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No Room for Miracles. German Industrial Output in World War II Reassessed

J. Adam Tooze
Geschichte und Gesellschaft
31. Jahrg., H. 3, Südasien in der Welt (Jul. - Sep., 2005), pp. 439-464
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40186123
Page Count: 26
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No Room for Miracles. German Industrial Output in World War II Reassessed
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Abstract

The historical literature on the Nazi war economy relies to an extraordinary extent on a single source: Rolf Wagenführ's index of industrial production. This index, which depicts an undermobilized economy in the early years of the war, followed by an extraordinary spurt of growth after 1942, has underpinned a highly political and ultimately voluntarist reading of the German war economy. Armaments production, it appears, was a matter of will-power, politics and organization. This article subjects the Wagenführ's index to critical inspection and finds it wanting. It is poorly documented, inconsistent in its coverage and the manner of its construction results in a seriously biased depiction of the war effort particularly between 1939 and 1941. The article presents an alternative set of data, which provide a new view of German industry at war.

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