers.html)
        BMM and Skoda in occupied Checkoslovakia also built Czech and German designs

        This site gives much the same detail. No mention of Ford or Opel .
        http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/de-pzkpfw-production.htm
        ( even so they were under German military control for production , mainly for various truck models as you would expect which were designed before the war.)
        “Motors for panzer vehicles were produced by only three firms: Maybach at Friedrichshafen, Nordbau at Berlin and BMM in Czechoslovakia….gear boxes, which were produced principally by Zahnradfabrik, Friedrichshafen ( they still do today)”

        Henry Ford was a well known pacifist and wouldnt have supported the nazi war effort ( unfortunately he was also a vile anti semite).
        Ford and Opel only built trucks for the war effort, the evidence doesnt support claims otherwise. We have to remember some well known people didnt support the Nazis and were removed from control of their companies, eg Hugo Junkers for the aircraft and engine business, but the factories still continued as before.

        • Most of these were financed or even owned by US corporations (e.g. Opel). Today, Patria and Steyr are both basically US corporations. Yet some Croatian Patria AMVs were produced in Croatia, and companies operate from Finland and Austria.

          Ford and Opel produced trucks for Germany, that I am certain of. For capitalists, money is the only constant, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Ford’s posturing was just that.

      • Steyr is now owned Canadian company Magna, not US. Patria was part owned by Airbus ( formerly EADS) which was sold to Kongsberg, the norwegian concern, the other half has been long time owned by Finnish government. Kongsberg has majority ownership by Norwegian ministry of Trade.
        No US owners in sight.
        The same goes with the german tank manufacturers listed , no evidence of US ownership.
        The only so called connection I can find was plane maker Focke Wulf which had 25% ownership by the International company ITT, which was was what we would call now a trans national active in many european countries. It was started by two Danish german brothers, Sosthenes and Hernand Behn, who started out in the Caribbean. The company had no business interests in US until after the war.( US had its own telegraph companies, Western Union , AT&T etc) apart from a small cable company it had sold by the early 30s.
        All these things fall by the wayside once checked out. We are only left with the trucks from Ford and Opel, which were of course under German control as essential war industries.

        • It’s been a while since I’ve read the book, but Wall Street was the biggest Hitler’s supporter in terms of finances. Ford and General Motors built trucks for Hitler – you can have “blitzkrieg” without tanks, but not without trucks. Ford was not under German control, it is US company. Opel was German company, and yes maybe under German control, but it was 100% owned by General Motors. To cite the link I gave below: “A U.S. Army report by investigator Henry Schneider dated Sept. 5, 1945, accused the German branch of Ford of serving as “an arsenal of Nazism, at least for military vehicles” with the “consent” of the parent company in Dearborn.” In 1935., General Motors built a truck factory near Berlin, and was (through Opel) the largest German truck producer. Ford was the second largest. Albert Speer said to Snell that Hitler told him how he would have never considered invading Poland without synthetic fuel technology provided to him by General Motors. Companies continued to consciously operate within Germany up until the outbreak of the World War II. James Mooney, a director of the GM overseas branch, was personally involved in modification of GM automobile plant for wartime purposes (so much for being “under German control”). American manager of Opel, Pete Hoglund, did not leave Germany until 1941., two years into the war. GM officials also actively undermined US war effort, resisting conversion of their plants to wartime production under false presumption that it was “not possible”, despite Germany having had done so already. Ford and GM Scrutinized for Alleged Nazi Collaboration

          Three years after Swiss banks became the target of a worldwide furor over their business dealings with Nazi Germany, major American car companies find themselves embroiled in a similar debate.

          Like the Swiss banks, the American car companies have vigorously denied that they assisted the Nazi war machine or that they significantly profited from the use of forced labor at their German subsidiaries during World War II. But historians and lawyers researching class-action suits on behalf of former prisoners of war are busy amassing evidence of collaboration by the automakers with the Nazi regime.

          The issues at stake for the American automobile corporations go far beyond the relatively modest sums involved in settling any lawsuit. During the war, the car companies established a reputation for themselves as “the arsenal of democracy” by transforming their production lines to make airplanes, tanks and trucks for the armies that defeated Adolf Hitler. They deny that their huge business interests in Nazi Germany led them, wittingly or unwittingly, to also become “the arsenal of fascism.”

          The Ford Motor Co. has mobilized dozens of historians, lawyers and researchers to fight a civil case brought by lawyers in Washington and New York who specialize in extracting large cash settlements from banks and insurance companies accused of defrauding Holocaust victims. Also, a book scheduled for publication next year will accuse General Motors Corp. of playing a key role in Hitler’s invasions of Poland and the Soviet Union.

          “General Motors was far more important to the Nazi war machine than Switzerland,” said Bradford Snell, who has spent two decades researching a history of the world’s largest automaker. “Switzerland was just a repository of looted funds. GM was an integral part of the German war effort. The Nazis could have invaded Poland and Russia without Switzerland. They could not have done so without GM.”

          Both General Motors and Ford insist that they bear little or no responsibility for the operations of their German subsidiaries, which controlled 70 percent of the German car market at the outbreak of war in 1939 and rapidly retooled themselves to become suppliers of war materiel to the German army.

          But documents discovered in German and American archives show a much more complicated picture. In certain instances, American managers of both GM and Ford went along with the conversion of their German plants to military production at a time when U.S. government documents show they were still resisting calls by the Roosevelt administration to step up military production in their plants at home.

          After three years of national soul-searching, Switzerland’s largest banks agreed last August to make a $1.25 billion settlement to Holocaust survivors, a step they had initially resisted. Far from dying down, however, the controversy over business dealings with the Nazis has given new impetus to long-standing investigations into issues such as looted art, unpaid insurance benefits and the use of forced labor at German factories.

          Although some of the allegations against GM and Ford surfaced during 1974 congressional hearings into monopolistic practices in the automobile industry, American corporations have largely succeeded in playing down their connections to Nazi Germany. As with Switzerland, however, their very success in projecting a wholesome, patriotic image of themselves is now being turned against them by their critics.

          “When you think of Ford, you think of baseball and apple pie,” said Miriam Kleinman, a researcher with the Washington law firm of Cohen, Millstein and Hausfeld, who spent weeks examining records at the National Archives in an attempt to build a slave labor case against the Dearborn-based company. “You don’t think of Hitler having a portrait of Henry Ford on his office wall in Munich.”

          Both Ford and General Motors declined requests for access to their wartime archives. Ford spokesman John Spellich defended the company’s decision to maintain business ties with Nazi Germany on the grounds that the U.S. government continued to have diplomatic relations with Berlin up until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. GM spokesman John F. Mueller said that General Motors lost day-to-day control over its German plants in September 1939 and “did not assist the Nazis in any way during World War II.”

          For GIs, an Unpleasant Surprise

          When American GIs invaded Europe in June 1944, they did so in jeeps, trucks and tanks manufactured by the Big Three motor companies in one of the largest crash militarization programs ever undertaken. It came as an unpleasant surprise to discover that the enemy was also driving trucks manufactured by Ford and Opel — a 100 percent GM-owned subsidiary — and flying Opel-built warplanes. (Chrysler’s role in the German rearmament effort was much less significant.)

          When the U.S. Army liberated the Ford plants in Cologne and Berlin, they found destitute foreign workers confined behind barbed wire and company documents extolling the “genius of the Fuehrer,” according to reports filed by soldiers at the scene. A U.S. Army report by investigator Henry Schneider dated Sept. 5, 1945, accused the German branch of Ford of serving as “an arsenal of Nazism, at least for military vehicles” with the “consent” of the parent company in Dearborn.

          Ford spokesman Spellich described the Schneider report as “a mischaracterization” of the activities of the American parent company and noted that Dearborn managers had frequently been kept in the dark by their German subordinates over events in Cologne.

          The relationship of Ford and GM to the Nazi regime goes back to the 1920s and 1930s, when the American car companies competed against each other for access to the lucrative German market. Hitler was an admirer of American mass production techniques and an avid reader of the antisemitic tracts penned by Henry Ford. “I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration,” Hitler told a Detroit News reporter two years before becoming the German chancellor in 1933, explaining why he kept a life-size portrait of the American automaker next to his desk.

          Although Ford later renounced his antisemitic writings, he remained an admirer of Nazi Germany and sought to keep America out of the coming war. In July 1938, four months after the German annexation of Austria, he accepted the highest medal that Nazi Germany could bestow on a foreigner, the Grand Cross of the German Eagle. The following month, a senior executive for General Motors, James Mooney, received a similar medal for his “distinguished service to the Reich.”

          The granting of such awards reflected the vital place that the U.S. automakers had in Germany’s increasingly militarized economy. In 1935, GM agreed to build a new plant near Berlin to produce the aptly named “Blitz” truck, which would later be used by the German army for its blitzkreig attacks on Poland, France and the Soviet Union. German Ford was the second-largest producer of trucks for the German army after GM/Opel, according to U.S. Army reports.

          The importance of the American automakers went beyond making trucks for the German army. The Schneider report, now available to researchers at the National Archives, states that American Ford agreed to a complicated barter deal that gave the Reich increased access to large quantities of strategic raw materials, notably rubber. Author Snell says that Nazi armaments chief Albert Speer told him in 1977 that Hitler “would never have considered invading Poland” without synthetic fuel technology provided by General Motors.

          As war approached, it became increasingly difficult for U.S. corporations like GM and Ford to operate in Germany without cooperating closely with the Nazi rearmament effort. Under intense pressure from Berlin, both companies took pains to make their subsidiaries appear as “German” as possible. In April 1939, for example, German Ford made a personal present to Hitler of 35,000 Reichsmarks in honor of his 50th birthday, according to a captured Nazi document.

          Documents show that the parent companies followed a conscious strategy of continuing to do business with the Nazi regime, rather than divest themselves of their German assets. Less than three weeks after the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, GM Chairman Alfred P. Sloan defended this strategy as sound business practice, given the fact that the company’s German operations were “highly profitable.”

          The internal politics of Nazi Germany “should not be considered the business of the management of General Motors,” Sloan explained in a letter to a concerned shareholder dated April 6, 1939. “We must conduct ourselves [in Germany] as a German organization. . . . We have no right to shut down the plant.”

          U.S. Firms Became Crucial

          After the outbreak of war in September 1939, General Motors and Ford became crucial to the German military, according to contemporaneous German documents and postwar investigations by the U.S. Army. James Mooney, the GM director in charge of overseas operations, had discussions with Hitler in Berlin two weeks after the German invasion of Poland.

          Typewritten notes by Mooney show that he was involved in the partial conversion of the principal GM automobile plant at Russelsheim to production of engines and other parts for the Junker “Wunderbomber,” a key weapon in the German air force, under a government-brokered contract between Opel and the Junker airplane company. Mooney’s notes show that he returned to Germany the following February for further discussions with Luftwaffe commander Hermann Goering and a personal inspection of the Russelsheim plant.

          Mooney’s involvement in the conversion of the Russelsheim plant undermines claims by General Motors that the American branch of the company had nothing to do with the Nazi rearmament effort. In congressional testimony in 1974, GM maintained that American personnel resigned from all management positions in Opel following the outbreak of war in 1939 “rather than participate in the production of war materials.”

          However, according to documents of the Reich Commissar for the Treatment of Enemy Property, the American parent company continued to have some say in the operations of Opel after September 1939. The documents show that the company issued a general power of attorney to an American manager, Pete Hoglund, in March 1940. Hoglund did not leave Germany until a year later. At that time, the power of attorney was transferred to a prominent Berlin lawyer named Heinrich Richter.

          GM spokesman Mueller declined to answer questions from The Washington Post on the power of attorney granted to Hoglund and Richter or to provide access to the personnel files of Hoglund and other wartime managers. He also declined to comment on an assertion by Snell that Opel used French and Belgian prisoners at its Russelsheim plant in the summer of 1940, at a time when the American Hoglund was still looking after GM interests in Germany.

          The Nazis had a clear interest in keeping Opel and German Ford under American ownership, despite growing hostility between Washington and Berlin. By the time of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the American stake in German Ford had declined to 52 percent, but Nazi officials argued against a complete takeover. A memorandum to plant managers dated November 25, 1941, acknowledged that such a step would deprive German Ford of “the excellent sales organization” of the parent company and make it more difficult to bring “the remaining European Ford companies under German influence.”

          Documents suggest that the principal motivation of both companies during this period was to protect their investments. An FBI report dated July 23, 1941 quoted Mooney as saying that he would refuse to take any action that might “make Hitler mad.” In fall 1940, Mooney told the journalist Henry Paynter that he would not return his Nazi medal because such an action might jeopardize GM’s $100 million investment in Germany. “Hitler has all the cards,” Paynter quoted Mooney as saying.

          “Mooney probably thought that the war would be over very quickly, so why should we give our wonderful company away,” said German researcher Anita Kugler, who used Nazi archives to trace the company’s dealings with Nazi Germany.

          Even though GM officials were aware of the conversion of its Russelsheim plant to aircraft engine production, they resisted such conversion efforts in the United States, telling shareholders that their automobile assembly lines in Detroit were “not adaptable to the manufacture of other products” such as planes, according to a company document discovered by Snell.

          In June 1940, after the fall of France, Henry Ford personally vetoed a U.S. government-approved plan to produce under license Rolls-Royce engines for British fighter planes.”

          Just a short read, of course there is also the “Wall Street and Hitler” book I mentioned:
          http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/daily/nov98/nazicars30.htm

  2. Opel is so supposed to building Bombers now ?( after finding no evidence they built Tanks). This is more interesting as you are like me more interested in the plane side.
    Opel started out in eastern Germany with its first model coming from a factory in Dessau,”Opel Patent Motor Car System Lutzmann’, in 1899. later in the the 30s, a modern new factory was built outside Berlin in the industrial city of Brandenburg am der Havel.
    “It was located along the south bank of the Silo Canal, ( which ran through the northern fringe of the city) directly adjacent to a steel plant and Arado Flugzeugwerke factories. This is where people have been confused as the Opel plant produced army vehicles ( staff cars) and trucks- which it was built for- and Arado produced planes.
    https://opelpost.com/10/2014/the-history-of-two-opel-plants/
    /en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einheits-PKW_der_Wehrmacht

    As for control of the Ford Germany and Opel.
    “After Germany declared war on America, all American corporate interests in Germany or under German control were systematically placed under the jurisdiction of a Reich-appointed custodian for enemy-owned property.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Nazis-rode-to-war-on-GM-wheels-2659006.php

    As for ‘Opel powered bombers’, not really as some parts production was done for aircraft engines like “construction of an intercooler for the supercharger of the famous Junkers Jumo aircraft engine”- Not what you would call an Opel powered bomber.
    No Opel tanks, no Opel bombers , no Opel powered bombers ( or tanks)

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