Military Expenditures, Strategic Raw Materials, Oil Production

Production of Russian KV-1

Production of Russian KV-1 in a tank factory at Leningrad.

Comparison of military expenditures, distribution of vital strategic raw materials, oil and fuel production in World War II.

Comparison of Military Expenditures

Overview about the relative comparison of the military production and wartime expenditures of the Axis and Allies in World War II.

Warmaking potential in 1937
Country % of total warmaking potential
U.S.A. 41.7 %
Germany (without Austria and Czech protectorate) 14.4 %
Soviet Union (Russia) 14.0 %
United Kingdom 10.2 %
France 4.2 %
Japan 3.5 %
Italy 2.5 %
Total of the seven world powers 90.5 %
Wartime expenditures during the Second World War 1939-1945
Country Billion U.S. dollars (for prices in 1946: $1 = c.£0.25 = c.RM 2.22)
U.S.A. $ 341.491
Germany $ 270.000
Soviet Union (Russia) $ 192.000
China c.$ 190.000 (estimate for 1937-1945)
United Kingdom $ 120.000
Canada $ 15.680
Italy $ 94.000
Japan $ 56.000
France $ 15.000
Belgium $ 3.250
Poland $ 1.550
Netherlands $ 0.925
Latin American countries (total) $ 1.000
Greece over $ 0.220
Yugoslavia over $ 0.200
Price value of the arms production in 1940 and 1941 in Billion U.S. dollars (for prices in 1944: $1 = c.£0.21 = c.RM 2.22)
Country 1940 1941
Germany $ 6.0 $ 6.0
Soviet Union (Russia) $ 5.0 $ 8.5
United Kingdom $ 3.5 $ 4.5
U.S.A. $ 1.5 $ 4.5
Japan $ 1.0 $ 2.0
Military Arms Production Index of Germany
Time Index
January and February 1942 100
at the end of 1942 181
October 1943 242
July 1944 322
January 1945 227
Value and index of military arms production in Germany from July 1944 to March 1945
Month Value in Billion RM (Reichsmark; 1 RM = about $ 0.45) Index
July 1944 RM 2.99 322
August 1944 RM 2.76 297
September 1944 RM 2.80 301
October 1944 RM 2.54 273
November 1944 RM 2.49 268
December 1944 RM 2.45 263
January 1945 RM 2.11 227
February 1945 RM 1.52 175
March 1945 RM 1.34 145

Strategic raw materials

Ploesti oil fields

The most important German oil resources were the Ploesti oilfields.

Overview of the global production of the vital strategic raw materials, without – more or less – no modern arms industry could be possible, or at least only with great disadvantages.
As well, the motorized warfare with air support and naval power is not possible without adequate fuel supplies.

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Global distribution of production of vital strategic raw materials (in per cent for 1937) Part I(A)
Region Coal Iron ore Copper ore Lead ore Tin ore Zinc ore Nickel ore Bauxite Manganese ore Tungsten ore
Total world production (in millon metric tons) 1,247.4 98.0 2.3 1.7 0.2 1.9 1.1 4.0 3.0 0.2
U.S.A 34.2 38.0 32.4 24.7 - 30.6 0.2 10.7 0.7 8.8
USSR 9.3 14.3 4.0 3.3 - 3.8 1.8 6.2 40.5 ?
UK 18.6 4.4 - 1.6 1.3 0.4 - - - 0.4
Canada - - 10.2 10.9 - 9.1 89.5 - -
Australia - - - 14.7 - 11.1 - - -
India - - - - - - - - 17.9
Malaya - - - - 27.8 - - - -
Burma - - - - - - - - - 15.3
South Africa - - - - - - - - 9.0
Rhodesia - - 10.6 - - - - - -
British Guiana - - - - - - - 9.1 -
Cyprus - - - - - - - - -
South Pacific - - - - - - - - -
Iran und Iraq (British occupied) - - - - - - - - -
Rest of British Empire 5.0 5.9 4.0 7.9 11.3 7.7 1.1 0.9 9.7 7.1
British Empire Total 23.6 10.3 24.8 35.1 40.4 28.3 90.6 10.0 36.6 22.8
Global distribution of production of vital strategic raw materials (in per cent for 1937) Part I(B)
Region Coal Iron ore Copper ore Lead ore Tin ore Zinc ore Nickel ore Bauxite Manganese ore Tungsten ore
France 3.4 11.7 - 0.3 - - - 17.2 0.1
Morocco, Tunisia - - - - - - - - -
Indochina - - - - - - - - -
New Caledonia - - - - - - 4.3 - -
Rest of French Empire 0.2 1.8 - 2.0 1.1 0.9 0.1 0.2 0.3 1.8
French Enmpire Total 3.6 13.5 - 2.3 1.1 0.9 4.4 17.4 0.4 1.8
Netherlands 1.1 - - - - - - - -
Dutch East Indies 0.1 - - - 17.5 - - 14.8 0.2
Italy 0.1 0.5 - 2.0 - 4.3 - 9.6 0.4
Greater Germany (incl. Austria and Czech Protectorat) 15.3 4.1 1.3 5.4 0.1 9.4 - 2.3 8.4
Norway 0.1 0.7 0.9 - - 0.5 0.8 - -
Sweden - 9.3 0.3 0.5 - 1.9 - - 0.1 0.4
Hungary 0.1 0.1 - - - - - 13.3 0.3
Yugoslavia - 0.3 1.7 4.2 - 2.6 - 8.9 0.1
Rumania - 0.1 - 0.5 - 0.4 - 0.3 0.6
Greece - 0.1 - 0.4 - 0.5 0.9 3.4 0.2
Turkey 0.2 - - 0.4 - 0.6 - - -
Japan (incl. Korea, Kwantung, Manchuko and Pacific Mandates) 4.9 2.2 4.0 0.9 1.4 1.1 - - 1.1 5.3
China 1.1 0.2 - 0.2 5.7 0.2 - - 0.8 0.6
Latin America 0.3 1.4 21.8 16.4 17.8 10.2 0.1 0.2 6.0 7.6
Global distribution of production of vital strategic raw materials (in per cent for 1937) Part II(A)
Region Chrome ore Molybdenum Sulphur Pyrites Phosphates Potash Magnesite Rubber Oil
Total world production (in millon metric tons) 0,6 0,016 3,4 10,6 14,5 3,2 1,8 0,92 272,0
U.S.A 0.2 92.5 81.9 5.6 29.8 8.1 10.6 0.1 60.4
USSR 15.3 - - 5.8 24.5 7.3 27.2 - 10.6
UK - - - - - - - -
Canada - - - - - - - -
Australia - - - - - - 3.1 -
India - - - - - - - -
Malaya - - - - - - - 41.2
Burma - - - - - - - -
South Africa 12.8 - - - - - - -
Rhodesia 22.9 - - - - - - -
British Guiana - - - - - - - -
Cyprus - - - 7.3 - - - -
South Pacific - - - - 8.7 - - -
Iran and Iraq (British occupied) - - - - - - - - 5.4
Rest of British Empire 5.5 0.2 - 1.9 - 0.6 2.9 11.0 2.0
British Empire Total 41.2 0.2 - 9.2 8.7 0.6 6.0 52.2 7.4
Global distribution of production of vital strategic raw materials (in per cent for 1937) Part II(B)
Region Chrome ore Molybdenum Sulphur Pyrites Phosphates Potash Magnesite Rubber Oil
France - - - 1.4 0.7 15.5 - -
Morocco, Tunisia - - - - 22.5 - - -
Indochina - - - - - - - 6.4
New Caledonia 4.1 - - - - - - -
Rest of French Empire - 0.6 - 0.4 5.8 - - 0.3
French Empire Total 4.1 0.6 - 1.8 29.0 15.5 - 6.7
Netherlands - - - - - - - -
Dutch East Indies - - 0.4 - 0.9 - - 33.0 2.7
Italy - - - 8.6 - - 0.2 -
Greater Germany (incl. Austria and Czech Protectorat) - - - 4.2 - 61.5 27.9 - 0.2
Norway - - - 9.9 - - 0.2 -
Sweden - - - 1.6 - - - -
Hungary - - - - - - - -
Yugoslavia 4.8 - - 1.3 - - 3.9 -
Rumania - - - 0.1 - - - - 2.4
Greece 3.4 - - 1.9 - - 6.6 -
Turkey 16.3 - 0.1 - - - 0.1 -
Japan (incl. Korea, Kwantung, Manchuko and Pacific Mandates) 2.6 0.2 5.8 17.2 1.4 0.1 13.5 - 0.1
China - 0.2 0.7 - - - - -
Latin America 5.3 3.6 0.7 - - - - - 15.3

Oil Production

Allied and Axis Crude Oil Production in the Second World War (m. metric tons)
Nation / Year 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 TOTAL
U.S.A ? ? ? 183.9 199.6 222.5 227.2 833.2
USSR ? ? 33.0 22.0 18.0 18.2 19.4 110.6
UK ? 11.9 13.9 11.2 15.8 21.4 16.6 90.8
Canada 1.0 1.1 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.1 8.4
Germany (excludes imports, includes synthetic production) 3.1 4.8 5.7 6.6 7.6 5.6 ? 33.4
Italy ? 0.01 0.12 0.01 0.01 ? ? 0.17
Hungary ? 0.3 0.4 0.7 0.8 1.0 ? 3.2
Rumania ? 5.0 5.5 5.7 5.3 3.5 ? 25.0
Japan ? ? ? 1.8 2.3 1.0 0.1 5.2

Oil and petroleum supply of Germany in the Second World War

Annual German oil production by source, and consumption (in 1,000 metric trons)
Year Home Crude Home Synthetic Import Total Consumption
1939 888 2,200 5,165 8,353 ?
1940 1,465 3,348 2,075 6,888 5,856
1941 1,562 4,116 2,807 8,485 7,305
1942 1,686 4,920 2,359 8,965 6,483
1943 1,883 5,748 2,766 10,497 6,971
1944 1,681 3,962 961 6,504 ?
German production and consumption of aviation petroleum (in 1,000 metric tons)
Year 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945
Production ? 643 889 1,370 1,788 998 ?
Imports ? 78 + 275 captured 21 102 129 107 ?
TOTAL ? 966 910 1,472 1,917 1,105 12
Consumption ? 863 1,274 1,426 1,825 1,403 114
Stocks end of year 511 613 254 324 440 146
German production and consumption of motor petroleum (in 1,000 metric tons)
Year 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945
Production ? 1,138 1,160 1,002 1,133 935 ?
Imports ? 683 + 309 captured 1,124 1,021 804 542 ?
TOTAL ? 2,130 2,284 2,023 1,937 1,477 139
Consumption ? 1,811 2,504 2,089 2,101 1,805 ?
Stocks end of year 280 599 379 313 436 118
German production and consumption of Diesel oil (in 1,000 metric tons)
Year 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945
Production ? 781 1,114 1,285 1,358 889 ?
Imports ? 501 + 200 captured 612 208 435 371 ?
TOTAL ? 1,482 1,726 1,493 1,793 1,260 180
Consumption ? 1,335 1,856 1,519 1,744 1,435 ?
Stocks end of year 150 296 164 138 244 121
Supremacy 1914

9 Comments

  1. Fernando Navarro

    I’m thinking in bying the book where the statistics come from, but i have a doubt: Does this book also cover the lend lease help (not just in weapons but also in raw materials and food) the USA gave to the USSR? And along with that, does it show the DOMESTIC PRODUCTION of those things in the USSR? I’m trying to discern if Lend Lease was crucial, or was helpful but the war would have still been won without it…

  2. I believe that you guys are drawing incorrect conclusions from this data. Drawing attention to the aviation petroleum, motor petroleum and diesel stockpile statistics. From 1941 on wards, there is a clear trend that Germany was eating into it’s oil stockpiles, and if you were to subtract the amount of captured oil (unsustainable acquisition of oil from then on wards), you will see a downward trend in oil stocks.

    Although they may have still had SOME left over for a while, this was not going to last. On top of this, these reserves would likely have dwindled as time went on. Time Germany certainly did NOT have.

  3. Hi. This data is VERY interesting. Well done collecting it! But i have a doubt: I had understanded that Germany faced an Oil crisis already in 1941, whith a deficit of 26% or so, which is why it invaded the USSR. Yet your figures of “Oil and Petroleum supply of Germany in the second world war” (i do not know its sources) show that there was never such a deficit. Is that true? What are your sources for that figures?

    • Most from World War II: A Statistical Survey: The Essential Facts and Figures for All the Combatants, the bookw hich I just have included below the headline ‘Strategic raw materials ‘.

      • I see. So in your view (or that of the book, at least), Germany did not had an oil deficit. That’s ground-breaking! almost all literature says Germany was running out of oil! I’m going to red the book. Seems interesting. Thanks for the answer.

        • There wasn’t any real breaking for the war effort because of oil shortage until the last stage of the war (bombing of the synthetic oil industry). Caucausus oil fields or build-up of synthetic oil industry after failing to capture it was enough for the German armed forces until it was bombed in mid-1944.

          • Fernando Navarro Robuschi

            And following that line of thinking, do you believe Germany could win over the USSR in 1942? People think that by then (after 1941) it was doomed in the east. What do you think of this? Of course i’m not talking about germany defeating the USSR IN 1942. I’m asking if Germany, in 1942, in your view, could still eventually win in the eastern front, or if it was already doomed after the defeat in Moscow.

          • Speculation – open for discussion …
            But at least in the case of the loss of the Oil fields in Caucasus, Stalingrad captured an hold by the Axis which would have cut Lend-Lease Supplies to Iran, everything could have be possible. Soviets were short of steel, oil, food an everything else at this time and much of it was delivered by the Western Allies during this time (see Arctic convoy ship loads).
            But to defeat ore at least come to a truce with UK and US (with an Atomic bomb in 1945, even with German ‘Tabun’) is very questionable, isn’t it ?

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