Comparison of military expenditures, distribution of vital strategic raw materials, oil and fuel production in World War II.
Warmaking potential, value of the arms’ production, Military Arms Production Index of Germany, global distribution of production of vital strategic raw materials, crude oil production.

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

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 Kingdom10.2 %
France4.2 %
Japan3.5 %
Italy2.5 %
Total of the seven world powers90.5 %

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
Chinac.$ 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
Greeceover $ 0.220
Yugoslaviaover $ 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):

Country19401941
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:

TimeIndex
January and February 1942100
at the end of 1942181
October 1943242
July 1944322
January 1945227

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 1944RM 2.99322
August 1944RM 2.76297
September 1944RM 2.80301
October 1944RM 2.54273
November 1944RM 2.49268
December 1944RM 2.45263
January 1945RM 2.11227
February 1945RM 1.52175
March 1945RM 1.34145


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.


Global distribution of production of vital strategic raw materials (in per cent for 1937) Part I(A):

RegionCoalIron oreCopper oreLead oreTin oreZinc oreNickel oreBauxiteManganese oreTungsten 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 & 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):

RegionCoalIron oreCopper oreLead oreTin oreZinc oreNickel oreBauxiteManganese oreTungsten 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 Empire 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 Protectorate) 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):

RegionChrome oreMolybdenumSulphurPyritesPhosphatesPotashMagnesiteRubberOil
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):

RegionChrome oreMolybdenumSulphurPyritesPhosphatesPotashMagnesiteRubberOil
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 / Year1939194019411942194319441945TOTAL
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):

YearHome CrudeHome SyntheticImportTotalConsumption
1939888 2,200 "5165" 8,353 ?
1940 1,465 "3348" 2,075 "6888" 5,856
1941 1,562 "4116" 2,807 "8485" 7,305
1942 1,686 "4920" 2,359 "8965" 6,483
1943 1,883 "5748" 2,766 "10497" 6,971
1944 1,681 "3962"961 6,504 ?

German production and consumption of aviation petroleum (in 1,000 metric tons):

Year1939194019411942194319441945
Production?643889 1,370 1,788998?
Imports?78 + 275 captured21102129107?
TOTAL?966910 1,472 1,917 1,10512
Consumption?863 1,274 1,426 1,825 1,403114
Stocks end of year511613254324440146-

German production and consumption of motor petroleum (in 1,000 metric tons):

Year1939194019411942194319441945
Production? 1,138 1,160 1,002 1,133935?
Imports?683 + 309 captured 1,124 1,021804542?
TOTAL? 2,130 2,284 2,023 1,937 1,477139
Consumption? 1,811 2,504 2,089 2,101 1,805?
Stocks end of year280599379313436118-

German production and consumption of Diesel oil (in 1,000 metric tons):

Year1939194019411942194319441945
Production?781 1,114 1,285 1,358889?
Imports?501 + 200 captured612208435371?
TOTAL? 1,482 1,726 1,493 1,793 1,260180
Consumption? 1,335 1,856 1,519 1,744 1,435?
Stocks end of year150296164138244121-

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Fernando Navarro

    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?

    1. Kretaner

      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 ‘.

      1. Fernando Navarro

        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.

        1. Kretaner

          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.

          1. 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.

          2. Kretaner

            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 ?

  2. sfds

    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. 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…

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