Allied Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) production from 1935 through 1945 out produced their Axis counterparts 221,557 units to 51,845 units or a 4.3:1 ratio. Although Germany co-opted many AFVs from their annex or occupied lands they still found themselves outnumbered in most battles. Germany would turn to larger tanks such as the Panthers and Tigers hoping better armor and guns would defeat quantity.
Table of Contents
Armored Fighting Vehicle Types
Armored fighting vehicles were a key component of ground warfare during World War II. These vehicles were designed to provide protection for their crews and firepower against enemy forces. Here are some of the main types of armored fighting vehicles used during the war:
Tanks were heavily armored vehicles that were equipped with powerful guns and machine guns. They were used for offensive and defensive operations and played a crucial role in battles throughout the war. Some of the most significant tanks of WW2 were the German Panzer tanks (Panzer II, III, IV, and Tiger), the Soviet T-34 and KV tanks, and the US M4 Sherman tank.
Self-propelled guns were tanks that were designed to provide artillery support for ground troops. They were usually armed with large-caliber guns and were highly effective against enemy fortifications and armored vehicles. Examples include the German Sturmgeschütz III, Soviet SU-122, and US M7 Priest.
Tank destroyers were specialized vehicles that were designed to destroy enemy tanks. They were often lightly armored but were equipped with powerful guns that could penetrate enemy armor.
Armored personnel carriers
Armored personnel carriers were vehicles that were designed to transport infantry on the battlefield. They provided protection for the troops and allowed them to be quickly deployed to different areas. Examples include the German Sd.Kfz. 251, US M3 Half-track, and Soviet BTR-40.
Half-tracks were vehicles that had wheels in the front and tracks in the back. They were used for a variety of purposes, including troop transport, artillery support, and reconnaissance. Examples include the M3 Half-track used by the US and Allies and the Sd.Kfz. 251 used by Germany, each could carry up to 12 troops.
Armored cars were lightly armored vehicles that were used for reconnaissance and patrol duties. They were often armed with machine guns and were highly maneuverable. Examples include the US M8 Greyhound with a 37mm gun, the German Sd.Kfz. 234 with a 50mm gun, and the British Humber Armored Car with 15mm gun. All three were used for reconnaissance.
Overall, armored fighting vehicles played a crucial role in ground warfare during World War II. They provided protection and firepower for ground troops and were instrumental in the success of many military operations.
Armored Fighting Vehicle Production by Country, 1935-45 Data
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Armored Fighting Vehicle Production by Country, 1935-45
Source: McNab, Chris. “Hitler’s Masterplan.” Editor: Spilling, Michael, Amber Books, 2011, Page 168
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