German Tank Production during World War II
Pz II, Pz 38(t), Marder 138, Marder 139, Grille, Hetzer, Pz III, StuG III, Pz IV , StuG IV, Jagd IV , Sturm IV , Hummel, Hornisse, Mobelwagen, Wirbelwind, Ostwind, Elefant, Panther, Jagdpanther, Tiger I, Tiger II, Jagdtiger
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German Armour production during World War II
This article lists German tank production during World War II. AFVs on a tank chassis are also included. Where figures for production in 1939 are given, they refer to September 1939 onwards; that is, they only count wartime production.
The Panzer I wasn't intended as a combat vehicle, but more to familiarize industry and the army with tanks. By the time production had ended in 1937, a total of 1867 Pz I hulls had been produced, of which 1493 were fitted with turrets, and the rest used as command or training vehicles.
The Panzer II was a heavier vehicle, designed to replace the Panzer I. It was armed with a 20 mm cannon which had some anti-armour capability. Before the war started, 1223 had been built.
1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 Pz II 15 9 223 322 Pz II (f) - 84 Marder II - - - 372 Wespe - - - - 514 162
In March 1939 Germany occupied Bohemia and Moravia and took over the Czech arms manufacturing industries. The LT-38 tank, then in production, was renamed Panzer 38(t) ("t" standing for Tschechisch, German for Czech). Prior to the start of the war, 78 Pz 38(t) tanks had been produced.
Germany continued producing the Pz 38(t) during the war. By early 1942, it was clearly obsolete. However, the production lines were already running, the vehicle was mechanically reliable, and the factory would have had difficulty moving over to larger tanks. So it was decided to find other uses for the Pz 38(t) chassis.
1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 Pz 38(t) 153 367 678 198 Marder 138 - - - 110 783 323 Marder 139 - - - 344 Grille - - - - 225 346 Hetzer - - - - - 1687 1335
The Panzer III was designed as a medium tank, with a high-velocity 37 mm gun. Pre-war production was 98 vehicles. During the war, the Pz III was upgunned to a 50 mm gun, then to an even higher velocity 50 mm gun, in order to improve its anti-tank performance. A low-velocity 75 mm gun was also fitted, but since the tank wasn't big enough to fit a high-velocity 75 mm gun, production was halted mid-war, although the chassis continued to be used to build assault guns.
The Panzer III was the first tank to have a 3-man turret: the commander didn't have to double up as a loader or a gunner, so he could concentrate on commanding the tank.
1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 Pz III 157 396 Pz III (50) - 466 1673 251 Pz III (50L) - - - 64 1906 Pz III (75) - - - 450 213 Pz III (f) - - - - 100 StuG III - 184 540 90 StuG III (l) - - - 702 3011 3850 863
The Panzer IV was designed alongside the Panzer III. The Pz IV was a slightly larger and heavier tank, and with its large calibre low velocity gun, it was designed to break through enemy positions. Pre-war production was 211 tanks.
1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 Pz IV (short) 45 268 467 124 Pz IV (long) - - - 870 3013 3126 385 StuG IV - - - - 30 1006 105 Jagd IV - - - - - 769 Jagd IV/70 - - - - - 767 441 Sturm IV - - - - 66 215 17 Hummel - - - - 368 289 57 Hornisse - - - - 345 133 16 Mobelwagen - - - - - 205 35 Wirbelwind - - - - - 100 5 Ostwind - - - - - 15 28
The Panzer IV was originally armed with a low-velocity 75 mm L/24 gun. In 1942 this was upgraded to a 75 mm L/43 gun, and later to a 75 mm L/48 gun; both these guns are classed as "long" in the table.
The Elefant (SdKfz 184) used the chassis of Porsche's losing entry for the Tiger competition. On top of this chassis, a forward-facing 88 mm L/71 gun was mounted. A total of 90 Elefants were produced, all in 1943.
The Elefant was also known as the Ferdinand, after its designer, Dr Ferdinand Porsche.
On May 26, 1941 Hitler ordered the Henschel and Porsche firms to design a new heavy tank. Franz Xaver Reimspiess developed the Panzer Tiger. Reimspiess was the leader of the Nibelungen Panzer factory in Upper Austria. The Henschel design won the competition and became the Tiger; the Porsche design became the Elefant.
1942 1943 1944 1945 Tiger I 78 649 623 Tiger II - 3 377 100 Jagdtiger - - 61 16
Text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License
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