Every year from 1940 to 1945 the Allies outproduced the Axis in tanks. Overall, the Allies tank production outstripped the Axis by a 4.2 to 1 ratio. Japan’s tanks production was minimal reflecting the type of war they faced in the Asia Pacific theater. In the European theater Germany’s production went up against the two war production heavyweights in the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the United States (US). Add in the United Kingdom’s (UK) production and Germany would face overwhelming numbers on the battlefield.
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Tank production was a key factor in determining the outcome of the conflict. Here’s a breakdown of tank production numbers for each major belligerent, as well as the factors that limited their production:
Germany produced a total of approximately 47,000 tanks during the war. However, production was limited by several factors, including shortages of raw materials, labor, and production capacity. In addition, the complexity of German tank designs made them more difficult and time-consuming to produce than their Allied counterparts. Germany’s production of tanks was also competing with the production of other weapons platforms, such as aircraft, artillery, jet fighters and rockets. As a result, tank production was often limited by shortages of key materials and skilled labor.
The Soviet Union produced a total of approximately 102,000 tanks during the war, making it the largest tank producer of the conflict. However, production was also limited by shortages of raw materials and production capacity, as well as the need to relocate factories eastward to avoid being overrun by the advancing German army. Additionally, Soviet tank production was often competing with the production of other key weapons platforms, such as aircraft and artillery.
The United States produced a total of approximately 88,500 tanks during the war, with production ramping up significantly after the entry of the United States into the conflict in 1941. However, production was initially limited by a lack of experience in tank design and manufacturing, as well as shortages of raw materials and production capacity. US tank production initially lagged other weapons platforms due to the prioritization of aircraft as well as naval and merchant ship production, which was seen as more crucial to the war effort.
The United Kingdom produced a total of approximately 20,150 tanks during the war. Production was limited by several factors, including shortages of raw materials and production capacity, as well as the need to balance tank production with other wartime needs especially air and sea production.
Although the Allied nations tank production suffered due to competing weapons platforms thereby limiting their tank production. Despite this limitation the Allied nations that were able to produce a larger number of tanks which enabled them for success on the battlefield.
Tanks Produced by Nation 1940 to 1945 Data
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Trueman, C. N. “Weapons And Manpower.” https://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/world-war-two/weapons-and-manpower/, Data accessed on July 22, 2022
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