Military Production

Production of B-24 Liberator bombers

Production of B-24 Liberator bombers in an US aircraft plant.

Military armament production in WW2.

Modern wars have been – at least since the American Civil War (1861 to 1865) – neither been decided by the better warrior or soldier, nor by the tactical or strategic genius of a Napoleon (probably the last one in this series with this privilege), Frederick the Great, Charles XII, Wallenstein, Caesar, Hannibal, or Alexander the Great, but by considerable material and numerical superiority on the battlefield and reserves.

And this is achieved by a superior armament production, which is dependent on superior organization and labor power as well as access to more material resources.

This is why we are looking here on the comparison of production figures and access to important strategic raw materials during WW2. However, there also has further implications for the respective armaments production of the participating nations, such as the strategic air war, sea warfare and blockades.

The most important raw material for military armaments is the iron and steel sector. Iron and steel are the basis for every armament production and are the ‘key figures’ for what it is possible. However, even this can not decide a war, if no clear control and organization on priorities takes place.

During WW2 Germany produced three times as much steel as Soviet Russia, but the Russians were still able to muster 102,000 armored vehicles against 76,000 German-built vehicles. Only the US with 287,000 armored vehicles surpassed the Russian production again.
The Russians had a better and more reckless organization of the military production, concentrating on a few, key armament products, while in Germany they lived for a long time in a luxurious waste, producing a large number of similar or competing weapon systems at the same time on a high technical standard. An engine for a tank with a long life and great driving performance may be useful in peace times to save costs – but in war on the front the tank will barely drive a few hundred miles before it is knocked-out!

It must, of course, be taken into account, too, that the Red Army was supplied by the US Lend-Lease program with many goods (esp trucks), which were thus hardly or not at all manufactured in Russia and instead tanks could be built for this purpose.
Also, Soviet Russia was not under pressure from a strategic air war on its cities nor had to wage an intense naval and U-boat war.

Related Reports:

German arms production

assembly line of German Focke-Wulf Fw 190

German arms production in WW2 from 1939-1945 The annual German armaments and military equipment production (excluding ammunition) and a comparison of the necessary strategic raw materials. Additional, the origins of the strategic raw materials and effect of the Allied bombing … learn more

British arms production

assembly line at Avro's Woodford plant

British and Commonwealth arms production in WW2 from 1939-1945. Following are tables of the British and Commonwealth armaments and military equipment production (excluding ammunition) and a comparison of the necessary strategic raw materials. British arms production by weapon types The … learn more

Military production of Japan

Japanes aircraft factory

Military production and imports of Japan in World War II. The annual Japanese armaments and military equipment production (excluding ammunition) and a comparison of the necessary strategic raw materials. Since Japan was virtually dependent on full import of key raw … learn more

U.S. arms production

M3 Lee tanks under construction

U.S. arms production during WW2 from 1939-1945. Following are tables of the annual U.S. arms production (excluding ammunition) and a comparison of the necessary strategic raw materials. U.S. arms production by weapon types Annual U.S. production figures of the main … learn more

Military Expenditures, Strategic Raw Materials, Oil Production

Production of Russian KV-1

Comparison of military expenditures, distribution of vital strategic raw materials, oil and fuel production in World War II. Comparison of Military Expenditures Overview about the relative comparison of the military production and wartime expenditures of the Axis and Allies in … learn more

Russian arms production

Production of ZIS3 field guns

Russian (Soviet) armaments production in the Second World War. Following are tables of the annual Russian (Soviet) armaments production (excluding ammunition) and a comparison of the necessary strategic raw materials. Russian (Soviet) armaments production by weapon types Annual Soviet production … learn more

German AFV production

Final assembly of StuG assault guns.

Tanks, Assault guns, Self-propelled guns production in Germany during WW2 In the following table is summarized the production of all types of armoured vehicles manufactured for the German Army. In the case where foreign equipment was officially issued to the … learn more

Lend-Lease tanks and aircrafts

P-63 Kingcobra lend-lease aircrafts for Russia

Lend-Lease tanks and aircrafts for Russia 1941-1945 Lend Lease Tanks The Red Army used extensive quantities of Lend-Lease tanks and other armoured vehicles from the USA, Great Britain and Canada. A total of 22,800 armoured vehicles were supplied to the … learn more