German ammunition manufacture post ww 1


#1

We recently obtained a small archive of original GOERZ BERLIN factory documents which demonstrate that the world famous optical manufacturer which made submarine periscopes , bomb sights , binoculars , sniper scopes and all manner of cameras also made Zeppelin and aircraft bombs as well. Some of this is dated 1919.

It is certainly not well known that German arms industry continued after the end of WW1. Small arms headstamps are not unknown after WW1 but artillery ammo dates are and the production of these heavy bombs is a surprise.

Does anyone have additional proof of German heavy ammunition production after 1918 ?


#2

It is found in several reports about the Versailles documentation and implementation that after November 1918, being only an “Armistice”, the German Munitions Industry continued production; and by the time the Treaty was signed in 1919, several “Inspection” committees had estimated a figure of
"Munitions" which had to be turned over or destroyed by Germany to the Allies ( Artillery, Ammunition, Small arms, Railway equipment, Merchant ships etc).

So the German Industry, in order to meet these “quotas” had to continue manufacturing during 1919 and into 1920, sufficient pieces to meet these sometimes Over-estimated Figures. A Lot of this “excess” was then either handed over to the Allies, or destroyed under Allied Inspection supervision.

Unknown to the Inspection teams, a lot of equipment was “squirrelled away” in neutral countries (The Netherlands, Soviet Union, Sweden) as were the design offices for U-Boats and other projects. Read “The Arms of Krupp” in reference this period of German Industrial History.

This extended manufacturing period did, in a small way, reduce the impact of unemployment on the German Population, with the Demobilization of Millions of Troops, but the entire Punitive provisions of the Versailles Treaty went on to Germany’s Massive and ruinous inflation of 1922-23, and the subsequent rise of the DNSAP ( Deutsche Nazionalischte-Socialischte ArbeitsPartei) and Adolf Hitler.

One odd occurence was, due to Pre-war cartel arrangements between Vickers and Krupp, after WWI, Krupp sued Vickers for Patent Licence infringement, ( a Fuze used by Vickers in a 3 inch (18 pdr) British shell was of Krupp design) so that for every fused shell which killed German Soldiers, was owed Krupp a royalty of 1 shilling or so. The case went on for several years, and Krupp finally won (in a British Court)…and Vickers paid up. Talk about the intrigues of the World Arms market.

Regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


#3

Thank you for the very informative post. The “business” of war is a strange story.


#4

The correct form and spelling of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party, in German, is NSDAP - Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei.

John Moss


#5

Well, not only equipment was put aside (DWM for example, paid a scrap dealer for keeping certain machines safe), but front companies were erected in several other countries. A Dutch engineering company was started and funded by the German Navy. It’s main goal was to keep improving and building submarines in Dutch ship yards.

A company in Groningen, the Netherlands was used to store heavy machinery from Krupp. The machinery was publicly returned to Krupp in 1930…

DWM also made the news in the 1920s when, after a dispute between a DWM employee and manager Paul von Gontard, the unfortunate employee was tried and sentenced for treason at a closed trial. The employee wanted to make public that, contrary to IACC regulations, DWM was still producing small arms and ammunition. This became known as the “Bullerjahn Affair”.

Cheating and bypassing the InterAllied Control Commision was a matter of national pride, almost :)

DWM (and Loewe and Mauser) had their head offices in the heart of the German political and military center in Berlin. This had a very good reason :)

About Vickers:
Until 1904 (when he died), Sigmund Loewe, brother of Isidor Loewe (manager of Ludwig Loewe & Cie) had a seat on the board of Loewe, while he was also financial manager at Vickers. When Sigmund Loewe died, Albert Vickers took over his board seat at Loewe. Loewe in turn was controlling DWM, Mauser and FN. A small world indeed.


#6

It should be borne in mind that the Inter-Allied Control Commission was the agent of the victorious Allies, not benign providence. Jack


#7

In 1915 the PuW (Prüfanstalt und Werft der Fliegertruppe - proofing facility and dockyard of the airforce ) contacted the company Goertz to develope a more aerodynamic series of bomb types.
The former Carbonit and Traisen types are not very accurate, because of the pearshaped body.
The new bombs where tested and introduced and in 1916 the first examples where delivered to the frontline bombers. The different types had a weight of 12 Kg, 50 Kg, 100 Kg and 300 Kg.
The angled fins produced a rotation that was used to arm the fuzes.
In 1917 a 1000 Kg bomb was developed and dropped by the big Gotha, AEG and Zeppelin bombers.


#8

[quote=“JohnMoss”]The correct form and spelling of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party, in German, is NSDAP - Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei.

John Moss[/quote]

Nazionalsozialistiche really. That’s where the Nazi abbreviation came for.


#9

Boy, am I on thin ice. I will argue the last point from Schneider, and I don’t even speak German.
“Nazionalsozialistiche” are the two words that formed the acronym “NAZI” but what I was correcting was the correct German spelling and usage of the complete name for the German National Socialist Workers Party, which was NSDAP, not DNSAP. For that purpose, “Nationalsozialistiche” is incomplete.

John Moss


#10

I would say that the “NAZI” came from “Nationalsozialisten”.


#11

EOD - I would agree. Once I see that form, I am familiar with it. My knowledge of German is so poor that I don’t know all the various forms the words can take, depending on their EXACT use in written or spoken context.

John Moss


#12

[quote=“genkideskan”]In 1915 the PuW (Prüfanstalt und Werft der Fliegertruppe - proofing facility and dockyard of the airforce ) contacted the company Goertz to develope a more aerodynamic series of bomb types.
The former Carbonit and Traisen types are not very accurate, because of the pearshaped body.
The new bombs where tested and introduced and in 1916 the first examples where delivered to the frontline bombers. The different types had a weight of 12 Kg, 50 Kg, 100 Kg and 300 Kg.
The angled fins produced a rotation that was used to arm the fuzes.
In 1917 a 1000 Kg bomb was developed and dropped by the big Gotha, AEG and Zeppelin bombers.

[/quote]

Excellent information. Thank you.

Do you have an image of the 1000 pounder ?


#13

Here are some of the experimental tail designd from that contract.

I read that GOERZ developed the first tactical periscopes and bomb sights. True ?


#14

[color=#0000FF]Here is the 1000 Kilogramm ( 2204,6 pound) bomb. Have only a drawing. Interesting is the connecting tube with booster charge for proper ignition of the explosive
[/color]

[color=#0000FF]Nose and tail fuze[/color]


[color=#0000FF]The beginning in 1915 - equipment of a bomber/reconnaissance plane[/color]

.


#15

Nice,thank you. Interesting that Germany spent money and time developing the streamlined bombs and then went back to the fatbodies.


#16

May be a problem of aerodynamics and speed.
The early streamlined bombs might be the best for the slow WW. 1 bombers.
The cylindrical shape is may be still windchannel tested.
Todays jet bombs are ugly streamlined againe …

The first action with the 1000 Kg bombs are reported. Targets where railroad junctions in North France and a big ammo depot at Blargies. The bomber crew was afraid to drop these heavy bombs. What happens to the plane when the bombs where released. Only a small jump. Then a flash and bang and even the AA fire stopped for a while.
It was a real shock.

.


#17

Dropping a 1000kg load from a WW1 era plane had to be quite an experience. My Goerz archive has quite a bit in it about the 1000kg but I can’t read it.