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How much did WWII German tanks cost?


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PanzerJosh #1 Posted Feb 23 2017 - 16:41

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Hello!

 

Ok so i'm wondering how much German WWII tanks cost such as the Panzer IV, Panther, Tiger 1, King Tiger, Stug II, and the Maus. 

Any help will be appreciated.



Lethalhavoc #2 Posted Feb 23 2017 - 16:42

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A lot.

Harkonen_siegetank #3 Posted Feb 23 2017 - 16:43

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You can google these things easily.

Lethalhavoc #4 Posted Feb 23 2017 - 16:43

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$9,024. Sd.Kfz.7 medium half track (3 ton / infantry squad).
$20,000. Panzer MkIIC tank. 10 tons. 20mm autocannon. 15mm armor.
$34,181. 7TP light tank. 10 tons. 37mm main gun. 17mm armor.
$37,096. R35 light tank. 10 tons. 37mm main gun. 43mm armor.
$40,000. Panzer MkIIIG (and later) tank. 50mm main gun. 30mm armor.
$46,000. M4 (Sherman) tank. 35 tons. 75mm main gun.
$46,387. Panzer MkIVG (and later) tank. 75mm main gun. 50mm armor.
$60,000. Panzer MkV (Panther) tank. 75mm/70 main gun. 80mm armor.
$119,920. Panzer MkVIE (Tiger) tank. 88mm main gun. 100mm armor.         

play4funz #5 Posted Feb 23 2017 - 16:49

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In today's money... about a ba-zillion €.

 

Or... in dollars about tree-fitty.


Edited by play4funz, Feb 23 2017 - 16:50.


Shiina___Mashiro #6 Posted Feb 23 2017 - 16:51

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Too much for Germany to sustain, evidently.

Kamahl1234 #7 Posted Feb 23 2017 - 16:51

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View PostLethalhavoc, on Feb 23 2017 - 15:43, said:

$9,024. Sd.Kfz.7 medium half track (3 ton / infantry squad).
$20,000. Panzer MkIIC tank. 10 tons. 20mm autocannon. 15mm armor.
$34,181. 7TP light tank. 10 tons. 37mm main gun. 17mm armor.
$37,096. R35 light tank. 10 tons. 37mm main gun. 43mm armor.
$40,000. Panzer MkIIIG (and later) tank. 50mm main gun. 30mm armor.
$46,000. M4 (Sherman) tank. 35 tons. 75mm main gun.
$46,387. Panzer MkIVG (and later) tank. 75mm main gun. 50mm armor.
$60,000. Panzer MkV (Panther) tank. 75mm/70 main gun. 80mm armor.
$119,920. Panzer MkVIE (Tiger) tank. 88mm main gun. 100mm armor.         

 

One thing to note is this is pricing relative to the period. Such as that Sd.Kfz. would have cost ~155,620.17$ USD today. 

 

This would make the M4 792,726.57$



mattwong #8 Posted Feb 23 2017 - 16:53

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In wartime, when the government has declared martial law, the most important thing is not dollars (or deutsche marks), but man-hours.  A Tiger tank required about 300,000 man-hours to build.  A T-34-85 required less than 10,000 man-hours to build.  That means a single Tiger cost the same number of man-hours to build as thirty T-34-85s.  And that's one of the reasons Germany lost the war.



Doc_Ebs #9 Posted Feb 23 2017 - 17:26

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View Postmattwong, on Feb 23 2017 - 15:53, said:

In wartime, when the government has declared martial law, the most important thing is not dollars (or deutsche marks), but man-hours.  A Tiger tank required about 300,000 man-hours to build.  A T-34-85 required less than 10,000 man-hours to build.  That means a single Tiger cost the same number of man-hours to build as thirty T-34-85s.  And that's one of the reasons Germany lost the war.

I don't understand you are going to have to give me bottles of vodka vs bottles of schnapps



65Camino #10 Posted Feb 23 2017 - 18:50

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View Postmattwong, on Feb 23 2017 - 15:53, said:

In wartime, when the government has declared martial law, the most important thing is not dollars (or deutsche marks), but man-hours.  A Tiger tank required about 300,000 man-hours to build.  A T-34-85 required less than 10,000 man-hours to build.  That means a single Tiger cost the same number of man-hours to build as thirty T-34-85s.  And that's one of the reasons Germany lost the war.

 

That, and in spite of all those man hours expended, the Panther, Tiger I and Tiger II were extremely unreliable and prone to many mechanical maladies.

t6c #11 Posted Feb 23 2017 - 19:43

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View Post65Camino, on Feb 23 2017 - 10:50, said:

That, and in spite of all those man hours expended, the Panther, Tiger I and Tiger II were extremely unreliable and prone to many mechanical maladies.

Troll. Now you will get flamed by the fanboyz for dragging reality into their fantasies.



Lethalhavoc #12 Posted Feb 23 2017 - 22:39

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View PostKamahl1234, on Feb 23 2017 - 11:51, said:

 

One thing to note is this is pricing relative to the period. Such as that Sd.Kfz. would have cost ~155,620.17$ USD today. 

 

This would make the M4 792,726.57$

 

Mass production dropped the cost on simple vehicles like the sdkfz 7 which was essentially a truck with tracks.

As for the M4 I couldn't tell you what mass production did to drop the costs, but they did make something like 49,000 of them?

And according to wiki the final production cost was between 44 to $64,000 per.


Edited by Lethalhavoc, Feb 23 2017 - 22:57.


Lethalhavoc #13 Posted Feb 23 2017 - 22:46

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View Post65Camino, on Feb 23 2017 - 13:50, said:

 

That, and in spite of all those man hours expended, the Panther, Tiger I and Tiger II were extremely unreliable and prone to many mechanical maladies.

 

The Panther, Tiger and Tiger II besides being hurriedly designed and rushed into production without being refined also encountered the uniquely German problem of being constructed with the use of forced labor.

Many of whom did what they could to sabotage the vehicles they were working on.


 

After watching a number of German tank restorations, and the mechanics noting things like cigarette butts jammed into oil lines and transmission bolts not tightened, it's easy to imagine that infecting the entire production runs.


Edited by Lethalhavoc, Feb 23 2017 - 22:46.


bredy_ #14 Posted Feb 24 2017 - 23:29

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There is one thing that is most important to winning a war that has commitment to being won...

 

and that one thing is available hard currency.



mattwong #15 Posted Feb 25 2017 - 16:53

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View Postbredy_, on Feb 24 2017 - 17:29, said:

There is one thing that is most important to winning a war that has commitment to being won...

 

and that one thing is available hard currency.

 

Actually, it's available physical resources.  Under martial law, the government can seize and ration resources regardless of what they would normally cost.  In contrast, money has no meaning if the resources you're trying to buy simply aren't available.  No amount of money would have solved Nazi Germany's oil crisis, for example.

Zinegata #16 Posted Feb 28 2017 - 11:06

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View PostLethalhavoc, on Feb 23 2017 - 23:43, said:

$9,024. Sd.Kfz.7 medium half track (3 ton / infantry squad).
$20,000. Panzer MkIIC tank. 10 tons. 20mm autocannon. 15mm armor.
$34,181. 7TP light tank. 10 tons. 37mm main gun. 17mm armor.
$37,096. R35 light tank. 10 tons. 37mm main gun. 43mm armor.
$40,000. Panzer MkIIIG (and later) tank. 50mm main gun. 30mm armor.
$46,000. M4 (Sherman) tank. 35 tons. 75mm main gun.
$46,387. Panzer MkIVG (and later) tank. 75mm main gun. 50mm armor.
$60,000. Panzer MkV (Panther) tank. 75mm/70 main gun. 80mm armor.
$119,920. Panzer MkVIE (Tiger) tank. 88mm main gun. 100mm armor.         

 

Thee problem with those figures is that they are essentially meaningless. German currency was Reichmarks. American currency was dollars. They were not interchangeable - and indeed currency trading of Reichmarks and Dollars had been suspended years before the war even began. That people keep pretending Reichmarks and Dollars are readily interchangeable is a video-gamism that flies in the face of financial realities of World War 2. 

 

In reality machines are a combination of labor and materials - the former to put the damn thing together, and the latter to actually make up the machine. And the price of labor and materials in each warring country was not the same. German labor for instance could range from very expensive (e.g. well-connected craftsmen) to costing zero (slave labor from occupied countries). German steel was very cheap and plentiful - they in fact produced 3x more than the Soviets - but heavy machinery to convert that steel into engines and other components were in short supply or laughably antiquated in their methods. By contrast the Soviets had very modern factories - which is why they produced many more tanks than the Germans despite having much less steel on-hand. Conversely German oil was prohibitively expensively - much of it was created through synthetic oil production - whereas American oil was ridiculously cheap due to unused capacity from the Great Depression coming back online.

 

There has been really only one real attempt to look at the war from a truly detailed economic perspective - Tooze's Wages of Destruction - which really demonstrates how shallow most World War 2 literature (and wargaming) actually is when it comes to talking about the economic war. Quite simply, most WW2 "economic" analysis may as well be speculating about the price of grain in Westeros by how far removed they are from an even basic understanding of how economies actually work. 


Edited by Zinegata, Feb 28 2017 - 11:07.


SinsOfWrath #17 Posted Mar 02 2017 - 21:49

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View PostZinegata, on Feb 28 2017 - 05:06, said:

 

Thee problem with those figures is that they are essentially meaningless. German currency was Reichmarks. American currency was dollars. They were not interchangeable - and indeed currency trading of Reichmarks and Dollars had been suspended years before the war even began. That people keep pretending Reichmarks and Dollars are readily interchangeable is a video-gamism that flies in the face of financial realities of World War 2. 

 

In reality machines are a combination of labor and materials - the former to put the damn thing together, and the latter to actually make up the machine. And the price of labor and materials in each warring country was not the same. German labor for instance could range from very expensive (e.g. well-connected craftsmen) to costing zero (slave labor from occupied countries). German steel was very cheap and plentiful - they in fact produced 3x more than the Soviets - but heavy machinery to convert that steel into engines and other components were in short supply or laughably antiquated in their methods. By contrast the Soviets had very modern factories - which is why they produced many more tanks than the Germans despite having much less steel on-hand. Conversely German oil was prohibitively expensively - much of it was created through synthetic oil production - whereas American oil was ridiculously cheap due to unused capacity from the Great Depression coming back online.

 

There has been really only one real attempt to look at the war from a truly detailed economic perspective - Tooze's Wages of Destruction - which really demonstrates how shallow most World War 2 literature (and wargaming) actually is when it comes to talking about the economic war. Quite simply, most WW2 "economic" analysis may as well be speculating about the price of grain in Westeros by how far removed they are from an even basic understanding of how economies actually work. 

While I can agree with some of that I'd have to disagree with the machinery being the reason the Soviets produced more tanks.  More to that facts on that is simply that skilled craftsmanship wasn't something the Soviets cared about.  It was all about quantity over quality.  Where for Germany, it was the exact opposite.  However, that was also the doom for Germany.  The Tiger for example was so sophisticated for the time, the actually upkeep wasn't yet perfected.  The Tiger suffered track and transmission problems and essentially skilled laborers and part replacements had a hard time keeping up.  Hitler pushing so deep into Soviet territory with bad supply lines which lasted into winter didn't help. On the Soviet front cheaper production cost, quicker turn around, and untrained crews helped win the war.  Unfortunately at great cost.  There is a great read called "The History of Heavy Tank Battalion 501", basically written by tank and battalion commanders during the war.  It was estimated 12 T34's were destroyed to every one Tiger.  Ultimately Hitlers bad decision lost it.  Imagine if the Soviets pushed into Germany instead with their front line tanks at that time.  I would have a feeling Stalin would have been licking his wounds. 



mattwong #18 Posted Mar 02 2017 - 22:15

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View PostSinsOfWrath, on Mar 02 2017 - 15:49, said:

The Tiger for example was so sophisticated for the time, the actually upkeep wasn't yet perfected.

 

That is a common misconception, but it's not based on anything.  "Complicated" is not a synonym for "sophisticated".  There was nothing particularly advanced or sophisticated about the Tiger's design.  The thing that made it extraordinarily expensive and maintenance-intensive was its high degree of mechanical complexity, but what actual technological advantages did it possess?  Being bigger and heavier is not actually a kind of superior technology or sophistication, and using 10 parts where 4 parts will do is not "over-engineering"; it is incompetent engineering.

 

In fact, German tanks were often more primitive than Russian ones.  The Panther, for example, had a gasoline engine rather than the T-34's more reliable diesel engine not because German engineers decided it was superior, but because MAN (the company contracted to build the Panther) had no experience with diesel engines and didn't have the expertise to design and build them.

 

The stereotype of WW2 was that it pitted masses of primitive Russian armour against technologically advanced German armour.  In fact, Russian armour was technologically superior in many ways, while German armour relied on brute force: simply building tanks which were bigger and heavier in order to compensate for their technological inferiority in other areas.


Edited by mattwong, Mar 02 2017 - 22:16.


EnsignExpendable #19 Posted Mar 03 2017 - 20:00

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View PostSinsOfWrath, on Mar 02 2017 - 15:49, said:

  It was estimated 12 T34's were destroyed to every one Tiger.  

 

One KV-220 was destroyed for every 1300 Tigers, that makes it the best tank of the war, right?



Zinegata #20 Posted Mar 07 2017 - 08:00

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View PostSinsOfWrath, on Mar 03 2017 - 04:49, said:

While I can agree with some of that I'd have to disagree with the machinery being the reason the Soviets produced more tanks.  More to that facts on that is simply that skilled craftsmanship wasn't something the Soviets cared about.  It was all about quantity over quality.  Where for Germany, it was the exact opposite.  However, that was also the doom for Germany.  The Tiger for example was so sophisticated for the time, the actually upkeep wasn't yet perfected.  The Tiger suffered track and transmission problems and essentially skilled laborers and part replacements had a hard time keeping up.  Hitler pushing so deep into Soviet territory with bad supply lines which lasted into winter didn't help. On the Soviet front cheaper production cost, quicker turn around, and untrained crews helped win the war.  Unfortunately at great cost.  There is a great read called "The History of Heavy Tank Battalion 501", basically written by tank and battalion commanders during the war.  It was estimated 12 T34's were destroyed to every one Tiger.  Ultimately Hitlers bad decision lost it.  Imagine if the Soviets pushed into Germany instead with their front line tanks at that time.  I would have a feeling Stalin would have been licking his wounds. 

 

"Superior craftsmanship" is a common misconception. Mass-produced tanks made by US and Soviet factories in fact enforced stricter quality control than the German factories - which is no surprise given that the Soviet system heavily borrowed from American know-how (many US manufacturers helped the USSR build its heavy industry in the 30s). An American Sherman tank engine for instance could be easily swapped between different Sherman tanks without any modifications needed. Soviet standards were similar. By contrast German tanks differed in dimensions by whole inches, making it impossible to quickly swap parts around.

 

The harsh reality of industrial production is that automated processes are more efficient than ones heavily reliant on human labor. This is why American and Soviet tank factories cast whole components just by pouring molten metal in the mold (a process that takes seconds for the metal to be poured and mere minutes for the metal to cool), whereas German parts were laboriously milled layer after layer by craftsmen (a process that takes days).

 

That Soviet tanks tended to have less finish than German ones - just a simple coat of paint for instance - was a reflection of the Soviet Union's resource shortages (having only a third of German steel production meant that the Soviets had to spend their steel sparingly) and an emphasis on function over aesthetics. At the end of the day tanks are not judged by how good-looking they are. They are judged by their ability to accomplish their mission.

 

Finally, it's worth noting that the real cost of the tank is not in production, but in operation. Tanks consume fuel and spare parts to an alarming degree whenever they are deployed - and the cost can easily exceed the cost of the tank itself even if it fought no combat! That US and Soviet production methods enforced good quality control helped reduce these operational costs - since it took less labor and man-hours to replace and repair tanks - whereas German tank repair costs were perpetually high with the record being held by Tiger battalions which needed 130 trucks in its supply train to keep a battalion of just 45 tanks running!

 

Oh, and the 12 T-34s lost per Tiger? That claim has never been verified and was just thrown up by some computer game designers who believed that the Nazis invading the continental US was possible. Because apparently you can build tanks out of thin air using "prestige points".


Edited by Zinegata, Mar 07 2017 - 08:01.





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