Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New Series 130: Computer Power and Nazi War Strategy

9/05/12-b from HATONN/jonur (ns130)

Hatonn present; let us proceed, please. 


Jonur, continue, please, from “NEXUS” magazine, August-September 2012.


Computer Power and Nazi War Strategy

TK:  I thought that Bormann was responsible for the money.

DD:  That is an excellent point. Now, how did he work with the money?  He basically used the most important weapon that the Third Reich had:  the computer.  In 1935, the first practical working computer was developed for the Third Reich by a German engineer named Konrad Zuse.  With his computer, what he had created was a way to make the trains run on time

German statistician Friedrich Zahn, an SS member since 1933, convinced SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler to establish a covert Reich Tabulation Bureau that would integrate Zuse’s technology with IBM systems developed by American statistician Herman Hollerith, who had created the punch-card data tabulator.  One of the major German companies, IG Farben, developed magnetic tape in 1935, which made the Zuse-Hollerith information processing system even more powerful.  Magnetic tape was actually more useful than punch cards which were much more expensive.  With the use of magnetic tape, these computers did the work of 300 clerks with only 15 specialists, in a week instead of six months.  Because of this, there were many major applications—one of which was gaming out the war.  They could feed in equations and examples of warfare that would help them figure out how the war would play out to the end. 

One of the things that they figured out with these computers was that the Allies outnumbered the Axis by 10 to one.  Pitted against Japan, Germany, and Italy, the Allies had seven times the tanks, five times heavy artillery, three times the combat aircraft, five times the trucks, and seven times the machine guns.  The United States alone had 27 million men that it could mobilise in uniform.  The Third Reich realised that the entire war was going to have to be a holding action to delay the advances of the enemy until it could relocate the government.


Jonur, break here please and return promptly.  SALU.

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