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XyZspineZyX
10-14-2003, 06:10 PM
In a recent thread ("Where is the 'box-spar'?") someone (sorry, forgot who) posted a picture of the Me-109 wing production line purportedly circa October 1943.

In that picture it would appear that at least half the workers on the production line are women.

This struck me as curious as a "factoid" about WW2 war production holds that whereas the Allies employed large numbers of women, the Germans did not do so under the belief that women should stay in the home and bear children for the Reich.

Yet this picture would appear to belie that "factoid". Can anybody provide any elucidation?

Cheers,
Cold_gambler

XyZspineZyX
10-14-2003, 06:10 PM
In a recent thread ("Where is the 'box-spar'?") someone (sorry, forgot who) posted a picture of the Me-109 wing production line purportedly circa October 1943.

In that picture it would appear that at least half the workers on the production line are women.

This struck me as curious as a "factoid" about WW2 war production holds that whereas the Allies employed large numbers of women, the Germans did not do so under the belief that women should stay in the home and bear children for the Reich.

Yet this picture would appear to belie that "factoid". Can anybody provide any elucidation?

Cheers,
Cold_gambler

XyZspineZyX
10-14-2003, 06:36 PM
I can't give any factoid facts, but it seems as sound common-sense the Germans had no choice. At first such standards of order in society may have been acknowledged as right and upheld. Gradually, single, capable women would have entered the work force. In the final stages anyone who was physically capable was probably obligated.

For military service the Hitler Youth is an extreme example standing out as a final result of such desperation.

XyZspineZyX
10-14-2003, 07:14 PM
surely also women worked in factories, also in germany. they got more and more, because almost any man capable to hold a weapon had to fight in the second half of the war. there was a so called "Mutterkreuz" (mothercross) which could be awarded for bearing children, but you know, as the war was going to be lost, there was more need of new weapons than babies.
and dont forget germany also used slave laborers.

XyZspineZyX
10-14-2003, 08:32 PM
Percentage of women in the native civilian work force:

Germany
May 39 - 37.3
May 40 - 41.4
May 41 - 42.6
May 42 - 46.0
May 43 - 48.8
May 44 - 51.0

Great Britain
June 39 - 26.4
June 40 - 29.8
June 41 - 33.2
June 42 - 36.1
June 43 - 37.7
June 44 - 37.9

America
40 - 25.8
41 - 26.6
42 - 28.8
43 - 34.2
44 - 35.7

Germany had an exceptionally high level of female employment in the late 1930s, which underwent a distribution to war work at the start of hostilities. For example, in May 1939 1.63 million women worked producing consumer goods and 0.76 million producer goods (chemicals, precision tools, optics etc). By May 1943 the figures were 1.28 and 1.52 millions respectively.

Between 1939 and 1941 all the official correspondence and discussions show evidence that women were accepted as an integral part of the economic war effort. What Hitler could not bring himself to accept was the call from the armed forces for a general conscription of all German women, since this would mean compelling older women and women with young children to take up full-time work, which he believed would have been detrimental to their health and hence of further sons for the fatherland

More women were brought INTO the work force in Britain because a great many more were unemployed beforehand.

Source: Richard Overy, 'War and Economy in the Third Reich', ISBN 0198205996. Overy devotes many pages to the use of women workers in the wartime economy.

-------------------------------------
When the (German) rationalisation drive began it was found that the armed forces had greatly inflated the demand for raw materials by exaggerating the quantity needed for each unit of production. The large firms held substantial stocks of scarce materials, particularly aluminium, which had been allocated on the basis of 16,000 lb for each aircraft, regardless of the fact that a fighter consumed only a quarter of this quantity. Aircraft firms had so much ingot aluminium in store that they used it to produce non-essential goods - ladder, greenhouses, even mosquito nets.

Professor R.J. Overy, 'War and Economy in the Third Reich'

XyZspineZyX
10-14-2003, 09:22 PM
Slave force could bring the figures _down_, since the majority of the Third Reich slaves were men, if I am correct? (figures missing, just sensing based on the tales from my relatives - from both sides).

XyZspineZyX
10-14-2003, 10:18 PM
HansKnappstick wrote:
- Slave force could bring the figures _down_, since
- the majority of the Third Reich slaves were men, if
- I am correct? (figures missing, just sensing based
- on the tales from my relatives - from both sides).
-
-

Not true. Lots and lots of women were taken to Germany as slave labor from Ukraine, Belorussia, and Russia. In fact 90 % of people taken were women because women, children, and old people were the only ones left behind in ocupied territories.

My wife's grandmother was one of them.

http://www.uploadit.org/files/131003-361067-med.jpg


"One day there is certain to be another order of the Soviet Union. It will be the Order of Zhukov, and that order will be prized by every man who admires courage, vision, fortitude, and determination in a soldier". -Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1945

XyZspineZyX
10-14-2003, 10:25 PM
But i doubt that slave labor was admitted to assembly a/c. They did less skilled, labor intensive tasks.

http://www.uploadit.org/files/131003-361067-med.jpg


"One day there is certain to be another order of the Soviet Union. It will be the Order of Zhukov, and that order will be prized by every man who admires courage, vision, fortitude, and determination in a soldier". -Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1945

XyZspineZyX
10-15-2003, 02:57 PM
thanks everybody and especially Mr. Nakajima (arigato http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif for the responses. that makes sense.

XyZspineZyX
10-15-2003, 03:37 PM
Desant_CCCP wrote:
- Not true. Lots and lots of women were taken to
- Germany as slave labor from Ukraine, Belorussia, and
- Russia. In fact 90 % of people taken were women

Also, this makes sense because females are less likely to cause trouble (rebel etc).


http://sivusto.servepics.com/~lahnat/werre2s.jpg

prkl

XyZspineZyX
10-15-2003, 03:38 PM
Werre_ wrote:
- Also, this makes sense because females are less
- likely to cause trouble (rebel etc).

I just realized how ludicrous this sounds ;-)
I meant large-scale, organized trouble.


http://sivusto.servepics.com/~lahnat/werre2s.jpg

prkl

XyZspineZyX
10-15-2003, 05:07 PM
LOL-
indeed... hell hath no fury like a woman (ending unnecessary)

/JK

XyZspineZyX
10-15-2003, 05:34 PM
From the same source as above on foreign slave labour in Germany:

"By the last years of war the pressures to maximize production militated against further steps to provide incentives to German labour through restructuring pay. In 1943-4 a great number of foreign workers were introduced into the factory work-force, for whom the division of labour and new factory practices were necessary not as incentives but as a means of control and coercion. By this stage of the war absenteeism and low morale among the German work-force led to high labour turnover (particularly of the female workers) and declining discipline. At the Ford factories in the Ruhr it was estimated that the absenteeism rate for German labour increased from 4 per cent in 1940 to 25 per cent in 1944. Foreign workers could be disciplined much more easily. The rate of absenteeism for foreign workers at Ford was a steady 3 per cent between 1942 and 1944. To keep up the morale of German workers later in the war the regime resorted to short-term incentives such as increases in rations, or special bonuses known as 'Speer recognition' paid to workers for exceptional efforts. These payments were made in kind, since cash was no guarantee that goods could actually be acquired in the shops. Foreign workers, on the other hand, were subjected to a much harsher regime in the large automated assembly halls, under the watchful eye of German foremen and company policemen. Despite deteriorating conditions and widespread brutality, and despite the fact that foreign workers performed at an estimated 50-80 per cent of the level of German workers, the high gains in productivity brought about by new production methods were sustained through 1944.

The proportion of German skilled workers in arms factories declined steadily during the war. By 1944 the proportion of skilled German males in the Messerschmitt work-force had fallen from 59 per cent in 1941 to only 21 per cent. Over 40 per cent of workers in the Daimler-Benz concern were foreigners or prisoners of war by 1945. Given the declining quality of the work-force and its progressive demoralization through poor conditions and bombardment, the actual productivity achievement between 1941 and 1945 is all the more remarkable. It can partly be explained by the willingness of the regime to exploit its foreign labour force more intensively than German workers; but it was partly the result of the fact that rationalization was easier to introduce and enforce where there were smaller numbers of German workers to defend old skills or methods of payment. The disorganized and powerless foreign labour force could more easily be moulded to fit the new requirements."


-------------------------------------
When the (German) rationalisation drive began it was found that the armed forces had greatly inflated the demand for raw materials by exaggerating the quantity needed for each unit of production. The large firms held substantial stocks of scarce materials, particularly aluminium, which had been allocated on the basis of 16,000 lb for each aircraft, regardless of the fact that a fighter consumed only a quarter of this quantity. Aircraft firms had so much ingot aluminium in store that they used it to produce non-essential goods - ladder, greenhouses, even mosquito nets.

Professor R.J. Overy, 'War and Economy in the Third Reich'

XyZspineZyX
10-15-2003, 07:03 PM
Desant_CCCP wrote:
- But i doubt that slave labor was admitted to
- assembly a/c.

Yes a relative of mine was assembling engines for FW190. He noted that some of the "foreign workers" were quite able in sabotage work and it is sometimes believed that this is one of the reasons for the increased accident rate in the LW in the late war years.

XyZspineZyX
10-15-2003, 10:54 PM
HansKnappstick wrote:

- Yes a relative of mine was assembling engines for
- FW190. He noted that some of the "foreign workers"
- were quite able in sabotage work and it is sometimes
- believed that this is one of the reasons for the
- increased accident rate in the LW in the late war
- years.
-
-

One of the ways they did this was by putting pieces of cotton in the fuel and oil lines.While not immediately apparent, somewhere down the line the engine will stop. Many cases are reported of 190's being restored and cotton and other things found in the pipes.

S!



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